3 of 19
3
(forget Darwin) Them and Us: how Neanderthal predation created modern humans begins
Posted: 22 September 2009 10:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  8165
Joined  2005-02-06

For example, Bernardo, the website pushes a view of Neandertals as cannibals and rapists, with H. sapiens it’s victim.

First, there is virtually no evidence of sexual intercourse between H. sapiens and Neandertals in the palaeoanthropological and genetic record. The Lagar Velho child from Portugal has been proposed to represent a hybrid, but that is far from established, and as such it is alone. There isn’t any clear sign of Neandertal genetic contribution to us either. In other words: there is no evidence of Neandertals regularly raping H. sapiens. In fact, there is no clear evidence they were ever in the same region at the same time. The truth is that direct contacts between Neandertals and H. sapiens might have been very sparse.

The same goes for cannibalism. Yes, there are a few instances of Neandertal cannibalism: but they are few. Basically, it concerns 3 sites out of thousands spread over Europe and the Near East, and 3 instances in over 200 000 years of Neandertal prehistory. In other words: there is no evidence that cannibalism was a omnipresent, common part of Neandertal subsistence behaviour. In fact, we have orders of a magnitude more evidence for cannibalism by H. sapiens over the past 30 000 years, than we have for Neandertals over 200 000 years. So again, there really isn’t a strong argument possible to mark Neandertals as ferocious, habitual cannibals, instead of us (if we go by the archaeological evidence, then we would be the species with cannibalistic tendencies!).
I would like to note here that, yes, there is evidence of a strong meat intake by Neandertals from stable isotope studies of their bones and teeth. But both paleontological evidence (butchered bone remains) and the isotope evidence itself suggest the source of the meat were herbivores. Again, there is no evidence that they habitually hunted and ate “us"or even their fellow Neandertals.

So, there we have the two things that apparently form the main core of the hypothesis in the book: and from my expert knowledge of the palaeolithic record in question, I can already judge them to be spurious.

More-over, they hark back to old stereotypes, when it comes to branding “them” with regard to “us”, in a xenophobic sense. Cannibalism and rape are two of the three big taboos (the other is incest). As such, it are powerful icons employed when one want’s to dehumanize a particular group.

 Signature 

———
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

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 September 2009 10:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  61098
Joined  2005-04-14
Bernardo - 22 September 2009 06:27 AM

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.

Of course, the platypus was something completely new in his experience.  The expert had no real previously existing information.

Neandertals, however, are widely known of and have been for centuries.  The information on them is well documented.  And the information on them is widely available to anyone.  So rather than being something completely new, the author of this book is simply taking longstanding information and putting a new book cover on it.

So a better comparison would be somebody sending a new subspecies of guppy that shows all the long-known traits of a guppy, but then trying to convince people that it is really a platypus.

 Signature 

“If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts.”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 September 2009 03:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
New Member
Rank
Total Posts:  6
Joined  2009-09-21

Dear Accipiter. To paraphrase your signature line - = If any man wishes to comment on a text, then first let him read it. Speculative comment on something which you have read about in a journalistic interpretation of a news release about the book: Them + US: how neanderthal predation created modern humans is pointless. You can order the book at Vendramini’s web sitre: http://www.themandus.org.au. Reading it will allow you to (a) see firsthand precisely what he says, (b) check the references on which he bases his NP Theory and (c) make an informed comment. You might then look at the comment on his work from Associated Professor Shea (an authority on Eurasian Neanderthals), Professor Davidson from Harvard, and Prof McMichael. I should add that all of them - and other academics - have already read the book. They clearly know what they are talking about. Let me quote Davidson: “Sometimes it takes an outsider to cut through the most intractable problems in science. That is what Vendramini’s approach offers the reader in his daring claims about the interactions between humans and their most famous evolutionary relatives, the Neanderthals.”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 September 2009 03:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2897
Joined  2005-06-15

Bernado shouldn’t you be commenting on LaMa’s posts in this thread? Silence can be deafening you know. In other words we can read more into what you “don’t say”.

In case you don’t understand my sarcasm. Ignoring LaMa’s points does seem “a-wee-bit-suss”.

 Signature 

I’m not some ordinary moron.
I’m an Oxy-Moron!

Mental Giant: A very tall person who is more than slightly confused.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 September 2009 07:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  61098
Joined  2005-04-14
Bernardo - 23 September 2009 07:33 AM

Dear Accipiter. To paraphrase your signature line - = If any man wishes to comment on a text, then first let him read it. Speculative comment on something which you have read about in a journalistic interpretation of a news release about the book: Them + US: how neanderthal predation created modern humans is pointless.

Nope.  We do have his web pages, which give something of an overview.  Vendramini isn’t providing new information.  He’s making a conclusion based on old information.  And I’m familiar enough with the old information to see that the general claims he’s making don’t match up with the old information.  Nor is his basic idea anything new.

You can order the book at Vendramini’s web sitre: http://www.themandus.org.au.

What is your connection to him?  You do seem to be pushing people to spend money on this.

You might then look at the comment on his work from Associated Professor Shea (an authority on Eurasian Neanderthals), Professor Davidson from Harvard, and Prof McMichael. I should add that all of them - and other academics - have already read the book. They clearly know what they are talking about. Let me quote Davidson: “Sometimes it takes an outsider to cut through the most intractable problems in science. That is what Vendramini’s approach offers the reader in his daring claims about the interactions between humans and their most famous evolutionary relatives, the Neanderthals.”

