Neanderthal vs Cro Magnon

I’ve spent a few years slowly learning to spot the occasional Neanderthal like feature in “modern man”. It’s a highly speculative pastime; it is not “hard science”. I first started pondering this back in about 1965, so I’ve been at it for a while. I’ve held the belief from long before the time that we found Neanderthal genes in our modern genome. (Before we could even read DNA at all, for that matter).

My thesis was just that Europeans had some Neanderthal DNA in them and that maybe I had bit more than most.

The reason for thinking this was rather simple. I’d noticed several traits that tended to match in myself. A very high iliac crest and being lousy at throwing things, for example.

This is part of why the Neanderthals could not throw as well as Cro Magnons. They also had a ‘barrel chest’ and somewhat differently shaped shoulder blades. So if you can’t throw well, don’t twist well, have a more barrel chested body build, and great upper body strength, well, maybe it’s not a recent evolution of Cro Magnon.

Europeans and Neanderthals both have more body hair. Often you hear this phrased as Asians or Africans not having very much chest or body hair, or having only modest beards. One could just turn this around to “Europeans picked up some body hair from their Neanderthal ancestors”. I’m sure someone will point out the “Foo Manchu” moustache and Asians with beards. We’ve recently also shown some independent crossing of Neanderthals with Asians. This isn’t an ‘all or none’ deal. More of a ‘degree’. Asians are not known for their large amounts of chest hair, for example… It is also quite likely that in different crosses, different genes survived. So Asians rarely have the heavy boned barrel chested short leg build of some Europeans. One of the Neanderthal skull shape genes has been so advantageous that it is found in something like 70%+ of all modern humans. Genes move all on their own once they cross over to a new group.

OK, is there a more ‘structured’ way of looking at this? A better way to ‘train to see the modern Neanderthal’ in you and your friends and families? Yes and no. Some of it is fairly easy to show. Some more circumstantial and speculative.

We’ll start with the skull shape and how that influences the facial ‘look’. As different genes will have moved on their own after mixing, you can see any one “feature” in isolation or mixed with others. So if uncle Abraham has a real beak nose on him, remember that Neanderthals lived side by side with Cro Magnon in the middle east a bit longer than in many other areas. So what leads to that “beak”? Lets look at the skulls:

Homo Sapiens vs Neanderthal skulls

Homo Sapiens vs Neanderthal skulls

This image is from

That article does not give attribution for the original image, but it looks like an academic creation to me. I think that as an educational use and from a likely state sponsored academic source it falls under fair use doctrine here.

First off, notice that it’s just big. Neanderthals have bigger brains than moderns. Bigger overall. Europeans also tend to be big.

The Cro style face tends to be small, in the lower half of the head, and tucked under the rounded brain case. The Neanderthal face is longer and larger, covering about 2/3 of the front of the head. Folks with long or tall faces, and what looks like a short or ‘sloping’ brow, have Neanderthal traits. But notice that the Neanderthal brain case is really just set back more. A longer more oval shaped space. So look for folks with a longer, wide but low scull. At the rear of the Neanderthal skull is a minor protrusion called the “occipital bun”. If you have a nearly flat back of the head, this isn’t you. Feel above the neck join and if it’s more of a ‘bump’, that’s an echo of the occipital bun.

Next notice the very large bone around the eyes. Both a heavy brow ridge and the heavy ridge to the eye socket edges. This leads to ‘owl eyes’. Larger more soulful eyes set in large surrounds. Often wide set. Cro Magnon have more narrow set eyes in a lighter shallower surround.

Has this interesting snippet:

Current scientific literature prefers the term “European Early Modern Humans” (or EEMH), instead of “Cro-Magnon”. The oldest definitely dated EEMH specimen with a modern and archaic (possibly Neanderthal) mosaic of traits is the Cro-Magnon Oase 1 find, which has been dated back to around 45,000 calendar years before present.

I find it fascinating evidence for the ‘blending’ thesis as well as illustrating some of the ‘definitional’ problem. An old hybrid is being called a Cro Magnon ‘mosaic’… So even the more recent Cro Magnon that blended in with Neanderthals might themselves have been partial blends already. Some day I need to find what was just before THEM in the chain… I note in passing that they, too, were built pretty strongly and had larger brains than us. Does sound like a bit of a blend already…

The earliest known remains of Cro-Magnon-like humans are radiometrically dated to 35,000 years before present.

Cro-Magnons were robustly built and powerful. The body was generally heavy and solid with a strong musculature. The forehead was straight, with slight browridges and a tall forehead. Cro-Magnons were the first humans (genus Homo) to have a prominent chin. The brain capacity was about 1,600 cc (100 cubic inches), larger than the average for modern humans.

By that 35,000 year date, there had been over 100,000 years of overlap with Neanderthals… I suspect that if you look at the Homo Erectus and / or Homo Sapiens Idaltu (who were about 1450 cc brain case) and compare them to Neanderthals, they were likely not much competition. But with some Neanderthal blend into THEM… So who knows where the robustness and brain size of Cro Magnon came from, but it was living next door to the even older Homo types…

But back to the skulls:

Next notice how the bone of the nose meets the skull. Much more ‘straight out’ in the Neanderthal. From the front, the nasal opening is wider too. These guys have a large prominent nose. No petite “button nose” here. No Asian flat between the eyes with a tiny nose nor any African nose with a flare at the nostril end, but not much near the eyes. No, this is a Real Beak of a nose. And what do we find in Europeans and folks from The Levant? Why, that Lebanese Nose is nearly legendary as is the Roman Nose and the Gallic nose and… I think you get the picture.

Danny Thomas

Danny Thomas

Original Image

You can see some more of those features in a face like Edward Teller:

Edward Teller

Edward Teller

Original Image

Note the “owl eyes” (accentuated by heavy brows) along with the prominent nose and face that covers more than the lower 1/2 of the head. In this picture you can also see the large thick fingers, heavy hand structure, complete with wide fingers and with significant hair visible on the backs of the hands.

Compare those eyes and that nose to a more Cro Magnon look:

Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower

Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower

Original Image

Not a ‘pure’ example, but still illustrates the lighter brow ridge, lower nasal bridge, and that the face in on the lower 1/2 of the head.

Here is an African tribesman:

San (Bushman) Tribesman

San (Bushman) Tribesman

Note the lack of ‘chest hair” along with the more modern brow ridge. The nose bone exits the skull more ‘downward’. The face is ‘tucked under’ the brain case, with a high forehead.

Original Image

IMHO, Anthony Quinn also shows the Neanderthal influence.

Anthony Quinn

Anthony Quinn

Original Image

You see a lot of that look on the Iberian Peninsula and over into France. IMHO, this is not an accident. It is where the last pure Neanderthal populations existed, and where the last and possibly strongest, “blending in” happened. Oh, and that has some data to back it up.

But even before that, back at the earliest arrival of Cro Magnon, we find evidence for mixing in.

Scientists believe the jawbone of a caveman found in Romania is the oldest fossil of modern humans to be uncovered so far in Europe.

The jawbone, believed to be 34,000 to 36,000 years old, has reignited debate about whether our ancestors interbred with Neanderthals.

Other human bones, including a facial skeleton and partial brain case, were found in the same cave but have yet to be fully analysed.

Erik Trinkaus, of Washington University in St Louis, said the other bones were likely to be of the same age as the jawbone, and together they presented the first picture of what modern humans looked like when they spread into Europe.

Most of their features were similar to those of early humans whose fossils have been found at sites in Africa, the Middle East, and later in Europe. But other characteristics were more archaic, which fitted the idea that they had interbred with Neanderthals, a different species of homo sapiens then living in Europe.

“Not only is the face very large, but so are the jaws and teeth, particularly the wisdom teeth,” Professor Trinkaus said.

