April 21, 2010

The Neanderthal in You

The idea has been kicking around for a number of years that modern humans may have picked up some valuable genes by mating with Neanderthals (kind of like Clan of the Cave Bear, that really odd series of romance novels set in caveman days that were huge bestsellers a generation ago).

A new study supports that theory. John Hawks has the background.

The idea is that if Neanderthals were off evolving by themselves in the frigid North for a few hundred thousand years, they likely would have developed some well-honed genes for dealing with the difficulties of life outside the tropics. The fastest way for modern humans migrating out of the tropics to acquire traits optimized for surviving winters, or whatever, would have been to interbreed with Neanderthals.

96 comments:

Anonymous said...

In my profession I encounter a lot of Europeans and Slavs. I'm struck by how very different one group is from another -- so much for white people being a monolithic group. In particular, I've noticed that Germans look quite Neanderthal in comparison to Celts and Slavs. And that some Germans look really Neanderthal. Same for the Dutch.

Anonymous said...

...Clan of the Cave Bear, that really odd series of romance novels set in caveman days that were huge bestsellers a generation ago...

Countdown:

5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

until Truth & Whiskey get into a big fight over competing theories of the pyschology of rape fantasies.

Mark said...

Anonymous,

How do you know what a Neanderthal looks like?

Wallace said...

The only population these genetic markers were not found in...was black Africans.

Baloo said...

A GENERATION ago? Now I'm feeling old again.

Anyhow, I'm curious also about how Anon knows how Neanderthals looked. And I've never been able to see much difference between Germans and Slavs.

Anonymous said...

"How do you know what a Neanderthal looks like?"

Uh, I go to natural history museums, where forensic facial reconstructions based on Neanderthal skulls are usually found.

corvinus said...

Neanderthals had large brain cases, like Europeans and Asians and unlike Africans.

Also, Neanderthals had very noticeable brow ridges, like Europeans (if not more so) and unlike Asians.

They're definitely an extinct race of humans that is not equivalent to Europeans or anybody else, but given these two points, I wouldn't be surprised if some Neanderthal genes ended up in modern Europeans...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Neanderthal_child.jpg

Anonymous said...

"Germans look quite Neanderthal in comparison to Celts and Slavs"

In specifics, in what way? Do Germans look more prognathic than these other groups? Or do they have lower vaults proportionate to their face size? Or do they have longer faces? Or more receeding foreheads? Or a stronger midfacial profile? Do they have broader noses? Or longer midfaces? Or a narrower jaw or more receeding chin? Are they more dolichocephalic (cranial analysis says exactly the opposite here)?

If it's just "I perceive they are large and have stronger browridges", then I have to say that's pretty damn weak (like when people occasionally opine that someone ridiculously unNeanderthal looking like Schwarzenegger looks like a Neanderthal).

Anonymous said...

"Germans look quite Neanderthal in comparison to Celts and Slavs"

In specifics, in what way? Do Germans look more prognathic than these other groups? Or do they have lower vaults proportionate to their face size? Or do they have longer faces? Or more receeding foreheads? Or a stronger midfacial profile? Do they have broader noses? Or longer midfaces? Or a narrower jaw or more receeding chin? Are they more dolichocephalic (cranial analysis says exactly the opposite here)?

If it's just "I perceive they are large and have stronger browridges", then I have to say that's pretty damn weak (like when people occasionally opine that someone ridiculously unNeanderthal looking like Schwarzenegger looks like a Neanderthal).

Kylie said...

Steve Sailer wrote: "The fastest way for modern humans migrating out of the tropics to acquire traits optimized for surviving winters, or whatever, would have been to interbreed with Neanderthals."


A classic case of "Now that I'm here and see what's to be had, I shall dally in the valley, and believe me I can dally", eh?

Sid said...

Have you ever met a normal redhead? Didn't think so. Red hair genes, I expect, came from Neanderthals. That is why redheads are so bizarre and unusual in their behaviors and mannerisms, they're just hold overs from a different (sub) species.

Anonymous said...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7062415.stm


A BBC link claims some Neanderthals were probably red-heads due to the presence of a few particular genes. I have no idea if this is true, but the article was interesting.

Mark said...

"Uh, I go to natural history museums, where forensic facial reconstructions based on Neanderthal skulls are usually found."

Well, yeah, I've seem the forensic reconstructions too, but how much can you really rely on those...?

I suppose we won't know until we clone a Neanderthal.

Anonymous said...

"In my profession I encounter a lot of Europeans and Slavs."

Since when are Slavs not Europeans?

Truth said...

""How do you know what a Neanderthal looks like?"

Don't be obstinate, we've all seen those GEICO commercials.

Anonymous said...

"In specifics, in what way? Do Germans look more prognathic than these other groups? Or do they have lower vaults proportionate to their face size? Or do they have longer faces? Or more receeding foreheads?"

Blah, blah, blah. So you take offense. Most people have a built in facial recognition module that can discern extremely subtle differences in physiognomy, including for example what part of Ireland someone may have come from.

I look at a reconstructed Neanderthal face, I look at Steffi Graff, some thing lights ups in my brain -- ah, Neanderthal. Of course facial recognition software would be more quantitative, allowing for millions of comparisons, but really. This is Steve's blog, not the letters to the editor section of Nature. I'm just saying its plausible based on my Lying Eyes that the various European ethnic groups might be various admixtures of Neanderthal.

