From Emily Singer at Quanta:
According to the new findings, published in Genetics this month, Neanderthal genomes were rife with harmful DNA that significantly reduced the species’ fitness. The researchers conclude that Neanderthals were roughly 40 percent less fit than modern humans, meaning they were less likely to produce offspring. More.
Okay, so it turns out we didn’t murder them, like everyone said we had.
That’s the trouble when you’re supposed to be extinct. People can insist that Neanderthals are the Bad Seed and they can’t launch a grievance. Fortunately, even if it’s nonsense, no one gets hurt. Far cry from eugenics.
See also: There’s a gene for that… or is there?
Neanderthal Man: The long-lost relative turns up again, this time with documents
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One Reply to “Bad Neanderthal genes! Bad!”
OK, so our Neander cousins ruled Eurasia for 250,000 years BECAUSE they were defective? I would think that if they were “40% less fit than modern humans” then they would never have been so much more SUCCESSFUL at conquering Eurasia than the “purebred” humans who stayed in Africa.
One of the things that DNA studies have done is document the fact that the “invasion” of Europe by the Indo-Europeans did NOT replace the resident “Atlanteans” (people who dwelt along the shores of the Atlantic). As much as 85% of the DNA of modern Europeans is from the original European folk, folk who had been living along side Neanderthals for millennia when distinctly Neanderthal individuals disappeared.
“Modern” humans have only been around for 60,000 years or something. Doesn’t that mean that we’re the ones who are still in the “initial product testing” phase?