Somebody mentioned in a comment yesterday that we all had neanderthal d.n.a. in our genes. But this is not true. Most native sub-Saharan Africans do not as their ancestors were the homo sapiens who remained at home when the small group of humans, who were the ancestors of everybody else in the world, left Africa and started to colonise the middle east and beyond.

We now know that these migrants definitely mated with the neanderthals they came across. In fact, there is so much neanderthal d.n.a. in their descendants and it is so universal throughout the world that the scientist who conclusively proved this fact stated that they must have been at it like rabbits (or words to that effect).

What I have not yet come across is any discussion of how much difference the neanderthal d.n.a. has created between the human lines that remained in Africa and the human lines in the rest of the world. Probably because it would not be considered politically correct to do so. But I think this discovery does beg interesting questions about what constitutes a species and it also adds another dimension to the theory of evolution insomuch that cross fertilisation between species may be far more important than we have thought up to date.



  1. Neanderthal are classified by some as the same species as us. We are classified as Homo sapiens sapiens and they as Homo sapiens neanderthalensis.

    Species can’t always be strictly classified. We have several examples of ring species such as that which includes both Herring and Lesser Black-backed gulls.

  2. The species is an artificial concept. In general, where species have remained unchanged over long periods they fit the classical definition well. Where they’re actively evolving, or have been very recently (and we surely fall into that category), there are all sorts of fuzzy edges, and species boundaries become a matter of debate.

  3. A classical definition is a population that will interbreed and produce fertile children. So if neanderthal and modern humans interbred and had fertile children, they are one species by that definition. However a clear cut species only exists when intermediates are extinct (ring species are an example where they are not).

  4. It’s not just Neanderthals. Modern humans also carry around DNA from the recently-discovered Denisovians, and who-knows-who that we haven’t discovered yet. I don’t quite understand why, but the idea of a world containing other humans who are like us, but not us, absolutely blows my mind. The world is, and was, a fascinating place.

  5. It’s all explained in the Bible, just remember when reading about creation in the book of Genisis that God only repetes Himself when He’s emphisizing a point and that he made man and women/man and wife created he [THEM] is in repetition meaning that there were more than one couple involved here and it explains how cain could have married outside His bloodline also it would explain the diversity on noah’s Ark