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How Come Civilization? Why Creation? Part Two.

So we have puzzlement over why, of all the creatures on Earth, do Homo sapiens have not only the highest IQ, but relative to the next in line – well it’s not even a close contest. It’s sort of like pitting the professional baseball major league New York Yankees against a little league baseball team. Both play baseball, but the relative skills are again light-years apart.

Might I suggest that the ‘gods’, from the get-go, deliberately assisted by bioengineering or genetically engineering our advanced IQ levels? Our intelligence was indeed yet another gift from the ‘gods’. It should come as no surprise that when it comes to creation myths, the gods created humans. I’d just replace the word ‘created’ with the phrase ‘assisted Mother Nature’s natural selection process by their artificial selection of various traits in selected primates’. The end product of the ‘gods’ bioengineering was humanity with all its glorious top of the pops intellect.

There’s another puzzle. That puzzle involves the gods or ‘gods’ creating humans or humanity in the first place. Before I get to the puzzling bit, consider some examples:

The Near East: The creation of humanity, the first people, according to the ancient myths, were either born or formed by hand. Two deities were responsible for creating humankind. Often, the reason given for creating humankind was to provide workers so that the younger generation of gods could be relieved of the hard work. Kindly note that last sentence – humanity was created to do the hard work while, I guess, the ‘gods’ could eat, drink and make merry and enjoy the good life! That’s quite a common theme in mythology; gods create and rule; humans toil.

Greece: The Greek god Prometheus was a Titan who created people from clay.

Norse: Odin was the leader of the Norse gods and the creator of both the world and people.

Maya: The gods made people from corn. They used corn for the bodies, and corn meal for the arms and legs. The corn people were the ancestors of the Maya.

Australia: The supernatural creatures of the aboriginal Dreamtime created the empty world, followed by landscapes, lakes and rivers, plants, humans, and animals. As cultural heroes, they brought advances such as the power over fire, weapons, and hunting skills, as well as clan orders and wedding regulations to humanity.

Lastly, we all know about the Book of Genesis and the so-call creation of Adam and Eve from dust and ribs and probably from whatever else was handy.

Now here’s the puzzle. It’s somewhat difficult to understand why humans would attribute the creation of humans (and plants and animals) to mythological gods. I mean, even to our earliest ancestors, it’s obvious that people come from people (or at least from females – the biological role of the father might not have been obvious nine months after the fact). In most cases it’s obvious that like comes from like (that’s why Siegfried, a student of nature in the Richard Wagner opera of the same name figured out he wasn’t really the son of the dwarf Mime).

So, if direct observation tells you that people create people, why not assume an infinite backwards regression (or in reverse, generation follows generation follows generation) and there was no beginning, no first creation of people. That makes logical sense. Why would humans not accept this as the natural order of things? Now of course if the ‘gods’ really did assist in the evolution of the modern human, and told humans as much, well that explains those creation tales.

But there are several other puzzles. The first is why did some cultures seemingly defy the ‘gods’ and reject settlement civilization (cities, towns, villages) and remain a nomadic hunter-gatherer society? The most obvious answer is that not all physical geographical environments are equally suitable for a sedentary existence of permanent settlements. The Australian aborigines and Australia a case in point - too dry, too hot, too wet, too constantly changing from drought to flood and back again, coupled with a lack of a suitable native agricultural crops (wheat, corn, rice) and/or native domesticated eatable animal, like sheep, pigs and cattle. There’s more to civilization than urban living. The aborigines have culture – art, music, language, and law, the ability to cook, even though they had no cities, towns or villages.

Yet another puzzle might seem unrelated, but I’ll present it anyway. All humans are one interbreeding species, yet we have one other unique feature (apart from top of the pops in IQ) – different races or breeds. Now skin colour is easily explained by resorting to environmental factors. But what evolutionary selection pressures accounts for other racial differences, which tend to be facial features? We all look pretty much the same from the neck down; at least after you separate the males from the females. That’s apart from fingerprints (or toe-prints?), but unless you’re into law enforcement we don’t tend to identify our family, friends and neighbours by examining their fingers! How do you tell people apart? - By their faces primarily. And it’s not just the broad spectrum racial facial features – it’s just as easy to distinguish an Asian from a Caucasian as it is to distinguish two separate Asians or two separate Caucasians (identical twins excepted perhaps). What is the survival value, the evolutionary selection pressure that makes nearly everyone facially unique?

