News24

Modern humans 'crowded out' Neanderthals

2011-07-29 09:25

Washington - A swell of modern humans outnumbered Neanderthals in Europe by nearly 10 to one, forcing their extinction 40 000 years ago, suggested a study of French archaeology sites on Thursday.

Scientists have long debated what caused the Neanderthals to die off rather suddenly, making way for the thriving population of more advanced Homo sapiens who likely moved in from Africa.

The latest theory, published in the journal Science, is based on a statistical analysis of artefacts and evidence from the Perigord region of southern France, where lies the largest concentration of Neanderthal and early modern human sites in Europe.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge found more sites where modern humans settled, larger settlement areas, greater densities of tools and bigger amounts of animal and food remains, suggesting Neanderthals were crowded out.

Homo sapiens also likely had more elaborate social networks and possibly sharper brains, as evidenced by the stone tools, jewellery and artwork they left behind which was much more advanced than Neanderthal creations.

Large numbers

Their arrival in such large numbers likely forced Neanderthals from their habitual settlements and into places where food and shelter were harder to find, said lead author Paul Mellars of Cambridge University.

"It was clearly this range of new technological and behavioural innovations which allowed the modern human populations to invade and survive in much larger population numbers than those of the preceding Neanderthals across the whole of the European continent," he said.

"Faced with this kind of competition, the Neanderthals seem to have retreated initially into more marginal and less attractive regions of the continent."

The last traces of Neanderthals, who had survived on the continent for some 300 000 years, have been uncovered in caves in modern-day Spain and Gibraltar.

Mellars suggested a final deathblow may have been delivered by a harsh cold snap, a theory that has been debated in the scientific community for many years.

The Neanderthals' extinction may have been "accelerated further by sudden climatic deterioration across the continent around 40 000 years ago", he said.

Comments
  • MBossenger - 2011-07-29 09:30

    You just know someone is going to come on here and say the earh is only 6,000 - 10,000 years old...

      Han Solo - 2011-07-29 09:37

      Yup, my old buddy Matt:-)

      CapeTownJunk - 2011-07-29 10:13

      Or the inevitable stupid comments comparing Julius Malema and the ANCYL to Neandertals, as if that's the epitome of cutting-edge humour. :rolleyes:

      Shivermetimb - 2011-07-29 10:16

      More interestingly, which will the next race to be squeezed out of the evolutionary process?

      Aish - 2011-07-29 10:36

      You right Mbossenger, they have a couple thing wrong here... first.. the world is 6000 years old.... Second thing the Neanderthals are living amongst us still... running the ANCYL.. so yaaa scientists cant always be right

      Aish - 2011-07-29 10:37

      My only question is how they come up with these numbers... So they will say the bone they found is 40million years... You ask them how they get that number then they say no the soil around it is that old, then you ask how do you know that, then they say its because its with the bone... LOL they cant prove jack

      saturnz - 2011-07-29 10:40

      @ Aish, you are obviously not familiar with carbon testing.

      Aish - 2011-07-29 10:43

      Its carbon dating :) Flawed

      Jo - 2011-07-29 10:51

      @Aish. Ever heard of Carbon Dating?

      MBossenger - 2011-07-29 11:20

      Aish - carbon dating is only relaible up to 40,000 years or so, if I remember correctly. Fortunately there are many other isotopes with longer half lives that can be used in dating. Perhaps you could advise us why carbon dating is flawed and what you know that the scientists don't.

      LloydSix - 2011-07-29 11:21

      @Aish - there are many many different methods. Do some research to try understand it, you can't call something flawed just because you don't understand it. Your theory that the earth is less than 10 000 years old is not only seriously flawed is utterly ridiculous.

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-07-29 11:23

      And Carbon Datings big brothers, which include Argon-Argon dating, which is used for the longer time periods for which Carbon dating is inaccurate, cause it is.

      Tooth Fairy - 2011-07-29 11:23

      There are various methods of dating. Carbon dating is however not used for dead (once living material) older than about 25000 years.

      Tooth Fairy - 2011-07-29 11:34

      MBossenger: Indeed, Here are a couple of signs that you are an unquestioning religious nut: 1) You are willing to spend your life looking for insignificant loop-holes in the scientifically established age of the Earth (4.55 billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by bronze aged tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that the Earth is a couple of generations old! 2) You feel insulted and ‘dehumanized’ when scientists say that people evolved from lesser life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt 3) While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some hypnotised worshipper rolling around on the floor, speaking in ‘tongues,’ may be all the evidence you need.

