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3 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

This field is so full of people leery of admitting Neanderthals were human. 

I think the fear is that the old canard of polygenism could rear its ugly head. Anthropologists seem to have collective shell-shocked from what their field used to propagate, reaching the peak of toxicity around WWI (sic).

It's a shame War of the Professors: The Humanities 1912-1923 only seems to be available in Polish and Russian.

Edited by DDE
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7 hours ago, DDE said:

I think the fear is that the old canard of polygenism could rear its ugly head. Anthropologists seem to have collective shell-shocked from what their field used to propagate, reaching the peak of toxicity around WWI (sic).

It's a shame War of the Professors: The Humanities 1912-1923 only seems to be available in Polish and Russian.

I think that's fairly easy to deal with. 

The thing is... the OOA theory is getting some modifications since the Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA studies, along with finding out there was at least one other population we haven't found bones of (yet).  They're all precursors to the modern human; and sharing DNA means we're related.

The modern telling begins to follow one of a couple of different lines; Neanderthal and Denisovan left Africa first and later were met by OOA modern humans who mated with and out-competed them leaving only one human species one the planet, or, (more rarely) precursors to the human species populated much of the world, were isolated and enjoyed parallel evolution until modern humans migrated out of Africa mated with and out competed them leaving only one human species on the planet.

The simplest deterrent to polygenism is the fact that every human mating has the potential of producing a human child; not a mule.  

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
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And again, we can see only the DNA traces of successful mating experiments.

We will never know (and maybe for the better) about other attempts.

As we know, the humans are a very avoidant species, and look askance even at the humans from other tribes.
And the Neanders were probably same, as well.
So, unlikely the adoption was popular.
Probably the only experiment which could leave Neander traces in human genes was a mass mating of the captured She-Hulk.
The possible resulting babies could be adopted as "ugly but ours".

Edited by kerbiloid
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16 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

How many wildflowers bloom in the back of caves? 

 

This field is so full of people leery of admitting Neanderthals were human. 

Think its quite some time since anybody doubted that, anybody serious that is not young earth creationists and similar. 
This predates genetic who make the question an non issue. 
I say its more an question about that is an ceremony but it was obvious an deliberate burial.
We know that elephants and chimpanzee grief then pack members die but they have no burial ceremonies we have noticed. 

Now we also need burial practices we can find evidence of tens of thousands of year later so most cultures today would not be detectable as most bury the bodies in soils who break it down or cremate them. 

So perhaps most neanderthals build an huge fire and burned the body, the ones found in caves was stored because an lack of dry firewood you could spend. 

Edited by magnemoe
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57 minutes ago, magnemoe said:

Think its quite some time since anybody doubted that, anybody serious that is not young earth creationists and similar. 
This predates genetic who make the question an non issue. 
I say its more an question about that is an ceremony but it was obvious an deliberate burial.
We know that elephants and chimpanzee grief then pack members die but they have no burial ceremonies we have noticed. 

I forget that is a distinction - but the deliberateness and choice of flowers seems symbolic to me on the surface. 

I do understand a bit of professional caution in the declaration of one or the other (professionals have to support contentions with proof, and are subject to criticism that said evidence doesn't support the conclusion)

Quote

 

Although the ‘flower burial’ hypothesis was subsequently questioned (Gargett Reference Gargett1999; Sommer Reference Sommer1999), the Shanidar individuals play a central role in shaping our understanding of Neanderthal biology and behaviour.

 

 

 

 

However the article does go on to state:

Quote

This evidence, in conjunction with the macroscopic stratigraphic observations, the articulated nature of the remains and the presence of multiple individuals within a small horizontally and vertically confined space combine to make a strong case for deliberate burial in a cut feature

It seems to me that the making and keeping of things is not a far step from decoration and other forms of symbolic expression.  Other tool users like crows and chimpanzees find and use tools of opportunity - and discard them once the task is done.  Neanderthals knapped flint, made use of worked wood and created art. 

 

https://www.earth.com/news/neanderthal-tools-hunt-distance/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/api.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/science/article/neanderthals-cave-art-humans-evolution-science

Why then is it still a matter of debate whether there was any ceremonial or symbolic relevance to the acknowledged 'deliberate burial?'  

It seems to me that such reservations are bending over backwards to satisfy those who want to sever any link between 'humans' and those who don't look like us. 

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
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On 9/7/2022 at 1:36 PM, DDE said:

Oldest deliberate amputation, oldest deliberate burial

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-05160-8

The bottom line is that the baseline intelligence capacity of modern people is probably less than that of humans going back 50k years.  This guesstimate based on the repeated research showing the brain health is nearly completely correlated with physical activity, not mental activity and we are mostly less physically active.  The only thing ancient humans lacked was the vast body of accumulated shoulders we stand on today via reading, writing, and research.  

I would bet that many ancients could even figure out how to change a tire on a modern car faster, if the tools were laid before him,  than the average non car enthusiast desk worker who had never worked on a car or watched a  video on the subject.  They could both figure it out eventually, but the ancient, if motivated to make it work (just knowing the car could transport him "magically" somewhere he needed to be would likely suffice), would probably get it done faster.  

