Human evolution

At Mind Matters News: Smoke and drink too much? Blame Neanderthal man!

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Besides passing on addictive habits, if you believe a study of casts from fossil skulls, our Neanderthal ancestors couldn’t meditate either…

“The study found that while Neandertal DNA showed over-proportional numbers of associations with several traits that are associated with central nervous system diseases, the diseases themselves did not show any significant numbers of Neandertal DNA associations. Among the traits with the strongest Neandertal DNA contribution were smoking habits, alcohol consumption and sleeping patterns. Using data from other cohorts such as the Estonian Biobank, the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety, FinnGen, Biobank Japan and deCode, several of these results could be replicated. Of specific note were two independent top-risk Neandertal variants for a positive smoking status that were found in the UK Biobank and Biobank Japan respectively. ESTONIAN RESEARCH COUNCIL, “NEANDERTHAL DNA MIGHT BE LINKED TO SMOKING, DRINKING, SLEEPING PATTERNS IN MODERN HUMANS: STUDY” AT EUREKALERT (OCTOBER 6, 2022) THE PAPER IS OPEN ACCESS.”

So. Neanderthal man, long extinct as a separate human group, now explains why we smoke and drink to excess… How handy. And who can refute it?” …

The interesting thing is that, over the years, Neanderthal man — once just a brute — has actually gotten smarter. That’s not because he has changed. It’s because we know more than we used to about our ancestors. It would be nice to think that it is also because we are less arrogant now but that would be much very harder to prove.

Takehome: Actually, in recent years, researchers have found evidence of a rich Neanderthal culture, belying the stereotypes we have incorporated into our culture. So when did human evolution actually take place?

You may also wish to read: Why is Neanderthal art considered controversial? It makes sense that whenever humans started to wonder about life, we started to create art that helps us think about it. Science writer Michael Marshall reports that some researchers are accused of banning others from taking samples that would prove a Neanderthal was the artist.

3 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: Smoke and drink too much? Blame Neanderthal man!

  1. 1
    Sir Giles says:

    Smoke And Drink Too Much? Blame Neanderthal Man!

    I’m sure that Neanderthal men blamed Neanderthal women. 🙂

  2. 2
    News says:

    Of course.

  3. 3
    Paxx says:

    Finally! Something I can blame!

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