Monday, September 26, 2005

BRING ON THE SPEAR CARRIERS

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Many operas have "spear carriers" who are, except for in "Die Walkurie", are men. They stand around with spears trying to look important while being extras.

From the National Geographic
The invention of the spear about a million years ago sparked 985,000 years of relative peace between tribes of early humans, according to a recent report.

This advent of weaponry also marked a split in the behavioral paths of chimps and humans, says the report's author, Raymond C. Kelly, an anthropologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Studies by Jane Goodall and others show that if a group of chimps from one community spots an individual from a neighboring group, they stalk and kill the trespasser.

This type of violence occurs almost exclusively among adult males in border areas where two or more groups hunt for food. The killing is opportunistic and is done to establish territorial dominance.

Strength in numbers benefits the group attacking and outweighs the attackers' risk of injuries or fatalities.

Early human behavior followed this pattern until about a million years ago, when humans invented throwing weapons to hunt large mammals, Kelly says. The ability to kill from a distance and the use of ambush tactics significantly affected border interactions.

The size of a group was no longer a guarantee of success, and the potential of being seriously wounded or killed increased.

Kelly believes the change in circumstances forced early humans to come up with new ways to resolve conflicts and to maintain friendly relations.
This anthropologist is nuts. Since when has the possibility of being hurt or killed stop men from fighting each other? Women too, for that matter. If weapons reduced war we wouldn't be in Iraq, would we? Chimpanzees kill each other but eat only the babies, they can't dine on the adults because they don't knap flint so they can skin the flesh and then prepare it for dinner.

But humans could. They discovered the joys of fire and the joy of dining on the neighbors. At first, raiding each other's territory to snatch babies for dinner was a common thing. Then, thanks to the new technology, the holders of this prize were able to eat all the other, non weapon wielding humanoids and then, once they were exterminated, the survivors who were all tool users using spears, discovered they could take down large animals.

Hunting humanoids who could only hit back with sticks was so simple. You see, when one animal in nature sees another who is normal neighbors, they don't panic and run. I once walked up to four deer leading my horse. The horse grazed with them all the time and they kept staring at me in disbelief until I was within arm's reach, then they decided I wasn't a horse and ran away.

Early humanoid would approach each other and the smart ones would hold out some goodies like bananas or a dead monkey and lure the strangers closer who would think this is a sharing gesture, then bang. You use your new spear to stab them in the chest and they die. So if a troop of spearless humanoids encountered a far smaller group of humanoids with spears, they often would surround them, hoping to kill them with rocks only to find the spears were much deadlier. This is why there are no humanoid/monkey survivors outside of the deepest jungles. We ate them all. Every last one of them.

Then the spear carriers discovered the joys of the Ice Ages as huge herds of animals had to congregate all the time at one place or another due to the hazards of winter so the humanoids followed them and ate them steadily, taking down even the biggest mastodons. Teaming up with dogs, we spread all over the earth to the furthest corners. Each technological hunting change was used to eat other humanoids, thus the fate of even fairly sophisticated Neanderthaler humanoids fell to the ever devouring tribe of homo sapiens.
Others are skeptical that more weaponry would reduce violence.

"Maybe it did, but it seems to me unlikely to have done so," said Richard Wrangham, an anthropologist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "It is easier to make surprise attacks with weapons than without, and hard to defend against them."
Quite right. In the arms race, humanoids using better weapons did not go up against other humanoids with the same weapons if there were poorly armed dupes nearby to be killed or eaten.

Once we not only eliminated all other human relatives, we then turned on each other. Cannibalism was slowly ended only because it is hard to run a city with cannibals, isn't it? Or countries. Countries that "cannibalize" everything, ie, destroy everything because they are too lazy or incompetent to build or create stuff, end up dead. Smart humans have found that cooperation is superior to kill/eating others. This is why big brained humans evolved and dominate the planet.

But deep inside lurks the cannibal. Waiting to be satiated.

&spades On a related matter, the mentally insane right wing Christians in America are at it again, denying evolution, history and geology. They want to live in a fantasy world whereby Jesus gave them the earth to consume and defecate upon at will. This disgusting philosophy keeps causing problems as detailed here:From the Denver Post

You might refer to Saturday's "biblically correct" tour of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science as Colorado's scientific conundrum:

How much shall we monkey with this state's future?

On Thursday at the state Capitol, you heard educators, business leaders and politicians fret over the lousy job Colorado does teaching its children about science.

On Saturday at the nature and science museum, you got a taste of how much worse things can get.

According to teachers, the Colorado Board of Education is too scared to even include the word evolution in the latest versions of the state science aptitude test it gives to eighth-graders.

Meanwhile, the president of the United States thinks the latest incarnation of Christian creationism - intelligent design - should be taught along with evolution in the public schools.
Scared of idiots. Spear wielding luantics threatening science. Everyone wants to have education but few want real education. Look at business schools! Economic professors. History teachers. Everyone constructs a fantasy they can cling to, science is the art of asking questions and then accepting the answers no matter how little we like them. It isn't lullaby time.
Colorado has dubbed the upcoming year "The Year of Science" in its public schools. Yet Jo O'Brien, who is in charge of learning and standards at the Colorado Department of Education, couldn't say if any school in this state teaches that the world is 6,000 years old. It's strictly a local matter, O'Brien said. "We don't have much command and control."

Statewide standards, but no actual curricula, exist for educational subjects in Colorado, explained state Board of Education member Randy DeHoff. "But I think I can say no public schools are teaching creationism, or we would have heard about it."

If they had heard, DeHoff admitted, they couldn't do anything.

Sadly, the state board of ed lacks the lust for science that intelligent design has for religion. When Colorado extends science aptitude tests to fifth and 10th graders next year, it will include no questions about the origin of species, DeHoff said.
Forget fear of the unknown, this is fear of the known! Why do people want a magical world? One would think this childish notion would cause adults to laugh but instead, even scientists in name like to subscribe to silly fantasies just so they can go beddy-bye at night and not have to think about things they do. Just like real humanists hate the torture of monkeys and apes, this extends to all humans, too.

The religious nuts hate that. They want to kill or torment monkeys, kill or torment humans. Look at the third wave of torture allegations rippling through the press so sluggishly. This is why Bush had to say, "Why do they hate us, we are the good guys" even as he was egging on Americans into a spear carrying operation overseas so we could murderously kill thousands of barely armed people. We didn't eat them except metaphorically. We are certainly consuming their natural resources and intend to leave them with nothing.

Things have hardly changed in the last million years.

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