I have written previously about my Neanderthal Heritage and how best to conserve that heritage. This explains Neanderthal’s descendants’ racial superiority in the human lineup and the next step in guiding our specie’s evolution.
So waves of pre-men left Africa and migrated through the entire old world (yes, it started before the dawn of man, literally). Small populations + very old means not much data about Homo Erectus, the first pretty-modern human of wide distribution. Neanderthal and Denisovan were both more modern in skeleton and tools, and the first for which we have genomic data. Early data, and I think there will be many more surprises.
So the genomic data is right on the edge* of being interpreted as some version of actual large bands of humans moving out of Africa and/or young men with the new-culture habit of going travelling and maybe taking his new girlfriend back to his band. Africans probably moved into the Middle East first, although archaeology is changing its mind about how to interpret nearly everything based on the new genetic data.
AIl that is nearly certain is that the small, inbred bands seen in the Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes and confirmed by the archaeology as very low-population species on the landscape, would have welcomed a stranger’s seed. Marrying your cousin makes your kids less fit for reasons of inbreeding.
There are indications that cross-species matings caused fertility problems with the Neanderthals, but very likely some of the Neanderthal’s resistance to local diseases and parasites, combined with knowledge of plants and game, would have overcome that. Something in those genes or the culture was a big advantage to our hybrid’s survival, we kept 40% or so of the total Neanderthal genome.**
So some species disappeared, Neanderthal and Denisovan. Those latter 2 had also been inter-breeding, one of the 3 people’s genomes in that cave had a Neanderthal grandparent. There are indications of other distinct groups in Denisovans, and as this line of research continues, we will likely see indications of the even older ancestors and perhaps several of those.
So we humans are hybrids of hybrids, and our ancestors bred each other out of existence in hybrid storms stabalized by constant backcrosses to the more numerous African modern humans. Quite an ancient strategy, judging from the genomes, and such a humane way for each to utterly vanquish the other and thus maximally propagate their genes, ultimate wins in the game of life.
The Denisovan genome is prominent through South Asia and Australia. Otherwise, archaeology and ancient genomes are scarce and we don’t yet know a lot, although more modern migrations are coming clearer. There were a LOT of migrations in every direction, including some back into Africa, at least of genes and culture.
Based on current evidence, Neanderthal is the oldest and most different ancestral species of almost all Europeans and Asians.
Reading a person’s genome is close to being a standard medical test, less expensive than many, meaning that in 20 years we will have definitive evidence of racial superiorities. By that time, many 10s of millions of individual genomes will have been read and be associated with electronic medical records. Combined with more psychological tests, brain scans, and cheaper physiological tests of all kind, we will have good associations between individual alleles, even pairs of alleles, and individual physical and psychological traits. There won’t be enough information on all ages, but the understanding of aging and cancer will be far along. There won’t be sufficient evidence of the effects of all combinations of genes, we are all genuinely unique, even the most identical twins, because we all develop mutations in many cells as we grow and age. The fact that you are inherently a chimera of genomes is noise reducing the signal in gene-phenotype correlations.
But we will know of many more special attributes of human varieties and individuals, e.g. Australian Aborigines have superior visual abilities. Such attribute develop in isolated groups under strong selective pressure, many such groups still exist in the world, sources of genetic variation the rest of humanity will want to exploit.
People will continue their personal genetic line’s selective breeding program using that information, as well as genetic engineering technology, and therefore the rate of humanity’s evolution will be increase, meaning genes will be lost from the population. Those might be the genes most associated with your handsome profile, that have the side effect of lowering IQ by 0.5 points, on average, so your face will be erased from the future. Who knows whose genes might be associated with something unpopular?
But we have an easy measure of fear of genetic inferiority : who is pushing for laws to prohibit genetic engineering of people? That will be popular as the next prohibition of personal conduct. True, the consequences have public effects, but so does most anything people do, why is adding to the complexity of social environments prohibited? Not different than any other social group’s forming and discriminating as all social groups do, against the rest of their own society.
Diversity means everyone has someone else to look down upon. The system has worked for centuries, in every civilization. OK, mostly worked.
My Neanderthal geneline will continue pursuing our bloodline’s strategy of expansion. It works — as a result of 40K years pursuing the strategy, there are easily 300 times more Neanderthal genes in the world today than when the most-ever Neanderthals were alive. In their day, a million persons max, spread all over Europe, the Middle East, and West Asia. 100% of 1M << 5% of the 6B or so living descendants in old and new worlds, genes living a life of luxury compared to muddy wet caves in Ice Age Europe.
Our African ancestors won also : nearly all people outside of sub-Saharan Africa are African hybrids, a very successful group by any standard. 95% of 6B people.
Our strategy, the strategy of every hominin revealed in the genomes of ancient people, is, in the interests of our individual genomes, to breed with everyone possible and form the most vigorous hybrids. Humanity is not a genetically-rich species, rather has very little genetic diversity compared to fellow primates. Genetic diversity is the base requirement for evolution, there have to be alternatives for the environment to select from. There are combinations of your genes and those of other people in the world that will produce offspring superior to the best you could produce with any closer members of your species. It is your genetic duty, the requirement to continue your geneline into the indefinite future, to find them.
Thus, our goal is to breed our species’ replacement, a larger and more diverse population that maximizes our individual genes’ copies in the future. ***
Every other race will be bred out of existence in order to extract full benefit of their different genes for humanity’s replacement species. Should be a fun revolution.
*My interpretation, first time I have understood this as a result of the last few weeks of reading and 2 different comments by John Hawks in different lectures, but I may have read it and forgotten it, that happens. But a measure of my biological understanding : This is not my first insight wrt the significance of Neanderthal genomes.
The case for Neanderthal superiority rests on the relative lack of evidence for people in the east having a full local ancestral species that they began from (probable, every other major environment had their own) and the fact that Africans got no Neanderthal at all. Australian Aborigines also have Denisovan genes and are apparently the most isolated of modern human strains, so obviously are the next-oldest set of genes that need to be fully incorporated into the modern human genome and thus bred out of existence in turn. Africans after that. As with our Neanderthal-African hybrid, our genome will be thereby wider, so better adapted to resist local diseases and parasites and better for further evolution, although I must admit our inherent superiority will dwindle as genetic engineering is perfected and we can add genes from animals.
I haven’t looked at the rates of inter-racial matings in different countries, but that is clearly more frequent everywhere. The hybrid vigor race is on!
Added later : This is a paper saying that in 2005, meaning I probably read the idea somewhere.
Added much later : the story is much more complex than I had realized, and we modern humans very likely got far more of our genetics and culture from Neanderthals than generally understood. Truly, hybrid vigor has been the key to human development. Also, that paper is un-publishable because it is a grab-bag of evidence, cherry-picking evidence to support a point of view. OTOH, all understandings start with exactly that pattern matching and gradually increasing support. ‘Sex At Dawn’ was the same, tho they had more accepted science in their argument.
Now that I did that, I realize what a dynamite advertisement for total honesty it is. And telling you my realization, and warning you to look out for such things, makes me look even more honest and trustworthy. Genius.
Added yet later. We may have gotten a crucial component of our brain’s development from Neanderthals. That came from this review of anthropology’s biases. I have not see much followup on this, need to go looking. An alternative interpretation is that the cultural differences are entirely due to population densities, it takes a larger interacting group of people to develop and sustain more advanced toolsets, including cultural tools. DaVincis are rare, and small populations won’t have many of them even over long periods, and subsistence-level life will focus their talents on staying alive, not creating new tools and art.