Why are we religious, if there is nothing there?

Discussion in 'Ancient History and Mythology' started by juantoo3, May 9, 2017.

  1. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    What I find intriguing is the beginning of religion...why have humans ever even bothered to develop such a comprehensive system of recognizing the Divine? If, as atheists argue, there is no god, then why did prehistoric humanity universally pursue reconnection with the Divine? Not just Cro Magnon, there is evidence among Neandertals, and I suspect there will be finds eventually among Denisovans. *All* of us carry genetic material from these three distinct species of homo, in greater and lesser amounts. I just read yesterday that in one Island culture there is genetic material that points to a 4th distinct species of homo we have yet to identify. What stands so amazing is the finds from Cro Magnon and Neanderthal sites indicating a reverential desire to reconnect with the Divine, to "seek blessing" as it were, that spans entire continents and entire "ages."

    Why would Hunter Gatherer societies consumed daily with the struggles of survival create anything like religion...if there were no god to pursue? Mass hysteria? OK, then that hysteria was effectively worldwide, across cultures and species, and it lasted we know for tens of thousands of years. That is a mighty long mass hysteria, and if so would suggest humanity continues to labor under the same delusion, worldwide. I don't think so...unless the whole of humanity is *entirely* stark raving nuts (that would include atheists by association).

    I don't think a hunter gatherer society could afford a frivolous pursuit to the extent that was given to religion, unless there was some survival benefit. Something is out there, we intuitively know it. We've been chasing it since we became human.

    Lascaux, Cosquer, Chauvet, Niaux, Altamira, Pech Merle, Fumane, Blombos, Niah, Bomeo, Maros, Padah-Lin, Tabon, Khoit Tsenkher, and more display artwork that is routinely defined by anthropologists in the field as religious in application. This spans all of the Old World habited continents except Australia and all dated well into prehistoric "stone age." There are cliff paintings in Australia that fit this as well for dates and purposes.

    There are Pre-Columbian finds in the New World as well. All of this points to humanity pursuing the Divine LONG before religion was formally systematized and organized into competing faiths. Even the prehistoric uncivilized barbaric unlearned preliterate heathens still sought Divine guidance.

    Blombos cave in South Africa provided pierced shell beads...art...dated to 100,000 years before present.

    There is a bone flute attributed to Neanderthals (Divja Babe, Slovenia)...music...dated at 55,000 years before present. Not even anatomically modern humans, our species seems to have gotten music from Neanderthals.

    The Indonesian island of Sulawesi has given up cave paintings that rival the oldest in Europe for age, as old as those at El Castillo in Spain dated nearly 41,000 years before present, and remarkable because the "reverse handprint" style graffiti seems a common theme throughout the Neolithic era and across the span of continents.

    Portable art in the form of "Venus" fertility figures, various animals, and even the "Lion Man" Löwenmensch from Hohlenstein, many of which date up to 40,000 years before present.

    Red Ochre is another common theme throughout, ritual use as a pigment and as a medium to be carved can again be found across the gamut and throughout the time period under discussion.

    My point being religion, art, and music have been with humanity a VERY long time, cross culturally and cross species of homo, appear to be universal pursuits, and are linked inextricably with reaching out to the Divine.

    Moreover, at Skhul cave at Qafzeh, Israel the oldest known to date careful human burials were found, dated conservatively at 100,000 years old, including a Cro Magnon man with a boar mandible placed carefully across his chest, and a mother and child whose bones were deliberately stained with red ochre.

    The oldest careful Neanderthal burial is noted as 130,000 years ago, at Krapina in Croatia.

    Shanidar 1 (Iraq) is a Neanderthal that was not only carefully buried, but because of illness and injury had to have a great deal of compassionate assistance to survive during his 40 years of life. This demonstrates Neanderthals were cooperative to the point of providing aid to their elderly and infirm. Another Neanderthal find at La Chapelle-aux-Saints suggests the same theme, though this find still seems to be under question.

    The oldest ritual burial in Australia is dated at 42,000 years ago at Lake Mungo.

    So the question to me is not "who has seniority?" among world religions. Every single major world faith owes a debt of gratitude to our prehistoric forebears.

    The question to me has long been "why are we religious, if there is nothing there?"
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Reconnect? Just a tad leading.

    But let me start...


