The following statement was made by Ph.D. anthropologist John Cole1 and is typical of what is commonly taught throughout the world concerning human origins. “There are extreme numbers, hundreds and hundreds, of known fossil individual humans at various stages of evolution from the most primitive semi-humans to the present … You can see a very nice progression.”
Variations on this theme are repeated everywhere. From the cartoons to EPCOT center, from advertisements to zoos, from centers of science and industry to your child’s textbook … the assumption that humans came from ape-like creatures is presented as fact. However, a closer examination of these fossils justifies some valid skepticism of these “hundreds and hundreds” of intermediate links.
Creationists are often accused of presupposing the Bible to be true and interpreting data in light of that presupposition. Evolutionists, especially in the field of human anthropology, also start with a presupposition – that man has evolved from some ape-like creature. Evolutionary anthropol-ogists will ALWAYS interpret fragments of animal bones from the presupposition that evolution is a fact. This can blind even the most honest researcher from the truth and cause a faulty interpretation of the physical evidence.
A classic example is the now defunct ape-to-man link known as “Piltdown Man”. In 1912, a human skull fragment was found along with an ape’s jaw fragment. The teeth of the creature were intermediate between the two. For the next 41 years this was proclaimed as definitive proof of the transformation from ape-to-man. Most top paleontologists of the day were in agreement and hundreds of papers were written on the find. Two generations of students were shown this “proof” of evolution and many were ridiculed if they dared to voice doubts on its validity. It was only after someone other than an anthropologist was given permission to date the fragments that it was discovered that they were of vastly varying ages. The whole thing had been a hoax!
Upon closer examination it was even noticed that file marks were clearly visible on some of the teeth. How could honest, qualified experts have been duped for so long? Because “Piltdown Man” was exactly what evolutionists expected to find. Their presuppositions had overshadowed careful scientific analysis. Although science can be a self correcting endeavor, there is strong pressure to conform to the majority opinion. It is often someone outside of a particular scientific discipline who must expose faulty assumptions and make new discoveries. This is especially true if these assumptions form the very basis of the thinking in that scientific discipline.
In 1984, there was a major show of man’s supposed ancestors at the American Museum of Natural History. The following excerpt is from Phillip Johnson’s book, Darwin on Trial. It is very revealing concerning the anthropologist’s bias toward interpreting fossil fragments within the presupposition of evolution. “This is how Roger Lewin described the scene at the 1984 Ancestors exhibition. The ‘priceless and fragile relics’ were carried by anxious curators … to be admired by a select preview audience of anthropologists who spoke in hushed voices because ‘It was like discussing theology in a cathedral’. Lewin considers it understandable that anthropologists observing the bones of their ancestors should be more emotionally involved with their subject than other kinds of scientists. ‘There is a difference. There is something inexpressibly moving about cradling in one’s hands a cranium drawn from one’s own ancestry’… Descriptions of fossils from people who yearn to cradle their ancestors in their hands ought to be scrutinized as carefully as a letter of recommendation from a job applicant’s mother.”
Creation anthropologists are also highly biased. They are likely to interpret an ape-like skull as an extinct ape. The problem arises when only the evolution interpretation is allowed in schools and museums.
1. WOSU radio debate; John Cole vs. Bruce Malone; Columbus, Oh. 3/27/91