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February 16, 2005 Peer review Reviewed
edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Neanderthal:
  • Expand on the debate between Neanderthalensis as a separate species or sub-species of Homo sapiens
  • General Readability- In general, this article could focus initially on just how the Neanderthals were more robust physically and genealogically different from current Homo-sapiens.
  • Find peer-reviewed (etc.) source instead of current Reference #7 and remove current one.


There is no proof that they're not one and the same thing... "Humans" mated with "Neanderthals", so... (talk) 13:10, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

I'm not happy that the words "differ" in this article, relate only to 0.12% of our DNA (which in the case between races, is the case...). And the only other thing being that they had a "more robust build", and "distinctive morphological features", because - that's what people can say about differences between races too... (talk) 13:13, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
What's worse is this quote already in the article, "scientists have debated whether Neanderthals should be classified as ...Homo sapiens neanderthalensis... placing Neanderthals as a subspecies of H. sapiens", providing 2 references. The only evidence however, showing it as a separate species is "some morphological studies", "no cultural interaction", and "mitochondrial DNA studies has been interpreted as evidence... were not a subspecies". This could also be a racially discriminating arguments against blacks. For example, they have (1) a different morphological facial structure; (2) they do not interact culturally with white people; and (3) their mitochondrial DNA, i.e. the DNA of their mother, is not the same, i.e. blacks and whites do not share the same mommy. Are you serious this is where our most up to date "science" is??? (talk) 10:24, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Extinct species?[edit]

"Genetic evidence published in 2010 suggests that Neanderthals contributed to the DNA of anatomically modern humans, probably through interbreeding".

In that case, how can they be a distinct species? My understanding is that if individuals can interbreed and the offspring are fertile, they're of the same species by definition. Paul Magnussen (talk)

That is not correct. Lions and tigers can interbreed and produce fertile offspring (ligers and tigons), but they are separate species. Dudley Miles (talk) 09:04, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Refer to the species problem. Kortoso (talk) 16:51, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Exactly, there is no fully satisfactory definition of "species". But Paul Magnussen is nonetheless mostly correct in suggesting that evidence of interbreeding goes a long way to support the view that Neanderthals are not a separate species.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:08, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
@Maunus: No it doesn't. Scientists don't strictly follow the biological species concept. The coyotes owes about 10% of its genome to the grey wolf, but biologists are not taking away that species boundary. If you look at the post-Neanderthal genome research, you will notice that Homo sapiens neanderthalensis basically never shows up (except amongst remnant multiregionalists). Scientists have not been referring to Neanderthals as Homo sapiens. That is what is relevant for Wikipedia.
  • Google scholar hits since 2010 for "Homo neanderthalensis" -"Homo sapiens neanderthalensis" [1] - About 1,710 results
  • Google scholar hits since 2010 for -"Homo neanderthalensis" "Homo sapiens neanderthalensis" [2] - About 294 results
  • Google scholar hits since 2010 for "Homo neanderthalensis" AND "Homo sapiens neanderthalensis" [3] - About 117 results
We have our answer here about what is being used in the literature, and it is not the subspecies classification. Thegreyanomaly (talk) 16:59, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
It is just a matter of opinion, all taxonomic ranks are arbitrary (standards differ wildly across fields), which also creates the "human races" problem. We'll just have to follow what the majority of sources say. Only safe thing is unranked clades, and even that leaves hybridisation ambiguous. FunkMonk (talk) 17:22, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
The paleoanthropologists I've been following (c.f. John Hawkes) won't even call Neandertal a species or subspecies. I think the preferred wiggle-word is "population". Kortoso (talk) 18:37, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── John Hawks is partly or is influenced by multiregionalism. His adviser (Milford Wolpoff) is the most pre-eminent (and wrong) multiregionalists on the planet. The anthropological consensus (albeit with some dissenters) is that they are a separate species; the Google scholar hit counts clearly convey this. (Also, this is a bit semantic, but JH is not quite a paleoanthropolgist; he has background in paleoanthropology, but his research is primarily in molecular anthropology) Thegreyanomaly (talk) 21:42, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

I agree that Hawks may not be the best source of an "objective source" because of his association with multiregionalism, but on the other hand I don't think that it is currently clear whether the separate species consensus has been maintained following the most recent developments. The textbooks I have used seem to almost avoid the issue. I don't think we can really say that there is a consensus either way currently.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:06, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
You are very wrong on the consensus issue. Google scholar hits are the clearest way to tell (and are regularly used Wikipedia to gauge scholarly consensus), and people are publishing "Homo neanderthalensis" decidedly more than " "Homo sapiens neanderthalensis"". To ignore that would violate WP:UNDUE. Thegreyanomaly (talk) 22:19, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't think that is the necessary conclusion from you google based research. First of all google scholar will be slow to register a change in consensus because most of the hits are citations of or repetitions of the usage of older sources. Only specialist literature should be counted and the context should be taken into account. A usage that simply repeats earlier usage without evaluate it does not demonstrate or contribute to scholarly consensus. Secondly, your research is based only on two options and does not include the possibility of agnosticism, which I consider to be the most prevalent view in current paleoanthropological literature. Only a handful of scholars are actually invested in the classification of Neanderthals as either species or subspecies, in my experience most scholars consider it a mostly futile and irrelevant argument because they are aware of the arbitrariness of taxonomy. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:31, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Wrong. Google Scholar is actively updated. New article regularly end up in its search history. Google scholar only presents scholarly books and articles. You can even filter out books if you want to by adding in "". You can change the start date from 2010 to 2011/12/13 and the exact same trend continues. Very few people actively state that the Neanderthals are subspecies. They are trounced by the number of people who treat them as a species. You are jumping in WP:OR and WP:Synthesis by trying to jump into agnosticism and interpretation of what the ambiguity means. Rejecting articles because you thinkg that "[a] usage that simply repeats earlier usage without evaluate it does not demonstrate or contribute to scholarly consensus." is invalid. Those scholars (i.e., those reliable sources) used the notation they used, you can't make a story to take away that from the count. Essentially that's like saying that every scientist that publishes an article that cites research in agreement saying climate change is occurring does not count to consensus of scientists who say it is occurring.
I am sorry, but pretending these numbers don't exist violates WP:UNDUE by giving a minority view too much weight. Thegreyanomaly (talk) 22:48, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Europeans and others are partly Neanderthal.[edit]

