Neanderthals have been described, not just as "all over the map", but in fact were described as some sort of missing link, very ape-like, from the beginning, and though we have known such descriptions were wrong since the early 50s, Neanderthals were depicted with exagerrated ape-like features and often shown a series of evolutionary links, and still are at times in educational materials.
notice that overlap at the bottom, and that we are fairly closely related? this is the current mainstream academic understanding. do you have evidence for your claim that they are currently depicted as "ape-like" in educational material? that is, significantly more ape-like than us. there are some minor features of neanderthals that they do have in common with higher apes that we lack, but enough to readily describe them as "ape-like."
Imo, if you remove the historical misrepresentation and view the evidence outside of the evolutionary paradigms, the best way to view Neanderthals is simple as an ancient tribe of people. Due to inbreeding, certain traits will be more dominant among ethnic groups and tribes, and during periods of longer isolation probably partly due to weather, it is not surprising that some groups developed more pronounced features.
they differ from us in several marked ways. the proportions of the torso are completely different. they are much larger around the waist, skeletally, and generally more rotund. the angle of the back of the skull is different. neanderthals lack protruding chins, which all homo sapiens have.
they were a bit more than a different tribe. they were a different species. there is variation in neanderthal specimens, and variation in h. sapiens specimens, but neither range of variation approaches each other.
Cro-Magnons were essentially identical to modern humans except generally taller is my understanding.
shorter, iirc. still the same species, just on average shorter. due partially to diet, i'm sure.
This message has been edited by arachnophilia, 01-07-2006 07:43 PM
we've been over some of this ground before as far as Neanderthals sometimes still being depicted as excessively ape-like. There are several past threads dealing with that
...in which you never actually gave an example.
All of the differences altogether in Neanderthals are still rather slight, imo. There is a tendency in scientists today to classify some organisms as different species even if they can mate and reproduce sexually.
like lions and tigers? horses and zebras and donkeys? wolves and dogs?
the differences are not "slight" in the respect that you seem to think. there are skeletal features of all neanderthals that no homo sapiens possesses, and vice versa.
So rather than argue semantics, I would just say, imo, Neanderthals were just a race of people, had people habits and beleifs like burying their dead, art, etc,....and that there is no reason to think Neaderthal people if alive today could not mate with and live among us as just people. They died out, but the racial mix-up of people tends to change as tribes are either more or less isolated.
but they're not just a "race." they are a species. whether or not they are very similar, and whether or not they can (or did) interbreed with us. they are exactly as human as we are, just a different fork of the tree.
and this is more than isolation of a tribe. it is isolation of a tribe to the extent of speciation. edit: oh and,
Cro-magnons were taller, I believe, not shorter
quote:Early investigators were impressed by the stature of Cro-Magnon man, as some reconstructions suggest that the Old Man of Cro-Magnon may have been as much as 190 centimetres (six feet three inches) tall. A restudy, however, suggests that the stature of the original Cro-Magnon remains varied from 166 to 171 centimetres (five feet five inches to five feet seven inches). The stature of several skeletons from the Grimaldi Caves (in Italy, near the French frontier), which show clear affinities to those of Cro-Magnon, was noticeably greater, with an average height of 177 centimetres. It is thus reasonable to conclude that, on the whole, the Cro-Magnon peoples were relatively tall.
relatively tall when compared to earlier hominids. 5'5 to 5'7 is well within the paramaters of normal modern humans, just a little on the short side. 6'3 is not unheard of either. i happen to be 6'3. sounds like there's not really much difference here.
This message has been edited by arachnophilia, 01-08-2006 01:27 AM
It would require some sort of time machine to verify
finding a hybrid skeleton would do just fine. i've mentioned it before on here: i thought i had heard of one found, but i'm unsure of the veracity of the claim.
Personally, I'd love it if it turned out that Neanderthals bred with people in the past. I see the end of Neanderthals (a HUGELY successful group living in harsh conditions) as a red flag for modern man. Our hold upon the Earth is tenuous at best - we should not forget it.
we all die sooner or later, and speciation will probably continue to happen...
Re: Evolutionists have been trying to set the record straight since the 50s
I once did a thread asking people to honestly state how Neanderthals were presented to them. It was interesting.
could you link that, please? i want to see.
also, keep in mind that many people completely misunderstand science. popular opinion isn't really evidence of conspiracy or even sloppiness of the scientists' parts. afterall, in a poll 82% of americans believed that the phrase "god helps those who help themselves" is in the bible.