Why did Neanderthals disappear? This fascinating question brought other questions, that have blossomed ever more. Such as: “In light of the fact Neanderthals were obviously a superior human race, why do people think it’s so cool to demean Neanderthals?”

Just because they disappeared? Did they? Wait…

Indeed the original question, why did Neanderthals go extinct? is itself in the process of going extinct. As I tried to explain in “Mathematics “Extinguished” Neanderthals”, Neanderthals probably did not go extinct. They were too superior, to just disappear. Instead they genetically consolidated in a more economic format… The one they came from!

Among Neanderthal Inventions: Chemistry, Body Paint, Earliest Art...

Among Neanderthal Inventions: Chemistry, Body Paint, Earliest Art…

My reasoning in “Maths “Extinguished…”rests mainly on two ideas: a) the advancement of technology made most of Neanderthals’ cold adapted mutations irrelevant, and a burden. And: b) a subtle thinning-out from periodic near-extinctions  of genetic traits related to more bulky individuals. So it’s not just tech, but a very varying climate, that thinned out Neanderthalian traits.

Thanks to genetic studies spearheaded by Herr Doktor Professor Svante Paabo, an evolutionary geneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (author of “Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes”), it turns out that, as he writes in the New York Times (April 25, 2014):

…”these past few years, my research group and I have worked to sequence the genome of a Neanderthal, the closest evolutionary relative of all present-day humans. We have also sequenced a genome from a small bone excavated in a Russian cave close to the border with China; this genome came from a previously unknown Asian relative of the Neanderthals — a group that we call the Denisovans.

These ancient genomes show that the Neanderthals were genetically very similar to us. In fact, for most of the genome, some people living today are closer to the Neanderthals than to other people. Comparing their genome with that of modern people, we identified a total of 31,389 genetic mutations that have come to be carried by all humans today.”

Please meditate this, the conclusion of genetics studies: “…some people living today are closer to the Neanderthals than to other people.” What a shattering notion!

Paabo’s work as been confirmed independently by other research groups. There are too many surprises to list them all. Some researchers found that the highest density of Neanderthals mutations in… North Africa.

North Africans are a type of Europeans, genetically speaking; in 2014 Neanderthal mutations were found all the way to ancient South African population!… And the whole situation became extremely complicated. For example Denisovans’ genetics were found in Spain. However, so far absolutely no Denisovan skeleton has been found: they constitute a genome in search of a body!

Then Paabo, unfortunately, slips into age-old racist prejudice:

“Among these mutations may lurk some subtle yet consequential differences between them and us that further research may eventually explain. For example, although Neanderthals, who became extinct about 30,000 years ago, produced stone tools and controlled fire, they never developed the technology and culture to multiply and spread across the planet as modern humans did.”

Paabo should know better than writing this. Some of the first genomic studies on Neanderthals found them quite far, genetically from modern humans. Then more recent Homo Sapiens Sapiens’ genomes were analyzed and found… just as far.

I appreciate the professor’s work. However the sentence: “although Neanderthals… controlled fire, they never developed the technology and culture to multiply and spread across the planet as modern humans did,” struck me as unwarranted, if not downright racist to the point of complete stupidity. With all due respect, of course: Paabo himself gave us some of the weapons to squash his prejudice! “Modern humans” of today have a different genome from “modern humans” of yesterday: whoever “spread across the planet”, why and how, is not too clear.


Neanderthals were adapted to a very cold climate. So they thrived in North Africa, but it’s not surprising that they did not get south. Meanwhile, as Neanderthals had invented pants, African Sapiens could spread into Europe (supposing that technology was transferred to them).

Paleontologist Zilhão found evidence demonstrating that Neanderthals in Europe were neither cognitively inferior nor less creative than Homo SS in Africa.

In 2010, he reported that a cache of painted marine shells on the Iberian Peninsula was made by Neanderthals (the photography at the top of the essay is of some of these shells; the hole indicates that they were worn as jewelry; thread had been invented by Neanderthals at least 30,000 years prior).

These shells were dated to 50,000 years ago, about 10,000 years before Cro-Magnon (viewed as Homo SS) appeared in Europe. These 50,000 year old shells were used by Neanderthals to produce body paint. To do so, preceding 19C chemistry by a full 50,000 years, Neanderthals used chemical reactions.

The shells contain mineral pigment makeup that required some skill and know-how to produce. (The makeup was composed of fool’s gold, aka pyrite, and ground hematite, which can be red and black, all mixed in to a base of the rust-colored mineral, lepidocrocite.)

Neanderthals were chemists who painted themselves and wore jewelry. Fashion shows in the Paris basin are at least 50,000 years old (so the degeneracy there is an atavism). Neanderthals invented many technologies. They had mastered hafting, more than 150,000 years ago. That allows to attach wood to warheads and tools. As I noticed in the Tasmanian Effect:

“Amazingly, the Tasmanians had lost hafted tool technology (it allows to fix a hard head such as a stone or a piece of antler to a wooden object such as a spear, arrow, or ax). Hafting was independently evolved in Europe by Neanderthals…”

Previously unknown Neanderthal technologies are found every year. Neanderthals invented needle and thread, way back (80,000 years ago, at least; probably much older). Necessity was the mother of invention: Europeans (aka Neanderthals) needed clothing more than Africans did, as the later wore none. Moreover, appropriate fibers are more easily found in the temperate zone (everything rots quickly in the very warm, wet tropics, including DNA).


Some of the arguments against Neanderthals have been outright ridiculous: not only we were told, without any evidence, that they could not talk, but that the superiority of Africans came from eating shell fish, about 70,000 years ago (along the East Coast of Africa).

However, it has since been discovered that Neanderthal cavemen supped on shellfish on the Costa del Sol 150,000 years ago, punching another torpedo hole in the theory that only Africans ate (supposedly) brain-boosting seafood.

Neanderthals also used coal, as long ago as 73,000 years. Once again, making a fire in present day France, then suffering from a pretty bad glaciation, made more sense than trying to stay warm in the Congo.

Earlier and earlier prehistoric art has been found. It’s getting ever harder to claim that Neanderthals had nothing to do with it. This is from the enormous Chauvet cave in France, at least 32,000 years old:

If Not Neanderthal, Probably Mostly Neanderthal

If Not Neanderthal, Probably Mostly Neanderthal

(42,000 year old art was also found in Spain.)

Neanderthals also domesticated, and genetically engineered dogs, from European wolves. That’s very clear.

How do I know this? Simple. The Goyet dog, pictured below was dated around 32,000 years. In 2010, and an even older dog was found in the Altai mountains. Both dogs were derived from Canis Lupus Familiaris, the European wolf, but were quite distant from it, genetically, they had been evolved probably on a time scale of more than 10,000 years, thus well before any arrival of Sapiens Sapiens from Africa.

Those dogs were completely compatible with people, just as contemporary dogs are. Proof? Ancient, 26,000-year-old footprints made by a child and a dog deep in the Chauvet Cave, France. (OK, by then Neanderthals have been just deemed “extinct” by some… However, these are still the same dogs Neanderthals invented.)

It Took Many Thousands Years To Breed Such Large Dogs From European Wolves

It Took Many Thousands Years To Breed Such Large Dogs From European Wolves

It is perplexing that other human groups did not domesticate the local canids. There are (still!) wolves in Africa and India. And also Lycaons (“African Wild Dogs”). Those are supremely intelligent, and sort of domesticate readily in the wild (I tried this myself as a child).

The argument that Africans would have moved to Europe to domesticate European wolves, when they had a similar fauna, including wolves, to domesticate in Africa, is simply extravagant.

The only group in Europe at the right time and place to have made the jewelry and tools attributed to early Aurignacian culture is the Neanderthals. It would seem that the oldest cave paintings, dated at 41,000 years or more, were made by Neanderthals (they are in Spain, a Neanderthal fortress, and, at the time, Sapiens Sapiens were just entering Europe, far away).

Equipped with advanced weapons, Neanderthals started modifying the environment (for example extinguishing Cave Bears). At that point, the advancement of technology made their cold adapted mutations irrelevant, and a burden.

The argument is always made that the technological explosion in the Aurignacian happened because of the invasion by Homo Sapiens Sapiens. Why? Because Homo SS was superiorly intelligent. How do we know that? Because as it came in, there was a technological and artistic explosion.

Some scientists ought to be taught elementary logic.

In my train of explanation, all these phenomena, tech explosion, Homo SS invasion and Homo Neandertalensis transmogrification are related. Related by what? The tech explosion.

