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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Are You Part Neanderthal? Check Your Hair and Teeth


Are you part Neanderthal? Of course we would never consider ourselves to be part brute but that is what our DNA is telling us. A majority of us have a few percentage points of Neanderthal DNA within our bodies. Ironically those things that make us look attractive like hair and teeth are more closely tied to our ancient ancestors. 

Studies in the journal Nature and Science help us think about human development from the beginning of time until now. It is believed the Neanderthal was a northern creature while humans came from Africa. Somewhere along the path they interbred and the Neanderthal died off. Apparently, the males were not so great at breeding when mixed. 

Human development appears to be on a continuum from the past to some marked point in the future. Each child creates a new genetic destiny based upon a historical past and develops something unique. As the environment changes, humans change with it to ensure they able to survive and pass on their genetic code. 

Neanderthals died off due to lack of communication skills and environmental adjustments. Modern language appears to be one of the most defining and beneficial aspects of social development. Where Neanderthals could run around in packs of a half dozen humans can now travel in the thousands. 

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12961.html

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