Neanderthals long in the childhood tooth, according to a report in ScienceNOW 19 September 2005. Last year anthropologist Fernando Ramirez Rozzi published a study of Neanderthal teeth and claimed that Neanderthals reached maturity 3 years earlier than living humans. He claimed this was evidence that Neanderthals were a different species to living humans. Following this, a team of scientists led by Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg of Ohio State University studied growth lines in Neanderthal front teeth and concluded that they grew faster than Alaskans and English people but slower than South Africans.This put Neanderthal teeth within the known variation of human teeth. Guatelli Steinberg concluded that “there is no reason to expect that Neanderthals had abbreviated childhoods.”

Editorial Comment: In spite of all the efforts to make Neanderthals out to be less than human the evidence keeps accumulating that they were just human beings whose bodies were affected by disease and a harsh environment. This desire to make some people less than human, along with efforts to classify apes as “Hominids,” is all part of an effort to fill the gap between animals and humans. The gap between humans and all animals can never be filled. Genesis tells us that animals and humans were made separately, and humans are unique amongst all living creatures because they were made in the image of God. (Ref. anthropology, dentistry, age)