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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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    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."
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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

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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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    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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    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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    Not sure if I can relate this to the topic at hand but I was surfing Netflix just last night and I came across a show about the Scottish Wildcat. Native to Scotland and slightly larger than the ordinary house cat, the Wildcat species is endangered. Recent census' have the numbers as low as 100 left in the wild. However DNA testing has revealed the species now totally consists of hybrids, the result of interbreeding with domesticated cats. Interbreeding has also produced a separate hybrid known as the Kellas Cat, primarily black in color, not like its striped ancestors. Wiki referred to this cat as a landrace. I had to look it up but landrace refers to improvement through selective agricultural methods. Not sure if this implies human interference and i'm not going to rule out natural selection.

    Regardless. Could the human race have developed similarly? Could we be a landrace?
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    I think we are all roughly 3% neanderthal. Some of the children in my class at school could have been a lot more
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathman View Post
    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?
    your definition of species may be somewhat outdated - the hooded crow and the carrion crow were until recently considered subspecies, but are now thought to be proper species
    despite some interbreeding along the contact line between the two in Scotland the two retain their separate core populations and as such are considered definite species

    a limited degree of gene pool admixture is not sufficient to merge species if their core populations remain inviolate
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mathman View Post
    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?
    your definition of species may be somewhat outdated - the hooded crow and the carrion were until recently considered subspecies, but are now thought to be proper species
    despite some interbreeding along the contact line between the two in Scotland the two retain their separate core populations and as such are considered definite species

    a limited degree of gene pool admixture is not sufficient to merge species if their core populations remain inviolate
    What then is the definition of a species?
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    the last paragraph in my earlier post gives an indication of my definition : if two populations remain distinct throughout many generations then they are separate species, even if there is the occasional cross-breeding
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroZero View Post
    I think we are all roughly 3% neanderthal. Some of the children in my class at school could have been a lot more
    There was a guy in my high school graduating class that I would bet had more like 12% neanderthal DNA.
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    Fuck yeah! It’s marnix! Yo man, what’s up? Long time, no see.
    Oops’, language. Umm’, biology?
    Hornings Hideout, a disc golf course in Oregon, has the largest known population of albino peacocks. And a bunch of regular morph peacocks. And I have seen many piebalds there myself. We have two identifiable groups of birds with identifiable hybrids, all in one area. But the genotypical difference is likely, barely, a small handful of genes.
    Does biology have a rigorous definition of species?
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    when it comes to extant species it boils down to the interbreeding criterion, although as has been shown with this example, that type of definition has morphed over time, most recently because of the results of DNA studies

    when, as is the case in palaeontology, you can only rely on the morphological species concept, thatís obviously less refined (look up cryptic species for examples)
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathman View Post
    What then is the definition of a species?
    This article has a good overview of the concept of species, the difficulty of defining it, and some of the definitions used: Observed Instances of Speciation
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroZero View Post
    I think we are all roughly 3% neanderthal. Some of the children in my class at school could have been a lot more
    There was a guy in my high school graduating class that I would bet had more like 12% neanderthal DNA.
    was he a Republican?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroZero View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroZero View Post
    I think we are all roughly 3% neanderthal. Some of the children in my class at school could have been a lot more
    There was a guy in my high school graduating class that I would bet had more like 12% neanderthal DNA.
    was he a Republican?
    Big ole guntoting conservative Christian. He's probably a creationist even. He's like 6'3 and his head was so large that for high school football they had to special order a helmet for him. His forehead stuck out farther than his nose, once watched him walk into a sliding glass door and his forehead saved him from breaking his nose lol. No joke. He now lives over in Montana and works at a car dealership.
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    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.for...iscovered/amp/

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    as a side note to this debate, being able to tell whether a population represents a separate species can be tricky, since that would mean drawing a clear dividing line in what is essentially a continuum of separation
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    Because horses and donkeys can interbreed. as can lions and tigers. it doesn't mean they are the same species.

    Moreover, having a bigger brain doesn't denote more intelligence. By that logic, elephants should be smarter than us. Or blue whales. It's possible that the Neanderthals could have been the painters, but we don't know.
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    Horse and donkey as well as tiger and lion interbreeding lead to sterile offspring, so they are not the same species. Neanderthals and homo sapiens could be the same.
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    If they lead to sterile offspring, there woildnt be the volume of neanderthal dna in the human genome that there is
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by mathman View Post
    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?
    Just one guy's opinion...

    The DNA presence is so small, it's more of a "tainting" of our DNA than a new line leading to a new evolutionary path. Absolutely the mix of DNA added to our species, but I don't see where it has made any fundamental differences to our evolution as a separate species of Homo.
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    It boils down to humans being a mosaic species that are the result of multiple crossbreeding instances between multiple ancestor species
    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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    Traditionally Species classification for homo species has been achieved by examining fossils. This is highly unreliable, think of the difference between the bones of a SUmo wrestler and a my wife, who is diminuitive and small. In the 6-4 million year band we only have a shoe box of bones, and even in the 4-1 mya band we have very few fossils. This now changing fast. The new tools for the mapping and assessment of DNA are even identifying new species by which we only know through their DNA. We can only analyse DNA recovered back to a few hundred thousand years, but sophisticated data analysis techniques can identify the existence of DNA from other species even in modern DNA. Many of us are 3% Neanderthal. The whole field is undergoing a radical reformation, but it seems clear that until say 15000 BC there were an array of reasobly intelligent ancestors crossbreeding and using tools
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    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Can you provide a reliable citation for there only being a "shoebox" of bones?

    Per the Smithsonian there are hindreds of individuals of Australopithecus afarensis alone that have been recovered
    Australopithecus afarensis | The Smithsonian Institution's Human Origins Program
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darklord View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mathman View Post
    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?
    Just one guy's opinion...

    The DNA presence is so small, it's more of a "tainting" of our DNA than a new line leading to a new evolutionary path. Absolutely the mix of DNA added to our species, but I don't see where it has made any fundamental differences to our evolution as a separate species of Homo.
    I may have an oversimplifies definition of specie. I thought that if two individual can breed true, then they are of the same species, so modern humans having Neanderthal DNA implies Neanderthals were of the same specie.
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    It depends on if your talking to a lumper or a splitter taxonomist. And what definition of species (note specie is not the singular of species) you use.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Can you provide a reliable citation for there only being a "shoebox" of bones?

    Per the Smithsonian there are hindreds of individuals of Australopithecus afarensis alone that have been recovered
    Australopithecus afarensis | The Smithsonian Institution's Human Origins Program
    I was referring to Orririn tugenensis, Sahelanthropus tchadensis,Adipethecus kadabba amd El Greco graecopithecus, Late Miocine. There are some very early ardipithecus but the fossils are few. AFAIK
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    Those are not homini fossils though and thus I'm not sure why you would bring them up at all, they are in this case, irrelevant.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

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