    1. Control
    If you want to control the masses having an invisible jailer (hell) or retribution for doing wrong with locusts or hurricanes remember Katrina, when god hit new Orleans cause of.the French quarter and ****? Yes, there are preachers today which still spew such nonsense.

    2. Blame
    It wasn't me that causes x calamity, it was gods will...

    3. Explanation of the unknown doesn't require extensive thought or science when you simply add the phrase 'and then a miracle happened


    We will also invent more.gods as required, or devils, or angels, or saints, or dances, or.rituals, or superstitions, or whatever is required...to satisfy our imagination...

    I am not.saying there is no god, but just started with three reasons to invent one..
     
  3. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Yes...reconnection, and you pointed to a good many reasons why I chose that specific word.

    But I think you might have failed to fully realize the implications. What you say is true in the modern application of what William James called "Institutional Religion." But that evades the point that humanity wouldn't have, or shouldn't have, or certainly not for any prolonged or protracted period of time invented "god" unless there was some"thing" there.

    "Prehistory" means "before written records." Sumerian Cuneiform is thought to be the oldest dated to about 3500 BC (5500 years before present, +/-). The Code of Hammurabi is generally credited as the first legal and moral written text, dated about 1754 BC (3750 years before present +/-), which would qualify as the first genuine religion in the sense we tend to think of today. Even if we go with the contemporary and parallel Egyptian path, we still are not much more than 5500 years of modern "religion" at the very most! We had over 95,000 years of prehistoric religion prior to that, and other than a discernible uptick in cave paintings and portable art beginning around 40,000 years ago (+/- halfway), there is little apparent change across the habited world. Until the agricultural revolution, effectively all peoples seem to have had a comparable, similar system of belief, in which all persons were actively involved. The Shaman (or equivalent) didn't even enter the picture until way late in the game, about the end of the last ice age (+/- 10,000 years ago).

    So while Institutional Religion has pretty clearly evolved in the modern sense as a means to control the "tribe," I don't see anything analogous in prehistory. Prehistoric religion was more like a pick-up ball game...everybody played. And I return to the question...why did everybody play if there was nothing to be gained?
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
  4. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    The logic is a bit self-confirming, no? I could list some psychological and sociological aspects to humanity like superstition, anthropomorphizing and confusion between correlation and causation. But I would only play devils advocate [not the poster], I have no horse in the race.
     
  5. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    I see what you are saying in a limited and temporary way, in isolation. That doesn't explain the widespread effectively universal application.

    In the same way abiogenists argue the odds: no matter how great the odds against, the proof is that it is here. Yes, it can be argued in isolation that some creative and inventive individual might have imagined some superstitious "something." But the odds of that exploding to include other tribes and cultures and species is astronomically against, particularly once we add the element of *almost 100 thousand years!* Even at a conservative 4 generations per hundred years, we are talking 4 thousand generations! There is no religion currently that can boast such all encompassing numbers, and there is no evidence of competing religious expressions in prehistory. And if there were nothing to it (god doesn't exist!), we are back at trying to sort out how such deception could last so long and fool so many?
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Just like everything else did. (I am not currently saying there is no god, simply entering into your discussion on the possibility)

    We couldn't fly till a hundred years ago...till we built flying machines...nor go 35 mph till we built cars....and science thought our eyeballs would explode at that speed, and then again flying, and then again in space...

    We made assumptions, filled in gaps of knowledge with things we made up... Until such a time as we proved otherwise.

    We filled our lives with these assumptions that rituals, religions, supersticians, mythology...we as humans have been shown to have issues with coincidence, correlation and causation in every venue, not just this one.
     
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  7. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    I should probably qualify some of my earlier comments, in that by using the term "god" or variants I am not explicitly suggesting a sentient being per se, more of an overarching concept. It is when I use the term "G-d" that I am specifically pointing to my personal understanding of "the Source," (which is decidedly *not* a sentient being strawman in the sense most atheists commonly point to.)

    While I certainly do appreciate the idea that humankind with little intellectual grasp of the issues may have had with events of their day (foul weather, hunting, a solar eclipse, death and disease, for examples), I still fail to see how such disparate groups would all come to essentially the same conclusions? It would be like a Guatemalan peasant, a Parisian Businessman, a farmer from western China and a cattle herder from sub-Saharan Africa all coming to the exact same conclusion over events of the day today. I don't see it happening, not in every instance, taking into account local culture. Even just considering the biggie alone, death, each of these cultures would respond to a degree the same (grief), but the details of that response would be unique to each culture.

