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Author Topic: Can you anthropomorphise neanderthals?  (Read 3966 times)

Offline Pantodon

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Can you anthropomorphise neanderthals?
« on: 30/04/2011 00:45:09 »
I was watching a documentary the other day about neanderthals it I thought they were giving the neanderthals more "human" traits than the evidence they were presenting suggested.  Eg complicated language, art etc.

So I wonder, does the word "anthropomorphise" apply to any non-h.sapiens, or only non-homo spp, or only non-hominids?

Is there a special word that you would use when refering to hominids being humanised?

Thanks,
Phil.
Brisbane, Australia


 

Offline JimBob

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Can you anthropomorphise neanderthals?
« Reply #1 on: 30/04/2011 04:24:28 »
Neanderthals WERE capable of speech and the brain-centers for cognition were highly developed. For all practical purposes, the were like us. Anthropomorphize away!
 

Offline CliffordK

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Can you anthropomorphise neanderthals?
« Reply #2 on: 30/04/2011 05:54:03 »
Are we anthropomorphizing early Humans who couldn't even fly, or travel to the moon?

Hominids have about 5 million years of history which likely involved progressive development of language, tool-making skills, control of fire, social groups. etc. 

Prehistoric Homo Sapiens, and Prehistoric Neanderthals would be living in a much different world than what we have today.  But, they would have shared many traits from their common ancestors.  It is true that we likely superimpose modern human expectations upon our view of the primitive people including expectations of facial hair, grooming, and etc.
 

Offline JimBob

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Can you anthropomorphise neanderthals?
« Reply #3 on: 30/04/2011 22:03:07 »
As human beings, we have abstract art and statuary, we know astronomy, we bury out dead in ritualized proceedings, we know - and use - herbal medicines (my allergies would be hell without them), we take care of our old people, even those so old and physically feeble they can contribute nothing to our society, we have a society where it is usual and customary for some groups to travel 100's of miles to get the latest farm news, compete in events such as quilting, and on occasion, form new marriage relationships, and we have complex trading relationships that are vast in their extent. (State Fairs, Trade shows, etc.)

I for one, am glad the Neanderthals were around to do all of these things first before we did them so that we could benefit from their knowledge. 

The Lascaux Cave Paintings are a crowning achievement of "neanderthals" and humans.

There is a great debate that has been going on for over 35+ years now in anthropology - Are neanderthals actually just a different species or are they a race of Homo sapiens, Homos sapien neanderthalinsis?

OK - stop thinking!!!! seriously - STOP THINKING!

One of the biggest hurdles that the modern western human mind must confront in objectively analyzing the science behind this idea - it is our cultures foundation in Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek, and Christian religions, essentially all variations on a theme.

If a musty old book full of profound wisdom states near its beginning that "man was made in the image and likeness of God" then anything we wish to denigrate - idea, concept, belief system, scientifwe are just anthropomorphizing itic FACT (DNA)- we just say it is less than human - or in this case - the entity.

How can we anthropomorphize a being that were we to meet it on on the street we probably think it to be a bit odd, but no worse than many other persons we meet on a daily basis, give it a casual stare then walk on.

If you cannot accept any thought of the heresy I have added above - well, ask yourself this: Whatever happened to Lilith and her offspring? They were the procreation of Adam as well?


« Last Edit: 30/04/2011 22:10:30 by JimBob »
 

Offline Pantodon

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Can you anthropomorphise neanderthals?
« Reply #4 on: 01/05/2011 07:25:28 »
Sorry folks, that does not answer my question.  For the purpose of the exercise, lets assume we are talking about a species of the genus homo that is not h.sapiens.  Would anthropomophise be a correct word to use about that species?  Or is any species of the genus homo essentially human?  It seams obvious to me that you can not anthropomorphise a member of our own species.  Where do you draw the line?
 

Offline JimBob

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Can you anthropomorphise neanderthals?
« Reply #5 on: 02/05/2011 02:36:26 »
From Wikipedia ---

"Anthropology's basic concerns are "What defines Homo sapiens?", "Who are the ancestors of modern Homo sapiens?", "What are humans' physical traits?", "How do humans behave?", "Why are there variations and differences among different groups of humans?", "How has the evolutionary past of Homo sapiens influenced its social organization and culture?" and so forth."

FROM - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropology

Thus, it seems to me that everything about defining what anthropomorphizing entails has to do with "drawing the line" as to what is and what is not Homo sapien.

This is obviously a highly complex issue and leads to more questions than answers - the next question - what is a human trait???

tool use - chimps, most Australopitheciens

appreciation for beauty, color, composition - Beads made by a progenitor of Homo s. are known from seashell beads dated to ever 100,000 years ago. And today some bower birds are judges to be suitable mates by the decoration of their "bowers" with rocks, flowers colored objects of any kind, etc.

IMHO, there is no simple answer to this question.

 

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Can you anthropomorphise neanderthals?
« Reply #5 on: 02/05/2011 02:36:26 »

 

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