BERKELEY, Calif. - The recent finding that Neanderthals and humans are more closely related than previously thought has anthropologists excited -- and Neanderthals perturbed.
"Their genes are going to be pretty darn close to ours," said John Hawks, an anthropologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "But we will find differences, and that will give us insight into what it means to be human."
Neanderthals are less enthralled by the research. "This study is very typical of human science, superficially sophisticated with molecular genetics and complex statistical algorithms, but in the end they are just justifying their unjustified aspirations," said Grrymut Grrbzy, the head of the Neanderthal Anti-Defamation Society.
"Don't you know humans would love to be part of the Neanderthal family," said Grrbzy.
NADS is considering a defamation suit, said Grrbzy, to stop publication of results of the studies by Svante Paabo of the Max Planck Institute in Germany and Edward Rubin of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., which purport to show that Neanderthals and humans are very closely related genetically and even inter-bred for several hundred thousand years.
"The very thought of inter-breeding with humans disgusts every Neanderthal I know," said Grrbzy.
"The reports on these studies call Neanderthals 'the human's more brutish cousins.' Right. Humans ought to try reading one of their own newspapers every now and then before they put down another species whose worst crime was being hairy," said Grrbzy.
"I'll tell you what we find funny: humans insulting other humans by calling them Neanderthals. Now there's a joke. If humans were a little less anthropocentric, they might have noticed that among Neanderthals, and every other primate, the lowest insult there is is to call someone a homo sapiens," said Grrbzy.
Copyright 2006 Douglas Salguod