neanderthal (plural neanderthals)
1. (pejorative) A primitive, boorish person or a person with old-fashioned ideas or who opposes change.
2. A specimen of the now extinct species Homo neanderthalensis.
Boo! Hiss! Thumbs down on the first definition. Don’t you dis my ancestors!
When our ancestors first migrated out of Africa around 60,000 years ago, they were not alone. At that time, at least two other species of hominid cousins walked the Eurasian landmass—Neanderthals and Denisovans. As our modern human ancestors migrated through Eurasia, they encountered the Neanderthals and interbred. Because of this, a small amount of Neanderthal DNA was introduced into the modern human gene pool.
A team of scientists comparing the full genomes of the two species concluded that most Europeans and Asians have between 1 to 2 percent Neanderthal DNA. Indigenous sub-Saharan Africans have none, or very little Neanderthal DNA because their ancestors did not migrate through Eurasia.
—Why am I Neanderthal?
The above article says “most” Europeans and Asians, this one says everyone of European descent is bound to have some Neanderthal genes. I’m half Swedish, a quarter Irish, and a quarter German, so that’s me. How cool is that? 🙂