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Contact! Submit your favorite original Minor Alien Races for others to use in their own Traveller campaigns.

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  #11  
Old October 21st, 2014, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Carlobrand View Post
I think you've hit another dead end, unless he's lurking. This seems to have been his last post here. We could explore the issue on our own. For one thing, I think a binary planet system with planets big enough to hold atmosphere is going to have the pair tidally locked to each other. That'll have an implication for trying to import Terran flora and fauna, especially coastal sea life.
I seem to be grabbing at dead ends.

But, sure, exploring this further would be cool.
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  #12  
Old October 21st, 2014, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
OP, are you still working on this one?


I like the history, and I like the concept of a Neanderthal descended Minor Human Race.

A few thoughts and questions:
  • Have to incorporated any of the most recent developments in studies of Neanderthals into this? I'm thinking in particular of the evidence for interbreeding with modern Homo Sapiens, outside Africa.
  • Are there significant physiological differences between these guys and standard Solomani/Terrro-Humans?

  • Was there much microevolution after they were deposited on Sygman? How harsh was the environment, if the world had only recently been terraformed?
    What about gravitational and other effects of the binary planet system?




  • What about psychology? Anything different there?
Quote:
Originally Posted by rancke View Post
Had the Neanderthal evolved 300,000 years ago? I thought they were more recent (200-250,000 years ago).


Keep in mind that whatever is the case in the Real Universe1, in the the TU Homo sapiens did exist 300,000 years ago and Neanderthal is a subspecies.
1 And it seems to me that the only thing keeping biologists from labeling them a subspecies of Homo sapiens, 0.12% difference in DNA or not, is a preconceived determination to keep them a separate species regardless of any inconvenient evidence.

If they are a separate species now, they must have diverged after being transferred to Sygman.


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Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
As I understand it, in our world, the fossil evidence does not show modern humans or Neanderthals extant as of 300 K years ago.
They might have existed, but that's speculative.

But as you have rightly pointed out, there's the in-universe fact of Homo sapiens existing 300 K years ago in the OTU. Thus I think we can safely assume Neanderthals also existed when the Ancients showed up. Canon supports that, IIRC GURPS Humaniti correctly. The Kargol come from Neanderthal origins, don't they?
Are the Ziadd ( from Signal GK) canonical? They have Neanderthal origins too, I think. Please correct me if I am wrong.


RE the subspecies vs. different species arguments. I leave that to the experts. Suffice it to say I regard Neanderthals as having been our close relatives and fellow humans. They have long since become extinct as a group. Their genetic heritage evidently survives as a minor but measurable element in many human population groups today, including your ancestors and mine (being as we are both mostly European in origins and background- yes? IIRC only SubSaharan African populations show little to no Neanderthal influence. But it's a small percentage of genetic material in any group)


EDIT- If one did do away with the canonical idea of modern Homo Sapiens existing 300K years ago, then the Ancients would have found archaic types of humans. These people would have been same genus but not the same species as us.
That's obviously an ATU idea, because it runs counter to canon in a notable fashion.
It suggest a wider degree of natural divergence among the races of Humaniti, less ability to interbreed.
Might be worth a new thread?
~200,000ya was the transition point between Homo Heidelbergensis and Homo Neanderthalensis in Europe.

It was also the end of Homo Erectus elsewhere and the beginning of Homo Sapiens (Cro-Magnon, etc).

The dates are pretty vague, as shown in the first attached picture.

http://thumbnails-visually.netdna-ss...db2b_w1500.png

However, in this interactive Smithsonian timeline, it is a bit clearer - when the "magnification" function is applied:

http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/...ne-interactive

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Last edited by BlackBat242; October 21st, 2014 at 01:50 AM..
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  #13  
Old October 21st, 2014, 01:45 AM
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According to the article in Wiki:

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Homo heidelbergensis — sometimes called Homo rhodesiensis — is an extinct species of the genus Homo which lived in Africa, Europe and western Asia from at least 600,000 years ago, and may date back 1,300,000 years. First discovered near Heidelberg in Germany in 1907, it was described and named by Otto Schoetensack.[1][2][3] It survived until about 200,000 to 250,000 years ago. Its brain was nearly as large as that of a modern Homo sapiens.

