For years, and everyday in the last year, we have been being told to “Follow The Science!” In this last year the line has been that all the government measures have been ONLY following the science and or experts (read scientists). But, where did all this blind zealot faith in science come from? The foundation of science was not blind faith but ever present skepticism. However, the tower of science has become blind obedience with absolutely NO boat rocking. I have written on this shift previously, so I will try to not repeat myself, at least too much here, since this is more about someone else’s argument against scientism, specifically, material scientism.
I have long questioned the absoluteness of DNA, largely because if you do read the reports about the breakthroughs you can see holes so large that jumbo jets can be flown through them. Primary to me is how small the samplings are to “prove” a DNA trait, not to mention that the sample populations cannot be determined to be pure to begin with. Add to this the zealot dogma of science as being all-knowing and scientists as being infallible deities. The cult of science can be likened to Middle Age Catholicism in which neither the Church, nor her ‘holy men’ could be questioned or challenged.
Christopher points out that even in their labs they have tunnel vision, forget looking at the whole world with open eyes. This inability to even allow questions that might have physical, tangible, answers to exist and to crucify any one displaying such blatant impropriety has limited and distorted our understanding and knowledge of all things. Christopher points out that science has become a religion of materialism that only the physical attributes have value and, so much so in fact, that they are the only value.
We are being feed lines by the experts about everything about us and regarding us is “in the DNA”. The problem is that the research consistently fails to support that absolute and yet science still beats that drum so loudly as to drowned out anyone pointing that out or questioning it. Ironically, we used to consider those that could not understand the things that they could not see for themselves to be ignorant, currently we do not question those that will not attempt to understand anything they cannot see in their petri dishes.
Christopher presents valid arguments against the scientism of today. The work can be a challenging read, especially considering the author’s abusive love of the apostrophes. You will come across sentences that you have to decipher. Here’s your key….if the ‘s blows your mind, drop it and or add in ‘has’, that should make those sentences readable. In spite of the proof errors the information is worth the time.
It would appear that Neanderthal’s reputation is finally starting to catch up with their character. A report just published in Nature journal has done two very important things for Neanderthals. First, it shows that they were much more sophisticated than historians have depicted them and secondly, it has pushed their date of sophistication back three fold into prehistory. Until now most experts considered the oldest show of any culture and civilization by Neanderthal to be their cave art, which is only considered to go back to about 40,000 years ago.
The crowning jewel of the recent new discoveries is the Bruniquel Cave. The Aveyron Valley in the southwest of France is home to at least 15 prehistoric sites and the newest site on the list is the aforementioned cave with wondrous round areas designated by the intentional placement of broken off stalagmites. The site was discovered in 1990, by a young boy, whose father had noticed the air flow from the scree. Thus this young man spent the next 3 years opening a small 30 meter long entrance into the cave, which was then explored by members of the local cave club, upon seeing the importance of the discovery they brought in archaeologist Francois Rouzaud. During the initial investigation, a burnt bear bone found in the cave was carbon-dated to 47,600 years ago, making it the oldest find for Neanderthal in the area.
Now, there has been new testing that has yielded new dates. What makes this discovery so amazing is not just its date, but its sophistication of the construction in the cave. Interestingly, the new dates for the cave construction, which is ~176,500 years ago, takes us almost to the mid point of another recent discovery that has added more spice to the recipe of how hominins came and went and merged and split. A team from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology has pieced together the oldest mitochondrial genome known from 400,000 year old bones found in a cave in Northern Spain. One of the surprises of this study was that the individuals, thought to be the early ancestors of Neanderthal, instead were more closely related to Denisovans, a group thought to be much more prominent further East and even having origins somewhere in Asia. Anatomically speaking though the individuals do not resemble their Denisovian descendants and one theory is that the hominins from Spain may be from before a split that possibly created both Neanderthals and Denisovans. The article for the oldest DNA can be found at The Scientist and the full study report can be found in Nature.
