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Thread: Neanderthal Breeding Idea Doubted

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    Neanderthal Breeding Idea Doubted

    Neanderthal breeding idea doubted

    Similarities between the DNA of modern people and Neanderthals are more likely to have arisen from shared ancestry than interbreeding, a study reports.

    That is according to research carried out at the University of Cambridge and published this week in PNAS journal.

    Previously, it had been suggested that shared parts of the genomes of these two populations were the result of interbreeding.

    However, the newly published research proposes a different explanation.

    The origin of modern humans is a hotly debated topic; four main theories have arisen to describe the evolution of Homo sapiens.

    All argue for an African origin, but an important distinction in these competing theories is whether or not interbreeding - or "hybridisation" - occurred between Homo sapiens and other members of the genus Homo.

    In the current study, Cambridge evolutionary biologists Dr Anders Eriksson and Dr Andrea Manica used computer simulations to reassess the strength of evidence supporting hybridisation events.

    They argue that the amount of DNA shared between modern Eurasian humans and Neanderthals - estimated at between 1-4% - can be explained if both arose from a geographically isolated population, most likely in North Africa, which shared a common ancestor around 300-350 thousand years ago.

    When modern humans expanded out of Africa, around 60-70,000 years ago, they took that genetic similarity with them.

    By contrast, previous ancient DNA studies of Neanderthal remains have shown that their genomes harbour genetic signatures - polymorphisms - that are also seen in the genomes of modern Europeans, East Asians and Oceanians (from Papua New Guinea) but not in modern African populations.

    The findings challenged previously held views - based on several lines of evidence - that modern humans had replaced the Neanderthals with little or no gene flow occurring between the two groups.

    The observations from the Neanderthal genome led some evolutionary biologists to argue that this genetic similarity had arisen through hybridisation between Neanderthals - already resident in Europe and western Asia - and the ancestors of present-day non-Africans.

    Prof David Reich, from Harvard University in Cambridge, US - an exponent of the hybridisation theory - is not convinced that the data represents a powerful argument against interbreeding.

    By using methods that are able to differentiate between genetic similarity caused by gene flow via hybridisation vs shared ancestry, he argues that "the patterns observed [in our analyses] are exactly what one would expect from recent gene flow" - a view shared by his collaborator Professor Svante Paabo from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

    Prof Reich went on to say that their data shows that Neanderthals and non-Africans last exchanged genetic material 47-65,000 years ago.

    (bbc)
    I always thought this was the most likely explanation (for the supposed 'Neanderthal' ancestry in non-africans), also the term Neanderthal was always a bit misleading probably since Neanderthals are usually associated with europe and sometimes a connection to modern europeans is claimed by people (projecting faces, ginger hair, etc) wheras the study which claimed to find 'Neanderthal' DNA in non-africans found the highest %'s in some Chinese or Japanese groups IIRC

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    Similarities between the DNA of modern people and Neanderthals are more likely to have arisen from shared ancestry than interbreeding.

    Previously, it had been suggested that shared parts of the genomes of these two populations were the result of interbreeding.
    Can't it be both?


    Their study does not account for the fact that while analyzing mtDNA from Neanderthals, anything considered "human DNA" is taken out for "contamination" reasons. That could mean that our DNA is probably more than 1-4% similar, possibly even a great deal more.

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    What I don't understand here is that one of two things has to be the case, either while in Africa the proto-neanderthal hominid splits off from the proto-sapiens sapiens hominid and goes to Europe and becomes neanderthals, I assume some are left behind in the north of Africa, continue interbreeding with the proto-sapiens sapiens ones, and then the northern sapiens sapiens also go to Eurasia.

    Or the homo sapiens sapiens are one big mass, go to Europe and mix with the neanderthals.

    But if the first case scenario is true, why were none of them left behind in Africa? Why didn't they make some kind of mark on African DNA? If the split happened in Africa, the split should be recorded in African DNA surely, a sort of clinal distribution of less and less "neanderthal" DNA the deeper south you go?

    Or maybe the Sahara was already a significant genetic boundary by then (but I thought Sahara desertification did not occur till later)?
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    Hello, Skadisti!

    A lot of scientific work was done on this topic. By difference of the skeletons of Neanderthal and Homo sapiens (sapiens)[which I do not consider to be sapiens] there are vast differences in physical structure of the two races, each individually adopted to thelocal climate.

    You are invited to see the very interesting museum in the Neandertal (Neander Valley) near Mettmann in Northrhine-Westfalia!

    www.neanderthal.de/

    which is 10 mls from my home,

    Pless
    "Ein Volk, das keine Waffen trägt, wird Ketten tragen!"
    (A populace not carrying arms will carry chains)

