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THE HOAXES OF ANTHROPOLOGY

(SERMON #3 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord’s Day Morning, July 15, 2007
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:26, 27).


The sermon I am giving you this morning is not my own. It is a condensed version of one originally given by Dr. W. A. Criswell, the late pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. Dr. Criswell was a fearless champion of the Bible. I believe he was the greatest American preacher of the twentieth century. Dr. Criswell titled the sermon, “The Hoaxes of Anthropology” (W. A. Criswell, Ph.D., Messages From My Heart, REL Publications, 1994, pp. 45-55). I am giving you a shortened version of that famous sermon. Most of the words are Dr. Criswell’s. I have only edited and simplified it in some places, and left out a few paragraphs for the sake of brevity.

The Bible says,

“So God created man” (Genesis 1:27).

The words of revelation in the first two chapters of Genesis are clear and plain. God created man in His image “and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).

“So God created man” (Genesis 1:27).

There is no question and no doubt about the creation of man as we read the first two chapters of the Bible. Man is different from the animal world. God made the animals of the field separate and apart from man. After the Lord God had created the fish of the sea and the fowl of the air and the beast of the field, then the Lord God created man in His own image and likeness.

“So God created man” (Genesis 1:27).

The forms of life that we see around us were created by the Lord God. Everything we see was made by the Word of God. Out of nothing, He created our universe. And in that universe He created the forms of life that we see; grouped by “kinds.” God created each “kind” separately, and God formed those “kinds” in unbreakable species. Each of those “kinds” is a unit in itself. Each after its own “kind.” God made them that way.

One of those created units or “kinds” is man. God made him separate and apart from the other forms of life. The Bible teaches that God made him perfect. All of his faculties – intellectual, physical, spiritual – all of his faculties were given to man in the day that God created him.

“So God created man” (Genesis 1:27).

Man fell because of sin from that perfect and exalted state. Some of the descendants of Adam went down and down until they were degraded in the squalor of the lowest savage. Other children of Adam built great civilizations, but lost their way in a maze of false religion, false philosophy and superstition.

But God had pity upon the descendants of Adam, who lost their lofty estate and became as the beasts of the field. And God sent Jesus to save them, and bring them back to that glorious and high estate from which they had fallen. That is the way the Bible speaks of the human race that God created.

“So God created man” (Genesis 1:27).

There are those who purport to be great teachers, and infallible scientists, who say that the Biblical revelation is directly opposite to what actually happened. They say that out of nothing, out of a great vacuum, there came this universe. They say that no one made it. It had no purpose, no design. It just made itself. Out of nothing, something came.

They say that out of that something, that came out of nothing, life generated itself. No one made it. It just happened. It accidentally, spontaneously generated itself. Then, they say, out of that little spontaneously generated speck of protoplasm there evolved, through the ages, all of the separated forms of life that we see around us today; there evolved, they say, those forms of life, until man himself was evolved.

That theory, they say, is an assured fact. They exhibit in the museums of the world ape-like, fierce-looking supposed ancestors of mankind.

All of us have seen their pictures of that so-called evolving man, as he came from the anthropoid “ape-man” to his present form. We have seen those pictures and those exhibits in museums. They have constructed whole families of anthropoids and ape-men, and have finally said that man evolved upward, to where he is today. They do that with great certainty, and we are overwhelmed and overawed by their supposedly “scientific” evidence for the evolution of mankind.

This sermon is titled “The Hoaxes of Anthropology.” It is our thesis that those creatures, weird and fierce and ape-like, are nothing but the product of imagination, constructed of plaster models, that they are hoaxes; that they are by no means a portrayal of the truth and of the actual facts.

We have no quarrel with the truth. We have no quarrel with a fact. But this also is a fact: a theory is a theory, and an hypothesis is an hypothesis, and a guess is a guess. A so-called “scientist” in supporting his theory can be as blind and biased as the most superstitious, fanatical tribal animist. And, in many instances, in the name of so-called “science,” they have perpetrated on us some of the most enormous and unbelievable hoaxes in the history of humanity.

The exhibits in the great museums claim to prove the evolution of man from a lower beast. But these so-called evidences are purely theoretical, manufactured out of the imagination, made from mere plaster models, with very little, if anything, to back them up as factual. Yet they are presented as scientifically, factually, indisputably true. Scientific reputations are used to promote deceptions and hoaxes that would make P. T. Barnum envious.

These plaster models that are presented, these so-called ape-men, are not based on fact. They are not true. They are merely figments of a wild imagination, and are invented through the use of plaster of Paris. It is our purpose to demonstrate these hoaxes of anthropology.

These so-called “ape-men,” who are supposed to be the ancestors of the human race, have been named after the places where they were supposed to have been discovered. There is the Nebraska Man, the Java Man, the Peking Man, the Heidelberg Man, the Piltdown Man, etc.

