I am not suggesting that I do not believe in evolution, I am just interested in this question.
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This is a very in-depth question, and a very good one. I'd really suggest you go to the websites of Creation Ministries or Creation Ministries International. Both, I believe, have areas where questions such as this are answered in far greater depth. There is also a book that I read years ago called Bones of Contention, which is an assessment of different hominid fossils. Students (and everyone else) should realize at the outset that EVERYONE is biased in one way or another. Two people could look at the same fossil and come to different conclusions based NOT on what the fossil might actually show, but on the worldview they bring with them and the assumptions that they have (even subconsciously.) I think one issue that you'll discover is how preconceptions of what a hominid "should" look like (based on evolution) often seriously affect the artist's representation of that hominid, and even how the skeleton is articulated. It's easy to make a hominid appear more apelike or more human-like. In some cases, such as a fairly recent case with the famous hominid Lucy, statues or drawings may be intended to lead the public to a certain conclusion which the actual remains may not clearly show. (http://creation.com/ape-woman-statue-misleads-public-anatomy-professor) Of course, it's amazing the makeover Neanderthal has had in the past few decades. I think you'll also discover that the "human family tree" isn't quite as cut-and-dried as it's often presented to the general public. Scientists disagree and frequently change their minds as to who-goes-where. In any case, there's certainly no clear line from monkey-to-man as is often pictured in textbooks. It may also interest you how many of these early hominids in actuality consist of only a few bones. Perhaps the most famous case of this was that of "Nebraska Man" who, after being presented artistically to the public in vivid detail, turned out to be based on nothing more than the tooth of a pig. The Piltdown Man hoax, of course, should be familiar to every student, yet this highly-publicized "missing link" fooled a great many doctoral candidates and caused some people to lose their faith. Again, this is a very good question, and one that deserves a long and detailed answer from someone at one of the Creation ministries; a person who is an expert in this field.
Great question George it's good to know some of your generation aren't buying the deceptions peddled via academia and are still in the pursuit of truth in a matter, where ever that truth may lead or take you, journey on my little brother. Archeological evidence strongly suggests that Neanderthals neither possessed language nor were part of human lineage in any way. Certainly Neanderthals and other Hominids used rudimentary tools and showed signs of a very elementary culture, such as burying their dead in shallow graves. Yet they made no advancement in technology and did not express themselves artistically, in a larger sense a dead end. This is where the evolutionists do their mischievous schtick of millions and millions of years as a bear falls into the water and becomes a whale magic trick. Only when humans arrived on the scene did history experience a cultural big bang. There was no gradual build up from the simplistic stone tools of the Hominids to the sophisticated weaponry, jewelry, clothing and artwork generated by the first humans. These developments display an ability to communicate and think on abstract levels and an awareness of self. More importantly, artistic expression indicates a spiritual facet that animals, even soulish ones, lack entirely. No question Hominids were amazing animals, as are all of the Creator's creations. But we alone are the crown of creation and made in His image. In the Lord's freedom to explore His creations.............warrior on
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