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06 January 2011 @ 02:00 pm
All change: Theories of human ancestry get an overhaul  
"For over 150 years the name Neanderthal has been household property.

And it has become associated with dim-witted, ape-like brutes that scurried across vast ice-covered wastes waiting for the day when our ancestors - the intelligent and modern humans - would wipe them from the face of the Earth.

Now, we have discovered the Denisovans and I wonder what image we will choose to give them.

But there are already hints that suggest that the status quo will prevail and we will find reasons for making these people a little bit less clever than our direct ancestors.

The irony is that the scientific community is going to have to come round to the acceptance that the Denisovans and the Neanderthals also belonged to the species which we call Homo sapiens."

Full BBC website article