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We Are All Neanderthals

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posted on Jan, 10 2011 @ 01:48 AM
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Increasingly, it is beginning to look as if the differences between modern humans and some extinct varieties of human may not really be enough to justify calling them different species.

According to this article by a Neanderthal expert, who is also the director of the Gibraltar Museum, Nenderthals, Denisovans (a new variety of extinct human recently discovered from remains in Siberia) and other ancient humans may not have been sufficiently different from us, taxonomically or genetically, to justify calling them different species. They could all interbreed and, it seems, have viable offspring with one another, as well as with modern humans.

This sounds like great news to me. But then, I'm a proud mongrel and a promoter of mongrelism. Others may not be so pleased. Either way, it's worth discussing.




posted on Jan, 10 2011 @ 04:27 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 

Already posted this to the other Neanderthal thread. Basically (almost) everybody who's not from Africa has some Neanderthal DNA. Original article released in science may 2010. Why is it that people forget this stuff so quickly?



posted on Jan, 10 2011 @ 04:41 AM
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Finally, someone in the world gets my point... if we interbred with them, no reproductive barrier, no distinct species!

Now to explain to people that this doesn't get rid of any missing link, and actually we should be the same genus as Pan...

Thanks for posting, S+F



posted on Jan, 10 2011 @ 06:34 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
Increasingly, it is beginning to look as if the differences between modern humans and some extinct varieties of human may not really be enough to justify calling them different species.
This is related to the Species Problem


Usually the rank of species is the basal rank, meaning that in the system of scientific classification species is the bottommost rank that includes no other ranks. However sometimes when one species, that is already named and described, is found to actually include two slightly different kinds of organisms, it is necessary to use the rank of subspecies.


So if humans and neanderthals could interbreed, they don't meet the definition of different species, so do we then say they are members of the same species but different subspecies?

That's my take, but biology isn't my area of expertise.

But in this case I'm not sure the biology experts know the answer either:


"The species problem is the long-standing failure of biologists to agree on how we should identify species and how we should define the word 'species'." Hey (2001)



posted on Jan, 10 2011 @ 06:45 AM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 

You need to understand that species concept is an artificial creation of the human mind, that nature doesn't have to follow. There are many species concepts, like for example biological species concept (entity of organisms that are able to interbreed), evolutionary species concept (entity of organisms that are able to interbreed and are isolated from other such entities in regard to breeding), ecological species concept (organisms that occupy the same niche) and polyphenetic species concept (group of organisms that show high degree of similarity in regard to many properties). First 3 are theoretical concepts, and the last one is an applied one. There are over 20 different species concepts, but none of them can be applied to all life. In general eg. biological species concept works well with animals, but it's totally useless when it comes to microbial life (as they don't interbreed, but reproduce asexually). We shouldn't think in species terms, but cellular lineage terms instead.
edit on 10-1-2011 by rhinoceros because: additional text



posted on Jan, 10 2011 @ 08:16 AM
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I've thought for a long time neanderthals have been regarded as lessor beings only because they were the losers in the battle to survive. If homo sapiens wiped out neanderthals, it's comforting to believe that's proof of our intrinsic superiority, and they were less intelligent. However it could have been just that our ancestors were more aggressive and had an inbuilt inclination to murder indiginous human species.

Learning that neanderthals had musical instruments and jewellery, ate cooked vegetables and cared for their handicapped and injured makes it obvious they were not so different to us. Discovering, in addition, that most living humans have DNA directly inherited from neanderthals suggests they were also homo sapiens.

So now it's fair enough to assume our other, more recently out of Africa, ancestors not only murdered the natives, but raped them as well.

Perhaps the distinction between neanderthal and other homo sapiens is one where the notion of race, rather than species, could be applicable.



posted on Jan, 10 2011 @ 08:44 AM
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Originally posted by Kailassa
So now it's fair enough to assume our other, more recently out of Africa, ancestors not only murdered the natives, but raped them as well.
I tended to think the sex was generally consensual, or to the extent there was rape it would correlate to the frequency of rape in modern society.

