Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Neanderthals Were Seperate Species, Says New Human Family Tree
Physorg ^ | 5-4-2008

Posted on 05/05/2008 11:38:41 AM PDT by blam

Neanderthals were separate species, says new human family tree

A wax figure representing a Neanderthal man on display at a museum. A new, simplified family tree of humanity has dealt a blow to those who contend that the enigmatic hominids known as Neanderthals intermingled with our forebears.

A new, simplified family tree of humanity, published on Sunday, has dealt a blow to those who contend that the enigmatic hominids known as Neanderthals intermingled with our forebears.

Neanderthals were a separate species to Homo sapiens, as anatomically modern humans are known, rather than offshoots of the same species, the new organigram published by the journal Nature declares.

The method, invented by evolutionary analysts in Argentina, marks a break with the conventional technique by which anthropologists chart the twists and turns of the human odyssey.

That technique typically divides the the genus Homo into various classifications according to the shape of key facial features -- "flat-faced," "protruding-faced" and so on.

Reconciling these diverse classifications from a tiny number of specimens spanning millions of years has led to lots of claims and counter-claims, as well as much confusion in the general public, about how we came to be here.

Various species of Homo have been put up for the crown of being our direct ancestor, only to find themselves dimissed by critics as failed branches of the Homo tree.

The authors of the new study, led by Rolando Gonzalez-Jose at the Patagonian National Centre at Puerto Madryn, Argentina, say the problem with the conventional method is that, under evolution, facial traits do not appear out of the blue but result from continuous change.

So the arrival of a specimen that has some relatively minor change of feature as compared to others should not be automatically held up as representing a new species, they argue.

The team goes back over the same well-known set of specimens, but uses a different approach to analyse it, focussing in particular on a set of fundamental yet long-term changes in skull shape.

They took digital 3D images of the casts of 17 hominid specimens as well as from a gorilla, chimpanzee and H. sapiens.

The images were then crunched through a computer model to compare four fundamental variables -- the skull's roundness and base, the protrusion of the jaw, and facial retraction, which is the position of the face relative to the cranial base.

When other phylotogenic techniques are used, the outcome is a family tree whose main lines closely mirror existing ones but offers a clearer view as to how the evolutionary path unfolded.

The paper suggests that, after evolving from the hominid Australopithecus afarensis, the first member of Homo, H. habilis, arose between 1.5 and 2.1 million years ago.

We are direct linear descendants of H. habilis. H. sapiens started to show up around 200,000 years ago.

None of the species currently assigned to Homo are discarded, though.

On the other hand, the Neanderthals are declared "chronological variants inside a single biological heritage," in other words, evolutionary cousins but still a separate species from us.

The squat, low-browed Neanderthals lived in parts of Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East for around 170,000 but traces of them disappear some 28,000 years ago, their last known refuge being Gibraltar.

Why they died out is a matter of furious debate, because they co-existed alongside anatomically modern man.

Some opinions aver that the Neanderthals were slowly wiped out by the smarter H. sapiens in the competition for resources.

Other contend that we and the Neanderthals were more than just kissing cousins. Interbreeding took place, which explains why the Neanderthal line died out, but implies that we could have Neanderthal inheritage in our genome today, goes this theory.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: donttake2seriously; godsgravesglyphs; human; maybe; maybenot; neandertal; neandertals; neanderthals; newclaimsameasold; newdaynewtheory; samekakadiffday; seperate; species
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-92 next last
Thanks to Red Badger for the article.
1 posted on 05/05/2008 11:38:41 AM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


2 posted on 05/05/2008 11:39:02 AM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

I thought this was already established?


3 posted on 05/05/2008 11:41:24 AM PDT by Clock King (The Oligarchy will make slaves of us all)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam; NeoCaveman
Great! Just what I needed to cause another existential meltdown!


4 posted on 05/05/2008 11:41:56 AM PDT by VRWCmember
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

Ah, it all makes sense now. Homo Sapiens became the conservatives, while the Neanderthals = the liberals.


5 posted on 05/05/2008 11:44:21 AM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud Dad of a 2nd BCT 10th Mountain Soldier home after 15 months in the Triangle of death)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

I’m confused; I thought that they were long known as a separate species: Homo Neanderthalensis. A separate species of the Homo genus. No?


6 posted on 05/05/2008 11:45:12 AM PDT by RepublitarianRoger2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

I don’t think the Neanderthals are extinct. From what I have seen their gene pool is still alive.


