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New Evidence Debunks "Stupid" Neanderthal

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the new-yorker-redrawing-decades-of-cartoons dept.

Science 505

ThinkComp writes "In what could possibly be a major blow to a scientific consensus that has held for decades, recent research suggests that the traditional conception of Neanderthals being "stupider" than Homo sapiens may in fact be misleading. As articles about the research findings state, 'early stone tool technologies developed by our species, Homo sapiens, were no more efficient than those used by Neanderthals.' The data used in the study is available on-line along with a visual description of the process used."

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505 comments

Well, that's just great. (5, Funny)

david@ecsd.com (45841) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751821)

Now what am I supposed to call my brother-in-law?

Re:Well, that's just great. (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751843)


Now what am I supposed to call my brother-in-law?

Creationist!

Re:Well, that's just great. (3, Funny)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752059)

I thought attempting to get marked troll was part of the joke -- like, that mod in an of itself was the answer.

Re:Well, that's just great. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24752147)

No worries, the JesusFuckers always hammer down those who make fun of their superstitions.

FuckJesus.Net [fuckjesus.net] Short and to the point.

Re:Well, that's just great. (5, Funny)

kylben (1008989) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752149)

I thought attempting to get marked troll was part of the joke

New scientific research is emerging that trolls are actually descendents of the Neanderthals. They are highly intelligent. And polite. And a productive contributor to any conversation. Who'd a thunk it?

Re:Well, that's just great. (5, Funny)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752133)

I dont think youre trolling.

You, sir, are absolutely right. A creationist is a really stupid evolved monkey.

Re:Well, that's just great. (2, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752171)

I agree. GP is both funny and insightful.

Re:Well, that's just great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24752479)

Watching the mod score move up and down as humorless Creationists and more level headed people mod is pretty funny.

ZOMG!!!! HE MADE FUN OF TEH JESUS AND GAWDSSSSS!!!11111 MOD HIM DOWN SO GOD LUVS US MORE!!!111`1````

Re:Well, that's just great. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24752209)

I suggest calling him Homo Erectus...

Stone Tools (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24751839)

So easy a caveman can do it.

Re:Stone Tools (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24751957)

I drive without insurance because those ads are so lame.

Re:Stone Tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24751995)

I offer insurance without having a license because you're an insensitive clod.

This is refuted by (5, Funny)

slashname3 (739398) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751847)

This is refuted by the discussions on this board. There are stupid neanderthals posting here every day!

Re:This is refuted by (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24752089)

Yes, you did, didn't you?

Developing stone tools... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24751855)

...so easy, a caveman could do it.

Re:Developing stone tools... (5, Interesting)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752095)

It turns out the the sticks that monkeys use to dig bugs out of trees are no more efficient than the sticks that biologists use to dig bugs out of trees. From this I can conclude that monkeys are equally as smart as humans.

I see an error on thier logic.

Re:Developing stone tools... (5, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752277)

That's not really analogous at all. Sticks may very well be the optimum way of getting insects out of nests. But in the case of more advanced tool kits, there are certainly better kinds of tools for hunting and dismembering. The difference between the Paleolithic and Neolithic tool kits is substantial. The later stone tool kits used by modern humans included barbed fish hooks, spearheads and the like, innovations that simply did not exist among bipedal hominids. More importantly, compared to the hundreds of thousands of years that a tool kit might hang around during the Paleolithic with little or no change, the Neolithic saw radical innovations at a relatively fast pace.

i mis-read title... (3, Funny)

extirpater (132500) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751859)

as netherlands...

Re:i mis-read title... (5, Funny)

SigILL (6475) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751943)

as netherlands...

That's stoned, not stupid :)

Re:i mis-read title... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24752019)

and I thought it was going to link to the Democratic National Convention

The difference (3, Funny)

sjonke (457707) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751863)

The Homo sapiens bought out the Neanderthals tools and buried them, thus ensuring the success of Homo sapien tools.