As I pointed out, the Tasmanians, who were as much Homo Sapiens Sapiens as their relatives in Australia, degenerated to technological level that would have driven them to extinction pretty much anywhere else, especially in Europe (Europe was crawling with megafauna: super lions (Cave Lions), Cave Bears, Mammoths, Rhinoceroses, ton and a half Aurochs, hyenas, etc. Bulk may have put them at a disadvantage relative to more frail forms of Homo Sapiens (Homo Heidelbergis, ancestor to Neanderthals was massive: 100 kilograms). Presto, especially in a varying climate, they may have reverted to their common inheritance.

Want one more proof of my little theory? The race that replaced the Neanderthals were the Cro-Magnon (“Big Cave” in the local, pre-Celtic Basque language). The Cro-Magnons did not look particularly “human”: they had rectangular orbits. But then they were less massive than Neanderthals (thus allowing part of my reproductive argument against Neanderthal physiology to come into play!).

This is "Modern" Man, Cro-Magnon. Perpetual Sun Glasses?

This is “Modern” Man, Cro-Magnon. Perpetual Sun Glasses?

The lighter form of being of Homo SS is an important point of my Neanderthals-traits out-breeding theory. But there are other points, including that the genetic adaptation of Neanderthals that were not advantageous anymore (thanks to technology) would tend to disappear… Whereas those that are still advantageous would thrive. This exactly what the geneticists such as Paabo are finding.

Examples: Neanderthal adaptations tend to dominate for skin. Paabo and others found some Neanderthal adaptations are still gaining, whereas others are still regressing. We are far from having a complete picture of the situation.

However, whereas Paabo expects the Neanderthal to be inferior from the epistemological point of view, I expect the exact opposite. Not just because of what they did, but because they had to do it (to live where they did). I even expect a strong cultural hereditability of paying attention to the essence of man. A cultural heredity of the metaprinciple that the supremacy of culture is essential to man, thriving to this day, coming straight from Neanderthals.

How did I explain the Tasmanian devolution? As a cultural phenomenon. At some point, Tasmanians got possessed by the wrong metaprinciples. They drove their culture into the ground. Anti-intellectualism got a life of its own (remember Turkey, outlawing the printing press: same idea).

The opposite can happen: intellectualism, the essence of Homo, can be revered. Superior principles can help create, in turn a succession of superior cultures (as observed in Western Europe, something Putin ought to meditate, if he could meditate).

Arguably all the way up to the late Neolithic Europe had kept some tech edge: the frozen solid individual found at the border of Austria and Italy was carrying antibiotics. The argument of Jared Diamond that Eurasians became as superior as they became because they had all these nice plants and animals is another circular argument: these plants and animals, all of them, had been invented by said Eurasians, from almond trees, to wheat, beans, and even cats (to kill grain eating rodents).

Later, when the Romans confronted the Celts, the latter had arguably the world’s best ocean faring ships, and the best metallurgy (the Celts equipped the Roman army, from early on!)

Thus it is entirely possible that the habit of maximal tech superiority, after allowing Neanderthals to thrive for hundreds of thousands of years, carry in to this day. The International Thermonuclear Experimental reactor is fully close to where Neanderthals experimented with coal at least 73,000 years ago. It’s a tradition, to invent ways of making nature serve Homo, probably revered there, more than anywhere else.

It was just found out that, generations (of deer!) after the triple lethal electric fence system of the “Iron Curtain” was removed, local deer still teach their young to respect the border between Germany and the Czech Republic (although as both are in Schengen, the physical border has been gone for generations. So if culture is that strong among rather stupid deer, imagine what it is among men!

Paradoxically, culture allows men to become more stupid than even deer, and for much longer (see Putin and his followers getting their minds from Ivan IV, the Terrible).

In the USA, apparently correct descriptions of the Crater Lake volcano explosion, in which the upper mile of the Mazama volcano blew up, leaving a deep caldera, were still made by the local inhabitants. 7,700 years later.

Culture has a life of its own, an evolution of its own. In a way, it’s reassuring to know that creative intellectuals can leave so much behind…

Even if they were simple Neanderthals.

