Re: "Was Neanderthal White ?"

Erin Miller (
27 Jun 1995 15:48:55 -0500

In article <3so5h0$>, FaStAg <> wrote:
> (David Soriano) wrote:
>>What happened to this homonid (Neanderthals)? Did it interbreed with
>One good book to read about Neanderthals is 'In Search of Neanderthals' by
>Christopher Stringer and Clive Gamble, pub. Thames and Hudson.
>Neanderthal remains have also been found in Central Asia and as far south
>as Palestine where they may have shared cave dwelling with early homo
>sapiens (I can't remember whether I read about the cave sharing in this
>book or some other). So co-existance is a possibility. Inter-breeding is
>anybodies guess. I don't think DNA from that far back that been found
>yet. Though, technically, it is possible.

A good book if you don't mind something so incredibly biased that it is
hard to figure out what the truth is. I cite p. 72 where there is a
seriously doctored chart depicting the "candelabra" theory (for a more
objective portrayal of the same charts, see Lewin's "Human Evolution").
Also note the caption of the first photo plate opposite page 184. The
caption reads "This comparison of the Neanderthal skull from La Ferrassie
(left) and the early modern skull from Cro-Magnon emphsizes just how
different the two peoples were." This same caption could just as easily
read ".... different the same group of people could be."
I don't have a firm opinion on the "out of africa" or "candelabra"
theories, but I HATE seeing one side manipulated to the point where an
unknowing person would say "well obviously it must be X because Y
obviously doesn't make sense" when in fact Y makes a lot of sense, but
just not the in the slanted view it was presented.

>Asking whether Neanderthals were white or not (for the moment, leaving
>aside the dubious nature of the whole 'race' thing) is like asking
>whether chimpanzees are white. They're different species, it doesn't

Chimpanzees can have whiter skin than Caucasians, you just need to look
under the fur. There is NO WAY to know what their skin color was, any
more than knowing exacly how much fur there was, or if they had beards or
large breasts.


"On the internet nobody knows you're a dog ...
but damn if everyone won't know what your cat looks like." -fatz

Erin Miller
University of Chicago / Anthropology Department /