A visit to Uncle Neanderthal:
All right.  I admit I kind of like Neanderthals.  That’s odd, since I have never met one and never shall.  In years gone by I used to know men, I remember three, who looked a bit like the artist representations of the time.  They were all splendid people, robust, energetic and filled with strong and generally positive emotions.  They were all Scotch Irish, I believe.  I have not seen the like for many years.  There was a time when I might have thought, although I never did, that they were the last remnant of the species.  But it appears from modern genetic studies that no such remnant persists.

I am not the only one.  Someone recently suggested that the Neanderthals proved themselves to be sufficiently handy with tools to have been able to make anything our actual Cro-Magnon ancestors could.  They didn’t do it because they could manage just fine as they were.  Apparently I am not alone in rather liking them.

Recently some other things have turned up, some of which I have mentioned.  They apparently had fair skin, red hair and were able to vocalize as we do.  They had long heads.  And they thrived in Eurasia.  Now it seems a bit of a coincidence that the color and head shape of these vanished people should have occurred in the same place where they are found now.  How can the appearance survive but not the genes on which the appearance was based?

Well just maybe they were really nice people.  Maybe our ancestors got along with them really well, so well in fact, that there was a bit of a selective advantage for a Cro-Magnon to look like a Neanderthal.  Maybe there was another similarity.  Modern European women rather expect to be treated better than women in other times and places.  Maybe that was another Neanderthal trait. 

At all events it ended in tears.  The Neanderthals died out rather soon after the Cro-Magnon arrived.  It well could have been that the new people had a smaller gene pool size because they were expanding out of a tiny population, which would of course have given them a higher fertility and at least for a time a higher population density.  So when affection turned into love, it was the older more genetically diverse Neanderthal population that died out because of resulting hybrid breakdown with infertility that may not have appeared in the first generation.

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