Did Neanderthal Man have Rickets?

Many people think that Neanderthal man was just a normal human who suffered from a disease. While there is no question as to the full humanity of the Neanderthals, their appearance is not due to disease.

What follows is an excerpt from Dr. Cuozzo's book "Buried Alive - The Startling Truth about Neanderthal Man"

Soon I will be posting an audio file that you can download and listen to from one of Dr. Cuozzo's radio interviews about rickets, and I will also post a shorter version of the text below.

Buried Alive
Chapter 16, Research Note 1.

Is disease the cause of Neanderthal form?
The Neanderthal facial and skeletal form have been attributed to pathological and nutritional phenomena for years. This represents an attempt to classify them as non-evolutionary features and put them on the "shelf," thereby closing the issue.

There are three major categories of causation that have been referred to in the literature: arthritis deformans, syphilis, and rickets.

Arthritis deformans is an old name for rheumatoid arthritis, which has multiple causes and mainly affects the joints and post-cranial bones. Polymyalgia rheumatica is a rheumatic inflammation affecting shoulder and hip girdle muscles often associated with giant cell or temporal arteritis (artery inflammation). With any kind of arthritis, very little bony change is seen in the head except for the arthritic changes one would expect to see in old age, if one suffered from arthritis, in the jaw joint (TMJ). La Chapelle-aux-Saints had TMJ arthritic erosion and in the spine, also. It would be impossible for rheumatoid arthritis to cause the adult Neanderthal cranial features such as large brow ridges, facial protrusion, dolichocephalic skull, forward cheekbones, large noses, etc. Arthritis does not create Neanderthals from modem people who have the disease. It is a nasty disease that destroys bone of the joint surfaces (erosion). There is also much soft tissue inflammation. I am not saying that Neanderthals did not have arthritic joint changes in many places, I am just saying that the very pronounced cranial form minus the TMJ is not due to arthritis.

Lubenow mentions in his book that J. Lawrence Angel of the Smithsonian Institution wrote about the bones of the pelvis and base of the skull being deformed by vitamin D deficiency, otherwise known as rickets, also by a protein deficiency. (11)(reference on pg 318 "Buried Alive")

In Newton and Potts text, Radiology of the Skull and Brain, they list the following aspects of skull pathology found in rickets.’ (12) (reference on pg 318 "Buried Alive")

1. Craniotabes, (presence of areas of thinning and softening of the skull especially the posterior parietal bones).
2. Bossing or box-like skull look due to protuberance of bony lumps, front and side of skull.
3. Base of the skull flattening or invagination, but not the top or roof of the skull.
4. High arched and narrow hard bony palate of the upper jaw.
5. Delayed eruption of the teeth, not delayed development of the jaws and teeth in a forward direction.
6. Craniosynostosis or premature closure of the skull sutures resulting in a "locked-in brain" inside a skull unable to expand properly in growth.

Of all of these features, the Neanderthals showed only some flattening of the base of the skull, but not a great deal. I have had patients who were perfectly human and had flattening of the cranial base, the saddle angle from Nasion-Sella-Articular (norm around l23~) in the high 130's with no rickets. None of the other features were present.

Gibraltar I (adult) has an intact sella turcica and the saddle angle measures approximately 1400 because there is no mandible.

Two examples of Neanderthal children's hard palates, Pech de l'Aze and Gibraltar II, display flatter and wider palates than many modern normal children. I have had hundreds of high-arched palates in 31 years, many with bilateral crossbites, none of them with rickets, either; not angulated like Pech but high in relation to the occiusal plain.

The Neanderthal brains were large, but the braincases not "box-like:' If anything, they are the most un-boxlike crania I have seen.

Figure 46

Figure 46 is the right side of the Le Moustier cranium, parietal, temporal, and occipital fragments pieced together. Notice how the temporal is depressed like a modern skull.

The Neanderthal adult cranial bones were very thick and not thin and soft in spots like a bone with rickets pathology.

J. Eideiken lists one more feature found in rickets in his text on Roentgen Diagnosis of Diseases of Bone, and that is extensive caries.(13) None of the Neanderthal children I examined had any caries at all, and that includes Le Moustier. Of the adults, only La Ferrassie I had periapical abscess formation on many teeth due to the extensive attrition or wear and the exposure of the pulps of those teeth and possible periodontal disease. The only extensive decay I saw was in Broken Hill Man and that could be attributable to normal decay-causing processes and not systemic disease - don't forget to read my explanation of his strange skull features and recent existence.

Lubenow also quotes Ivanhoe's article in Nature about rickets being the reason for the Neanderthals' strange features.'(4) Ivanhoe was following the early diagnosis of the famous German pathologist, Rudolf Virchow, the father of pathology.'(5) We must remember that Francis Ivanhoe is the man who said that Pech de l'Aze's teeth were "grossly maloccluded with numerous enamel irregularities and crown anomalies." Ivanhoe also said, "It has long been held that the Neanderthal child is a small replica of the adult?" As I pointed out in my explanation in these notes, Ivanhoe only copied Patte's mistakes and was wrong, and probably never saw the real skull. Rickets does not create Neanderthals, either.

