Hostilopithicus Ramificationus? (Ardi)

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Tommy_Paine
Hostilopithicus Ramificationus? (Ardi)

 

Well, I always did say Bonobos were more evolved than humans.  Seems I was right:

 

http://www.thestar.com/sciencetech/article/704293

 

Amoung other things, it also turns the whole savannah encouraged upright walking theory on it's head.

Yet the males of her species also had the small canine teeth that distinguish humans from great apes.

This dental detail, says Lovejoy, is a key clue to the walking mystery.

Male apes with small canines were less capable of fighting off competitors, Lovejoy says, and would have to offer females something more for mating favours.

"Instead of males gaining access to females by threatening other males ... they're getting access to females by providing them food," he says. Upright walking made it easier to carry that food through their woodland environment.

"So the whole savannah theory (of walking) is now gone as well."

 

Perhaps as startling is the enfolding of evolutionary psychology with paleantology.

Good thing we have small canines, I expect much fighting over the extrapolations.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

The lead in the Star article is not justified by the content. To say Ardi descended from the last common ancestor of humans and apes is a far different proposition from saying that Ardi - or other apes - descended from humans. It's been known for over 100 years that humans and apes had a common ancestor (who was NOT a human), and Ardi changes nothing in that regard.

P.S. I have a large canine - about 85 lbs.

Tommy_Paine

The tooth will out.

 

Took me a carefull re-read to grasp what you were saying, Spector.  I think where the missunderstanding runs is the blending of how people grasp evolution as opposed to how it actually works.  Even scientists and educators who I think should know better seem to flit from one view to the other, causing confusion.

 

Sarann

Who cares.  I love her anyway.

stellersjay stellersjay's picture

A facinating discovery tinged, for me, with regret that Lovejoy is getting a podium for his stupid theory of male provisioning, in which humans (that is men) evolved bipedalism as a way for men to carry food home to women in exchange for sex.

The timing of Lovejoy's theory (1981) was interesting. Man the Hunter had been exposed as a crock by anthropological studies all over the world that found women in hunter-gatherer societies providing 90% of the food. Even lions, horror of horrors, were found to be fed mostly by lionesses. That's when Lovejoy's theory conveniently placing males once again at the centre of evolution appeared.

Jingles

Men must serve some purpose. Otherwise, we'd go the way of the Drone bee and ant after we performed our reproductive function.

martin dufresne

We need a Babble Hall of Duhs...

 

Brian White

Females fighting for male attention then?  (I wear dentures) .  I think they should wait for more fossils before jumping to conclusions. I bet they will find or have already found chimps of similar age.  How do they get this new fellow to indonesia to father or mother oran utans?

I saw a program on female education of male baboons a few years ago.  In exchange for sex with an entire troopette of baboons, all he had to do was be nice to the kids!  But the silly baboon couldnt do it!  He bit one of the kid baboons when he thought the females were not looking.  They chased him and bit the shit out of him!  It was amazing!  

 And I think it puts the bullshit theorys into perspective.

  Who would know without seeing it that the female baboons in some part of ethiopia would have turned the tables so completely on the males?   I cannot remember which have the bigger teeth, the male or female.

I just remember that male aggression is pretty much negated. And who knows how society was for the apes millions of years ago?

Brian.

stellersjay stellersjay's picture

Brian, your baboon story is the perfect way of illustrating what I was getting at. You've made my day. I'd put in a big smile but my formatting bar affliction has returned after a brief remission earlier today.

Tommy_Paine

That's when Lovejoy's theory conveniently placing males once again at the centre of evolution appeared.

 

That's what I thought would be so controvertial.  I mean, I suppose it could have happened that way.  Maybe females provided more food, or the bulk of it, but males returning with meat, while a small part of the over all diet, would have presented something of percieved value. 

But, that's the problem.  I think we could concoct a lot of hypothesis around skeletal remains.  To extrapolate from one incomplete skeleton a whole social order, is, I think, pushing the envelope a tad.

And, even if the previous hypothesis concerning bibedal development is brought into question, that alone does not bolster any other theory-- no more than Piltdown Man prove Creationism. 

