Were the Neanderthals primitive hunter-gatherers? Were they advanced Apes? Were they upright orangutans? Did they interbreed with modern humans? Were they actually much like modern humans? Why are Neanderthals now “extinct”? Were they actually the long-lived progeny of early Genesis? Did they live before or after the Flood? These questions are the topic of much debate, and although you may read at any given site that they have “established” the answer to one or more of these questions, you can easily find another site which counters the evidence presented. There are far more questions than answers, and the status of all claims are subject to further discoveries. In other words, we have a lot of so-called educated guesses, in both the Young Earth and the Old Earth scientific communities.
However there has been a great deal of interest in the field of genomics, and as stated by Clayton Carlson, in Rethinking Neanderthals, “The geneticists have taught us that Neanderthals are not simply human beings from long ago, nor are they just another ape. Neanderthals are certainly human, though demonstrably not the same kind of human as we are.”(1) Most “experts” agree that they lived in families, used tools, ate meat, used fire to cook vegetables, and built boats.
In all these discussions, never forget that the supposed “experts” that are contributing to a discussion on topics such as these are operating on limited knowledge, about events that occurred thousands of years ago, with no witnesses, and using dating technology they barely understand. For such “experts” to suggest they have enough facts, or “science” to prove anything is rare, to think they have evidence so compelling that it contradicts the clear witness of the Bible on issues of human origins is ludicrous.
There are hundreds of questions, both from the Biblical, and the scientific perspective, as to just what happened to this enigmatic group and what exactly they represent. I can only state that the Bible has proven itself dependable in thousands upon thousands of instances regarding history, archaeology, philosophy, geology, and human nature. I have no doubt that it will be proven dependable in this as well. The remains that appear to be human will be proven to be human descendants of Adam and Eve. The remains that appear to be ape-like will be proven to be some species of ape. There will never be any “intermediate” species found between the two.
However, many believe that the Neanderthal was Pre-flood man. According to the website http://www.genesisandgenetics.org/ if this is true it answers many questions about the enigmatic group. Some have easy answers from a Biblical view, but are quite difficult from the view of scientism. Questions like:
What happened to the Neanderthals? They died in the flood.
Why is there no evidence of pre-flood man? There is, the Neanderthal.
Why does Neanderthal show different genetic material? Because we still have some of the pre-flood mutations, but he had none of our post flood “mutations”.
Why did he not interbreed with modern man? He couldn’t because they were separated by the flood.
In fact, if you start with a human and allow the natural effects of aging over a lifespan of hundreds of years, as indicated in the Old Testament, you might well find a skull shape similar to the Neanderthal!
For an excellent discussion of this topic, see answersingenesis.org/human-evolution/neanderthal/those-enigmatic-neanderthals/
Genesis 1:26-27- Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, male and female he created them.and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;