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The beginning of the scientific method?


walterpthefirst
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Perhaps we disparage our ancient ancestors too often for being nothing but 'ignorant goat herders' who only saw their world in terms of gods and deities?

 

As this article shows, our ancestors were just as capable of observing and analysing the natural world as we are.

 

And drawing logical conclusions about it.

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-64161861

 

So, it seems to me that humans have long had the ability to understand reality without resorting to the whims of fickle, anthropomorphic gods.

 

 

Thank you,

 

Walter.

 

 

 

 

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39 minutes ago, walterpthefirst said:

 

Perhaps we disparage our ancient ancestors to often for being nothing but 'ignorant goat herders' who only saw their world in terms of gods and deities?

 

Have you looked into the cuneiform writings of the ancient Sumerians?   It might give you a different perspective on the ancients.  And where some of the ideas for the Bible came from.

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1 hour ago, walterpthefirst said:

Perhaps we disparage our ancient ancestors to often for being nothing but 'ignorant goat herders' who only saw their world in terms of gods and deities?

 

As this article shows, our ancestors were just as capable of observing and analysing the natural world as we are.

 

And drawing logical conclusions about it.

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-64161861

 

So, it seems to me that humans have long had the ability to understand reality without resorting to the whims of fickle, anthropomorphic gods.

 

 

Thank you,

 

Walter.

 

 

From my readings from a different source and different study of different cave paintings, they also concluded great sophistication  of the cave painters. Since I am 3% Neanderthal, I am hoping for conclusions concerning their more advanced intellect than what we presently have evidence of. :)

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3 hours ago, Weezer said:

Have you looked into the cuneiform writings of the ancient Sumerians?   It might give you a different perspective on the ancients.  And where some of the ideas for the Bible came from.

 

 

Hi Weezer!

 

Perhaps I'd better make my personal position on this matter clearer. 

 

Even though there is sometimes a degree of disparagement in this forum about the ancients investing the natural world with supernatural forces and agencies, I prefer to give them the benefit of the doubt.  Instead I see two conflicting and competing human desires at work in ancient cultures.  The desire to understand and the desire to obtain meaning.  The former being the desire to understand how something happens and the latter being the desire to understand why something happens.  As I see it, from the former we derive science and from the latter we derive religion. 

 

Being seriously interested in astronomy I've gleaned that the Aztecs, Babylonians, Chinese and many other ancient cultures had a highly sophisticated understanding of the skies, eclipses, the rising times of certain stars, the paths of the planets, etc.  So I am in no doubt that they were NOT just ignorant goat herders.  Far from it.  Therefore, please don't conclude that I hold our ancestors in contempt or look down upon their "ignorant" ways.

 

And yes, I'm also aware that there is a lot of overlap between the bible and very ancient beliefs from non-Judaic sources like the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Zoroastrian belief system.  But if there were cuneiform writings that demonstrated the desire to understand how the world could be better understood, then I'd certainly be interested to see them.

 

That's why I'm so pleased and interested in this breakthrough about the Neolithic cave markings.  It shows that the human desire to understand how the world works isn't just something that evolved in the Middle East or in the Mediterranean region, less than 10,000 years ago.  It seems to have been a much older aspect of the human condition.  Perhaps I'll use this information in my discussions with Christian apologists who disparage or deny what science tells us about reality?  If they claim that the human desire for meaning preceded the desire to understand for understanding.  This new evidence says otherwise.

 

Thank you,

 

Walter.

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, pantheory said:

 

From my readings from a different source and different study of different cave paintings, they also concluded great sophistication  of the cave painters. Since I am 3% Neanderthal, I am hoping for conclusions concerning their more advanced intellect than what we presently have evidence of. :)

 

Pantheory,

 

 

I have no doubt that our Neolithic ancestors were, in every way, our equals.  

 

 

Walter.

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3 hours ago, walterpthefirst said:

 

Pantheory,

 

 

I have no doubt that our Neolithic ancestors were, in every way, our equals.  

 

 

Walter.

 

But I'd like to see more sophistication of our paleolithic ancestors, let's say about 50,000 years ago when our Homosapien ancestors met out Neanderthal, Denisovan, and possibly homoerectus ancestors. These cousins also had cave paintings but I've heard little concerning their sophistication beyond that.

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5 hours ago, pantheory said:

 

But I'd like to see more sophistication of our paleolithic ancestors, let's say about 50,000 years ago when our Homosapien ancestors met out Neanderthal, Denisovan, and possibly homoerectus ancestors. These cousins also had cave paintings but I've heard little concerning their sophistication beyond that.

 

Why do you want to see such a thing, Pantheory?

 

Not being hostile here, just curious.

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On 1/7/2023 at 1:21 AM, walterpthefirst said:

 

Why do you want to see such a thing, Pantheory?

 

Not being hostile here, just curious.

 

We generally see the difference of intelligence supposedly justified by the smaller brains of paleolithic man, yet Neanderthal had as big or a bigger brain then we have. Are we sure their intelligence was inferior? 

 

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/rethinking-neanderthals-83341003/

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Is size of brain an accurate determiner of intelligence?  I believe a dolphin has a larger brain than a human.

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10 hours ago, Weezer said:

Is size of brain an accurate determiner of intelligence?  I believe a dolphin has a larger brain than a human.

Yes, Look at the crow, the raven, and many parrots. They can make tools, are quite intelligent, but have bird-size  brains. Dolphins, Wales, and elephants all have bigger brains than we have, so brain size is not the only determinant of intelligence, granted.

 

But there is some evidence that Neanderthals could have been as intelligent as we are, or maybe even smarter?

 

https://www.fortinberrymurray.com/todays-research/were-the-neanderthals-smarter-than-we-are

https://ec.europa.eu/research-and-innovation/en/horizon-magazine/our-intelligent-ancestor-neanderthal

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54 minutes ago, pantheory said:

Dolphins, Wales, and elephants all have bigger brains than we have,

Leave the feckin' Welsh out of this.

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18 hours ago, pantheory said:

 

We generally see the difference of intelligence supposedly justified by the smaller brains of paleolithic man, yet Neanderthal had as big or a bigger brain then we have. Are we sure their intelligence was inferior? 

 

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/rethinking-neanderthals-83341003/

 

Ah yes, but what if Homo Neanderthalis put their larger brains to an intelligent use in a different way to Homo Sapiens? 

 

What I'm thinking of Pantheory are things like language, music and dance.  If we look at certain ancient Homo Sapien groups, like the Inuit, most of their heritage and history is preserved orally, with next to no written records.  If Neanderthals used their large brains to do something similar then they could have had just as rich and complex a culture as anything produced by Homo Sapiens, but with no written records of it.  

 

We Sapiens sometimes tend to believe that intelligence must equal writing and the production of manufactured artefacts.  But as Weezer has pointed out, animals with large brains do not necessarily possess material-based civilizations.  And yet cetaceans like dolphins, porpoises and whales clearly understand their undersea environments in ways that are beyond us and also engage in complex social interactions and communications.

 

 

Perhaps what might be useful is to discover what we actually mean by the word 'intelligence'?

 

Thank you,

 

Walter.

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