 

autoworker autoworker's picture

Yeah, Ardi...I think I worked with that guy.

stellersjay stellersjay's picture

If the evidence actually was telling us what Lovejoy's theory claims it would be a different story, but it's a conclusion unsupported by the evidence.

The field is very rigorous scientifically in some ways, but the interpretive lens is cultural, not scientific. In the past that's led to wild extrapolation from the thinnest evidence, always to bolster some theory that centres the evolutionary process on males who drive it by competing for the great inert blob of femaledom.

We can adjust the theory to accommodate evidence from, say, hunter-gatherer societies, so it's OK to change Man the Hunter to Man the Bringer of Some Sort of Goodies, but the interpretive lens that insists on the placement of males at the centre of the process is sacrosant. At this point, it's getting old (pun intended).

Brian White

Someone noted that there were very few of us 50 or 60,000 years ago.   (I think genetic evidence shows that we are decended from a couple of thousand people at that time).  But at that time, homonoids were spread to europe, asia and the islands of indonesia.  Perhaps these few thousand people could interbreed with those homonoids  when modern humans began their great expansion but for whatever reason (perhaps racism in their culture) they chose to eat them instead.  So they ate the last neanderthals 25 to 30 thousand years ago, and they ate the last flores people 15,000 to 20,000 years ago.

I have noticed that science is collectively glossing over our horrific past.  (They only mention the neanderthals as possible pot roasts) but there were at least 4 or 5 other human species at the time that went into the pot too.

It is a shame because as a species we probably need the genetic diversity more than modern humans needed the protein.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Brian White wrote:

Perhaps these few thousand people could interbreed with those homonoids  when modern humans began their great expansion but for whatever reason (perhaps racism in their culture) they chose to eat them instead.

Cannibalism among early humans was definitely not motivated by "racism".

ETA: What's a "homonoid"? If you mean "hominoid" the only ones of those that humans could interbreed with were "hominids".

Brian White

Why not?  If you are a hungry guy and you meet a hungry girl,  is your first impulse to eat her? Or even your third or 4th impulse? So what if she is a bit harier, or she has funny ridges over her eyes?   I think they were a bunch of racist savages.

Sure,  there might be a strong impulse to kill and eat other men but not the women.

Perhaps we should look at canabalism in existing cultures and in celts etc before the romans stopped it.  Did they eat all their enemys? Did they keep some as slaves or as bedroom attendants?  Saint Patrick might be an example here.  He did not get eaten.  He was stolen as a slave.

 

 

M. Spector wrote:

Brian White wrote:

Perhaps these few thousand people could interbreed with those homonoids  when modern humans began their great expansion but for whatever reason (perhaps racism in their culture) they chose to eat them instead.

Cannibalism among early humans was definitely not motivated by "racism".

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Good grief!

Brian White

Good grief yourself.  Even ants take slaves.  Either the early humans could not breed with the people they ate on their travels or their culture prohibited them from breeding with them.    And the genetic record so far is pretty strongly suggesting that they did not breed with ANY of the other peoples.

If your culture prohibits breeding with your captives it makes you racist.

 

M. Spector wrote:

Good grief!

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Brian White wrote:

If your culture prohibits breeding with your captives it makes you racist.

Good grief!

Brian White

M. Spector.  Would you prefer if the invading saxons exterminated the britons when they invaded england? Every single one of them?   Same with the romans. The romans took slaves back from every part of the empire. And eventually slave genes became part of rome, and decendents became emperors.  Would you prefer if they had build extermination camps  everywhere they went?

On the other hand it seems that our distant ancestors exterminated EVERY human they met when they expanded their numbers and migrated from africa to europe and asia.

Given the choice between exterminating your kin or breeding with them, which do you think is more humane?

And which do you think is more racist? 

I think you have a few issues to deal with.

M. Spector wrote:

Brian White wrote:

If your culture prohibits breeding with your captives it makes you racist.

Good grief!