Who are you assuming murdered and raped who? And why do you assume that?

One story I read suggested that maybe nobody murdered or raped anybody (beyond the occasional rapes that we see even today among humans), that interbreeding (perhaps mostly consensual) simply wiped out any distinction and that's why we have some portion of Neanderthal DNA mixed in, and why there's no separate Neanderthal subspecies today.



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 02:59 AM
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reply to post by rhinoceros
 

I think what is being argued here goes a little beyond our shared genetic inheritance with Neanderthals, which--you are right--has been public knowledge for some time now. The author of the linked article is arguing--speculating, if you will, but remember he's an expert on the subject--that it makes little sense to look on modern humans, Neanderthals, Denisovians and other closely related strains of humanity as separates species; they are more like different varieties of the same species, the way Great Danes and Chihuahuas are just different varieties of the same species, Canis familiaris. I believe this is what TheWill is also suggesting.

*


reply to post by Kailassa
 


I've thought for a long time neanderthals have been regarded as lessor beings only because they were the losers in the battle to survive. If homo sapiens wiped out neanderthals, it's comforting to believe that's proof of our intrinsic superiority, and they were less intelligent. However it could have been just that our ancestors were more aggressive and had an inbuilt inclination to murder indiginous human species.

Unpacking this contentious paragraph will lead us down a devious, brambly trail. Let's see: if the standard by which one judges superiority is survival, well, we've lasted longer than the Neanderthals, thriven over a wider range of geographic, climatic and social conditions, and are still increasing both in population and range some thirty thousand years after the Neanderthals left the scene. By biological standards that makes us a damn' superior species, especially given how little time we've been around. Even if we blow ourselves to bits or choke on our own waste tomorrow, we've certainly done better than the Neanderthals.

But if what is being argued in this thread is true, it's just one lot of humans doing better than another lot. Who knows why? You suggest it might be because we who have survived are of a more aggressive strain. Perhaps; but not necessarily. Maybe the ancestors of modern humans were immune to some disease or diseases that wiped out the Neanderthals. Maybe we were better at coping with climate change (the ice ages, etc.) than they were. Maybe it was our social skills, for example, our ability to form tribes out of loosely related hunter-gatherer bands, that did the trick. Maybe it was superior communications skills. It's been a long time, and the truth will be hard to come by, if indeed it ever does come to be known.

I should not like to pass judgement upon my own species--or strain, or what have you--without a fair trial. Assuming the worst of humanity is, I think, as foolish as assuming the best. As a species, we are neither good nor evil; we merely act as all animal species do. As individuals--ah, but that's another argument, one that has no place in this thread. Just remember that when we judge one another's behaviour, the only standard of comparison we can possibly use is--one another's behaviour.

To rush to judgement would be ignorant and callous. Why shouldn't humanity get the benefit of the doubt, too? Why should we deserve it any less than the poor old Neanderthals?


Learning that neanderthals had musical instruments and jewellery, ate cooked vegetables and cared for their handicapped and injured makes it obvious they were not so different to us.

Perhaps they learnt these things from us. Did you think of that?


So now it's fair enough to assume our other, more recently out of Africa, ancestors not only murdered the natives, but raped them as well.

There is no scientific evidence to suggest this at all. It is just as likely that 'modern human' women went off and slept with 'Neanderthal' men. And that 'modern human' tribes were more tolerant of Neanderthal sprogs than vice versa. Who knows?


Perhaps the distinction between neanderthal and other homo sapiens is one where the notion of race, rather than species, could be applicable.

I think the notion of race has had its day, and is best left to fade into the twilight of outdated ideas.

edit on 11/1/11 by Astyanax because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 03:44 AM
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I'm black..so no neanderthal dna for me



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 05:37 AM
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reply to post by DuceizBack
 


Black as in, still living in africa....or african american? DNA wise they are very different.


