Anthropology

Cavemen—Missing Link?

February, 2003

Have scientists discovered evidence that humans are descended from ape-like ancestors? Are there real "missing link" fossils to prove this? Well, one of the reasons the term "missing link" is what it is, and includes the word missing, is that the evidence has long been—missing. Some have argued that this or that fossil is the "missing link", so we will examine a few of them.

There has been Piltdown Man, which was admittedly a hoax. The teeth were filed, and the bones chemically stained to alter the appearance. Then there was Nebraska Man, which was built out of a pig's tooth. This tooth was presented as evidence for evolution at the famous Scopes trial.

It is suspected that Neanderthal Man was simply a normal human with some medical problems—possibly arthritis, rickets, or acromegaly. Scientists now classify him as human.

But what about the drawings? We see pictures showing the "missing links" with their hairy bodies, their crouching gait, and so forth. Since this is what they looked like, weren't they obviously ancestors of humans? These pictures do show something between a man and an ape; however, the question is not whether the pictures show something between man and ape, but whether the actual creatures looked at all like the pictures. So, did they?

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Anthropology