Humans have been on the earth for 6,000 years?

by make yourself 76 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • notsurewheretogo

    This thread....jeepers...

  • Apognophos

    I suspect the simple explanation is that each culture makes steps based on the previous ones, but if your culture vanishes, or gets exterminated the advances you have made get lost...

    Yes, sadly there must have been many brilliant people throughout history whose ideas never propagated, at least outside their tribe or nation. The language barrier was a big problem. The travel barrier was another one. Westerners who wanted to know about the mysterious land of China once had to rely on an account by Marco Polo and hope it was accurate and thorough. Now scientists worldwide can read about the latest results from a lab in Japan or Switzerland shortly after they happen.

    There's many records of repeated discoveries taking place throughout history because ideas were lost so many times. Math concepts, building methods, etc.

    If you accept humans have only been around for 6000 years or so , how do you explain the explosion of knowledge in all fields of education/knowledge / science etc. you name it , that has occured in the past 200 years ? and very little before then .?

    Well, even if we were only around for 6,000 years... what were we doing before the last few hundred years that there was so little advancement in knowledge? The answer is "Trying not to starve, and trying not to die of plagues or from barbarian hordes". There wasn't a lot of free time for people to engage in feats of intellectual fancy. After the Roman Empire fell, there was social upheaval that prevented a lot of knowledge-seeking and record-making. Then the Black Plague was a significant setback to the human race's achievements.

    Since the Renaissance, there's been a steady building on previous knowledge taking place. That's because Europe finally settled back down after the plagues and unrest, and suddenly there was leisure time for the intellectuals to use, and money for the rich to patronize their work. Since then, there's been an acceleration in knowledge because the fundamentals have been established and because technology itself is speeding up the work. There are plans to make computers and robots that perform research automatically. Once this occurs, science will progress even faster.

    Also, there's simply a lot more people alive today. Science has always been done by the smartest 0.5% (speaking roughly) of the population; in 1800, 0.5% was 5 million people; now it's 35 million people. The fact that they're able to coordinate and work together today is really significant.

    Anyway, to go back before modern society's time, the development of agrarian societies was crucial, because in a hunter-gatherer society there would have been almost no leisure time, so very few people would have been able to study their world. Most of the day consisted of finding food or a place to sleep. That's why the majority of human (pre-)history is a write-off: agrarian culture didn't even exist before about 10,000 years ago. All the millennia before that were devoted to hunting and gathering.

    As Wikipedia says, "The ability of farmers to feed large numbers of people whose activities have nothing to do with material production was the crucial factor in the rise of surplus, specialization, advanced technology, hierarchical social structures, inequality, and standing armies. Agrarian societies thus support the emergence of a more complex social structure." And agrarian societies didn't start becoming industrial societies until the Renaissance era, which is when science began to really take off.

    One could still ask why agriculture took so long to develop. There's lots of theories, but basically, it's not an invention so much as an adaptation, due to things like ecological changes and population growth (hunter-gatherer societies have upper limits on population). There was no specific reason for humans to develop agriculture for much of their existence because hunting animals and picking wild fruits and nuts worked fine for them.

  • kaik

    Apognophos, even people during Roman Empire starved. Average life expectancy in the zenith of the Roman power was about 35 years or so. Population of Rome lived better than rest of the empire due all the conquests. Also Roman Empire experienced period fo peace and prosperity under Pax Romana where core of the empire did nto see a war for several centuries. However, many people were malnourished and from excavated graves of the late antiquity (when funeral pyre were abandonded under Christian faith), shows that Germanic tribes were often much better fed than Romans, were larger, stronger and taller. From 250AD to the collapse of the Roman civilization under Justinian, agricultural production plummetted.

