Reconstruction of “the first European” as a Negro inadvertently reveals itself as total fraud

Late last night when I posted the entry, “And the first European man was really…”, about the reconstruction by a British forensic scientist of the skull and face of the earliest known Cro-Magnon man, who just happens to be a Negro, I hadn’t had time to read the Mail article itself, I had only looked at the photos and captions. Now I’ve read the article, and it makes it clear that this reconstruction of the first European man is a total, undisguised fraud—yet, in doublethink fashion, a fraud that no one acknowledges is a fraud.

Below is the article by David Derbyshire, with my comments bolded and in brackets.

The first European: Created from fragments of fossil, the face of our forbears 35,000 years ago
By David Derbyshire
5th May 2009

Dressed in a suit, this person would not look out of place in a busy street in a modern city. [As a commenter has said, prior to the 1960s, he certainly would have seemed out of place in most modern cities.]

The clay sculpture, however, portrays the face of the earliest known modern European—a man or woman who hunted deer and gathered fruit and herbs in ancient forests more than 35,000 years ago. [“Portrays the face of the earliest known modern European”? No, it portrays the face of an imaginative creation. As Derbyshire himself makes clear below, the reconstructor, Richard Neave, has no idea what the face of the fossil human looked like. Derbyshire’s statement that the reconstruction shows the man’s actual face is a patent lie.]

It was created by Richard Neave, one of Britain’s leading forensic scientists, using fossilised fragments of skull and jawbone found in a cave seven years ago.

Forensic Scientist Richard Neave reconstructed the face based on skull fragments from 35,000 years ago

His recreation offers a tantalising glimpse into life before the dawn of civilisation. It also shows the close links between the first European settlers and their immediate African ancestors. [According to current views, the ancestors of non-African humanity left Africa between 60,000 and 50,000 years ago. This fossil is 35,000 years old. Since the fossils man’s ancestors had left Africa between 15,000 and 25,000 before his birth, his African ancestors were not his “immediate African ancestors.” Your 15,000 year-old ancestors are not your “immediate” ancestors. The politically correct lie in which Derbyshire irresistibly indulges is that the first Europeans were Africans.]

To sculpt the head, Mr Neave called on his years of experience recreating the appearance of murder victims as well as using careful measurements of bone.

It was made for the BBC2 series The Incredible Human Journey. This will follow the evolution of humans from the cradle of Africa to the waves of migrations that saw Homo sapiens colonise the globe.

The head has taken pride of place on the desk of Alice Roberts, an anthropologist at Bristol University, who presents the programme.

‘It’s really quite bizarre,’ she told Radio Times. ‘I’m a scientist and objective but I look at that face and think “Gosh, I’m looking at the face of somebody from 40,000 years ago” and there’s something weirdly moving about that.

‘Richard creates skulls of much more recent humans and he’s used to looking at differences between populations.

‘He said the skull doesn’t look European or Asian or African. It looks like a mixture of all of them.

‘That’s probably what you’d expect of someone among the earliest populations to come to Europe.’

[The reconstructed head is predominatly, even overwhelmingly Negroid in its shape and features, and Alice Roberts and Richard Neave know it—that’s the very reason they’re so excited by it. Yet they simultaneously pretend that the face is not Negro, but some indeterminate racial mixture. “See?”, they seem to be saying. “We’re not liberal ideologues trying to replace the historic white race with the black. We’re non-ideological, objective scientists.”]

The head is based on remains of one of the earliest known anatomically modern Europeans.

The lower jawbone was discovered by potholers in the Carpathian mountains in Romania in 2002. The rest of the fragments were found the following year. [Derbyshire doesn’t tell us how much of the skull was found. In any case, on what basis did Neave recreate a head and face, including the distinctively Negroid nose and lips, from a lower jawbone plus fragments of the rest of the skull? This makes the reconstruction sound like an obvious fraud.]

The bones were carbon-dated to between 34,000 and 36,000 years ago when Europe was occupied by two species of human.

They were the Neanderthals, who had arrived from Africa tens of thousands of years earlier, and the more recent modern humans, also known as Cro-Magnons.

Although the skull is similar to a modern human head, it has a larger cranium, is more robust and has larger molars. Although it is impossible to work out the skin colour of the prehistoric hunter, it is likely to have been darker than modern white Europeans. [But the skin is not simply “darker” than that of modern white Europeans, the shade, say, of Middle Easterners. It’s the rich brown color of Negro skin. Again, these liberals, like naughty children, know that they’re up to no good, but are playing with us, taunting us.]

Fossil experts are also unsure if the skull was male or female. [Amazing. If, as Derbyshire now tells us, Neave doesn’t even have enough of the fossil to determine its sex, he certainly doesn’t have enough of the fossil to portray its precise facial features, including its male appearance, including its distinctively African lips and nostrils. This shows beyond a doubt that the project is a fraud. Neave gave the head the features he wanted to give it, and called it a reconstruction.]

Many scientists believe that modern humans evolved in Africa 200,000 to 100,000 years ago. Our ancestors left Africa around 60,000 years ago and migrated around the world, replacing other branches of the family tree which had left the continent earlier.

The earliest modern Europeans were far from primitive. Living in huts and caves, they used stone tools and spears made from antlers, painted on the walls of their caves and made jewelry from shells.

[End of Mail article.]

Some further reflections. Given that forensic scientist Richard Neave and Mail writer David Derbyshire themselves admit that there was no basis for reconstructing the head of the 35,000 year-old fossil with the racial features (and the male features) that Neave created, given that this claimed reconstruction is an obvious lie, how did Neave, Derbyshire, and the anthropologist and TV presenter Alice Roberts expect to get away with it?

The answer takes us into the psychology of the modern liberal elite. The liberal elite want what they want. And what they want, with all their soul, is to put down the white man and put nonwhites in his place. It doesn’t matter to them that many people will see the fraud for what it is. What drives Neave, Roberts and Derbyshire is the sheer joy and rush of power of being able to assert a patent liberal lie and stick it into the faces of the public. In other words, it’s not that they speak the obvious lie despite the fact that it’s an obvious lie. They speak the obvious lie because it’s an obvious lie.