Pop culture != scientific consensus (5, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751867)

We have known for a long time that Neanderthal had a larger brain than modern human and a sophisticated culture, including burial rites. There was no scientific consensus that Neandethal was stupid.

Re:Pop culture != scientific consensus (5, Funny)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751945)

There was no scientific consensus that Neandethal was stupid.

... there is no scientific consensus that the average homo sapiens is smart, either.

Re:Pop culture != scientific consensus (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24752415)

As a park ranger at Yosimite once said, "There is considerable overlap between the intelligence of the smartest bears and the dumbest tourists."

Re:Pop culture != scientific consensus (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751951)

We have known for a long time that Neanderthal had a larger brain than modern human and a sophisticated culture, including burial rites. There was no scientific consensus that Neandethal was stupid.

Define "a long time", please. 100 years? 50 years? 30 years? 20 years?

Re:Pop culture != scientific consensus (5, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752257)

Well, if they couldn't figure out the skull capacity from the skull cap found in 1829 they certainly could from the skull found in 1909. Those 19th century guys had a habit of thinking that white men were the smartest thing going so they probably thought Neanderthal was pretty dumb, but that was hardly a scientific view.

In 1880 Neanderthal remains were found with cultural items and tools. In 1983 a hyoid bone was found that showed Neanderthal vocal capabilities were probably almost identical to modern humans'. The Neanderthal graves at Shanidar were discovered in 1957. These are the famous ones that include pollen.

There has been a lot of controversy over various aspects of Neanderthal culture since their discovery. There really doesn't seem to have ever been a "scientific consensus" regarding their intelligence.

Re:Pop culture != scientific consensus (4, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752447)

From your answer, I conclude that the term "pop culture" isn't quite the right term. I'd use "scientists' preconceived ideas". Among such ideas are:

* Dinosaurs were like today's lizards. This was a common belief 2 centuries ago.
* T-Rex was the king of dinosaurs, a terrible hunter. New evidence suggest it was more like the king of scavengers.
* Stomach ulcers could not possibly be caused by a bacteria. The discovery of the H. Pilori set them wrong.
* There couldn't be anything like black holes. And it was Einstein who believed this.
* There are 9 planets orbiting the sun. Turns out Pluto isn't even a planet.

See, precisely the point of science is that new theories can replace old theories (and even beliefs). But calling preconceived ideas "pop culture" is stretching it a bit too much. Unless you want to start a debate about Pirates vs. Ninjas :)

Re:Pop culture != scientific consensus (5, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752057)

I think this is all just part of Geico's back-pedal campaign.

They realize they screwed up and pissed off a bunch of Neanderthals.

Re:Pop culture != scientific consensus (1)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752407)

Indeed! That voting bloc may well decide the election!

Re:Pop culture != scientific consensus (2, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752211)

Brain size != intelligence. Compare brain sizes of somebody with Down's Syndrome and Yo-Yo Ma. Discuss.

Re:Pop culture != scientific consensus (1)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752455)

Number of neural interconnections == intelligence?

Dear Know-Nothing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24752213)

You are a cum guzzling faggot. You gross me out...

Re:Pop culture != scientific consensus (4, Interesting)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752227)

The intelligence of Neanderthals is not necessarily the driving force of their ability to compete with homosapien. They could have been equally as smart or even smarter on an individual basis. However their collective intelligence, the ability to operate in larger groups, rather than extended family groups, means the while individually they might have been smarter and stronger they ended up being outnumber on the field of conflict.

Also homosapiens were likely to have been more vengeful and fielded a larger group to pursue and Neanderthals after a hunting party skirmishes, which initially the Neanderthals might have won and collected their prize of long pig only to be latter pursued by a far larger group combative homospaiens.

