Are Neanderthals really different from Homo sapiens?

The general perception of Neanderthals

What is the first word that comes to your mind when you hear the word Neanderthal? For many, the answer is primitive, brutal, uncivilized, unintelligible, dwelling in a cave, and somewhere among the barbaric (Peters & Zwart, p.2). They cannot belong to the same species as Homo sapiens! This was the dominant story about Neanderthals and Homo sapiens. Neanderthals lived and coexisted with Homo sapiens in Europe for hundreds of thousands of years up to about 40,000 ya (Peeters & Zwart, p.3). The Neanderthals were considered “human barbaric and barbaric races” by 19th-century anthropologists such as Hermann Schaffhausen (Glausiusz, 2020).

Negative attitudes of Neanderthals

This attitude towards Neanderthals has not changed much in the last century. A recent 20-year-old scientific analysis shows that Neanderthals are “strongly constructed archaic humans specializing in hunting and cleaning large and dangerous prey in cold habitats.” (Shipman, p.14241). These negative attitudes towards Neanderthals are quite puzzling, especially given that they are our closest relatives and the most famous races other than us (Peters and Zwart, p. 3). It is only recently that the story of the relationship between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens has begun to change.

Differences between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens

There are important and undeniable differences between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens. For starters, the Neanderthals evolved in Eurasia. Homo sapiens have evolved outside Africa. Neanderthals had a box-shaped, sturdy body with a protruding face, whereas modern humans have a flat face, a thin and delicate body (Glausiusz, 2020). The Neanderthals were hunter-gatherers. Homo sapiens rely on cultivation and domestication for survival.

While the Neanderthal diet was strictly composed of the meat of other animals, the Homo sapiens diet varied and consisted of fruits, nuts, plants, and meat. The Neanderthals mainly used stones as tools. Homo sapiens used a variety of stone tools in addition to bones, antlers, ivory, and other special tools (Glausiusz, 2020). Homo sapiens was superior in art, unlike the Neanderthals, who were “limited in technology, art, imagination, and the ability to create an overall culture” (Peeters and Zwart, p.12).

Several theories, why the Neanderthals became extinct

Perhaps the most important difference is the extinction of the Neanderthals and the survival of Homo sapiens. There are several theories as to why the Neanderthals became extinct. According to one theory, Neanderthals were few and extinct due to their isolation from each other, adversely affecting their lines of communication (Engel, 2010). This meant that the Neanderthals were unaware of new inventions and technologies (Engel, 2010).

According to another theory, Neanderthals were so pleased with their skills and way of life that they became extinct because they had no reason to adapt to changes in their surroundings (Engel, 2010). They had a generalized adaptive approach that worked for them and supported them in all kinds of environments (Engel, 2010). However, it is important to note that while there are important differences between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens, it does not necessarily mean that they belong to different species.

Charles Darwin and Hybrid Charity

Charles Darwin, a British biologist, geologist, and naturalist known as the “Father of Evolution,” did not believe that mating of two different species in 2019 would lead to the creation of new species (Forsdyke, 3, p. 1859). .. This is known as hybrid sterility, and is the inability of hybrid species, which are descendants of 222 different species, to have their own children (Darwin, XNUMX, p.XNUMX). The new species created by reproductive isolation was constructed by Darwin’s evolutionary natural selection to actively work when the organism survives and produces offspring (Forsdyke, 2019, p.3). Darwin felt that hybrid sterility “could not be obtained by continually maintaining a beneficial degree of sterility” because neither the hybrid species nor its parents had any advantage (Darwin). , 1859, p. 222).

Darwin’s and other scientists view about hybrid infertility

Darwin’s view of hybrid infertility, and how it is not adapted, is accepted by today’s evolutionary biologists (Mallet, 2013, p.11). His claim that new species cannot be produced from reproductive isolation was fulfilled when his book was generally endorsed. Species Origin First published (Mallet, 2013, p.9). Biologist and anthropologist Thomas Henry Huxley said in a review of the book: The First and Infertility (Huxley, 1860, pp. 74-75) “(Mallet, 2013, pp. 9). But Darwin’s view is the origin of the species . For example, 20th-century evolutionist Ernst Mayr wrote in a 1963 book Animal Species and Evolution Darwin “has seriously attempted a rigorous analysis of the problem of species proliferation, the division of 1963 species into twelve. Never (Mayr, 2013, p.7) “(Mallet, 2013, p.7). Meyer, unlike Darwin, believed that new species would form when the species split (Mallet, XNUMX, p.XNUMX).

Causes of hybrid infertility

Darwin believed that the cause of hybrid infertility was “in the reproductive system of the predominantly mating species, either simply accidental or dependent on unknown differences” (Darwin, 1859, 235). page). According to him, the reproductive systems of members belonging to the same species are perfectly adapted to each other, but not the reproductive systems of members belonging to different species (Darwin, 1859, p.249). This is why the former cannot be imagined while the former can generally be imagined. Hybrid species disrupted and impaired the reproductive system as a result of compounds of 1859 different species (Darwin, 249, p.XNUMX).

Modern research supports Darwin’s position

Modern research supports Darwin’s position, except that he can identify the “unknown differences” that Darwin referred to. Today, it is understood that chromosomal incompatibility is the reason for hybrid sterility (Johnson, 2008). Studies support this, as evolutionary geneticists have identified smaller and smaller regions of loci and chromosomes that do not work well together as some of the largest contributors to hybrid infertility in plants and animals (Johnson, 2008). ). George Mendel’s genetic discovery paved the way for all this information, especially the laws of segregation that stipulate that zygotes receive 2016 versions of a particular gene from each parent (Gayson, XNUMX).

