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By Richard E Mooney

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We now turn our attention to Neanderthal Man, whose origin is no less obscure than that of Modern Man, and about whose pedigree there is considerable discord in anthropological circles. Homo Neanderthalensis is so named in honour of a seventeenth-century German theologian called Joachim Neander. In honour of his abilities as a writer of hymns, the citizens of Dusseldorf named a valley near the city the Neanderthal, and in this valley the first bones of Neanderthal Man were discovered. The discovery was made by workmen cleaning out a limestone cave, and most of the skeleton was thrown away by them as worthless, the surviving parts being a skull cap, some limb bones, a few ribs and part of a pelvis.

If all these species of animals, which are thought to be so ancient, were destroyed in a vast catastrophe, and this catastrophe occurred some 6,000 or 8,000 years ago, then our dates have been placed much too far back in time. A congress of scientists in the Soviet Union dined off mammoth steaks, as some of these creatures have been found frozen in the ice in a perfect state of preservation. Surely they could not have been there for 40,000 or 100,000 years? Also representations of elephants have been found carved on stelae in the Mayan region of Central America, and it is thought in some circles that the American elephant may have vanished only during the past 10,000 years, with an occasional specimen surviving even into historic times (the last 2,000 years).

It seems somewhat unlikely that an advanced race would go to such measures against primitive people who had weapons no more elaborate or dangerous than spears and bows and arrows. The Siddhanta-Ciromani, a Brahmin book, subdivides time until it reaches a final unit, truti, which is 0-33750 of a second. Sanskrit scholars are puzzled why such a small unit of time was used in antiquity, or how it could have been measured without instrumentation. Modern-day primitive peoples are notoriously vague about time, and even hours have little meaning for them.

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