Modern man is the product of sapien/neanderthal interbreeding?

Discussion in 'History' started by Dr Lou Natic, May 12, 2004.

  1. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

    Has anyone read the book 'the last 2 million years' ?
    It seems to suggest that when homo sapiens met neanderthals the main reason for the disappearance of neanderthals was the 2 sub-species mixing with eachother. The neanderthal appearance being bred out by sexual selection. However other neanderthal attributes seem to have stuck.

    Neanderthals invented religion and spirituality, believe it or not before humans came into contact with neanderthals we didn't bury our dead or show any sign of spirituality whatsoever. Maybe we just stole the idea off them, but I don't think so. We humans naturally seem to sway towards spirituality. Its more than just being convinced, its instinctually satisfying to those that exercise it, as though it is part of the human animal to behave this way. Perhaps those that don't, those who have no interest in religion at all, are throwbacks to the purebred humans. I think we can all attest to seeing throwbacks to the neanderthal phenotype, whats interesting is now such an insulting statement may have a basis in truth.

    You have to wonder what else there is, what other aspects of the humans we see around today are thanks to neanderthal influence.
    Chances are the purebred sapiens line wouldn't have become what it did today without neanderthal blood. It seems it was that mixture of subspecies that created this earth engulfing entity that we are a part of.
    Without religion we never would have made civilisations, and neanderthals weren't on that course either, they needed that extra innovative creativity from sapiens sapiens.
    The 2 subspecies seemed to 'compliment' eachother. This is done in dog breeding often. The fact we don't look like neanderthals now doesn't mean anything, the neanderthal appearance was just selectively removed from the line, but other neanderthal traits were selected for and remained.
    In dog breeding a shorthaired dog might be crossed with a longhaired dog to get the good sense of smell from the longhaired dog, but eventually they'd breed the line back to looking exactly like the original shorthaired dog only difference being it has a better sense of smell.
    This seems to be what happened with humans and neanderthals, and its hard to say which part of us is from which ancestor. Appearance is definately from the sapiens subspecies, but other than that we don't know.
    MAYBE neanderthals were way smarter than homo-sapiens, they did have bigger brains, maybe sapiens were just physically attractive idiots and neanderthals used their advanced brains to trick them into putting out

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    We assume the history of the great homo-sapiens dominating the confused and inferior neanderthal and rendering him extinct, but maybe we ARE neanderthals, only draped in human skin.
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Whoah there dude! I was right with you up until that sentence. Where the heck did that come from?

    In order to be willing to live in cities, much less the larger civilizations that they grew into, we had to learn to stop treating people whom we didn't know and weren't closely related to as competitors and start treating them as members of the same "tribe."

    That worked against our instincts as apes. Chimps and gorillas live in groups of less than a hundred. Early Neolithic humans were just able to double or triple that size.

    I believe the spontaneous merging of dog packs and human clans into the world's first multi-species community was one of the most important incidents in our history. Once we learned how to love a "person" who was not even of the same species, it was not quite so hard to learn to love one who simply is of a different color, speaks a different language, or believes in different fairy tales -- excuse me I mean religions.

    Without dogs we might still be living as pastoral nomads or in fishing villages, in tribes of two or three hundred. Civilization would never have happened.

    Every time I look at the last five or six thousand years of human history, since the advent of the monotheistic, patriarchal religions that now dominate the planet, I come to the same conclusion. These religions have done more to thwart civilization and even to bring it to the brink of self-destruction, than they have ever done to advance it.
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  5. Porfiry Nomad Staff Member

    There is evidence that H. heidelbergensis practiced burial rituals, albeit pretty simplistic ones, as long as 350,000 bp.
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  7. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

    No I honestly think religion was the main reason for the rise of civilisation.
    People didn't all independently come to the conclusion to cooperate beyond the tribe. I think what religion has done is make people think twice about acting on instinct, 'if you do that the bear god will eat your skin' or whatever, and somewhere along the line it became a religious rule to tolerate other humans. It became 'wrong' to be territorial.
    I think there were a few contributing factors that lead to civilisation, I definately see the canine factor, another aspect to that is it allowed farming which indeed could have softened territoriality. More people could survive in smaller areas. But I think to abolish (or at least muffle) that instinct of killing strangers, religion was needed. Everyone had to fear the consequences of acting on instinct, religious guidelines are what law was based on. To get used to abiding by the law people needed to practice abiding by religious morals.
    Its obvious law in the western world today is based on christianity, and thats what law has always been, enforced morality. The morality being religious in origin. Its clear a civilisation could not work without law.
    I'll concede their were other contributing factors, but religion truely was vital in organising man into becoming civilised. People aren't the kind of animal that can just all agree and work together like ants, they needed to fear the repurcussions of not behaving like ants, and also be made ashamed of their natural instincts. All things which religion do nicely.
    I don't think dogs played as big of a roll on the mindset of people as you suggest, I think dogs played a significant roll in the physical work required to become civilised, I think religion is what allowed people to work together in such an unnatural manner.
    And it was interesting to see in history that man would occassionally revert back to a natural social structure whilst remaining religious, needing to contradict his religion to appease his instincts, I'm thinking of medievil europe in particular, with the guarded territories and conflict. How they managed to behave that way while worshipping jesus is beyond me. But eventually jesus won out, strangely when he finally did many people didn't even worship him anymore. But they succumbed to his passive unnatural orders just the same.
    Religion has worked hard to make society IMHO, now that we're finally doing what it wanted its dieing out. Its no longer needed, now people want to advance for the sake of advancing, they've tasted what cooperation can do and want to see what else it can do. They'll tolerate strangers on the street because they want society to work and civilisation to advance.

