You may have heard that a bunch of weirdos on the internet think they’re neanderthals. This is partially true and partially false. Consider this photo.
Is this baby Caucasian or black? Clearly it is an edge case that requires a clear definition of race, because the recessive genes for red hair disrupt the melanin production that produces the pigmented skin associated with people of African ancestry. Using the forensic anthropology definition of ancestry, we would classify this baby as black due to skeletal features which are predominant in African populations. It would not be a contradiction in terms to describe this child as a white-skinned negroid, but to do so assumes a familiarity with statistical distributions beyond what may be expected of most audiences.
The grand, unifying thesis of Edenism is a straightforward conclusion drawn from established scientific premises. Despite this, it is highly controversial because it is entangled in highly politicized topics like psychology, race, sociology, myth, and morality for which homo sapiens man has evolved a complex of simple emotional heuristics that together constitute what is called “common sense”. Without further ado, here is the big idea:
Ancestry may be described statistically by skeletal features, which correlate strongly with the genetics of breeding populations. Different human populations have different statistical distributions for personality, intelligence, and so on which can be broadly characterized by ancestry. There exist humans today with inherited skeletal traits and genetics which are both characteristic of extinct subspecies, and these people also exhibit a stereotyped distribution of psychological traits. Perhaps most notable is a distinct lack of the aforementioned “common sense” and concomitant affinity for analytical system building, an observation that has supported ten seasons of the comedy show The Big Bang Theory as of this writing.
I describe myself as a neanderthal as shorthand for the more complicated statistical realities of breeding populations, ancestry, and inheritance of skeletal features. It is more true to describe myself as a neanderthal rather than as a homo sapiens, but not categorically true. There is a running gag in this community which parodies the idea of applying binary thinking to paleolithic racial identity—if one of us tells you they are a “TROO THAL” they are being facetious. Here is a visualization of the more complex reality.
The first skull belonged to a neanderthal and displays many archaic traits: a heavy brow ridge, a prominent occipital bun, and a short cranial vault. The second skull belonged to a Cro Magnon, the genetic hybrid of homo sapiens and neanderthals and the successors of neanderthals in Europe. Although it has some modern features like a heightened cranium and reduced brow ridge, and some features inherited from homo sapiens, there are clearly features inherited from neanderthals such as the retention of a prominent occipital bun.
Here’s a redacted picture of me which shows a continuation of these trends.
We can see the trends from neanderthal to Cro Magnon continue: the brow ridge is reduced, the cranium is taller, and the prominent occipital bun remains. It would be most precise to describe myself as a Cro Magnon descendent with significant psychological markers inherited from neanderthals, which I’ll discuss later when I summarize the personality research of an amateur Finnish scientist who goes by Rdos.
The fact of the matter is that neanderthals per se are extinct*. But many of us carry genes from neanderthals, some of which have very strong phenotypal expression (like those for red hair). DRD4-7r is the poster child for this phenomenon in genetic psychology—this one little variation on a single gene has significant effects on personality, cognition, and life outcomes.
*Possible exceptions are not worth including in these broad, sweeping terms. Almas in Russia, for instance, may be proper neanderthal remnants.