In some ways they probably were even sharper because they were in the habit of having to figure things out from scratch on the spot using what they had at hand.  But clearly, given the link, some populations clearly had accumulated some very valuable knowledge and transmitted it amongst themselves and probably generationally quite effectively for a window in time

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19 minutes ago, darthgently said:

I would bet that many ancients could even figure out how to change a tire on a modern car faster, if the tools were laid before him

Take that wrench and knock out the pins. Then remove the wheel from the carriage. He always did so.

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3 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

Take that wrench and knock out the pins. Then remove the wheel from the carriage. He always did so.

I'm picturing Fred Flintstone now, lol. 

But that is kind of my point: the typical stereotype of a "caveman" is wrong. 

Our brains have actually gotten smaller overall over the last few thousand years, iirc.  We laugh at people who act like experts because they can look something up on Google, but modern humans have been "googling" via books and libraries and scrolls  and other people's research for some time.   So, here is to our noble ancestors going waaay back, whose mostly smarter shoulders we stand on

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At the same time there's a difference between cranial capacity and relative lack of environmental damage from things like lead to total problem solving output (if that can even be measured absent cultural/systemic conditioning). All knowledge is contextual. If you were to teleport Einstein into some prehistoric plain his chances of determining what he could and couldn't eat and how to hunt and not get eaten would be near zero. And similarly so much of what we take for granted is based on us being trained nearly from birth to do things like manipulate machined tools, understand abstract symbols like letters and numbers, how to be 'good workers', etc. It's an overlapping kind of conceptual map that tells us what the world is and how it works. I had a big section in my thesis about how the evolution of our understanding of the world has effected the way we understand death. For most of human history it was about the concept of the spirit and how it related to air, breathing, and an assumption that this invisible aether extends all the way to the heavens. The ancient Egyptians removed the brain entirely from mummies because they saw no connection whatever between it and a persons' "soul".  For them it was about the breath. When a person stopped breathing they died. Thats the nature of life. Later, during the enlightenment and industrial revolution life was Newtonian. Everything was a machine. People were machines, trees were machines, the sun was a machine. In this way it was the heart that determined if a person was alive or not, and the heart that symbolized the core of a person's being. Now we're in the information age and everything is about the brain. When a person becomes braindead they are, as a person, dead. Life lives in the brain and the body is just a host to keep it and its precious information alive. 

And what comes next?

Edited by Pthigrivi
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3 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

The ancient Egyptians removed the brain entirely from mummies because

it quickly starts smelling when they need time to cook the other meat. The intestines, too. Especially in hot climate.
Then they put all these treasures in cans and conserve, to account to the client. Of course, it required a religious base they applied to.

3 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

And what comes next?

Expendable boides and targeted machine learning. A hive of unnified humans.

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13 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

And what comes next?

maxresdefault.jpg

OK, jokes aside, that seems quite accurate, despite all the "X-ray cave paintings" indicating quite a bit of observations on mammalian anatomy.

13 hours ago, darthgently said:

Our brains have actually gotten smaller overall over the last few thousand years, iirc.  We laugh at people who act like experts because they can look something up on Google, but modern humans have been "googling" via books and libraries and scrolls  and other people's research for some time.   So, here is to our noble ancestors going waaay back, whose mostly smarter shoulders we stand on

I believe it's the grooves and not the volume that affect "brainpower".

Anyway, because we need to get some fun facts going, Vladimir Fyodorov, who semi-accidentally developed something resembling a modern assault rifle all the way back in WWI, is attributed with the following quote:

Quote

Well, our guns are rifled now. Our generals' brains, though...

 

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On 9/9/2022 at 9:23 AM, DDE said:

maxresdefault.jpg

Haha exactly.  I think information will reign for some time. If we are somehow able to transfer our consciousness into an AI facsimile that will still be a continuation of the “information is life” paradigm. I suspect it will not be possible, truly. If I copy and digitize a Gutenburg and the burn the original something is still lost. There is still death there. Near let alone perfect fidelity is very likely impossible. Its still a copy. Whatever supersedes information will be able to create true metaphysical continuity. Maybe it has something to do with entanglement and the observation problem. We’re probably as ill equipped to guess at that as Galileo was to imagine cybernetics.  

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It's that time of year again!  The time when the most prestigious prizes in all of science are awarded. The 2022 Ig Nobels have been handed out!

https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/09/maya-ritual-enemas-and-constipated-scorpions-the-2022-ig-nobel-prize-winners/

The URL alone should give you some idea of the absolute insanity that is science sometimes.

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Mark your calendars, the DART mission is set to impact Dimorphos 10 days from now. A nice (low level) recap of the mission by Dr Becky, includes dates, times and links to live coverage channels:

 

Edited by Beamer
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22 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

The thing we will never know is what troll first decided to throw the found dry gazelle dung into the campfire where others were cooking food.

Dung has been an pretty common fuel for fires in dry environments with little wood. Here the animals like camels have dung with very low water content and it dry out fast because its hot and dry. And yes you could use dung from wild animals to looking for things to burn but unless you had tame animals its easier to find wood than dung from wild animals most places. 
Also getting firewood with stone tools is a bit harder than with chainsaws and wood cleaving machines.
 

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3 minutes ago, magnemoe said:

Dung has been an pretty common fuel for fires in dry environments with little wood.

That's now, when it's known and usual.

But somebody should be the first one who tried to add a handful of dung to someone's barbecue.

And his counterpart was probably enough hungry to ignore.

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