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Archaeologists are missing out on a most interesting territory, the areas just off the coasts now submerged where people would have lived during the ice age. Perhaps robotic submarines will get better and cheaper and open this up in the next century. I suspect humans have a history going way back of living on the coasts.
We may have some really big surprises when we can get a look. In BC, the coastal indigenous people lived a quite luxurious existence with plenty of high-quality food and leisure. This lead to some of the best art work and interesting legends. We may see that pattern in the deep past as well.grupoavigase.com/includes/219/627-conocer-chicas-saltillo.php
Barred from the Afterlife
One of the reasons I put that sub-question is because the idea of ensoulment changes based on the theological standpoint. It has been argued over the ages in various flavors of Christianity, and in Judaism it is simply left open some think it is at the first breath after birth. On one hand, it is easiest to peg it at conception because that event is truly unique, but it is also the point when we are most clearly modeled as biochemical machines, essentially no different from all other animals starting from a single cell, with the exception of a small percentage of unique DNA sequence.
Maybe they though the being came into existence at that point. We could tease the Christians about why the bible is silent on such an important matter, especially when it is used as justification for murdering abortionists. First, it is not gopher wood, and, secondly, carbon dating showed that the tree from which the piece of wood came was no older than a couple of centuries..
There have been countless local deluges which occurred all over the globe, but they have nothing to do with the Noachian universal deluge which was based on the Sumerian story of BC, and exaggerated beyond belief by the guy who inserted it into the Old Testament. The Euphrates broke its bank some 15 kilometres north of Shuruppak, flooding the Sumerian world dotted along this river all the way down to the Gulf.
The Euphrates deposits mud on its base and sides, and with the passage of very long periods of time, its base rises above the surrounding countryside. Therefore, when the Euphrates breaks its bank in the flat land of Sumer, it empties the whole of its massive content and changes course. Aerial photographs show that this had happened a number of times in its history. Tablet XI is a record of the flood that occurred in about BC. A small number of animals that Ziusudra had on his farm and rescued on his magurgur Tablet XI lines is, with a pinch of salt, just credible.
To drown flat Sumer, nothing more than Euphrates water is required. To drown all the mountains on earth, an extra 4. If the biblical scribe had given us the proportion between the two sources, then we could calculate the volume of the oceans on which the continents are floating, the rain-water and cloud thickness exactly, but he chose not to. I can go on with details of at least 50 god-defying miracles required to shoehorn Noah into some kind of biblical credibility, but that would go into 34 pages of A4. I did find the article very interesting archaeologically, and I thank you for it, but as far as a belief in eternal life the main thrust of this topic , it is very difficult, without written records, to know if that is what the ancients had in mind when they carved their totems or built their henges, ziggurats, and pyramids.
For an insight into their thoughts we need a written record, and for that we can thank the hieroglyphic and cuneiform scripts which emerged at about the same time in history.
I find that outwitting people does not usually change their minds, but encouraging them to think through the logical consequences of their unexamined beliefs, sometimes does. Thanks for the article, Quine. Putting the question is precisely that way does show up clearly how the scientific position on biological evolution and speciation is incompatible with even the evolution-accepting kind of Christian position that nonetheless maintains that at some point in the evolutionary process God zapped some ape with a spiritual infusion, causing it to be rationally conscious, indeed made in the image of God, and thereby creating a new species in one generation!
So long as the role of the brain in generating consciousness was not understood, that may have seemed a reasonable position, but that is no longer the case. No Kim Probable is purely and simply answering the question correctly. The question was what do creationists make of the fossils and the answer is ape, human or deforned in some way human. That is what you will find on any creationist website if you type in any of our ancestral fossils.
And I first found it mentioned in Jerry Coynes excellent why evolution is true. Just stating you know what a group believes is not actually agreeing with them. Thank you Quine!
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Bay Area I believe? London myself, but I used to live in San Francisco. The whole concept of the afterlife, as understood by religios is completely ridiculous.
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Yes we all know our individual atoms came from stars, and when we die the atoms that make up our bodies will continue to do their stuff. The whole concepts of heaven and hell, afterlives and judgement have no basis in reality. How does Jesus keep the fiery lake at boiling point for eternity? How does God keep enough room for new arrivals, especially if all organisms are incorporated?
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With a current world population of over 7 billion, heaven will be in need of some expansion. They suggested it would be when our ancestors became intelligent enough to have a concept of consciousness and self. So close to homo sapien. But unknowable. An RC priest who attends the same astronomy club as I do, suggested that his notion of when that ensoulment of an intelligent hominuid species first occurred would probably tie in with my atheist speculations of when the notion of a soul and afterlife first arose in whatever species it did arise in.
That I think their conclusion is that it is unknowable but we all agree that the notion of an afterlife is a powerful one. My own opinion is that it was the originator of religious belief and the reason it persists. Thank you, Mr DArcy, for your kind words. My goal is to encourage people to think just a bit more than they might be inclined to do.
In many cases they did ask the important questions as children some you referenced , but were conditioned out of asking and that translates to not thinking past a point of comfort as adults. I want to encourage people to go past that point. Thanks for your comment, PG.
Our ancestors did not suddenly in a single generation realize the complete moral responsibilities of their actions, any more than you did one fine day when you were 6 or 7 or maybe 23 years old. I read your bits, and then down the other Comments, where Robert the Cdn Creationist got my attention, so I felt moved to respond to him. Good to hear from you, too. I am thinking over how I am going to reply at NCSE because that commenter did the kind of side-step we see so often.
It refers to any manufacturer of dairy products. I doubt the small mammals trying not to be eaten by dinosaurs were in such need, so when did that discontinuity happen in what was an otherwise continuous descent line? Punting to metaphor does not help, because that still has to apply to some first ancestor, and trying to tie to some unspecified moral sense also does not work because that can come on gradually, through the generations, with no first person responsible.
The analogous argument is a defeater for a special significance to qualia in the consciousness discussion. No first ancestor had qualia that was not available to her or his parents. What is considered is the fact that adults develop at some point a conscience and that there are bad things happening caused by evil people. That there are evil people is a fact admitted by all of us, look on the other threads where the taliban are threatening to shoot Malala or where women are being stoned for having mobile phones.
The head of RE said they are metaphors for humanity. The soul part cannot come into play until the point in our evolution where we were fully capable of understanding that. The analogy they used was the fact that the law only recognised crimes after a certain age. Hope that is some use, its an argument that is impossible to win when the people you are arguing with are full science accepters and intelligent beings.
If the question you pose is sufficiently cogent and the person is not stupid, they should come out of this zone with less confidence in the religious or woo belief than before.