The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersiSteve Blog
Geneticist Calls for Europeans to Feel Neanderthal Pride
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New Reply
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

From the New York Times:

What Did Neanderthals Leave to Modern Humans? Some Surprises
Claudia Dreifus
A CONVERSATION WITH JAN. 20, 2017

Geneticists tell us that somewhere between 1 and 5 percent of the genome of modern Europeans and Asians consists of DNA inherited from Neanderthals, our prehistoric cousins.

At Vanderbilt University, John Anthony Capra, an evolutionary genomics professor, has been combining high-powered computation and a medical records databank to learn what a Neanderthal heritage — even a fractional one — might mean for people today.

Q. Let’s begin with an indiscreet question. How did contemporary people come to have Neanderthal DNA on their genomes?

A. We hypothesize that roughly 50,000 years ago, when the ancestors of modern humans migrated out of Africa and into Eurasia, they encountered Neanderthals. Matings must have occurred then. And later.

One reason we deduce this is because the descendants of those who remained in Africa — present day Africans — don’t have Neanderthal DNA.

Q. What does that mean for people who have it?

A. At my lab, we’ve been doing genetic testing on the blood samples of 28,000 patients at Vanderbilt and eight other medical centers across the country. Computers help us pinpoint where on the human genome this Neanderthal DNA is, and we run that against information from the patients’ anonymized medical records. We’re looking for associations.

What we’ve been finding is that Neanderthal DNA has a subtle influence on risk for disease. It affects our immune system and how we respond to different immune challenges. It affects our skin. You’re slightly more prone to a condition where you can get scaly lesions after extreme sun exposure. There’s an increased risk for blood clots and tobacco addiction.

To our surprise, it appears that some Neanderthal DNA can increase the risk for depression; however, there are other Neanderthal bits that decrease the risk. Roughly 1 to 2 percent of one’s risk for depression is determined by Neanderthal DNA. It all depends on where on the genome it’s located.

Was there ever an upside to having Neanderthal DNA?

It probably helped our ancestors survive in prehistoric Europe. When humans migrated into Eurasia, they encountered unfamiliar hazards and pathogens. By mating with Neanderthals, they gave their offspring needed defenses and immunities.

The general idea is that Neanderthals were in the north for hundreds of thousands of years, presumably evolving adaptations to surviving winter, when anatomically modern humans arrived Out of Africa. Rather than reinvent the wheel, sometimes it’s more successful to acquire traits that are already optimized for your new environment.

That trait for blood clotting helped wounds close up quickly. In the modern world, however, this trait means greater risk for stroke and pregnancy complications. What helped us then doesn’t necessarily now.

Q. Did you say earlier that Neanderthal DNA increases susceptibility to nicotine addiction?

A. Yes. Neanderthal DNA can mean you’re more likely to get hooked on nicotine, even though there were no tobacco plants in archaic Europe.

We think this might be because there’s a bit of Neanderthal DNA right next to a human gene that’s a neurotransmitter implicated in a generalized risk for addiction. In this case and probably others, we think the Neanderthal bits on the genome may serve as switches that turn human genes on or off.

Q. What has been the response to your Neanderthal research since you published it last year in the journal Science?

A. Some of it’s very touching. People are interested in learning about where they came from. Some of it is a little silly. “I have a lot of hair on my legs — is that from Neanderthals?”

But I received racist inquiries, too. I got calls from all over the world from people who thought that since Africans didn’t interbreed with Neanderthals, this somehow justified their ideas of white superiority.

It was illogical. Actually, Neanderthal DNA is mostly bad for us — though that didn’t bother them.

Actually, it’s indicative that the popular concept of “People of Color” is scientifically ignorant. Contemporary population genetics instead suggests that there are basically two main races of human beings: Sub-Saharan Africans versus Everybody Else.

Q. As you do your studies, do you ever wonder about what the lives of the Neanderthals were like?

A. It’s hard not to. Genetics has taught us a tremendous amount about that, and there’s a lot of evidence that they were much more human than apelike.

They’ve gotten a bad rap. We tend to think of them as dumb and brutish. There’s no reason to believe that. Maybe those of us of European heritage should be thinking, “Let’s improve their standing in the popular imagination. They’re our ancestors, too.’”

 
Hide 67 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
    []
  1. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Shiite! Culture Clash in a nutshell. LOL.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    /isteve/geneticist-calls-for-europeans-to-feel-neanderthal-pride/#comment-1736978
    More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  2. How can people here who are nationalistic and support pure-blood ideas like the fact that they have Neanderthal ancestors?

    Obviously the only true pure-blood humans are sub-Sahara Africans. Everyone else is a bunch of race-mixers.

