I love suspending my attachment to established science for the sake of watching a 17 part series of 2 hour episodes of searching a 10,000 year old lake for a creature that’s been extinct for 65 million years as much as anyone. I also have light sabers tattooed to my chest. It doesn’t mean I believe in Star Wars being real, as painful as it is to say that.
Anthropology is the study of humans. It’s the study of our cultural diversity and developments. Our similarities and differences. It’s the study of our history–hopefully without some of the drawbacks of nationalism that History is criticized for.
It’s the study of our shared heritage. And that includes or place in the Animal Kingdom.
So in order to understand the biological aspects of the field of anthropology, we need to have a basic understanding of evolution.
Neanderthals are the original “missing link.” That hypothesized link in the chain that connects us to our ever-more-apelike ancestors. Neanderthals have long been assumed to be “less than” human. In anthropological circles, even in lower level anthropology courses, that assumption has been under debate.
I had heard of Eva Kor a few years earlier in her documentary entitled, “Forgiving Dr. Mengele,” which, if you’re aware of who Dr. Mengele was, is a pretty audacious title. Dr. Mengele was the infamous Nazi doctor of Auschwitz concentration/death camp during the Holocaust. His name rose to prominence because of the grotesque experiments he would perform on the prisoners at the camp. His favorite subject was twins. He is also known as the Angel of Death.