    Even taking into account the limits of comprehension (which frankly is a culturally condescending point of view to take, one I don't agree with), saying that Neanderthals and Cro Magnon would have reached the same or comprehensively similar results seriously begs the question. Is it realistic to think a Bonobo and a Chimpanzee would react in a comprehensively similar manner to an environmental stimulus every time? Perhaps...but then there is the lack of artistic expression and other elements that point to reaching out to the Divine that is not evident in other apes, and it is these artistic expressions that we are considering here...for these are a trait that distinguishs humanity apart from other apes.

    (I am aware other apes, trained captives, have produced art...such as Kanzi...but there are no examples I am aware of when any other member of the ape family spontaneously created "art." Symbolism and abstract reasoning, key elements of human cognition, are beyond the reach of other apes except in controlled environments, e.g. laboratory trained, and even then limited and not transmitted in-species to the next generation.)
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
  8. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Can you elaborate and demonstrate a little?
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Proof that your average john and jane q public perceives science, reality, probability?

    How many people thought they were safe from getting aids and other STDs from unprotected sex vs how many think theynwill win the lottery...
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Interestingly an article in New Scientist said that a belief in God was there before the birth of the sciences, and would be there still when science had run its course ...
     
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  11. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    I'm trying to understand, but how is it that how "average john and jane q public perceives science, reality, probability" then "fill(s) our lives with these assumptions that rituals, religions, supersticians (sic), mythology?" And how does this relate to "issues with coincidence, correlation and causation in every venue?" I mean, it is certainly possible you are onto something, but as it stands it is a very far stretch and hard to comprehend.
     
  12. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Interesting. Would you have a link to the article, or if not maybe the name of the author?
     
  13. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    It speaks to our ability to relate absolute realities of possibilities...

    They didn't think they'd get STDs despite the odds being one in a few thousand but think they have a chance of winning the lottery with odds of one in several million....

    This is when we actually know and have been shown something to be true.

    When humans have a couple of data points we simply make up the rest.

    Think about when someone is an hour late...do we simply wait for more info or make stuff up?

    We read headlines and assume we know the article. We hear a noise and create monsters under our beds...or out the window.

    Tis just what we do. Pictures of Jesus on toast or in a paint stain...really???
     
  14. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Haven't found it yet, but did find this:

    Which further supports my long standing assertion that "science is a religion." It performs the same functions (therefore it is another "meme"), it's "laity" use the same kinds of reasoning processes (the senior practitioners know better, on both sides), and now we see the same parts of the brain are involved...

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/belief-in-the-brain/

    Interesting little aside...
     
  15. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Different article:

    From Scientific American "...new research suggests that whether we believe or not may also have to do with how much we rely on intuition versus analytic thinking.

    -and-

    Gervais and Norenzayan's research is based on the idea that we possess two different ways of thinking that are related. Understanding these two ways, which are often referred to as system 1 and system 2, may be important for understanding our tendency toward having religious faith. System 1 thinking relies on shortcuts and rules of thumb, whereas system 2 relies on analytic thinking and tends to be slower and to require more effort. Solving logical and analytic problems may require that we override our system 1 thinking processes to engage system 2."

    Not sure I fully buy into this, but it was also predicated at the beginning with the caveat:

    "Why are some people more religious than others? Answers to this question often focus on the role of culture or upbringing." And that while culture and upbringing are important, these other thinking methods may also play a role.

    My reservations stem from the fact that "science" and the scientific method of reasoning is comparatively recent. Even looking at the furthest claims to historical provenance place the beginnings of science within the first few hundred years BC. So applying this to prehistoric humanity I don't think would be applicable. It would be like scolding Christopher Columbus for not taking the red eye from Spain to the Bahamas when aircraft hadn't even been a glimmering thought yet.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
  16. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    New Scientist 14 March 2012

    The God issue: Science won’t loosen religion’s grip
    Those who would dance on religion's grave are underestimating its staying power

    By Robert N. McCauley

    THE human mind has no specific department for religion. Instead, religions appear to be a by-product of various cognitive systems that evolved for unrelated reasons. Research on the cognitive foundations of religious thought has spawned insights about religion itself, as well as providing a fresh perspective on the long-standing project of comparing religion and science.

