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All Non-Africans Part Neanderthal, Genetics Confirm (discovery.com)
106 points by funthree on July 24, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 80 comments

That is not what "genetics confirm". I wish people at yellow journalism pseudoscience rag "Discover" would read the darn paper before spouting off on it.

The actual study found that Neanderthal DNA is present in a small percentage (not all) of people in each continent. Including Africa.

Anyone contemplating downvoting this, for the love of scientific reality please read the actual original paper first.

The headline is only slightly off. Even the title of the actual journal article ( http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/28/7/1957.abstract ) is "An X-Linked Haplotype of Neandertal Origin Is Present Among All Non-African Populations"

Anyway, the fact that Neanderthal sequence is present in all non-African populations is more important and interesting than whether or not Neanderthal sequence is present in all non-African human individuals. By statistical likelihood, we'd expect the answer to the latter question to be 'no', while the answer to the former is interesting, empiric, and, now, known to be 'yes'.

The headline is not slightly off, it is completely inaccurate because the hack "journalist" at Discover didn't read the paper. It is not true at all that "All Non-Africans Part Neandertal". On average world wide, they found a Neandertal chromosome segment present in 9% of the 6092 chromosome samples from all inhabited continents.

It's also not true what both titles suggest that no African samples were part neandertal, the supposed neandertal segment (B006) was found in several African samples from their extremely limited sample size that doesn't even cover a small fraction of ethnic populations of Africa. Not only is it present in several African samples they tested, it is likely to be found in others as well should this be extended to a more comprehensive sample of world ethnic groups.

As a completely separate topic, the uniquely Neandertal origin of B006 is speculative to say the very least, but it's fine to assume so for the sake of argument, it's just not a definitive claim of fact... yet.

Oh my, if what you're saying is correct, then thank you. I saw this story on Ars, Discover, and a couple places and took the wrong thing from it (both individual vs. population, and the presence of neandertal genes in some africans).

To be clear, are you saying the more accurate statement would be: "Neandertal chromosome segments found in all tested non-african populations, and some tested african populations"? (Which, when you put it that way, seems like a somewhat weird distinction to make.)

edit: I followed the link upthread, but it was only to the paper abstract. Is the full paper available for free online somewhere?

edit2: It seems the distinction might be no neandertal geneds found in sub-Saharan African population samples?

> "Neandertal chromosome segments found in all tested non-african populations, and some tested african populations"?

Yes, your more accurate statement is correct.

> "It seems the distinction might be no neandertal genes found in sub-Saharan African population samples?"

Regarding the Sub-Saharan distinction, the article text's terminology describes haplotype B006 as "virtually" absent from Subsaharan Africa. They then explain this as meaning that 6 out of the 1420 subsaharan samples contained B006, including 5 from tribal groups in Burkina Faso. They explain this away by supposing that these tribal groups must have historically interbred with north African groups, which is not an unreasonable guess, but I am sure it is also true for many other subsaharan groups as well. North African incidence rates of B006 are comparable to the middle east and Russia and higher than China.

So, 0.4% of sub-saharan samples contained B006, but not none. Also, north-western mexico, east south america, east china, siberia and indonesia all have similarly extremely low incidence rates, but no explicit mention of these areas is made in the paper, it's just seen in the data. Only subsaharan africa is called out for special mention. The highest rates of B006 are in western Canada - greater than 25% in some areas.

There is also a separate problem of the circular argument due to the inherent selection bias of brute force digging through the data sets looking for a gene with these characteristics. It's not like they started with a gene they knew was neandertal only, researchers sought out a gene in the single sequenced neandertal sample which had lower modern african incidence rates and from that concluded it was a non-african sourced neandertal gene, then turned around and concluded the reverse, bringing the argument full circle. That's another problem but I'd just as soon not get into that since I would much rather assume that is all good and only focus on the very misleading titles that are going around in articles about this paper.

Thanks for this explanation. It seems you know more than any of those journalists. Let me please ask you a question that has intrigued me for a while that is not directly related to this.

There have been studies showing that individuals from two different races, for example Caucasian and West African, are usually more similar genetically to some members of the other race than to some of his own. What is meant by this? How is it possible considering that people of the same race share much more recent ancestry than people of different races? Then later you see graphs showing genetic clusters, how can there be clusters if people aren't more similar to one another for being of the same race? Did they use mixed race individuals for these studies? Are the parts of the genome that make two people look more similar to each other random parts or specific ones, what do these parts do? And finally in the global similarity section of 23andme, one can see the groups he's most related to, how is this possible?

I just try to read the papers with these articles.

I'm not up to date with the racial arguments you mention. I know there was something of an obsession 50-100 years ago with trying to establish a scientific basis to justify racism, imperialism, land theft, sterilization, imprisonment and subjugation of non-european peoples and there are still vestiges of those assumptions in a lot of research.

With the claim that "individuals from two different races, for example Caucasian and West African, are usually more similar genetically to some members of the other race than to some of his own", I have heard similar claims but how I understand it is they are not saying randomly chosen individuals from two different groups are more similar than randomly chosen individuals from within a group, but are comparing diversity of individuals within a group to diversity of group averages between groups. In other words, the claim is that the variation between two related individuals is greater than the variation between two unrelated groups, taken as averages. You are correct that if the claim is being presented that individuals between unrelated groups are more related than individuals within related groups, the argument doesn't make sense. It would not be surprising though if it has been presented that way in some articles and then repeated until it became a self-propagating myth. And again to clarify, I'm not up to date with any of those arguments, but just speculating on what might be going on.

Thank you. I don't understand how the diversity between averages can be smaller and what I had understood not be true.


I'm not arguing any position, just trying to understand without being very familiar with genetics or statistics. Maybe I've read the studies the way you presented it but my simple mind interpreted it that way. I'm guessing there is a huge flaw in what I drew but I don't see it, I can't picture in my mind what you meant.

In your drawing, I think it should be where the blue and green scatters are completely overlapping, that would be more like the actual data. They would be completely separate scatter plots if it was comparing something like humans to algae or such. Even humans and elephants have a lot of overlap in their DNA, you'd have to get pretty different to have no overlap.

Ah, wonderful explanation. Thanks. That circular reasoning issue is very interesting, too.

You're not wrong, it's just that the specific point that you're arguing isn't the one that is most interesting to population geneticists.

Am I missing something? I don't see this article in Discover, or on Discover's site.

The linked article is from the Discovery Channel, which as far as I can tell has different owners and isn't affiliated with Discover Magazine.

You are correct, I apologize for the mistake.

>Anyone contemplating downvoting this, for the love of scientific reality please read the actual original paper first.

I wouldn't downvote you because you are necessarily wrong. In fact I don't think that is even suggested behavior. However, you probably should get downvoted for other reasons (http://ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html#Be_Civil)

This is basically a confirmation of Reich's and Paabo's 2010 work sequencing the Neanderthal genome. Interesting and totally consistent with their findings.

Also, for those of you who read this article, the Nick Patterson quoted in the article was, in another lifetime, a cryptologist: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990DE6D81431F...

Hopefully this is not exploited to "scientifically" explain the inferiority of sub-Saharan Africans vis-a-vis the rest of humanity.

One of the unfortunate side effects of the way that newspapers report on scientific research is that journalists' lack of knowledge of the subject matter leads to lots of vague statements that can be easily twisted around to have just about any desired meaning.

The equality of humanity is not an empirical judgement. It is a value judgement. It rests, not on scientific grounds, but on ideological grounds.

Not in basketball or sprinting. There are huge differences between women and men [1] [2]. Not everyone is equally equal beautiful snowflakes, and that's fine with me. Do the best you can with what you have.

[1] http://healthland.time.com/2011/06/28/why-women-are-better-a... [2] http://www.psy.fsu.edu/~baumeistertice/goodaboutmen.htm?

When someone talks about 'equality' in terms of values, they're probably talking more about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and less about ability at basketball or sprinting.

Men take more risks, they are more at the top and at the bottom of society because it's in their nature to be slightly more extreme. Wouldn't you say that that applies to life outside of sports?

Again we seem to be at cross purposes. One type of equality might be described thusly:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights"

The other like this:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (and women!) are absolutely inseparably as good as each other at sports, that they are endowed by their Creator with a complete knowledge of the rules of basketball"

The latter would be an absurd thing to say, but would be easy to judge empirically. The former is a statement of a certain set of values - widely held, I'd hope, but nevertheless impossible to justify experimentally, beyond the fact that (again, I'd hope) most people have experienced in their lifetimes that it's nice when we all get along with one another.

