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Author Topic: Could some myths be true?  (Read 3754 times)

Balisk

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Could some myths be true?
« on: 20/02/2012 07:38:36 »
Now every legend and every myth has some form of truth behind them but could some of them be true just over construed do to word of mouth or some other form.  Take for instance the fountain of youth it in fact could be true but instead of a fountain which could have easily come about as to make the story more intriguing it could have simply been a pool of water with some form of mineral or enzyme or what not in it that could help slow down or replenish cell deterioration giving the effect of making one younger but rather then an instant effect the consent bathing in said water would garner some effect.

So if you go off this how many myths or legends can you all come up with and alter to have a rational face behind it like i just did in the above.


Gordian Knot

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Re: Could some myths be true?
« Reply #2 on: 20/02/2012 18:25:09 »
Don't mean to pick on the new guy, I'm not that far from being that myself! With that understanding.....

Balisk, I believe you query is flawed. The ability to come up with an alternate theory on a subject does nothing to prove, or disprove the likely hood of the original.

Take for example Abominable Snowmen. One theory is that they are actually polar bears that are mistakenly identified because of weather conditions, too briefly seen, etc.

That alternate theory does nothing to prove or disprove the existence of the Abominables. There has to be something more concrete than just a new rationalization to accept a myth as anything more than that.

Also, although it is true that "many" legends have some truth behind them, that is not the case for all legends. Many are pure fantasy.

CliffordK

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Re: Could some myths be true?
« Reply #3 on: 21/02/2012 02:20:53 »
I agree that a lot of legends are probably based on some truth.  And, they can endure for a long time.

Legends of a volcanic eruption in Oregon have endured over 6000 years of primarily oral tradition. 

Here is a list of beasts that were once considered mythical.  Among them is the Mountain Gorilla. described in the "west" as early as 500 BC, but its existence was only confirmed in 1902.

It is not inconceivable that an oral tradition would include descriptions of earlier hominids including homo erectus and Neanderthals, which likely over time became fewer and fewer encounters until there were no more.

As far as the fountain of youth.
The average lifespan of early man was about 30 years (including infant mortality).  It was somewhat longer for those surviving early childhood.  (life expectancy, additional years, with age and year).


The American Indians counted age based on the lunar cycle.  Europeans counted age based on the solar cycle.  It is quite possible a translation error could have caused some Europeans to mistake the age of members of some American tribes. 

Even still, had a prehistoric tribe had a large number of octogenarians and centenarians, it would have been quite spectacular, but not inconceivable with good exercise, nutrition, food, and disease resistance.  Perhaps the Spaniards would have in fact found the "fountain of youth", had they not brought Smallpox with them to the New World.

Don_1

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Re: Could some myths be true?
« Reply #4 on: 21/02/2012 10:12:17 »
Balisk, your idea of the 'Fountain of Youth' is certainly credible, but most myths and legends are misconceptions, composites and just plain exaggeration. I think it probable that many such myths would have been invented by holy men to keep the masses true to the gods, while others may have been the exaggeration of warriors keen to establish their prowess by inventing stories of unimaginable courage in the face of overwhelming odds.

Your ‘Fountain of Youth’ could also have been a simple, ordinary spring, which holy men told of having great powers bestowed by the gods. In order that the followers would believe the water to have special properties, the holy men would drink it and the claim to have benefitted from the miraculous water. The followers would then need to make similar claims, if they weren’t to be ostracised. So the water would be a contrived placebo.

It has been suggested that the mythical fire breathing dragon could be a misconception of the Komodo Dragon. This is certainly a possibility, but the Komodo does not fly, so I think the mythical dragon is probably a conglomerate of several animals.

What of the fairies? Those pretty, playful and kindly creatures at the bottom of the garden? Look at the older description of fairies and you’ll find they were originally not so nice. In fact as recently as the late 19th century, in Ireland, a man murdered his wife after believing her to be a ‘changeling’, his real wife having been taken by the fairies. Read this. Explaining myths and legends requires a knowledge of the original story and so many of those stories have changed out of all recognition and even the opposite of the original story.
« Last Edit: 21/02/2012 10:17:20 by Don_1 »

RD

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Re: Could some myths be true?
« Reply #5 on: 22/02/2012 01:03:49 »
...   a man murdered his wife after believing her to be a ‘changeling’, his real wife having been taken by the fairies.

A possible scientific explanation ...
Quote
The Capgras delusion theory (or Capgras syndrome) is a disorder in which a person holds a delusion that a friend, spouse, parent, or other close family member has been replaced by an identical-looking impostor.
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Capgras_syndrome
« Last Edit: 22/02/2012 05:16:06 by RD »

Balisk

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Re: Could some myths be true?
« Reply #6 on: 22/02/2012 03:21:55 »
I agree with all of you and to explain further though what I was originally stating and trying to do was to ask you all if you could take a myth and use scientific reasoning to somewhat give it realism.  Like with the fountain of youth I tried to explain how maybe it could work outside of myth and legend and i wondered if there were any other myths that you all could come up with and do the same

CliffordK

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Re: Could some myths be true?
« Reply #7 on: 22/02/2012 14:55:43 »
Did you read my post about an epic battle between the Native American Gods, Skell and Llao which is believed to be a dramatization of an event in history 6000 years ago.  Or the "mythical beasts" that have been either found, or demonstrated to have recently gone extinct.  Even the Duck Billed Platypus was initially approached with some skepticism.

Marriage Law?
Perhaps not myths per-se, but there are some very strong scientific reasons why incestuous relationships are a very bad idea. 

Likewise, it has been demonstrated that other taboos such as cannibalism is unhealthy.

There is still some debate about unicorns, but it is quite likely that unicorn horns were modelled after either antelope horns or more likely narwhals, the unicorns of the sea.

Noah's Flood?  Again hotly debated.  There have been many floods.  But, perhaps there is some cultural memory of sea level rises the flooding of the Mediterranean Sea in the early Holocene.

Balisk

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Re: Could some myths be true?
« Reply #8 on: 22/02/2012 18:54:41 »
Did you read my post about an epic battle between the Native American Gods, Skell and Llao which is believed to be a dramatization of an event in history 6000 years ago.  Or the "mythical beasts" that have been either found, or demonstrated to have recently gone extinct.  Even the Duck Billed Platypus was initially approached with some skepticism.

Marriage Law?
Perhaps not myths per-se, but there are some very strong scientific reasons why incestuous relationships are a very bad idea. 

Likewise, it has been demonstrated that other taboos such as cannibalism is unhealthy.

There is still some debate about unicorns, but it is quite likely that unicorn horns were modelled after either antelope horns or more likely narwhals, the unicorns of the sea.

Noah's Flood?  Again hotly debated.  There have been many floods.  But, perhaps there is some cultural memory of sea level rises the flooding of the Mediterranean Sea in the early Holocene.

well to the Noah's flood during the biblical times there were believed to be heavy plate movement so rapid or advanced shifting of the earths landmasses far faster then they move today could cause untold or never heard of before or "biblical" like disasters. 

A great example would be a hypercane no they don't exist in today's world but they could if the right conditions were possible http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypercane  while this in itself isnt really a myth some people speculate that if Atlantis was real this could be the horrible storm that sunk or destroyed it.

 

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