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Cro-Magnon Man: Nothing but a “Modern” Man

by  Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

If macroevolution is true—if human beings are the result of millions of years of gradual evolution from an ancient, single-celled life form—there should be abundant evidence in the fossil record that verifies such a contention. There should be billions of transitional fossils—fossils of intermediate creatures mid-way in their evolution between animal kinds. To the dismay of the evolutionary community, such evidence is conspicuously missing. Renown evolutionary paleontologist of Harvard University, Stephen J. Gould, admitted some thirty years ago what remains true today:

The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been apersistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution (Gould, 1980, 6[1]:127, emp. added).

Colin Patterson, the late paleontologist who served as the editor of the professional journal published by the British Museum of Natural History in London, even conceded:

I fully agree with your comments on the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them…. Yet Gould and the American Museum people are hard to contradict when they say there are no transitional forms…. I will it lay it on the line—there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument (Patterson, 1979, 19[8]:8, emp. added).

Thus, it comes as no surprise that the evolutionary community, with the help of the news media, jumps at any mention of a potential transitional fossil find. The media is quick to broadcast the fossil find far and wide--yet without adequate evidence to substantiate the evolutionists’ claims. Perhaps you have heard mention of “Cro-Magnon Man” by evolutionists. Who is Cro-Magnon Man? Are the Cro-Magnon fossils proof of evolution? Are they transitional fossils that provide a “missing link” in the evolution of man from ape-like ancestors?

In 1868, near the village of Les Eyzies in southwestern France, a rock shelter dated to be 23,000-27,000 years old (using evolutionary dating techniques) known as “Abri de Cro-Magnon” was investigated. In it, the first Cro-Magnon fossils were discovered (O’Neil, 2011). According to evolutionists, the fossils were considered to be of “early modern humans,” who “were very similar in appearance to modern Europeans” (O’Neil). Some scientists have decided that the Cro-Magnons “are not sufficiently different enough from modern humans to warrant a separate designation. Scientists today use ‘Anatomically Modern Human’ (AMH) or ‘Early Modern Human’ (EMH) to designate the Upper Paleolithic human beings who looked a lot like us…” (Hirst, 2011). ScienceDaily reports that the Cro-Magnoids were “the first people who had a skeleton that looked anatomically modern” (Public Library of Science, 2008, emp. added). So clearly, according to evolutionists themselves, the Cro-Magnons looked like modern man.

Recent research indicates that the Cro-Magnons were also genetically the same as modern Europeans (Caramelli, et al., 2008). So, if it looks like a modern man anatomically, and if it even looks like a man genetically…what’s the difference? Ultimately, there is no difference. However, according to the theory of evolution, there must be a difference, because the human brain has been a product of evolution. Thus, according to evolutionary thinking, the assumption must be made that humans living thousands of years ago would have been less intelligent and capable, since their brains had not yet fully developed. With this in mind, they define a “modern man” as one who is considered to be more recent. The problem is that there is no evidence that human beings evolved in such a manner. The transitional fossils are lacking. What the evidence indicates is that humans have always been humans. Humans have always been “modern man.” Humans have always had the intelligence to do great things that are not understood even today—from the pyramids of Giza to the Egyptian embalming abilities; from the Paracas civilization of South America who amazingly conducted successful brain surgery over 2,000 years ago (“The Inca…,” 2010), to the Maya astronomers, studying the stars over 1,000 years ago and creating a calendar using a sophisticated gear system of such precision that eclipses could be anticipated and the cycles of the Moon documented with an error of only 33 seconds (“The Maya…,” 2010); from the Moche people, living 1,500 years ago and engineering enormous structures, including the “Temple of the Sun,” constructed with over 140,000,000 adobe bricks (“The Inca…”), to the Nazca people, also living over 1,500 years ago, who developed sophisticated irrigation systems and who made enormous pictures in the ground which are only viewable by air. The lines which comprise the pictures are barely visible at all by ground. These lines—covering some 135 miles—include a 450 feet long bird, an enormous spider, and a killer whale (“The Lost City of Nasca,” 2000; “Nazca Lines and Cahuachi Culture, 2011; “The Inca…”). Historians are at a loss as to how or why these pictures were made. Some have speculated that they were made for extraterrestrials to see from space. Some believe they were for irrigation purposes. In 1975, Jim Woodman built a hot air balloon using materials that the Nazca were believed to have in their day and flew it over the images, illustrating that the Nazca may have been able to fly (“The Inca…”).

The truth is, humans have always been “modern man.” Scientific breakthroughs may be made at different times in history that cause technology to surge forward and give humanity more insight into the created order, but such breakthroughs are not an indication of the evolving brain of mankind. Such breakthroughs are due to the fact that God’s beneficent hand is involved in the affairs of men, causing it to “rain on the just and the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). Bottom line: Cro-Magnon Man is not a missing link. Cro-Magnon Man is just an evolutionary name for a “modern” man. [Note: see Thompson, et al., 2002 for a thorough examination of many of the alleged transitional fossils.]


Caramelli, D., L. Milani, S. Vai, A. Modi, E. Pecchioli, M. Girardi, et al. (2008), “A 28,000 Years Old Cro-Magnon mtDNA Sequence Differs from All Potentially Contaminating Modern Sequences,” PLoS One, 3[7]:e2700,

Gould, Stephen Jay (1980), “Is a New and General Theory of Evolution Emerging?,” Paleobiology, 6[1]:119-130, Winter.

Hirst, K. Kris (2011), “Why Don’t We Call Them Cro-Magnon Anymore? What Are ‘Anatomically Modern Humans’?,” Archaeology,

“The Inca: Secrets of the Ancestors—Part 8” (2010), Time Life’s Lost Civilizations Series,

“The Lost City of Nasca” (2000), BBC Home,

“The Maya: The Blood of Kings—Part 7” (2010), Time Life’s Lost Civilizations Series,

“Nasca Lines and Cahuachi Culture” (2011),

O’Neil, Dennis (2011), “Early Modern Homo Sapiens,” Palomar College,

Patterson, Colin (1979), Letter on April 10, 1979 to Luther Sunderland: reprinted in Bible-Science Newsletter, 19[8]:8, August, 1981.

Public Library of Science (2008), “Europe’s Ancestors: Cro-Magnon 28,000 Years Old Had DNA Like Modern Humans,” ScienceDaily, July 16,

Thompson, Bert, Brad Harrub, and Eric Lyons (2002), “Human Evolution and the ‘Record of the Rocks,’” Apologetics Press,

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