Either way, they use the concept of 'equality' quite differently. I felt Dove actually captured this very succinctly, which is why I'm surprised it's been misconstrued twice now.

Let's go back to the post Dove was replying to, for context. There are many people who would happily grant the abovementioned rights to all, while still considering a subset of the population somehow less inherently able. The parent comment was talking about one type of equality, Dove another (why?), me again the first, you again the second, and then you tell us twice that we're not getting it.

I find your interpretation of that post equally astonishing.

performance != value

This is an empirical judgement: http://kuvaton.com/kuvei/evolution5.jpg

Feel free to google Great Zimbabwe, Old Ghana, Mwene Mutapa or Timbuktu. I could give you a tonne of other examples but your ignorance, I fear, is incurable. All the same, Rome != Europe, and Africa is not a fucking city. And how - what I presume to be a - German, interprets the feats of a culture whose development is only remotely connected to his own, is something beyond my African capacity to comprehend.

His argument is completely flawed. All areas surrounding the Mediterranean benefited greatly from being able to cover large distances by boat. This allowed trade to flourish and civilizations to prosper in this part. The fertile crescent was the hub of all this, you can trace the origin of European civilization to this point. You could simplify it and say that it went like this: Egypt, Greece, Rome and Europe. Meanwhile, there was a huge dessert isolating Sub-Saharan Africa. You have to keep in mind though that Timbuktu for example didn't spring out of nothing but thanks to Muslims from the North.

Other places were able to get their own civilization thanks to one reason or the other, e.g. Eastern China.

All that has to do with achievements of different societies. Now at the individual level, how do we know whether groups with Caucasian genes would have been able to develop a civilization if they had lived in a place with the same geography and conditions as Sub-Saharan Africans? We can't know.

What we know though is that the conditions are there now for individuals with predominantly Sub-Saharan ancestry to show what they are capable of. Eventually they'll produce someone like Mozart, Newton, Confucius, Sun Tzu, Jabir ibn Hayyan or Abbas ibn Firnas. Or maybe they won't. Perhaps too early to tell.

One of the points I was trying to make was, "Africa" as an entity does not exist, save for in Western and post-colonial Pan African texts. We do not see ourselves as African, identifying primarily as one of hundreds, maybe thousands, of distinct ethnolinguistic groups - tribes, if you will. I am a Luo. I only see myself as a Kenyan when I'm outside the country. African cultures - specifically Black African cultures - tend to have strong oral traditions that do not lend themselves well to transcription using Western templates for historical writing. In my tribe, there's a legend of a man known as Lwanda Magere, who conquered nations surrounding the Luo. This would be our equivalent of Alexander the Great. My guess is you've never heard of this, or the million other similar stories from Black Africa. The Mozart's of your world exist because you developed writing or borrowed it from close by civilizations. It's all about records.

>You have to keep in mind though that Timbuktu for example didn't spring out of nothing but thanks to Muslims from the North.

This would be like calling Sicilly an Arabic city. Timbuktu grew as a center of trade within Black Africa as a result of trade with the northern Arabic and Arabized Berber states. This does not make it any less valid as an example.

PS: May not look like it, but I largely agree with you.

Sicilly is not a city, is an island with a lot of cities. Before the Arabs even existed, Greek colonists founded Syracuse (which is around 2700 years old) the birth place of Archimedes.

>You could simplify it and say that it went like this: Egypt, Greece, Rome and Europe.

Not necessarily. The first big European civilization was the [Cucuteni-Trypillian culture](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucuteni-Trypillian_culture) which developed north-west of the Black Sea and was quite ahead of what was developing in the Middle East or elsewhere at the time (they had better pottery, barter tokens, biggest settlements in the World - up to 15000 people-, and were possibly the authors of the first writing system, 1000 years before the Summerians).

Fortified church build by a small German village of less than 1000 people around 1100, in Transylvania.


Now compare that with anything build by the Great Zimbabwe, Old Ghana or Timbuktu. Don't worry, that fortified church is just one of many.