New article just off the oven stating that most European groups have 2.5 percent Neanderthal genes:

From there, the following is cut and pasted:

Among the 100 people who participated, most (>80%) of their maternal lineages belonged to one of the seven major European haplogroups (branches on the human family tree). Lineages from the Middle East and North Africa were also present, but in smaller numbers (between 5 and 10% each), and one participant had Native American maternal ancestry, not commonly found among the Spanish.

Maternal haplogroup H was the most common branch among participants, accounting for more than a third of lineages. Interestingly, the ancestral haplogroup HV, with ties to early agriculturalists from the Middle East or possibly Europe’s earliest settlers, was found in eleven Asturians present. Overall, the maternal results showed a high frequency of some of Europe’s oldest lineages, a pattern similar to their Basque neighbors, also from northern Spain.

Haplogroup R1b was the reoccurring lineage for paternal ancestry, accounting for nearly 75% of male participants in this group. R1b is the most common European Y-chromosome branch, and nearly 60% of European men carry this lineage. One interesting finding revealed, however, was that many of the men came from lesser known branches of the R1b, suggesting their exact origin remains a mystery. Among the paternal lineages only one had ties to Europe’s fist modern humans.

Before modern humans arrived in Iberia about 40,000 years ago, Neanderthals ruled Spain. And although most anthropologists agree that humans and Neanderthals mixed, a point of interest among the participants was the unusually low percentage of Neanderthal in their DNA. The people from Asturias on average carried only 1.5% Neanderthal DNA, compared to the 2.5% average observed among most other modern European groups.

National Geographic’s roots in Asturias go deeper than DNA. In 2006, it was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Communication in 2006 for its efforts to inspire people to care about the planet. To learn more about National Geographic’s Genographic Project and discover your own ancient ancestry, visit

Pipo. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:02, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Not new. Here:
-Kortoso (talk) 23:07, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Some popular news article (not saying this is reliable) are suggesting that Westerners/Europeans became smarter because they intermarried with the Neanderthals, whereas the Blacks remained less intelligent because they failed to intermarry outside of Africa (talk) 10:37, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

It is interesting though, that the African Homo Sapiens prevailed before the European Neanderthal. Difficult to explain according to those theories, right? Pipo.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:04, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

africans have neanderthal genes[edit] I'm not sure which article to put this in but it would appear that the khoisan of southern africa have west eurasian and neanderthal genes. Interesting find as neanderthal admixture theorists argue that naenderthal genes explain racial differences in intelligence. Turtire (talk) 18:54, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

Are there racial differences in intelligence? I think one can keep these two issues quite separate. HiLo48 (talk) 19:46, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
The linked article says everyone has traces of Neanderthal DNA. Which somewhat invalidates the concept of this thread. -- Euryalus (talk) 20:44, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
No, it was previously assumed that no Africans had "Naenderthal" genes, and now this has been disproved. It's just remarkable that the Neanderthal markers were not seen previously.
And it has nothing to do with intelligence. Kortoso (talk) 20:48, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. Sorry, I should have said it makes an interesting claim re the genetic makeup of some isolated African populations, but says nothing useful re the implied views of "Neanderthal admixture theorists." -- Euryalus (talk) 21:27, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
Since the study didn't test every African they could find for Neanderthal genes, the article should read "Some Africans Might Have Some Neanderthal Genes For Some Reason". Kortoso (talk) 20:01, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

Neanderthals did not have the largest brains[edit]

They article says Neanderthals had the largest brain of any hominid at 1600 CC. This article on Boskops, hominins who lived in southern Africa 30,000 to 10,000 years ago, had an average brain case of 1750 cc. Why are Boskops not mentioned? Turtire (talk) 02:49, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Because the article you mention is describing a speculative theory based on flimsy evidence that has not been met with any degree of acceptance in the literature on human evolution.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:55, 5 December 2014 (UTC)


This section seems to have a contradiction that really trips me as I read it. It currently says:

The St. Césaire 1 skeleton discovered in 1979 at La Roche à Pierrot, France, showed a healed fracture on top of the skull apparently caused by a deep blade wound. This wound was likely fatal, given the lack of medical care, causing the victim to bleed out, or through cranial concussion

As I read it, what trips me is that it is a "healed fracture" but the second sentence says it was likely fatal and that the victim likely bled out through the wound. in such a case, it wouldn't be a healed wound.

I can't locate the source to try to correct it myself. It would be nice if it was clarified. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:48, 23 December 2014 (UTC)