OOPS = Out Of Place Skull

One of the tantalizing corners of science (or fringe science, or pseudo-science, depending on the case and whom you ask) is OOPArts: Out Of Place Artifacts. These are apparently man-made objects found in geologic layers supposedly much too old for their level of technology, or even for humans to have evolved. I was studying a case today that came up in 2011 of a sort of reverse nature. It is a human skull (or part of one) found in Nigeria, where ancestral human remains are not often found. According to radioactive dating, this one is relatively recent, only 13,000 years old. While this is more than double the Biblically-derived age of the Earth, it’s not that far off compared to the many tens of thousands, or even millions of years, assigned to human ancestors. It is well into the period when even our cousins the Neanderthals are said to have died out, and only fully modern humans were in existence.  In fact, an impressive archaeological site, Gobekli Tepe, is thought to be possibly that old, and it has huge stone pillars, not rough as at Stonehenge, but smooth and with carvings of animals.

Which is why I call this an OOPS — according to the shape, the skull is clearly different from that of modern humans’, and definitely in the direction of being more like a Neanderthal’s skull. (It is also interesting that, according to Figure 3 of the original report in PLoS One, Homo erectus skulls are within the probable range of Neanderthal diversity, at least in the measurements taken for this study.) Just as with “living fossils” and “Lazarus species,” the evolutionists have to assume that somehow a primitive population survived long after the others had died out, or at least that some primitive traits were passed down through otherwise more modern humans over all that time.

You see, the true dating and much else about these skulls are not really a matter of science, or something we can really know. All it seems truly safe to say we know is that a human with a somewhat Neanderthal-like skull lived and died in Nigeria. There is other evidence, some in this report, that indicates that while humans with skulls like ours formed a distinct population from the “primitive” types, they weren’t so different that they couldn’t successfully interbreed.  Some remains, such as this skull, appear to be the products of such interbreeding.  It’s quite a different story with the ape-like fossils evolutionists say are our pre-human ancestors, or at least close relatives to them. But indeed, that’s another story.

References:

Skull points to a more complex human evolution in Africa,” By Daniel Boettcher, BBC News, 16 September 2011

The Later Stone Age Calvaria from Iwo Eleru, Nigeria: Morphology and Chronology
Katerina Harvati , Chris Stringer, Rainer Grün, Maxime Aubert, Philip Allsworth-Jones,  Caleb Adebayo Folorunso

Published: September 15, 2011
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024024