Neanderthals and Us.


To celebrate Chuck’s 200th birthday, here an interesting piece about Neanderthals:

Since Neanderthals lived side by side with modern humans in Europe for many thousands of years, it has been speculated that we may have inherited some Neanderthal DNA in our genome today, thanks to interbreeding.

But Professor Paabo’s team have found no evidence for this. They focused on a gene implicated in brain development – microcephalin-1 – which shows significant variation among present day humans.

It has been suggested that a particular variant of the gene, found commonly in Europeans, was contributed by Neanderthals. But the Croatian Neanderthal fossils harboured an ancestral form of the microcephalin-1 gene, which today is also found among Africans.

Celebrating Darwin’s Birthday (The American Way)


The most interesting poll from Gallup:

PRINCETON, NJ — On the eve of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, a new Gallup Poll shows that only 39% of Americans say they “believe in the theory of evolution,” while a quarter say they do not believe in the theory, and another 36% don’t have an opinion either way. These attitudes are strongly related to education and, to an even greater degree, religiosity.

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