How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

Spin-off from "Dialog on 'Creationists read this' "

Incl. intelligent design, belief in divine creation

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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#4101  Postby Jayjay4547 » Oct 13, 2019 1:00 am

Spearthrower wrote:
Evidently, they excelled at keeping their predators at bay


As - the very thing I told you the first time you dumped this casually on the table of discourse - does every single other species on the planet, which is why they're here today.

I love how you try to make such a big point out of something so banal. Mind blown, eh JJ?

Every single prey species has evolved strategies of dealing with predators. Very, very few prey species willingly engage in the gladiatorial combat you keep fictionalizing because, as has been explained to you, a prey species has very little to gain from facing off against something evolved to kill it. Winning, in such a paradigm, means 'not becoming lunch' while losing means its death. That's equivalent to playing Russian Roulette, and the way to win at Russian Roulette is not to play Russian Roulette. And that's why evolutionary stable strategies arrive at all these other numerous ways of predator avoidance, such as hiding, mobbing, and running away.

There are a shed tonne of species which employ mobbing, yet don't possess any anatomical traits which represent a genuine threat to the predator alone, nor which possess kinetic weapons, but the point of that mobbing strategy is that there are no single weak, easy targets for the predator to pick off as per how predators actually function rather than the fantasy predator you keep crayoning into the discussion.

What do we know about hominids? Well, for one thing their intelligence allows for a bigger group size. Fancy that! Wouldn't it be shocking if palaeoanthropologists had alighted on this concept at some point and talked about it? Perhaps, you know, over 4 or 5 decades? Wouldn't it be ruinous to your appeals to fiction if this was routinely seen among other primate species which neither possess sticker/stopper technology, nor slavering canines capable of threatening massive felines into caution? Wouldn't it be shocking if you actually knew stuff relevant to the topic after all these years rather than endlessly employing the contents of your navel instead of real world evidence?


Real world evidence I have learned on this forum is that you Spearthrower have at least a first degree in biological anthropology and that you have spent your adult life teaching it at a university. I don’t pay you to teach me but you kindly advise me that our Australopithecus ancestors didn’t need hand held weapons to interface with predators, they simply mobbed them.

I just can’t get an image of that mobbing into my head. Can you access a picture from your teaching material? Here’s a pic of contemporary predators.
Predators_Australopithecus.jpg
Predators_Australopithecus.jpg (105.35 KiB) Viewed 255 times


Nope, I just seem to have a rooted revulsion about mobbing a leopard without something in my hands. Australopithecus had every reason to feel the same. They also conspicuously lacked features like horns, hooves, fangs or talons that help alternative prey to survive contact. Nor could they outrun predators used to running down antelope, or out-climb a leopard used to hunting baboons in a tree.

Chimps don’t show the same revulsion, recall (https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/156259)
the chimp troop that rushed into a leopard’s den “without any weapons” and came out with her cub. But then, chimps have fangs.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#4102  Postby Fenrir » Oct 13, 2019 2:19 am

Here you go. I spent 3 seconds on google so you didn't have to waste all that effort.

You're welcome

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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#4103  Postby Fenrir » Oct 13, 2019 2:39 am



Of course this only worked because crocodiles are absolutely terrified of their enormous canines. :dance:
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#4104  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 13, 2019 5:46 am

Jayjay4547 wrote:
Real world evidence I have learned on this forum is that you Spearthrower have at least a first degree in biological anthropology and that you have spent your adult life teaching it at a university.


No JJ. Again, to educate you. Evidence is information applied to a proposition to determine that proposition's validity. Whether chimpanzees lunge maws agape at leopards or australopithecines employed defensive fencing against large predators is not determined by anything at all about my life.


Jayjay4547 wrote: I don’t pay you to teach me but you kindly advise me that our Australopithecus ancestors didn’t need hand held weapons to interface with predators, they simply mobbed them.


Which is obviously not at all what I said, and having just written this out in detail once again, you are clearly intentionally misrepresenting what I wrote.


Jayjay4547 wrote:I just can’t get an image of that mobbing into my head.


Imagine one australopithecine. Got it? Great. Now add several more standing next to that individual.

Of course, your difficulty in imagining this is truly perplexing given how we've discussed this in chimpanzees in the past in this thread.


Jayjay4547 wrote:Can you access a picture from your teaching material?


A picture of australopithecines. You know, it's funny JJ... while you might think artistic renditions are of vital importance, most people don't. My lectures aren't a series of sketches I collected on google. Is this how you used to teach people, JJ?



Jayjay4547 wrote:Here’s a pic of contemporary predators.


Contemporary predators of what JJ? Contemporary and inhabiting the same geographical region as australopithecines? Along with your picture, would you care to provide some citations of these species preying on australopithecines, or is the mere fact that they existed at the same time meant to indicate something?



Jayjay4547 wrote:Nope, I just seem to have a rooted revulsion about mobbing a leopard without something in my hands.


Great, so roll over and die.

Because that's the real option, isn't it JJ?

You're out with a bunch of people. You're attacked by a stupid leopard who has, for reasons entirely unknown and against all typical leopard behavior, decided to confront you all in gladiatorial combat ala some kind of role-playing game. You have nothing in your hands. What do you do? Roll over and die? Does your 'rooted revulsion' not extend to that?


Jayjay4547 wrote:Australopithecus had every reason to feel the same.


:lol:

Let me get my crystal ball so I can join you in this foray into projecting my feelings onto species separated by millions of years, inhabiting a different world, possessing different material culture.


Jayjay4547 wrote:They also conspicuously lacked features like horns, hooves, fangs or talons that help alternative prey to survive contact.


Conspicuously? No.

However, plenty of other species lack horns, hooves, fangs and talons and still manage to survive predation in statistically significant numbers to continue their species. Chimpanzees, for example.


