Neanderthals: Names, Hypotheses, and Scientific Method



The Neanderthal “problem” is less likely to be solved by hypotheses which are broad and inclusive, with respect to late Pleistocene hominids, than by more limited ones for which existing data are suitable and which conform in as many dimensions as possible to evolutionary theory. Specifically, the Brose-Wolpoff hypothesis (1971) fails to use a “population” understanding of Upper Pleistocene hominid variation and argues a universal model of Middle Paleolithic-Upper Paleolithic cultural and physical transition unsuitable for southern Africa or Southeast Asia.