Our New Old Relatives

A whole bunch of previously unsuspected relatives have appeared at our doorstep and we haven’t even won the lottery. As John Hawks said, “I, for one, welcome my Neandertal ancestry.” Truthfully, the discovery of genetic associations between Eurasians and Neandetals but not as much between Africans and Neandertals did not come as a big surprise to everyone.
Two Science papers tell the story. Pre-publication versions of both papers are available on line.
There was a time that I was abnormally interested in Neandertals. In fact, I still am but the difficulty in acquiring all the necessary background knowledge to have a reasoned opinion on them limits my ability to say much of interest. I might say something abnormal but it is unlikely that it would be abnormally interesting. I did find John Hawk’s discussion helpful. So if you, like me, find the papers in Science a little hard going you might want to check out what he has to say on the matter. There are several others discussions that I still need to work my way through. I’m sure there will be more, a lot more, on this.