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Old 2011-01-04, 15:21   Link #11061
Anh_Minh
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Yeah. And they don't seem all that sure they're homo sapiens. And, they haven't really mentioned it, but how sure are they about that 400000 year figure? It's not uninteresting, but I wouldn't count my chickens quite yet.
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Old 2011-01-04, 15:22   Link #11062
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Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
no it doesn't, all that does if the finding is true is that the date for human expansion was earlier then we thought.
^^Xellos is right. The 'discovery' is nothing right now, until further study. Even then, unless we can get more remains than a tooth it likely won't have any impact on the modern Out of Africa theory. The idea that it belongs to modern humans is also bizarre because if it does belong to modern humans then that means humans coexisted with Homo Erectus for hundreds of thousands of years. Why is that so strange? The exact same diet, likely similar style of hunting... Erectus would be outcompeted and driven to extinction a lot more quickly than they were if humans sprung up that early.
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Old 2011-01-04, 15:25   Link #11063
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Originally Posted by bladeofdarkness View Post
its also interesting in the sense that it puts to question on where Homo sapians originate from.
prior to this finding, the assumption was that they originate from Africa, but if this finding in the Levant really does predate the findings in Africa by such a long time, then the prior assumption may no longer be true.
There's still genetic evidence that supports an African origin though. Granted that could be explained by saying modern humans arose in modern day Israel, colonized Africa, died out outside of Africa, then the surviving African population recolonized the rest of the world. That might even work well with the theory modern humans were pushed to near extinction by the Toba eruption some 70,000 years ago. At the very least it raises new questions, but for now out of africa is still sound.

Though one does wonder just what our ancestors were doing for the at least 330,000 years prior to Toba. I mean we went from hunter gatherers on the verge of extinction with stone tools to approaching 7 billion people on the cusp of colonizing the solar system in the 70,000 years since. Were our ancestors living a hunter gatherer lifestyle for nearly 5 times as long prior to that? If so, what sparked the shift to agriculture and technological civilization? Was it just that no one thought of it in all that time and it was just happenstance that it was discovered when it was? Was there a shift in cultural imperatives that lead to the discovery of agriculture? It makes one realize just how little we know about our ancestors.
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Old 2011-01-04, 15:46   Link #11064
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Or was it a cycle of trial and error mixed with natural disaster. It is possible the species had advanced somewhat prior to nature slapping them back down to the stone age. All it would take it the deaths of enough people who would know how things worked and a few years of winter with poor planting seasons to destroy agricultural society.
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Old 2011-01-04, 16:12   Link #11065
Kamui4356
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Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
Or was it a cycle of trial and error mixed with natural disaster. It is possible the species had advanced somewhat prior to nature slapping them back down to the stone age. All it would take it the deaths of enough people who would know how things worked and a few years of winter with poor planting seasons to destroy agricultural society.
Possibly, but I'm not sure that's all that likely. Agriculture is probably one of those things that once you know how to do it, it becomes pretty much self evident, but figuring it out in the first place is not so easy. Plus, any society that advanced beyond stone age hunter gathers would have left traces. You're not going to find the remains of many completely unknown ancient civilizations, except perhaps in places that are completely uninhabitable today but where then. Deep in say the Sahara or Arabian deserts for example.
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Old 2011-01-04, 16:38   Link #11066
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Originally Posted by Kamui4356 View Post
Possibly, but I'm not sure that's all that likely. Agriculture is probably one of those things that once you know how to do it, it becomes pretty much self evident, but figuring it out in the first place is not so easy. Plus, any society that advanced beyond stone age hunter gathers would have left traces. You're not going to find the remains of many completely unknown ancient civilizations, except perhaps in places that are completely uninhabitable today but where then. Deep in say the Sahara or Arabian deserts for example.
Archaeological findings suggest that while the earliest anatomically modern humans are pushing 200,000 years in age, behavioral modernity was not present until around 50,000 years ago. It seems abstract and creative thinking (the kind you'd need to think of agriculture as an alternative to hunting) were not always present, and 'popped up' 50,000 years ago. The archeological record supports this through cave paintings and religious/spiritual icons as well as more advanced weaponry. Since humans had already been anatomically modern for 150,000 years there has been a lot of speculation regarding why technology and culture rapidly advanced 50,000 years ago. I remember one interesting one which I thought sounded plausible; it had to do with a combination of heightened cultural diffusion due to populations growing and coming into contact with one another, as well as an increase in linguistic abilities for expressing abstract ideas. From there I suppose it took another 40,000 years of trail and error and eventually agriculture was discovered.

