Our Cousins The Neanderthals

The Elite 1% Are Taking Over The World

“As food and water shortages expand across the globe, as mounting poverty and misery trigger street protests in the Middle East, Africa and Europe, the elites do what all elites do. They launch more wars, build grander monuments to themselves, plunge their nations deeper into debt, and as it all unravels they take it out on the backs of workers and the poor. The collapse of the global economy, which wiped out a staggering $40 trillion in wealth, was caused when our elites, after destroying our manufacturing base, sold massive quantities of fraudulent mortgage-backed securities to pension funds, small investors, banks, universities, state and foreign governments and shareholders. The elites, to cover the losses, then looted the public treasury to begin the speculation over again. They also, in the name of austerity, began dismantling basic social services, set out to break the last vestiges of unions, slashed jobs, froze wages, threw millions of people out of their homes, and stood by idly as we created a permanent underclass of unemployed and underemployed.”
Chris Hedges, This Time We’re Taking The Whole Planet With Us, truthdig.com, 3-7-2011
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What I Learned in Bible School

In very late 2006 or very early 2007 some friends of mine convinced me that I should take a Bible study.  As my wife had within the previous few years took on the mantle of a professing Christian, the friends intimated that my following in her steps would be good for me and for my wife.  Having long been at least agnostic, and leaning very heavily towards atheism, I told them several times that they would probably be wasting theirs and my time.  Well they didn’t listen and they finally wore down my resistance.

I would meet with them once a week for what was supposed to be a 1 hour study. Inevitably that 1 hour stretched into 2 or 3 hours.  There was not one page of their study material that I did not question or have some legitimate objection too.  I was not trying to be difficult or mean to them—they were friends after all—but what they were saying and the stuff from the Bible just made no sense to me.  I was excited because I was finally laying out and writing down what was heretofore just a vague feeling or sense.  I was getting organized and I researched and researched everything, I was learning about the Christian history and its dogma…and it did not bode well for the Christians.  I started this blog in November of 2007 to try to keep some track of what I was learning.

I learned that the earth, sky, waters, animals, plants, and the human race are not roughly 6,000 years old. There is just too much conclusive evidence that this is not true

I learned that there was no Adam and Eve (4000+- BC) as portrayed in the Bible. There are thousands of anatomically modern skeletons and hundreds of thousands of human bones that go back hundreds of thousands of years.  There is no doubt, at all, that modern humanity did NOT begin 6000 years ago.  Then there are the tens of thousands of bones of human type species (Homo-erectus, Homo-habilis, Homo-neanderthal, etc.)  that did not make it through to our times, and they made and used tools and fire and there is some evidence of art.  They walked upright and didn’t live in trees and surely they were our long lost cousins.  I also learned that All of humanity alive today has their ultimate roots in Africa.  The fact that there was no Adam and Eve has tremendous consequences down the road.

I learned that there was never a whole earth covering flood (2350+- BC) that destroyed all of mankind except for a mythical man, his wife and three sons and their wives.  The evidence against the flood has been known since the 1700’s and keeps getting stronger as the years go by.  I learned that people keep searching this one mountain in modern day Turkey for remains of Noah’s Ark in vain and that at least 5 people have perpetrated a hoax on the public by announcing they have found the Ark. One person even doctored some wood planks at home to try to make them look old enough to have come from such a vessel.

I learned that there was never a Tower of Babel scenario (2000+- BC) such as told in Genesis.  We now know beyond a doubt that there were already millions of humans spread ALL over the earth at that time.  The Biblical story is nothing more than a fairy-tale, a crude attempt to try to explain the different languages that were spoken at the time the story was written.

I learned that Moses was probably a fictional character, as we know that the work attributed to him (The first five books of the Bible…the Pentateuch) was written by more than one person (3-4) and was probably written around 600-550 BC as a fictive work passed off as holy to bring the Hebrews tribes together again after the exile in Babylon.

I learned that the Exodus as described in the Bible is just a fairy tale. Archaeologists have been scouring the Sinai for over a hundred years looking for signs of at least a million people passing through and living on the land for 40 years…they have found Nothing!  They did find evidence of much earlier humans visiting and living there, but no Israelite signs from the era supported by the Bible story.  This also means that there was no exodus of Hebrews trodding across the Red/Reed Sea, no burning bush, no water spouting rock, no Ten Commandments carried down Mount Sinai, no golden calf, and no manna from heaven.