Neanderthals, Denisovans, and modern humans are all descended from Homo heidelbergensis. Between 300,000 and 400,000 years ago, an ancestral group of H. heidelbergensis separated themselves shortly after they had left Africa. One group branched northwest into Europe and West Asia, which eventually evolved into Neanderthals. The other group ventured eastwards throughout Asia, eventually developing into Denisovans. Homo heidelbergensis evolved into Homo sapiens approximately 130,000 years ago.
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Denisovans or Denisova hominins /dəˈniːsəvə/ are a Paleolithic-era species of the genus Homo or subspecies of Homo sapiens. In March 2010, scientists announced the discovery of a finger bone fragment of a juvenile female who lived about 41,000 years ago, found in the remote Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains in Siberia, a cave which has also been inhabited by Neanderthals and modern humans.[1][2][3] Two teeth and a toe bone belonging to different members of the same population have since been reported.

Analysis of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of the finger bone showed it to be genetically distinct from the mtDNAs of Neanderthals and modern humans.

A team of scientists led by Johannes Krause and Svante Pääbo from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, sequenced mtDNA extracted from the fragment. The cool climate of the Denisova Cave preserved the DNA.[3] The average annual temperature of the cave remains at 0 °C, which has contributed to the preservation of archaic DNA among the remains discovered.[14] The analysis indicated that modern humans, Neanderthals, and the Denisova hominin last shared a common ancestor around 1 million years ago.[4]

The mtDNA analysis further suggested this new hominin species was the result of an earlier migration out of Africa, distinct from the later out-of-Africa migrations associated with modern humans, but also distinct from the earlier African exodus of Homo erectus.[4] Pääbo noted the existence of this distant branch creates a much more complex picture of humankind during the Late Pleistocene.[12] This work shows that the Denisovans were actually a sister group to the Neanderthals,[15] branching off from the human lineage 600,000 years ago, and diverging from Neanderthals, probably in the Middle East, 200,000 years later.
Thus, diverging from the branch of Homo Erectus that became Neanderthals about 400,000ya.

This also shows the vagueness of the dating of the evolutionary divergences, as this allows for Neanderthals, Denisovans, and Cro-magnons to have already begun differentiating from Homo Erectus by 600,000-400,000ya.

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  #14  
Old October 21st, 2014, 02:28 AM
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Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
As I understand it, in our world, the fossil evidence does not show modern humans or Neanderthals extant as of 300 K years ago.
Nor do modern humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) exist 300,000 ya in the TU. However archaic humans (Homo sapiens antiquus) did exist, and those were the ones the Ancients took. It's possible that they also took other species of genus Homo, but that hasn't been established.

Meanwhile, on Earth humans evolved into H. sapiens sapiens, on Vland they evolved into H. sapiens vlandensis, on Zhdant they evolved into H. sapiens zhodotlas, and so on and so on. But they didn't evolve enough to become different species, just different subspecies (on other worlds they did evolve that much, e.g. the Luriani).

Quote:
But as you have rightly pointed out, there's the in-universe fact of Homo sapiens existing 300 K years ago in the OTU. Thus I think we can safely assume Neanderthals also existed when the Ancients showed up. Canon supports that, IIRC GURPS Humaniti correctly. The Kargol come from Neanderthal origins, don't they?
You have a point there, but I think it's moot. Regadless of whether H. sapiens neanderthalensis diverged from H. sapiens antiquus 350,000 years ago or 250,000 years ago, in the OTU they were and remained H. sap..


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Are the Ziadd ( from Signal GK) canonical? They have Neanderthal origins too, I think. Please correct me if I am wrong.
Never heard of them.

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RE the subspecies vs. different species arguments. I leave that to the experts.
What you see as experts I see as people with axes to grind.


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Last edited by rancke; October 21st, 2014 at 02:02 PM..
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Old October 21st, 2014, 12:40 PM
Carlobrand Carlobrand is offline
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Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
...Are the Ziadd ( from Signal GK) canonical? They have Neanderthal origins too, I think. Please correct me if I am wrong.
...
Clarifying, you mean Signal GK the magazine, not the adventure? Perhaps you could tell us more? I don't have any of that source.