Though we can't forget agriculture wasn't discovered by everyone; some cultures like the Australian Aboriginals never used it for instance.
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Old 2011-01-04, 16:51   Link #11067
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Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
Archaeological findings suggest that while the earliest anatomically modern humans are pushing 200,000 years in age, behavioral modernity was not present until around 50,000 years ago. It seems abstract and creative thinking (the kind you'd need to think of agriculture as an alternative to hunting) were not always present, and 'popped up' 50,000 years ago. The archeological record supports this through cave paintings and religious/spiritual icons as well as more advanced weaponry. Since humans had already been anatomically modern for 150,000 years there has been a lot of speculation regarding why technology and culture rapidly advanced 50,000 years ago. I remember one interesting one which I thought sounded plausible; it had to do with a combination of heightened cultural diffusion due to populations growing and coming into contact with one another, as well as an increase in linguistic abilities for expressing abstract ideas. From there I suppose it took another 40,000 years of trail and error and eventually agriculture was discovered.

Though we can't forget agriculture wasn't discovered by everyone; some cultures like the Australian Aboriginals never used it for instance.
I've always been a bit skeptical of claims that abstract thinking just popped up suddenly. It seems to me it represents a strong bias against ancient people. A cultural shift stressing creativity more, perhaps. Linguistic development and cultural diffusion might explain it, but it still strikes me as selling ancient peoples short. It could just be they didn't have pressures that encouraged the development of settled civilization. Early agriculture would have been less efficient than a hunter gatherer lifestyle, as early crops wouldn't be the high yield versions we know today. It likely emerged as a supplement rather than a replacement for hunter gatherers, who would have needed another cultural reason to settle one area. Though on the other hand, a less food but in a fairly stable amount has advantages over more food, if you're lucky enough to get it.
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Old 2011-01-04, 17:38   Link #11068
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Well the idea is that abstract thought may have always existed, as genetically there was no sudden change, but that there was a breakthrough in language that allowed for groups to better share their own abstract ideas with one another more easily. I don't know if its true, though it sounds plausible to me. And yes originally agriculture was a supplement to hunting until the domestication of food-providing animals which allowed stable society without daily hunting.
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Old 2011-01-04, 18:01   Link #11069
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Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
Well the idea is that abstract thought may have always existed, as genetically there was no sudden change, but that there was a breakthrough in language that allowed for groups to better share their own abstract ideas with one another more easily. I don't know if its true, though it sounds plausible to me. And yes originally agriculture was a supplement to hunting until the domestication of food-providing animals which allowed stable society without daily hunting.
which bring us to how did we ever domesticate the wolf into dog? the early wolf would have been a competitor not companion.
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Old 2011-01-04, 18:22   Link #11070
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which bring us to how did we ever domesticate the wolf into dog? the early wolf would have been a competitor not companion.
It's a mystery, but the similar hunting range of wolves and humans may have contributed to them coming into contact quite often. Competing for scarce resources, the wolves may have scavenged from human settlements for thousands of years, making wolves that follow humans better adept in a Darwinian sense. The humans may have revered the wolf religiously as is common in many human cultures, and welcomed the followers. From there, the more useful wolves (ones that barked for danger, helped hunt, etc) would simply be better treated by the humans, allowed to reproduce more, and the species would evolve from there. Though that's quite a lot of speculation, since we have no way of verifying any of this.
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Old 2011-01-04, 18:50   Link #11071
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Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
It's a mystery, but the similar hunting range of wolves and humans may have contributed to them coming into contact quite often. Competing for scarce resources, the wolves may have scavenged from human settlements for thousands of years, making wolves that follow humans better adept in a Darwinian sense. The humans may have revered the wolf religiously as is common in many human cultures, and welcomed the followers. From there, the more useful wolves (ones that barked for danger, helped hunt, etc) would simply be better treated by the humans, allowed to reproduce more, and the species would evolve from there. Though that's quite a lot of speculation, since we have no way of verifying any of this.
i would think the wolf would have been more likely not just scavenging but picking off the weak and the young.
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Old 2011-01-04, 19:29   Link #11072
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I think the domestication of wolfs is most likely the result of adoption and self-domestication. Early wolves interaction with man would have been either as competitor or, most likely, as scavengers. Interfering with recent hunting kills and scavenging outside human encampments would in all likely hood been the origin of interaction between the two.

Those that scavenged outside human encampments would, over time, become used to humans and to some limited extent socialize with them. The best representation of this, even in modern times, is semi-feral stray dogs. They are used to humans and will on occasion interact with them but prefer to keep their distance. It is no major stretch of imagination to think that some of the early human-wolf interactions began this way. Over time and several generation the scavenging wolves would increase their interactions with humans and naturally go through the process of self-domestication.

