January 29, 2013

I, for one, salute our new heavy-browed overlords

Harvard geneticist George Church's plan for reviving Neanderthals -- 
You would certainly have to create a cohort, so they would have some sense of identity. They could maybe even create a new neo-Neanderthal culture and become a political force.

-- is pondered by evolutionary theorist Gregory Cochran, who sees good money to be made in it.
Their minds might differ in interesting ways, and that could be profitable. People think of Neanderthals as stupid, mostly because they lost out to us, but we really don’t know whether they were or not. Their brains were certainly bigger than those of modern humans. For all we know, they were smarter.

Maybe our ancestors were just meaner than the Neanderthals.

95 comments:

DaveinHackensack said...

There was a novel published in the 1990s about finding a lost tribe of Neanderthals: Neanderthal. An entertaining read at the time. In it, the author posited that we defeated the Neanderthals because we had a greater talent for deception.

DYork said...

Maybe our ancestors were just meaner than the Neanderthals.

My guess has been that so called AMHs were more narcissistic/egotistical and "ethnocentric" than the relatively more object oriented and individualistic Neandertals.

The greater "meanness" was related to their greater narcissism.

Anonymous said...

Maybe our ancestors were just meaner than the Neanderthals.

Or maybe they just reproduced more and intermixed with the Neanderthals, thus diluting their gene pool. Hmm... Kinda reminds me of something.

Jason Sylvester said...

"If society becomes comfortable with cloning and sees value in true human diversity,"

Doing jobs homo sapiens won't! I see a solemn debate in the U.S. Senate's future.

The Sage of Baltimore would have had all sorts of fun with this one. Mr. Mencken, we miss you.

Anonymous said...

Jews have high-rate of neanderthal blood.

Anonymous said...

LOL!! They can't clone even a mammoth!!

Anonymous said...

"Their minds might differ in interesting ways, and that could be profitable. People think of Neanderthals as stupid, mostly because they lost out to us, but we really don’t know whether they were or not. Their brains were certainly bigger than those of modern humans. For all we know, they were smarter."

Were Neanderthals out-competed or out bred. It could be that they raised small families and invested a great deal of care in their offspring, but illegal alien humanoids invaded their lands, stripped away all their resources, and then eradicated this peace loving, big brained humanoid creature.

Don't count on Chinese and Mexican Indian scientists rebooting the white race in 10,000 years.

BrokenSymmetry said...

That's certainly one of the themes in William Golding's "The Inheritors".

Anonymous said...

But what about
Neanderthal rights? If Neanderthal “man” managed to
survive in some pocket in Europe, the survivors would have
grounds to claim compensation for an incomplete genocide.
Moreover, what should be done if technology allows
humans to give a voice to the voiceless; a means of cloning
the Neanderthals or Cro-Magnons who dominated Europe
until the coming of current Europeans? They will have
perfectly legitimate grounds to protest the genocide of their
ancestors, and rail against the present European occupiers of
what was once their homeland.


If we are serious about the spread of equality and justice,
perhaps we must demand that contemporary governments
use technology to right this atrocious wrong and resurrect
Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons from the genocidal
rampages that victimized them. Cloning could be used to
help them regain their numbers. Reservations of land could
be set aside as due compensation. Ultimately, however,
justice demands that they retake all of the lands they once
occupied.
Over ninety-nine percent of all species that have ever
existed are extinct. We owe our very lives to this silent
majority of extinct ancestors. The biological evolution that
made humans possible is, by definition, built upon natural
selection against extinct ancestors of humans. The
cumulative work of all human attempts at egalitarian justice
is a droplet compared to the vast ocean of injustice that waits
to be addressed and avenged. Evolutionary history has
uncovered a gargantuan world of billions of years of
injustice that needs to be addressed.

- Mitchell Heisman

neanderthal voting rights now!

anony-mouse said...

You object to fellow modern humans coming to the US, but you favor non-modern humans coming?

Anonymous said...

This is no longer theoretical, you can get a DNA profile for a couple hundred bucks that tells you how much Neanderthal DNA you have. We will soon know pretty well what kind of characteristics are associated with it.

Anonymous said...

If they turned out to be white, would they qualify for minority status as Neanderthal-Americans?

Would they be counted amongst the NAMs?

Anonymous said...

A Bhuddhist priest named Oscar Kiss Maerth wrote a book in the early 1970s called "The Beginning Was The End."

The Beginning Was the End - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beginning_Was_the_End

In the book, if I recall correctly, he posits that what are now Homo Sapiens cannibalized other Homo Sapeins and Neanderthals for their pituitary glands... and Homo Sapeins became very agressive as a result (and also led to Neanderthal extinction).

He counciled not eating meat as a way to decrease the agressiveness inherent in Homo Sapiens.

The rock band Devo has stated that the book was an inspiration for some of their lyrics and for their belief in "devolution."

It was many years ago that I read the book (that is very difficult to get now)so I may be wrong on the details..

Curiously, I read some recent reports that some of the Neanderthal sites contain evidence of cannabalism ...(but were they the cooks or the main course I wonder?)

One other thing I recall that is amusing ... is that about 20 years ago ... I recall a conference in which the participants (all noted anthropoligists) poo pooed the idea that Homo Sapiens interbred with Neanderthals.

According to these famous scientists there was "no way" the two groups intermixed.

I recall thinking that some people really do live in Ivy Towers... I mean two large similar groups meet and "no one" gets their inner freak on?

I am gladd to see that the DNA evidence has vindicated my common sense approach.. (really have no idea why all these scientists were so certain that there was no mixing between the two groups ...maybe the thought was too yucky?)

Peter the Shark said...

An individual Neanderthal probably wouldn't seem all that alien to us, he might be at the further ends of the bell curve, whether left or right, in some areas of human behavior and intelligence, but would probably generally fit within our definition of human. It would only be on an aggregate level that you would really percieve the differences. And since we are not allowed to percieve differences between humans on a group level, cloning Neanderthals seems like a waste of time.

