Tag Archive | Stereotypes

Disproving Stereotypes

neanderthalHave you ever met a Neanderthal?

Now ladies, I know what you’re thinking. If you’ve been in a bar, and a big, burly, hairy creature comes up to you and wants to drag you out to the dance floor by your hair, you would say, “yes, I have met one,” right?

Well, that’s not the kind of wannabee Neanderthal I’m talking about. I’m talking about something REAL.

You know I watch the Science Channel a lot, so today’s lesson is going to be about the disappearance of Neanderthal man. It has always been a mystery to why homo sapiens flourished, but the Neanderthals disappeared. Neanderthals weren’t wiped out by a meteorite like the dinosaurs,  nor did they die in a plague. They just sort of disappeared. Common thought was Neanderthals were too stupid to survive, and that homo sapiens hunted them down. Guess what? “THEY” were wrong!

When the homo sapiens left Africa, they went out into all parts of the world.  They populated the world as we know it. The Neanderthals population, on the other had, was a much smaller population. They, too, lived in many parts of the world, but the sheer numbers of homo sapiens overtook the neanderthals–and not by force–it was love that brought them together! That’s right, Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens “got it on” together, athe gene pool of the neanderthals was absorbed. That’s right, the two species interbred, and through this interbreeding homo sapiens absorbed the Neanderthals. Yup, that’s right. Scientists have proven that our  hairy ancestors are part of all of us.

How did they prove this?  Simple. DNA.

Well, maybe not so simple. It actually took five years for scientists to unravel Neanderthal DNA . Then they then compared it with human DNA from different parts of the world. What they found was strands of Neanderthal DNA is within human genes! Holy caveman, batman!

Now,  it’s not a big percentage — from 1% to 3%, but it is there. And the highest concentration of Neanderthal DNA appears in people descending from Europe ancestors, more specifically, the Tuscan area in northern Italy.

Scientists also have discovered other things about this lost race. They know Neanderthals made sophisticate cutting tools. They also developed a tar-like substance to hold the stone points on their spears. And they had to have had language to be able to coordinate their hunting teams.

So, I guess the moral to this story is, never judge a person by their suspected ancestry. At the end of the day, stereotypes just aren’t worth the effort it takes to create them.