Were Neanderthal and
Cro Magnon Genetic Crossbreeds?
By James Donahue
For years scientists
have wondered how Cro Magnon man, who thrived between about 45,000 to 10,000 years ago, and Neanderthal man, who was here
from 300,000 years to 20,000 years ago, came into existence and then survived so long before going extinct.
Evidence has been found
that Homo Sapien, or modern humans, have been around for at least 200,000 years. Thus it is clear that we co-existed with
both Cro Magnon and Neanderthal during times that they walked the Earth.
What we know about Cro
Magnon is they were as tall as we are, they had a similar brain size, but the skull had no brow ridges, with a high forehead
and projecting chin. They hunted with spears and made tools from blades of flint stone, and left art works on cave walls.
It is believed that they had the capability of speech.
Cro Magnon disappeared
about 10,000 years ago. Some believe they were unable to compete with Homo Sapiens and died off. Another possibility is that
there was cross-breeding and that the two species merged.
Neanderthal came into
existence at almost the same time Homo Sapiens did, and disappeared about 30,000 years ago.
But the origin of these
uniquely different humanoid species has been a puzzle.
A recent bit of information
about the similarities of DNA in both humans and the ape, however, may have shed some light on this matter. Dr. Calum MacKellar,
director of research at the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics, noted that because of this close relationship, he believes
it is possible for a hybrid type of humanoid to be created by fertilizing a female chimpanzee with human sperm.
Indeed, is it possible
that such a hybrid has already existed, and that it was either Neanderthal and/or Cro Magnon man?
MacKellar issued this
information with a warning that contemporary scientists, in their rush to use new DNA information to fill a growing demand
for organ donors, might consider inseminating chimpanzees with human sperm. He worried about the hybrid humanoid that might
emerge as a result of such a cross.
Genetic researchers who
have studied the feasibility say there is no reason why the two species could not breed, although they wonder why anyone would
want to try it. Indeed, we may wonder why, but we know that humans have been having sex with animals for thousands of years.
The act is listed among the forbidden acts delivered by Moses in the Old Testament.
While most animals are
not genetically capable of cross breeding, others are. For example hybrid species have been successfully produced by crossing
tigers and lions and sheep with goats.
MacKellar, who is urging
passage of legislation that would ban such experimentation between chimpanzees and humans, said he worries that if the process
is not banned, scientists wil be “very likely” to try it.