Neanderthal and Me
by Navy Christian
Hmm…he has such a nice smile! What a kindly old gentleman (of like…35 years old or so).
This is the first truly new post in some time. I was afraid I would grow tired of the research, or more likely, get overwhelmed by it, and give up. In the end, my real enemy was life around me, particularly in my “day job” of being a Chief Warrant Officer in the United States Navy. With all of the training evolutions (pun intended) and the qualifications I’m working on, I just haven’t had time to take on something so potentially mind-boggling as the Neanderthals (and other prehistoric humanoids).
Did they exist? Well, that’s where I’m headed in the future of this blog. Now that I have basically wrapped up my research on cystic fibrosis, and I’ve submitted an article on my research to some Christian magazines, it’s time to tackle something more all-encompassing. Something like Neanderthal man.
Throughout my life, I have made the point of believing, as AIG does, that neanderthals are an offshoot of humans, not a distinct species. As I believe that adaptation does occur, it did not bother me that their bone structures were different. I just believed that they were particularly adapted to the harsher climate of Northern Europe. Now that we’ve tested some of their DNA, we see that it’s 99.5% the same as ours! Sounds like a coup to me! Oh wait…chimps and humans share 98,8%. Maybe that’s not such a resounding victory after all.
If Neanderthals existed, what does it mean for my faith? After all, this is as much a faith journey as it is an attempt to show you that God does exist (and therefore that our hope in Jesus is not in vain). Some questions we’ll have to answer are:
- Could God have created all of these different forms of humans, just as he created different forms of other animals?
- If not, then what did the humans God created actually look like? In asking this questions, I’m directly confronting the idea that Adam and Eve were thin, white people. I say that with some tongue in cheek, but the fact is that every book I read as a child depicted them that way, at least as far as I can remember.
- Regardless of the result of the first two questions, this one is interesting academically: Could other forms of created humans have sinned? That makes a good question for people who think God could have created life on other planets as well.
There will be other questions as well of course. There always are.