Neanderthal/Human Hybrid?

Glenn R. Morton (grmorton@waymark.net)
Sat, 17 Apr 1999 22:51:43 -0500

John Rylander was kind enough to point this article out to me. I wish I
could be online during the week to discuss this. The article discusses
the discovery last November in Portugal of a possible Neanderthal/Human
hybrid. While this will most certainly be a controversial find, and
many anthropologists will not agree, others will agree. If this hybrid
really turns out to be a hybrid, it will have tremendous implications
for the Christians. It will impact the place of Neanderthals in
theology, it will raise the possibility that they are truly human as I
have argued for many years. It will move the time of Adam back in
time. No longer would apologists be able to get away with flipply
saying that Adam was the first anatomically modern man and Neanderthals
were merely bipedal mammals unrelated to us. It would also raise the
possibility that Europeans do have some Neanderthal genes and
Neanderthal blood in their veins. Some anthropologists have argued that
position for the past decade based upon morphological data. In any event
this should be an interesting debate and before drawing conclusions we
need to see the studies pro and con on this issue. But my hope is that
it will turn out my way.

I would say that Christians who have dismissed my views as being too
weird to be true, should consider the confirmations over the past few
weeks and this apparent confirmation of those views. The views I am
advocating have a robustness that other apologetical schemes lack--my
views make hard predictions which can and have been supported by these
discoveries.

Here is the article which can be accessed at
http://startribune.com/stOnLine/cgi-bin/article?thisSlug=0416AP-PORTUGAL-SKEL&date=16-Apr-99&word=neanderthals&word=neanderthal

I had to put poth parts of the above line in my Netscape URL window to
access the article.

APRIL 16, 13:08 EDT

Ancient Skeleton Found in Portugal

By BARRY HATTON
Associated Press Writer

LISBON, Portugal (AP) Experts examining a 25,000-year-old child's
skeleton
in Portugal believe it represents compelling evidence that humans as we
know
them today evolved from mating between Neanderthals and anatomically
modern
man.

It is believed they coexisted on the Iberian Peninsula. Their hybrid
offspring eventually evolved into what is recognized as modern man, the
director of the Portuguese Archaeological Institute theorized Friday.

``Anatomically modern man arrived on what is now the Iberian peninsula
28,000 to 30,000 years ago and they found Neanderthal man here,'' Joao
Zilhao said in a telephone interview.

``There are two theories about what happened. Some say the Neanderthal
population was wiped out somehow, while anatomically modern man went on
to
evolve.

``But another view says there was an intermingling of the two, and the
interpretation of this skeleton is that in fact there was significant
hybridization,'' Zilhao said.

The hybrid thrived and is the genesis of modern man, according to
Zilhao's
theory. He said further research and finds will be required to back up
his
hypothesis.

Chris Stringer, an expert on Neanderthal man at the Museum of Natural
History in London said he had few details of the find but expected it to
make a ``major contribution'' to the debate on how the Neanderthals died
out.

The hybridization theory has been difficult to prove because previously
only
fragments of skeletons have been found, Stringer said in a telephone
interview.

He said current evidence was not enough to make him subscribe to the
hybridization theory, but added he was ready to consider the Portuguese
findings with an open mind.

``The Iberian peninsula is an area where there was a significant overlap
in
time and space between Neanderthal and modern man. They could have
coexisted
for as long as 10,000 years,'' he said.

The skeleton, believed to be of a four-year-old child, was discovered by
chance in November in the Lapedo Valley near Leiria, 90 miles north of
the
Lisbon, the capital.

Known as the Child of Lapedo, the skeleton shows traits of modern man,
including the jaw, teeth and spleen, and Neanderthal features like the
size
of the femur and tibia, according to Zilhao.

Carbon dating shows the skeleton is about 25,000 years old, Zilhao said.

Other evidence has shown that the Neanderthals and modern man coexisted
in
the area about 28,000 to 30,000 years ago.

Because the skeleton dates from 3,000 years later and displays strong
anatomical features of both origins, Zilhao concludes that hybridization
was
very deep.

The skeleton is being studied at the National Archeological Museum in
Lisbon.
******

glenn

Adam, Apes, and Anthropology
Foundation Fall and Flood
http://www.isource.net/~grmorton/dmd.htm