Re: Modern Neanderthals?

D K Murray (
Sat, 19 Oct 1996 18:01:14 +0100

Is the argument for H.N. not swimming against the taxonomic tide a
bit? There is a serious argument circulating that chimps should be
genus Homo, not Pan (based mainly on genetic evidence, although their
intellectual and linguistic potential is intriguing). There are other
areas where species formerly regarded as separate are now seen as
possibly not (eg. various gulls).

Don Johanson seemed to think that a Neanderthal, or even an Erectus,
dressed in a modern suit might just about pass muster on the subway
(although as what I cannot recall), and whether we biologically could
or socially would interbreed is hard to determine. Should a judicious
application of Occam's razor not result in the designation of the
fewest species neccessary for our naming system to be useful to us?
If the recent finds in Australia are what some claim them to be, does
this cause problems for the H.N. view? What on earth was Twin Peaks all about?

Best wishes D.

PS thanks for the prompt and polite reply, if you can answer the last
question, the others should be pure dead easy, as they say in Dundee.