THE NEBRASKA MAN

The oldest man was supposed to be the Nebraska Man – “Hesperopithecus haroldcookii” – that’s the name the scientists gave him. Hesperos is the Greek word for “western.” Pithecus is the Greek word for “ape.” Harold Cook was the man who discovered this famous fossil. So “Hesperopithecus haroldcookii” was the name given – “the Western Ape Man of Harold Cook” – the Nebraska Man.

A tremendous amount of literature was written about this fossil race of North America. The estimated age of the Nebraska Man was one million years.

What did Mr. Harold Cook discover in the State of Nebraska? He discovered a tooth! He discovered one tooth! This famous tooth was examined by the greatest scientists in the United States. They said it was positive proof of a pre-historic race in America and, beyond a shadow of a doubt, Nebraska Man lived here at least one million years ago.

Sir Grafton Elliott Smith persuaded the editor of the Illustrated London News to send a reporter to learn all about this extinct race of humanity and to write an article for his newspaper. In that article were published drawings of a male and female of this fossilized race that lived here in America one million years ago. Yet those pictures that appeared on the front page of the Illustrated London News were drawn on the basis of one tooth!

Dr. William K. Gregory, curator of the American Museum of Natural History, and professor of paleontology at Columbia University, called it “the million dollar tooth,” and he described it as belonging to a human being of such antiquity that a million years of age was a conservative estimate for it.

Dr. Fairfield Osborn, America’s greatest paleontologist of his day, in an address before the American Philosophical Society at Philadelphia, placed “Hesperopithecus Haroldcookii” at the very bottom of the tree depicting the ancestry of man.

At the Scopes evolution trial in Dayton, Tennessee, William Jennings Bryan was confronted by a group of great scientific authorities led by Dr. H. H. Newman of the University of Chicago. Among the “evidences” for evolution that Dr. Newman and his colleagues presented was the “Nebraska Man.”

Bryan made no reply, except to say that he thought the evidence was too limited to base upon it such far-reaching conclusions, and Bryan pleaded for more time and more data.

But the experts scoffed. They laughed at him. They made a joke of it. The greatest scientific authorities in the world knew that Nebraska Man was one million years old. The Scopes Trial ended. Bryan died. But the story was not over.

In 1927, two years after the Scopes Trial, the entire fossil skeleton from which that tooth was extracted was discovered. Then it was revealed that the tooth, upon which Nebraska Man was based, was actually a pig! It was the tooth of a pig! It was a pig which is now extinct in the United States, but at one time was found all over this continent in large numbers.

These were the men who laughed at William Jennings Bryan! These were the men who made up a whole race of humanity from the tooth of a pig! These were the men who even dated the age of the human race as one million years, from the evidence of a pig’s tooth! The Nebraska Man. That is one of the hoaxes of anthropology.

Later a great scientific discovery was called the Southwest Colorado Man. It has since been revealed that this new “discovery” was constructed out of the tooth of a horse.

“Give us a tooth,” cry the experts, “and we will create a whole race of fossilized humanity.”

THE JAVA APE-MAN

Now we come to the most famous of these anthropoids that are supposed to be our ancestors – the Java Ape-Man, Pithecanthropus Erectus. Pithecus – the Greek word for an ape. Anthropus – the Greek word for man. Erectus – standing up. So, “Pithecanthropus Erectus” – the ape-man who stands up, who stands erect. The Java Ape-Man (Pithecanthropus Erectus) is the most famous of all these anthropological “discoveries.”

In 1891, Dr. Eugene Dubois, an ardent evolutionist, a physician in the Dutch Army then stationed in Java, found in central Java a small piece of the top of a skull, a fragment of a fossilized thigh bone, and some molar teeth. They were not found together at the same time. They were found in an old river bed mingled with much debris and many fossilized bones of extinct animals. The evolutionists said that the creature lived seven hundred and fifty thousand years ago.

Dr. F. Stuart Chapin, in his book, Social Evolution (Century Company, 1913) said, “It was fortunate that the most distinct portions of the human frame should have been preserved, because from these specimens, we are able to reconstruct the entire being. This man stood half-way between the anthropoid and the existing man.” In common words, Dr. Chapin called the “Java ape-man” a missing link between man and ape, between human beings and the anthropoids.

But from the beginning scientists differed greatly concerning these bones. Some said they came from a man, some said an ape, some said a baboon, and some said a monkey. One authority wrote, “Shortly after this discovery, twenty-four of the most eminent scientists of Europe met. Ten said the bones belonged to an ape; seven, to a man; and seven said they were a missing link.” Professor Virchow of Berlin said, “There is no evidence at all that these bones were parts of the same creature.” Even H. G. Wells, the historian who so strongly believed in evolution, admitted that the bones were those of an ape, or more probably two apes. And, finally, Dr. Dubois himself, the man who discovered them and identified them as the bones of the missing link, reversed his opinion and came to the conclusion that the bones were those of some sort of gibbon [a type of ape].

