Re: Speciation - how do you know?

Paul Crowley (
Fri, 20 Sep 96 20:56:46 GMT

In article <> "Stephen Barnard" writes:

> I would like to ask Paul Crowley why he thinks Neanderthals were so
> robust. There must have been a reason. It's reasonable to speculate
> that it was due to their lifestyle.

I've no problem about people making speculations; I've made more
than enough in this newgroup. It's just that IMHO the standard one
about Neanderthal lifestyles is really bad. If we get it out of our
minds maybe we can think about other possibilities. What have we got?
(a) they lived in a cold climate; (b) they weren't built for speed or
lots of running; (c) they often seem to have peculiar tooth wear.
-- I can't do anything with this.

> Maybe they were immensely strong so
> they could turn over boulders to find grubs? Not likely. Maybe they
> were into bodybuilding contests? Less likely. How can you explain the
> many bone fractures found in their fossils?

Sorry, I don't have any explanations. Should I?

But what would you do if you and some heavily-built friends found
yourself having to survive in, say, a well-wooded environment with
a Mediteranean climate using Neanderthal type tools? I'd bet that
chasing(?) aurochs or other fast quadrupeds would be a long way down
the list, if it was in it at all.

Maybe they had to be that strong to hold off bears, using stones and
clubs as weapons. (Wild hypothesis #1131).