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janedelila's avatar

To the ECE teachers...What if we grabbed a neanderthal baby?

Asked by janedelila (3894 points ) March 30th, 2012

So, if we took a pregnant neanderthal mother, and cared for her in modern ways, delivered her child, and educated it our way…would this child have the same fighting chance as our modern children? Opinions and arguments welcome!

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7 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Yes, it would. In fact, you could not even tell the difference between a neanderthal human and and the common human.

zenvelo's avatar

Neanderthal Brains were roughly the same size as humans, but developed differently. It is questionable if they had anywhere near the same neural networks as humans. It seems there development lagged compared to humans. So I would argue “no”.

6rant6's avatar

They would probably be able to work in Toys ‘R Us, or the Mississippi DMV, or be elected officials, but they would probably fail at other jobs.

King_Pariah's avatar

I wouldn’t be surprised if something similar to Isaac Asimov’s The Ugly Little Boy happened. Intelligence wise, yeah, has a chance, but would the child be treated as a human outside his caretakers if even them? Doubtful.

PhiNotPi's avatar

Neanderthal children would develop faster than modern children (quoting the wiki article, modern humans have one of the slowest growth rates of all mammals). They would probably be less intelligent in language skills (writing is a human invention). They would be stronger and larger.

Modern humans were the first species to develop compound tools, which have more than one moving part, such as a bow and arrow and the atlatl. This may be due to a fundamental difference in the way we think. They did have hammers and spears, so they are probably capable of learning how to use some of our modern tools.

They would be lactose intolerant. (just wanted to throw that in)

janedelila's avatar

And I have looked at other articles @PhiNotPi . And I know the Ugly Little Boy story @King_Pariah . I thought it would be an incredible case study, to just throw the child into modern society with no preconception and see what happens. And to not tell the rest of society who/what the child is.

tacres's avatar

Great nature or nuture question.
Some say Neanderthals became extinct. Others believe they were assimilated by modern humans. If so it may explain some peoples’ behaviour anomolies.No insults intended. Interesting question to spend the day pondering though.

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