Whiskey said...

The original article posits interbreeding with archaic humans in Africa, before out-migration, and isolation of human populations inside Africa.

Considering what Africa would have looked like (a lot, LOT wetter) back 70,000 years ago, this makes sense. The Nile valley was uninhabitable, to malarial, the Sahara was a wet grasslands, the major barriers being disease-ridden tropical riverine systems.

FWIW, a number of prior studies have found no commonalities with Neanderthals among Europeans. Neanderthals seemed to have: no domesticated animals, no sophisticated hunting techniques, no separation of sex roles in food gathering, no processing of nuts, grains, and plant matter for food (grinding, roasting, boiling etc) and thus fairly radically different ways of getting food. Neanderthals on hunts up close with spears of big game, humans with pretty much anything that can be processed by tools, lower risk. MUCH lower risk -- human women unlike Neanderthals did not hunt big game in a group.

Aborigines have a gene for blonde hair. No one knows why this is. It just is.

Dahlia said...

"Have you ever met a normal redhead? Didn't think so. Red hair genes, I expect, came from Neanderthals. That is why redheads are so bizarre and unusual in their behaviors and mannerisms, they're just hold overs from a different (sub) species."

Awww, we're just passionate, that's all! I do believe we are a little different neurologically and thus more sensitive. Sensitivity also correlates with intelligence as well as femininity.

A page of links about high I.Q. and sensitivity, especially in regards to children:
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/sensitivity.htm

Sensitive people use brain differently, a study from earlier this month:
http://www.physorg.com/news189932860.html

I wonder how Asperger's fits into this, but here is Temple Grandin on the need for all kinds of smart people and explains how her mind works:
http://www.ted.com/talks/temple_grandin_the_world_needs_all_kinds_of_minds.html


Finally, an article about redheads and pain:
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/06/the-pain-of-being-a-redhead/

There was another article in the past week or so about a study that showed sensitivity to physical pain is more pronounced in emotionally sensitive people.

Simon in UK said...

Some Russian men ( http://www.klitschko.com/eng/pics-vitali.html ) and other northern Slavs seem to have rather Neanderthal-like features, with strong brow ridges and a notably robust body form (my part-Finn wife has the robust skeleton; apart from some northern Europeans, only the Australian Aborigines among modern populations are similarly or more robust). Some Celts such as a friend of mine also have pronounced brow ridges, but less common than with Russian Slavs I think.

Germans by contrast don't have these features and to me look quite different. If anything I suspect the Germanic peoples may have some of the least Neanderthal introgression among modern European peoples.

SDaedalus said...

Some Irishmen (not all) look very Neanderthal. I'm thinking Colin Farrell here. Also, the red-haired thing would fit.

Anonymous said...

Neanderthals also had big noses like Europeans and unlike Asians.

Anonymous said...

That is why redheads are so bizarre and unusual in their behaviors and mannerisms

Is this a commonly held observation? I've never heard this before.

Anonymous said...

If anything I suspect the Germanic peoples may have some of the least Neanderthal introgression among modern European peoples.

Well duh! Everyone knows that they're the purest descendants of the ancient Aryans!

Anonymous said...

"And maybe those of us on the population genetics side still have a trick or two up our sleeves." JH ?????

Peter Frost said...

The Neanderthal genome has largely been reconstructed and so far there is no evidence of gene transfer from Neanderthals to modern humans.

Awhile back, John Hawks argued that an allele for the microcephalin gene (involved in brain growth) had ingressed into the European gene pool from an archaic human population. That theory turned out to be ... false.

In this new study, it was found that many 'neutral genes' vary among modern humans in a way that would be consistent with gene flow from another gene pool. There are two problems with this argument. First, no gene is completely neutral. Even genes that just take up space can influence how other genes interact with each other.

Second, we know that modern humans outside Africa originated as a subset of the African gene pool. Genetic intermixture inside Africa cannot be distinguished from genetic intermixture outside Africa.

I understand that many people, particularly on this site, want to believe in the multiregional model. I would like to tell you (Steve included) to wait and see before committing yourselves to this model. If you're proven wrong on this, you'll end up being less credible on a lot of other things.

Charlie said...

Neanderthal (or other "archaic" homo sapiens) interbreeding might explain why northern Europeans look so weird. Nearly everyone else in the world has black hair, a large majority have very dark brown eyes, and while skin color varies a lot there are no "white" people anywhere else. Whiteness is sometimes explained by a need to synthesize vitamin D from very little sunlight - but is northern Europe really that much shadier than the whole rest of the world? Or was it, before the current interglacial? The fact that whites are not so genetically separate from say, Chinese or indigenous Americans, makes it even stranger; sub-Saharan Africans look different from the rest of us but they are practically a separate sub-species, so that's unsurprising.

Given that, from what we know, the Neanderthals were blond and red-headed, and probably pale, it's at least a reasonable idea that that's where fair coloring comes from. Of course that would suggest a really considerable genetic contribution, I don't know if that's plausible or not.

Incidentally the Neanderthal was not much of a long-distance traveler, nor was he designed for running. Though all we know about their movement capacities is deduced from bone structure, I would guess their musculature leaned the same way towards power rather than endurance. It's interesting, then, that whites tend to be rather lackluster at running and jumping, even when they have the right build, but they tend to be good at sports where you need to lift something heavy or hit it really hard. Then again this could be parallel evolution; our ancestors had to adapt to the same environment as the Neanderthals after all.

