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Science and the Bible pt 6

Racemization
Two researchers at the University of California at San Diego report that men were living in the North American continent at least 50,000 years ago. Dr. Jeffrey L. Bada, an assistant professor of oceanography at the university's Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Roy A. Schroeder, a graduate student, analyzed skeletal remains found between 1920 and 1935 around La Jolla, Del Mar, and ranging to Laguna Beach and the Baldwin Hills section of Los Angeles.

Using a technique called "racemization," which determines how much one form of an amino acid has changed into a slightly different form, they dated one skull found near Del Mar at 48,000 years old. Previously the oldest dated Amenzar skull was called Los Angeles Man, and was dated by UCLA scientists using carbon-14 at 23,600 years. A small sample of the same skull was analyzed by Bada and he arrived at an age of 26,000 years.

The Scripps team dated a fragment of another old skull found near La Jolla Shores at 44,000 years.

This discovery would indicate that early man came to the New World long before 20,000 years ago, the date most anthropologists have generally believed to be most accurate.

The findings have added a "new chapter in the history of man," the scientists claim.
Dr. Jeffrey Bada's new technique for dating bones can be used for dating purposes for fossils millions of years old. Bada measures the amount of the "D-form" of certain amino acids found in all fossils.

Bada's technique is based on the fact that the amino acid components of proteins can have two optical forms, or isomersthe D-form and the L-form. After an organism dies, the L-form gradually converts to the D-form. Modern amino acids consist almost totally of the L-form, but ancient bones and fossils have a progressively higher ratio of the D-form. Using his technique, Bada has dated a shark's vertebra at 8.7 million years and an ancient goat bone from the island of Majorca at 26,000 years.

Pre-Adamic Man?
If we accept the combined evidence of the various dating systems, then we must conclude that various HOMINID CREATURES lived 500,000 years ago, were familiar with fire, used stone tools such as had been made for hundreds of thousands of years-hand axes, notched and saw-toothed implements, scrapers, engravers -- the basic Acheulian-type tools. These beings must have been PRE-ADAMIC creatures, primitive hunters and cave dwellers. Everything about them speaks of a primitiveness and antiquity, a life style and mental ability that was distinctly NOT human.
Is such a thing possible?

The answer is simple enough. First, not only do the geologic evidence and the dating techniques of modern science demonstrate the ANTIQUITY of these beings, but the biblical record clearly shows that Adam was NOT a brute or subhuman specimen. He was human in every respect. Adam was highly intelligent, articulate, sophisticated, knowledgeable. He was not only able to provide names for every creature YEHOVAH God brought before him, but he was capable of language, and he was familiar with the art of cultivation and agriculture. To pinpoint WHEN Adam was created, then, we must search the geologic and archaeological record for the BEGINNING of animal husbandry and agriculture, as well as the beginning of civilization as such.

The scrapers, knives, hand axes, cleavers, and flint tools of the early and middle Pleistocene times were PRIMITIVE, PRE-HUMAN, PRE-ADAMIC. The really astonishing thing, witnessed by geological evidence, archaeological discoveries, and radiometric dating, is the SUDDEN FLOWERING of civilization and truly human enterprise roughly 6,000 YEARS AGO!

Neanderthal Man
The strange breeds that arose during middle Pleistocene times and during the next to last glaciation had large brains, overlapping modern man, but their PRIMITIVE features included lower cranial vaults, heavy bone ridges over the eyes and at the back of the neck, and sharply receding chins. Their bodies were stocky, short, and heavy limbed.
"These were the classic Neanderthal people, the people who come to mind whenever CAVEMEN are mentioned and who almost invariably serve as models for artists depicting early man," says Pfeiffer (The Emergence of Man, p.159).
Neanderthal man -- a PREDECESSOR of modern man, but NOT necessarily directly related by lineage -- was ALMOST human in many respects. He was crude, dwelled in caves, hunted wild game to survive, and crudely buried his dead. His DIFFERENCES were more remarkable than his similarities to modern man. It has been said that if a Neanderthal man got on a subway in New York, dressed up in modern clothes, he could not be distinguished from certain others on the train. However, such a statement is merely discussing the PHYSICAL appearance of Neanderthal. True, he didn't look too unlike certain of the more robust, physical specimens of mankind, today. However, the paleontological evidence shows that his society and living conditions were EXTREMELY PRIMITIVE, created no lasting forms of art such as evidenced by Cro-Magnon man, and was NOT able to speak or articulate true language.

How does Neanderthal fit into the biblical record then? One historian and geologist, Kenneth C. Hermann, a scientist associated with Ambassador University in Texas, has come up with a remarkable theory. He suggests that Neanderthal man was truly PRE-ADAMIC, but also CO-EXISTED with Adamic man. Adam, he suggests, was truly MODERN MAN in every respect -- HOMO SAPIENS SAPIENS -- and was of the CRO-MAGNON stock in antiquity.

Neanderthal man, if this theory is correct, may have been representative of the beings called in the biblical record NEPHILIM. These beings are barely alluded to in the Scriptures. But we read in Genesis 6:4 that during the pre-Flood world, when the descendants of Adam were multiplying on the face of the earth: "The NEPHILIM were on the earth in those days, and also AFTERWARD..." (RSV).

