Quantcast

«

»

Jun 19 2012

Neandertals were monsters!

Danny Vendramini is a man with a vision…but absolutely no knowledge or competence. He has invented out of whole cloth a bizarre hypothesis that Neandertals were super-predators who hunted modern humans for food and sex. To support this weird contention, he builds up a tissue thin set of speculations, all biased towards this idea that Neandertals were giant, hairy brutes who looked like bipedal chimpanzees, and that were intent on raping and eating people.

If it sounds like the plot for a cheesy SyFy channel horror movie, you shouldn’t be surprised: Vendramini is not a scientist, but he is a “theatre director, TV producer and award-winning film director and scriptwriter“. He has no training in comparative anatomy, ecology, or evolutionary biology, and it shows.

He has written a book titled Them+Us. Here’s the promotional video. Prepare to simultaneously laugh and stand aghast at the abuse of science.

I’m just going to take apart one claim out of this mass of nonsense. He commissioned “one of the world’s foremost digital sculptors”, Arturo Balseiro, to reconstruct a Neandertal skull to meet his requirements. Poor Balseiro! He’s not going to be well regarded in scientific circles after selling out this badly.

One of his hilarious claims is that all other reconstructions have been biased because they’ve been done to make Neandertals look human — but, don’t you know, Neandertals are primates, so they should be made to look like other primates.

Contemplate that last sentence. Humans are apparently not primates, and the analog for reconstruction should not be modern humans, their closest relative, separated by a mere 100,000 years, but a random gemisch of miscellaneous apes and monkeys, separated from Neandertal for over 6 million years.

To support this unlikely comparison, he superimposes a Neandertal skull on the profile of a chimpanzee, and declares that they fit perfectly.

There are a few problems with this reconstruction. To get the slope of the skull’s face to align with that of the chimpanzee, he has completely ignored the position of the foramen magnum, at the base of the skull. In the image to the right, the Neandertal’s spine would be erupting out the front of his trachea. Note also the little details, like this orientation requiring that the chimp’s ears be yanked down to be coming out of his neck, and how the chimp’s neck has to be mostly filled with the bowl of the occiput. It doesn’t fit. It doesn’t fit at all.

You can also look at a chimpanzee skull and compare it to that of a Neandertal (strangely, an obvious comparison that he doesn’t bother to make on his web page). They don’t look anything alike, except in the general sense that they’re both apes.

But ignore all that! TV producer knows better.

The Neandertal skull above is actually the La Ferrassie specimen, the very same individual Vendramini uses to reconstruct his version of a Neandertal. And here it is, in all its ridiculous creature-feature glory.

After all that complaining about how those scientists impose their human biases on all the other Neandertal reconstructions, Vendramini just decides on the basis of no evidence at all that they had to have been as hairy as a gorilla, with cat’s eyes because they hunted at night.

It’s all ludicrous, pseudo-scientific bullshit.

144 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Gregory in Seattle

    This isn’t pseudo-science, it is out and out fantasy. And not terribly good fantasy, at that. If he had made a case for Neanderthal being the basis for legends about dwarves or trolls or fairies, that would have been more credible.

  2. 2
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Um.

    Am I the only one picking up on a bit of racist vibe?

    Also, this “theory” is hokum. *points and laughs at Vendramini*

  3. 3
    Deen

    If there was any hunting going on between Neanderthals and homo sapiens sapiens, considering the outcome, wouldn’t it be more likely to have happened the other way around?

    Also, why the cat-eye pupils? Chimps don’t have those either.

  4. 4
    karley jojohnston

    Because cat-eye pupils are SCAAAAARY. *wiggles fingers and moans*

  5. 5
    karley jojohnston

    Wait, are there any primates with cat eye pupils? I can’t even think of any smaller nocturnal ones.

    Also, is there a technical name for “cat-eye pupils”? Because I feel silly typing that over and over.

  6. 6
    Ingdigo Jump

    He has invented out of whole cloth a bizarre hypothesis that Neandertals were super-predators who used modern humans for food and sex.

    FTFY PZ.

    Also isn’t this “The 13th Warrior”?

  7. 7
    baal

    Neanderthal’s were furry as the rest of the great apes? I always thought of them as closer to the hominid line with clothing and tool use (and presumptively less hair).

  8. 8
    LykeX

    About the skull “analysis”. It looks to me like if you add in the neanderthal lower jaw, it doesn’t fit into the chimp outline anymore. I’m estimating on eye sight, but it sure looks that way to me.

  9. 9
    Gunboat Diplomat

    There are some nice reconstructions of what neanderthals may have actually looked like in “The Humans who went Extinct: why neanderthals died out and we survived ” by Clive Finlayson. Despite minor differences like a non protruding chin and generally greater robustness they probably looked quite a lot like us. Unsurprising as we are arguably the same species. Clive Finlaysons argument is that our survival may have had more to do with climate and luck than homo spaiens sapiens supposed greater intellectual or cultural sophistication.

  10. 10
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    — but, don’t you know, Neandertals are primates, so they should be made to look like other primates.

    *facepalm!*
    *facepalm!*
    *headdesk!*

    E,

    Am I the only one picking up on a bit of racist vibe?

    You mean that rapist canibals that, oh yeah, look like apes is some sort of racial sterotype? I’m shocked shocked! that a television poducer would resort to that. Shocked, I say!

  11. 11
    laurentweppe

    Am I the only one picking up on a bit of racist vibe?

    No you’re not.
    But hating a breed of humans which has been extinct for 25.000 years is somehow eccentric: it’s not like he can run around waving his arms shouting “Oh no: the evil hairy Neanderthals are going to outbreed us and colonize us and steal our women and extinguish our culture and then force us to worship their bear-gods and their fat fertility goddesses

  12. 12
    Alex

    Lol, what’s next?

    Mammoths – the Brain-sucking Zombie Monsters from the Tundra of Death

    where it is finally reveiled how they use their tusks to crack open skulls, and their trunks to suck out the brains afterwards.

    p.s.
    I’m always amazed to find yet another cute yiddish/german import to contemporary American that I wasn’t aware of. Gemisch is my favourite so far, maybe with schlepp close second.

  13. 13
    Alex

    s/reveiled/revealed/

  14. 14
    Rey Fox

    As an atheist and Darwinian scholar, Vendramini’s work is anchored in evidence based research and deduction, but ultimately it is his artistic imagination and scientific creativity that distinguishes his evolutionary theories.

    “You need two kinds of scientists. People who are into experimentation, detailed observation and analysis. They’re unquestionably the backbone of scientific progress. But you also need a few left-field people who can look at the big picture and envisage new paradigms and possibilities.”

