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The Neanderthal Debate - Comments

healthphysicist's Avatar Comment 1 by healthphysicist

Just today I was watching a documentary series on T.V. called Miracle Planet. The show hypothesized that modern humans had language and Neanderthal did not. This was seen as the significant survival ace for modern humans.

Sat, 03 May 2008 09:20:00 UTC | #165799

Truth Seeker's Avatar Comment 2 by Truth Seeker

>> 16 Apr 08: Neanderthal expert Dr Chris Stringer discusses new ideas of how neanderthals and early man co-existed with Telegraph Science Editor Dr Roger Highfield. <<

I have to strongly disagree with his premise.

Dr Roger Highfield probably did no co-exist with early man and neanderthals :-)

Sat, 03 May 2008 09:23:00 UTC | #165801

Tetsujin's Avatar Comment 3 by Tetsujin

He's an editor?

Sat, 03 May 2008 09:30:00 UTC | #165805

Mango's Avatar Comment 4 by Mango

What's even more interesting to me is that Homo erectus was contemporary with modern humans in Asia (Java definitely) only around 50,000 years ago.

Sat, 03 May 2008 10:03:00 UTC | #165810

mejdrich's Avatar Comment 5 by mejdrich

Excellent video. I love coming here not just for atheism, but to learn about science.

Sat, 03 May 2008 10:45:00 UTC | #165824

busterbrook's Avatar Comment 6 by busterbrook

Good video.

Sat, 03 May 2008 12:30:00 UTC | #165865

noodly_noodleson's Avatar Comment 7 by noodly_noodleson

Truth Seeker:

>> 16 Apr 08: Neanderthal expert Dr Chris Stringer discusses new ideas of how neanderthals and early man co-existed with Telegraph Science Editor Dr Roger Highfield. <<

I have to strongly disagree with his premise.

Dr Roger Highfield probably did no co-exist with early man and neanderthals :-)



But we still ought to teach the controversy!

Sat, 03 May 2008 13:12:00 UTC | #165873

sarah95's Avatar Comment 8 by sarah95

Great video. But the last question at the end was a bit silly. I hate when journalists ask those sort of questions. No, we won't be pulling any Jurassic Park stunts anytime soon, you dullard.

Sat, 03 May 2008 14:10:00 UTC | #165888

Wosret's Avatar Comment 9 by Wosret

Who'd interbreed with them? Did you see that skull? I can only imagine what trolls their women must have been. I doubt even the furry community would want any Neanderthal lovin'.

Sat, 03 May 2008 14:25:00 UTC | #165897

moderndaythomas's Avatar Comment 10 by moderndaythomas

Comment#174815 Mitchell Gilks

Who'd interbreed with them? Did you see that skull? I can only imagine what trolls their women must have been. I doubt even the furry community would want any Neanderthal lovin'.


At least not until they fermented potatos.

And after all the articles and what on fools and idiots, it's refreshing to take in some authenticity for a change.
Though as sarah95 said, the last question was right out of fantasy land. It takes one stupid journalist to spoil an otherwise excellent article.

Sat, 03 May 2008 15:17:00 UTC | #165919

ThoughtsonCommonToad's Avatar Comment 11 by ThoughtsonCommonToad

It takes one stupid journalist to spoil an otherwise excellent article.

The thing is if he had answered differently that would have been the lead. Don't you just hate our sound bite , superficial culture.

Sat, 03 May 2008 15:33:00 UTC | #165925

noamzur's Avatar Comment 12 by noamzur

Truth Seeker:

>> 16 Apr 08: Neanderthal expert Dr Chris Stringer discusses new ideas of how neanderthals and early man co-existed with Telegraph Science Editor Dr Roger Highfield. <<

I have to strongly disagree with his premise.

Dr Roger Highfield probably did no co-exist with early man and neanderthals :-)




But we still ought to teach the controversy!


I don't know what made me laugh louder - the original comment or the reply. Both utterly brilliant. I always thought Douglas Adams had clinched it when he revealed our history of Golgafringians...

But on a more serious note - very interesting little video, delightful and insightful as always. Thank Dawkins for this site, it really is a clear-thinking oasis!

Sat, 03 May 2008 16:01:00 UTC | #165937

Lionspoint's Avatar Comment 13 by Lionspoint

Truth Seeker wrote:

Dr Roger Highfield probably did no co-exist with early man and neanderthals :-)

Reread the title and that was mighty funny.

Sat, 03 May 2008 16:10:00 UTC | #165943

ficklefiend's Avatar Comment 14 by ficklefiend

Ah, I just got this guys book. Haven't started it yet though, interesting.

Sat, 03 May 2008 16:18:00 UTC | #165946

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 15 by mordacious1

I read somewhere recently where it was discovered that Neanderthal had developed the ability for language. As we learn more about them, we are finding that they were much more advanced than previously thought. If I remember correctly, it was R. Rugley's "The Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age". Great book.

Sat, 03 May 2008 16:34:00 UTC | #165954

lievemebe's Avatar Comment 16 by lievemebe

Dr Stringer describes the demise of Neanderthal as resulting from being passively marginalised by the quicker responsiveness and greater adaptability of humans to climatic and environmental changes.