I learned that Joshua did NOT fight the battle of Jericho. Extensive archaeological work has determined that most all of the towns he was supposed to have squashed were already empty and in ruins at the time indicated in the Bible—both the 1400’s BC and the 1200’s BC theory. But then he was a fictional character anyway so it doesn’t matter.

I learned that Moses couldn’t have written at least some parts of Genesis because he wrote (probably in the 1400’s BC) that Abraham came from “Ur of the Chaldee’s” but we know from history that the Chaldeans did not control the city until around 600-500 BC.

Also Moses wrote that Abraham rescued Lot from the city of Dan which did not exist under that name at the time of Moses.  300 years later the town of Laish was captured by the tribe of Dan and renamed Dan.

I learned that God cannot defeat Iron Chariots used by us war-like humans.

I learned that God does not answer prayers…at least not of those with limb amputations.  Not once in all of recorded history has God ever restored some poor person’s amputated arms or legs and there have been many, many millions of people who have suffered this. You may even know someone from the armed forces who lost a limb or two in Iraq or Afghanistan…or Viet-Nam. The Bible tells us that Jesus raised the dead and threw out spirits or demons and healed some really bad diseases, and he himself was supposed to have risen from the dead, but no mention of limb re-growth anywhere.

I learned that God was really really mean. One mistake in the garden and He curses Adam and Eve and ALL the billions of their offspring to a miserable life with disease and famine and wars and all manner of horrible torture and deaths.  He orders the tribes of Israel to murder man, woman, and child of innocent villages or towns. He fire-bombs villages, He orders running thru pregnant women with swords, bashing babies skulls against the walls or rocks, beheading hundreds or thousands, tossing live people into the fires and who knows what else. And, the animal cruelty you don’t even want to know about.  All in all, the God as described in the Bible is a horrible figure…not God-like at all.  Of course we know that the entire God ordered killing was just the Hebrews way of conquering territory and booty.  There was no God to order all that murder and mayhem.

-end part 1

Warning: This video has a few cuss words…easily offended–don’t watch.

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A Draft Sequence of the Neandertal Genome-the Abstract

A Draft Sequence of the Neandertal Genome abstract

“Neandertals, the closest evolutionary relatives of present-day humans, lived in large parts of Europe and western Asia before disappearing 30,000 years ago. We present a draft sequence of the Neandertal genome composed of more than 4 billion nucleotides from three individuals. Comparisons of the Neandertal genome to the genomes of five present-day humans from different parts of the world identify a number of genomic regions that may have been affected by positive selection in ancestral modern humans, including genes involved in metabolism and in cognitive and skeletal development. We show that Neandertals shared more genetic variants with present-day humans in Eurasia than with present-day humans in sub-Saharan Africa, suggesting that gene flow from Neandertals into the ancestors of non-Africans occurred before the divergence of Eurasian groups from each other.”

The abstract of the article is in Science here (subscription may be required for full article)

So this is one more checkable, reproducible, peer reviewed, scientific proof that modern man has been around for way more than 50,000 years.  This is in total contradiction to the Biblical assertions that the world/humans are 6,000 years old and that there was an Adam and Eve who were the progenitors of the human race.  DNA/genome research had already proved that all alive on earth today did not come from a male and female who lived 6,000 years ago or even 60,000 years ago.

Quote of the day

Religion easily has the best bulls__t story of all time. Think about it. Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man…living in the sky. Who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer, and burn, and scream, until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you. He loves you and he needs money. George Carlin


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Human Origins at the Smithsonian Musuem

“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.” -Mark Twain

The Smithsonian Museum has a new exhibit at the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins in Washington, DC.  The exhibit will take you through about 6 million years of pre-human and human history.  Their website can be found HERE

“The strong similarities between humans and the African great apes led Darwin in 1871 to predict that Africa was the likely place where the human lineage branched off from other animals – that is, the place where the common ancestor of chimpanzees, humans, and gorillas once lived. The DNA evidence shows an amazing confirmation of this daring prediction. The African great apes, including humans, have a closer kinship bond with one another than the African apes have with orangutans or other primates. Hardly ever has a scientific prediction so bold, so ‘out there’ for its time, been upheld as the one made in 1871 – that human evolution began in Africa.