The genes that build America

From the discovery that presidential hopeful Barack Obama is descended from white slave owners to the realisation that the majority of black Americans have European ancestors, a boom in 'recreational genetics' is forcing America to redefine its roots.


You could have neanderthal DNA if you are in the US.



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 06:51 AM
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reply to post by DuceizBack
 

reply to post by LordBaskettIV
 

Thanks to both of you, I starred both your posts, which led me to research things I didn't know about. From what little research I've done so far, I think larger sample sizes need to be tested to see how far and wide the Neanderthal DNA has actually spread among humans.

I was also surprised to find out that the interbreeding was thought to occur in the Middle East...I would have thought Europe where humans and Neanderthals lived in close proximity, I thought.

And if interbreeding did occur in the middle east as thought, it's even more surprising that black Africans don't have the Neanderthal DNA than if the cross-breeding had occurred in Europe, more removed from Africa.



posted on Jan, 11 2011 @ 08:51 AM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 
The Sahara desert In the North of africa is probably the main reason that the Neanderthals DNA never spread south en mass. Alot of the mountain pass' into/out of europe could also have been glaciated over. Our current DNA spread into the main european landmass through north asia/siberia and through russia. Such a round about manner suggests some form of blockage that went away in time after the last ice age maybe. Or it could be simple, and most people were not to keen on adjusting to a colder climate. I can only imagine a group of explorers going north in the summer or fall and being greeted by thier first encounter with snow without being in the mountains. It would take time to develope technology to live in such a climate. For people used to living in tropical to sub tropical climates it would take at least a while just to figure out the 4 seasons.

As my opinion goes though, I think that as tribes of humans went out from africa they eventually met these new northern tribes, and simply integrated with them to learn how to live within the colder climates. They even probably married out the women of each group to one another to form a bond within the new community.
edit on 1/11/2011 by LordBaskettIV because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 12 2011 @ 02:26 AM
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I must say, I find this idea much more palatable than the "different species, common ancestor" one.

One might argue that I am a walking, talking example of crossbreeding between Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens Sapiens. When people ask about my bloodline, my response is always a firm "Mongrel".

On one hand, I have red hair, am generally passive and most who know me would consider me very intelligent (I'm not, I'm just good at steering conversations toward subjects I know and using big words but got them suckers fooled, hic hic!) Apparently these are Neanderthal-like traits.

On the other hand, I am very tall, have dark brown eyes, can get a tan (O.K., just a little less pasty than other redheads), have a muscular build and have been known to have moments of aggression. Apparently modern human traits. (I'm sure the C.I.A., K.G.B., N.W.A. etc already know this so I don't mind posting).

Who knows. It's fun to speculate. Evidence is even better.



posted on Jan, 12 2011 @ 06:51 AM
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Originally posted by TheWill
Finally, someone in the world gets my point... if we interbred with them, no reproductive barrier, no distinct species!


I'm not sure I'd go quite so far as to say "no reproductive barrier". How many beers it would take for some human man to interbreed with this Neanderthal woman?


Source: news.nationalgeographic.com...

Whatever your answer is, that's the size of the barrier. But beer was only supposedly invented 10,000 years ago and the interbreeding supposedly occurred maybe 50,000 years ago, how is that possible?


I'm sort of joking around, so don't take me too seriously. I just couldn't resist posting that picture when I saw it though. If I met up with that face in a dark alley, I'd be thinking less about breeding and more about running in the opposite direction.



posted on Jan, 12 2011 @ 07:20 AM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


Trust me, I've seen much worse... ugly men with no brain or money marry ugly women with no standards, and it just exacerbates things for everyone's eyes.

Anyway, that reconstruction is supposed to make her look like a troglodyte. Reduce the heavy musculature to the shoulders, give her a less stereotyped cave-man pose and expression, give her a modern, young Swedish thing's complexion and better hair care and I reckon you'd feel differently.



posted on Jan, 12 2011 @ 07:24 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 
I dunno... From what I read here recently only red heads are Neanderthals...


