THE FOSSIL RECORD
Does the fossil record present a problem in the origin of man? Anthropologists, constantly uncovering human bones, tell us exactly how long ago they think these people lived, what they were, where they lived and the importance of their place in man’s ancestry. How do they obtain all this information and how trustworthy is it?
We begin with the Cambrian strata, supposed to be the oldest rock strata containing fossils. Note first a major mystery in the fossil record: the outburst of life in the so-called Cambrian period, though there should be billions of years of evolution represented before this. Tremendous amount of Precambrian rock were laid down, yet they contain only single celled fossils. An index fossil is a particular type of fossil presumed to identify rock formations or strata. The great index fossil of the Cambrian rocks is the trilobite, presumed to be one of the earliest forms of life. Trilobites are really very complex little animals with a nervous system, compound eyes and jointed legs. The eyes in some species incorporated advanced principles of optical science. They certainly are not primitive animals. Evolutionists claim that once life evolved to the one-celled animal, we were more than halfway to man. A trilobite is much farther up that scale, yet we have no record of evolutionary development before it. Trilobites and most other invertebrates are found represented in the Cambrian strata.
My files include a photograph of a particular fossil acquisition in the Cambrian strata. About twenty little trilobites are imbedded in rock in what appears to be a sandal print. This presents a slight problem. The sandal print had to be formed while the trilobites were still living; no other logical explanation can be conceived. However, after scanning this photo carefully one paleontologist at the University of Utah stated that the whole print must be a new type of trilobite that we have never seen before. He is talking about trilobite fossils in what would appear to be a ten-inch sandal print which has deeper impression in the heel mark area than in the toe.
The uncovering of other fossils in Texas tend to make man contemporary with dinosaurs if the findings are accepted at face value. For instance, human prints were located in the same strata with dinosaur prints in the Paluxy river bed in Glen Rose, Texas. In locating the eighth track in one series, we pumped out the water and scraped off the debris until we came to the rock sheet on the bottom, where we found the print in limestone. This human track crossed a three-toed dinosaur track, and one could discern fainter prints going on out into the river. Recently a gentleman who is continuing work on this project has found four good size tracks, approximately sixteen inches long and nine inches across, revealing toes. As more research is completed in the Glen Rose area, a number of questions concerning man will be answered.
How do we confront the claims of those scientists who state that the remains of pre-historic men have been found? The Neanderthal man was for many years considered one of man’s ancestors. Evolutionists suggested that he lived some 80,000 years ago – the dating depends upon which book one reads. Recently it was discovered that Neanderthal is really not much different from modern man. Because a Neanderthal skeleton used 80 years ago as a basis for museum displays had a diseased spine, scientists concluded and the world believed man did not always walk upright. Then they found skeletons from Neanderthals which stood perfectly upright. Subsequently the first skeletons with the curvature of the spine were re-examined and found to have suffered from a form of arthritis. In essence, we located an early human ancestor with an arthritic problem.
Study the skull of the first Neanderthal. Byron Nelson took the side view and compared it to a painting of the Revolutionary War here LaFayette. He found that one can put his features on the skull without any difficulty at all. A Neanderthal skull can be made to look very modern or very primitive depending on how the reconstruction is made. If skull capacity means anything, the Neanderthal man has a capacity larger than modern man, about 1600 cc. Modern man has somewhere between 1200 and 1500 cc. If brain capacity means anything, Neanderthal man would be more intelligent than modern man. Brain capacity may not be the whole answer, but Neanderthal has been identified as very similar to modern man.
The Peking Man has an interesting story. Records and accounts of several men such as Boule and de Chardin, avowed evolutionists who were on the scene in China, state that they never found any fossil men there. They merely found skulls of macaques and gibbons and a few perfectly human skulls. Then the personnel changed on the dig itself, and the third or fourth leader started making extraordinary proposals for the skulls found. A major problem exists today: none of these skulls is available. Drawings and casts of the skulls exist, but the actual skulls were supposedly lost during World War II. Frankly, we are entitled to doubt “scientific” claims when the evidence is missing and the story has progressively improved through the accounts of the individuals who headed up the various excavations.
Java Man, Pithecanthropus Erectus, was found by a man named Dubois. Pictures in the museums and reconstructions of the complete body, including all of the hairs of his head, suggest that the specimen must have been quite intact. One never gets the impression that excavators found only a piece of skull cap, a femur, and a thigh bone! Dubois reported thirty years after the original disclosure that the skull cap of the Java Man was nothing more than the skull cap of a silver gibbon. He also found in Java the large-brained human Wadjak skull. But he hid it for 30 years because his interpretation contradicted its obvious significance. Yet Java Man is still presented in textbooks as one of our ancestors in a long, long line of evolutionary development.