“In the human fossil record, you have to go back a half a million years to find a specimen that has bigger wisdom teeth.”

Early humans, or Cro-Magnon, and Neanderthals lived side by side in Europe for thousands of years, with the Neanderthals eventually dying out. Separate research challenges the idea that the reason our ancestors survived was that they were more cunning and skilled at hunting than their thick-browed neighbours.

Researchers examined more than 7200 bones and teeth from mammals recovered from a cave in south-western France that was inhabited by Neanderthals and then Cro-Magnon. Donald Grayson, also of Washington University, said this record covering 50,000 years showed the two had similar tastes for animals including reindeer, red deer and horses.

“We could detect no difference in diet, the animals they were hunting and the way they were hunting, aside from those caused by climate change,” he said.

“The idea that Neanderthals were big, dumb brutes is hard for some people to drop. Cro-Magnon created the first cave art, but late Neanderthals made body ornaments, so the depth of cognitive difference between the two is just not clear.”

Now look back up at those two skulls. Notice how the Neanderthal has 3 molars and no problems? They even have a bit of a gap behind the ‘wisdom teeth’. Plenty of room. Notice also the size of those teeth. Very large. So, you get some slightly larger teeth and a somewhat smaller jaw… Yeah, that’s gonna be a problem. (That was likely manageable up until we started eating a soft diet and our jaws shrunk even more). So folks like my wife have small jaws (and only got 2 wisdom teeth) while I had 4 wisdom teeth, two of which came in fine and two of which would have, but I ate a soft diet so they were just a bit too crowded. (One of the lowers came in about 1/2 way and got stuck).

Also note the chin. Some folks call this receding. To me it looks more like a curved face outline vs the ‘modern’ and with more of a protruding mid-face as opposed to flat. Ever notice some folks have a more protruding middle face?

Not visible in the picture is that Neanderthals have more ‘shovel’ shaped incisors. I’m one of the moderns that has them though not as pronounced. I’d always noticed that there were small ridges on them, but thought it was normal. Just this week I found out that’s a Neanderthal trait too. Cro Magnon teeth are more peg shaped. The “shovel” form is seen in some Asian and many North American Indian populations.

The highest frequencies (greater than 90%) are found amongst Asians and Native Americans and lowest amongst Europeans. Shovel shaped incisors appear in Homo erectus, suggesting that this is a very ancient trait.

As there was also some Neanderthal crossing in Asia, it’s not a big surprise to me that we find some dentition similarities in the same area. Now take a look at an Indian face (Sitting Bull, in this case) and note the nose size and shape too:

Sitting Bull

Sitting Bull

I’d speculate that the early crossings from Siberia into North America most likely had a good dose of that Neanderthal cross in it (that happened in roughly the same area where the Siberian migrations are thought to have originated). Might explain, too, how the original North American Natives were so comfortable crossing the Bearing Land Bridge during fairly severe cold weather with lots of ice and snow. A Neanderthal mix would feel right at home there… This is likely also a good time to point out the ‘cheekbone angulation’ in the comparison of the skulls above…

This particular Neanderthal tooth poster is rather extreme, but you get the idea:

In Conclusion

With a h/t to Verity Jones, I’d point folks at this link:

Finally someone recognizing that maybe our Neanderthal ancestors were not dumb, nor killed off by ‘superior’ Cro Magnon, but ‘blended in’. They still make what I think it a mistake by thinking that Neanderthals DID “die out”. My thesis is that we are still alive and well, thank you very much. When Cro Magnon and Neanderthals mixed, the inevitable Hybrid Vigor happened. In Asia. In Europe. In The Levant. Wherever it happened. Shortly after that we had an explosion of advancement by humans. I think that is directly owed to the Hybrid Vigor that is Modern Man. Homo Sapiens. We are all hybrids, to some degree or another.

Experimental breeding of humans is considered unethical, so any evidence of heterosis in humans is derived from observational studies It has been suggested that many beneficial effects on average health, intelligence and height have resulted from an increased heterosis, in turn resulting from increased mixing of the human population such as by urbanization.

If even the very PC Wiki is willing to admit that maybe hybrid vigor is real in humans and that one person can have more performance than another… then imagine just how much the blend of Neanderthal with Cro Magnon would have experienced.

We've found (link discussed below) a cave in Iberia with skeletons that show clear mixing into the last batch of Neanderthals. Don't think that mixing went both ways? We also have the Basque language, an isolate from before Indo-European languages arrived in the area. Spoken by a people with long faces, strong noses, and large eyes… I'd also point out that in the places likely to have had the most mixing have the most wonderful Tenors.. Italian, Irish, Spanish… The Neanderthals have smaller voice boxes than Cro Magnons. Now think about singing groups… Choirs. Who has the deep rich voice? The blacks. Who make the best "top tenors"? Um, er, those folks from the Neanderthal influenced areas. So take a look at the 'Adams Apple' on males. Some folks are hard to see at all (like me), while others have 'big lumps'. An easy way to hear the Neanderthal influence in some of us.

Remember in doing this that the genes move on their own and diffuse over time. Fewer folks will have a collection of most or all of the Neanderthal traits and it's quite possible to have just one of them. So don't be surprised if you see a Neanderthal Type Face on a deep base singing white guy. Over a few million years, the best bits will be wide spread, the worst ideas lost.

As soon as Cro Magnon blended with Neanderthal, BOTH ceased to exist. We are now all part of each. "How much" is an interesting thought game, but "which parts" is more interesting. It is likely that the entire cold adapted package was picked up and selected for in Europe. White skin, light hair and eyes. Short legs and bigger chests with long strong arms. In other areas where short legs in snow would be less valuable, it might have been only the larger brain case (so you get Arabs with a very Neanderthal nose and brain case, but tiny frail hands, very non-Neanderthal ;-)

We all know someone who has the short legged barrel chested body form and a tenor scale voice, but you can also find the same body form with deeper voice. It is this blending and re-sorting that is how evolution works. How new types are made and find their niche.

It is widely accepted that Upper Palaeolithic early modern humans spread westward across Europe about 42,000 years ago, variably displacing and absorbing Neanderthal populations in the process.

However, Middle Palaeolithic, presumably Neanderthal, assemblages persisted for another 8,000 years in Iberia. It has been unclear whether these late Middle Paleolithic Iberian assemblages were made by Neanderthals, and what the nature of those humans might have been.

New research, published 8 December in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is now shedding some light on what were probably the last Neanderthals.

The research is based on a study of human fossils found during the past decade at the Sima de la Palomas, Murcia, Spain by Michael Walker, professor at Universidad de Murcia, and colleagues, and published by Michael Walker, Erik Trinkaus, professor of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues.

The human fossils from the upper levels of the Sima de las Palomas are anatomically clearly Neanderthals, and they are now securely dated to 40,000 years ago. They therefore establish the late persistence of Neanderthals in this southwestern cul-de-sac of Europe. This reinforces the conclusion that the Neanderthals were not merely swept away by advancing modern humans. The behavioural differences between these human groups must have been more subtle than the Middle-to-Upper Palaeolithic technological contrasts might imply.

In addition, the Palomas Neanderthals variably exhibit a series of modern human features rare or absent in earlier Neanderthals. Either they were evolving on their own towards the modern human pattern, or more likely, they had contact with early modern humans around the Pyrenees. If the latter, it implies that the persistence of the Middle Palaeolithic in Iberia was a matter of choice, and not cultural retardation.

From the Sima de las Palomas, other late Neanderthal sites, and recent discoveries of the earliest modern humans across Europe, a complex picture is emerging of shifting contact between behaviourally similar, if culturally and biologically different, human populations. We are coming to see them all more as people, flexibly making a living through the changing human and natural landscapes of the Late Pleistocene.