Alec said...

According to 23andme.com I am 3.2% Neanderthal (and 3.2% Ashkenazi).

Severn said...

Asked "Where did your species go wrong?", Mr NeoNeanderthal responded "Failure to enforce immigration controls. At first we actually welcomed the humans as a cheap source of labor - by the time we realized the magnitude of our mistake it was too late!"

Drawbacks said...

Maybe our ancestors were just meaner than the Neanderthals.
There's another 1990s novel that I'd thought was about the discovery of a living Neanderthal but is apparently about something a bit different. The excellent title, though, reflects what Steve (and commenter D'York) are getting at:
Esau.

pat said...

The standard mainstream theory today is that about a million years ago Homo Erectus marched out of Africa. Those who went west became Homo Heidelbergensis and Neanderthals. Those who went east became Peking Man.

Then about a hundred thousand years ago tropical gracile shaped human evolved in Africa. Some of these also marched out.

About fifty thousand years ago those around the passageway out of Africa near Israel evolved a better brain and became Homo Sapiens. Mainstream anthropology believes that Sapiens completely replaced the older Erectus based variants which had been evolving separately for nearly a million years.

But of course there may have been inbreeding. As it happens the best DNA samples are likely to be from the most recent specimens and those are just the ones most likely to be the most interbred. So I expect then initial results to be that Neanderthals were very much like us. A thirty thousand year old Neanderthal specimen would have been exposed to Sapiens breeding partners for more than ten millennia. If inbreeding is possible it should have been common after that length of time.

The real test will come when they extract DNA from a 200,000 year old Neanderthal specimen. But that may not be possible. In any case it's unlikely that this dispute will be resolved any time soon.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

All sorts of hilarity ensues. Neanderthal affirmative action, Neanderthal "leaders", etc.

Lex said...

It's like with whites and blacks, christians and muslims, golden money and paper money.

beowulf said...

Hope they'll qualify for Medicaid.
With their larger skulls, I imagine C-sections would be the standard delivery method.

Jim Bowery said...

What if female Neanderthals could give birth to babies sired by Homosapiens but not vis versa? Assuming panmixia and otherwise fair mating, how many generations would it take for Neanderthals to go extinct?

Anonymous said...

The worst possible outcome, of course, is that they become lawyers.

Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer

Anononymous said...

A video that compares a Neanderthal skull next to a human skull. Close-up and good-quality.

Youtube Neanderthal skull next to human skull

a very knowing American said...

Once we clone Neanderthals, they can tell us the answer to a vital question: which spelling of Neandertal is the correct one, and which is a hateful ethnic slur (the other N-word)?

But seriously folks:

According to (some) archeologists, it's only with the appearance of anatomically modern humans (us, post-Neanderthals) that people in the archeological record show signs of being divvied up into archeological "cultures" that might correspond to separate ethnolinguistic groups ("tribes," "peoples," "nations," i.e. human subdivisions on a larger scale than just separate local bands but a smaller scale than distinct species/subspecies).

Maybe the modern human advantage is the invention of ethnicity and ethnocentrism, applying ingroup/outgroup thinking not just to local groups, but to large "imagined communities."

Anonymous said...

What if female Neanderthals could give birth to babies sired by Homosapiens but not vis versa? Assuming panmixia and otherwise fair mating, how many generations would it take for Neanderthals to go extinct?


Insufficient data. The answer would depend on the respective sizes of the human and Neanderthal populations. If the Neanderthals are even roughly as numerous as the humans they would never really go extinct - that is, some of their genes (though not their Y chromosome) would persist in the new hybrid race.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe the modern human advantage is the invention of ethnicity and ethnocentrism, applying ingroup/outgroup thinking not just to local groups, but to large "imagined communities."

That's pretty much what E. O. Wilson argues in "The Social Conquest of Earth". Those tribes that would cooperate, sacrifice for the tribe and extend cooperation to other tribes and form groups of tribes would, via group selection, come to dominate. He thinks this has been the last stage of evolution of humans.
Robert Hume

Anonymous said...

The real question is what kind of linebackers would they make? Notre Dame and Penn State might be sending recruiters around.

Would Neanderthals be allowed to compete in the olympics? They might make good shot putters and wrestlers.

Melendwyr said...

I have read that although Homo sapiens left extensive archaeological evidence of trading, such as seashells found thousands of miles away from their habitat, minerals useful for tools traded far from their sources of origin, no such pattern is found associated with Neanderthal remains.

I suspect that sapiens hypersociality gave them an advantage over the 'thals. The collective might not be as capable as rugged individuals, but it can outcompete them.

Average Joe said...

You object to fellow modern humans coming to the US, but you favor non-modern humans coming?

Technically, Neanderthals are humans, just a different species of human. One reason so many of us oppose non-white immigration to the United States is the large numbers of such immigrants coming here. It is unlikely that we would ever see millions of Neanderthals in the United States. In other words, because of their small numbers, Neanderthals would be more of a novelty than anything else.

kudzu bob said...

It's as if we're all trapped inside a Gary Larson cartoon.

Kibernetika said...

@ Alec 2013-01-30 07:51:

According to 23andme.com I am 3.2% Neanderthal (and 3.2% Ashkenazi).

23andme had me at 2.8 N'thal and 0.4 Ashkenazi, last I checked.

More troglodyte than rebbi am I, reckon. Is there a(n) SNP associated yet with self-deprecating humor? :)







Ro Joe said...

"Maybe our ancestors were just meaner than the Neanderthals."

