Humans Arrived In Madagascar ~8500 BC, Much Earlier Than Previously Thought

Sep 2017
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Massachusetts
#51
Climate change (used to be called "global warming" remember?)
There's this right-wing myth that it used to be called "global warming" but then got changed to "climate change" because the globe wasn't warming. That is, of course, nonsense. The term "climate change" has been used for many decades. The famous IPCC for example, was formed thirty years ago, to study global warming, and the "CC" in its name is for "Climate Change." And the term "global warming" is still used regularly . For example, if I do a Google news search for "Global Warming," it shows six news stories with that phrase published just within the last hour, and six pages of results published within the last 24 hours.

"Climate change" and "global warming" have both been used for many decades and both continue to be used, to express different aspects of the phenomenon. "Global warming" refers to the overall trend of the planet heating up, mostly as a result of human activities adding a large amount of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. "Climate change" refers to the various complex impacts that warming is having. If the globe warms 2 degrees Celsius on average, that doesn't mean the impact will be that every point on Earth will be exactly 2 degrees warmer and otherwise things will go on as normal. It means there will be warmer places and cooler places, glacial melting, changes in the normal shape of ocean currents, alterations in weather patterns, sea level rises, and so on. That's climate change.

As for the comparison to diet, this emphasizes the need for lay people to focus not on individual studies, but rather on the big-picture meta analyses. That's where people tend to go wrong with understanding diet -- the news media will grab onto an isolated study and hype it -- often where the study is based on very limited and narrow data. For example, researchers will publish a study that says that among a group of 200 middle-aged Norwegian nurses, those who reported eating more yogurt had lower rates of colon cancer. All of a sudden, the media will be hyping yogurt as a cure for cancer. Then a few years later a new study will come out that finds that in a study of 300 undergraduates, where half the group was assigned to eat a quarter of yogurt per day for three months, the ones who did so gained an average of 3 pounds relative to the control group. Now the media hypes it as saying yogurt causes obesity. For those who jump from one half-understood study to another, with a lay-person's understanding and the media hype in their ear, it can seem like scientists don't have a clue what they're talking about. But if, instead, you take a big-picture view of meta-analyses of large groups of studies, and listen only to those findings that wind up endorsed by the large portion of experts for long periods of time, you get a much clearer view. That kind of thing would tell you that eating a variety of whole foods in moderation, with regular exercise, will make you healthier.

That's what we're talking about with climate change -- not about whether or not one particular study is correct (e.g., will high-alpine areas in Tibet suffer more droughts?) but rather whether to credit the big-picture meta-analyses and the conclusions that have been drawn by the large majority of scientists over the course of decades (e.g., that human greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to a pace of global warming that is unprecedented in millenia).

What the attitude of climate-change denialists is like is the attitude of chain smokers who lacked the will to quit, and so they told themselves that the doctors didn't know what they were talking about when they said cigarettes were unhealthy. I had a grandma like that. She died fairly young partly as a result of her smoking. But, while she was alive, she played all sorts of mental games on herself to excuse her smoking. She pointed out that many decades ago a small portion of doctors had treated smoking as harmless, so why should she believe doctors now that they say the opposite. She pointed out, as you do, the way doctors sometimes change their advice about what foods are good and bad for you, so why should she listen to them about smoking? And when finally the force of the vast majority of experts had been pointing out the perils of smoking consistently and vocally enough for enough decades to get through even to her, she switched to arguing that there was no point in quitting now because the damage was already done. People who lack the will to do what they know is right will bend their minds to the task of telling themselves all sorts of lies to excuse their conduct. Climate change denialists have mastered that form of self deception.
 
Sep 2017
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Massachusetts
#52
I'm pretty sure that most history prior to the Renaissance, where much was lost / destroyed, and was rebuilt on scant evidence and speculation.

I mean, there's a great deal of evidence to support that the pyramid and Sphinx are somewhere between 10800-12000 years old, to the dismay of historians that insist that they are like 4000-4500 years old. I have no surprises; when you think about it, there's as much evidence that many of the Greek philosophers were real live people as there is of Jesus, that's to say, virtually none.
First, the argument that the Sphinx is much older is based on almost nothing -- basically just weathering patterns on some of the rocks that suggest rain erosion. But, that could be explained by some erosion having occurred to a natural formation over 10,000 years ago, and then that natural formation, which looked a little bit like a sphinx, being chiseled partly away by much later people to perfect the resemblance.... the parts that didn't have to be chiseled would still show the much older patterns.