I'm sorry we didn't adopt Christian architecture, in pre-Christian Africa. I find that to be subjective, simply a matter of taste. We have wildly different cultures so I should expect the same of our aesthetics. I find it absurd that you expect Greco-Roman or Gothic architecture in places that were never at any point under the respective empires. Black Africans did not share European sensibilities, and attempting to use that single, alien yardstick to gauge all civilizations under deprives you greatly from enjoying all the beauty humanity has got to offer. But that's your loss, not mine. I'm only able to appreciate the beauty of the Sistine Chapel because MY education system exposed me to your culture. This doesn't make me view the shrines of the Mijikenda as any less beautiful, nor the temples of my Hindu countrymen and women. Aquired tastes my friend. You're only looking to enforce your world view, and pathetic as I think that is, it's not my place to deny you.

Thanks for the Sicillian clarification BTW. I'll be sure to go there next time I'm in Greece. Oh, wait...

I think there are numerous examples of ancient architecture from even before the age of Rome found in Africa. Particularly northeast-africa.

Africa is just too big and diverse too be lumped into one category. However I did get a good chuckle out of the jpeg.

I do have to agree with the some of the sentiments here. There are examples of Africans who also have the Neanderthal presence in their DNA, again, east-africans. Probably explains why they're so different to other Africans. Though I still don't know whether they're considered sub-saharan africans or not. They are genetically very distinct from surrounding Africans.

Hey. Just a point of correction - East Africans are just as black as people from the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa. You may find communities along the coasts, such as the Swahili, with significant Arab ancestry but most inland tribes are not different from their Western or Southern African counterparts. The greatest differences occur between language groups. Take the Nilotes for instance - the linguistic group which my tribe, the Luo, belongs to - we tend to be relatively tall and thin, with very dark skin, as compared to the more stout, lighter skinned Bantu groups. These distinctions also exist between the Western African branches of Nilo-Saharan (the Nilotic parent group) and the Bantu communities in the region. Southern African communities are largely Bantu though. In short, the vast majority of East Africans are what you'd call black, no different from any other black populations.

PS: "Sub Saharan" is rather long. We really don't mind "Black" Africa.

Thank you, that's very interesting. I was more referring to Horners. Ethiopians, Somalians, Eritreans. But that brings up another interesting question for me. How would you consider them? I know outside of Africa they are considered caucasians and have significant caucasian influence ( we're talking at least or over the 50% range.)

Pictures results after googling around a bit:



In my opinion, this just shows that humanity is a gradient. Overlapping. It's rather fascinating.

Yeah, it really is fascinating. Sorry, my previous comment didn't talk much about the Cushites. We have a large Kenyan Somali population - close to a million - and an even larger diaspora from Somalia with residency or refugee status, because of the civil war in their country. The Somali myth of origin, if I remember my high school history, goes something like this. A Yemeni man marries the daughter of a man - ethnicity not specified - called Darrod. Assuming Darrod was black in the typical sense, this story might point to a "biracial" origin of the Somali. The Ethiopians on the other hand, have a story about a creator making humans out of clay. Those who stayed too long in the kiln became black and were placed south, those who didn't stay in long enough became white and were placed to the north and the Ethiopians who stayed in for just the right amount of time were placed somewhere in the middle. I read it when I was a kid, so I don't quite remember if it placed any distinctions between the Tigre and Amhara, the most dominant tribes in Ethiopia. I assume it's the same for the Erritreans, as they were essentially a single nation at some point.

Cushites - are "Black" in a political sense, maybe less so in a cultural sense as I've been made to understand that Ethiopians generally don't see themselves as lowercase "b" black.

About the gradient thing, black people have a huge spectrum of different skin colors, even within the same family. My Mum for instance, is light skinned. My sister and I are quite dark. The funny thing is we started out really light skinned as children, perhaps till we each turned three. I've heard some kids start out blonde and end up with dark hair? I find it all quite interesting.

I agree! I have a somali friend. The general somali myth is that they all, the tribes, came from one Somali man and his wife. I think the Somalis generally realize they're not from arabs. And abhor even the suggestion! haha.

But he said that you are correct, if you go in the north of Somalia, where currently, Somaliland is. You will find that many Isaacs ( clan name) think they are descendants of the arab tribe of Mohammed. My friend tells me these people are just confused. And I think we can agree that DNA analyses seem to suggest he's correct.hehe. DNA and linguistic research seems to suggest the Earlier Egyptian,Somali, Amhara and Eritrean populations to be close relatives. With the Somalis having the least influence of surrounding nations ( Arabs, west-africans etc.) Funny how the ones that don't think they're purely Africans, are the ones that in fact, are!