Jayjay4547 wrote:Nor could they outrun predators used to running down antelope, or out-climb a leopard used to hunting baboons in a tree.


They could, of course, climb trees. And leopards, as we've already seen many times, are ambush predators which don't behave in the way you imagine on their behalf. Leopards don't actually typically climb trees to hunt baboons because that would be very silly. A baboon weighs only a third of a leopard and is far better adapted to climbing trees. A leopard that climbs up the trunk of a tree is going to quickly find that the baboon has either a) moved out to thinner branches that cannot bear the leopard's weight or b) has run along a branch and jumped to another tree.


Jayjay4547 wrote:Chimps don’t show the same revulsion,...


Revulsion.

It's one of those words you toss into the conversation without establishing why it's meant to be important.

In this case, it's particularly odd. The word doesn't really capture what you want to say. I believe you mean 'aversion'.

Now, I've been taking some pretty heavy duty neuropathic medication this year which has had some impact on my cognitive function sometimes resulting in me choosing words poorly, or failing to find an appropriate piece of vocabulary. But this kind of aphasia in the absence of such influences is actually quite a troubling indication of something going wrong under the hood. I recommend you go and speak to your doctor, JJ.

It's not an aversion to not holding a weapon while being attacked by a large feline, JJ. It's an aversion to being attacked by a large feline. Even if you had a modern automatic weapon in your hands, you'd still feel that aversion.


Jayjay4547 wrote: recall (https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/156259)
the chimp troop that rushed into a leopard’s den “without any weapons” and came out with her cub.


The chimp troop. The troop? A troop. Hmmm, what does that indicate to you?

Let's see....


a group of about 33 chimpanzees


Thirty three chimpanzees against one leopard. Hmmm, if only there was a term for this strategy where thirty three individuals all mob together like that.

So what you're doing is what you typically do: offer evidence that contradicts your position, corroborates what someone else has been saying, then try some kind of jedi mind control to make people believe that it supports your argument.

Were the chimpanzees equipped like ancient Greek hoplites, JJ?


Jayjay4547 wrote: But then, chimps have fangs.


I must have missed the moment where we slipped through a dimensional crack into an alternative universe where chimpanzees possessed vampire dental anatomy.

I wonder if there's a real world component to thirty three chimpanzees going up against a single leopard that only weighs as much as two chimpanzees.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#4105  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 13, 2019 6:01 am

Oh by the way JJ.

In your link of a 1986 paper of an observation of a chimpanzee troop attacking a leopard...

Can you cite the third paragraph on page 4, please?
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#4106  Postby zoon » Oct 13, 2019 11:32 am

Quoting Jayjay4547, with my additions in double brackets:
Jayjay4547 wrote:…..((Spearthrower advises)) me that our Australopithecus ancestors didn’t need hand held weapons to interface with predators, they simply mobbed them.

I just can’t get an image of that mobbing into my head. Can you access a picture from your teaching material? Here’s a pic of contemporary predators. ((see Jayjay4547’s post #4101 here.))

Nope, I just seem to have a rooted revulsion about mobbing a leopard without something in my hands. Australopithecus had every reason to feel the same. They also conspicuously lacked features like horns, hooves, fangs or talons that help alternative prey to survive contact. Nor could they outrun predators used to running down antelope, or out-climb a leopard used to hunting baboons in a tree.

Chimps don’t show the same revulsion, recall (https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/156259)
the chimp troop that rushed into a leopard’s den “without any weapons” and came out with her cub. But then, chimps have fangs.

Australopithecines probably stayed near trees which they could climb to escape predators like the dogs, hyenas and large cats in your pictures. As with modern chimpanzees, australopithecines probably were regular prey for smaller tree-climbing cats like leopards, and vigilance and running away were their best protection. Anything much larger than a leopard probably isn’t good at climbing around in trees without breaking off half the branches. Occasional mobbing of the smaller, tree-climbing predators may well have been a feature of australopithecine behaviour, as it is for modern chimps. There’s no reason to suppose that australopithecines had weapons which were noticeably more sophisticated than the sticks and such which chimpanzees pick up and throw around when mobbing, but a screaming group of a dozen of us standing shoulder to shoulder, some waving sticks or throwing things for added effect, might well make a leopard think twice. As Spearthrower points out, this tactic would be dodgier against a large predator such as a lion, or against a pack of hyenas, but the australopithecines probably avoided them.

I sometimes wonder whether you are choosing the wrong genus of hominin in your arguments here. Homo erectus, which appears in the fossil record about 2 million years ago, has the features which you claim australopithecines have, though they haven’t. There is plenty of evidence that Homo erectus worked stone and could thrive in a variety of different habitats. (I hope Spearthrower will correct me if I’m talking nonsense about Homo erectus.) There is no evidence that australopithecines worked stone or made sophisticated tools, or that they moved far outside wooded savannah. Instead of talking about australopithecines, why not tell us that Homo erectus worked stone, hunted, and was able to live in open grassland, therefore there must have been a Creator?

(The original 2009 article from the link above is here. Quoting the conclusion of the article:
These data demonstrate what hitherto had been speculated based on indirect evidence: that grassland-dominated ecosystems did in fact exist during the Plio-Pleistocene, and that early Homo was active in open settings. Comparison with other Oldowan occurrences indicates that by 2.0 Ma hominins, almost certainly of the genus Homo, used a broad spectrum of habitats in East Africa, from open grassland to riparian forest. This strongly contrasts with the habitat usage of Australopithecus, and may signal an important shift in hominin landscape usage.

Edited to add: The hominin species mentioned in this article are not Homo erectus, but earlier Homo species. They are almost certainly not australopithecines.)
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#4107  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 13, 2019 1:20 pm

I sometimes wonder whether you are choosing the wrong genus of hominin in your arguments here.