Tommy_Paine

Xenophobia is probably part of our early make up,  but I'm unconvinced that canibalism as a primary way of getting protien was part of our make up.  The taboo's are just too strong to be anything other than something hardwired, and as we know now for good reason.  You can get nasty sick from eating your own species.     

We do see canibalism appear in extreme conditions where it's that or death.   And even then, it's noted that the first body parts utilized are the ones least recognizable as human.  

Accusations of canabalism, however, are often used to dehumanize another population; for example, by Roman conqueror's trying to politically justify a pretty self serving and unjustifiable foray into Gaul and Britania.  One must read Ceasar with a grain of salt.

And Herman Mellville's autobiographical account of his time amoungst "Canibals" in the book "Typee" is instructive on this account.

 

Anyway, that's what's eating me today.

Brian White

Thank you,  Tommy.  There is plenty of evidence that celts ate each other in the early days.  But it probably was mostly ceremonial or spoils of big battles. 

And cooking mostly eliminated the dangers.

Maybe the tribes where mum said "don't eat the heads" are the ones that survived better. (Many celtic tribes were headhunters but what did they do with the bodys?) I do not think there was a generalized taboo against eating human flesh.  Every eating taboo we have has localized exceptions. And for most of human history, people were starving at least sometimes in their lives. My aunt Mabel worked in new guinea among head hunters in the 1960's, she was a nurse.

I think the early humans of our line  50,000 or 60,000 years ago decided to treat all other humans as "bush meat". Perhaps the other humans could not speak or had "primative features" in the eyes of our ansestors.  I think that makes them racist.  The genetic evidence is pretty strong. There were people all across africa, asia europe and into the islands of indonesia 50,000 or 60,000 years ago. But no genetic material from the neanderthals or any of the asian peoples remain in our genome. Even among the Africans where the expansion started,  the genetic evidence shows that there was a "crimp"  only a couple of thousand of us at one point.  But the  evidence in the earth is that humans were spread right across africa at that point too!   That points to people of our line first killing off very close relatives at the start of their expansion. (Perhaps other tribes of the same species) and later as they entered europe and asia, killing off humans any time they met them. At least at the start and probably as they continued their expansion, interbreeding should have been a possibility.

I think the evidence points to racism in their culture from the very start, 50,000 or 60,000 years ago.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

One scientist floats a theory that humans ate neanderthals 30,000 years ago, based on a single fossilized jawbone found in France, and you turn it into a stupid theory about racism!

Neanderthals were not humans. They were a different species from homo sapiens. That's why there's no neanderthal DNA in our genome. They were not a different race of humans. Even if there were any validity to your bizarre assertion that cannibalism is motivated by racism, it would not apply in the case of the neanderthals.

It's nothing more than pure fancy to suggest that humans ate neanderthals because they were different or inferior beings. And it's an even bigger leap of nonsense to suggest that such a hypothetical attitude on the part of early homo sapiens could be called racism.

Racism is not about how people feel. Nor is it about people not liking the looks of other people. It is a system of exploitation and oppression of a racialized group of humans by another group of humans (i.e. "whites"), who hold power over them. Racism simply did not exist 30,000 years ago.

Brian White

How do you know that homo sapiens could not breed with neanderthals?  It is not a flight of fancy at all to conclude that, especially at the start, some cultural taboo prevented our ancestors from breeding with their next door neighbours.   Sorry mate, racism IS about not liking the look or colour of the guy (and girl) from the nearby tribe.  And it is an absurd to suggest that racism did not exist 30,000 years ago.

I guess rape did not exist either? Or murder? Because those noble savages would not stoop so low?  I grew up in rural ireland and i could go out into a field and see cows of all colours but when I went to the local town, I only saw white people.

 The first time I spoke to a black person I was about 15.   You think northern europe became that white by chance? Or by survival of the fittest?  So why has different parts of asia different skin tones? You cannot put it all down to the amount of sunlight or climate region.

People need to grow up and get real.  Racism is as old as humanity.  It is a bad part of what we are. But perhaps it is mostly cultural.