      Aish - 2011-07-29 11:37

      by no means am I correct or incorrect, nor a scientist, just someone that has a lot of questions... So I take it that they can say it is accurate up to 40000 years that they actually have measurements as a starting point 40000 years ago... the measurements they make these "Assumptions" with? Because at the end of the day these are all assumptions. You cant tell me how fast I do the 100m if you dont know when I started the race

      Aish - 2011-07-29 11:50

      @Tooth Fairy - I am religious, but I also have common scene, and am open to Scientific discoveries. Lets put religion aside for a second, and think logically. A man finds a tooth, how is it possible he is able to draw an entire body from this tooth? It just amazes me that some people would rather believe what scientists claim and assume. Are you not a hypocrite? Do your questions not work both ways? 1) You are willing to spend your life looking for insignificant loop-holes in the scientifically established age of the Earth 2) You feel insulted and ‘dehumanized’ when scientists say that people did not evolve from lesser life forms, but you have a problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt 3) While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to prive otherwise, you are still asking why you are not rolling around on the floor, speaking in ‘tongues,’

      Grimaldi - 2011-07-29 12:00

      I heard there is another cold spell on its way this weekend. Lets hope we hear on Monday the right lot has dissapeared.

      LloydSix - 2011-07-29 12:08

      @Aish - No one ever said that the theory's in this article are 100% factual, they are just calculated theory's that are the most likely scenario. Every time more evidence is found we get closer to what actually happened. We believe more in what these scientists claim because they are using scientific means that have been proven to come to these conclusions - they are not basing their claims on bronze age stories that have absolutely no evidence or scientific backing whatsoever.

      zaatheist - 2011-07-29 12:31

      This Aish fellow and his fellow brain addled sky daddy believers understand evolution but deliberately carry on with their own version. You can't blame them really as keeping the ignorant tithing sheep in the flock is their meal ticket. Appearing monumentally stupid to educated folks is a small price to pay to collect all those donations from the ignorant tithers.

      Justin.A - 2011-07-29 12:41

      //A man finds a tooth, how is it possible he is able to draw an entire body from this tooth? // Because the man in question was an artist from 1922. NOT a scientist. To claim that this is how science operates is not only capricious but it deliberately propagating a falsehood. What exactly does your religion say about that? //Are you not a hypocrite?// No, but you are liar.

      Aish - 2011-07-29 12:54

      My case is proven... I mention religion and people jump on the band wagon with insults trying to prove there is no God. The fact of the matter no one can prove either way, however the bible does explain a lot of things that have happened, and there are scientists that can prove this, and there are scientists that cant disprove it. The fact of the matter is you guys follow this stuff like a religion and believe in things not proven accurate... why would you believe this and not the God story? hehehe... was my last comment as I know its pointless even trying to discuss anything with you lot knowing I am religious

      Justin.A - 2011-07-29 13:14

      //however the bible does explain a lot of things that have happened, and there are scientists that can prove this// Back up your statement with links to scientifically credible journals. //The fact of the matter is you guys follow this stuff like a religion// No, we follow it because it is interesting, we accept it because it is proven. Whether you beleive a god/gods created everything is not the issue, your ignorance surrounding the mechanisms he/she/they used we find appaling. //and believe in things not proven accurate...// Common descent is a proven fact. If you disagree you are welcome to back up your statement with links to scientifically credible journals. //why would you believe this and not the God story?// There's massive evidence for evolution. There's none for your story. //was my last comment as I know its pointless even trying to discuss anything with you lot knowing I am religious // Theres an enormous difference between a religious person, and a person who flat out insists that the world is 6000 years old with the entire scientific community worldwide being somehow incorrect. You have absolutely no scientific evidence for your crazy claims. If you put your evidence forward. The journal "Science" is a good place to start, because you somehow seem to think that your counter-evidence is to that level. We are all waiting.