Take any other wild creature – one that humans haven’t domesticated and genetically tampered with. Say the great white shark or the common house fly or the blue-ringed octopus or cane toads. As is the case with elephants or zebras, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. You can’t tell them apart. In a police line-up, of say half a dozen German cockroaches, could you identify the one that you saw crawl across your kitchen floor? I feed and watch a lot of wild birds, but I’m damned if I can tell one sulphur-crested cockatoo from another. They all look the same! Perhaps that’s why wildlife biologists and medical researchers have to tag their wildlife or little white mice so as to be able to tell who’s who.

Even with our domesticated and artificially breeding of selected species, we usually tell them apart in the first instance via their size, behaviour pattern and most of all external colouration patterns.

So why our unique faces? Perhaps the ‘gods’ further genetically engineered us that way in order to help tell us apart.

Here’s another mystery.

Say you lived 8000 years ago at the dawn of the transition from ‘primitive’ hunter-gatherer to ‘sophisticated’ urban dweller (well maybe a farmer or herdsman in a small settlement). Now you have no knowledge of modern biological evolution, the origin of species, or physical geology or cosmology or astrophysics. Would you, in pondering life, the Universe and everything (in your spare time of course) come up with an ‘in the beginning’ or ‘as it is, so shall it have ever been so’? I would suggest the latter because in your world, your environment, your environmental world view, everything is cyclic – a seemingly endless repeat of events, of events, of events, of events (like a stuck record): Birth-death-birth-death; seasons come and seasons go, but always in the same order; the Sun rises-sets-rises-sets-rises-sets; ditto the stars, their patterns and movements are endlessly fixed (patterns) and cyclic (movements); you go from full Moon to quarter Moon to new Moon to quarter Moon to full-quarter-new-quarter, etc. You witness no Big Ticket newness – no acts of grand creation. You have no real reason to assume any grand scale ‘in the beginning’.

Why would you assume that the ground beneath your feet hadn’t always existed as that solid good earth? Wouldn’t such an idea seem rather alien? It would go against the grain of commonsense.

Day after day, year after year, you see the Sun rise and the Sun set. The exact same set of observations, the circumstances surrounding what the Sun does daily, has been passed down generation unto generation. Nobody has experienced anything different no matter how far back your ancestors go. Why would you not assume it has always been that way; that way forever and ever, amen? There seems no need to postulate that some natural event, or deity, created the Sun.

That’s not to suggest you wouldn’t invent deities in order to explain natural phenomena you had no understanding of, like the tides or volcanoes or earthquakes or eclipses or where does the Sun go at night and why rain, wind, thunder and lightning? It’s just there’s no need to invent creator deities, deities who did things ‘in the beginning’.

Yet ancient mythologies nearly all adopt creator deities and an ‘in the beginning’. The Universe isn’t cyclic – it had a creation (the Big Bang event). Ditto the Sun and the Moon and the stars and the Earth (land, sea and sky) and plants and animals and humans. All were created ‘in the beginning’. Why? Maybe because there were ‘people’ around 8000 years ago who did have knowledge of biological evolution, the origin of species or physical geology or cosmology or astrophysics and were able to pass on that information to the human populace who (not fully grasping the technical fine print) incorporated those revelations into their world view: what has come down to us as mythology.

In conclusion, there are anomalies with respect to the origins of humans (Homo sapiens), some of our attributes like our intelligence and facial features, as well as our relatively rapid rise from hunter-gatherers on the plains of Africa to hunter-gatherers on the Lunar plains. Mythology explains much of this as acts of the gods (yet why creator gods), yet we reject the existence of the gods and thus gloss over the resulting anomalies. The compromise is to give short shrift to the supernatural gods, but credibility to the ‘gods’ as flesh-and-blood extraterrestrials who stumbled across Earth while exploring and colonizing the Milky Way Galaxy many hundreds of thousands of years ago.

By johnprytz7
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Just for fun I’ll address 2 of the comments (althoigh most of them are just as sophomoric). #1. Giraffes have the longest neck of any animal. No other animal even comes close. They can eat leaves that no other animal can reach. Conclusion: advanced species guided the evolution of giraffes so they would literally be at the top of the food chain.
#2 all animals look alike except people. Anyone who’s spent any time among animals knows this isn’t true at all. You can learn to recognize individuals of almost any species; you just have to learn which characteristics to concentrate on (I’ll give you cockroaches,though).