    Sounds like a real wanker.

    Oh, and he has a feedback page.

    While we welcome constructive criticism and an open debate, we will not provide a
    forum for creationist rhetoric.

    So beware of that, I guess.

    Has anyone here done any reading on his “teem theory”?

    If he had made a case for Neanderthal being the basis for legends about dwarves or trolls or fairies, that would have been more credible.

    He mentions them being the basis for legends like the yeti and sasquatch. Still seems rather just-so to me.

  15. 15
    psychodigger

    I am currently in Armenia investigating Neanderthals, and right now, the team are considering what to do with this new information. We didn’t know we were up against snarling cat-eyed gorillas! By jove!

  16. 16
    timgueguen

    An obvious question for this silly willy is why creatures so different from humans would be interested in sex with them? The hunting and eating I could see, but I get the impression that species, with individual exceptions, generally are only sexually interested in members of their species, or of very closely related species. Seriously, it may be a classic trope that goes back to at least the Greeks, but “they want our women” isn’t something that’s actually common.

  17. 17
    Trebuchet

    I’m expecting to see this on the Discovery channel or one of it’s clones any day now.

    @laurentweppe:

    But hating a breed of humans which has been extinct for 25.000 years is somehow eccentric…

    Notice, however, that the evil Neandertal has black skin.

    I think it’s likely Vendramini has it backward: it was H. Sapiens Sapiens that preyed on H. Neandertalensis and drove them into extinction.

  18. 18
    soiejfoijsef

    Chupacabra!

  19. 19
    Ingdigo Jump

    An obvious question for this silly willy is why creatures so different from humans would be interested in sex with them? The hunting and eating I could see, but I get the impression that species, with individual exceptions, generally are only sexually interested in members of their species, or of very closely related species. Seriously, it may be a classic trope that goes back to at least the Greeks, but “they want our women” isn’t something that’s actually common.

    IIRC there was a study that suggested neandertals DID interbreed with human populations. IIRC there was also one that suggested ancestors of chimps and humans continued to interbreed for a surprising period of time

  20. 20
    Heliantus

    @ Deen 3

    If there was any hunting going on between Neanderthals and homo sapiens sapiens, considering the outcome, wouldn’t it be more likely to have happened the other way around?

    Actually, non-human primate bones with tooth marks were found in a prehistoric human settlement a few years ago. To the shock of a few human-centrists people – “No, we cannot be cannibals, we are civilized”.
    (cannot remember if the bones were Neanderthals’ or from another of our close cousins)

    Neanderthals as bloody monsters is coming back regularly to the fore. Seems we love to have some black hairy dude to hate.
    A woman paleontologist published an article some years ago (again, memory fails me) entitled something like “Who wants the skin of Neanderthal?”, where she was complaining about this prejudice.
    She, or someone she quoted, made the case that a Neanderthal man, if dressed appropriately, was introduced to us at a party, we may find him a bit of a redneck, but wouldn’t think twice about saying hello. Or accepting that he marries one’s sister.

    @Gregory in Seattle

    If he had made a case for Neanderthal being the basis for legends about dwarves or trolls or fairies

    Are you kidding? I believe he is. I actually expected him to say “…and that’s where these giants in the bible came from”.
    If I wanted to illustrate an humanoid monster for my D&D games, I would use the gorilla picture. It looks like a rip-off of our favorite Ogre, Shriek. Just color him green :-)

    But seriously, yes, it looks like he is preparing for the release of Troll Hunters 2 the movie.

  21. 21
    Ingdigo Jump

    Actually, non-human primate bones with tooth marks were found in a prehistoric human settlement a few years ago. To the shock of a few human-centrists people – “No, we cannot be cannibals, we are civilized”.
    (cannot remember if the bones were Neanderthals’ or from another of our close cousins)

    To be fair, have they ruled out the idea of funeral cannibalism?

  22. 22
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    “We Are Ing The Matrimonial Collective”, we know conclusively that Neanderthals and Humans interbred. PZ actually wrote about that some months ago, IIRC. The study looked at the amount of Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA in certain Scandinavian and Nordic groups of humans, finding that, I believe, as much as 5% of the human genome contains Neanderthal DNA. (I may be wrong on the details.)

    Didn’t know about the Chimp and Human ancestors, though. Weird at first, but then not surprising or weird at all. We share a common ancestor, so it makes sense that separating populations would continue to interact and interbreed for some time.

    But, gosh, this guy is a complete kook.

  23. 23
    tomfrog

    Cameraman: Could you come closer to the mic? I can’t hear you!

    Vendramini: I’m just saying bullshit…

    Cameraman: Oh… ok, nevermind then.

  24. 24
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Just how the fuck were they able to destroy a Death Star?

  25. 25
    mothra

    Cat eyed primates include Tarsiers and many nocturnal lemurs. The character only appears among the Prosimii).

  26. 26
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    Oh, my poor Neandertals. My heart aches for you.

    The fact that they carried genes for red hair and 1-4% of the DNA of modern Eurasians–a group of humans not known for pupils that contract to slits–is shared with Neandertals rather than Sub-Saharan Africans is all irrelevant to this man. They are Other and so must be inhuman, and to this race baiting fool that means “black.”

    It could be argued that interbreeding was primarily between male Neandertals and female anatomically modern humans rather than the reverse, since their mitochondria hasn’t survived. That in no way implies rape, nor does it rule out the possibility that their mitochondria didn’t survive due to sterility, birth defects or just plain bad luck in the hybrids born to Neandertal females.

    And that picture superimposing a Neandertal skull on the profile of a chimp is dreadful and moronic. Shall I superimpose a modern human skull on this image? My goodness, modern humans must be baby chimps!

  27. 27
    Ingdigo Jump

    “We Are Ing The Matrimonial Collective”, we know conclusively that Neanderthals and Humans interbred. PZ actually wrote about that some months ago, IIRC. The study looked at the amount of Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA in certain Scandinavian and Nordic groups of humans, finding that, I believe, as much as 5% of the human genome contains Neanderthal DNA. (I may be wrong on the details.)

    It’s what I thought but was hedging bet in case I missed a retraction or refutation to the study.

    IIRC the only group not to be basically Neanderthal hybrids (to speak in syfy speak) were pockets in Africa. I remember my friend from Texas taking great delight in it being exactly the OPPOSITE of what he hears racists claim

  28. 28
    Ingdigo Jump

    19 June 2012 at 9:58 am

    Just how the fuck were they able to destroy a Death Star?

    Silly silly! Neandertal’s don’t live on Endor, that’s hobbits!

  29. 29
    Heliantus

    An obvious question for this silly willy is why creatures so different from humans would be interested in sex with them?