 

M. Spector wrote:

One scientist floats a theory that humans ate neanderthals 30,000 years ago, based on a single fossilized jawbone found in France, and you turn it into a stupid theory about racism!

Neanderthals were not humans. They were a different species from homo sapiens. That's why there's no neanderthal DNA in our genome. They were not a different race of humans. Even if there were any validity to your bizarre assertion that cannibalism is motivated by racism, it would not apply in the case of the neanderthals.

It's nothing more than pure fancy to suggest that humans ate neanderthals because they were different or inferior beings. And it's an even bigger leap of nonsense to suggest that such a hypothetical attitude on the part of early homo sapiens could be called racism.

Racism is not about how people feel. Nor is it about people not liking the looks of other people. It is a system of exploitation and oppression of a racialized group of humans by another group of humans (i.e. "whites"), who hold power over them. Racism simply did not exist 30,000 years ago.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

There is absolutely no scientific evidence for your ridiculous theories. You make them up out of your own fevered imagination.

 

Brian White

You do not like the idea that cultural racism is very old. 

There is plenty of evidence.  Tell me why there was only one or 2 great migrations of homo sapiens out of Africa?  How about cultural racism stopping later migrations?   We have no good explanation why there were only 1 or 2 migrations. Why not a gradual "seeping of genes" across arabia and on to europe and asia? 

It does not seem to have happened.

Those first people that migrated from africa must have been extremely hostile to ALL outsiders. They came through the middle east and basically refused to allow any more human genes through that channel to the rest of the world.   More circumstantial evidence, I think that they were very racist in their culture.

oldgoat

M. Spector wrote:

There is absolutely no scientific evidence for your ridiculous theories. You make them up out of your own fevered imagination.

 

 

M. Spector, you can disagree, even vigorously, without being like that.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

oldgoat wrote:

M. Spector, you can disagree, even vigorously, without being like that.

Ooh. Did somebody push the "cybaby button"?

Never mind, I'm done with this stupid argument.

oldgoat

" rolly eyes emoticom "

remind remind's picture

[slight drift] h the new pro bono ad that comes up when you enter this thread, positioned right above this; "always did say Bonobos were more evolved than humans.[/drift]

Brian White

Certainly wasn't me.   Anyway, I think efforts are well underway to get a good handle on the neanderthal genome.   I think it is reasonable to suggest that our line could have had kids with neanderthals.  It is also reaonable to suggest that none survived because our line was exceptionally racist.

I did not realize that the earlier men had made it to australia too.  But just like in the rest of the world, our line "outcompeted" them.   Have any of you seen lord of the flys?  It is a story about culture.  I personally believe a great many of the other humans ended up in the cooking pot.

Brian

M. Spector wrote:

oldgoat wrote:

M. Spector, you can disagree, even vigorously, without being like that.

Ooh. Did somebody push the "cybaby button"?

Never mind, I'm done with this stupid argument.

Brian White

So, I guess that since our discussion, lots has changed, genetics became good enough to show that many modern people actually have neanderthal genes and even genes from another human species that we didn't even know existed!  So, I guess they did not eat all the competiton.  Some wonderful half modern babies were produced but they must have had a hell of a time passing their genes on because only 4% is left. I think that about half a million

I found a neat little documentary about our ansestors and how they competed with neanderthals and other species of humans in India, and in Europe. I wonder how the competition went in Africa? As far as I know, conditions there are not so good for preserving dna over 50 and 100 thousand years.  http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/planet-of-the-apemen-battle-for-earth  (I havn't watched it all yet).

Anyway, I still think that our ancestors were a bunch of canabilistic racist thugs but maybe not quite as awful as I originally thought. Really 4% is a pretty small haul of genes from a species that existed for half a million years. (more than twice as long as us).

Michelle

M. Spector wrote:

Neanderthals were not humans. They were a different species from homo sapiens. That's why there's no neanderthal DNA in our genome. They were not a different race of humans. Even if there were any validity to your bizarre assertion that cannibalism is motivated by racism, it would not apply in the case of the neanderthals.

