Denisovans, Neanderthals and Modern Humans

In the past three years as reported in this blog, Neanderthal research has falsified common myths that evolved over time about how they lived, and being subjective to racism, because they were deemed as the “poor relation of the human family” who didn’t have much intelligence, also debunking claims like Neanderthals and modern humans never interbred in order to boast they were a different species than modern humans.

1) PNAS in 2008: “From Vanguard and Gorham’s caves indicates that Neanderthals used unexpectedly modern and complex subsistence strategies”

Those strategies consisted of…

a) broad use of land resources

b) use of small scale resources

c) sea fishing and hunting

d) scheduling resource use by the seasons

The behavior of Neanderthals isn’t separate from modern humans, then what is? The once brutish looking caveman considered  dumb so modern humans could out compete with them (survival of the fittest) to extinction, now looks and acts more modern than ever. In 2008, it was discovered in Iberia that modern humans and ancient Neanderthals interbred. In 2010, the evidence grew stronger, Sixty percent of the Neanderthal’s genome was sequenced and here is what they had discovered…

Although we are both hominids, the fossil record told us long ago that we differ physically from Neandertals, in various ways. But at the level of genes and the proteins that they encode, new research published online May 6 in the journal Science reveals that we differ hardly at all.”

“It also indicates that we both — Neandertals and modern humans — differ from the chimps in virtually identical ways…In short, Hannon says, “the news, so far, is not about how we differ from Neandertals, but how we are so nearly identical, in terms of proteins.”

Neanderthals made news again, but this time there was no denial of interbreeding rather boasting about it that was once shunned by such outlets as PBS who had trouble letting go of the old tales of Neanderthals!

In science daily

“Sex with Neanderthals and another close relative — the recently discovered Denisovans — has endowed some human gene pools with beneficial versions of immune system genes, report researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine in an article to be published online by the journal Science at the Science Express website on Aug. 25.”

This article also had trouble letting go with certain old tales of Neanderthals being a different species. The bottom line is this, like the newly discovered Denisovans, Neanderthals were basically human like you or me! They hunted and they communicated and they also painted like other humans. They even built tools like other modern humans did! No, they didn’t live 650,000 years ago rather they were people who migrated after the global flood, like everyone else.

Neanderthals became a pretty tight tribe who separated themselves from others except on a few occasions. Inbreeding of tribes led to accentuated features. Physical characteristics or traits could have been caused by their diet custom or a harsh environment, age, or disease. In the Book of Genesis, it states a world of distinct reproductive groups varying within their kinds which is what we observe today and is what we observed with Neanderthals and will eventually see more of it with Denisovans!

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Denisovans, Neanderthals and Modern Humans

  1. @Michael

    In the past three years as reported in this blog, Neanderthal research has falsified common myths that evolved over time about how they lived, and being subjective to racism, because they were deemed as the “poor relation of the human family” who didn’t have much intelligence, also debunking claims like Neanderthals and modern humans never interbred in order to boast they were a different species than modern humans.

    Two points:

    1. Neanderthals were completely human; they just are not the same species. The mtDNA is enough to prove that.

    2. Not all scientists think Neanderthals DID NOT breed with modern humans. I think they could have, but that does not mean they are the same species.

    The behavior of Neanderthals isn’t separate from modern humans, then what is? The once brutish looking caveman considered dumb so modern humans could out compete with them (survival of the fittest) to extinction, now looks and acts more modern than ever.

    No one now thinks Neanderthals were stupid or brutish. This is a complete strawman.

    Neanderthals became a pretty tight tribe who separated themselves from others except on a few occasions.

    ANOTHER two points:

    1. Michael, Michael, Michael,…thus kind of variation does NOT happen because you get a group isolated. There are many peoples and tribes that have been isolated for thousands of years, and they do not look like Neanderthals.

    2. Also, the Neanderthals were NOT “separated” from anyone. They were very widespread from the Middle East to France. That is way too wide spread to be considered “isolated.”

    Physical characteristics or traits could have been caused by their diet custom or a harsh environment, age, or disease.

    Not to the extent that you want to believe. Neanderthals had a diet of 80% meat. This is not unusual for modern humans, and yet those modern humans do not look like Neanderthals.

  2. No, they didn’t live 650,000 years ago rather they were people who migrated after the global flood, like everyone else.

    Creationists are uncomfortable with large numbers, tending to be quite imprecise with them. Altho Neandertals seem to have arisen 400,000-800,000 years ago, they did not become genetically distinct until about 300,000 years ago.

    So. If Neantertals arose contemporaneously with all other groups of humans as Michael alleges, then why is it that the Neandertal genome differs from that of all other humans by by 50% more than any group of modern humans differs from even the most distantly related other group of modern humans? Even though Neandertals demonstrably lived in geographical proximity to Europeans, the genetic differences between Neandertals and Europeans are far greater than the differences between Europeans and Australian aborigines.

