On Wednesday, President Joe Biden criticized a number of states, together with Texas, for prematurely lifting their masks mandates amid the COVID-19 disaster, warning that such “Neanderthal considering” is “a giant mistake.”
“I hope everybody’s realized by now these masks make a distinction,” Biden instructed reporters within the Oval Workplace. “The very last thing we’d like is Neanderthal considering that ‘within the meantime all the pieces’s tremendous, take off your masks, neglect it.’ It nonetheless issues.”
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) responded on Thursday, telling Fox Enterprise that, truly, emulating Neanderthals is an effective factor.
“Neanderthals are hunter-gatherers, they’re protectors of their household, they’re resilient, they’re resourceful, they have an inclination to their very own,” she mentioned. “So I feel Joe Biden must rethink what he’s saying.”
Neanderthals are additionally extinct ― a reality Blackburn didn’t level out in her response.
White Home press secretary Jen Psaki later clarified that Biden was criticizing some governors for appearing like Neanderthals, not calling them Neanderthals personally.
Consultants on the traditional hominids instructed HuffPost that whereas there’s certainly loads to admire about Neanderthals, their story actually must be seen as extra of a cautionary story than an aspirational one.
For starters, their extinction can seemingly be traced again to an incapacity to adapt to main environmental modifications, mentioned Chris Stinger, a paleoanthropologist on the Pure Historical past Museum in London and a fellow of the Royal Society.
“We don’t actually know why they died out, nevertheless it was in all probability a mix of quickly altering climates/environments and financial competitors from our personal species, after we emerged from Africa and grew in numbers and vary from about 45,000 years in the past,” Stinger mentioned in an e mail.
“As for negatives, nicely, they did bask in a little bit of cannibalism once in a while, however then so did our species, Homo sapiens, and a number of other different human species!”
The unfold of illness from fashionable people might also have performed an early function within the Neanderthals’ downfall.
Stanford postdoctoral researcher Gili Greenbaum posited that idea in a 2019 examine revealed within the journal Nature Communications, the place he argued that fashionable people could have carried tropical ailments with them as they migrated to temperate areas. Upon encountering Neanderthals, fashionable people might have traded pathogens with them. After which, Homo sapiens seemingly ceased migrating, establishing what would grow to be a gradual however finally lethal stalemate.
“Our analysis means that ailments could have performed a extra vital function within the extinction of the Neanderthals than beforehand thought,” Greenbaum instructed Stanford’s information service on the time. “They might even be the principle purpose why fashionable people are actually the one human group left on the planet.”
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Join membership to grow to be a founding member and assist form HuffPost’s subsequent chapter