      Pickle - 2011-07-29 13:45

      Even religious freaks are trolls LOL @Aish.. it's fine live in your little bubble, drive yourself insane with all your questions to try and prove science wrong. Why don't you go and talk to an actuall scientist that does this sort of thing for a living. you will get your answers then. Stop thinking just cause you read other peoples opinions on other forums, makes you right to comment on something you are clueless about... Go back to your hole you silly troll

      Mzungu - 2011-07-29 14:24

      AISH, aish, but you know jack. That is a fallacy spread by creationists. One looks at the half life of isotopes of various elements(Carbon dating, although others are also used). These half lives have a dead constant rate of decay, that is how you date these things. The most accurate clocks are Cesium clocks on satellites in space, working on exactly this principle of constant decay

      Tooth Fairy - 2011-07-29 18:43

      Aish: "...I mention religion and people .. try to prove there is no God..." Not true. It is impossible to prove a double negative - you cannot prove something does NOT exist, especially so if it only exists in your imagination. I, for instance, communicate telepathically with 2 pink unicorns on Tuesdays. Can you prove this is not so?

  • CTScientist - 2011-07-29 09:44

    "Homo sapiens also likely had more elaborate social networks and possibly sharper brains, as evidenced by the stone tools, jewellery and artwork they left behind which was much more advanced than Neanderthal creations." Bollocks. Homo neanderthalensis had a higher Cranial Capacity that the invading Cro-Magnons, as well as a higher EQ! There is considerable debate around their capacity for language, but their complex social interactions have long been noted. As for technological and behavioural innovations? These are hotly debated. But since we do not *actually* know how UP technologies were employed, how can we conclusively say that they were significantly better than MP technologies? Behavioural innovations could easily have consisted of material not durable in the archaeological record.

      Illuminus - 2011-07-29 10:11

      I have heard this as well. Is it also not true that people from Europe and the middle east actually carry neanderthal genes?

      LloydSix - 2011-07-29 10:19

      The vocal chords of Neanderthals were not as advanced as that of homo sapiens, because if this communication was limited and therefore social interactions are thought to have been less elaborate. With regards to the larger cranial capacity - Neanderthals were also heavier and stronger, their bodies were less adapted to the cold environments and therefore their brains had to work harder as to keep their more muscular bodies operating and warm, less of the brain was used for actual intelligence (tool making, social interaction, hunting, etc).

      bmpdragon - 2011-07-29 12:37

      @CTScientist: A higher EQ? Where did you get this source from? And the social interactions bit? I know of only one source for this argument, at best, and it is rather spurious and flawed. Your last statement is true, but you have to consider the matter holistically: archaeologists expect technological innovation to be found in many different domains and not just one. @Illuminus: the Neanderthal Genome Project of the Max Planck Institute have found the possibility that certain Neanderthal genes may be found in European populations (but not African). This research is still equivocal given the difficulties regarding the bioinformatics of Neanderthal genes (i.e. degradation of those genes). @LloydSix: vocal chords are not the only measure for a complex language. Consider sign language and the click based languages (e.g. /Xam or !Kung language). A big brain would be a disadvantage given a cold environment and the required energy sources needed to feed it. Although Neanderthal musculature was more robust than that of Cro-Magnon, it was not fundamentally different, and therefore the extra brain capacity wasn't used for the purpose of controlling body temperature. Also the Neanderthal body type was better adapted to cold environments: they had a larger body volume but a smaller body surface which means that more metabolic heat could be generated but less was lost to the surrounding environment. No, there is another reason for their large brains.

      LloydSix - 2011-07-29 13:00

      @bmpdragon: True but it is thought that they were limited to a few grunts. Sign language, however, could have been a possibility, although unlikely.

      bmpdragon - 2011-07-29 13:09

      @LloydSix: I wouldn't go as far as saying that Neanderthals were limited to a few grunts. I have no doubt that they had a full syntactical language, but the recursive and reflective nature of their language was probably more limited than our own. Their stone tool technology was pretty complex to make (I certainly couldn't make one of their bifacial points) and would probably have required some instruction to learn. This implies language. Sign language could well be a possibility if you follow the work of Terence Deacon or Merlin Donald. But, I also doubt that their language was predominantly sign based.

      CTScientist - 2011-07-29 20:58

      @ Lloyd Six: Vocal cords do not survive in the archaeological record. Please describe, then, how you know that they weren't advanced? Please see EQ comment below for body size, etc. @ Bmpdragon: EQ refers to 'encephalization quotient', which Neanderthals had a significantly higher count. There are numerous articles in both Science and Nature which attest to this. For social interaction, I am specifically thinking of both burial and care of injured/infirm/older individuals. These are usually seen as just some of the 'social' indicators of behavioural modernity in modern Homo sapiens. I was also trying to point out that technological innovation is only a single marker of what we assume demarcates behavioural complexity. Marean has shown that our trait lists (Klein derived) for behavioural complexity are Eurocentric and that many of these features are evident at Pinnacle Point 140 kya. It is not entirely untrue that innovation should be in multiple facets of Neanderthal life. But to measure them against our own 'modernity' is the greatest inferential folly.

      bmpdragon - 2011-07-30 01:41

      @CTScientist: with regards to EQ — my bad as I thought you were referring to Goleman's Emotional Quotient (which is understandable, given your following sentences)! Yes, you are correct about Neanderthal's having a slightly higher Encephalization Quotient than Homo sapiens, but EQ is only a rough guide to intelligence, and it doesn't say anything about the type of intelligence. Also bear in mind (excuse the pun) that Macrocephaly in humans doesn't equate to higher IQ scores (in fact most individuals with Macrocephaly have average to low intelligence scores). Mellars, Lewis-Williams, Sommer and Stringer would beg to differ about Neanderthal burials and social abilities. The data regarding Neanderthal religion, burial and society is not clear cut, as Mellars has made clear in a recent PNAS article. Curtis Marean is not the first to disagree with the "Modernity Shopping List"; indeed, McBrearty & Brooks first argued this point in 2000. While I sympathise with your and Marean's position, in essence Archaeology is Behaviouristic in nature and therefore there will always be the "Anthropologist from Mars" debacle. Some people, such as Wadley and Henshilwood, have tended to shift the goal posts by suggesting that Modernity be equated with external symbolic storage (perhaps a more "hoministic" approach?). Yet the problem remains, for how are archaeologists able to recognise an alien code without the relevant cypher?

      CTScientist - 2011-07-30 18:28

      @ bmpdragon: I think the point that we do not have a clearly articulated understanding of just how intelligence can be estimated is exactly why we have no right to say that Homo sapiens were more 'advanced' than Homo neanderthalensis. And while I fully appreciate that Klein really believes Homo sapiens underwent a convenient change in brain morphology, this is not testable. So the only way that Klein, Mellars, and ilk have been able to suggest that Neanderthals were 'inferior' to the invading Cro-Magnons was to argue on the basis of cultural and behavioural evidence. For which little, if any, is present for Neanderthals. Which is, of course, not entirely true. Shanidar 3 (near modern day Israel) may have been buried and there are a few specimens in Spain which are in what appears to be shallow graves that contain high amounts of ochre and concentrations of various pollen types etc. MP technology was sufficiently advanced to allow for the procurement of megafauna on a regular basis. Recently (well - almost a decade now) Shennan has suggested that behavioural modernity is linked to population group size as well as individual (and group) mobility. This may suggest (as Neanderthal populations were thought to have been smaller) an alternative way to think about why a different package emerged in Europe with modern humans and not with Neanderthals. It may be less an issue of intelligence or social ability, and more to do with the issues that Shennan raise.

      CTScientist - 2011-07-30 18:37

      @ bmpdragon: There are two sides to every coin, of course. Mellars, Klein, and their ilk have long since drawn a line that they refuse to cross. Even though more and more evidence emerges which pushes the boundaries back. I do appreciate, however, that these are all interpretations of the same types of evidence. We can NEVER conclusively prove which species was 'better'. Perhaps it is even a juvenile question? I do believe that each species was 'different' and that such comparisons are a little unfair. The greater questions concern why behavioural modernity is rearing its ugly head at Pinnacle Point 140 kya, and not when the lauded Mellars, Klein, et al, believe it should? To be fair, McBrearty and Brooks do make one of the most compelling cases to drop most of the criterion drawn from the UP record. But they retain certain features of the list, such as symbolic artifacts, which you still find in the literature published by Marean. As these are behaviourally and anatomically modern human beings, I think that there is little doubt that some middle range theory can be employed. Looking at the way hominins use the landscape will be as important as the materials we excavate. So I do not agree that archaeology is just essentially "behaviouralistic" in nature. We do not just need to look for symbolic or social markers.

      CTScientist - 2011-07-30 18:42

      @ bmpdragon: And no worries about the EQ mix up. I did not think my post had much of anything to do with, or hint at, Emotional Quotient. Especially since there is no way a historical science could ever reliably hypothesis about what that could be. Although evolutionary psychologists do try. In any regard.. most people think what you thought. However, IQ and EQ are the only metric indices we really have that hint at intelligence. As such we are required to use it. I find it funny that we don't mind using these indices for Lucy, as well as all the earlier hominids. But as soon as we are talking about Homo sapiens, ergaster, neanderthalensis, and even erectus we start to get a little jumpy. :P

      bmpdragon - 2011-08-02 01:34

      @CTScientist: Ah, but we do have a right to say that Homo sapiens was “better” than Neanderthal, or at least certainly “fitter” in the Darwinian sense: we are here now, while they are not! With regards to your statements about Neanderthal culture: you, yourself imply that the matter is far from settled. The so-called Shanidar “flower” burials were not intentional but the result of rodent activity depositing pollen. Arsuaga takes a rather romantic view of Neanderthals and his work/theories of the Neanderthals in Spain and Portugal are not wholly accepted by other archaeologists and anthro-palaeontologists.

      bmpdragon - 2011-08-02 01:35

      Shennan’s argument is a little more complex than what you state. Implicit in his work (but made more explicit in his book, “Genes, Memes and Human History”) are the notions of intelligence, theory of mind, free-riders, and memetics. Shennan’s work provides perhaps provides one of the “hows” of cultural modernity, but not the underlying “why”. Why is it, that Neanderthal’s were able to borrow from Cro Magnon lithic technologies (the resulting Chattelperronian lithic culture) but not cave art (another example would be the rather staid culture of Homo erectus)? David Lewis-Williams and Steven Mithen both hypothesise that the answer could be that Neanderthal neurology was qualitatively different. Lewis-Williams goes further by conjecturing that the so-called UP explosion in Europe was the result of innovation caused by competition between Neanderthals and Cro Magnons. In effect, Neanderthals couldn’t innovate fast enough, nor did they have the Machiavellian intelligence or meta-intelligences to compete with humans. (By the by, Shennan, is not the only one to link group size to intelligence evolution: Dunbar and Aiello linked neocortex size, social group size and the evolution of language in 1993.)

      bmpdragon - 2011-08-02 01:43

      Of course Archaeology is Behaviouristic (in the Philosophical and, to a certain extent, Psychological sense)! Archaeology has as its source of study, culture, which is a form of behaviour. While some Archaeologists try to wrestle with the processes behind the behaviour (reverse engineer), some believe that the behaviour is self-evident. I think we may agree on this point. Where we depart are with the notions of intelligence and symbolism. I don’t think such notions are Eurocentric or, even, human-centric. Symbolism, semantics and semiotics (intentionality in the philosophical sense) is dependent and emergent from the functioning of any robust (and evolving) neural system. And the complexity of the intentionality is exactly what defines humanity, as opposed to other hominids when it comes to the crunch (how many "meta's" can be discerned). Even so called landscape archaeology involves the uncovering of metaphors, personifications and allegorical thought. I believe that there is more than enough evidence to suggest that Neanderthals were neurologically, and hence, conceptually different from humans. Their social interactions seem to be less complex than that of humans, and their lithic cultures more redundant and practical.

  • Fredster69 - 2011-07-29 09:51

    Ag please, more junk

      LloydSix - 2011-07-29 10:19

      Go away please.

      zaatheist - 2011-07-29 12:32

      You will never get a straight forward answer to any straight forward question from a Creationist. The fairy tale they punt is based 100% on lies and deceit. The belief they espouse is pathetic and patently false superstition which supersedes the evidence and the informed evaluation of virtually all the scientists in the world

      Justin.A - 2011-07-29 12:48

      //Ag please, more junk// Pray harder.

  • v3 - 2011-07-29 09:58

    If homo sapiens is so smart - why did it allow the population explosion, now reaching a point where only famine, wars or disease can save us

      CapeTownJunk - 2011-07-29 10:19

      Only famine, wars or disease can save us? Really? What about science? Sheesh, it's not like humanity's an endangered species. Even if 99% of humanity was wiped out, that's still seventy million people left - more than enough to keep the species going.

