I’ve been listening to John Hawkes’ audiobook, “Rise of Humans–Great Scientific Debates”. As a faithful Catholic a number of questions occur to me, related particularly to monogenesis.
I’ve expounded on these at greater length in my blog (see Did Neanderthals Have a Soul–please excuse the shameless self-promotion.)
Several questions occur to me since I’m not that knowledgeable about evolution, population genetics and paleo-archeology:
- Why is it said that “bottlenecks” (populations of small size) do not lead to new species? I’m trying to understand how mutations which give rise to new species could arise more or less simultaneously to yield a new species.
- I see there is another contribution here about Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens interbreeding. Is that definitely established? Did Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens have a common hominid ancestor? and if so, was that ancestor a tool-maker or did it show evidence of rational activity?
- I read reports that Neanderthals had advanced tool-making capability and buried their dead. Is this so, and does this constitute evidence of rationality?
Thanks very much for any help in answering these.
I won’t ask for help in answering the theological questions.