So the difference is not in the individual intelligence but in the social collective intelligence, the group that worked together, that shared an extended tribal awareness and, that were willing to sacrifice themselves, their time and effort in support of the future goals of the group proved to be far more successfully as a group. Pretty much the same as it is today. The societies where the individuals are only out to gain as much as they can for themselves regardless of the harm to the group create more unsuccessful society than those a care, share and are willing to work for the collective good. The ratio between the greedy few and the more aware majority define the nature modern societies more so than the individual intelligence of it's members.

Re:Pop culture != scientific consensus (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752397)

Oh yea! I bet the Neanderthal's didn't have the iPhone!

The study was easy. (3, Funny)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751871)

The researchers found that their research was so easy, a homo sapiens could do it.

Re:The study was easy. (1)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752117)

So those Geico commercials ARE negatively stereotyping...

They went extinct because... (4, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751873)

they embraced Open Source. Weapons. Tools. Technology as a whole. Homo Sapiens stole everything from them, made some improvements and made it Closed Source. Neanderthals had to buy their own inventions back. The competitive disadvantage put them under.

Let this be a warning to you all.

Re:They went extinct because... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24751895)

Netcraft confirms it: the Neanderthal is dead!

Re:They went extinct because... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752071)

they embraced Open Source. Weapons. Tools. Technology as a whole. Homo Sapiens stole everything from them, made some improvements and made it Closed Source. Neanderthals had to buy their own inventions back. The competitive disadvantage put them under.

Ah, that explains why Oog isn't around anymore, breaking heads with his Open Source CD.

Re:They went extinct because... (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752075)

they embraced Open Source. Weapons. Tools. Technology as a whole. Homo Sapiens stole everything from them, made some improvements and made it Closed Source. Neanderthals had to buy their own inventions back. The competitive disadvantage put them under.

Let this be a warning to you all.

Um, don't open source the stuff you use to hurt other people with. Gotcha. So should we open source our election process/government or not? I'm not clear if we'd classify that as weapon/harmful medium to be controlled.

Mod parent troll! (-1, Troll)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752301)

In the first place, we don't have the proof that the Neanderthals gave away their technology so that the Homo Sapiens could improve it.

Second, you're mixing up military knowledge with copyright laws, which make both closed source and open source possible. No copyright and anybody can hack your software, improve on it and resell it. Therefore, your analogy does not apply.

Third, open source is completely OFF TOPIC in this discussion!!

Re:Mod parent troll! (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752339)

See, now i viewed the GP as being nonsensical, and somewhat funny. But not nearly as funny as how seriously you took it!

Missing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24751883)

Where's the soeasyevenacavemancandoit tag?

Obviously... (1, Informative)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751885)

that's because Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens are the same species!

Re:Obviously... (4, Informative)

the phantom (107624) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752123)

While I would certainly like to believe that, and held to that belief for many years, mtDNA and nuclear DNA evidence seems to point in the other direction. Certainly, there is always more evidence that can be collected, but most of the good genetic evidence indicates that H. sapiens and H. neanderthalis were/are distinct, though related, species. See, for example, Sequencing and Analysis of Neanderthal Genomic DNA [sciencemag.org] .

Re:Obviously... (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752319)

what do non-athiests consider neanderthals?

Re:Obviously... (0, Troll)

joelholdsworth (1095165) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752473)

what do non-creationists consider neanderthals?

There... fixed it for you.

Many religious believers would agree with atheists on the subject of neanderthals including many evangelical Christians such as myself.

Re:Obviously... (1)

Dragged Down by the (1004490) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752505)

They didn't get an ark like homo sapiens did.

Re:Obviously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24752333)

please tell me you're kidding...

Direct link (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24751893)

A direct link to the evidence debunking stupid Neanderthals is here [slashdot.org] .

Not Aggressive enough (5, Insightful)

topham (32406) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751909)

It's pretty simple. They weren't aggressive enough and we wiped them out through brute force like we do everything else that's different.
Big shock.

