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DOES A NEW SKELETON PROVE
DARWIN’S “DESCENT OF MAN”?

(SERMON #59 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, October 11, 2009

“So God created man” (Genesis 1:27).

There they go again! For many years they have showed us the “Descent of Man” diagram, depicting human beings “descending” from small ape-like creatures through various stages – ending with modern man.


An illustration from Darwin’s
“The Descent of Man” (1871).


A modern depiction of Darwin’s
“Descent of Man.”

Now they are telling us this diagram was all wrong! The recent discovery of a fossilized skeleton in the Ethiopian desert, according to the Los Angeles Times, “is dramatically overturning widely held ideas about the evolution of humans and how they came to walk upright” (Los Angeles Times, October 2, 2009, p. A1). The discovery of a “near-complete [fossilized] skeleton of a human ancestor…demonstrates our earliest forebears looked nothing like a chimpanzee or other large primate, as is now commonly believed [because they taught us to believe it!]. Instead, the findings suggest that the last common ancestor of humans and primates…was a primitive creature that shared few traits with modern-day members of either group” (ibid.). “The findings…also indicate that our ancestors began walking upright in woodlands, not on grassy savannas as prior generations of researchers had [guessed]” (ibid., pp. A1, A18).

The Los Angeles Times article also said, “The fossil record of human ancestors…is often fragmentary” (ibid., p. A18). Paleoanthropologist Andrew Hill of Yale University said, “It is so rare to get a more or less complete [fossilized] skeleton. In the entire course of human evolution…there are only three or four available” (ibid.). C. Owen Lovejoy of Kent State University said, “The whole savanna theory goes out the window in terms of it being the explanation for upright walking…And the idea that we evolved from something like a chimpanzee also goes out the window.” In other words, everything we have been taught about the evolution of man must be thrown out!  Lovejoy said the new skeleton is “turning evolution on its head.” Lovejoy’s “interpretations of what the [fossil says] about behavior,” according to Andrew Hill, of Yale University is “patent nonsense” (ibid., p. A18).

The whole thing seems like “patent nonsense” to me! Most people do not realize how flimsy and small the “evidence” is for the “Descent of Man” diagram, which all of us saw in our school textbooks. As Andrew Hill of Yale University said, “there are only three or four [skeletons] available” (Times, p. A18). Think of it! The entire theory of the evolution of man is based on “only three or four” skeletons! So much for the “Descent of Man” diagram! I am tempted to quote Dr. Hill, out of context, that the whole diagram is “patent nonsense”!

One of the problems with Darwin’s view of the “descent of man” is that it is based on so little “evidence” – a tooth here, a small piece of leg bone there and, as Andrew Hill of Yale University said, “there are only three or four [skeletons] available [to trace] the entire course of human evolution” (Los Angeles Times, ibid., p. A18). Why does he say, “only three or four”? If there were four he would have said so! It means that at least one of them is little more than a fragment. This means that with this “new” fossilized skeleton there are, at best, only four more or less complete skeletons. That is the entire basis for the evolutionary theory of the “descent of man” – “only three or four” skeletons! This seems like very flimsy “evidence” to me, very weak and superficial “proof” for such a widely held theory!

The entire theory of human evolution, therefore, rests on “only three or four” skeletons and a few fragments of bone. How do we know that these “three or four” were not simply extinct monkeys? How do we know that they were connected to human beings at all? It seems like pure guesswork to me. Or, if they were somehow connected to modern man, how do we know that some of these “three or four” were not dwarfs, since the “new” skeleton was “less than 4 feet tall” (Los Angeles Times, ibid., p. A18)? Or, how do we know whether some of the “three or four” were cripples, or deformed individuals, perhaps from inbreeding, as a result of being cut off from others? I have seen people walking the streets of Los Angeles that look just like pictures of “Neanderthal Man.” How do we know that some of these “three or four” fossils weren’t just like one of them? We don’t!

