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Well this rocked my world...Neanderthals and modern humans interbred

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Tony In Philly, May 6, 2010.

  1. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
  2. Tommygunn


    Nov 8, 2008
    Houston, Tx
    Username? :shocked:
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
  4. This will not come as a surprise to any girl I've dated.
  5. Wait, what? :confused:
  6. You hear that? That's the sound of a joke going over your head...
  7. Lurker79


    Jul 3, 2008
    Hayward, CA
    I heard there were actually a few sub species of humans than went extinct through breeding with modern man.
  8. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Many seemed to be pretty happy because it is seen as weakening the "Out of Africa" theory. The Out of Africa Theory posits that all modern human are descendants of modern humans who left Africa pretty recently like 60- 50,000 years ago. The Neanderthal DNA evidence suggests that earlier modern human populations who lived in Eurasia bred with Neanderthals before they became identifiably different "white" and "East Asian" populations.

    I think anything is possible since we will never be able to recover more than a very small fraction of individuals who lived at that time. Earlier this year, a child's finger bone found in Russia showed an entirely unknown variety of human after DNA analysis.
  9. This also reminds me of the movie The Thirteenth Warrior, based on the book Eaters of the Dead by Micheal Crichton. Supposedly, the original document that this is all basd on had this Arab guy go into the Northlands and chill with the vikings, and they saw a group of Neanderthal people that grieving the vikings so bad at night, because they dressed as bears or something.

    Either way, that movie is the jams
  10. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    I find this stuff exceedingly fascinating. But wasn't there once a theory that Cro-Magnon and Neanderthals could NOT interbreed due to the (slight) genetic differences? Or at the very least if it was a successful coupling, the offspring would be infertile?
  11. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I heard that also, but that theory was floated before the current level of DNA technology.
  12. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    Ahh, ok.
    This is actually very satisfying to be honest as I always felt that the different species of humans must have interbred rather than just vanished. It's a neat thought.

    But here's another thing that I find fascinating - you know how when you look at a book on early man and you see pics of skeletal remains, you see artist's renditions, etc etc - isn't that waaaay too neat and tidy of a way to classify man? If evolution is this fitfull, sometimes smooth, sometimes wild ride, then what exactly is it that separates one specie of human from another in the course of evolution other than a name? I guess maybe it's averages of jaw sizes, cranial cavities, brow ridges and so on but it really doesn't tell us too much about who they were as a proto-people/proto-culture(s) and their ability to think, reason and mentally expand beyond day to day survival. Just stuff that my odd brain ponders from time to time..
  13. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum)

    So where do the aliens come into the story? I know there has to be aliens in this some where.....:bag:
  14. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    That is a reality with which paleontology is having to come to terms. Bones were fine for classification before DNA. DNA makes everything trickier.

    Furthermore declaring new species sometimes is an act of vanity. A scientist finds a fossil somewhere unexpected, or maybe it's a little bigger or smaller than the previously known norm, and the scientist declares a new species. Needless to say, recognizing new species can get pretty sticky among scientists.:smug:
  15. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I always wondered where I got my prognathous brow ridge and weak chin. I can't wait to tell Uncle Og.
  16. chondro776


    Mar 6, 2008
    Re: the two above posts discussing the concept of 'species'.

    I have long been a proponent of the thought that 'species' are not 'real' entities in the first place. The concept of a species is a human model that we use to help us understand very complex living systems. A squirrel breeds with a squirrel because he is attracted to it, not because it is the same species (which presumably holds no meaning for 99% of the life on the planet).

    If point of fact, many workers (including Richard Dawkins a personal favorite author), consider the gene to be the actual unit that selection acts upon. Genes are selected for or against, not entire groups of of genes (an organism).

    In this view, several genes from multiple lineages of humans likely perpetuated into what we now call 'Homo sapiens'.

    I am somewhat disheartened to see evidence against the 'out of Africa' theory, which is pretty much the best refutation of racial bigotry you could hope for.
  17. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    Danniel Dennet, in his book Darwin's Dangerous Idea, goes on to suggest that the boundaries between species are only meaningfully useful concepts when viewed in hindsight. I.e., it's all well and good to say "Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons are different species" but until you've put a few thousand years behind them and see how those groups' behaviors and evolutionary trajectories diverged, it's not a particularly helpful observation.

    But one could argue that the squirrel is genetically predisposed (aka "wired up") to be attracted to members of its own species.
  18. Lurker79


    Jul 3, 2008
    Hayward, CA
    What if we all come from Africa, but we were all already genetically evolved? If the diversity of mankind originated from the DNA of 5000 surviving breeding females, the DNA must have already been in place. It puts a new spin on things, there could have already been a highly advanced, ancient civilization, where we were already all present. Chew on that. Chicken or the egg? They are the same thing!
  19. so basically its the same as today?
  20. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Neanderthals WERE humans. So, saying "Neaderthals mated with humans" is a bit like saying "Indian elephants mated with elephants". :D

    But the interesting thing here is the implication about Neanderthals being a separate species to Homo sapiens, as conventionally thought to be the case. If they mated successfully and produced fertile offspring, then they were both of the same species, by definition.

    By the way, Neanderthal brain size was at least equal to and perhaps larger than that of Homo sapiens living at the same time.

    Biology is a fascinating science, no doubt.

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