With the first noted partial Neandertal remains discovered in 1856 when these creatures were assigned their own species, Homo neanderthalensis, to almost 50 years later with the French discovery of the noted “Old Man” where researchers depicted them as primitive protohumans, their existence though validated, was still an enigma.
These early “human” beings were considered less than intelligent and incapable of survival simply because their physical structure was larger, more compact than that of the modern human. Neandertal facial features differed from humans with chinless jaws, protuberant mid-faces, oblique foreheads and conspicuous brow ridges. Their diminutive limbs and cylindrical chests led to a misinterpretation that Neandertals were stooped of shoulder and carried themselves like apes. Yet in spite of this accepted conjecture, Neandertals had survived harsh winters and lean food sources through their own instinct for survival, not by sheer luck.
Through further study, it is postulated that modern humans migrated north from Africa to Europe where these creatures existed, introducing a more sophisticated form of weaponry, the art of self decoration and cave drawings, then interbred with them, distorting the Neandertal’s original culture and race.
Upon the discovery that Neandertals actually did in fact walk upright, had their own means of survival and communication, and were capable of breeding with modern humans, it is wondered if assignment of a separate species was erroneous, that these beings were better defined as an independent human race.
Which brings to light some of the questions Ms Wong raised. If the Neandertals were a separate species, then Darwin’s Theory of Evolution of humans from apes must be legitimate as humans and apes, though both mammals, are two distinctly different species. Yet the breeding of Neandertals and modern humans, instead of creating a sterile generation as with the mule bred from a horse and donkey, created another species/race of its own, which causes more confusion than clarification in the quest for absolute truth about the Neandertals.
That the modern human population outnumbered the Neandertals and simply bred these beings to eradication causes other issues to be examined. Modern humans breeding with Neandertals is an elucidation of some to circumscribe the similarities between the moderns and Neandertals. Yet if the moderns had a larger population than the Neandertals, expunging the Neandertals would have been more expeditious through war or enslavement.