Were Neanderthals Evolutionary Relatives of Humans?

From Issue: Discovery 10/1/2009

Dear Reader,

That is an excellent question. Even though many books and television programs say that humans evolved, it simply is not true. Humans do not have any evolutionary ancestors. In fact, we have learned that Neanderthals were not human ancestors, they were humans! Their bones and skeletons fit into the range of modern humans. They buried their dead. They used tools to cook and hunt. They controlled fire. And their throat structure shows that they had all the right parts to speak, just like “modern humans.” Sure, some of their skulls looked larger and thicker than average human skulls today, but the skulls and thicker bones are not different from all humans today. Many “modern humans” have bones that look very similar to Neanderthals. Scientists have explained that if a Neanderthal was still living, had a nice haircut, shave, and clean clothes, you wouldn’t be able to tell him apart from any “modern human.” Neanderthals were humans, just like we are. Thanks for asking your great question. Keep them coming.


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