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  1. Thank you for your comment, Lou!

    It has been my experience that way too often people want one simple answer for complex questions and issues — and usually it’s not one big thing, but a plethora of small, accumulating issues which cause enormous changes — evolutionary, cultural, or otherwise. So yes, I’m sure in some places dogs helped, while in others interbreeding was important, and in yet others some Neandertal disease, or being outbred by the smaller CroMagnons, or whatever, was the critical tipping point on top of many other littler changes.

    I also find it sadly amusing that even today the self-aggrandizing myth of “Man the Hunter” holds such sway — when there’s so much increasing evidence against it. Are we really so self-delusional for a pretty fairy tale?

  2. I read the original article and found several parts of it to be somewhat weak. Yes, dogs might help, but they had no real connection to say it was the dogs that made the difference.

    I also read an article about foxes “self-domesticating” and then being driven off by the larger more useful dogs. If that were the case, why wouldn’t neanderthals had them too?

    I find the suggestion of raw outbreeding, or perhaps a prehistoric pandemic that was harder on the neanderhtal more likely. I find the eventual cross-breeding and developing into a single species more likely yet.

    But I don’t know. I’ve been reading about other things, and filling my head with different facts. I’m just babbling here.

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