    Well, humans are renowned as breeding outside of their species. Same as dragons.
    Err, sorry, that was D&D / Order of the Stick.

    More seriously, humans do have individuals who are sexually curious toward other species (no, I’m not talking from experience), so it’s not so far-fetched to imagine a close species having similar tendencies. Although one wonder how a species survives if the males spend so much time mounting their preys instead of their own females. Sounds a recipe for confusion (no wait, remind me, are you my date for dinner, or are you my dinner?).

    However, in this case, that really sounds like the usual rape fantasy and racism rolled in one.

  30. 30
    Ingdigo Jump

    More seriously, humans do have individuals who are sexually curious toward other species (no, I’m not talking from experience), so it’s not so far-fetched to imagine a close species having similar tendencies. Although one wonder how a species survives if the males spend so much time mounting their preys instead of their own females. Sounds a recipe for confusion (no wait, remind me, are you my date for dinner, or are you my dinner?).

    Human cannibals exist(ed) and had no trouble mating within their own tribe even if they engaged in ritual cannibalism either of enemies they killed or in each other as part of their death rites.

  31. 31
    Ingdigo Jump

    Well, humans are renowned as breeding outside of their species. Same as dragons.
    Err, sorry, that was D&D / Order of the Stick.

    To use an evopsyche wank answer: human’s fetishizing of the exotic is a developed trait to promote gene diversity

  32. 32
    Heliantus

    @ “We Are Ing The Matrimonial Collective”

    To be fair, have they ruled out the idea of funeral cannibalism?

    I am sorry I couldn’t tell. I believe that these bones were found in a pile separate from the humans’ bones, but that’s all I remember.

  33. 33
    andyo

    How does a “TV producer and award-winning film director” not know how to record sound properly, beyond using the built-in mic in the cheap camera and jumping sound levels from different recordings? I wouldn’t trust this guy to “produce” my children’s shitty elementary school christmas play. Is he really a professional? More evidence of my hypothesis that Dunning-Kruger is more useful in the media business than actual talent.

  34. 34
    Glen Davidson

    So I’m guessing that Neandertals were all-ape, rather than all-human.

    Gee, I wonder why he’s concerned about creationist rhetoric at his site. True, the creationists have generally gone the all-human route with Neandertal, but, being unconcerned with science, they happily threw the all-bird Archaeopteryx out the window at the first suggestion that it wasn’t an early bird.

    Yes, a tool-making, fire-using hominin with a larger brain than ours simply must have been like a movie-stereotyped gorilla.

    Glen Davidson

  35. 35
    feralboy12

    Just how the fuck were they able to destroy a Death Star?

    I just wish they hadn’t blown up the Statue of Liberty. Damn them!

  36. 36
    Anthony K

    But hating a breed of humans which has been extinct for 25.000 years is somehow eccentric

    I think they were the precursors to the Canaanites; you know—completely an utterly evil, right down to the babies.’

    And, like the Canaanites, they don’t have lawyers who will sue for defamation.

    She, or someone she quoted, made the case that a Neanderthal man, if dressed appropriately, was introduced to us at a party, we may find him a bit of a redneck, but wouldn’t think twice about saying hello. Or accepting that he marries one’s sister.

    Sure, maybe, if he shows his long-form birth certificate.

    Ted Kosmatka wrote a story along this line called “N-Words”. I can only find an excerpt online (unless you don’t mind an audio version), but it’s in Gardner Dozois’ “The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Sixth Annual Collection” anthology.

  37. 37
    Holms

    He has invented out of whole cloth a bizarre hypothesis that Neandertals were super-predators who ________ modern humans for food and sex.

    ‘Preyed upon’ perhaps?

    Poor Balseiro! He’s not going to be well regarded in scientific circles after selling out this badly.

    I’m going to have to disagree with this bit. Looking at his website, he sculpts and designs monsters and such for movies and video games. He is not a scientist of any stripe, despite the forensically themed hints dropped by Vendramini. You’re saying that 1) he should have recognised the poor science here despite not being a scientist, and 2) he should then have refused the commission, a personal cost to himself, for the principle of scientific veracity.

    Essentially, you are blaming an animator for accepting paid work as an animator.

    Am I the only one picking up on a bit of racist vibe?

    “Hey, we have this thesis that neanderthals were thugs and rapists. Better make him black!”
    Sigh -_-

  38. 38
    Anthony K

    Although one wonder how a species survives if the males spend so much time mounting their preys instead of their own females. Sounds a recipe for confusion (no wait, remind me, are you my date for dinner, or are you my dinner?).

    “I hope you brought your appetite, because I’ve prepared my famous turduckenemen! Tuck in, everyone. It should be nice and moist, and there’s plenty more gravy in the kitchen.”

  39. 39
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    “I hope you brought your appetite, because I’ve prepared my famous turduckenemen! Tuck in, everyone. It should be nice and moist, and there’s plenty more gravy in the kitchen.”

    I really regret eating warm custard while reading this.

  40. 40
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    Brownian, so, you bone the man and the classic turducken goes inside, right? I’d add a layer of butter or clarified lard …and I’d probably use the loin area. You could make a lot of turduckenemen with just one corpse.

    This is all supposing that Neanderthals had any culinary skills. I doubt it. Such a hairy, cat eyed ape would be inept with fire.

  41. 41
    Paulino

    Gorilla moms have breasts and tarsiers don’t have vertical pupil.

  42. 42
    What a Maroon, el papa ateo

    It looks like they’ve reconstructed the Neanderthal Elvis.

    Talk about a hunka burnin’ love….

  43. 43
    nooneinparticular

    Stupid man.

    One thing though. AFAIK, scientists do not know just how hirsute our cousins were. Likely they were nearly as naked as we are, but we have no way of knowing. It is formally possible they were as hairy as other non-human primates.

  44. 44
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    One thing though. AFAIK, scientists do not know just how hirsute our cousins were. Likely they were nearly as naked as we are, but we have no way of knowing. It is formally possible they were as hairy as other non-human primates.

    Or other hairy human primates.

    Like Brownian.

  45. 45
    jamessweet

    Seems like a pretty decent plot for a B horror movie. It could probably be made pretty enjoyable with the proper writing and directing. Maybe he has a script languishing in development purgatory, and he’s hoping writing a book on the hypothes– er, plot of his movie will help get it some momentum?

  46. 46
    pentatomid

    Mammoths – the Brain-sucking Zombie Monsters from the Tundra of Death

    You mean… like this?

  47. 47
    augustpamplona

    “He has invented out of whole cloth a bizarre hypothesis that Neandertals were super-predators who modern humans for food and sex”

    I think you accidentally the whole thing.