Anonymous said...

That is why redheads are so bizarre and unusual in their behaviors and mannerisms

In the UK its often thought that redheads, particularly girls, are more moody, fiery temper. Sounds a bit lame really. Red hair = fiery temper, no, I'm not buying it.

Anecdotally I can't say Ive found this to be true. Of four redhaired girls I can think of right now, three are very placid. The other one is a bit nutty though...

All the red haired guys I know are pretty laid back blokes.

Anonymous said...

Peter Frost - so far there is no evidence of gene transfer from Neanderthals to modern humans.

To clarify, is that a categorical no i.e. none at all. Or no, nothing in significant quantities.

I understand that many people, particularly on this site, want to believe in the multiregional model.


I thought the out-of-Africa model was pretty much standard thinking now. But I wouldnt want to dismiss other possibilities totally out of hand, just in case new evidence came up.

The Western Confucian said...

Jorma Kaukonen, legendary guitarist for Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, and son of Finnish ambassador, looks quite Neanderthal.

The Neanderthal theory of autism, Asperger and ADHD is also quite fascinating.

Anonymous said...

"Is this a commonly held observation? I've never heard this before."

Me neither.

-Perplexed

BamaGirl said...

"Germans by contrast don't have these features and to me look quite different. If anything I suspect the Germanic peoples may have some of the least Neanderthal introgression among modern European peoples."

Lol that's doubtful. Most Germans are quite robust, with square-shaped faces/large jaws. At least all of the ones I have met. The people who look the most "non-neanderthal" (or stereotypically so) would be a Euro population with small jaws, narrow faces, slight build, low prognathism etc. Probably some Western Atlantic variety of European (Excluding some of the Irish who are often pretty stout)
But of course that's just my speculation.

Colin Laney said...

Big noses . . . red hair . . . are iSteve readers making erudite references to Kit Marlowe's notorious play?

"but that was in another country;
And besides, the wench is dead."

I think Harvey Keitel would be really good in a Hollywood remake.

Anonymous said...

I remember reading somewhere that the mutation for red hair in Neanderthals is known to differ from that in modern man.

Yes it is a common observation that redheads are slightly mad (at least the women). This somehow only makes them more enchanting to me.

fdafasdfsafd said...

Oog, ugg, where Sailer get such idear?

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

I understand that many people, particularly on this site, want to believe in the multiregional model. I would like to tell you (Steve included) to wait and see before committing yourselves to this model. If you're proven wrong on this, you'll end up being less credible on a lot of other things.

Who's "committing" anything? It's an educated guess based on logic and scientific evidence.

Anonymous said...

One of the problems here is the difficulty in distinguishing between gene transfer and convergent evolution.

The latter is understandable given the similar environment faced by European Homo sapiens and Homo neandertalis, and which would tend to favor the emergence of similar physical and even behavioral adaptations.

Also, it is difficult to imagine large scale sex between them and us. Rape, certainly, almost certainly occurred but the key factor here is the viability of the offspring. I think our women's pelvises might not have accommodated hybrid babies without severe dystocia. The other way round though, might have worked more easily.

I think these issues will be gradually worked out. Either way, I see H sapiens as a very efficient killing machine.

Perhaps we would be ahead if some Neandertals were to contribute to the discussion? Don't be shy, now.

Anon.

Simon said...

BamaGirl:
"Lol that's doubtful. Most Germans are quite robust, with square-shaped faces/large jaws."

Germans typically have pronounced chins, Neanderthals had receding chins. The typical German big, square head and high forehead looks nothing like the Neanderthal reconstructions I've seen, with their big noses, receding foreheads, beetle brows.

Germans tend to be tall and broad-shouldered, fairly slim-hipped, not squat & robust like Neanderthals or Aborigines.

Simon said...

Re multiregionalism - the strong multiregional hypothesis is that different human races evolved separately in mostly their current locations from homo erectus, and thus have been 'in place' around 2 million years. I don't think there's any significant support for this view any more.

OTOH the strong out of Africa hypothesis, that modern humans left Africa 50-80 kya in a single exodus, with no interbreeding at all with the archaic human populations already in Eurasia, seems very unlikely too.

Anonymous said...

Talking about brow-ridges, what about the man himself, Charles Darwin?

eh said...

I'd say that theory sounds plausible: Racquel Welch in 'One Million Years BC'.

Larry said...

The anthropologist Stan Gooch and Michael Bradley have argued that Jews are largely descended from Neanderthals and have the most Neanderthal DNA of all peoples living today.

http://www.slate.com/id/2457/

Anonymous said...

Given that a lot of White Americans are descended from Brits and Germans, who both share the same genes, maybe you are the Neanderthals, cousin?

Anonymous said...

I've definitely known some Germans with Neanderthal brow ridges. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Anonymous said...

From my observation, Slavs generally do not have as pronounced noses as Germans or other Western Europeans. Slavs also tend to have squarer cheekbones and eyes set slightly farther apart. I always assumed these traits were leftovers from the centuries of invasions by Mongols, Huns, and other Altaic types.

Anonymous said...

Anecdotally I can't say Ive found this to be true. Of four redhaired girls I can think of right now, three are very placid. The other one is a bit nutty though...

Know a couple of fairly aggressive and dominant red-haired Scottish girls.

All the red haired guys I know are pretty laid back blokes.

