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The Truth About Neanderthal DNA


Acts 17:26

“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their habitation...”


In 1997 scientists recovered mitochondrial DNA from the leg bone of a Neanderthal man. After comparing it to modern human mitochondrial DNA, they declared that Neanderthal man was not human after all. This neatly moved him back into the ape-man category, but we need to look at this claim more closely.


Neanderthal skeletons have the same number of bones as ours. It is true that their bones were thicker and stronger than ours. Their bodies were also stockier and, typically, their arms and legs were shorter in proportion to the rest of the body. However, these differences are also found in modern humans that live in cold climates, as many Neanderthals did. In a cold climate a stockier body and shorter limbs reduce body heat loss. Neanderthals that lived in warmer climates had longer arms and legs.


We know of at least 36 instances where Neanderthals buried their dead, often with flowers and other items suggesting religious ceremony. One Neanderthal grave also contained a small bone flute. No animal makes tools to use in making more complex tools, but Neanderthal did. The simple fact is that the Neanderthal DNA is at the end of the modern human range.


All human beings, including Neanderthal, were created by God. What separates us from animals is that God sent His only Son to die for us so that, believing in His salvation, we may have eternal life.


Prayer: Help me, dear Lord, to love all people that You made as You do. Amen.



Notes: Impact (ICR), 5/00, "Neanderthals Are Still Human!"



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