Skip to comments.Neanderthals Were Seperate Species, Says New Human Family Tree
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.
I thought this was already established?
Ah, it all makes sense now. Homo Sapiens became the conservatives, while the Neanderthals = the liberals.
I’m confused; I thought that they were long known as a separate species: Homo Neanderthalensis. A separate species of the Homo genus. No?
I don’t think the Neanderthals are extinct. From what I have seen their gene pool is still alive.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
Not true. Neanterthals buried their dead. They also cared for their sick and injured.
Then what is the difference between a separate race and a separate species?
I don’t think so....
“Buried Alive: The Startling Truth About Neanderthal Man”
They were all Homos, that’s why there ain’t no more......
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.
The Mother Ship?
Penguin evolution is a fib.
Ya, but did they have nationalized health care? Not so smart after all.
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.
The Neanderthal model looks a lot like Islamist “rag boy” with a smile. IMHO
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?
He looks gay to me.
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.
"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.
What kind of car insurance does he have?
If your answer doesn’t fit, throw it out.
Perhaps, but not completely. Neanderthals are alive and well at the New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Guardian.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“I know someone who looks very neanderthal. Brow ridges, saggital crest, prominent nose and jaw, receding chin. “
Liar. We’ve never met.
“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.
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.
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.
The liger is pretty much my favorite animal.
This is the admition I was looking for. ;)
He also speculated on a totally goofy and unsupported "multiple universes" theory in a effort to deal the anthropic principle.
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.
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. :)
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.