The Hebrew nephil means bully or tyrant. The Nephilim were the sons of Anak, a strong, powerful race. The King James Version refers to the Nephilim as "giants," though that may be a mistranslation. At any rate, they were a FEARSOME race of beings.

Were the Nephilim remnants of a pre-Adamic stock of men, whom anthropologists refer to as NEANDERTHAL MAN? Is it possible?

Is it also possible that there was a certain amount of limited intermarriage between the two stocks, as appears to be evidenced at Carmel, in the Middle East, before Neanderthal man died out and became extinct?

The physiognomy of Neanderthal man would be enough to throw fear into more modern, gracile man. He was an excellent hunter. Short, stocky, with massive jaw, and evidently cannibalistic, there was good reason for modern man to view this competitor with alarm.

Neaderthal's remains have been found at Shanidar Cave in the Zagros Mountains of Iraq, excavated by Ralph Solecki of Columbia University. The deposits in the cave were up to 100,000 years and seven Neanderthal skeletons were found. Three had been crushed by falling rocks; one was recovering from a spear or knife wound in the ribs; one was a man buried deep in the cave with a special ceremony, attested to by the presence of fossil pollen collected from the burial site. The pollen was from the ancestors of present day grape hyacinths, bachelor's buttons, hollyhocks, and yellow-flowering groundsels.

Violence was COMMON in Neanderthal times. says John E. Pfeiffer:
Some sort of mayhem took place in a sandstone-rock shelter overlooking a river in northern Yugoslavia, where at the turn of the century investigators recovered more than five hundred bones and bone fragments representing at least a dozen individuals. A number of the bones are charred, suggesting that cannibalism may have been practiced, while others show definite signs of having been cut (p. 172).
Extinction of Neanderthal Man
In most deposits in Europe, there is a DEFINITE INTERVAL between the last deposits of Neanderthal man and the earliest fossils of modern man, or what is called Cro-Magnon man.

The stone tools of Cro-Magnon were markedly MORE SOPHISTICATED than Neanderthal implements. When archaeologists dug through successive layers in European caves, they sometimes found tool-less -- STERILE -- layers between earlier Neanderthal deposits and later Cro-Magnon deposits.

But during the early 1930's an Anglo-American expedition searching for fossils in what was then called Palestine, struck it rich in two caves on the slopes of Mount Carmel, near Haifa. At Mugharet es-Skhul remains of ten individuals were uncovered, some resembling Neanderthals, and others approaching the appearance of modern man. Some anthropologists concluded the fossil men were HYBRIDS -- products of intermarriage between Neanderthals and true modern-type men. Louie Leakey even surmised that any marriage between the two races might well have produced STERILE offspring. At any rate, the fossils uncovered at Mount Carmel possess a BLEND of Neanderthal and modern traits. But mysteries remain. For example, why did modern man SUDDENLY seem to replace Neanderthal man? What led to the extinction of this formidable and widespread species of Homo? Why the SUDDEN revolution in tool-making with the arrival of modern man? Why the STERILE LAYERS that often separate Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon periods of cave occupancy?

We don't know. But we can speculate. Was much of Neanderthal man wiped out in a pre-Adamic destruction associated with upheavals in climate and terrestrial cataclysms -- such as we read about in Genesis 1:2? Were the REMAINING remnants of Neanderthal wiped out by Cro-Magnon man?

Neanderthal man, however, must have largely been pre-Adamic. This contention is supported by an investigation of the linguistic capabilities of Neanderthals by Philip Lieberman of the University of Connecticut and Edmund Crelin of Yale in 1971. Measuring the neck vertebrae and skull base of the fossil found at La Chapelle-aux-Saints, they concluded that Neanderthal man lacked a modern kind of pharynx. He was unable to utter the vowel sounds ah, oo, ee, ou, and could not form the consonants g and k. Thus European Neanderthal fossils give indication of only 10 percent the speaking ability of modern man.

The findings are hotly disputed, but if true, Neanderthal may have been very limited in verbal communication. Somehow, these creatures SUDDENLY DIED OUT, replaced by modern man, the Cro-Magnons, who were accomplished artists who made marvelous cave paintings, engravings and statuary. The passing of Neanderthal man was THE PASSING OF AN ERA.

A few Russian anthropologists, however, believe that the strange Asian beast-men variously called the Yetis or Abominable Snowmen, encountered in central Asian deserts and mountains, are the last surviving Neanderthals who managed somehow to survive in the harsh climate of the Asian heartland which suits their adaptability.
Says author George Constable:
The disappearance of the Neanderthal seems to have the makings of a soul-stirring PLAN, with the world as a stage, and the happiest ending imaginable -- the ASCENDANCY of ourselves. The only trouble is that no one really knows what happened....The twists and turns of the drama that brought about the REPLACEMENT of the Neanderthals constitute the greatest of all prehistoric mysteries (The Neanderthals, p. 124).
Says this same author, discussing the various theories to account for what happened, "And still others -- a minority nowadays -- insist that ALL NEANDERTHALS BECAME EXTINCT AND WERE REPLACED BY MODERN MEN WHO HAD EVOLVED FROM AN UNKNOWN GENETIC STOCK IN AN UNLOCATED EDEN."
Precisely!

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