What does the Bible say about cavemen, prehistoric men, neanderthals?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
The Bible does not use the term "caveman" or "Neanderthals," and according to the Bible there is no such thing as "prehistoric" man. The term "prehistoric" means "belonging to the era before record...

July 01 2013 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Open uri20150816 3767 1tn9rak mark wilkinson retired school teacher and missionary
What are presented as pre-human creatures are actually the remains of either primates or humans who lived after the Flood. The post-Flood climate meant that people in northern latitudes were forced to dwell in caves and to hunt animals for food. In Ice-Age conditions they were limited in how far they travelled and nourishment available to them. They may also have been hostile to one another. Thus Neanderthal people (proper human beings) display evidence of vitamin deficiencies (rickets) and STDs - possibly from incestuous living. Their strange bone formations may be because they lived very much longer than modern humans - how would your skeleton look if you lived a few hundred years rather than just 80 years or so?

The idea of pre-history comes from secular thinking, not Biblical thinking. Jesus spoke of Adam and Eve being created by God in an instant 'at the beginning' (Mark 10:6). Recorded history began at that time - see Genesis one and two. 

It is sad that some Christian leaders deny this and have taught that Adam was a 'Neolithic farmer' (e.g.Stott, Kidner, Packer) or that Adam was an evolved humanoid into which God placed a divine spirit (Roman Catholic official doctrine).

July 20 2014 5 responses Vote Up Share Report

Closeup Jennifer Rothnie Supporter Housewife, Artist, Perpetually Curious
Neanderthals are just one ethnicity of humans. Their DNA is over 99.84% identical with modern humans. (For comparison, any two humans have a difference of about 0.1%) Most humans today that do not originate in Africa have about 2% of various traits inherited from Neanderthals.

Some have suggested they are related to the 'mighty men' or giants referenced in Gen 6, which is a possibility. However, neanderthals are short and stocky, not gigantic, so may not be the best fit. The concept of 'cavemen' comes from the neanderthal fossils found, as many fossils were found in caves along with some of their artwork. Neanderthals may have used caves for home and shelter, but that doesn't mean they were stuck there. They were migratory. Fossils have been found in mainland Europe, upper East Africa, and lower west Asia.

Scripture mentions a group of cave-dwellers in Deut 2:12.

The first Neanderthal skeleton discovered had arthritis, hence why most sketches since show them hunched over even though they are actually upright and bipedal. Far from the popular pictures of overly hairy men, there is nothing that has been found to indicate they were overly hairy. Based on current findings, it is estimated that 1% actually had red hair, light skin, and freckles. Overall they had angled faces and large noses.

Neanderthals were not stupid, despite the popular portrayal of them. They had an understanding of how to use plants for medicine - yarrow and chamomile to soothe inflammation, for example. They could fashion crude instruments such as spears from wood shafts, glue, and sharp stones or antlers. They new how to use fire to roast vegetables and meat. Archaeologists have found a yellow pigment they made and theorized it could have been for makeup. They painted. Their large brain size and complexity indicates that they should have been fully capable of speech, and would have likely had an equivalent or higher IQ to the average human today. They lived in nuclear families.

Given that advances in DNA sequencing have found that there is no substantial difference between Neanderthals and modern humans, many evolutionary scientists have stopped referring to them as Homo neanderthalensis, but rather as a minor subspecies variant of homo-sapiens (humans.) As such, terms like 'proto-human' have been replaced even in secular science with terms like 'archaic human' to show that there is no substantial difference. And now that science has claimed that the dating of flint found with remains of modern humans showed humans lived as far back as 300,000 years, then even old-Earth scientists agree that modern humans lived at the same time as the neanderthals. 

Neanderthal skulls tend to be slightly larger than the average human. Scientists theorize this is because their brains took time to grow over a long period of time. Very few elderly fossils are ever found with either neanderthals or other human fossils. This fits well with the long lifespans the Bible gives for pre-flood humans as listed in Gen 5. 

As for other claimed prehistoric humans, some have turned out to be hoaxes, but others are simply humans with a few different surface traits. Some scientists and popular media try to perpetuate the myth that they are missing links by using artist renderings of hairy, stooped men; media portrayals of dumb, club wielding carnivores; or referring to them by their first fossil classifications as proposed subspecies of homo rather than as homo sapiens.

Piltdown man: Hoax, but could be found in many high school textbooks as proof of a missing link long after the hoax was discovered

Homo erectus and Cragno-man: They are well within the variation allowed by homo sapiens https://answersingenesis.org/human-evolution/ape-man/homo-erectus-to-modern-man-evolution-or-human-variability/

So, the Bible mat or may not reference these specific human groups, but it does speak of early man spreading out after Babel, and of wide variation between humans in size and skin color.

January 10 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Nils Jansma
What does the Bible say about cavemen, prehistoric men, Neanderthals? This is an important question because many claim that Neanderthals and humans are evolutionary cousins. Such a claim causes a tension to develop between theists and atheists. This tension is especially felt by young Christians in school. Therefore, it would be beneficial if a reasonable hypothesis could be put forth that would reconcile this problem. 

I personally had to struggle with this apparent dilemma in my Anthropology class. For that reason, I will share how I have resolved the issue to my satisfaction. I want to clarify that my perspective is from an Old Earth point of view. This, in itself, may offend some which, in my opinion, is an unnecessary distraction. Whether the earth is old or young, there are still numerous bones that attest to the fact that a creature similar to humans lived in the past that is even related to us genetically. However, that doesn’t mean that such a creature was created in the “image of God” and our intellectual equal.

Nevertheless, the evidence shows Neanderthals were a high-order bipedal primate that probably exceeded a Chimpanzee intellectually. This means that Neanderthals were created before humans but did co-exist with them. For there to be a genetic relationship between Neanderthals and humans, then they must have connected sexually.