When I was six years old my father took me to see the “Santa Claus Parade” on Hollywood Boulevard. He lifted me up on his shoulders to see “Santa Claus” as he passed by on a large float. When my father put me back on the sidewalk a dwarf, who was as small as me, walked by selling newspapers and smoking a big black cigar. As I gazed at him, the dwarf blew a puff of cigar smoke and said, “Hello squirt!” If that little man’s skeleton were found a few thousand years later, these scientists might well call him a “descendant of man.” They might well call his skeleton “Hollywoodicus Pithecus” – “Hollywood Ape Man”! You laugh, but isn’t that about what happened with the so-called “Nebraska Man”?

What was the “scientific” proof for the “Nebraska Man”? A fellow named Harold Cook discovered a fossil in Nebraska, and a new race of prehistoric men were named after the fossil. It was called “Hespero Pithecus Haroldcookii” – “Hespero” means “western.” “Pithecus” means “ape.” “Haroldcookii” comes from Harold Cook, who found the fossil. So Hespero Pithecus Haroldcookii means “western ape man discovered by Harold Cook.” It was popularly known as “Nebraska Man.” Dr. W. A. Criswell said,

At the Scopes evolution trial [1925] William Jennings Bryan [defender of Biblical Creation] was confronted with a bevy of great scientific authorities led by professor H. H. Newman of the University of Chicago. The professor astounded Mr. Bryan with the so-called facts of the “Nebraska Man,” [which the professor said was] one of the race of men who dwelt in [the United States] one million years ago. Bryan [said] he thought the evidence was too scanty to base upon it such far-reaching conclusions, and Bryan pleaded for more time and for more data (W. A. Criswell, Ph.D., “The Hoaxes of Anthropology,” Messages From My Heart, REL Publications, 1994, p. 48).

An English newspaper sent a reporter to America to learn all about “Nebraska Man.” He wrote an article about it for the Illustrated London News. On the front page of that newspaper were printed pictures of male and female members of “Nebraska Man.” Clarence Darrow, the attorney for evolution in the Scopes Trial, triumphantly lifted up this newspaper with the drawings of “Nebraska Man” on it, saying that this latest “scientific evidence” proved that Bryan was a fool to believe the Bible. Dr. Criswell said,

      The experts scoffed [at Bryan]; they laughed at him, they made a joke of it. The greatest scientific authorities of the world knew the age of the Nebraska Man was one million years ago (Criswell, ibid., p. 48).

But the entire evidence for Nebraska Man consisted of only one tooth! Yet that was enough for the scientists! Criswell said,

      Dr. William K. Gregory, curator in 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 for it was a conservative estimate.
       Dr. Fairfield Osborn, America’s greatest paleontologist... in his address before the American Philosophical Society at Philadelphia, April 27, 1927, placed “Hespero Pithecus” [Nebraska Man] at the very bottom of the tree depicting the ancestry of man.
       Just what was that tooth that Harold Cook discovered in the state of Nebraska…which created this tremendous certainty on the part of the so-called scientists who scoffed and laughed at William Jennings Bryan with their scientific evidence? Just what was it that Harold Cook discovered?
       [A few years after] the Scopes trial, the skeleton of that entire animal [was] discovered. That tooth belonged to…a species of [now extinct] pig…It was the tooth of a pig! And these are the men who laughed at William Jennings Bryan! And these are the men who made a whole race of humanity out of the tooth of a pig…and who even dated the [age] of humanity, represented by that tooth, as one million years! That’s one hoax of anthropology! (Criswell, ibid., p. 49).

There have been several such “hoaxes,” as scientists tried desperately to find proof for Darwin’s theory. But it seems to me that this is what is basically wrong. The “scientific method” requires that you collect evidence, and only then derive a theory from the evidence. But with Darwin’s “Descent of Man” the “scientific method” is discarded. Instead of first getting evidence and only then coming up with a theory, the evolutionists first came up with the theory – and for these many years they have desperately tried to find evidence to prop it up! That is why there have been so many hoaxes in anthropology, like The Nebraska Man, The Java Ape-Man [the bones of a gibbon], The Heidelberg Jaw [made of plaster of Paris], and The Piltdown Man [the filed-down teeth of an ape, artificially colored with bichromate of potash]. These hoaxes of anthropology were placed in world-famous museums, and were recorded in school books throughout the world. I read about them in my textbooks in high school, and thought they were true! Today it seems to me that there is a lot of “smoke and mirrors,” going on to keep the public from discovering that the whole idea of the “descent of man” is a deception.

