Has man been on the earth for only 6,000 years? Was Adam the FIRST MAN? Herbert Armstrong certainly thought so! In his book, Mystery of the Ages, Mr. Armstrong wrote,”Adam was the first man … There was no other race prior to Adam and Eve.”
But surely Herbert Armstrong was in error? Doesn’t scientific evidence prove otherwise? Hasn’t science produced fossil evidence showing that human beings have lived on this earth for hundreds of thousands of years … even millions of years? Surely EVOLUTION shows that man is descended from some ape-like creature that wandered the earth millions of years ago?
Even the school textbooks given to our children talk confidently of the lives of our ape ancestors, with many graphic illustrations.
In the early days of the theory of evolution, say 150 years ago, these fossils hadn’t been discovered, and scientists were busy looking for the MISSING LINKS. If ape-like creatures had evolved into human beings, there must have been millions of part-ape, part-man creatures — gradually transforming over millions of years into modern man. But no such links between apes and men were known. Scientists knew that, if evolution was true, such missing links must exist. But where were they?!
For those who believe in the Word of God, there is no problem. Adam was created a PERFECTLY FORMED MAN — in the very form and shape of the Creator God Himself. Adam was not descended from any ape-like creature. He was not just a super-intelligent ape. He was a supreme creation, modelled ON GOD — not an ape! As Mr. Armstrong often expressed it, man is made after the God-kind, not after the animal-kind!
So let’s take a closer look at some of these so-called missing links. Just how much proof is there of man’s descent from the apes?
One of the first “amazing discoveries” that evolutionists trumpeted to the world was called Java Man Java Man Around 1890, Eugene Dubois, a Dutch anatomist went hunting for missing links in the Far East. On the island of Java, he found an ape’s skull cap. A year later, and about 50 feet away, he found a human thigh bone. Dubois claimed they were from the same individual, and that he had found a walking ape — an early ancestor of man! He had found a missing link! However, he locked the bones away, and would not allow them to be examined. He called this creature PithecanthropusErectus (upright ape-man). Many scientists were suspicious of the evidence, and doubted that the skull cap and leg bone were from the same creature.
Nonetheless, Java Man was duly included in text books as “proof” of man’s evolution from the apes. However, later studies showed Java Man was in fact simply AN APE. Dubois himself admitted in 1937, “Pithecanthropus was not a man, but a gigantic genus allied to the Gibbons”.
The hopes of the evolutionists were dashed! Still — surely they would find the missing link if they just kept looking?
Nebraska Man There was somewhat of a race between scientists to be first to find the missing link. America entered the race in 1922, with the discovery of Hesperopithecus (also known as Nebraska man). Hesperopithecus was an exciting find. According to the director of the American Museum of Natural History, it was half-way between ape and man! Incredible! Just what evolutionists wanted! On 24 June 1922, the London Illustrated News even published a full page picture of how Nebraska man would have looked, stating that it was an “astounding discovery”.
Astounding indeed. And a good example of how evolutionists engage in wishful thinking, rather than careful science. Because the remains of Nebraska man consisted only of ONE TOOTH! That’s all! And later study showed it was, in fact, the tooth of an EXTINCT PIG!
So much for that missing link! The only thing missing here was the honesty of the scientists!
Neanderthal Man Neanderthal man was discovered in the Neander Valley in Germany, back in 1875. Probably most people have heard about Neanderthal man. From the fossil evidence, scientists could tell that he was stooped over, brutish looking, shambled along uncomfortably on bent legs like an ape, and was barely human. Proof that man was descended from dumb ape-like creatures.
Whoops. Later studies showed that the first specimen of Neanderthal man was, in fact, an individual who was badly deformed from OSTEO-ARTHRITIS! Healthy specimens of Neanderthal man were later shown to have walked upright just as we do. Neanderthal man sewed clothes, cooked with fire, built shelters and buried his dead (and put flowers in the graves). Neanderthal man was fully man! If he had a shower, and was put in a business suit, he could come into Sabbath services and no one would notice anything unusual!
Australopithecus The search for a true missing link continued. As we know, hope springs eternal in the human breast!
In the 1920’s, South Africa produced its fossil version of an ape-man. This fossil appeared to have a more complex brain structure than any ape ... and seemed to have some human-like features. Surely the missing link? As always, many evolutionists were keen to agree that this was indeed the link. He was named Australopithecus.
However, the zoologist Sir Solly Zuckerman established in the mid 1950’s that Australopithecus was just an extinct APE! He wrote, “The safest inference that can be drawn from the facts which have been discussed here is that the Australopithecinae were predominantly ape-like, and NOT man-like creatures”.
Oops! Yet another missing link goes missing!
Zinjanthropus Probably the most famous name to appear in newspaper headlines over the past thirty years has been that of the Leakey family. Louis Leakey, his wife Mary, and son Richard, have made a number of “significant” discoveries in East Africa, around the area of the Olduvai Gorge. In 1959, Mary Leakey found an almost complete fossil skull of a creature said to be very man-like. It was named Zinjanthropus — meaning East Africa Man. (It was also said to be about 1.75 million years old! But we see in another of our articles, The Mystery of Modern Dating, just how wildly inaccurate such dates are.)
Within half a dozen years, the University of Witwatersrand officially announced that the fossil was, in fact, just another variety of Australopithecus — an APE! So the graveyard of missing links collects yet another inhabitant!
And so on it goes. Scientists continue to travel the world, digging out all sorts of bones and fragments of skulls, looking for the missing link. Every so often, a new candidate is revealed with a great amount of fanfare to the media, and makes the newspaper headlines. Within a very few years, the new candidate is always shown to be either human or ape. No intermediate specimen can be found. There is no part-ape, part-man.
The Bible records that Adam was the first human being, made directly in the image of his Maker.
There are NO APE-MEN!