My cousin the Neanderthal

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by timojin, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. Bells Staff Member

    Neanderthals are extinct. Sure, some of their genes carry on in H. sapiens. Does not mean they became H. sapiens.

    You do understand this, yes?

    You insinuated it quite clearly..

    More than a mere connection. And you have been focusing on Europeans and you have repeatedly pointed out how Neanderthal genes somehow made them distinct from all other groups, despite the fact that they aren't.

    You are basically arguing that Europeans are really Neanderthals. I mean, that is how you are coming across. Literally. That the interbreeding with Neanderthals somehow or other makes Europeans distinct. And then you add on 'but not a different species', like you are following a 1% drop rule but trying to be politically correct about it.


    Neanderthals and modern humans share a common ancestor. Neanderthals were a distinct species, which whom were interbred on a few occasions which resulted in fertile offspring. Most of the offspring would have been infertile. The gene flow went mostly one way. Put simply, if the gene flow had flowed equally both ways, would you argue that Homo sapiens had an extinction event when Neanderthals became extinct?

    A small injection of their genes does not mean that they became modern humans. Again, Homo sapiens had already evolved and it was with them that Neanderthals mated and produced viable offspring few times.
    Some of their genes live on, but they became extinct.

    No actually, you aren't.

    H. sapiens sapiens would be H. sapiens sapiens regardless of Neanderthals.
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  3. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    I can get you Lee Berger's email addy if you want it. I'm not strong on nitpicking myself.
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  5. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    That's where the Neanderthal genes went, it was a flow towards the population we now consider European, with some other interesting lineages going on in Asia perhaps. Did they die out, or did they evolve? Evolution is variation in a gene pool with certain traits being selected by various forces. Didn't the several thousand years when we and Neanderthals overlap constitute a gene pool, with gene flow going both ways? Some variations became less numerous in the gene pool, those we associate with an "original" species of European human that we somewhat arbitrarily give the name "Neanderthal".

    If polar bears evolve (interbreed) with grizzly bears and become groler bears, you would be tempted to say that polar bears died out. But it's just the classification that died out. The bears themselves went on like before, having offspring and doing their thing, some dying and some living.
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  7. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    Everything becomes extinct. And yet life goes on in a continuous unbroken chain. How does that happen?
  8. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

    Considering that chimps and people share about 98% of the same identical genes (2% genetic difference: "The genetic difference between humans and chimps is less than 2%,[4] or twenty times larger than the variation among modern humans.", with a split from modern humans and modern chimps from a common ancestor occurring circa 7 MYA (–human_last_common_ancestor#Current_estimates), it is easy to see that H. s. neanderthal had mostly human genes, but with some distinct characteristic genes setting it aside as a separate phenotypic group. The fact that that clan readily interbred with H. s. sapiens (leaving everyone on earth with some degree of neanderthal ancestry) is indicative that neanderthals were not a separate species. The time-line for divergence from H.s. sapiens ancestors is only about 500,000 year ago ( from the H.s. neanderthal common ancestor (H. heidelbergensis?). This is also insufficient for a full differentiation into a separate species when the generational age is about 20 years). Elsewhere we discussed (or, at least, I postulated), that the lack of H. s. neanderthal mtDNA in extant humans is probably due to the more dominant H.s. sapiens mating with H.s. neanderthal females, but not allowing the female offspring to survive (killing of girl babies, keeping the boy babies alive to become warriors in the tribe).
  9. Bells Staff Member

    Asians have 20% more Neanderthal genes than Europeans do.

    They died out. We carry some of their genes, but they as a species became extinct. What little genetic material they passed on did not create a new species. It did not create a different, well, species of Homo sapiens.

    The traits they passed on did not really affect or alter H. sapiens though that would create a different species.

    No. Because we already shared an overtly large portion of the same genes anyway, since both shared an immediate ancestor. The gene pool barely flowed one way, let alone both ways. It wasn't enough to create a different species to declare that Neanderthals evolved. It did not create a different species of H. sapiens or H. neanderthal.

    There would not have been much variation to begin with. Because we shared the same ancestor in that both species evolved from the same ancestor.

    Do we carry their genes? Yes. Partly because we descended from the same ancestor, but also because of a few breeding events. Does that mean the Neanderthal is not extinct? No, sadly it does not in my opinion. While a large portion of the population carries some of their distinct genes, it was not enough to, well, spawn a new species. We have different genetic injections into our gene pool from various hominids that are now extinct. Does not mean that that gene flow and mixture results in those species no longer being extinct.

