There is no explanation as to why this finding would "not be expected by evolutionists." There are quite a few models that would welcome this sort of explanation. It is only unexpected if you are unfamiliar with the data or the models. As for whether Neandertals were "fully human," there is a problem with that: Neandertals aren't fully human. That is the source of the controversy in the first place. Many anthropologists regard them as a separate species of human based on their distinctness from modern humans.
The news doesn’t surprise young-earth creationists, who predicted overlap between modern human and Neanderthal genomes. Based on Scripture, creationists consider Neanderthals to have been fully human, descendants of Adam and Eve (through Noah), and therefore they would have lived in the same time and place as other humans. But factors related to both the dispersion at Babel and environmental pressures afterward resulted in people groups with different physical characteristics, including humans with “Neanderthal” characteristics.
Liberty University cell biologist (and creationist) David DeWitt called the research an “amazing feat” of science that supports creationist expectations. “Finding Neanderthal DNA in humans was not expected by evolutionists, but it was predicted from a creation standpoint because we have said all along that Neanderthals were fully human: descendants of Adam and Eve, just like us,” he told News to Note.
The Neandertals represented a distinct European and Near Eastern variant of what has become known as "archaic Homo sapiens." This is a grade of Homo sapiens that existed after Homo erectus/ergaster but before true Homo sapiens, which are decidedly different. As biological anthropologist Dave Frayer has pointed out, there is not a single person alive that has the full suite of Neandertal characteristics. For example, in the following diagram, it is clear that there are sharp differences between these two hominid forms.
Several things are immediately apparent in this comparison. The modern human individual has much reduced ridges over the eyes, a much more vaulted forehead, a smaller nose opening, a shorter, higher cranium, smaller teeth and more forward-placed cheek bones.
There are those that argue, however, that the earliest modern humans have traits that are holdovers from the preceding Neandertals. And for those of us that hold to this perspective, this finding was perfectly expected. The last Neandertals date to around 30 thousand years ago and this overlaps with the earliest modern humans, which date to between 34 and 37 thousand years. At the point of this overlap, the earliest moderns, which are likely migrants from the Near East, either mated with the Neandertals or replaced them. While there has been evidence from the crania of the earliest moderns that some degree of interpopulational mating has occurred, the DNA evidence has largely supported the replacement idea. Svante Paabo's evidence changes that.
Anthropologist Richard Klein has stated that he doesn't see how any modern human would have found a Neandertal attractive enough to mate with. What the findings from the Neandertal genome show us is that two very different groups of people met somewhere in Europe between 30 and 40 thousand years ago and that some of the moderns did find the Neandertals suitable as mates. But modern human the Neandertals certainly were not.
P.S. Why don't sites like AIG and the Discovery Institute allow comments by readers? It would have been nice to simply point this out on the AIG site.
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