Re: Modern Neanderthals?

Yousuf Khan (
Wed, 16 Oct 1996 02:55:40 GMT

On Tue, 15 Oct 1996 16:33:16 -0500, "C. Marc Wagner @ UCS"
<> wrote:

>Yousuf Khan wrote:

>> Not if neanderthals weren't a separate species. I personally find the whole
>> concept of classifying Neanderthals as a separate species as a racist
>> concept. Scientists who are so disgusted by what they see that they can't
>> stand to classify them in the same category as "us" (whoever "us" may be at
>> the time).

>How did racism get into this discussion? The cornerstone of the
>distinction between similar species is in the inability to interbreed.
>All known Hominids living today are capable of interbreeding and thus
>are of the same species -- H.s.s. -- and we are of a species with a
>remarkably broad range of variability -- which we call "race" and which
>some use as an excuse to make urselves feel somehow puperior to those
>who are different..

>Speciation is NOT racism! The debate, it seems to me, is whether or not
>Neaderthals were a subspecies (H.sapiens neanderthalensis) and thus
>capable of interbreeding with H.s.s. which co-existed with it. Or
>whether Neaderthals were really Homo neaderthalensis, a separate but
>related species, which COULD NOT interbreed with H.s.s..

>While the "jury" is still out on this (based upon this thread, anyway),
>it is my understanding, from reading this newsgroup over the last
>several months, that the overlap of H.s.s. and Neaderthals was great
>enough that we should have seen some evidence of common features among
>the remains that we have if indeed interbreeding were possible.

That is precisely my point. We _do_ see the evidence of the cross-breeding
today: the entire Caucasian race today shows the evidence of Neanderthal
features, just by looks alone. Even looking at reconstructed Neanderthal
remains, one is hard-pressed to tell any real difference with a cursory
glance. There is less difference in looks between a Neanderthal and moderns
than there is between wolves, coyotes, and dogs, all of which are exactly
the same species genetically.

The differences in size and musculature is minor, the entire human race has
shown signs of getting smaller and smaller with every passing generation.
You see sometimes that people get taller because of better nutritional
situations, but in general the whole human race is trending towards
becoming less physical, and thus smaller.

Yousuf Khan

Yousuf J. Khan
Ottawa, Ont, Canada
Nation's capital