Who were the Neanderthals and why should we care?

Recently I have translated What were really Neanderthals like and how much did we inherit from them? into German and a two hour job turned into a whole week.
Why?
While I was translating and forced to look deeper into something I realized I had not spent too much time on, I wound up learning a few more things making me revisit the previous studies I have accessed to determine whether or not there is a connection between rhesus negative blood and the Neanderthals.
Recessive genes such as the ones responsible for light eyes, light skin and blond as well as reddish hair appear to have been inherited by homo sapiens from the Neanderthal.
Certain physical characteristics such as big eyes and a high forehead also seem to have originated within the Neanderthal gene pool and it is tough to ignore the physical traits of rhesus negative people as I have previously listed them.
And then there is many people’s favorite dealing with …
Cranial Capacity.
And guess what:
It was a lot higher amongst homo neanderthalensis than modern humans indicating that there was a big chance that Neanderthals were actually more intelligent and capable of thinking outside the box if you will.

When the Homo sapiens sapiens (also known as anatomically modern humans) arrived in Europe about 40,000 years ago, Neanderthal was at its most advanced level of evolution. Its cranium, with a volume ranging from 1200 to 1700 cc, was in fact larger than that of Cro-Magnons (Paleolithic European Homo sapiens), and also 10% greater than that of modern humans in average. If brain size is any indication, Neanderthals could have been cleverer than us. But that’s not the whole story. Neanderthal’s skull had a lower vaulted prefrontal cortex than most modern humans, and it has been speculated that they would have been worse at decision making and moderating social behaviour. On the other hand, Neanderthals possessed a bigger occipital lobe, meaning that their visual abilities (including the distinction of details and colours) were certainly better than that of modern humans.

Note: When claims arise that autism tendencies could come from Neanderthals, this might be an additional indicator.
And strangely enough: I do have a large occipital lobe.
So who started the rumor that rhesus negative blood comes from Neanderthals?
1) This article:
Neanderthals might have made good blood donors
And I quote:

At least two of the extinct, ancient humans had type O blood, making them the “universal donor”, according to a new genetic analysis of remains of 45,000 year old individuals.
“If you needed a blood transfusion, you could get it from these Neanderthals,” says Carles Lalueza-Fox, a geneticist at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain, who led the study.
That’s not to say all Neanderthals were type O – others may have also boasted genes for the A and B blood types, which encode enzymes that sprinkle red blood cells with two different sugar molecules, Lalueza-Fox says.

You can do a quick Google search for the quote allegedly made by Lalueza-Fox and all that pops up are forums, blogs and a few sites copying the article. Nothing official or lending credibility. But again: I may have missed something. Which is why the commment section on the blog is open for anyone with additional information.
2) Even though I do not reference pseudo-scientific sources, this one is done to demonstrate how easily misled some people appear to be:
Are you from the most ancient bloodline?
is an article which according to the url ending in “are-you-related-to-neanderthals.html” indicated that it was likely first called
“Are you related to the Neanderthals”
but later possibly changed for more dramatic purposes and the tactic of mirroring to make rhesus negative readers feel so special that they might overlook a few details here and there.
It begins:

Are you from the most ancient bloodline?
Asks Dr Pinna.

“If you have a “RED GENE” freckles, light skin, reddish hair, that is a sign.

High intelligence is also a Neanderthal trait. The Neanderthals had large craniums and therefore more brains. They survived through the Ice Ages which required the ability to adapt to hunger and to be able to kill large animals. This meant they had good skills in team work.”

What exactly is Dr. Pinna supposedly asking?
Whether or not you are from the most ancient bloodline?
I know that there are questionable doctors out there, but do you really think any physician’s reputation would survive such a line of questioning?
Or did Dr. Pinna supposedly state the quote following his name?
a) No credible source pops up when asking Google. (again)
b) “This meant they had good skills in team work.”
is in direct contradiction to:
“Neanderthal’s skull had a lower vaulted prefrontal cortex than most modern humans, and it has been speculated that they would have been worse at decision making and moderating social behaviour.”
But let’s call this a credibility issue at best and continue to see where our attention should go and what is more likely to be believable:
Scrolling down the article links to http://drpinna.com/neanderthals-and-basques-14808 which has content removed. Even the “biography page” leads to a dead end.
In all fairness, archive.org reveals an old article ending in

CONCLUSION

European and Chinese interbreeding with Neanderthals was a gift from God. Not only did it give us red hair and big brains, but also a way to fight viral infection.

