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Archaeologica.org • View topic - Evolving to make tools?

Evolving to make tools?

The science or study of primitive societies and the nature of man.

Moderators: Minimalist, MichelleH

Evolving to make tools?

Postby Minimalist » Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:51 pm

Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby Rokcet Scientist » Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:19 pm

That's the same research I quoted in my thread "The dawn of human engineering: 72,000 BP" ().
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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby jw1815 » Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:11 am

And occasionally they might have found that some rocks "melted" when heated. Wonder how long before they stopped avoiding those melting rocks as useless and decided they could do something with the stuff that ran out of them.

Maybe smelting started sooner than we think.
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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby Minimalist » Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:55 am

We had a discussion about that point some time ago. No conclusions were reached (which is normal!) but it did seem as if it would be unlikely that a camp fire could get hot enough to smelt metal ores. IIRC, campfires were a couple of hundred degrees centigrade short of being able to even melt copper.

The question of what convinced early man to decide that he if heated certain rocks really HOT it would lead to metals is one which has bothered me for ages, jw.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
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Posts: 15658
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby jw1815 » Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:27 pm

Some accidental observation is all I can guess at. And attempts to duplicate it. Had to learn that really hot temps did it and then how to produce the really hot temps.
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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby Minimalist » Tue Sep 01, 2009 5:02 pm

What's the hottest substance on earth? Lava?
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
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Posts: 15658
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby jw1815 » Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:26 pm

Hottest natural substance that I know of.

Observation of nature's molten rock. But someone had to figure out how to duplicate the heat to melt it themselves.

If lava was an influence, would you expect to see early smelting in volcanic regions? But, before smelting there was hammering, as with copper in North America.
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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby Minimalist » Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:43 pm

It seems like a multi-step process.

See a rock with some sort of metal melted out of it...by lava or anything else.

Next, recognize that it is unusual and potential useful.

Then reach an understanding that only certain rocks will give that metal or ANY metal.

Then figure out how to create sufficient heat to extract it.

Then figure out about "molds."

That seems like a remarkable series of accidents. And even if they WERE accidents, these people were not mindless primitives.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
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Posts: 15658
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Location: Arizona

Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby jw1815 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:20 am

No, not mindless primitives at all.

But, even in modern times, a lot of technology is built on what was at first an accidental observation. The intelligent part comes in shifting gears to recognize that an accident can be beneficial and then developing the technology to make use of it.
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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby Rokcet Scientist » Wed Sep 02, 2009 10:59 am

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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby Minimalist » Wed Sep 02, 2009 11:09 am

Which begs the question...."by whom?"
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
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Posts: 15658
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby jw1815 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:24 pm

I don't think all the steps you listed, Min, would be accidents, at least not all at once or in close sequence.

If lava was a catalyst in realizing that rocks contain metals which can be melted, that would have been an accidental observation of a natural event.

But, examining, analyzing, reflecting on, and remembering events are deliberate thought processes. People observe and remember many things in life. Accumulating and passing on knowledge to future generations enables new developments later when someone puts together the accumulated knowledge in a newly meaningful way. Maybe a number of other facts about nature, mold-making, and heat were known before someone observing nature’s ability to melt rocks concluded that people could do it, too, to extract metal.

For many generations human beings watched birds fly and dreamed of doing it themselves. Leonardo Da Vinci even drew models of planes and conceived in very general terms some of the dynamics necessary to create a flying machine. But, human beings had not yet developed an understanding of gravity forces, energy needs, and energy sources that would make it possible. By the time that Wilbur and Orville Wright (as well as other experimenters) were beginning to succeed, a body of knowledge, from Newtonian physics to gas powered engines, had developed. By building on the accumulated knowledge of others, flight became more than a wistful bird-watching fantasy or the drawings of a genius - who, despite being a genius, wasn't able to master the dynamics of it yet without additional knowledge unavailable to him.
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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby Rokcet Scientist » Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:09 am

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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby Minimalist » Thu Sep 03, 2009 9:38 am

Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
Minimalist
 
Posts: 15658
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby dannan14 » Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:47 am

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