However, modern humans are extremely competitive and have a propensity for sophisticated modes of attack. I find it difficult to believe that humans did not actively war against Neanderthals and other species that would have been competing for resources in the refugia.

Sat, 03 May 2008 17:45:00 UTC | #165973

moderndaythomas's Avatar Comment 17 by moderndaythomas

Comment#174895 lievemebe

I find it difficult to believe that humans did not actively war against Neanderthals and other species that would have been competing for resources in the refugia.


It's the clear propensity for warfare by humans today that perpetuates this idea that early human populations may have clashed with Neanderthal (in fact our nearest living relative, the chimp, also engages in organized warfare if I'm not mistaken). The trouble is that there is no physical evidence to support a clash.
Early humans had a good tool kit for hunting and slaughtering and this is evident in the fossilised mammal bones left behind near their camps; evidence of butchering and the like.
But there is no sign of a clash between Saps and Neanderthal in the same way.

It's also important not to project such things with so many creation minded people mis-interpreting the suppositions of scientists these days. Many claim that dinosaures and humans have coexisted but clearly there is no sign of slaughter and butcher with dino bones either.

No evidence is no evidence

Sat, 03 May 2008 18:26:00 UTC | #165984

lievemebe's Avatar Comment 18 by lievemebe

But there is no sign of a clash between Saps and Neanderthal in the same way.

The interview could have made this more clear. Absence of evidence, while it doesn't prove anything, is an important part of exposition.

It's also important not to project such things with so many creation minded people mis-interpreting the suppositions of scientists these days.


I will say whatever needs to be said. My posts are not governed by the stupid machinations of creationists.

Sat, 03 May 2008 18:46:00 UTC | #165987

ofir's Avatar Comment 19 by ofir

A new black squirrel is replacing the grey squirrel (itself an import) in England. No warfare is involved.

Sat, 03 May 2008 19:17:00 UTC | #165993

moderndaythomas's Avatar Comment 20 by moderndaythomas

I will say whatever needs to be said. My posts are not governed by the stupid machinations of creationists.


That's fair, but what's good for the goose.......

Sat, 03 May 2008 20:03:00 UTC | #166000

Oppomystic's Avatar Comment 21 by Oppomystic

I have to admit that that is one movie I would like to see:

A Neanderthal is created using old DNA or whatnot and takes it upon himself to eradicate the very creatures that killed off his own people..."Payback's a bitch. Take that, you modern, upright arseholes. I'll teach you to wipe out my species!"

It's Encino Man meets Jurassic Park meets Rambo. I'll get working on that script...

Sat, 03 May 2008 21:29:00 UTC | #166015

dragonfirematrix's Avatar Comment 22 by dragonfirematrix

I love the way science evoles and learns.

Now, if the Neanderthals of religion were able to learn. Pipe dream. The religious will never understand their existance.

Sat, 03 May 2008 21:35:00 UTC | #166017

lievemebe's Avatar Comment 23 by lievemebe

moderndaythomas
I take your point that we need to start with evidence.

Sat, 03 May 2008 21:37:00 UTC | #166018

lievemebe's Avatar Comment 24 by lievemebe

ofir
The black squirrel introduced to the UK is more aggressive, eats insects and worms in addition to nuts and can interbreed with the grey. In this situation the losers are grey males that have limited options either in attack or retreat.

Similar invasion of the UK by Romans, Vikings and Normans was successful in the development of Homo britannicus, but was not a completely peaceful process.

However, I do concede that no evidence was presented for warfare between Neanderthals and Homo sp.

Sat, 03 May 2008 21:39:00 UTC | #166020

debbyo's Avatar Comment 25 by debbyo

Did Neanderthals have a soul?

Sun, 04 May 2008 00:27:00 UTC | #166039

lievemebe's Avatar Comment 26 by lievemebe

Did Neanderthals have a soul?

No, they were sold out by sapiens.

Sun, 04 May 2008 02:07:00 UTC | #166051

ofir's Avatar Comment 27 by ofir

lievemebe - From what I understand the black squirrel is a local mutation.

Sun, 04 May 2008 04:34:00 UTC | #166080

Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Comment 28 by Rawhard Dickins

Would neanderthal DNA have any useful features that are now lost?

Sun, 04 May 2008 07:35:00 UTC | #166111

moderndaythomas's Avatar Comment 29 by moderndaythomas

debbyo

Did Neanderthals have a soul?


Good one! If science succeeds in cloning a human, will the christian population deny him/her a soul?
Who's a Nazi now?

lievemebe

I take your point that we need to start with evidence


Ooops, I goofed. Discovery in science begins with no evidence, just an idea. But if in the end there's no evidence.....So sorry.

Sun, 04 May 2008 10:18:00 UTC | #166153

Gaffer's Avatar Comment 30 by Gaffer

I remember a TV programme a few years ago where a scientist had the theory that homosapiens, who had smaller brains, were physically smaller, and had a weaker sense of smell and hearing than neanderthals, came to dominate because they domesticated dogs (stay with me here....)

The dogs became the 'ears and noses' of the homosapiens, allowing the 'saps to focus their brain resources on developing language and creative thinking. Which then allowed them to overcome the neanderthals (either through direct or indirect competition).

I can't remember what evidence he had for any of this, but as a canine lover it seemed like a nice story.

Sun, 04 May 2008 14:34:00 UTC | #166207