Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

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Ishtar
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Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Ishtar » Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:00 am

Minimalist wrote:
There are many others ... and they stupidly believe that evolution of the species must mean "getting better and better every single day in every single way", including cognition.
I'd love to see where they say that, Ish, if you could exert yourself to find it.
Min, I feel like we're in a rowing boat and you're asking me "Where's the sea?" ~ and so showing it doesn't really lend itself to soundbites.

But here are couple of examples, the first one from the Intelligence page of Wikipedia which states very emphatically:
Our hominid and human ancestors evolved large and complex brains exhibiting an ever-increasing intelligence through a long and mostly unknown evolutionary process. This process was either driven by the direct adaptive benefits of intelligence[46], or − alternatively − driven by its indirect benefits within the context of sexual selection as a reliable signal of genetic resistance against pathogens.[47]
In other words, they are making the link between between brain size and intelligence, which is complete fallacy, and an ever-evolving brain size which means, according to this belief system ((I cannot call it science), an ever-evolving intelligence.


And this may also help. Here Robert Bednarik, in praising John Feliks' paper The Graphics of Bilzingsleben (which is still being held up in the scientific review process), refers to this paradigm:
“Absolutely outstanding and stunning. You have single-handedly demonstrated that the cognition and intellect of these hominins may have been of an order entirely unexpected by all of us... breathtaking... Yours is a landmark contribution, and I congratulate you most cordially and sincerely.”
As John says on his webpage about this as yet unpublished paper.
The underlying premise of The Graphics of Bilzingsleben is that there has been no change whatsoever in human cognitive ability for at least 400,000 years. This statement is quite easily extended back at least 1.4 to 1.8 million years, and, in fact, to whatever point in time we choose to assign the first appearance of the genus Homo. The Graphics of Bilzingsleben fully counters any popular science claims such as the "Flynn Effect," etc., that human intelligence as relates to the genus as a whole has ever increased gradually over time. As noted above, the idea of cognitive evolution is a central axiom (definition 3) of modern anthropology so it influences in a very important way everything issued forth not only from anthropology but from any fields associated with anthropology such as genetics, psychology, or neuroscience.
The belief system is influenced by Darwin's Origin of Species thus:
The idea that human cognitive ability evolves gradually comes straight from Darwin's 1859 proclamation that each mental capability will be shown to have been necessarily acquired by "gradation" (Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 1859, page 488.)Why would any scientifically-educated person question that statement? This is the whole point, they can't.
Hope this helps.

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Digit
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Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Digit » Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:15 am

This statement is quite easily extended back at least 1.4 to 1.8 million years, and, in fact, to whatever point in time we choose to assign the first appearance of the genus Homo.
How?

Roy.
First people deny a thing, then they belittle it, then they say it was known all along! Von Humboldt

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Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Ishtar » Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:37 am

Digit wrote:
This statement is quite easily extended back at least 1.4 to 1.8 million years, and, in fact, to whatever point in time we choose to assign the first appearance of the genus Homo.
How?

Roy.
Thank you, Roy!

That you're even asking that question is a classic example of one of the main axioms upon which the thinking of anthropology is now built, post Darwin.

It is labouring under the misapprehension that the cognitive abilities of the brain are linked to evolutionary processes which advance over chronological time.

Therefore, if we can show that man had advanced cognitive abilities 400,000 years ago, as John Feliks has done, anthropology will just move the pseudo-Darwinian goalposts backwards, as you have just tried to do.

But without pseudo-Darwinism, we wouldn't even be asking: "How?"

We would be saying: "Why not?"

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Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Minimalist » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:24 am

Ishtar wrote:
Minimalist wrote:
The belief system is influenced by Darwin's Origin of Species thus:
The idea that human cognitive ability evolves gradually comes straight from Darwin's 1859 proclamation that each mental capability will be shown to have been necessarily acquired by "gradation" (Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 1859, page 488.)Why would any scientifically-educated person question that statement? This is the whole point, they can't.
Hope this helps.

Actually, dear....it does. Because this is what Darwin says in Origin of the Species (unedited!).
In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.
http://www.literature.org/authors/darwi ... er-14.html

Its a prediction ('proclamation' seems a tad strong!) and its in the third to the last paragraph of the final chapter of OoS. But when Darwin wrote the first Neandertal find had been announced only 2 years prior and Homo Erectus was still 30 years off. Like most of Darwin's predictions the fossil record has born him out. But natural selection cannot account for "culture," tool use, and the passing of knowledge to offspring.