Again: The article has been removed so I will ignore it rather than speculating why.

So let’s look at the other reference:

HLA B27 & CCR5-Δ32

According to Randall Johnson at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, “Only 7% of the US population tests positive for the HLA-B27 gene; this gene, found only in persons with Rh-Negative blood, can trigger the immune system to operate overtime at WARP SPEED in times of medical emergency.”
Note: HLA-B27 is also sometimes found in those who are Rh negative recessive.

This claim is 100 percent false!
This is almost too easy:

In the Asian countries, the B27 antigen frequency in Vietnamese, Thais, Malaysians and Indonesians ranged from 5% to 12%, which is close to or higher than in the Chinese population.

The frequencies of rhesus negative people in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and China are:
Vietnam
Between 0.4 and 0.7 per thousand of Vietnamese, a lower rate than many other countries, have Rh-negative blood.
Thailand
0.8%
Malaysia
0.5%
Indonesia
0.5%
China
0.9%
Once again, here is the claim:

And I am posting the screenshot to make sure that nobody accuses me of fabricating this as I am certain this statement will be removed as soon as this post is seen.
Feel free to use the Hardy-Weinberg equation to calculate how many people in these countries carry the rhesus negative blood factor recessively.
I give you a hint:
This claim is a blatant lie assuming that readers are unwilling to examine anything further and easily persuaded to believe anything appealing to their ego.
But what about Dr. Randall Johnson?
Let’s reference How Stuff Works:

Just about every website touting the connection between Rh-negative blood and the ability to fight deadly viruses includes the following paragraph:

According to Randall Johnson at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, “Only 7% of the U.S. population tests positive for the HLA-B27 gene; this gene, found only in persons with Rh-Negative blood, can trigger the immune system to operate overtime at WARP SPEED in times of medical emergency.”

However, although our research turned up a Dr. Randy Johnson at the Baylor College of Medicine, there’s no evidence of him making these statements. And even if Johnson did make this statement, it doesn’t mean that this gene makes a person immune to any deadly or serious virus.

Are you mildly entertained or believe, as I do, that it’s time for us to overshadow these types of claims and either demand accuracy or stop supporting those who take away all credibility that we are working hard retaining not just in terms of our origin but the needs we have in the medical industry which have still not been properly met?
If you happen to be friends with her and believe that the Neanderthals were rhesus negative, you might want to ask her why she insists on fabricating things and politely request proof that the Neanderthals were in fact rhesus negative.
Frankly speaking:
When rhesus negative people speak about being analytical and not being easy to fool, I am starting to cringe as so many tend to simply believe things without ever questioning these things or checking up on them.
Note:
Put your money where your mouth is and should you be able to produce evidence, send it my way and I will be the first to share it and promote it.
Also:
Her entire site is filled with fabrication and even more frightening than someone blatantly doing so are the comments from people who blindly accept everything on that blog as truth.
Another giveaway is that one of the references on that page is

[5] The Rh-negative Factor and ‘Reptilian Traits’, www.reptilianagenda.com/research/r110199a.html

which is at least some sort of honesty stating that none of what is written is meant to be taken as fact.
Maybe I need to edit the post about characteristics and put “tough to lie to” on the back burner.
So does that mean that the Neanderthals were not rhesus negative?

Even though you might be offended by someone spreading lies about many things, does not mean that the Neanderthals were not rhesus negative. It simply means that we should ignore everything coming from that source unless you have too much time on your hands.
Dr. Barry Starr’s article titled Rh- did not come from Neanderthals shifts to

What this all means is that it is extremely unlikely that the common form of Rh- blood originated in Neanderthals and then spread into humans through breeding. It simply arose too long ago for this to be true.

