Denisovans

| 23 Comments

Well this is pretty cool. And apparently they interbred with modern humans, also. I can’t wait to see what Reasons to Believe has to say…

23 Comments

Thanks, Nick. A great post. Had heard about this before, but this is the extensive report I was awaiting. If nothing else, this merely helps put an end to any thought that Homo sapiens did not interbreed successfully with other sister Homo species, with the Denisovans as well as the Neandertals contributing to parts of our genome.

Svante Paabo, (the Neandertal DNA guy) also did the analyses on this material. In a BBC story he abd Chris Stringer are quoted as saying it’s another species. I’m not sure that’s justified. As John Hawk points out (linked in Nick’s comment), the populations were likely to be pretty structured and not panmictic, and that means that some divergence of lineages short of speciation is likely,

National Geographic News is more circumspect re: species.

It’s a VERY interesting article – I had written up a note on Paabo’s Neanderthal DNA studies – but I was laughing a bit reading through it and hearing the creationist read on it:

“But it’s just a tooth! There you guys go ahead, making a whole new species out of a tooth!”

“Well, there was a finger bone too, but anyway the analysis was based on DNA recovery, not the fossils themselves.”

“But what does that prove?! How many times have we told you guys that your DNA analysis is worthless?!” Somehow I visualize that at this very moment Casey Luskin furiously typing away on a blog entry making these very points. “IN-COMING!”

On a more positive note, I am utterly astounded that Paabo and company can perform such an analysis. I believe it, I’m just really really impressed.

The real answer to the “Is it a new species?” question is:

“Species categories are just a crude approximation of reality, in real life there is every degree of in-betweenness between totally distinct ‘species’ and completely panmictic populations. This is because evolution is true and gradual. Get over it.”

IMHO…

Agreed:

Nick (Matzke) said:

The real answer to the “Is it a new species?” question is:

“Species categories are just a crude approximation of reality, in real life there is every degree of in-betweenness between totally distinct ‘species’ and completely panmictic populations. This is because evolution is true and gradual. Get over it.”

IMHO…

It is entirely possible, and I am merely speculating, that these disparate branches of the recent hominid family tree were able to intermingle in the manner they did due to the relatively recent divergence of these species from each other. In plain English, there was simply not enough time or geographic separation that would allow them to minimize the possibility of mixing their respective genomes.

Awesome stuff, came out a perfect time for my teaching this year, as we just covered the Neanderthal genome. Nothing like showing how the species problem applies to humans to make people think. And now a second morphologically divergent group, sharing at least some traits that go back to even earlier hominid species. It’s almost like there has been a gradual change with migration, interbreeding, divergence, and recombination with time.

How does it fit into the baraminolgy of homo. Perhaps Todd Wood could tell us:)

Nothing like showing how the species problem applies to humans to make people think.

It doesn’t make creationists think

Good God!!!! Why can’t humans forget about wars and just explore this most amazing planet before we totally destroy it with our strife, and stupidity, greed, etc, etc. 600,000 years ago. Wow. Why can’t we get many more youth interested in science such as this, instead of them destroying themselves with drugs.

I heard him speak at Rockefeller University back in May 2008 during a two-day symposium on evolution and was absolutely stunned that he was well on his way toward sequencing the Neandertal genome (IMHO his was one of the most interesting - and important - talks I heard at that conference which may be posted somewhere online.):

RBH said:

Svante Paabo, (the Neandertal DNA guy) also did the analyses on this material. In a BBC story he abd Chris Stringer are quoted as saying it’s another species. I’m not sure that’s justified. As John Hawk points out (linked in Nick’s comment), the populations were likely to be pretty structured and not panmictic, and that means that some divergence of lineages short of speciation is likely,

I heard him speak at Rockefeller University back in May 2008 during a two-day symposium on evolution and was absolutely stunned that he was well on his way toward sequencing the Neandertal genome (IMHO his was one of the most interesting - and important - talks I heard at that conference which may be posted somewhere online.):

RBH said:

Svante Paabo, (the Neandertal DNA guy) also did the analyses on this material. In a BBC story he abd Chris Stringer are quoted as saying it’s another species. I’m not sure that’s justified. As John Hawk points out (linked in Nick’s comment), the populations were likely to be pretty structured and not panmictic, and that means that some divergence of lineages short of speciation is likely,

For want of a better place to put this, another “pretty cool” item, a marine photography contest with some striking entries

http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/o[…]winners-2010

This is fascinating. A third subspecies of human and we just now found them. I read John Hawks take on it, linked above.

1. We don’t know what they looked like. All they have is one finger bone and a tooth.

2. There seems to have been a widespread population based on where the genes ended up, Melonesia. A prediction is that more fossils should turn up around south Siberia and south Asia.

3. If the population models are correct, Denisovan genes should also be found in New Guinea and Australian Aborigines. IIRC, the Australian natives are part of the same migration through Melanesia and New Guinea.

4. Where do the Flores Hobbits fit in? Could they be derived from an early form of Denisovans?

Michael Roberts said:

How does it fit into the baraminolgy of homo. Perhaps Todd Wood could tell us:)

(I almost cracked a joke about this that probably would have been inappropriate.) I’m sure they’ll just say that Denisova was an old person with rickets or some kind of strange dental problem.

“Professor Paabo’s team showed there was a little bit of Neanderthal in most people alive today.” We needed an international research team to tell us this? Ha!

I can’t wait to see what Reasons to Believe has to say…

Why RTB Nick ?

I’m sure Dr. Menton is working hard into the night trying to classify this one. No doubt it’ll be another pre flood human that was very old (i.e. 900 years plus).

At least I think that’s how that how AiG describe neanderthals.

It’ll probably be on this week’s news to note anyway.

These are simply the early asian people who settled the land after the flood. It just shows how related the people were despite distance. What one would expect.

Please supply a population genetics model that actually accounts for all of the genetic differences between groups under your “model” Robert.

Robert Byers said: These are simply the early asian people who settled the land after the flood. It just shows how related the people were despite distance. What one would expect.

RB, again I have to thank you for your efforts in behalf of creationism. Nobody could possibly represent creationism more accurately or better. I can only hope that you obtain wider public recognition in the future. Keep up the good work!

Please supply a population genetics model that actually accounts for all of the genetic differences between groups under your “model” Robert.

That’s easy. God did it.

How does this fit in with Asian Homo Erectus?

They were around SE Asia then.

Is that what we are talking about or is this a 5th distinct Hominid wandering around Eurasia 40kya?

HSS= CroMagnon and maybe others Asian Erectus Neanderthals Flores Denisovian

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on December 22, 2010 4:52 PM.

Philosopher Ruse as an entertainer was the previous entry in this blog.

If Science and Religion Conflict, is it Unconstitutional to Teach Science? is the next entry in this blog.

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