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Caveman (Neanderthal) 'May Have Used Language'
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 10-20-2007 | Richard Gray

Posted on 10/20/2007 8:44:57 AM PDT by blam

Cavemen 'may have used language'

By Richard Gray, Science Correspondent
Last Updated: 12:42pm BST 20/10/2007

They are typically portrayed as primitive brutes capable only of grunting, but new research now suggests Neanderthals may have whiled away the hours in their caves in conversation.

Neanderthals may have had their own culture

Scientists who have been trawling through the DNA found in Neanderthal bones have discovered that the now extinct species had a “language gene” that is only found in modern humans.

Their controversial findings create the tantalising possibility that Neanderthals were in fact capable of speech much like humans and communicated with each other through their own language.

As language is seen as one of the key cornerstones that has set humans apart from other animals and allowed sophisticated cultures to develop, many anthropologists now believe it may have allowed Neanderthals to have their own culture.

It is a stark contrast to the traditional image of Neanderthals as simple-minded cavemen and the latest research has shed new light on how Neanderthals evolved from our common ancestor more than 400,000 years ago.

Professor Svante Paabo, who has been leading the Neanderthal genome project at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, said the presence of the language gene would change the way people view Neanderthals.

He said: “It is not a compliment to be called a Neanderthal, but we are finding that the Neanderthal DNA looks much more like contemporary humans than chimps.

“The human variations of this gene involved in the use of language are not found in apes and for a long time there has been speculation Neanderthals would have a different gene and so a different linguistic ability.

“By looking at their DNA, we have found that from the point of view of this gene, there is no reason they would not have spoken like we do. It is a very contentious area with a lot of different views.”

His teams findings support previous work that has attempted to model the Neanderthals throat and larynx from their remains. While some scientists have insisted they would have spoken, others have dismissed the idea.

Until recently common scientific opinion has painted a picture of Neanderthals as a slow and dim-witted species that was outwitted by its smarter cousins who went on to become modern humans while the Neanderthals died out.

But there is now a growing consensus that Neanderthals were perhaps far more sophisticated than they have been given credit for capable of making stone tools and even cleaned their teeth.

The discovery of the gene, called FOXP2, have provided the strongest evidence yet that these heavily built species were capable of speech, although the researchers are unable to say what extent their linguistic ability would have been.

FOXP2 is thought to be crucial to the development of language as it governs the fine control of muscles that is needed to form words with the larynx, lips and tongue.

Professor Paabo has been leading research to create the first ever profile of the Neanderthal genome from the remains of nine Neanderthal’s, thought to have been killed and eaten by cannibals 42,000 years ago, that were found in a cave in Northern Spain.

The bones are carefully collected and frozen in the cave to avoid contamination before the DNA is extracted in the lab and profiled.

But some scientists have warned that it is not possible draw any conclusions about the Neanderthals ability to speak from the research, which is published in the journal Current Biology.

Dr Simon Fisher, one of the scientists at Oxford University who discovered FOXP2, said: “This is a really fascinating study, but analysis of a single gene is not enough to resolve the big question of whether or not Neanderthals were capable of speech or for us to estimate what level of complexity their vocal communication could achieve.”

Dr Simon Underdown, an anthropologist at Oxford Brookes University, insists, however, that the new research will revolutionise the way people look at Neanderthals.

He said: “This research should finally blow away the last vestiges of the Neanderthal as a dull-witted cave man.”

NEANDERTHAL FACTS

Lived 350,000 -24,000 years ago

Spread across Europe and as far east as southern Siberia and Uzbekistan

Last known refuge in caves in southern Iberia

Died off just 10,000 yeas after modern man arrived in Europe

Distinct species from modern humans although scientists debate if they interbred

Average male stood 5.4 feet tall while females were 5 feet tall but heavily built

Skulls had 10 per cent greater capacity than modern humans

Most Neanderthals died by the age of 30 years old

Named after Neander Valley near Dusseldorf, Germany, where first key fossils were found

Early Neanderthals scavenged for food but later used may have used spears to hunt


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: caveman; epigraphyandlanguage; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; language; neanderthal; speech
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The Neanderthal lived in the Northern regions through at least two Ice Ages...I would expect him to have light skin...not dark as portrayed in this picture.
1 posted on 10/20/2007 8:44:59 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Ya, you bet ya, we use words.


2 posted on 10/20/2007 8:46:21 AM PDT by MNJohnnie
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To: SunkenCiv
GGG Ping.

The Neanderthal Theory

3 posted on 10/20/2007 8:46:33 AM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam
Speaking: So easy a caveman can do it!


4 posted on 10/20/2007 8:47:06 AM PDT by G8 Diplomat (Star Wars teaches us a foreboding lesson--evil emperors start out as Senators)
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To: blam

Didn’t Mel Brooks play that guy in “History of the World”?


5 posted on 10/20/2007 8:47:06 AM PDT by mikrofon (History BUMP)
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To: blam

Now they are all in our congress.


6 posted on 10/20/2007 8:47:31 AM PDT by Piquaboy (22 year veteran of the Army, Air Force and Navy, Pray for all our military .)
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To: blam
Skulls had 10 per cent greater capacity than modern humans

Also the jaws were much more powerful. They didn't have can openers and meat tenderizers in those days, so they had to a lot more chewing to soften and break open meat, which developed the jaw muscles.
7 posted on 10/20/2007 8:48:45 AM PDT by G8 Diplomat (Star Wars teaches us a foreboding lesson--evil emperors start out as Senators)
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To: blam

Some of their first bad words would have been... Geico sucks.


8 posted on 10/20/2007 8:50:34 AM PDT by George from New England
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To: blam

I said Bud Lite..


9 posted on 10/20/2007 8:51:52 AM PDT by silentreignofheroes (When the Last Two Prophets are taken, there will be no Tommorrow!)
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To: blam

Oh, I’m convinced they interbred with modern humans. You should see the brow ridge on my ex.


10 posted on 10/20/2007 8:53:05 AM PDT by A_perfect_lady
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To: blam

Caveman (Neanderthal) ‘May Have Used Language’...

how else could he have bought geico insurance????


11 posted on 10/20/2007 8:54:46 AM PDT by nyyankeefan
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To: blam
After living in Northern Europe through more than two full glacial maximums they probably had pure white light gathering hairs (almost fur-like), that led down to dark follicle regions. The surrounding areas would be very light ~ devoid of pigment.

This way they could get warm and toasty while maxing out on Vitamin D.

Their females would also bear twins (to up their reproductive rate) and have 4 large breasts to deal with the standard baby load.

12 posted on 10/20/2007 8:55:58 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Piquaboy

“Distinct species from modern humans although scientists debate if they interbred”

“Now they are all in our congress.”


13 posted on 10/20/2007 8:56:43 AM PDT by FReepapalooza
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To: blam

They needed language skills to collaborate in the preparation of complex gourmet dishes such as roast duck with mango salsa.


14 posted on 10/20/2007 8:59:08 AM PDT by ElkGroveDan (Take the wheel, Fred.)
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To: blam
The discovery of the gene, called FOXP2

So, Fox really is the channel for Neanderthals.

15 posted on 10/20/2007 8:59:46 AM PDT by Defiant ("Expectorate" has Specter in it.)
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To: blam

16 posted on 10/20/2007 9:00:18 AM PDT by rickmichaels (God Bless America, Land That I Love)
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To: A_perfect_lady
I’m convinced they interbred with modern humans.

females were 5 feet tall but heavily built

Wish I knew how to post a picture of Helen Thomas...

17 posted on 10/20/2007 9:07:58 AM PDT by hellbender
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To: muawiyah

“and have 4 large breasts”

I seriously doubt that, but we can dream.


18 posted on 10/20/2007 9:10:37 AM PDT by live+let_live
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To: blam

“Neanderthals may have whiled away the hours in their caves in conversation”

My wife says I’m a neanderthal. I hope she doesn’t see this. Next they’re going to tell us neanderthals liked cuddling.


19 posted on 10/20/2007 9:13:10 AM PDT by live+let_live
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sammich.
make.


20 posted on 10/20/2007 9:27:03 AM PDT by kinghorse
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“Pawdon me, but might you have some Grey Poupon?”


21 posted on 10/20/2007 9:34:17 AM PDT by gopheraj
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To: gopheraj

ooog...ooooooggg....uugooggoooog


22 posted on 10/20/2007 9:35:34 AM PDT by fahraint (git theah fuhstest with the mostest)
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To: muawiyah
have 4 large breasts to deal with the standard baby load.

I am pretty sure that none of the higher primates have more than two breats, in fact only some lemurs and no monkeys or apes have more than two breasts.