    Read More
    • Replies: @backup
    Sub-Sahara Africans are by no means pure-blood humans as some most likely admixed with another unknown archaic.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/108/37/15123.full


    But far more interestingly, everybody seems so focused on white supremacy folks that it is completely ignored that Neanderthal admixture is being used by black supremacists.
    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=761133610659940&id=345565742216731&substory_index=0
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  3. To a first order of appoximation, there are sub-Saharan Africans and everyone else, with Australian Aborigenes a possible outlier. We’re starting to learn the genome basic for the phenome expression.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Opinionator
    Do Australian aborigines have Neanderthal DNA?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. It was illogical. Actually, Neanderthal DNA is mostly bad for us — though that didn’t bother them.

    And that is why it is only 1-5%. The genes that were bad for us were eliminated, leaving only the really good stuff. Which sS-Africans don’t, by and large, have.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  5. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    OT: no posts on the March for Women mega chick a thon protest, Steve?

    The Great Vaginal Convergence was very instructive. Istevers need to understand at the granular level just how vapid and trivial the entire exercise was.

    Women are not suited for political leadership. All the evidence was right there on Saturday. It was an anti-intellectual hive mind emo rant feedback loop.

    Read More
    • Agree: Old fogey
    • Replies: @Opinionator
    The Great Vaginal Convergence was very instructive. Istevers need to understand at the granular level just how vapid and trivial the entire exercise was.

    Help us to understand.

    Women are not suited for political leadership. All the evidence was right there on Saturday. It was an anti-intellectual hive mind emo rant feedback loop.

    Please elaborate.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. Contemporary population genetics instead suggests that there are basically two main races of human beings: Sub-Saharan Africans versus Everybody Else.

    Do North Africans and Moors have significant Neanderthal ancestry, too?

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    Do North Africans and Moors have significant Neanderthal ancestry, too
     
    Yes. The the extent that they have some sub-Saharan ancestry it may be less than in Europeans and Asians.
    , @Salger
    You know that North Africans and the "Moors" (catch-all term for Muslims) aren't mostly Negroid?
    , @Son of Olorus
    North africans are mainly berbers, which is a loose ethnic term but they have minimal subharan admixture and are mostly descendants of neolithic farmers from the middle east and became nomadic around 10,000bc, Thus the vast majority of North africans have the E1b1b haplogroup which originated in the Levant and red sea area- ethiopia,somalia etc (~26,000 yrs ago) and now most prevalent in northeast africa and most closely related to the egyptians therefore they are the descendants of the general Caucasoid branch of haplogroups and are thus mostly Eurasian.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. @Diversity Heretic
    To a first order of appoximation, there are sub-Saharan Africans and everyone else, with Australian Aborigenes a possible outlier. We're starting to learn the genome basic for the phenome expression.

    Do Australian aborigines have Neanderthal DNA?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    According to a 2011 Nature article that I Googled, yes. But Australian aborigenes seem even less advanced on a civilizational scale than sub-Saharan Africans, which is why I termed them an "outlier."
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. I think I read somewhere that there are men in Congo or Cameroon or whatever that have a y-chromosome that is related to a European y. (Maybe some euro group returned to Africa and mixed). Wouldn’t that contribute Neanderthal DNA to those folks in Cameroon at least but not others?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  9. @Anonymous
    OT: no posts on the March for Women mega chick a thon protest, Steve?

    The Great Vaginal Convergence was very instructive. Istevers need to understand at the granular level just how vapid and trivial the entire exercise was.

    Women are not suited for political leadership. All the evidence was right there on Saturday. It was an anti-intellectual hive mind emo rant feedback loop.

    The Great Vaginal Convergence was very instructive. Istevers need to understand at the granular level just how vapid and trivial the entire exercise was.

    Help us to understand.

    Women are not suited for political leadership. All the evidence was right there on Saturday. It was an anti-intellectual hive mind emo rant feedback loop.

    Please elaborate.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  10. So…two classes of humanoids. One class which actually got off its collective @$$ and went out in the world to make something of itself, and one which didn’t.

    Put another way: “Wherever you go, there’s a native problem”

    Read More
    • Replies: @inertial
    This is unfair. Bands of humans must have wandered all over Africa all the time. Some of them who happened to live near the narrow isthmus that connects Africa to the rest of the world managed to accidentally stumble across. They had no idea what Africa was, let alone that they had left it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  11. @Opinionator
    Do Australian aborigines have Neanderthal DNA?

    According to a 2011 Nature article that I Googled, yes. But Australian aborigenes seem even less advanced on a civilizational scale than sub-Saharan Africans, which is why I termed them an “outlier.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Opinionator
    Perhaps there was a split among Neanderthals, with one group's habitat being northern climes and another's temperate or tropical zones.
    , @anon
    There were at least 3 distinct races of Australian Aborigines. The Tasmanians were a Negrito race, around a metre tall. The people of the East Coast and parts of South Australia and the Northern Territory are a different race to the Aborigines in the western side of the continent.
    The East Coast Aborigines have delicate hands and long fingers, a trait that is transferred to people with only a small amount of Aboriginal ancestry.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  12. If nobody has found any cognitive advantage to the neandrathal admixture in Us but not in Them, perhaps that is because nobody wants to find any. After all, if you do, your career is over, you are exiled to outer darkness and your obliteration is total. You have chosen Truth as the form of your destructor. Odd how something like that might skew the research.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  13. @Diversity Heretic
    According to a 2011 Nature article that I Googled, yes. But Australian aborigenes seem even less advanced on a civilizational scale than sub-Saharan Africans, which is why I termed them an "outlier."