    Not me, I'd be more interested in having a territory and living off it and defending it. For personal preference of that lifestyle and also for the good of the planet.
    I didn't come to that preference from denouncing dogs, infact the lifestyle wouldn't even be attractive to me if dogs couldn't be involved, I found this ideal from denouncing religion and laboriously removing every sceric of its influence from the planet in my mind. After doing that there is no civilisation. Atleast I truely believe that there wouldn't be.
  8. Roman Banned Banned

    Religion is a tool of civilization. Ideas that unseen, fairytale forces can strike you down, or burn you in eternal fires forever grant those in control (whom I shall now refer to as The Man) supernatural control over their subjects.

    Religion is not "spiritual" in a "civilized" context, it's dreadfully political. Martin Luther is an EXCELLENT example. So are the Crusades and the Pope and the Angelican Church.

    Let's go back to The Man. You seem to assume that religion dissalows one from killing strangers. Have you ever picked up the old testament? Those Jews killed everyone who weren't Jews! And can you guess who helped them? God did. Book of Joshua is a good example.

    What about state/religion sponsered sacrifice? Once again, I offer the book of Joshua as evidence. In there God has the Israelites sacrifice 1 out of every 500 men, livestock and gold to the Almighty.

    Let's take a look at The Man of Aztecan times. I do not know of a more barbaric, bloodsoaked civlization than the Aztecs. Need I go into further detail?
  9. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

    No because from the start you were heading away from the point.
    Violent civilisations are a given, as are violent religious people, because we are a violent animal and thats just the bottom line.
    What religion can do though is stop people from killing when they usually would, they might kill later but the natural balance is out of wack.
    'Killing' exists for an ecological reason, if the instinct is sparked and then ignored, even once, the eco-system in which it was ignored suffers a little. And this can build up, as it has and as we can see, ever heard of environmental problems? Yeah, they exist because humans started to suppress their instincts.
    Sure the instincts will still shine through, religion isn't that powerfull, but its good enough to knock the system out of wack. People still kill, but they don't necessarrily kill when rivals or strangers come into their territory, they don't even establish self sufficient territories anymore.
    I'm just saying religion made people stop killing for natural instinctual reasons, and that civilisation, no matter how violent, is not as violent as that many people crammed into that much space should be.
    Religion alters natural behaviour is the main point, killing is just a tiny little portion of that and no religion doesn't make people stop killing but by trying to it has made the killing random and no longer ecologically beneficial.
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    People didn't all come to that conclusion, period. Religion has existed since the early Neolithic, thousands of years before the first civilizations. Right up into the early 20th Century there were still people in Africa, the Amazon Basin, and the Pacific Islands who had religion but had not yet built cities.

