Godless Anthrogeeks


Godless Anthrogeeks

For amateur and professional anthropologists, who enjoy any of the four subfields - archaeology, physical, linguistic or cultural.

Members: 107
Latest Activity: Dec 13, 2013

Discussion Forum

Number line and linear time aren't innate but cultural

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Natalie A Sera Apr 28, 2012. 2 Replies

"God gene:" Are we hardwired for superstition?

Started by Jo Jerome. Last reply by Maruli Marulaki Feb 1, 2012. 8 Replies

Aquatic Ape ... Theory? Hypothesis?

Started by Jo Jerome. Last reply by Jim Moore Oct 26, 2010. 13 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Apxeo on September 5, 2011 at 11:09pm
@Natalie, it's a complicated question, and a lot depends on being able to recognise domestication archaeologically. And domestication of different species (and sometimes the same species) occurred independently in a number of places.  But as ways-of-life, settled agricutural settlements came first (albeit with some domesticated animals).  Pastoral nomadism came later, and initially appears on the fringes of agricultural areas, and was probably dependendent on a trade with agricultural communities for certain staples. Pastoral nomadism is a "branch" rather than a "stage."
Comment by Natalie A Sera on September 3, 2011 at 10:31am
Curiosity question: did animal husbandry come before agriculture? I know there exist, even today, nomadic cultures that herd animals but do not farm. Do they subsist on meat and milk, and whatever plants they can find along the way? Are they a sort of "intermediate" stage between hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists?
Comment by Ken on March 26, 2011 at 2:12pm

Those are the hardest ones to be sure.  I similarly have relatives and associates who are religious (we all do I am sure).  My opinion is to only 'take up the shield and gird your sword' when they come with this type of hokum. I think that if you give them a moments pause or give them something to chew on then you have done your job.  The rest is up to them.  At the end of the day they are still family (or friends).   

Comment by Bryanderthal on March 26, 2011 at 1:50pm

Hey, thanks for responding, Ken! I didn't think anyone would to a little rant like that, haha.


I guess I forgot to add the most frustrating part; after addressing all of her issues in the best way I knew how, with proper citing and links to boot, she just went silent. Not even a reply telling me to go screw myself; nothing.


Now, it's not like I don't have these discussions on a regular basis with many different individuals; this one just hit a little harder. I guess "we went to the same high school" is an understatement. We lived two doors away from  each other. She called my aunt and uncle "aunt" and "uncle." We spent many an afternoon and summer together. Let's put it this way; she never had to knock when she entered our house. We basically had the same education, were influenced by the same people, and had the same interests and world view. In my opinion I progressed right along while she slipped into La La Land.


I realize that there are too many factors involved in trying to pinpoint the one thing that turned her on her head. I was just disheartened and needed a place to vent.


Thank you, so much, for your reply!


In hindsight; there was also another very close friend of ours who lived just a few doors down and also went to the same college that she did (Fresno State). He and I are more alike in our current world view. It could have something to do with their degrees: history for him, and poli-sci for her. I don't know. Dead horse, haha! Thanks again.

Comment by Ken on March 26, 2011 at 11:04am



You know, the "discovering flaws" in radiocarbon dating (14c) and how it supposedly is a detriment to the Evolution argument demonstrates the ignorance of the person making that claim on several levels.  I'm not going into gory details, but I will hit a few big ones. Understandably, you are typically not dealing with intellectually honest individuals who will take in new information and revise their interpretations, but it is good to recognize the flaws in their argument.  Particularly when you hear the same ones over and over again. 

First, and most obvious, 14c dating only can date back to roughly 50 k years ago.  I wish I could think of a good analogy, but basically one has nothing to do with the other. Not even in the same ballpark.

Second, the recognition of flaws in any data collection is a good thing.  The identification and adjustment to any errors in any analyses is a necessity.   The process of 14c dating has recognized various factors (they are not flaws) that did not match initial interpretations since it's introduction by W. Libby in the 1950s.  However, this has made 14c dating MORE accurate.  This is one of the things science does, but I am sure your creationist friend wouldn't know about that either.

Finally, I am still waiting for a testable creationist theory.  This is key.  If they want to play in the scientific arena then they have to work within the rules of the scientific method.  They can believe anything they want, but it cannot and will not be accepted as anything close to science until they establish some kind of metric to determine the validity of their assertions.  They are trying to have it both ways (obviously) and the more we point that out the weaker their argument and their shortcomings. I will be happy to consider any of their proposals when they come.  Until then, I will go on with my current research design.  

That was my "two cents", which is more than her argument is worth.

Comment by Bryanderthal on March 25, 2011 at 12:55am

"...each year science discovers flaws in carbon dating methods to the point that you can't describe evolution as any less theoretic than creationism..."


This... this "thing" above was an answer I received when I told one of my friends that I thought that creationism should be taught, just not in a science class. Where the hell did she get that? We went to the same high school together. She went to a better college and even got a BA out of it. Where does somebody go wrong like that?


And then she has the nerve to say that "evolutionists duck the most basic question - where did life, matter, etc originate?"


What? Why don't they (creationists) even pretend to have studied the damned theory (of evolution)? When the hell did the theory of evolution by natural selection get put in charge of abiogenesis or making any claim about the origin of life on earth? And why would anybody expect this fine theory to jump into the realm of quantum physics?


Apperently some of them think that evolution should equal 42....


Ahhh... good little vent. Thanks.


And why hasn't anybody commented here since Dec 12th? ;)


Oh and she also called it "a faulty theory of how 'things' progressed after they magically appeared."


WTF? If "Let there be light," isn't magic then what the hell is?


OK, I'm done again.

Comment by Bryanderthal on December 12, 2010 at 12:15pm


I got your paper. It was a thoughtful presentation, and it was good that it inspired a lot of class discussion. For you, it was a well-tempered presentation for this class of students.

Dr. Kim" (emph added)


Haha! I gave a twenty minute pres on the adverse effects of missionaries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Boy, did I piss people off! My wife and I butted heads with many of our classmates throughout the semester. Of course, we enlightened several of them as well! Glad it's over though. On to PhysAnth!

Comment by Jo Jerome on October 15, 2010 at 4:03pm
On the translation of "God" ... Someday, when *I'm* the one doing the documentary, rather than translate it as god(s) I'm going to use different terminology like "Deity(s)." So as to try and get Xian viewers out of the mindset that we're talking about their concept of god.
Comment by Jo Jerome on October 15, 2010 at 4:00pm
I'm already brainstorming dissertation ideas and I swear to freaking (insert Maasai word for not-your-god) I'm going to title it: "Way too Much Deduction ... Not Nearly Enough Induction."

It is unbelievable to watch people look at another culture, say, the Maasai, and immediately paint it in the context of our own culture. Or in the context of some long-held stereotype. Instead of just trying to wipe the mind clean and look at the culture for what it is, on their own terms.

Today, for Archaeology, we were out looking for/at petroglyphs. I watched while most of my classmates would look at a faded image, assume it's a man with bow-and-arrow, and draw what the image *should* look like. Rather than drawing what image is actually there and interpreting it with a little less assumption and a little more open-mindedness.

Honestly, I found it much more fascinating to set aside any preconceived notions of what the images might be or mean and just draw the images exactly as I saw them. In doing so, any number of possibilities start to emerge ... especially when taken in context of images next to them. Was never that really into petroglyphs, but had a lot of fun with it.

BTW; for all my scrambling to find a topic for my final in the other class, I would up partnering up with a couple of other students. Which is fine because they had already taken my first choice of topic; examining oral histories and traditions.
Comment by Bryanderthal on October 14, 2010 at 7:06pm
Since I'm here I need to vent... Today we watched a video on the Maasai people. As you may know, they are a very religious people so the subtitles obviously displayed "God" when they mentioned their gods.

The first question asked after the doc was, "So, when they talk about God are they, like, talking about..."

I interrupted, "No, they're not talking about your god."

The prof agreed and followed with, "It's just a translation of Swahili."

Swahili? Really?

I didn't have the heart to correct him.

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