Something to ponder

I recently read a review of a book about Neanderthals.  Rebecca Wragg Sykes argued that they did not simply die out, overwhelmed by the up-and-coming homo sapiens.  On the contrary, there was some interbreeding between the two species and, indeed, many (most?) of us have Neanderthal DNA in our makeup.

The existence of the extinct Neanderthal species first emerged in the 1850s, a time when other questions were being asked about the origins of the human race.  Their name was taken from the valley in Germany where their first remains were identified.  The valley itself was named after the German poet Joachim Neander – a noted Calvinist poet of the 17th century.  Never heard of him? 

His most well-known work is the hymn ‘Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation’.  The third verse includes the lines ‘Ponder anew / What the Almighty can do’.  Perhaps we should do just that!

David Roberts