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Author Topic:   Simultaneous appearance of written language and common man
Brian
Member (Idle past 3159 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 76 of 86 (492911)
01-04-2009 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by Peg
01-04-2009 4:40 AM


Re: The Real Question
I am familiar with the Ipuwer text. But, why is it that a document that is 600 years older than when YOU say the Exodus happened evidence for the Exodus?

I think I need you to explain this 'evidence' a little more because I don't see how the writings of a sage, which incidently MAY have been a vision and not a record of actual events, 600 years before you say the Exodus happened is evidence for the Exodus. What is your reasoning here?

archeologically speaking, there is evidence that what moses wrote about Egypt was accurate. Archeological evidence exists which shows that it was a custom of the Egyptians to allow foreigners to live in egypt in areas separate to egyptions.

But all that this means is that the Egyptians allowed foreigners access to pasture land. This isn’t evidence of anything else in the biblical account being accurate. This is not evidence for an Exodus from Egypt of 2 to 3 million people, this is only evidence that SOMEONE, not necessarily Moses, knew that this was a practice of the Egyptians. To make this known fact worthwhile in relation to the Exodus you need a lot more to support it. For example, you need evidence that there were Hebrews in Egypt during the 16th century BCE (your date), this would at least be a start.

Bricks have been found made of straw, as moses indicates.

And this proves what exactly, in an archaeological context?

Its not surprising that the Egyptions didnt make a written record of the event...would you exptect them to record such a defeat as 'our slaves turned on us and killed most of our army'?

But the Egyptians wouldn’t need to keep a written record of the event, thanks to archaeology we have excellent ‘eyewitness’ accounts that negate the biblical account.

Do you seriously think that such a massive defeat as this would go unnoticed by Egypt’s neighbours? Don’t you think that the archaeological record would testify to the collapse of a huge empire? Don’t you think that 2 or 3 million people living in Egypt, wandering a desert for 40 years, and then launching a huge military campaign that scourges the whole of Palestine in a period of 5-7 years would leave some evidence in the archaeological record?

All the huge events associated with the Exodus have left zero evidence, a good clue that we are talking about either a story with some little titbits of historically accurate information that have been woven into some theological ideology, or some sort of foundation myth.

The one universally agreed point between archaeologists who have researched the Exodus event is that if it did happen then it certainly did not happen exactly as the Bible said it did. Not a single archaeologist takes the biblical account of the enslavement, Exodus, desert wanderings, or conquest of Canaan at face value.

I cant imagine any nation would do so.

Many nations recorded defeats, Egypt certainly did.


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Replies to this message:
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Brian
Member (Idle past 3159 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 77 of 86 (492912)
01-04-2009 9:34 AM
Reply to: Message 62 by Dr Jack
01-03-2009 8:05 AM


Re: Exact Year
Thanks for the info Mr. Jack.

I see that this would give an upper limit for the age of the tablets, but there could be a significant difference between the writing of the text and the date of the fire. Although I can see how useful an upper age limit would be.


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Peg
Member (Idle past 3130 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 78 of 86 (492947)
01-04-2009 5:41 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by Otto Tellick
01-04-2009 5:21 AM


Re: The Real Question
Brian writes:

That was a very interesting link (to the article by Michael Gazzaniga) -- thank you. What you are saying now makes more sense. Maybe the earlier disputes were due to misunderstandings that were caused by a poor choice of words or phrasing.

yes, i apologise for not being up to date with the scientific terminology... when i said 'modern humans' i was talking about the humans as we are today

And his article shows that due to the development of a certain gene, the humans we are today came into being. And seeing it all happened in the last 5,800 yrs its still very plausible that we were a unique creation


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Peg
Member (Idle past 3130 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 79 of 86 (492948)
01-04-2009 5:51 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by bluegenes
01-04-2009 7:38 AM


Re: Brain genes and variations!
hi bluegenes,

bluegenes writes:

my main point is that the arrival and spread of the gene is too late for it to be regarded as an important factor in the development of the technologies you refer to. Remember, when it starts, only one person has it, and it takes many generations for it to spread over a significant proportion of the population and to move from region to region. So it's not a writing gene, because people in very different areas were writing before it could have arrived in all of those areas (and even then, only a minority would have the characteristic).

the article i posted didnt draw this conclusion at all, in fact it said the opposite

he said the gene and the agriculture and writing etc appeared together.

Hence why i find it so very difficult to learn about evolutionary science...its like religion...it varies from person to person lol


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 Message 75 by bluegenes, posted 01-04-2009 7:38 AM bluegenes has responded

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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 80 of 86 (492949)
01-04-2009 6:38 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by Peg
01-04-2009 3:23 AM


Re: The Real Question
Careful in your use of the terms 'language' and 'writing'; you are swapping them around as if they are co-referential. I've made bold my use of the terms in hopes of helping you to sort out their differences.