    Altho no one has yet investigated whether Neandertals may be genetically closer to creationists than to modern humans.

  3. Neanderthals became a pretty tight tribe who separated themselves from others except on a few occasions. Inbreeding of tribes led to accentuated features. Physical characteristics or traits could have been caused by their diet custom or a harsh environment, age, or disease.

    Michael must have been reading those creationist comics under the counter again. None of what he says here is supported by any evidence whatever.[1] Certainly not by any of the articles he cites.

    This is the kind of thing we mean by the term “wanton disregard for truth.”

    Not so much that creationists lie, but that if something accords with their beliefs, they simply don’t care whether or not it is true.

    .

    Good news for us. Ramadan is over. So our Palestinian neighbors are bringing over goodies that they made for Eid-al-Fitr. Always delicious.

    =====================

    [1] Michael assails us for supposedly considering Neandertals to be less than human, a view that has had no purchase in science for many decades. Yet he clings to the hoary hypothesis that Neandertal traits could have been caused by disease—A creationist canard that was debunked almost a century ago.

  4. The bottom line is this, like the newly discovered Denisovans, Neanderthals were basically human like you or me! They hunted and they communicated and they also painted like other humans.

    Michael seems to know a lot more about the Denisovans than those pesky scientists. From a finger bone, a tooth, and some DNA, he can assure us that the Denisovans communicated and painted and played gin rummy just like us.

    They must have been mentioned in the Bible. Perhaps Cain’s wife was a Denisovan. That would explain where gin rummy came from.

  5. I managed to snag a copy of Evolution—The Extended Synthesis[1] from the University science library. This volume collects the papers presented at the 2008 symposium of the same name sponsored by the Konrad Lorenz Institute. This is the “Altenberg” conference that was grossly misreported by Suzan Mazur in The Altenberg 16: An Expose of the Evolution Industry[1]

    The Modern Synthesis arose from the integration of Mendelian genetics with Darwinian selection in the 1930s, and resulted in many new concepts and—for the first time—mathematical tools. The proposed Extended Synthesis attempts to integrate new tools and concepts, such as evo-devo, multi-level selection, gene regulation, and epigenetics, that did not even exist earlier. In some cases, the integration ios not difficult; others may require rethinking of some basic questions: What is the primary driver of speciation events? How does neutral drift fit into the selection paradigm? What are the sources of novel traits? Does evolution promote itself—is there an actual trait that influences evolvabilty itself?

    The 17 papers are divided into sections on variation & selection, evolving genomes, inheritance & replication, evo-devo, macroevolution & evolvability, and philosophical dimensions.[3]

    My interest caught several concepts.

    Niche construction. J. Odling-Smee (pp175-208) asserts that inheritance is not all genetic. Most species not only live in hteir environment, they modify it—by predation, by resource use, by maintaining constant temperature in a beehive. These environmental changes then feed back, altering the fitness of different genomes, either in the species that caused the environmental variation, or in other species that depend upon it. That is, environments may be “heritable” in the same way that mutations are heritable.

    Facilitated variation. Kirschner & Gerhart (pp253-280) wonder about the sources of evolutionary novelty.[4] They assert that, paradoxically, the conservation of certain core processes are exactly what permits new stuctures and traits to evolve. For example, all life generates energy by the same cellular process using ATP. Therefore, new species do not have to reinvent energy production; they may concentrate on producing new structures using the same basic processes. A number of factors enhance this capability. many developmental processes are exploratory—the placement of nerves and muscles, for example, does not need to be specifi8ed in advance for each new species; they “explore:” their embryonic environment to find where they “should” go.

    Newman (pp281-306) discusses dynamic patterning modules. While the Modern Synthesis conceives of novel forms emerging after genetic events such as mutations, Newman believes that “novel forms emerge[d] relatively abruptly by the mobilization of previously irrelevant physical processes.” (p293)

    “Group selection” has traveled a winding path ion the Modern Synthesis. Jablonski (pp335-354) attempts to integrate what is known int a theory of “multi-level selection.” More importantly, Jablonski discusses how evolvability could itself evolve. Even though evolution is non-teleological, he demonstrates how two different traits equal in their selection pressure can nevertheless be selected differently if one of them has more capability for future evolution than the other.

    Overall, The Extended Synthesis is an interesting compendium of how new ideas can be integrated into evolutionary theory. At times, the reading is slow. But worthwhile.

    Creationists, of course, will see it only as a compendium of what w3as wrong with previous theories.

    ===================

    [[]1 Pigliucci & Muller, eds. (MIT Press 2010)

    [2] Mazur (North Atlantic Books 2010). All 16 of the attendees have said in print that Mazur either deliberately misquoted them or grossly distorted what they said.

    [3[] Which latter section includes such questions as, what all should be included in “evolution”?

    [4] See their book, The Plausibility of Life (Yale University Press 2006).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s