Genes were flowing both ways. Technologies were moving both ways. SOME of the individuals liked to continue to live in the old caves (and how many more mixed populations were NOT living in caves where the bones would be preserved?) SOME of the individuals were living outside of the caves and were likely also mixed. Eventually we learned to build caves wherever we wanted them (stone castles in Europe, anyone?) and folks stopped living in the caves.

That doesn’t mean they went extinct. Any more than that when MY ancestors left Iberia for Ireland, and later left Ireland to go to North America, eventually resulting in my Irish ancestry Niece marrying a Hispanic Guy; that her linage is going ‘extinct’ from ‘blending in’ to a flood of Mexicans into California. Why? Well, those Hispanic genes also came from Iberia…

We took different paths to get to California. One has a Spanish language background, the other Gaelic. Both now speaking English. But both have large understanding eyes, strong faces, large teeth, and some pretty decent strength. Oh, and he has a strong brow ridge with that classical Hispanic look. She has red hair to his black, but the kids are mixed. So call it Iberian ancestry shared a few thousand years ago, or perhaps some Neanderthal blend from 40,000 years ago. Nobody is ‘blending away’ in the union.

Now, or “then”…

He’s not quite as good looking as Antonio Banderas, but shares a lot of similarities. Can you pick out any Neanderthal traits in this Hispanic Heart Throb?

Antonio Banderas

Antonio Banderas

Wide set eyes. Strong brows and nose. Slightly angular cheek bones. Large cranium (hidden by all that hair ;-) along with a hairy chest.

In Conclusion

Once you start looking for it, there are an immense number of ‘connections’. From Santa Clause (a harry barrel chested guy typically portrayed with strong cheeks and a tall face, short legs, etc.) to the stereotypical “mother type” shown as a bit dumpy in an apron, often too with short legs and large eyes; the clues to our cultural past are as strong as the ones in the genotypes and phenotypes. Very few of us have the idealized Tall Slim Cro Magnon type. Few of us would stand a full comparison to the old fossils (with our longer faces and strong brow ridges, our higher pitched voices, and our short legs with broad hips).

So if we are a blend, what did we get from whom?

I’ll go into this more in other posts, but my basic observations lead me to think that from Cro Magnon we did get a very important thing. Neanderthal lived in small family bands, barely tribes. They did not, near as we can tell, indulge in organized warfare or have hierarchical social structures (of much depth?). There is some evidence that the women went on hunts with the men. (Where do we see a culture of women being welcome in power? Women who fight too? Oh, yeah, those Celtic areas of Iberia and other areas with Neanderthal influence…). From Cro Magnon it looks like we got the organized army, the drive to dominance and power, to Empire, if you will. It came with some tendency for a male dominated hierarchy and with a tendency to central authority and “strong man” dominance of an empire.

That did lead to “modernity” (after a few thousand wars with hundreds of millions dead) and to living in large urban structured groups. There is some evidence that the ‘advantage’ brought with Cro Magnon was one of violence, aggression, and warfare. Along with the urge to centralized power and dominance. I think we see echos of that to this day in the struggle between the self reliance and freedom / libertarian ideals of some peoples (most strong in America via our Celtic root cultures of Ireland, Scotland, Britain, and France … all places with significant Neanderthal markers) vs the Empire style we see in places like China. (The Han Chinese came from a more southern area than where the Neanderthal / Asian crosses were thought to happen). We did learn some of the dominance and empire skills and styles (largely from Rome… who learned it from the Greeks and Egyptians), so when we ran into the American Indians (still practicing what, IMHO, was a more Neanderthal cultural style, of hunting and tribal groups with only modest warfare – some of it symbolic.) we were well equipped to dominate and absorb them.

IMHO, looked at through that lens we see something of an ongoing reflection of that original ‘absorption’. Violent socially devious Cro Magnon meets relatively peaceful and smarter, larger and stronger, but none too devious Neanderthals. After some mixing, you get some fairly devious and violent folks who have more smarts than either parent, and the ‘drive’ to use it.

The result is our long history of warfare and violence and cultural domination of our “competition”. We also got great voices for Opera, some astounding skill at things like Physics, extra musculature and a bit of insensitivity to pain, and the drive to the colonial empire era once our total technology level let us leave the local area.

Now we have “multiculturalism”. Some folks worry this will mean our being ‘absorbed’ and lost in the genetic flood. I don’t think so. I think we’re just in the process of spreading those Neanderthal genes around the rest of the world a bit more. Eventually the ‘best mix’ will come to dominance (that’s what Darwin assures). The Selfish Gene theory would assert that those genes are just finding the best path to mix in with the best available additions. We’re just along for the ride. Blacks, for example, have 10% more dense bones with muscles that make more power per pound. Add that to the Neanderthal tendency to large upper body build, you get the kind of folks we see on American Football Fields. Long body and short legs (unlike most original African body forms) with incredible strength. You get the George Foreman boxer (dashing the Great White Hope.. but folks don’t mention that a typical Bushman could not stay one round with him either…). The genes have moved to explore new grounds…

No, Neanderthals did not ‘die out’. They just ‘went walk about’ genetically speaking…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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33 Responses to Neanderthal vs Cro Magnon

  1. Joanie in Carlsbad says:

    Have you read ‘The Seven Daughters of Eve”? If not, you would probably enjoy it very much. It traces seven lines of mDNA back in history to seven distinct matriarchal lines, (all others having died out) and makes some interesting speculations about the women who were the originators.

    My friend is currently writing a book on horse color genetics (actually, the historical existence of horse colors in specific breeds, which was dictated by fashion through different eras) and she has mentioned something that I found rather earth shattering. (not applicable to humans, though) Horse colors, like specific white patterns (pinto, appaloosa, roan, sabino, overo, etc) each can be traced back to ONE HORSE whose DNA mutated. Though there may be several different variations on some colors, each one of those variations goes back to ONE ANIMAL and they are finding that, for instance, the appaloosa gene was depicted in cave paintings (rather accurately, actually, considering the paint medium) They have also tested hides from places where horses were entombed with their elite owners, and found some apparently rare or prized horse colors, based on the DNA.
    Up until fairly recently, those who study cave paintings thought that some of the more unusual colors were ‘symbolic’ or ‘meaningful’ in a religious or ritual way… but no, actually, the cave painters were depicting what they actually saw (may I say, “Duh!”) and, if you are interested in animal genetics, here is her blog:

  2. sandy mcclintock says:

    When I lived in Kenya, I saw some sites in the Rift Valley where the activity had been carbon dated at between 600,000 and 800,000 years ago. These sites were where flint tools had been made. Its hard to imagine that someone was making tools so long ago.

  3. Stirner says:

    You should check out Stanley Gooch on this topic. He gets a bit woo-woo, but he expands upon many of your thoughts here in some interesting directions.

    { Interesting stuff. Wiki here: Can’t keep a good idea down it seems. ;-) -E.M.Smith ]

  4. Verity Jones says:

    Greg Bear’s “Darwin’s Radio” a Sci Fi novel with a contemporary setting based around human DNA and mutation to a new sub species.

    What this summary doesn’t mention is that the protagonists find archaeological evidence that a similar ‘gene activation’ virus was responsible for the jump from Neanderthal to Human. Much of the science in the book is based on correct information about genes; I found the ‘imagined’ bit hung to gether quite well as an extrapolation of actual known science, which is always a challenge when scifi is placed in a human modern day setting.

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    @Joanie in Carlsbad:

    I haven’t read it (would like to) but it and the Y chromosome Adam sets both suffer the same taint.

    The story is painted as though THOSE INDIVIDUALS are the only precursor genetics of us. That just isn’t so. “Genes move”.

