Re: Homo heidelbergensis

Ken Brown (
Mon, 30 May 1994 23:21:50 +0000 (Stanley Friesen) wrote:

> (The longest that
> purely cultural factors have been able to keep two con-specific
> population seperate is about 2500 years in the case of the Jews,
> and that is an extremely unusal case).


What evidence is there that Jews are or ever were a seperate breeding
community from anybody else?

There are of course well-known genes whose frequency differs between Jewish
communities & adjacent Gentiles. But, on the whole, Jews are surely more
closely related to Gentiles living nearby than to remote Jewish populations.

At the risk of stating the obvious eastern European Jews are often blond &
blue-eyed, Arabian Jews are usually dark-haired & dark-skinned, African Jews
are black & Indian Jews (this last from anecdote rather than knowledege) are
said to look just like other Indians. And so on.

Back on topic for a while - I have a purely sentimental attraction to the
idea that some of the oddities about us northern Europeans are due to
interbreeding between H.s.s. & H.s.n

Partial albinism, vestigal brow ridges (I can feel mine distinctly), second
toes longer than first toes (well, mine are), relative dolicocephaly (at
least amongst early populations, it seems to have diminished in the last
millenium)... until someone proves the contrary with genetic evidence I shall
persist in imagining that I have a few Neanderthal ancestors!
If only as an antidote to the endemic splitting amongst paleontologists, who
get kudos by describing a "new" species :-)