Agree with that. One I knew was a pot smoker. I think "laid-back" would describe Prince Harry too. They're not into wimpy laid-back life-styles though. He was a sky-diver type and Harry enjoyed his time in Afghanistan.

The footballer Paul Scholes is a classic of the archetype - very laid-back and quiet but occasionally "goes beserk" with incredibly bad or stupid tackle, or something else, and gets red carded. Often described as "hot headed" he rarely if ever gets angry or argues when he gets sent off or carded like other players, just walks off. Wiki says -

"Scholes is often seen as being shy but he is also known for his poor discipline; he has amassed over 100 bookings in all competitions during his career and has been sent off seven times"

Simon said...

anon:
"Given that a lot of White Americans are descended from Brits and Germans, who both share the same genes, maybe you are the Neanderthals, cousin?"

I expect we (Europeans) all have some Neanderthal ancestry, at least in a few selected-for genes. I thought the Cochrane/Harpending argument was pretty convincing.

Even if Cro Magnon women were unable to bear half-Neanderthal children due to physical & cultural factors, Neanderthal women capured by Cro Magnons could have done so, and surely over 15,000 years or so of co-existence some mixed-race children would have survived and interbred with Cro Magnons, bringing Neanderthal alleles into the Cro Mag gene pool.

The only way I can see this not happening is if the two groups were somehow not interfertile; we have no evidence for that and it seems unlikely, but not impossible.

Part of the problem is that leftist paleontologists seem to be advancing a 'we are all Africans' meme that has an element of truth - there clearly was one or more expansions out of Africa, that seems to provide the majority of the genes of all modern human populations. But this is being distorted for political reasons into propaganda that non-Africans are all descended from, basically, west African blacks, the people & phenotype Americans think of when they think 'African'. And this "we are all African" meme can not allow for introgression - or for the certainty that whatever our ancestral populations looked like (oversized Khoi San, robust Aborigines, or other) it wasn't modern Bantu-speaking west Africans or Afro-Americans.

Simon said...

Re propaganda, this is what I was thinking about:

http://blackpoliticalthought.blogspot.com/2009/05/richard-neave-unveils-sculpture-of-face.html

His ancestors have been in Ice-Age Europe 15,000 years. Before that they lived in dry north-east Africa. But he supposedly has a nose shape and skin tone suited to the tropical rain forests of modern west Africa?

John Craig said...

This post shows a couple of forensic reconstructions of Neanderthals, along with a description of their distinguishing features:

http://justnotsaid.blogspot.com/2010/01/what-happened-to-neanderthals_06.html

And this one shows a modern human with Neanderthal characteristics (the resemblance is described at the bottom):

http://justnotsaid.blogspot.com/2010/01/answer-to-previous-posts-question.html

Anonymous said...

"but is northern Europe really that much shadier than the whole rest of the world?"

Yes, it is. At least when only considering parts of the world that contained significant human populations. Even notoriously cloudy/rainy Seattle is sunnier than most of Europe. (at least in winter, which is what would be relevant)

neil craig said...

The gene for white (European) skin is estimated to have evolved 50,000 - 20,000 years ago & if it is the former it would seem likely to be Neanderthal since cro-magnons then hadn't got so far north. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/15/AR2005121501728_2.html

The oriental skin colour gene is a different one but presumably of similar age. That 2 such mutations should happen & both succeed suggests quite a lot about the importance of vitamin D & the degree of separation between groups.

Anonymous said...

"but is northern Europe really that much shadier than the whole rest of the world?"

Yes, it is. At least when only considering parts of the world that contained significant human populations. Even notoriously cloudy/rainy Seattle is sunnier than most of Europe. (at least in winter, which is what would be relevant)


Indeed, Paris is about 48 degrees North, about the same as St. John, Newfoundland and farther north than just about all of Japan and China.

Anonymous said...

Simon's comment I find especially
interesting and rewarding. IF
multi-regionalists, being scientists and not cultists, have thrown in the towel--where is their current statement of where they stand? I have never found anywhere online any reasoned and informed disputation between them and the OoA folks. Pehaps my own limitations and ignorance nurture what I'm gonna say at this point:
Wouldn't it be better to emphasize all the question marks surrounding varied viewpoints than to get too strongly sexed up into a Eureka complex about human origins at this point of scientific knowledge/ignorance/fallibility? Too, another angle: In this matter of genes, human overlapping group differences, evolution--a general rule is that the light may be found where the heat sears. I've heard that Carleton Coon's work, no longer viable as presented half a century ago, would be nonetheless worthy of theory salvage? It is not identical to multiregionalism, I've been told. ??

catperson said...

Rushton's theory argues that since Africans are the oldest race, they are the most genetically primitive, and since mongolids are the newest race, they are the most genetically advanced. But if Europeans have ancient neandertal genes, then that makes whites the most primitive. If Europeans do have neandertal genes, it may explain their overrepresentation among serial killers and those accused of war crimes.

One question that HBD theories fail to answer is if the cold Northern climates select for higher intelligence, why did the most intelligent species of all (Homo Sapians) evolve in Africa while Europe only produced the dim-witted neandertals who were so lacking in intelligence that modern humans from Africa replaced them despite us being half as strong? On the other hand, maybe it was our superior height, speed and mobility that allowed us to defeat the much stronger neandertals, rather than our intelligence.