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    The presence of neanderthal dna in our genes proves beyond a doubt that there is a difference at the genetic level between the black african and everybody else, which would explain why everybody else including the polynesian and the eskimo is more highly advanced than the african negro. This cannot be allowed to stand. It would mean that there is indeed such a thing as race. If it can be shown that there is a genetic racial difference between negroid and everybody else now, further genetic research could prove that there is a racial difference between the european and the asian. That is politically incorrect. It must be shown to be factually incorrect, regardless of the objective truth of the matter.
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    Well the existence of the genetic difference is indisputable the question is where it comes from, is it evidence for the multiregional hypothesis (it pretty much discredits the strongest form of the Recent African Origin theory) or is it just a small footnote in a generally recent african origin based theory?
    Denn das Schöne ist nichts
 als des Schrecklichen Anfang, den wir noch grade ertragen,
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    Quote Originally Posted by ablutive View Post
    What I don't understand here is that one of two things has to be the case, either while in Africa the proto-neanderthal hominid splits off from the proto-sapiens sapiens hominid and goes to Europe and becomes neanderthals, I assume some are left behind in the north of Africa, continue interbreeding with the proto-sapiens sapiens ones, and then the northern sapiens sapiens also go to Eurasia.

    Or the homo sapiens sapiens are one big mass, go to Europe and mix with the neanderthals.

    But if the first case scenario is true, why were none of them left behind in Africa? Why didn't they make some kind of mark on African DNA? If the split happened in Africa, the split should be recorded in African DNA surely, a sort of clinal distribution of less and less "neanderthal" DNA the deeper south you go?

    Or maybe the Sahara was already a significant genetic boundary by then (but I thought Sahara desertification did not occur till later)?
    I think the original paper on 'Neanderthal genes' in non-africans used Nigerians (Yoruba) as it's 'African' group, so not the same area as out-of-africans would have come from. I don't know if any more widespread studies have included east/northeast africans for comparison but people could claim that any of the supposed neanderthal DNA there could have come back across with migrations out of the middle east later anyway so that would muddy the picture...

    The presence of neanderthal dna in our genes proves beyond a doubt that there is a difference at the genetic level between the black african and everybody else, which would explain why everybody else including the polynesian and the eskimo is more highly advanced than the african negro. This cannot be allowed to stand. It would mean that there is indeed such a thing as race. If it can be shown that there is a genetic racial difference between negroid and everybody else now, further genetic research could prove that there is a racial difference between the european and the asian. That is politically incorrect. It must be shown to be factually incorrect, regardless of the objective truth of the matter.
    This is kind of just a mirror-image of what (some 'racist' people think) the OOA theory is about, i.e. OOA means anti-racism so it must be pc propaganda, but it isn't and it's not, so there's no need to knee jerk...
    since OOA looks most likely most 'race is real and differences are real' scientific writers have been able to accept that and write credible theories of how difference could have come about in that model, including pointing out that if 'races' aren't very old they must be very important because they must have been under greater pressure to become so uniform so quickly. (of course some other writers have come up with plausible ideas that some neanderthal influence di dhappen and can account for some differences possibly, etc, but it's not proven and it doesn't matter - all that matters is the difference which we know exists, not how it came about!! But on this forum increasingly people seem to have a weird attachment to being neanderthals and claim it's only 'political correcness' that says otherwise, honestly it makes me feel like I'm involved in creationism at times in a way

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    Although I wouldn't know what happened 20-30 thousand years ago, I do get the feeling that there's a lot of political correctness involved in our current view of Neanderthals. It's almost like anything "pre-modern" must be the first "noble savage". Suddenly some people are arguing they had art, clothes, canoes and a whole array of civilized traits. Yet, the evidence for all this is very flimsy, and open to interpretation (even the flowry Neanderthal burials). A bit of a proto-hippie, one could swear since the 1960s Neanderthal industry - all that's missing is the cave-bear-skull bong. Meanwhile, what the evidence actually suggests to me is scattered fires, a virtually carnivorous (wolf-like) diet, they went to the toilet where they ate, and they were fond of cannibalism. Now that doesn't make them bad hominids, but hardly the romantic museum dioramas staring wistfully towards the space-age.

    The following view by Danny Vendramini is equally controversial, but at least it isn't so desperately smug. I mean we are talking about thousands of years ago, and not somebody's granny in the Garden of Eden. It basically describes the Neanderthals as more of a carnivorous ape, which almost hunted and raped our hominid ancestors to extinction. Of course that still means we have some some of their genetic material. However, the horror of encountering them put some ginger in our species, and having a carnivorous ape ancestor isn't all bad. Maybe we should get more in touch with that and defend our territories accordingly. Perhaps we even got their genes via a third species - new evidence suggests Homo Erectus only became extinct regionally as recently as 25 thousand years ago, and there might be more variations we haven't discovered. But for now the OP's common Homo Heidelbergensis ancestry between Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens also sounds very feasible for any shared DNA.

    Super-predator, or proto-flower-child? I'd actually prefer the former, rather than the latter interpretation as my ancestor. We've seen what happens to cultures and entire continents and civilizations when they adopt the passive model towards everything - they get conquered and destroyed. Whether it's the once reputedly fierce Carib people of Dominica (the only indigenous tribe in the Caribbean to still have a reservation), or some European nations with more secure borders today, there's something to be said for a warrior-like reputation.

    So here is a controversial and very currently unpopular clip on the Neanderthals as the prehistoric "super-Huns".

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

    (P.S. I tried to embed the clip, but only the title shows in the post, although I only put the bit after the "v=" between the brackets, as I recall).

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