Re: Speciation - how do you know?

Paul Crowley (
Mon, 07 Oct 96 08:00:32 GMT

In article <> "Stephen Barnard" writes:

> The point is, Paul, that you present both the absence of lions in
> Eurpope and the presence of lions in Europe as *prima facie* evidence
> that Neaderthals didn't hunt. You must see the gross inconsistency in
> this argument, because I believe that you are a logical, reasoning human
> being. You *have* to admit, to retain any credibility at all, that
> either one or both of your arguments are incorrect.

I was presenting the existence and fairly close presence of
lions as an argument against "Neanderthal hunters". That they
were even closer than I thought strengthens my point.

> So why is it impossible that Neanderthals established a hunting niche
> for themselves? What assets could they bring to the table? Far
> superior intelligence. Coordinated, cooperative technique. Long-range
> planning. Possibly language. Possibly most important, cultural
> adaptation over centuries, passing down effective hunting techniques
> from generation to generation. An extremely robust physique by our
> standards.

I'm sure they had language; although their culture seems fairly
static. If they hunted, how did they do it?

It's probably intelligence that gives modern Hss hunters, such as
the !Kung, their essential advantage. They can read tracks and
identify a limping animal that passed that way recently. Lions
can not do that. The !Kung can then give chase, and keep it up
for days, if necessary. I don't see Neanderthals doing that.
Their robust physique is an argument against any selection for
speed, agility or endurance.