Yeah, I've pointed this out to him many times. He's too arrogant and holds us in too much contempt to listen to informed advice.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#4108  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 13, 2019 1:37 pm

There is no evidence that australopithecines worked stone


There is some evidence that some australopithecines may have had stone tools, albeit very primitive ones. Basically, hammers, anvils, and sharp flakes. There is also evidence in the same area of animal bones being smashed open (percussion marks), and some shearing of bone suggestive of slices into meat.

However, as always, such evidence is difficult to analyze. Firstly, there's no indication of widespread use. Tools pre-dating the Homo genus come only from this one site. Secondly, it can be difficult to establish whether an apparent tool (or evidence of tool use) was crafted or came about via other natural processes; percussion bulbs, for example, can occur in many situations, not least if a large predator brings down a large prey species at high speeds. Thirdly, it shouldn't be considered surprising if australopithecines were using tools, it would only be truly intriguing if they were fashioning tools - chimpanzees (and in fact a shed tonne of species) use tools all the time, and chimpanzees do manufacture some rudimentary ones - what's intriguing with chimpanzee tool use is it's very clustered in a geographic sense with most of the truly compelling observations all happening at the same site, and those ideas being transmitted generationally, with evidence of elements of this basic material culture being lost along the way. (interestingly in chimps, technology transmission occurs between females) Accordingly, it's possible to imagine a scenario where a particular group of australopithecines went through a fad of tool use or manufacture rather than it becoming a full-blown tradition. So even at this one site, the appearance of stone tools is in very low density to the number of australopithecines using the area; certainly nothing like the distributions we find in habilis or later Homo.

It should, of course, be noted that none of the implements found would have been useful as a weapon, either being basically just a rock, or when a sharp flake, too small to extend the reach of the hominid nominally holding it. In JJ's gladiatorial scenario, the large feline's teeth would already be fixed on the jugular by the time it was in range of the australopithecine's hand-held 'weapon'.

The proposed name for this material culture, assuming it becomes consensus, is Lomeckwian technology.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#4109  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 13, 2019 1:48 pm

Same hammer and anvil tool use in chimps:

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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#4110  Postby zoon » Oct 13, 2019 9:00 pm

Spearthrower wrote:
There is no evidence that australopithecines worked stone


There is some evidence that some australopithecines may have had stone tools, albeit very primitive ones. Basically, hammers, anvils, and sharp flakes. There is also evidence in the same area of animal bones being smashed open (percussion marks), and some shearing of bone suggestive of slices into meat.

However, as always, such evidence is difficult to analyze. Firstly, there's no indication of widespread use. Tools pre-dating the Homo genus come only from this one site. Secondly, it can be difficult to establish whether an apparent tool (or evidence of tool use) was crafted or came about via other natural processes; percussion bulbs, for example, can occur in many situations, not least if a large predator brings down a large prey species at high speeds. Thirdly, it shouldn't be considered surprising if australopithecines were using tools, it would only be truly intriguing if they were fashioning tools - chimpanzees (and in fact a shed tonne of species) use tools all the time, and chimpanzees do manufacture some rudimentary ones - what's intriguing with chimpanzee tool use is it's very clustered in a geographic sense with most of the truly compelling observations all happening at the same site, and those ideas being transmitted generationally, with evidence of elements of this basic material culture being lost along the way. (interestingly in chimps, technology transmission occurs between females) Accordingly, it's possible to imagine a scenario where a particular group of australopithecines went through a fad of tool use or manufacture rather than it becoming a full-blown tradition. So even at this one site, the appearance of stone tools is in very low density to the number of australopithecines using the area; certainly nothing like the distributions we find in habilis or later Homo.

It should, of course, be noted that none of the implements found would have been useful as a weapon, either being basically just a rock, or when a sharp flake, too small to extend the reach of the hominid nominally holding it. In JJ's gladiatorial scenario, the large feline's teeth would already be fixed on the jugular by the time it was in range of the australopithecine's hand-held 'weapon'.

The proposed name for this material culture, assuming it becomes consensus, is Lomeckwian technology.

From the Wikipedia article about Lomekwi here, those stone implements were made about 3.3 million years ago, well before Homo species appeared about 2 million years ago, they aren’t just a late feature of australopithecine behaviour, my statement was definitely incautious. I also hadn’t taken in that chimpanzees occasionally manufacture very rudimentary stone tools, so it would almost be more surprising if the australopithecines did not improve on that. As you say, though, there’s no indication that they were making anything that a leopard would take more seriously than an unshaped stone or slightly modified branch.

Is it known how the early Homo species, when they moved on to open grassland instead of remaining chiefly confined to wooded country like the australopithecines, would have coped with the large predators like lions or packs of hunting dogs? Were they making the effective weapons which Jayjay4547 is attributing to their predecessors?
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#4111  Postby Jayjay4547 » Oct 14, 2019 2:17 am

zoon wrote:
Jayjay4547 wrote:….Implicit in the notion of natural selection is that Nature has done the selection, in place of artificial selection practiced by humanity on plants and animals.

………

None of the words like Africa, ecotone, biome or even Nature quite separate out the active ingredient in the agency. But “creator” does. I know it’s very non PC….

To our evolved human minds, living things do look very much as though they were designed purposefully, by something like another human mind. Usually the word “creator” is taken to mean specifically a person, or something such as a god with a humanlike mind, which has created something. For example, the Cambridge online dictionary here defines “creator” as “someone who has invented something”.

Only one non-mental mechanism has been proposed, so far at least, to account for the appearance of purposefulness in living things. This is the mechanism of evolution by natural selection, as put forward by Darwin and Wallace. The English word “creator” does not cover mechanisms such as evolution by natural selection, in which there is no forward planning and the laws of physics are followed at all times. There is a massive weight of evidence in favour of the theory that evolution by natural selection accounts for all the apparently purposive features of living things, including us.