At bottom, their psychology is that of the tyrannical man, as described by Plato in Book IX of The Republic. The tyrannical man, says Plato, is like a man in a dream state. In a dream, you can realize whatever desires you want, no matter how forbidden or criminal they may be, and you can’t be stopped. And this, increasingly, is the mental condition of the contemporary liberal elite. They stand athwart the fallen and seemingly paralyzed body of Western man, feeling that the old order is gone, feeling that there’s nothing that can stop them from saying and asserting whatever they want, even an obvious lie, such as that a 35,000 year old modern human in Europe had sub-Sarahan African skin color and facial features.

- end of initial entry -

Mark Jaws writes:

You can always count on the PC-infested left to overreach. In this case, the broad-nostril, West African Negroid nose placed on the face of the first European was a dead giveaway for leftist wish mongering.

Back in 1974 I learned in my anthropology course at City College that the so-called “broad nostrils” of West African blacks were an adaptation to the heavy, moist tropical air of the region, whereas black Africans in Somalia, where the climate is hot but dry, have much narrower nostrils.

Whatever his color, the first human who migrated into Europe, whose ancestors had been out of Africa for about 20,000 years, did not have a West African nose. So much for the trustworthiness of contemporary science.

LA replies:

And again, the wide nostrils of West Africans are a specialized development. It is extremely unlikely that the humans who left northeastern Africa circa 60,000 years ago and then developed into Caucasoids and Mongoloids had specialized West African Negroid features such as wide nostrils. No. The specialized West African Negroid type was itself an offshot of a earlier common human type, just as the Caucasoids and the Mongoloids were.

Tim W. writes:

According to this article, the team that reconstructed King Tut’s skull said that determining his race was difficult, despite having access to a CAT scan of his entire skull, not just fragments. The King Tut exhibit has repeatedly been protested by black activists who insist that the boy king was an African Negro.

It’s clear from the beatific expression on Alice Roberts’ face that her group wasn’t just bowing to political correctness and trying to avoid protests. She longs for Europe’s ancestry, and its future, to be black. But somehow I don’t see the face her forensic expert created designing the Parthenon, the Roman Coliseum, or Notre Dame.

LA replies:

Your last point is not correct. Derbyshire is saying that this is how Europeans looked 35,000 years ago. He’s not saying that this is how they looked 2,500 or 1,000 years ago, by which time they would have turned into whites (though of course, he and the blissful Roberts would be even more blissful if they could get away with saying that the Parthenon and Notre Dame were built by Negroes).

Tim W. replies:

True, but I was pointing out that most whites have no pride in their ancestors who designed the Parthenon, the Coliseum, and Notre Dame Hardly anyone today would dare stand up and say they’re a member of the race that produced Aquinas and Mozart and Michelangelo. That invented the steam engine, the printing press, the automobile, the telephone, the computer, the airplane, and the space capsule that took man to the moon. At least no one who wants to be a BBC presenter or a prominent person in government or the arts would say that. Instead, they grow ecstatic at the possibility of black European ancestry.

Christopher L. writes:

From my meager understanding, to reconstruct a face from just bones requires a host of measurements. For instance, gender is determined mainly by the pelvic bones. Those measurements are then used to determine what the face looked like based on how other people with similar traits look. If the skeleton is found to be of someone of Nordic ancestry, then the forensic scientist can reasonably assume that the person had thin lips, a light skin tone, a certain nose shape, etc. In other words, facial reconstruction only works when you have other faces with which to compare. You cannot magically know skin color, nose shape, lip shape, etc. based on bones. I am shocked that they did not magically add hair like they normally do.

Also, how do they know this skull is from a different species of human? A larger skull and I assume somewhat thicker since they call it more robust, is mighty thin gruel for a new species. I have a friend whose family all have larger than normal heads. His son is the same way. Are they a new species of human? Maybe they are since I always joke that they are breeding to create a new race of super intelligent humans that will enslave the rest of us mere humans. Too much of science has become wild speculation based on a few data points that offer no possible conclusions. Of course you do not make the paper or get on a BBC special by saying “We don’t know.”

LA replies:

I didn’t notice where they said that this was a new species. I thought they were saying that this was Cro-Magnon man … Cro-Magnon man who just happens to turn out to be Negro.

N. writes:

Looking over the article and image of the “first European” and reading the description of how the cranial remains were found, my first thought was of the infamous “Piltdown Man,” who also consisted of skull fragments and a jawbone.

Sean R. writes:

A Darwinist criticizes the black ancient European reconstruction. Here it is.

The short version: The skull probably did not come from a black man.

Here’s an article about the same artist’s reconstruction of a murder victim which led to the apprehension of the killer.

When I put these two articles together, I conclude that this artist is competent, but idealogically motivated. Presumably he wanted to show that we’re all one big human family, or something like that.

LA replies:

The entry you send from Mathilda’s Anthropology Blog is, I think, off on several basic facts and so I would look at anything by her with caution. Here are a couple of examples that leaped out at me.

She starts off by guessing that the skull Neave worked with is a 40,000 year old intact Romanian skull. But the article says that it was 34-35k years old and that the skull was fragments. So she doesn’t even seem to have read the news articles about the remains Neave worked on and is just making stuff up as she feels like it.

Then she says:

Modern humans were also resident across North Africa from about 130k ago, and into the near East from about 100k ago- 60k prior to the entry into Europe, so the reason behind the UV-resistant equatorial skin tone escapes me as that area was left behind about 100k prior to entering Europe.

But if the earliest humans left Africa was 100k years ago, then they hadn’t left Africa 100k years prior to entering Europe, but 65k years prior to entering Europe. So Matthilda is a careless, inattentive writer.

Irwin Graulich writes:

This entire matter is not important and is a waste of your time. The clay that was used gives the head a brownish color, giving it a racial component. The race thing is insignificant to the entire concept. Frankly, the guy who created the sculpture has speculated quite a bit. There is absolutely nothing to learn from any of this crap!!

LA replies:

First, don’t tell me that things I’m writing about are a waste of time.

