Evidence has been unearthed indicating a compassionate side to the closest subspecies to the modern human. The Neanderthals, who shared a common ancestor with homo sapiens before they went extinct some 40,000 years ago, were previously thought to be more combative and apelike than modern man. Newly discovered fossils indicate that Neanderthal children with congenital brain abnormalities were taken care of by the pack, which is more than can be said for the abuses that took place in the 1980s at the infamous Willowbrook State School in Staten Island. A Neanderthal with a withered arm, deformed feet and blindness in one eye was cared for for as long as 20 years with no evidence of abuse. Skeletons also show that the sick and elderly were supported rather than set a drift on rafts like elderly Eskimos in the 20th century.
"Compassion in Homo erectus 1.8 million years ago began to be regulated as an emotion integrated with rational thought," the researchers said. "In modern humans starting 120,000 years ago, compassion was extended to strangers, animals, objects and abstract concepts." Then religion was born and everything went downhill from there.