What about the English word “Creation” which points to the appearance of all the high functioning animals and plants , on a planet that once hosted only algae? Surely that word has a useful meaning? And “evolution” means a particular naturalistic model for how that happened. Then, what about the word “Creativity". I suppose one can say that “Natural selection” is creative”. I have tried to argue though, that (a) natural selection is creative when a population feels out a pathway of change that turns out to lead to new functionality (b) defensive hand weapon use was a main preadaptation for the creation of human speech and the human symbiosis-like coevolution with objects (hence text on Ratskep). (c) That aspect of the human creation has been overlooked because of the influence of atheist ideology on the human origin narrative told in terms of evolution.

One active ingredient in atheist ideology in this case being that the atheist narrative makes the human ancestors the actors, interacting with each other (sociality and sexual selection) as if on an acting stage, while imposing their will through hunting, in the world in which there was nothing greater than them. Whereas what really happened in the human creation was that our ancestors were led by the particular logic of their relationships with other species who themselves held the initiative and sought to impose their will, along a path whose huge significance the hominins were utterly unaware of. Just as we today are radically unaware of where creation is taking us. And that happened in Africa. Not in Japan, where as Fenrir made a big thing about, some monkeys have only learned to wash potatoes. So, Africa is where this creation happened. So, Africa was the creator. That’s not good Christian theology but that’s another issue.

zoon wrote: [It does seem to me plausible (Spearthrower may set me right) that the bipedal Australopithecus individuals may have been using handheld weapons such as unshaped stones or minimally shaped branches for fighting, in much the same situations where chimpanzees use their teeth, and that this may indeed be why they had smaller canine teeth than chimps. I see no reason at all why this should not have been the result of evolution by natural selection.


Your non-confrontational, objective, well referenced, educated approach is a credit to science but isn’t it striking, that almost a century after the Taung child was discovered, this basic issue hasn’t been settled? Unless you think that hand weapon use by that genus would have been not much more significant than a group of monkeys learning to wash potatoes. It seems to me otherwise; that looking at any African mammal species that is preyed on, one is immediately struck by their particular and excellent functionality in avoiding being eaten. Part of that impression arises from the fact that these features are indeed signalled to us, as outsiders. The first thing one notices about a gemsbok is its horns and the gemsbok knows that as well as you do. In the case of Australopithecus the really gob-smacking phenomenon is the ABSENCE of such inter-species messaging of their being un-catchable. This was an animal that was pathetically unequipped to sprint from a predator like a springbok, climb a tree like a baboon or tear open a predator like a buffalo. Indeed in western culture what separates this ancestor and us from “the beasts” is exactly this distinctive apparent vulnerability.

And yet this genus did exist, had a wider distribution than other African hominoids, and they or their primitive descendants managed to spread through nearly every continent. Obviously, when we look at their bodies, we are only seeing part of the picture, what is missing is their hand weapons with which they kept their predators at arms length so successfully that once that defene was breached, the game for that individual was over. In contrast with other defensive fighters like buffalo and giraffe, where the problem for the predator only starts then.

To my thinking then, there can’t be doubt that Australopithecus used hand weapons in predator avoidance. But there remains an issue about their importance. You suppose they used “minimally shaped branches”. You might be ignoring the working of natural selection there. Consider that predators decided themselves when to mount an attack, if hominins only picked up what they saw lying around when an attack threatened (as in that PBS slide I showed) that would have been selected against. No, they carried weapons with them and contra PBS they didn’t stand with their hands free to carry food or babies, but to carry weapons. Natural selection follows from that: An animal that carries around a branch everywhere, to which it owes its life and the life of rest of the troop, is at the very least going to select more effective branches; soon it will evolve into a sharpened stick of optimal thickness and tree species.. And if the animal carries a stone, soon that will evolve into an optimal stone, long before the animal learns to crack the stone so as to put an edge on it.

That’s s far as I can get this morning. Thank you zoon, for reading this far.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#4112  Postby Fenrir » Oct 14, 2019 2:36 am

Imo is still laughing.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#4113  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 14, 2019 3:06 am

zoon wrote:
I also hadn’t taken in that chimpanzees occasionally manufacture very rudimentary stone tools, so it would almost be more surprising if the australopithecines did not improve on that.


Australopithecines brain volume was approximately the same as modern chimpanzees; of course, brain size doesn't directly equate to intelligence, but there's a lot of correlations between chimpanzee and australopithecine behavior. Anatomically, the australopithecines were very similar to chimp in many ways, but where chimp specialization tends slightly towards arboreality, australopithecine anatomy tended slightly towards terrestriality. Hands, fingers, feet, and shoulders all speak of arboreal adaptations, while toes, knees and hips look like adaptations for bipedalism. The probability is that they were competent and efficient upright walkers while still retaining mobility in the trees.

I think it's important to note that there is simply no consensus yet on austalopithecine tool use: there's no smoking gun. At the primary site where the preponderance of tools were found, there's no remains of any animals. Where there are tools and animal remains, the evidence is debatable as to whether tools were used in butchering the animals. The dating is still open to validation. It's the old 'needs more research'. One thing that all proponents agree though is that if australopithecines were making tools here, they weren't taking them away. They'd come here to use the tools in situ. This is similar with chimpanzees bringing their foods needing processing to sites with appropriate materials rather than lugging those materials around. This is a feature specific to the tool use of the Homo genus: carrying pre-made tools around.


zoon wrote: As you say, though, there’s no indication that they were making anything that a leopard would take more seriously than an unshaped stone or slightly modified branch.