23 posted on 10/20/2007 9:37:26 AM PDT by Lucius Cornelius Sulla (No Covenant with Death: Giuliani Shall Not Pass!)
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To: Lucius Cornelius Sulla
None of the higher apes live outside in winter in Northern Europe either!

Few bear twins ~ ever.

This would be a regular thing, with each birth resulting in 2 or more. You have to have more teets if you have 2 or more offspring every single time.

Check out your family dog ~ count the teets. Now, next time she has a litter, count the puppies.

Strange, eh ~ more teets, more babies.

24 posted on 10/20/2007 9:40:20 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Lucius Cornelius Sulla
None of the higher apes live outside in winter in Northern Europe either!

Few bear twins ~ ever.

This would be a regular thing, with each birth resulting in 2 or more. You have to have more teets if you have 2 or more offspring every single time.

Check out your family dog ~ count the teets. Now, next time she has a litter, count the puppies.

Strange, eh ~ more teets, more babies.

25 posted on 10/20/2007 9:40:34 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: blam; live+let_live

What a coincidence.

On occasion, when I get carried away and “use language”, Mrs. Tick calls me a Neanderthal.


26 posted on 10/20/2007 9:41:21 AM PDT by Nervous Tick
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To: blam
while females were 5 feet tall but heavily built

Bertha...Bertha Butt...one of the Butt sisters....

27 posted on 10/20/2007 9:43:16 AM PDT by denydenydeny (Expel the priest and you don't inaugurate the age of reason, you get the witch doctor--Paul Johnson)
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To: hellbender
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
28 posted on 10/20/2007 9:45:48 AM PDT by Old Seadog (Inside every old person is a young person saying "WTF happened?".)
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To: blam

The ability to talk doesn’t indicate intelligence. Just look at out politicians.


29 posted on 10/20/2007 9:48:35 AM PDT by Old Seadog (Inside every old person is a young person saying "WTF happened?".)
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To: FReepapalooza

Remember the old Jim Croce song, “Roller Derby Queen”?

“She was five foot six, two fifteen,
a bleach blonde bomber with a streak of mean.”


30 posted on 10/20/2007 9:50:57 AM PDT by live+let_live
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To: blam
Scientists who have been trawling through the DNA found in Neanderthal bones have discovered that the now extinct species had a “language gene” that is only found in modern humans.

Contradiction there.
If it was found in Neanderthal, then it isn't found "only in modern humans"..

31 posted on 10/20/2007 9:52:25 AM PDT by Drammach (Freedom - It's not just a job, It's an Adventure)
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To: blam

First recorded speech: “Not tonight, Ugg ! I’ve got a headache.”


32 posted on 10/20/2007 9:52:26 AM PDT by genefromjersey (So much to flame;so little time !)
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To: blam
"Neanderthals were in fact capable of speech..."

Great Caesar's Ghost! Would that they were not! The homoSAPIENS (!) are so sick and tired of the Neanderthal blather roaring from the Mainstream Newsmedia, Hollywood, and American universities--all of which are dominated by Neanderthals--that we could SCREAM!

BTW, what on earth makes Richard Gray think Neanderthals are extinct??? They're all around us!

33 posted on 10/20/2007 9:57:02 AM PDT by Savage Beast ("History is not just cruel. It is witty." ~Charles Krauthammer)
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To: Old Seadog; blam
Until recently common scientific opinion has painted a picture of Neanderthals as a slow and dim-witted species that was outwitted by its smarter cousins who went on to become modern humans while the Neanderthals died out.

It is now the common consensus among scientist that the Neanderthals were Democrats thus explaining their extinction.

34 posted on 10/20/2007 10:08:06 AM PDT by Pontiac (Your message here.)
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To: blam
"Neanderthals may have had their own culture"
No kidding - and now they're all in Berkeley . This guy is their Congressman.

Hey! I just noticed, he kinda looks like this guy....



(Give the top guy a shave and some glasses and they could be brothers.)
35 posted on 10/20/2007 10:12:07 AM PDT by Condor51 (Rudy makes John Kerry look like a Right Wing 'Gun Nut' Extremist)
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To: live+let_live

“She was five foot six, two fifteen,
a bleach blonde bomber with a streak of mean.”

Sounds like the Hildabeast.


36 posted on 10/20/2007 10:17:36 AM PDT by FReepapalooza
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To: blam; G8 Diplomat; MNJohnnie; Piquaboy; mikrofon; A_perfect_lady; silentreignofheroes; ...
'(Neanderthal) 'May Have Used Language'

'Neanderthals may have had their own culture'

Well, thanks ... we try.