Second, you’re still at the kindergarten level of conservative thought, where you think that if YOU think a liberal idea is silly, it can be dismissed as silly and as of no importance, even as that “silly” idea is taking over the world. Thus, for example, The American Spectator spent years mocking feminist claims as silly and ridiculous, even as those claims were gaining power throughout society, and now we live under a feminist regime in education, culture, government, the military.

Similarly, amazingly, you imagine that it’s just accident that the reconstructed head of the first European has the dark skin tone and Negro appearance it has. It doesn’t occur to you that this is deliberate. It doesn’t occur to you that every detail of this reconstruction is a result of deliberate choice, and, further that it is is in keeping with the larger liberal project of marginalizing whites and putting nonwhites in their place, as is being done through immigration and multiculturalism policies. You don’t see any of this, because you still have the idea that race doesn’t matter. Because YOU don’t think that race matters, you don’t notice the racial agenda of the left. Everything is about what YOU think ought to be important, not about what is actually happening.

If someone said that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a “poor Palestinian woman” (as an anti-Israel leftist pastor said some years ago), you would instantly understand this as an effort by Jew haters to displace the Jews from history and replace them by Palestinians. But when a similar thing is done with regard to European whites, with blacks being put in place of historic European whites, you don’t see it. You see it in the first instance, because you care about Jews. You don’t see it in the second instance, because you don’t care about whites.

It’s time to graduate from the kindergarten of conservative thought where you are at present.

Richard T. writes:

Richard Neave is a well-respected forensic scientist with over 35 years of experience in anatomical reconstruction. Here is a story about a murderer being caught and convicted based on his work.

I think the allegation that he is involved in a “fraud” is slanderous.

The newspaper article is credulous and simplistic, as such things often are. It presents the reconstruction as “the” face, whereas Dr. Neave would acknowledge the limitations of his techniques and only claim that the reconstruction may resemble the original, albeit with a good degree of probability. Here is his home page.

I don’t know the reasons for the nose, but, considering Neave’s reputation and experience, I would bet he simply followed the evidence and it didn’t have anything to do with political correctness.

Whether the press would have reacted differently had the reconstruction been different is a separate question.

LA replies:

That the reconstruction is a fraud is not something that I am asserting. The fraud is right there, announcing itself to any normally intelligent reader of the Mail article. Neave says himself that he doesn’t know if the fossil was male or female, yet he makes it a male. Neave says himself that he doesn’t know what color the person was, yet he gives him the skin tone of a Negro. Neave doesn’t have the fossil’s nose and lips, yet he gives him the nostrils and lips of a West African Negro. Neave is engaged in manifest fraud.

You assume that because Neave is a respected criminal forensic scientist he cannot be an ideological liberal automatically and instinctively following the default liberal biases of our time. In reality, liberal premises and attitudes so dominate the modern mind they are not seen as liberal premises but simply as the nature of reality. So that if someone like me points out that liberal biases and desires are at work in some event, such as this fossil reconstruction, people inevitably reply that this is not about liberalism, it’s about science!

James P. writes:

The Dalrymple quote on political correctness is apropos here. He wrote:

Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.

Irwin Graulich replies to LA:
If you read my email carefully (which you obviously did not), you would see that all I said was “it was a waste of YOUR time.” What that means is that “your time” is too valuable, to be wasting it on such nonsense. I would say the same thing if you wrote about the importance of whipped cream.

I did not say that you should dismiss all liberal views because they are silly or ridiculous. Show me where I said or even implied that idea. For example, I never intimated that you should not criticize or write about Obama, the Democrat party and the sick/evil left in America. It sounds like you would have been a lawyer, because you talented at making things up.

I know for sure that “race does not matter,” which means that there is no difference between a white or a black. The fact that many blacks are Democrats and vote accordingly is as sick as Jews voting overwhelmingly Democrat—but this has nothing to do with the Jewish person’s skin color. If you wish to say that a majority of blacks have a certain ideology, that is a fact just like a majority of Jews have a self destructive moronic ideology and a majority of religious Christians also have a certain common ideology, which I happen to overwhelmingly agree with. However, all of this has absolutely nothing to do with skin color, which you have a little hang up about—although I would not consider you a racist.

Your hang up is more about your own white insecurity and blaming the left for trying to marginalize whites through immigration, multiculturalism, etc. Of course there is some truth to that, and I never denied it. But the more important idea is that the left does not believe in American exceptionalism and the importance of an American identity. America is a land of immigrants who have become Americans. Today, the left is against that idea. You complaints about the present situation with the party in power has little to do with race and has much more to do with a sick ideology that values EQUALITY above everything. America throughout history have valued liberty—the left is all about making everything equal—a sick and dangerous idea.

E Pluribus Unum means that we are multi-ethnic but not multi-cultural. Real Americans love “Liberty” and Europeans and the American Left/Democrats love “equality.” That is an extremely important difference and I will be writing an article about it one day.

Your last few sentences are totally foolish and a rather childish analogy. To say that I do not care about whites is somewhat correct and somewhat false. I care only about DECENT PEOPLE of any and all races. To me, a decent person of any color all have the same high value. So I do not really understand your analogy regarding Mary, Jesus and the Palestinians.

Your kindergarten pupil,

LA replies:

Thank you for perfectly confirming what I said about your beliefs and where you’re coming from.

You yourself believe that race doesn’t matter and shouldn’t matter, and therefore you are incapable of grasping the reality of the anti-white movement the controls the modern West.

And this is the nature of the conservative kindergarten. The kindergartners think that all they have to do is keep repeating their own ideals, and somehow the ideals will be true, and nothing matters except those ideals. So if the world is actually acting on, say, an anti-white basis, this is not something serious that has to be opposed. It’s something silly that can be ignored. Because, in the kindergarten, only the non-racial ideal matters.

As another example of this way of thinking, consider Bush/neocons and their Iraq fantasy. All they had to do was keep repeating their ideal that all people desire freedom. They systematically ignored or rationalized away all facts that contradicted their ideal.