7 posted on 05/05/2008 11:45:40 AM PDT by Parley Baer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

I thought one of the definitions of a separate species was that two different parent species could not produce fertile offspring.

How could they co-mingle the 2 species?


8 posted on 05/05/2008 11:45:52 AM PDT by toast
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
No duh. They only have 4 fingers and 3 toes.


9 posted on 05/05/2008 11:45:53 AM PDT by pissant (THE Conservative party: www.falconparty.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
On the other hand, the Neanderthals are declared "chronological variants inside a single biological heritage," in other words, evolutionary cousins but still a separate species from us.

Ahem. Given the standard model of evolution, would it be safe to say that algae and humans are chronological variants inside a single biological heritage?

10 posted on 05/05/2008 11:48:29 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Et si omnes ego non)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

That wax figure of Neanderthal looks rather pensive. Seems like from what I learned the Neanderthals were more pack-like and didn’t spend much time in dead philosophical thought. They didn’t even care for their dead from what I remember.


11 posted on 05/05/2008 11:48:50 AM PDT by MovementConservative (John Roberts and Sam Alito.... Thank you GWB)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: toast
I thought one of the definitions of a separate species was that two different parent species could not produce fertile offspring. How could they co-mingle the 2 species?

If you could find evidence that either they could breed together or couldn't, then you would answer the question of whether they are separate species. We don't know for sure, so all else is speculation.

I don't think that genetic science has advanced far enough to tell just from DNA samples whether two close samples could interbreed or not.

12 posted on 05/05/2008 11:52:21 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Pray for Rattendaemmerung: the final mutually destructive battle between Obama and Hillary in Denver)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: blam

If you are a biologist working on a Phd, a sure fire thesis is to split out a new species.

I’m a lumper at heart


13 posted on 05/05/2008 11:53:25 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . The Bitcons will elect a Democrat by default)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: toast
I thought one of the definitions of a separate species was that two different parent species could not produce fertile offspring.

That's a common, but incorrect, understanding of the term. Merriam-Webster defines the word "species" as follows:

A category of biological classification ranking immediately below the genus or subgenus, comprising related organisms or populations potentially capable of interbreeding, and being designated by a binomial that consists of the name of a genus followed by a Latin or latinized uncapitalized noun or adjective agreeing grammatically with the genus name.

14 posted on 05/05/2008 11:56:21 AM PDT by Wolfstar (Politics is the ultimate excercise in facing reality and making hard choices.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: MovementConservative

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/neanderthals.html?c=y&page=4


15 posted on 05/05/2008 11:58:30 AM PDT by BenLurkin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: MovementConservative
They didn’t even care for their dead from what I remember.

Not true. Neanterthals buried their dead. They also cared for their sick and injured.

16 posted on 05/05/2008 11:58:36 AM PDT by Wolfstar (Politics is the ultimate excercise in facing reality and making hard choices.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Wolfstar

Then what is the difference between a separate race and a separate species?


17 posted on 05/05/2008 12:01:00 PM PDT by toast
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: blam

I don’t think so....

“Buried Alive: The Startling Truth About Neanderthal Man”
http://www.amazon.com/Buried-Alive-Startling-Truth-Neanderthal/dp/0890512388


18 posted on 05/05/2008 12:01:38 PM PDT by Ozone34
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RepublitarianRoger2

They were all Homos, that’s why there ain’t no more......


19 posted on 05/05/2008 12:02:25 PM PDT by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we do have consensus.......)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Clock King
I thought this was already established?

True, I know of two separate DNA studies as early as 1996 that established this fact. Also to my surprise, anthropologists generally reject Cro Magnon as precedent species to homo sapian sapain (man). Research on this dates back as early as 1978. So that are two "links" missing right before man on the evolutionary chain. But no need to throw out evolution since there is much consensus on the issue.

20 posted on 05/05/2008 12:02:40 PM PDT by 11th Commandment (McCain makes me crazy- Obama scares the cr*p out of me.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: blam
Ok, this explains the origins of James Carville, but where did Dennis Kucinich come from.

The Mother Ship?

21 posted on 05/05/2008 12:03:45 PM PDT by MindBender26 (Leftists stop arguing when they see your patriotism, your logic, your CAR-15 and your block of C4.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

Penguin evolution is a fib.


