Random question that I wonder about often: how do Christians explain the various skeletons and/or partial skeletons of evolving man (Cro-Magnon Man, etc.)? I've been meaning to ask my sister, but I am semi-apprehensive of the can of worms it will open. Has anyone brought this up with Christian cohorts?
It varies, depending on how ignorant/misinformed/dishonest/anti-science the person is. For Christians that accept evolution (such as Francis Collins, Ken Miller, etc), they are what they are, remnants of our ancestors/evolutionary cousins.
On the more fundamentalist/YEC side, I've heard that Neandertals, etc are just humans with deformities due to rickets or other diseases. Strangely, they can't seem to agree on which fossils suffered from which ailments.
When life is discovered on another planet [Mars, perhaps] Christians will scurry to their dusty Bibles and find some obscure passage to 'prove' that it had predicted life elsewhere. You'll never corner these pecker heads. But, for chuckles, I have heard Christians I know respond to your question this way:
1. Ancient bones were placed there by god to fool scientists [a trickster god].
2. Or they'll say these ancient bones are merely bones of diseased humans descended from Adam and Eve. [You will note they never offer any proof of their assertions. In fact, their own Bible contradicts them--There is a complete [albeit bullshit] genealogy from Adam to Jesus which gives no mention of these ancient humans or lost races.
3. They will tell you that dinosaurs lived among modern humans and were on Noah's ark, which is total nonsense when you consider there were over 700 known species of dinosaurs some weighing up to 80 tons and standing 4 stories tall [the ark was said to be only three stories tall--of course there never was an ark, but why quibble?] How else, they'll say, is it that there are drawings of dinosaurs? What they don't seem to know is that the ancient Greeks and Romans put dinosaur skeletons on display in their museums, and, just as today, artists would draw these animals as they believed they looked. Many times ancient Romans would unearth dinosaurs that still retained skin. But unlike Christians, the Greeks and Romans knew that these skeletal remains were of creatures that had been extinct for millions of years.
So, like they usually do, they try to find ways to make evolving man fit into their religion and their Bible? I actually Googled this after asking the question, and I found two answers: one, like Dave G said, that they were just ancestors of Adam and Eve who suffered from a fungus that caused facial deformity. Two, that scientists were now saying that Neanderthal man was not as primitive as originally thought, and actually just like people today, so that proved that human lineage went straight from Adam and Eve to the folks running around now. Since they only believe that the earth is about 6,000 years old, the timelines were blurry in their explanations.
And yes, Willailla, I am aware of their man-and-dinosaurs togetherness story. In fact, don't they have a Creationism Museum that has just such an exhibit? I had not heard of dinos on the ark, though, which is honestly not that much more outlandish than the thought of the ark itself.
I am saddened that that woman said the fossils were fake, Adriana! Yikes!