Are You Part Neanderthal?Posted: May 20, 2011 | Author: Greg Linster | Filed under: Human Evolution | 2 Comments »
According to an article in The Guardian posted here, “Most people living outside Africa can trace up to 4% of their DNA to a Neanderthal origin, a consequence of interbreeding between the two groups after the great migration from the continent.” I find this fascinating and have long wondered when science would be able to tell us about interbreeding between humans and the Neanderthals. Although we can only speculate, it’s fun to imagine what the cultural dynamics between the two species must have been like.
After reading the article, I’m left to ponder the following question though: What happened to the rest of the Neanderthals? Apparently, humans may have eaten them, but that claim is still pure speculation. Ben Atlas dares to suggest it may have been genocide, alas, more recent human history surely supports that as a feasible claim.
I think Kurt Vonnegut put it best, “How embarrassing to be human.” And to think the dictionary defines neanderthals as “primitive, uncivilized, and boorish”. Is anything more boorish than eating a species you mate with? The next time someone asks: Are you part Neanderthal? I think I’ll answer with “only the good part.”