  48. 48
    nooneinparticular

    Heh. I was wondering who would get a dig.

    Along the same lines, Neandertals are often depicted as having pale skin. We do not know their skin color and are only guessing that if they were as naked as we are likely they would’ve been pale skinned too (owing to their northern distribution). Could very well have had skin as black as most other non-human primates.

  49. 49
    Anthony K

    Along the same lines, Neandertals are often depicted as having pale skin. We do not know their skin color and are only guessing that if they were as naked as we are likely they would’ve been pale skinned too (owing to their northern distribution). Could very well have had skin as black as most other non-human primates.

    Maybe, though of course they were not non-human primates.

    However, there is some evidence that at least some of them may have been light-skinned and red haired.

  50. 50
    Anthony K

    Or other hairy human primates.

    Like Brownian.

    I wonder if they were as greasy and sweaty as Brownian too?

    Gross.

  51. 51
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    nooneinparticular@48 I’ve seen them depicted with all sorts of skin colors, but it’s reasonable to assume that their skin would be lighter than Sub-Saharan Africans due to the part of the world they inhabited. We don’t know how light and it surely wouldn’t be identical to the white skin of modern Europeans (that’s a mutation that’s only a few thousand years old), but there’s little reason to assume that their skin would be “black”.

    If they did have the coloring of our nearest primate cousins, they’d be tan.

  52. 52
    pentatomid

    Also, Neanderthals were huge and lived on Skull Island

  53. 53
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I wonder if they were as greasy and sweaty as Brownian too?

    Gross.

    /shudder

  54. 54
    chigau (違う)

    … skin as black as most other non-human primates.

    citation needed

  55. 55
    Akira MacKenzie

    Neanderthal? Look more like the Voormis from the Cthulhu Mythos.

  56. 56
    What a Maroon, el papa ateo

    … skin as black as most other non-human primates.

    Don’t most non-human primates have light skin under all that hair?

  57. 57
    gragra, something clever after the comma

    He left out the bit where they returned to the sea and evolved into mermaids and mermen.

  58. 58
    nooneinparticular

    Both species of Gorilla, Bonobos and both species of Orangutans all have black or very dark skin. Most chimps (P. Troglodytes) have pale face/ears but for most the rest of their skin is rather dark. Lemurs have black skin. Tarsiers, I am not sure about. There are many other primates, of course.

    I said; “skin as black as most non-human primates”. I should have said “non-human great apes”.

  59. 59
    Anthony K

    Don’t most non-human primates have light skin under all that hair?

    I have a fucking name, people.

  60. 60
    Anthony K

    And yes. Somewhat light olive.

  61. 61
    What a Maroon, el papa ateo

    I have a fucking name, people.

    But is it appropriate to use when I’m not fucking you?

  62. 62
    nooneinparticular

    Brownian said; “they were not non-human primates.”

    Of course you are right. They were human primates. I didn’t say they weren’t though. I was only suggesting that they may have had skin color/hair closer to our more distant cousins than to us, though that seems unlikely. Most likely they were not so different in appearance than modern H. sapiens.

    I did know about the possibility of at least some having red hair.

  63. 63
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    Most chimps (P. Troglodytes) have pale face/ears but for most the rest of their skin is rather dark.

    What are you basing this on?

  64. 64
    Anthony K

    But is it appropriate to use when I’m not fucking you?

    Some atheists might find your shouts of “Oh, God!” confusing, but go ahead if you like.

  65. 65
    ChristineRose

    Concerning the inter-species romance, my feeling is that if you grew up in an environment where there was a tribe of primates of roughly the same level of intelligence, language development, and social practice as found in your own tribe, that you would probably just come to accept that some “people” have darker skin, flatter noses, vertical pupils, more hair, etc. just as some modern humans lived (sometimes peacefully, often not so much) alongside immigrant populations that looked pretty different from the locals. You’d get a lot of prejudice along with cooperative social behaviors and an occasional Romeo and Juliet.

    Of course my theory is irrelevant since everyone except this guy thinks that neanderthals looked way more like modern humans than that.

  66. 66
    Anthony K

    I didn’t say they weren’t though.

    I didn’t think you were, but I thought I’d clarify anyway.

    I did know about the possibility of at least some having red hair.

    I may be wrong, but I think the presenting of neandertals as more likely to be fair-skinned, if not fair-haired, is a relatively recent trend, from the sixties and seventies and beyond, once it became less acceptable to present them in museums as swarthy, grunting savages.

  67. 67
    nooneinparticular

    Caerie

    This is silly. There are many photos available that show chimps with pale faces or dark faces, light skin, or gray skin or black skin (I could google them just as easily as you can). P. troglodytes have significant variety in their skin colors, though I would guess they have less variability than humans (just a guess!).

    If you want to parse my statement to make some kind of corrected point, be my guest. Although I should have said “most non-human great apes” instead of “most non-human primates” my point stands; we do not know the skin color or hirsuteness of H. neandertalis and it is formally possible they looked closer to “most non-human great apes” than to us. I think the people who study Neandertals find that most unlikely and for good reason, but as we have no way of knowing what they looked liked in this regard we simply can’t say.

    Done.

  68. 68
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Yeah, the “dark-colored ape-like monster obsessed with raping ‘normal’ humans” myth is a little too familiar. I wonder how he reconciles this with the fact that Neanderthals were mostly found in Europe?

    I think the people who study Neandertals find that most unlikely and for good reason, but as we have no way of knowing what they looked liked in this regard we simply can’t say.

    The first half of this sentence contradicts the second half.

  69. 69
    Anthony K

    vertical pupils

    “Your eyes are like limpid, uh, what are those thingies called? The wooden things you make music with. Ah yes, turndun. What rhymes with turndun?

    Middle Paleolithic poetry is hard, so I killed an aurochs for you.”

  70. 70
    chigau (違う)

    If Neandertals were all palid, freckled, redheads, I’m not sorry they’re extinct.
    (sorry sorry sorry)

  71. 71
    Alex

    pentatomid
    19 June 2012 at 11:12 am

    > Mammoths – the Brain-sucking Zombie Monsters
    > from the Tundra of Death

    You mean… like this?

    There is no God… :-O

  72. 72
    Anthony K

    Yeah, the “dark-colored ape-like monster obsessed with raping ‘normal’ humans” myth is a little too familiar. I wonder how he reconciles this with the fact that Neanderthals were mostly found in Europe?

    Ricardo Montalban and the Nosotros Foundation could tell you how one does not need to search outside of Europe for the stereotype of the horndog Other.

  73. 73
    Anthony K

    If Neandertals were all palid, freckled, redheads, I’m not sorry they’re extinct.

