Re: Neanderthal DNA

Robert Wahl (
Mon, 14 Jul 1997 15:36:03 -0700

OK I'm convinced that the Neanderthal mtDNA evidence doesn't mean that
Neanderthals were non-human (or sub-human) even thought they looked and
acted human, but I'm still need help on our definition of human. Dick's
question about Lucy also begs for a definition.

Glenn says, " is behavior which marks us as humans not looks, not
genetics," but I always thought our genes made us human, both
theologically and scientifically. The bible has a lot to say about
decendency, and the usual definition of a species is related to the notion
of a gene pool. Phenotype, we suppose, permits indirect observation of
genes (genotype). Couldn't we say that a bipedal hominid with interesting
teeth (like Lucy) is sub human but we look to a phenotype called 'spiritual
awareness' to indicate a human?