Some might argue that the large brains of neandertals indicates intelligence, however when you adjust for their robust body build, their brains are actually smaller than modern humans, which makes sense since they were probably outsmarted by modern humans.

Another theory I used to hear is that Australian aboriginals are related to neandertals. This would at least explain why they are the only non-African race with an average IQ below 70.

Anonymous said...

I look at a reconstructed Neanderthal face, I look at Steffi Graff, some thing lights ups in my brain -- ah, Neanderthal.


Your built in facial recognition module is in need of adjustment. You'd be hard pressed to name a person on Earth who looks less Neanderthal than Steffi Graf.


The problem here is that when peple say that somebody "looks Neanderthal", they are working off some vague impression in their own minds of what Neanderthals looked like, probably influenced by some TV show they watched as chldren. They are not basing their claims on the facial reconstructions of Neanderthal skulls.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Given that the purported assignation between H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens sapiens occurred roughly 30-40 thousand years ago (and the study actually puts it at 60 thousand years ago), and that the population of both species in Europe/Western Asia was quite small at the time, it's patently absurd to suggest that one modern Caucasian ethnicity has more Neanderthal DNA than any other, or to say that one group "looks" or "acts" Neanderthal in any sense.

As for those suggesting that H. sapiens would not have interbred with the Neanderthals: well, given the lack of combs, soap and make-up and the infrequency of baths I'm betting we all seemed a bit icky at the time. As Henry Harpending said, mankind has been known to have sex with sheep, chickens, and the Indus River dolphin. Not to mention Mick Jagger.

Any port in a storm.

Anonymous said...

I always thought that French rugby player S├ębastien Chabal looked like a Neanderthal:

http://s.bebo.com/app-image/7926562839/5411656627/PROFILE/i.quizzaz.com/img/q/u/08/04/02/CHABAL_S_20050213_GH_R.jpg

Though he is quite tall at for a Neanderthal at around 6' 4"

acy said...

I once met a man who had a sagital crest (short buzz cut to show it off), heavy browridge, big semitic nose, prominent dental ridge, small chin, tall, heavily muscled, but with sloping, relatively narrow shoulders, relatively wide hips. Arrogant prick, intelligence slightly above average. Oh, swarthy white guy.

That's my Neanderthal model until someone proves otherwise.

Anonymous said...

I always thought there was likely some interbreeding if it was physically possible for them to produce offspring, given the nature of humanity, particularly of men. By this point all of us would be descended from the Neanderthals and the admixture is probably so negligible that you can't say any one group looks more Neanderthal than another.

alonzo portfolio said...

Yeah, I don't understand Sid's redhead comment either. I've known 4 redheads well. One was a tall Jewish guy with an avuncular demeanor, a fair teen baseball player and a marketing major. Second was a small irish kid, fast as hell and our best dodgeball player. People found out quick not to mess with him. He's been a UPS driver for 25 years. The 3rd and 4th, one man one woman, both finished top 10% in law school and have had stable careers and marriages. Sid, apparently normal is a narrow range for you.

not a hacker said...

Re ability to recognize ethnicity, how about this story from just the other day? On a city bus I get into an argument with a morbidly obese guy in his mid-50's, filipino/asian mix, apparently a vietnam vet. He tells the woman next to him the reason I'm the a-hole I am is probably 'cause I'm Irish. I've been described as a cross between David Schwimmer and Al Pacino. Irish?

BamaGirl said...

"His ancestors have been in Ice-Age Europe 15,000 years. Before that they lived in dry north-east Africa. But he supposedly has a nose shape and skin tone suited to the tropical rain forests of modern west Africa?"

I've seen that before on a video of a Greek newscast. They were actually questioning the validity of it, unlike the BBC which aired it in some documentary.
How convenient huh? I mean a European back then might well have been much swarthier than a modern European, but there is no way they would have resembled a Bantu Nigerian....At that point in time the europeans probably should have looked middle-easternish.

Svigor said...

In my profession I encounter a lot of Europeans and Slavs. I'm struck by how very different one group is from another -- so much for white people being a monolithic group. In particular, I've noticed that Germans look quite Neanderthal in comparison to Celts and Slavs. And that some Germans look really Neanderthal. Same for the Dutch.

I'm not even an amateur anthropologist but in HBD-anthro type circles, in my experience this is usually attributed to Cro-Magnon ancestry, not Neanderthal.

And I don't know WTF you're talking about with the Celts (which I take to mean Irish), most of the ones I see scream Cro-Magnid.

David said...

Where is that story from some years ago about the guy in Britain whose genes contained the genes of Neanderthals? Remember it? I can't find it, arg!

Here's something. NEANDERTHALS SPEAK!

http://tinyurl.com/2uv6bqm

Dan J said...

There was a popular idea some years ago that the trolls of Germanic and Scandinavian folklore were actually Neanderthals.

Our Nordic trolls were somewhat shorter than regular humans but sturdy and strong, they lived out in the forest, in caves or under boulders, they hoarded useful stuff and treasure, and were known to be very simple-minded.

In Scandinavia they were also claimed to sneak into homes to exchange a sleeping baby for one of their own(!).

There is a large body of folklore about these trolls/Neanderthals in a parallel, but hidden, existence alongside humans. The connection is an intriguing idea, but still not proven in any way.

Svigor said...

If Europeans do have neandertal genes, it may explain their overrepresentation among serial killers

Why explain a non-fact? Or put another way, why not back the fact up? I've looked into this via Web searches and never found any actual data.