Patrice Aymé




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  1. EugenR Says:

    Yes, culture and not the race that makes people so different from each-other. I have many very interesting example of cultural behaviors among the remaining European Jews, who were born and grow up in secular communistic country. Of course they had very little, or rather no chance to learn in Jewish schools their customs and behaviors, and definitely they know very little or no Hebrew. Even if most of them could read praying books, mostly written in Hebrew or Aramaic, they understand very little out of written texts. Most of them wouldn’t have even the capacity to differentiate between the two languages.
    Quite recently i visited a Jewish graveyard, to where i was escorted by the last local Jew living there, who was from after war generation. To my surprise he showed us the entrance to graveyard but did not enter, and declared that he is from family of Cohanim, (high priests), who have special customs, including not stepping into graveyard. I wonder, from where he knows this custom of the Cohanim? Or even more interestingly, how come this tradition of being Cohen and not other was transferred for generations (for about 3,000 years) even if their social function and position has changed many times entirely during the generations? Of course it is all culture and nothing else.

    • Rowan Says:

      it is widely believed that easter european jews are not racially jewish anyway though, that they are descendants of converts

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Rowan: Correct (and little known!). Frankish (“Salic”) Law had re-established equality, independently of religion. Entire villages converted from Christianism (aka Catholicism) to Judaism. That does exclude that there was not cross-breeding (so to speak) later. In the early Frankish empire, there were lots of Syrian traders and their camels… in France.

        Viciousness against the Jews reappeared at the time of the First Crusade, in 1099 CE. It was propelled by the vicious Catholic Church and its papacy (not all Catholic were bad, or even Catholic…)

      • EugenR Says:

        Probably you are right and Jews are not a racial phenomena but rather cultural. Even if there are some exceptions and some European Jews do have Semitic (Arab like) features, you can see in Israel that the Jews from Ethiopia, Yemen, Iraq, Marco or European are predominantly similar to the people of country of their origin. when i mentioned above the Jews as example, i emphasized their cultural behavior did not said a world about race.

        I couldn’t describe better the phenomena of Jewish culture better than Will Durant did in his book “The story of Philosophy” in the chapter about Baruch Spinoza,

        …………. (Jews) persecuted and decimated by the adherents of the great religions—Christianity and Mohammedanism—which had been born of their scriptures and their memories, barred by the feudal system from Owning land, and by the guilds from taking part in industry, shut up within congested ghettoes and narrowing pursuits, mobbed by the people and robbed by the kings, building with their finance and trade the towns and cities indispensable to civilization, outcast and excommunicated, insulted and injured,—yet, without any political structure, without any legal compulsion to social unity, without even a common language, this wonderful people has maintained itself in body and soul, has preserved its racial and cultural integrity, has guarded with jealous love its oldest rituals and traditions, has patiently and resolutely awaited the day of its deliverance, and has emerged greater in number than ever before, renowned in every field for the contributions of its geniuses, and triumphantly re stored, after two thousand years of wandering, to its ancient and unforgotten home. What drama could rival the grandeur of these sufferings, the variety of these scenes, and the glory and justice of this fulfillment? What fiction could match the romance of this reality?

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Jews are partly racial (whatever a race is: it varies!), partly cultural. The funny thing is that Hitler massacred the mostly non racial Jews, and part non racial Jews (like himself).

          That sounds insane, but, in a special sense, it’s not: indeed Christanism always hated Judaism, IDEOLOGICALLY.

          Anyone who was a Jew in Europe, not only had TWO culture, but more or less the strength to oppose intellectual fascism. Or why so many Jews were smarter…

          Will run your Spinoza quote later, I have to run… Literally… Far away, family day…

          • EugenR Says:

            It sounds to me a bit like play with words. To mr racial is genetic differentiation, while cultural is everything else that makes one collective of human

  2. gmax Says:

    Genetical evolution from culture? Who would have thought?

  3. Roger Henry Says:

    Marvelously reasoned and elegantly presented Patrice. I have looked upon the Neanderthal with great respect since I first saw the French and Spanish cave paintings.
    The level of eye -hand coordination to make such life like paintings as well as the understanding of proportionality all pointed to brains far beyond the crude sketching seen in other cultural artifacts. Attaching these mind skills to periods 50 to 70000 years age is mind bogleing , but understandable when one understands the pace of evolution.
    The term, Neanderthal, is a broad brush description of people in a large geographic area. I would be curious to know more about the rise of tribalism in that long ago period
    Superior to Homo SS during the time of Homo SS spread out of Africa is certainly evident.
    But maybe the whole theory is wrong. Perhaps what we call Homo SS were curious Neanderthal who decided to get away from the cold winters.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Roger: Thanks for the appreciation! “Marvelously reasoned and elegantly presented”: that’s what I try to do. I wanted to write that Neanderthal appreciation essay for a long time, made several first drafts, but Paabo got me over the brink, when even him exhibited the usual prejudice…

      The reverse genetic flow you suggest has been demonstrated in 2014, I think I mentioned it: Neanderthal genome was found in extreme South Africa. A few year back, it turned out that North Africa was crawling with Neanderthals.