37 posted on 10/20/2007 10:26:33 AM PDT by ProCivitas (Duncan Hunter = Pro-Family + Fair Trade = Pro-America. www.gohunter08.com)
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To: blam; G8 Diplomat; MNJohnnie; Piquaboy; mikrofon; A_perfect_lady; silentreignofheroes; ...

And, of course, we always try to speak highly of you.


38 posted on 10/20/2007 10:28:10 AM PDT by ProCivitas (Duncan Hunter = Pro-Family + Fair Trade = Pro-America. www.gohunter08.com)
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To: blam; G8 Diplomat; MNJohnnie; Piquaboy; mikrofon; A_perfect_lady; silentreignofheroes; ...
"Died off just 10,000 yeas after modern man arrived in Europe."

I beg your pardon? Well, that's just rude.

39 posted on 10/20/2007 10:32:44 AM PDT by ProCivitas (Duncan Hunter = Pro-Family + Fair Trade = Pro-America. www.gohunter08.com)
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To: blam

Of course they did. How do you think they got their own TV series?


40 posted on 10/20/2007 10:33:58 AM PDT by fish hawk (The religion of Darwinism = Monkey Intellect)
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To: Eaker
The discovery of the gene, called FOXP2, have provided the strongest evidence yet that these heavily built species were capable of speech

Sure.

Speak fine.

Just don't like it.

41 posted on 10/20/2007 10:34:24 AM PDT by humblegunner ()
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To: humblegunner

No talk.

Keep cave clean.


42 posted on 10/20/2007 11:03:57 AM PDT by Eaker (If illegal immigrants were so great for an economy; Mexico would be building a wall to keep them in)
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To: blam
FOXP2 is thought to be crucial to the development of language

I guess we will just have to wait and see if they had the MSNBC2 gene, which causes incessant blathering.

43 posted on 10/20/2007 2:47:15 PM PDT by Rokurota (.)
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Victory at last. I always knew they'd, uh, cave...
The Neandertal Enigma
by James Shreeve
Frayer's own reading of the record reveals a number of overlooked traits that clearly and specifically link the Neandertals to the Cro-Magnons. One such trait is the shape of the opening of the nerve canal in the lower jaw, a spot where dentists often give a pain-blocking injection. In many Neandertal, the upper portion of the opening is covered by a broad bony ridge, a curious feature also carried by a significant number of Cro-Magnons. But none of the alleged 'ancestors of us all' fossils from Africa have it, and it is extremely rare in modern people outside Europe." [pp 126-127]

44 posted on 10/20/2007 4:32:50 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Tuesday, October 16, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: blam; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 49th; ...

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
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Thanks Blam. The article still arfs it up though:
Scientists who have been trawling through the DNA found in Neanderthal bones have discovered that the now extinct species had a "language gene" that is only found in modern humans. Their controversial findings create the tantalising possibility that Neanderthals were in fact capable of speech much like humans and communicated with each other through their own language.
There's that "now extinct" crap. How surprising -- Neanderthal went extinct because they couldn't talk (that's one of many supposed reasons), now it turns out they could talk, but hey, they still went extinct, so it remains a mystery.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.

The quarterly FReepathon is underway.
GGG managers are Blam, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

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45 posted on 10/20/2007 4:37:05 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Tuesday, October 16, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

Well...DUH!


46 posted on 10/20/2007 4:38:56 PM PDT by Monkey Face (It's time for Halloween, so practice safe hex.)
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To: blam

They are just a few years late with this info. They found evidence of Neanderthals speech making abilities years ago.


47 posted on 10/20/2007 4:56:12 PM PDT by calex59
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To: blam
The Neanderthal lived in the Northern regions through at least two Ice Ages

WHAT?! Are you telling me that Neanderthal man is responsible for global warming?! Does Al know? ; )
48 posted on 10/20/2007 5:33:40 PM PDT by socialismisinsidious ( The socialist income tax system turns US citizens into beggars or quitters!)
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To: Condor51

He’s from Los Angeles.


49 posted on 10/20/2007 6:35:16 PM PDT by TaMoDee
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To: SunkenCiv

There are so many grammatical errors in this article that I wonder about this Richard Gray’s FOXP2!


50 posted on 10/20/2007 7:58:54 PM PDT by To Hell With Poverty (For evil to win, it is only necessary for Jimmy Carter to be considered a role model.)
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