Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

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Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Jay Hoover » Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:30 pm

Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago, study says

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/04/24/clos ... pstoryview

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Human beings may have had a brush with extinction 70,000 years ago, an extensive genetic study suggests.

The human population at that time was reduced to small isolated groups in Africa, apparently because of drought, according to an analysis released Thursday.

The report notes that a separate study by researchers at Stanford University estimated the number of early humans may have shrunk as low as 2,000 before numbers began to expand again in the early Stone Age.

"This study illustrates the extraordinary power of genetics to reveal insights into some of the key events in our species' history," Spencer Wells, National Geographic Society explorer in residence, said in a statement.

"Tiny bands of early humans, forced apart by harsh environmental conditions, coming back from the brink to reunite and populate the world. Truly an epic drama, written in our DNA."
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Major Malfunction » Fri Apr 25, 2008 5:32 am

I'd say that's pretty pretentious.

There's good evidence that large numbers of people were kickin' about all over the world 'round about that time.
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Jay Hoover » Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:12 pm

Major Malfunction wrote:I'd say that's pretty pretentious.

There's good evidence that large numbers of people were kickin' about all over the world 'round about that time.


Do you mean "presumptuous"?

Shrug. I don't know if it's true or not. It was just an interesting article.
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Chachacha » Fri Apr 25, 2008 3:29 pm

This surprised me: "Studies using mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down through mothers, have traced modern humans to a single "mitochondrial Eve," who lived in Africa about 200,000 years ago."

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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby bigtim » Fri Apr 25, 2008 3:36 pm

I've read articles that talk about how humans dropped to the tens-of-thousands number due to some catastrophe. I'm curious how those numbers were achieved and suspect it's due to some statistical mumbo-jumbo that makes some based number assumptions in order to come to a final count.

Course I'm also curious as to the theories some have regarding Cro-Magnon replacement of the Neanderthal.

Chachacha wrote:This surprised me: "Studies using mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down through mothers, have traced modern humans to a single "mitochondrial Eve," who lived in Africa about 200,000 years ago."


I read that some time ago as well. That is quite an interesting concept. There was as documentary (was it last year?...don't recall) that talked about this event and how we are all traced down to a single female. I point out "all" because it's using some statistical science to arrive at that number and due to that some assumptions are made that may later be proven to be inaccurate. Not saying they are, just that knowing how they derive their conclusion is important in the depth of accuracy of their conclusion.
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby izittrue » Fri Apr 25, 2008 3:36 pm

So the bible was right...again.
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Chachacha » Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:25 pm

izittrue wrote:So the bible was right...again.


Oh what a fool I've been.

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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby izittrue » Fri Apr 25, 2008 5:07 pm

Do not call someone a fool
(Matthew 5:22) - "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell."
Calling someone a fool
(Psalm 14:1) - "The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good"
(Matthew 23:17) - "You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold?"


Yep...
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Chachacha » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:30 pm

izittrue wrote:
Do not call someone a fool
(Matthew 5:22) - "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell."
Calling someone a fool
(Psalm 14:1) - "The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good"
(Matthew 23:17) - "You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold?"


Yep...


OH NO! ET TU, IZITRUE???

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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby izittrue » Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:11 pm

Well I am not sure if one is to call one a fool or not...so I decided to get some clearance from the bible..and lo and behold it is now clearer since I have read it.
It's ok to call someone a fool but it is not ok to call someone a fool. Capesh?
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Chachacha » Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:18 pm

izittrue wrote:Well I am not sure if one is to call one a fool or not...so I decided to get some clearance from the bible..and lo and behold it is now clearer since I have read it.
It's ok to call someone a fool but it is not ok to call someone a fool. Capesh?


Hmmm, let me think on it.....

While I'm thinking, perhaps you should consider blocking access to www.bible.com??? That stuff'll make your head explode! :lol:

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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Paul Anthony » Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:27 am

izittrue wrote:So the bible was right...again.



