Ancient Humans

I wonder how one can explain from a theological and metaphysical point of view - early Humans-definite proof of the presence of Neanderthals and Denosivans as well as the small “hobbits” on the island of Flores exists-at least the former 2 buried their dead and apparently had speech capability-did they have souls?

or was it only Homo sapiens who received a soul-the Neanderthals and Homo sapiens co existed for several thousand years and we all carry neanderthal DNA and some Denisovian DNA-

the Hobbits are felt to be homo erectus -quite primitive unknown if capable of speech

The creation myths in Genesis do not really explain this do they?


I would question your “definite proof” personally - we assume too much when we believe 100% in anything that we cannot prove directly - however, assuming modern assumptions about evolution are correct, your question is interesting. For me, however, it’s interesting in a very science-fiction sort of way. So many unknowns!

Just to provide a correction… the “Hobbits” are actually believed to be their own species, named “Homo floresiensis”. It appears that Homo erectus may have been the direct common ancestor to four (or more) cousin species, which are Homo floresiensis, Neanderthals, Denisovians, and our own species, Homo sapiens.

While you are correct that we cannot prove this directly, the big change that’s occurred over the last five years or so is that we now have recovered DNA samples from Neanderthals and Denisovians. This does at least prove that these animals were definitively their own species, and not, say, deformed modern humans. Archaeology requires a certain amount of guesswork, but the science becomes vastly more accurate once DNA samples can be examined. We now have a second and even more reliable line of credible evidence to give credence to the theory.

The other interesting moral dilemma now is, of course, that it may one day be possible to clone these animals. The ethical problems involved would be stupendous, even by secular standards.

Actually, the most recent article I read in research states that after testing all known races of Homo Sapiens, none of us have Neanderthal DNA. They died out, as they were not very adaptable, and were very adapted to the Ice Age and Arctic conditions. However, they did have larger brains than Homo Sapiens, were probably quite intelligent, & capable of speech. But they did not make any cave paintings or images. Not artistic. However, they did bury their dead with some ceremony, so evidently believed in an afterlife, therefore probably had souls. Who says God didn’t create them?? Just because He didn’t tell Moses about them (who probably would have gone – WHAAAT???) doesn’t mean they weren’t also human, and had souls. They lived a LOOOONG time before Abraham, but who knows whether they believed in God. They did believe in some sort of afterlife, demonstrated by their careful burials with momentos of their lives, i.e., weapons, , baby teeth they had lost, and especially one woman who was found buried in the back of a cave in France who had mounds of flowers placed on her grave. They then placed the earth back in the grave, & piled rocks on top. They then built a large bonfire over her grave, and must have kept it burning for 3 or 4 days, as it mummified her, which they normally didn’t do. The flowers were able to be identified, as they were dried perfectly. This was a cave which was lived in, and to bury her within the living area (although at the very back) she must have been an important person to them, perhaps a religious leader or healer. They made no images, so they were at least, in lifestyle, good Jews! LOL They did appear to have some symbols - pre -written forms, such as marks of a lions claws, curves of a bison’s horns, etc., but these were only made on weapons, perhaps to ask their Gods/God to help them in the hunt.

Yes, they have found DNA for all four species, however, the DNA strands are broken, or incomplete. Hopefully no one will find a complete DNA strand and be able to recreate them. How horrible for a Neanderthal to be cloned, and then live in a cage in a lab somewhere!

I have personally always wanted to believe that God will never allow humans to clone humans at all, since we were made in His “image” and that would be infringing on His Powers. If they create a cloned fetus, I hope God ends the world at that point!!!

Being extremely ignorant on this subject, what is the latest in regards to human evolution? Humans are no longer believed to have evolved from apes but instead share a common ancestor, right?

This is a fascinating topic, but I have’t been keeping up with the latest theories, discoveries, etc.

There is a great deal that Genesis does not explain: quantum mechanics, radioactive decay, planets (no other planets in Genesis, just sun, moon and stars) etc.

Genesis is not a science textbook, it should not be treated as one. As you say, the stories are myths – the talking serpent is a big flag. Useful myths and myths with a moral, but not a science textbook.


Just my initial reaction… being a Baha’i… The creation story was an explanation given at the time well over a few thousand years ago for the origin of life in a context which made “sense” to people at the time prior to scientific concepts being developed.

