Homo Familiaris, Sapiens, Neanderthalis, & Denisovans are the same species

Candice eetimesKissing Cousins

Recent news of a “hybrid” between Neanderthal and Denisovan parents has brought to light the problem of how do we define “human”, or more particularly, how do we define the biological concept of “species”.

For decades now, we have considered “modern humans” and “neanderthals” as two separate species and that one of them went extinct.  But then came genetic sequencing of old bones and we learned that non-African populations of modern humans include a rather high percentage of Neanderthal genes.  That was recently joined by news that another population that was believed to be separate from Neanderthal, the Denisovans, also contributed to East Asian modern human population.

This means that most of the “modern humans” are “hybrids”?  No.  It’s time to stop thinking of the Neanderthals and Denisovans as separate species.  Why?  Because the concept of species includes the concept of non-inter-breeding populations.  Clearly, this is not the case.  These three populations were clearly capable of interbreeding and based upon the demonstrated fact that we oh so modern humans clearly have Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestors means that we are one species!

I propose we rename ourselves to recongnize this fact, Homo Familiaris “The Family Man”.