May 8, 2010

Neanderthal Gene Found In Non Africans

It wasn't that long ago that the layman community believed that Neanderthals were a link between humans and chimps.  I found a 1990 Almanac that gives a time line that states that 35,000 years ago, Neanderthals were replaced by Homo-Sapiens (Cro Magnon Man).

I stress that I'm not a scientist, but here is my take on what happened:

The rise in DNA research has put that idea to rest that Neanderthals were the link from chimp like humans to humans.  Just like man's branch diverged from the monkey branch 25 million years ago, and just like the chimp branch and human branch diverged 5-7 million years ago, modern man and Neanderthal diverged, possibly as much as 1 million years, as it appears they were the descendant of the first out of African wave of what I like to call near human ancestors.

The next significant human wave, this time, the descendants of modern humans out of Africa happened between 60,000 to 90,000 years ago. 

What researchers appeared to find is that our ancestors and Neanderthals started making out with each other around 60,000 years ago.  And it looks like some of the Neanderthal genes took (and were probably beneficial) and are now in everyone whose ancestors left Africa in the second wave.  Must have something to do with handling colder weather and stuff like that.

Those who are descended from the line that didn't leave Africa, show no Neanderthal genes.

This could have dangerous implications for racists who, if they accept they have Neanderthal blood in them, and are OK with that, can start making analogies that Europeans (2% Neanderthal) and chimps (3% difference) are not very far off the difference between Europeans and Africans.

One thing is for sure, the Neanderthal genes seems to limit one's athletic abilities compared to those who don't have the genes.  But of course, there are reasons for this, and it all has to do with what is beneficial in each ecosystem over time.

Now for some real science on the subject: