The explosive origins of pottery during the last ice age

Science

#1

This fragment is the oldest known piece of pottery. It was found in Xianrendong Cave, Southern China, and dates to around 20,000 years ago.

What do you think of this @Jeremy_Christian ?


(Jeremy Christian) #2

Well, reading this it makes me wonder just how little of the picture of ancient human history we really have and just how right/wrong we are. Things like this, pottery, these are the types of things that can and do last a while. Like that limestone artwork you referred to earlier. Being limestone there’s a good chance it’ll maintain it’s shape and characteristics to be found than something, say, made of wood. I imagine wood and leaves and other parts of plants were probably used to a great degree, but we’ll never know because it breaks down and there’s no remaining characteristics that differentiate it from any other botanical wad.

That’s where my mind went as I was reading it.


#3

but let’s take this as tentatively and provisionally true that ancient Chinese had pottery 20,000 years ago.
What does that do to your thinking on human culture and free will?


(Jeremy Christian) #4

Not much. Things like this are consistent with a normal trajectory of us as a species. Mud/fire, it was bound to happen.

The focal point is when humans very abruptly changed their base behaviors. The un-normal trajectory.


#5

Sure, tell me when that happened? in any society in any place and at when?


(Jeremy Christian) #6

I realize I might make it sound like free will is some heightened capability when I speak about it. Humans before are just as capable as people after. It’s the intentions and motivations that changed. Not the capability to do these things that humans never did before. They never did them before because they weren’t needed.

Free will is more related to our motivations and behaviors.

A favorite quote of mine that I’m sure I’m butchering. Blaise Pascal once said all of humanity’s problems stem from our inability to sit still in a room quietly. That’s free will. What most separates modern humanity from our tribal ancestors is our perpetual discontentment. Tribal/indigenous humans are not burdened with such a disposition.

The shift that free will brings is psychological. It’s the emergence of the modern human ego.

The most important thing I’ve learned since coming here is to stop thinking of it as an evolutionary/genetic/physical kind of change. It was pointed out to me that two humans dropped in the middle of a populated world, any genetic change they may have introduced would have been diluted to nothing within a handful of generations. Much like the decrease in ages in Genesis from one generation to the next. By the time Abraham was born just 20 generations later, it was all but gone.

It’s just as it’s described in the garden story. The things God told them would happen if they ate the fruit, these weren’t punishments God magically cursed them with. These were the results of their actions. Like male dominance.

Free will separates us from one another, from the natural world, even from our own physical selves.

Now, rather than just behaving “naturally”, we behave from a mindset that we are the center of the world. It’s a shift in perspective.


(Jeremy Christian) #7

Southern Mesopotamia about 5000BC… ish.

The traditional view is that farming was the catalyst that changed humanity and eventually led to us being civilization builders. Higher, denser populations interacting and working with each other, yada yada.

But that really doesn’t jive with the evidence. There were a number of largely populated farming cultures, mainly in the northern Mesopotamian region that’s now Turkey. Some of these places had populations in the thousands. Catal Huyuk lasted for nearly 2000 years.

Yet they remained an egalitarian society with no ruling class the entire time. And they’re not the only example.

Sumer was different. Right from the beginning it was all about the gods. They built their cities around temples that the gods were said to have lived in. There was a ruling class right from the get go. A monarchy with kings ruling.

And once it happened there, it began to happen again and again and again. But not all over the place. All in the same region. In Egypt to the west, in the Indus Valley to the East. And it kept going. Up through to today. From Greece to Rome to the UK to the US. A pattern that just repeated over and over again. A species completely transformed in a very short amount of time.


#8

Yes, like when society was completely transformed when the Internet and the iPhone came out. :sunglasses:


(Timothy Horton) #9

Pity your fantasy falls flat on its face because you have no mechanism for transmitting the magic “free will!” from one person who had it to another person who didn’t have it. That and the fact you’ve ignored virtually every piece of historical evidence shown to you on the other thread.

“Besides that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?” :grin:


(Jeremy Christian) #10

Part of the problem seems to be you think free will is magic.

Influence is a mechanism.


(Jeremy Christian) #11

I didn’t ignore anything. I’ve addressed each “piece of historical evidence”. So far it’s been a case of you not understanding the pieces you’re postulating each time. Then when I point it out, you say I’m dodging. Apparently, anything I say other than just agreeing with you is dodging in your eyes.


(Timothy Horton) #12

Just saying “influence” is identical to saying “magic!”

Please describe this “influence”. Was it a monetary bribe? A pep talk? A threat of violence?

How long did it take for Free Will person A to “influence” non-free will person B? How long before B could then “influence” C?

You’re making up this woo as you go so please make up some testable details.


(Timothy Horton) #13

LOL! For every single person (many more than just me) who questioned your claims and why you ignored evidence you use the same excuse “you just don’t understand!!”. The evidence says it’s you who just can’t admit your woo is wrong.


(Neil Rickert) #14

Part of the problem is that you are using “free will” in a way that does not make sense to anybody else.


(Jeremy Christian) #15

Don’t know the exact details. Can only really point out the pattern. Testable details. How exactly it happened, TBD. But when and where it happened, that can be determined. And tested.

But what I’m describing is also described by the people who lived during that time …

China
“But, again, this is also clear enough from the new culture they brought to China. The “Golden Age” of peace and sexual equality came to a cataclysmic end.”

“In China, there are many legends speaking of a Golden Age before the time of constant warfare and social oppression, and archaeological evidence suggests that these aren’t just myths.” - Steve Taylor, The Fall

Greek/Roman
“There broke out … all manner of evil, and shame fled, and truth and faith. In place of these came deceits and trickery and treachery and force and the accursed love of possession … And the land, hitherto a common possession like the light of the sun and the breezes, the careful surveyor now marked out with long boundary lines.” - Roman Poet Ovid

India
“In India, there is a similar view of history. According to traditional Hindu folklore, time moves cyclically through four different yugasor ages. According to the ancient text, the Vaya Purana, during the first age, the Krita Yuga (or Perfect Age): Human beings appropriated food which was produced from the essence of the earth … They frequented the mountains and seas, and did not dwell in houses. They never sorrowed, were full of the quality of goodness, and supremely happy; they moved about at will and lived in continual delight… There existed among them no such things as gain or loss, friendship or enmity, or like or dislike.”


(Jeremy Christian) #16

How is my explanation of free will any different?


(Timothy Horton) #17

So you have no way of even determining if your “free will” woo was responsible. All you do is cherry-pick snippets from questionable sources, ignore 99% of the evidence which doesn’t fit your narrative, then yell SEE!! Like the part about “before free will all humans were peaceful and serene”. Then when you are shown evidence of human mass savagery and violence 1500 years before your Sumer even existed you just ignore it.


(Neil Rickert) #18

Have you actually provided an explanation?


(Jeremy Christian) #19

Yeah, quite a few times. I explain free will as a will independent of God’s will/Natural law.


(Neil Rickert) #20

That doesn’t mean anything to me.

I see free will as the ability to make decisions/choices that are not coerced. But you repeatedly use examples of living in a more coercive environment as evidence of free will. This seems backwards.