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Are Neanderthals Connected With Humans?

  1. Mar 28, 2005 #1
    Or they are not related?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 29, 2005 #2


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    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  4. Mar 29, 2005 #3
    Redheads 'are neanderthal'

    Culture/Society News
    Source: Times UK


    RED hair may be the genetic legacy of Neanderthals, scientists believe.

    Researchers at the John Radcliffe Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford say that the so-called �ginger gene� which gives people red hair, fair skin and freckles could be up to 100,000 years old.

    They claim that their discovery points to the gene having originated in Neanderthal man who lived in Europe for 200,000 years before Homo sapien settlers, the ancestors of modern man, arrived from Africa about 40,000 years ago.

    Rosalind Harding, the research team leader, said: �The gene is certainly older than 50,000 years and it could be as old as 100,000 years.

    �An explanation is that it comes from Neanderthals.� It is estimated that at least 10 per cent of Scots have red hair and a further 40 per cent carry the gene responsible, which could account for their once fearsome reputation as fighters.

    Neanderthals have been characterised as migrant hunters and violent cannibals who probably ate most of their meat raw. They were taller and stockier than Homo sapiens, but with shorter limbs, bigger faces and noses, receding chins and low foreheads.

    The two species overlapped for a period of time and the Oxford research appears to suggests that they must have successfully interbred for the �ginger gene� to survive. Neanderthals became extinct about 28,000 years ago, the last dying out in suthern Spain and southwest France.

    it seems a logical choice for the sudden appearance of the whiteman and his nature since the last ice age as ther is no other logical reason why blacks out of africa could naturally mutate to white. By nature i mean due to cultural evolutionary processe in much the same way as culture acts as an operator to behaviour in any ethnic grouping

    and this

    What we know about Neanderthals is that they didn't have perfect use of fire and didn't have the faculty of speech but they had tools that, though extremely primitive, made them Hominians. The skull was as big or even bigger than today's humans and the part where the intelligence nests was small while the part devoted to the memory was huge. So, the Neanderthal must have possessed a capacity for uncanny memory, unthinkable for us, which could have been his tool for empirical knowledge. In his more than 100,000 years of existence, the Neanderthal could have stocked a fantastic amount of knowledge about the nature that surrounded him. He must have known everything about medicinal plants, etc. If your reasoning capacity isn't very developed but you can put two and two together thanks to memory, you are somewhere at the ante-chamber to intelligence.

    We can suppose that some individual Neanderthal could have possessed intelligence superior to the Neanderthal average, comparable to Homo Sapiens.

    so what happens when you breed the two ???

    You get a lighter skinned more intelligent and thus better equipped to survive species of man with a somewhat lesser than civilised behaviour.
  5. Mar 29, 2005 #4
  6. Mar 29, 2005 #5


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    Neandertals are at least close cousins on the evolutionary tree (i.e., same genus, very recent common ancestor).

    It's an ongoing debate as to whether H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens interbred. In 1999, there were news reports of a potential hybrid fossil found. In 2000, there were news reports of DNA evidence saying there was no interbreeding. In 2004, there were news reports of computer studies of fossil morphology that indicated there was no interbreeding.

    But the research & debate rages on. Stay tuned.
  7. Mar 29, 2005 #6


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    FWIW, neandertals were "human"...just a different species of human than we are.
  8. Mar 29, 2005 #7
    oh yeah, sorry bout the linkage thing.

    I'm still getting used to the way things are done round here

    cheers hitssquad
  9. Mar 29, 2005 #8
    Aha, I see...just like different breeds of dogs?
  10. Mar 30, 2005 #9


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    Sort of, but a bit more separation than that. If they were a “subspecies” (kind of like a breeding group within a species), they would be Homo sapiens neandertalensis (and we would be Homo sapiens sapiens). But they are usually classified as a whole separate species (Homo neandertalensis and we’re Homo sapiens), which makes them more distinct than just a breed/subspecies.