    Perhaps there was a split among Neanderthals, with one group’s habitat being northern climes and another’s temperate or tropical zones.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
    More like a split in the earlier eurasian species that the johnny-come-latelies rolled over 50k y.b.p., the (actual) Denisovans to the east and south, and at least one other hypothesised species/race/whatevs. in that general direction (inferred as "ghost" populations, sort of hominid "dark matter").
    I think the Indonesian "hobbits" have recently slithered from crypto-anthropology to "yep they're real and different" recently, but can't be bothered to look. I don't think they had any bearing on "our" genetic inheritance, just yet another (very recent) dead-end twig of the species.
    The harder we look, the more we see. Weird, huh? The truth is out there, etc.
    , @backup
    To the best of my knowledge all Neanderthal admixture in modern humans is mostly related to Caucasian Neanderthals, rather than Croatian or Altaic.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4031459/
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  14. Sid says:

    “To our surprise, it appears that some Neanderthal DNA can increase the risk for depression; however, there are other Neanderthal bits that decrease the risk. Roughly 1 to 2 percent of one’s risk for depression is determined by Neanderthal DNA. It all depends on where on the genome it’s located.”

    Peter Frost once argued depression is the result of an excess of empathy. This suggests Neanderthals were a rather altruistic species.

    The author largely went into the medical implications of having Neanderthal DNA, which is fine, but I’m much more interested in modeling Neanderthal behavior and cognition.

    I expect as time passes, we’ll find that the Neanderthal genome was rich in alleles associated with quantitative reasoning and empathy, but low in interpersonal skills. It’s just a hunch, but that’s my rough hypothesis. Nerdanderthals, if you will.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    "I expect as time passes, we’ll find that the Neanderthal genome was rich in alleles associated with quantitative reasoning and empathy, but low in interpersonal skills. It’s just a hunch, but that’s my rough hypothesis. Nerdanderthals, if you will."

    And it is because reality likes to follow science-fiction: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7194/full/453562a.html
    , @AP

    I expect as time passes, we’ll find that the Neanderthal genome was rich in alleles associated with quantitative reasoning and empathy, but low in interpersonal skills. It’s just a hunch, but that’s my rough hypothesis
     
    Based on skull shape, their larger brains were focused more on visual processing and less so on executive functioning/social cognition:

    http://www.livescience.com/27850-social-brain-beat-neanderthal-vision.html

    The article is a little obsolete, as we have found examples of Neanderthal cultural rituals. But they are simpler than those of modern humans.

    Visual processing is strongly related to math ability. In terms of Neanderthal's superior visual processing but inferior social abilities, they may have had a bit of an "autistic" profile in terms of cognitive abilities and social interactions (though they would have been well-adapted to their environment and highly functional within it).

    Adding a little advantage in visual processing/math ability, to the non-Neanderthal's superior social abilities, would have been a good combination.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  15. backup says:
    @anony-mouse
    How can people here who are nationalistic and support pure-blood ideas like the fact that they have Neanderthal ancestors?

    Obviously the only true pure-blood humans are sub-Sahara Africans. Everyone else is a bunch of race-mixers.

    Sub-Sahara Africans are by no means pure-blood humans as some most likely admixed with another unknown archaic.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/108/37/15123.full

    But far more interestingly, everybody seems so focused on white supremacy folks that it is completely ignored that Neanderthal admixture is being used by black supremacists.

    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=761133610659940&id=345565742216731&substory_index=0

    Read More
    • Replies: @The most deplorable one
    That person sounds like they have an IQ of around 90.
    , @The most deplorable one
    Isn't the more important question how close they are to the common ancestor of all of us?

    If they have experienced selection away from the common ancestral population then they have no claim to being the progenitors of all the rest ... at least it seems that way to me.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  16. @Opinionator
    Perhaps there was a split among Neanderthals, with one group's habitat being northern climes and another's temperate or tropical zones.

    More like a split in the earlier eurasian species that the johnny-come-latelies rolled over 50k y.b.p., the (actual) Denisovans to the east and south, and at least one other hypothesised species/race/whatevs. in that general direction (inferred as “ghost” populations, sort of hominid “dark matter”).
    I think the Indonesian “hobbits” have recently slithered from crypto-anthropology to “yep they’re real and different” recently, but can’t be bothered to look. I don’t think they had any bearing on “our” genetic inheritance, just yet another (very recent) dead-end twig of the species.
    The harder we look, the more we see. Weird, huh? The truth is out there, etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
    Oh there you go, the H. floriensis munchkins have had their dating pushed back to a more respectable-sounding 100-60 kya., from a startling 12,000 bp (i.e. just prior to the likes of Göbekli Tepe, and people sitting around wondering what to do with all the dried mud and clay they had, at Jericho).
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  17. backup says:
    @Opinionator
    Perhaps there was a split among Neanderthals, with one group's habitat being northern climes and another's temperate or tropical zones.