Re:Not Aggressive enough (1, Flamebait)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751971)

You mean, all homo sapiens are actually americans?

Yes: I always knew (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24752011)

that Americans were a bunch of Homos

Re:Not Aggressive enough (5, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752029)

Yeah, because Europe has a long history of peace and tranquility.
Africa currently lives in perfect communion with one another.
Russia is a paragon of pacifism.
And Asians are known for their brotherly love.
No brutal kidnappings and murder in Mexico.
And no death squads in South America.

Face it, humans are fundamentally flawed.

At least Antarctica is peaceful (but shrinking).

Re:Not Aggressive enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24752233)

You mean, all homo sapiens are actually americans?

If that were the case, one of these two things would have happened:

1. There'd be neanderthals all over the place getting drunk, dealing drugs, and killing homo sapiens and each other, then blaming it on homo sapiens oppression that happened millenia ago. Homo sapiens who said anything about this would be beaten to death with rocks by other homo sapiens.

2. After bringing neanderthal culture to its knees in a global conflict, the homo sapiens would have made all of their technology and large amounts of their resources available to their defeated foes, who would have then used it to become an economic superpower.

Re:Not Aggressive enough (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751987)

I was gonna say the same thing. After all, is there a single species on Earth that's anywhere as violent as homo sapiens?

Re:Not Aggressive enough (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752141)

is this a trick question? Is there any that are less violent than homosapien? It is somewhat eletest to think that you are the most violent when we as species are not even close. We have the luxary of the ability to have pacifists among us. Some other species, every single member, has to be extremely violent just to survive.

Here is an exciting example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8DDYz68kM [youtube.com]

Re:Not Aggressive enough (4, Informative)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752371)

The difference with man is that we kill eachother on a massive scale. The video you linked showed nothing but Buffalo protecting their own, Lions trying to eat them, and Crocodiles trying to eat everything else. This is no different than us eating a hamburger.

I can only think of a couple of other species that are as warlike as homo sapiens, and that's bacteria or virii. Many animals are territorial and will kill their own. But we have taken it to an entirely new level.

Re:Not Aggressive enough (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752215)

Well, spiders chow down on their own young, and ants wage massive war on one another. Sharks rip apart everything in sight, including each other, when there's lots of blood around. Apes and bears are notoriously territorial, like humans, so I wouldn't say that or being violent are particularly unique to humanity.

Re:Not Aggressive enough (4, Insightful)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752403)

After all, is there a single species on Earth that's anywhere as violent as homo sapiens?

There are quite a few. We're just smart enough to build weapons, and we have the hands for it. Spiders, tasmanian devils, and blue jays aren't really capable of mining metal and forging weapons. Chimps sometimes organize to kill other chimps (and sometimes other neighboring apes).

Why do so many people think that nature is peaceful?

Re:Not Aggressive enough (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752009)

While this hypothesis makes some sense, there should be at least some archeological record of mixed Cromagnon and Neantherthal remains, along with some weapons to prove it, no?

Re:Not Aggressive enough (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752099)

While this hypothesis makes some sense, there should be at least some archeological record of mixed Cromagnon and Neantherthal remains, along with some weapons to prove it, no?

Theoretically, but since both Neanderthal and Cromagnon had burial rituals and the battles would have probably been small-scale village vs village, it may require a lot of luck to actually find a site where the bodies were left where they died.

Debunk? (5, Insightful)

amstrad (60839) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751931)

Finding evidence that may alter the "scientific consensus that has held for decades" is not debunking. It is the normal process of science. Debunking is the process of correcting misconceptions and exposing false, unscientific, or non-evidence based claims.

Re:Debunk? (-1, Flamebait)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752025)

However, you better not try that debunking thing on Global Warming. Try correcting misconceptions and exposing false, unscientific, or non-evidence based claims, and you're dead meat.

