There has been a significant change in his status in recent years, as researchers began separating what we see from what we think ought to be or must be true.
In fact, quite apart from the fact that Neanderthals appear to have been part of our own families, they have persistently failed to be as stupid as Shermer’s account needs. Increasing numbers of finds are breaking down the supposed differences between them and other early humans. As one paleontologist puts it, “The historical downgrading of our Neanderthal cousins has gone well beyond the scientific.”
It’s not clear, however, that “the scientific” was driving the need to downgrade Neanderthal man so much as a Darwinian anthropology that is at odds with the archaeology. More.
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