The mainstream narrative of evolutionary science is that man developed slowly, progressively, linearly—over hundreds of thousands of years, ever advancing in health, intelligence, life expectancy, etc. Thus, compared to the advanced modern specimens, Neanderthal man had a shorter life span, a more primitive mind and body, and a lower capacity for culture and civilization. He was altogether inferior to modern man.
In the late 70s and 80s, Dr. Jack Cuozzo was granted unprecedented access to the world-famous Neanderthal skulls in a few European museums, where he took comprehensive scans using new x-ray technology developed by a fellow scientist. With the eye of an experienced dentist, Cuozzo began analyzing the physical evidence for ancient man. As a creationist and a Christian, Cuozzo was not committed to the ideological biases and philosophical blind spots that plague most of modern science. He began to notice indicators in the scientific record that appeared to conflict with the evolutionary paradigm. Many anthropologists and dental experts simply ignored pieces of evidence that contradicted mainstream thought—and in some cases, Cuozzo charges, they actually falsified data and bone layouts.
Ultimately Cuozzo argues that the mainstream narrative of the Neanderthal is wrong, and presents his own interpretation of the data that fits with his biblical worldview: namely, that the Genesis account of Babel explains the source of the global expansion of culture; that the developmental differences in Neanderthal skulls—jaws, teeth and forehead structure in particular—are better explained by the long but rapidly declining life spans from the Patriarchs to David described in the Old Testament.
It’s an absolutely fascinating argument, and Cuozzo spends a lot of time drilling into the data and explaining how evolutionists interpret it and describing why he arrives at different conclusions. Data-wise, much of it was above my head to follow—one almost has to be a dentist to grasp the esoteric details—yet his overall thesis is clear.
Around the time I finished this book, I encountered the following thoughts from G.K. Chesterton in his book, The Everlasting Man, and it fits the Neanderthal topic well, albeit from a slightly different angle:
When novelists and educationists and psychologists of all sorts talk about the cave-man, they never conceive him in connection with anything that is really in the cave. When the realist of the sex novel writes, ‘Red sparks danced in Dagmar Doubledick’s brain; he felt the spirit of the cave-man rising within him,’ the novelist’s readers would be very much disappointed if Dagmar only went off and drew large pictures of cows on the drawing-room wall. When the psycho-analyst writes to a patient, ‘The submerged instincts of the cave-man are doubtless prompting you to gratify a violent impulse, ‘he does not refer to the impulse to paint in water-colours; or to make conscientious studies of how cattle swing their heads when they graze. Yet we do know for a fact that the cave man did these mild and innocent things; and we have not the most minute speck of evidence that he did any of the violent and ferocious things. In other words the cave-man as commonly presented to us is simply a myth or rather a muddle; for a myth has at least an imaginative outline of truth. The whole of the current way of talking is simply a confusion and a misunderstanding, founded on no sort of scientific evidence and valued only as an excuse for a very modern mood of anarchy. If any gentleman wants to knock a woman about, he can surely be a cad without taking away the character of the cave-man, about whom we know next to nothing except what we can gather from a few harmless and pleasing pictures on a wall.
Much of evolutionary science rests on (often loose) interpretations of data, and which are built on other (often philosophical) assumptions. Scientists twist themselves into knots trying to reason (sometimes rationalize) their way to conclusions consistent with their paradigm. This is not wrong, per se; it’s a necessary part of any system of thought. The trick is to get the evolutionists to actually recognize that their most basic assumptions are just that—assumptions—and that they are philosophical ones.
You and I might be looking at the same deck of cards, but if I’m playing Spades and you’re playing Poker, Occam’s Razor looks completely reasonable to me and utterly absurd to you, and vice versa.