    So the mitochondria of the “other Eves” might have died out, but the rest of their genes got homogenized into the whole pot of genes along the way. Same thing for the Y types that ‘died out’.

    For example, I have my mothers mitochondria. My fathers ‘died out’. Yet i have 1/2 of my genes from him. My Y chromosome is only his, yet my daughter does not have it. Still, she has 1/4 of his other genes.

    So other than that one taint, that the fact that only those Y and mtDNA bits survive says nothing about all the other folks who’s genes we still carry, it’s an interesting story…

    I’m very interested in animal colors, BTW, as the genetics is not simple co-dominant black over white. Rabbits can be quite fun with all sorts of odd interactions of color and pattern.

    @Sandy Mcclintock:

    Our hand shape and grip is largely due to the grip needed to hold a stone while striking it with another stone. It looks like making stone tools was THE thing that most made us human in hand, and hand / eye coordination. That and standing upright came first. Later came the large brain et. al.

    I think we’ll eventually also realize that our kind of vocal cords are not needed for language skills. Just for making the sounds of OUR languages. My rabbits “talk”. I’ve got a few words of it down OK. But on one occasion I made the “attentive aware stranger saying hello” grunt/churkle and had my vocalization just a bit too loud and the vocal cords a bit too tight so it sounded a bit ‘over energetic’ with some strain in it. The bunnies ALL looked up and headed in a bolt for underground. They scanned for a predatory bird, but even not seeing one “took my word for it” and scattered. It’s a subtle language and “attentive aware” is just a small tightening away from “bird alarm”… “Happy friend” is a tooth chatter. You will get that once accepted as a friend when giving a good petting or ear rub / grooming. I’ve heard a bunny scream only a few times. It is blood curdling and is reserved for “the predator is about to eat me”. There is also a sort of a quiet ‘snort’ for ‘OK, that wasn’t what I wanted.’ and more. There is no doubt at all that it is language. That most of us don’t recognize it does not change what it is.

    Given that, I’m quite sure our ancestors have been speaking and socializing for millions of years. Language may be more complex now, but it’s not very new at all.

    Also Chimps are known to make tools. Simple ones, but still they make them. We’re a few million years away from Chimps. So we’ve been making some kinds of tools for at least that long. Just not stone ones that survive…

    We’re not as special as we like to think we are…

    And ancient “primitive’ peoples were not really much different from us.


    We carry in us large blocks of DNA that can be switched back on if needed, or ‘repurposed’ without a lot of work. Having a virus do it would not surprise me.

    Diddle just a few control genes and we get 4 arms, or we could get heads with two brains in them (that would be convenient some times ;-)

    Look at what we’ve done with the dog in just a few thousand years of ‘fancy breeding’. Until fairly recently, most of them were physically more like sheep dogs. Now we’ve got tea cup poodles and great danes…

    In some ways I think we could form new subspecies very quickly. We’ve already got some folks with two Y chromosomes. I could easily see an XXYY type forming with stable genetics.

    One of the more dramatic examples of this I’ve seen reported was an experiment with birds. Transplant the tissue that will make the beak to another part of the body and it makes teeth. Birds still have the tooth genes in there, just suppressed a bit for beakness to be dominant. They can re-evolve into toothed dinosaurs in a heartbeat.

    Much of our humanity comes from one change. Enhanced neotony. Turn that down, we get more animal features and more features like mature apes (more hair, stronger muscles sooner, smaller brain cases and one presumes smaller brains). Turn it up even more? Well, a tiny bit likely gives folks like me. Still getting acne at 50 something. Still able to learn new languages. Slightly oversized heads. Didn’t really ‘mature’ until in my 20s (and even that’s a bit speculative ;-) Retained ability to drink milk. Just had my last round of ‘teething’ this year… (and my upper wisdom teeth that did come in didn’t finish until I was about 25). Turn it up some more, do we get infant like “greys” as our phenotype?

    Then there is the fact that we don’t regenerate limbs like amphibians because our nerve regrowth can’t reach a particular layer in the epithelium (as we’re optimized to prevent death from blood loss so grow a layer of cells to stop that before the nerves can reach that layer.) Now if we had a small change to let those nerves reach that layer? Do we suddenly have s subspecies that can regrow limbs? Odds favor it, IMHO…

    Now viruses can pick up chunks of DNA from one place and put it somewhere else. (Part of why I think GMO food is just daft. BY DEFINITION it has in it virus DNA that does just that. That’s how it was made after all). So we get some frankenfood with a particular gene intended to be in it to deliver, oh, fish protein into corn. Next thing you now, we could have a fish protein making the jump into us via a virus. (Yes, speculative and very unlikely… then again, 7 BILLION people at 3 meals a day for 100 years is just how many ‘trials’? With how many different GMO gene and virus combos in the daily meals? Not paranoid about it, but dice are dice and sometimes come up craps… even for experienced dice rollers…)

    One fish protein confers freeze tolerance… so might we accidentally create people who could be frozen and thawed? Donno…. but I do know that I “freeze well” as I’ve had tissues tested for that… so some of us already freeze better than others.

    One of the general truths that I’ve figured out, that seems to be among the hardest for most folks to realize, and that is widely thought be opposite of the truth is that: Genes are very plastic, flow between species and between individuals, and just generally change far more than you would ever expect. If you give them enough time. I’ve got some genes in me from a couple of viruses I’ve had. They are now built into some of my cellular DNA. Bacteria pick up stray genes from the bugs (or GMO foods) that they eat. Then they swap them with other SPECIES of bacteria. The species ‘barrier’ is more like the ‘species strong suggestion’ and we’re finding many more cases of a ‘species’ in fact being a cross between two other ‘species’. (The canines are big on this, with dogs, wolves, coyotes and foxes swapping a fair amount… but some birds are like that too. And don’t get me started on cats)… so I’m quite certain that a human bonobo or human gorilla cross can be made. Never mind the chromosome count. That’s not a hard wall either. Yeah, makes it very unlikely, but not impossible. One gene doubling and all sorts of plant species cross…

    All that being without doing any of the more exotic procedures we can do now. Want a cat that glows in the dark? Yeah, it’s been done.

    How long before humans change to two sub-species? It’s inevitable.

    FWIW, some folks in India make some amino acids that we in the west must get in foods. They have a poorer diet, so the survivors are more able to make their own food. Forces of divergence already in place.

    We’ve also found a snail that absorbs chloroplasts from it’s food. Has all the pathway to support them, just not the ‘reproduce them’ yet. Pretty soon we’ll have an algae / snail hybridization having completed. All on it’s own via nature. How much work would it take to make a ‘little green man’ that just needs a sun bath to eat dinner? Looks like not all that much, really. (I’d sign up for it, as long as a day at the beach would not make me fat ;-)

    Over millions of years, genetics is more plastic than the continents and tectonic plates (and they are running around playing bumper cars!).

    I’m found of pointing out to folks that Homo Sapiens is only a few tens of thousands years old, and the entire Homo line is only about 6 million, so worries about the sun blowing up as a red dwarf and ‘destroying mankind’ someday a billion years off are pretty silly. SOMETHING may be killed, but it won’t be human We’ll have evolved into something else by then…

    Frankly, I doubt if we even have 30,000 years left before we’ve evolved into a new species.