    Religion does not appear to be a very powerful motivator for inventing civilization. It only happened six times in all of human history: Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, India, Olmec, and Inca. The rest of us are descended from people whom the civilizations labeled "barbarians" and who eventually assimilated to an already-existing civilization, often against their will despite the allegedly civilizing influence of their well-established religions.
    Huh? Religion has been one of the most divisive influences on mankind. The bloodiest wars and the most atrocious conquests have been perpetrated by people who considered each other "infidels," "heathens," or "pagans" because they didn't share the same religion. All it takes is a slight difference that isn't even discernable to an outsider, such as that between Catholic and Protestant Christians or between Sunni and Shia Muslims, and the most religious people get whipped into a killing frenzy by their religions. This hardly qualifies religion as a civilizing influence.
    Religion feeds on and exacerbates that hostility to strangers. It works exactly against the emotional maturity that is required to build a durable civilization. The religious Bronze Age and Iron Age folk of Eurasia and Cushitic north Africa raped Neolithic sub-Saharan Africa for slaves and resources since the dawn of history. Then their Christian descendants expanded the campaign to southeast Asia and the Americas. The two indigenous civilizations of the New World were obliterated in the name of the Christian God, to the extent of burning their own written records of themselves.
    Religion does not mitigate instinct: it codifies it. People have continually punished their children corporally, discriminated against their neighbors, ostracized other communities, and made war upon other nations, because their religions told them that they alone are good and that they have a duty to cleanse the world of evil.
    Fortunately we are in fact ruled neither by the suffocating pettiness of the Pentateuch nor the capitulation to bullies taught by Jesus. Our laws go back to Hammurabi. The Sumerians at least still hung on to the rich polytheistic model of the human spirit that can actually be used to understand our behavior and our relationships. Their laws are more useful, practical, enforceable, and enlightening than those of the patriarchal monotheistic faiths that keep metastasizing out of the Middle East like cancer epidemics. We can observe modern people stifled by Judaic and Islamic law. It's not hard to imagine what a civilization under the boot of Christian law would have been like -- that's probably why the millennium of ignorance and squalor when Christianity had a stranglehold over Europe is called the "Dark Ages."
    I've never heard an anthropologist suggest that primitive peoples had any trouble at all working toward the common good. They're not the ones who had to invent money and jails to get people to treat each other fairly. The indigenous Neolithic peoples of Australia and North America were available for study during quite recent times and discipline is rarely mentioned as a social issue before the introduction of alcohol and other foreign influences by their Christian conquerors.
    "Occasionally"???? Medieval Europe was Christian civilization! Don't you get it? That's what worshiping Jesus did to Homo sapiens.
    That seems like a very convoluted way to avoid admitting that Western Civilization began to emerge from the filth, poverty, and injustice of the post-Roman era when Christianity itself was called into question during the Renaissance and the Enlightenment.
    Man you are some spin doctor. You ought to work for the Bush campaign. For most of the past 2,000 years Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have worked hard to destroy civilization. Carl Jung, the man who was able to identify the effect of the sterile, binary morality of Christianity on our civilization, as well as to clearly show its inferiority to the polytheistic model, succintly summarized it: "The wars among the Christian nations have been the bloodiest in human history."
    No. We've recalled what cooperation can do, largely by studying the pre-monotheistic, modern polytheistic, and non-religious faiths of other cultures such as the indigenous Americans and Australians, the Hindus, Buddhists, Daoists, and Confucians. We've figured out that Christianity has been feeding us pure bullshit for two millennia and we're really pissed off at it.
    No. We'll tolerate strangers on the street because we no longer have priests telling us that black people aren't human, Apaches will rape our women, Chinese will addict our children to opium, and Jews will take all our money.
    So you're a hermit by nature? One of the few people that our cooperative Neolithic ancestors didn't have much respect for because you didn't want to live in a big happy community and work for the common good? Is that what you're telling us after all this? If you're holding yourself up as an example of an average human and saying people are like this and therefore people need religion in order to become civilized, I can finally see where you're coming from. It's called the far end of the bell curve. The sixth sigma. The rest of us aren't like that, and we don't need your damned religions to force us to live in a way that doesn't happen to appeal to you.
  11. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

    Because their religion didn't say 'love thy neighbour'. Religion itself isn't inherently anti-natural. Some religions evolved to be that way.

    No, the religions themselves don't encourage violence. People are naturally violent. And instinct has often won out over religious influence and people have managed to use it as an excuse to satisfy their instincts, even though their religion contradicted them.

    You are blaming religion for people's actions. What religions preach is perfect for building civilisation, thats exactly what it is an instruction manual towards civilisation. Just because people have broken the rules of their religions doesn't mean the religions are responsible. Natural human instinct is responsible. Religion and natural human instinct have been in conflict with eachother since religion came about. Throughout history crafty humans have managed to sculpt religion into something that will still allow for them to satisfy their instincts. But all the while they have been reflecting and criticise history saying 'thats not what god would do' and slowly but surely religion has been gaining control over people.

    And did they have cities? No. This proves my point.
    You're correct, they are good examples of people behaving naturally without the influence of an unnatural religion (they were spiritual but did not have a religion hovering over their heads judging them for fullfilling their urges).
    Meanwhile the people with so called 'civilisation hindrancing' religions were building illustrious civilisations. How does this work?

    Jesus invented conflict? Do lions worship jesus? Chimps? Hyenas?
    The wars and conflicts humans have had through history have ALWAYS been instinctual. When the excuse of fighting over resources lost its meaning they invented new excuses. Yes they would even use religion as an excuse, but it wasn't religion responsible for the conflict. Their religion was asking them to not behave that way but they had to put their fingers in their ears and do it anyway because the animal urge was strong.

    And yet civilisation didn't exist outside of these religions. Quite curious indeed.

    It was the christian british that invented western civilisation and spread it across the world. Its not a matter of opinion so i don't know what we are arguing about.