Nah, they began migrating to Europe there uninvited at first, and one group of Neanderthals saw the arrival of the darker, weaker Homo sapiens sapiens as a tool to use against their rival Neanderthals, so they encouraged the arrival of the newcomers, gave them special privileges, like preferential access to hunting grounds, promoted the idea that they were noble and needed to be protected, and encouraged intermating between the two groups. This eventually led to the predictable swamping out and breeding into obscurity of all the Neanderthals by wave after wave of arriving HSS, who lacked the illusions of the Neanderthals. Its all in the cave paintings- you guys need to get out more.

Nalen said...

According to this, our ancestors became more aggressive (and smarter) from being hunted by Neanderthals...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZbmywzGAVs

Socially Extinct said...

Perhaps Neanderthals simply didn't care about college or HG TV or Lexus' in their driveways.

Archaeological evidence tells us What and How, but not really Why.

Sid said...

Some people here are trying to present Neanderthals as being extinct NAMs: once they come back, they'll demand awareness for their particular genocide, call for more affirmative action, and in every way present themselves as victims, all the while browbeating you about it.

But since it turns out that the genome of non-Africans is 1-4% Neanderthal, Neanderthals have been thoroughly reimagined by others as being prototypically white: they were simple, straightforward, altruistic but introverted types, focused more on math and objects than superficial endeavors like language and art. They weren't status whores and they weren't as vicious and deceptive as the swarthy homo sapiens newcomers. They were ur-white.

Steve Sailer said...

Nerdantherals

Gennifer Zhang-Li said...

I enjoyed the Neanderthal book that DaveinHackensack mentions. I read it some time in high school, so it must have been around when it came out.

Anonymous said...

It's as if we're all trapped inside a Gary Larson cartoon.

Lol, very good!

Anonymous said...

Don't count on Chinese and Mexican Indian scientists rebooting the white race in 10,000 years.

I'm not counting on Mexican Indian scientists doing much of anything.

Anonymous said...

How soon can the neanderthals claim A.A.?

Orlando Heart said...

" Sid said...

Some people here are trying to present Neanderthals as being extinct NAMs: once they come back, they'll demand awareness for their particular genocide, call for more affirmative action, and in every way present themselves as victims, all the while browbeating you about it.

But since it turns out that the genome of non-Africans is 1-4% Neanderthal, Neanderthals have been thoroughly reimagined by others as being prototypically white: they were simple, straightforward, altruistic but introverted types, focused more on math and objects than superficial endeavors like language and art. They weren't status whores and they weren't as vicious and deceptive as the swarthy homo sapiens newcomers. They were ur-white."

What's the basis for assuming they would be highly intelligent? There are non-African groups that aren't bright. They had developed seashell art, etc, but this could have been copied from humans. 60 IQ people copy far more from the West in modern times, we don't consider this to be high intelligence or creativity.

I suspect they must have been less intelligent than humans. They were far stronger- estimates are around 6 fold stronger, at a time when physical prowess was a much bigger factor than in later times (before bows, before bullets, etc). With greater strengh would have come greater tolerance to injury. Certainly they would have been in competition with humans- this was before the lets all get along age we're now in; people took what they could from those who are weaker, with no concern otherwise.

To compete and best them, humans must've had something else that gave them a massive advantage to offset the major disadvantage they had physically- Likely it would have been the same advantage they had over other animals, including other primates- intelligence. It wasn't opposable thumb, etc- since Neanderthals also had those.

ben tillman said...

What's the basis for assuming they would be highly intelligent?

Their brains were bigger, and those with relatively high Neanderthal ancestry today are unusually intelligent.

Anonymous said...

To compete and best them, humans must've had something else that gave them a massive advantage to offset the major disadvantage they had physically- Likely it would have been the same advantage they had over other animals, including other primates- intelligence.

What about language? It's possible that neanderthals were much smarter than humans overall, but lacked VERBAL IQ to communicate and cooperate, so they were more intelligent individually but less intelligent collectively. Or perhaps they lacked the PHYSICAL ability to talk or pronounce words as efficiently as we do.

And modern humans may have actually been PHYSICALLY superior to neanderthals. While neanderthals were bigger and sronger, humans were taller, quicker, could run faster, and jump higher. Neanderthals may have made good wrestlers but humans were better boxers, and the tall agile boxer requires fewer calories than the slow stumpy wrestler and they may have given us the edge.

Anonymous said...

Jews have high-rate of neanderthal blood

Is this true? Neanderthal admixture would certainly explain why Ashkenazi Jews have such high IQ's, especially compared to other part Middle Eastern peoples. If Neanderthals had bigger brains than humans (even after adjustments for muscle mass?) then they were probably smarter than modern humans, but because they lacked language or the ability to talk, they couldn't create culture like humans could and lost out.

However a neanderthal/modern hybrid would have the best of both worlds: Big high IQ brain PLUS the ability to talk. The combination of both modern and Neanderthal traits may explain why Ashkenazis are so successful and don't fit the typical evolutionary explanations for racial IQ differences.

It may also explain the sad and tragic history of constant anti-semitism, in that other modern humans instinctively sensed they were different.

james wilson said...

The meek inherited the earth forty thousand years ago. It is a recurring story; to be in the weakest camp is to be in the strongest school.

Neanderthal was an astounding character. If there is success in cloning them, the cleverest of the clever monkey will finally learn how unlike mankind was.

CJ said...

There was a Canadian science fiction novel about Neanderthals called Hominids that won some awards so I tried to read it, but it was so absurdly politically correct I couldn't finish it. There were two parallel Earths, our world and an idealized Neanderthal world in which everything described demonstrated how people were so very very bad.

Sid said...

Neanderthals had larger skulls than modern homo sapiens. If the cranial capacity of modern white males is around 1350cc, and among Asian men 1400cc, then it was 1450cc among Neanderthals. This suggests that they probably weren't stupid. Any extrapolations about what their intelligence was like compared to ours is conjectural.

