Homo erectus means ‘upright man.’ These humans possessed an identical skeletal structure to modern man, and like us were capable of walking upright. The reason why Homo erectus is considered ‘primitive’ is the fact that its skull volume (900-1100 cc) is smaller than the modern human average (1400 cc) and its thick eyebrow protrusions. The fact is, however, that there are many human beings today with the same average skull dimensions as Homo erectus, and thick eyebrow protrusions can be found in various races today (as is the case with native Australians). The fact that the anatomical features of Homo erectus can still be seen today demonstrates that it is very definitely not a primitive species. In fact, many evolutionists now say that Homo erectus is a variation of Homo sapiens, in other words a true human being.
First and foremost, the fact that Homo erectus had a small brain volume does not demonstrate that it was a primitive creature lacking intelligence and ability. Intelligence depends on the organisation within the brain, not on brain volume. (1)
The fossils which introduced Homo erectus to the world, Peking Man and Java Man, were both found in Asia. It was gradually realised, however, that these two remains were not reliable. Peking Man consisted solely of plaster models, the originals of which had been lost. Java Man consisted of part of a skull and a pelvic bone found several yards away. There was no indication that they belonged to the same creature. The Homo erectus fossils found in Africa thus increasingly lost importance.
The best-known of the Homo erectus specimens found in Africa is the ‘Turkana boy’ discovered near Lake Turkana in Kenya. The fossil was identified as having belonged to a 12-year-old child who would have been around 1.83 m tall when fully grown. The upright structure of the skeleton was identical to that of modern man. The American palaeontologist Alan Walker says, “”the average pathologist could tell the difference between the fossil skeleton and that of a modern human.”
Even the evolutionist palaeoanthropologist Richard Leakey states that Homo erectus is no more significant that the racial differences among modern human beings: One would also see differences: in the shape of the skull, in the degree of protrusion of the face, the robustness of the brows and so on. These differences are probably no more pronounced than we see today between the separate geographical races of modern humans. Such biological variation arises when populations are geographically separated from each other for significant lengths of time. (2) Professor William Laughlin from the University of Connecticut made extensive anatomical examinations of Inuits and the people living on the Aleut islands, and noticed that these people were extraordinarily similar to Homo erectus. The conclusion Laughlin arrived at was that all these distinct races were in fact different races of Homo sapiens (modern man):
When we consider the vast differences that exist between remote groups such as Eskimos and Bushmen, who are known to belong to the single species of Homo sapiens, it seems justifiable to conclude that Sinanthropus [an erectus specimen] belongs within this same diverse species. (3)
These views of Laughlin’s are now openly accepted by many evolutionists. It was the Senckenberg conference, attended by prominent figures from the world of palaeoanthropology from various countries, where this acceptance gained prominence:
Most of the participants at the Senckenberg conference got drawn into a flaming debate over the taxonomic status of Homo erectus started by Milford Wolpoff of the University of Michigan, Alan Thorne of the University of Canberra and their colleagues. They argued forcefully that Homo erectus had no validity as a species and should be eliminated altogether. All members of the genus Homo, from about 2 million years ago to the present, were one highly variable, widely spread species, Homo sapiens, with no natural breaks or subdivisions. The subject of the conference, Homo erectus, didn”t exist. (4)
As we have seen, it is not actually the anatomical features of Homo erectus which underlie the way it is regarded as primitive. Evolutionists have adopted this species as a vehicle with which to fill the gap between ordinary apes such as Homo habilis and modern man. In short, the reason why Homo erectus is kept apart as a separate species from Homo sapiens stems not from the fact that it is an ‘undeveloped’ human being, but from evolutionist prejudice.
(i) Marvin Lubenow, Bones of Contention, Grand Rapids, Baker, 1992, p. 83
(ii) Richard Leakey, The Making of Mankind, London: Sphere Books, 1981, p. 62.
(iii) Marvin Lubenow, Bones of Contention, Grand Rapids, Baker, 1992. p. 136
(iv) Pat Shipman, Doubting Dmanisi, American Scientist, November- December 2000 p. 491