If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(BBC)   "My, what big eyes you have, Grandma Neanderthal." "All the better to go extinct, my dear"   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 24
    More: Interesting, Grandma Neanderthal, Neanderthals, frontal lobes, brain size, Proceedings of the Royal Society, ice ages  
•       •       •

2172 clicks; posted to Geek » on 13 Mar 2013 at 8:53 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



24 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread
 
2013-03-13 08:52:52 AM
As a result, more of their brains were devoted to seeing in the long, dark nights in Europe, at the expense of high-level processing.


At least they were smart enough to buy insurance.
 
2013-03-13 09:07:15 AM
data.whicdn.com
 
2013-03-13 09:07:56 AM
Nights in Europe are only long and dark for half of the year. The rest of the time they are shorter and lighter than nights on the equator.

I find this hard to believe. Given we're often told that some percentage of our brain power lies unused I don't think having slightly larger eyes caused that much of an imbalance in visual vs other processing.
 
2013-03-13 09:23:21 AM
Kinda cool to find out what all that extra brain-volume might have been used to carry. It also implies that they might not have had fire.
 
2013-03-13 09:27:20 AM
I thought they went extinct because they didn't have a space program. I thought species never change on their own...
 
2013-03-13 09:31:35 AM

Swiss Colony: Nights in Europe are only long and dark for half of the year. The rest of the time they are shorter and lighter than nights on the equator.

I find this hard to believe. Given we're often told that some percentage of our brain power lies unused I don't think having slightly larger eyes caused that much of an imbalance in visual vs other processing.



Yeah, that "unused brain" stuff is nonsense.
 
2013-03-13 09:40:38 AM
That was some pretty thin scienceing right there.
 
2013-03-13 09:53:03 AM
TFA: ...modern humans living at higher latitudes evolved bigger vision areas in the brain to cope with lower light levels. There is no suggestion though that their higher cognitive abilities suffered as a consequence.

Doesn't that refute the claim that bigger vision areas do not leave space for a large frontal cortex? Also I thought Neanderthals had larger brains than Humans, so they could just have used the extra space for vision without impacting on their other abilities.

I think the final epitaph for the Human Race will end up something like: "Homo Sapiens, just lucky I guess."
 
2013-03-13 09:55:44 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: I thought they went extinct because they didn't have a space program. I thought species never change on their own...


I think it was because they didn't devote enough time and attention to life-extension research.

Or maybe they were just too slow to adopt 3D printers.

There, are we done now?
 
2013-03-13 09:59:12 AM

Swiss Colony: Nights in Europe are only long and dark for half of the year. The rest of the time they are shorter and lighter than nights on the equator.

I find this hard to believe. Given we're often told that some percentage of our brain power lies unused I don't think having slightly larger eyes caused that much of an imbalance in visual vs other processing.


That means for 6 months of the year the Neanderthal with the larger eyes have an advantage over those without, with no real drawbacks for the rest of the year. That means natural selection would have favoured those with the larger eyes, all other things being equal. It's not unreasonable to assume this mutation would have developed through a population over several thousand years.

Also, the unused brain thing is crap. People have a very finite amount of processing and memory they can draw on. Try and competently perform two different tasks at once, as fast as possible without making mistakes, and then get back to me on how that goes for you. Hint: people do this all the time talking on the phone and driving to test this theory. Pro-tip: don't do that.
 
2013-03-13 10:17:43 AM
bretcontreras.files.wordpress.com

"How YOU doin'?"
 
2013-03-13 10:46:07 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: I thought they went extinct because they didn't have a space program. I thought species never change on their own...


Jesus Christ man. Give it up.
 
2013-03-13 12:29:00 PM
Let's get this straight, shall we?

Neanderthals had art, music, buried their dead, built tents, made stone tools, used needles, painted themselves, spoke, had huge eyes and brains, all while surviving some of the toughest conditions known. 'Modern humans' moved into the area, and eventually the Neanderthal sites disappear. Why?

Because the two groups joined up.

Neanderthals aren't 'like' us; they ARE us.
 
2013-03-13 01:09:48 PM

Swiss Colony: Nights in Europe are only long and dark for half of the year. The rest of the time they are shorter and lighter than nights on the equator.

I find this hard to believe. Given we're often told that some percentage of our brain power lies unused I don't think having slightly larger eyes caused that much of an imbalance in visual vs other processing.


I find this a little unlikely as well. I have always heard that Neaderthals had larger areas in the aft part of their brains for this sort of thing. I find it more likely that the retreat of the big Ice Age game they needed to fuel those heavily muscled bodies probably starved them out. Throw in their apparent lack of range weapons, requiring them to get in close and stabby with animals capable of snapping them into meaty chunks, and their decline and demise in favour of skinny, spear-throwing group-thinking marathoners becomes less of a mystery.

Or they just hybridized, given rise to Russian bouncers.
 