    So a book that postulates ‘it happens’? And soon? Sounds like a documentary to me ;-)

    But a fun one though…

    Oh, one other favorite: IIRC it was about 6 million years back that grasses started using silicon in their structures. Some animal teeth have still not evolved enough to deal with it so suffer excess tooth wear on grasses and must eat ‘browse’ instead. We’ve also found some silicon used in animal metabolism… so… My favorite wild speculation is that now that we’ve got silicon being used, we expand the usage and become much more silicon based as the temperature warms as the sun grows to a red dwarf. Eventually become ‘silicon based life forms’ that like a nice 400 F day ;-)

    (Don’t laugh! Carbon based life lives at temps like that at high pressure deep in the ocean. Lots of the present machinery can be kept with proper chemical context…)

    Now see what you’ve done? You’ve got me day dreaming again… a very dangerous thing. No telling what kind of plausible New Earth I’m likely to invent ;-)

    Guess I need to go read that book now…

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    FWIW, this article:

    Has both an interesting discussion of how our chromosomes differ from the other apes (we have 2 of their chromosomes fused into our #2 and a bit of their #1 jumped to our Y, otherwise strikingly similar) along with some interesting examples of other species with variable chromosome counts that produce viable offspring..

  7. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M. Surprise after surprise: Your ability to dig deep in every subject is astounding. Something lacking: The influence of cosmic radiation.

  8. adolfogiurfa says:

    Hey! perhaps you have found the difference between left and right! Don´t you think so? Many of our differences could be traced back to our genes.

  9. tckev says:

    Really interesting.
    As my heritage includes Welsh/Irish/ Basque with A neg blood, auburn hair and Asp tendencies, I often find your musing more than interesting.
    A site that covers what you have written and more is and their link

    It has much in it, some of it appears to be conjecture, but on the whole it covers most of what you have found.

  10. E.M.Smith says:


    I’ve actually got some of the Neanderthal theory of Aspies queued up for a ‘someday’ posting. This one was already a bit long. But yes, I think there is some potential for a connection or two.

  11. alcuin says:

    I very much enjoyed this posting, a case of the joy that comes in seeing long held beliefs being well expressed by another. I have quite palpable brow ridges and an occipital bun, as well as a prominent nose. Like yours, my wisdom teeth came in without a problem, and my father and son are red headed although I am blonde. My ancestry, at least the part that can be traced, is from Norway and northern Germany. Now if I just knew the secret handshake!

  12. edwardt says:

    I’ve always thought that jebel irhoud and qafzeh are likely representatives of homo sapiens founding populations. Qafzeh (90kyrs or so) in the middle east, more tropical (afro-asian) and jebel irhoud (160kyrs or so) morrocco/spain land bridge

  13. edwardt says:

    I’ve always thought that Qafzeh and Jebel Irhoud are representative of founding homo sapiens populations. Qafzeh in the middle east, primitive features, more asian/african like, but more primitive, and then jebel irhoud in morocco, more indo-european, occipital bun, brow ridges but clearly nothing like a neanderthal, and near a likely land bridge to western europe. Probably reasonable timing with the last interglacial as well (I believe that europeans have largely recessive traits, easily swamped by african/asian traits, requiring isolation to expand). The thing to keep in mind is the absolute magnitude of difference between Sapiens and Neanderthalis. Neanderthals have a large separation between the eyes, in proportion to the separation of the nose from the eyes (they rarely come close to intersecting), along with massive jaws, coinciding with the smaller height and robustness. The face is essentially larger, like comparing a chimpanzee to a gorilla.Do europeans have nominally larger heads, larger facial spacing, combined with smaller but more robust stature? Don’t believe so. I think brain capacity is generally proportional to height, rather than bimodal. Watch Milford Walpoff, he will normalize to remove the absolute difference in magnitude of the features before comparison. The difference in magnitude between the two species is critical to differentiation. Buy the book from Lucy to Language, it has actual images of Sapiens, neanderthalis, etc..including a variety of moderns, and images are actual size to aid in comparison. Uber bimodal.Overlap in phototshop as transparencies to see the absolute difference in magnitude. I see the Australian Aboriginals and the American Indians as representative of past populations that have come from Europe/Indonesia. Note the large, but gracile jaws, very similar to Cro Magnon, as they likely have more in common physically/anthropologically than the displaced populations that currently exist in those locations. The question I have is: Why don’t solomon islanders have chins? All sapiens have strong chins with that single exception. Hybridizing with Asian Homo Erectus as they expanded into Indonesia? Neanderthalis/Erectus/All other hominids have no chin…I see early hominids as already having quite a spread of traits, some defined as primitive to our uber keen eyes, but nothing near the magnitude as seen in neanderthalis. Like I say, look over the Lucy to Language, quite a few genetically diverse, as well as very diverse physical traits, but overlap them in transparencies and they are so similar. Do the same with the neanderthals and the are just as diverse within thier own subspecies, but so much the same…

  14. E.M.Smith says:


    As this is something of an ongoing theme for my muse, I’ll be looking at just about anything I can get on it. It’s also the case that I HAVE looked at a lot already.

    Note that the comparison of the skulls above is a photo, not a rescaled divergent image set…. You can see the Neanderthal is larger.

    Also realize that if only a modest percentage of Neanderthal genes crossed over, they would blend and diffuse into the European set as distinct genes. So one person might get the wide eye set, another the large nose, a third the barrel chest, etc. So you can’t just say “they are bigger and the eyes wide set and the chin like this and” Europeans don’t look like that… You have to look at the individual traits and were they carried over in individuals.

    In particular, using myself as an example: My Dad’s family has a “family trait” of a large nose (rather Neanderthal like). I didn’t get it (Thank God!)… but I did get the large hands, long chest, short legs, high waist (can’t throw well) and higher voice box (not a deep voice) along with some other traits.

    Per chins: It is an artifact. There is no ‘chin gene’. The chin arises from a shrinkage of the tooth arch. As the tooth part of the jaw shrinks, a ‘chin’ is left behind… So it’s more about the teeth getting smaller than the jaw ‘forming’…

    FWIW, I’m sort of poking around looking at an ‘odd idea’ that maybe the Cro Magnon (that suddenly appear on the scene rather late) might themselves have been a hybridizing event. Take some OTHER early hominid, and cross with a Neanderthal, get instantly a fairly large tall hominid… that then re-crosses with Neanderthals to make Europeans. Perhaps Homo Erectus?

    No, haven’t done the looking yet, so could end up looking just silly on first investigation… but there IS an interesting question of why Cro Magnon just suddenly appears…

  15. Steven says:

    teeth tell the story

  16. Chris Kelley - Framingham USA says:

    Enjoyed reading your post very much. I’ll be looking for Neanderthal traits in everyone I see. Chris Kelley – Framingham

  17. Good post with some astute observations, but you completely missed the mark on the left-right political tendencies. Reading some of Dr. Gooch’s tomes should straighten you out.

    The oversimplified version looks like this:

    Left (lib): Commies, believe that “it takes a village” to raise a child = Neanderthal.

    Right (conservative): Freedom-loving, independent, believe that “it takes 2 good parents and possibly extended family” to raise a child = Cro-Magnon types.

    The Chinese that you cite as an example of “Empire-builders” are in fact Neanderthals, with a ton of Neanderthal genes and are the closest relatives to the J–s.

    Back to the politics, there is a ton of physiologic (and, of course, anthropologic) evidence to support Gooch’s conclusion. It goes back to mobility, living quarters, even vision.

    Gooch was the FIRST to identify the red-haired gene as being Neanderthal. Now everyone quotes him without attribution (read: steals), and the confirmation of the red-hair/Neanderthal connection is so prevalent in anthropological circles that it has become a meme. Do you ever hear Gooch’s name in the same breath? No, never!

    Gooch was DESTROYED by academia during his tenure because he revealed some “politically incorrect” TRUTHS and deigned to pursue “controversial” research to gather more data. This great man died late in 2010, practically homeless! That’s what you get for revealing the TRUTHS that the Powers That Be (is there ANY question now as to WHICH group controls everything? ) do NOT want unveiled.

    Happy reading!

