Saturday, May 2, 2009

"Neanderthal" DNA Sequenced?

An interesting article - about how closely related so-called Neanderthal man was to so-called modern humans. Quote: Paleogeneticist Svante Pääbo and his team from the Max Planck Institute in Germany, may soon provide the answers [to how closely related so-called "modern" man is to so-called "Neanderthal"] as they have undertaken the massive task of sequencing the Neanderthal genome. This is a daunting project, not just because of its scale, and the fact the DNA is old and decayed, but also because the material is contaminated by DNA from microbes and modern humans handling the specimens. Despite these problems, Pääbo is confident he now has a draft DNA sequence derived entirely from 38,000 year-old bone fragments from two female Neanderthals found in Croatia. So far, comparison of three billion human and Neanderthal DNA bases has thrown up a mere 1,000 to 2,000 changes, compared with 50,000 between humans and chimps. [Chimps are supposedly the closest living relative to modern man.] Already, scientists are pretty sure Neanderthals and humans did not interbreed [some believe there is evidence to the contrary], and they ultimately hope to find out how intelligent Neanderthals were, and why they became extinct.
I am keenly interested in how any scientist can possibly tell how intelligent a Neanderthal human being could possibly have been, given that as far as we known, the race became extinct some 30,000 years ago. What criteria would be used to impute intelligence (or lack thereof) to an extinct race? Would a scientist, perhaps, base his or her conclusions upon the estimated brain size of the extinct Neanderthal person? I believe there were some scientists who said, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, that black Africans, and their descendants scattered about the world because of slavery, were less than fully human and certainly not as intelligent as "white" based upon brain size. 1,000 to 2,000 difference in over 3 billion DNA bases examined. We convict criminals on much less differential in DNA than that.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

...neander developed language for us, the big brain didn't swell
on air pudding, her hyoid(speech)
bone developed contrary to evolution like ours because she sang.
she charted the stars for us and
began weaving, time's computing, and took the cave bear as christ,
starting blood religions.
she made the first offerings to the gods in her burial rites.
she was in the levant to start
agriculture, yuhti/yeti/cemitta/
semilla, as ayotl neander, turtle
the arguments on whether she talked or not are invalid when one realized she just as well mimed
the language she had developed over
millenia to us, the mimati/immati
wordstring in nauatl is her portrait, cf., missing mithen/
tzopilotl wordpress.
her way out of europe was to the
west, the british isles, cf.,
the zeus-chronus wars, robert graves mythology, and to the east
for the gravettian 22k bc, then
over to amerindia where the inuit
remember her as toniti.
there is no doubt she crossed
with us, despite the hygiene
of scientific finding and
g-gnomes. one only had
to read the letters after
the neander natl geo mock-up
appeared: every comment claimed
her for their relative on sight.
her mind was highly metaphoric
as she had learned everything
is divine, for the basques
she was basajun who told the
weather and from whom the first
seeds for agriculture were stolen.
science takes a lot on itself when it attacks, modifys, and trys to shape the perception of the spirit of a promethean species with its much abused tools,
a quick look at its leavings
shows us that it is not a
benign practice and that it is in the service of the smug and snug who rush to war as well as judgement with forced evidence
and the sons of others,
as believers in a new god
are wont to do.
the very fact that we
have not survived a quarter as
long as neander did, and are
toying with the novel glaciation of
nuclear winter, should alert us to
the fact that she, neander, drew
a sharp line between man and god.
who is the smarter/(s)ma(r)ti(letra)=mati(N)=knower now?

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