Humans and Neanderthals: An introduction


31 Responses to “Humans and Neanderthals: An introduction”

  1. grs says:

    Boo auto-play.

  2. Daneel says:

    Autoplaying video? No thanks.

  3. Brian Cain says:

    Be much better if the video was autotune autoplayer

  4. OriGuy says:

    One of the reasons I keep headphones plugged in at work.

  5. Maggie Koerth-Baker says:

    Gaaah, sorry. I didn’t see that this was autoplay. Fixing. 

  6. scifijazznik says:

    has anyone mentioned the autoplay?

  7. zombiebob says:

    Being that to my knowledge I’m all non-African, unless I’m some strange sort of albinish foundling,  I’m psyched that I’m no doubt in small part descended from Neanderthals. Wicked awesome.

    •  Ultimately we are all Africans.

      • Maggie Koerth-Baker says:

        Including the Neanderthals. Which I like that this video points out. That’s part of why I’d love to see more of the Neanderthal genome sequenced for both sexes. I would not be surprised if it turns out that Africans actually do share some mutations with Neanderthals. It’s not like that species was born somewhere else. 

        • glaborous_immolate says:

          how would that work though. Neanderthals leave Africa at time T with small gene space compared to africans. Both groups continue to mutate, Differently. No shared mutations if no interbreeding. At time  T+1 future non-Africans leave Africa with small genespace. 

          They interbreed with neanderthals independent of Africans. Africans continue to mutate in their big genespace. Small genespace nonafricans and small genespace neanderthals continue to mutate. Eventually nonafricans diversify into whites, Chinese, american natives, Australasian, etc. And Africans mutate separately. So they’ve been diverging from the point at which nonafricans left for a long while. Nonafricans with a smaller genespace would have less variability overall than africans as a whole. 

          Isn’t that reasonable reading of the data?

        • Orchestra Spy says:

          watch the TED talks vid I posted.

  8. Jerril says:

    So, I know the autoplay is an issue, but now there’s no link to the video :/

    Never mind, there it is. *clicky*

  9. Lobster says:

    What’s gutteral pre-linguistic grunting for, “How YOU doin?”

  10. scifijazznik says:

    I get it.  He’s holding his wood.

  11. huskerdont says:

    Neanderthals apparently had club-headed penises that were attached a bit higher up than those of today.

    • Rebecca DeLaTorre says:

      Please tell me I am not alone in my shame at having spent several moments contemplating the neaderthal’s “penis” in that picture and its larger meaning to our species….

      • huskerdont says:

        I don’t think you are alone, but more seem interested in the serious genome stuff, which I couldn’t fully grasp. The permutations of the video were too complex for me, plus I was distracted by that whole “neandertal” pronunciation and went off on a search of my own to try to figure out where it comes from. At which I failed.

  12. _Username says:

    Truth is science is really taking a hard look at our Neanderthal cousins. And most agree they most likely were much gentler and at least as intelligent if not more , with more artistic  sensibilities. So to the morons thinking that having Neanderthal DNA has made people less than human or more violent then those with out Neanderthal DNA  the truth is just the opposite.
     We can in fact count our blessings on having this diversity in our DNA

  13. Keith says:

    Come on folks, the new hipster word is Neandertal, not Neanderthal.  Geez.

  14. Mister44 says:

    What I love is the irony that white supremacists want and boast of  a “pure race”, when only those who stayed in Africa are the ones with out Neanderthal sprinkled into the gene pool.

    • _Username says:

      I know what you mean it’s strange how having Neanderthal DNA has made us (apparently)  stronger ( as DNA diversity goes) as a species. Pure race my ass we’re all mutts descended  from even dumber apes

      • glaborous_immolate says:

        well, “us” only applies to non-africans. If you want to argue that neanderthal dna makes us stronger as a species, you’d be claiming that Africans lack that thing which makes non-Africans ‘stronger’

        • _Username says:

          Yes I guess I did and while “stronger” might be a poor choice of words more diverse DNA is the result and it is a fact that Neanderthal DNA has enriched our DNA , see sickle cell anemia for example. And to the douche that posit that  Neanderthal DNA has somehow made white people more prone toward violence, why don’t you take a stroll down on the south side of Chicago sometime then come and talk about violent people

          • nyrge says:

            Not quite with you there. The gene pool of non-africans was pretty shallow to begin with, coming from a relatively small number of emigrants, while the african population represents the original population, and you’d thus expect it to be vastly more diverse. (Anyone know of any data on that?) A bit of neanderthal might have made us better off than we’d otherwise have been, but the human diaspora as a whole would still have been mostly cut off from the more diverse source population.

  15. gwailo_joe says:

    I knew my uncle was an orangutan !

    Just kidding: more science like this please

  16. Aloisius says:

    The spelling for the German word “thal” or valley changed to “tal” in 1901. So in Germany, the valley as well as the species is spelled Neadertal whereas it used to be Neaderthal. In addition, even with the th spelling, American and British scientists typically pronounce it neadertal instead of neaderthal.

    • MarcVader says:

      You forgot the n.

      The Neandertaler as they are called in German however still remain Homo (sapiens) neanderthalensis in scientific taxonomy.

  17. Orchestra Spy says:

    If you found the video interesting I recommend watching this one, that is more in depth and covers the same topic:

  18. InsertFingerHere says:

    That penis is a little high and misshapen , but not much difference between us.

  19. Mordicai says:

    Thanks for this– I’ve kept it unread for a while now, since I want to devote a lot of attention to it.  I got my undergrad in anthropology, so this sort of stuff is in my wheelhouse, & as a kicker, I use Neanderthals (well, I call ‘em “Karnaks”) as a “race” in my RPG campaign, so I’ll be mining this.

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