Rghurst Level 5 Apr 13, 2019

"You can learn to recognize individuals of almost any species; you just have to learn which characteristics to concentrate on (I’ll give you cockroaches,though)."

If you give me cockroaches (which you can't distinguish by facial features), then you have to give me all species of insects and species of spiders and for that matter all of the invertebrate kingdom and all of the plant kingdom (no facial features there) and all of the microbes / bacteria / viruses. That's just about all life forms there. In fact you probably can't tell one tuna fish apart from another by looking at just their faces and that probably applies to frogs and snakes, etc. How to you instantly tell humans apart - by their faces. Can you tell one robin or sparrow apart from another robin or sparrow by just looking at their face?

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I believe trees are the most highly evolved life form on Earth.

OHJim Level 5 Apr 13, 2019
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For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.

Douglas Adams.

1of5 Level 7 Apr 13, 2019

And I think the dolphins are right., but humans have opposable thumbs.

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This is so silly and nonsensical. Full of false premises and conjecture. And just another variation of the watchmaker’s fallacy and the intelligent design nonsense. The question to ask is not “why?” The question is “how?” How did the elements of the universe combine the way that they did in contradiction to the second law of thermodynamics — entropy. Humans cannot tolerate ambiguity well as a species so we fabricate theories and then reify them into creation myths in order to reduce our anxiety about not seeing the cause of the patterns about us.

ToolGuy Level 7 Apr 13, 2019

"This is so silly and nonsensical. Full of false premises and conjecture. And just another variation of the watchmaker’s fallacy and the intelligent design nonsense."

The premise here was the "ancient astronaut" one and you did not address that. It remains a possibility. If that's not the case, please explain exactly why.

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Part one and part two !!!!!.... What's next, chapters??? 😂😂😂😂😂 (Sorry encyclopedia Johnny, you know I cannot resist the temptation)

IamNobody Level 8 Apr 13, 2019

Excellent idea. You know back in the days of the pulps, and other magazines (like the "Strand Magazine" ), authors (like Arthur Conan Doyle) would post one chapter per issue. Later on they would be collected together and published as an actual novel. Just update printed magazines to Internet websites!

@johnprytz Well my friend, gotta give it to you. Your response is brilliant and when you start writing chapters then I will be the one to blame....I'll shut up now 😊😊

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Assuming that elephants, dolphins, to name a few, have poorer-than-we intelligence because they do not invent cars, (for one example) is just foolish & arrogant. They do not befoul their only planet with toxins, as we do. Nor do they need to work a 60-hour week to "keep up with the Jones", or just keep a roof over their heads. Your arrogance, the basis of your entire post, is Astounding!

Your comments, as per usual, did not address the central "ancient astronaut" theme of this specific post. I've talked about mythology addressing human origins. I haven't degraded the abilities of any other non-human species.

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I think that your premise is false. Other animals have been smart enough not to make their environment uninhabitable.

This is true, but that wasn't the theme or premise of this particular segment that you responded to.

Let me put it this way. The human species is VASTLY different from other animal species, not just a little bit different as in say cats are from lions or bees are from wasps. The differences aren't just in IQ, but physiological*. Humans are the only bipedal animal without benefit of a balancing tail. Humans and only humans actually display the whites of their eyes. And few animals have that thumb that can close around and grasp objects. And while a few other animals use tools, humans have gone way, way, way beyond that all out of proportion to those other tool users. And most important of all, are human facial features. You'd be hard pressed to tell one monkey, or gorilla or baboon from another just based on their facial features (which doesn't include the color of their fur, for example), but you can instantaneously tell all of your human acquaintances apart just from their face. And then how do you explain Asian facial features? What was so unique about the Asian environment as to evolutionary produce the instantly recognizable Asian face? When it comes to physical anthropology, there are many anomalies yet to be explained.

*And yes, I know we share a vast percentage of DNA with fellow primates and other animals, even plants

@johnprytz I don't agree. We define IQ in a way that gives us the edge. What if we defined it as making the best life we can to do well in our environment? Are we really better? As far as the features of Asians go, look at dogs. As far as monkeys faces go, if you got to know a few well you would be able to tell them apart too.