Consider that for most people at the time this scripture was revealed regarded the earth as a circumference limited to the horizon they could envisage and the stars and planets, etc. as considerably smaller in size.

Also the length of a “day” could have any length from twenty four hours to an era.

There is a problem with the word, “ape”. It has two different meanings, the colloquial meaning and the scientific meaning. Humans are not colloquial apes, nor are they descended from them. We do share a common ancestor with Chimpanzees and the other apes, and if that ancestor were alive today we would think of it as a (colloquial) ape.

In scientific terms, the word “ape” is short for “member of the Hominidae”, which does include humans. The latest on human evolution is that the picture looks even bushier than before. We have ourselves, Neanderthals, Denisovans and a mysterious other – we have bits of DNA but no bones. All of these three seem to have been able to interbreed to some extent, the “others” DNA turns up in the genomes of Neanderthals and Denisovans. Non-African humans have a small percentage of Neanderthal DNA, and some peoples in the Pacific region have a bit of Denisovan DNA.

Denisovans are a relatively new discovery, so it is not yet completely clear where they fit in. The “other” are even newer and are a real puzzle.


It has been a while since I have taken evolutionary biology, but I was under the impression that part of the definition of speciation was that different species were defined by the fact that they couldn’t interbreed. Either they produced no offspring, or they offspring they did produce was infertile.

If that is the case, how is it possible that humans have denisovian and Neanderthal DNA? How can they be different species? How are the different species defined; by height or brow ridge size?

We have to be careful when turning to the labels of “species,” because those designations have a subjective nature to them. It is my understanding that there have been species of other kinds who are lumped together that have differences in their DNA greater than say modern humans and Denisovians.

My stance; they are all truly human, or part of mankind, and if that is the case, then they do have souls.


In our house, the History Channel is only on when I want something to yell at. Yes, I’m one of those people that yells at the TV. :blush:

Ancient Aliens is my guilty pleasure lol

There are already several other active threads on this subject at the moment and many others from the near past. Here is what I recently posted regarding my point of view on the subject:

I won’t say a lot because there have already been some very good replies. For a time, I spent a lot of energy thinking about this. Honestly, I think it is a distraction, and I think we should not spend a lot of time worrying about this. I believe the earth is very old, Original Sin is the truth, all scripture is inspired by God, and that science and religion cannot be in conflict because God is the creator of science. How this all plays together - where Neanderthals come in and evolution - I doubt I will know in this lifetime, but I don’t think it is important to my belief in our Lord.

There are degrees of being ‘different species’. Lions and tigers can interbreed to produce ligers or tigons. The male crossbreeds are infertile while the female crossbreeds are fertile. Extremely rarely a female mule can be fertile. Species separation is a slow process that takes time. During the process there are different degrees of separation; lions and tigers are not as well separated as horses and donkeys.

If that is the case, how is it possible that humans have denisovian and Neanderthal DNA? How can they be different species? How are the different species defined; by height or brow ridge size?

At that time there was less separation between the different lineages – each lineage was closer to their mutual common ancestor. While crossbreeds may have been rare, or not always fertile, there were obviously enough fertile crossbreeds for some DNA to transfer between species. The fertile female/infertile male pattern for crossbreeds is seen elsewhere, and appears to be a common stage early in mammal species separation. Fertile crossbreed females will be enough to allow DNA transfer.


I wouldn’t worry too much about things like this. As another poster said, there are so many unknowns. There are theories that Neanderthals are a separate species and there are theories that they’re just humans who actually lived hundreds of years (as seen in Genesis) which accounts for their heavy brow because that (apparently) never stops growing. So you grow that for 800 years and you look like a Neanderthal. That’s the theory anyway.

It’s all theoretical, is my point. Scientists can study their DNA and come up with educated assumptions based on their findings, but they’re never going to truly know. As such, it’s more prudent for the follower of Christ to worry about following Christ and let the scientists worry about their science. At least, that’s my take.

I don’t know anything about the “hobbits” though. That’s news to me. I’m just going to assume that it was Bilbo and Frodo and that the lord of the rings was real. Ugh, now I’m hungry.

Anyone for second breakfast?

I am always amazed at how much we “know” about Neanderthals and their culture, or lack thereof, For instance the supposed lack of art. We have so little actual evidence left. How do we know they weren’t great storytellers, or singers, or that they made wonderful tattoos, or tiny origami gazelles out of tree leaves? You haven’t found it yet? Keep looking.

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