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Is the Neandertal mtDNA outside the human range

# Is the Neandertal mtDNA outside the human range - Is the...

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Is the Neandertal mtDNA outside the human range? Yes. Note that (in reference to Krings et al. 2007) because two modern human sequences are 24 bases apart, while the smallest Neandertal/human difference is only 22, this does not mean that the Neandertal sequence is within the range of modern humans. To use an analogy, suppose we measured the height of 994 adult humans, and they varied from 4'8" to 6'8" (a difference of 24 inches). Suppose we then found a skeleton which was 8'6" in height. No one would claim that it fell within the modern human range because it was closer to the nearest human (22 inches) than the tallest human was from the shortest human (24 inches). Note also that the two figures (22 and 24) are measuring very different things, making it invalid to compare the two figures. Just as the Neandertal was compared against 994 modern humans, any of those humans could be similarly compared against the other 993 humans. We could compute the minimum, average, and maximum distance from that human to the other humans,
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