    [ Reply: Neanderthal sites indicate very small “village” sizes. CroMagnon sites and then “modern” human sites are much larger. CroMagnon also show signs of organized warfare not seen in Neanderthal sites. The notion that Neanderthal is somehow “commie” or “left” is, er, silly at best. Notions of collective vs private enterprise came along a very long time after 30,000 years ago. There were, in essence, families and small tribes and not much else. There simply isn’t any “left” and “right” in that context. Per Gooch: His stuff is myth mixed with rampant speculation, psychobabble and fantasy. Maybe something in it is right, in bits and pieces, but overall I find little of interest. BTW, the gene for red hair in moderns is not the same as the one for red hair in neanderthals. Perhaps we’ll find a copy of the modern form in some other population, but for now, it is a non-match. Per Asians. Yes, they have some Neanderthal genes. Different ones from Europeans IMHO. (We have more of the body size genes). The “empire building” did not come from the Neanderthal contribution. (There are no Neanderthal empires in the ground…) The tendency to large hierarchical collectives come straight out of the “modern” type digs. Also, a comment on “style”. I find the “tone” of your comment a bit irritating. Perhaps I’m reading a bit too much into it, but the “J–s” looks like a code for “Japs” and the “straighten you out” implies that I’m “bent” and need repair. BOTH are from a rather insulting “tone”. Lose it. Your “name” is a fiction. Your blog is a shell with nothing in it. I suspect the email is likely the same. I don’t let folks hide, toss snark and insults, and run. If that’s your style, you will end up in the SPAM queue “right quick”. So if you have something to say, say it politely, and without direct or implicit “slams” at folks, by race or as individuals. -E.M.Smith ]

  18. Wow! I don’t even know where to begin. Normally, I would straighten things out for the record, then apologize. However, you have gone on the attack so I shall suspend my usual exemplary manners and refrain. You misinterpret, overreact, and read things into statements that aren’t even there! And you have the nerve to call Gooch psychotic?!

    J–s doesn’t stand for “Japs.” Maybe you can figure out what it does stand for. It’s monosyllabic so not that difficult for most people.

    Having a WordPress blog is NOT a requirement for posting on WP sites. Lack of a WP blog simply means that one hasn’t been filled out — PERIOD.

    “Being straightened out” is mainstream parlance and has nothing to do with being “bent.” Your literal interpretation suggests social ignorance coupled with oversimplified, concrete thinking. But what else can one expect from someone who can’t spell “lose?” Or perhaps it was just an insecure overreaction since I didn’t genuflect in sycophantic fashion over your “brilliance” like some other posters here.

    Ariculate, erudite, intelligent, and rational you are NOT. Your blog title is a dead giveaway to your narcissism (the “chief?”) . Narcissists NEVER admit they’re wrong so you won’t acknowledge ANY of these valid points, which is why I won’t enumerate any more, though it’s a long list of salient ones. I won’t waste any more of my valuable time; I’m outta here!

  19. Pascvaks says:

    @13 May 2012 at 8:51 pm

    ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh… I think she got her feelings hurt, don’t know how or why, must be a cyclic thing or other. If you was me we’d delete all after your last entry. Chemicals, can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.

  20. E.M.Smith says:


    Well, there’s some value from leaving things up as “a bad example” for folks to learn from. BTW, we don’t know their gender (and men have wider emotional swings than women anyway – just say some guy has an ugly wife and see what happens ;-) so such speculation is undue. (One comedian {comedienne?} that I really liked said “Yeah, once a month women get as cranky as men are all the time!” ;-)

    In this case, we have a person going on a rant about communists and races. They have a hypersensitivity issue as well. Now they are “new here” so I have a set of choices:

    Let it just “go through” without comment. That encourages more of the same.

    Toss it. That gets me tagged as “censoring” folks and starts folks asserting I have bias and play games.

    Let it through, and point out the parts that “have issues”. This lets others see what “causes issues” and also shows that I’m willing to let folks learn the “rules” here before tossing them for “repeat offenses”. That’s what I usually do (unless the material is just offensive in broad terms. Long term readers here will appreciate that not a lot offends me to that degree…. (There is ONE curse word I added to the SPAM filter and it starts with F).)

    So lets look at their response to my pointing out where they “have issues”:

    First off, they don’t bother to say what “J–s” is. Fine. I don’t care to waste time speculating. IFF it can not be said, and is worse than “Japs”, I don’t want to see it anyway.

    The Chinese that you cite as an example of “Empire-builders” are in fact Neanderthals, with a ton of Neanderthal genes and are the closest relatives to the J–s.

    Now I can only see two ways to fill in those blanks. With genetics (in which case the Japanese are very closely related genetically) or with political invective. Given that both Chinese and Jews are pretty good at business and banking, and that’s about the only other alternative that fits, IFF that was the alternative, they get the “SPAM Filter” immediately. Anti-Semitism is a no-go here. (However, if any particular person did something bad and they happen to be Jewish, that’s “just a fact”… and facts are not offensive. Ever. “Reality just is. -E.M.Smith”).

    So as I see it, I gave them “the benefit of the doubt” on bad vs worse, and they have chosen worse.

    Oh Well…

    They then assert I “And you have the nerve to call Gooch psychotic?!” (In a block filled with way too much punctuation. Folks with emotional control issues often do that. No, not a hard core indication. Some folks use lots of punctuation for style effects. But it sets a marker to watch.) Now do a little text search on the page and you find ONE use of the word “psychotic”, theirs. I said “Per Gooch: His stuff is myth mixed with rampant speculation, psychobabble and fantasy. Maybe something in it is right, in bits and pieces, but overall I find little of interest.”

    Well, that’s a long ways from psychotic. If you look up Gooch, that’s a pretty direct description of his stuff. For some reason my pointing out the factual errors in their rant caused them to accuse me of being “on the attack”. I can only speculate that saying things like “This is what we find in the ground” stating archeological facts, being in conflict with the psychobabble in which they are invested, is seen as an attack on them. It isn’t, it is just saying “this is what is.” and one is free to show the digs are wrong, the interpretations are wrong, whatever; but one is not free to say “the dig does not exist.”

    If you look up Stan Gooch (which I did, having never heard of him before) the facts are pretty clear:

    Stan Gooch (born 1932 in Lewisham, London, died 13 September 2010) was a British psychologist and author who is probably best known as the proponent of a “hybrid-origin theory” of human evolution.

    So he’s a Psychologist. Now, any surprise that his stuff is full of psychoanalytical based stuff? That it is largely NOT archaeology based but more “psychobabble”?

    Total Man

    Gooch’s first book Total Man (1972) was an attempt to examine all fields of interest relevant to man today. On the back cover of the American print of Total Man Stan Gooch states:

    “Essentially, the view I have taken of other ‘theories of personality’, such as those of Marx, Christianity, Freud, Pavlov, Nietzsche and many others, is not that all, or all but one, are wrong, but on the contrary that all are correct. I was, and am still, unable to escape the implications of the fact that each of the theorists in question was, after all, concerned with one and the same human being. Instead of rejecting all such views, I found myself essentially rejecting none. This shift of emphasis is, I believe, crucial. The task is changed from one of selection to one of assembly.”

    Theory of polarities

    In various chapters of Total Man Gooch outlined what would become the basis of his theories when he showed that phenomena can be divided into two columns, which he titled System A and System B, later asssociated with Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal lineage, respectively. These could be roughly equated to Freud’s Ego and Id, and in some ways Carl Jung’s Male and Female principles.

    System A 	System B
    Sun 	        Moon
    Psychosis 	Neurosis
    Logic 	        Intuition
    Science 	Religion
    Awake 	        Dreaming
    Adult 	        Child
    Day 	        Night
    God 	        Devil
    Male 	        Female
    Yang 	        Yin
    Fascism 	Communism

    Yeah, I’d call that psychobabble…

    Especially projected back onto about a dozen sets of dry bones and a half dozen small digs of Neanderthals.