    To the best of my knowledge all Neanderthal admixture in modern humans is mostly related to Caucasian Neanderthals, rather than Croatian or Altaic.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4031459/

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  18. @Expletive Deleted
    More like a split in the earlier eurasian species that the johnny-come-latelies rolled over 50k y.b.p., the (actual) Denisovans to the east and south, and at least one other hypothesised species/race/whatevs. in that general direction (inferred as "ghost" populations, sort of hominid "dark matter").
    I think the Indonesian "hobbits" have recently slithered from crypto-anthropology to "yep they're real and different" recently, but can't be bothered to look. I don't think they had any bearing on "our" genetic inheritance, just yet another (very recent) dead-end twig of the species.
    The harder we look, the more we see. Weird, huh? The truth is out there, etc.

    Oh there you go, the H. floriensis munchkins have had their dating pushed back to a more respectable-sounding 100-60 kya., from a startling 12,000 bp (i.e. just prior to the likes of Göbekli Tepe, and people sitting around wondering what to do with all the dried mud and clay they had, at Jericho).

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  19. sabril says:

    Capra seems very careful not to state or imply that there is significant advantage to be had in today’s world from Neanderthal DNA. It’s a bit like reading an MSM news article about Donald Trump. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s a lie, maybe there is important information being left out, there’s no way to know just by looking at the article.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    And explicitly states/implies the opposite: "Actually, Neanderthal DNA is mostly bad for us"
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  20. @backup
    Sub-Sahara Africans are by no means pure-blood humans as some most likely admixed with another unknown archaic.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/108/37/15123.full


    But far more interestingly, everybody seems so focused on white supremacy folks that it is completely ignored that Neanderthal admixture is being used by black supremacists.
    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=761133610659940&id=345565742216731&substory_index=0

    That person sounds like they have an IQ of around 90.

    Read More
    • Replies: @bomag
    They also sound like a product of the modern education system, with a college major in Grievance Studies.
    , @anony-mouse
    You're reading something by somebody with an IQ of 90?

    Shame on you.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  21. @backup
    Sub-Sahara Africans are by no means pure-blood humans as some most likely admixed with another unknown archaic.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/108/37/15123.full


    But far more interestingly, everybody seems so focused on white supremacy folks that it is completely ignored that Neanderthal admixture is being used by black supremacists.
    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=761133610659940&id=345565742216731&substory_index=0

    Isn’t the more important question how close they are to the common ancestor of all of us?

    If they have experienced selection away from the common ancestral population then they have no claim to being the progenitors of all the rest … at least it seems that way to me.

    Read More
    • Replies: @backup
    The most basic mitochondrial DNA is in East-Africa, the most basic Y-DNA around Cameroon. Moderne man is supposed to be 200.000 years old but A00(Perry) is supposed to be 70.000 years older. Mind you, to me that is evidence anatomical modern humans originated earlier.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_A_(Y-DNA)#A00_.28Perry.27s_Y-chromosome.29
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  22. JohnPz says:

    It’s time to acknowledge this ancient genocide, and grant Neanderthal-Americans a place at the grievance table.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  23. utu says:
    @Sid
    "To our surprise, it appears that some Neanderthal DNA can increase the risk for depression; however, there are other Neanderthal bits that decrease the risk. Roughly 1 to 2 percent of one’s risk for depression is determined by Neanderthal DNA. It all depends on where on the genome it’s located."

    Peter Frost once argued depression is the result of an excess of empathy. This suggests Neanderthals were a rather altruistic species.

    The author largely went into the medical implications of having Neanderthal DNA, which is fine, but I'm much more interested in modeling Neanderthal behavior and cognition.

    I expect as time passes, we'll find that the Neanderthal genome was rich in alleles associated with quantitative reasoning and empathy, but low in interpersonal skills. It's just a hunch, but that's my rough hypothesis. Nerdanderthals, if you will.

    “I expect as time passes, we’ll find that the Neanderthal genome was rich in alleles associated with quantitative reasoning and empathy, but low in interpersonal skills. It’s just a hunch, but that’s my rough hypothesis. Nerdanderthals, if you will.”

    And it is because reality likes to follow science-fiction: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7194/full/453562a.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @Marcus
    Sounds like the difference between the affable black African and the more reserved Eurasians. Seems like the further north you go, the less "sociable" the national stereotype is.
    , @Lee Grant
    So Neanderthals were some type of Proto-Nerd???
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  24. FredR says:

    Bizarre that they don’t ask him about Bruce Lahn’s research…

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  25. AP says:
    @Opinionator
    Contemporary population genetics instead suggests that there are basically two main races of human beings: Sub-Saharan Africans versus Everybody Else.

    Do North Africans and Moors have significant Neanderthal ancestry, too?

