Friday, 18 March 2016

HOW MUCH OF TRUMP'S DNA IS NEANDERTHAL?

Reconstruction of Homo Neanderthalensis
Having over the years suffered three bad bouts of depression, the worst of which was postnatal, I was fascinated by an article in Scientist. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology have found a correlation between depression and DNA inherited from the Neanderthal males with whom female Homo Sapiens mated 50,000 years ago. [Perhaps surprisingly, it was  that way round:  no evidence of Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA has been found in modern humans].


Rhein Valley 

Reconstructions of Neanderthal Man’s appearance from a cluster of archaeological sites in the Rhineland bear an uncanny resemblance to Donald Trump (whose grandfather, purely coincidentally of course, happens to have come from Kallstadt in the Rhineland).

Since the DNA of all modern humans can contain between 0% (all sub-Saharan Africans) and an estimated 4% Neanderthal elements, could the potential US president lie at the upper end of the spectrum? After all, a New Scientist article states that Neanderthal behaviour would seen 'dogmatic and xenophobic' to most humans today. 

Here is my evidence so far:


The Neanderthal diet was mostly animal protein: Trump’s favourite foods are meatloaf and steak.

Neanderthals loved hunting: Trump goes hunting with his son.  

The Neanderthal language was primitive: a recent linguistic analysis shows Trump uses grammar at the level of the average American 8-year-old. 


 Neanderthals were more robust than humans in the upper body: Trump is an obsessive golfer. 


 Neanderthals mysteriously collected small spherical stones: could they have enjoyed pushing them into holes in the ground with sticks, in an early form of golf? 

Neanderthal men often lived in a cave with three females: Trump has had three wives.  

Donald Trump & (below) ancestor?
·    Neanderthals lived horrifyingly violent lives and even their infants’ skeletons show signs of shocking trauma: last Friday Trump lamented to a rally in St. Louis that ‘nobody wants to hurt each other any more’. In February he promised another mutinous crowd that he would protect them if they protected him: ‘If you see someone getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Knock the hell out of them. I promise you I will pay for the legal fees. I promise.’




Some may object that I am being unfair to Neanderthals. The Neanderthal reputation for moronic barbarism was challenged by William Golding’s great novel The Inheritors (1955), where it is Homo Sapiens who is the bad guy, driving the muscular, nature-loving Noble Savage into extinction. I would ask such objectors simply to look at the most recent archaeological evidence for the average Neanderthal’s life-cycle. Nasty, brutish and short doesn’t even begin to describe it. And someone should tell Trump that dogmatism and xenophobia are demonstrably linked with species extinction.

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