Creationist Interpretations of Fossil
What conclusions can be drawn from the remains of fossil
man and what interpretation developed which accords with the biblical record of creation?
First, let us review some general conclusions from the fossil record and then offer an
overall interpretation which fits the data.
1. The fossil record does not prove the thesis that
ape-like creatures slowly evolved upward through increasingly man-like beings until modern
man arrived on the scene. As was indicated earlier, all proposed sequences of hominid
ancestors to humans display gaps, missing intermediate types. And there are examples,
largely ignored, of "modern" and "primitive" types which apparently
existed at the same time, according to the standard sequence of sedimentary deposits, the
so-called geologic column.
2. Homo erectus, Australopithecus and other similar
fossil types were probably simply animals. The rare seemingly cultural materials found
near some fossils of these types were possibly simply animals. The rare seemingly cultural
materials found near some fossils of these types were possibly the products of human
beings who left no fossils in those sites.
3. Neanderthal was undoubtedly true man, intelligent and
possessing a spiritual nature. Perhaps these people were a degenerate branch of the human
race which had suffered some degenerative, changing downward, not upward.
4. The fossils with skulls more similar to the average of
modern types probably represent true man, even in the cases where no associated cultural
materials were found.
Now we will offer an integrated interpretation of the
fossil, archaeological and other data, which is adapted from the writings of Arthur C.
Custance.45 This scheme is designed to accord with the biblical record of the
creation and history of Adam's race.
1. In the beginning God created all things abruptly,
comlete and in functional form. The first man, Adam, was a perfect natural man, made in
the image of God, holy and as perfectly in fellowship with a holy God as a natural man can
be. He was at first alone, and God then formed Eve from his side.
2. Adam's sin of disobedience against the will of God
ruined Adam and the race which was in him, broke his fellowship with God, plunged the race
into an estate of sin and misery, and made Adam and the entire race subject to the wrath
of God against sin, bringing a curse upon the race and upon all of creation.
3. Soon various degenerative influences began to produce
in the human race and all other species deleterious effects, for example, genetic
mutations, moral decline, and social disruption.
4. Nevertheless, there was rapid development of culture
and technology brought into being by the vast creative capabilities of the human mind.
5. A period of global catastrophes, in particular a global
flood, devastated and reformed the earth's surface, reducing the human population almost
to extinction, to just eight divinely chosen people.
6. Much of the previously developed culture and technology
was retained by the survivors, so that civilization was able to blossom rapidly after the
7. Peoples spread out rapidly from the Middle East, moving
out in small groups to establish outposts ever farther from the center.
8. As a result of crude living conditions, promoted by the
more rapid genetic variation which characteristic of small population groups, some of the
pioneer populations tended to degenerate rapidly, both physically and culturally, as they
radiated farther from the center of human origins in the Middle East. This explains the
larger number of "primitive" fossil types found in more inaccessible and more
distant parts of the Eurasian land mass.
9. Subsequent waves of peoples from the Middle Eastern
center later swept over the degenerate tribes, forcing them into extinction, assimilation
and intermarriage, or out into more remote areas, where their degeneration was
accelerated. With their final extinction or reabsorption, the stage was set for the
ancient recorded history of the human race.
45. Custance, Arthur C. in Why Not Creation?,
Walter Lammerts, Editor (Presbyterian and Reformed, Philadelphia, 1970), pp. 194-229;
_________, Creation Research Soc. Quarterly, Vol. 11, Dec. 1974, pp. 157-159.