    From an early age humans confront numerous fundamental problems that must be solved in order for them to function in the world. These include distinguishing between inanimate objects and “agents” that can act on their surroundings, recognising faces, avoiding contaminants, parsing speech and reading other people’s intentions. By the time children are 6 or 7 years old, their cognitive systems for solving these problems are mostly up and running (see “The God issue: We are all born believers”).

    Such cognitive systems are “maturationally natural”; they emerge without effort and virtually define normal cognitive development. Although culture infiltrates them – for example, determining the language a child learns – acquiring them does not depend upon instruction or education.

    Maturationally natural systems are also what Nobel prizewinning psychologist Daniel Kahneman calls “fast” – they operate automatically and effortlessly. Because of this, they are highly susceptible to false positives. For example, our hair-trigger system for detecting human forms leads us to see faces in the clouds, and our “agency detection device” leads us to talk to our computers and cars.

    These rapid and automatic systems also make people receptive to religions. Humans are ready to leap at, swallow and digest religious stories like a hungry frog will leap at, swallow and (attempt to) digest a ball bearing that flies within reach.

    Successful religions are adept at engaging these dispositions. Supernatural beings trigger our natural beliefs about agents, and our theory of mind. Sacred spaces and objects cue our involuntary precautions against contaminants; it is no coincidence that so many religious rituals involve cleansing and purification.


    Similar elements have recurred in religious systems throughout human history all over the world. New religions pop up all the time but the ones that last mostly stir in the same old ingredients. These recurrent themes – myth, ritual, sacred spaces, belief in supernatural agents and so on – are the elements of what I call popular religion.

    None of this, however, bars the application of Kahneman’s “slow” forms of thought to religion. Deliberate, conscious reflection about the meaning and truth of religious claims is called theology. Theologians try to make intellectual sense of the enigmatic claims of popular religion. They reflect, debate and sometimes generate abstract formulations that religious and political authorities decide to label as doctrines. Not all religions have theology but many do, especially the proselytising Abrahamic ones.

    Unlike popular religion, theology routinely makes abstract and radically counter-intuitive statements that are conceptually complex and difficult to understand: God is three persons in one, for example, or a disembodied person who is present everywhere at once. In addition, theological proposals are not at all memorable compared with, say, a story about Jesus’s virgin birth. This is why religious people must often make an effort to memorise them and why religious leaders adopt a variety of measures to indoctrinate and police “theological correctness”. These include everything from religious education and catechisms to inquisitions.

    Maintaining theological correctness is difficult, however, as the mental systems that underpin popular religion consistently intrude. The consequence is that theological incorrectness is inevitable: the religions that the vast majority of people actually practise are not the same as the doctrines they learn and recite.

    “The religions that the vast majority of people actually practise are not the same as the doctrines they learn”

    Theological incorrectness is seen across cultures and religious systems. When asked in experiments to talk or think about gods’ thoughts and actions in stories, religious people immediately and completely abandon theologically correct doctrines in favour of popular religion – even if they have just affirmed and recited those doctrines. The way they think and talk reveals that they see God as more like Superman than the omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent ruler of the universe in whom they say they believe.

    This view of popular religion offers a new perspective on the project of comparing religion and science. It suggests that science poses no threat whatsoever to the persistence of religion. The fears and trepidation of so many believers – and the jubilant anticipation of so many critics of religion – that science will eventually displace religion are wrong-headed on many counts.

    First, they underestimate the power and pervasiveness of maturationally natural cognition. Not everyone is religious, but religious ideas and actions spontaneously and inevitably arise in human populations.

    Second, they underestimate the creativity and imaginativeness of theology, and so its ability to accommodate any change in our understanding of the universe that science produces. Theologians eventually accommodated our displacement from the centre of things by Copernicus, Galileo and Darwin. It took some time because of the size of the challenge, but it happened.

    The third point is that believers and critics alike underestimate how hard it is to do science. Science is far more complicated than theology. Its esoteric interests, radically counter-intuitive claims and sophisticated forms of inference are difficult to invent, learn and communicate. Science depends on extensive and elaborate social arrangements which are complex and expensive. Its continued existence, at least in the long run, is therefore fragile, certainly in comparison to the continued existence of religion.

