What kind of hominid were Adam and Eve–the ones who rejected God?
What was the hominid species that rejected god? I know that that Neanderthals wore clothes (before the fall we were naked), and that they even buried their dead and decorated gravestones. And they are known to exist 200,000 years ago. Does this mean that the fall happened to Neanderthals?
The simple answer is that I do not know. I believe that we cannot calculate the "date" for Adam and Eve. I believe that the genealogies in Genesis are not complete and cannot be used to calculate exact dates. Whether Adam and Eve lived ten thousand or fifty thousand years ago, I believe we cannot determine for certain from Genesis. Genesis chapter 2 does not tell us the physical characteristics of the first humans made in God’s image. I cannot absolutely rule out Neanderthal. Neanderthal had brains as large as those of modern humans, the interbred with modern humans, they buried their dead and had art. My answer is that I simply do not know what Adam and Eve looked like and what kind of hominid fossil we can identify with them. It is pretty obvious that Adam and Eve were not australopithecus or ardipithecus or other ape-like hominids from 1 million + years ago, but which relatively recent fossil find is closest to the first created human beings I am not certain.
I believe that it is possible that there were intelligent hominids living at the time Adam and Eve were created. Adam and Eve are the first to be created "in God’s image." That is the key thing which distinguishes them from all life which came before them. What made them special is not intelligence or walking on two legs, but having a soul, a spirit, consciousness, compassion, a conscience, the ability to know God and other things which make us different from animals–created in God’s image. Genesis tells us that Adam and Eve were not clothed before they ate from the tree of knowledge, but that is not to say that no intelligent hominid which ever might have lived before them wore some sort of primitive clothes. I believe that Adam and Eve were a special creation–that they were created ex-nihilo, but I cannot absolutely rule out the possibility that God took a intelligent hominid and imparted his image to that evolved creature. What is important is what God did and how he did it.
John Oakes, PhD