It's nothing more than pure fancy to suggest that humans ate neanderthals because they were different or inferior beings. And it's an even bigger leap of nonsense to suggest that such a hypothetical attitude on the part of early homo sapiens could be called racism.

Racism is not about how people feel. Nor is it about people not liking the looks of other people. It is a system of exploitation and oppression of a racialized group of humans by another group of humans (i.e. "whites"), who hold power over them. Racism simply did not exist 30,000 years ago.

Clearly, you haven't read any Jean M Auel novels! ;)

Sineed

Since M. Spector wrote that post, evidence has emerged suggesting that we do have Neanderthal in our DNA.

At least cannibals aren't guilty of speciesm.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Actually, since I wrote that, as Brian points out above, some scientists are now claiming that we do have some Neanderthal DNA. If it turns out that Homo sapiens interbred with Homo neanderthalensis scientists will have to rethink the status of Neanderthals as a separate species.

I still maintain that Brian doesn't understand the first thing about racism. 

Michelle

According to Jean M. Auel, humans called neanderthal "flatheads".  And the heroine (human) was found abandoned at birth and adopted by neanderthals and ended up bearing a half-neanderthal baby.  And once she got back into human society as an adult, she discovered that human society hated neaderthals and called them mean names, like the aforementioned "flatheads".  So there.

;)

6079_Smith_W

... Everyone except those of African descent, who are pure Homo sapiens. This happened because the strains which became Neanderthal left Africa earlier. So Homo sapiens who migrated later inbred with them. Those who remained in Africa did not.

Sapiens and neanderthal are two separate species (and there are others, including one which may have been discovered recently); it just happens that most of us are mongrels. And not claiming; it is hard science.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17370170

And in case anyone was wondering how narrow the gene pool is, this is how close we may have come to extinction at one point - 15,000 people:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toba_catastrophe_theory

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Sapiens and neanderthal are two separate species (and there are others, including one which may have been discovered recently); it just happens that most of us are mongrels.

Offspring of "two separate species" are called hybrids, not mongrels. Typically mammal hybrids are sterile and cannot reproduce among themselves offspring having the same hybrid genome. If two species can mate and produce offspring of both sexes that can reproduce among themselves, then the original two species should not be considered separate species at all.

6079_Smith_W

Spector, do you have a professional opinion to that effect? I don't want to wander too far down this blind alley, but I believe the prevailing wisdom was, and still is that neanderthals were a separate species than sapiens. That is why they have a separate name.

Failing that, call it what you will, but most of us humans are the product of two species interbred. And looking at the stats, I'd say a fair number of us are fertile, despite that.

 

 

 

Fidel

I'm kind of shocked at the state of what some of us think of early man. Surely cannibalism was not popular for very long. And look where slavery took the Egyptians and Romans. After reading economic historian Michael Hudson, there is an interesting reason why certain pre-Roman empires lasted thousands of years longer than the Romans. Hudson says that all of the longest lasting civilisations/empires were careful not to allow usury and compound interest to overrun them. Hudson says there are all kinds of books pointing to various reasons for decline of the Romans, but most of them ignore Roman historians themselves who pointed to appalling greed, indebtedness and an inability to continue funding empire expansion. IOWs, the rich felt they were above paying taxes in support of empire and were addicted to "unearned income."

Jeremy Rifkin has an interesting take on civilisation and how empathy has shaped our societies over time. 

The Empathic Civilisation Jeremy Rifkin (YouTube)

Rifkin says studies have shown that people are softwired to experience another's plight as if we are experiencing it ourselves. And certain primates are more capable of it than others.

ETA:

Brian White wrote:
Good grief. Even ants take slaves/

And look where they are as a result. Apparently slavery and cannibalism are roads to serfdom and even lilliputianism long time.

6079_Smith_W

@ Fidel

No to go further down, but off the top of my head, I don't think the Eqyptians were big slavekeepers either. Certainly there is no evidence they ever kept the Israelites as slaves. That is a biblical myth.

 

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I believe the prevailing wisdom was, and still is that neanderthals were a separate species than sapiens. That is why they have a separate name.