As for the idea that there is virtually no evidence that many Greek philosophers were real, I don't think that's true with regard to the major ones people think of, like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. There is ample evidence there. If you go way, way back before the time of Jesus, to the very earliest of Greek philosophers, like Thales, some of them don't have any contemporaneous evidence of their existence. But, unlike with Jesus, their stories aren't inherently implausible. Thales didn't walk on water, raise the dead, or ascend bodily into Heaven. He's not claimed to be divine. Subsequent historians recounted a fairly ordinary life for him: he was born to ordinary parents, did some math and engineering, predicted an eclipse, studied magnets, and died in his old age of heat stroke.

Jesus is more like Achilles or Odysseus -- a figure probably rooted in an historical person of some sort, but whose story is so wrapped up in religion and the supernatural that it's unclear how much of the actual person's story survived the long period of oral tradition before it was written down.
 
Jul 2013
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Nashville, TN
#55
Sep 2017
3,996
4,939
Massachusetts
#56
We should all be grateful to Al Gore for inventing the internet.

Thanks Al!
The stuff right-wingers pretended to be scandalized by in decades past seems pretty quaint these days, doesn't it? Al Gore once claimed that when he was in Congress he took the initiative in creating the Internet (a statement vigorously defended by the "father of the Internet," Vinton Cerf, based on all the work Gore did in Congress that allowed the Internet to grow to be what it became). Yet conservatives pretended to be outraged about his statement --- or rather about the statement they made up for him, about having invented the Internet. Even when their false quotation was corrected, many kept attacking him for the supposed arrogance of his bragging and the idea that he was overstating the importance of his role. All these years later, that faux-outrage is doubly laughable, as so many of those same conservatives embrace Donald Trump -- a man who lies pathologically, and who boasts to such a cartoonish extent that it's impossible to successfully lampoon.

A lot of Democratic scandals of yesterday look that way in retrospect. For example, remember when conservatives pretended to be horrified that Bill Clinton had lied about a consensual blowjob from an intern? Now they turn a blind eye to a Republican president who paid off not one but two sex workers, to cover up his trysts, where even his lawyer at the time admits it was a felony violation of campaign finance laws.
 
Sep 2017
3,996
4,939
Massachusetts
#57
Nothing is more undying than a right wing hit piece meme...

Jump to search



Al Gore is a former US Senator who served as the Vice President of the United States from 1993 to 2001, and is co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. In the 1980s and 1990s, he promoted legislation that funded an expansion of the ARPANET, allowing greater public access, and helping to develop the Internet.
I think that's attributable to right-wing simple-mindedness. Once they've been programmed by their apparatchiks with a knee-jerk response to a topic, they will reliably produce that response forever. It's so formulaic that it reminds me of mnemonics used in ancient history to help bards recite poetry -- like how in Homer it's always the "wine dark sea," or "fleet-footed Achilles," and "rosy-fingered dawn." With Gore, they hear his name and "I invented the Internet" pops up reflexively to their mouth, and then is dutifully vomited out (nevermind the fact he never said that). Every major Democratic figure is affixed with a small number of epithets like that, which have been turned into mindless touchstones for the conservative masses.
 
Jul 2013
46,977
49,348
Nashville, TN
#58
The stuff right-wingers pretended to be scandalized by in decades past seems pretty quaint these days, doesn't it? Al Gore once claimed that when he was in Congress he took the initiative in creating the Internet (a statement vigorously defended by the "father of the Internet," Vinton Cerf, based on all the work Gore did in Congress that allowed the Internet to grow to be what it became). Yet conservatives pretended to be outraged about his statement --- or rather about the statement they made up for him, about having invented the Internet. Even when their false quotation was corrected, many kept attacking him for the supposed arrogance of his bragging and the idea that he was overstating the importance of his role. All these years later, that faux-outrage is doubly laughable, as so many of those same conservatives embrace Donald Trump -- a man who lies pathologically, and who boasts to such a cartoonish extent that it's impossible to successfully lampoon.