Here let me fix that (1)

hellfire (86129) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752365)

However, you better not try that debunking thing on Global Warming by pointing to studies by scientists working for corporations with a vested interest in continuing to burn fossil fuels that contribute to the problem. Try to present misconceptions unscientific, or non-evidence based claims, and you're dead meat.

There, fixed it for you.

If you can post inflammatory unrelated comments, so can I.

Re:Debunk? (3, Informative)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752369)

[citation needed]
the great global swindle the 'documentary' has been debunked repeatedly, hell channel4 even got a bitchslap from OFCOM (equivilent of fcc). And its not like scientists are rich powerful men that can manipulate the media like the neocons

Re:Debunk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24752115)

> Debunking is the process of correcting misconceptions

But isn't that what just happened, more or less?

Re:Debunk? (5, Interesting)

saforrest (184929) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752399)

Finding evidence that may alter the "scientific consensus that has held for decades" is not debunking. It is the normal process of science. Debunking is the process of correcting misconceptions and exposing false, unscientific, or non-evidence based claims.

Furthermore, it's been a very long time since there was any scientific consensus about the "stupid Neanderthal" anyway. As another poster said, popular culture != science. The American Museum of Natural History has a now decades-old depiction of a Neanderthal in a suit & tie as part of an exhibit debunking the old popular-science depiction of Neanderthals as unsavoury brutes.

I recently read one of the more interesting ideas about how Neanderthals' brains differs from ours; this idea is due to Steven Mithen's The Prehistory of the Mind as described in Britain BC by Francis Pryor. Basically, his idea from interpreting Neanderthal art and tools is that they were no less intelligent but more "domain specific" than we are; they could excel at specialized tasks but fail to seize upon those very important cross-disciplinary insights involving multiple disparate fields of endeavour, which provide the basis for all our inventions.

In Britain BC, Pryor paints a picture of Neanderthals as a bunch of obsessive and overspecialized collectors. In reading about these somewhat Aspergian-sounding traits, I remember thinking that these guys would probably have made great coders! (Though maybe not project managers.)

It's so easy... (1)

derrickh (157646) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751937)

Since when did Geico start sponsoring science research?

D

Buffetted by embarrassment... (1)

KudyardRipling (1063612) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751955)

What shall become of the GEICO advert and that 'caveman' show?

Collectively stupid? (5, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751969)

We tend to try to compare individual intelligence but this is probably meaningless. The real reason for our species' success is not that we're individually brilliant, but that we are very good at dividing up large problems to solve collectively. This works thanks to our social instincts: respect for authority, sense of fairness, competitiveness, group belonging, etc. etc. The whole gamut, the reason why we read and post to Slashdot, because we're a social species and bloody good at it.

Neanderthals, larger, individually smarter, were presumably generalists that could do more by themselves but could not compete as well a group of modern humans, when it came to hunting and perhaps fighting.

Of course I'm defining "intelligence" very much in the sense of "how humanity thinks and solves problems". It's easy to claim superiority when one is the species writing history.

Re:Collectively stupid? (1)

t0rkm3 (666910) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752471)

Hrmmm. Does it also seem like the conclusion from the first article linked is a little over the bounds for a flint-knapping treatise?

From personal experience the "blade" is more resilient when used as a weapon or hunting implement. Given that we are using the same terms.

Even if it were not more efficient at cutting down trees, cleaning hides, working wood, or digging holes wouldn't the superior hunting implement win out?

Major blow? (0, Flamebait)

thejahn (617263) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751979)

It is only a small percentage of a scientific community (those that probably scream the loudest and fear there may actually be a God) that actually beleived 'neanderthals' were stupid. Most of history shows people who lived before us were fairly creative, and smart building upon what they had before them.

No Surprise to Me (0)

segedunum (883035) | more than 5 years ago | (#24751989)

I've always believed this to be true, and in terms of intelligence, I don't think we have any more individual 'intelligence' than other animals. What really sets us apart is our communication skills. We're able to communicate with each other in far better clarity than any other animal, and as far as we can tell, better than any other humanoid that has ever existed. Perhaps this gave our descendants the crucial advantage over the Neanderthals?