    (sorry sorry sorry)

    Ahem. Really?

  74. 74
    chigau (違う)

    I associate pale redheads with a childhood trauma involving *shudder* clowns.

  75. 75
    feralboy12

    Dammit, Brownian, now I have to watch Wrath of Khan again.

  76. 76
    What a Maroon, el papa ateo

    I associate pale redheads with a childhood trauma involving *shudder* clowns.

    This pale redhead is not amused.

  77. 77
    ChasCPeterson

    [a] If Neandertals were all palid, freckled, redheads, I’m not sorry they’re extinct.

    [b] I associate pale redheads with a childhood trauma

    Even if [b] is true, [a] is still a damn shitty thing to say.

  78. 78
    nooneinparticular

    @76

    Nor is this pale freckled redhead (with another primate!)

  79. 79
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Feralboy12:

    THE KING IS AN ATTACKING PIECE!

    Now you do not have to watch that movie again.

  80. 80
    chigau (違う)

    Pippi!
    I ♥ Pippi!

  81. 81
    nooneinparticular

    @68 Azkyroth wrote; “The first half of this sentence contradicts the second half.”

    No. It does not.

  82. 82
    Alexandra (née Audley)
    Don’t most non-human primates have light skin under all that hair?

    I have a fucking name, people.

    For fuck’s sake, Brownian! My bladder control isn’t what it used to be!

  83. 83
    Anthony K

    Dammit, Brownian, now I have to watch Wrath of Khan again.

    He really hard at fighting the “Latin Lover” stereotype that Latino actors were commonly typecast as in his time. He refused to portray womanisers, if he had any type of control over the script.

  84. 84
    Heliantus

    @ Brownian

    Thanks to the link to Ricardo Montalban, I learned something.

    A bit of trivial, but when I read the part where he was typecasted for asian guy roles, it reminded me of a previous thread from last Thursday:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/06/14/they-all-look-alike-dont-they/

  85. 85
    Enkidum

    @nooneinparticular 81. Yes it does. If scientists who study neanderthals have good reason to think that they looked more like us than other great apes, then we very much can agree with them. Indeed we are obligated to agree with them, since they’re the only ones who aren’t talking out of their asses.

  86. 86
    Dabu

    I borrowed this from a local library a few months ago. PZ’s takedown justifies all the WTF? reactions I had while reading it. Sure glad I didn’t buy the thing.

    Googling ‘teem theory’ produced what I expected. Nothing but results associated with Vendramini. The whole notion of traumatic events being recorded in the genome makes me say, dude, where have you been learning your evolution from? You should check out this guy who was fairly significant – Darwin, that’s it!

    There’s no explanation for how the process occurs. Maybe Vendramini will find his Mendel, but there’s less chance of this than of Fred Phelps becoming a decent person.

  87. 87
    nooneinparticular

    Enkidum

    “We” are under no such obligation under any circumstance but much more so here as even they will agree that they simply don’t know what skin color or how hairy Neanderthals had/were, irrespective of what they think is most likely. Remember AFAIK they have no evidence one way or the other. It is just a reasonable supposition that Neanderthals looked more like us in this regard than our other cousins. There is some evidence that at least some were red haired, based on similarity to sapiens genes for red hair. But at least on non-human great ape is red haired, VERY hirsute and has black skin. So merely having a gene that may encode red hair is no proof of what they may have looked like.

    Seems likely to me that they did look like us, though.

    Again, this is what I wrote; “I think the people who study Neandertals find that most unlikely and for good reason, but as we have no way of knowing what they looked liked in this regard we simply can’t say.”

  88. 88
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    Although I should have said “most non-human great apes” instead of “most non-human primates” my point stands; we do not know the skin color or hirsuteness of H. neandertalis and it is formally possible they looked closer to “most non-human great apes” than to us.

    The problem is that a Neandertal would be as likely to resemble a gorilla as your neighbor, because they were just as far removed from them as we are. If you’re of Eurasian descent, you are part Neandertal. Think of your grandmother’s mother. You might carry more genes from long forgotten Neandertal ancestors than you do from her.

    The earliest members of the hominid lineage probably had a mostly unpigmented or lightly pigmented integument covered with dark black hair, similar to that of the modern chimpanzee.

    Chimpanzee skin color is a basic fact. Their genetics regarding coloring have been explored at length as a way of giving us insight into our own variety. As our closest living relative, they give us far more insight into our ancestors and extinct humans than any other primates.

    The specific gene responsible for European light skin (as opposed to light skin in other populations) is only a few thousand years old, but other mutations for light skin and hair have been found when studying Neandertal DNA. It’s entirely possible some may have had dark skin, just as many humans do today, but it seems unlikely that this would have been particularly common. Dark skin exists in specific populations as a protection against sun exposure. A Eurasian subspecies of human would have the same pressures for lighter skin to absorb vitamin D as modern Eurasians do.

  89. 89
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge

    Vendramini is not a scientist, but he is a “theatre director, TV producer and award-winning film director and scriptwriter“

    Cripes, déjà vu all over again! Has Robert Ardrey been reincarnated?

  90. 90
    leonpeyre

    Mr. Vendramini, the 19th century is calling. They want their stereotype back.

  91. 91
    petrander

    A clue to where his psychological need for depicting Neanderthals as such follows at time index 14:05 :

    My research indicates that the only humans to survive were those formed with modern human adaptations. Things like high intelligence, language, creativity and aggression.

    I’ve seen it before: Probably some male mysoginist, who wants to justify his aggressive tendencies by inventing stories of how our violent past shaped us.

  92. 92
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    @68 Azkyroth wrote; “The first half of this sentence contradicts the second half.”

    No. It does not.

    Unless by “knowing” you mean “confirmed beyond an unreasonable doubt,” it does indeed: the first half of the sentence refers to evidence for a particular position on a question, and the second half implies that the question is unresolvable. If there is evidence primarily favoring one particular position the question is resolvable and for an appreciable weight of evidence a tentative answer has already been determined.

  93. 93
    nooneinparticular

    Caerie

    Goodness. You have misread me. I did not say they would look like gorillas or anything other than Neanderthals. I only said we do not know how hairy they were or how dark their skin was. I guess the confusion came about because I mentioned skin color. I should’ve said they may well have been as dark skinned as African sapiens, but as I had mentioned hairyness in respect to other apes I just continued.

    Azykrorth thanks for you’re input. I stand by my interpretation of what I wrote.

  94. 94
    Thomas Holtz

    From the Them+Us website:
    “If you’re disturbed by these images, there’re a good reason for it. Like other prey species, humans have an innate capacity to recognize our natural predator.”