So, where in the Bible is there a reference that could be interpreted to explain such a connection? Of course, it should be obvious that such a circumstance seems to have occurred when the Scriptures speak of an illicit sexual relationship between the sons of God, and the daughters of Men. (Genesis 6:1-2) This itself is a controversial subject that is likely discussed elsewhere in Got Questions. However, I don’t want to be distracted by that discussion because this is just my opinion that satisfies me regarding the issue at hand.

In this context, “Men” refers to Neanderthals and the ”Sons of God” to descendants of Adam and Eve. After all Adam was a “Son of God.” (Luke 3:38). We have no idea what Neanderthal women looked like because their skeletons only preserve bones and not soft tissue. So, the assumption on my part is that the Neanderthal women were noticed by Adam’s male offspring and reckoned as being “beautiful” somehow. This may have been because there was a population shortage of women at this early historical stage especially if strong men took many wives. (Genesis 4:19; 4:23-24)

If these assumptions are accurate, that may explain why and how the Sons of God mated with anatomically similar “women” animals and produced unusually large violent offspring called the Nephilim. The text says that Nephilim genes survived the Great Flood with the words “-- and also afterwards --....” (Genesis 6:4; Numbers 13:33) In a “phys.org” article dated August 24, 2011 entitled “Sex with Neanderthals... “ it states that the “HLA gene” found in both Neanderthals and human genomes “are common in European and Asian populations but rare in African populations.” Such a complex gene could not have been the result of mutation but must have been inherited fully assembled. 

These findings confirm that a sexual relationship did occur between Neanderthals and humans. Whether this is directly related to the Genesis 6 events is open to speculation. It also means that at least one of Noah’s daughters in-law was genetically related to a Neanderthal ancestor. This limitation would explain why some population societies possess the “HLA gene” and others do not. In my opinion, this is very significant because the Bible anticipated that one day humans would discover this unusual genetic relationship and provided us with a suitable explanation.

So, if you are a college student taking Anthropology, you have a Biblical explanation regarding why humans are apparently related to Neanderthals.

January 09 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini ainsley chalmers Medical Research Scientist, devoted family man.
There is a general belief that chimps are the precursor of homo sapiens through the evolutionary process. However consider the following facts:

1. Ape and human DNA differ by about 460 million base pairs so they cannot be our precursors. The reported 1% differences are due to cherry picking select parts of our genome.

2. If humans have been around 150,000 years then we should be extinct according to the inter generational mutation rate. Geneticists know this but keep quiet as they could lose their jobs.

3. Mitochondrial DNA mutational studies have shown we have been around 6,500 years in keeping with the biblical record.

4. Neanderthals made jewelery, pottery, cooked with fire buried their dead. Their DNA is found worldwide, so they weren’t ape like.

The net conclusion is that we were created in the image of God and not derived from apes. Finally, macro evolution cannot happen and DNA testifies to that fact.

March 14 2024 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini John Sears
First of all, I recommend reading Frank Cuozzo's book, Buried Alive. Dr. Cuozzo, an orthodontist, was one of the few Christians allowed to do scientific measurements of the Neanderthal skulls and skeletons.

Dr. Cuozzo was able to learn certain things that completely agree with the Bible record of Pre-Flood and Post-Flood longevity:

1. The very oldest remains were very different from the top-layer (most-recent) remains. The latter were nearly indistinguishable from present-day skeletons and skulls. 

2. The very oldest remains had much higher bone density than people have today. There was no evidence of bone cancer.

3. Neanderthals had stronger bone-and-muscle structures in their shoulders, with an extra attachment point for a shoulder ligament. If a Neanderthal became a pitcher in today's major league baseball, he would be nearly unhittable.

4. The oldest skulls had larger cranial capacity (as a percentage of body size) than present-day folks.

5. The oldest skulls showed evidence that the owners lived 200-300 years, which agrees with the Bible records of Post-Flood genealogies. The evidence took several forms:
a. The human jaw bone (then and now) grows continuously over a person's lifetime, jutting farther forward as the owner ages. The Neanderthal jawbones protruded farther than ours generally do.
b. As a result of the protruding jaw bones, the skull developed larger brow ridges, to keep the eye sockets from collapsing under the pressure from the larger jawbone. This is further evidence of God's remarkable design skills.
c. The Neanderthal teeth were more "advanced" than ours, and their enamel would regenerate after a large scratch. Ditto the design skills.
d. There was one skull initially declared to be that of a juvenile because of its smaller size. On closer examination by the dentist, he observed the wear patterns more typical of a young adult. This led him to conclude that Neanderthals took longer to reach full physical size, consistent with the concept of longer life expectancy. Remember that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all lived more than 100 years. 

The Neander caves are now closed to the public because of the discovery of high concentrations of radon (radioactive) gas. The radon gas might have been responsible for Neanderthals gradually mutating to a lower life form -- "modern" man.

July 19 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Kenneth Heck
Man was created on the sixth day to have dominion over the fish, fowl, the cattle, the earth, and every creeping thing (Gen 1: 26). This is a truth which explains the spiritual urge in humans to dominate their environment. No matter what prior human-like creatures may look like, if they do not have this spirit of domination, they are not truly men in the biblical sense. It isn't a matter of using tools, or recognizing social relationships, DNA, or other scientific criteria in defining what man truly is.

Was the imperative to dominate given to our species in full development over night, or was it given little by little until the full measure was imparted to us as we know it? Knowing God's preference for long-term planning, it is conceivable that these prior species may have been given a small portion of the spirit of domination as preparation in the earth for the true human beings for which the earth was actually created. So these prior creatures can be no more than a bridge between true animals and true human beings, if they weren't fully animals.

January 10 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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