Except that it isn’t extremely unlikely based on the timeline of when rhesus negative blood first came to be.
Aside from the many silly guesses Dr. Starr makes, the claim that the first Homo Sapiens arose 35,000 years ago is as shady as the rest of the article as the first Homo sapiens could have come around 100,000 years ago and technically speaking it would have taken but one rhesus negative individual to start the process of this gene spreading.
There is undeniable skeletal evidence that Neanderthals evolved and became less robust and closer to Homo Sapiens over time, starting at least 100,000 years ago.
But if you have time, you can ask him yourself on Twitter via @geneticsboy as he so humbly refers to himself.
So if you take him seriously, ask Geneticsboy why he doesn’t take time to write an article that makes some sense.
Another article from their site claims that rhesus negative people might be

more resistant to certain parasites like Toxoplasma

when in reality all research proves that rhesus negative individuals are much more affected by Toxoplasmosis.
It appears to me that this website as well as so many others look at rhesus negative blood factor related subject matters as free-for-alls and entertainment. Cheap entertainment.

No editing process and nobody to say “wait a minute, you may want to examine your claims a little bit further”.

Some side notes:

– According to the top article, Neanderthals possessed a bigger occipital lobe, meaning that their visual abilities (including the distinction of details and colours) were certainly better than that of modern humans.

It has been proposed that the world’s oldest cave paintings, such as those of Cave of El Castillo in Cantabria and the Nerja Caves near Malaga in Spain dating from circa 40,000 years ago, were also the work of Neanderthals, or possibly of early Sapiens-Neanderthal hybrids. It is not surprising to find the origins of painting among Neanderthals considering that they had a larger occipital lobe than Homo sapiens, which would have made them more visual thinkers.

– According to the same Eupedia article, Homo sapiens has been living in Europe for 45,000 years … but in northern Europe only for 30,000 years. It took 15,000 years for them to decide migrating into the cold. I wonder if there was a significant initial catalyst to cause such a move.

Once again, the physical characteristics of the Neanderthals according to the article on Eupedia.com:

Occipital bun:
a protuberance of the occipital bone (back of the head) that looks like a hair knot. You have it if you can feel a rounded bone just above the back of your neck (same height as the ears).

The occipital bun on a Neanderthal skull


Low, flat, elongated skull
: What matters here is especially the ‘elongated skull’, as opposed to the back of the skull falling almost vertically, like all East Asians, and most Anatolian, Caucasians and Eastern Europeans. Elongated skull are particularly common in Scandinavia, in the British Isles and in Iberia.

Retromolar space posterior to the third molar:
i.e. an empty space behind the “wisdom teeth”.
Supraorbital torus:
protruding eyebrow bone (including big deep eye cavity between the eye and eyebrow).
Bigger, rounder eyes than average.
Broad, projecting nose:
angle of the nose bone going more upward than average (not falling straight like a “Greek nose”).
Bony projections on the sides of the nasal opening : i.e. nose bone making a “triangle” between the nose and cheeks/orbits.
Little or no protruding chin
Larger mental foramen in mandible for facial blood supply:
this means that the side jaw and cheek are bigger or better supplied in blood than average. This increased blood supply could result in the cheeks being red (like blushing) when doing physical exercise or when the weather is cold.
Short, bowed shoulder blades : i.e. shoulder bones curving toward the front more than average.
Large round finger tips :
typically “flat” and wide finger tips, especially the thumb (e.g. if your thumb is more than 1.5 cm wide).
Does this look like your hand?:
Modern human hand [left] & Neanderhal hand [right]

Source: 20 physical traits you may have inherited from a Neanderthal
Rufosity :
i.e. having red hair, or brown hair with red pigments, or natural freckles.
Fair skin, hair and eyes:
Neanderthals are believed to have had blue or green eyes, as well as fair skin and light hair. Having spent 300,000 years in northern latitudes, five times longer than Homo sapiens, it is only natural that Neanderthals should have developed these adaptive traits first.

Another thing that was pointed out to me by Gordon Scherer, is that a cleft chin could easily stem from interbreeding where the weak chin of the Neanderthal mixed with the stronger chin of the homo sapiens resulted in such an appearance.

References include:
Genetic characterization of the ABO blood group in Neandertals
Thank you for reading!
So get busy and do some research since I cannot do it all on my own. And if you have something that I have been missing:
Please leave a comment below!
Please also be aware that questioning one theory is in no way support of another theory such as the claim that rh negative blood originates from and trough the so-called Cro-Magnons which in itself would be a strange conclusion based on the fact that this early European settler wasn’t a species, but rather a mix of hominoids.
To be continued …

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