    But maybe someone else here is more familiar with where the lines are drawn and can explain it better.

    Perhaps if more evidence is found to indicate that Neandertals and Cro-Magnons (early H. sapiens) actually interbred, then perhaps the subspecies/breed label would be more appropriate.
  11. Mar 30, 2005 #10
  12. Mar 30, 2005 #11
    I think the evidence is going the opposite way.
  13. Mar 31, 2005 #12


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    Hitssquad - the master of tact. :smile:

    From reading those 90,000 hits, I see that we are classified as Homo sapiens sapiens (all of us alive today, since all other subspecies are gone...so I assume Homo sapiens is a convenient enough shorthand for practical purposes).

    excerpt from one of those hits that is relevant to the discussion at hand...
  14. Mar 31, 2005 #13
    Hss as shorthand for humans

    I frequently see Hss.

    By the way, the first sapiens is a specific epithet and the second sapiens is a varietal epithet:

    1 c : the part of a scientific name identifying the species, variety, or other subunit within a genus <in the scientific name Rosa chinensis longifolia, chinensis is the specific epithet and longifolia is the varietal epithet>
    (M-W Unabridged 3.0)
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2005
  15. Apr 1, 2005 #14


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    thanks for the clarifications
  16. Apr 5, 2005 #15
    Before homo sapiens sapiens there have been very many different kinds of humans. So at each stage we have several humans either competing or interbreeding, all the way from ape-like creatures to homo sapiens sapiens.

    So its really a complex puzzle. Of course the fossel record gives a very fragmented image. We found fossels and we now call those different species. But the evolution might very well have been very smooth and talking about species might be a distorted way to talk about the evolutionary process.

    So in general there have been alot of brances and all were dead ends except for us(I consider this a reasonable assumption). Of course we also share a comman ancestor with apes like chimps, bonobo's, gorilla's etc.

    About Neanderthals. They lived together with homo sapiens in europe. Its not really clear if they are a subspecies of homo sapiens, or a branch off of the species of humans just before homo sapiens. But the debate rages on, like said before.

    People think they had less complex language and died out because they failed to pass on their inventions. Where homo sapiens would pass on inventions and the next generations would improve on it, homo neanderthals would have to reinvent something every generation.

    On wikipedia you can find alot of info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution
  17. Apr 8, 2005 #16
    I don't think the fossil record is going to help as from my understanding it requires catastrophism on a large scale for animals to be buried and compressed in mud before becoming fossilised.

    A carcass left in the open won't fossilise just descompose.
  18. Apr 8, 2005 #17
    this is all pretty interesting, i don't really know anything about the evolution of different homonidae species. i was always under the impression that they did interbreed... it seems logical to me, even if it wasn't the "norm".

    can anyone provide more sources/verification about this? i've never heard anything about neanderthals having a higher memory capacity... on what basis did they determine this, and is it presented as more of a possible theory or a more like a fact?
  19. Apr 8, 2005 #18
    Have you read "clan of the cave bear" - Jean Auel

    Don't get the movie out, it's crap ! The book though is excellent

    and if not the capacity for memory then what other function would a large neandertahl cranial capacity have ?...psychokinesis, telepathy ?
  20. Apr 9, 2005 #19
    nope, what's it about? i'll look into it

    well i could speculate many things, i suppose. a lot of animals have bigger brains than we do, like elphants. of course, elephants have larger brains because of their somatosensory and motor cortex--they have a larger surface area that needs to be mapped onto the brain. do they have larger occipital regions too?

    well, i don't really know much about elephant brains. but the point is that a larger brain doesn't correlate to higher brain functions. i always assumed that the neanderthal's extra brain cortex was not devoted to higher functions, because they are known for being more of a primitive, brute species.

    it's not that i disbelieve the quote in question; i really don't know anything about the brains of neanderthals! but i would like to see more sources and the evidence used to attain such facts, just to satisfy my curiosity.
  21. Apr 9, 2005 #20
    Whoa, that's pretty weird. And cool at the same time.
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