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Neanderthals had a sophisticated home life?


New Scientist is now rehabilitating the Neanderthals.

We once thought of Neanderthals as crude and unintelligent – not any more. Archaeological evidence suggests they were capable of symbolic thought, had some capacity for speech, and probably carried out elaborate burial rituals. They may even have taught modern humans new skills when the two species met and interbred.

Contrary to expectations, some Neanderthals were even vegetarian. Others seasoned their food with wild herbs. And they were making porridge 32,000 years ago, long before farming was invented. New Scientist Staff, “New Scientist Live: the sophisticated home life of Neanderthals” at

But let’s be clear about one thing. The reason “we once thought of Neanderthals as crude and unintelligent” was the Darwinian need for a missing link. Someone has to be the subhuman. If they aren’t the subhuman anymore, who gets the job? Before you say “Homo erectus!”, see the link below.

See also: Neanderthal Man: The long-lost relative turns up again, this time with documents

A deep and abiding need for Neanderthals to be stupid. Why?


Do racial assumptions prevent recognizing Homo erectus as fully human?

polistra at 2, it's hard to imagine that they did not also discover honey combs. Of course, honey combs may leave no trace... News
The article draws extremely narrow conclusions about diet based on the tooth plaque of two skulls. Supposedly these people ate moss, bark, and mushrooms. Nothing else. A little inductive reasoning would lead to the idea that moss, bark and mushrooms are found on and around trees that bear fruits and nuts. You can survive pretty well on fruits and nuts. polistra
Obligatory Family Guy clip. daveS

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