    Do North Africans and Moors have significant Neanderthal ancestry, too

    Yes. The the extent that they have some sub-Saharan ancestry it may be less than in Europeans and Asians.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Opinionator
    Thanks
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  26. AP says:
    @Sid
    "To our surprise, it appears that some Neanderthal DNA can increase the risk for depression; however, there are other Neanderthal bits that decrease the risk. Roughly 1 to 2 percent of one’s risk for depression is determined by Neanderthal DNA. It all depends on where on the genome it’s located."

    Peter Frost once argued depression is the result of an excess of empathy. This suggests Neanderthals were a rather altruistic species.

    The author largely went into the medical implications of having Neanderthal DNA, which is fine, but I'm much more interested in modeling Neanderthal behavior and cognition.

    I expect as time passes, we'll find that the Neanderthal genome was rich in alleles associated with quantitative reasoning and empathy, but low in interpersonal skills. It's just a hunch, but that's my rough hypothesis. Nerdanderthals, if you will.

    I expect as time passes, we’ll find that the Neanderthal genome was rich in alleles associated with quantitative reasoning and empathy, but low in interpersonal skills. It’s just a hunch, but that’s my rough hypothesis

    Based on skull shape, their larger brains were focused more on visual processing and less so on executive functioning/social cognition:

    http://www.livescience.com/27850-social-brain-beat-neanderthal-vision.html

    The article is a little obsolete, as we have found examples of Neanderthal cultural rituals. But they are simpler than those of modern humans.

    Visual processing is strongly related to math ability. In terms of Neanderthal’s superior visual processing but inferior social abilities, they may have had a bit of an “autistic” profile in terms of cognitive abilities and social interactions (though they would have been well-adapted to their environment and highly functional within it).

    Adding a little advantage in visual processing/math ability, to the non-Neanderthal’s superior social abilities, would have been a good combination.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  27. Actually, it’s indicative that the popular concept of “People of Color” is scientifically ignorant. Contemporary population genetics instead suggests that there are basically two main races of human beings: Sub-Saharan Africans versus Everybody Else.

    This is one of those everybody-kinda-knows-it things. Here’s me saying it fifteen years ago.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Physical anthropologist Carleton Coon's 1965 book The Living Races of Man is mostly still valid after 50 years of ever more advanced genetic analyses. (Coon prints one of genetic anthropologist Cavalli-Sforza's first graphs at the end of the his book.)

    But a big one he got wrong was thinking the fundamental divide in humanity was along the mountains of Asia, with Europeans and sub-Saharans more closely related to each other than to East Asians.

    Instead, 50 years of genetic studies since then, and it has turned out that the Sahara is the big divide. I didn't expect that because you hear about the primeval "Green Sahara," which wouldn't seem to hard to cross. But I guess it was.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  28. utu says:

    “Actually, it’s indicative that the popular concept of “People of Color” is scientifically ignorant. Contemporary population genetics instead suggests that there are basically two main races of human beings: Sub-Saharan Africans versus Everybody Else.”

    For some reason we do not have quantitative genetic data on race. These data should be easily available. Human DNA has approximately 3 billions base pairs. Two humans may differ at most at 0.1%-0.4% pairs, i.e., 3-12 millions pairs. How many of these differences define a separate race? How many base pairs need to be changed to transform a “pure blood” Icelander to a “pure blood” Nigerian?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  29. Flemur says:

    This was amusingly predictable:
    Actually, Neanderthal DNA is mostly bad for us

    Sure, that’s why it’s been selected for and passed down for 50K years.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  30. Marcus says:
    @utu
    "I expect as time passes, we’ll find that the Neanderthal genome was rich in alleles associated with quantitative reasoning and empathy, but low in interpersonal skills. It’s just a hunch, but that’s my rough hypothesis. Nerdanderthals, if you will."

    And it is because reality likes to follow science-fiction: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7194/full/453562a.html

    Sounds like the difference between the affable black African and the more reserved Eurasians. Seems like the further north you go, the less “sociable” the national stereotype is.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Opinionator
    Less sociable perhaps, but, ironically, more cooperative.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  31. Lee Grant says:
    @utu
    "I expect as time passes, we’ll find that the Neanderthal genome was rich in alleles associated with quantitative reasoning and empathy, but low in interpersonal skills. It’s just a hunch, but that’s my rough hypothesis. Nerdanderthals, if you will."

    And it is because reality likes to follow science-fiction: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7194/full/453562a.html

    So Neanderthals were some type of Proto-Nerd???

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  32. @AP

    Do North Africans and Moors have significant Neanderthal ancestry, too
     
    Yes. The the extent that they have some sub-Saharan ancestry it may be less than in Europeans and Asians.

    Thanks

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  33. J1234 says:

    I know that Neanderthals were far less social than Cro-Magnon, living in much smaller groups in more remote locations. I’ve often wondered if the European tendency towards greater individualism and a sometimes insular lifestyle wasn’t a function of this, at least in some small way.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  34. I think that from purely aesthetic point Neanderthal had done way better then this guy who never heard of Nancy Sinatra’s signature hit:

    I know, I know…

    It’s paleo-rajcis to compare our gloriously extinct cousin to a humble 21st century-and freshly- clubbed-double-monkey-necklace-pendant sporting -Amazonian tree climber who’s patiently waiting for his H-1B visa to clear off.