And over-representation in what sense? Relative to population share? Relative to other populations? And who even keeps statistics this way? I know "whites" (which includes a lot of non-European groups) are tracked, but Europeans?

And war crimes? It helps to have the ability to wage war in the first place, or take crime seriously, for that matter...

ben tillman said...

If Europeans do have neandertal genes, it may explain their overrepresentation among serial killers....

Whites aren't overrepresented among serial killers. It's a PC lie.

Anonymous said...

Simon - 'we are all Africans' meme that has an element of truth....this is being distorted for political reasons into propaganda that non-Africans are all descended from, basically, west African blacks....the certainty that whatever our ancestral populations looked like (oversized Khoi San, robust Aborigines, or other) it wasn't modern Bantu-speaking west Africans or Afro-Americans.

Simon is right on the money there.

This is exactly what the Out of Africa meme is intended to do. However technically correct the idea of us emerging from Africa is, the concept is being used to implant propaganda, to elicit an emotional response.

Svigor said...

Whites aren't overrepresented among serial killers. It's a PC lie.

I've never seen evidence one way or another, though my only source is newspaper articles on the 'net. And I've looked. I have seen statistics showing black over-representation (relative to their share of the population, 12% vs. 14-22%), but I've never seen anything on whites. If I did, I'd want to see Europeans broken out before I started talking about European serial killers, vs. Arabs, mestizos, and all the other groups government and academia willingly accept as "white" when they feel like it.

CJ said...

Adaptation to cold you say? Lots of peoples all around the world are adapted to cold. The best summary of this is now almost 50 years old, and comes from the last great anthropologist, Carleton Coon. There's good summation of his observations about cold adaptation at the HBD Books site that Steve links to:

Carleton Coon summarizes various racial adaptations to cold

A couple of excerpts.

(1)The tests have shown that Mongoloids are adapted to sleeping and working in the cold as a result of one kind of physiological adaptation; that Australoids and one group of Caucasoids, the Lapps, are cold-adapted in an entirely different way; that Negros are both adapted to wet heat and sensitive to cold; and that most European Caucasoids and all Bushmen studied lack special adaptations to either heat or cold…

(2)[regarding the Akaluf people of Tierra del Fuego] Out of doors they exposed themselves unclothed to heavy winds and pelting sleet and snow. Furthermore, they walked and swam in the icy water, and dived for shellfish. The work of Hammel and his associates shows that the Fuegians, taking the Alakaluf as an example, were able to survive freezing temperatures without clothing by burning off a large quantity of calories, much more than the Alaskan Indians needed to keep warm at night. The Alakaluf live mostly on shellfish and the flesh of sea mammals, and they eat heartily. Their basal metabolism is 160 per cent higher than the norm for whites of the same weight and stature.

(3)In man, cold adaptation through insulation was first observed in Australia, among the aborigines. In west-central Australia the members of the Pitjendjera tribe live naked in the desert. During the day the air is hot, but at night the temperature can go down to freezing or a little lower. Ordinarily the aborigines sleep naked on the ground between rows of small, smudgelike fires, but when the wind is blowing the fires are useless. Scholander, Hammel, and others found that, while sleeping in light sleeping bags without fires at 32 F, the Pitjendjera men maintain an almost normal internal body temperature, as shown by rectal readings, whereas their limbs become chilled. The temperature of their feet read as low as 54 to 59 F.

And there's more, if you go to the link or look up some other material by Coon. It's not clear to me how any of these adaptations are connected to Neanderthals -- of course Coon was working before any of the modern breakthroughs in gene analysis.

Gene Berman said...

catperson:

In re the over-representation of caucasians among serial killers. you might be quite interested in an interesting analysis of the subject ("Why most serial killers are white men") at the site: lagriffedulion.f2s.com

My guess is that you'll be surprised.

Tsoldrin said...

Why is white skin presumed to be the mutation/adaptation? What we call white is really pink. Pink is the color under the fur of what, 99% of all mammals? Including our closest relative the chimp (when untanned). Unless we were one of the extremely rare exceptions, we (all humans) were white/pink when we lost our fur. After that, some adapted to the blaze of the sun on their furless skin obviously, because of their geographic location. Otherwise, we would have all adapted to dark skin and then some of us readapted BACK to white/pink skin - the same white/pink skin most other mammals share? What are the odds?

Gene Berman said...

Svigor (and ben tillman):

I also responded to the comment of "catperson" but with a bit of data and analysis at Lagriffe's site, which, I'd hope, will open his eyes to a more nuanced view.

Though I feel relatively certain you've already read most of La Griffe's essays, you might want to reread the one I'd suggested to him; it shows how misleading can be events occurring in populations of differing proportions also differing in certain selected characteristics. Of course, the most outrageous of interpretations are normally fashioned by those intent on the usefulness to one or another political stance or to undergird their own position as "champions" of one sort or another (or, sometimes, merely to make a more rousing news story).

In like wise, the essay "Analysis of Hate Crime" is extremely instructive in illustrating why minorities are very frequently prone to a very exaggerated view of the prejudice existing against them (or acted on against them) on the part of a distinctly (numerically) larger population.

A lifetime, not of scientific study but merely of observation, convinces me of the soundness of the results yielded by Griffe's approach. During that time, I've been in close proximity to various racial and ethnic groups in a variety of settings, all of which have convinced me, over that span, that the white majority population of the US (largely as the result of acculturation of an Anglophone sort) is the very least predisposed to unreasonable types or amounts of of antagonistic discriminatory behavior. (Which is probably a major component in their having led the world to date in the growth and spread of modern civilization.) That they are losing primacy in their own land bodes ill for them--but even far worse for all the rest.

There's another you might wish to read (or reread, as the case might be) and internalize

Anonymous said...

This guy looks Neanderthal but he's too tall (seven feet).

http://www.thepeoplescube.com/images/Valuev_Boxer.jpg

Anonymous said...

"Rushton's theory argues that since Africans are the oldest race, they are the most genetically primitive, and since mongolids are the newest race, they are the most genetically advanced."

Not sure I understand your reasoning. Amerindians co-evolved with east Asians and they are definitely more primitive than either East Asians or Caucasians. The evolution of races can either be eugenic (East Asians) or dysgenic (Amerindians). US welfare policy is definitely a big driver in the devolution of the black race. Similarly, Great Britain's social welfare policies seem to be breeding less intelligent, more alcoholic, and more disease prone Welshmen.

afadfadfasdf said...

Does this mean Asians mixed with Peking Man?

Anonymous said...

Carleton Coon and others used to argue that there were Neanderthal-Sapiens hybrids in the Near East.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Where is that story from some years ago about the guy in Britain whose genes contained the genes of Neanderthals? Remember it? I can't find it, arg!

I'm guessing you're thinking about the guy who was discovered to be "related" to Cheddar Man. Cheddar Man was not a Neanderthal. He's less than 10,000 years old, in fact.

If a living person had actually been found to have proven Neanderthal DNA that would be a major find, and we would not now be questioning "if" humans and neanderthals had done the nasty.

Justthisguy said...

Well, nobody else has yet proposed that autistic tendencies are due to Neanderthal genes. So I reckon I'm doing that. Hey, we don't talk much, prefer meat to veggies...

Simon said...

Re cold weather adaptation - Neanderthals were adapted to northern temperate forests, where they were ambush hunters, and from what we know could not survive on the tundra belt. The Cro Magnons were culturally a lot better adapted to cold than the Neanderthals were! They had sewn clothing and could colonise areas far to the north of the Neanderthal zone.

One theory is that during the last glacial maximum the Neanderthals were driven south and increasingly restricted to isolated pockets of forest, eg along river valley floors, and to well-sheltered areas with eg south facing caves. Normally they would have survived the glacial maximum(as had happened previously) and spread out from their refuges again as the climate warmed.

But this time the newcomer Cro Magnons could range freely across the land, occupying what had been Neanderthal land and with overwhelming numbers ultimately wiping out the small groups of remaining Neanderthals.

So, Neanderthals were wiped out by climate change and a *lack* of cold weather adaptation!

Simon said...

I think Tsoldrin is right re white/pink skin - pigmented skin is the adaptation, one that is lost, and fairly quickly, when it ceases to have an environmental benefit in protecting creatures from the sun.

Need for Vitamin D seems to play only a minor role in encouraging the loss of pigmentation.

Statsaholic said...

Catperson,

"One question that HBD theories fail to answer is if the cold Northern climates select for higher intelligence, why did the most intelligent species of all (Homo Sapiens) evolve in Africa while Europe only produced the dim-witted neandertals who were so lacking in intelligence that modern humans from Africa replaced them despite us being half as strong?"

Neandertals almost certainly were better adapted to the cold weather of Pleistocene era Europe more than Homo Saipan Sapiens were.

Then when things warmed up they were put at a huge disadvantage.

"Some might argue that the large brains of neandertals indicates intelligence, however when you adjust for their robust body build, their brains are actually smaller than modern humans"

Could you be more utterly wrong?

Neanderthals actually weighed LESS than most modern Humans:

"Males: average 143 lbs (65 kg); Females: average 119 lbs (54 kg)"

http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/species/homo-neanderthalensis

"Another theory I used to hear is that Australian aboriginals are related to neandertals."

That's a nonsense theory.

There's no evidence there were ever Neandertals in Australia, for just one thing.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing you're thinking about the guy who was discovered to be "related" to Cheddar Man. Cheddar Man was not a Neanderthal. He's less than 10,000 years old, in fact.

Im sure that can't be right. Liberals are always telling us there is no real indigenous (white) populatrion in Britain. Thats why mass non-white immigration doesnt matter you racist!

Anonymous said...

catperson, a lot about the Aborigines seems counterintuitive. It would seem that they would be closely related to the dark-skinned Papuans - which would make sense since Australia and New Guinea were connected by land during the peak of the last Ice Age. But the two do look very distinct. Aborigines have wavy hair and very pronounced brows, whereas Papuans have tangly hair and look more like East Africans. I've also read that the Aborigines carry a genetic marker that is absent in Papuans, and indeed all other dark-skinned SE Asians and Pacific Islanders. But this particular marker has also been found among some Europeans (!). From my observation, the group that might be most closely related to the Aborigines is the Ainu, who basically look like pale-skined Aborigines with more hair. The Fuegans in South America might be related as well. My own theory is that all of these groups were related to the very earliest group of humans to migrate out of Africa. Most of them probably died out (the Toba volcano perhaps?) but a few of their direct ancestors remain today.

none of the above said...