    More like “if you’re disturbed by these images, you are distressed by the artists total lack of knowledge of comparative anatomy.”

  95. 95
    busterggi

    Ummmm….

    If the Neandertals were the superior predators shouln’t modern-type humans have been the ones to go extinct?

    My grey hair used to be red & if it weren’t so pale now I’d look way too much like George “the Animal” Steele.

  96. 96
    nonny

    He seems to have used a gorilla as the basis for his reconstruction, which is funny because they’re vegetarians. Of course, gorillas were typecast as savage beasts when they were first discovered (by western science) and I think there were even tales of them raping humans, especially females. Two old stereotypes in one creature.

    I think it makes some sense to assume Neanderthals were hairier than us, because hair keeps you warm and they lived in very cold conditions. Even if they had clothes and fire, some extra hair might have given them an edge.

    Them being black seems a lot less likely. If you look at animals living in areas with lots of snow, they tend to be white or pale. Japanese macaques have pale blondey-brownish fur and pink faces. It makes more sense to me if Neanderthals were pale.

    The guy’s arguement that Neaderthals were a scary superpredator because they hunted mammoth and wolly rhino forgets that mordern man hunted them too and made many of animals extinct, without the need for slit-eyed pupils or a scary growl.

    The idea that monsters come from our experience with Neaderthals forgets that we’ve been exposed to many other predators that were just as scary, plus humans themselves could become murderous and inspire the same kinds of stories.

  97. 97
    Enkidum

    @nooneinparticular Yeah, Azkyroth @92 is right. Your argument is exactly parallel to the standard theist claim that scientific knowledge is faith, because we can’t know anything for certain.

    If all you mean is “afaik, we don’t have particularly good evidence, but what evidence there is seems to support less-hairy Neanderthals”, then sure. But that’s not what you keep saying.

  98. 98
    strange gods before me ॐ

    The whole notion of traumatic events being recorded in the genome makes me say, dude, where have you been learning your evolution from?

    L. Ron Hubbard?

  99. 99
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    From the Them+Us website:
    “If you’re disturbed by these images, there’re a good reason for it. Like other prey species, humans have an innate capacity to recognize our natural predator.”

    More like “if you’re disturbed by these images, you are distressed by the artists total lack of knowledge of comparative anatomy.”

    I’ve seen suggestions that human cultures’ dragon myths are rooted in an instinctive fear of big cats, large snakes, and eagles common to most primates. The Neanderthal thing is more parsimoniously explained by a combination of “humanlike-but-wrong” (IE, Uncanny Valley) and big-cat predatory traits (mainly the eyes).

  100. 100
    24fps

    @andyho (comment #33) – I don’t buy that Vendramini was a “successful tv producer” or even producer of any kind. I’m in the tv business myself (Canadian documentary producer) and I can only find him connected to a low-budget horror film fromt the mid-90s and a poorly rated short drama in 2003. There’s no mention anywhere of him in any kind of key creative or producer roles, or of him at festivals or markets. He may have been employed as crew or low-level producer role, but some of those are just fancy titles for “gofer”. Certainly would have to have an odd conception of “success” in the field to have no internet trace of it.

    I think he’s made up a lot of crap on both his current venture and his bio.

    Personally, as a doc producer, I wouldn’t touch this concept with a 20 foot pole. But then, I actually care about the quality of my work.

  101. 101
    Thomas Holtz

    With regards to hairiness in Neanderthals:

    A recent classic paper relevant to this is:
    Reed, D.L., J.E. Light, J.M. Allen, and J.J. Kirchman. 2007. Pair of lice lost or parasites regained: the evolutionary history of anthropoid primate lice. BMC Biology 5: 7. doi: 10.1186/1741-7007-5-7

    Human head lice (Pediculus humanus) are the sister species of chimpanzee lice (Pediculus schaeffi), and divergence times between the lice and primates implies continuous occupations of their hosts throughout their entire histories.

    In contrast, our pubic lice (Pthirus pubis) are the sister to gorilla lice (Pth. gorillae), with a divergence time of only 3.3 +/- 1.5 Ma (million years ago). Assuming that the pubic lice crossed over to the human lineage from the gorilla one, it appears that the coat of stem-humans had been greatly reduced between the chimp-human split and the colonization by “crabs”. So it appears that there may well have been much less (or at least not as continuous hair) on the bodies of even australopithecine-grade homininins than in chimps, gorillas, etc.

    So relative body hairlessness seems likely not to be a Homo sapiens trait, but looks to have been found in Homo ancestrally and likely in our closest (but extinct) kin.

  102. 102
    Stella

    I must protest your use of the phrase “selling out” in relation to Arturo Balseiro. The guy is an artist/designer who specialises in make up fx for the entertainment industry; he’s not a scientist and he’s not a forensic artist either. He’s not selling out here, he’s just doing his job.

  103. 103
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    he’s not a scientist and he’s not a forensic artist either.

    The misdeed, then, is by Vendrawhatsis who seems to want to present him as one.

  104. 104
    skeptifem

    are there any mitchell and webb look fans here? This reminds me so much of the recurring tv writers on that show.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_AmdvxbPT8

    “I find most writers get too bogged down in so-called ‘research’.”

  105. 105
    laurentweppe

    If you’re disturbed by these images, there’re a good reason for it. Like other prey species, humans have an innate capacity to recognize our natural predator

    Like wingnuts who innately recognize their predator when they see a man in a fuschia shirt.

  106. 106
    NitricAcid

    @#65- I’m not sure that one tribe would consider the other as “people who just look different”. I’m fairly certain that some groups of people have called themselves “people”, and considered others to be not quite human. (As examples, I’m thinking of the Innu, who call themselves “people” and didn’t extend that term to the Cree, as well as the Vikings, who decided that the first thing one should do with a captured “Skraeling” was to stab it to see if it was human.) I suspect that a person in a paleolithic tribe would consider their own tribe to be “persons”, animals to be animals, and members of other tribes to be something in between.

  107. 107
    imthegenieicandoanything

    Not a very original “interpretation,” either: that’s Gollum from the LOTR movies, with shaggy black fur.

  108. 108
    jnorris

    The only good news about his book is it will not be adopted as a textbook for Texas schools and therefore will not show up in other state’s schools (I hope).

  109. 109
    Musca Domestica

    Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist

    “We Are Ing The Matrimonial Collective”, we know conclusively that Neanderthals and Humans interbred. PZ actually wrote about that some months ago, IIRC. The study looked at the amount of Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA in certain Scandinavian and Nordic groups of humans, finding that, I believe, as much as 5% of the human genome contains Neanderthal DNA. (I may be wrong on the details.)

