Aila Korhonen (
13 Sep 1995 05:00:33 GMT

I can not have an opinion of the subject in lack of knowledge.
Just a few notions:

1. Geographical separation of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens for
two million years sounds convincing for splitting them to different
species. Anyway, if the separation was complete, there was no
pressure to _develop_ mating hindrances between them. Instead, if the
speciation occured in the same area and was based on differences in
living habits, such hindrances should be advantageous. They would
help to avoid crossings that were inferior to both parental types.
Those different looking apes wandering, but not breeding together
(and maybe specializing in different food) is a good example. Goat
and sheep are another. Any population geneticists out there?

2. I would not expect interbreeding in densely inhabited - obviously
advantageous - areas if a new population was pushing in. In such
areas there propably was pressure even between groups of the
original people and the newcomers would have a similar treatment,
strengthened by their different look. Instead of mating, there
should be fighting and radical eradication of the beaten population
from the area (fresh examples given in TV all night). Neanderthals
would have been pushed to poorer lands against the ice in the north.
Only later they would have 'sapientiated', getting more and more
influence from the winners in the manner many later original groups
have been mixed with their conquerors. All this, of course, if
they really _did_ mix...

I want to stress that I have no personal objection against either
group as my distant forefathers. :)

Aila Korhonen in Finland