Of course scavenging wasn't the only place humans and wolves would interact, both needed to hunt. Wolves are incredibly intelligent and would, and still do, on occasion interfere with hunters going so far as stealing recently downed prey. Given the nature of the two, humans being humans and wolves being wolves, a human would have eventually been attacked or injured and reprisals brought down against the wolves (wolves attack a human, humans attack wolves). We still do this today, an animal attacks a human for whatever reason and we put it down to prevent it from happening again. With the wolves, eventually, a mother would be killed and her cubs found and humans being humans would either kill those cubs or decide to raise them.

Given the natural prowess of wolves in wolves in hunting and tracking, it is fairly safe to assume someone would think to use them for this purpose. Having several young wolf cubs would be a great opportunity to do this. Raising the cubs one would put down those that were either too aggressive or violent while keeping and breeding those that were subservient and controllable. Over several generations you'd end up with domesticated wolves.
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Old 2011-01-04, 19:52   Link #11073
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Iran nuclear invitation draws Western skepticism
http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNew...7030X820110104
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Old 2011-01-04, 20:52   Link #11074
ChainLegacy
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Originally Posted by Mr_Paper View Post

Given the natural prowess of wolves in wolves in hunting and tracking, it is fairly safe to assume someone would think to use them for this purpose. Having several young wolf cubs would be a great opportunity to do this. Raising the cubs one would put down those that were either too aggressive or violent while keeping and breeding those that were subservient and controllable. Over several generations you'd end up with domesticated wolves.
This part has been replicated in modern times

Russian silver fox
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Old 2011-01-04, 21:16   Link #11075
Xellos-_^
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Originally Posted by Mr_Paper View Post
I think the domestication of wolfs is most likely the result of adoption and self-domestication. Early wolves interaction with man would have been either as competitor or, most likely, as scavengers. Interfering with recent hunting kills and scavenging outside human encampments would in all likely hood been the origin of interaction between the two.

Those that scavenged outside human encampments would, over time, become used to humans and to some limited extent socialize with them. The best representation of this, even in modern times, is semi-feral stray dogs. They are used to humans and will on occasion interact with them but prefer to keep their distance. It is no major stretch of imagination to think that some of the early human-wolf interactions began this way. Over time and several generation the scavenging wolves would increase their interactions with humans and naturally go through the process of self-domestication.

Of course scavenging wasn't the only place humans and wolves would interact, both needed to hunt. Wolves are incredibly intelligent and would, and still do, on occasion interfere with hunters going so far as stealing recently downed prey. Given the nature of the two, humans being humans and wolves being wolves, a human would have eventually been attacked or injured and reprisals brought down against the wolves (wolves attack a human, humans attack wolves). We still do this today, an animal attacks a human for whatever reason and we put it down to prevent it from happening again. With the wolves, eventually, a mother would be killed and her cubs found and humans being humans would either kill those cubs or decide to raise them.

Given the natural prowess of wolves in wolves in hunting and tracking, it is fairly safe to assume someone would think to use them for this purpose. Having several young wolf cubs would be a great opportunity to do this. Raising the cubs one would put down those that were either too aggressive or violent while keeping and breeding those that were subservient and controllable. Over several generations you'd end up with domesticated wolves.
i know we don't give ancient people enough credit but for something like that to happen. Those ancient people have to have a concept of time and be able to think not just 1 day ahead but a week, a month and maybe even a year ahead of time.
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Old 2011-01-04, 21:27   Link #11076
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Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
i know we don't give ancient people enough credit but for something like that to happen. Those ancient people have to have a concept of time and be able to think not just 1 day ahead but a week, a month and maybe even a year ahead of time.
So your saying that the ancient people would have grown impatient or do something rash with the cubs about their inability to track things down at their young age?
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Old 2011-01-04, 21:39   Link #11077
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So your saying that the ancient people would have grown impatient or do something rash with the cubs about their inability to track things down at their young age?

