I was listening to a “rebroadcast” of Ideas on CBC the other night. The speaker was Ronald Wright. He was going on about the possibility of Neanderthals and the Cro-Magnons coexisiting peacefully in the area know as the Middle East, Neanderthals in the North and Co-Magnons in the south. The middle, he says, was sort of a meeting ground. Now, I don’t know about you, but I was taught that the Neanderthals were big hairy bruits who walked upright but carried a big stick. But Ronald paints a picture of individuals whose brain capacity was much larger than Cro-magnon, and whose bodies were well adapted to the cold of the north where they lived. For example, sloping foreheads meant less surface area exposed to the wind, protecting the brain from becoming dangerously chilled. If those of you with these facial features today have now gained a new respect for your appearance, I have done a good thing. Of course, if you believe you were made in the image of a super-creative being, God, as I do, you won’t have to worry where that heavy set of brows came from.
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