Ape-man fossils are rare and very expensive. They are often hidden away while castings, not the original bones of these ape-men, are sold and studied. Niles Eldredge of the American Museum of Science has said, regarding human evolution, that many scientists are removed from the actual data. Those in the inner circle who share a belief in evolution are permitted to view the actual fossil, while others are selectively censored. But castings are no substitute for the real thing, particularly if they are to be studied in detail. The science of human evolution lacks openness. Science, by its nature, should be open to the scrutiny of other colleagues. This is not the case in the field of human evolution. Whenever research access is selectively limited, scientific objectivity is impaired. Fossil specimens should be open to the public. Creationists should be free to examine them. Science has always been open to all and benefits from a wide range of opinions. Evolutionary bias also infects the search for fossils. Darwinian presuppositions work effectively to exclude fossils that do not fit the evolutionary model and to selectively classify others. Human fossils have been downgraded to appear more ape-like, and ape fossils have been made to seem more human-like.
French anthropologist Marcellin Boule published a series of scientific papers from 1911 to 1913, concluding that even though it had a larger brain size, Neandertal was closest to apes. Boule, who found the most complete skeleton in Western Europe, ignored pathological evidence in the skeleton and assumed that the bones resembled an ape rather than a human. He concluded that his skeleton could not walk fully erect, but had bent knees and walked with his body leaning forward. He made the feet bend in, just like an ape’s. In 1955, two Americans noticed that there were some very serious problems with Boule’s reconstruction. It took 44 years to expose the very obvious fact that Boule’s Neandertal skeleton suffered from severe arthritis. After the corrections, Neandertal stood upright and walked like a human. Although it had, on average, a larger head than modern humans and a low cranium with heavy brow ridges, it was obviously human. Many believe that if Mr. Neandertal were waiting in a crowd at a bus stop today, we could not distinguish him from other humans. Numerous other lines of evidence support the full humanity of Neandertals, like the fact that they:
- had the technology to build fires, manufacture a high-tech superglue, and construct stone-tipped spears
- decorated their bodies with cosmetic pigments and feathers
- buried their dead
- interbred with the ancestors of some people alive today (as shown by DNA analysis)
- had anatomical and genetic features consistent with the capacity for speech
In Sussex, England, between 1908 and 1912, many parts of a human skull and two canine teeth were excavated, along with a primitive ape-like jaw. Significant parts of the upper and lower jaw were missing and the skull was in several parts. It was reconstructed, and castings were made and circulated to every major museum. There were other fossils found on the site, such as an elephant, mastodon, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, beaver, and deer. The skull was called the ‘Piltdown Man’ and was considered a major find. It served for decades as proof of a link between man and his evolutionary ancestor. For 40 years, the authenticity of the fossil was widely accepted. In 1953, Kenneth Oakley, Joseph Weiner, and Wilfred Le Gros Clark exposed the skull as a fraud. The skullcap was actually fully human and the lower jaw fragments, including the teeth, were found in 1982 to be from a juvenile female orangutan. The jaw had been treated chemically to make it appear to match the skull. It also should be noted that some of the mammalian bones found in that pit were planted and came from different areas, including the island of Malta and Tunisia. As early as 1916, there were reports of tampering, when dental anatomists noticed there were artificial abrasions on the teeth. These abrasions were clearly visible file marks on the orangutan’s teeth. It was reported that in order for the lower jaw to fit the skull, the canine teeth were filed so far down that the pulp cavity was exposed and then plugged. The Piltdown hoax was mortifying to the evolutionary movement. It is no longer mentioned in textbooks, but it is clear that a desire remains to connect man with ape. The closely held fashion in which human fossils are handled lends itself to fraud and exaggeration. The Piltdown skull was locked up in a vault, and very few could study it. Science is supposed to be self-correcting, and in this case, it took close to 40 years to expose the fraud. Perhaps if the vault had been left open, this could have been avoided. Sadly, exclusivity still reigns today. With very few points of reference, given the overwhelming lack of fossils, there is enormous opportunity for creative interpretation and, given the lack of evidence, unscientific license.
In 1922, Harold Cook found a single molar tooth in Nebraska. It was identified by Henry Osborn, a paleontologist from the American Museum of Natural History, as belonging to an ape-man. Grafton Elliot Smith who was involved with the Piltdown hoax persuaded the prestigious Illustrated London News to publish an artist’s conception of what this man and his mate might look like. It had to be drawn using one tooth. The magazine had worldwide distribution, and the illustration took two entire pages. It was published in June of 1922 and proclaimed as the ‘missing link’. This illustration was firmly implanted in the public’s mind during the famous Scopes ‘Monkey Trial’ in 1925. In 1928, the famous Nebraska man, based on a single tooth, came tumbling down. The tooth was discovered to be not that of an early man, but of an extinct pig. To add to the embarrassment, this ‘extinct’ pig was found in 1972 to be still alive in Paraguay.
Australopithecines (including ‘Lucy’)
The famous fossil ‘Lucy’ was found in Ethiopia by anthropologist Donald Johanson in 1974, and it was hailed as an intermediate link between humans and apes. Other fossils belonging to the same group (the australopithecines, meaning ‘southern apes’) have since been unearthed. But the Lucy skeleton is still the most complete of these, even though only 47 of its more than 200 total bones were recovered.10 The transitional status of Lucy’s kind is based on the presumption that they walked upright. But the evidence is strongly against that idea. The australopithecines appear to be just extinct apes, and not on the path to become human, because they had the following combination of features:
- A height of only about 1.1 meters (3 feet, 7 inches)
- A sloping, ape-like skull with a small braincase
- Muscular and highly curved fingers and toes for grasping tree branches
- A locking-wrist mechanism used in knuckle-walking
- An organ of balance in the inner-ear that was ape-like, not the kind for upright posture
Hobbits (Homo floresiensis)
In 2003, several miniature (just over 1 m tall) human skeletons were found on the Indonesian island of Flores. As usual, the discovery was interpreted through an evolutionary lens, and the ‘Hobbits’, as they were dubbed, were proclaimed to be an entirely different species of human that lived tens of thousands of years ago. However, many evolutionists themselves have argued that the fossils could be far younger, and they point to indications that the so-called Hobbits may have suffered from a disorder like microcephaly or, in at least one case, Down syndrome. In fact, it’s likely that these individuals are the not-too-distant ancestors of the pygmies that live on the island today. In any case, the Hobbit skeletons lend no support to evolution, as evolutionist themselves cannot even come to a consensus about their significance.
Where are the Ape-Men?
Fossil bones that present evidence for a missing link, or ape-man, are extremely scarce. There is no clear body of evidence to support the claim that men descended from apes. The attempts made have a history of exaggeration and fraud. Evolutionists do have a compelling reason to find fossil evidence of a transition from ape to man, but what has been found is either human or ape, not a missing link. Dr. Jonathan Wells, in his book Icons of Evolution, declares that the ultimate evolutionary icon is to show that man descended from apes. It is an attempt that, given the lack of evidence, is doomed to failure. Wells cites Henry Gee, chief science writer for the prestigious science journal, Nature: To take a line of fossils and claim that they represent a lineage [from ape to man] is not a scientific hypothesis that can be tested, but an assertion that carries the same validity as a bedtime story—amusing, perhaps even instructive, but not scientific..