An individual found a tooth in a Nebraska field. He mailed this particular tooth back east to some scientists who were fascinated with such an amazing find. Here, they felt, was proof of early man on the North American continent. This was their first evidence, so they published an article concerning the significance of the find. The London Daily Illustrated News displayed a full-page spread on Nebraska Man – Hesperopithecus Harold Cookii – Harold Cook’s “Ape of the West.” They reconstructed this creature from his tooth, exhibiting his exact shape, even to the extreme brow ridges and the broad shoulders. More significant was the fact that they reconstructed not only his form, but that of his wife as well. So here are Mr. and Mrs. Hesperopithecus, reconstructed from a tooth. Back in Nebraska they were able to find the entire jaw bone. Then they fit the tooth into the jaw bone – to their horror, the jaw bone was that of a pig. Well, men will make mistakes; such is scientific frailty.
You are probably aware of Piltdown Man, which has a perfect skull cap of a man and an ape-like jaw bone. Unfortunately, they do not match. One is fossilized, one is not. One has been fossilized for a length of time, whereas one is modern. The teeth of the ape have been filed down to make them look human in appearance. For some thirty years this was reported as the greatest proof for evolution. The original skull was not accessible, but casts and drawings were placed in many museums. Some time later, determining that the skulls should be carefully re-examined , scientists applied fluorine and other tests. Skull pieces were shown to have different ages. The Piltdown Man in reality was composed of the jaw bone of an ape and the skull cap of a man. This hoax, presented in all of the textbooks, was decisively unmasked by Kenneth Oakley and published in magazines and scientific journals. Scientists claim that with new modern dating methods such a mistake could never be made again.
Zinjanthropus is reconstructed from 400 fragments of skull, the largest of which is the size of a silver dollar. One who views a good picture of the skull usually wonders what it could be, for it doesn’t really look like any type of skull. Yet it is said to be from one of our ancestors. An interesting corollary to the problem is the lava flow immediately under the bed in which Zinjanthropus is found. Under Zinjanthropus they found Homo Habilis, supposedly a more modern man. Evolutionists explain that this bed is overturned, and thus the Zinjanthropus is indeed one of our ancestors – some one and three quarter million years old. The lava flow underneath, when dated by potassium-argon, gives a lesser age of 1.3 million years. Problems are involved in the dating of lava flows by potassium-argon. Recently a lava flow formed in 1801 in Hawaii was dated by the potassium-argon method and found to have an age of 230 million years. Since the lava flow took place in modern times, one wonders about the accuracy of this dating system. Certainly there is strong evidence against the acceptance of the potassium-argon dates given to Zinjanthropus.
We will never know three things about Zinjanthropus from looking at the pieces of skull. One, we will never really know what his fleshy parts looked like. Two, we never know if he had the capacity to think. Three, we will never know if he had the capacity to speak. These are the three criteria for man. In fact, if Zinjanthropus were living today, we might find him caged in a zoo with a special name for him and other supposed ancestors of man. Or we my find him a type of man which has become extinct before our time; we will never know for sure by merely looking at the bones.
Ramapithecus was built around a few fragments, some of which are teeth. Scientists say the teeth are humanoid, human-like. But there is a baboon living in Ethiopia today which has the same teeth as Ramapithecus. How can we decide whether the teeth really belong to an ancestor or to one of these baboons?
We have the tendency to think that if something is primitive, it is very old. In fact, when looking at a skull, anthropologists consistently judge that the older it is, the more primitive it must be. However, such a conclusion cannot be gained just from looking at the skull itself. What, then , is the significance of picking up skulls and fragments of skulls? What can we really learn by looking at a few bones? Not very much. When we consider that many of these creatures are reconstructed from a few teeth, a jaw bone, a small piece of skull, what is really being demonstrated? When one realizes that scientists cannot date the skull itself to determine how old it is, nor directly date the strata (sedimentary layer laid down by water) in which it is found, what is the significance of the ages placed upon these creatures?
In discussing and looking for primitive man, anthropologists seem to proceed with one preconceived idea in their minds – man has evolved. Because of this, they have tried to demonstrate the ancestry of man. With this basic assumption they present what they claim as evidence to support the idea and have made conclusions depending upon the assumptions involved. Nothing is ever said about the missing links between birds and reptiles, between amphibians and reptiles, between vertebrates and invertebrates, although a great deal of time is spent talking about the missing link between man and the ape. Even here the evolutionists cannot agree as to how man came about. Some say that man and the ape have a common ancestor; some suggest that man and the ape evolved through the same fish; some insist they can trace the ancestry back through separate fish down to separate protozoa; some would tell you that man evolved from the chimpanzee, or from the orangutan or from the gorilla. (One man actually proposed that this explains the origin of the races: the white race from the chimpanzee, the oriental from the orangutan and the Negro from the gorilla). These are ideas being proposed by science as to how man came into existence.