That was the prevailing wisdom, yes, and in accordance with that, it was the prevailing wisdom that Homo neanderthalensis was a cousin of Homo sapiens, that they all died out without leaving any modern descendants, and that they were not ancestors of modern humans.

I am suggesting that in light of recent evidence that suggests H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis were capable of interbreeding, science will have to reconsider the prevailing wisdom that they were separate species, a proposition which prima facie rules out interbreeding.

Fidel

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ Fidel

No to go further down, but off the top of my head, I don't think the Eqyptians were big slavekeepers either. Certainly there is no evidence they ever kept the Israelites as slaves. That is a biblical myth.

You're right and I think the Sphynx might even be pre-Egyptian. But who built the pyramids if not slaves? Were there unionized guilds of stone masons, carpenters and seafarers back then?

Rabble_Incognito

M. Spector wrote:

Actually, since I wrote that, as Brian points out above, some scientists are now claiming that we do have some Neanderthal DNA. If it turns out that Homo sapiens interbred with Homo neanderthalensis scientists will have to rethink the status of Neanderthals as a separate species.

It is more substantial than a mere 'claim' it is now best described as 'normal science'. The genetics 'specifies' we 'did the monkey' with a monkey. People will use objects, right, or hands, so why not engage with someone who feels good? I think most activities that humans 'can' do or are 'capable' of physically doing, some human will have done.

 

 

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Rabble_Incognito wrote:

It is more substantial than a mere 'claim' it is now best described as 'normal science'.

I won't consider it "normal science" until scientists decide that H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis were just variants of the same species, allowing them to interbreed. Until then, there is a disconnect between the "two distinct species" theory and the "interbreeding" theory.

I wonder, for example, whether the presence of some "Neanderthal DNA" in the human genome might be something we actually inherited from the last common ancestor of H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis, rather than something we acquired through interspecies mating.

Quote:
The genetics 'specifies' we 'did the monkey' with a monkey. People will use objects, right, or hands, so why not engage with someone who feels good? I think most activities that humans 'can' do or are 'capable' of physically doing, some human will have done.

Yes, but inter-species hanky-panky doesn't normally make one the ancestor of a new species capable of procreating itself. (Or is that where "sheeple" came from?)

Rabble_Incognito

This fits with the dialog:

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/discovering-ardi-ardipithecus-ramidus/

Pair bonding affords survival in a way that people who live alone understand all too well.  Perhaps the documentary can clear up some questions that remain about Ardi.

Spector - my memory is baked on Neanderthal but I was reading about it recently - the DNA science being 'normal science' is true as I know you know - but the specimens that held the DNA, I would think they could be questionable - I'm no anthro guy but interpreting specimens in a dig context can't be child's play. Plus our understanding of DNA is much greater now.

Re: interspecies mating - I was near the Bovine Sex Club this week.

http://www.bovinesexclub.com/website/home.php

I've been having troubles here using Search in my documentary site for the Ardi and Neander documentaries so here's a bunch unsorted:

Caissa

Robert Sawyer's Neanderthal Parallax series is very good on human neanderthal interactoion.

http://www.sfwriter.com/

Rabble_Incognito

The two species thing is a categorical distinction that I think I just saw in the Ape2Man doc was due in part to two German geneticists who looked at Neanderthal DNA against human and found a dozen or so differences in the genetic outline.  During the JP Rushton fiasco years ago, the wisdom was that human 'races' were separated by very few important genetic differences - hair texture, eye colour possibilities, skin colour, etc. Stuff that doesn't really matter. But the concept of race wasn't projected by the rest of the community as being of significance - the whole notion of race was a bit suspect. For Rushton, yes race was real. He saw differences in penis size and brain size that many of us thought irrelevant (as well as empirically suspect).

So when science applies a categorical like 'two different species' it begs the question 'what makes them categorically different'. You've suggested inability to make babies with each other which is fine - good defn. So if they can procreate we'd agree they're in the same species technically speaking. In the doc, the researchers make this early conclusion based on 11 differences between mod human and NDTHL, but these may not be 'relevant' to the act of procreation - they could be hair colour, eyes, it's unknown - remember this was when they concluded Neanderthal was a different species - they said nothing about procreation and in the doc it was untested.

