Hominins: Past and Present (Paperback)
Across the globe, modern humans struggle with racial and ethnic strife despite belonging to the same species, Homo Sapiens. Imagine a world with multiple species in the Homo genus, as was the case 30 to 40 thousand years ago. How would we characterize their interaction? It seems reasonable to expect heightened discord, with one group ostracizing the other, merely because they look different? For evidence, we need not look far. Stemming from our considered superiority, the state of the entire ecosystem stands as an indictment to our mistreatment of it. Our impact is pervasive. Even those of our kind are often singled out for egregious injustice. Why can we not share this planet as equals with all of nature's elements, despite our differences? It was not long ago that we were just another creature in a realm rich in diversity, a true Eden for all its participants, as equals. That was before we established our dominance.
After hundreds of thousands of years as a successful species, our precursor Homo Neanderthalensis was undoubtedly under stress as a species. This was due to a series of ice ages that altered the flora and fauna they depended on. However, it is reasonable to assume that they would have regenerated after the last of the ice ages, as they had previously done if given a fighting chance.
At this juncture, coincidence would have our species migrate out of Africa and spread across Europe, where we encountered them for the first time. When we now examine Europeans, we find that 3% of their DNA is Neanderthal. Scientists have also ascertained that females of modern humans would not have been able to carry to term offspring from male Neanderthals, while female Neanderthals could produce viable progenies from modern human males. It is via this route that we can account for the traces of Neanderthal DNA in Europeans. I put it to you, what is the narrative behind these facts? Undoubtedly, our propensity for violence against our type, compounded by misogynistic tendencies, stands in stark relief. Are these contributors to the decline of the Neanderthal? Add to this our poor record with differences in ethnicity, caste, class, gender, and social standings, and you have certainty that modern humans would not condone a contender at the top of the food chain.
Earth's magnetosphere is currently, and was at that time, in an excursion phase with the potential for a polar magnetic reversal. This weakens the protective shield allowing solar radiation to penetrate the atmosphere. The result is an increased risk of cancer, the severity of which correlates with the extent of the disruption. Add to this the eruption of the supervolcano at Naples, also around that time, producing a volcanic winter lasting several years, and you have the confluence of circumstances that threatened the Neanderthals with extinction. As their numbers declined, lack of genetic diversity trapped them in a vicious cycle, dooming them as a species.
This book is a fictional account of the first encounter between these two species.