quote:Remember, while we often say that ranges overlap, population density was also considerably smaller than today and physical barriers to travel were of a greater magnitude. If you have ever hunted, you will understand that even when you are in an area where it is known that your target species is available, it is often the case that you will never see a single critter. Even in our modern manicured wilderness, it's not unusual to find tracks crossing your path of a critter you never saw.
There is a culture of hunting here in Idaho. Almost every year someone is shot by another hunter hiding in the bush, or a horse is hit etc. Imagine missing a deer or an accidental misfire hitting another hunter trying to hide himself just like you. The odds seem slim yet it happens. I would expect the same thing to happen in Europe, where neadnerthals and cro magnon man are hunting the same herd and run into each other. This would most likely be male to male contact, but fights over hunting grounds would probably involve the invasion of living areas that would include women. This is all speculation, but I would expect that gene flow was socially restricted, not geographically restrited.
This message has been edited by Loudmouth, 10-11-2004 01:53 PM
Mammuth I always assumed that Neanderthal was our ancestor for the simple reason that there was no other known hominid around that could qualify. H. sapiens surely was not created de novo as the Fundies might believe. I mention this because so many people think I am a Fundamentalist creationist which is utter nonsense. I suspect that we were derived from Neanderthal in a single saltational step which involved the silencing and activation of a number of genes. I also don't see how it could conceivably have been done gradually or through the accumulation of allelomorphic mutations. Excuse my heresy.
There has been near scientific consensus for some time (well before DNA analysis was available) that the Neanderthals were not human but were (on edit: at most) a closely related cousin. Having said that, there is still a great deal of controversy about the details. Dr. George Johnson has a nice little essay on it here if you are interested. http://www.txtwriter.com/...nce/Articles/humanevolution.html
There has been a lot of speculation about how much interaction (socialization, conflict, interbreeding) there was between Neanderthals and modern man. The latest DNA evidence would suggest that if there was any interbreeding the Neanderthal genes are long gone. And the DNA evidence seems to rule out any possibility that Neanderthal was an ancestor of modern man (on edit) and confirm that Neantheral was a separate species and not a closely related cousin and thus not likely to have interbred.
This message has been edited by deerbreh, 07-06-2005 02:54 PM