I do not blame Lubenow because he had no way of knowing that what Ivanhoe said was totally fabricated. I would have never known if the Lord didn't open doors for me in these museums. I have made my share of errors in my day and none of us can claim perfection. This only points out the need for Christians to do more original research. I hold myself accountable to this challenge, too, because on numerous occasions I have reported on the work of others, and do so extensively in this book. However, we as creationists are in a tough position. No one is ever sure that the paleoanthropologists are telling the truth about fossils unless they see the bones themselves. I have tried to do research in Kenya since 1989 and still can’t get in to see anything in Nairobi, thanks to the Leakey family monopoly. Dr Alan Walker, who works with Richard, had no objection to my research. Let me say he is one of the more open-minded of the paleoanthropologists and a true scholar. He treated my son Joshua like a prince at Penn State. I can't say enough good things about him. He has told my son's anthropology class that there are such things as "political reconstructions" of fossils. This is very true.'(6) Fixing fossils to fit ideas is common and the world should know.

Lubenow also relates that D.J.M. Wright examined certain skulls at the British Museum and concluded the Neanderthal man had congenital syphilis.'(7) Lubenow lists the skulls at the British Museum that Wright says he examined. In fact, Wright claims this fact also in his 1971 letter to Nature.'(8) They are:

2. Gibraltar II original, this is in the British Museum. I studied it, x-rayed it, and found no evidence of congenital syphilis.

3. Starosel'e - the original is actually in Moscow State University, Museum of Anthropology, in Russia. It is not in the British Museum.

4. Pech de l'Aze', original fossil is in the Musee' de l'Homme in Paris and not in the British Museum. I know of no casts of Pech de l'Aze, although I may be wrong.

Tooth signs of congenital syphilis are:

1. Mulberry molars showing very little enamel

2. First molars very small and second molars larger than first molars

3. Notched permanent incisor crowns on the incisal edge, upper and lower (Hutchinson teeth)

4. Barrel-shaped lower permanent incisors'(9)

None of the Neanderthals had any of these. Some have thought that the extensive molar enamel wrinkling was due to congenital syphilis, but Dahlberg commented on this phenomena in many so-called "hominid" teeth, that there were many cases that have been designated as systemic effects of congenital syphilis "without sufficient substantiation."(20)

Late skull manifestations of congenital syphilis are:

I. frontal bossing of Parrott
2. short maxilla
3. high palatal arch
4. saddle nose
5. relative protuberance of mandible
6. perforation of the hard palate
7. Hutchinson teeth
8. syphilitic osteomyelitis

Again I saw none of these in Neanderthal except in the relative protuberance of the mandible, which was fabricated most of the time. None of the Neanderthals was what we call in orthodontics a Class III malocclusion. If Neanderthals look Class III'ish it is because of tooth drifting or the condyles are out of the TM sockets.

La Chapelle does not have a saddle nose which would be a depression of the bridge and nasal bones not due to a huge frontal sinus expansion. The British Museum people insisted I take my ceph radiographs of Tabun C-I in what they called attritional occlusion, which meant protruding the mandible out of the socket by a large amount.

Vitamin D is actually Vit D2 and D3. Ultraviolet light dIV-B) (280-320 nanometers wave length) from the sun converts (photobiogenesis) (at 282 nm UV-B) 7-dehydrocholesterol in the human skin to Pre-Vitamin D3 and to Vita-min D3 and subsequently transports to the liver where it forms 25-OFL-D3 which is the major circulating form of VP D in the blood. This then goes to the kidney to form 1,25-(OH)2D3. D2 is thought to follow a similar pathway to the liver to form 1,25 or 25-(OH)-D2. The I ,25-(OItL)2D3 is the major calcium-regulating hormone. Lack of this Vit D brings about calcium deficiency in bones because it is essential for calcium absorption, and adequate calcium in the plasma for other functions. It activates the transport of calcium and phosphorus in the intestine, improves renal re-absorption of calcium, and the mobilization of calcium from the bone fluid compartment, essential for bone formation and remodeling. (22)

A supposed Vit D deficiency in Neanderthals and immediate post-flood peopie has been attributed to the lack of tJV light from all the aerosols or dust in the atmosphere from the volcanic eruptions of the flood.

There are three points here:

(1) There must have been a lot of dust, but
(2) there was a rainbow after the flood. That required sunlight from a horizon position unless it was a miracle since it was a sign of a covenant.
(3) "It has been estimated that approximately 10 to 15 minutes of summer sun exposure of the hands and face will produce l0ug of Vitamin D3, sufticient to meet the recommended daily allowance."(23) Pigmented skin will take longer. Tanning reduces the efficiency. (4) There was also vegetation immediately after the flood. The dove Noah sent out came back with a leaf in its beak. Also, Noah grew grapevines and made juice from grapes immediately post-flood. Visible light (400-750 nm. wave length) (red and 3333FF violet parts) is necessary for photosynthesis by the chlorophyll molecules in those leaves. This is longer in wave length than UV light, which has a short wave length and is very penetrating. Even though most of the UV light is absorbed today by the ozone layer, sufficient amounts get through. I assume that the long wave visible light came through the immediate post-flood atmosphere for the chlorophyll in the grape leaves to produce oxygen, glucose, and hydrogen from carbon dioxide - then the shorter more powerful UV B light also came through to be absorbed by Noah and his family to prevent Vit D deficiency. There would be no sugar in Noah’s grapes without the visible light spectrum. Another practical observation is that you can get sunburned on a cloudy day. UV light gets through.

I sincerely hope that these outlined diagnostic signs for rheumatoid arthritis, rickets, and congenital syphilis will finally put to rest the speculation of all of the those who have tried to explain away the Neanderthal features using these diseases. By the end of this book I think you will have sufficient evidence for the real cause of this phenomena."

Return to the Main Index


Email: drjackcuozzo@mac.com