      In the theory I propose, Neanderthals are not exterminated, they mutate back into less bulky types, while losing some redundant adaptations. Redundant with technology, after about 40,000 years of increasing high tech (coal was used in 73,000 years BCE!).

      Latest result show a Denisovan patchwork in South East Asia. That means tribalism initially rose in periods when genomes themselves varied widely, and wildly. In other words, tribalism was more than about the color of the skin, way back…

      Anyway, thanks again! 😉

  4. ianmillerblog Says:

    I am not too sure of “inventing dogs”. There is a theory they “invented” themselves, basically through the least aggressive but less fearful wolves discovering easy food in Homo garbage dumps. Gradually, the Homo species realized there were advantages in keeping the least aggressive and training them to aid in hunting, with the putative dogs realizing this was an even better source of easy food.

    Evolution would certainly have worked against the bulky Neanderthals once the throwing stick was invented. Slimmer specimens can throw further and would hunt better as the grasslands became more predominant.

    • Paul Handover Says:

      That’s my understanding of the evolution of the domestic dog. As I write over at the other place:

      Dogs are part of the Canidae, a family including wolves, coyotes and foxes, thought to have evolved 60 million years ago. There is no hard evidence about when dogs and man came together but dogs were certainly around when man developed speech and set out from Africa, about 50,000 years ago. See an interesting article by Dr. George Johnson.

      Article link is

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Dear Paul: One has to be extremely careful about mitochondrial DNA. I had a good laugh last year with UC Berkeley’s top paleontologist about gross mistakes in the published, peer review literature. To think all dogs came from just one female wolf is just idiotic.

        Something else. The following passage in your link is full of falsehoods and racism:

        “The oldest clear fossil evidence for dogs is 12,000 – 14,000 years ago, about when farming arose. But that’s not enough time to accumulate such a large amount of mitochondrial DNA difference. Perhaps dogs before then just didn’t look much different from wolves, and so didn’t leave dog-like fossils. Our species first developed speech and left Africa about 50,000 years ago. I bet that’s when dogs came aboard, when our hunter-gatherer ancestors first encountered them. They would have been great hunting companions.”

        This passage has several clearly erroneous facts, please read my essay carefully (we have at least 3 direct fossil evidence for dogs at least 27,000 years ago in 3 different places, and I mention that in my essay, including links).

        My essay contains precise, correct information. I am not going to repeat all what I said there. Imbeciles who believe, with no proof whatsoever, except their own racism and imbecility, that Neanderthals had no speech, are precisely the sort that replace science by superstition.

        Speech is probably at least as old as early Homo Erectus. That is more than a million year old.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Ian: I used the word “invented” deliberately, knowing full well it was provocative, as you guessed… I am sure Neanderthals discovered very early on that they could raise young wolves, and that they would be tame, made a good alert system, and then select increasingly the most docile.

      The “invention” was made in Europe, with Euro wolves. Ethiopia has wolves, but they were not domesticated that we know of (South American Indians had domesticated their own wolves, BTW, but Darwin found out that they were not very obedient).

      What you suggest is a particular case, sort of, of my own “extinction” theory (that theory of mine extinguishes TRAITS, not populations… As found by the geneticists, meanwhile).

      Except that bows and certainly propellers were used already at least 80,000 years ago (and probably much before). The tech explosion allowed more gracile, Ethiopian like forms to migrate into Europe and interbreed with Neanderthals, thus allowing the extinction of bulky, awkward Arctic adaptation, while Neanderthals reverted to more lean tropical forms. This is apparently exactly what Paabo and company are finding.

  5. Benign Says:

    Wikipedia says the interbreeding took place 80000-100000 years ago in Northern Africa and the Middle East. There is no overlap of mitochondrial DNA so it appears to have been problematic. Yet the “extinction” takes place about 30000 years ago. Point being that the Ns would have had to convergently evolve exactly to the HSS genome. Northern Euro’s and Asians share about 1-4% of N DNA; Africans have no N DNA. Nothing extraneous could remain. So for the memes to be transmitted at the time of the HSS incursion there would have had to be quite a bit of contact between the relatively small numbers of Ns and the HSSs, Apparently climate change was what probably wiped out the Ns. Fascinating topic about which I know only what I read just now. It’s going to be really challenging for the species to handle this kind of knowledge. Fascinating topic!

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Benign: Wikipedia is what it is. I rarely contribute there as clowns can intervene any time they want, and erase the good stuff. Plenty of sexism there used to be.

      Another shocking Wiki factoid that generalizes: the 37 year old woman who just died, and was all enthusiastic, and said some idiotic things about climbing she had just started 2 years ago (unsurprising, she died climbing in extremely stupid circumstances).

      Anyway, some of the information you used are obsolete. For example the idea that Africans have no Neanderthal genome is now known to be false. All the information in my essay is state of the art and certified as of April 2014.

      BTW, as we have the word “idea” we don’t need to make a new word. Ideas are not like genes. Not at all. Dawkins was big time naïve about that.

      We have only 30,000 genes, and they are pretty inflexible (it’s only allele that vary).

      “Apparently climate change was what probably wiped out the Ns.” I have presented my own sophisticated theory. However it requires that one understands the exponential function, arguably the most important function in math.

  6. Rowan Says:

  7. Jason Shapiro Says:

    Agreed. I have assumed that their bulk – relatively short, heavily muscled, relatively short arms and legs, large brain – were traits that evolved in response to some of the brutal climatic situations in which they lived, and enabled them to persist in such conditions for around 300,000 years.

    For reasons that have yet to be completely understood, ameliorating climatic conditions provided selected advantages to the burgeoning populations of Homo sapiens that within a relatively short period of time (at least relative to the pace of hominem evolution) expanded to inhabit every continent with the exception of Antarctica.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Jason: Thanks. My theory is that during brutal changes, populations will partly collapse. During recoveries, less bulky individuals (H SS + Neanderthal hybrids) will reproduce more. I explained this and similar mechanisms all operating together in my “”

  8. Josh Hill Says:

    PA: “At that point, the advancement of technology made their cold adapted mutations irrelevant, and a burden.”

    Fascinating speculation, although I don’t think it could be entirely true — fair skin for example was still needed to prevent heavy winter clothing from causing vitamin D deficiency.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Obviously a typo, as I explained some of the Neanderthal adaptations were still progressing in the population. Beside the fact that the massive tech drive of the Neanderthals is now our main axis of thrust as a civilization.

      So I should have written: “MANY OF their cold adapted mutations irrelevant, and a burden.”

      I will try to put in that precision. I try to be precise, but too much precision becomes too hard to swallow, from bulk alone…

      Anyway, I’m happy to be fascinating… I work hard at it… 😉

  9. Benign Says:

    Yes, okay, I read your piece on the “exponential extinction” of Ns, and I get that, but you don’t explain the interbreeding. How did the N genes get into us?

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Benign: I don’t want to be flippant, but what part of the word: S E X you don’t understand? Between the perpetual sun glasses Cro-Magnons and the Neanderthals, stuff happened. The first Neanderthal found was a gravely sick individual with long very deformed limbs. It would have been unable to forage for himself. Thereafter, it was thought Neanderthals were ape-men. However, latest reconstitutions show that late model Neanderthals (so to speak) would have been undistinguishable when in jeans.

      The best way to think of the situation is of thinking of different races.

      Sex between different species is possible, BTW. And even with viable descendants (Beefallo terrorizing the NPS in the USA being an example).

  10. Benign Says:

    The issue I’m getting at is the relatively small contribution of Neanderthal genetics to modern. You say they morphed into looking like moderns, and they didn’t “disappear.” But they did disappear. Why aren’t there any (relatively) “pure” Neanderthals around? Just mixing and their small numbers? Did they have no more group identification? I realize 30K years is a long time (~1500 generations?) but other (small) “races” have remained distinct over longer periods. The exponential function by itself does not really suffice; climate or competition with moderns is necessary to explain disappearance. Interesting discussion, thanks. How old are you?

    • Rowan Says:

      newer data suggests the average eurasian has about 6% neanderthal dna, & the average amerindian even more, such that the average human would have about 5%, the genetic equivalent of 350 million pure neanderthals extant. my research suggests their dna was the determining factor in the neolithic & subsequent technological revolutions. their dna seems to have been especially strong among the ancient kings, priests, & nobles of eurasia, north africa, & the americas.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Please read carefully what Paabo said, and I quoted. From my theory, one could have started with 90% Neanderthal DNA, and end-up as we are…
        Because of my mechanism of Neanderthal DE-SELECTING. De-selecting does not mean that some Neanderthal traits are not absolutely crucial because of the superiority I (and apparently you) propose…

  11. Rowan Says:

    If, as recent data suggests, Eurasians are 3.4−7.3% Neanderthal, & Amerindians seem to be even more Neanderthaloid genetically, it may be that living humans have an average of 5% Neanderthal DNA each. This is the genetic equivalent of a population of 350,000,000 pure Neanderthals. Scientists estimate the peak population of actual pure Neanderthals to have been 70,000. The current postulated presence of Neanderthal DNA is 5,000-times more substantial than that Ice Age estimate. Also, pure Neanderthals have so far only been found in Eurasia. But there is now a Neanderthal genetic presence on virtually every inhabited landmass on Earth. It can well be argued that Neanderthal is therefore an evolutionary success, & just as scientists say that Sapiens gained valuable DNA from Neanderthals, so too may Neanderthal have profited by the mingling of genes.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Rowan: According to my own vision of selective pressure against (most) Neanderthal traits (exactly what Paabo and al. found in the meantime, BTW), one could end with 10% (say) Neanderthal genes, WHILE STARTING WITH, say, 90%.

      Thus the up to 10% or so Neanderthal genes masks a much greater Neanderthal origin. Plus, as I said the EPICULTURAL argument: Neanderthals, and the predecessors, Chapelle Aux Saint, Homo Heidelbergsis, could only survive on a WILL TO HIGH TECHNOLOGY.

      That will, according to me, explains much European and Middle Earth history (Euros maintained superiority in metals for 3,000 years). And is to be our savior now. We need to get reconnected to the Neanderthal will to go beyond the last frontier…

      From what I read, BTW, Denisovans were the tropical adapted version of Neanderthals…

      • Rowan Says:

        well i think it’s more likely that neanderthal, whose gene pool had become shallow after a near extinction event, did well to interbreed with sapiens whose gene pool was deeper, if still shallower than most species. i think neanderthal ancestry varies considerably from family to family. i’ve been studying neanderthal hybridization since the 90s, & i have 5,000 photos showing the central role of neanderthal dna in all the advanced civilizations, from sumer to egypt to the mayans & incas. in fact it appears that the neanderthals were the gods, worshipped as the givers of civilization. if you have facebook please visit my group neander files where there are hundreds of articles & explanations & 5,000 photos documenting neanderthal dna on every continent.

  12. Benign Says:

    I get that. But if the interbreeding occurred 80000 years ago (this is the only estimate I see on this) and Ns disappeared 28000 years ago, what happened in between? Clearly the “selfish genes” of the Ns succeeded in some sense. I’m still puzzled about the actual apparently “sudden” disappearance. Did the interbreeding stop? Was it climate?
    There’s still some mystery to the story. If Ns evolved to look like HSSs, why did the interbreeding stop?

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Benign: Please read the further explanation I tried to give to Rowan. There was NO sudden disappearance. Far from it. It’s not the way to look at it. Over a period, pure (PURE) Neanderthals disappeared. But that means not much: after all, the rectangular orbit of Homo SS, namely the CRO-MAGNON, disappeared too!

      It’s the popular press that speaks of “disappearance”. My essay, including Paabo’s quote makes it clear that Neanderthals transformed into us. You may have overlooked my observation that Neanderthals were themselves deviations from Archaic Homo Sapiens. Remove the reason for deviation, get the original back. That’s PART of my reasoning.

