The evidence that Neanderthals were totally human is overwhelming. Despite disputed claims from DNA research, and outdated drawings showing Neanderthals as hunched-over, big-browed apemen, Neanderthals were clearly as human as we are. Here are 16 reasons why: Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! Neanderthals are regarded as an early form of humans. They have been classified as either Homo neanderthalensis or Homo sapiens neanderthalensis. Well now, the Homo genus is us, isn't it! And Homo sapiens is certainly us! So Neanderthals were humans like us. Neanderthals made fire, stone tools, and wooden spears. They buried their dead, and seem to have practiced a form of religion and ritualistic treatment of animals. Well, humans do those things and non-humans don't. So Neanderthals were humans. In December 1957, evolutionary anatomists Straus and Cave wrote in the Quarterly Review of Biology that they had examined some Neanderthal bones and concluded that they were of an elderly man who suffered severe skeletal malformation resulting from rickets and arthritis. They determined that Neanderthals walked as upright as people today do and that, dressed in modern clothes, a Neanderthal would probably draw no special attention from the crowds in New York's subway. A careful reconstruction of a Neanderthal child, made by computer scientists at the University of Zurich, ended up with the model shown in the photo above. It clearly shows a human. Neanderthals had brains at least as large as modern humans, and in some cases, it seems, even larger. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! TIME magazine on May 7, 1971 reported that Neanderthals were skilled hunters and toolmakers. Well, as far as toolmaking goes, no ape or other animal has ever walked into a toolmaking company showing off his toolmaking credentials. So Neanderthals must have been human. That same TIME article referred to a book titled Shanidar: The First Flower People, which noted that a Neanderthal “surgeon” had operated on a man's withered right arm. The Neanderthal doctor had capably amputated the arm and kept the man alive until he was later killed in a cave-in. No ape today works in a doctor's surgery performing amputations. And would you trust an ape to amputate your arm and provide palliative care? No. Only humans can do that. So Neandertals were humans. Anthropologist Louis Leakey said Neanderthal grave sites were intentional — some having gravestones over the grave — and this showed that Neanderthals displayed keen self-awareness and concern for the human spirit. Some Neanderthals buried their dead with flowers in their hands, and many of these plants have medicinal properties that range from pain relief to alleviating inflammation. Humans may do things like this, but as far as we know no animal ever has. Again, this shows that Neanderthals were humans. Orthodontist Dr Jack Cuozzo has done extensive research on the original fossils of Neanderthal children, and states categorically that “Neandertal children did not develop like apes”. That's because, he says, they were humans. In 1996, archaeologists in Slovenia reported finding a flute made by Neanderthals that was carved from the thigh bone of a bear. The flute's music was based on the same seven-note scale used in Western music today. Well now, most of us cannot play a flute, let alone make one, but some humans can and no non-humans do. So Neanderthals were humans. On May 2, 1998 New Scientist reported that a careful study of Neanderthal skulls revealed that their hypoglossal nerve canals were the same size as our own today (in chimps they are only half as wide). So Neanderthals could talk like humans although no non-human can. Neanderthals were just like us. New Scientist of February 6, 1999 reported that Johns Hopkins anthropologist Christopher Ruff used engineering techniques to calculate bone strength. Relative to body mass, there is only a trivial difference in bone robusticity between Neanderthals and modern humans. Thus there is no evidence for Neanderthal behavior being more brutish, or less brainy, than other humans. The New York Times of April 25, 1999 reported that some scientists now believe that Neanderthals and modern humans not only coexisted, but also that they cohabited. The finding was based on a study of the skeleton of a young part-Neanderthal boy found in Portugal. Dr. Erik Trinkaus, a paleoanthropologist (“human fossils” expert) at Washington University in St Louis, is reported as saying, “They intermixed, interbred and produced offspring.” The report says further, “Neanderthals and modern humans presumably were more alike than different, not a separate species or even subspecies, but two groups who viewed each other as appropriate mates.” A report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in November 2006 confirmed Neanderthals and modern humans interbred. Even though a report in National Geographic in 2008 said DNA tests indicate that Neandertals did not breed with modern humans, the magazine ate its words in an article on May 6, 2010 with an article headed “Neanderthals, Humans Interbred — First Solid DNA Evidence Most of us have some Neanderthal genes, study finds”. Science Daily headlined their articel on the same day as “Neandertals 'Hardly Differed at All' from Modern Humans”. On August 27, 2008, news services reported results of research from a team of scientists in Britain and the US on tools that were common to Neanderthals and modern humans. They found that the Neanderthal tools were at least as good as, if not better than, those of modern humans. Archaeologist Metin Eren said: “Our research disputes a major pillar holding up the long-held assumption that Homo sapiens were more advanced than Neanderthals … When we think of Neanderthals, we need to stop thinking in terms of stupid or less advanced and more in terms of different.” National Geographic of September 22, 2008 reported that evidence of Neanderthals in two caves on the west edge of Gibraltar revealed that the Neanderthals cooked and ate seals, dolphins, mussels, deer, and other land mammals. The Neanderthals had used tools to remove the animals' flesh, and they had cooked the food. Hunting, making tools to cut flesh from bones, making a fire, and cooking the food is a sequence only humans can do. So Neanderthals were humans. On August 11, 2009, BBC News reported that DNA analysis of Neanderthal bone revealed that Neanderthals shared with modern humans the gene that gives most of us the ability to taste bitter flavours. The gene TAS2R38 encodes for a protein in the taste receptors on the tongue which allows us to taste bitterness. BBC News reported on January 9, 2010 that scientists at two archaeological sites in southern Spain had found shells containing pigments that Neanderthals used as make-up containers. Professor Joao Zilhao, the archaeologist from Bristol University in the UK, who led the study, said “this is the first secure evidence for their use of cosmetics. The use of these complex recipes is new. It's more than body painting.” He said, “The association of these findings with Neanderthals is rock-solid and people have to draw the associations and bury this view of Neanderthals as half-wits.” Reasons for differences Despite some differences in forehead size, brow ridges, posture, etc., there is no reason to doubt that Neanderthals were human. There were clearly medical reasons for some of the anatomical differences — arthritis, rickets, lack of vitamin D, and nutritional deprivation could cause bone problems that would account for some major differences — they are not because Neanderthals were non-humans. Neanderthals living in Ice Age climates certainly would have been susceptible to such problems. DNA interpretation “demonstrably wrong” There were claims in 1997 that DNA tests showed that Neanderthals and modern humans were different. But points 10, 11, and 12 above show more up-to-date research than those DNA claims, and the Trinkaus research confirms an overwhelming number of previous findings. Dr. Trinkaus said the more recent discovery of the part-Neanderthal boy seemed to undermine interpretations of the DNA research. He said the interpretation of the 1997 DNA research was “demonstrably wrong”. He and others clearly equate Neanderthals and modern humans as all interbreeding humans who were not even a separate subspecies. Let's face it. We are the only members of the Homo genus on earth. And all humans are interfertile. Even though we may speak 6000 different languages across the planet, and range greatly in height and build, we can breed with other humans anywhere on earth and have living human offspring. If Neanderthals were Homo like us, and everyone admits they were, then they would have been able to breed with us and have human children.