5 days ago
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Neanderthals Among Us
Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, photo by Jason Evans
I was looking at my stat counter log the other day, and I found a most interesting visit. Someone found my blog while searching for "brain function theory INTP." Naturally, I clicked on their search to see what else they found. And I was led to a fascinating site called The Neanderthal Theory. (No, INTPs are not Neanderthals in disguise! LOL!)
I've mentioned in previous posts that I've always been interested in early humans and human evolution. In particular, my imagination has been sparked by the idea that modern humans and Neanderthals lived at the same time. Authors such as Jean Auel have brought this idea to life, exploring the possibilities of interactions between the two hominid groups, including interbreeding. And, genetic research supports this notion.
It's been rather accepted that a Neanderthal could walk the streets of New York City undetected. Their appearance would not be outside the range of modern human variation. A bit shorter, stockier, more muscular, but largely considered unremarkable to other humans. Here is a reconstruction of a Neanderthal child based on research at the University of Zurich (by Elisabeth Daynes, photo by Philippe Plailly).
And now, this Neanderthal Theory takes my imagination to a whole new level. The author proposes that Autism, Asperger's syndrome, ADHD, and Tourette syndrome may not be "disorders" at all, but rather that the symptoms of these conditions are a result of the expression of Neanderthal DNA in the Caucasian genome! Wow-- sounds like science fiction, doesn't it? But the author of this theory presents an interesting case.
Oh, and what did INTP brain function have to do with the Neanderthal Theory? There is mention that there seems to be a correlation between ADHD and the following types: ENTP, ENFP, INFP, and INTP. And that "there is also considerable overlap between criteria of aspie(Asperger's syndrome) and INTP."