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Author Topic:   The Mammuthus Moment: Are You a Neanderthal?
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Message 16 of 19 (149141)
10-11-2004 2:52 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by jar
10-08-2004 6:19 PM

Remember, while we often say that ranges overlap, population density was also considerably smaller than today and physical barriers to travel were of a greater magnitude.
If you have ever hunted, you will understand that even when you are in an area where it is known that your target species is available, it is often the case that you will never see a single critter. Even in our modern manicured wilderness, it's not unusual to find tracks crossing your path of a critter you never saw.
There is a culture of hunting here in Idaho. Almost every year someone is shot by another hunter hiding in the bush, or a horse is hit etc. Imagine missing a deer or an accidental misfire hitting another hunter trying to hide himself just like you. The odds seem slim yet it happens. I would expect the same thing to happen in Europe, where neadnerthals and cro magnon man are hunting the same herd and run into each other. This would most likely be male to male contact, but fights over hunting grounds would probably involve the invasion of living areas that would include women. This is all speculation, but I would expect that gene flow was socially restricted, not geographically restrited.
This message has been edited by Loudmouth, 10-11-2004 01:53 PM

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 Message 12 by jar, posted 10-08-2004 6:19 PM jar has not replied

John A. Davison 
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Message 17 of 19 (154401)
10-30-2004 11:48 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Mammuthus
10-11-2004 3:57 AM

I always assumed that Neanderthal was our ancestor for the simple reason that there was no other known hominid around that could qualify. H. sapiens surely was not created de novo as the Fundies might believe. I mention this because so many people think I am a Fundamentalist creationist which is utter nonsense. I suspect that we were derived from Neanderthal in a single saltational step which involved the silencing and activation of a number of genes. I also don't see how it could conceivably have been done gradually or through the accumulation of allelomorphic mutations. Excuse my heresy.

John Amerpohl Davison

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 Message 14 by Mammuthus, posted 10-11-2004 3:57 AM Mammuthus has replied

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 Message 18 by Mammuthus, posted 11-05-2004 8:42 AM John A. Davison has not replied

Member (Idle past 6584 days)
Posts: 3085
From: Munich, Germany
Joined: 08-09-2002

Message 18 of 19 (156146)
11-05-2004 8:42 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by John A. Davison
10-30-2004 11:48 AM

Recognizing that JAD cannot reply here, for anyone else who wishes to reply
I always assumed that Neanderthal was our ancestor for the simple reason that there was no other known hominid around that could qualify.
Given the papers summarized in the original column...can anyone reconcile the vastly different mtDNA sequences obtained from all neandertals to date with then being our ancestor?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by John A. Davison, posted 10-30-2004 11:48 AM John A. Davison has not replied

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 Message 19 by deerbreh, posted 07-06-2005 2:49 PM Mammuthus has not replied

Member (Idle past 3001 days)
Posts: 882
Joined: 06-22-2005

Message 19 of 19 (222208)
07-06-2005 2:49 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Mammuthus
11-05-2004 8:42 AM

"And the big question: were Neanderthals human?"
The short answer is no.
There has been near scientific consensus for some time (well before DNA analysis was available) that the Neanderthals were not human but were (on edit: at most) a closely related cousin. Having said that, there is still a great deal of controversy about the details. Dr. George Johnson has a nice little essay on it here if you are interested.
There has been a lot of speculation about how much interaction (socialization, conflict, interbreeding) there was between Neanderthals and modern man. The latest DNA evidence would suggest that if there was any interbreeding the Neanderthal genes are long gone. And the DNA evidence seems to rule out any possibility that Neanderthal was an ancestor of modern man (on edit) and confirm that Neantheral was a separate species and not a closely related cousin and thus not likely to have interbred.
This message has been edited by deerbreh, 07-06-2005 02:54 PM

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