From the archive: 2010
What struck me, though, is the equally cartoonish image of a Neanderthal striking a sensitive pose, reminiscent of Rodin's Thinker.
That's not science; that's make-believe. I think they should call him 'Precious.'
Earlier in year, a study argued that there's a little Neanderthal in most of us.
Scientists claim to have found traces of Neanderthal genes in modern DNA after studying nearly 2,000 people from around the world.
That can mean only one thing: homo sapiens had sex with their supposed evolutionary inferiors. ‘This is not what we expected to find,' says Jeffrey Long, a genetic anthropologist at the University of New Mexico who led the study.
Maybe not, but I get extremely skeptical when scientists start talking about the prehistoric past.
One thing I've learned in writing The History of Sex is just how little we know about the past 3,000 years of ‘known' history, let alone the past 300,000 of prehistory.
And all joking aside, research like this inevitably causes people to question whether some groups might be more ‘Neanderthal' than others.
Sure enough, here's the first message on the comment boards:
‘I have always wondered if Basques, which are known to have striking differences in the frequency of blood groups and the form of the skull from the rest of the European population could not be such a population,' writes one Jacques Lerin. ‘I do not mean to be offensive in anyway...'
Offensive? Surely not.
Now if we could just prove that Neanderthals knew how to make bombs...