I think their great strength and musculature was a burden. They must have required many more calories than we do. The average person needs 2000 calories a day to function optimally, which is lower maintenance than 3, 4, 5,000 calories a day if you're laden woth slabs of muscle. In frosty conditions, a high caloric intake is a liability. Anthony Beevor wrote that the smaller German soldiers lasted longer than the bigger ones at Stalingrad, when they were besieged by the Red Army and had little food in freezing conditions.

Sid said...

Yes, precisely. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7194/full/453562a.html

Anonymous said...

"Maybe our ancestors were just meaner than the Neanderthals."

Wouldn't surprise me at all.

Anonymous said...

"You object to fellow modern humans coming to the US, but you favor non-modern humans coming?"

Is the suggestion cloning 50 neanderthals or 50 million?

Ignoring the *mass* part of mass immigration is makes you intentionally dishonest.

.
"If Neanderthals had bigger brains than humans (even after adjustments for muscle mass?) then they were probably smarter than modern humans"

Doesn't follow.

Increased brain size may have been the brute force method of increasing intelligence by the few points necessary to expand out of the tropics initially.

A small-skulled (on a bell curve) population moves into a region that requires a slightly higher average IQ. At that point the simplest mechanism for achieving a higher average IQ might be the survival of the larger-skulled segment of the population leading to a higher average skull size.

This process could be repeated with further expansions.

A more heat and energy efficient but *slower* process might be underway at the same time which - unlike the skull-size solution - doesn't turn out to be a dead-end (because a physically larger brain through increased skull-size has practical limits whereas an improved smaller brain doesn't).

.
"It may also explain the sad and tragic history of constant anti-semitism, in that other modern humans instinctively sensed they were different."

Jews dominated the slave-trade around the meditteranean, black and red seas for 4000 years.

Jews lying to themselves about their own history may create a lot of tribal cohesion but a side-effect is the destruction of one civilization after another with nothing to show for it but other people's ruins.

C said...

"'Jews have high-rate of neanderthal blood'

Is this true? Neanderthal admixture would certainly explain why Ashkenazi Jews have such high IQ's, especially compared to other part Middle Eastern peoples. If Neanderthals had bigger brains than humans (even after adjustments for muscle mass?) then they were probably smarter than modern humans, but because they lacked language or the ability to talk, they couldn't create culture like humans could and lost out."


Their intelligence seems to derive from admixture with Germanic people. Those that stayed in this south and were 'purer' Jewish ancestry, like the Sephardics, have lower IQ than European peoples. In addition, you're only talking about a pct or so diffrence in Neanderthal admixture. Is there any evidence that this specifically has any genetic relationship to IQ? The only thing that has significant support is that Neanderthal admixture strengthened the immune system.


Within a species, brain size has some correlation with IQ, but it doesn't hold up comparing across different species. Many species on earth- elephants, whales, etc. have much larger brains than us, but are less intelligent. You could argue that Neanderthals are closely related, but the fact is, we simply don't know regarding their intelligence, and there isn't good enough justification in "Non-Africans are brighter than Africans, Non-Africans have a few pct. Neanderthal IQ and SS Africans have none" to assume that Neanderthals were some race of bright people. Particularly given that they were so much stronger than humans, they could have easily wiped the floor with them if they were vastly stronger and as intelligent or more intelligent. There is evidence that they lived together in groups, which suggests they must have been able to communicate to some extent, though it is not known whether it was at the same level as people. So it seems they would have either been less intelligent, less complex in communication or both, because they were so much more robust physically.


Anonymous said...

I've always found one of history's nicer synchronicities to be the fact that the Neander valley (t(h)al is German for valley, cognate with modern English 'dale' - and see 'dollar' for a related etymological nugget) is named for a man whose name meant "new man". It's almost enough to make me go a bit Dan Brown. Nice to fantasise about cosmic guiding hands and other teleological esoterica.

Rollory said...

It is commonly stated that Europeans have 3% to 4% of their DNA from Neanderthals.

It is also commonly stated that humans in general share 96% of their DNA with chimpanzees.

It would seem reasonable to state that Neanderthals and modern humans have, at the very least, the same DNA in common that humans and chimpanzees do.

Therefore, a question I have not seen answered anywhere: how much overlap is there between that 3 to 4% Neanderthal component, and the 4% non-chimpanzee component?

Anonymous said...

Neanderthals had larger skulls than modern homo sapiens. If the cranial capacity of modern white males is around 1350cc, and among Asian men 1400cc, then it was 1450cc among Neanderthals. This suggests that they probably weren't stupid. Any extrapolations about what their intelligence was like compared to ours is conjectural.

Late modern Homo Sapiens of Middle Eastern provenance had larger brains than Neanderthals (even Middle Eastern Neanderthal, who had larger brains than the European varieties).

Modern Eskimo have large brains. They're dumber than Tamils (who have smaller brains than any Africans).

If you look at sources other than Rushton and Lynn (and even in Lynn), only inner Asians have large brains. The typical Confucian Asians (Japan, Korea, China) do not (nor do their closest relatives, in genetic distance, the Thai and Vietnamese), although they have relatively smaller bodies.

misty said...

IQ may be a relative rather than absolute measure. I'm certain my ordering of smahtest to dumbest would differ significantly from Rushton, et al. And nothing would convince me otherwise.

The Legendary Linda said...

Modern Eskimos do not have lower IQ's than Tamils. South Asians average IQ 84 and Eskimos average IQ 92. Of course both groups score below their genetic potential.

Brain size correlates highly with climate because cold climate select aggressively for high IQ, however cold climates also limit population size, which limits genetic mutations and lacking these high IQ mutations, Eskimos could go only get smart by selecting the existing variation in brain size, which was not not enough to get them to 100 without making the brain so large it would be too costly in calories, birthing problems, and physical strain.

The best combination for high IQ is a big population selected in cold climate (East Asians)

The worst combination is small population selected in warm climate (capoids, pygmies)

Southeast Asians lack brain size because of australoid admixture.

