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(R) In the March 30, 2000 issue of Nature, William Goodwin and his group report on their investigation of the DNA of a Neanderthal infant from the Caucaucus.
(MB) The story can be read at:

(R) Their summary, "Neanderthal DNA is distinct from modern humans and there are no examples of humans having Neanderthal type DNA". Mr. Goodwin is an evolutionist.
(MB) And, of course, since he's "an evolutionist", his report is automatically suspect, right? If not, why include that comment? If so, why is the report flawed?

(R) He notes elsewhere in the article that based on rates of change, modern humans and neanderthals last had a common ancestor about 500,000 years ago. He also notes that the infant's DNA is more similar to that of a Neanderthal man's DNA from Germany than that of any humans. In addition, the DNA differences are equidistant to any human racial or ethnic group, indicating furthur, the lack of any neanderthal input into the modern human gene pool.
(MB) This would be in accordance with the current theory that Neanderthal is a separate subspecies line of descent from that of modern humans from the common ancestral Homo sapiens. Do you disagree?

(R) Okay fine. Modern human fossils are known up to about 100,000 years ago. So there are obviously 400,000 years worth of fossils smoothly documenting the transition from the common human/neanderthal ancestor right? But because neanderthal had already split off, we are only talking about NONNEANDERTHAL FOSSILS.
(MB) You're talking apples and oranges here. Neanderthals (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) are not the ancestors of modern humans (Homo sapiens sapiens), so Neanderthal fossils have nothing to do with the line of descent from early Hominids to modern humans. See next paragraph...

(R) Provide two examples of nonneanderthal type fossils, dated between 100,000 and 500,000 years ago, which so smoothly document this change from the common human/neanderthal ancestor to modern humans. If you can't why not?
(MB) The line of descent goes from Homo erectus (1,800,000 - 300,000 years ago) to Homo sapiens (first appearing about 500,000 years ago) which then separately diverged into Neanderthals (about 230,000 years ago) and modern humans (about 120,000 years ago).

(R) If you can only bring up fossils which may or may not have neanderthal characteristics, does this indicate a problem? If not, why not?
(MB) The line of descent is simple and well-known. Do you have a problem with it?

(R) One additional point in regards to this mailing. Neanderthal fossils are known to have a slightly larger braincase then modern humans (1450 cc vs 1350 cc, Talk Origins, and many MANY other sources).
    Would you agree that this would indicate, that fossils ancestral to modern humans after the split with neanderthals, should already have braincases similar in size to modern humans, at the very least? (i.e. Modern brainsize was already achieved 500,000 years ago). Does this indicate a problem? If not, why not?

(MB) As previously stated, Neanderthals are a separate line of descent from modern humans, so its characteristics do not determine those of modern humans. Ancestral Homo sapiens averaged a 1200cc brain size while the earlier Homo erectus averaged 1100cc. This shows increasing brain size as the evolution of Man progressed (as we might expect and as Creationists demand). Therefore, any problems here are purely imaginary.

(R) As always, I thank you for your time.
(MB) My pleasure.

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