"Particularly northeast-africa."

I hesitate to say this since I had been planning on staying away from this conversation, but northeast africa is not part of sub-Saharan Africa which this article seems to be concerning (at least according to the Discover writeup, which I only skimmed).


Ah ha! Thank you for that,it was enlightening. I have heard before that East-Africans are considered caucasians. Though I don't know this for sure. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caucasian_race Wikipedia for 'caucasian' seems to suggest they are though. Strange!

You're falling way below the usual standards of discourse on this site.

I love, love love the book Guns, Germs and Steel. It's not perfect but the author throws in so many great ideas as to why certain groups did better than others. None because any group is inherently superior.


I liked that book, too, but later controversies surrounding Diamond have made me wonder how much I should rely on the narrative presented there.

I think don't rely at all, just add it to the set of things you include when thinking about the issues. The book is awesome because it added so many dimensions to consider that I never had before.

I hope not as well. Lots of the replies seem to be stating a difference between 'science' and 'values', but the fact is there has been a long history of using science or pseudoscience to justify claims of inferiority amongst other humans. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_racism for some examples.

> Hopefully this is not exploited to "scientifically" explain the inferiority of sub-Saharan Africans vis-a-vis the rest of humanity.

IIRC correctly, Neanderthals had smaller brains.

I believe that is actually a "stupid cavemen" popular myth. From wikipedia:

  Neanderthal cranial capacity is thought to have been as
  large as that of a Homo sapiens, perhaps larger,
  indicating their brain size may have been comparable, as
  well. In 2008, a group of scientists created a study using
  three-dimensional computer-assisted reconstructions of
  Neanderthal infants based on fossils found in Russia and
  Syria, showing that they had brains as large as modern
  humans' at birth and larger than modern humans' as
  adults.[8] On average, the height of Neanderthals was
  comparable to contemporaneous Homo sapiens. Neanderthal
  males stood about 165–168 cm (65–66 in), and were heavily
  built with robust bone structure. They were much stronger
  than Homo sapiens, having particularly strong arms and
  hands.[9] Females stood about 152–156 cm (60–61 in)
Of course whales have big brains too and they are pretty dumb, so our mileage may vary ;)

edit: formatting

Thanks burgerbrain. It seems I didn't remember correctly (or did - it's been a long time since I last got really interested in this, perhaps the early 90's). And I also have some reading to do ;-).

OTOH, in regard to the parent post, reason never stopped a racist before. It's doubtful it will now.

Yep, it's not purely the brain size that matters, it's the ratio of brain size to total body mass. And Neanderthals did indeed have larger brains than humans. They also started wearing pigmented jewelry before we did, in fact we might have learned it from them.

I would consider a function of surface and volume, as well as the kinds and "bandwidth" of the senses and complexity of society. You have to process all the sensory input that comes through the skin, eyes, sonar and keep your friends friendly.

Brian Dunning did a Skeptoid episode about a related issue: 'Neanderthals in Present Day Asia'


A snippet: "Really quick history lesson on Neanderthals. They are not an ancestor of modern humans. Homo neanderthalensis is descended from a separate branch that split off from the evolutionary tree about 516,000 years ago, according to some research published in Nature. Mitochondrial DNA studies have shown conclusively that Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens evolved separately. As the Cro-Magnon Homo sapiens moved in across Europe about 45,000 years ago, Homo neanderthalensis was pushed out into little corners of the world. The last known population died out in the vicinity of Gibraltar about 24,000 years ago, thus ending their approximately 300,000 year existence.


So now we've got a fair handle on the landscape of evidence in front of us, and now we can take a skeptical look at what we've got. Basically, nothing. We have some vaguely plausible hypotheses — yeah, I suppose it's possible that relic Neanderthals and Gigantopithecus or even some descendant of Paranthropus could survive in remote parts of Asia — but that's all we really have, a hypothesis. A hypothesis is a provisional explanation for these stories of wildmen in captivity and bearing children."

Apart from discussions on the quality of headline writers in popular and specialist scientific journals, I find it really interesting that the "out of Africa" hypothesis seems to need to merge with the multicentric model of human evolution.

Add to that the Denisova hominin sequencing (from the single toe bone that was thought to be Neandertal of a population that may have diverged from the African populations around 900kYA) and possible presence of up to a 4% admixture in Papuan and Melanesian populations.

