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Did Neanderthals Hunt & Rape Homo Sapiens?

Well, I’ve spent an interesting morning digging through a website I came across via a comment on Art’s private blog.

themandus
 

Here’s the site: Them and Us. There’s also a book by Danny Vendramini, which I’ve ordered and look forward to getting (shipped from Australia at a heafty shipping fee). The first three chapters are available for free.

One thing that particularly drew me into looking closely at this was the author.

I’ve been studying evolutionary biology for ten years but decided against the PhD route. For cutting edge theoretical science, there are real advantages in working outside the university system. Academia discourages risk-taking and there can be no major scientific success without risk. […]

You need two kinds of scientists. People who are into experimentation, detailed observation and analysis. They’re unquestionably the backbone of scientific progress. But you also need a few left-field people who can look at the big picture and envisage new paradigms and possibilities.

I think he’s exactly right about that, especially in an age where there’s so much financial reward and prestige available to those scientists who serve to prop up conventional "wisdom" because conventional "wisdom" is the foundation of authoritarian, centralized, force-backed political structures. In other words, the state and its mega-corporation bedfellows are more than willing to pay for scientists to tell them what they want to hear, giving a false aura of credibility to the whole incestuous charade.

If he turns out to be correct, provided we can come to some strong confidence in the matter, can anyone speculate as to how this might change our overall view of evolution?

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

17 Comments

  1. Grok on November 1, 2009 at 17:14

    Thanks for the find. I’ll be checking it out.

    “I think he’s exactly right about that”

    I’m 100% with the both of you on this. I’m almost against the education system in a sense. Information evolves so quickly these days, it seems the education system is always one step behind. Then you have the conventional wisdom factor on top of that….

  2. Paul on November 1, 2009 at 18:14

    I see he also has a 50+ page academic paper on part of this for a free download.

    Very generous, this and the three chapters.

  3. Trish on November 2, 2009 at 04:13

    This guy seems to be one of those rare writers who can take an academically obtuse subject and make it not only readable, but compelling. As for evolution … well, there’s still far too many people that think the human race sprang from dirt six thousand years ago–ostensibly educated adults to boot.

  4. Marnee on November 2, 2009 at 09:32

    What are these “dark atavistic fears”?

  5. mthomay on November 2, 2009 at 12:13

    From the book preview, p. 30: “When geneticists began analysing isotopes of bone collagen in Neanderthal bone specimens, they found that the Neanderthal diet consisted almost entirely of meat. In one French study, calcium ratios extracted from 40 Saint-Césaire Neanderthal samples revealed the Neanderthal diet was composed of about 97 percent (in weight) of meat. These and similar findings are summarised by English palaeoanthropologist Paul Pettitt who concludes that Neanderthals ate “meat for breakfast, lunch and tea”.”

  6. Troy Cruz on November 2, 2009 at 19:01

    Fascinating stuff… Would be interested in a review of the book.

  7. collagen on November 2, 2009 at 20:36

    This guy seems to be one of those rare writers who can take an academically obtuse subject and make it not only readable, but compelling.I found this post very attractive as it contain very informative knowledge.I agree with one of the review that When geneticists began analyzing isotopes of bone collagen in Neanderthal bone specimens, they found that the Neanderthal diet consisted almost entirely of meat.

  8. Vin - NaturalBias on November 3, 2009 at 08:27

    I look forward to reading what you have to say about this book. I share your pain about shipping charges from Australia. I just ordered Manthropology.

  9. Bryce on November 3, 2009 at 11:05

    The free intro was certainly interesting. I’m going to have to download that academic paper for sure, because ordering this thing from Australia isn’t going to happen for me right now.

  10. Heather on November 3, 2009 at 11:38

    What I wouldn’t give for a Kindle version….

  11. Beth on November 3, 2009 at 11:57

    “especially in an age where there’s so much financial reward and prestige available to those scientists who serve to prop up conventional “wisdom””

    In my experience, there isn’t a lot of “financial reward” for being a scientist, though it does seem to be true that their friends tend to think they are smart (except for the part about working so hard for so little money, but then, it is a noble thing to work for good). At least, that is what I see in my scientist friends. [I chose to go for the filthy lucre instead.]

  12. Paul on November 12, 2009 at 12:35

    I’ve read the paper and found it very interesting.

    The concerns with the theory I have include a rather glossing over how Neanderthal got to Europe to start with. And I’m not terribly sure how the human phenotype could both differentiate into the races so fast, all in the last 50,000 years.

    I’ve long said that the reason we are suspicious of The Stranger is because of our innate psychobiology of protection of the group above all. “Them and Us.” It’s not because we are unkind, or not embracing diversity, or are racist/bigoted/xenophobic. It’s our built in survival system. Now, sometimes it’s very inconvenient in a modern world, but our psychobiology will never be PC.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 12, 2009 at 12:46

      I just got the book in from the land of Oz a couple of days ago. Have only had a chance to thumb through so far, but I’ll dive in soon.

  13. Jim on November 23, 2009 at 12:09

    Fascinating. Also interesting there is no genetic evidence of Neanderthal/HomoSapiens mixed heritage. The N were the heavy carnivores of Europe who left behind all the paleo evidence. The HS of the Levant were apparently omnivores with about 30% animal protein in their diet. Casts a different light on all the paleo nutrition religion if it’s based on Neanderthal fossil evidence.

  14. Glenn on November 30, 2009 at 13:16

    Just a thought. For those of you who want books here in Australia. Why don’t you tell me (or other aussies in here) the website, we can see if we can find cheaper shipping methods for you

  15. Paul Verizzo on September 12, 2010 at 14:06

    Richard, did you ever get and read the book? I still think about his theories from time to time.

    • Richard Nikoley on September 12, 2010 at 19:16

      I have it, unfortunately, still in my stack. I’m less than a voracious reader these days.

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