Peg writes:

...a nation of humans had no language themselves

Do you realize how ridiculously laughable such a hypothetical scenario is? One thing about hypotheticals is that they should at least be plausible. But an entire nation of language-less humans? Just not plausible.

Nothing I have said about human ability in writing is applicable to human ability in language.

Language is an inbuilt ability in our brains making us unique to all other animals.

Yes, but writing is not.

As for:

quote:
An ASPM variant arose about 5800 years ago, coincident with the spread of agriculture, cities and the first record of written language. (Gazzaniga)

Humans underwent numerous changes as a result of domestication and increasing population density. The finding of one silly gene that was altered is hardly remarkable. Now, if your source could demonstrate that said gene was somehow responsible for humans developing things such as controlled agriculture, hierarchical society, and writing, then it would be something. Yet, your source even points out that such a causal link cannot be demonstrated:

quote:
What we don’t know is if the genetic changes caused the cultural changes or were synergistic[xxiii], and even if they did, what exactly is going on in those big brains and how is it happening? (Gazzaniga)

...the humans of around 5,800 years ago were the first to use agriculture, build cities and write.

Even if we are to accept such a date, what does that have to do with your claims that 'ability to write' is somehow a necessity for being human?

This is what i said pages ago but it seems most of you disagree. If its saying something other then that, could someone spell it out to me in laymans terms.

You are right. That is precisely what the article is saying. However, if your only intent was to ask whether or not humans 5.8kya were the first to come upon agriculture, city-building, and writing, then the short answer is: no. The long answer is that the article is flat-out wrong (which we might expect from a neuroscientist trying to dig his hand into the anthropology cookie jar); these events occurred at different times, specifically for the reason that each one caused the other: domestication caused higher society, and higher society caused writing. Domestication, a process requiring long spans of time, began as early as 9000 B.C. (Wiki: Domestication). The earliest 'civilization' appeared around 6000 B.C. (Wiki: Sumer, Ubaid Period, Chalcolithic, Bronze Age). Writing is only about as recent as 4000 B.C. (Wiki: History of Writing).

I hope that was in simple-enough terms. If you have any problems with any of the dates or information given, please simply point out where and the discussion can proceed from there.

Jon

[ABE]It appears everyone got to this much before I did. Oh well, I hope my reply can still be of some usefulness anyway.[/ABE]

Edited by Jon, : No reason given.


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This message is a reply to:
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Otto Tellick
Member (Idle past 531 days)
Posts: 288
From: PA, USA
Joined: 02-17-2008


Message 81 of 86 (492954)
01-04-2009 7:18 PM
Reply to: Message 78 by Peg
01-04-2009 5:41 PM


Re: The Real Question
Um, it was me, Otto Tellick (not Brian) that you were quoting just now. But apart from that:

Peg writes:

And his article shows that due to the development of a certain gene, the humans we are today came into being.

That's your conclusion from reading the article, slightly misinterpreting what it actually said, and not getting what I was saying in the post that you were replying to here. "The humans we are today" are actually a very diverse bunch, with lots of tweaky little differences scattered throughout the various genetic codes of the various individuals within various sub-populations; the article was talking about one factor in the on-going variation.

There were humans before that gene made its "big splash in the pool", and there may be other descendants of those humans without those particular genes who may still be around (though things are presumably getting more mixed up as the "global economy" and the convergent interaction among most of the (formerly non-interacting) sub-populations becomes an increasingly frequent fact of life.


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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 677 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 82 of 86 (492955)
01-04-2009 7:18 PM
Reply to: Message 79 by Peg
01-04-2009 5:51 PM


Re: Brain genes and variations!
Peg writes:

the article i posted didnt draw this conclusion at all, in fact it said the opposite

he said the gene and the agriculture and writing etc appeared together.

He said:

quote:

MICHAEL GAZZANIGA: An ASPM variant arose about 5800 years ago, coincident with the spread of agriculture, cities and the first record of written language. It too is found in such high frequencies in the population, that it indicates strong positive selection.

He draws no conclusions at all. He merely mentions that the time that the variation first occurred was "coincident" with the first record of written language and the spread of agriculture and cities.

I point out that agriculture and cities were spreading at this time, so he's not wrong, but they already had been for some time, so the mutation cannot be their cause, but the strong selection of it could be an effect of the type of societies produced by those things. As for written language, it too had been evolving for some time (the proto-languages) before a single person had this mutation, and it would be a long time after the mutation that people in both the near east and China could possibly have it. Gazzaniga (great name!) doesn't claim that the mutation is the cause of those things either.

Do you understand that most of us don't have it now? It's not a characteristic that is fixed across the human population, but one that appears to be progressing in that direction. People are interested in it because it appears to confer some kind of health (fitness) advantage, physical or mental, but we don't know what!

Hence why i find it so very difficult to learn about evolutionary science...its like religion...it varies from person to person lol

There's all kind of healthy disagreement and debate in science, but I'm not actually disagreeing with Gazzaniga here. You've just read too much into his passing comment. "Coincident" does not mean that there's a connection between the mutation and the cultural phenomena he mentions. It's actually me who's suggesting that strong selection on the variation may be driven by modern societies, agriculture in particularly, but it may well be nothing to do with that at all, and the variant might be something advantageous to humans in any type of culture.