How the DNA study plays into our finds is that it gives only 200,000 years of separation between the existence of hominins that seem to predate Neanderthal maybe by more than one or two evolutionary splits and our believed Neanderthal presence in the Bruniquel Cave with the social and cultural skills already in place to have constructed the round areas showing at least intermediate technological skill as well. However, we do not as of yet have enough answers to say that some of the ancestor hominins and their descendants species did not share the same space and time. We know that both Denisovans and Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon and another unidentified hominin species did share time and space.
This new find, which can be read in abstract in The Atlantic with the full study findings reported in Nature, has certainly opened the door for many new questions that will need to find answers and lots of possibilities for those answers.
In recent history, the last few decades, all the rage to prove the written history has been centered on the new love affair with the absoluteness of DNA. I know what ALL you PRO DNAers are thinking, it is DNA. And DNA doesn’t lie. It is accurate,it is pure, and it is ALL fact. For what it does, yes, I allow that DNA does not in and of itself lie. That being said DNA can only tell a few details in an enormous story! The proof of the detail is only as good as the supporting facts, which as we know, can be incomplete, biased or limited in scope and or depth.
A good example is that of most ethnic DNA studies, to show that all of this group or that group have this gene or that marker in common are incredibly handicapped. The problem is several fold; first, the studies are conducted with a very, very, small number of believed members of the whole group, when I say that I mean like in some cases less than 1% of the population of the group as a whole. Tell me of any experiment that would hold up to any rigorous peer review with less than 1% of a population whole being tested and not even that group has 100% results of the find. Let me put this is in a better example for you to understand how these absolute facts are being taken out of their limited context to prop up huge theories….Aliens come to Earth and their ‘Scotty’ beams up 70 out of 7 billion Earthlings 28 of whom have both blonde hair and blue eyes, so they state in their Wikipedia, that Earthlings are humanoids with blonde hair and blue eyes and thus it is blonde hair and blue eyes that determines a humanoid is an Earthling.
However, in addition to usually using no more than 1000 examples of a group, which for most ethnic groups is nothing, they are not consistent with being able to have properly chosen the right examples of a group. What do I mean? If you have ever attempted to trace your family tree you know what I am talking about; if you haven’t, trust me you will learn just how much of what we think we know, we either cannot prove or we prove is totally wrong. There were many reasons for persons to get married and as we still know, being married does not insure fidelity, and there were even more reasons for false information to be given for many noble and not so noble reasons. You have no idea what I am talking about; I am talking about affairs, rape, molestation, war, invasions, religious persecutions, ethnic cleansing, assimilation. Trust me there is way more contaminated DNA in ethnic groups then we want to admit to. For me to accept any DNA study as an absolute you would have to base it on a closed society and we don’t do that, cause we do not have any truly closed societies. We do have societies that have stayed semi-isolated, but we cannot even be completely sure of just how pure their DNA is either. Thus, every DNA test that is trying to find differences between ethnic groups is flawed based on the fact that we can safely assume that all donations are contaminated. While I believe that we should try to never assume, as making assumptions and playing them off as facts is how we have gotten so much of history wrong, based on the examples that I have given you it is highly probable that most samples will be contaminated.
Now before you get upset that I am screaming foul, I am not. I am not saying that the DNA tests are as poorly done as the study of the Giza Necropolis. What I am saying is that like with the Pyramids, just cause you have a rectangle box that some people think is large enough for a body to fit in that does not make it a tomb, thus less than 1% of a population having a similar trait or gene or marker does not make that a standard for that ‘race’/ethnic group. Also, just like people either went to or lived along the banks of the Nile and built the wonders of Giza, but we do not know that they had always been in Giza/Egypt and the people that live along the Nile today are not the same people that lived there no matter when you think the Pyramids were built. And that goes for pretty much EVERYWHERE in the world today. That also does not mean that there was not any mixing of those peoples and these peoples.
Here is the bottom line, DNA is a fact from one point of view. If 2 people stand facing each other they will see totally different views, this does not make either one wrong, mater of fact they are both right. But to know the whole story, you have to be willing to take both truths and use them as they are, not more and not less, to help tell the whole story and to understand that you only have 2 points of view and that is only part of the whole. But we have to learn that each and every part of the story is important to the whole and we cannot leave out parts that we do not like or that are not pretty then we are losing parts of the story that is our own.