The DNA evidence informs this conclusion, and the fossils do, too. Even though Europe and Asia were scoured for early human fossils long before Africa was even thought of, ongoing fossil discoveries confirm that the first 4 million years or so of human evolutionary history took place exclusively on the African continent. It is there that the search continues for fossils at or near the branching point of the chimpanzee and human lineages from our last common ancestor.  From Smithsonian: http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/genetics

The Missing Links

Some of our missing links and when they lived.
Note that some or all of these times and general information may change as new data emerges or new finds are made.  Sorry, that’s the way science is.

Ardipithicus ramidus
The Ardipithecus specimen, an adult female, stood four feet tall and weighed about 120 pounds, almost a foot taller and twice the weight of Lucy. Its brain was no larger than a modern chimp’s. It retained agility for tree-climbing but already walked upright on two legs, a transforming innovation in hominids, though not as efficiently as Lucy’s kin.  4.4mya to ??

Australopithecus afarensis
The most famous member of the species is Lucy, an adult female skeleton discovered in 1974 and nicknamed after a Beatles song. Lucy lived about 3.18 million years ago and was fully capable of walking and running on two legs.

Australopithecus africanus
A. africanus was an early descendent of Lucy and lived in Southern Africa between 2 million and 3 million years ago. Its brain was larger than Lucy’s and its facial features were more human-like.  Recent finds are probably going to push this timeline further back in time.

Paranthropus aethiopicus
This early ape-like hominid walked on two legs and lived between 2.8 million and 2.2 million years ago. Based on skull measurements, scientists concluded this species had the smallest adult hominid brain ever discovered.

Paranthropus bosei
It is believed that P. Bosei split from the line leading to modern human some 2 million years ago and lived alongside our ancestors for hundreds of thousands of years, but died out after failing to adapt their diets.

Homo habilis
Many scientists believe H. habilis is the missing link between the ape-like hominids like Lucy and the more human-like ones that came after. They had long ape-like arms, but walked on two feet and were capable of creating tools.  2.2 mya to 1.6 mya

Homo ergaster
Scientists can’t decide whether this African hominid is just a failed predecessor of H. erectus or the rightful ancestor of modern humans. It had a thinner skull than H. erectus and was more proficient at making tools and using fire.  2 mya to 1.5 mya

Homo erectus
H. erectus is generally believed to be the direct ancestor of modern humans and also the first hominid to live in caves and tame fire.  2 mya to 400,000 years ago.

Cro-Magnon/Homo sapiens
These people were modern humans and lived in Europe from about 65 to 50,000 BC to present. They are found in Africa from about 200,000 years ago to present. Found in Australia from about 50,000 years ago to present.  Their cave paintings, petroglyphs, and sculptures are the earliest known examples of art by a prehistoric people.

Neanderthal
Stocky, muscular, squat and well suited for the cold, Neanderthals looked distinctly different from modern humans. But they were like us in other ways: they buried their dead, cared for their sick and injured and were probably capable of language and music. Bones of Neanderthal have been found in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Scientists not long ago put together a complete Neanderthal skeleton, and have just this year (2009), completed their genome. They have a 99.5% gene match to us humans.  250,000 years ago to about 30,000 years ago.

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Darwin Was Right…of Course

Charles Darwin was one of the first to propose that all of mankind had a common ancestor who originated in Africa.  In his book the Descent of Man he writes:

“In each great region of the world the living mammals are closely related to the extinct species of the same region. It is, therefore, probable that Africa was formerly inhabited by extinct apes closely allied to the gorilla and chimpanzee; and as these two species are now man’s nearest allies, it is somewhat more probable that our early progenitors lived on the African continent than elsewhere.”

The prediction was prophetic, because at the time, in 1871, there were very few human fossils of ancient hominids available. About fifty years later Darwin was vindicated, as anthropologists began finding numerous fossils of ancient hominids all over Africa.