I’ve seen plenty of comments taken out of context over the years, or with only the favourable bits shown and the rest cut off.  In fact, that quotation you provide reminds me very much of one that I saw recently attributed to a famous historian commenting on a different author’s work; what the publishers of the book had failed to do was to mention that that was that only good thing that the historian had to say about the author, and that all the rest he said was basically that the author took good information and made all sorts of totally unrealistic and foolish claims based on it. . .

 Signature 

“If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts.”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 September 2009 04:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
New Member
Rank
Total Posts:  6
Joined  2009-09-21

Dear Accipiter. My point is that you and all the rest of the people who have commented here should read the book. Rushing into print to air your own - fairly limited - knowledge of a subject mentioned in a journalistic interpretation of a press release about a book hardly constitutes reasoned comment. How can you challenge an author’s views when you have not read his reasoning and, more importantly, his sources of information? Anyway, for the record, I personally discovered - without much effort - that the easiest way to obtain a copy of Them + US: how neanderthal predation created mordern humans was via the web site. Have you visited it? The www reference was on the bottom of the article in the Daily Telegraph. I then Googled “Neanderthals, Vendramini” and one of the sites which got a mention was this one. I was intrigued by the title. Museum of Hoaxes! Having read this thread, I have reached the view that perhaps it could do with a name change: Museum of Uninformed Comment. Just ask yourself this simple question. How much credibility would you give to a reviewer who admitted - after publishing his article - that he or she had not actually read the book? The answer is a no brainer! I rest my case.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 September 2009 05:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15278
Joined  2006-01-17
Bernardo - 23 September 2009 08:44 PM

Rushing into print to air your own - fairly limited - knowledge of a subject mentioned in a journalistic interpretation of a press release about a book hardly constitutes reasoned comment.

question
To the best of my knowledge, no-one here is ‘rushing into print’ with anything. This is a forum, for discussion of various topics.

How much credibility would you give to a reviewer who admitted - after publishing his article - that he or she had not actually read the book? The answer is a no brainer! I rest my case.

We are not professional reviewers, and that’s the difference. Do you never make judgement on the likely merits of a book, film etc without having read or seen it?

 Signature 

Research Mod

“We are wise to avoid association with those who hide their identity in Internet chat rooms.”
                                                                  - The Watchtower

The platypus is mother nature’s way of saying, “I made this thing out of spare parts I found on the workshop floor, and it can still ****ing cripple you.”

Sylvia Browne

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 September 2009 05:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  10733
Joined  2008-02-21

And still no response to the highly qualified expert on the subject..... It’s odd…. hmmm

 Signature 

“Always, I Do What Is Necessary” - Rissa Kerguelen
Go to my Blog. It’s lonely.

I Am Still The Black Swan Of Trespass On Alien Waters
To the believer no proof is required; to the skeptic no proof is sufficient.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 September 2009 05:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15278
Joined  2006-01-17
DavePrime - 23 September 2009 09:12 PM

And still no response to the highly qualified expert on the subject..... It’s odd…. hmmm

Very odd. You’d almost think that he has no actual knowledge of the topic other than that parrotted from a book…

 Signature 

Research Mod

“We are wise to avoid association with those who hide their identity in Internet chat rooms.”
                                                                  - The Watchtower

The platypus is mother nature’s way of saying, “I made this thing out of spare parts I found on the workshop floor, and it can still ****ing cripple you.”

Sylvia Browne

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 September 2009 05:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2897
Joined  2005-06-15
LaMa - 22 September 2009 01:00 PM

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.

Bernardo the fact you are so far ignoring LaMa’s posts is not looking good for your credibility. I don’t know much about evolution but I think I can fairly judge that you don’t want to address what LaMa has raised.

If you disagree with what LaMa has stated then by all means say something about it. Quite frankly I would think your silence towards LaMa is only giving people here more of a reason NOT to buy that book.

 Signature 

I’m not some ordinary moron.
I’m an Oxy-Moron!

Mental Giant: A very tall person who is more than slightly confused.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 September 2009 06:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  61098
Joined  2005-04-14
Bernardo - 23 September 2009 08:44 PM

Dear Accipiter. My point is that you and all the rest of the people who have commented here should read the book.

Why?

Rushing into print to air your own - fairly limited - knowledge of a subject mentioned in a journalistic interpretation of a press release about a book hardly constitutes reasoned comment.

And what about a professional expert on Neandertals?  Is he uninformed?  And who ever said that we got all of our information from “a journalistic interpretation of a press release”?  You might have noticed that the link on the very first post here links to Vendramini’s website, the exact same website that you’ve been careful to list prominently in every single one of your comments here.  That’s where we’re getting our information from.  Is Vendramini lying on his website, then?  Is his website inaccurate?  If so, then why do you keep directing us to it (even though we already had the website’s address listed prominently)?

How can you challenge an author’s views when you have not read his reasoning and, more importantly, his sources of information?

Easily, when he gives enough of his views to show some of his basic ideas.  If his basic ideas are flawed, then that tends to indicate that his reasoning is flawed.  Head off to Vendramini

 Signature 

“If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts.”

Profile
 
 
   
3 of 19
3