One of the old insults we used was saying someone was a Neanderthal, especially in their thinking. To my surprise an old friend called recently and told me that, if it explained anything, his DNA test revealed he is 2% Neanderthal. After laughing for quite a while and harassing him about his find, I turned to the internet to see what on earth it meant.
Apparently a large number of DNA analyses, particularly in Northern Europe, are showing this same percentage of Neanderthal genes. I didn’t explore how scientists can distinguish them from the others. Instead I followed the inevitable time gobbling adventure into the history of human beings. I left more confused than I began, knowing that I would have to devote an amount of serious attention, as opposed to web cruising, to really understand the issue. And I had other things to do.
Looking back at the analysis of my DNA, I saw that I had no Neanderthal genes. I have no idea if that is beneficial or not. At any rate I can defend myself if anyone accuses me of having the brains of a Neanderthal. I don’t.