    I’m bad person.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  35. backup says:
    @The most deplorable one
    Isn't the more important question how close they are to the common ancestor of all of us?

    If they have experienced selection away from the common ancestral population then they have no claim to being the progenitors of all the rest ... at least it seems that way to me.

    The most basic mitochondrial DNA is in East-Africa, the most basic Y-DNA around Cameroon. Moderne man is supposed to be 200.000 years old but A00(Perry) is supposed to be 70.000 years older. Mind you, to me that is evidence anatomical modern humans originated earlier.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_A_(Y-DNA)#A00_.28Perry.27s_Y-chromosome.29

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  36. bomag says:
    @The most deplorable one
    That person sounds like they have an IQ of around 90.

    They also sound like a product of the modern education system, with a college major in Grievance Studies.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  37. inertial says:
    @Kyle McKenna
    So...two classes of humanoids. One class which actually got off its collective @$$ and went out in the world to make something of itself, and one which didn't.

    Put another way: "Wherever you go, there's a native problem"

    This is unfair. Bands of humans must have wandered all over Africa all the time. Some of them who happened to live near the narrow isthmus that connects Africa to the rest of the world managed to accidentally stumble across. They had no idea what Africa was, let alone that they had left it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kyle McKenna
    Iberia (Europe) is visible from Africa. To take just one other example, consider how Asians managed to settle the entire Pacific Basin, including North and South America. The Pacific Ocean is a mite broader than the Strait of Gibraltar. Want more? Africans had barely settled the area now known as South Africa by the time the Dutch arrived, and it's some of the richest land on Earth.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  38. Neanderthals were also physically incapable of anything more than rudimentary vocal communication. The ability to verbalize thoughts in a way that resembles what we call “language” appears to have originated with species homo sapiens sapiens. Possibly one reason why the latter flourished and the former died out.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  39. res says:
    @sabril
    Capra seems very careful not to state or imply that there is significant advantage to be had in today's world from Neanderthal DNA. It's a bit like reading an MSM news article about Donald Trump. Maybe it's true, maybe it's a lie, maybe there is important information being left out, there's no way to know just by looking at the article.

    And explicitly states/implies the opposite: “Actually, Neanderthal DNA is mostly bad for us”

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  40. Of course it never occurred to the professor that Neanderthal may have been intelligent and brutish.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  41. Mark Caplan says: • Website

    The relatively long nose and narrow nostrils of Northern Europeans are seen as an evolutionary adaptation to their breathing frigid winter air in northern climes. But the Neanderthal is always depicted with a nose barely changed from that of a tropical ape’s, even though for at least two hundred thousand years Neanderthals lived in (and otherwise presumably adapted to living in) a frigid climate. Any thoughts on why Neanderthal schnozzolas don’t look Northern European?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  42. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Diversity Heretic
    According to a 2011 Nature article that I Googled, yes. But Australian aborigenes seem even less advanced on a civilizational scale than sub-Saharan Africans, which is why I termed them an "outlier."

    There were at least 3 distinct races of Australian Aborigines. The Tasmanians were a Negrito race, around a metre tall. The people of the East Coast and parts of South Australia and the Northern Territory are a different race to the Aborigines in the western side of the continent.
    The East Coast Aborigines have delicate hands and long fingers, a trait that is transferred to people with only a small amount of Aboriginal ancestry.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  43. johnfrum says:

    Admixture with Neanderthals explains why there are different races better than Rushton/Lynn’s cold weather theory.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    But a lot Neanderthal admixture is, presumably, driven by selection for cold weather adaptations.
    , @Salger
    The Cold Weather Scenario addresses the intelligence gaps with Europeans and Northeast Asians over the rest. Especially for Europeans against other Caucasoids like Arabs.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  44. @johnfrum
    Admixture with Neanderthals explains why there are different races better than Rushton/Lynn's cold weather theory.

    But a lot Neanderthal admixture is, presumably, driven by selection for cold weather adaptations.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Opinionator
    "cold weather adaptions" could encompass primarily social (for example, cooperativeness), cognitive (future orientation), and other behavioral (self-discipline) traits.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  45. @Marcus
    Sounds like the difference between the affable black African and the more reserved Eurasians. Seems like the further north you go, the less "sociable" the national stereotype is.

    Less sociable perhaps, but, ironically, more cooperative.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  46. @Steve Sailer
    But a lot Neanderthal admixture is, presumably, driven by selection for cold weather adaptations.

    “cold weather adaptions” could encompass primarily social (for example, cooperativeness), cognitive (future orientation), and other behavioral (self-discipline) traits.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  47. Whoever says:
    Read More
    • Replies: @anonguy

    From the Howard Hughes Medical Institute:
    Could Interbreeding Between Humans and Neanderthals Have Led to an Enhanced Human Brain?
     