    The “fact to speculation” ratio is just WAY out of line with reality.

    Per “exemplary manners” being suspended: Folks who’s first posting is peppered with pejorative terms like “commies” and whatever “J–s” is (either way) and accusing folks of stealing other folks work: Well, if THAT is “exemplary”, they can find somewhere else to play.

    But I let it through anyway. Just pointed out they were a bit rough around the edges and need to tone it down / polish things or would not survive here long.

    Apparently that is beyond their ability.

    At that point, one of the absolutely standard things done by a blog operator to check if someone is a Troll, or a person sent to decorate a place with offensive graffiti (so others can point at the place and say they allow or support such “hate speech”) is to check “Who Are They?”. This involves looking at their name, their email address, and any blog site they have. (Often the blog site tells a lot about their actual biases and someone who says “commie” about a particular communist might run a generally “right wing” site, but also reasonably polite; so it’s not a pattern, just a single style choice – and gets removed from ‘the worries list”).

    In extreme cases one can chase down the IP number and some other things to see the likelihood the person is real, or a Troll, a Spammer, or worse.

    As there are a LOT of Spammers and folks trying to generate traffic with various “proforma” postings, keeping the Cruft Out pretty much requires that.

    So I check their web site. It is dead empty. Just the ‘new site greeting page’. OK, either brand new or just a fraud to look like they have one. Saying that is not an attack, it is an accurate description. Their name is clearly a fabrication. ( I could do a web search on it and spend time “digging in” to eventually find a trail back to the real person, but didn’t see the worth in it.) To state it is a fiction is also just to correctly describe. Somehow this causes them a fit.

    Oh Well. Not my problem.

    That they do go ballistic on it is all I really need to know.
    Yes, they are “outta here”…

    Per straightening out, they don’t catch the word play on the metaphor thinking I’m taking it literally. Again, either a gratuitous attack (i.e. deliberate misunderstanding) or not very bright to begin with. Yes, I take offense at folks asserting error and failure in others, including me, when what is more accurate is just to state that THEY do not agree. Get over it.

    So if folks say “I missed”, when I didn’t miss but edited out due to seeing no importance; that’s a small irritation. ( 90%+ of the time I don’t point it out unless the context adds up to more.)

    If folks say “straighten you out”, when meaning “I think this is more correct”, I’ll call them on it.

    If folks say “You failed” when the reality is “I do not agree”, I’ll point that out too.

    Folks who can’t handle that, well, not my problem.

    Per spelling:

    Folsk here will kno I’m prone to lotss of spllin earors and typoos. Partly things like having learned a half dozen languages at various times (so appartment or apartment or appartemente or… vaires by language. One of them is loose vs lose. That one is not multi-lingual but jus’ that I tend to type loose more often that lose so the ‘finger deligation’ tends to run a kindof autocorrect on the text and addes ‘they usual’ added ‘o’. As that botheered them, I’ve fixed it inthe originalle tecxt abouve. Partly my spelling attitude comes out of the faxt that in olde englishe spllin was more vairable. If someon culd undstant it, twas writted rite. I’m partial to that. Folxs is too brttle ’bout it an otta loosen up.

    Spelling Nazi’s get nothing but frustration from me. Doesn’t bother me in the least. Typos happen. Spelling is variable. Can’t live with that? Think it means more than: “I don’t really care”? Not my problem.

    (FWIW I did professional typing for a couple of years. 7 part carbon forms legal length. ONE error you retyped the whole thing. I can do it, but it slows down the volume by about 50%. NOT worth it for things like blog comments. Folks who want that kind of perfection will find me a constant source of irritation and frustration. Or they can pay me my hourly rate to do ‘perfect’ ;-)

    Then I get accused of narcissism based on “chiefio”? That one’s a hoot. Frankly, I’m about as far from narcissistic as you can get. Don’t care hardly at all about “body image”. Mostly wear “just above crummy” clothes. Comb my hair once per day, on getting out of the shower. It just isn’t important. Can’t count the number of times I’ve pointed out that “What I think doesn’t matter” especially in stock trading. One of the fundamental points I’ve constantly tried to get folks to understand is: “It’s not about Me.” I’m just not important at all. Stock will do what it does no matter what I say, think, or do. AGW will fade with or without me.

    FWIW, “chiefio” came directly out of what I did for a living for a decade or so. I was, in essence, the “Chief Information Officer” of a few small client companies. Again, descriptive, not emotive. Largest reason I chose it? It was short. A modestly unique token that didn’t have a lot of letters to type. Yeah, that narcissistic.

    At any rate, it’s kind of fun (in a sad sort of way) to watch emotionally unstable folks “blow up” when you put facts in front of them. They often go for the emotionally driven personal attack (as they did here); and that it is just SOooo out of touch with reality is entertaining.

    One little sidebar:

    I get a special chuckle out of folks who assert personality disorders at me. Like narcissism or being irrational. I get an equal chuckle out of folks who assert low intelligence or lack of mental skill. Why? Personal issues? Nope. Just my usual thing of “facts in conflict with the insult” causes humor. FWIW I qualify for Mensa. Keep thinking I ought to apply, but not enough “ego need” to have actually done it. Still, several family and friends are members and it would be fun to go to the events with them ( I’ve seen the pictures and ‘we talk’ ;-) Insults to my mental capabilities are just sooo silly. But good for a laugh. On the “Kuder Aptitude Tests” in high school I was 99+% on most. Lowest was 86 percentile… in ‘clerical’… How about personality issues? Well, I was in a NASA project back when Spacelab was up. Long batteries of phsych tests and interviews with Ph.D/ M.D. Psychology. WHY? Well, we were then put through some stress tests like social isolation for 3+ months. They wanted to find out how to identify the most stable, sane, and reliable folks personalities prior to space… So I’m one of 9 guys who’s personality profiles set the pattern for all the shuttle astronauts…. “Certified Sane and Balanced” and more so than most.

    Now none of that is ‘to brag’. Not much point to it, really. Even at 99+ percentile there’s about 60,000,000 people in the world who are far more competent than me. Besides, I just don’t care about “bragging” or what other folks think of my ability. I also screw up things often enough to realize that 99% is a long ways from perfect… Part of that personality type that doesn’t get upset at others… or what they think. I point it out just so folks can share the chuckle. Isn’t it just precious given that context for someone to be projecting their personality disorders onto me?

    At any rate, they had their moment of fame, their rant and fireball flameout. NEXT!

  21. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M….You forgot SYSTEM 3 !!!!, the people of the OTHER TRIBE, who profit from both 1 and 2 and make them believe they are rightist and leftists and while they fight one against the other, they empty their pockets :-)

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adolfo: I forgot? I FORGOT?! Didn’t you read my answer?!?!?!?! I DON’T FORGET!!!, I EDIT!!!!

    ;-) of course ….

    Besides, I thought System 3 was an IBM Computer?

  23. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M. You EDIT! , that´s for sure, being the Matrix… (BTW I didn´t see the movie so I don´t know it this is good or bad, I understand it as the Big Brother programmer) :-)

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    The movie is kind of overly complicated and what The Matrix is changes over the course of the various movies. Up until the very end, the Matrix is held up as a somewhat malevolent oppressive agency keeping humanity in a kind of stupor / servitude. ( Using them as ‘batteries’ of a sort).

    Then it takes a ‘hard left turn’ that I’m still not sure what it means ;-)

    The “hero” (known as “The One” ) is “special” in that he can see through the deceptions of The Matrix and see the reality of the artificial reality that it creates, and in fact can change that reality at will (as it is only a computer model fantasy).

