An Open Letter to Rep. Alan Grayson in Defense of Neanderthals

Dear Rep. Grayson,
Although I applaud your stand on health care and you efforts to take the offensive against the Republicans, I do have to take exception to your characterization of Republicans as “…foot-dragging, knuckle-dragging Neanderthals…” This is a gross mischaracterization of Neanderthals on several levels. First, Neanderthals did not drag their feet or knuckles. They walked in a fully erect bipedal fashion just like you or I do. Second, Neanderthals took care of their sick or injured fellows. Take Shanidar I for example:

He was aged between 40-50 years, which was considerably old for a Neanderthal, equivalent to 80 years old today, displaying severe signs of deformity. He was one of four reasonably complete skeletons from the cave which displayed trauma-related abnormalities, which in his case would have been debilitating to the point of making day-to-day life painful. At some point in his life he had suffered a violent blow to the left side of his face, creating a crushing fracture to his left orbit which would have left Nandy partially or totally blind in one eye. He also suffered from a withered right arm which had been fractured in several places and healed, but which caused the loss of his lower arm and hand. This is thought to be either congenital, a result of childhood disease and trauma or due to an amputation later in his life. The arm had healed but the injury may have caused some paralysis down his right side, leading to deformities in his lower legs and foot and would have resulted in him walking with a pronounced, painful limp. All these injuries were acquired long before death, showing extensive healing and this has been used to infer that Neandertals looked after their sick and aged, denoting implicit group concern. [bolding mine – afarensis]

Something Republicans seem unwilling to do at this point. I hope, in the future, you will refrain from smearing Neanderthals by comparing them to Republicans. Other than that keep up the good work and please continue to channel your inner Harry Truman and give them hell!


Update 1: In response to the trackback below there is this.

7 Responses

  1. […] An Open Letter to Rep. Alan Grayson in Defense of Neanderthals « Afarensis: Anthropology, Evolution… – I can’t wait for some GOPer to suggest that Neanderthals were socialists, and that’s why they died out … […]

  2. Nicely done not to mention chuckle-worthy.

  3. spat coffee


  4. afarensis,

    Another interesting news item about your new liberal hero, Rep. Alan Grayson:

    What a guy!

  5. Yes, I saw that

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