Irwin Graulich replies:

I am white. How come I do not feel the same anti-white persecution as you? You are so hung up on race that you did not address all of my other brilliant comments. I think that you may be trying to blame your own inadequacies, problems, and hang ups on persecution towards whites, which is just not true. It is like many Jews who, over the years, incorrectly blamed their Jewishness as the reason they did not get a job, did not achieve success, etc. Your whiteness should not be a crutch.

If saying that race does not matter is part of the conservative kindergarten, then I am honored to be in that class and never to have graduated onto higher education. Your ridiculous Iraq analogy proves my point about your Harvard University thinking. I guess that is because, unlike me—a kindergartner, you are in the Ivy League University where ideas are much more sophisticated. Frankly, I would much rather stay in kindergarten than be in the company of thinkers from Princeton, Yale, U of P, Harvard, Dartmouth and all those other places of higher education. Just look at what they have produced lately!!!!

Your favorite kindergartner,

LA replies:

Thank you for the high level analysis of my motivations.

I never went to Harvard. I started my undergraduate studies at Columbia, then dropped out for several years and ultimately got my B.A. at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

David B. writes:

You write,

“You assume that because Neave is a respected criminal forensic scientist he cannot be an ideological liberal.”

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen so-called respected criminal forensic scientists give highly dubious testimony at criminal trials in exchange for large fees. Examples are Henry Lee and Michael Baden at the O.J. Simpson trial. For payment of up to $100K, they slanted their testimony to favor the defense. They also get to be on TV. Richard Neave’s making the first European a Negro is, in a way, similar behavior. Neave receives favorable publicity.

Gintas writes:

You wrote:

“First, don’t tell me that things I’m writing about are a waste of time.”

This reminds me of a quote by Chesterton, “There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person.” It’s no coincidence Chesterton was very interesting himself.

In the continuing exchange between Richard T. and me, posted below, my bracketed comments were added after our e-mail exchange.

Richard T. replies to LA:

When Neave makes reconstructions accurate enough to identify murder victims, otherwise unidentifiable, would you call it liberal bias or reality?

LA replies

This is not a serious reply. I guess you haven’t noticed that we’re not talking about his criminal forensic work.

Richard T. replies:

That’s silly. They are all of one piece. Neave uses the same techniques for all his reconstructions; where testable, in the contemporary criminal cases, they have not been found wanting. That is, he has a very credible track record. The burden of proof is on you that this particular case is fraud, a very serious accusation, esp. in science.

Neave’s result is also congruent with two rather conventional bits of contemporary science.

1. Human races are not nearly as distinct as some would want to believe, certainly not nearly distinct enough to rise to the level of sub-species. There has been a lot of migration and gene flow and no one group has remained totally isolated from the rest of humanity. [LA replies: I’m stunned that you make this argument. Here is Neave, promoted by the liberal establishment, which is goosing itself over the presentation of the first European as a black man, and you come along and tell us that there is no racial agenda going on here, because races don’t really exist anyway! Thus you become an accomplice to the doublethink liberal agenda, whereby the liberals get to push their race-conscious, anti-white, pro-nonwhite program, but whites aren’t allowed to notice it or oppose it.]

2. That the primitive human condition is African, with Caucasoid and Mongoloid features being derived. Therefore, the closer we get to the root of the European branch of the human family, the more African the appearance. [LA replies: This is an ambiguous use of words. “African” has different meanings. It means the continent, and it also means the distinctively Negro race of Africa. The fact that the primitive human condition existed in Africa does not mean that the primitive human condition was Negro. This is a type of fallacious argumentation one frequently hears from blacks. They’ll say that if something is associated with Africa, say Cleopatra or the Pharaohs, then it must be black. It’s discouraging to see you engaging in the same transparent fallacy.]

Science does have its fads and fashions and it’s certainly possible, if not probable, that in a couple of generations people will be slapping their foreheads and saying, “How could they have believed that!”

In the meantime, Neave’s techniques are both well-tested and congruent with other scientific evidence as we understand it today. So, rather than Neave’s work showing an a liberal bias, I would say your rejection of it shows what we might call a traditionalist bias. That is, his result clashes with your worldview and therefore you feel compelled to find reasons to reject it. This sort of argument from consequences has not fared well the last few centuries, so my money is on Neave knowing what he’s doing. [LA replies: I’ve clearly explained why the Neave reconstruction is a manifest fraud, and it has nothing to do with my traditionalist world view. It has to do with the self-evident fact (self-evident from Neave’s own comments) that the reconstruction is a fraud—a fact you persistently deny.]

In any case, I don’t read VFR for the scientific discussions which I find generally shallow and unsatisfactory, but for the politics and links to news items that other sites neglect. I only responded in this case because of the accusation of fraud.

LA writes:

First, I’ve already made my case that this is a fraud. If you don’t agree, you don’t agree, but don’t tell me that I haven’t made the case.

Second, are you seriously suggesting that in Neave’s criminal cases, he took the equivalent of a lower jawbone and skull fragments and constructed a person’s face out of pure imagination and said that this was what the person looked like?

Third, if you like, I’ll post our exchange, but I ask your permission because your arguments are embarrassingly weak.

Richard T. writes:

“First, I’ve already made my case that this is a fraud. If you don’t agree, you don’t agree, but don’t tell me that I haven’t made the case.”

I would say that you have tried to make a case, but I have not found it convincing. Thus I don’t agree.

“Second, are you seriously suggesting that in Neave’s criminal cases, he took the equivalent of a lower jawbone and skull fragments and constructed a person’s face out of pure imagination and said that this was what the person looked like?”

Not quite. I’m seriously suggesting that he has taken very poor materials and by applying his skills (a combination of art and science, i.e. a certain intuition gained from long experience and a deep knowledge of anatomy) constructed a face that closely approximates what the person may have looked like. And that’s all he claims, if you look at his web site. In the testable cases, the murder victims, his reconstructions have been close enough for identification but haven’t been an exact representation. Hair is particularly difficult, and lacking evidence, he left it out. Sex is also very difficult to determine from a skull; you really want other parts of the skeleton, particularly the pelvis. In this case, the choice of a male was an arbitrary one.