If you've got red hair, you may be a Neanderthal

Great thread, nice to see you.

peace



posted on Jan, 12 2011 @ 07:42 AM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


nice pic it looks like a woman i know. I 'm not a scientice but if you just look around you , you can see some traces of neanderthals . go to the mall look at faces there are people with eye ridges stubby noses with large nostrels and walk and talk and a little dum like the came right out of the stoneage. and i think no matter if your black, white, yellow, orange, short,tall,skinny, fat, we all have inner breed with them and we all still do today.



posted on Jan, 12 2011 @ 07:44 AM
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Originally posted by silo13
From what I read here recently only red heads are Neanderthals...
I think you misread.

And that thread was an abortion, though your post there was good enough except for the part where you didn't understand what the sources were saying, but I agreed with your other points.



posted on Jan, 12 2011 @ 11:59 PM
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Originally posted by silo13
reply to post by Astyanax
 
I dunno... From what I read here recently only red heads are Neanderthals...

If you've got red hair, you may be a Neanderthal

Only a small percentage of neanderthals had red hair, and the neanderthal genetic code for red hair was different to the genetic code for red hair found today.
So it's likely the neanderthal red-hair gene was not passed on and the modern one is an unrelated mutation.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 01:45 AM
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reply to post by Kailassa
 



I've thought for a long time Neanderthals have been regarded as lessor beings only because they were the losers in the battle to survive. If Homo Sapiens wiped out Neanderthals, it's comforting to believe that's proof of our intrinsic superiority, and they were less intelligent. However it could have been just that our ancestors were more aggressive and had an inbuilt inclination to murder indiginous human species.

Unpacking this contentious paragraph will lead us down a devious, brambly trail. Let's see: if the standard by which one judges superiority is survival, well, we've lasted longer than the Neanderthals, thriven over a wider range of geographic, climatic and social conditions, and are still increasing both in population and range some thirty thousand years after the Neanderthals left the scene. By biological standards that makes us a damn' superior species, especially given how little time we've been around. Even if we blow ourselves to bits or choke on our own waste tomorrow, we've certainly done better than the Neanderthals.

Perhaps it's an inclination to murder those who are different that's made us a damn superior species. Those caves the Neanderthals were living in must have been vital for the survival of a less solidly built group of humans who had to rely on clothing for warmth. The new arrivals had weapons which killed from a greater distance, so they could lay in wait for when the hunters emerged, kill them off with their long spears, and then take over the caves complete with women and dogs. The women could find vegetable food for them, which would be necessary in that cold environment. The starch from seeds and rhizomes would build up an insulatory fat layer and feed the fast metabolism needed to survive in that cold. The dogs would help warm the cave, and be useful as "electric blankets."

I'm just guessing that dogs evolved with Neanderthals, as they had caves for a long time where wolves/dogs could find food-scraps, and, in that cold, the warmth would have been a boon. Perhaps the caves belonged to wolves before Neanderthals moved in.




But if what is being argued in this thread is true, it's just one lot of humans doing better than another lot. Who knows why? You suggest it might be because we who have survived are of a more aggressive strain. Perhaps; but not necessarily.

More recent history shows it's human nature to just take property from the original inhabitants and kill them off. It's the suggestion that our ancestors were different back then that needs to be justified. People tend to only have empathy for the types of people who they accustomed to, and to regard other types as less than human.




Maybe the ancestors of modern humans were immune to some disease or diseases that wiped out the Neanderthals.

Disease wouldn't explain the pattern of movement that seems to have been found, with Neanderthals moving away from where the new wave was settling, and gradually diminishing in numbers.




Maybe we were better at coping with climate change (the ice ages, etc.) than they were.

