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Author Topic: The Pseudosciences  (Read 13818 times)

Offline alancalverd

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Re: The Pseudosciences
« Reply #25 on: 04/03/2015 13:27:04 »
 
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Originally these were considered to be war trophies collected from distant tribes, but recent DNA analysis shows that the heads came from the Nazca population itself, suggesting that the motive was religious in nature.

I cannot think of a more eloquent condemnation of religion.
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: The Pseudosciences
« Reply #26 on: 06/03/2015 23:17:32 »
Dear alancalverd - In this thread you asked me "Why?" on many occasions when it came to the beliefs of ancient peoples and I assumed that you were asking me what evidence I have for such assertions. I don't want to get into a discussion about this but I didn't want to leave you with the impression that I go around making unfounded claims. It's just that with some things we know, we don't always recall where we learned it. I went to an Augustinian college and was required to take courses on religion. In those courses we learned about a large variety of religions and of the religious beliefs of ancient peoples and it was those studies that I based my assertions on. But I can't name the texts I learned of from. Even the professor is long dead since that was 30 years ago.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: The Pseudosciences
« Reply #27 on: 07/03/2015 00:05:12 »
I'm quite sure all of your claims and assertions have some external foundation, but a lot of what we are told about prehistoric beliefs, is itself pseudoscience.

Where we have good reason to believe that a current society is similar to its ancestors, as in the case of some South American and New Guinea tribes, there is little or no evidence of sky fairies, and a great deal of recorded Roman and North European and Native American mythology deals with terrestrial spirits. I am always suspicious of teachers who profess a religion: there is a strong temptation to validate one's own superstitions by historic reference, and what better than to claim that a society which conveniently left no written records and was completely destroyed before contact with christianity, worshipped sky fairies "just like we do". 

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Likely related to the arid and extreme nature of the environment, Nazca religious beliefs were based upon agriculture and fertility. Much of Nazca art depicts powerful nature gods, such as the mythical killer whale, the harvesters, the mythical spotted cat, the serpentine creature, and the most prevalent of worshiped figures, the anthropomorphic mythical being.

Good old Wikipedia, hardly the gold standard of evidence, but not a mention of any heavenly beings (the flying killer whale defies the imagination). 

Anyway, the "why's" weren't directed at you specifically, but are rather pellets from a shotgun I like to fire at archaeologists and anthropologists: why do they assume that our ancestors, who managed to build great and enduring  structures like the Pyramids, the Puquios, Stonehenge, Macchu Picchu, the Nazca lines....by means we still don't understand, were as gullible (or as much subjected to brutal indoctrination) as christians and muslims?

So back to the facts: huge drawings only visible from above. Why? Two possible reasons: (a) to appease gods you have never actually seen or even heard of, or (b) to be seen by animals (including people) that you know to exist. Given the obvious existence of birds and bats, and the possibility that Nazcas might have built an aerostat (a damn sight easier than an underground aqueduct!) I think (b) wins on the weight of probability.
« Last Edit: 07/03/2015 08:45:35 by alancalverd »
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: The Pseudosciences
« Reply #28 on: 08/03/2015 18:55:34 »
I think we often assume that ancient peoples didn't have the intellect to develop those things that only we are clever enough to devise. Our building techniques come from ancient civilizations. We haven't made those much more sophisticated. We can simply engineer in a more sophisticated way. I think it entirely possible that some sort of hot air device could have been made then. Just because it was discovered doesn't exclude the possibility that the skill was subsequently lost. Concrete evidence would be impossible to find and the only way to confirm this would be through written history. Also possibly through oral tradition.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: The Pseudosciences
« Reply #29 on: 09/03/2015 00:19:31 »
. Just because it was discovered doesn't exclude the possibility that the skill was subsequently lost. Concrete evidence

Good choice of words! The Romans used concrete but there's little if any evidence of its use for hundreds of years after the fall of the empire. Attempts by the Ministry of Works in the 1950s to re-erect a fallen stone at Stonehenge just resulted in breaking it, until archaeologists suggested that it hadn't fallen anyway and was intended to be flat: we still don't know how or why the stones were transported there. And I don't think anyone has managed to build a pyramid using ropes and sweat in the last 3000 years or so.
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: The Pseudosciences
« Reply #30 on: 09/03/2015 01:18:43 »
There is debate about pyramid construction. Did they manufacture the stone on site? It is less labour intensive.
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: The Pseudosciences
« Reply #31 on: 09/03/2015 03:08:37 »
Why is Stonehenge considered a wonder of prehistoric Archistructure it was pretty crude compared to what was being built in Egypt at about the same time.
No one has built a pyramid using the labour intensive techniques that were used in Pharonic times for the same reasons that manned trips to Mars have not taken place, the money cannot be allocated!
« Last Edit: 09/03/2015 09:05:03 by syhprum »
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: The Pseudosciences
« Reply #32 on: 09/03/2015 09:39:24 »
Why is Stonehenge considered a wonder of prehistoric Archistructure it was pretty crude compared to what was being built in Egypt at about the same time.
No one has built a pyramid using the labour intensive techniques that were used in Pharonic times for the same reasons that manned trips to Mars have not taken place, the money cannot be allocated!
It was the way that the transported the stones from so far away. The stones are incredibly massive and they were hauled over very long distances. Some of them were hauled over 200 miles.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonehenge
Quote
Another idea has to do with a quality of the stones themselves: Researchers from the Royal College of Art in London have discovered that some of the monument’s stones possess “unusual acoustic properties” —when they are struck they respond with a “loud clanging noise”. According to Paul Devereux, editor of the journal Time and Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture, this idea could explain why certain bluestones were hauled nearly 200 miles — a major technical accomplishment at the time.
« Last Edit: 09/03/2015 09:42:17 by PmbPhy »
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: The Pseudosciences
« Reply #33 on: 09/03/2015 16:03:53 »
I'm intrigued by the precision with which the cap stones are fitted to pegs on top of the uprights at Stonehenge. It suggests that our ancestors used a standardised system of measurement and a drawing convention. Even if the stones were individually finished on site, there must have been some agreed unit by which the ones from Wales were ordered - you can't just ask for "a big stone" and expect to get anything useful, and agreed such a standard, it's possible to manufacture the finished article at the quarry of origin  and save a lot of transport problems.

This still leaves a significant question. Having decided for whatever reason to collect a couple of dozen megaliths, you then need to find them or cut them from a cliff.

Finding is easy for a small number but these stones are way up in the upper decile of the sort of stones you find lying in British fields, so you need to do a lot of scouting and communication to assemble the materials, all of which takes time and again requires some form of "written" record and symbolic communication - even today, trying to assemble materials to modify 20-year-old house "in character" can depend on a great deal of luck.

I have no idea how you can quarry even one 30-ton parallelepiped without steel or explosives. Moving it is yet another problem. But clearly the technology existed, and was probably contemporary with the pyramid projects.

OK, it's not pseudoscience, but a really interesting problem in reverse engineering.
 

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Re: The Pseudosciences
« Reply #33 on: 09/03/2015 16:03:53 »

 

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