Genetic Research Seeks Contemporary Links To Neanderthals
least one genetics researcher is daring to ask the question that has tickled the brains of many a geological archaeologist
over the years . . . did modern humans mate with Neanderthals while the two humanoid species shared the planet 40,000 years
the thought that thousands of years of cross-breeding might have been the reason the Neanderthals eventually went missing,
has certainly crossed this writer’s mind, as we are sure it has the minds of many researchers in the field.
the image of humans having sex with somewhat crude, hairy, almost ape-like creatures is difficult to accept, our background
as a sociologist and long-term news reporter in the field allows us to not only perceive it . . . we are almost sure it happened.
After all, humans are being arrested now for having sex with a wide variety of animals. A careful read of the commandments
recorded by Moses in the Books of the Law within the Old Testament are filled with thou-shalt-nots involving humans having
animal sex . . . so we know it has been going on for several thousands of years.
Svante Paabo, director of genetics at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology at Leipzig, hs studying the Neanderthal
genome from DNA retrieved from fossils. He is drawing comparisons with the genomes of modern humans and chimpanzees, and is
tackling the laborious task of attempting to trace the ancestry of all three species.
fossil record indicates that modern humans and Neanderthals co-existed in Europe for about 12,000 years before the Neanderthals
disappeared. Paabo believes he is sure they “had sex” with one another, but he hopes to determine whether they
were capable of producing fertile offspring.
Chris Stringer, head of human origins at the Natural History Museum, has noted that while the two humanoid species probably
mated and produced children, the children may have been unable to reproduce.
notes that the phenomenon would be comparable with the result of cross-breeding in other members of the animal kingdom, like
lions that breed with tigers, and horses with zebras.
that genetic road block did not happen in children born to the parents of modern humans and Neanderthals, it would mean that
the years of cross-breeding produced a different form of human that evolved to what exists on the planet today.
have noted that the early Neanderthals were much more primitive than their descendants. Before they “died out”
some 30,000 years ago, Neanderthals were acting a lot like modern humans. They were giving their dead complex burials, making
tools and using pierced beads to make jewelry.
his theory may be difficult for Paabo because of the length of time that has elapsed since the Neanderthals went extinct.
All traces of their DNA in modern humans may have become so diluted they are undetectable.
idea of interbreeding was floated a few years ago by an Austrian team of researchers who uncovered the bones of six humanoids
in the Miadec Caves in the Czech Republic that showed Neanderthal features, yet were found with stone and bone tools, ornaments
and other artifacts showing aesthetic artful design, something the primitive Neanderthal did not do.
to the puzzle is what happened to yet another species of humanoid, known as the Cro Magnon man, who also co-existed with Neanderthal
and modern Homo sapiens. Cro Magnon was believed to have been present on Earth from about 45,000 to 10,000 years ago. Neanderthal
man, who was much more successful, was present from 300,000 years to 20,000 years ago. Both of these species eventually disappeared.
Magnon man were as tall was we are, they had a similar brain size, but the skull had no brow ridges. These people were distinguished
with a high forehead and a protruding chin. They also had intelligence as they hunted with spears and made tools from flint
stone and left art works on cave walls.
contemporary anthropologists believe Cro Magnon and Neanderthal humanoids were one and the same species, but that the fossilized
bone structures were slightly different, which led to the different classifications.
course, another burning and unanswered question to all of this is where did all of these different humanoid species come from?
If Paabo’s research proves that modern humans overcame the
Neanderthals through interbreeding, might the same phenomenon have been linked to the disappearance of Cro Magnon humanoids?
While it is interesting to think that modern humans caused the
extinction of the species of humanoid that challenged his position on the planet by making love, everything we know about
the behavior of our species tells us this probably never happened.
When and if the truth is known, the facts will be that we probably
went to war and simply murdered the others into extinction. When you look at the way we behave today in dealing with other
nationalities, races and creeds, modern humans have not changed much at all.