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Originally Posted by rancke View Post
...What you see as experts I see as people with axes to grind. ...
Or detectives struggling to make sense of the ancient world based on tiny scraps of clues that have managed by sheer chance to survive for hundreds of thousands of years, usually in an altered state. Advances over the past few decades have made it very clear that our understanding of the distant past is fragmentary and subject to change as new evidence comes to light. It might be best in game terms to assume that there will be further surprises in archaeology in the distant future, revealing evidence of ancient H. Sapiens 300,000 years ago, rather than trying to pin things to our present evolving knowledge base.
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  #16  
Old October 21st, 2014, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Carlobrand View Post
Or detectives struggling to make sense of the ancient world based on tiny scraps of clues that have managed by sheer chance to survive for hundreds of thousands of years, usually in an altered state. Advances over the past few decades have made it very clear that our understanding of the distant past is fragmentary and subject to change as new evidence comes to light.
It's not the nature of the available evidence that I have an issue with. It's the interpretation that baffles me.

Here's how I see the argument going:
Biologist A: "The Neanderthal were a subspecies of Homo sapiens."

Biologist B, C, and D: "No no, they were a separate hominid species."

Biologist A: Guess what, gene analysis shows that the Neanderthal were interfertile with Cro-Magnon, so they must have been the same species.

Biologist B: But that would mean that I was wrong, and that cannot be. Interfertility means nothing! Look here, gene analysis also shows that their DNA differed by 0.12% from ours. That means they must have been a different species! And I'm sure my esteemed colleagues C and D will agree with me!"
Sure there are cases where the interfertility criterion is inadequate or perhaps even misleading. But I fail to see any reason to believe that it doesn't apply in the case of two branches of hominids for which proof positive have been found that they were capable of producing viable, fertile offspring.

I trust we can agree that the presence of Neanderthal genes in modern humans proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that the two were capable of producing viable, fertile offspring?

So why does a 0.12% difference in DNA make them different species? Different, sure. Different sub-species, sure. But what makes them different species?


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Last edited by rancke; October 21st, 2014 at 01:37 PM..
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  #17  
Old October 21st, 2014, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Carlobrand View Post
Clarifying, you mean Signal GK the magazine, not the adventure? Perhaps you could tell us more? I don't have any of that source.
Thankfully, the Signal GK fanzine is online:
http://www.dot-communications.org.uk/234
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Old October 21st, 2014, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by rancke View Post
... I trust we can agree that the presence of Neanderthal genes in modern humans proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that the two were capable of producing viable, fertile offspring? ...
Well, that or some Ancient practical joker with a very long view of things decided to mess with our future minds.

I think we can agree that labels can often be misleading or self-serving. They help us understand the universe by dividing it into discrete groups that we can more easily grok, but the universe does not care two whits where we draw the lines. Very often, we're trying to draw lines through something that the universe does on a continuum. Is Pluto a planet, and what new label will they invent when they discover an Earth-size planet out in the Oort still working hard at clearing its orbit? Where does red stop and orange begin? Depends on who you talk to and where - and why - they draw the lines.

I can't see a way to get Neanderthal genes into the Sapiens gene pool without interfertility or some artificial intervention, but I'm no expert on genetics. Perhaps there's a possibility for limited interfertility, where the offspring are sometimes fertile and sometimes not, or where the odds of producing offspring are significantly lower but still possible. I understand that while mules are almost always infertile, you do on rare occasions get a fertile mule mare (though apparently never a stallion). That could lead to a line of horses or donkeys with some genes from the other species if the mare bred back to a horse or donkey. Are there other modern species that give us some examples of such situations? That might be what causes some scientists to balk at accepting the presence of genes alone as evidence. However, I don't know if we have enough details about Neanderthal genetics to be able to make a reasoned guess as to whether or not there might be genetic conflicts reducing interfertility.

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Thankfully, the Signal GK fanzine is online:
http://www.dot-communications.org.uk/234
BLESS YOU!!
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Old October 21st, 2014, 05:44 PM
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BLESS YOU!!
I guess you'll have to clear your weekend now.
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Old October 21st, 2014, 05:57 PM
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I guess you'll have to clear your weekend now.
What weekend? I can go through these in an evening!
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