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. In other words, there is a progressive move to describe Neanderthals as more and more similar to people today, which to me represents a very gradual move to correct the misrepresentations among evolutionists about Neanderthals.
Most depictions, imo, were largely false and misrepresentative. Neanderthals were people, did art, buried their dead, etc,...Keep in mind some tribes of people just 150 years ago and less lived in a similar fashion with similar levels of technology.
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.
The molecular argument, I believe, is made to argue that Neanderthals just died out and did not interbreed with the tribes of men that survived and were pur forefathers. Some other evidence, I understand, suggests that is not the case since there are examples, from what I have read, of a mix of traits. I think it is far more likely some Neanderthals did intermix with the Cro-Magnon tribe. Cro-Magnons were essentially identical to modern humans except generally taller is my understanding.
But regardless if Neanderthals died out or some mixed in to produce modern ethnic groups of humanity, I think it is unreasonable to think Neanderthals could not breed with people today, and are something less than just people.
This message has been edited by randman, 01-07-2006 03:44 PM
Cro-magnons were taller, I believe, not shorter, and 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.
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. 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.
The problem, imo, is evo scientists have made the term "species" to at times not be very useful. But as people, I think we all understand the term people, and so I am using it for clarity. Neanderthals were a race or tribe of people that either died out, or intermingled with other tribes and lost their distinctiveness.
There is not enough differences in Neanderthals to claim them as a different species, imo. Keep in mind that it took, once again, about 100 years to get evos to begin to back off insisting Neanderthals were a link between apes and humans.
Look at the representations of Neanderthals. The older are the more brutish and the more recent are the ones that depict Neanderthals as essentially identical in appearance to someone you'd see walking by you on the street, as you say. There is a reason for the progressive change in depiction. There was a myth created that all the evidence points to as a myth, and gradually the evo community has come to grips with it, and began to show Neanderthals as essentially just people.
Um, the "evo community" are the ones responsible for this change in depiction in response to the evidence. So what is your point?
Not solely. In fact, one of the common creationist complaints since the 50s is that evos misrepresent Neanderthals. It seems that with the advent of the internet, creationist criticism has gained a wider audience, and at the same time there has been more change within the evo community to drop the things creationists have long contended were erroneous. The change has been very slow, and it may not be possibe to prove causation, but it sure seems like creationist criticism is having an effect.
Re: Evolutionists have been trying to set the record straight since the 50s
Which is why there is no excuse for evos continually depicting Neanderthals in the ape to human transition so famous in textbooks and excessively ape-like. Once again, we see scientists showing that what is being taught is wrong, but it taking decades for those errors to leave college courses and textbooks.
I am not an expert on Homo Erectus and am aware that perhaps there are various forms referred to here, but in general, I have no problem thinking of him as a man, as people, if there were tools and evidence of thinking and acting as people.
This message has been edited by randman, 01-11-2006 02:28 AM
Actually, they don't. Book publishers do. Your side of the debate frequently mistakes the actions of book publishers as some sort of scientific baseline.
Actually, I showed on the Haeckel threads you were wrong to assert this. Evos generally write pr produce these textbooks, even university professors, such as the professor from Brown university. Trying to dimiss this as just book publishers doesn't pass the smell test, imo.
I have noticed, even in peer-review literature, a tendency among evos to rely on overstatement and defending icons way past time it was reasonable. I say "peer review" because after publicly denouncing Haeckel as one of the biggest frauds in all of biology (makes you wonder what the other ones are), a few years later and coincidentally after his comments were used to bash evos, he publishes a paper declaring them "good teaching aides."
Not to go over Haeckel again, but you have to see that with Neanderthals, Haeckel, microevolution equals macroevolution, etc, etc,...there IS A PATTERN. It's not our imagination. These are facts of evos continually relying on massive overstatements. Once you start noticing this trend, it's quite shocking to see it showing up in nearly all arguments for evolution, imo, except maybe genetics, and I say that just because I don't know as much about genetics to say one way or another, but even there, the "random mutations" parroted to the public often isn't qualified enough to have a clear, definite and testable meaning.
This message has been edited by AdminNWR, 01-11-2006 06:55 AM
Re: It's not the Neanderthals I'm worried about...
Nuggins, thanks for posting that image. It is exactly the type of thing I am talking about. I am not sure what current theory is, but we were taught Cro-magnon averaged 6' tall, had a slightly larger brain as well.
Neaderthal seems misrepresented as well.
Btw, I had thought more than one specimen, not just a girl, indicated interbreeding. Note the following article.
Neanderthals and modern humans not only coexisted for thousands of years long ago, as anthropologists have established, but now their little secret is out: they also cohabited.
At least that is the interpretation being made by paleontologists who have examined the 24,500-year-old skeleton of a young boy discovered recently in a shallow grave in Portugal. Bred in the boy's bones seemed to be a genetic heritage part Neanderthal, part early modern Homo sapiens. He was a hybrid, they concluded, and the first strong physical evidence of interbreeding between the groups in Europe.
"This skeleton demonstrates that early modern humans and Neanderthals are not all that different," said Dr. Erik Trinkaus, a paleoanthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis. "They intermixed, interbred and produced offspring."
Although some scientists disputed the interpretation, other scientists who study human origins said in interviews last week that the findings were intriguing, probably correct and certain to provoke debate and challenges to conventional thinking about the place of Neanderthals in human evolution.
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. ..... "This find should be devastating to the out-of-Africa people," Dr. Wolpoff said. "It shows their theory doesn't work, at least in Europe. And it shows that fundamentally, Neanderthals are the same species we are and they contributed their genes to European ancestry."