      Tooth Fairy - 2011-07-29 11:26

      Yes, we are the most successful invader species ever. Why: The answer is a Darwinian explanation: "The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference." — Richard Dawkins (River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life)

      bmpdragon - 2011-07-29 13:17

      Nice one, Tooth Fairy. I was going to quote Agent Smith's little soliloquy from the "The Matrix": I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure. (Well there, I quoted it!). But your quote was better! :-)

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-07-29 10:22

    Yabba Dabba Doo

      Aish - 2011-07-29 11:11

      ROFL!!!

      zaatheist - 2011-07-29 12:28

      @Aish Small things amuse small minds

      CapeTownJunk - 2011-07-29 12:46

      Yabba Dabba Don't.

      GLY - 2011-07-29 15:40

      @zaatheist. Is that why atoms amuse scientists, and God occupies the minds of Christians?

      CapeTownJunk - 2011-07-29 15:52

      @GLY: Your God has the disadvantage of being non-existent. Therefore an atom is infinitely bigger than God, and zaatheist's statement remains true.

      GLY - 2011-07-29 16:09

      Cape Town Junk, Just because you have not met God does not meant that he does not exist. There are millions of people that have met God and the change in their lives is evidence of this. Just the same as when you drop a pen from your desk and it falls to the floor. This shows the evidence of gravity although no-one has ever seen gravity but we see its effects fevery moment of every day. The really sad thing is that for you, earth nis the cloeset you will get to being in Heaven, but for a believer, earth is the closest they will get to hell.

      Tooth Fairy - 2011-07-29 18:50

      GLY!!! I WARN you to repent - the Holy Flying Spaghetti Monster is the only ONE. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster You will roast in a pitza oven ad infinitum because you followed the wrong god. This is a fact - 1) because it has been revealed to me telepathically. He embraces me with his lovely noodly appendages. If you have not experienced this, you will never get it... 2) There are also many who believe it. Therefore it must be true. 3) This faith is also described in old books, therefore it must be true. 4) The FS Monster has never been disproven, therefore it must be true Many clever people believe in it. So it must be true. Better believe in The Flying Spaghetti Monster - you have nothing to lose if you do, but stand a chance to burn eternally in a pitza oven if you don't. (look up Pascal's Wager) Pasta greetings, the Tooth Fairy.

      CapeTownJunk - 2011-07-29 22:19

      GLY, I find it totally unsurprising that you're sure that believers will go to heaven and atheists like me will go to hell. Surely it's not for you to decide? Why does it seem that your thoughts are the same as your God's thoughts? Oh, I know... it's because your God is only in your head. If your God was real, you wouldn't need faith to believe in "Him". You'd just need common sense. It takes such elaborate mental gymnastics in order to back up your God's alleged existence. Your God is nothing like gravity. Gravity's effects are measurable and observable. Your God is ineffable and intangible, and, for all practical purposes, indistinguishable from a non-existent entity.

      Justin.A - 2011-07-30 08:29

      //There are millions of people that have met God and the change in their lives is evidence of this.// Given the amount of people who meet dead celebrities, dead relatives and imaginary friends we have no reason to accept this special pleading against some form of mental illness. //Just the same as when you drop a pen from your desk and it falls to the floor. This shows the evidence of gravity although no-one has ever seen gravity but we see its effects fevery moment of every day.// Gravity can be quantified scientifically, would you like to apply the same standards to your god(s) or is it going to be special pleading again? //The really sad thing is that for you, earth nis the cloeset you will get to being in Heaven, but for a believer, earth is the closest they will get to hell// You consider this world a living hell and call Cape Town Junk sad? If your dogma teaches you such a ridiculously dsytopian view of your existence I personally want no part of it. I doubt Cape Town Junk does either.

  • Shistirrer - 2011-07-29 11:06

    Does this mean that the ANCYL will demand that Europe is given back to the Neanderthals, without compensation?

      Aish - 2011-07-29 11:11

      ROFL!!!

      Lanfear - 2011-07-29 11:24

      ROFL indeed! hehe

  • carlkristen - 2011-07-29 11:53

    suggested a study;likely moved in;suggesting;likely had;possibly sharper; likely forced;seem to have;may have been delivered;extinction may have been...... quite annoying when they can't tell you anything for certain...