    Finally, the difference between popular religion and theology suggests that standard comparisons of religion and science are often ill-conceived. Cognitively, science has more in common with theology than it does with religion; both rely on slow, deliberate, reflective thought. Popular religion, on the other hand, is more like a common-sense explanation of the natural world. Those who would criticise either religion or science need to be sure what it is they are attacking.
     
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  17. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Excellent article! I love it!
     
  18. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    OK, but we're back at scolding Columbus for not taking the red eye... This is projecting modern understanding onto primitive peoples and expecting them to respond in the same way we would.

    What skill set would a hunter-gatherer society have? Hunting, gathering, fire, shelter, stone tool making, possibly fishing (depending on culture), implied preservation of animal skins (clothing optional), keen awareness of the night sky though not understanding what the twinkling lights were, and probably not a great deal else.

    I hesitate to presume I can speak for them, but I don't think it unreasonable to presume they didn't know what lightning was / is, but they would have instinctively known to take shelter away from it if possible. Much of their world was a friend/foe relationship; fire, water, animals. And pretty clearly at least back over 100K years they were aware of death.

    Off topic, but the biased media is well aware and profits handsomely from this tendency of otherwise non-thinking humans.

    OK, but what was a "monster" to a cave man? I don't think it would have been dragons or werewolves or vampires, and there was no "under the bed." Do I think they had "monsters" that concerned them...probably. Venomous snakes, raging bovines, cave bears, sabre tooth cats, lightning. These seem to me legitimate fears, and these would have been the types of monsters they would deal with.

    Symbolism was still developing in the human mind. Probably a bit of a chicken and egg position, but abstract thought requires symbolism. Both symbolism and abstract thought have to be highly developed before anything remotely like rational thought can come about.

    My point being, how could people who had no prior conception of "god" project "god" onto anything, when they are worried about getting eaten alive by the sabre toothed cat in the next cave over, or getting trampled to death by the mammoth they hope to bring down tomorrow to feed the tribe for the next month? They didn't have imaginary monsters, they didn't need them, they were too concerned with the very real monsters just outside of the cave. It doesn't make sense to me why such simple minded humans, by which I mean their mental processes were not developed to the point ours have (by way of the agricultural revolution, as I've discussed at length in the past), would bother to create monsters. Pointing to them and saying they would project some imaginary "god" as a solution or problem to whatever was concerning them is to my view cultural narcissism, by making great presumptions about their place and time without actually taking any of it into consideration.

    The closest we have to compare would be along the lines of San Bushmen, or Native Americans of 200 years ago, or Indigenous tribes deep in the Amazon rainforest, and even then these people are leaps and bounds ahead of where the prehistoric cave dwellers were at that period of time in the development of the human mind.

    I don't think for a moment they were "idiots," but their knowledge and skillsets were vastly different from what we work with daily....to the point that their skillsets are mostly foreign to us now. The example I love to trot out...can you build a fire?

    Oh yeah, give me a lighter and some newspaper...(while in your mind you are thinking "humans have had fire for hundreds of thousands of years, of course I can build a fire!")

    No! Can you make fire from whatever is on the ground around you now? If not, can you gather the necessary, non-artificial, non-manmade, non-manufactured, all natural and organic and unprocessed ingredients and build a fire? Not whether you believe you understand how, can you *do* it?

    The ancient cave dwellers could and did routinely. They weren't stupid, but their knowledge was vastly different, and out of place today in our world. Just like our skillsets and thinking would be out of place in their world. That is why it is not accurate to project our ways of doing things directly onto them, unless you can show valid reason how it fits in context.
     
  19. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Just stumbled on this article looking for a date for the beginning of agriculture:

    From Emory University

    "Dawn of Agriculture Took Toll on Health

    When populations around the globe started turning to agriculture around 10,000 years ago, regardless of their locations and type of crops, a similar trend occurred: The height and health of the people declined.

    “This broad and consistent pattern holds up when you look at standardized studies of whole skeletons in populations,” says Amanda Mummert, an Emory graduate student in anthropology.

    Mummert led the first comprehensive, global review of the literature regarding stature and health during the agriculture transition, to be published by the journal Economics and Human Biology.