Nowadays we know about many dead end semi-human models that didn’t make the cut.  They have names such as Homo ergaster, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo Neanderthal, etc., and they are precursors to fully modern Homo sapiens…or us.  Unlike the apes and chimps and Bonobos we see today these early precursors walked upright and made and used tools. Their time on earth ranged from a little over 2 million (some say 3 million) years ago to about 25,000 years ago for Neanderthals.

Modern humans like us have been roaming around the earth for about 200,000 years, so we overlapped some of the old species and possibly interacted somewhat with the Neanderthals. With the advent of modern DNA science we now have the ability to trace bloodlines back in time many tens of thousands of years and we can determine times-lines and histories of migrations of our human ancestors.

Wikipedia says:
“Because DNA collects mutations over time, which are then inherited, it contains historical information and by comparing DNA sequences, geneticists can infer the evolutionary history of organisms, their phylogeny. This field of phylogenetics is a powerful tool in evolutionary biology. If DNA sequences within a species are compared, population geneticists can learn the history of particular populations. This can be used in studies ranging from ecological genetics to anthropology; for example, DNA evidence is being used to try to identify the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.”  Go Here

Using DNA studies scientists have been able to trace our male and female blood lines back to the last common ancestors in our remote past.

From Wikipedia:
Mitochondrial Eve (mt-mrca) is the name given by researchers to the woman who is defined as the matrilineal most recent common ancestor (MRCA) for all currently living humans. Passed down from mother to offspring, her mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is now found in all living humans: every mtDNA in every living person is derived from hers. Mitochondrial Eve is the female counterpart of Y-chromosomal Adam, the patrilineal most recent common ancestor, although they lived at different times.  Mitochondrial Eve is believed to have lived about 170,000 years ago, or roughly 8,000 generations ago…” Go Here

Y-chromosomal Adam In human genetics, Y-chromosomal Adam (Y-MRCA) is the patrilineal human most recent common ancestor (MRCA) from whom all Y chromosomes in living men are descended. Y-chromosomal Adam is thus the male counterpart of Mitochondrial Eve, although they lived at different times, approximately 100,000 years apart.

By analyzing the Y-chromosome DNA from males in all regions of the world, geneticist Spencer Wells has concluded that all humans alive today are patrilinealy descended from a single man who lived in Africa around 60,000 years ago.  Go Here

Both the genetic (DNA) and fossil evidence merge and tell us that ancient Homo sapiens evolved into modern humans in Africa only, about 200,000 years ago.  It is thought that one branch left Africa about 60,000 years ago and replaced earlier humanoid populations such as the Neanderthals and Homo erectus, etc. ( this is disputed by a small faction of scientists who feel that there was an earlier Diaspora).

From Wikipedia:
“In paleoanthropology, the recent African origin of modern humans is the mainstream model describing the origin and early dispersal of anatomically modern humans, Homo sapiens sapiens. The theory is known popularly as the (Recent) Out-of-Africa model, and academically also as the recent single-origin hypothesis (RSOH), Replacement Hypothesis or Recent African Origin (RAO) model. The hypothesis originated in the 19th century, with Darwin’s Descent of Man, but remained speculative until the 1980s when it was corroborated based on a study of present-day mitochondrial DNA, combined with evidence based on physical anthropology of archaic specimens.”  Go Here

So here we are with very strong circumstantial evidence from DNA, archaeology, paleoanthropology and other earth sciences telling us that the earth wasn’t formed 6,000 or 10,000 years ago and there was no Adam and Eve as described in the Bible.  Our habitation of this earth and history of our growing to adulthood is nowhere near to what the Bible says happened.  This science quoted above is mainstream and excepted by most all scientists working today.  It holds up to scrutiny and is testable and repeatable.

If Adam and Eve are not true…Think about it…Christianity just falls apart.

“…Darwin is confirmed, triumphantly, by genetic research. That’s a fact. Species, even the praying variety, evolve. Secondly, by implication and inference, there is no God. The non-fact is exhausted whenever someone takes a peek at the human genome…”  On the Origin of Ignorance, by Ian Bell, The Sunday Herald, July 14, (Scotland) Here

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