And now, just a few days ago, Ardipithecus Ramidus has been unveiled as a great new discovery and proof of the evolution of man. Dr. Owen Lovejoy of Ohio’s Kent State University, hails this new skeleton, saying, “We’re going to have to rewrite the textbooks on human origins” (USA Today, October 2, 2009, p. 1A).

Not so fast! Charles Darwin published his book, The Descent of Man, in 1871. His followers in the “scientific” community have had 138 years to prove this theory. Yet all they have come up with is a series of hoaxes and, as Dr. Andrew Hill of Yale University said, “there are only three or four [actual skeletons] available” (Los Angeles Times, ibid., p. A18). And these scientists can’t even agree among themselves concerning the meaning of this “new” skeleton. Dr. Andrew Hill of Yale calls the suppositions about it given by Dr. Owen Lovejoy, of Kent State University, “patent nonsense” (Los Angeles Times, ibid.).

As I said earlier, I call the whole idea of the “Descent of Man” patent nonsense! They have had 138 years to prove their pre-conceived theory, and they have failed to adequately do so. That is why so many in the scientific community are now daring to question Darwin’s ideas. But they are questioning them at a risk – because they are likely to be fired for doing so. This is proved in Ben Stein’s film, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.” Ben Stein thanks viewers for making it “the number-one documentary of 2008.” Stein’s documentary shows that the academic community is so wedded to Darwin’s ideas that to question him at all means that students who do so will be punished academically, and professors who question Darwin face the strong possibility of being expelled from their faculty positions. Click here to see a review of “Expelled” and to order it.

Yet we know that you can be a Christian and still get through university studies. You just keep your mouth shut, learn their garbage, and give it back to them when you are tested. You don’t have to believe in the evolution of man! I graduated from Los Angeles City College, Cal State L.A., and two extremely liberal seminaries without believing what they taught about the “descent of man.” Dr. Chan and Dr. Judith Cagan both graduated from medical school without believing it. Dr. Cagan graduated with a Ph.D. in mathematics from UCLA, and does not believe it. Many others in our church have received degrees from secular colleges and universities without believing it, so you can too! We all believe what the Bible says in Genesis 1:27,

“So God created man…” (Genesis 1:27).

In our church we believe that man was created by a direct act of God. Therefore we reject the still unproved science fiction of Darwin’s “Descent of Man” (1871). Science fiction does not disprove the Bible!

And Dr. Criswell pointed out that

      Our Lord Jesus Christ endorsed the [Genesis account] of the creation of [man] (Matthew 19:4-6). [Christ] verified the divine inspiration of the Genesis account of creation…Surely the divine Saviour would not mistake a myth for history.
       The divinely inspired account of the creation of man in Genesis is also accepted by Paul who wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Compare Romans 5:14. Read I Corinthians 15:21-22, 45, 47. [The Apostle Paul] looked upon…Genesis as being [an] historical revelation from God (W. A. Criswell, Ph.D., “Fact or Fable in Genesis,” Why I Preach that the Bible is Literally True, Broadman Press, 1973 edition, pp. 129-130).

Dr. Criswell’s book is available in our bookstore. Dr. Henry M. Morris’ great book, The Genesis Record is also available, as is The Genesis Flood by Dr. John C. Whitcomb and Dr. Morris. These books will help you to see why we believe in the direct creation of man by God Himself.

“So God created man…” (Genesis 1:27).

Yet the strongest motive for believing the Biblical account of man’s creation comes from having a direct encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ. When you come to Christ you are born again, and cleansed from sin by the precious Blood He shed to save you on the Cross. When you are born again the wonderful truths of Creation become a living reality to you. I pray that this may be your experience. Amen. Sing the chorus, “Ye Must Be Born Again”!

Ye must be born again,
   Ye must be born again;
I verily, verily say unto thee,
   Ye must be born again.
(“Ye Must Be Born Again” by William T. Sleeper, 1819-1904).

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers’ sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Genesis 1:26-27.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Ye Must Be Born Again” (by William T. Sleeper, 1819-1904).