      CapeTownJunk - 2011-07-29 12:04

      At least they're being honest. Would you prefer it if they said "This is 100% definitely what happened."? Because that would be a lie. It's just another piece in the puzzle. This is how science works. They've put forward a hypothesis, and future evidence will either confirm or contradict it.

      LloydSix - 2011-07-29 12:11

      Like what I wrote earlier - No one ever said that the theory's in this article are 100% factual, they are just calculated theory's that are the most likely scenario. Every time more evidence is found we get closer to what actually happened.

      MBossenger - 2011-07-29 12:38

      @carlkristen - How dare these scientists look for evidence?

      bmpdragon - 2011-07-29 12:47

      Carlkristen/TrueBlu&Real: you know better than to pick a fight of this nature. I know you know a bit of philosophy of science and therefore I also am aware that you are aware that no theory/axiom in science is absolute (and this applies even to the hard sciences). So why do you persist with this line of argument?

      carlkristen - 2011-07-29 13:37

      hey, all i said was "quite annoying when they can't tell you anything for certain"...lol....bmp, don't you think its human nature to get a bit annoyed with "maybe" "possibly" "could be" "likely" all the time? esp from a discipline that is supposed to at the cutting edge of knowledge. I mean, if the most respected discipline for the advancement of knowledge is full of ifs and buts, just how lost are we? yes, bmp, i know that certainty only resides in the realm of maths and logic...but are maths, logic and the scientific method (sense perception) the only grounds for knowledge? I personally think not...ok but now i'm off subject...have a rocking weekend

      CapeTownJunk - 2011-07-29 14:03

      Carl, surely you can appreciate that, in order to get from "I don't know" to "I know", you have to ask "Maybe this is what happened?"?

      carlkristen - 2011-07-29 16:17

      The point CAPETOWNJUNK is that science puts everything into a big box and labels the box "MAYBE".

      Justin.A - 2011-07-30 08:51

      //but are maths, logic and the scientific method (sense perception) the only grounds for knowledge?// the only ones that rely on testable evidence afaik, so the only ones that should be trusted. //The point CAPETOWNJUNK is that science puts everything into a big box and labels the box "MAYBE". // You're missing the bit where science keeps opening the box and goes "I wonder if this is correct, lets put it to the test"

      carlkristen - 2011-07-31 19:48

      Justin.A i don't expect you to take this from me but here goes anyway...Science acknowledges that even "testing" does not produce absolute proof. Ask bmp, he'll tell you. Everything stays in the box. Thats science. It can't establish absolute proof and does not presume to do so. Slippery rocks if you want to build your life on it.

  • TheRealist - 2011-07-29 12:13

    Their is a very nice fictional book range - Clan of the Cave Bear - which deals in matters like these and more. The author uses the idea that the Homo neanderthalensis used their own form of sign language... :)

      TheRealist - 2011-07-29 12:13

      lol and no I don't get paid for this :P

  • umhlopo - 2011-07-29 12:44

    perhaps on europe,but in africa they all became presidents

  • Mzungu - 2011-07-29 14:28

    Ai, even back then we drove other species to extinction, what a rotten bunch we are

      Epicurius - 2011-07-31 11:52

      Mzungu, it was colonial Africans who drove the poor neanderthals to extinction............shame on those nasty colonialist Africans ;-)

  • SaintBruce - 2011-07-29 14:51

    There is unrefuted scientific evidence that the earth was formed instantaneously. Go look for it. Every time you see or use a granite table top, you are looking at evidence for the existence of a Creator. Have a fun weekend and may the Bikke actually score points against a full strength All Black side.