A lot of Democratic scandals of yesterday look that way in retrospect. For example, remember when conservatives pretended to be horrified that Bill Clinton had lied about a consensual blowjob from an intern? Now they turn a blind eye to a Republican president who paid off not one but two sex workers, to cover up his trysts, where even his lawyer at the time admits it was a felony violation of campaign finance laws.
If it wasn't for hypocrisy and cynicism, the right would have no core values at all.:rolleyes::rolleyes:
 
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Oct 2014
25,539
4,009
C-A-N-A-D-A-Eh
#59
First, the argument that the Sphinx is much older is based on almost nothing -- basically just weathering patterns on some of the rocks that suggest rain erosion. But, that could be explained by some erosion having occurred to a natural formation over 10,000 years ago, and then that natural formation, which looked a little bit like a sphinx, being chiseled partly away by much later people to perfect the resemblance.... the parts that didn't have to be chiseled would still show the much older patterns.
Not just rain erosion, at erosion like water pouring into the enclosure.



It also has to do with the stellar and interstellar alignments. 2500 years, 2500 years ago, that was where the sun would rise in Taurus. It was a lion, Leo was behind the sun around 10500 BC to around 8500 BC. Now, we are around the halfway point through that procession, which is why the alignment to orion's belt is opposite.

They built a star map to date the site... similar to the star map built into the Hoover Dam. Are you aware that the concrete in the middle of the dam is not even set? As in, if you cored a hole you would hit liquid concrete, that will take a couple hundred more years to set.




As for the idea that there is virtually no evidence that many Greek philosophers were real, I don't think that's true with regard to the major ones people think of, like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. There is ample evidence there. If you go way, way back before the time of Jesus, to the very earliest of Greek philosophers, like Thales, some of them don't have any contemporaneous evidence of their existence. But, unlike with Jesus, their stories aren't inherently implausible. Thales didn't walk on water, raise the dead, or ascend bodily into Heaven. He's not claimed to be divine. Subsequent historians recounted a fairly ordinary life for him: he was born to ordinary parents, did some math and engineering, predicted an eclipse, studied magnets, and died in his old age of heat stroke.

Jesus is more like Achilles or Odysseus -- a figure probably rooted in an historical person of some sort, but whose story is so wrapped up in religion and the supernatural that it's unclear how much of the actual person's story survived the long period of oral tradition before it was written down.
There is evidence, it is sufficient that I'm not calling to question, merely the statement that the evidence you would point to in order to confirm the existence of some of the Greek philosophers is in line with the amount of evidence to prove the existence of Jesus. That is to say, there is plenty lacking.

People would prefer to dismiss jesus for exactly that, it gets a bit close to accepting the magical parts too...which is fallacy, jesus being a real person does not mean the magic stuff is also literal.
 
Sep 2017
3,996
4,939
Massachusetts
#60
Not just rain erosion, at erosion like water pouring into the enclosure.



It also has to do with the stellar and interstellar alignments. 2500 years, 2500 years ago, that was where the sun would rise in Taurus. It was a lion, Leo was behind the sun around 10500 BC to around 8500 BC. Now, we are around the halfway point through that procession, which is why the alignment to orion's belt is opposite.
The Great Sphinx seems to have been chiseled out of a natural formation, so the orientation of the natural formation drove the orientation of the sculpture, not stellar alignment.

They built a star map to date the site... similar to the star map built into the Hoover Dam. Are you aware that the concrete in the middle of the dam is not even set? As in, if you cored a hole you would hit liquid concrete, that will take a couple hundred more years to set.
Relevance?

There is evidence, it is sufficient that I'm not calling to question, merely the statement that the evidence you would point to in order to confirm the existence of some of the Greek philosophers is in line with the amount of evidence to prove the existence of Jesus. That is to say, there is plenty lacking.
I suppose that depends on which Greek philosophers you mean. But for the major ones, I just don't think your statement is true. With Jesus, what we have to support his existence are fairy tales -- stories of magic and the supernatural, that were written down a couple generations after the supposed events. With, say, Plato, we have stories that make complete historical sense and are consistent with the observed world. We also have lots of different contemporaneous accounts, including negative ones -- for example, the plays of Aristophanes making fun of Plato's methods. There's no rational way to explain the evidence we have if we start with the view that Plato never existed.

By comparison, it's entirely conceivable (though not the most likely explanation) that there never was an historical Jesus -- that his earthly story was a back-story given to an otherwordly savior figure. Read "The Jesus Puzzle" for example. Whether or not you find that exercise convincing as to Jesus, it should be clear you couldn't even attempt a straight-faced version of the same argument for Plato.
 
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