Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
In one of the June 2006 issues of the Back to Genesis series, William Hoesch focuses on the divergence of the human species, specifically, Homo erectus and Homo sapiens. He states that it is generally thought that Homo erectus evolved into Homo sapiens about 400,000 years ago.
It is true that there is not much difference anatomically between the two species. And, as Hoesch points out, there are examples of the species that are younger than 400,000 years (I could find no references of a sample as young as 6,000 years, as the author claims. Unfortunately, he did not give any references).
However, this article gives us some insight into a common problem in young earth thinking. When you tell a young earth creationist that this transition occurred 400,000 years ago, that is exactly what they believe. All of a sudden, there were no more Homo erectus alive...they all instantly became Homo sapiens. Unfortunately, this is not how it happens. The two species would have co-existed for a time, perhaps hundreds of thousands of years.
A double-standard also appears in this article. Young earth creationists are very critical of fossil finds where an entire specimen is described, when in fact only a single bone, perhaps a leg, or a tooth, is discovered. In this article, Hoesch claims that many anatomically modern fossils have been found in older rocks (older than 1.5 million years). What are these anatomically correct fossils? Cranial fragments, one skull, teeth, several arm and leg bones, and a fossil trackway. Young earth creationists are eager to deny that fossils can be described from single bones, yet they are more than willing to use this same data if it supports their cause.
Of these older fossils, he claims that "these embarrassments have been revised, reinterpreted, and re-dated, but will not go away." He is describing science in action. These items are tested to see if they can be fit into the evolutionary picture. When a theory is put forth, it goes into peer-review, and others point out flaws, and the theories are revised, before it is released for more peer-review. This is the wonderful process we know as science.
Contrary to his claim, these discoveries are not embarrassments. They are merely puzzles that await explanations. And scientists love a good puzzle to figure out. Even if it does not have an answer, that does not mean that the opposite is true...that the earth is young. I'm not saying that evolution is correct either. However, it could be. God could have used evolution if He desired. Belief in evolution has no impact upon salvation in Jesus, nor in any other Biblical doctrines (see Billy Graham).
Back to Genesis #210c, published on the web at http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=2820
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