For years scientists have debated whether humans and Neanderthals had mated. Scientists agree that Neanderthals, a primitive, thick boned cousin of modern humans who went extinct 30 thousand years ago, inhabited a vast range of territory across Europe and Asia. Excavation of key cave sites reveal that male Neanderthals hunted in organized bands, controlled fire, used sophisticated stone tools, and often, forgot to take out the garbage.
However, scientists are still debating whether Neanderthals communicated in a grammatical language, understood the point of abstract modern art, or used pads when playing tackle football.
The issue most fiercely fought over issue among all scientists, and their roving bands of aggressive graduate students, is whether Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals had mated. The stakes are high. If the two species interbred, many Europeans may be condemned to a life filled with soccer feuds, bar hopping, and garbage strikes.
Recently a group of scientists at the Germany’s Max Planck Institute sequenced DNA extracted from three Neanderthal bone fragments found in a cave in Croatia. The German group then made an astonishing claim:
—the average European’s DNA is 14% Neanderthal while the average NFL linebacker’s DNA is 76% Neanderthal and 8% Rhinoceros.
Several scientists disputed the German claim saying that the experiment’s DNA was contaminated by mobs of aggressive media camera men. These scientists had insisted Neanderthals and humans had never even met.
That is, until last week.
Eight days ago near the Caucasus mountain town of Gabala, Azerbaijan, a sheepherder, who claimed that his grandfather had spoken fluent Neanderthal, led a group of Berkley and Azeri archeologists to a nearby cave. There, the archaeologists discovered fossilized flower pollen and an ancient ”love rock” next to a pile of cooking stones.
Berkeley scientists quickly seized upon the meaning of the find. The team leader Dr. Ronald Jackson:
“We now have evidence that a south Gabala Homo Sapien male asked a Neanderthal girl from a north Gabala cave out on date. We don’t know how the date went or whether the Neanderthal girl did more than pucker up for a first-date kiss. However, we are close to establishing that the two species flirted with each other, exchanged gossip back and forth, and had teenagers that swore they would never exchange love rocks again.”
An unnamed Berkley grad student added:
“Did they breed? We don’t know. I mean, I have been on hundreds of dates where I never got a goodnight kiss even though I picked up the entire restaurant bill. But then, I never dated a Neanderthal girl. And I missed out on the Berkley flower thing in the 1960’s and the L.A. love rock craze. My best conjecture is that Neanderthal girls were like California girls and could really knock you out.”
As the news spread, the paleontologist team discovered further evidence of mixed primate interbreeding. South of Gabala the Berkley-Azeri team found leaping gazelle figures scratched into a wall above an ancient Homo-Sapien cooking site. Paleontologists have long recognized leaping gazelles as the symbol for: “a good time”. Below the leaping gazelles, the team dug up a rock molded into the shape of two enlarged breasts. Above the gazelles, the team found a series of painted arrows, and more gazelles, pointing in the direction of the Neanderthal cave.
However, the most astounding finding was a thickly drawn human stick figure found on a rock wall 40 meters away from the Neanderthal site, next to a fossilized latrine trench. Surrounding the thick figure drawing was a cluster of thin stick figures—scratched about in all directions; next to the Neanderthal letters: OGUL.
Berkley scientists said the drawings and scratch marks provide irrefutable and overwhelming evidence that—- thirty five thousand year old OGUL— was a slut.
The Berkley team leader told reporters:
“A good scientist is not subjective. But I swear some of the women from my high school might be descended from specimen sl-69, or the woman the Neanderthals called OGUL.
Azeri scientists were more cautious in their interpretation of the findings. Azeri team leader Orhan Heyderla:
“It is important to avoid projecting our values 40 thousand years into the past. For example, us Azeri scientists who missed out on the 1960’s love and flower-thing at Berkley suspect that the flower-pollen and love rock specimens have nothing to do with inter-species mating. Rather, we believe these specimens provide evidence that Neanderthal’s were asking themselves:
“Is there anyone out there who understands modern abstract art?”