22 posted on 05/05/2008 12:04:52 PM PDT by Natchez Hawk (What's so funny about the first, second, and fourth Amendments?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Wolfstar
Not true. Neanterthals buried their dead. They also cared for their sick and injured.

Ya, but did they have nationalized health care? Not so smart after all.

23 posted on 05/05/2008 12:05:00 PM PDT by 11th Commandment (McCain makes me crazy- Obama scares the cr*p out of me.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: toast
Race;
Caucasian,
Negroid,
Oriental, etc

Species:

Human,
Neanderthal,
DUer, etc.

24 posted on 05/05/2008 12:06:00 PM PDT by MindBender26 (Leftists stop arguing when they see your patriotism, your logic, your CAR-15 and your block of C4.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: KarlInOhio; toast
If you could find evidence that either they could breed together or couldn't, then you would answer the question of whether they are separate species.

This is incorrect. Closely related species potentially can interbreed successfully. The key word is potentially. Examples of closely related, but different species that can interbreed include (but are not limited to) wolves and dogs, foxes and dogs, horses and donkeys, lions and tigers, sheep and goats, bonobos and chimps.

25 posted on 05/05/2008 12:07:10 PM PDT by Wolfstar (Politics is the ultimate excercise in facing reality and making hard choices.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: blam

The Neanderthal model looks a lot like Islamist “rag boy” with a smile. IMHO


26 posted on 05/05/2008 12:07:10 PM PDT by poobear (tagline is on a coffee break!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 11th Commandment

So, am I right that no direct ancestor for homo-sapiens has ever been discovered? All that were conjectured as that immediate ancestor have been proven not to be?


27 posted on 05/05/2008 12:11:47 PM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: blam

He looks gay to me.


28 posted on 05/05/2008 12:14:25 PM PDT by Michael.SF.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Wolfstar

Dog-fox hybrids are really dubious. Coyote-dog, sure.

I know someone who looks very neanderthal. Brow ridges, saggital crest, prominent nose and jaw, receding chin. Quite intelligent too.


29 posted on 05/05/2008 12:14:58 PM PDT by heartwood
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: toast
Then what is the difference between a separate race and a separate species?

"Race" is an actually or potentially interbreeding group within a species. In common usage, "race" usually is applied to humans, while "breed" usually is applied to animals. So, for example, canis familiaris (dogs) is one species, but it has hundreds of breeds. What makes a breed are relatively minor genetic differences that produce different colorings, coats, size, capabilities, and so on.

Human beings don't think of our distinct, but minor genetic differences in terms of different breeds. Instead, we refer to those differences with our species as races.

30 posted on 05/05/2008 12:17:01 PM PDT by Wolfstar (Politics is the ultimate excercise in facing reality and making hard choices.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: heartwood

What kind of car insurance does he have?


31 posted on 05/05/2008 12:18:01 PM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Parley Baer

LOL!

Good one!

I concur.


32 posted on 05/05/2008 12:19:56 PM PDT by djf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: blam

If your answer doesn’t fit, throw it out.


33 posted on 05/05/2008 12:20:19 PM PDT by vpintheak (Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked. Prov. 25:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
"Some opinions aver that the Neanderthals were slowly wiped out by the smarter H. sapiens..."

Perhaps, but not completely. Neanderthals are alive and well at the New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Guardian.

34 posted on 05/05/2008 12:23:55 PM PDT by Savage Beast ("History is not just cruel. It is witty." ~Charles Krauthammer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: heartwood
Dog-fox hybrids are really dubious.

True, but the Russians claim to have done it during their experiments that produced the tame Silver Fox. That's why I mentioned it above. Most scientists think that if a dog-fox hybrid actually was produced, it would be sterile, like mules.

35 posted on 05/05/2008 12:24:14 PM PDT by Wolfstar (Politics is the ultimate excercise in facing reality and making hard choices.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Wolfstar

I stated they had to produce “fertile” offspring.
Donkeys and horses produce mules. They are not fertile.
Lions and tigers can produce offspring but they are not fertile.
Dogs are direct descendants of wolves. They are considered separate species but a Husky is a lot closer to a wolf than to a chihuahua.

The article talked of the 2 human species not being descendants.


36 posted on 05/05/2008 12:26:23 PM PDT by toast
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Wolfstar

The Russians got very dog-like foxees by breeding for docility and tolerance of humans but I never heard they tried breeding them with dogs.


