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Quantum Evolution and Enlightenment: Whose Inner Neanderthal?

  • Broadcast in Science
Quantum Evolution

Quantum Evolution


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Recent developments in Genomics have lead evolutionary biologists to conclude that the Neanderthal is an ancestor of all who currently live outside of Africa. The current premise is that Neanderthals arose in the Middle East – subsequent to humanity's march out of Africa. Scientists have sequenced 60% of the Neanderthal genome taken from bones that are more than 38,000 years old. To their surprise, they determined that the Neanderthal and homosapiens did intermingle and thus exchanged DNA. When researchers compared human and Neanderthal DNA, they found 12 sequences that existed in humans outside of Africa, but not in humans within africa. Ten of these 12 sequences have been attributed to the Neanderthal. Where the other two sequences come from is currently unknown. Could these sequences come from an unidentified humanoid? Or something else? Equally, surprising, the Neanderthal link was not exclusive to Europeans, which might have been expected because the Neanderthals lived in Europe most recently, about 28,000 years ago. People in France do have the Neanderthal sequencing in their DNA. Instead the majority of the links are found in those of Asian ancestry – New Guinea and China. New Guineans are of Eastern Asian origin. This makes sense if we acknowledge that the Asians preceded the EurAsians as mutations from the original African in humankind's march across the planet. Join us as we explore what these new developments in genomics and evolutionary biology mean and how it impacts our current knowledge of the origin of modern humans.