When you can see things from another individual's perspective and exchange ideas, it makes the world of difference. You amass knowledge at a fairly exponential rate, and perhaps this was the reason for the long debated issue of the increase in the size of our brains? I've heard a lot of rubbish to be perfectly honest, sometimes coming from scientists, as to how we came to have our unique position in the world, and I've even heard the ludicrous notion that we are somehow 'touched by God'. If a species comes along that has ESP or something and can communicate better than we can, we're fish food.

We aren't getting smarter. Not really. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24751999)

While there have been great advances, really we've been dealing with the same level of intelligence throughout history.

What has changed us is the quality of life.

When you don't have to slay a beast, drag water 4 miles and fend off hordes of enemies, robbers and the plague you can get 'more' done.

I'm sure in history there were many brilliant people. Some 4000 years ago with the documents we have people still had the same ideas, the same drama.

The Steven Hawking of 1000 years ago would starve or be stuck in a mud shack thinking about how to eat and if his family would leave him in the jungle. That doesn't happen in the developed countries.

After visiting the slums of Rwanda I often asked myself what these people would do if they had access to clean water. The answer - the same thing the Romans, the Greek, the Europeans, the French and the Americans. Build, expand and innovate.

D~y

Its not that they were dumber (4, Funny)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752005)

They simply couldn't admit their own mistakes and learn from them; preferring self-rightious extinction over humbling erudition. Those few who remain are called Neocons.

is our childrens learning? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752007)

are our childrens stupider to neanderthals?

Whew! (1, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752031)

I still think white people are basically a cross between homo sapiens and neanderthals. Like, somewhere along the way, super strong neanderthal dudes came in, grabbed the homo sapiens women, and thus, white people were born. I think there's no other possible explanation for our horrific sense of fashion and penchant for shiny metal objects. I'm just about to tell my wife, that, I can't help my need for a quad motherboard and a 400 hp sportscar... I'm just genetically doomed because of my neanderthal genes.

Re:Whew! (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752267)

I'm just genetically doomed because of my neanderthal genes.

I don't know about the penchant for shiny metal objects, but when I see my prominent brow ridge in the mirror, and feel my occipital bun, the theory that some of us have Neanderthal ancestry sure makes sense to me...

Re:Whew! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24752299)

I apologize for the shortness of digital temper, I just quit smoking.

Congrats. I hope you stick with it. I did the same thing just over 6 years ago and it was the best decision I ever made.

Good luck!

Huh? (3, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752055)

WTF? We've known for this for at least thirty years now; that the earliest modern humans had tool kits that did not vary in any great way from Neandertals. In fact, it's one of the great puzzles of evolution that modern human behavior did not arise until a long time after modern humans (anatomically, at least) had evolved. For chrissakes, just look at the Levant where modern humans and Neandertals shared the same territories for thousands of years, with little to tell them apart other than their skeletons.

Scientists retracted their statements after... (3, Funny)

mseidl (828824) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752065)

After finding that the Neanderthals had purchased an iPhone 3g when no 3g service was available 20,000 years ago.

They reposted their original findings that Neanderthals are dumb.

Consensus (1)

kylben (1008989) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752091)

In what could possibly be a major blow to a scientific consensus...

Sorry, but you must not have gotten the memo about the new scientific method. The consensus is the standard of accuracy, all new theories must be judged against it. Neanderthals remain stupid until enough people in the news media and blogosphere believe otherwise.

Who won? (1)

Evildonald (983517) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752107)

They weren't intelligent enough to outlive Homo sapien!! Huzzah for us and our bad-ass ancestors!

Oh, great. (0, Redundant)

randomaxe (673239) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752113)

So I guess GEICO will have to drop their moderately-funny caveman ads and revert back to their entirely unfunny gecko ads?