    This is rubbish. If priests were saying things like that its because they were homo-sapiens. How they could mould religion to seem like it encouraged that way of thinking is beyond me. But it is human beings that are violent. Survival once depended on having a territory that could support you and your family. Nature made us violent to strangers to prevent us from raping environments of resources. So there were only as many people per square mile as the square mile could support. Our instinctual violence exists to maintain this balance. Just as it does with most of the animal kingdom.

    A hermit lives alone, I am saying I would like to live as a tribe with a modest group of close families surviving of our own territory and defending it from outsiders. Thats not a hermit, thats a normal social animal. Look around, thats how they all behave, EXCEPT humans from civilisations with religious histories.

    People that think like you couldn't exist in a natural uncivilised world with that mindset. Animals are territorial because they need to be, lions can't say 'come all prides, all are welcome in this territory!' because they would quickly run out of food and starve. People were like this as well, and still are in some areas. Cooperation is a concept designed for the tribe of a territory, not for the whole species. For this level of cooperation to exist people needed to suppress the instinct that told them to attack outsiders, they needed to join forces and come up with ways of making enough food to support large numbers. They managed this, but religion was required in the first place to make people think doing what they naturally are urged to do is wrong.
    Violence may well have persisted through religion inspired societies, it may have become worse and more bloody, you are right it did. BUT for societies that large to exist in the first place the territoriality of humans had to be suppressed by religion. And it was, and they bypassed those violent tendencies to other endeavours. Maybe with more enthusiasm. Its beside the point.
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Most of this is simply a difference of opinion that we'll have to leave be. But this one:

    Where do you buy your history books? Not one of the world's civilizations was created by the disciples of Abraham.

    The Christian civilization of Europe was built by the Romans when they weren't Christians yet, 500 years before Christ. All they did was borrow it from the Greeks, who built it 2,000 years before Christ. All they did was borrow it from the Phoenicians and Persians, who got it from the Babylonians, who got it from the Sumerians. The original civilization in Mesopotamia was created seven or eight thousand years ago, when the Jews themselves, the first children of Abraham, were still pastoral nomads living in the Stone Age. The bible's creation myth is a rip-off of the Sumerians'; it's quite possible that the civiliization which has been taken over by the Jews, Christians, and Muslims was erected before the Hebrew people had even developed the monotheistic religion that they now practice.

    Civilization arose in Cushitic Egypt no later than 5,000BCE, long before they heard of Moses, much less Christ. In India not much later -- and their civilization, by the way, is still not a "Christian" one, if you'll take the word of 700 million Hindus.

    The civilizations in the Western Hemisphere are much more recent because Homo sapiens didn't even live here until about 15,000BCE, but they certainly were not Christian civilizations. They didn't even have a chance to convert. They were wiped out by Christians who heard God telling them that they were a superior race.

    But how can you ignore China? The world's oldest continuous civilization. It has not been conquered or merged by or with anyone, except the hapless Mongols and Manchus, both of whom were swallowed up by the Chinese before they had much of an impact. The Chinese have been practicing the Dao/Confucian way of life -- which cannot be called a "religion" because it does not have a significant element of the supernatural -- for thousands of years, and their civilization is the most stable on Earth. The only missionaries who had any impact on China were the Buddhists, and the only components of Buddhism that the Chinese accepted were the ones that were compatible with their existing philosophy: no supernatural crap about divinity or reincarnation. Chinese "faith" is still in the scholarship of their ancestors and the ability of man to handle his own affairs and work for the common good. Sure you can point out their recent flirtation with communism -- which is not a religion either but is one of the toxic products of Abrahamic culture like alcoholism and epidemics of the Black Plague due to the Christian aversion to sanitation -- but they've only had it for sixty years. It took them a couple of centuries to reject the Mongols, I'm sure they'll do the same to Marx much more quickly, judging by their current mood.

    You cannot get away with giving Christianity credit for civilization. It just isn't true. The longest-running and most stable civilization on this planet is the one that's had the least to do with Jesus.
    What we're arguing about is that you apparently haven't read any history books. We just covered all of that. Perhaps you should read it again and note the enormous discrepancies from your presposterous revisionist history of Planet Earth.

    The people who call themselves "British" are actually the Germanic Anglo-Saxon barbarian hordes who sailed to Britannia after the Roman empire fell apart, drove the true Celtic Britons out of their own homeland, and occupied it. They were "civilized" by the few remaining Roman monks who taught them how to use the artifacts of civilization that they had just stolen from the real "British" people. They were converted to Christianity around the middle of the First Millennium C.E.

    The modern British people not only did not invent civilization, they did a fairly good job of destroying the one they found in Celtic Britannia before they realized that it might be worth salvaging. Their idea of "spreading civilization" was to subjugate (or simply kill off) the native people in lands they wanted and claim them for the Saxon hordes, the same way their forefathers seized Britannia in the first place.
    Last edited: May 15, 2004

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