That is the basis for the world-famous “Pithecanthropus Erectus” found in the museums and books which claim to describe the evolution of man.

Shortly afterwards a search began for other “Pithecanthropus” in Java. Another “Pithecanthropus” was discovered in the center of Java. The newspaper article that came out about this second “Pithecanthropus” read like this: “Perfect Skull of Prehistoric Man, Missing Link Found. Professor Heberlein, of the Netherlands Government Medical Service, has discovered at Trinal, in Central Java, a complete skull of an ape-like creature termed by some ‘the missing link’ and by science, ‘Pithecanthropus Erectus.’ Professor Heberlein’s find, which is complete and sound, will be kept in Dutch East India, as the transportation of such relics is prohibited.”

But what was this marvelous discovery? It turned out to be the knee-bone of an extinct elephant – another one of the hoaxes of anthropology!

THE HEIDELBERG MAN

Another famous “ape-man” which has been exhibited in museums and pictured in biology books is known as Heidelberg Man. This so-called “early man” was constructed from a jaw bone, found by Dr. Schoetensack near Heidelberg, Germany. At first it was said to be seven hundred thousand years old. Later, they said it was only three hundred and seventy-five thousand years old. Any wild guess would do. One was as good as another!

This jawbone also caused a division among the anthropologists. Some said it was a connecting link between man and the apes. Others said it was worthless. One scientist said, “These remains show no trace of being intermediate between man and the anthropoid ape.” Another scientist said it had the same appearance as the skull of a modern Eskimo. Another scientist said you can walk through the streets of any city and see men everywhere who have jaws the same shape as “Heidelberg Man.”

All it took, then, was a plaster creation, forming, from that piece of a jaw, the ape-like body, which was created by sheer imagination, and placed in museums, where it was said, “This proves the evolution of man.” Another hoax of anthropology – the Heidelberg Man!

THE PILTDOWN MAN

The next famous “proof” of the evolutionary theory was the “Piltdown Man.” In 1912, an amateur fossilologist named Charles Dawson brought some bones and primitive implements to Dr. Arthur Smith Woodward, an eminent paleontologist at the British Museum. Dawson said he found the bones at Piltdown, in the southern part of England. He brought a piece of a jaw, two molar teeth, and a piece of a skull. They were proclaimed by the anthropologists as possibly one million years old.

A great amount of scientific literature was written about “Piltdown Man.” They made plaster figures of his whole body from these fragments. They made pictures of him for the biology books. The Encyclopedia Britannica called “Piltdown Man” second only in importance to “Pithecanthropus Erectus.” Dr. Henry Fairfield Osborn, the famous American paleontologist of the American Museum of Natural History, said that “Piltdown Man” was “of unquestionable Upper Pliocene age [and] appears to be of greater geological age than Pithecanthropus, the Trinal Ape-Man.”

Then the hoax was exposed: the October 1956 issue of the Reader’s Digest summarized an article from the Popular Science Monthly, entitled “The Great Piltdown Hoax.” It had finally been discovered that the jawbone was that of an ape that had died only fifty years before. The teeth were filed down to disguise their original shape, and both the teeth and the piece of skull were artificially colored with bichromate of potash to make them look ancient! Out of that they created the “Piltdown Man” and placed him in the British Museum and put his picture in the books which children studied for several generations. And it was this artificially created deception that was used against Bryan in the Scopes Trial. It was one more hoax of anthropology!

Now, young people, that was a simplified version of Dr. W. A. Criswell’s famous sermon, “The Hoaxes of Anthropology.” Dr. Criswell was a great pastor, and a great scholar, who held a Ph.D. in New Testament Greek from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. I am so glad that Dr. Criswell made this information available to us today. I have shortened his message some, and rearranged a few words, to make it easier to understand by your generation.

The question that comes to mind is this – why would these scientists manufacture such frauds? I believe that the answer is simple. They resorted to these hoaxes because there is no real proof of the evolution of man from lower forms! Therefore, without apology, we stand by the words of the Book of Genesis,

“So God created man” (Genesis 1:27).

There was no evolution involved whatever! Nothing was said in Genesis about any type of evolution, theistic or otherwise – only that plain and simple statement was given to us in the Scriptures:

“So God created man” (Genesis 1:27).

But man fell by sin and became ruined, alienated from God, in the human condition of today. Sin so ruined and degenerated mankind that God sent Jesus – to die on the Cross, to pay the penalty for our transgressions – to restore lost man to his original righteousness and perfection.

Christ has risen. He is now alive at the right hand of God in Heaven. Come to Him by faith and your sin will be cleansed by His Blood, and your soul will be “born again” by His life from the dead! (John 3:3, 7). Come to Christ. Rest on Him by faith alone, and you will be saved for all time and all eternity.

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Genesis 1:26-31; 2:7.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“I Know the Bible is True” (by B. B. McKinney, 1886-1952).