Homo Sapiens

After researching this topic extensively, I found quite a bit of interesting “sidebars” and studies, some of which have merit, but mostly of the ridiculous realm. There are studies suggesting that Homo Sapiens interbred with Neanderthals, and by some biblical scholars, even angels. There is also an odd argument that people with Down Syndromes are not human, as chimpanzees are between 95 and 98.5% genetically similar to humans and Down Syndromes are only 97.87% and cannot mate successfully with humans. Seems odd, but the question of Homo Sapiens breeding with chimpanzees seems to have opened a Pandora’s box of different mindsets and opinions in the human race. Many cannot fathom interbreeding with chimps and find the idea “too hard to stomach”, “ridiculous”, and “a sham”. However, scientists seem to have much proof to the contrary. Our genetic code is so similar to the chimps, that there must have been “hybridization” between the two races. They found that the time from the beginning to the completion of divergence between the two species ranges over more than four million years. In particular, it was found that the X chromosome – which occurs twice in women and once in men – is the youngest part of the genome and was still being modified just before the final split occurred. It would seem that there was inbreeding and then a split after a period of time. However, more recent research shows that there are discrepancies in the closeness of the chimp to the homo sapien, and that they may only be 95% similar which would make a huge difference in the large amount of DNA code tracked. In conclusion, it does seem likely from most of the body of research that was gleaned that some form of inbreeding and then speciation (the separation of one species from another) did occur, but this is not conclusive. What IS clear though, is that this topic is enough of a hot button to create tremendous debate among scholars in both the scientific and ethical arenas.

Sources

http://www.livescience.com/783-human-chimp-ancestors-interbred.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/early-humans-and-chimps-may-have-interbred-to-create-hybrid-man-478663.html

http://www.createdebate.com/debate/show/Downs_Syndromes_are_not_human

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/09/0924_020924_dnachimp_2.html

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