      • Rowan Says:

        cro magnon is an early hybrid with more neanderthal dna than most modern europeans. they had sapiens chins & foreheads, with neanderthal noses & crania. this is why their brains were larger than modern humans’, but smaller than pure neanderthals’. the first americans have often been termed cro magnon, & indeed many were even more neanderthaloid than the classic cro magnon skull of france.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Hmmm… Dear Rowan, I’m ready to believe you (it fits my idea, if not the rectangular orbit of Neanderthals). However, I did not come across this in the literature. If you had a link, or name to drop, I would appreciate…

          • Rowan Says:

            indeed the eye orbits of the classic cro magnon skull are not neanderthaloid at all in shape. square orbits are found most pronounced among australian aborigines, who are part denisovan. but the nose & large, long cranium marks out cro magnon as extremely neanderthaloid. this is a subject few dare venture into, but i’ll try to find you someone who agrees with me on this. i know i’ve seen websites that agreed, but i don’t think they were very mainstream. well here wikipedia says of one cro magnon skeleton: “Oase 1 holotype is a robust mandible which combines a variety of archaic, derived early modern, and possibly Neanderthal features.” & “The Lapedo child from Abrigo do Lagar Velho, Portugal, about 24,000 years old, a fairly complete and quite robust skeleton, possibly showing some Neanderthal traits.” also i know that mainstream scientists now assert that interbreeding happened basically as soon as sapiens entered eurasia, which would mean that all the cro magnon of europe would be neanderthaloid hybrids. cro magnon is a very loose term & basically means any skeleton with a mix of “modern” sapiens traits & “archaic” neanderthaloid traits.

          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            Fair enough. In present day Israel, Neanderthals and (alleged) Homo SS alternated in the same caves for many thousand years. It’s hard to believe there was no interbreeding.
            In my theory, given a mixed population, many Neanderthal traits would disappear by themselves, given enough time, in light of tech and climate fluctuations.

  13. The history of man and dog. | Learning from Dogs Says:

    […] Patrice Ayme published a post under the title of Neanderthal Superiority.  In that post he set out very convincing arguments about the origins of the Neanderthals and I do […]

  14. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [Sent to Neanderthal Files.]

    We are probably derived from mutated Neanderthals’ ancestors more than anything else, as I have argued in a number of essays. The switch from Archaic Sapiens to Heidelbergensis and Neandertals/Denisovans strike me as more epigenetic rather than anything else.

  15. Dessalines (@Kyrondo) Says:

    So predictable. We get it. White people are superior.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Excuse me? There are Neanderthal and Denisovian genes all over the world, from Australia to Patagonia and South Africa. Australian natives do not strike me as “white”. The only thing predictable in all too many the comments on this site recently is the inability to follow the simplest facts and logics.
      But I stand ready to help clear the all too predictable obscurantism!
      In case you wonder, my family is tri-continental, with Neanderthalian and Denisovian backgrounds, and that’s why I eat my enemies’ souls raw.

  16. Paul Handover Says:

    Patrice, just wanted to ask if my might have your permission to quote from this essay for the book?

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Naturlich! (Of course!)
      There is more, just published on that, reinforcing my thesis, details coming… Publishing an essay just now (of some relevance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).

      • Paul Handover Says:

        Thank you very much! Will look forward to your essay appearing.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Announced last week is Homo Sapiens Sapiens, in the middle of Siberia, about 47,750 years old (or something like that; the precision claimed is astounding…)… Who had bred with Neanderthals around 200 to 350 generations before, no more. Those HSS left no descent (a major philosophical find by itself, showing how fierce the prehistoric environment was).
          Eurasian prehistory is getting ever more complex…

          • Paul Handover Says:

            Where was that announced, as a matter of interest?

          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            Hmmm… Paul, good question. I am subscribed to a whole bunch of things, including Nature and Science, so I saw the news pass (I get email alerts).

            What I know is that the most serious Paleolithic DNA people, in Germany (Psaabo, etc. @ Max Planck Institute) announced it… And said they could not believe their good luck! The guy who found the leg bone brought it to the police initially (he is a hunter of mammoth bones he then carves…)

            If anything, that reinforces my Neanderthal disappearance theory, because now Homo SS and Neanderthals would have intermingled (or mixed it up, said “Hi!”) for at least 30,000 years (!)
            So, clearly Homo SS had no crushing superiority to Neanderthals (Crushing superiority of Homo SS over Neanderthals being the official wisdom, against which I rise)…

  17. The book! Part Two: The dog’s ancestor. | Learning from Dogs Says:

    […] who writes under the nom-de-plume of Patrice Ayme, wrote an essay in April, 2014 under the title of Neanderthal Superiority. Towards the end of that essay he […]

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