Discovery, DNA, and genetics

Archaeological records are a very important concept in archeology. This represents physical evidence of the past — artifacts, documents, photographic material, physical relics, and more (Bacon, 2010, p.1). The interpretation and documentation of these items by archaeologists, paleoanthropologists, and others provide a better understanding of people of the past (Bacon, 2010, p. 9). Thanks to archaeological records, in 2018, an ancient 2018 girl was discovered, a descendant of the 2018 Neanderthal mother and Denisovan father (Wei-Haas,). 2018). Multiple DNA samplings were performed on the bone fragments of a girl found in the Denisova Cave (Wei-Haas, XNUMX). Studies have also been conducted on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA in bone fragments (Wei-Haas, XNUMX).

As a result, she was concluded to be a Neanderthal-Denisovan hybrid. This is a miraculous discovery, given that no one has ever found a direct descendant from this union (Wei-Haas, 2018). The mtDNA of a Neanderthal girl found in the Altai Cave in Siberia a few years ago also showed similarities to the DNA of individuals in Western Europe (Guimarães & Silva, p.94). The fact that Neanderthals and Homo sapiens mated with each other is important. In particular, new scientific studies have revealed that they mate more frequently than previously imagined (Glausiusz, 2020).

Discovery, DNA, genetics continue

According to anthropologist Israel Herschkovitz, “if 2020 organisms can reproduce and produce fertile offspring, it means they belong to the same species” (Glausiusz, 2020). If Neanderthals and Homosapiens belonged to different species, they would not have been able to breed offspring (Glausiusz, 2020). Some anthropologists reject this position and maintain the 2020 species are distinguishable from each other despite mating (Glausiusz, 2020). Biological anthropologist Shara Bailey said, “For all intents and purposes, they were separate species, but maintained their ability to hybridize” (Glausiusz, 2020). She claimed that their offspring were rare and could be bred, but would not have been successful in breeding compared to their parents (Glausiusz, XNUMX). However, genetic records show that some hybrids were successful, and therefore Neanderthal DNA contributed to the modern human gene pool (Glausiusz, XNUMX).

Genetics and DNA  linked between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens

Genetics and DNA have recently linked Neanderthals with Homo sapiens. It is estimated that 1 to 4% of the modern non-African genome is composed of Neanderthal DNA (Glausiusz, 2020). The Neanderthal DNA that exists in modern humans is evidence that the Neanderthal genes are not completely extinct. Some scientists believe that the presence of Neanderthal DNA in modern humans is evidence that Homo sapiens did not defeat and exterminate Neanderthals, but instead, Neanderthals became Homo sapiens. It may have been absorbed (Glausiusz, 2020). This is important because the Neanderthals have long been characterized as weak and inferior, as the Neanderthals were extinct and Homo sapiens were not extinct (Peeters and Zwart, p. 19). Currently, there is evidence that Neanderthals have not only crossed with Homo sapiens but are still alive in some of them.

Similarities between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens

Scientific research is also important to clarify the similarities between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens. A recent example of this is an international team led by Christopher Stringer, Clive Finlayson, Nick Burton, and Jolanda Fernandez Jarff, who grabbed 1,367 fossil specimens and hundreds of marine mollusk shells from the Gorham and Vanguard caves in Gibraltar. I excavated and analyzed it. (Shipman, p.14241). An analysis of the team of recovered fossil specimens and marine mollusk shells shows that the Neanderthals of Gibraltar utilize a wide range of terrestrial and marine resources, use small resources, and seasonally use those resources. It was revealed that it was scheduled (Shipman, p.14242). Scientists in the late 19th century did not believe that Neanderthals could behave like modern humans, but their activities in Gibraltar have all the characteristics of modern self-sufficient human behavior. There was (Shipman, p.14242).

Why Neanderthals Died and We Survived

Author Clive Finlayson claims in his book Extinct Humans: Why Neanderthals Died and We Survived Neanderthals have the same spirit and brain as Homo sapiens It was comparable to Homo sapiens in power and cognitive ability (Peeters and Zwart, p.15). Neanderthals and Homo sapiens created tools, especially priming (Glausiusz, 2020). Some scholars speculate that the fierce competition between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens was the cause of the eventual departure of Neanderthals from the Levant to Europe (Glausiusz, 2020). Studies focusing on Neanderthal behavior have shown that their behavior is modern human behavior, especially with respect to dental hygienists, large-scale co-hunting, complex stoneware, language, planning, illness care, imagination, and symbolic behavior. We clarify how the pattern reflects (Peeters and Zwart, p.2). We have more in common with Neanderthals than we think.

Humanization of Neanderthals

Although Homo sapiens technically considers Neanderthals human, “we are trying to keep a distance and use it to define our self-image. Often dull agility, brutal. It is based on a series of oppositions such as wise, conservative and innovative. ”(Peeters & Smart, p.17). How many times have you heard that the word “Neanderthal” was used as an insult or insulted yourself? Homo sapiens has nothing to do with Neanderthals and is therefore susceptible to dehumanization.

Whatever the reason, Homo sapiens should not look down on Neanderthals. The Neanderthals may have become extinct, but once upon a time they co-existed on an equal footing with Homo sapiens. And they continue to live in many Homo sapiens today. It cannot be asserted that the Neanderthals belonged to a different species than Homo sapiens. There is strong scientific evidence that Neanderthals are more closely related than they are not. Rather than staying away from Neanderthals, you can get better service by doing more research on Neanderthals and how they are and are not related to Homo sapiens. increase. The more you learn about Neanderthals, the less likely you are to dehumanize them.


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