    For more than that, see the movie(s). It’s worth it just for the way cool graphics if nothing else …

  25. Pascvaks says:

    “(One comedian {comedienne?} that I really liked said “Yeah, once a month women get as cranky as men are all the time!” ;-)”

    I’ll have to remember that one, it’s good, very good. Surprised my mother, sisters, or wife never hit me over the head with it. It’s a ‘jewel’!;-)

    You’ve been more kind/help than you will ever know (this side of veil;-). Have a ‘feeling’ you have a special magnet in your soul that draws, if only for a moment, others who have ‘known Ye’ in time and eternity.

    OK! Back to reality…

  26. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.: The “Bubbling in” you have discovered could be made on purpose, as it limits your searches in a loop which avoids or impedes us to discover something inconvenient. There you are!, make a small program to avoid it, a kind of “Bubble-Breaker” or “Shackles-breaking” or “Internet-freedom”.

  27. Pingback: Reading faces – the eyes are the windows to the soul | Koanic Soul

  28. mike hayes says:

    how dumb are all we. its all really simple. girls of cro m and neandr like neander men. neither disappeared. guys tend to be neanders and girls tend to be cro ms. we even treat them like that in our culture. i always wondered why girls live in a bubble. bubble artitians. lol. sounds like every woman ive ever met. hey its also how i like my woman. its what i grew up with. every possible variation in between exists. how many are dominant one way or another. if our heights start equalling out then its been trully blended. other than that its easy to tell how neander we all r.

    s/n 2507093992

  29. jay says:

    Well, I`m certainly no expert on the matter, but one could argue that through hybridization neanderthal stock is still alive today, the context may get twisted by some racists, but its important to remember at no one stage of this evolutionary ladder to the present did any of our ancestors have `pure` blood, certainly there were large gaps in human migration, but all along the gene pools have been dancing together as multiple components of one organism.

    Neanderthal was likely super-adapted to being a wild-man, immunities right where they should be, certainly the king of the mountain rather than a king of the jungle, possibly domesticated certain animals prior to written history or widely accepted criteria of domestication. all I`m saying is with a brain that size likely driven by the high stomach acids of type zero blood, meat was on the menu, and they hunted out all the megafauna and dwindled their resources just like any other group of humanoids so far.

    it`s interesting that there is such a bias towards europeans and neanderthal in this article as they also held grounds in the middle-east for a long time as a separate soci-cultural construct, often sticking to the high grounds and out of the desert that their bodies couldn`t navigate. shanidar, qafzeh, etc. none of these places are in europe, and much like the cheddar man has relatives today, so do these bones.

  30. Pascvaks says:

    Fetal development has to be telling us something about who and what we are and where we came from;-)

  31. E.M.Smith says:

    @Mike Hayes:

    I think it’s more complicated. While I’d agree that the ideal woman is culturally defined as more CroMag like and the ideal man more Neander with “strong brow” and chest hair on well muscled torso; the reality is that there are “non-ideal” individuals all around.

    Some women with short necks, thick chests, short legs and a tendency to be heavy as they age.
    Some men with long, gracile build, long legs, and staying slim. Even some with little body hair.


    Yes: Genes have a life of their own. Even in the age when geographic isolation was much more extreme (Neanderthal in snow bound Europe, Modern type in Africa. Sea in between one way, hard desert the other); some margin mixing would happen.

    There was clearly meat eating, but not exclusively. Also there is no evidence that they “hunted out the megafauna”. Lots of deer, elk, bear, even lions were in Europe up until the time of modern weapons. The loss of megafauna such as Mastodon looks most closely tied to an impact event during the Younger Dryas into the ice shield of Canada (thus messing up the climate, extinguishing the Clovis People culture, and putting a tsunami of ice slush over the north pole to flash freeze the mastodon in Siberia…)

    Bias toward Europeans? And a suggestion that the Middle East is being slighted?
    I think you are reading your own biases into things. Please note Danny Thomas featured above. One of only 5 total pictures held up as examples, of which only 3 are “Neander influence” types (the two ‘modern’ images being one each, European / white and African / black). Perhaps you are unaware that Thomas is a Lebanese American? Genes straight from the Middle East / Lebanon (just north of Israel).

    Note that of the other two, Edward Teller is Jewish. Yes, he is a Hungarian American, but of a Jewish Family. IMHO, having only one ( Anthony Quinn) as the non-Middle East ‘token’ is more of a bias against the European type (like most of France…) But even there, he is of Mexican extraction (from a Mexican mother and Irish father).

    So I’ve got a Mexican, a Lebanese, and a Jew, and THAT is a pro-European bias? Really?….

    Then there is a speculation that perhaps some Neanderthal genes made it over the land bridge in the Native Americans (tooth form, facial bones) and a speculation that another Hispanic (Antonio Banderas) might have some similar features. (Born in Spain, so a ‘real’ European).

    OK, at that point were up to 7 total pictures, of which ONE is a direct European. One is an American Indian. One is a Mexican with some European ancestry (Ireland). Two come from the Middle East ( Lebanon directly and Israel via Hungary). Then two Cro-Mag types, one black one white.

    Frankly, I can’t even begin to think of a way to make that a more diverse and non-Euro centric group. Heck, even Ike, my iconic “non-Neanderthal white”, is from a family direct from Germany / Switzerland. About as European as you can get.

    BTW, per “pure blood”: In my opinion, hybrid vigor is far more important. In classical breeding (plants, farm animals) you make “pure breed lines” to concentrate some desired traits (often recessive) but at the cost of a general weakening of robustness on other measures. Then you ‘out cross’ to reinvigorate the line (while maintaining the desired concentrated trait). Almost by definition, anyone who brags on “pure blood” is a bit clueless about actual breeding and the best way to create an improved variety.

    (Then again, a lot of ‘professional’ breeders of ‘pure bred’ lines clearly ARE clueless about this. Just look at the degree to which health problems like hip dysplasia show up in many ‘pure bred’ dogs. Clearly they are “unclear on the concept” of making a truly improved animal and are just concentrating on a checklist of traits at the cost of concentrating bad genetics too.)

    Finally, any citation for the assertion that the Neanderthals could not navigate out of the mountains? I see no reason to think so. It’s just as likely that caves in the mountains are better at preserving bones, and that’s all you know. They managed to spread over the entirety of Europe, cross Anatolia, and much of the Middle East. Not looking like these folks were hard pressed to move around…

  32. One problem with all the detailed ideas of where each type of human was at any time is that it is based on the strange chances that made their remains survive until the archaeologists found them. I doubt if my bones will be found in a few thousand years, let alone a few hundred thousand. Native Americans are known to use “air burial” where the bones are unlikely to survive for any long time. Indians burn the bodies – not many bones left there, either. If bamboo (or other hardened wood) was used instead of stone tools, you’re unlikely to find them and maybe you wouldn’t recognise them if you did. It’s possible that civilisations existed that have left no traces that we can recognise.

    It’s interesting though, and I certainly have a number of Neanderthal traits. Have you noticed that pillows are designed for Cro-Magnons? Here in France there’s a roll-type pillow (traversin) that’s better-suited to the longer back of the skull.

    Overall, though, I find archaeology has a lot of assumptions and invention based on what little data there is (and it is presented as Truth rather than best guess). The genetic data has somewhat more believability, though that too depends on conditions (rate of mutations especially) being pretty constant. I’m not sure where the “Neanderthals were hairy” data came from, though. Is there a fossilised hairy body around, or a wall-painting of a hairy Mona Lisa? Recently there’s been speculation that dinosaurs maybe weren’t green after all – but where did that idea for the colour come from apart from a wild guess?

    It’s nice to have some bones to measure, but that really isn’t the whole story.

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