Skip to comments.Humanity's Best Friend: How Dogs May Have Helped Humans Beat the Neanderthals
Posted on 05/15/2012 11:00:12 AM PDT by Theoria
Over 20,000 years ago, humans won the evolutionary battle against Neanderthals. They may have had some assistance in that from their best friends.
One of the most compelling -- and enduring -- mysteries in archaeology concerns the rise of early humans and the decline of Neanderthals. For about 250,000 years, Neanderthals lived and evolved, quite successfully, in the area that is now Europe. Somewhere between 45,000 and 35,000 years ago, early humans came along.
They proliferated in their new environment, their population increasing tenfold in the 10,000 years after they arrived; Neanderthals declined and finally died away.
What happened? What went so wrong for the Neanderthals -- and what went so right for us humans?
The cause, some theories go, may have been environmental, with Neanderthals' decline a byproduct of -- yikes -- climate change. It may have been social as humans developed the ability to cooperate and avail themselves of the evolutionary benefits of social cohesion. It may have been technological, with humans simply developing more advanced tools and hunting weapons that allowed them to snare food while their less-skilled counterparts starved away.
The Cambridge researchers Paul Mellars and Jennifer French have another theory, though. In a paper in the journal Science, they concluded that "numerical supremacy alone may have been a critical factor" in human dominance -- with humans simply crowding out the Neanderthals. Now, with an analysis in American Scientist, the anthropologist Pat Shipman is building on their work. After analyzing the Mellars and French paper and comparing it with the extant literature, Shipman has come to an intriguing conclusion: that humans' comparative evolutionary fitness owes itself to the domestication of dogs.
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...
Humans came along only 40,000 or so years ago? What did we come from?
That is early... it's all I can do to drag my sorry butt out of bed by 6 AM.
LOL!!! Good one!
Neanderthals are not human?? I guess they are apes then, huh? If they are neither, that only leaves the “missing link”, and I don’t recall them being called that.
“Neanderthal” is a term of abuse often employed by liberals to condemn conservatives.
I’d like to propose a new theory. The Neanderthals died out because they were liberals.
Perhaps they expected their dogs to do all the work for them, and the dogs finally revolted in disgust.
Always gotta work in some climate change propaganda, no matter how ludicrous and out-of-place.
“Id like to propose a new theory. The Neanderthals died out because they were liberals.”
But liberals didn’t die out. They are as tenacious as rats.
I still rely on dogs to keep Neaderthals out of my house.
I would think it is rather obvious. The Neanderthals chose to follow the path to Socialism while the humans chose the way of capitalism. History is about to repeat itself!!!
The muzzies are the new Neandrathals. They don’t get along with dogs either.
This theory actually makes a little sense.
Although, I prefer the theory that Neandertals were the descendents of Cain, and got wipe out in the Flood.
Or maybe they were the Nephilim.
Or maybe after they got a look at the Cro-Magnon, the Neanderthal males just couldn’t get it going with their own females. No, that couldn’t be it. They were men
Sure, but we know there were survivors after the flood.
“The Neanderthals died out because they were liberals.”
I agree. The Neanderthals embraced the god of Diversity At Any Cost and eventually found themselves destroyed by the very people they celebrated.
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