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Wow! Yer fast. Thanks for the responses.

I was around when they came up with the word "Therian" and it was originally intended to be a "politically correct" alternative to "Were". People on WereNet and The Werelist were concerned that, when we said "Were", the rest of the world thought about The Wolfman. I wasn't particularly keen on the change because the new word was an invitation for everyone and their brothers, who were tired of their poor mundane existence to think, "Wow! I could be an exciting Werewolf!" It was a disconnect from our real history and heritage. But I could see their point so I didn't get my hackles up too much. I still prefer the old "Were" terminology, though. It's just words.

I don't believe that we can physically shift, no, but that said, I don't think we're what they are either. Every human alive that has any ancestors that left Africa are sapiens/Neanderthal hybrids. But, in most of them, the Neanderthal doesn't manifest. In some of us, it does and the genetic difference between sapiens and Neanderthal is so small, if the Neanderthal manifests at all, you might as well consider it Neanderthal instead of sapiens. So many Weres show so many Neanderthal traits that I just figure we're Neanderthal and, since we're hybrids, it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect a continuum from weak Neanderthal phenotypes to complete Neanderthal atavism.

In short, I believe that a Were is a Neanderthal animal shaman.

I don't shift at all - I'm a contherian, but I do have a full phantom so, as I sit here, my tail is kinked under me and is slowly going to sleep. I also have to wash dishes and I have an appointment at 1:00 so I need to vamoose but I'll check back in later today.

I feel honored by the welcome, but there's no honor in just being old. I hope I can be a benefit.

It's good to meet you all.

(2017-08-10 17:13)WolfVanZandt Wrote: [ -> ]since we're hybrids, it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect a continuum from weak Neanderthal phenotypes to complete Neanderthal atavism.

Interesting. So, I recently had my DNA worked up by 23andme, and I ended up with 272 Neanderthal variants present in my DNA. That's not much, really, in the scheme of things, and less than 60% of the respondents. However, who knows what those variants DO...

I'd be very interested in a large cohort study of self-identifying therians and what their common DNA is. I wonder if there is a set of genes which are responsible?

Awright. I'm back from my appointment so I have a little time.

I don't dismiss physical shifting, because I have about 30 years biology background and I know better than to say, "It can't happen." But whether it can happen or not, I don't think it does for several reasons. I've checked out reports of physical shifts - in person - (and several other mythologies of online therianthropy) and I find two instances. On one case, the person never seems to be able to shift when someone else is around - convenient. The other, the person honestly believes that they're shifting - only no one else can see it. It is relevant, I believe, that in the two cases like this I ran into, the persons were schizophrenic. We're a cross section of the larger population and we have about the same diversity. I have occasionally had something I call a pseudoshift. It feels like my body is trying to conform to the image I have of myself inside - and not having a very successful (or pleasant) run of it. I can easily see a person who is vulnerable to hallucinations having one of those and filling in all the rest.

The other reason I don't believe that there are physical shifts is that there are first and second person records of lycanthropy and historical werewolves didn't claim to be able to physically shift (I'm discounting the werewolves of the witch trials since they did not seem to be the same people at all). They almost all explained that they squirreled their bodies away and projected a wolf form. Same with the berserkers.

But I don't know everything and I'm not closed minded about it. I'd like to see it happen. I'm not so sure I care to do it.

Hey, Dust. If you are the Dustwolf I remember, I don't remember being all that put out by you. Good to see you again.

Hey, Lycan. It's good to see that we'll have a member of the IARP here. I've followed them closely. I'm glad that Sharon is doing well. I didn't know about her illness. I hope that interacting with Therians will clear up the misunderstanding that we're a "subset of the furry community".

Venetia Robertson is still laboring under the assumption that we're an Internet phenomenon. Heck, I was a Werewolf before there even was an Internet.

But social research works like that. It's a very chaotic area and it's easy to let error creep into your study. For instance, if the only sample you have is Internet forums, you might miss the huge number of Therians that never go onto the Internet for social purposes. As more studies come up, they correct the errors in past studies and after a few centuries (joking) the research cleans itself up.

My frustration is that we first came to the attention of the religious studies group and now, after 5 or 6 years, we're finally being discovered by sociologists and psychologists. We need medical answers! I want to see immunological studies - drug studies, PET scans. Grph!

BearX, I don't think we've interacted much but I've certainly heard of you. I'm not actually a contemporary of AHWW. I found the community about when AHWW was phasing out. I came along on the WereNet.

