Are we hybrids? If early humans interbred with Neanderthals, we are (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show). Some scientists say this happened and some say it didn't (and if you're a redhead, you especially want to know the answer to this). Now researchers have finally (?) decided that this never happened, because Neanderthals and modern humans weren't living in the same place and thus could not have connected.
Paleontologists once thought that Neanderthals perished almost immediately when they came into contact with modern humans, who entered Europe around 44,000 years ago. Neanderthals bones dating to 29,000 years ago have been found, meaning that the two species could have interacted and interbred. But improved carbon dating methods show that most of Neanderthal bones are actually at least a 10 thousand years older than that, meaning that the two groups were never together in the same place at the same time.
In the May 10th edition of the New York Times, Nicholas Wade quotes researcher Thomas F. G. Higham as saying, "It's only with reliable techniques that we can interpret the archaeological past." Wade writes: "(Higham) is re-dating Neanderthal sites across Europe and so far sees no evidence for any extensive overlap between Neanderthals and modern humans." He quotes him as saying, "There was a degree of contemporaneity, but it may not have been very long."
But Higham DOES think that short period of contact with modern man was enough to cause the Neanderthals' demise. Wade quotes him as saying, "It's very unlikely for Neanderthals to go extinct without some agency from modern humans."
Was this because we were smarter and thus more adept at survival? We'll never know for sure, but other scientists have theorized that this sort of confrontation--of the sort that caused invading European cultures to decimate the cultures (and sometimes the populations) of the more primitive people they encountered, may be the reason that "aliens" do not reveal themselves to us. Aliens may not announce themselves to the world at large, but they HAVE visited some people (including Whitley) and Anne Strieber has interviewed eleven of these contactees just for subscribers, letting them tell their stories in THEIR OWN WORDS. Come meet them (and more people like them--is one of them YOU?) at our Dreamland Festival in June (but hurry, tickets are selling out fast!)