    Medieval Europe during its golden peak of the fedualism was actually more economically, socially, and technologically advanced than the Roman Empire. Europe before Black Death had more population than entire Roman Empire. Medieval France had 3x more population than Roman province of Gaul. Britain under Roman had 1 million people and 3 million around 1300. Medieval Europeans had universities producing thousands of graduates every year since 1200s. They had advanced mechanics, optics, chemistry, metallurgy that Romans or Greeks did not have. The feudal civilization was destroyed by plagues, 100 Years War, and religious Schism. When Renaissance arrived, people who lived in the 16th century were not aware of any golden age passing by. Actually people longed for time where prices were lower without runaway inflation. Holy Roman Empire of Germany was in the middle of largest peasant uprising in the world that was not matched until French Revolution. France experienced 4 civil wars in the name of religion, and Renaissance ended with outbreak of 30 Years war.

    Anyway, the world in past experienced various peirod of rise and fall, which also was tied to food production and agricultural output. However, the outbreaks of plague like Black Death in 1346, plague of Antonious in 175 or Cyprian 280, or Justinian around 560 set into motion forces which at the end collapsed the civilization. If present world experience significant outbreak of diseases that would whip out 1/3 of all humanity, world would experience dark ages.

  • Apognophos

    Thanks for the info, that was interesting. Well, my main point was not that the Roman Empire was the peak of human achievement. It may be true that science continued to advance during the "Dark Ages", but I did read that the loss of the Roman Empire was a blow to the ability of people to seek out centralized knowledge and write down lasting records. Maybe that's not accurate; I'm definitely no history buff.

    If present world experience significant outbreak of diseases that would whip out 1/3 of all humanity, world would experience dark ages.

    Yes, and it's no wonder that we don't know much about the Native Americans, since at least 90% of them were killed by disease after the Europeans found the continent. They experienced a complete and utter destruction of their isolated civilization which had developed for thousands of years apart from Asia and Europe. By the time most Europeans met the "primitive" Indians, they were essentially meeting the equivalent of the guys standing around a barrel fire in the ruins of a post-apocalyptic city, to reference an image that we always see in popular entertainment.

  • kaik

    In European history, there is a tendency idealization of the Roman Empire. It was seen as a lost golden age, and this view was utilized by Protestant Reformation to put Catholic based, medieval civilization into bad spot. However, Roman Empire was extremely brutal society that was far more cruel than medieval times. When plague of Antoinne or Cyprian hit Roman Empire, Romans detest the sick ones. It was the Chrisitans that took care of them. Even soldiers were expelled from legie and there was no help for them. Roman Empire did not have hospitals as did Islam or later medieval Europe. Doctors were considered a skilled slaves, and sick people went to temple to pray to the gods to get healed. There was only care for the wealthy and the injured soldiers. Masses were out of lack. While medieval health care was primitive, by 1200 every city in Europe had public hostpital run by religious order. Byzantine Empire had free hospitals since 8th century. Sometimes it is debated that Islam acquired hospital care from Byzantine Empire and Crusaders brought it into the Western world.

    Major issue for catastrophic decline of the civilization was sudden drop of population. Roman Empire had 80 millions in 100 AD and only 45 during its collpase. European medieval population shrunk by 30 millions between 1350 and 1450 from peak of 100 millions. If world experience really rapid pandemic with massive population losses; economy, political system, cuture, stability, and public order will collapse. China felt to Mongols only after recurrent Black Death pandemics.

  • Pants of Righteousness
    Pants of Righteousness

    In 2013 the British Museum hosted an exhibition of Ice Age Art. All the works on display were older than 20,000 years, and all art is the product of the structure and organisation of the modern brain.

    From the British Museum web site:

    "Through archaeological evidence from Southern Africa, we can ascertain that the modern brain emerged just over 100,000 years ago with the appearance of art and complex behavior patterns. This exhibition will demonstrate how the creators of the work on display had brains that had the capacity to express themselves symbolically through art and music."

    The British Museum is rather venerated in the Org with Society approved tours - pretty sure this exhibit (like plenty of other items on display) would have been off the itinerary. Maybe they tried to hide it behind a sign saying 'Beware of Leopard'.

  • smiddy

    For those that replied to my questions regarding the OP , thank you , I will ponder over them. I did leave school at 14 ( oh well, that says it all, some might say )

    Not many , if any , came to my defence of my questions , I wonder why that was ? just saying .

    I`m always willing to learn , thanks guys .


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