| Anthropology - 1
by Bruce Malone
The following statement made by Ph.D. anthropologist John Cole1 is typical of what is commonly taught
throughout the world concerning human origins. "There are extreme numbers (hundreds and hundreds),
of known fossil individual humans at various stages of evolution from the most primitive semi-humans to
the present...They show all the requirements from quite ape-like; to intermediate steps; to extremely
modern looking. You can see a very nice progression."
Variations on this theme are repeated everywhere. From the cartoons to EPCOT center, from advertisements to zoos, from centers of science and industry to your child's textbook...the assumption that humans came from ape-like creatures is presented as fact. A closer examination of these "hundreds of fossils" justifies some valid skepticism.
Creationists are often accused of presupposing the Bible to be true and interpreting data in light of that presupposition. But evolutionists, especially in the field of human anthropology, also start with a presupposition - that man has evolved from some ape-like creature. Evolutionary anthropologists ALWAYS interpret fragments of animal bones accordingly. If they were to do otherwise they would cease to be evolutionists. This presupposition (that evolution is a fact), can blind even the most honest researcher from the truth and cause a faulty interpretation of the physical evidence.
A classic example is the history of the now defunct ape-to-man link known as "Piltdown Man". In England in 1912, a human skull fragment was found along with an ape's jaw fragment. The teeth of the creature were intermediate between the two. For the next 41 years this was proclaimed as definitive proof of the transformation from ape-to-man. Most top paleontologists of the day were in agreement and hundreds of papers were written on the find. Two generations of students were shown this "proof" of evolution and I suspect many were ridiculed if they dared to voice doubts on the validity of this ape-to-man link. It wasn't until 1953, when someone outside of the field of anthropology was given permission to date the fragments, that it was discovered that they were of vastly different ages. The whole thing had been a hoax!
Upon closer examination it was even noticed that file marks were clearly visible on some of the teeth. How could honest, qualified experts have been duped for so long? Perhaps because Piltdown man was exactly what evolutionists expected to find. Their presuppositions had overshadowed careful scientific analysis. Although science can be a self correcting endeavor, there is strong pressure to conform to the majority opinion. It is often someone outside of a particular scientific discipline who must expose faulty assumptions. This is especially true if these assumptions form the very basis of the thinking in that scientific discipline.
In 1984, there was a major show of man's supposed ancestors at the American Museum of Natural History. The following excerpt from Phillip Johnson's book, Darwin on Trial, 1991, page 81, is revealing concerning the bias anthropologists have toward interpreting fossil fragments within the presupposition of evolution:
"This is how Rodger Lewin described the scene at the 1984 Ancestors exhibition...The 'priceless and fragile relics' were carried by anxious curators...to be admired by a select preview audience of anthropologists who spoke in hushed voices because 'It was like discussing theology in a cathedral'. Lewin considers it understandable that anthropologists observing the bones of their ancestors should be more emotionally involved with their subject than other kinds of scientists. 'There is a difference. There is something inexpressibly moving about cradling in one's hands a cranium drawn from one's own ancestry'. Lewin is absolutely correct, and I can't think of anything more likely to detract from the objectivity of one's judgment. Descriptions of fossils from people who yearn to cradle their ancestors in their hands ought to be scrutinized as carefully as a letter of recommendation from a job applicant's mother."
Creation anthropologists are also highly biased. They are more likely to interpret an ape-like skull fragment as an extinct ape than as an ape in the process of turning into a man. The problem is, only the evolutionary interpretation is shown to students and displayed in museums.
1. WOSU radio debate, Columbus, Ohio - 3/27/91