I came across an interesting article recently that links climate change to the idea that homo sapiens evolved from Neanderthals.
But growing credence is being given to the theory that homo sapiens evolved from the Neanderthals, who mysteriously died out some 28,000 years ago.
A new study to be published on Wednesday in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says evidence of huge climate change supports that theory.
The idea is that extended harsh weather caused a dearth of game for the Neanderthals to eat. This, in turn caused a plummet in population numbers, which supposedly allowed rare mutations to become fixed. Thus, we have a problem. Evolution works best with larger populations, because there’s more chances for beneficial mutations and more genetic diversity to work with.
But, there’s another problem as well. How does a smaller population allow rare mutations to become fixed? Selection is what allows rare mutations to become fixed, not the population size. If those rare mutations are deleterious, they should be selected out, and that is even more true with a small population. Yet, they are proposing something that just doesn’t jibe with evolutionary theory. I guess it’s all right as long as you claim that it supports evolution in the end, right? When it’s all based on a worldview where the ends justify the means, instead of science, you can get away with a lot I suppose.