Re: Hugh Ross

Glenn R. Morton (
Tue, 28 Jul 1998 22:23:56 -0500

Considering Allan's note about Hugh Ross, I was reminded that a friend of
mine, Robert Schadewald, a writer, had discussed some of Ross' claims about
Neanderthal's. Bob was somewhat influential in moving me away from YECism
and even though Bob and I are poles apart metaphysically, I like Bob and
have found him to be a tolerant person although he does not like what he
sees Christians doing in the area of apologetics. But then neither do I.
Bob gave me permission to post this so I will.

The only item I disagreed with Bob about is his statement that there are no
anthropologists who believe that Neanderthal is our ancestor. Wolpoff,
Jelenik, Smith, Thorne, and many other modern, living anthropologists
believe exactly this.

At 09:47 PM 7/28/98, Robert Schadewald wrote:
>About a year ago, Hugh Ross's publication *Facts & Faith* carried an
>article (presumably by Ross himself) entitled "Neandertal Takes a
>One-Eighty." In it, the author stated that recent research on Neandertal
>DNA showed that modern humans were neither descended from nor related to
>Neandertals. The first claim is not controversial -- no anthropologist
>known to me claims we are descended from Neandertals -- but the second
>claim is nonsense. In support of his claims, Ross cited a recent news
>story from *Science* as though it were a research article. In fact, I had
>clipped the very article Ross cited, which summarized research published in
>*Cell*, so I dug it out and reread it, and it said exactly the opposite of
>what Ross claimed. Specifically, the *Science* article reported that "the
>data lend a new kind of support to the now-favored view of Neandertals that
>they were a side branch of the human family tree, not our direct
>ancestors." Obviously, my third cousins, a side branch of my family tree,
>are related to me. So are more distant cousins.
>I sent the appended email message to Ross pointing out the gross
>misrepresentation and asking whether he intended to retract it. Some time
>later, I got a response from one of his assistants saying in part, "when
>you look at the articles and papers that Kahn and Gibbons used as
>references, you would see why Dr. Ross came to that conclusion. The
>references that they used came to that conclusion. If you would like those
>other references, we would be happy to send those out to you." I
>immediately accepted this offer, asking my correspondent to highlight the
>passages in said papers supporting Ross's conclusion. Needless to say,
>that was the last I heard from Reasons to Believe. Ross has not retracted
>his falsehood, nor do I expect him to do so. After following "creation
>science" for more than two decades, I do not expect intellectual integrity
>from creationist apologists.
>Feel free to post this message to the list you mentioned. Leave my email
>address in it if you wish. I'm off to ICC98 on Sunday, and I have much to
>do in the interim, so I can't engage in any lengthy correspondence about
>this or anything else.
>Hugh Ross:
>*Facts & Faith* v. 11, n. 3 (Third Quarter, 1997) arrived in today's mail,
>and therein I found your article "Neandertal Takes a One-Eighty." In it, I
>was astonished to read the following statement by you:
> Analysis of Neandertal DNA leads researchers to conclude that homo
> sapiens, the human race, is neither descended from *nor related to*
> the Neandertal species (emphasis added).
>The phrase "nor related to" is a blatant falsehood. It flatly contradicts
>statements made in the very article you cite as a source (Patricia Kahn and
>Ann Gibbons, "DNA From and Extinct Human," *Science*, 277 (1997), pp.
>176-178). Though you cite it as though it were a research paper, Kahn and
>Gibbons are science journalists reporting on a paper published in *Cell*.
>I have the Kahn and Gibbons article before me, and the last sentence of the
>second paragraph reads as follows:
> While one sequence from a single individual is not definitive proof, the
> data lend a new kind of support to the now-favored view of Neandertals
> that they were a side branch of the human family tree, not our direct
> ancestors.
>In other words, the almost universal view of paleoanthropologists is (and
>has been for some time) that we are not descended from but *are related to*
>the Neandertals (the meaning of "side branch of the human family tree"
>could not be more clear). I am at a loss to put a charitable construction
>on this falsehood, because the evolutionary status of Neandertal has been
>common knowledge for several years to everyone who reads popular science
>magazines. Indeed, as clearly reported in the very story you cite, the
>research reported in *Cell* by Krings et al. provided dramatic confirmation
>of what nearly everyone already thought was true.
>Will you publish a retraction and an apology to your readers?
>Robert J. Schadewald

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