The Legendary Linda said...

So it seems they would have either been less intelligent, less complex in communication or both, because they were so much more robust physically.

What good is being strong and robust if your limbs are too short to fight tall, skinny, fast modern humans? It seems to me that if you're too short to reach your opponent, all muscles do is weigh and slow you down and require more calories. Tall/skinny modern humans had the more advantageous body build.

FWG said...

Just check out the fine movie "Encino Man" to see how this experiment would go.

Chris F. said...

Here's another question that no one asked or answered- how big were Neanderthal's John Thomases? That could provide valuable insight as to whether human women were mating with them by choice or not. Similarily it could also provide insight as to whether Neanderthal gals had a policy of once you go human you never go back. Generally, height correlates with foot size, so advantage h.sapiens. OTOH, testosterone is extremely important in development, and Neanderthals would've had more testosterone than an NFL linebacker.

At one point about 0.4mya, Homo sapiens, erectus, floresiensis, Neanderthals, and Denisovans all walked the earth. We can safely assume erectus were the largest, and floresiensis (aka "the hobbits) were the smallest; but how did everyone else stack up? New Guineans and the like, who have the largest pct. of Densisovan DNA, aren't exactly overrepresented in pr0n so likely Densiovans weren't so big compared to modern humans. So we have erectus>Neanderthals>h. sapiens>Denisovan>floresiensis.

We can easily therefore see why Denisovans and floresiensis went the way of the dodo, but why would h. sapiens end up top dog? It has been said that h. sapiens had greater endurance for Plains running. Which proves the old adage about,"Its not how big..."

Anonymous said...

Maybe they didn't like dogs. Mr. Neandertal was warm for the Proto German lass, but couldn't hang with the spoiled wolf mongrels that never left her sight.

But his star-struck cave women decamped with the hipster lads and their oh-so-cute frisbee dogs. All that remains is the cracked femur of the poor bloke who dared to cross the wolf lady.

Neil Templeton

Orlando Heart said...

All of this talk about humans being so much better fighters because they would have been quicker, taller does not really take into account just how much of an advantage, particularly in that age, 6 TIMES as much strength would have been. Its like Arnold in his prime fighting a tall woman's basketball player. So what if she's slightly taller, or slightly quicker? He hits her once, she's toast. This is before swords, before arrows, before armor, etc. She hits him with a club, he shrugs it off, because, unlike a human, he's had to fight against other Neanderthals who hit vastly harder since his childhood, and his bones, tendons and muscles are evolved to deal with the powerful forces he takes in running, jumping, fighting, hunting, etc. (which is even more than Arnold, who is evolved for only human level abuse). And do we know for certain that humans were actually quicker, or is this assumed because they were thinner? In general, speed correlates with muscle mass- compare a 100M runner against a marathon runner. And human evolution was known to encompass development for distance running. If the human was in a field, maybe (if the neanderthal was injured or in some way restricted in movement) the human could out distance run the Neanderthal before the Neanderthal could catch them. Otherwise, they would be dead meat.

lovinglisaling said...

Actually the between species correlation between intelligence and brain size is extremely high once you make adjustments for body size.

lovinglisaling said...

Orlando, if modern humans could punch neanderthals in the face hard enough to hurt them, it wouldn't matter if they were six times weaker, and even weak man's punch can be powerful if it comes at you with the momentum and energy of speed. I think once you have enough strength, having six times more has diminishing returns or even becomes a liability if it slows you down.

Neanderthals might be six times stronger, but if they are six times slower, their punches would have less momentum and it would take them six times as many attempts to even land a punch. Add to that their inferior height and reach, and it's quite possible they sucked at fighting, and if they couldn't run fast either, they wouldn't even be able to run away when they were losing or chase down an opponent when they were winning.

I don't think neanderthals could run fast or far. The world's fastest man Usain Bolt is more tall than muscular.

M said...

Linda / Catperson (I will call you Catperson, as I prefer it for you), replies as follow
Part 1:

Catperson - Modern Eskimos do not have lower IQ's than Tamils. South Asians average IQ 84 and Eskimos average IQ 92. Of course both groups score below their genetic potential.

I expect that's from Lynn, but I have no confidence at all in his cooked books.

http://tinyurl.com/dxsaa77 - "In a normal white population in the United Stated, 50 per cent of the pupils will have IQs exceeding 100. Garth shows that only 7.5 per cent of the Negroes and 8.9 per cent of the Mexicans tested had IQs greater than 100. Corresponding figures for the proportion of the Alaska native races found with Stanford-Binet IQs exceeding 100 are as follows:
Eskimos 4.1
Aluets 5.3
Indians 7.2"

http://tinyurl.com/d8lyxam - "Mean IQs of Inuit by blooded status

Eskimo 100% - 71"

Mental ability of the native races of Alaska, Eells 1933 - "The average IQ's on the Stanford-Binet test for three native races of children in Alaska—Eskimo, Aleut, and Indian—are 73.67, 80.27, and 78.88"

Catperson: Brain size correlates highly with climate because cold climate select aggressively for high IQ, however cold climates also limit population size, which limits genetic mutations and lacking these high IQ mutations, Eskimos could go only get smart by selecting the existing variation in brain size, which was not not enough to get them to 100 without making the brain so large it would be too costly in calories

I think that brain size correlates with climate because of pure climatic reasons, as outlined by Beals et al.

The Inuit likely have greater intelligence (to the degree they do) than tropical aborigines due to lower polygyny and thus lower paternal age and lower mutational load (and higher efficiency), as outlined by Cochran.

Their large brains are probably heavily downtuned for energy usage compared to the brain of people from other parts of the world - big, but low glucose. This is harder to measure than gross brain volume and check of course.

M said...

