|Image enhanced, credit: Pixabay / Efraimstochter|
“So easy, a caveman could do it” is the witty slogan of a company hoping to lure customers to switch car insurance. The humorous catch to the commercial was the brutish-looking, yet endearing, Neanderthals living among us who found the slogan stereotyping them as dimwits to be “not cool” or “hurtful.” The fact that viewers could readily spot the standard view of Neanderthals shows how pervasive it is and how it dominates the popular perception.To read the rest, click on "Major Evolutionary Blunders: Neanderthals Were Subhuman in Imagination Only".
Evolutionary beliefs—not known facts about Neanderthals—forced this misleading subhumanized caricature of them. Evolutionary imagination conjured up the ape-like, hairy, club-wielding, mentally underdeveloped savage because it fit their expectations of a missing link between an ape-like ancestor and humans, as seen in Figure 1. Rather than liberating scientific research, for decades this major evolutionary blunder has sidetracked an accurate understanding of Neanderthals.