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Neanderthals and Humans Diverged 660K Years Ago 128

Death Metal Maniac writes "The team analyzed the DNA of 13 genes from Neanderthal mitochondria and found they were distinctly different from modern humans, suggesting Neanderthals never, or rarely, interbred with early humans. The genetic material shows that a Neanderthal 'Eve' lived around 660,000 years ago, when the species last shared a common ancestor with humans. Neanderthal brains were on average larger than those of modern humans."
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Neanderthals and Humans Diverged 660K Years Ago

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  • by Petersko ( 564140 ) on Friday August 08, 2008 @12:08PM (#24526777)
    "when the species last shared a common ancestor with humans"

    It seems to me that if they shared a common ancestor at any point, they'd always share a common ancestor.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 08, 2008 @12:23PM (#24527107)

    Brain complexity > Brain size
      I haven't heard of too many elephant or whale civilizations found yet

  • Really? Shocking! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by olddotter ( 638430 ) on Friday August 08, 2008 @12:48PM (#24527597) Homepage
    Giving the bizarre sexual practices you can find recorded on line, I find this rather amazing. It just seems that some hard up adolescent cave boy from one species would end up finding some slower running female of the other species more often than that....
  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday August 08, 2008 @12:53PM (#24527685) Journal

    That's actually a big argument for why humans and Neandertals may not have been able to produce viable offspring. As the lesson of the European sailors during the Age of Exploration shows, regardless of physical differences between populations, people like to fuck. We're only best by Bonobos in the horny ape department, and if some humans can get off on copulating with sheep and even inanimate objects, it's hard to imagine them not making it a Neandertal.

  • by CorporateSuit ( 1319461 ) on Friday August 08, 2008 @02:18PM (#24529223)
    If we've come to the point where we can permanently scar the earth with steel and asphalt, fling robots at other planets, and embed millions of miles of cables in the earth with just 10,000 years of recorded history, it is difficult to imagine that their entire 630,000 year civilization left less of a mark than 6 skeletons

    It's almost as if these "scientists" and archaeologists were completely making up any crazy numbers they wanted (as long as it's less than 300 million and more than 10,000), and couldn't scientifically verify them using any current methods. Oh wait, that's exactly what they are doing. True science dies a little more every time drek like this is published.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner