Chauvet Cave - 40,000 yrs BC
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17-02-2015, 05:09 PM
Chauvet Cave - 40,000 yrs BC
Curious if anyone knows much about this cave? I watched a documentary regarding the cave and found it astounding. I won't ask if anyone has ever BEEN to the cave considering they'll only let in visitors 2 weeks out of the year to preserve it. Due to carbon dating and based on the 'cave popcorn' that has grown on the walls and artwork found under some of the cave popcorn they can easily conclude the artwork found in the cave to be at least 40,000 yrs old. Let the dead horse beatings begin but I'm not here to discuss the young earth claim. Let's just call a spade a spade and move past that point.

As documentaries often due, while watching this one I began dealing with a number of thoughts. For some reason I don't believe the origins of religion come from any other source aside from man. Smartass Sorry God worshipers. And so the myth began at some point in time and for some reason. I'm curious what your ideas are on that? Why did religion come into existence? When do you think it occurred?

My quick opinion is this. I think when we began to evolve a brain capable of understanding/thinking abstractly, this might have been a social issue as those "thinkers" could gain an advantage on others. You can see chaos being a staple of life without some myth governing the people. Animals only tend to murder for survival but humans will murder for sport. I think an abstract mind will take the act of murdering for survival and consider the benefits of murdering for other reasons. Perhaps the birth of greed, jealousy, etc. I don't see an animal capable of thinking on this level. At some point during the evolutionary process we crossed the line of being less of an animal and more of a abstract thinking ape/caveman and it may have been about 40,000 years ago. I don't recall learning of this theory in the history books so I think I'm safe from any "Japs bombed Pearl Harbor" jokes. Big Grin

For me the only certainty is that religion came into existence by humans to control wide swaths of population as a device. When did this happen is the only question in my mind.
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17-02-2015, 06:49 PM
RE: Chauvet Cave - 40,000 yrs BC
I think once the size of human tribes/civilizations began to greatly exceed the size of their governing bodies/leaders they needed to find a way to keep them in line.
By introducing a god type system with a reward/punishment foundation, the leaders found they could control large populations with far less actual manpower.
Manpower was much better utilized attacking other tribes.

When you have primative people who think the worst possible thing they can imagine will happen to them after they die unless they behave, you can bet your ass most of them will behave. With minimal supervision no less.

Now we have so-called intelligent, modern humans who still buy into the afterlife reward/punishment system.
It's psychological control on a huge scale and it is abused constantly.

As far as when this all started, my best guess is when human population growth really started to take off.
Sorry, I don't have a better time frame for you.
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17-02-2015, 07:12 PM
RE: Chauvet Cave - 40,000 yrs BC
(17-02-2015 06:49 PM)pablo Wrote:  I think once the size of human tribes/civilizations began to greatly exceed the size of their governing bodies/leaders they needed to find a way to keep them in line.

Ever hear of Dunbar’s Number?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar's_number

"Dunbar's number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. These are relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person. This number was first proposed in the 1990s by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who found a correlation between primate brain size and average social group size. By using the average human brain size and extrapolating from the results of primates, he proposed that humans can only comfortably maintain 150 stable relationships...”

Tangentially correlated I think.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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17-02-2015, 07:15 PM
RE: Chauvet Cave - 40,000 yrs BC
I love the Chauvet cave art. I've got a giant (and overly expensive) book featuring prints of the paintings. I'm pretty sure I've seen the documentary of which you speak. Werner Herzog has a voice that will put you to sleep, but the film is great.

As for the origins of religion, I've posted about this before. You can see it here:

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...f-religion
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17-02-2015, 09:19 PM
RE: Chauvet Cave - 40,000 yrs BC
(17-02-2015 06:49 PM)pablo Wrote:  I think once the size of human tribes/civilizations began to greatly exceed the size of their governing bodies/leaders they needed to find a way to keep them in line.
By introducing a god type system with a reward/punishment foundation, the leaders found they could control large populations with far less actual manpower.
Manpower was much better utilized attacking other tribes.

When you have primative people who think the worst possible thing they can imagine will happen to them after they die unless they behave, you can bet your ass most of them will behave. With minimal supervision no less.

Now we have so-called intelligent, modern humans who still buy into the afterlife reward/punishment system.
It's psychological control on a huge scale and it is abused constantly.

As far as when this all started, my best guess is when human population growth really started to take off.
Sorry, I don't have a better time frame for you.

Not so surprising, religion was also an invaluable tool for getting members of your tribe to attack other tribes.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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18-02-2015, 07:45 AM
RE: Chauvet Cave - 40,000 yrs BC
(17-02-2015 05:09 PM)dirtstar Wrote:  And so the myth began at some point in time and for some reason. I'm curious what your ideas are on that? Why did religion come into existence? When do you think it occurred?

My quick opinion is this. I think when we began to evolve a brain capable of understanding/thinking abstractly, this might have been a social issue as those "thinkers" could gain an advantage on others. You can see chaos being a staple of life without some myth governing the people.

In addition, I think a lot of this has to do with our ability to find and match patterns. We're very good at it. Good to the point where we can find patterns that aren't even there, or attribute causes to unlinked effects. This is the basis of a lot of informal logical fallacies, and also the basis of superstition in general. Religions is just one subset of superstition. I imagine what started as trying to find repeatable results in the world ballooned into people attributing the movement of the sun or lightning strikes to gods. I totally agree that religion has since been used as control (this is quite evident), but I don't think that's where it started.

As far as how this applies on an evolutionary basis, it isn't limited to just us. There are experiments showing pigeons being superstitions on the basis of magical thinking (A happens then B happens, so A must have caused B). They'd put them in boxes, where they'd just sit, doing pigeon things. They'd peck, bob, spin, or whatever, and randomly, a food pellet would get dropped in. Pretty quickly, the pigeons started copying the action they took just before the pellet came, because they thought it caused it. So, if spinning summoned food, they would just spin. When more food came, this would further confirm that spinning summons food.
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18-02-2015, 09:09 AM
RE: Chauvet Cave - 40,000 yrs BC
Thanks for linking the previous discussion regarding the true origin of religion.

The chimpanzee study regarding their behaviors is quite telling actually considering they are our closest relatives to the animal kingdom besides ourselves of course. We still get excited when around water don't we? I know when summer comes and it's time to get the wake board out... this guy here starts dancing like a chimpanzee. Drooling
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19-02-2015, 03:08 PM
RE: Chauvet Cave - 40,000 yrs BC
Oh yes. The Book of Baloney chapter 6, verse 5, states:

"And yay, the Earth is 6,000 years old. For in the days long after, around 2014 AD, whatever AD means, it shall be revealed that the Earth is now, today as I write the Book of Baloney, 4,000 years old, so around 2014, it should be, let's see, 6,000 years old."

Cave paintings are proven to be 40,000 years old. So what? Many of the more learned Christians in this world believe in an Old Earth. Straw man, but thanks for sharing a fascinating discovery with us.

But no thanks for the straw man. All of TTA, show me in the Christian Bible where it says the Earth is young (it says things instead like the "mountains are ancient") or where it says the Earth is 6,000 or even 10,000 years aloud, or kindly put away this old, old straw man (pun intended). As a matter of fact, I'd be pressed to remember a single religious text that is ancient (not some Scientology baloney from L. Ron Hubbard) that puts a date on the Earth's age. Stop it.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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19-02-2015, 06:47 PM
RE: Chauvet Cave - 40,000 yrs BC
You don't think it is possible to calculate when the time of Adam was from the "begats", Q?

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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19-02-2015, 07:02 PM
RE: Chauvet Cave - 40,000 yrs BC
(19-02-2015 03:08 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  But no thanks for the straw man. All of TTA, show me in the Christian Bible where it says the Earth is young (it says things instead like the "mountains are ancient") or where it says the Earth is 6,000 or even 10,000 years aloud, or kindly put away this old, old straw man (pun intended). As a matter of fact, I'd be pressed to remember a single religious text that is ancient (not some Scientology baloney from L. Ron Hubbard) that puts a date on the Earth's age. Stop it.

Who claimed that the bible gives a date? It does not do so directly but many religious scholars have used it to calculate a date. Bishop Usher gets credit for the 4004BC date but many others aren't that far off from his claim.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dating_Crea...Pentateuch

... the Seder Olam Rabbah, compiled by Jose ben Halafta in 160 AD, dates the creation of the world to 3761 BC while the later Seder Olam Zutta to 4339 BC.

Many of the earliest Christians who followed the Septuagint calculated creation around 5500 BC, and Christians up to the Middle-Ages continued to use this rough estimate: Clement of Alexandria (5592 BC), Theophilus of Antioch (5529 BC), Julius Africanus (5501 BC), Hippolytus of Rome (5500 BC), Gregory of Tours (5500 BC), Panodorus of Alexandria (5493 BC), Maximus the Confessor (5493 BC), George Syncellus (5492 BC) Sulpicius Severus (5469 BC), Isidore of Seville (5336 BC), Eusebius (5228 BC), and Jerome (5199 BC). The Byzantine calendar has traditionally dated the creation of the world to September 1, 5509 BC.

The Chronicon of Eusebius (early 4th century) dated creation to 5228 BC while Jerome (c. 380, Constantinople) dated creation to 5199 BC

and so on

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