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(forget Darwin) Them and Us: how Neanderthal predation created modern humans begins
Posted: 21 September 2009 07:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Bernardo I do agree that most or none of us have read the book and are basing opinions on the facts presented in the ‘blog’ article.  Certainly we might view the idea that the 50 individuals referred to as the remaining ‘human’ population individuals may refer to the number of untainted at that time while the rest of the ‘blended’ population from which breeding continued was the stable number. 

.......genetic evidence to show that this prolonged period of cannibalistic and sexual predation began about 100,000 years ago and that by 50,000 years ago, the human population in the Levant was reduced to as few as 50 individuals.

What I do find difficult is that if the depicted artist renderings (attached here) are correct, then even with breed-blending, a span of even 100,000 to 50,000 years does not seem long enough to have modified to present day human physiology.  While predatory eyes often have the vertical pupil for example (and not predators have this), I find it also unlikely that attribute would have become so modified in that short length of time either.  I’m not a scientist though so I cannot really make such an educated guess anyway.

Note:  these images do remind me of bigfoot though so perhaps there are surviving unblended neanderthals

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Posted: 21 September 2009 08:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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The “50” probably does not refer to just 50 H. sapiens left, but to the 50 in a larger population that contributed to the genetic pool of the current population. It’s the same as with “African Eve”, the single woman who 150 000 to 200 000 years ago was the ancestor of all of us. She was part of a larger population and hence not the only woman: but only her genetic heritage survived untill today.

A genetic “bottleneck” is not the same as a population bottleneck.

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Posted: 21 September 2009 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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hulitoons - 21 September 2009 11:45 AM

Note:  these images do remind me of bigfoot though so perhaps there are surviving unblended neanderthals

That was a.o. Myra Shackley’s opinion (Shackley: “Still living? Yeti, Sasquatch and the Neanderthal enigma”. Thames & Hudson 1983)

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Posted: 21 September 2009 08:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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hulitoons - 21 September 2009 11:45 AM

What I do find difficult is that if the depicted artist renderings (attached here) are correct

I don’t think these reconstructions have any validity. They are just resurrecting a stereotype.

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Posted: 21 September 2009 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Thank you LaMa.  I was befuddled by those two things, the ‘50’ and also the renderings, and not just the eyes, but I don’t think even the teeth would be correct for a predator with limited tool resources either since they’re too much like present human teeth that would not adapt well to tearing flesh?

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Posted: 21 September 2009 06:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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hulitoons - 21 September 2009 02:40 PM

Thank you LaMa.  I was befuddled by those two things, the ‘50’ and also the renderings, and not just the eyes, but I don’t think even the teeth would be correct for a predator with limited tool resources either since they’re too much like present human teeth that would not adapt well to tearing flesh?

Neandertal teeth have only minor differences to ours. In fact, when loose isolated teeth are excavated, it is usually quite difficult to determine whether it are Neandertal teeth or H. sapiens teeth.

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Posted: 22 September 2009 02:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Some interesting views, but sadly uninformed because none of their authors have bothered to read the book. Remember, when the first platypus was send to England for examination, the relevant “expert” sliced it up to see who had made it, because - even thought it was there in front of his eyes - he could not believe it was real. That’s what happens when people are encouraged to consider options that their ignorance suggests are heretical. So again I urge you to take a deep breath, head off to Vendramini’s website http://www.themandus.org and order a copy of the book. After you’ve read it I think most of you will rush to revise what you have offered as (uninformed) opinion.

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Posted: 22 September 2009 05:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Since I

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Posted: 22 September 2009 08:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Bernardo - 22 September 2009 06:27 AM

Some interesting views, but sadly uninformed because none of their authors have bothered to read the book. Remember, when the first platypus was send to England for examination, the relevant “expert” sliced it up to see who had made it, because - even thought it was there in front of his eyes - he could not believe it was real. That’s what happens when people are encouraged to consider options that their ignorance suggests are heretical. So again I urge you to take a deep breath, head off to Vendramini’s website http://www.themandus.org and order a copy of the book. After you’ve read it I think most of you will rush to revise what you have offered as (uninformed) opinion.

So we are supposed to pay for the privilege of refuting an interesting, but hard to substantiate idea?

I don’t think so.

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Posted: 22 September 2009 08:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I can’t help but wonder if Bernardo has some personal interest in this particular website and associated book?

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Posted: 22 September 2009 09:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Bernardo - 22 September 2009 06:27 AM

Some interesting views, but sadly uninformed because none of their authors have bothered to read the book. Remember, when the first platypus was send to England for examination, the relevant “expert” sliced it up to see who had made it, because - even thought it was there in front of his eyes - he could not believe it was real. That’s what happens when people are encouraged to consider options that their ignorance suggests are heretical. So again I urge you to take a deep breath, head off to Vendramini’s website http://www.themandus.org and order a copy of the book. After you’ve read it I think most of you will rush to revise what you have offered as (uninformed) opinion.

Bernardo: I am a professional, academic palaeoanthropologist. I know the archaeological and palaeoanthropological record, and specifically that of the Neandertals, very well. My own current research is on Neandertal behaviour. I am, hence, a Neandertal specialist.

I see claims on the website you mention, and “reconstructions”, that are wide out with regard to the evidence we have. Moreover, they hark back to some very stereotyped notions of yesteryear. Why should I bother to buy and read a book if there is every indication it is just a crackpot product? The more since the author apparently has produced fringe views before, in the field of biology/evolutionary science. That doesn’t inspire confidence.

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The Kruger-Dunning effect is rampant on internet fora.
J. Kruger & D. Dunning (1999), Unskilled and unaware of it: how difficulties in recognizing one’s own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments. J Pers Soc Psychol. 77, 1121-1134

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