Saturday, February 13, 2016

Marital Genetics

From a semi-scholarly paper on genetic testing:
Svante Pääbo, the pioneer of ancient DNA who led the Neanderthal genome sequencing, notes that when the scientific findings were published, forty-five men (but only two women) wrote to him stating a belief that they were fully or partly Neanderthal, and offering their DNA for study. In addition, twelve women got in touch with Pääbo declaring their husbands to be Neanderthals, but only two men said the same of their wives.


G. Verloren said...

I would assume that there's a massive cultural bias involved here, and that our conceptions of Neanderthals are overwhelmingly masculine.

I can easily picture in my mind the stereotypical "textbook" depiction of a male Neanderthal, but on reflection I'm not certain I've ever even seen a depiction of a female Neanderthal. I imagine I most likely have and just don't recall, but the mere fact that I can't even remotely remember it means I might as well not have seen it to begin with.

Surely if you lack a proper conception of something, you can't very well recognize elements shared between it and something else? Many modern women could very well exhibit Neanderthal features to varying degrees, but would most people even be able to recognize them as such?

pootrsox said...

I seem to recall neanderthals in dioramas at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC-- w/ both genders represented.

But it has of course been several decades since last I was there.