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Creation Science Fiction™

Exposing The Lies One Layer At A Time

How Hybridization Can Help Explain The Neandertal In Us

Everyone who's ancestors came from outside Sub-Saharan Africa alive today has up to 4% Neandertal genes in their genome.  I'm 1.5%, I had my test done in 2017.  How is it that Neandertals can be considered a separate species, yet enough interbreeding happened in the past for them to live on in us today? The answer could be through hybridization, where hybrids may not have been able to have viable offspring together, but may have been able to produce fertile offspring when mating back with our species. This hypothesis is also supported by the fact we only see Neandertal genes passed on to our species, we have yet to find evidence that there was gene flow going from us to them.

I often use the example of the liger when it comes to how hybrids can pass on genes from one species to another. A liger is the offspring of a male lion and a female tiger.  There have been instances of male lions mating with female ligers and producing offspring. If the liger's genes eventually make their way into a population of lions through a hybrid, then genes have been transferred from tigers to lions, but not the other way around. 

Hybrid female Liger with cub

So far we have no evidence that we passed on any of our specific genes to Neandertals, even though 5 genomes have been studied of fairly recent Neandertals between 39,000 and 47,000 years old. Research has also shown that the majority of gene flow between the two species happened around 150,000 years ago.1  This is more evidence they were a closely related, yet different species since if they were the same species we would expect to see not only gene flow in both directions, but more frequent interbreeding during times we know they co-existed in Europe and Asia.

 

1. No human DNA found in Neanderthal genome, COSMOS Magazine, March 22, 2018

 

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