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8 billion people: how different the world would look if Neanderthals had prevailed

By Penny Spikins, Professor of the Archaeology of Human Origins, University of York
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In evolutionary terms, the human population has rocketed in seconds. The news that it has now reached 8 billion seems inexplicable when you think about our history.

For 99% of the last million years of our existence, people rarely came across other humans. There were only around 10,000 Neanderthals living at any one time. Today, there are around 800,000 people in the same space that was occupied by one Neanderthal. What’s more, since humans live in social groups, the next nearest…The Conversation


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