The Neanderthals would have been better at coping with the cold. For tens of thousands of years they lived in similar temperatures to what the Innuit now live in, without having fitted clothing for protection. It was only the last remnants of Neanderthals who finally created fitted clothing, most likely having learnt to from the new wave.

The new wave, by comparison, would have been more flexible in the climate they cou;d live in, because of their insulation mostly coming from clothing, which could be taken off. This would also mean they did not require to hunt as as much food to metabolise fat and body heat, allowing them more time to spend invading, raping and pillaging.





Maybe it was our social skills, for example, our ability to form tribes out of loosely related hunter-gatherer bands, that did the trick. Maybe it was superior communications skills. It's been a long time, and the truth will be hard to come by, if indeed it ever does come to be known.

Oh for a time machine.

Perhaps one simple thing, the manufacture of clothing, helped bring people together into co-operative societies. Those who learnt to tailor garment had a marketable skill, and those who didn't needed to form some relationship with a tailor to aquire clothing, or find something to barter with. Over time a currency would form, as some items were found to be more generally useful as barter than others. Once you have a currency, you have a way for more people to survive by developing fringe skills, and you get a more diverse group developing. This, in turn, will require the development of more complex language. Now we've got a situation where above average intelligence is of greater use as a survival tool than it was previously, and cold weather enabling a larger, more active brain to function without overheating.

I find it interesting to explore how one small advantage can create a self-propelling snowball effect, resulting in a huge advantage.




I should not like to pass judgement upon my own species--or strain, or what have you--without a fair trial. Assuming the worst of humanity is, I think, as foolish as assuming the best. As a species, we are neither good nor evil; we merely act as all animal species do. As individuals--ah, but that's another argument, one that has no place in this thread. Just remember that when we judge one another's behaviour, the only standard of comparison we can possibly use is--one another's behaviour.

To rush to judgement would be ignorant and callous. Why shouldn't humanity get the benefit of the doubt, too? Why should we deserve it any less than the poor old Neanderthals?

Why have the neanderthals been judged harshly, assumed to be knuckle-dragging dumb savages, slightly evolved uglified apes? I'm just giving them the benefit of the doubt by looking at things from a different point of view.





Learning that neanderthals had musical instruments and jewellery, ate cooked vegetables and cared for their handicapped and injured makes it obvious they were not so different to us.

Perhaps they learnt these things from us. Did you think of that?

It's a bit hard to tell, now, unless the finds showing neanderthals did these things were from before the new wave invaded. However I'm under the impression the neanderthal "flute" found predates any other instrument from the area. The eating of vegetables was most likely necessary to provide the carbohydrates needed to survive in such a cold environment without fitted clothing. Care for the handicapped would also be important to the survival of the group when hunting injuries were so common.





So now it's fair enough to assume our other, more recently out of Africa, ancestors not only murdered the natives, but raped them as well.

There is no scientific evidence to suggest this at all. It is just as likely that 'modern human' women went off and slept with 'Neanderthal' men. And that 'modern human' tribes were more tolerant of Neanderthal sprogs than vice versa. Who knows?

Neanderthals would have looked very different to the new wave of humans.
They were more short and sturdy, and living in that climate without clothing makes it likely they were covered in dense body hair over a thick layer of fat. Frodo and Bilbo were common names amongst them.

The slimmer, taller, clothed new arrivals when they moved into the same area, were unlikely to be finding their own dwelling places, treating the original inhabitants as equals and engaging in consentual relations with them. They needed the Neanderthals dwellings in order to survive.





Perhaps the distinction between neanderthal and other homo sapiens is one where the notion of race, rather than species, could be applicable.

I think the notion of race has had its day, and is best left to fade into the twilight of outdated ideas.

The concept of race has been misused for centuries to create artificial boundaries, separating people, exagerating their differences, and providing a basis for discrimination and even genocide.
That seems to be indicative of a basic human tendancy to lack respect or empathy for people perceived as being different.



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