"Strong selection" just means that the people with the variant, on average and with all else being equal have been producing slightly more children per head than the average of the rest of the population, so the variation (mutation) has been spreading steadily across the human population over the last 5,800 years. Like most of evolution, this is very undramatic and unspectacular, although if the gene does turn out to make the brain slightly more efficient than average, then there'll be a great deal of interest in it.

If that's the case, we'll probably find that the variation is more common amongst evolutionists than creationists. ;)

Edited by bluegenes, : spellin!


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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 83 of 86 (492978)
01-04-2009 11:19 PM
Reply to: Message 78 by Peg
01-04-2009 5:41 PM


Re: The Real Question
And seeing it all happened in the last 5,800 yrs its still very plausible that we were a unique creation

Huh? Why?

Jon


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This message is a reply to:
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Dr Jack
Member (Idle past 305 days)
Posts: 3507
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 84 of 86 (493016)
01-05-2009 7:28 AM
Reply to: Message 71 by Peg
01-04-2009 3:23 AM


Re: The Real Question
to me, this is saying that the humans of around 5,800 years ago were the first to use agriculture, build cities and write. This is what i said pages ago but it seems most of you disagree. If its saying something other then that, could someone spell it out to me in laymans terms.

You seem to be understanding this as saying that all these things sprung forth fully formed and simultaneously. This is not the case.

In fact the development of each shows a slow pattern of development. Shortly after the glaciers retreated at the end of the last ice age, we find the first evidence of populations that followed a pattern of prolonged settlement (at least three seasons out of the year) at sites such as Ohalo II and Neve David in what is now Israel. The people were living in small (sub-100) groups, and supporting themselves by hunting, gathering and fishing but living in permanent settlements. These settlements date to 15,000-18,000 BCE.

Dogs were probably domesticated around 14,000 BCE (although much older dates (~150,000 BCE) are suggested by some genetic analysis, these are generally regarded as suspect), but there is no evidence that they were eaten.

The first evidence of agriculture comes from around 8000-9000 BCE at a place called Abu Hureya, again in the Middle East, where Rye was the first domesticated crop. It is difficult, of course, to determine when domestication occurs exactly from Archaeological records and it is likely that "semi-domestication" of the sort still practiced by many hunter-gatherers today was conducted before this time, by the scattering of wild seeds. The evidence for crops domestication comes from several sources: an increase in seed size, an increase in rachis strength (in wild grasses, the seeds fall off of their own accord, in domesticated varieties they must be threshed to remove them - the bit go the plant that holds the seeds on is called the rachis) and evidence of increased tooth wear and use of grinding stones in the human remains.

Animal domestication also occurred at Abu Hureya with sheep and goats probably being the first domesticated animals, although it was several thousand more years before sheep were bred to have their distinctive woolly coats.

Around 7000 BCE, at a place called Çatalhöyük, there is a fascinating "pre-city". With a population of 5000-8000 it was a big place, bigger than some later cities but it had no streets (building were built one against another and could only be entered through the roof), no elites and no specialists.

Which brings us to Uruk, around 4000 BCE, which is generally recognised as the first city in the world, and the first place that writing arose (note that although Uruk was the first to develop writing, writing itself was independently developed in a great many places).

So, you see, there is no sudden appearance of these things - each has a deep history going back thousands of years before they all came together in the same place. Once they'd developed and unified in the same culture, they spread out from their under various states and empires - which I think is what your source was talking about.


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Trae
Member (Idle past 2506 days)
Posts: 442
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 06-18-2004


Message 85 of 86 (493102)
01-06-2009 2:35 AM
Reply to: Message 76 by Brian
01-04-2009 9:31 AM


Re: The Real Question
quote:
But all that this means is that the Egyptians allowed foreigners access to pasture land. This isn’t evidence of anything else in the biblical account being accurate. This is not evidence for an Exodus from Egypt of 2 to 3 million people, this is only evidence that SOMEONE, not necessarily Moses, knew that this was a practice of the Egyptians. To make this known fact worthwhile in relation to the Exodus you need a lot more to support it. For example, you need evidence that there were Hebrews in Egypt during the 16th century BCE (your date), this would at least be a start.

Isn’t this arguably also evidence against the Exodus claim? If Exodus happened, then would not the logical result be xenophobia and a cultural dictate to be closed to outsiders? If instead Eqypt historically kept open borders then this would seem to suggest little fear of outsiders. So I guess my question would be, “Is there any historical evidence of Egypt becoming xenophobic right after any of the plausible times when the Exodus is said to have occurred?”
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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 86 of 86 (493188)
01-06-2009 11:25 PM


As if we couldn't go any further off topic! Jeesh; keep this up, and your membership will be at 5.

Jon


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