    Uh oh.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  48. jb says:

    Do we have any idea what Neanderthal hair was like? I don’t mean color, I mean texture. All sub-Saharans have kinky hair, while the trait is very rare outside of Africa. Maybe we picked up straight hair from the Neanderthals? I think it’s an interesting question! Even if we still aren’t sure exactly what the benefit of light skin was, it seems very natural that high latitudes could have favored it. But what benefit could “good hair” possibly confer? (I mean, aside from not being ugly).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Straight hair grows longer than sub-Saharan hair. Insulation from cold? Looks? Short kinky hair is good for hot climates, where head overheating is a problem, but once that selection pressure is lifted, maybe sexual selection encourages longer hair?
    , @Hippopotamusdrome


    Do we have any idea what Neanderthal hair was like?

     

    Maybe fur?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  49. If I recall correctly, Neanderthals had greater cranial volumes than early Homo sapiens. Could not the products of human-Neanderthal interbreeding have inherited this trait as a consequence? Whites and Orientals quite typically have larger cranial volumes than negroes. Having more room for brains also correlates with higher IQ.

    The physical anthropologists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries knew all of these points, but in today’s politically-correct academy, they have become “hate facts.” Indeed, the late Marxist anthropologist Stephen Jay Gould perpetrated a fraud in an effort to discredit Samuel G. Morton’s research on the subject.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  50. @The most deplorable one
    That person sounds like they have an IQ of around 90.

    You’re reading something by somebody with an IQ of 90?

    Shame on you.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  51. @jb
    Do we have any idea what Neanderthal hair was like? I don't mean color, I mean texture. All sub-Saharans have kinky hair, while the trait is very rare outside of Africa. Maybe we picked up straight hair from the Neanderthals? I think it's an interesting question! Even if we still aren't sure exactly what the benefit of light skin was, it seems very natural that high latitudes could have favored it. But what benefit could "good hair" possibly confer? (I mean, aside from not being ugly).

    Straight hair grows longer than sub-Saharan hair. Insulation from cold? Looks? Short kinky hair is good for hot climates, where head overheating is a problem, but once that selection pressure is lifted, maybe sexual selection encourages longer hair?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  52. @inertial
    This is unfair. Bands of humans must have wandered all over Africa all the time. Some of them who happened to live near the narrow isthmus that connects Africa to the rest of the world managed to accidentally stumble across. They had no idea what Africa was, let alone that they had left it.

    Iberia (Europe) is visible from Africa. To take just one other example, consider how Asians managed to settle the entire Pacific Basin, including North and South America. The Pacific Ocean is a mite broader than the Strait of Gibraltar. Want more? Africans had barely settled the area now known as South Africa by the time the Dutch arrived, and it’s some of the richest land on Earth.

    Read More
    • Replies: @backup
    That the Gibraltar straights were crossed seems likely. There are remains of African monkeys found in Spain. Furthermore, Flores is on the other side of the Wallace line. So if Homo Erectus is the most likely ancestor of the Flores hobbit as the Hobbit teeth suggest, it most likely crossed it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  53. @John Derbyshire

    Actually, it’s indicative that the popular concept of “People of Color” is scientifically ignorant. Contemporary population genetics instead suggests that there are basically two main races of human beings: Sub-Saharan Africans versus Everybody Else.
     
    This is one of those everybody-kinda-knows-it things. Here's me saying it fifteen years ago.

    Physical anthropologist Carleton Coon’s 1965 book The Living Races of Man is mostly still valid after 50 years of ever more advanced genetic analyses. (Coon prints one of genetic anthropologist Cavalli-Sforza’s first graphs at the end of the his book.)

    But a big one he got wrong was thinking the fundamental divide in humanity was along the mountains of Asia, with Europeans and sub-Saharans more closely related to each other than to East Asians.

    Instead, 50 years of genetic studies since then, and it has turned out that the Sahara is the big divide. I didn’t expect that because you hear about the primeval “Green Sahara,” which wouldn’t seem to hard to cross. But I guess it was.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Opinionator
    Or maybe migrants weren't permitted to cross it?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  54. Anon87 says:

    So Neanderthals didn’t come from Africa? There were multiple human-like evolutions that occurred independently on Earth? Or they left Africa much earlier, evolved, then bred with/raped the late to the party people?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  55. @jb
    Do we have any idea what Neanderthal hair was like? I don't mean color, I mean texture. All sub-Saharans have kinky hair, while the trait is very rare outside of Africa. Maybe we picked up straight hair from the Neanderthals? I think it's an interesting question! Even if we still aren't sure exactly what the benefit of light skin was, it seems very natural that high latitudes could have favored it. But what benefit could "good hair" possibly confer? (I mean, aside from not being ugly).

    Do we have any idea what Neanderthal hair was like?

