Occasionally in various works of fiction one comes across “fictoid”/“factoid” references to vestigial populations of humans more closely allied to Neanderthals than to Cro-Magnon (positing Neanderthal lineage to anything from the Basque to Bigfoot to Beowulf’s enemies !)

Is this all just coincidental “pigments” of several over-ripe imaginations, or is there some basis for all this ? (real or pseudoscientific, a la Von Daniken)

“Proverbs for Paranoids, 1: You may never get to touch the Master, but you can tickle his creatures.”

  • T.Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow.

There is no actual fact behind it. Some racist theories in the past have been based on the notion. It could happen, in theory, but unless there’s a lost underground civilization somewhere in the Pyrinees, it looks like it ain’t so.

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

… although there are some antrhopologists who have found evidence recently that could imply that there was some cross-breeding between Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon. (I’m writing from work, I don’t have the magazine handy, but it was in Archaeology magazine either this month or last month.)

I had a summer McJob a few years back with a coworker who fit the classic Neanderthal body style. He was short, very stocky, and had the flattened, slanted forehead I’ve read about. He was also Robin Williams-hairy.

He was a pretty intelligent (and nice) guy, so I never thought much about it except that it was probably my over-active imagination linking him to the characters in Jean Auel’s “Clan of the Cave Bear” series that I had been reading around that time.

CkDextHaven: (hope I got that right…) Anyway, I believe Scientific American had a related story maybe a year or so ago. Basically, it implied that it was very likely that Neanderthals ceased to exist because they inter-bred with Cro-Mag man and the C.M. genes took over as there were more C.M. men breding than there were Neanderthals in the first place.

So, I guess we all are related :wink:

“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

sorry for being the slow idiot of the post, but what is the difference between neand and C.M.?

“Cro-magnon” and “Neanderthal” are names of early discoveries, like “Peking Man” and “Java Man”. These names are no longer working scientific terms, except when referring to specific historic specimens – except that “Neanderthal” is actually used as the name of the species Homo neanderthalis (or possibly subspecies Home sapiens neanderthalis).

Cro-magnon is Homo sapiens (or subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens).

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams