Creation Science

Creation Science Reviews

Creation Ministries International Daily Feature

Neanderthal Intelligence - 30 August 2006


Review by Greg Neyman

© 2006, Old Earth Ministries


     In the daily feature on the Creation Ministries International website on 30 August 2006, young earth creationist Jonathan Sarfati claims that Neanderthals were fully human.1

     To support his claim, he states that both morphology (body form) and associated artifacts prove that they were modern humans.  He states that “biblical chronologists regard them as post-Babel descendants of Noah.” 
At issue here is recent research on the intelligence of Neanderthals.  You may have even seen the evidence on television, as the Science Channel played a program recently on the issue.
     The new research indicates that Neanderthals had the same brain capacity as modern humans, and that they even were able to talk.  The artifacts recently examined include ornaments and decorated bone tools.  Sarfati mentions that the evolutionists suggest that the traits of human cognition and thinking may date back to a time before the two species split (around 400,000 years ago).  Using the same data, Sarfati suggests that these similarities date back to a common ancestor prior to the confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel.

The Real Meaning

     While Sarfati’s speculations are interesting, they completely ignore mtDNA evidence, which clearly shows that Neanderthals and modern humans are not related.  In the links at the bottom of his article, there is an article by Martin Lubenow which discusses this mtDNA evidence.  However, this article is eight years old (as of 2006).  Lubenow dismisses the evidence, (which was based on a single study in 1998).  Many of his arguments make no sense.  But more importantly, subsequent mtDNA studies in this decade have proven the truth of the original study…that Neanderthal did not contribute to modern man’s gene pool.  There are now at least four Neanderthal mtDNA sequences which all agree with each other.2
     Concerning the thinking ability and artifacts found, these issues present no problems for old earth creationism.  Cognitive ability is a sign of intelligence, but it does not mean that Neanderthals had a soul.  In the old earth creationist interpretation, they are still soul-less hominids.

    To my knowledge, the young earth creationists have not provided any credible rebuttals for mtDNA evidence.


1  Neanderthals were fully human in thinking, by Jonathan Sarfati, published at


2  Neanderthal mtDNA


For More Reading

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CMI 2006 Daily Rebuttals


Did you know that you can be a Christian, and believe that the earth is billions of years old?  You can even believe in evolution and be a Christian.  There is no conflict between science and the Bible...all one needs is a proper understanding how to merge science and the Bible.  To learn more about old earth creationism, see Old Earth Belief, or check out the article Can You Be A Christian and Believe in an Old Earth?  

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