Thursday, March 06, 2003

I've been reading, and seeing and hearing a lot about human evolution...partly because I'm working on this Cavemen DVD at work, and partly because it is the 50th anniversary of DNA. (Before Watson and Crick invented DNA, people were assembled by little elves and delivered to cabbage patches by storks, I think.)

One thing I have learned is that apparently Neanderthals lived on Earth at the same time as Homo sapiens, up until 30,000 years ago. If you consider that the pyramids were built more than 5,000 years ago, 30,000 doesn't actually seem all that far back. I wonder what it was like to have another species around like that. It's so hard to imagine.

I wonder if that could be why we have so many myths about other kinds of people...trolls and dwarfs and goblins and whatnot. I like this idea very much. Maybe people who knew Neanderthals passed on stories to their descendants about those other weird people that used to live around here, and the stories got confused and exaggerated and mixed up over the years until they turned into trolls and goblins and other things like that.

I suppose it's more likely that they were just forgotten, and the stories were made up later for some totally different reason, but that seems really very sad.

Cave paintings are amazing.


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