    “Many people have this image of the rise of agriculture and the dawn of modern civilization, and they just assume that a more stable food source makes you healthier,” Mummert says. “But early agriculturalists experienced nutritional deficiencies and had a harder time adapting to stress, probably because they became dependent on particular food crops, rather than having a more significantly diverse diet.”

    She adds that growth in population density spurred by agriculture settlements led to an increase in infectious diseases, likely exacerbated by problems of sanitation and the proximity to domesticated animals and other novel disease vectors.

    Eventually, the trend toward shorter stature reversed, and average heights for most populations began increasing. The trend is especially notable in the developed world during the past 75 years, following the industrialization of food systems.

    “Culturally, we’re agricultural chauvinists. We tend to think that producing food is always beneficial, but the picture is much more complex than that,” says Emory anthropologist George Armelagos, co-author of the review. “Humans paid a heavy biological cost for agriculture, especially when it came to the variety of nutrients. Even now, about 60 percent of our calories come from corn, rice and wheat.”

    In 1984, Armelagos and M. N. Cohen wrote a groundbreaking book, “Paleopathology at the Origins of Agriculture,” which drew from more than 20 studies to describe an increase in declining health and nutritional diseases as societies shifted from foraging to agriculture.

    The book was controversial at the time, but the link between the agricultural transition and declining health soon became widely accepted in what was then the emerging field of bioarcheology.

    The current review was undertaken to compare data from more recent studies involving different world regions, crops and cultures. The studies included populations from areas of China, Southeast Asia, North and South America and Europe. All of the papers used standardized methods for assessing health at the individual level and examined how stressors were exhibited within the entire skeleton, rather than a concentration on a particular skeletal element or condition.

    “Unless you’re considering a complete skeleton, you’re not getting a full picture of health,” Mummert says. “You could have an individual with perfect teeth, for example, but serious markers of infection elsewhere. You could see pitting on the skull, likely related to anemia or nutritional stress, but no marks at all on the long bones.”

    Adult height, dental cavities and abscesses, bone density and healed fractures are some of the markers used to try to paint a more complete picture of an individual’s health.

    “Bones are constantly remodeling themselves,” Mummert says. “Skeletons don’t necessarily tell you what people died of, but they can almost always give you a glimpse into their ability to adapt and survive.”

    While the review further supports the link between early agricultural practices and declining stature and health, it’s important to keep re-evaluating the data as more studies are completed, Mummert says.

    One confounding factor is that agriculture was not adopted in an identical fashion and time span across the globe. In some ancient societies, such as those of the North American coasts, crops may have merely supplemented a seafood diet. “In these cases, a more sedentary lifestyle, and not necessarily agriculture, could have perpetuated decreased stature,” Mummert says.

    The way the human body adapted to changes we made in the environment 10,000 years ago could help us understand how our bodies are adapting now, she says.

    Some economists and other scientists are using the rapid physiological increases in human stature during the 20th century as a key indicator of better health.

    “I think it’s important to consider what exactly ‘good health’ means,” Mummert says. “The modernization and commercialization of food may be helping us by providing more calories, but those calories may not be good for us. You need calories to grow bones long, but you need rich nutrients to grow bones strong.”


    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110615094514.htm

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    For the record, this article places the date of the beginning of agriculture right around 10,000 years ago.

    Per Wiki: "The last glacial period, popularly known as the Ice Age, was the most recent glacial period, which occurred from c. 110,000 – c. 11,700 years ago."

    So that would leave +/- 2000 years between the end of the Ice Age and the beginning of agriculture.

    Again per Wiki: Uruk played a leading role in the early urbanization of Sumer in the mid 4th millennium BC. At its height c. 2900 BC, Uruk probably had 50,000–80,000 residents living in 6 km2 (2.32 sq mi) of walled area; making it the largest city in the world at the time.

    And: "From very early history to modern times, walls have been a near necessity for every city. Uruk in ancient Sumer (Mesopotamia) is one of the world's oldest known walled cities. Before that, the city (or rather proto-city) of Jericho in what is now the West Bank had a wall surrounding it as early as the 8th millennium BC."

    So Ice Age +/- 12K BC
    Agriculture +/- 10K BC
    Walled Cities +/- 8K BC, but definitively by 4K BC, with Egypt off to a good start by 3500 BC
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    And it backs your thesis above:

    So it's worth reminding the science v religion types that theology is a science.
     
    juantoo3 likes this.

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