It's exciting times to be interested in human evolution.

Remember that a 4% contribution is about what you might expect from a great-great grandparent (although we're talking whole populations here, not specific individuals).

My take home: the different clades of humans/hominins have been able to recognise enough of themselves in others that they were able to mix and interbreed. Early human prehistory wasn't just genocides and extinctions due to overspecialisation and ecological change. Awesome!

Are Neanderthals extinct? Not totally. Neither are dinosaurs 1.


With this and other discoveries regarding Neanderthals in mind, does it still make sense to call them non-human in any meaningful sense? I would think the fact that we all interbred would be enough to knock down the species barrier, but I don't know for sure.

I've usually seen Neanderthals described as Homo sapiens Neanderthalensis, meaning that they are considered the same species.

Soooo... Africans are the only pure blood homo sapiens? Interesting.

I have a feeling a lot of supremacists groups are going to start making a point of how superior Neanderthals were soon enough.

I was waiting to see how the CNN-commenting crowd would reconcile their opinions with the common concept of 'cavemen' and its negative connotations.

Yes, and I imagine a large number of individuals, white supremacists or not, are going to do some mental gymnastics to reconcile this finding.

What mental gymnastics? We don't know what this DNA does, nor why it was useful in an evolutionary sense to keep it.

Well, that very article laid the groundwork in the last sentence: "Variability is very important for long-term survival of a species," Labuda concluded. "Every addition to the genome can be enriching."

Basically, he's saying "hybrid vigor". Boom, there you go, supremacists, have fun!

Okay, then explain this: There is no fossil evidence of neanderthals in east asia or australia. There is a lot of fossil evidence of neanderthals in europe. If humans mated with neanderthals, then why is there no stronger presence of neanderthal DNA is europeans (compared to asians) in either this study or the previous one?

Nobody is suggesting that Neanderthals were in East Asia or Australia. The theory is that during the exodus from Africa, genetic exchange occurred.

Yes, but don't you get it? AFTER the exodus from Africa, the two populations were living in the same region (europe), but did not inter-mix at all anymore. Otherwise there would be more DNA in the europeans.

Why mix when in the middle east and then refuse to mix when in Europe?

I do not think that human history occurred the way you think it occurred.

How did it happen then? It appears you have no idea

This is a good question and I have no idea why you're being downvoted. I think I've heard there's evidence that interbreeding happened in Europe as well.

Then why is European DNA lower than far Asian?

Even Neanderthal's have African roots,so i do not see why anyone is struggling to make distinctions

> Even Neanderthal's have African roots,so i do not see why anyone is struggling to make distinctions

All life originated with a single common ancestor, but I still find distinctions to be useful. Neanderthals and humans were considered to be different species, so this is a fairly weighty finding. Anyway, making distinctions is perhaps the essence of being human.

I suspect that Neanderthals were smart enough and talented enough that we'd call them human and give them civil rights, today, if any were around. They mind be kinda odd, and incredible football players, but who knows.


> Yeah,just like being racist is human too

Oh, right, I forgot that genetic research was per se racist. Or am I misinterpreting you?

I was just trying to suggest that if subject C is related to subject B,and subject B is related to subject A,then it follows that C is also related to A,both A,B and C are related and there is no need for fine distinctions.

In that case, humans and bananas are the same, right? No need for fine distinctions. After all, 50% of our DNA is the same.

The fact that sub-Saharan Africans are not of partial Neanderthal descent while every other race is does create the possibility that there are fundamental genetic differences between them and all other races. However, proving any such differences would be near impossible. What's racist is to claim that such differences exist when not a shred of scientific evidence for such a claim exists.

The similarities between these three DNAs is in the high 90s,which is pretty different from the 50% that you are talking about

The "high 90s" that humans and neanderthals had in common is dwarfed by what all humans have in common with each other. These distinctions are not the product of anyones imagination.

very interesting. I wonder if there are behavioral difference between Non-africans and Africans that can be attributed to the difference in genetic makeup.

I heard rumors about this around 2005 but at the time nobody in the field wanted to say anything publicly for fear of being labeled 'racists'.

Small-scale sequencing studies in Neanderthal samples were occurring back in 2006, and were being published openly and discussed in the New York Times.

a w e s o m e

Yeah, but only from their women.

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