    Maybe fur?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  56. anonguy says:
    @Whoever

    From the Howard Hughes Medical Institute:
    Could Interbreeding Between Humans and Neanderthals Have Led to an Enhanced Human Brain?

    Uh oh.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  57. johnmark7 says:

    I recently read that the pygmy genome is as much more different from other Africans than those non-pygmy Africans are to Europeans or Asians.

    It said the widest breadth of difference between human groups would be pygmies and and western American Indians. They might not produce viable offspring at some percentage, but there’s no testing for that IRL, is there?

    So it’s sub-Saharans vs. pygmies, vs. everybody else, I think.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  58. Random data point… The writer of this article, Claudia Dreifus, a respected science journalist, was on the staff of The East Village Other, the main NYC underground paper of the late 60′s and very early 70′s. I do not necessarily consider that a black mark. Talent will out…

    See: http://eastvillageother.org/recollections/dreifus

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  59. Roger says: • Website

    It is strange that Capra is so hostile to the so-called “racist inquiries”. He studies the effects of Neanderthal genes, and claims that they were significant. Then he is offended by those who have the genes and are interested in the significance.

    Capra accuses them of “ideas of white superiority”, but then says that they were not bothered by the notion that Neanderthal DNA might have been bad for them. So maybe they were just proud to be part Neanderthal, whether it is better or worse.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  60. backup says:
    @Kyle McKenna
    Iberia (Europe) is visible from Africa. To take just one other example, consider how Asians managed to settle the entire Pacific Basin, including North and South America. The Pacific Ocean is a mite broader than the Strait of Gibraltar. Want more? Africans had barely settled the area now known as South Africa by the time the Dutch arrived, and it's some of the richest land on Earth.

    That the Gibraltar straights were crossed seems likely. There are remains of African monkeys found in Spain. Furthermore, Flores is on the other side of the Wallace line. So if Homo Erectus is the most likely ancestor of the Flores hobbit as the Hobbit teeth suggest, it most likely crossed it.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  61. Prediction: North Asians picked up behavioral traits from neanderthals.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  62. Seran says:

    It was illogical. Actually, Neanderthal DNA is mostly bad for us — though that didn’t bother them

    Does that mean we Neanderthal-hybrids are inferior compared to africans? The Neanderthal DNA was bad for us, what means that we are genetically inferior than africans.

    Are Neanderthal-hybrids a different species than africans? Who is the homo sapien?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Salger
    Let's see, Dindus live off welfare from countries around the world.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  63. @Steve Sailer
    Physical anthropologist Carleton Coon's 1965 book The Living Races of Man is mostly still valid after 50 years of ever more advanced genetic analyses. (Coon prints one of genetic anthropologist Cavalli-Sforza's first graphs at the end of the his book.)

    But a big one he got wrong was thinking the fundamental divide in humanity was along the mountains of Asia, with Europeans and sub-Saharans more closely related to each other than to East Asians.

    Instead, 50 years of genetic studies since then, and it has turned out that the Sahara is the big divide. I didn't expect that because you hear about the primeval "Green Sahara," which wouldn't seem to hard to cross. But I guess it was.

    Or maybe migrants weren’t permitted to cross it?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  64. Salger says:
    @Seran

    It was illogical. Actually, Neanderthal DNA is mostly bad for us — though that didn’t bother them
     
    Does that mean we Neanderthal-hybrids are inferior compared to africans? The Neanderthal DNA was bad for us, what means that we are genetically inferior than africans.

    Are Neanderthal-hybrids a different species than africans? Who is the homo sapien?

    Let’s see, Dindus live off welfare from countries around the world.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  65. Salger says:
    @Opinionator
    Contemporary population genetics instead suggests that there are basically two main races of human beings: Sub-Saharan Africans versus Everybody Else.

    Do North Africans and Moors have significant Neanderthal ancestry, too?

    You know that North Africans and the “Moors” (catch-all term for Muslims) aren’t mostly Negroid?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  66. Salger says:
    @johnfrum
    Admixture with Neanderthals explains why there are different races better than Rushton/Lynn's cold weather theory.

    The Cold Weather Scenario addresses the intelligence gaps with Europeans and Northeast Asians over the rest. Especially for Europeans against other Caucasoids like Arabs.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  67. @Opinionator
    Contemporary population genetics instead suggests that there are basically two main races of human beings: Sub-Saharan Africans versus Everybody Else.

    Do North Africans and Moors have significant Neanderthal ancestry, too?

    North africans are mainly berbers, which is a loose ethnic term but they have minimal subharan admixture and are mostly descendants of neolithic farmers from the middle east and became nomadic around 10,000bc, Thus the vast majority of North africans have the E1b1b haplogroup which originated in the Levant and red sea area- ethiopia,somalia etc (~26,000 yrs ago) and now most prevalent in northeast africa and most closely related to the egyptians therefore they are the descendants of the general Caucasoid branch of haplogroups and are thus mostly Eurasian.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to All Steve Sailer Comments via RSS
PastClassics
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
The evidence is clear — but often ignored
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
A simple remedy for income stagnation