Neanderthal man’s favourite hymn was … ?

If you said “Rock of Ages”, you were wrong. Since Neanderthal Man’s discovery in Germany, people have associated the skeleton with the theory of evolution. A little bit of history should put some light on this. In the late 1600’s, German poet Joachim Neander would wander in a little valley outside of Dusseldorf to write poetry. This little retreat became so much associated with Joachim’s name that in the end it was called Mr Neander’s Valley – in old German, Neander Thal. So when in 1856 a skull was found in one of the valleys caves, what better name than Neanderthal Man. It was originally portrayed as a half ape, half human, but right from the start, Berlin University Professor Virchow said this was a deformed human who had suffered childhood rickets and old age arthritis – an analysis which would eventually be proved embarrassingly correct by staff at the Natural History Museum in London, who would confirm that he indeed was a human being who had been suffering from at least Vitamin D deficiency. Later research hints that he probably also suffered from sexually transmitted diseases. There was also evidence right from the start, Neanderthal man had more brain space than a modern human.

And Neanderthal Man’s favourite hymn? Of course, we mean the original Joachim Neander, whose most famous piece of poetry still appears in Christian hymnbooks around the world – “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation”.