Any good presentation of science, especially in the professional literature, includes all the uncertainties, limitations and possible sources of errors, things that the Daily Mail article left out. That’s very typical of newspaper coverage of science. One of more frustrating lacunae in the article is just how much of the skull was eventually recovered. All it says is, “The rest of the fragments were found the following year.” Even if highly fragmented, forensic scientists have become highly skilled at reassembling such materials.

The reason I wrote that the discussions at VFR about science are shallow is that they are repeatedly about articles in newspapers and on web sites. Even when written by scientists, these are always very rough approximations of science. Real science occurs in the field and in the lab and is reported in the professional literature. [LA replies: Leaving aside whether the science in any particular case is valid or political, you seem to be saying that we should ignore the leftist propagandistic uses of science today. You put Neave on a pedestal because he’s a scientist, and you blind yourself both to what he is about and to what purposes his work is serving.]

It is my experience that most lay people greatly underestimate the tremendous advances in forensic reconstruction in the last generation, aided by technological innovations such as CAT scans. If anybody is interested in learning more, a good place to start might be the links provided on Neave’s web site. [LA replies: I haven’t said a single thing about Neave’s competence in criminal forensics. I have criticized only this manifestly fraudulent reconstruction.]

Note that I am not an anthropologist nor a forensic scientist, so I am not in a position to answer all possible objections. A search of the professional literature for articles by Neave and his partner might be useful and illuminating. I might undertake such a search in a couple of weeks if I can make time. [Why should I search Neave’s criminal work. I will stipulate for the sake of discussion that he’s a great specialist in criminal forensics. That doesn’t change the fact that this reconstruction is a fraud. I suggest you drop your worship of credentials, and look at what’s in front of you, which you so clearly don’t want to look at and are denying]

You may, certainly.

LA replies:

I will post it, and I remain gaga that you defend this reconstruction.

LA writes:

I don’t think that I have ever made the charge of “false consciousness” (reeking of old-fashioned leftism) against anyone in my life, but I’m going to do it here.

In my view, Mr. Graulich and Richard T. are both under the spell of false consciousness, though different kinds of false consciousness. In Mr. Graulich’s case, it’s his belief that race doesn’t matter. In Richard T.’s case, it’s his belief in Richard Neave’s scientific expertise, which supposedly puts Neave beyond the influence of any ideology in his work, even when he works in paleontology rather than his professional fied of criminology. But in both cases, the result is the same: impenetrable blindness to the obvious and undeniable racial agenda of which Neave’s reconstructed Cro-Magnon head is both the expression and the instrument, and an attempt to dismiss me for pointing to this obvious and undeniable fact.

Orwell was right when he said that we have to struggle to see what’s in front of our faces. When we are controlled by an ideology, such as race-blindness or the worship of expertise, the struggle must be even greater.

LA continues:

Richard T. says that I’m unscientific and shallow (at least when dealing with scientific issues) and am just following my pro-white preferences, while he, relying on the probity and expertise of Richard Neave, has the true scientific attitude.

So let’s consider the issue in a little more depth. As I’ve already pointed out, the ancestors of our first European man left Africa between 15,000 and 25,000 years (and perhaps as much as 65,000 years) before he arrived in Europe. Let’s take the conservative guess and say it was 15,000 years earlier, meaning that the ancestral group of non-African modern humanity left Africa 50,000 years ago and their proto-European descendants arrived in Europe 35,000 years ago.

Let’s now consider another fact. We know that very Caucasian people were in existence at least as far back as 2,000 B.C., or 4,000 years ago, which is the oldest age of the amazing mummies of the Tarim basin, known as the Tocharians, who are

“dressed in what looks like Scottish woolen tartan. They have high nasal bridges, high cheekbones, red or blond hair, and the men have thick red beards. They are, in short, Europeans.”

There may be identifiable Caucasian types far older than the Tocharians. Kennewick Man is 9,300 years old, but he is less unambiguously Caucasian then the Tarim basin mummies. So let’s stay with the Tarim basin people for purposes of illustration.

Homo sapiens left Africa 50 kya (50 thousand years ago), and, according to Neave, these humans were Negroid. Further, according to Neave, 15 k years later, which was 35 kya, their descendants on arriving in Europe were still overwhelmingly Negro looking, with thick lips, very wide nostrils, dark brown skin, and a Negroid shaped head. But, as we know from the Tarim basin mummies, 31,000 years after modern humans arrived in Europe, which was 4,000 years ago, their descendants were already fully developed Caucasians. (And, again, this is a very conservative guess of the age of Caucasians; they are likely many thousands of years older than 4,000 years.)

Does it make sense that there would have been essentially no change from the supposedly Negroid type for 15,000 years after the departure from Africa, but that in the next 31,000 years the Negro features disappeared entirely and were replaced by highly specialized Caucasian Nordic features?

Let’s also remember that Caucasoids first developed in the Near East, presumably as a darker Caucasoid, proto-Semitic, Near Eastern type, before they came to Europe and developed into tall, red-haired, light-skinned, “Nordic” whites.

Therefore, even if we accept Neave’s assumption that the humans who left Africa were Negroid, by any common sense construction based on present scientific understandings the features of the first European man ought to have been at least one third to one half of the distance from Negroid to Caucasoid. But Neave’s first European man is not one third or one half Caucasoid. He’s essentially Negroid. Which contradicts any common sense construction based on present scientific understandings. Which, again, strongly points to a politically correct motivation or liberal bias (whether conscious or unconscious) that led Neave to portray the first Europeans as blacks.

But what do I know. I’m just a shallow ideologue.

LA writes:

I think I was mixing up earlier and later migrations when I said that the first Europeans came from the Mideast. (It was the bringers of agriculture to Europe, about 12,000 years ago, who are thought to have come from the Near East.) A commenter at American Renaissance quotes from something called the Genographic project, which summarizes the genetic history of Eurasian mankind since the departure from Africa:

Members of haplogroup R are descendents of Europe’s first large-scale human settlers. The lineage is defined by Y chromosome marker M173, which shows a westward journey of M45-carrying Central Asian steppe hunters.

