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The (Ignored) Debate On A Study On Neanderthal Tooth Development

New Scientist magazine carried a report titled “Neanderthals Had A Life Less Human” in its 1 May 2004 edition. The article reported on a claim about Neanderthal Man published in the British scientific magazine Nature. (1)

The researchers Ramirez Rozzi and Bermudez de Castro compared Homo neanderthalensis teeth to those of other prehistoric species included in the genus Homo and to those of modern man, as a result of which they concluded that Neanderthals possessed rapid tooth development. The researchers stated that tooth development was linked to life history characteristics, interpreted their observations in the light of this relationship, and estimated that Neanderthals reached adulthood at the age of 15. The scientists then suggested that this was in contrast to modern human beings, who reach adulthood at around 18-20 and, taking this rather forced account as their starting point, went on to claim that the Neanderthals were a distinct species from Homo sapiens.

New Scientist magazine only devoted space to comments in favour of the claim in question. However, a report regarding the study in Science also included comments by researchers who either objected to the study or said it was deficient. In that article, the anthropologist Milford Wolpoff from Michigan University stated that the criteria on which the researchers had based their examination of tooth development also revealed differences within the same species. Wolpoff opposed the separation of H. sapiens and the Neanderthals into two distinct species based on these differences, known to reveal differences within the same species. Chris Dean, a London University tooth expert, states that molar teeth should also have been included in these analyses and notes that the way the study settled for the inclusion of incisors only would give rise to inaccurate results.

Considered in the light of findings that provide more direct, and thus sounder information it can clearly be seen that Neanderthal Man was an ancient human race. (For further information on the true nature of Neanderthal Man, see: Why the “Primitive Neanderthal” Thesis is Invalid.)

The proper thing for New Scientist magazine to do would be to cease publishing biased articles on evolutionist claims and to reveal the full facts, in all respects, to its readers.

1 Fernando V. Ramirez Rozzi And José Maria Bermudez De Castro, “Surprisingly rapid growth in Neanderthals”, Nature 428 , pp. 936 – 939, 29 April 2004

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