Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Okay, I admit it: I am a bit of a Neanderthal

Posted 30 Jan 2014 / 1

The Economist The genetic contribution Neanderthal man made to modern humanity is clearer

Although this article makes a bigger deal than it should about the “human construct” of the species concept (evolutionists are already well aware of the gradations of isolation that lead to full species separation), it presents these new findings in valuable context. What I find interesting is how there is enough Neanderthal DNA “scattered” throughout human genomes (at least 20%!) to partially reconstruct the Neanderthal genome from our own. To me this implies that a whole lot of genes are not under strong selection, at least not at the level of the individual gene. While 30,000-40,000 years is not a huge amount of time, it ought to be long enough to purge a lot more Neanderthal DNA if those inherited genes were less fit than our own.

A Minor Post, Articles, Evolution, Extinction, Genetics, Homo species, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, Phylogenetics, Speciation

1 Comment to "Okay, I admit it: I am a bit of a Neanderthal"

Gregory F. Tague 1st February 2014 at 11:59 am

Have seen a few of these media articles; are they based on the Nature paper on Neanderthal genome sequence (Pruefer et al 2013), which I have yet to read?

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