"As far as the features of Asians go, look at dogs."

One VAST difference. Asian facial features must have been the result of being in the Asian environment which doesn't seem all that different from any other global environment. So, that's a mystery. Dog breeds have been artificially selected. From one ultimate dog ancestor, humans have created a vast array of of breeds. So sure, it's not difficult to say this is a collie or this is a greyhound or a beagle, although if faced with a lineup of a dozen collies, could you tell them apart based just on their faces? If you went back to the original dog ancestor could you tell one individual apart from any other individual based only on the face? Probably not. Now you can tell Asians apart based on individual faces, but also that they came originally from Asia. You couldn't do that regional identification with say Englishmen.

"As far as monkeys faces go, if you got to know a few well you would be able to tell them apart too."

Ah, the big use of the word "IF". Sure, if you work around a tribe of monkeys day-in-and-day-out, you could probably tell them apart, albeit a lot of that might be due to distinct differences in fur patterns or scars, or behavior patterns or other features unrelated to a pure facial construct. However, if say you got a new job and a set of say 10 new workmates, how long would it take to tell them apart based solely on their face? Not very long!

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Disagree.

Elaborate! I'm not a mind reader.

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Warning... Long post lol
Well... Given that there are many different species on the planet, it makes sense that one would be the most intelligent.. And whichever one that is would be asking questions like this...
Why civilization? Because working together is more efficient and effective...

Then why did Kirk say, “Beam me up Scottie. There is no intelligent life down here?”

"Well... Given that there are many different species on the planet, it makes sense that one would be the most intelligent..."

True, but just as humans have the ability to apply artificial selection technologies (genetic engineering) to animal species, might we have been subjected to artificial selection by another intelligence, as many mythologies attest to?

@johnprytz another intelligence? You mean aliens? Sure, that might be possible....but the existence of aliens hasn't bee proven yet... More likely, it's evolution...

"...another intelligence? You mean aliens?"

Maybe! Let's just say that mythologies from all over the globe state that humans were created and there's enough physical anthropological anomalies in the human species that natural selection struggles with in terms of plausible explanations. One obvious example is how recognizable Asian facial features are. Now the question arises, what was so unique about Asian environments as to naturally evolve those particular features? And why are we the (relatively) naked ape? We shed our fur then had to go and invent clothes to keep warm. That makes little sense.

@johnprytz why consider Asians alone? What about Hispanics, or Russians, or pygmies? They all have unique features compared to other races... And why are races compared to the "White" race as though they are the standard? Just because we, the human race, can't come up with plausible explanations yet doesn't necessitate an "alien " cause... We aren't there yet... 😊

The central feature here is we tend to recognize individuals by their faces. I mean if you passed "The Donald" in the street you would recognize him or any one of hundreds of other people you only know from your TV set or magazines, etc. Hispanics, Russians, pygmies, etc. as a group don't have a really unique set of facial features. Each individual of course does - which again is how you identify that person as Joe or Jane or whoever. Now all of this has some sort of evolutionary backdrop. But the question arises about what was so unique about the Asian environment such that you can identify any person from that environment as being Asian. I mean if you passed a white Russian and a white Englishman and a white Frenchman and a white American and a white Australian and a white German, etc. on the street, you'd be hard-pressed to identify their region of origin. Ditto telling the region of origin of an Afro-American from a Nigerian or a black South African or an Australian Aborigine. But with Asians, it's obvious what region they originated from. The question is "why"? What was the evolutionary force unique to Asia that gave Asians their rather unique and identifying facial features? Anthropology has no answer for that.

@johnprytz ok I understand your point here about Asian features being unique as compared to the features of other races... However, a Chinese person would easily be able to distinguish someone as Japanese as compared to Korean or any other Asian... Similarly, I can tell if someone is Puerto Rican or Dominican or even Cuban... Because I'm part Hispanic myself.. so, my perception of the subtle differences between Hispanics is more finely honed... Doesn't that make sense?
As to why all these differences amongst the races, there are numerous factors... Genetics, environment, diet, weather, etc..

The one obvious difference between human races is skin color, but that isn't controversial based on environmental and evolutionary grounds. People in hot climate tend to be tall and thin as that facilitates heat loss. People living in much colder climates tend to be shorter and stouter since that retains body heat. But other traits aren't so easily explained.