2013-03-13 01:10:22 PM
But non-African humans only have 5% or less Neanderthal DNA. (Africans have 0%).

Khazar-Khum: Let's get this straight, shall we?

Neanderthals had art, music, buried their dead, built tents, made stone tools, used needles, painted themselves, spoke, had huge eyes and brains, all while surviving some of the toughest conditions known. 'Modern humans' moved into the area, and eventually the Neanderthal sites disappear. Why?

Because the two groups joined up.

Neanderthals aren't 'like' us; they ARE us.

 
2013-03-13 01:37:51 PM
How does that work? I thought we had 95% shared DNA with chimpanzees. I'd have thought we shared 5% DNA with something like a daffodil. You are saying Neanderthals are as removed to modern humans as we are to an oyster (or whatever we share only 5% DNA with)?
 
2013-03-13 02:31:25 PM

Cynicism101: But non-African humans only have 5% or less Neanderthal DNA. (Africans have 0%).

Khazar-Khum: Let's get this straight, shall we?

Neanderthals had art, music, buried their dead, built tents, made stone tools, used needles, painted themselves, spoke, had huge eyes and brains, all while surviving some of the toughest conditions known. 'Modern humans' moved into the area, and eventually the Neanderthal sites disappear. Why?

Because the two groups joined up.

Neanderthals aren't 'like' us; they ARE us.


We have so little of their DNA because there really wasn't that many of them.  Their groups would be around 15 or so while ours were 100 or more.  What little we got has also been diluted by about 28,000 years.  And neanderthals did have all of those things...after coming into contact with humans.  The archeological record shows very little progress in neanderthal tool making until near the end when it suddenly jumps almost overnight.  They had no art or ornamentation at all until humans were in the same area.  No art, at all.  It never occurred to them, someone had to show them how to do it, like a chimpanzee using sign language (not that they were animals, just a comparison).

The inability to adapt to the Ice Age is a good reason for their disappearance.  Those who were still living as they always had couldn't adapt quick enough to cope with the radically changed weather conditions.  Those who were in regular contact with humans probably just bred into the larger human group.

A neanderthal is a physically strong person who was quite capable.  In today's society one would likely be able to hold down a job, pay their bills, and watch football with their buddies.  But innovating in areas of science, medicine, math, entrepreneurship, and art in general?  Totally out of their league.  They could probably get it and understand it but not create it.
 
jvl
2013-03-13 04:55:39 PM

burning_bridge: We have so little of their DNA because there really wasn't that many of them.


Evolution doesn't work that way!
 
2013-03-13 06:08:41 PM
www.funnytheworld.com
 
2013-03-13 07:56:35 PM

Fano: Quantum Apostrophe: I thought they went extinct because they didn't have a space program. I thought species never change on their own...

Jesus Christ man. Give it up.


You're not my supervisor!
 
2013-03-13 11:32:10 PM

Khazar-Khum: Let's get this straight, shall we?

Neanderthals had art, music, buried their dead, built tents, made stone tools, used needles, painted themselves, spoke, had huge eyes and brains, all while surviving some of the toughest conditions known. 'Modern humans' moved into the area, and eventually the Neanderthal sites disappear. Why?

Because the two groups joined up.

Neanderthals aren't 'like' us; they ARE us.


I think of it like Autistics and Neurotypicals :)
 
2013-03-14 12:16:58 AM

burning_bridge: A neanderthal is a physically strong person who was quite capable.  In today's society one would likely be able to hold down a job, pay their bills, and watch football with their buddies.  But innovating in areas of science, medicine, math, entrepreneurship, and art in general?  Totally out of their league.  They could probably get it and understand it but not create it.


RON PAUL 2016

All joking aside, Neanders were just our sensitive but slightly dim cousins. They weren't aliens.
 
2013-03-14 12:24:24 AM

jvl: burning_bridge: We have so little of their DNA because there really wasn't that many of them.

Evolution doesn't work that way!


Is that wrong?  Do tell.
 
jvl
2013-03-14 07:34:12 PM

burning_bridge: jvl: burning_bridge: We have so little of their DNA because there really wasn't that many of them.

Evolution doesn't work that way!

Is that wrong?  Do tell.


Given time, a beneficial gene becomes more common in a species.

Neandertals were separated from the Modern Human lineage for a very long time. During that time, they would have acquired new mutations which were not to be found in the African version of Homo Sapiens. At least some of them would be beneficial, and Evolution would have had time to make the beneficial adaptations common in Neandertals.

Once Neandertals and Modern Humans got it on, a number of advantageous adaptations would be passed into the Modern Humans which descended from the pairing. Once again Evolution would then come into play.  Over time, the useful adaptations acquired from the Neandertals would become more and more common in the descendants.

That's why when it was reported that Europeans and Asians carry Neandertal genes, the scientists did not estimate the number of Neandertal ancestors.
 
Displayed 24 of 24 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report