No, no, no. The Bible is wrong! Apparently Noah took 2000 people on his ark. :lol:
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby izittrue » Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:24 pm

Wow that is a lot of different species of humans...
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Chachacha » Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:46 pm

Whenever I hear these figures, which some people think humans were reduced to several times, I think, "You know, humans could owe their success to the survival of an adaptable few and inbreeding!" :mrgreen:

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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby OlegTheBatty » Mon Apr 28, 2008 2:23 pm

One 'Eve' but no mention of how many 'Adam's'. Polyandry anyone?
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Chachacha » Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:04 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:One 'Eve' but no mention of how many 'Adam's'. Polyandry anyone?


Makes sense. The biological explanation why males fall asleep after sex and females do not is so the female is free to mate with other males.

I prefer the tongue-in-cheek theory that men were apes and an all-female space ship crashed, resulting in their mating with the available males. :lol: Now that we know about the "mitochondrial Eve," we have to assume that only one female survived! Can I hear a "P-A-H-T-A-Y!"

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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby OlegTheBatty » Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:34 pm

Chachacha wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:One 'Eve' but no mention of how many 'Adam's'. Polyandry anyone?


Makes sense. The biological explanation why males fall asleep after sex and females do not is so the female is free to mate with other males.

I prefer the tongue-in-cheek theory that men were apes and an all-female space ship crashed, resulting in their mating with the available males. :lol: Now that we know about the "mitochondrial Eve," we have to assume that only one female survived! Can I hear a "P-A-H-T-A-Y!"


Many features of female anatomy are consistent with a polyandrous history.

One reproduced. Could have been many survivors (and the P-A-H-T-A-Y of all P-A-H-T-A-Y-S.)
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Martin Brock » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:43 am

OlegTheBatty wrote:One 'Eve' but no mention of how many 'Adam's'. Polyandry anyone?


We also have a common male ancestor, but he didn't mate with Eve.

You can do this simulated experiment in asexual reproduction yourself. Start with two imaginary creatures.

After a generation, the first creature has X offspring, and the second has Y offspring, and both creatures die. X and Y are random variables from some distribution. You could flip a coin three times to determine a number between 0 and 7 for example.

Repeat the random reproduction process with the offspring of the two creatures to create subsequent generations.

After many generations, the descendants of one of the two creatures dominates the population. The ratio of the size of the smaller family to size of the larger family approaches zero. It happens regardless of any "fitness" advantage of one family over another.

Something similar happens when you play Monopoly. It's mostly a game of chance, but someone always ends up with all of the property, even if the property buying and other player choices are also made by throwing dice.

Of course, Eve was not the only female of her kind in her time. If you studied her species at the time, you'd find that all of them had a common female ancestor too, and this ancestor is also our ancestor, so there is more than one eve.

I'm not suggesting that "fitness" is meaningless, only that it's not necessary to explain the eves.

Maybe, some of us are not Eve's descendants, but we're too rare to be statistically significant in the studies.
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Major Malfunction » Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:24 am

Must've been some boobs!
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby landrew » Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:04 pm

Paul Anthony wrote:
izittrue wrote:So the bible was right...again.



No, no, no. The Bible is wrong! Apparently Noah took 2000 people on his ark. :lol:

I've always wondered, if God commanded all the animals to board the ark in two's, why aren't their genepools smaller than the humans'? While we're at it, why didn't god create them a nice little island for them somewhere where they could wait out the flood? And that dove that brought back the tree branch, apparently that tree wasn't under water during the flood, so why didn't they go there instead of building a boat?
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby OlegTheBatty » Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:32 pm

If we can assume that the interpretation of the evidence is reliable, and that H. sapiens population was only about 2,000 individuals 70,000 years ago, could this explain the universality of the core elements of creation myths? Everybody seems to have a flood myth (for example), with a myriad of embellishments. Is 70,000 years too long for such core elements to survive the diaspora? By word of mouth?

Maybe it didn't need to survive that long -- the c. 55,000 years since the emergence from Africa to the invention of writing.
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby landrew » Sun May 04, 2008 4:39 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:If we can assume that the interpretation of the evidence is reliable, and that H. sapiens population was only about 2,000 individuals 70,000 years ago, could this explain the universality of the core elements of creation myths? Everybody seems to have a flood myth (for example), with a myriad of embellishments. Is 70,000 years too long for such core elements to survive the diaspora? By word of mouth?

Maybe it didn't need to survive that long -- the c. 55,000 years since the emergence from Africa to the invention of writing.

I think the human genomic evidence squares best with the geologic evidence of the explosion of the Toba supervolcano 70-75K years ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toba_catastrophe_theory

As for the great flood, I think the human myth squares best with the Black Sea deluge about 5600 years ago.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sea_Flood
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:20 am

[quote="OlegTheBatty"]If we can assume that the interpretation of the evidence is reliable, and that H. sapiens population was only about 2,000 individuals 70,000 years ago, could this explain the universality of the core elements of creation myths? By word of mouth?

Good question. I do not think it is possible. Some of the migrating populations would have not seen a flood for centuries and therefore the meanings of the work "flood" and "ark" would have changed separately for each separate group. Common concepts probably evolved out as the small groups separated.

I assume the homogeny of the Indo/european language is because civilisation had already existed at its development and a common language root was required for food and resource distribution. A bit like latin in europe. I assume religous myths homogenised at this time to make trade easier across nations. "Yeah, that flood thing...Yeah, bad news...now sell me some pottery"

Can anyone suggest better scenarios? I am always interested in the myth of the tower of Babel. I assume a theist saw a mega problem with Adam & Eve's language and intentionally introduced this myth.

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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Major Malfunction » Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:27 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:I am always interested in the myth of the tower of Babel. I assume a theist saw a mega problem with Adam & Eve's language and intentionally introduced this myth.

I like it too. I think it might bear a seed of fact at the core. It certainly contains some gems of wisdom - the main being a lesson in humility, and another in engineering. And it goes, thus:

Humans are not gods. No matter how powerful we think our technology makes us.

This is an important lesson that has never lost relevancy, especially considered in the dawning age of biotechnology and artificial intelligence.

The historical context of the Tower of Babel story is probably from an early ceramic civilisation. The fired brick. Let you build buildings majestically higher than ever before seen. Or maybe just masonry. So, some king with delusions of grandeur, a bunch slaves and cash to burn, reckons he can build a stairway to heaven. Lo and behold, it falls down. The people lose faith in his divinity and bugger off to join other tribes. They learn their languages (if they didn't know them already), and pass the story around. Widely. The recipients nod their heads sagely and say there's a lesson in that for all of us, and scurry off to record it in clay tablets and retell it a thousand times each. With embellishments.

Maybe. Maybe that happened.

Whatever. It's a story of grandiose ambition and epic failure! And that's what makes it a good story. Worth repeating.

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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby bigtim » Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:18 pm

Major Malfunction wrote:The historical context of the Tower of Babel story is probably from an early ceramic civilisation. The fired brick. Let you build buildings majestically higher than ever before seen. Or maybe just masonry. So, some king with delusions of grandeur, a bunch slaves and cash to burn, reckons he can build a stairway to heaven. Lo and behold, it falls down. The people lose faith in his divinity and bugger off to join other tribes. They learn their languages (if they didn't know them already), and pass the story around. Widely. The recipients nod their heads sagely and say there's a lesson in that for all of us, and scurry off to record it in clay tablets and retell it a thousand times each. With embellishments.



The story is a fairy tale and speculating about how it "could" have happened is as pertinent as speculating how the earth "could" exist on the back of a giant tortoise....

All fairy tales have some type of moral, it's the endemic nature of humanity and the method of how humans communicate lessons.

I'm not convinced that the numbers are accurate and that humanity was brought down to only a couple thousand.

But, presuming it to be close to accurate, and there are indications that the human population was brought very low (numbers I recall were in tens-of-thousands) these populations would not exist in locality but be spread far and wide reduced in size to smaller pockets, surviving the cataclysm, then repopulating.

I've been toying with some growth ratio numbers. If we break the 70,000 years into 20 year generations then we have 3,500 generations between then and now. And even if we do a for every 2 people there is +1 person every generation the population numbers rise dramatically.
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:54 am

The historical context of the Tower of Babel story is probably from an early ceramic civilisation. The fired brick. Let you build buildings majestically higher than ever before seen. Or maybe just masonry. So, some king with delusions of grandeur, a bunch slaves and cash to burn, reckons he can build a stairway to heaven. Lo and behold, it falls down. Maybe. Maybe that happened.