"Similarly, I can tell if someone is Puerto Rican or Dominican or even Cuban... Because I'm part Hispanic myself.. so, my perception of the subtle differences between Hispanics is more finely honed... Doesn't that make sense?"

I'm not convinced. There would be quite a range or diversity of people of say Cuban origin, or of Dominican origin. So if I were to pick 100 people at random who had a Cuban ancestry, and 100 people who had Puerto Rican ancestry and 100 people who had Dominican ancestry, and mixed or shuffled them all up in one place, you could easily separate them back into their respective groups? Yes? Would you distinguish them solely on facial features? And if the answer to that is "yes", then what environmental difference(s) existed in Cuba, versus Puerto Rico versus Dominica that accounts for that?

Anyway, my main question hasn't been adequately explained. What was so unique about the geography of the Asian region that evolutionary selection produced those unique Asian facial features. Why didn't that happen in say Central America? I very much doubt that diet or the weather is responsible. Genetics of course is, but that is determined by environmental factors as to what traits evolve and then survive.

@johnprytz ok.. about Asians.. maybe long term exposure to viruses, bacteria, germs, etc.. could account for their facial features? Their eyes are the prominent facial feature... Maybe repeated eye infections over thousands of years? Maybe infections altered their DNA?
As for Hispanics, I probably couldn't perfectly separate all cubans etc back to their respective groups, but I think I can achieve more than 50 % which is a guess... I'm no expert but if trained, I could do better 😂

"ok.. about Asians.. maybe long term exposure to viruses, bacteria, germs, etc.. could account for their facial features?"

Asia incorporates an extremely wide geographical area with massive differences in environments. So somehow you've got to find a group of microbes that inhabit this wide ranging yet diversified area yet aren't found anywhere else.

Infections don't alter DNA, DNA mutations either just happen randomly - a chance misfiring in a complex system, or else are caused by radiation - cosmic rays from space can bust apart DNA, but only the DNA in sex cells would have relevance. Damaged DNA in your other cells could result in cancer, for example, but only damaged sex cells could pass on a new mutation trait to the next generation.

But again, if sex cell's DNA were damaged, and that part of the DNA specifically influenced the region around the eyes, then why just Asia? I mean those sorts of genetic mutations and damages happen all over the globe. You've really got to find a cause that's unique to Asia and only to Asia. Further, the mutation had to be a positive one in order for it to have spread throughout the Asian region. I'm not sure why having those Asian facial / eye features is a positive in a Darwinian scenario such that from one individual it would ultimately spread Asia-wide.

"As for Hispanics, I probably couldn't perfectly separate all cubans etc back to their respective groups..."

Yes, that's a difficult ask. But here's one that's not. I could randomly pick 300 Asians from all over Asia; and 300 Hispanics, from all over Central America and the Caribbean, mix them all up in a [very large] room, and ask a twelve-year-old to separate all 600 of them into an Asian group and a Hispanic group. If that kid didn't get a perfect score, then something would be screwy somewhere.

@johnprytz maybe millions of years ago there was a mass infection in Asian, it exerted it's influence on the people then the virus died out, never to be seen again... Maybe the virus was imbedded in a metorite and couldn't survive in the Earth's atmosphere for very long...

"ok.. about Asians.. maybe long term exposure to viruses..."

"maybe millions of years ago there was a mass infection in Asian, it exerted it's influence on the people then the virus died out, never to be seen again..."

Well we can "maybe" our way around the issue from now until the proverbial cows come home, but physical anthropologists at least just admit they don't know. But whatever it was it had to have been fairly recent as there were no people in Asia millions of years ago. Modern Homo sapiens can only be traced back several hundred thousand years at best and then only in Africa. Any proto-'humans' who inhabited Asia that far back are now long extinct.

@johnprytz well I certainly don't know any scientific explanations about this topic,. I'm just throwing out possible theories 😃

"I'm just throwing out possible theories"

Nothing wrong with that. This is a forum for freethinkers after all.

But then too, humans being human, we just love to knock down the theories of other humans, and that certainly equally applies in the professional scientific realm, in fact even more so than when amateurs have a go at each other. After all, we amateurs have nothing really at stake in this sort of electronic chin-wagging debate.

@johnprytz yes, I agree... Theories must withstand scrutiny 😊 and it is fun considering possible explanations...

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