Re: Living by our assumptions (was Re: What's human?)

Glenn Morton (
Sun, 23 Nov 1997 22:43:39 -0600

Hi John,

I am glad to see your response.

At 09:53 PM 11/22/97 -0600, John P. McKiness wrote of the status of Neanderthal:

>However, with your introduction of a law case you have brought in another
>meaning of the term from those we have addressed before. Our laws
>concerning murder are based on the idea of a social contract which we
>supposedly agree to by living in our respective states. Remember in a court
>of law even a corporation is considered a person (comparabe to you - a
>human) who can make contracts and be found guilty of crimes while a first
>trimester fetus is not legally a person (human like you) in the U.S.
>Therefore, in your case above, I "might be rightly tried" by human reason
>using a legal definition of man, but not the definition seen in scripture
>that you want to place on Neanderthals.

Murder was defined by God not the social contract.

>I am not sure though how we would define classic Neanderthals if we found a
>group living in a traditional Neanderthal cultural setting in the U.S. I
>think even Christians would have a dilemma. They would be man (as a general
>term -- not sex related) by biological definition since they would be
>classified to the genus Homo, but would they fit the legal and Christian
>criteria necessary today (as many assume that to be man is to be Homo
>sapiens). I don't think so presently. The courts and Congress would have
>to decide their human status by law or constitutional admendment. But I

I would not trust the courts for such a decision. On March 6, 1857, the
Supreme Court handed down the Dred Scott decision which denied basic human
rights to Dred Scott and his family and proclaimed them property. I would
prefer to have a definition that if you act like a human, (i.e. do the
things we do) then you are a human.

I would also point out that the official scientific designation of
Neanderthal is HOMO SAPIENS. The dominant reason that Christians want to
exclude him from the race is for theological reason having to do with when
and where was Adam.
>You continued as follows with a quote from my previous post.
>>>Remember, I agree with you that organic evolution is the best explanation we
>>>humans can come up by ourselves, using our reasoning abilities, for how the
>>>organic universe works. I think you would agree that there was a
>>>progression from nonhuman to human during the late Cenozoic (unless you
>>>believe in the special creation of the physical form).
>>As I have said many times, I do beleive that there has to be a break in the
>>human/ape line but not in the physical form. The physical form means
>>nothing. (but there is a break in the chromosome number apes have 48 and we
>>have 46 chromosomes) Our bodies show relationships to the apes in the
>>pseudogenes but the Scripture clearly says that the creation of man was due
>>to divine involvement. I discovered a way to unite those two different
>>constraints. I know that you don't find the constraint from scripture very
>>constraining, but I do.
>I am unclear as to your point.

I was pointing out that contrary to what you said, I do beleive in a break
in the lineage from ape to human.

The physical form is what the
>paleoanthropologist has to work with. We would also expect a progression
>from no culture to a our culture, but until the culture progresses to the
>point where it leaves preservable remains (and scientists find those remains
>and hypothosize about their meaning) there is no evidence of a progression.
>By the way, are you going to define man strictly by chromosome number now?

I was using the chromosome number to point out that there has to be a break
in the lineage and how that break occurred and how it is consistent with
both the scripture and the scientific data. I would never define mankind by
chromosome nubmer since Down's syndrome children are definitely human.

>I continued with a digression in which I was not clear in what I meant.
>>>I believe we are just
>>>disagreeing on where to drive the "golden spike" in the primate line to say
>>>that above the "spike" is "man" as we define the term today as Christians.
>>That is part of the issue. Where is evidence of the first man in the
>>archeological record?
>>If you are looking for a golden spike for humanity, you are being
>>inconsistent with your statement that the bible and science are two separate
>>forms of knowledge emanating from two separate sources. Why look for the
>>theological defintion of man in science or scientific data?
>Glenn, you continually miss the entire point! I _do not_ look for the
>theological definition of man in scientific data. I accept the
>paleontological definition, the first skeletal remains in the geologic
>record which meets the criteria for inclusion in the genus Homo is the first
>"man." I _have not_ (AND WILL NOT) called that "person" Adam to this point.
>For a common name lets call this first fossil man (him or her, sex is
>irrelavent here) Charlie (for Charles or Charlene).
>At some point God created a man by His definition and called that man Adam,
>I do not believe we will ever figure out when this event occurred or how
>Charlie relates to Adam, only God can reveal the relationship. I accept by
>faith that Adam in part defines my relationship to God as revealed by God.
>To the anthropologists I have read and studied under, the "golden spike" has
>been driven at the point I have defined above -- that is, if the remains fit
>the skeletal requirements of the genus Homo _it is man (therefore human)_.
>God on the other hand, in Scripture has defined man (and humanity) in terms
>of Adam and Jesus Christ. Again these are not necessarily the same and we
>shouldn't make them the same in attempting conformity of Scripture with
>What I was trying to point out (I admit ineptly) was that we agree on the
>definition of man that God gives us but we do not agree on the relationship
>of how that definition relates to the fossil record. I say from the top
>that we cannot know, but it appears to me (by the curse Adam recieved and
>that in part defines us) that he resembles a farmer more than a Neanderthal.

Adam made clothing for himself and his children. So did Neanderthal and
Homo erectus. Since it has been revealed that clothing was a post-Fall
phenomenon, why would we not beleive that H. erectus and neanderthal are
descendants of Adam, the fallen man?


Foundation, Fall and Flood