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My homespun header sung to the tune of something from Paint Your Wagons, I think. The headline at Phys.org is "Modern humans inherited viral defenses from Neanderthals." Click and go, but someone go first for Peter and give him an all-clear, thanks. We sometimes talk about viral things and sometime talk about Neanderthal and sometimes we talk about Neaderthal and Rand. This is my half-assed attempt to knit together a proper blog post. Since I can't socialize the means of content-production, I quote from the forum itself: Musical interlude. Who knows who he was Listing at: Jerry Biggers and WSS scolding each other politely. Just off stage right, Jonathan. I applaud the idea of a timewarp-dragging of Kamhi. This would have extirpated modernism and post-modernism at its roots. Of course, the tribe might have been offended by bossiness and killed and eaten the meddler. Better she had brought agriculture and advanced toolmaking. Perhaps she would have convinced Trog that she could serve a useful function in the family. ... From my understanding, recent research suggests that Neanderthal language was of fully human capacity, though there was a likely 'primitive' brain in which it was seated (see Wikipedia for a brief summary). I'd often found it a puzzle how Neanderthal could have been able to thrive without human language, without the ability to communicate concepts. Though they were indeed different to modern humans, and perhaps cognitively limited in comparison, that they could and did interbreed with modern humans suggested that they shared an ability for language. Who would want a partner who could not take direction? That's what I thought during the times when Neanderthal vocal tracts were thought suitable only for grunts. To the felicitous notion of Rand among the Neanderthals, I think she would have become a leader of the Neanderthal family she found herself in. She may also have become a fecund matriarch, and through her line have injected rational genes into the germ line of humanity. Ayn Rand as tough-talking no-nonsense educator-queen of early humankind makes for a fine fancy. An on-ramp to Point of Inflection, regarding our present ability to make conclusions about prehistory. A kind of stew of Neanderthal and history and Rand and Brant and Bob. Mood generally sunny with an occasional sharp gust: The Neanderthals were better adapted physically to cold climates than were the cro-mags (that is to say, Our Kind). The Neanderthal weaponry was better adapted to one on one stabbing and looking the prey in the eye. When the ice started to recede the prey had more room to run so throwing spears were the better weapon. The Cro Mags developed the throwing spear. The Neanderthal did not. Also the Cro-Mags told stories and drew pictures. the Neanderthal did not. During times of critical changes small differences can make the difference between survival and extinction. The Neanderthals also had smaller vocal apparatus and could not articulate as well as Cro-Mag. We can assume that Cro-Mags talked more and told better stories than his cousin Ally-Oop. Modern Man's mastery on this planet is a function of his ability to communicate. Ideas, both good and bad are effective on how well they are spread about. Gentle guidance, away from epistemological swamplands: Binswinger's grasp of the history of the human species is very much in error. Our kind of human did not emigrate from Africa until about 60,000 ybp. This was the second wave of emigration by homo sapien. The first successful emigration of hominids from Africa eas Neanderthal, about 300,000 ybp. Neanderthal was very successful but the Ice Age and the competition from Homo Sapien Sapien finished Neanderthal off about 35,000 ybp. Homo Sapien Sapien had a more gracile skeleton than Neanderthal and was less muscular. However Homo Sapien Sapien caught on to human networking, exchanging ideas and trading stuff so had much better hunting technology than did Neanderthal. There is evidence that limited mating took place between H. S. S. and H. N and Homo Sapien Sapien outside of Africa acquired Neanderthal genes to a limited extent. The Human Race as it is currently constituted has about 1 % of genetic material inherited from H. Neanderthal. Our kind of human survived because he learned to use his wits and indulge in abstract thought to some degree. We can tell from the cave paintings that some of our ancestors has a "good eye" and artistic imagination. A sly comic confection and call to order from Jerry: I will try to populate this thread with a few other standouts from over time. Who wants all our Musings on the Missing Link linked here too? Yours truly, minor content provisioner.