The descendents of M173 arrived in Europe around 35,000 years ago and immediately began to make their own dramatic mark on the continent. Famous cave paintings, like those of Lascaux and Chauvet, signal to sudden arrival of humans with artistic skill. There are no artistic precedents or precursors to their appearance.

Soon after this lineage’s arrival, the era of the Neandertals came to a close. Genetic evidence proves that these hominids were not the ancestors but an evolutionary dead end. Smarter, more resourceful human descendents of M173 likely outcompeted Neandertals for scarce Ice Age resources and thus heralded their demise.

If the first Europeans did not come north from the Near East but westward from Central Asia, then it’s even more unlikely that they still had an African appearance when they arrived in Europe.

Meanwhile, regarding Richard T.’s stout defense of the scientific nature of this enterprise, do a Google results search for “bone fragments” “richard neave” and “first european,” and you’ll see how one site after another reports his reconstruction as the revealing of the actual face of the first European. It is pure propaganda, being served by Neave. Yet Richard T. insists on the pure scientific nature of Neave’s work.

Mark Jaws writes:

Sometimes even we shallow ideologues use more common sense than the PC scientific community, which is depicting the first European as a brown-skinned African.

Let us review the facts as we know them. First, it is widely accepted that human beings developed in NE Africa in a savannah terrain about 100,000 years ago—or sooner. They were likely brown-skinned, but it is highly unlikely they had a west African nose, given the fairly dry climate. Second, these fossil remains were found in Central Europe, not in Sicily or southern Greece. Thus, this was not the “first European.” A thousand or two generations transpired before we got to this person whose remains have stirred so much controversy among us “bigots.” I have a degree in meteorology and took climatology courses. I have studied ancient climates. We know what the climate of Europe was like 35 to 50,000 years ago. It was cold and cloudy, and not likely to have maintained a race of brown-skinned Denzel Washingtons. I actually think the cartoonists in the movie Ace Age were more accurate in depicting Europeans than these so-called forensic experts.

James P. writes:

I have been trying to discover via the internet what the requirements are for forensic reconstruction, i.e. just how much of the skull do they need to have before they can reconstruct a face? In every example I can find (e.g. the FBI site), they had a complete skull, and they also had other bones and remains that allowed them to determine the age, race, and sex of the victim. I have yet to find a case analogous to “Europe Man”, in which they had but a few fragments of jaw and somehow reconstructed the entire head from it. On Richard Neave’s website, the other examples he provides of archeological reconstructions (from mummies and bodies recovered from bogs) had essentially complete skulls and other bones / artifacts as well. Therefore Richard T.’s contention that Neave’s other work adds credibility to his “Europe Man” reconstruction simply doesn’t hold up. CAT scans are great, but you can’t do a CAT scan of the skull if you don’t have a skull! Neave clearly did a lot more guesswork with “Europe Man” than with his other archeological reconstructions, and I am sure he had much more to work with in his criminal cases than he did with “Europe Man” as well.

Adela G. writes:

And the first European man was really … Paul Robeson!

A Negro Stalinist. This could well be the left’s proudest scientific “discovery”, combining as it does their favorite combo platter of race and ideology.

LA writes:

David Derbyshire in the Mail says:

It was created by Richard Neave, one of Britain’s leading forensic scientists, using fossilised fragments of skull and jawbone found in a cave seven years ago….

The lower jawbone was discovered by potholers in the Carpathian mountains in Romania in 2002. The rest of the fragments were found the following year.

The blogger Matthilda at her Anthropology Blog, wondering what fossil Neave was working with, presents a photo of a 40,000 year old complete skull found in Romania:

I believe (though I can’t find anything saying this specifically) this is the Pestera cu Oase crania from Romania, which is 40,000 years old and was found by potholers. I can’t find any other crania of this age or date from Romania, so by a process of elimination this would be it. They don’t know if the skull is male or female.

But she’s wrong, because the fossil that Neave worked with consists of fragments, and the Pestera cu Oase fossil is largely complete.

Here is the abstract of the article on the Romanian skull linked by Matthilda. I quote it in its entirety to show the exceptionally detailed knowledge they have of this largely complete cranium:

Between 2003 and 2005, the Pestera cu Oase, Romania yielded a largely complete early modern human cranium, Oase 2, scattered on the surface of a Late Pleistocene hydraulically displaced bone bed containing principally the remains of Ursus spelaeus. Multiple lines of evidence indicate an age of 40.5 thousand calendar years before the present. Morphological comparison of the adolescent Oase 2 cranium to relevant Late Pleistocene human samples documents a suite of derived modern human and/or non-Neandertal features, including absence of a supraorbital torus, subrectangular orbits, prominent canine fossae, narrow nasal aperture, level nasal floor, angled and anteriorly oriented zygomatic bones, a high neurocranium with prominent parietal bosses and marked sagittal parietal curvature, superiorly positioned temporal zygomatic root, vertical auditory porous, laterally bulbous mastoid processes, superiorly positioned posterior semicircular canal, absence of a nuchal torus and a suprainiac fossa, and a small occipital bun.However, these features are associated with an exceptionally flat frontal arc, a moderately large juxtamastoid eminence, extremely large molars that become progressively larger distally, complex occlusal morphology of the upper third molar, and relatively anteriorly positioned zygomatic arches. Moreover, the featureless occipital region and small mastoid process are at variance with the large facial skeleton and dentition. This unusual mosaic in Oase 2, some of which is paralleled in the Oase 1 mandible, indicates both complex population dynamics as modern humans dispersed into Europe and significant ongoing human evolution once modern humans were established within Europe.

The upshot is that we we still don’t have photographs of the skull fragments on which the great forensic scientist Neave based his reconstruction which “revealed the face of the first European.”

LA writes:

I posted the above information at Mathilda’s site showing that the complete skull she shows cannot be the one Neave used. Then I added another comment:

Criticizing the highly unlikely sub-Saharan skin tone of Neave’s reconstruction, you write:

“So the reason behind the UV-resistant equatorial skin tone escapes me as that area was left behind about 100k prior to entering Europe.”