    You don’t say?! Welcome to Finland :)

    (This man gets to play a thug even in Swedish tv & films)

  110. 110
    Musca Domestica

    Have to say that the uneven wear of the creature makes me think of strict herbivores, even though the front teeth otherwise look like ours. But maybe they like chew on H. sapiens bones like some people chew toothpicks.

  111. 111
    Heliantus

    @ Nonny 96

    I think there were even tales of them [Gorilla] raping humans, especially females.

    King Kong.

  112. 112
    pacal

    Exactly why is the Neandertal shown with jet black skin!. I believe that Chimps under the fur have “white” skin. Further the Neandertals inhabited ice age Europe and Northern clines I would expect them to have light skin. Further if they hunted at night non exposure to light would likely lead to albinism and light skin color among them. It doesn’t make any sense at all.

    I also note that portraying the Neandertals as rapist predators who also ate us is a nice way of justifying / excusing us exterminating them. I should point out that the evidence that Homo Sapiens Sapiens exterminated the Neandertals 8is basically non existent.

  113. 113
    pacal

    I looked at the guy’s website. Aside from some really risible stuff about the inheritance of acquired characteristics, his discussion of the effects of this alleged Neandertal predation reminds of the book Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War, by Barbara Ehrenreich, in which she argued that the idea of Man the hunter and man the apex predator has been so dominating that we miss the idea of man the prey. THat the early African grasslands and forests were filled with numerous dangerous carnivores that preyed on human ancestors. This included such terrifying creatures as the huge Cave cat, Sabre tooth tiger and so on and so forth and that Man being prey shaped our evolution and yes our culture in terms of how we relate to each other and how we regard things.

    THis guy as basically reworked this idea and given it a sensational monsters under the bed aspect.

  114. 114
    Kimpatsu

    And here it is, in all it’s ridiculous creature-feature glory.
    PZ, do you permit your students to misuse the apostrophe in their essays, too?

  115. 115
    Amphiox

    With reference to the “superpredator” label, these people killed mammoths with sticks and stones. One doesn’t need to embellish the reality any more!

  116. 116
    Dabu

    PZ, do you permit your students to misuse the apostrophe in their essays, too?

    I hear he’s let it happen five times or less.

  117. 117
    jamesevans

    Neanderthals made a living raping and eating other humans? Like it was some career choice, or professional skill the species as a whole developed and honed over tens of thousands of years? Got some serious doubts about that one.

    Homo erectus, on the other hand… And, as much as I’d pass on the opportunity to meet them for real, I still doubt even they would have hunted hominids intently or exclusively for countless generations.

  118. 118
    mickll

    So…basically orcs.

  119. 119
    Amphiox

    Neanderthals made a living raping and eating other humans? Like it was some career choice, or professional skill the species as a whole developed and honed over tens of thousands of years? Got some serious doubts about that one.

    A very impressive feat if you consider that for the first half of their existence as a species, at least, there where no other humans in their home range in Europe.

  120. 120
    Cephas Borg

    I’m constantly saddened by the fact that the reality of whatever some nitwit with a video camera is trying to make a spectacle of is generally far more incredible, astonishing, and amazing than whatever lipstick they care to put on the pig.

    It was the same with the Talpiot tomb – Dr Jacobovici just wanted to sensationalise a simple, incredibly beautiful tomb, for the book and TV income. He *had* to use the J word (in this case, both Jonah and Jesus), and as is usual with those pseudointellectual types, cried ‘foul’ as soon as the experts gutted, drew, and quartered his ridiculous fantasy. Sound like anyone else we know coughDiscoveryInstitutecough?

    I’ve tried and tried, but I truly don’t understand that mindset. Isn’t everything amazing enough as it is, without bringing in cat’s eyes/Jonah/god?

  121. 121
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I’ve tried and tried, but I truly don’t understand that mindset. Isn’t everything amazing enough as it is, without bringing in cat’s eyes/Jonah/god?

    An idiot is a person who is puzzled before the obvious but sensationalizes the nonexistent.

  122. 122
    24fps

    @ Cephas (#120) Jacobovici is not a doctor of anything. He’s not even and archaeologist, although he bills himself as one. He has a BA in philosophy and an MA in International Relations.

    He’s not a good documentarian, either.

  123. 123
    Ingdigo Jump

    With reference to the “superpredator” label, these people killed mammoths with sticks and stones. One doesn’t need to embellish the reality any more!

    And as Skyrim has taught us, that is very impressive!

  124. 124
    Thomas Holtz

    What is so sad is that this douchebag has to make up fantasies about orcs and ogres when the real Neanderthals are so much more vastly interesting as they were: a different way of being human.

  125. 125
    ledasmom

    Having watched the video, I cannot come up with a better comment on it than this one, taken from about the third page of comments on YouTube:
    “You have no idea what you’re talking about. Please be fuck.”

  126. 126
    Cephas Borg

    @24fps (#122) : I’m so sorry, you’re absolutely right. I gave the twit (sorry, Executive Producer twit) a salutation he doesn’t deserve. My apologies – I’m sure he’ll find this reference and use it to up his ante, after all, that’s exactly the sort of evidence that Simcha himself needs to be able to make something up out of next to nothing.

    Unfortunately, he has Dr James Tabor on his side, but that’s a whole ‘nother story (and way OT).

  127. 127
    thisisaturingtest

    Are chimpanzees well-known to use spears?

  128. 128
    pacal

    Got the book. it was certainly an interesting read for a novel. Certainly the author has done a lot of research although it all seems to be only stuff that “supports” his theory and some of it really doesn’t. I note that Barbara Ehrenreich’s book Blood Rites is not in his list of references, considering he is using a hypothesis that views humans as prey at one time, that omision is not kosher. I also note that much of his research for example on Neandertal physical appearance is seriously questionable and distorted. It rather sad given that I could discern a good and interesting hypothesis hiding amid the nonsense and distortion. And I don’t mean the nonsense about Neandertals preying on humans and raping human females. That stuff is a croc.

    What the book also is is an outstanding example of how an obviously itelligent man can make a totally hairbrained idea seem plausible and superficially “scientific” even when it is not by a long shot.

    Sometimes Pseudoscientists can be seductively convincing and still be stunningly WRONG!!

  129. 129
    colinrobinson

    Neanderthals as predators on early modern humans? Not exactly a new idea… Back in 1921, H.G.Wells wrote an essay-like short story called The Grisly Folk. It can be read online at http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602061h.html

    Here is a quote: “The Neandertalers thought the little children of men fair game and pleasant eating… Great Paladins arose in that forgotten world, men who stood forth and smote the grey man-beast face to face and slew him.”