Once you reach that level of "cognition" (I'll use your word) where there is group-identification it acts in opposition to "natural selection." A careless lion who breaks a leg on a hunt, dies. A careless human who shoots himself in the foot gets hospitalized and treated (and probably gets his guns back and goes hunting again). Homo Erectus may have been limited in what they could do for an injured person but it was better than nothing and infinitely better than leaving him out in the woods alone.

I'm already on record as accepting Bednarik's basic contention that HE built boats and that sort of activity simply could not have been the result of anything less than a fully cognitive being. What is far less certain is that HE/HNS/HSS were actually different species and I'm starting to doubt that the HNS genome project is going to settle the matter.

Anyway, getting back to the point, taking the totality of what Darwin actually said (and that is the whole paragraph) stretching it into a dogma in which modern humans continued to develop their brains BY NATURAL SELECTION ALONE seems like a caricature of his ideas. I suppose he isn't the first to have that happen to him.

Probably won't be the last either.

Thanks for looking.
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Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Minimalist » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:24 am

hardaker wrote:Damn. Anybody who kills a doll deserves to be an ape.
:lol:
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: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Ishtar » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:37 am

Minimalist wrote: I suppose he isn't the first to have that happen to him.

Probably won't be the last either.

Thanks for looking.
Hmmm... I'm not so much worried about what it's done to Darwin ...although no doubt, he's turning in his grave. But let the dead bury the dead, didn't someone once say? It's what it's doing to us that's the issue.

As evidenced by Roy's question, and the quote from Wikipedia, this caricatured understanding pervades and informs much of "scientific thinking", particularly in anthropology, which is the area that concerns us here.

So this at the root of why Virginia said: "Darwinism ruined my career".

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Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Minimalist » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:50 am

Oh, there can be no doubt that a linear view of history was in fashion for a very long time, if that's what you mean.

Basically, it went that Modern Humans spread out of Africa conquered the whole world and replaced HSS and HE by 25,000 bc and then after such an amazing expansion...sat on their asses for the next 20,000 years until they discovered farming and then everything took off from there. Oddly, absurd as it was, it was better than what the bible-thumpers were putting forward!

It's been shot full of holes now, but I concur there are still some out there trying to do CPR on the mummy. I think we need a few more funerals, Ish.
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: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Ishtar » Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:05 pm

The thinking has been gradually changing, but with hardly any more scientific evidence than they had five years ago. And so why is it changing now? A large part of that change in the paradigm has been aided by a paper that academia won' t even allow through the peer review process, where it's been held up since 2006. But this paper has changed the thinking to such an extent that scholars quote from it to each other, behind the scenes. That paper is the one that Robert Bednarik was praising so highly and it is the Graphics of Bilzingsleben by John Feliks.

Here's what John says about it on his webpage:
The accolades on this page are included so that the reader may understand why there has been a flood of bold statements from the scientific community regarding the intelligence or language capabilities of Homo erectus or Neanderthal people. These statements are being made despite the fact that the scholars making them are often doing so with evidence no more related to intelligence than quasi-language genes (e.g., FOXP2) or pecked holes in rock. Even where involving more direct language-related evidence such as prehistoric personal ornaments or the use of ocher (possible paint), the "up-graded" public statements of these researchers are being made with little more evidence than what they had five, ten, even 20 years ago. So, wherefrom the influx of confidence? This is where the accolades come in. From the accolades the reader can readily discern that a convincing addition to the evidence regarding early human intelligence began with The Graphics of Bilzingsleben.

The Graphics of Bilzingsleben data has been circulating among scholars behind-the-scenes in Europe, Australia, and the United States while being held back from public scrutiny. I.e. the scholars making bolder and bolder claims are aware of it; the general public is not. If it weren't for the fact that the influence of Graphics and its Part II, Phi in the Acheulian, have been showing up in the publications of other researchers both online and in academic journals without citation (including by those with privileged access to the data), I would have simply cherished these accolades privately. However, the matter has gone far past that now. In order to protect the primacy of my work from competitive researchers publishing material informed by Graphics and Phi without citing them, I have decided to share these accolades openly while at the same time taking on the cause of demonstrating to the public why it should question the integrity of various scientific institutions such as peer-review.
I know John personally and he is very humble, self-effacing man. He would not have taken this step lightly.