Problem 1 - actually visualizing and realizing having adult wolves helping them.
We are going form competitor to companion this is a huge leap of abstract thinking

problem 2 - resources are finite, why waste the resources on raising wolf cubs when you can use those same resources to raise your own kids?
how did the ancient human see far enough ahead to see the benefit of raising and taming the cubs? the would have to have a concept of time. Not today, not just tomorrow but a far enough time into the future.
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Old 2011-01-04, 23:23   Link #11078
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If you must know, last I heard, those arrested was given jail sentence between 2 to 8 years
imo that's kinda light for someone who created and distributed it

that's how much americans are given for possessing such photos and videos

or even worse...
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Old 2011-01-05, 01:02   Link #11079
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Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
Problem 1 - actually visualizing and realizing having adult wolves helping them.
We are going form competitor to companion this is a huge leap of abstract thinking
Thing to remember is that we're only talking 12,000-18,000 (20,000 at most) years ago. While you, today, may understand more than a human from back then would have, your faculties for reasoning and imagination are fundamentally no different than theirs (you are in fact the same sub-species of human). It has been argued that the reason humanity was able to survive, spread and develop as it has is largely thanks to our ability for abstract thought and reasoning. Prediction and preparation over simple reaction.

The original intent in the domestication and use of wolves would not have been for companionship but rather as tools in hunting. Companionship, while inevitable in hindsight, would most likely have not been a major concern for people back then, survival would be the primary goal. Odds of an ancient human seeing a wolf as anything other than a hunting tool, and perhaps a source of food, are very slim at best.

The actual domestication of the animals would have been aided by the similarities in human and wolf social structures. Early groups of humans were lead by an alpha (male), directly after the alpha would have been their mate followed by the rest of the group with children being cared for and guarded by the group. This is fairly similar to the social structure of wolves and would have aided in integrating the would-be domesticated animals in to group, even today dogs tend to be obedient towards those they perceive as alphas.

Quote:
problem 2 - resources are finite, why waste the resources on raising wolf cubs when you can use those same resources to raise your own kids?
how did the ancient human see far enough ahead to see the benefit of raising and taming the cubs? the would have to have a concept of time. Not today, not just tomorrow but a far enough time into the future.
It is simply a measure of cost/benefit.

One has to consider the cost of resources needed to raise the wolf pups against the benefits, the increased gains in hunting and gathering. Let's assume a 'pack' of 20 humans has 3 wolf pups, each human requires one resource of food each day and each wolf requires half a resource each day. If on a daily basis the humans are able to gather 22 food resources each day unaided, they have an option of storing the extra food or using it to raise the wolves. The best option would seem to be to store it, but what if the wolves, once raised, had a benefit?

With the wolves being excellent hunters, if raised, the 3 wolves could help increase the food gathered each day by 6 food resources (think of it as the difference between getting 2 deer by yourself, or 3 with the aid of the wolves). Subtracting the upkeep of the wolves you have a net benefit of 4.5 food resources. Short term loss, long term benefit.

(looking at it, the above sounds terribly like a strategy game)

Realizing the benefits of this isn't something that would take centuries either, viable domestication results could be achieved, conceivably, within 8 years (3 generations) of careful breeding.

As for the concept of time, they had to have it as they were migratory. While I doubt they had the concept of centuries, let alone a millennium, they undoubtedly understood the concept of time, seasons and years.

Quote:
i know we don't give ancient people enough credit but for something like that to happen. Those ancient people have to have a concept of time and be able to think not just 1 day ahead but a week, a month and maybe even a year ahead of time.
I agree, people don't give them near enough credit for the things they did or were capable of and I think it is largely because they seem so deceptively simple in comparison to today's challenges.

Ever tried to cook meat over a fire?
Without the use of metal tools or a grill to keep it out of the fire?
Ever tried to light your own fire without a direct flame?
Navigate without a GPS or compass?

Doesn't seem difficult compared to making a processing unit with more transistors than the human brain and capable of pinpoint accuracy in billions of calculations per second. Everyday things they figured out and did would be beyond the grasp of so many people today that if technology were to up and vanish or stop working, the vast majority of people in developed nations would die of exposure and starvation (third would nations would probably much better).

A large part of it is probably what people think of when they imagine humanity's ancestors, lumbering oafs with hulking foreheads and big sticks versus the reality of, most likely, athletic hunting groups armed with knives and spears using cunning and team work to take down prey.

Anyway, I missed the beginning of this conversation. why are we discussing this again?
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Old 2011-01-05, 02:02   Link #11080
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Mr_Paper View Post
The original intent in the domestication and use of wolves would not have been for companionship but rather as tools in hunting. Companionship, while inevitable in hindsight, would most likely have not been a major concern for people back then, survival would be the primary goal. Odds of an ancient human seeing a wolf as anything other than a hunting tool, and perhaps a source of food, are very slim at best.
I read somewhere it may have been the other way around. That we were bred to find the young cute so we'd take care of them, making them better, smarter adults, and that it may have carried over to the young of other species. I mean, puppies are damn cute.
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