Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Neandertal Tools As Good As Those of Early Modern Humans

Those studying the archaeology of both groups have known this for years. A story in the Independent is now making the public aware of it. It notes:

Scientists who spent years learning how to make replicas of the stone instruments used by Neanderthals and Homo sapiens have found the Neanderthal tools were just as efficient as anything made by Stone Age man.

And researchers believe that the demise of the Neanderthals – which has often been explained by the supposed inferiority of their technology – could not have come about solely as a result of their stone tools being worse than those of their rivals.

You have to gloss over the fact that early modern humans were also "stone age" and would remain so for another 30 to 70 thousand years, depending on where you were. This is one of the conundrums vexing researchers in Southwest Asia (the Near East). You have both Neandertals and early modern humans (barely) there and they are both using the same kinds of tools—the EXACT same kinds of tools. Modern humans didn't show up until possibly as early as 160 kya in North Africa (depending on how modern the Herto remains really are) and around 110 kya in SW Asia. The earliest modern tool assemblage, the Aurignacian, doesn't show up until around 43 kya in eastern Europe. SW Asian variants show up around the same time. These facts suggest to many that the relationship between the Neandertals and the early moderns was, shall we say, complex.


  1. Hey there, just read a comment you posted on SF Matheson's about tearing Duane Gish apart in Q and A time. Just wondering: a, how did the audience respond to this? b, Was it helpful to the cause of spreading the word that evolution and Genesis don't have to be in conflict?

    Also, re this article, I didn't know that Neanderthals and early moderns had the same tools but I am pretty convinced by the DNA work done that they certainly weren't human and didn't seem to interbreed with humans (or if they did, they didn't leave any trace in our genes or theirs).

    (Re me, I'm a former YEC turned Evolutionary Creationist- with my faith still intact- yay!)

  2. Why, you ask? Because we RULE! Bwahaha!

  3. Not sure about the audience reaction to Gish. Re: Neandertals: Go read the work of Alan Templeton, John Relethford and Harry Harpending, none of whom are convinced that the DNA shows what the out of Africa crowd says that it does. As far as being a new evolutionary creationist, welcome aboard!