And a leopard's not going to take that seriously from a 3.5 foot animal by itself. To imagine this, it's like a 6 year old modern human facing off against a hunting cat weighing anything from 1 to 200kg. The image is comical more than anything.



zoon wrote:Is it known how the early Homo species, when they moved on to open grassland instead of remaining chiefly confined to wooded country like the australopithecines, would have coped with the large predators like lions or packs of hunting dogs? Were they making the effective weapons which Jayjay4547 is attributing to their predecessors?


There's a reason for the cave man tropes; erectus didn't live out on the open plains. Sites with high material culture density, indicating on-going presence, tend to be discovered in places like caves. Of course, there's a problem there with selection bias as caves are more likely to preserve artifacts from weathering. However, the evidence can only be interpreted as is, rather than postulating ideas into belief. The chances are that even the early Homo species used features of the landscape to protect their living sites from predators. It's important to remember though that these animals probably moved around to exploit seasonally available food sources, so they must in turn have had to travel between 'safe' sites and consequently been exposed at times. The control and usage of fire is a bit of a game-changer in this regard though. Purely speculatively, a camp of lean-tos ringing a central fire would have been a fairly safe camp and is a technique still used today.

As for effective weapons, still not really. Certainly, there are much more sophisticated stone tool manufacturing techniques, and there are tools clearly manufactured as weapons. Heavy hand-axes (probably used for butchery) are a characteristic feature of erectus material culture and the process of manufacturing these tools means chipping flakes off a central core. Those flakes were sharp. Sharp flakes could either be embedded in the end of a stick, or used to sharpen a stick which could then be fire-hardened. You've still got the issue though of large predators not looking at the objects an individual is carrying, but rather looking for the isolated, weak, young and old. Erectus, however, with its larger brain would've had comparatively large groups and would've exhibited cooperation unlike anything previously seen. Now we're getting to an image that is actually suggestive of phalanxes and line infantry. Still, the consensus is that while erectus did hunt small animals - as do chimpanzees - what our ancestors actually specialized in was carrion: taking control of a corpse site, butchering that corpse on the spot, then high-tailing it out of there before the hyenas and other threats arrived or returned.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#4114  Postby Spearthrower » Oct 14, 2019 3:50 am

Jayjay4547 wrote:
What about the English word “Creation” which points to the appearance of all the high functioning animals and plants , on a planet that once hosted only algae?


Well, one... high functioning plants? :grin:

Why algae? They're eukaryotes, and consequently evolved a long time after the prokaryotes.

And two, what does an English word have to do with anything at all?

An English word is a description, not a magical invocation. Cause -> Effect, JJ.


Jayjay4547 wrote: Surely that word has a useful meaning?


Of course it does, that's why it was created! :)

But of course, the usefulness of the word is restricted in terms of its information content, it has a remit of application. As with many words, it can be used metaphorically or poetically to capture some essence of the meaning of the word and apply that to a scenario where the word cannot typically have literal utility. Importantly in that scenario is to understand that metaphor is used to move people rather than to decree reality. Saying someone has a heart of gold is comprehensible metaphorically as an indication of their kindness, but any suggestion that their muscular cardiovascular pump is literally made of metal is not only silly, but it's entirely dysfunctional: a metal heart couldn't actually work as a heart.


Jayjay4547 wrote: And “evolution” means a particular naturalistic model for how that happened.


No. It means diversification, not creation.


Jayjay4547 wrote: Then, what about the word “Creativity".


It's the same word, JJ. English uses suffixes and prefixes to convert stem words into grammatically appropriate forms. In other languages, the stem word would not need to be changed but used as is regardless of its position in the sentence.


Jayjay4547 wrote: I suppose one can say that “Natural selection” is creative”.


It's not.

Creation is necessarily teleological. Evolution is not.

I've explained this to you many times over the years; your refusal or inability to engage doesn't mean you're on to something.

You can actually forget biology here: the depths of the mistake you're making here are better addressed by philosophy or physics. You mistake effect for cause. You believe ends dictate beginnings. It's a child-level grasp of how nature operates. Whatever the case of your mistake, this is unarguably not what evolution posits at all.


Jayjay4547 wrote: I have tried to argue though, that (a) natural selection is creative when a population feels out a pathway of change that turns out to lead to new functionality...


No you haven't; you're doing your typical of pretending that your ever-changing argument was ever-present.

Populations don't 'feel' things, JJ. Individuals do. Change in a population doesn't occur by feelings, JJ. Changes in populations occur through interaction with the environment and the statistical shuffling of genes in that population's pool over generations.


Jayjay4547 wrote: defensive hand weapon use was a main preadaptation for the creation of human speech and the human symbiosis-like coevolution with objects (hence text on Ratskep).


It's amusing to consider that you helped students with their theses. I wonder whether you ever advised them to simply keep repeating their thesis statements over and over, or whether you ever suggested that the entire point of a thesis was to supply arguments and evidence to support that contention.

Your assertions are wrong.

Speech isn't predicated on hand weapons.

Objects can't partake in symbiosis.


Jayjay4547 wrote: (c) That aspect of the human creation has been overlooked because of the influence of atheist ideology on the human origin narrative told in terms of evolution.


Insert evidence here.

There's no logical line between your collection of thesis statements. You've failed to support any of them, and this is why they've been 'overlooked' because those people who didn't overlook the preponderance of evidence against these positions realized they weren't worth wasting their time with. No atheism required or, in fact, logically relevant.


Jayjay4547 wrote:One active ingredient in atheist ideology...


The atheist ideology which you keep declaring exists but have failed over 5 years and hundreds of posts to establish as being worth discussing.


Jayjay4547 wrote: in this case being that the atheist narrative makes the human ancestors the actors, interacting with each other (sociality and sexual selection) as if on an acting stage, while imposing their will through hunting, in the world in which there was nothing greater than them.


