jump to last post 1-5 of 5 discussions (48 posts)

The Neandertal in us.

  1. A.Villarasa profile image77
    A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago

    According to an article in Scientific American, DNA analysis have found that people today who live outside of Africa carry an average of least 1.5 to 2.1 percent Neandertal DNA, , a legacy from the dalliances between Neandertals and anatomically modern humans tens of thousands of years ago. Modern humans have always had the lowest regard for Neandertals, considering them  stupid and brutish....leading one to suspect that when one is labeled or called a  "neandertal" his neandertal DNA is much more than the above  reported 1.5 to 2.1 percent. Really?

    It is now obvious  from all the archaological insights (fossil remains, etc)  that neandertals are capable of aesthetics and  abstract/symbolic thought that we all consider essential  parameters of  imaginative discerning.

    The role of and importance of  imagination in any culture, should never be disregarded, discounted, and thrown into the ash heap. The fact that neandertals did not quite make it, in evolutionary terms, is not due to any lack of imagination, but to the dilution of their DNA pool that modern humans imposed on them through the human's sheer numbers alone.

    One particular precinct among modern humans that  consistently and persistently discount and disregard the value of imagination in the evolutionary narrative are the atheists and secularists, who  sternly argue  that human existence is nothing more than the sum of their physical parts, and anything beyond the physical(thus un-imagined) does not exist

    1. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Actually, I doubt that it was DNA dilution that did in the Neanderthals; the inability to speak probably played a much great part in their demise.  They simply could not compete with a species that could quickly and easily communicate both instructions and findings (think battle instructions and directions for a better spear point here). 

      But I don't quite follow the last paragraph - are you trying to say that things beyond the physical cannot be imagined?  Or that what can be imagined automatically exists?  Either one would obviously false, with a prime example being that of the gods.

      1. A.Villarasa profile image77
        A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        @wilderness:
        You might want to read that article in the latest issue of Scientific American  which argue that IN FACT it was the dilution of the neandertal  DNA by  modern human's DNA via sexual dalliance between the two groups, with modern human's sheer number overwhelming the already rather thin and porous Neandertal population in Europe. The article also argues, convincingly, that archaeological findings now reveal that Neandertals, were not that far behind  their cousins in terms of cerebral capacity for intuitive/symbolic/imaginative  thinking.

        1. wilderness profile image94
          wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I understand their minds were not much, if any, inferior to the homo sapiens that replaced them.  But I didn't reference that - I clearly stated that the lack of a real speech organ was a likely reason for their demise.  An inability to communicate well is a huge detriment and it seems quite likely that that inability contributed to why they were "thin and porous" compared to their cousins.

          Online, it won't let me read the article, but does mention two competing theories as to the demise.  Does the article present a new theory, or does it show FACTS the PROVE Neanderthals disappeared BECAUSE of hybridization of the two?  In other words, does it "argue" (as you say) or does it provide sufficient new information to destroy the previous theories?

          1. A.Villarasa profile image77
            A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            The absence of a "real speech organ" is not an impediment to effective communication. Speech/language as we humans call it had evolutionary implications only in our specie, but there are other ways to communicate effectively with your cohorts.... Just ask a pack of wild dogs hunting their prey, or the songbird singing a lullaby to his mate, or the humpback mother whale protecting her newborn from being devoured by sharks.

            1. wilderness profile image94
              wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Absolutely animals communicate.  Even trees do that.

              What they can't do is communicate complex subjects - when should we plant the crop, where shall we drive the mammoths over the cliff, what do the gods say we should do, etc. 

              No, the inability to formulate complex sounds, combined with the brain to formulate meanings to those sounds, is a real hindrance.  While a parrot can talk, it can't formulate the meanings of the sounds it makes, for instance.  Neanderthal appears to have the brain, but not the means to make the sounds, and that means they most likely never developed an actual language.

              1. A.Villarasa profile image77
                A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Ground breaking findings by researchers at the University of New England
                shows that Neandertals may well have spoken in language not dissimilar to the ones we use today. They compared the hyoid bone of a 60,000 year old Neandertal fossil found in Israel in 1989  to that of a modern human, using micro x-Ray imaging, and found that they were similar anatomically and physiologically ie the mechanical behavior of both were basically indistinguishable, strongly suggesting that the hyoid bone ( being  part of the vocal tract ) were used in the same way.

                1. wilderness profile image94
                  wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  That's news to me; all I've ever seen was that Neanderthals lacked the physical ability to produce sounds as we do.  Guess that's why we should never quit looking, never lean back on our laurels and declare that we know the answer!

                  1. A.Villarasa profile image77
                    A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Not exactly news to me......so to your rhetorical  question: " what else would be of interest?".....everything is of interest, specially since of all the specie that has populated earth, it is the humanoids, and that includes the Neandertals, who have been blessed with the cerebral capacity to intuit and instigate the process of imagination leading them to ask questions and search for answers, until they find them.

      2. A.Villarasa profile image77
        A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Now regarding that last paragraph...as usual you misread it, misconstrued it, and therefore misinterpreted it.

        1. wilderness profile image94
          wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          So?  Outside of an unwarranted slur to atheists that they don't understand the importance and use of imagination (necessary for any gain of knowledge), what DID you mean?

          1. A.Villarasa profile image77
            A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Saying that Atheist do not understand the importance and use of imagination to gain knowledge is not a slur.... Actually it's a badge of honor for them to totally eliminate imagination when it comes to understanding human existence vis a vis the universe.

            1. wilderness profile image94
              wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              "Understanding human existence"?  We know where we came from, there is no reason to think there is an intelligent "purpose" in that existence even though it feels good to imagine there is.

