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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."

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