37 posted on 05/05/2008 12:27:14 PM PDT by heartwood
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: MrB
So, am I right that no direct ancestor for homo-sapiens has ever been discovered? All that were conjectured as that immediate ancestor have been proven not to be?

I would be careful and do more research as it relates to Cro Magnon. You might be ridiculed for even using the term Cro Magnon as terminology has changed. Remember, evolution is the global warming consensus science X's 10.

38 posted on 05/05/2008 12:30:22 PM PDT by 11th Commandment (McCain makes me crazy- Obama scares the cr*p out of me.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: 11th Commandment

Evolution is the main engine of atheism and secular humanism,

the official state religion as established by the ACLU and is taught in our government school systems.


39 posted on 05/05/2008 12:32:00 PM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: heartwood

“I know someone who looks very neanderthal. Brow ridges, saggital crest, prominent nose and jaw, receding chin. “

Liar. We’ve never met.


40 posted on 05/05/2008 12:34:35 PM PDT by Hacklehead (Crush the liberals, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the hippies.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: 11th Commandment

“So, am I right that no direct ancestor for homo-sapiens has ever been discovered? All that were conjectured as that immediate ancestor have been proven not to be?”

I think you would be, however the answer would be, “We just don’t know yet.”

I think that’s my biggest problem with the evolutionists - they keep saying, “It’s just GOT to be right, but we just can’t prove it yet.” At the same time, they denigrate ID’ers.


41 posted on 05/05/2008 12:34:35 PM PDT by RinaseaofDs
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: toast

I used to think that too, but apparently it’s not correct. Lions and tigers can produce fertile offspring, as can cattle and bison (to name a couple of instances). To me, the definition of species is a little fluid, since I KNOW I was taught (and taught when I taught HS biology) that if 2 creatures could breed and produce fertile offspring they were the same species.
susie


42 posted on 05/05/2008 12:35:17 PM PDT by brytlea (amnesty--an act of clemency by an authority by which pardon is granted esp. to a group of individual)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: RinaseaofDs

It’s just as bad in cosmology.

Hawking even had to come up with some sort of yo-yo theory to explain the expanding universe, since he is a hardcore materialist.


43 posted on 05/05/2008 12:37:28 PM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: Wolfstar

The liger is pretty much my favorite animal.


44 posted on 05/05/2008 12:37:44 PM PDT by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: brytlea
the definition of species is a little fluid

This is the admition I was looking for. ;)

45 posted on 05/05/2008 12:38:27 PM PDT by toast
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: MrB
"Hawking even had to come up with some sort of yo-yo theory to explain the expanding universe, since he is a hardcore materialist."

He also speculated on a totally goofy and unsupported "multiple universes" theory in a effort to deal the anthropic principle.

46 posted on 05/05/2008 12:39:43 PM PDT by joebuck (Finitum non capax infinitum!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: blam
Interesting, however there is some doubt about the idea that no Neanderthal genes made their way into modern humans. The evidence:


47 posted on 05/05/2008 12:41:55 PM PDT by pepsi_junkie (Often wrong, but never in doubt!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Wolfstar

The tame silver fox was never interbred with other canine species, it was selective breeding within foxes. The important proof of that experiment was that wild canines could be selectively bred into tame canines and that foxes contain the same genetic variations that dogs and wolves have.


48 posted on 05/05/2008 12:42:38 PM PDT by aft_lizard (born conservative...I chose to be a republican)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: heartwood
The Russians got very dog-like foxees by breeding for docility and tolerance of humans but I never heard they tried breeding them with dogs.

Yeah, the claim was made on one of those semi-educational cable TV shows. Supposedly after they got tame wolves, they wanted some more dog-like trainability and temperament, so they experimented with some hybrids. I can't vouch for their honesty, however. :)

49 posted on 05/05/2008 12:42:38 PM PDT by Wolfstar (Politics is the ultimate excercise in facing reality and making hard choices.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: joebuck

Don’t get me wrong - Hawking is BRILLIANT.

But he’s handicapped by his absolute insistence on materialism.

If you have a blindspot that you absolutely refuse to explore, even though the evidence points there, you’re going to start having to twist yourself in knots to avoid that conclusion. And, I suppose the more brilliant you are, the more convoluted those knots are going to be.


50 posted on 05/05/2008 12:42:43 PM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-92 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson