Modern Domestic Homo sapiens is not Archaic Homo sapiens

A persistent habit of equating modern domestic humans (that’s us, Homo sapiens sapiens) with Archaic Homo sapiens, which co-existed with Neanderthals, is a big mistake. We read that “We” (white males) wiped out Neanderthals because “We” were superior in brain power, innovation, intellectual capacity, social chit-chat and most outrageous, superior “social networking skills.” This insistence on proving that “We” were destined to rule the universe, is defended with near-hysteria when modern EuroAmerican male beliefs are challenged by facts: 

Archaic Homo sapiens males and females were more like their Neanderthal neighbors than like us. In fact, we would likely find them to be indistinguishable.

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An excellent article from the Leakey Foundation on changes to Homo sapiens from archaic to modern.  

Link to full article: The Rise of Culture and the Fall of Testosterone 

Craniofacial feminization in Homo sapiens. The 110-90 Ka year old male specimen Skhul 5 (left) showing the large brow ridges and long and narrow, masculinized face characteristic of MSA/MP (middle stone age/middle paleolithic)-associated modern humans.  Recent male skull (African) on right. Photo credit- David Brill, used with permission. From Craniofacial Feminization, Social Tolerance, and the Origins of Behavioral Modernity by Cieri et al.

Why is “modern” an adjective applied to Archaic Homo sapiens (on left, which has Archaic features) when all other Archaic Homo are simply Archaic? The point that this photo comparison makes is that the MODERN Homo sapiens sapiens skull is very different to that of Archaic Homo sapiens. And yet, this prejudice that evolution had as its supreme goal, the Modern Social Human persists;  therefore any creature that we imagine to foreshadow “Us” (a great example of magical and narcissistic thinking) is automatically granted behavior and “titles” (projection) that we believe characterize us.

feminizedskulls

Homo sapiens male on left, dated to 90-110,000 Ka. Modern Homo sapiens male skull on right.

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2 thoughts on “Modern Domestic Homo sapiens is not Archaic Homo sapiens

  1. This article doesn’t really make any sense. The example you are using of a 110k old skull found in Israel doesn’t really relate to the encounters between early modern Homo sapiens and Neanderthals in Europe that could only have occurred once Homo sapiens arrived in Europe around 40k ago. That’s a 70k time difference. On the other hand ‘we’ were not defiantly not ‘white males’ back at that point. Pale skin as a phenotype or ‘white males’ only arose rather recently in Europe quite a while after Neanderthals were bones in the ground. In fact it would have been Africans that first if they ever did encounter Neanderthals in Europe ( African being actually a broad term that refers to people living within that continent, not just subsaharan Africans, as many Americans are mistaken them for). But putting aside the Contorted American race politics and culture, Homo sapiens as a species had developed cultural modernity (which looks to have provided them with advantages when compared to Neanderthals) by around 60k ago, BEFORE they have been estimated to been entering Europe.

    All in all it’s an interesting take on human evolution but it’s heavily misguided and inaccurate due to what appears to be modern American racial politics, which is very far off the subject approached in this article.

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    • I’m speaking to the problem (bad habit) of the use of modern neotenic social humans as the comparative model for archaic humans. In fact, those “sapiens” skulls identified as contemporary to neanderthal are almost identical to neanderthal. Modern social humans (sapiens sapiens) appear a mere 10-12,000 years ago due to selection for tameness due to agriculture / urbanization. Humans have undergone selection / adaptation due to poor nutrition, overcrowding, and a hierarchy of power that pre-neotenic humans could not have tolerated. This has nothing to do with race. You’re totally wrong about humans entering Europe – Homo erectus was there 800,000 years ago. Erectus is human. So are Neanderthals.

      Rather, it has more to do with some people being fixated on race as an imaginary “hierarchy of human value” – skin color is geographic as are many human traits – adaptations to the environment; much more important is adaptation through technical invention. Modern culture tend to harbor hatred of “others” (violence is epidemic) Too many people “manipulate” information as a “hidden” tool of prejudice –

      Sure – Americans aren’t the brightest when it comes to science: but please don’t project that onto me. It’s very bigoted to assume NO Americans are educated or can analyze information and construct new ways of looking at old world conventions.

      You appear to be stuck in an outmoded paradigm.

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