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Core Academy of Science

P.O. Box 1076

Dayton, TN 37321

Author's Biography

PS Brummel is a student and hominin fossil aficionado. He was awarded the 2022 Sanders Scholarship from Core Academy of Science. He currently resides in Indiana.

Todd Charles Wood is a researcher, teacher, and lecturer with twenty years' experience working in young-age creationism. He is especially known for his studies of created kinds and fossil hominins. He is currently president of Core Academy of Science and resides in Dayton, Tennessee, home of the Scopes Trial.

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Full Paper Presentation


Creationists sometimes casually refer to “the ape baramin” as a distinction from human beings, but careful examinations of primate and ape baramins have been rare. Walker places 279 species of primates into 77 genera and 15 families, ranging from the large Cercopithecidae family with 21 genera and 96 species to the tiny lemuroid Daubentoniidae with just two species. Previous creationist analysis has proposed eight families as holobaramins: Galagonidae, Picrodontidae, Plesiadapidae, Lemuridae, Lepilemuridae, Carpolestidae, Omomyidae, and Cebidae. Based on hybridization, we can recognize Cercopithecidae as a monobaramin. None of those proposed baramins are great apes. Within the Hominoidea, analyses have offered little consistency. A disputed group of human taxa are repeatedly recognized in hominin baraminology, and the genus Paranthropus also consistently appears as a group separate from both australopiths and humans. Hybridization is reported between chimps and bonobos, indicating that they are members of a common created kind, but reports of intergeneric hybridization involving either Pan species are not considered credible. The baramins of australopiths, extant apes, and other fossil hominoids are largely unknown.

In this work, we will analyze four character matrices to assist in elucidating the ape baramins. The first, published by Rasmussen et al. (2019) contains 196 craniodental characters scored for 36 catarrhine taxa. Preliminary distance correlation results indicate a good separation between the outgroup taxa, the Cercopithecoidea, and all other taxa. Distance correlation with just the hominoids reveals three major groups, corresponding to the Hominidae + Hylobatidae, the three genera Rangwapithecus, Turkanapithecus, and Nyanzapithecus, and a cluster consisting of genera Ekembo, Proconsul, Simiolus, and Dendropithecus.

For the second dataset, we chose a set of 271 characters scored for 49 catarrhine and outgroup taxa and published by Gilbert et al. (2020). Preliminary distance correlation results reveal approximately four clusters of taxa: 1. The proconsulids Oreopithecus, Turkanapithecus, and Nyanzapithecus, 2. The cercopithecoids and the outgroups, 3. Hominidae + Hylobatidae, and 4. everything else. The separation between these clusters is quite poor. When restricted to just hominoid taxa, the distance correlation clustering is also quite poor with one cluster corresponding roughly to the Hominidae, another cluster consisting of Ekemba, Kalepithecus, and Equatorius, and five singletons. By further restricting the taxon sample to just Hominidae, clustering all but disappears.

The third dataset by Martin et al. (2020) consists of 109 characters scored for 21 taxa, with a focus on genus Paranthropus. Preliminary distance correlation analysis once again supports the inferred Paranthropus and human holobaramins, along with a heterogeneous cluster of outgroup taxa.

The final character matrix by Pugh (2022) contains 351 characters scored for 41 taxa, with a focus on family Hominidae sensu lato. Preliminary distance correlation results reveal a fairly clear separation between the outgroup taxa and the Hominidae sensu lato, with Oreopithecus unconnected to any other taxa. Restricting the taxon sample to just Hominidae s.l. results in a clean distinction between hominins and all other taxa. Restricting the taxon sample to non-homininan taxa results in very little clustering at all.

Based on these results, we may draw the following tentative conclusions. First, previous results separating Paranthropus from human taxa into their own holobaramin is confirmed. Second, there seems to be discontinuity surrounding both Cercopithecoidea and Hominidae s.l. Third, there might be a discontinuity within the Proconsulidae. Specifically, a group consisting of Rangwapithecus, Turkanapithecus, and Nyanzapithecus appears to be distinct from other proconsulids. Fourth, Pongo and the so-called stem hominids may constitute a single holobaramin distinct from other extant apes and from australopiths. A fuller analysis of each character set and taxon sample will be conducted using additional clustering techniques, and this will hopefully help to illuminate additional information about the ape baramins.

Gilbert et al. 2020. New Middle Miocene Ape (Primates: Hylobatidae) from Ramnagar, India fills major gaps in the hominoid fossil record. Proc. R. Soc. B 287: 20201655.

Martin et al. 2020. Drimolen cranium DNH 155 documents microevolution in an early hominin species. Nature Ecol Evol DOI 10.1038/s41559-020-01319-6.

Pugh. 2022. Phylogenetic analysis of Middle-Late Miocene apes. Journal of Human Evolution DOI 10.1016/j.jhevol.2021.103140.

Rasmussen et al. 2019. Primitive Old World monkey from the earliest Miocene of Kenya and the evolution of cercopithecoid bilophodonty. PNAS 116:6051-6056.




hominoids, primates, paleoanthropology, baraminology




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