November 09, 2006

Kissing Monkey Cousins

via Pharyngula and Cryptomundo.

Now, despite what you learned in primary school, or sunday school, or The Flinstones Christmas Special - modern theor suggests that Neanderthals are not our ancestors. They were more our cousins. A prime example of an "evolutionary deadend". But now some research has surfaced suggesting Neanderthal DNA suddenly inserted itself and spread rapidly through the global human population 37,000 years ago.

Why do they think that it came from kinky interacial Neandrthal-human sex?
"[The scientists] found that haplogroup D differed in so many bases from other versions of microcephalin that it must have arisen very early, probably a little more than 1 million years ago, according to statistical tests. Yet it appeared in modern humans only 37,000 years ago.

The Lahn group concluded that the most likely scenario was interbreeding between prehistoric modern humans and a now extinct hominid that carried haplogroup D--most likely Neandertals."

Religious "My daddy ain't no monkey" groups, and probably a broader group of "My daddy ain't having no sex with no monkey either" people, aren't going to be to welcoming to this sort of news.

37,000 years ago is a pretty long time ago. It's way before YECs think the world was created. And I think that maybe, just maybe, such prehistoric hominids might not have been so discriminating against breeding with neanderthals, especially when presented with the harsh unforgiving European climate.

There's also the other explanation - maybe we (homo sapiens) didn't lower ourselves to having sex with them, maybe they lowered themselves to having sex with us. Cryptomundo
has some interesting records of alleged Neanderthal abductions in recent times. Now I'm not so likely to accept these scenarios (some as early as 1920s), but could similar scenarios have played out before in the past. Perhaps Ugly-Duckling scenarios occured between orphans of either species.

NB: I'm aware neither Neandertal nor Homo sapiens are monkeys - get off my back.

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