      MBossenger - 2011-07-29 15:10

      Are you referring to polonium halos? Please read this: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CF/CF201.html

      NuttyZA - 2011-07-29 15:37

      Professional geologist Tom Bailleul takes a second look at Gentry's claimed polonium haloes, arguing that there is no good evidence they are the result of polonium decay as opposed to any other radioactive isotope, or even that they are caused by radioactivity at all. Gentry is taken to task for selective use of evidence, faulty experiment design, mistakes in geology and physics, and unscientific principles of investigation and argument style. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/po-halos/gentry.html

      Justin.A - 2011-07-29 17:46

      avatar Justin.A - Just posted Report comment //There is unrefuted scientific evidence that the earth was formed instantaneously.// Rubbish. //Go look for it// Every single credible science journal has details of the early formation of molten rock to the many layers deposited over millions of cooler years. Not one has any single piece of evidence that the entire planet was formed instantly. Not. One. You are lying. //Every time you see or use a granite table top, you are looking at evidence for the existence of a Creator// Wait? Your argument is: I SaintBruce don't understand the formation of polonium halo's therefore god? Even if this wasn't a complete lie, you do know the entire planet isn't formed only from granite?

      SaintBruce - 2011-07-30 22:32

      So guys , you happy you came from the rocks? What would you say to a real miracle before your own eyes? Would THAT be sufficient evidence of the supernatural? And, if yes, what would you have to think now that your view of reality has been changed? The efforts to debunk any commentary that could stand against Evolution is truly astounding. A scientist in the quest to find answers comes across evidence that counters Evolution so is immediately panned, criticized and called a fake and a user of 'dubious' science or methods! Simple observations around us can tell us that no one can say , for 100% certainty, that either Evolution of Creationism has a complete set of answers nor that the one cancels out the other. Go into to Africa and try to convince the people you meet that there is no supernatural realm, they won't believe you because they have experienced it first hand and their reality trumps your supposed claim that they are wrong! How arrogant and intolerant can you get ? I have seen miracles, experienced the supernatural at work in my life and the lives of others so that cannot be taken away from me nor explained away by any form of science or theories whose proponents make sweeping statements that the Living God does not exist! To NuttyZA - Gentry's work still stands unrefuted and his many papers were not withdrawn yet the pro-evolution camp cannot bear to have anything that might question them so they shout loudly to drown it. Don't mean they are right, does it?

      Justin.A - 2011-07-31 09:49

      //So guys , you happy you came from the rocks?// The way you or I feel about it has no bearing on the facts, whatsoever. In addition we didn't come from "the rocks". //What would you say to a real miracle before your own eyes?// There's no such thing, you are welcome to prove it to the same standards as common descent is proven. //Would THAT be sufficient evidence of the supernatural?// No, personal experience is subjective and flawed, which is why we have the scientific method //The efforts to debunk any commentary that could stand against Evolution is truly astounding.// Your efforts to provide counter evidence to the same standards as evolution are as non-existent as the supernatural (ie not real or in your head) //A scientist in the quest to find answers comes across evidence that counters Evolution so is immediately panned, criticized and called a fake and a user of 'dubious' science or methods!// Anyone who peddles evidence without a qualification in the respective field, refuses to adhere to standards and doesn't have their work published for peer-review is a quack. These structures are there for a reason, to make sure rubbish isn't passed as fact.

      Justin.A - 2011-07-31 09:52

      //Simple observations around us can tell us that no one can say , for 100% certainty, that either Evolution of Creationism has a complete set of answers nor that the one cancels out the other.// Since 95% of the scientific community accept common descent, with 150 years of supportive evidence across multiple disciplines, your simple observations have no bearing on the facts, whatsoever. There is NO evidence for creation. //Go into to Africa and try to convince the people you meet that there is no supernatural realm, they won't believe you because they have experienced it first hand and their reality trumps your supposed claim that they are wrong!// Again, personal experience,beliefs, opinions and superstitions have no bearing on the facts, whatsoever. Because the majority of Africa are superstitious doesn't make the supernatural real, it just means they beleive it. 65% of registered voters chose Zuma. That doesn't make them right, or him smart. //How arrogant and intolerant can you get ?// Here in the real world, we rely on standards and evidence, your beleifs don't get special treatment. //I have seen miracles, experienced the supernatural at work in my life and the lives of others so that cannot be taken away from me nor explained away by any form of science or theories whose proponents make sweeping statements that the Living God does not exist!// Then you should have no problem accepting evolution, like overwhelming majority of Christians do.

  • Hugh - 2011-08-01 08:57

    Why has no one thought that it could have been an imported desease such as the common cold? We have known for years that certain populations were destroyed due to illness brought into areas where none existed before.

      Justin.A - 2011-08-01 18:07

      It's very possible, I wonder if we were different enough for a virus to affect one more than the other.

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