  130. 130
    york182000

    Wow. That’s all I have to say to all you fools crying “racist”. Because he gave his Neanderthal black skin, that’s supposed to be his way of saying black people are bad? I was under the impression that since he was using great apes as his comparison and the fact that gorillas have black skin, to me just simply meant he saw a resemblance to gorillas. Also throw in the fact that he hypothesized that they hunted at night means he made them black as an evolutionary trait to hide better in the dark.
    Basically only racists see racism in every little thing, which tells you something about the people crucifying Vandermini (or however you spell his name) as a racist.

  131. 131
    Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just an anti-essentialist feminist with a shotgun)

    I’ll put down 10$ towards the next comment from yorknumbers being a racist screed…

    Any takers?

    Anyone?

  132. 132
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    which tells you something about the people crucifying Vandermini (or however you spell his name) as a racist.

    Jesus you are either amazingly stupid or just lazy as shit (both?). Neither of which speaks well for you.

    Was it harder to scroll up than to type that?

    Vendramini

  133. 133
    york182000

    Actually it was harder to scroll up. Seeing as I as typing that from my phone in an area with shitty service. I started scrolling up buy it took damn near five minutes just to get to the half way point of the comments. So I cut my losses and guessed on the spelling. And considering it was a guess, I came pretty damn close.

  134. 134
    Ingdigo Jump

    Wow. That’s all I have to say to all you fools crying “racist”. Because he gave his Neanderthal black skin, that’s supposed to be his way of saying black people are bad? I was under the impression that since he was using great apes as his comparison and the fact that gorillas have black skin, to me just simply meant he saw a resemblance to gorillas. Also throw in the fact that he hypothesized that they hunted at night means he made them black as an evolutionary trait to hide better in the dark.

    It’s stupid to give them black skin like gorillas because they weren’t fucking like gorillas. None of the hominids would be any more ‘like gorillas’ than humans. that’s the point people.

  135. 135
    york182000

    First, to continue my part as devils advocate, to HIM in HIS theory they were like gorillas somewhat hence the black skin. He even showed pics of gorillas to show his line of thinking. As far as the racist thing goes how many black people have you met that have actual black skin like his “Neanderthal”. None, because they are actually just varying shades of brown.
    Also, “like” is a very relative term. And since gorillas are over 90% similar to humans genetically of say that they are pretty “like” humans and early hominids alike. As far as I know the only species closer to humans than that are chimps and maybe orangutans.

  136. 136
    Cipher

    You know this thread’s been dead for almost a month, right? Take your trolling to TZT.

  137. 137
    Ingdigo Jump

    And since gorillas are over 90% similar to humans genetically of say that they are pretty “like” humans and early hominids alike. As far as I know the only species closer to humans than that are chimps and maybe orangutans.

    I feel bad that you don’t realize how stupid that is.

  138. 138
    Ingdigo Jump

    And just for reference the Devil does not need someone to play his advocate. He’s the Devil, he has all the lawyers he needs.

  139. 139
    Ingdigo Jump

    A general service announcement the next time anyone wants to play Devil’s Advocate, count to ten while slapping yourself with a sting ray instead. Repeat until the problem goes away

  140. 140
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    to continue my part as devils advocate,

    Another name for trolling idiotically. Not any term used for rational discussion, or attempting rational discussion. That uses phrases like “this is what I believe, and this is the evidence (link to evidence) to back it up”.

  141. 141
    kaijuuaoiroart

    the first image of the neanderthal with chimp face, doesnt match, the ears are misplaced.

    the neanderthal skull, in a similar manner,the frontal view is distorted, to make it look like an ape, the photo was taken too near, or deliverately modified the lense aperture to make it look like that, the profile view is just a normal human skull that is mising the nose bone, if you match the frontal view to the profile view, you will see what I mean, a person doesnt have the jaw in that angle but much rotated, moreover, even if you rotate the profile, to match a normal position of a man facing the horizon, not the roof, you will see that the scalp in the frontal view, looks even more natural… if you dont believe me, just check any art lessons regarding how to draw human skulls, and proportions, human skulls defines the shape of a head, and is youd draw all the skulls the smame way, there would be no differences in the faces of each person, for obvious reasons evritime, you see a comparison to huamn skulls, they chose phenotypes, with contrsasting characteristics, to produce the desired effect.

  142. 142
    Cannabis for Autism

    Howdy,

    Could one not suppose that it went a little something like this:

    T-~100K – the hybrid offspring of neanderthal and ‘uzlot’ as we call us, the winners, now, are selected for being able to run away from big cannibals. The fast and enduring body shape also meant a different kind of shoulder girdle.

    T-~70K – Toba or something kills most folk anyway, the few of uzlot who survive find we can throw spears ‘upwards’ as well as ‘across’ or ‘down’ so are able to seek out big cannibals, throw spears, and run away (skirmish) whist playing the game of ‘no neanderthal in me’ and killing anyone suspected of having it in him.

    T-~11K – Potbelly Hill, Turkey, anyone left on earth who doesn’t understand the rules, they will soon.

    Today: I’ve been reading about grasshoppers and zebrafinch and chimp, and there’s definitely something going on that gives rise to a ‘TEEM’ hypothesis or two: http://silencedbysilencedbyageofautism.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/secret-diary-of-lored-gnode-cremasteric.html

  143. 143
    alison

    My apologies for disturbing an elderly thread, but for some reason I’ve only just seen this post :(

    I encountered Vendramini’s ideas a couple of years ago, when I was running an exam preparation day for students attempting the NZ Scholarship Bio exams. A teacher asked me in all seriousness what I thought of his book & his hypothesis; they had read it & (rather alarmingly) ‘thought there could be something in it’. At the time I’d never heard of the guy, so I had to say that I couldn’t really comment but it sounded rather unlikely. That led to this blog post: http://sci.waikato.ac.nz/bioblog/2010/10/killer-neandertals-does-this-o.shtml Unfortunately I’ll never know if that teacher read what I had to say.

    Also, why the cat-eye pupils? Chimps don’t have those either. As I receall, it has something to do with V’s belief that Neandethals were nocturnal predators & also that they lived in icy zones so the pupils would have helped reduce snow-glare. Or something.

  144. 144
    plumperquatsch

    if you think, this theory is pure fiction, than try to live with their ancestors and you will know, that this is absolutely true!

    best example is Niederrhein, Germany. The humans there are primitive, untalented, violent.

    Remember, what we (Germans) did last century. They are still here, and now much more brutal and the enemy more helpless.

    You can’t imagine, which kind of creature comes creeping. And you won’t believe, until you see. Until than, call me whatever you want, but remember what I told you. I was there, in the center of neandertal, and I saw, what they are.

Comments have been disabled.