Neanderthals


#1

Somebdy asked this question at my church, and I told him I’d post it here:
In church teaching about creation, where does Neanderthal man come in?

Kathrin


#2

Neanderthal man doesn’t come in anywhere. The Church doesn’t teach about science.

I recommend the Papal Encyclical Humani Generis. In it you will find the Church’s teaching regarding the special creation of the soul, our first parents, and Original Sin.


#3

If we take for granted the theory of evolution, then Neanderthals would come in thus:

The process of evolution produced, at one point, man. Up until such time, whatever those creatures that were predecessors of man in the evolutionary chain were simply more advanced animals.

At one point, some being that is identifiable as human came into existence. Now this first creature that was identifiably human was given something else, that being a rational soul. This creature was in God’s image. Those coming before were not.


#4

Neanderthals had their own history, they came and went. Whether or not they were men, fallen, unfallen, good, bad, we might never know.

Fascinating really. Oh, and they had larger brains, not smaller ones. Perhaps they were simply less aggressive than sapiens? The idea of the knuckle-dragging brute is false. They could speak too- it was first hypothised that they could not- then a skeleton was found that revealed the tiny bones necessary for speech. They also buried their dead.

Perhaps it was their higher evolved brains that recounted the stories that gave modern men their first tales of the Golden Age, of the time when “gods liked men”, of the time-before-time, of myth and legend?

:slight_smile:

The world of men will never know.


#5

False. No where is it proven that those person found who were called 'neanderthal" were not fully human persons.

there is no proof whatever theat these were not just human beings with different bone structure in their faces and heads etc.

You would have had to been there to prove this, and no one was.

Humans did not evolve from anything. Humans were always human, there is no proof otherwise.


#6

Please note that I said “If we take the theory of evolution for granted” for the very reason that some people, such as yourself, unless I am mistaken, do not hold that human beings evolved from anything. I’m simply explaining what the state of Neanderthals would be if we assume that your statement is not true.


#7

Souls are not detectable by scientific methods, so science cannot say whether or not Neanderthals had souls; for that you will have to ask the Church. Science can detect DNA, which is material. By measuring DNA we can show that Homo neanderthalensis is definitely a different species to Homo sapiens: see Neandertal DNA. The variations in Neanderthal DNA lie outside the range of our DNA. To quote the source above:The scientists obtained a sequence of 379 amino acid base pairs by replicating shorter, overlapping segments. They identified 27 differences between the Neandertal DNA and a modern reference DNA sample over the replicated sequence. By contrast, DNA from a random sample of a modern population might vary from the reference DNA in five to eight places.
All science can say is that we are looking at two separate species. Whether Neanderthals were “human” in the spiritual sense - whether they had human souls - is not a question for science.

there is no proof whatever theat these were not just human beings with different bone structure in their faces and heads etc.

You have either been misinformed by your creationist source or else the information it supplied was out of date. Neanderthal DNA was first sequenced in the mid-1990s, we now have sequences for about eight Neanderthal individuals, all showing variation outside the normal range for H. sapiens. There is another example at Molecular analysis of Neanderthal DNA from the northern Caucasus.

You would have had to been there to prove this, and no one was.

The Neanderthals were there, and we can analyse their remains now. In principle you can go and dig up your own Neanderthal bones and send them to a DNA sequencing lab.

Humans did not evolve from anything. Humans were always human, there is no proof otherwise.

Souls did not evolve from anything. Our physical bodies originated from non-living chemicals, “dust”, as Genesis 2 describes it: “then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life”.

rossum


#8

How many chromosomes do neanderthals have?


#9

23


#10

I was under the impression that Neanderthals were not our ancestors, but were another species of primate that even lived parallel to humans in some places.


#11

I think you’re right.


#12

You are correct. Neanderthal Man were not the modern (Cro-Magnon) Man.

I will add that while the Church does not teach science, the Church does teach as a metter of doctrine that Adam and Eve were real people who really lived and who really did fall from grace and bring sin into the world.


#13

Really? How do you know that?

Alec
evolutionpages.com


#14

DNA analysis of recovered remains.


#15

I was under the impression that Neanderthals were not our ancestors, but were another species of primate that even lived parallel to humans in some places.

The Neardenthals were our cousins, they are not our ancestors.

Why us (Homo sapiens sapiens or Cromagnon) and not them survived and not became (so far) a evolutive dead end i do not know.
Some people said that there were less agressive despite their more muscular bodies.
Some people said that our symbolic language capacity give us an edge despite their larger brains.
Some people said that their bodies were not adapted to the warner climate and they joined the Wooly Mammoth, the Cave Bear the European Lion and the Brea Wolf into extintion.

Maybe it was the will of God for us to be the last men standing.
I think Adam and Eve relates only to us.


#16

I’d be interested in that reference.

The two papers on sequencing of autosomal DNA that I am aware of make no reference to chromosome number:

Green et al, Analysis of one million base pairs of Neanderthal DNA, Nature 444, 330 - 336 (2006)
Noonal et al, Sequencing and Analysis of Neanderthal genomic DNA, Science 314, 1113 - 1118 (2006)

I am not saying that Neanderthals didn’t have 23 chromosomes - in fact, I’d say that it is likely that they did for reasons that you have not so far alluded to - but the DNA analysis of Neanderthal DNA certainly does not and cannot tell us that Neanderthals has 23 chromosomes…

Alec
evolutionpages.com


#17

Perhaps I’m simply confused but the article was not certain whether sapiens and neanderthalensis interbred it said probably not but could not be certain. IS it possible for two different species to breed?


#18

It is possible, but the offspring is generally sterile. Mules are the offspring of a horse and jackass. Such offspring are call hybrids.


#19

In basic terms the definition of “species” is that different species cannot interbreed with any degree of success. Hence the evidence shows that H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis were different species.

rossum


#20

It’s a tough call for humans. The biological species definition says that they are reproductively isolated in the wild. Hence, we can get all sorts of hybrid birds in captivity, and often hybrids of various big cats, which would never occur in nature.

But how does that apply to humans? We just can’t be sure. The short time of divergence between H. sapiens and H. neandertalis can’t give us any confidence that they couldn’t interbreed. The evidence is that they generally didn’t. But somethings, like the Ginger gene, and a few anomalous skeletons, suggest that they sometimes did. Could be that they didn’t like each other much, or that they were largely, but not completely unable to interbreed.

And the DNA evidence shows that they are too different from us to be reasonably likely to interbreed, but we don’t know genetically how anatomically modern humans of that time matched up. I think some ancient Cro-Magnon DNA would be really interesting in that regard.


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