You mean a "scientific consensus" could be wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24752125)

This makes one wonder what other "scientific consensuses" could be wrong. Global Warming (or as the "consensus" now calls it Climate Change) is one such "consensus" that comes to mind. That is why "consensus" should never replace actual science.

Not the outcome I was hoping for... (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752163)

And I was really waiting for Geico's caveman campaign to end. This just gives them even more reason to play their lame jokes.

So... the Neanderthals were Betamax? (2, Funny)

Cappy Red (576737) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752177)

I mean, I know we succeeded and everything, but doesn't it suck a little bit to be VHS?

ur doin it AMAZING (1)

Apoorv Khatreja (1263418) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752183)

Albert Einstein looks just in the right place here. Do a search for 'Neanderthal' on Google Images, and next search for 'Homo Sapiens'. Then search for 'Einstein'.

Language made the difference (4, Informative)

timholman (71886) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752201)

The conclusions of this study are not exactly news. It's been known for some time that early homo sapiens tools were no more advanced than Neanderthal tools. But at some point, there was an explosion of creativity and inventiveness in modern man that the Neanderthals could not equal, probably due to home sapiens having superior language skills and capabilities, and the ability to share and communicate ideas in ways the Neanderthals could not. Modern man then evolved superior cultures and technologies that surpassed the Neanderthals.

One on one, raised without the benefit of language and culture, a modern man would probably be no brighter, and in fact considerably physically weaker, than a Neanderthal. But collectively, Neanderthals were no match for modern men with their more advanced languages, societies, and weapons.

Re:Language made the difference (3, Informative)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752511)

Actually my understanding is that it is a less strict dietary requirements that allowed humans to survive while the neanderthals died off during an ice age. The idea is that humans would eat anything (omnivores) - greens, roots, fish, insects, meat, eggs, whatever and that the neanderthals were quite strict carnivores. When the source of food becomes scarce, those who are more diverse eaters will have an advantage.

Yeah, well... (1)

kungfugleek (1314949) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752231)

... we still won.

They still exist today! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24752253)

One works with me a few cubicles over... They're called the telecommunications group!

Ouch! (3, Insightful)

Setherghd (942294) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752275)

...possibly be a major blow to a scientific consensus...

Or a major contribution?

Conclusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24752305)

The conclusion of the article was so easy to reach even a caveman could have done it.

Neanderthal exists: +1, Informative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24752321)

Watch Grandpa [youtube.com]
Neanderthal blabber his answer.

Amazing.

New theory (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752335)

Neanderthals were gentle, nice, and played well with others. They were wiped out by the brutal, greedy Homo sapiens.

Old News (2, Informative)

ph0rk (118461) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752347)

No one in Anthropology has seriously considered Neanderthals stupid for the last 30-40 years. The first Neanderthal skeleton was of an old, very arthritic male, hence the bowed posture and unlockable knees.

I always thought... (1)

The Dancing Panda (1321121) | more than 5 years ago | (#24752373)

I always thought it was a common thought that Neanderthals were actually the smarter of the species, but their brains weren't built for multi-tasking. Meaning at making tools or using said tools, they were more efficient, but when a group of raiding Homo Sapiens came, they couldn't switch modes, so to speak.

Honestly, I can't think of where I learned this. Maybe I made it up?

And...? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24752379)

Blades may not have signified a sharper cutting tool, but rather a more advanced way of imagining that cutting tool.

Aesthetics and how something is crafted is just as important as how effective it is at doing its job. That's what makes the homo sapiens more intelligent than their Neanderthalic counterparts.

I imagine an ancient homo sapien would pay a pretty Sumerian coin for a fancy dagger.

Lack of commerce and trade caused by "being different" and holding to mindless traditions (Creating weapons the old "flake" way). That's the kind of mindset which probably killed off Neanderthals, not whether or not they could hunt and gather with the tools they had.

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