It's hilarious to watch your arguments change so much, yet you still to keep asserting them with complete confidence. You've now arrived at a point where this argument is internally contradictory! :lol:

Of course, it's all coming from you - it's a strawman. None of this has anything to do with either atheism or any science involved in this suite of nonsense.


Jayjay4547 wrote: Whereas what really happened in the human creation was that our ancestors were led by the particular logic of their relationships with other species who themselves held the initiative and sought to impose their will, along a path whose huge significance the hominins were utterly unaware of.


That is impressively nonsensical. It's so far removed from any serious point of discussion because it's predicated on a set of entirely false assumptions indicative only of the paucity of your comprehension of the topic. I've already given you analogies about this with respect to both Christianity and Engineering, both of which there's some hope you may possess some relevant knowledge about, but of course, as you're not here for an honest discussion, you always ignore these expository analogies.


Jayjay4547 wrote:Just as we today are radically unaware of where creation is taking us.


Just as we're radically unaware of where the tooth fairy is taking us, what the elves have in store for us, and just how good we need to be to ensure Father Christmas brings us what we want.



Jayjay4547 wrote:And that happened in Africa. Not in Japan, where as Fenrir made a big thing about, some monkeys have only learned to wash potatoes.


Your non-sequiturs are fantastic. Why is geography meant to be important within the context of this quasi-magical interpretation of events?


Jayjay4547 wrote:So, Africa is where this creation happened. So, Africa was the creator. That’s not good Christian theology but that’s another issue.


It's not good anything. It's a belief statement unsupported by anything reasonable.


Jayjay4547 wrote:
Your non-confrontational, objective, well referenced, educated approach is a credit to science...


You clearly have no comprehension whatsoever about science.

Of course, given that you are an anti-science Creationist, your declarations about what good science is supposed to be is more than suspect.

As you've already been informed, no one here is doing science, we're only discussing the discoveries of science. As you've already been informed, no one here is a representative of science - it doesn't need any of our help. As you've already been informed, scientific validity isn't a product of how people talk about it, but rather what the evidence shows. You, of course, are here only to misrepresent science in support of your religious beliefs, so you are hardly going to be seen as a serious judge, and that's before your competence is even addressed. I could laud praise on someone's credit to engineering, but my ignorance of the field would obviate the value of such a statement of affirmation.

Of course, if we're supposed to be representatives of science, then you're a representative of Christianity. Consequently, your endless lying, manic obsessive hatred and general behavior is a discredit to Christianity. See how you dismiss this as ridiculous immediately? Yes, that's exactly how everyone else feels when you pretend to authority in decreeing other peoples' behavior's relationship to science.


Jayjay4547 wrote: but isn’t it striking,...


Because you're the judge! :lol:


Jayjay4547 wrote: that almost a century after the Taung child was discovered, this basic issue hasn’t been settled?


Settled... :)

JJ, you don't science, do you?

Some people would rather die in false confidence than live with honest uncertainty. Those people will never be capable of engaging with science and are much more suited to religion.


Jayjay4547 wrote: Unless you think that hand weapon use by that genus would have been not much more significant than a group of monkeys learning to wash potatoes.


You're a silly man, JJ. Washing potatoes (not that this is what occurred) is indicative of goal-oriented behavior. WOOOSH it flies over your head because you're not trying to grasp anything here to enlighten yourself, only to tear down a space to insert your mythological folk-tale.


Jayjay4547 wrote: It seems to me otherwise;


/shrug


Jayjay4547 wrote: that looking at any African mammal species that is preyed on, one is immediately struck by their particular and excellent functionality in avoiding being eaten.


:lol:

Only African ones? Are all non-African mammal species inherently inferior?

If they're so particular and excellent, why are there still predators in Africa, JJ? How exactly do they survive?

It's both amusing and perplexing that you make such confident and stupid declarations.


Jayjay4547 wrote: Part of that impression arises from the fact that these features are indeed signalled to us, as outsiders.


No.


Jayjay4547 wrote: The first thing one notices about a gemsbok is its horns and the gemsbok knows that as well as you do.


A gemsbok knows that it signals its horns to us as well as we know that it signals its horns at us? And now we also know that a gemsbok knows that we know that it knows that it signals its horns at us. And... yeah, quickly descends into farce, doesn't it?

Now try again in English and this time try and make sense.

In reality, the gemsbok need know nothing of the sort. It still has horns regardless.


Jayjay4547 wrote:In the case of Australopithecus the really gob-smacking phenomenon is the ABSENCE of such inter-species messaging of their being un-catchable.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

So gemsbok are uncatchable, and that's what they're signalling. Yet still they are caught. Didn't lions check their answer-phones?

Gawd JJ. You need to speak to a doctor about your cognitive function.

And we're once again back to using part of a species name to refer to a genus! :)


Jayjay4547 wrote: This was an animal that was pathetically unequipped to sprint from a predator like a springbok, climb a tree like a baboon or tear open a predator like a buffalo.


It couldn't climb a tree like a baboon, but it could climb a tree like an australopithecine.... how shocking!

One also notes that a baboon can't sprint from a predator like a springbok, nor teat open a predator like a buffalo.

Of course, one also notes that a buffalo's primary strategy when faced with a predator is... to run away.

So what do we actually have? We have 3 examples, and in each, the evolved strategy is the same: flee the predator.

Now JJ wants us to believe that the 3 foot tall australopithecines decided instead to engage in gladiatorial contests with predators 3, 4, 5 or 6 times their size using only rocks and sticks.

One also cannot help but note that springbok, baboons, and buffalo still get predated on.


Jayjay4547 wrote: Indeed in western culture what separates this ancestor and us from “the beasts” is exactly this distinctive apparent vulnerability.


Only in the near perfect absence of relevant knowledge. In reality, all prey species are vulnerable to depredation; that's what makes them prey species. And of course, in this fictional world JJ's puffing out in a cloud of sticky marijuana smoke, there'd be no predators.


Jayjay4547 wrote: And yet this genus did exist, had a wider distribution than other African hominoids, and they or their primitive descendants managed to spread through nearly every continent.


Which is basically a way of showing how little you know when every phrase there is wrong.


Jayjay4547 wrote: Obviously, when we look at their bodies, we are only seeing part of the picture, what is missing is their hand weapons with which they kept their predators at arms length so successfully that once that defene was breached, the game for that individual was over. In contrast with other defensive fighters like buffalo and giraffe, where the problem for the predator only starts then.


Ohhh... what's missing is the evidence for your claims?

Oh well, so much for your claims then.


Jayjay4547 wrote: To my thinking then, there can’t be doubt that Australopithecus used hand weapons in predator avoidance.


Right, so the lack of evidence and the nonsensical scenarios you've pretended are reality produce in you the belief that the lack of evidence indicates evidence.

Whereas, all the evidence showing that prey species routinely engage in fleeing predators doesn't suggest to you that you're overlooking this key factor, and that as all these prey species continue to exist even while predated on, that this is the kind of evolutionary stable strategy which might see ecologies lasting for millions of years.

Instead, we're supposed to believe that a half-labelled genus of 3 foot tall animals picked up sticks and thereby scared away predators who weren't scared of the impressive buffalo horns, or the long pointy baboon teeth.

It's buffoonery JJ. You need to find some other snake oil to sell.


Jayjay4547 wrote: But there remains an issue about their importance. You suppose they used “minimally shaped branches”. You might be ignoring the working of natural selection there.


It's more likely zoon understands natural selection, and that you're about to engage in some fanciful make-believe unsupported by any source whatsoever beyond your certain assertions.


Jayjay4547 wrote: Consider that predators decided themselves when to mount an attack, if hominins only picked up what they saw lying around when an attack threatened (as in that PBS slide I showed) that would have been selected against. No, they carried weapons with them and contra PBS they didn’t stand with their hands free to carry food or babies, but to carry weapons.


Which is exactly contrary to the consensus position of palaeoanthropologists based on reviewing the evidence available. That's science: see evidence, form opinion. You keep trying to employ religious methodology: have opinion, demand the world genuflects to it.


Jayjay4547 wrote: Natural selection follows from that: An animal that carries around a branch everywhere, to which it owes its life and the life of rest of the troop, is at the very least going to select more effective branches; soon it will evolve into a sharpened stick of optimal thickness and tree species.. And if the animal carries a stone, soon that will evolve into an optimal stone, long before the animal learns to crack the stone so as to put an edge on it.


There it is: the fanciful notion of natural selection which indicates exactly zero comprehension of evolution and natural selection.

Sticks don't evolve. Genes don't carry information about the pointiness of a stick. Natural selection of an organism doesn't see stones.


Jayjay4547 wrote: That’s s far as I can get this morning. Thank you zoon, for reading this far.


As far as you've got is still many centuries prior to a modern scientific understanding. Of course, it's not just been this morning, but rather taken you a lifetime to get this 'far'. Imagine what a relevant education could have done, JJ. Imagine how far you'd have got if you weren't trying to recreate first principles from your armchair. Imagine how far you'd have come if you abandoned your presuppositional demand for your preferred deity causing all this and just honestly reviewed the evidence.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#4115  Postby zoon » Oct 14, 2019 6:19 pm

Jayjay4547 wrote:….. I have tried to argue though, that (a) natural selection is creative when a population feels out a pathway of change that turns out to lead to new functionality (b) defensive hand weapon use was a main preadaptation for the creation of human speech and the human symbiosis-like coevolution with objects (hence text on Ratskep).

It’s your claim of “preadaptation” which is contrary to the scientific consensus that evolution by natural selection is enough to explain the anatomy and behaviour of all living things, including us.

Chimpanzees will sometimes throw stones and use hand-held branches in fights with each other (chiefly in display, but they are not entirely harmless), and when mobbing leopards. Wild chimpanzees also routinely modify sticks into different kinds of tools for feeding, and have been seen to modify stones as well, for cracking nuts (an example paper from 1990 is here). A zoo chimp was observed to make carefully hidden caches of ammunition to throw at visitors, fishing stones out of its pool and breaking off suitably sized pieces of concrete in the early mornings, before the zoo opened (2009 paper here).

Would you say that the chimpanzee capacity for forethought, modification of objects, and use of rudimentary “hand weapons” is an example of pre-adaptation? In your view, could these kinds of behaviour have arisen entirely as a result of natural selection, where chance mutations are selected on average because they lead to increased functionality, that is, improvement in genetic survival?
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#4116  Postby Jayjay4547 » Oct 15, 2019 4:50 am

Fenrir wrote:Here you go. I spent 3 seconds on google so you didn't have to waste all that effort./You're welcome

Followed by images of meerkat and otters “mobbing”

There you supported Spearthrower’s absurd argument that whereas there would have been very little to gain in Australopithecines “facing off” against their predators using hand weapons, it was quite feasible that they “mobbed” their predators without hand weapons.

If you trapped a meerkat or an otter, you would have more sense than to try to grab it with your bare hands. In spite of your being gigantic relative to them, because they bite.

Fenrir wrote:Imo is still laughing.


Imo the monkey in Japan learned to wash potatoes and this novel habit was adopted by the troop. You didn’t explain what that showed. My guess is that it is evidence that, contra my claim, an island population can display creativity. If that guess is wrong, please put me right.