Part 2:


Catperson: birthing problems, and physical strain

Interestingly, Chinese have a small brain circumference at birth, compared with many other nationalities -

http://www.ramcjournal.com/1987/3/jones.pdf

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0047816

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2802014/

http://www.nature.com/jp/journal/v22/n3/pdf/7210703a.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2660515/ -

"Neonates in Europe were the largest, followed by Jamaica, East Asia (China), then Africa and South Asia. Birthweight varied widely (mean values 2730g to 3570g), but in contrast, head circumference was similar in all except China (markedly smaller). The main difference in body proportions between populations was the head to length ratio, with small heads relative to length in China and large heads relative to length in South Asia and Africa."

Most of the brain growth (getting up to near White average size, perhaps either slightly over or under) seems to occur postnatally (perhaps in the first year of life, as Chinese children tend to be seen as having relatively large brains).
This is in agreement with sources that find birthing problems occur in White male, Chinese female pairs.

Perhaps the same may be true of the Inuit?

Southeast Asians lack brain size because of australoid admixture.

Any degree of admixture with Australoids in mainland SE Asians is very small, on the degree of a few percent at most. Viets and Thais are closer in genetic distance to Chinese than Mongoloids, yet their brains are very small and their overall intelligence (especially once those of mixed Chinese ancestry are sifted out) of a standard similar to MENA people.

Why? Because the selective environment of China, Korea and Japan is more what makes them smart, not any generalised Mongoloid advantage (which may be present but is likely very small indeed).

Raw brain size and enceph -

http://occidentalascent.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/beals.jpg

http://oi40.tinypic.com/294kyt3.jpg

As you can see, both smallest absolute and encephalization in Southern India.

Orlando Heart said...

Lovinglisaling,

If an average 3-4 year old punches an average adult man, it really doesn't matter how hard they try, outside of hitting in the genitals, its really not going to phase you. I know, I have kids. And this is around the level of difference in strength we're talking about, when we say 6 times. Yeah, there may be a little discomfort, but its certainly wouldn't slow you down in the heat of battle. This is also before the age of dojos training people to do 5 fingered palms of death, or using their opponents strength against them, so it is unlikely a physical contest would be about much else than brute strength difference. Weapons can even things up, but back then, spears, rocks, and clubs were about it, and both sides had those (and a stronger guy could wield a bigger variety of those, and throw them alot farther and faster).

I've seen nothing to suggest they were 6 times slower. Aside from assumptions, so I don't know why everyone is so ready to assume that Neanderthals are so much less quick simply from being more massive. Strength does directly correlate with speed. I'm sorry, but it just does. Bolt is tall, but his legs are also quite muscular. And you also can see in general across the field of sprinters, running backs, etc- all are far more muscular than distance runners. If anything this would suggest that it was humans who were far slower.

You can see it also in the difference between doping strategies of professional athletes. Sprinters, and athletes that rely on speed take testosterone analogs to build muscle. Distance runners take EPO and the like for endurance.

Even more to the point with this debate, fighters who dope often take steroids.

What slows people down is fat. I haven't seen anything about whether ancient humans or Neanderthals would be fatter. On first guess, I would speculate Neanderthals, who adapted towards a colder environment. On the other hand, in those days everyone was running around half starved living day to day trying to get a meal, so its unlikely the average member of either species had much fat to spare. In any case, with 6 times the muscle mass a given amount of fat would slow a Neanderthal down a lot less than a human. Your average NFL linebacker may be fatter than an average guy, nevertheless they probably can move and run alot faster than Joe Schmo. And they're maybe 3x as strong, not 6x.


Michael H said...

@Orlando Heart

Early homo sapiens may have lacked armor and swords, but they had plenty of spears. Being six times stronger doesn't matter much once you've had a spear thrust into your chest. In fact, homo sapients may have relied more on projectile weapons than neanderthals, so the neanderthal in your scenario might be killed before he even gets a chance to test out his superior strength against homo sapiens.

Chimpanzees are significantly stronger than homo sapiens too, would a troop of chimpanzees have slaughtered early humans in a confrontation?

lovinglisa said...

M

You should read Richard Lynn's book before doing independent research. Lynn summarized a huge number of studies, he didn't just cherry pick data. And Lynn was careful to correct all IQ scores for outdated norms and correct all IQ's so that an IQ of 100 reflected the white mean (not the American mean). Most people who criticise his book don't understand these corrections, and thus think Lynn's numbers are wrong, since they differ from what the actual studies say, but Lynn explains his methodology for those who bother reading.

If a study found that Eskimos scored as low as you say, it was probably because they had trouble speaking English, so you need a smart person like Lynn to go through the research to decide what studies are valid and which are not.

I fear for the future of HBD when Lynn stops publishing. He's literally the ONLY person in the field who knows what he's doing.

And Lynn is the ONLY reliable source when it comes to brain size because Lynn compared the brain size of all ten "races" using the SAME DATA-SET. This is very important because brain size is very hard to estimate (without an MRI) and different methods give wildly different results, so Lynn very intelligently cites the one study where all ten "races" had their cranial capacities assessed from the exact same data base using the exact same methodology.

Lynn is the only game in town when it comes to HBD.

lovinglisa said...

Orlando,

Your comment about a child's punch not hurting ignores my point about having ENOUGH STENGTH. A child does not have sufficient muscle to hurt a man, however a man has sufficient strenght to hurt a much stronger man. Once you have enough strenght to do damage, other factors like height, reach and speed become more predictive of fighting success than strength, and too much muscle mass slows down punching speed and lack of speed diminishes a punches momentum and energy, assuming it can even hit its target. OF COURSE MUSCLE MASS SLOWS YOU DOWN. This is basic physics. Bigger objects move slower.


And let's not confuse punching speed with running speed. Two different variables. It's true that some high speed runners are muscular, but the muscle tends to be in their legs. Neanderthals were top heavy and barrel chested, and having all that extra weight for their legs to carry would also have impaired their ability to run fast or far.

