The first Homo erectus skeleton KNM-ER 1808

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In the past our knowledge of the Homo erectus skeleton was based on a composite of several different individuals.

In 1973 Kamoya discovered "the first largely complete skeleton of Homo erectus ever found..."
(pg. 158 "Wisdom of the Bones", also "A possible cause of hypervitaminosis A in Homo erectus" by A. Walker, M. R. Zimmerman, and R.E.F. Leakey, Nature Vol 296 March 18, 1982).

When this partial skeleton, classified as KNM-ER 1808 was found we had for the first time post cranial remains from one individual. Other post cranial remains of erectus found prior to this were limited to the Java man femur (which may or may not be erectus), and the remains from Peking man in China.

The skeleton of 1808 was more complete than all other erectus remains combined, and represented an adult female
(pg. 158 Wisdom of the Bones).

This can be determined by a comparison of the innominate parts of KNM-ER 3228 (discovered in __ ) and Olduvai Hominid 28 (discovered in 1970, Michael Day "Guide to fossil man" 1993). KNM-ER 3228 is considered to be male, while OH 28 is attributed to a female.
(pg 248, "A possible cause of hypervitaminosis A in Homo erectus" by A. Walker, M. R. Zimmerman, and R.E.F. Leakey, Nature Vol 296 March 18, 1982).

Disease and 1808

The skeleton of KNM-ER 1808 was distorted because of a disease of the bones (pg. 158 Wisdom of the bones). This disease "obscured the shape of almost every bone except the cranium" (pg. 158 Wisdom of the bones). Many of these bones were covered with 1/2 inch of pathological bone (pg. 158 Wisdom of the Bones).

Was this a disease that no longer exists today? Dr. Walker believes it to be is hypervitaminosis A. (An excess of vitamin A)
(pg. 162"Wisdom of the Bones")

also:
"Although a disease that no longer exists or has changed its manifestations can neither be diagnosed nor excluded, we suggest that KNM-ER 1808 had chronic hypervitaminosis A."
(pg 248 "A possible cause of hypervitaminosis A in Homo erectus" by A. Walker, M. R. Zimmerman, and R.E.F. Leakey, Nature Vol 296 March 18, 1982).

The authors state that "The partial skeleton shows pathological changes consistant with chornice hyperviatminosis A."
(pg. 248, "A possible cause of hypervitaminosis A in Homo erectus" by A. Walker, M. R. Zimmerman, and R.E.F. Leakey, Nature Vol 296 March 18, 1982).

This has been attributed to a high dietary intake of animal liver.

Since all animals were created to be vegetarian originally, we know that the diet of erectus changed after man (Adam and Eve) sinned, bringing death, disease and suffering into the world.

Is "hypervitaminosis A" the cause of all Homo erectus morphology?

The disease that crippled 1808 was not true of all erectus individuals, and disease should not be used to explain the erectus morphology. Homo erectus was different than Homo sapiens. To my knowledge no other erectus remains have been found of an individual who suffered from this disease.

Lack of disease in other Homo erectus skeletons

Disease has been attributed as the cause of the unique H. erectus morphology by such people as:

None have examined the bones of erectus for themselves, and none have asked a physical anthropologist who specializes in erectus remains if disease is responsible.

I asked Dr. Ian Tattersall of the American Museum of Natural History in New York about disease and Homo erectus. Could a disease like rickets or syphilis cause a human to look like Homo erectus? Here is his reply:
"Pathologic specimens of Homo sapiens look like pathologic specimens of Homo sapiens. They do not look like Homo erectus."
(phone 7/24/01)

Is the skeleton of the Turkana boy diseased?

Regarding the KNM-WT 15000 skeleton, Johanson says: "The skeleton appears healthy except for some hints of decay on the lower jaw.." (Pg. 188 "Ancestors") Johanson attributes this to gum disease.

As does Alan Walker ("Wisdom of the Bones")

No other disease is found in this skeleton.

Homo erectus could not be diseased before the fall of man

We know from scripture that there was no death or disease before Adam sinned. Species like erectus, habilis etc had to live with man and die out shortly after the flood of Noah.

"You should not look at today’s sin and death filled world and think that this was Gods intention or the end result of his Creation.

Death entered after the Creation was finished. And when God was finished he said his Creation was "very good" (Genesis 1:31).

If Lions were ripping apart zebras, and animals were brutally killing each other at this time, then surely God would not have declared his Creation "very good". This brutal fight for survival had not yet begun."
(quotes from my page on "No Death before sin" Click here to read it

Is diet or imbreeding the cause of the erectus morphology?

In the book "Scientific Creationism" the authors state:
"It may well be that Homo erectus was a true man, but some­what degenerate in size and culture, possibly because of inbreeding, poor diet and a hostile environment."

Neither diet, imbreeding or a harsh environment would cause an individual to look this way either.

The authors provide no examples of this having taken place in recent skulls. And no documented cases can be shown to substantiate this.

When I asked Dr. Ian Tattersall of the American Museum of Natural History in New York if imbreeding, diet or poor climate could make a normal human look like Homo erectus he said:
"This is absurd."
(personal communication 7/24/01)

None of these things would cause a person to look like Homo erectus.

I believe Homo erectus is just an extinct ape (made by God on day 6 to live with man).

1808 was an adult female (Wisdom of the bones pg. 159) Were these bones human as Lubenow claims? Or were they actually bones of an extinct arboreal primate?

I believe the evidence is strong that 1808 and other Homo erectus skulls are not human

With all we learned from 1808, there was still much we didn’t know. Such as (..under construction...) (see pg 191 ancestors)

Those who said that the post-cranial remains of Homo erectus were human neglect: "...almost no erectus limb bones were known until this [WT-1500] dig, and some of the previous finds [KNM-ER 1808] were diseased and coated with extra bone that resembled lumps of melted wax" (pg. 189 Ancestors)

Disease, diet, imbreeding etc should not be used to explain the morphology. Neither are the skulls the result of aging (as Dr. Cuozzo has shown is true in the Neanderthals).

It is clear that Homo erectus is a creature distinct from humans. From a biblical perspective it can be interpreted as an upright walking ape, made to live with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden - and not as a human ancestor.

There are some people who claim that Homo erectus bones are actually the remains of a modern human who suffered from a disease. This is not the case, and I hope this page will end that notion.

In the book "Scientific Creationism" the authors point out the few remains of Homo erectus in Java, and Peking, and state that: "... other fossils of this general type have appar­ently been found at various locations around the world. It may well be that Homo erectus was a true man, but some­what degenerate in size and culture, possibly because of inbreeding, poor diet and a hostile environment."
("Scientific Creationism" pg 174, Master books, 1984)

This book was written in 1974, with the 11th edition (that I am using) written in 1984. The most complete erectus specimen KNM-WT 15000 (the "Turkana boy") was August 22, 1984 ("Lucy to Language"), so it was probably after the 11th edition of "Scientific Creationism" was published.

If you ask any Anthropologist who has examined the remains of Homo erectus, they will tell you that the skeleton is not that of a diseased human.

The only diseased Homo erectus remains are those of KNM-ER 1808.

Homo erectus is a legitimate species - but it is a species of ape, not a species of ape-man.

In any case, the most recent discoveries of Homo erectus remains seem to rule him out as a possible evolutionary ancestor of modern man

If you have any questions on Creation, Evolution, or just want to say "Hi" please feel free to email me.


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