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Neanderthal artwork found: “Academic bombshell” obliterates “lesser human” theory?

In “’The oldest work of art ever’: 42,000-year-old paintings of seals found in Spanish cave” (Daily Mail, February 7, 2012), Tom Worden reports,

Six paintings of seals are at least 42,000 years old and are the only known artistic images created by Neanderthal man, experts claim.

Professor Jose Luis Sanchidrian, from the University of Cordoba, described the discovery as ‘an academic bombshell’, as all previous art work has been attributed to Homo sapiens.

Neanderthals, who were known to eat seals, are thought to have died out from competition with Homo sapiens, although scientists recently suggested they were wiped out by climate change.

The part of the painting that survives seems to show one seal grasping another’s tail, and one is tempted to wonder if that is a good luck image.

The cave is also known for the world’s largest stalagmite.

Oddly, at the Huffington Post, we are told

You thought art history was limited to human beings? Well, think again.

Whoever wrote that cannot have gotten the memo: Neanderthals were human beings. Darwinists needed them to be a separate, intellectually inferior species in order to buttress their claims about human evolution. But even they didn’t claim that the Neanderthals were not human beings – that would have defeated their purpose.

The stance is best captured by one-way-only skeptic Michael Shermer, who writes,

… there is almost no evidence that Neanderthals would have ever “advanced” beyond where they were when they disappeared 30,000 years ago. Even though paleoanthropologists disagree about a great many things, there is near total agreement in the literature that Neanderthals were not on their way to becoming “us.” (Michael Shermer, in Bruce L. Gordon and William A. Dembski, The Nature of Nature: Examining the Role of Naturalism in Science (Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2011), p. 452. )

Wonder what the next Darwin fix will be?

See also: Neanderthal mammoth bone house featured decorative carvings, pigments

Neanderthals engineered their tools?

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2 Responses to Neanderthal artwork found: “Academic bombshell” obliterates “lesser human” theory?

  1. Interesting.

  2. “You thot art history was limited to human history. Well think again.” This Huff Post response illustrates an important point. We have a tendancy to interpret the same observation in accordance to our worldview.

    A creationist or an IDer is more likely to take this as evidence that Neandertals were human, while a Darwinist will do just what this person did – claim that non humans can produce art. Although the evidence does seem to be piling up for the creationist/ID view here and I think that more and more Darwinists are beginning to see that as well.

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