6079_Smith_W

Well what do they say? 

The nearest anyone has come is to suggest that they are a subspecies.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=our-neandertal-brethren  

Even though it is known that they were two distinct groups which interbred (and it was not from an earlier common ancestor, because African people do not share those genomes) it is still quite acceptable to call them two different species (since the term does not have one clear meaning, and neanderthals are themselves associated with different species).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neanderthal

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species

http://rafonda.com/interbreeding_between_species.html

(edit)

And another look at the two sides to the question:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3431609.stm

 

 

 

 

Fidel

Studies have shown that hair and eye colour are superficial differences between humans. Tests on mice have shown minute changes in nostril openings and skin pigment occur with changes in environment. We developed blond hair and blue eyes over relatively short amounts of time after migrating north following herds of game. Perhaps in as little as a few hundred thousand years we changed from black African in appearance to Nordic and everything in between.

Brian White wrote:
I have noticed that science is collectively glossing over our horrific past. (They only mention the neanderthals as possible pot roasts) but there were at least 4 or 5 other human species at the time that went into the pot too.
It is a shame because as a species we probably need the genetic diversity more than modern humans needed the protein.

The modern theory based on statistical evidence shows that we lost our genetic diversity after migrating from Africa. Africans are the most genetically diverse people today as a result. Bottlenecks and barriers to survival did occur, and war and conflict were probable factors according to some theories. But the largest bottlenecks were mountainous regions, the sea, glaciers, starvation and so on. As we migrated away from Africa, fewer numbers survived various bottlenecks to genetic diversity.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

The nearest anyone has come is to suggest that they are a subspecies.

">http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=our-neandertal-brethren...

That article says that “between 1 and 4% of the ge­nomes of people in Eurasia are derived from Neandertals” but doesn't explain what that means. Another article, in [url=http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/05/100506-science-neanderth... Geographic[/url], cites a study that found that "Neanderthal DNA is 99.7 percent identical to modern human DNA". 

How are those two statements to be reconciled? (that's not a rhetorical question)

Brian White

How come the "pure" homo sapiens have more genetic diversity than those that migrated to Europe and interbred with a whole other species of human? and those that migrated to Asia and interbred with a 3rd  whole separate species of human? (edited to add: Neandertals were in Europe a long time, they must have had a BUNCH of really useful genes that developed over that time as adaptation to european conditions but hardly any survive, even less survive from the central asian human which may have had even more adaptations than neandertals)  And maybe a 4th species of human existed in Asia!. My whole point is that the  Toba catastrophe theory assumes that other humans did not exist. Clearly there were lots of humans.  I am saying that there were other humans but our ancestors prefered eating them (bush meat) to screwing them. Maybe toba marks the  birth of religion or birth of extreme racism or extreme tribalism or  something like that. Maybe those that stayed in Africa did not have such a narrow view of the human species or weren't so canabal inclined  as my ansestors and that is the reason for their greater genetic diversity. I might have celtic ancestors. They were head hunters. They probably ate people. Some of the first nations  I know also had head hunters in their ancestors. So, isn't it reasonable to think that 30,000 years ago, our common ancestors ate people too?  Food was in shorter supply then because there was no farming. Maybe the people who stayed in Africa were just nicer people with a broader definition of what human is and prefered to eat animals?  I have no problem saying that my ancestors were (probably) a bad lot. I didn't choose them, and they didn't choose me as a decendant.

6079_Smith_W wrote:

... Everyone except those of African descent, who are pure Homo sapiens. This happened because the strains which became Neanderthal left Africa earlier. So Homo sapiens who migrated later inbred with them. Those who remained in Africa did not.

Sapiens and neanderthal are two separate species (and there are others, including one which may have been discovered recently); it just happens that most of us are mongrels. And not claiming; it is hard science.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17370170

And in case anyone was wondering how narrow the gene pool is, this is how close we may have come to extinction at one point - 15,000 people:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toba_catastrophe_theory

 

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