Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Shalom - and welcome to Neandershort

Why Neandershort?

I picked the handle as a nod to those intriguing proto-humans, and maybe conspecifics (i.e. members of our own species, Homo sapiens), the Neanderthals, or Neandertals. Those fellas get a bum rap as dimwitted brutes, but they were actually hardy and stalwart men who not only lived but thrived in an ice age climate that would have killed many of us. Like me, they were short and muscular. Relative to body size, their brains were as big if not bigger than ours. They made a living hunting big game (big as in mammoth) with primitive weapons and without wheeled vehicles or even domestic animals such as dogs that could pull sleds. All that came later. As you might guess, Neanderthals had to be strong to survive - sounds like us Jews. We still do not know if they spoke, but they were the first humans to care for their sick and bury their dead; it might be said that they brought middot into the world. They disappeared some 40,000 years ago, replaced by or perhaps absorbed into our own species.
I teach biology at a public high school in Brooklyn, New York, and I have no problem with evolution, or with the idea that the earth is very, very old, but more about that later.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll visit again, you have my attention!

Fri Jun 09, 01:21:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

40,000 yrs ago? Did we not just recently usher in Rosh Hashsna 5769?

Tue Nov 11, 07:34:00 PM EST  
Blogger Zev Stern said...

Yup. 40,000 yrs ago. Keep browsing through my blog and you'll see.

Tue Nov 11, 07:39:00 PM EST  

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