The first Neandertal remains were discovered in Belgium in 1830, yet, after many years of research, much mystery remains.
Sadly, some scientists have portrayed Neandertals as subhuman, and certainly less intelligent than other hominins, including modern people. This is chiefly due to a belief in evolution, where Neandertals are placed on a different branch than modern humans and considered a different species.
But other scientists believe the Bible, which explains that God created mankind at the beginning of creation, from the dust of the ground. Man was made in God’s image and likeness, and God breathed the breath of life into him, and man became a living being. Therefore, Neandertals are descendants of Adam and Eve, as well as Noah and his sons, making Neandertals just as human as anyone else.
So what does the evidence reveal? Here are a few articles that shed some light on these people.
In the first article we learn that “Neandertals were the first hominids to turn forest into grassland 125,000 years ago”. That’s pretty cool. However, that headline is filled with an evolutionary worldview and presuppositions. Firstly, it’s impossible to know who the first humans were to turn forest into grassland, or when it was done. It may very well be the first evidence we have for such a feat, but it’s highly likely that others had done it prior, and I predict future discoveries will surely confirm that. But I think the real takeaway from this article is that the discovery demonstrates normal human intelligence and behavior for Neandertal. They hunted, butchered game, cooked, made all kinds of tools and built dwellings, and by doing all this, the landscape was altered. This is consistent with a biblical worldview where humans have always been intelligent and capable of altering their environment.
Another headline reads, “Ancient DNA unveils Siberian Neandertals’ small-scale social lives”, According to a DNA study, one population of Neandertals lived in a small group of about 20 individuals, all close relatives, except for the adult women who were outsiders.
So, what does this data tell us about the intelligence of Neandertals? For one, it suggests they were smart enough not to practice inbreeding when given the option. Incest occurs in all societies, but it’s interesting to note that these Neandertals avoided it by finding women elsewhere. That’s not what we’d expect from less-evolved lifeforms that don’t know any better.
Other articles marvel at Neandertal’s ability to travel, calling them “intrepid explorers”, and we’ve found an incredible number of artifacts, including stone tools. Many modern people would have a much harder time trying to survive if they were forced into this way of life.
This last article points out that, once Homo sapiens and Neandertals bumped into one another, they produced offspring together. This further demonstrates their full humanity. In fact, many modern people have a small percentage of Neandertal DNA in them today.
These are just a few articles to refute the evolutionary thinking regarding Neandertal and other people groups throughout history. All humans are descended from Adam and Eve, so we all share the same bloodline and belong to the human race. That’s important to realize because many of the world’s problems stem from people treating others badly because they look different or have a different skin color. But from a biblical perspective, all people are created in the image of God and deserve to be treated with dignity.