Friday, August 29, 2008

Human evolution: But who had decided that the Neanderthals were dumb in the first place?

"New Evidence Debunks 'Stupid' Neanderthal Myth" chirps the ScienceDaily release:
Research by UK and American scientists has struck another blow to the theory that Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) became extinct because they were less intelligent than our ancestors (Homo sapiens). The research team has shown that early stone tool technologies developed by our species, Homo sapiens, were no more efficient than those used by Neanderthals.

Published in the Journal of Human Evolution, their discovery debunks a textbook belief held by archaeologists for more than 60 years. (August 26, 2008)
Now, the obvious question is, who decided that the 'thals were dummies? They were around long enough (conventionally, from about 250 000 to about 28 000 years ago) so they must have fed themselves using their tools.

The textbook belief was in fact based on the now-rotting Tree of Life popularized by Darwin and his modern-day followers. They assumed that modern humans (homo sapiens) were "superior" to the Neanderdumbsters, and interpreted all facts about the latter to fit that view.

However, enterprising researchers from the University of Exeter, Southern Methodist University, Texas State University, and the Think Computer Corporation decided to do some investigation, so they themselves spent three years making both Neanderthal tools and Homo sapiens tools.

And guess what:
... when the research team analysed their data there was no statistical difference between the efficiency of the two technologies. In fact, their findings showed that in some respects the flakes favoured by Neanderthals were more efficient than the blades adopted by Homo sapiens.
One researcher offers various speculations about why Homo sapiens preferred tools that didn't work as well, but the inferior intelligence of homo sapiens (hereafter saps) is not one of the options offered.

The researchers already done enough damage to the official materialist narrative for one decade.
I suggest that the next step should be this: Two groups of daring researchers should live for two decades in the manner assumed by the textbooks to be our ancestors' way of life 50 000 years ago. Some will be saps and others 'thals. The only rule would be, no felony offenses against humans because then the work would be eligible for publication only as a signed confession. But the researchers should report when they think that a felony offense would occur back then. I wonder how long it would last? What they would learn? How many researchers would come back alive? It's one thing to report that the 'thal tools were more efficient, but another to feed and clothe oneself with them.

These findings generally support the non-materialist view that human consciousness is not a slowly evolving thing. Once present, it changes everything very quickly. Assuming otherwise leads to mistakes about early humans.

See also: Consciousness: Half an oaf is better than none?