[Taxacom] Homo sapiens neanderthalensis

Ken Kinman kinman at hotmail.com
Sun May 19 14:42:22 CDT 2013

Hi Curtis,


     I agree that competition was probably a big factor, especially for shelter and food, but apparently for females as well.  I can also see disease as a possible factor (as with Europeans decimating New World Indians with small pox, etc.).  And of course, just old fashion fear of odd-looking strangers that one doesn't understand or get along with.  But I have doubts about John's suggestion that Neanderthals might have been primarily arboreal.  It would have been very cold in many areas and building fires in trees wouldn't have been very practical.


      In any case, I suspect that the amount interbreeding is still being very much underestimated (even by the molecularists).  Although most of today's populations have only about 2-4% Neanderthal genes, that percentage was probably much higher while Neanderthals were still around and gradually decreased over time.  






> Date: Fri, 17 May 2013 18:54:57 -0700
> From: lists at curtisclark.org
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Homo sapiens neanderthalensis
> On 2013-05-17 4:15 PM, Ken Kinman wrote:
> > Well, "hybridized out of existence" could be one of the factors 
> > involved (many of the molecularists involved use phrases like "genetic 
> > swamping"). Of course, another major factor was probably warfare 
> > (competition for shelter and food, fear, or males angry when their 
> > females got kidnapped). Climate change has also been suggested for 
> > certain regions. In any case, interbreeding can no longer be ignored 
> > as a major factor, and thus the subspecies vs. species debate needs to 
> > be reexamined.
> Well, there's always evidence. I've not researched this in detail in the 
> primary literature, but the population levels of modern humans and 
> neanderthals over time, the paucity of clear hybrids, and the relatively 
> minor contribution of neanderthal genes in modern humans together argue 
> against "hybridized out of existence" or genetic swamping. Ecological 
> competition seems to be the null hypothesis to be falsified here.
> -- 
> Curtis Clark http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark
> Biological Sciences +1 909 869 4140
> Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona CA 91768
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