“A shocking discovery is that modern humans and Neanderthals mated several times during the last ice age.”
– Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser
Chewing Gum Revelations about the Relations
Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser
My Dear Relatives close by and far afield, the science of ancestral lineages is progressing rapidly. As it shows, nearly each of us is related to everyone else via some DNA (desoxy-ribonucleic acid) fragments that we inherited from our Neanderthal- GREAT-(GREAT-…) grand-mothers and -fathers.
As an article at dailygamingworld.com states “A shocking discovery is that modern humans and Neanderthals mated several times during the last ice age, although our lines split 800,000 years ago. For this reason, many people now have Neanderthal DNA.”
I don’t know why that would be shocking, either to you or the late Neanderthals. Doesn’t everyone have ancestors?
So, what about the chewing gum?
Piece of birch tar “chewing gum” found in Syltholm, southern Denmark; source: https://www.dw.com/en/stone-age-chewing-gum-reveals-human-dna/a-51712718
As I understand it and as surprising as it may sound, recent findings of certain (human) DNA fragments in an ancient “chewing gum” are said to prove our ancestry beyond any doubt. There it says “She [the chewing gum chewing girl] lived on an island in the Baltic Sea around 3,700 B.C. She was lactose intolerant and may have suffered from gum disease, and she had recently dined on a meal that included ducks and hazelnuts. Like many ancient European hunter-gatherers, she was likely blue-eyed with dark skin and hair.”
Who would have thought that ancient chewing gum could be of such importance to our common forebearers?
Our common ancestors may have been the mysterious Denisovans or even much older proto-humans or hominins called Australopithecines, who lived close to a million years ago, but what are a few years among relatives?
No doubt, you are aware that neither evolution nor life on earth is a straight path forward. Just look at the dinosaurs. They lived (quite well) at a time when the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels were between 2,000 and 4,000 ppm (parts per million, or roughly five to ten times higher than what they are now.
The dinosaurs came about some 230 million years ago and over the following 160 million years developed into a variety of distinct creatures. Some did quite well, others not so. But what really did them in, all in one fell swoop, was an asteroid falling from the sky.
That piece of extraterrestrial rock, estimated to be only a few miles in diameter but travelling at a speed of 30+ miles/SECOND caused tremendous mayhem here on this planet. The impact, known by geologists as the “KT-boundary” event occurred some 66 million years ago and resulted in the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, a mass extinction which destroyed a majority of the world’s Mesozoic species, including all dinosaurs, except some early bird and reptile species.
Tyrannosaurus rex and all the other large dinosaurs disappeared, more or less instantly, at least in the geologic time scale.
The few species that survived that cataclysmic impact were small creatures, living mostly in burrows and caves, barely clinging to life, even under favorable conditions. Somehow they survived and over the next 60 million years grew into a large group of mammals. Hominids didn’t show up until the end of that period.
Proto- and later hominids are thought to have come about only a few million years ago. Even the Neanderthals, who were around for approximately half a million years died out approximately 40,000 years ago (except for those of us who may carry some of their genes) and didn’t make it much past their prime. Similarly, our other cousins or ancestors, the Cro-Magnon people, who were around as late as 20,000 years ago may also have left some DNA that we are now enjoying.
What to Do?
So, forget the carbon dioxide nonsense and try to make the best of life! Who knows when the next geological “boundary-event” may happen?
Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser is a professional scientist with a Ph.D. in chemistry from the Technical University, Munich, Germany. He has worked as a research scientist and project chief at Environment Canada‘s Canada Centre for Inland Waters for over 30 years and is currently Director of Research at TerraBase Inc. He is author of nearly 300 publications in scientific journals, government and agency reports, books, computer programs, trade magazines, and newspaper articles.
Dr. Kaiser has been president of the International Association for Great Lakes Research, a peer reviewer of numerous scientific papers for several journals, Editor-in-Chief of the Water Quality Research Journal of Canada for nearly a decade, and an adjunct professor. He has contributed to a variety of scientific projects and reports and has made many presentations at national and international conferences.
Dr. Kaiser is author of CONVENIENT MYTHS, the green revolution – perceptions, politics, and facts
Dr. Kaiser can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org