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(Article) Neandertals Apparently Knew Medicinal Plants
Institute for Creation Research ^ | 11-26-2012 | Brian Thomas

Posted on 11/27/2012 5:55:40 AM PST by fishtank

Neandertals Apparently Knew Medicinal Plants

by Brian Thomas, M.S. *

The Institute for Creation Research has long identified Neandertals as fully human.1 But for decades, evolutionists had labeled this extinct variety of humankind as sub-human, alleging that they had eaten mostly meat.

A 1970 book titled Early Man illustrated a migrating Neandertal family wearing animal skins and carrying clubs. Part of the caption reads, "At left a man is carrying small game for provisions—a rabbit and a waterfowl—indicating that Neanderthalers hunted other creatures besides cave bears and woolly rhinoceroces."2 The book doesn't mention Neandertals eating plants for food or for medicine. But a recent forensic analysis of Neandertal teeth takes a bite out of this old evolutionary story.

Researchers studied tooth calculus, or tartar, from the teeth of five Neandertals found in El Sidrón Cave in North Spain. They used advanced techniques that detect trace amounts of certain chemicals. They wrote in the journal Naturwissenschaften,

By using these methods in conjunction with the extraction and analysis of plant microfossils, we have found chemical evidence consistent with wood-fire smoke, a range of cooked starchy foods, two plants known today for their medicinal qualities, and bitumen or oil shale entrapped within the dental calculus. Yet within the same calculus, chemical evidence for lipids/proteins from meat was low to absent.3

Neandertals ate starchy foods for nutrition and plants that provided medicinal benefits, too? The study authors wrote that these ancients "had a sophisticated knowledge of their natural surroundings which included the ability to select and use certain plants."3

Whoever suggested that Neandertals were anything less than fully human must be motivated by dogma, because decades of forensics analyses have demonstrated their humanity ad nauseum. For example, they used musical instruments and jewelry, and their DNA was fully human.4,5

Importantly, Neandertals eating starch refutes the standard excuse that evolutionists use to explain why human population burgeoned starting only about 5,000 years ago, after mankind had supposedly existed for over a hundred thousand years.6 The authors of the Naturwissenschaften study began their report with doctrinaire fare, asserting that "Neanderthals disappeared sometime between 30,000 and 24,000 years ago."3 If fully human beings have been alive for 30,000 years or more, what caused them to wait for 25,000 years before their historical population growth?

For evolutionists, , calories from starch in grain were supposedly the key.7 They maintain that the earliest humans were mere hunters for ages, only recently able to farm crops and glean the calories required for population growth. The problem now is that the Neandertal peoples at El Sidrón Cave, given an evolutionary age of 50,000 years, ate grains. If these early people ate "a range of cooked, starchy foods," it is reasonable that others around the world could have also.

Fitting this evidence into biblical history instead of an ever-changing man-made history substitute is plain. Neandertal and other human populations descended ultimately from the first created man and woman who were made in the image of God, complete with the ability to make jewelry, play instruments, and "select and use certain plants" for food and medicine.

And the reason for the recent population growth is simply that it reflects the time since the Flood described in Genesis, when men began multiplying and filling the earth. No story about calories is required. And that's good, because evidence that Neandertal people ate enough starch to cause tooth tartar shows that calories were available too early to be used as an excuse for why human population growth began later than evolutionary assumptions expect.


Gish, D. 1975. Man...Apes...Australopithecines...each Uniquely Different. Acts & Facts. 4 (11).

Howell, F. C. 1970. Early Man. Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett Company, Time Inc., 132.

Hardy, K. et al. 2012. Neanderthal medics? Evidence for food, cooking, and medicinal plants entrapped in dental calculus. Naturwissenschaften. 99 (8) :617–626.

Zilhão, J. et al. Symbolic use of marine shells and mineral pigments by Iberian Neandertals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Published online before print January 11, 2010.

