What if Neanderthals went extinct 'cuz of racism? #420

Think about it, even today where technology exists in such a way that information dissemination extends beyond borders in instantaneous manner making the world essentially a smaller place despite bigger population. Yet, lack of empathy, therefore, bigotry and war, is still prevalent among Homo Sapiens species. Taking that into consideration, what chances did Neanderthals had being the minority of the species with completely different culture and customs, dare I say, even alien to the perspective of our early ancestors?

Clarification: There is evidence to suggest that neanderthal did mix with homo sapiens. Supposition: You are suggesting human ancestors deliberately wiped neanderthal from the planet? Query: What is your point anyway?

I would say it would have played out the same as it did. sapiens and neanderthals look pretty similar. we already have racism. they didnt have DNA testing back then. I would say no one would be the wiser and they would be considered inferior humans not a different species.

I would say to some degree that is a fair point. Religion and superficial country barriers wasn't solid construct like it is now. However, I wouldn't underestimate Homo Sapien intelligence back then. In all likely hood Homo Sapiens did see them as other species. Homo Sapiens were already fully evolved physically like us now, so seeing a Neanderthal so strikingly different must've conjured fear of the unknown. That doesn't require fancy DNA testing.

From my limited knowledge, mostly National Geographic documentaries. Those intermingling were a result of Homo Sapiens raiding Neaderthal tribes and taking their women as a result of conquest from raiding. Mixing doesn't automatically deduct racism and domination out of the equation of Neanderthals extinction. Heck, look at Genghis Khan, 1 in 200 men today are descendants of him because of invading and raping women.

I'm not dismissing racism, and the raids happened on both sides. I was asking OP for clarification on the topic, because it sure as hell sounds like OP is implying neanderthal was intentionally wiped off the earth because of racist ideology. In which case, I don't understand the point of the thread.

It's a theory, not fact I'm proposing that perhaps it wasn't just purely because we were smarter.

It's interesting that you brought up raids happening on both sides. The documentary I watch on Neanderthals proposed that because Homo Sapiens were more inclined to explore and experiment resulted in them being the more dominant species which was quite the opposite for Neanderthals who were more inclined to stay with their own kind and in an environment that they were used to. This leads me to believe that raiding occurred more on the Homo Sapien side, specially on the same environment were they were competing with the same resources. The Neanderthals on the other hand will tend to avoid Homo Sapiens, theorizing that the only time they come into contact with Homo Sapiens was to attempt to get their women back from the raiding.

This is always an interesting topic to think about, because we are discovering more and more each day, especially with advances in genetics.

I wouldn't be surprised if, on an individual basis, racism played a factor. However, even our "modern ancestors" were alien to one-another - they were not some monolithic entity. Not politically, not culturally, and also not physically - although we don't like to touch on that issue much. Either way, my point is that basic tribalism probably played a lot more of a factor than actual racism did, because humans always find interesting and inane ways to alienate one-another.

Besides, If you have ancestry from outside of Africa, chances are that you have Neanderthal DNA in you, albeit in small amounts. On average, it roughly amounts to about 2.7%. I have taken an ancestral DNA test, and I scored a little "ahead of the curve' at 2.8% - which placed me in the 95th percentile, if I recall correctly.

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Agreed.....but we need to remember how things happen in nature, natural selection plays a role in the evolution of a specie, then outside forces like war and territorial disputes play into the mix, climate and sources of food also played a role, then health (remember no medicine to speak of) a slight infection could kill you, then lastly social conflicts over race or appearance, or mates......lots of factors to consider when talking about early human development.

We all came from Adam and Eve, Neanderthals and bugs bunny are a myth.

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They have skeletons of Bugs Bunny, proof of his existence and of the evolution of some men into bunnies.


Hence tribalism being a far bigger factor, and I want to point out that I noted individual - not institutional or wide-scale - racism.

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Read the title as "Netherlands" and was a bit confused reading the first posts. Howso tired? Lol

More tribalism and competition in resources combined by the gradual change in climate that Neanderthal were not able to adjust to is the actual cause. Plus diseases and new viruses that the Homo Sapiens probably also brought could have been a cause.

Rasism requires the population to understand the concept of race and nation, which are very very recent concepts for mankind. These concepts are a product of the enlightenment era, in which the idea of a nation was conceived. Even the more fundamental sentiment that could resemble racism (the classification between cultured and barbarian) requires a kind of cultural advance that did not exist then.

Plus the extinction happened very slowly...Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals shared Europe for like 5000 years.


I'm not sure what relevance the question posed by the OP has to do with anything really... Even if the Neanderthals went extinct because of racism, what would that mean to us, living now? We know that warfare has been part and parcel of mans recent past - and only some of those wars come down to race or perceived differences between cultures who are actually of the same race but worship different gods or speak different languages. Other than it being of anthropological interest who would really care or act on such a revelation? I guess some right wing extremists would say white Europeans are now in the Neanderthals shoes but we would all know that is total bollocks.

I agree with @turin231 the Neanderthals fossil record suggest they lived from 250,000 years ago to roughly 40,000 years ago (dates on youngest fossils found in Spain) and their populations started to reduce around 45,000 years ago. Can you name any culture alive today that has kept a meme going consistently for the past 5,000 years - that's what would be implied for racism to have wiped out the Neanderthals...