Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Anthropol Sci. 2016 Jun 20;94:201-21. doi: 10.4436/JASS.94022. Epub 2015 Dec 21.

The false dichotomy: a refutation of the Neandertal indistinguishability claim.

Author information

1
The Center for Cognitive Archaeology, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, 1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy, Colorado Springs, CO 80918 USA; Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, 1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy, Colorado Springs, CO 80918 USA.
2
The Center for Cognitive Archaeology, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, 1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy, Colorado Springs, CO 80918 USA; Keble College, Parks Road, University of Oxford, Oxford, England, OX1 3PG, UK.
3
The Center for Cognitive Archaeology, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, 1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy, Colorado Springs, CO 80918 USA; Department of Psychology, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, 1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy, Colorado Springs, CO 80918 USA, fcoolidg@uccs.ed.

Abstract

In the debate about the demise of the Neandertal, several scholars have claimed that humanity's nearest relatives were indistinguishable archaeologically, and thus behaviorally and cognitively, from contemporaneous Homo sapiens. They suggest that to hold otherwise is to characterize Neandertals as inferior to H. sapiens, a false dichotomy that excludes the possibility that the two human types simply differed in ways visible to natural selection, including their cognition. Support of the Neandertal indistinguishability claim requires ignoring the cranial differences between the two human types, which have implications for cognition and behavior. Further, support of the claim requires minimizing asymmetries in the quantity and degree of behavioral differences as attested by the archaeological record. The present paper reviews the evidence for cognitive and archaeological differences between the two human types in support of the excluded middle position.

PMID:
26708102
DOI:
10.4436/JASS.94022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Istituto Italiano di Antropologia
Loading ...
Support Center