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Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Minimalist » Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:43 pm

Well, recent finds have pushed back the beginnings of agriculture and the understanding that the Sahara was a lush savannah until c 6,000 bc have certainly helped fill in some of the blank spots on the timeline. If Wendorf and Schild can be believed there was rudimentary agriculture in the Nile Valley c 13,000 BC. Of course, those two drive the Club up a wall.

The sad fact is that recovering organic artifacts from such remote periods is unlikely. We are left with stone tools as the main residue of such humans and there is only so much you can tell from a rock.
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: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Digit » Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:08 pm

A number of things puzzle me about the intelligence debate, starting with the need for a satisfactory definition of intelligence, then a means of measuringing it.
Frankly we have no way of telling even how intelligent out great-great-great-great grandfathers were, never mind as far back as William the First!
Even if IQ has not increased since the year dot we cannot use that to say how intelligent even Erectus was.
I have no problem with scientific conjecture, if I had I wouldn't be sitting here now, but I do wish that pros would state these ideas as that, ideas!

Roy.
First people deny a thing, then they belittle it, then they say it was known all along! Von Humboldt

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Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Minimalist » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:00 pm

"Intelligence" is probably the wrong word....maybe that's why Ish seems to prefer "cognition." As I recall the scientific definition for that is something like "the mechanism of thought."

While that is basic what is more important it seems to me is the ability to communicate thoughts, language, which is the most vital factor in establishing a culture and getting things done. Would Bednarik's boats have gotten built unless they had the ability to communicate fairly advanced ideas?

You know, Dig, if any of us were given an "intelligence test" devised in the 4th century BC I wonder what class of moron we would end up assigned to? True, they wouldn't do too well on one of ours but that really isn't the point is it. Back then the answer to "how do you treat the flu" wasn't bed rest...it was "sacrifice a chicken to Aesclepius.
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: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Minimalist » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:17 pm

I'm going to ask Michelle to split this latest discussion to Anthro and Primitive Societies.

Gotten way too far off of Calico and tangible rocks.
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: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Ishtar » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:21 pm

Minimalist wrote: Back then the answer to "how do you treat the flu" wasn't bed rest...it was "sacrifice a chicken to Aesclepius".
Oh dear, oh dear Min. You definitely wouldn't make it out of the moron class in ancient Greece with a remedy like that! :lol:

Socrates said, just before his assassination, "I owe a cock to Asclepius."

This is because the Greeks regarded death as an initiation and a cock was considered to be the appropriate offering to the gods at such a time. This motif rears its head later, in a kind of convoluted and bastardised way, when the cock crows three times after Jesus's crucifixion.

So I won't be coming to you for any 'flu remedies, Min! :D
Last edited by Ishtar on Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Digit » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:22 pm

Frankly the proliferation of meaningless PC words annoys me. Intelligence I understand, the rest need to come with a book of explanations.
As I have stated, probably too often, i was an engineer.
Years ago I had to prepare a paper for my institute on the subject of glass micro spheres as reinforcement in polymers.
To be of value I had th state the size of the spheres, their percentage by weight or volume of the polymer, the method of blending, how I prevented separation due to differing SGs, the conditions of processing, any post moulding ops, the end use of the product, the tests that were carried on that product and their results and the conditions under which the test were carried out.
I then had to specify the same all over again for the un reinforced controls!
That is science in action!
To claim that an individual or species is more or less intelligent needs the base line statement as reference or it is meaningless.
If I were to claim that I were more intelligent, or had greater cognition, than youself I would expect you to say 'prove it!'
That raises the question of 'how?'

Roy.
First people deny a thing, then they belittle it, then they say it was known all along! Von Humboldt

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Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Ishtar » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:30 pm

You're missing the point, Roy.

How can anyone disprove something that's never been proven?

It's like asking me to prove that there is no God.

I have shown very clearly where this kind of thinking comes from ... false axioms created by pseudo-Darwinism.

Just because you don't understand some of the words that are used doesn't mean that the words are meaningless.

There is absolutely no scientiific reason to believe that ancient man had fewer cognitive faculties than ourselves... and there never has been. That's the point I've been making.
Last edited by Ishtar on Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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