How Do Neanderthals Fit with a Biblical Model?


According to evolutionary paleoanthropologists Neanderthals went extinct about 30,000 years ago, with their last individuals living in southern Spain and Gibraltar. In the light of what we know about their anatomy, genetics, and culture, what is their relationship to modern humans? Did Neanderthals leave direct descendants? Ideas about the fate of this group of humans are controversial and researchers do not agree. There are basically three ideas or interpretations.

One interpretation is that all modern humans have a relatively recent origin (~150,000 years ago) in Africa, and that Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis (now extinct) represented different evolutionary lineages living in different continents. According to this view, Homo neanderthalensis lived in Asia and Europe and went extinct before Homo sapiens developed from an African ancestor that migrated to the northern continents.