Harry Potter reference: It’s pronounced Neander-tall, not neander-thawl.

As more information is discovered about the Neanderthals, the more human they seem to have been. Recently a hominin fossil assemblage was discovered in La Cotte de St Brelade, Jersey, that contained teeth that exhibited morphologic features representative of both H. sapiens and Neanderthals (Compton et al., 2021). The assemblage includes thirteen teeth that are thought to belong to two individuals that lived around 48,000 years ago, 8,000 years before the expected extinction of the Neanderthals.

Thus far, this is the best fossil evidence of hybridization between these two species. This is…

The culture I grew up in taught me that science and religion do not belong together, and actually that these two realms are at war with each other. Intellectuals would discredit any claims of divine work because it was untestable, and believers would tear apart theories that explain our world because it wasn't written in their religious texts. Scientists are discredited if they openly claim to believe in God, and believers that accept things like the existence of dinosaurs and evolution are judged by their community. Or at least that's what I had come to think.

Image found at (Church Times, 2018)

It wasn't until I…

Today every human on earth is known scientifically as a Homo sapien. But if you dig a bit back into time, say around 700 to 200 thousand years ago, give or take a few thousand, you’ll find that there were a number of other Homo species. This time period is called the Middle Pleistocene, and during this time there may have been up to 7 different Homo species living simultaneously (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Phylogenetic tree of the Homo species, with geologic (red) and speculative (white) time ranges. Here Neanderthals and Denisovans are identified as subspecies to modern humans, i.e., Homo sapien neanderthalensis (Madeira, 2019).

However, Paleoanthropologists differ on the number of species that overlap through time for a variety of reasons, which is just one small area of controversy within the story…

Brian Madeira

Environmental Scientist, Christian, and above all else, a Nerd. I am here to write about the things that interest me

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