Mrs Neanderthal Meets Homo sapiens Publication date : January 28, 2015
Pascal Picq is a senior lecturer in the Chair of Palaeoanthropology and Prehistory at the Collège de France and the author of such successful works as Au commencement était l’homme, Lucy et l’obscurantisme, L’Homme est-il un grand singe politique? and De Darwin à Lévi-Strauss, which were all published by Editions Odile Jacob.
After sleeping for 29,000 years, Mrs Neanderthal wakes up in a world inhabited by Homo sapiens.
Wishing to share her observations about the world around her with her new cousins, she addresses them at a conference on biodiversity, held in Russia. Mrs Neanderthal’s speech opens with a moving tribute to palaeoanthropology and the latest techniques that enabled her resurrection. But she does not forget to praise the spectacular scientific advances made in the life sciences, the Earth sciences and in the study of the Universe.
But she also has many questions: what will all this ‘progress’ offer the humans of the future if they do not understand evolution? Dismayed by the mediocrity of our society’s current debates on such issues as reproduction and the environment, she argues in favour of diversity based on a broader understanding: diversity that would doubtless have prevented the disappearance of Neanderthal.