The 79 Percent

hith-neanderthal-die-out-earlier-eResearchers at the Center for Population Biology, University of California, Davis, published a research paper on 8 November 2016, that sheds new light on the hybridization between modern humans and Neanderthals. Entitled “The Strength of Selection against Neanderthal Introgression,” the study acknowledges the sexual mixing of human and Neanderthal populations but notes that “on average, selection appears to have removed Neanderthal alleles from the human population,” meaning that for some reason, much of the Neanderthal DNA from these combinations seems to have disappeared from modern human genomes. The question being addressed here is “Why?”

According the study, Neanderthals likely split from modern humans some 550,000 to 765,00 years ago. After migrating out of Africa to Europe, Eurasia, and East Asia (the study shows East Asians had initially higher levels of Neanderthal ancestry that others), modern humans re-encountered each other around 47,000-65,000 years ago and began interbreeding…

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19 thoughts on “Neanderthals, Modern Humans, & Natural Selection

        1. There are no ideas about the numbers, but what scientists are beginning to think is that because humans greatly outnumbered Neanderthals, they mostly got absorbed by the human population. Plus, Neanderthals had a large number of harmful genetic mutations, so when they mixed with humans, over time, their dna was weeded out.

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  1. It seems not so very long ago ‘they’ were adamant that real humans and the (low-life, monkey-men) Neanders never coupled, coppled, mixed genes or even had sex …

    Now it seems that everyone has a few traceable Neander bits … I just wish they’d get their blasted act together. Science is indeed a moving target (a matter of opinion—the flavour-of-the-week gets the kudos).

    We have no enduring ‘facts’, dammit.

    And I still reckon that Iceman chap was fleeing someone he’d offended—possibly by mixing genes with his wife.

    And ‘they’ keep pushing the Australian Abo chaps back further and further, the latest ‘fact’ is that they’ve been there more than fifty thousand years now. Or am I behind the times again, already?

    Now to check out them links … 🙂

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    1. Apparently, according to an article I was reading last night about Australian Aboriginals was that the time estimate of 40-50 k years is about right, but that they now know they carry both Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA. The guess is that they migrated from South East Asia and the Indian subcontinent, as said people also have high doses of that DNA.


      1. Just recently they discovered an inhabited site over fifty kiloyears old. Can’t remember where, south of northern tip on the left somewhere, I think.

        These days I read for flavour and trendings—no point in learning ‘facts’ because facts have limited/variable lifespans.


        1. True. This particular story is going to keep changing with every new bit of DNA code unravelled. Solid evidence is still scant. What I find fascinating is that there are a number of hunter-gather communities in the world who have DNA strands that have yet to be identified. A suggestion of hominid species as yet undiscovered. Except for their modern day descendants that is…

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