From BBC News:
While using comedian Eddie Izzard’s DNA to trace the migration of his ancestors out of Africa and into Europe, geneticist Dr Jim Wilson has discovered that Izzard is 2.8% Neanderthal. This means he has more Neanderthal genes than most people.
In 2010 scientists made a discovery that all human populations that spread out of Africa have a small amount of Neanderthal DNA in them.
I find this stuff fascinating, but let’s be honest—we’re probably talking about non-consensual relations here, right? Do we really think there were secret love affairs between homo sapiens ladies and Neanderthal men?
Then again, maybe there were some charmers out there.
“Can you keep a secret? I’ve been seeing a new guy. His name is Blerg. He’s a Neanderthal.”
“Get out! What’s he like?”
“Well, he’s got a pronounced brow ridge and he basically just grunts, but he’s in good shape and he’s got a really great sense of humor.”
“You’re not doing anything with him, are you? Are you!?!”
“I’m sneaking out of the cave and meeting him tonight at Mastodon Point.”
“Well, I think it’s romantic, but be careful, if dad finds out, he’ll feed you to the saber-toothed tigers.”
Seriously, though, does anyone have any insight on this? Is the Neanderthal DNA that we find in the modern human genome a product of intermarriage or sexual violence? My guess is the latter.
Photo: © Neanderthal Museum (Mettmann, Germany)