Extincition of Homo Neaderthalis

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Submitted By rsoria
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Theoretical Considerations on the Extinction of Homo Neanderthalis:
How and Why Did it Happen? One of the debates that has raged among anthropologists for over a century is the issue of Homo neanderthalis – what are the circumstances of the extinction of this species? Over time a variety of hypotheses have been posited; some have been disproven, others remain on the table of debate. Many factors contribute to the unresolved nature of the problem, ranging from limited information, contradictory evidence, and an increasingly curious mystery regarding the gradual decline of the population while temporally coexistent with Homo sapiens. An interesting observation can be made about the peculiar way in which biological anthropologists have considered the development of their own species. The old maxim that it is nearly impossible to turn an objective eye towards one’s self is especially valid, even in this context. Historically, anthropologists have seen the development of Homo sapiens as something gradual and transformative. The presence of Homo neaderthalis throws a wrench into the quaint linearity of this way of thinking. The paleoanthropological record of the Neanderthals continues up to a certain point and their presumed extinction has always been troublesome and anthropologists continue to debate as to why they became extinct. There are several ideas competing for prominence, four of which being the major considerations. The first states that they entered into resource competition with Homo sapiens and lost, that climate change occurred and that they were unable to adapt, that Homo sapiens engaged in genocidal behavior, or that they genetically merged with Homo sapiens and thus disappeared as a distinct group. Speculation and scientific inquiry into this matter will be particularly useful as these to species represent a relatively recent epoch in our own…...

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