I wonder about the role of disease here. Europeans, Africans, and Asians coming to the new world brought diseases that killed off 95 percent of the natives. I wonder whether something similar could have happened to neandrathals. Alternatively, I wonder if some neandrathal DNA might have made it into us by way of retroviruses.

David said...

Thanks, Cap'n.

Separate question: Of any group, are Euros really the most conspicuous for knuckles bruised by the greensward?

Snorrebrod said...

Maybe red hair is evidence of Neanderthal introgression...

http://evoandproud.blogspot.com/2007/11/neanderthal-redheads.html

josh said...

Whenever they talk about intermingling with Neanderthal i always wonder,as Steve might say,"who...whom?" I cant imagine our ancestor males getting turned on by the robust Neanderthal women--er,if thats what you call 'em.So did N alphas come around our pretty petite little cave-girls and Game 'em? Was there a prehistoric Whiskey,frothing in anger at the lack of affection smart guys faced--"Grog invented FIRE--and he still couldnt get laid!!"

Simon said...

Statsaholic:
""Another theory I used to hear is that Australian aboriginals are related to neandertals."

That's a nonsense theory."

I don't think it's complete nonsense. The Neanderthals were an archaic homo sapiens population. Some aborigines do show very similar archaic homo sapiens characteristics. You rarely see it so much now in modern photos of aborigines, but with photos published in the '50s and earlier of some deep-desert aborigines, it's extremely striking. They don't look like anything like any other modern human population on Earth, and are the complete opposite of the Khoi San, who seem to be the oldest extant human population.

One possible explanation is that modern aborigines have a significant amount of archaic homo sapiens ancestry, from a population not that dissimilar to the Neanderthals.

After all, the Aborigines have been in Australia 50-60,000 years. The Neanderthals were around until about 25,000 years ago.

Simon said...

anon:
"My own theory is that all of these groups were related to the very earliest group of humans to migrate out of Africa."

AIR Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA indicates a split from modern humans around 500,000 years ago. That could indicate an evolved homo erectus/archaic sapiens population leaving Africa at that time.

There seems to be a lot of evidence that over the past 2 million years or so Africa has repeatedly 'pulsed', sending new waves of humans out to colonise Eurasia and replace the prior inhabitants. Sometimes I wonder if it's happening again now.

catperson said...

"Neanderthals actually weighed LESS than most modern Humans:"

I'm not sure if I believe that. It's well known that Neandertals were extremely strong, robust & muscular. That's hard to square with them weighing less than modern humans. Perhaps your source is in error?

Anonymous said...

Anyone been checking the news?
http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100420/full/news.2010.194.html
(..)
The researchers arrived at that conclusion by studying genetic data from 1,983 individuals from 99 populations in Africa, Europe, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. Sarah Joyce, a doctoral student working with Long, analyzed 614 microsatellite positions, which are sections of the genome that can be used like fingerprints. She then created an evolutionary tree to explain the observed genetic variation in microsatellites. The best way to explain that variation was if there were two periods of interbreeding between humans and an archaic species, such as Homo neanderthalensis or H. heidelbergensis.
(...)

Felix said...

Incidentally the Neanderthal was not much of a long-distance traveler, nor was he designed for running. Though all we know about their movement capacities is deduced from bone structure, I would guess their musculature leaned the same way towards power rather than endurance. It's interesting, then, that whites tend to be rather lackluster at running and jumping, even when they have the right build, but they tend to be good at sports where you need to lift something heavy or hit it really hard. Then again this could be parallel evolution; our ancestors had to adapt to the same environment as the Neanderthals after all.

I think you're confusing West African athletic superiority with white athletic inferiority. Whites are "lackluster" in running and jumping compared to blacks, and blacks only. I certainly don't see any evidence that East Asians or Arabs or people from the Indian subcontinent are any better than us
athletically, quite the opposite, in fact. If blacks did not exist, then whites would be the most athletic race of humans.

Simon said...

anon:
"http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100420/full/news.2010.194.html"

It's fascinating, and appears to prove that strong-out-of-Africa is wrong. All modern Eurasians appear to be descended from a mixed 'modern' African/archaic Eurasian human population 60 kya.

One thing I'm particularly struck by is the 45,000 ya date for archaic/modern interbreeding in east Asia, because that postdates the oldest human skeleton finds in Australia. But the very oldest (50-60 kya) remains seem quite gracile, whereas the more recent Lake Mungo 20kya finds are very robust. The implication might be that a modern/gracile/African population reached Australia *first*, then a hybrid/part-archaic population arrived later, less than 45 kya.

We clearly still don't know very much yet about human origins, and the story is much more complicated than a simple myth of progress, with superior 'advanced' populations replacing inferior 'archaic' ones.

Anonymous said...

Mitochondrial DNA suggests Australian aborigines are related to certain relic populations in Southern India. They do not look very similar because the Indians are gracile and the aborigines are robust. I do not think there are too many genes involved here. Higher levels of growth hormone would make a population more robust, for example. I think a population could change from one body type to the other over time without admixture--driven by sexual selection or the demands of the environment.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of a joke.

Man: "Hey babe, got any Neanderthal in you?"

Woman: "Er, no, I don't think so."

Man: "Would you like some?"

Anonymous said...

Hilarious and sad. Yet another innocuous scientific discussion turns into an opportunity for White folks to bash each other. And it takes a "reprobate" like Svigor to blast those magical, wonderful Celts. Ah, well, back to the LOTR forum on Stormfront.