To get perspective, we learned about Imo through text systems devised by a species created in Africa, which is a much larger land mass than Japan.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#4117  Postby Jayjay4547 » Oct 15, 2019 4:58 am

zoon wrote:
Jayjay4547 wrote:….. I have tried to argue though, that (a) natural selection is creative when a population feels out a pathway of change that turns out to lead to new functionality (b) defensive hand weapon use was a main preadaptation for the creation of human speech and the human symbiosis-like coevolution with objects (hence text on Ratskep).

It’s your claim of “preadaptation” which is contrary to the scientific consensus that evolution by natural selection is enough to explain the anatomy and behaviour of all living things, including us.


That isn’t quite what I’d like to claim. The term “preadaptation” was invented by people who adopted the scientific consensus. But in the human origin narrative, clear evidence has been ignored, that a weapon using habit in our Australopithecine ancestors preadapted them for the creation in humans of both speech and symbiotic coevolution with objects.

I triy to argue that the reason for this evidence having been ignored, is ideological. The term “preadaptation” has itself been replaced by “exaptation” precisely because of its “teleological” implications In other words, “preadaptation” is bit uncomfortable for atheists although they can live with it.. That is dominant ideology at work.

“Preadaptation” is one of a clump of terms including “exaptation” “cooption” and “punctuation” that have been invented by scientists in order to say useful and somewhat different things about structure in creative events in the past of life on this planet, but all at a higher level than the description you went on to use below of “of natural selection, where chance mutations are selected on average because they lead to increased functionality, that is, improvement in genetic survival” .

To put it in a nutshell, you insist on looking at the creation from the bottom up whereas a fuller picture tends to come from the top down, and sees creative logical structure that is also radically unpredictable by us. That way of understanding the human condition has analogies with how Western Man in particular, has viewed the human condition through the Abrahamic religions.

I’m suggesting that in the scientific consensus, the creation is presented from the bottom up; from chance, and that because of atheist ideology. It seems to me that ideologies have to do with opposites, with dialectic rather than “biases”. For example, the scientific consensus doesn’t present a “biased” view of Australopithecus, it has it upside down. Just look at the story on this topic. One thing we agree on is that the other side has it wrong side up.

zoon wrote: Chimpanzees will sometimes throw stones and use hand-held branches in fights with each other (chiefly in display, but they are not entirely harmless), and when mobbing leopards. Wild chimpanzees also routinely modify sticks into different kinds of tools for feeding, and have been seen to modify stones as well, for cracking nuts (an example paper from 1990 is here). A zoo chimp was observed to make carefully hidden caches of ammunition to throw at visitors, fishing stones out of its pool and breaking off suitably sized pieces of concrete in the early mornings, before the zoo opened (2009 paper here).

Would you say that the chimpanzee capacity for forethought, modification of objects, and use of rudimentary “hand weapons” is an example of pre-adaptation? In your view, could these kinds of behavour have arisen entirely as a result of natural selection, where chance mutations are selected on average because they lead to increased functionality, that is, improvement in genetic survival?


I have tried to answer part of that above. But No, chimp use of rudimentary hand weapons isn’t preadaptation because it hasn’t led them anywhere. One can’t suppose that chimps have just started messing around with tools; their ancestors have likely been doing that for millions of years. Their suggestive use and their close anatomical similarity to ours shows how close they came to falling into a preadaptive habit: it goes to the tight structure of the hole they didn’t fall into. Quite possibly, our last common ancestor was closer to the hole than modern chimps are.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#4118  Postby Cito di Pense » Oct 15, 2019 5:18 am

Jayjay4547 wrote:No, chimp use of rudimentary hand weapons isn’t preadaptation because it hasn’t led them anywhere.


Led? Anywhere?

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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#4119  Postby Jayjay4547 » Oct 15, 2019 6:40 am

zoon wrote:

I sometimes wonder whether you are choosing the wrong genus of hominin in your arguments here. Homo erectus, which appears in the fossil record about 2 million years ago, has the features which you claim australopithecines have, though they haven’t.


The features which I claim australopithecines had, form a staggeringly clear convergence around being apparently hopelessly vulnerable prey. Thanks to their distinctive canines and feet they would be not much better than we are at climbing away from a leopard or sprinting away from a hyena.

Like Spearthrower, you want to draw my attention to the genus Homo but the inconvenient truth isn’t them, it’s the Australopithecus genus. Inconvenient truths are the bright light for science but here you are throwing a cloth over the phenomena.
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Re: How atheist ideology messed up the human origin story

#4120  Postby Cito di Pense » Oct 15, 2019 6:57 am

Jayjay4547 wrote:Thanks to their distinctive canines and feet they would be not much better than we are at climbing away from a leopard or sprinting away from a hyena.


I don't care what story you're trying to tell, JJ, but here's a brief anatomy lesson for you: Distinctive canines, as you put it, are hardly useful for climbing trees or sprinting away from anything. Byeond that, you have clearly forgotten one thing: The critters you are trying to tell stories about were much smaller in stature than modern human adults. Modern human children are rather better than we adults are at tree-climbing. Can you guess why that is?

You've spent over a thousand posts complaining that evolution theory is anathema to you because the theory doesn't include the idea that evolution leads anywhere. Everything you write is either that complaint or some hand-waving to make you feel like you have some expertise in the relevant areas of study. You don't. Soldier on for Jebus, JJ.

Jayjay4547 wrote:the inconvenient truth isn’t them, it’s the Australopithecus genus. Inconvenient truths are the bright light for science


I don't see any scientific statements about australopithecines in those sentences. But then, scientific statements don't appear in anything else you write, either.

You've constructed your entire attack on evolutionary theory to address people who have no expertise in paleoanthropology. It's no mystery why you do that, and why your statements are easily shown to be silly by anyone who possesses that expertise.

Your output places your personal truths first, JJ, and you try to sell them as objective. Soldier on for Jebus, JJ.
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