I'm realizing that the amount of DNA isn't very important because most people with Neanderthal genes don't manifest them. It doesn't take much to make a person look Neanderthal. Many Weres I've met - you could look at them and - yep, Neanderthal. If the flaring rib cage doesn't give them away, when they start talking about the auto-immune problems, or the color blindness, or the migraines, it'll be pretty obvious. There are some Weres that sweat Wereness but they don't show clear signs of Neanderthal traits, but I don't meet very many of them, and I just figure the Wereness is the Neanderthal trait. Smile

Or I could just be wrong - it's happened before.

But I've seen too many very startling instances of Weredar. We have to be picking up on something physical.

And I'd love to see a DNA study. The touchy thing is that DNA doesn't directly code for traits. DNA codes for proteins and what they do is put together a body that has certain traits so phenotype is far removed from genotype. What I'd like to figure out is why I obviously have auto-immune problems and the factors on an auto-immune profile are low average or below average. Then, why do medicines that are so reliable for everyone else that my doctor accuses me of not taking my prescriptions, don't seem to work for me, or why so many Therians react so unpredictably to so many old, tried-and-true medications. I'd bet some of you know exactly what I'm talking about.

When I hear a doctor exclaim about how they don't know how this patient is still alive (It's a miracle!) or why that patient died (We may never know.) by brain perks up and thinks (because that patient isn't what you are.) Doctors need to learn that they have diversity to deal with.
Welcome. Neanderthals are almost genetically identical to humans. I don't think having more of it would make you more animalistic. Humans were also really primitive and animalistic at that time as well.

I hope you don't mind me splitting out this discussion. It doesn't really belong in the introductions thread.

The thing with genetics is that alas, it is often not quite as neat as people would prefer to have it.

The Neanderthal was assimilated into the human gene pool a long time ago and since then, their traits have been widely distributed across most of the human population.

Genetics doesn't really work in a way that the entire genome of a particular breed would be activated or inactivated, the different traits become randomly intermixed and handed down to the offspring and there is no saying even how these genes are going to interact and what results they will produce. I am therefore sorry to say that the idea that "Neanderthal genes" would produce certain behavioral traits is bogus. People are not beans and our behavioral traits aren't currently seen as being determined by our genetics, according to modern scientific understanding.

Even the relatively believable theory that the Neanderthals brought their specific adaptation to cold weather -- light skin tones (pure Homo Sapiens were most likely black) is kind of not really widely accepted amongst scientists. And that at least is a trait known to be defined by our genetics.

All things considered I doubt if someone looked into my DNA, they'd find me having much in common with say, Lycan's DNA, and my scrawny fat self doesn't have much in common with the public's perception of Neanderthals either.

It's a nice theory, but knowing a little bit more about genetics, I really don't see how it could work.

I wouldn't say that behavior is directly related to Neanderthal genetics, but tha physiology may be affected is taken quite seriously by many scientists:

Especially note the section on immune response in the last article.

What really strikes me is doing a Google image search for Human and Neanderthal skeletons, and thinking of how many Weres I know with Neanderthal rib cages and incisors.

Those of you that are around other therians, see how many of them have flaring rib cages instead of the regular egg shaped rib cages.

DNA doesn't directly code for behavior, but it does code for type.
This is interesting to me, because I've found that the therian community has an unusually high amount of, if not health problems, certainly genetically expressed differences. There seems to be a far higher number of folks who are ASD, ADHD, and are synethetes. There also seems to be a higher than expected rate of migraines, epilepsy, and although I've not noticed the allergies, the berserker community in the 1990s certainly did.

I had not realized the neanderthal connection until you brought it up, but doing a little research makes me suspect you're on to something -- considering ASD is thought to have come from them and weredar can be uncannily accurate.
Very interesting articles. In the spiritual sense, assuming souls exist, it makes me wonder if your soul plays a role in gene expression. But there will be no way to prove or disapprove it. Still, this brings up a very sound explanation for psychological therians.
My shamanic position on body-soul orients me toward the idea that everything that is material has a spiritual flip side. So saying that there's a scientific/logical explanation for something is exactly the same as saying that there is a spiritual explanation. It's just that my training is scientific so I prefer to express it in the scientific "format".

I've read your theories on Neanderthal vs sapiens before @WolfVanZandt and I'm curious if you could list out the therian/were differences you think we have?

Like the shovel teeth; what are they exactly? I once asked my own dentist if he'd heard of them, and if I had them, and he was baffled.

Also, if someone exhibits some traits related to Neanderthals but not all of them. Does that a therian make? Just curious on your thoughts.
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