Is the reason so hard to find? Can you not think of a reason Neave made it so dark? Are you not aware of the overwhelming moral compulsion that people in our society have to put the black race at the center of things, even to go so far as to claim that the early Europeans were African blacks?

May 7

Richard T. writes:

At least you are courteous enough to post people’s entire arguments and let others judge for themselves. Thank you.

I’ll take your comment about false consciousness under advisement.

Richard T. continues:

I’m going to wait and see if more information becomes available, particularly in regards to the provenance of the skull, before I comment further.

Mark P. writes:

You should tell Richard T. that appealing to an authority is one of Aristotle’s logical fallacies.

Leonard D. writes:

Regarding the debate over the credentials of Neave, I think it is beside the point, really. What matters is only that he is sufficiently credentialled to rise beyond of the level of artist to “expert”. Progressivism means the rule of experts.

On similar ground, I take issue with your own characterization of the head as fraud. Neave was probably quite sincere. What is fraud is not the thing itself; it is the pretense of objective reporting.

The media is a filter. Filtering information is, and must be, the point of any reporting: to decide what is, and what is not, newsworthy, among the infinite number of events happening. However, the modern media is progressive. It does not filter the news as you and I would, but as a progressive would. Any story which interests progressives which happens to enter the awareness of the average reporter is passed on. Any story casting doubt on progressivism is squelched. Now neither tendency is absolute: extremely boring progressive stories don’t get that much of a boost, and there are anti-progressive stories that too large to ignore. For example, when a bunch of Muslims destroyed the WTC, the fact of their religion and religious motivation did out immediately.

Thus, it may well be that there have been many mockup heads made by reputable forensic scientists before this. But we don’t know about them, because a fairly European-looking “first European” is not news. It’s what you expect (or at least I do). By contrast, an African-looking “first European” is news, and doubly news to the progressive, who has his prejudices reinforced, as you so rightly emphasize.

Anthony Damato writes:

I’ve been checking again for pictures of these fragments, but it still is not clear to me if the jawbone, or mandible, is a partial sample, or a complete lower jaw bone, because the writing in most of the articles is confusing. I think it probably is complete jaw bone based on the picture in this this article, but I do not know for certain because most of the articles say “partial skull and jawbone,” not “partial skull and complete jawbone.”


I want to know more about exactly what bones he had to work with, if they were from the same individual, if they fell within the same time frame, and what size they were. The media mentions skull and jaw only, but another article talks of a temporal bone and facial skeleton. Were they studied and used by Neave?

At the time of the article I am linking, (I don’t know how old it is) [LA replies: It’s appalling that many websites don’t date their articles], it states that the jaw bone is dated from about 34-36,000 years ago, while the age of the facial skeleton, temporal bone and partial braincase had not been determined, but was expected to be the same. OK, but were they from the same individual? This matters because if various peoples (races) used this cave and died there throughout the ages, their remains could be lumped together tainting the sample, as were bear bones mixed in the find.

Also, were the fragments removed by thousands of years, or did they come from the same time frame? If the bones for example all come from about 35, 000 years ago, how different is a 34,000 year old human skull from a 36,000 year old human skull? Neave, nor the journalists covering the story, do not address these important questions which are essential to the scientific method. As such, the media is taking this very unscientific creation as science, and totally ignoring his more than abundant artistic license e.g., hair color, skin complexion, lip structure, etc.

Ken Hechtman writes:

I sent your story to a friend of mine who does this stuff for a living.

He says six-to-five-and-pick-“em.

KH to friend:

You follow this “out of Africa” stuff.

Who’s right?

Friend to KH:

I’m not an expert in skull reconstruction … and even if I were, there obviously isn’t enough information in a newspaper article for me to tell whether the reconstruction was justified or not. I think they’re about right on the dates etc…. and my own bias is to think that while the earliest modern humans to leave Africa probably looked rather like modern-day Somalis, the Cro-Magnons probably looked rather more like modern-day Basques. Unless they didn’t, which could easily prove to be the case, if only anyone had some data. I can’t tell if this skull reconstruction constitutes data or not.

The bit about noses being adaptations to humidity levels is probably bulls__t … it’s more likely to just be a sexually selected trait of no real significance, except that people tend to take great exception to people with different looking noses … for instance the Rwanda genocide seems basically to have been a war over which kind of nose one has; in a population that we know to be thoroughly mixed for most of the rest of the genome.

I disagree with the assertion that gender is easier to tell from a skull than race, however … as one of the posters points out, gender assignment from skeletons usually requires hips, while race generally works best by head shape. I think one can get some clues to both from the rest of the skeleton, but they’re less definitive. Skin colour, as all admit, they have no clue about, and frankly there’s no good reason why that has to map onto facial features 35,000 years ago the same way it does now. Clearly white skin evolved in some part of non-African humanity at some point. Probably in Europe, given its predominance there.

Why anyone thinks this is something we should be especially proud of, is beyond me, but whatever. It does mark out a certain group, but only in a fairly approximate sense. White people built Notre Dame … but how white do you have to be to have the right to be proud of those ancestors, or to count yourselves as part of their race? And as anyone who’s been to the Indian subcontinent (or has met ____) knows, colour and nose shape still don’t always line up the way a simple white European/black West African dichotomy implies. Races cease to be useful predictors of anything biological (or social) as soon as there’s a significant level of admixture … and I think that particular horse left the stable a long time ago. I mean, if ____ has a finer nose than most South Europeans, as she does, and ____ has more recent African ancestry than ___ (as she does) … which one of them is “white.”

LA replies:

I’m seriously unimpressed by your correspondent. He doesn’t say a single definite or cogent thing, but shilly shallies on every single point. He’s so indefinite that he doesn’t even say that there’s obviously no way you can recreate a face when you have nothing to base it on. He just keeps going back and forth on every point with lots of asides and then goes into the usual liberal discomfort with the very idea of race.

Look at your friend. That’s a liberal intellectual.

Ken Hechtman replies:

Yeah, well, he’s off to my left some and always has been.

But he does do evolutionary biology for a living, so he’s sort of constrained to admit when he doesn’t know something (and more to the point, when the field as a whole doesn’t know it).

That’s the thing you should take from this: We don’t know.