    Just means small parts of their genes live on in the surviving hominid species.

    If there are no polar bears left, then yes.

    If polar bears disappeared from the face of the earth, they would be an extinct species, regardless of any interbreeding that took place with another species of bears. That is because they are a distinct species.

    Most hybrids are sterile and cannot produce any offspring.

    The same applied to interbreeding between H. sapiens and H. neanderthals. What little came out of it were bred out through selection. Does not mean that those who have neanderthal and denisovan genes are distinct species or a different type of H. sapiens. We are mongrels as a species. That does not mean that Neanderthals and Denisovans evolved by interbreeding with H. sapiens.
  10. mmatt9876 Registered Senior Member

    Were there any other branches of the genus Homo that interbred with Homo Sapiens or Neanderthals? I believe Homo Erectus would be the only candidate but I am not sure.
  11. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

  12. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    They lost them less rapidly. The percentage of genes doesn't necessarily represent the degree of historical interbreeding.
    The definition of trait means that they did alter the recipients.
    As are all species.
    Every individual is a different type of h. Sapiens. The nomenclature is just a convenient formality, not reality.
  13. Bells Staff Member

    Neanderthals, Denisovans, and possibly more.

    But it does represent more breeding events.

    You are literally arguing that Neanderthals are not extinct, but evolved because there were a few breeding events with H. sapiens.

    Those breeding events did not alter H. neanderthals to ensure that they evolved.

    Do you understand what I am getting at here?

    Yes, it altered H. sapiens. But it did not create a new or different species. We continued to evolve away from H. neanderthals and the other hominid species we interbred with. They became extinct.

    Not that different though.

    They have found only one H. neanderthal skeleton which had minute traces of H. sapiens distinct genes in its genes. And that was from a breeding event with her ancestors from thousands of years beforehand. Just one.

    Out of all the H. neanderthal remains that exist. Just one.

    Doesn't that strike you as strange? That if it flowed both ways, as you keep arguing, that our genes would be represented more widely among them?
  14. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    Could have been that the H. sapiens were killing the H. neanderthalis men and taking the women.
    Walter L. Wagner likes this.
  15. timojin Valued Senior Member

    I would not be surprised. It happen in the Canarian Islands when the Spaniards invaded the island.
    Also tribe fight because they steal the the women.
  16. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    How can you tell?
    The word Neanderthal is defined as mostly applying to a group that can be considered distinct with respect to a particular time and place,
    but that distinctness was blurred for the thousands of years they and other human groups had offspring. The distinctness disappeared. It's all semantics. In a very real sense, Neanderthals became the group that we later refer to as Europeans. They were imperfectly mixed, to be sure, and the offspring may have had some disadvantages as well as advantages.
    The co-mingling of genes and later selection is evolution.
    That all depends on how one defines a species, doesn't it? It did create differences.
    Who's "we"? I contend that "we" includes all interbreeding humans in Europe at the time. The distinctions after these groups met may be primarily of culture and lifestyle. The existence of so-called hybrids (as if we aren't all hybrids) reveal the limitations of our classification systems.
    A breeding event in this case refers to a collision of migrating populations that may have lasted hundreds or thousands of years.
  17. timojin Valued Senior Member


    Do't worry she gets the news late she lives in New Zealand.
  18. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    Sorry, but NZ is the bellweather for the apocalypses. Every time the world ends NZ is the first place to go silent.
  19. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    We're talking science here, let's not make it personal.
  20. Bells Staff Member

    Mod Note

    I'd suggest you not troll.
  21. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

    That's what I suggested, but carried it one step further. People have 1-4% neanderthal genes (most in asia, next in Europe, least in Africa, it appears), but no neanderthal mtDNA, meaning that the women did not have viable female offspring in the breeding events.

    I can readily visualize tribes of H.s. sapiens raiding H.s neanderthal camps, stealing the women, killing the men; then later when the babies were born, the H.. sapien females insisting the female babies be killed, but the men insisting the boy babies (their male offspring) be allowed to live. Easy way to bring in neanderthal genes into the gene pool, without bringing in neanderthal mtDNA.

    Bells didn't like the suggestion, but it makes perfect sense to me.
  22. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    OK I only have about 2% of my father's father's father's father's father's dna

    and then, we have the vindija neanderthals who were taller and more gracile than the western european neanderthals.

    (wild guess) depending on the climate, all cousin homo species interbred again and again, and again... over hundreds of thousands of years.
    We evolved together and apart. perhaps focusing on the apart part misses most of the story?
  23. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    You could have zero.

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