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Mtl_zack's avatar

New evidence suggests that the disappearance of neandetals was caused by modern humans eating them. What is your take on this?

Asked by Mtl_zack (6751points) May 20th, 2009

Article

How will this effect the views of certain religions? How does this effect your life or belief system? How does this evidence portray humanity in your eyes/the eyes of others?

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12 Answers

bpeoples's avatar

My only real question is: was bbq sauce invented before or after the end of the neanderthals?

On a more serious note: humans are animals that eat meat—many humans still eat various other primates, I don’t see much of a difference here.

Modern society would not stand for this, HOWEVER, at the time it wasn’t modern society, and this isn’t cannibalism it’s eating ANOTHER species not your own.

Mtl_zack's avatar

@MrGeneVan I gave one

@bpeoples Actually, neandertals and humans are the same species, but different sub-species. The point of the question, however, is to gage the responses that many of TODAY’s societies will view this. People use ancient artifacts and ecofacts to justify their actions. One example is Moussolini. He used a lot of ancient Roman artifacts to associate himself with glory and whatnot. Also, I forgot his name (I should remember, I just had an anthro exam lol), but he was an Australian who moved to South Africa and used a discovery of human and animal bones to justify apartheid and naziism by claiming that humans were naturally violent. In fact, he was proven wrong and the bones were left by a leopard. The way that people view these discoveries can have a big influence on the world.

_bob's avatar

When you gotta eat, you gotta eat.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t think this will affect anything: religion, beliefs or image of humanity. It happened long ago. We weren’t responsible. There has been cannibalism since then. It has often been something people did to celebrate a victory—eat the body of the leader that was conquered. There is only one bone, and interpreting this to mean it was a standard practice is quite a stretch.

Gundark's avatar

Did they taste like chicken?

mattbrowne's avatar

There are many extinction scenarios and personally I think cannibalism is one of the least likely ones. Check this out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neandertal_interaction_with_Cro-Magnons

* 2.1 Rapid extinction
* 2.2 Gradual extinction
* 2.3 Interbreeding
* 2.4 Climate change
* 2.5 Division of labor
* 2.6 Anatomical differences and running ability

And I agree with @daloon – I don’t see a relationship with belief systems or particular religions. There were numerous species belonging to the homo genus, like Homo rudolfensis, H. ergaster, H. georgicus, H. antecessor, H. cepranensis, H. rhodesiensis and H. floresiensis and many still remain under debate.

Homo sapiens was the one to survive.

susanc's avatar

@mattbrowne: “Home sapiens was the one to survive” so far.

oratio's avatar

I find it hard to believe, and that it’s questionable to decide this from one find. Sounds like jumping to conclusion and someone in need of funding.

_bob's avatar

@susanc Think the Homo rudolfensis, H. ergaster, H. georgicus, H. antecessor, H. cepranensis, H. rhodesiensis or H. floresiensis may stage a come back?

mattbrowne's avatar

@susanc – We are a resilient species, but of course there’s no guarantee for the future. Yet we carry the potential to live on for many centuries to come. At some point when we cross certain thresholds we are probably talking millions or even billions of years. We can achieve this when we master widespread space colonization. I’m not kidding. The next 30 – 80 years are critical. Beyond that not even the sky is the limit.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I agree with the scientist at the end of the article: ’“One set of cut marks does not make a complete case for cannibalism,” said Francesco d’Errico, of the Institute of Prehistory in Bordeaux.’

The title is just sensationalism and jumping to conclusions. It sounds like they found one humanoid carcass with butcher marks. That doesn’t equal an entire species going extinct.

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