              What other "understanding" might there be?  "Why" implies a purpose, "how" we're learning (greatly aided by imagination), "when" we know; what else would be of interest?

              1. A.Villarasa profile image77
                A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Of course there is a purpose to human existence....to deny that purpose is to deny existence itself. We are still way far  off from knowing how the universe (and us) came into existence,  science saying it's the Big Bang...faith based belief says it's God. IMO, there is no dissonance to the above formulation.

                1. wilderness profile image94
                  wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Can you elucidate?  What might that purpose be, who assigned it and what gave them the right to assign such a thing to the whole race?  Why is the purpose they assigned any better than the one I assign?

                  1. A.Villarasa profile image77
                    A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    As the poets and philosophers would say: for every rhyme there is a reason;  for very time, there is a season. Since creation  is governed,   both by time and rhyme, then it follows that there must be a reason. Seasons come and go, but reason remains constant... as unyielding and unmoved as the one who started it all.

    2. Don W profile image84
      Don Wposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I guess I could consider myself a 'secularist'. I don't discount and disregard the value of imagination. On the contrary, I consider the ability to picture things in our mind's eye that are not directly in front of us, as a vital human attribute. With imagination, if you have a stick, sharp stone and piece of twine, you have an axe. Without imagination you just have a stick, a sharp stone and a piece of twine.

      An attribute with some survival value that compliments imagination is the ability to believe in a positive outcome despite material conditions, i.e. hope. This ability increases mental resilience in that it helps us to keep going, even in the most dire circumstances.

      Interestingly, both abilities are prerequisites for religious belief. Christianity, for example, could not exist without the ability to imagine and hope. That's why I think our capacity for religious belief could simply be the result of a combination of two attributes that help us survive. In other words, religious belief might be a byproduct of the ability to imagine and hope. In fact it could be argued that religious belief is the ultimate manifestation of our ability to imagine and hope.

      1. A.Villarasa profile image77
        A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I fully agree with what you have posted. But to clarify my initial post, I am not generalizing that all secularists are rabid physicalists or materialists. I am mostly  referring to the hard secularists whose belief systems are closely allied to those of atheists.

      2. A.Villarasa profile image77
        A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Atheists and hard secularists have argued that all religious inclinations and activities are  based on beliefs that are undergirded by imagination and hope, thus  are total exercises in futility, and therefore have no inate value in terms of human existence.

        1. wilderness profile image94
          wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          That would be foolish in the extreme.  While unrestrained imagination or hope is counterproductive to effective action, it can and does give great relief and succor to billions of people.  The value lies in the field of emotion, but that does not make it less real.

          1. A.Villarasa profile image77
            A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            And by unrestrained you mean what?

            1. wilderness profile image94
              wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              When imaginary creatures (or events or anything else) is taken and promoted as being factual, that imagination needs to be reined in.  It needs restrained, preferably by the intellect it comes from.

              1. A.Villarasa profile image77
                A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                And by imaginary creatures, you mean what?

                1. wilderness profile image94
                  wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Whatever you can imagine that you can't show is real.  Imaginary things, whether living or not, events or things, whatever.

                  Examples might be a flying dragon breathing fire, a unicorn or Asgard.  It might be an event, changing the past into something you would rather have had happen.  It might be a Lamborghini with your name on the registration. 

                  Have you never imagined something that wasn't there at all?  Most people have, especially children (think Santa Claus or the tooth fairy).  Perhaps because the world is so ever changing to them, and full of wonders and excitement (without accompanying understanding or knowledge) that they sometimes have trouble distinguishing reality from fiction or wants.

                  1. Kathryn L Hill profile image84
                    Kathryn L Hillposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    But, you argue against "Creator." I was just at the Ear Dr.'s office. I looked closely at the charts while waiting for the doctor. The human ear is so intricate and so beautiful. It had to be designed by an intelligent purposeful force. We all call that force God.
                    I hope you don't mind, wilderness.

                  2. A.Villarasa profile image77
                    A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Existence is as real as one could imagine it....imaginary thoughts/ideas/emotions/objects/  give color and sustenance  to that existence, but not in any way misdirecting it to the point of delusion.

    3. Onusonus profile image86
      Onusonusposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      We are also part banana. And part rock. Because humanity rocks.
      Watermelons are 97% water. So are clouds. Therefore watermelons are clouds. Tasty, tasty clouds.

  2. Kathryn L Hill profile image84
    Kathryn L Hillposted 2 years ago

    I disagree. You assume it is counterproductive. I know it is productive. Hope gives rise to belief and belief give rise to will and direction of will...including an end and a true accomplishment which is absolutely based on
                                              REALITY.

    1. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      The key word was "unrestrained".  If you lie on a hiking trail for days, hoping against hope that someone will come along and save you, you will likely die.  Same for imagination; while it great, and necessary for learning new things, too much results insufficient (or zero) effective action being taken.

  3. Kathryn L Hill profile image84
    Kathryn L Hillposted 2 years ago

    God is Reality in that God is Spirit. When we try to find and devote ourselves to Sprit, which we ARE, in all actuality, we increase our knowingness of our true selves. This knowingness is heaven, and is indeed found within.

    TWISI

  4. Kathryn L Hill profile image84
    Kathryn L Hillposted 2 years ago

    Spirit/ Devine Will/ Imagination/ Intelligence was operating within the Neandertal as well.

    TWISI

  5. Kathryn L Hill profile image84
    Kathryn L Hillposted 2 years ago

    ...and as it (Spirit: universal and individual) has been evident in all creation through evolution.

    1. Paul Wingert profile image78
      Paul Wingertposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Really?

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image84
        Kathryn L Hillposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Yeah, Paul...
                                              Spirit = Life

 
working