Now comes some blogger, reporting on results out of the Max Plank Society♠ on sequencing the gnome for Neanderthals (or Neandertals, as the blog post quoted says). At this point I should add a word of caution, given the emphasis on race that was pervasive in Germany in the first half of the last century, and not just during the years of National Socialist rule.
So, at the blog John Hawks Weblog, there is this report that researchers now believe that non-African humans have up to 4% Neandertal genes, or like having a Neandertal as one of one's Great-Great-Great-Grandparents. Actually, for me that is pretty far back. Taking my youngest grandchild, Ben, and going to the Grandfather who died when I was about 4, I am one shy of knowing his Father, who would be Ben's Great-Great-Great-Grandfather. But, still here is the DNA, which suggests that Neanderthals are, in fact, part of our species.
The author of the Blog, talking about scientist R E Green, says:
Green and colleagues show that the Neandertal genome is closer to some humans than others. People whose ancestry lies outside Africa are significantly more like Neandertals than are people who live in Africa today. In this study, the authors include whole genomes from people in France, China and Papua New Guinea outside Africa, and Yoruba and San inside Africa. The Africans are not as close to the Neandertal as any of the non-Africans.So, for all of you who thought that Larry Summers or this Harvard Law School student were Neanderthals, you are probably correct. Well, Neanderthals in part.
Hat tip to Law Professor Ann Althouse.
Regards — Cliff
♠ Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany