Sunday, 27 January 2013

How FOXy were Neanderthals?

We can’t be sure how much Neanderthals could do or how bright they were. They had the FOXP2 gene, which is necessary for speaking – but then song birds and mice have the FOXP2 gene, too, so that doesn’t prove that Neanderthals could speak.

 Neanderthals existed for half a million years, which is a lot longer than we Homo sapiens have been around: but then horseshoe crabs have existed for 450 million years and they’re just, well, crabs.

 On the other hand, look at this:

 Now tell me: how bright were Neanderthals?

 Impressively bright, I think we have to say.


  1. Those pictures are extraordinary! Really astonishing...

  2. Yes - and they make me realise that my modern sophistication has very largely been a matter of aping other people.