Man’s Slippery Family Tree

The popularized notion of half-humans scraping together a bare existence of berries and prehistoric animal meat is so common that most people believe that there is total agreement in the scientific community over this concept of our past. However, this idea is based far more on conjecture than fact and there is considerable disagreement as to its validity. Listed below is a very brief summary of just a few of the key ape-to-man links which have been used to “prove” human evolution.

Neanderthal (homo neaderthalis)

After Darwin’s theory on evolution was published in 1859, the search for man’s ape-like ancestor began in earnest. Many apparently human skeletons were found throughout Europe which had thicker than normal bones and eyebrow ridges. These skeletons were reconstructed with a hunched over, ape-like appearance. These were immediately presented to the public as “ape-man” links in spite of the fact that many experts of the day disagreed with this conclusion. If fully clothed and placed in a modern city it is unlikely these people would even be noticed. The differences in bones structure is easily attributed to pathological diseases or minor genetic variations. A probable explanation for their existence in caves is their attempt to repopulate the world away from the warmer equatorial regions during the ice age (which immediately followed Noah’s flood). Neanderthal is classified by most scientists as fully human.

Java Man (homo erectus)

In 1892 Eugene Dubois found a thick boned skull cap in the same general vicinity as a human thigh bone. This is still presented as evidence of an early transformation from ape to man. However, many years after this supposed creature was widely accepted as an “ape-man” link Dubois admitted that the skull cap and leg bone were separated by 46 feet. These details are almost always omitted when Java man is discussed.

Peking Man (homo erectus)

A group of researchers found a large number of apelike skull fragments in a cave near Peking China in the 1920’s in the direct vicinity of fire pits and tools. Although all of the original skulls disappeared during WWII it is still assumed that since the skulls and tools were found together this was an ape-man link. However, students are seldom presented with a more plausible explanation. Monkey meat is very tough but monkey brains are still considered a delicacy in that part of the world. Since only the skull fragments were found, it is quite likely that Peking man was man’s meal … not man’s ancestor.

Lucy (australopithecus)

This very ape-like creature supposedly preceded homo erectus in the evolutionary progression from ape to man. The most famous example was found in the early 1970’s by Donald Johanson and the find brought him instant fame. The 40% complete set of bones were missing most of the skull and it is still debated whether this creature walked upright in a human manner. Many respected evolutionists even reject the claim that “Lucy” was an ape-to-man link. For instance, British anatomist Lord Solly Zuckerman conducted an extensive examination of a wide variety of australopithecus fossils and concluded that they were not upright walkers.1 He and a team of scientists spent 15 years studying anatomical features of humans, monkeys, apes, and australopithecus fossils before coming to this conclusion. If “Lucy” did not walk upright (in every other way she resembles an ape), the obvious conclusion is that Lucy was an ape. Further extensive studies by evolutionist Dr. Charles Oxnard also came to the conclusion that the robust line of australopithecus were not intermediates between man and ape.2

There are similar problems with every other fossil link between humans and apes. Not only is there considerable disagreement between evolutionary researchers but the evidence is extremely sparse, fragmentary, and open to other interpretations.

1. S. Zuckerman, Beyond the Irory Tower, Taplinger Pub. Co., New York, 1970, pp. 75-94.

2. C. Oxnard, Fossils, Teeth, and Sex – A new Perspective on Human Evolution, Univ. of Wash. Press, 1987, p.277.