Some scientists have also speculated that the anatomy of neanderthal arms made it impossible for them to throw things, which I assume would include a punch, but that's a different argument.

The latest theory in vogue is that neanderthals and humans mated. Even if this is true, one wonders how a human could rape a neanderthal becuase given a six fold strenght difference, even neanderthal WOMEN would have been stronger than human men. And since Neanderthals were a conquered populations, it's their women who would have been raped, though DNA studies may beg to differ.

Orlando Heart said...

@ Michael H-

Neanderthals also had spears. And as I said earlier, a stronger guy can hurl it stronger, harder, farther than the weaker guy. Which means that actually the Neanderthal could hurl it at the human well before the human could at the Neanderthal.

As far as your comment about chimpanzees, you should have read my earlier comments- I specifically indicated in the first place that humans must have been more intelligent (or for that matter, it could have been superior communication)- I am well aware homo sapiens ultimately won out and was speculating about why that might be given that Neanderthals were so much stronger. That being said though, your ideas about chimpanzees seem to be derived from Hollywood. They use docile, juvenile chimps there. Wild adults are well known to be dangerous.

Orlando Heart said...

Lovinglisa,

You obviously didn't bother to read through my comments because I already refuted the things you mention in prior comments. Its clear that you
continue to argue for wrong ideas such as increased strength decreases speed, and won't listen to facts to the contrary.

Anonymous said...

Some articles a couple of years ago suggested that Neaderthal population size in Europe never got very large at any time. Presumably the livable area in Europe during the Ice Age was small.



"...the population hovered at an average of 1,500 females of reproductive age in Europe between 38,000 and 70,000 years ago, with the maximum estimate of 3,500 such female Neanderthals."


Even if this work is off in its estimate, it might be that the Neaderthal population size was very small compared to that of modern humans. So whether the interaction was hostile or the populations merged, the Neaderthal population was simply swamped.

Orlando Heart said...

@Lovinglisa-

I’m 4 inches taller than Michael Vick and we’re about the same age. Nevertheless, he can run circles around me. He’s more muscular and bigger than me, yet if we had any objective measure of his quickness- ability to dodge opponents, etc, he’d also easily surpass me. And strength is just as important for punching as for sprinting- the guy with the stronger arm punches faster; the greater acceleration which can be generated from a stronger arm is what gives the fist its greater force. Force= Mass x Acceleration. If one’s strength and muscle slowed them down, and if it was as simple as the ‘bigger’ person moved slower or threw a punch slower, then male sprinters and male fighters would routinely get their asses handed to them by female sprinters and fighters. You equate big with slow- this is a semantics-based misconception, because it fails to distinguish big from muscle vs. big from fat.

As I indicated earlier, I also already discussed why (before you even proposed it) your idea of ‘enough’ strength was wrong. Neanderthals would have obviously evolved to deal with greater forces, greater trauma by virtue of having evolved with greater strength. They would have grown up with other Neanderthals, wrestling, fistfighting, etc. They would also have evolved to deal with the forces generated by living day to day having 6 times the strength of man- jumping, running, hunting, etc. Their bones would be denser, tendons and ligaments much stronger, their internal organs would be more protected by thicker muscles, etc. We observe these things in other animals that have great strength, their bodies have evolved in parallel along with it to deal with greater strength.

So my analogies of a child punching a man give you a pretty good picture of what it would be like for a human man to punch a Neanderthal. A Neanderthal child punching an adult Neanderthal would be very much like a human punching a Neanderthal. While an average adult man may have ‘enough strength’ to seriously hurt an adult man with a typical punch, its unlikely that the same punch would have much of an effect on an adult Neanderthal man. Of course it is POSSIBLE that a human man could knockout a Neanderthal in a fist fight; its also POSSIBLE that an asteroid could fly down from the heavens and strike the Neanderthal down without the human having to lift a finger, but this is not really relevant to the discussion of what would occur 99+% of the time in such a match up.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Neanderthal population size, it looks like there are suggestions that humans may have outnumbered Neanderthals by about 2 to 1 to 9 to 1 (yeah, we're not talking an exact science here!).

"Early Modern Humans Outnumbered Neanderthal Populations By Almost 9 to 1"

"Neanderthals were outnumbered by the first modern humans"

BB said...

Maybe our ancestors were just meaner than the Neanderthals.

Well, Neanderthals were our ancestors too, according to recent research. Our less sucesful "hick" ancestors.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened, the Neanderthals were displaced in Europe by Cro-Magnon humans, from which many Europeans descend. I learn now that we should not say "Cro-Magnon", rather:

"Current scientific literature prefers the term European Early Modern Humans (EEMH)".

That National Geographic genetic population study says that the EEMH moved into Europe along the southern Baltic coast from what is now Northern Russia. They had made a big swing through central Asia. The EEMH had lived the furthest north of any population until this time, perhaps even further north than the Neaderthals, presuming much of Europe was uninhabitable at the time. So whatever else they had going for them, the EEMH, like the Neaderthal, probably could already live in very cold climates, obviating what may have until then been a big Neanderthal advantage.

Landon said...

"Here's another question that no one asked or answered- how big were Neanderthal's John Thomases?"

- I'm guessing as ugly as Neanderthal broads are, the guys probably didn't have much competition among each other to pick one up- so probably not so much....

Colin Paul said...

"'Don't count on Chinese and Mexican Indian scientists rebooting the white race in 10,000 years.'

I'm not counting on Mexican Indian scientists doing much of anything."

- I don't know; by then they'll have exhausted all the freebies that the state can produce. Either that, or it'll be an Idiocracy and they'll need Joe Bauers to come and save the day...

Dorito Chamberlin said...

"The scots-irish have a high-rate of neanderthal blood."