Green, R. E. et al. 2010. A Draft Sequence of the Neandertal Genome. Science. 328 (5979): 710-722 Thomas, B. 2012. A Recent Explosion of Human Diversity. Acts & Facts. 41 (9): 17. For example, one study said, "What, in the agricultural economy, had an impact on human biology that ultimately determined the growth of the population? The increase in natural maternal fertility, through a reduction in the birth interval, is mainly determined by the energy balance and the relative metabolic load. It implies a positive return of the postpartum energy balance, which occurred earlier in farming than in foraging societies due to the energy gain from the high-calorie food of sedentary farmers (wheat, lentils, peas, maize, rice, and millet) compared to the low-calorie food of mobile foragers (mainly game), coupled with a decrease in the energy expenditure of carrying infants. This signal is interpreted as the signature of a major demographic shift in human history and is known as the Neolithic Demographic Transition (NDT) or, synonymously, the Agricultural Demographic Transition." See Bocquet-Appel, J.-P. 2011. When the World's Population Took Off: The Springboard of the Neolithic Demographic Transition. Science. 333 (6042): 560-561.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on November 26, 2012.

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: creation; evolution; medicinal; neandertal; neanderthal

Image from article.

1 posted on 11/27/2012 5:55:54 AM PST by fishtank
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To: fishtank

Fully human.

2 posted on 11/27/2012 5:57:52 AM PST by celmak
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To: celmak

i agree.

3 posted on 11/27/2012 6:08:04 AM PST by raygunfan
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To: fishtank

Great find, thanks!

4 posted on 11/27/2012 6:10:53 AM PST by Graewoulf ((Traitor John Roberts' Obama"care" violates Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND the U.S. Constitution.))
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To: Graewoulf

I browse ICR regularly.

Great site.

5 posted on 11/27/2012 6:16:01 AM PST by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: fishtank
Neandertals ate starchy foods for nutrition and plants that provided medicinal benefits, too?

I don't know what her sources of information were, but Jean Auel described this in great (and entertaining) detail over 30 years ago in "The Clan of the Cave Bear".

6 posted on 11/27/2012 6:26:58 AM PST by FairWitness (Everything is easy, once you've done it once)
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To: fishtank

Only human.

7 posted on 11/27/2012 6:28:42 AM PST by dangerdoc (see post #6)
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To: fishtank
Whether it be legend or myth, it is said in my tribe (Klamath River Yuroks, N. Calif.) that man learned of medicine plants from watching the bear. Bears know what is medicine and what is poison etc. and the Indians called the bear “Auntie” and held her in high esteem. I once observed a bear on a river bank scraping river moss off the rocks and eating it, something no one I ever talked to had ever witnessed. I figured that bear needed something in that moss to heal him as no one knew that they eat river moss when the woods in that area are full of acorns, berries , fish and game, all things that bears eat.
8 posted on 11/27/2012 6:44:09 AM PST by fish hawk
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To: fishtank

It is time the church gets on the offense and actively teaches creation the way actually happened:

JOHN 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

Churches are churning out little humanists by perpetuating the myth of subhuman people, the link between humans and apes. We are made in the image of God.

To make an impact, Bible-believing churches in every community should annually band together to host a Creation Conference for children.

9 posted on 11/27/2012 7:01:23 AM PST by stars & stripes forever (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!)
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To: stars & stripes forever

My own local “bible” church is FULL of the disciples of Hugh Ross.....

I understand what you’re saying .....

10 posted on 11/27/2012 8:09:52 AM PST by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: fishtank

why do modern humans continue to confuse

thousands of years of the “observation of implicit cause and affect” (without ever knowing the explicit cause)

together with the ability to pass on the accumulation of such observations

as if early humans had some secret “science” in the modern sense

it wasn’t

it was what it was

people noted an affect that the use of something in nature had, though they lacked the ability to investigate why

and the simple act of observation and passing on what had been observed went on, and on, and on and was repeated, for thousands of years

humans have always been able to learn by experience, to show others - by demonstration - what they learned, and to pass what they learned on to their children; long before humans learned to devise a writing system and keep written records

it was not “amazing”; it was human

11 posted on 11/27/2012 8:25:14 AM PST by Wuli
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