We’re reasonably sure the people who left Africa 60,000 years ago looked like Africans. We’re equally sure the people who made it to Europe looked like Europeans as far back as 6,000 years ago. We do not know when exactly when the transition took place.

I’ll concede your main point. This British scientist who says he can draw a picture of an African from some 35,000 year old European bone fragments is blowing smoke.

But consider my point: Somewhere far back in the ancestry of every white European is a black African. Maybe 35,000 years back, maybe 55,000 years back, maybe 75,000, but it’s there.

LA replies:

“I’ll concede your main point. This particular British scientist who says he can draw a picture of an African from some 35,000 year old European bone fragments is blowing smoke.”

But your friend didn’t concede that.

“But consider my point: Somewhere far back in the ancestry of every white European is a black African. Maybe 35,000 years back, maybe 55,000 years back, maybe 75,000, but it’s there.”

But we don’t know this. As I’ve pointed out in the thread, it is most likely the case that black Africans are just as much descendants of an earlier, undifferentiated modern Homo sapiens stock as are Europeans and East Asians. The distinctive black African features, lips, nose, hair, skin, head shape, body shape, are obviously specialized adaptations, in the same way that typical white and Mongoloid features are specialized adaptations.

Further, it appears that the Negro type came into existence in the moist tropic jungles, probably in West Africa. But the original modern Homo sapiens, from which the Negro race is descended, came into existence in the high dry savannas of East Africa.

So the most likely scenario is that there was a basic human type, probably fairly dark, but whose features were not Negroid or Caucasoid or Mongoloid. One tiny group of this larger group left Africa and their descendants became Europeans and Indians and Chinese and Australian aborigines. The rest of this population remained in Africa and their descendants migrated to the tropics and became Negroes. To say that whites are descended from black Africans, i.e., from Negroes, is not at all established and is most likely untrue.

That’s my understanding of it. I’m open to correction.

Ken Hechtman replies:

“Whites are descended from blacks” isn’t the hill I want to die on. My best guess is it’s true, but maybe it’s not. “We are all one” is the hill I want to die on. We all come from the same place. We all share a common ancestor. We are all in this together.

LA replies:

Well, it’s certainly true that we’re all in this together. In reference to this thread, I was talking this afternoon with a friend about all the different human types, from pigmies to Europeans to Asians to aborigines, and it just struck me how these incredibly different types are all of the same species. It’s an incredible thing. Man is almost as varied as the dog is, with so many variations within one species.

But human commonality at the level of species does not logically or experientially translate into, “We are all in this together,” if by “together,” you mean together in the political and cultural sense. That is a fatal fallacy.

But of course, that’s a basic difference between you and me.

On the question of whether Caucasians descended from African Negroes, think of it this way. There had to be a less differentiated modern Homo stock to begin with, right? Now, if it’s the case, as many now believe, that whites and Asians descended from fully developed African Negroes, then the following had to occur: First, the more primitive modern Homo stock developed into the highly specialized African Negro type. Then some members of this highly specialized African Negro type left Africa, and totally reversed direction, lost all its specialized features, and turned into two other highly differentiated types! Do you see the implausibility of this? That’s why I say that it seems far more likely that the Negroid, Caucasoid, and Mongoloid races all developed out of a less differentiated, common ancestral race.

May 8

LA writes:

A reader of this site whom I normally ignore because he is a villain thinks he has caught me out. I will make an exception and post his e-mail.

He writes:

You wrote:

“Does it make sense that there would have been essentially no change from the supposedly Negroid type for 15,000 years after the departure from Africa, but that in the next 31,000 years the Negro features disappeared entirely and were replaced by highly specialized Caucasian Nordic features?”

Yes, this does make sense, when you understand that the last Ice Age wasn’t over until 14,000 years ago. How could “Nordic” features have evolved prior to that?

Scientists say that blue eyes DID NOT EXIST in human beings before 10,000 years ago. And Japanese researchers have dated the genetic mutation responsible for blond hair in Europeans to 11,000 years ago.

So why did you expect the “first European” to look like Bjorn Borg?

The reader has things backward. It was of course during the Ice Age, not after it, that there would have been the greatest environmental pressure leading to the appearance of Nordic features such as light skin. Also I’m not aware of any environmental theory—or any theory—explaining the appearance of the varied hair color and varied eye color of whites, something unique to that race.

Second, I didn’t say that I expected the first Europeans to be Nordic. I said that I expected the first Europeans not to be Negro. The reader shows once again that he is not interested in understanding the truth of things, but only in “catching” me.

May 12

Leonard D. writes:

You wrote:

On the question of whether Caucasians descended from African Negroes, think of it this way. There had to be a less differentiated modern Homo stock to begin with, right? Now, if it’s the case, as many now believe, that whites and Asians descended from fully developed African Negroes, then the following had to occur: First, the more primitive modern Homo stock developed into the highly specialized African Negro type. Then some members of this highly specialized African Negro type left Africa, and totally reversed direction, lost all its specialized features, and turned into two other highly differentiated types! Do you see the implausibility of this?

You have this mostly right, except one thing: the “less differentiated modern Homo stock” was African. Humans evolved in Africa. And those original African people likely looked fairly similar to how modern Africans look. Africa has not changed much; thus the adaptive environment for people there has not changed much from before humans until the adoption of agriculture (in Africa, about 5000 years ago).

Dark skin, in particular, is known to be adaptive in tropical sunlight. So the original people (at least by evolutionary theory) were dark skinned. (There is genetic evidence for this; see the Wiki page on human skin color.) Then as people moved away from the equator, the selection pressure of skin cancer declined, and many mutations happened in various genes that affect skin tone. People living sufficiently far from the equator are selected for light skin, presumably for vitamin D synthesis.

Thus we can expect that the first European Homo sapiens would have been considerably browner than the vast majority of modern European descended people. Exactly what shade he was, of course, nobody knows. But it is not unreasonable to make him brown.[…]

[Note: the rest of Leonard’s comment and my reply did not get posted, and were subsequently lost, because the entry had reached its maximum size.]

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 06, 2009 02:10 AM | Send

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