That explains why they kept finding seashells with Neanderthals... seashells were a form of currency of ancient times.

Anonymous said...

"All of this talk about humans being so much better fighters because they would have been quicker, taller does not really take into account just how much of an advantage, particularly in that age, 6 TIMES as much strength would have been. Its like Arnold in his prime fighting a tall woman's basketball player."

But what about six against one?

Group violence is more about organisation than physical prowess so if neanderthals were extremely strong individually i'd say that was more likely (although it could mean a lot of other things as well) to be evidence of a lack of teamwork as group hunters don't need to be individually strong.

If neanderthals did hunt alone while cro-magnons hunted in groups then which would come out best in a match-up between neanderthal and cro-magnon?

.
The strength is interesting though as i assume there was a good reason for it.

It seems to me there are two options

1) Neanderthal strength evolved for a functional purpose to do with survival e.g. hunting solo and actually fighting animals rather than outsmarting them.

dunno how plausible that sounds.

2) Neanderthal strength evolved for the same reason as gorillas - to fight other neanderthal males over females - and may not have anything to do with food-getting at all.

This might tie in with some of things you read about them being built more like wrestlers than quarterbacks - which may turn out to have been another failed experiment in optimization i.e. competition for females over the amount of meat built into your shoulders versus the amount you're carrying over your shoulders.

Helm said...

"The latest theory in vogue is that neanderthals and humans mated. Even if this is true, one wonders how a human could rape a neanderthal becuase given a six fold strenght difference, even neanderthal WOMEN would have been stronger than human men. And since Neanderthals were a conquered populations, it's their women who would have been raped, though DNA studies may beg to differ."

DNA studies DO differ. Although ~1-4% of non-African genomic DNA is Neanderthal DNA, human samples show 0% Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA. This means that either matings with Neanderthal women and human men were so extremely rare compared to matings between human women and Neanderthal men, that none made it into any modern human samples that have been analyzed thus far, or that no Neanderthal women mated with human men. Of course we'll never know the answer, but either 1. human men were thoroughly repulsed by Neanderthal women (which would have to have been pretty hideous considering there's usually some guy somewhere who would bang anything), 2. Neanderthal women kicked the crap out of human guys who tried to get romantic, or 3. Neanderthal men were the ones who were doing the raping, 4. Or maybe Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA was disadvantageous. Or maybe some combination of these.

Anonymous said...

"Although ~1-4% of non-African genomic DNA is Neanderthal DNA, human samples show 0% Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA."

Perhaps estrus in Neanderthal women, like many mammals, was relatively rare.

Helm said...

""Although ~1-4% of non-African genomic DNA is Neanderthal DNA, human samples show 0% Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA."

Perhaps estrus in Neanderthal women, like many mammals, was relatively rare."

Do you have any evidence for that? If not then the default assumption is that it is similar to humans in this regard. Given that their lives were shorter on average than humans and more brutal, if anything they would been selected to get pregnant more easily. They had to have a healthy fertility if their line lasted over half a million years, and if humans and Neanderthals can produce hybrids, the rational assumption is that they could be generated the other direction, unless the tremendous strength differential or something else like genital incompatibility prevented human males from mating with Neanderthal women. And if male Neanderthals can mate with human women, then the genitals should be pretty compatible.

BB said...

Helm, we have no evidence that Neanderthal /Human matings were always instances of rape. We don´t know how it happened, so why assume it was rape?
When you say rape, do you mean rape as in rape of the Sabines? Or in modern terms, rape date or genuine rape? etc

Anonymous said...

Yeah I bet those neaderthal men were the romantic type.

Helm said...

"Helm, we have no evidence that Neanderthal /Human matings were always instances of rape. We don´t know how it happened, so why assume it was rape?
When you say rape, do you mean rape as in rape of the Sabines? Or in modern terms, rape date or genuine rape? etc"

Get real. I mention rape as a likely possibility because the original poster had suggested rape but in the reverse direction of what the evidence suggested. That being said, rape was common in ancient times when men met women from other tribes, particularly in conquest. If human women from nearby tribes were considered 'other' enough to rape by human men, then certainly different species would have been considered 'other'. We also have zero evidence that Neanderthals and humans communicated with each other, or even had the same capacity for speech, could have known each other's language etc. There is little evidence that they would've had anything in common with each other. And neanderthals were vastly stronger. So unless you want to propose that Neanderthal versions of Mystery were there wooing women with Magician game, the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that it was not rape.

BB said...

@Helm

Sure, the most likely scenario was conquest, raid and kidnaping of women from an alien tribe. The Rape of the Sabines by Romans could be a close equivalent.
But I don´t believe what we know understand as rape (genuine rape), i.e, a Neanderthal jumps out from beind a bush and forcibly impregnates a human female who then returns violated and weeping to seek the confort of her tribe.
Most likely removal from her tribe was the goal, to secure for Neanderthals sexual gratification, progeny and cooking, those rare commodities unikely feminine.

Biscuit Jones said...

Speaking of secret children it's widely rumored that Harvey Firestein could be a direct descendant of the first Neanderthal hairdresser.

BB said...

"uniquely". (misp.) Good cooking by modern women is OTH unlikely today.

Sorrell said...

"Biscuit Jones said...

Speaking of secret children it's widely rumored that Harvey Firestein could be a direct descendant of the first Neanderthal hairdresser."

- This commentary has officially jumped the shark. Comments closed.

ben tillman said...

When you say rape, do you mean rape as in rape of the Sabines? Or in modern terms, rape date or genuine rape? etc

Date rape is genuine rape. It's genuine rape occurring in a particular context.

ben tillman said...

Yeah I bet those neaderthal men were the romantic type.

This is probably the most ignorant racist comment I've ever seen on this site.

Justin said...

Worst comment thread. ever.

Soho Pete said...

" Justin said...
Worst comment thread. ever. "

-Least insightful comment made. Ever.