Re: Neanderthal "voice boxes"?

Phillip Bigelow (
Sun, 05 Jan 1997 17:49:20 -0800

Michael Plant wrote:

> I have also been given a (rather badly written) monograph called
> "The Great Debate", a creationist reader for ESL students. At any rate,
> in both the monograph and at some creationist sites there is mention of
> recent finds of well preserved Neanderthal remains with intact voice boxes
> "proving" that they were capable of speech.

Not voice boxes. Hyal bones. And, no, these bones don't "prove"
this contention, they just make the hypothesis extremely likely.

> The monograph even cites a
> Scientific American article (of course, without giving author, volume, or
> publication date).

It wasn't reported in _Scientific American_. That periodical is
a science magazine, not a research journal.
Actually, the research you are referring to was first described in
an issue of the journal _Nature_ from a few years ago.

> I haven't been "out of the loop" that long; perhaps a year. I certainly
> have never heard of any finds like this and am very skeptical but
> intrigued.

It's true. A beautifully-preserved apparatus, I might add! It is fused
in a manner quite similar to that on H. sapiens sapiens.

> Does anyone on the list know anything about this?

I (or someone else here) can provide the complete reference
for the neanderthalis hyal bone described in _Nature_. Unfortunately,
I am away from my library, and don't have the ref. here with me.
E-mail me if you need more refs.