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  1. #1 species (human) 
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    There is strong evidence that modern humans interbred with Neanderthals and Denisovians. Shouldn't all three be classified as one specie with homo sapiens as a sub-specie?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Depends on whos definition of species and subspecies one uses. and how politic one wants to be about taxonomic subdivisions of Homonini member taxa


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    Forum Bachelors Degree CEngelbrecht's Avatar
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    Side question: Why aren't the oldest European cave paintings from Neanderthal cultures? They older artwork seems to be of much higher quality than younger ones, which could be explained by Neanderthals having much larger brains than contemporary and later sapiens. So maybe the younger artwork of less naturalistic quality is copy work by later sapiens cultures with a smaller brain and therefore lesser artistic capability?



    Chauvet Cave, 31,000 BP


    Altamira, 30,000 BP


    Lascaux, 15,000 BP


    Rouffignac, 14,000 BP

    Cave Art, Ice Age: Characteristics, Types, Meaning

    Is there any archeological way to falsify any connection between Neanderthals and paleolithic art?
    "The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there's no place for it in the endeavor of science. (History) shows us clearly that accepted and conventional ideas are often wrong, and that fundamental insights can arise from the most unexpected sources."
    - Carl Sagan, 1980


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  5. #4  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Not unless one invokes a "MASSIVE GLOBAL CONSPIRACY" that kills off any researcher that notes the artists is different.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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    Forum Freshman NoCoPilot's Avatar
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    Neanderthals died out around 40,000 years ago, during a period of climate instability when the global temperatures oscillated between temperate and frozen within single lifespans. This may have stressed Neanderthals' immune systems, making them vulnerable to diseases H. sapiens carried from temperate (African) climes, but were themselves more-or-less immune to.

    The definition of "species" is a fluid thing. It's often used to define populations which do not interbreed due to range and location, rather than biology. Lions and tigers can interbreed, but rarely do outside of zoos. It's probably the same with H. neanderthalenis and H. sapiens.

    The beauty of cave paintings may have more to do with how much time people spent holed up for the winter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoCoPilot View Post
    Neanderthals died out around 40,000 years ago, during a period of climate instability when the global temperatures oscillated between temperate and frozen within single lifespans. This may have stressed Neanderthals' immune systems, making them vulnerable to diseases H. sapiens carried from temperate (African) climes, but were themselves more-or-less immune to.

    The definition of "species" is a fluid thing. It's often used to define populations which do not interbreed due to range and location, rather than biology. Lions and tigers can interbreed, but rarely do outside of zoos. It's probably the same with H. neanderthalenis and H. sapiens.

    The beauty of cave paintings may have more to do with how much time people spent holed up for the winter.
    My understanding is that two animals belong to the same species if they can interbreed AND their offspring can breed. Lion plus tiger offsprings are sterile. Similarly horse plus donkey (mules) offsprings are also sterile.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathman View Post
    My understanding is that two animals belong to the same species if they can interbreed AND their offspring can breed. Lion plus tiger offsprings are sterile. Similarly horse plus donkey (mules) offsprings are also sterile.
    That is exactly correct, mathman. But it is common for the female hybrid to be fertile and able to reproduce with one or both of the original male species.
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  9. #8  
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    These two articles might be of interest.
    The Denisovan genome and fossils

    Fossil Hominids: mitochondrial DNA

    Just because a brain is larger it does not make it more clever/artistic. An elephant has a larger brain than a human, and my wife's brain is much small than mine as she is smaller in stature she is definitely my equal or better, academically artistically
    Really, to assess the "normal" size of a brain of a particular species, at a given time, one needs a representative sample of skulls of particular ages. one or tow skulls, or even a hundred or more, is not enough.

    We are in the middle of a vast reassessment of the evidence for evolution using new DNA technologies. We can trace a persons inheritance with increasing accuracy and decode individual genomes in a rapid and cheap way. We can then compare genes using sophisticated statistical techniques
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