I agree. There is a good book by Charles Pellegrino "Beyond Sodom and Gomorrah" that offers normal explanations from archeology for biblical events. (ie rising salt tables from over farming = Lot's wife turning into a pillar of salt). Unfortunately he doesn't discuss the Tower of Babel in depth. His explanation of the exodus is very interesting and logical.

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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby bigtim » Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:58 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
The historical context of the Tower of Babel story is probably from an early ceramic civilisation. The fired brick. Let you build buildings majestically higher than ever before seen. Or maybe just masonry. So, some king with delusions of grandeur, a bunch slaves and cash to burn, reckons he can build a stairway to heaven. Lo and behold, it falls down. Maybe. Maybe that happened.


I agree. There is a good book by Charles Pellegrino "Beyond Sodom and Gomorrah" that offers normal explanations from archeology for biblical events. (ie rising salt tables from over farming = Lot's wife turning into a pillar of salt). Unfortunately he doesn't discuss the Tower of Babel in depth. His explanation of the exodus is very interesting and logical.


All this is speculative fiction; trying to find "reasons" why the bible stories "could be true"... that's tantamount to coming up with reasons how UFO's "could be" alien spacecraft....
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:21 am

All this is speculative fiction; trying to find "reasons" why the bible stories "could be true"... that's tantamount to coming up with reasons how UFO's "could be" alien spacecraft....


I do not fully agree. I think there are real events in history that have been changed into magical events in the Bible. The best I can do is, as you correctly say, speculate. I enjoyed reading an annotated book on Snow white and other fairy tales that speculates they were rural myths concerned with the growth of urban population. Charles Pelligrino suggests the old testament is biased towards nomadic shepards, thus all the anti-agricultural stories like Lot's wife. It's fun but probably not science.

Charles Pellegrino says the Exodus was actually two events
1) The "chucking out" of the Hykos semetic rulers of Egypt
2) The explosion of Thera, the volcano, that caused the seven plages.

In my "Science and Religion" general education subject, the lecturer presented us with three contemporary, similar descriptions of Thera's "plagues" however only one author was from the Levant. Extremely interesting stuff!

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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby bigtim » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:42 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
All this is speculative fiction; trying to find "reasons" why the bible stories "could be true"... that's tantamount to coming up with reasons how UFO's "could be" alien spacecraft....


I do not fully agree. I think there are real events in history that have been changed into magical events in the Bible. The best I can do is, as you correctly say, speculate. I enjoyed reading an annotated book on Snow white and other fairy tales that speculates they were rural myths concerned with the growth of urban population. Charles Pelligrino suggests the old testament is biased towards nomadic shepards, thus all the anti-agricultural stories like Lot's wife. It's fun but probably not science.

Charles Pellegrino says the Exodus was actually two events
1) The "chucking out" of the Hykos semetic rulers of Egypt
2) The explosion of Thera, the volcano, that caused the seven plages.

In my "Science and Religion" general education subject, the lecturer presented us with three contemporary, similar descriptions of Thera's "plagues" however only one author was from the Levant. Extremely interesting stuff!


I agree that it can be interesting. My contention is the "weight" given to pure speculation. While I will also agree that biblical events are most likely based on fire-tale myths from the origins and past of the people that wrote the scrolls, I do not agree that each story could be based on a "real" event.

Some can find that certain events in the Bible can "be matched" to an event or catastrophe in our distant past. That, honestly, while interesting to talk about, is also as interesting as talking about some fictional series like star trek or star wars... or even gunsmoke....

An entire school of thought and study exists, biblical archeology, trying to find historical artifacts that can be used to justify or "prove" that the events from the Bible actually occurred.

There have been many such talks on this board that does attempt to link events. A famous one is the flood myth linked to an actual event in the black sea. Honestly, however, that is again pure speculation. You being from a premise based totally on faith, that the story in the bible is based on some event that entered into the cultural psyche, storytelling of a people until such time as it was penned. Then you begin to try and find a real even that could be used to represent this mythical cause for this mythical story.

This is my contention. Start from fact or historical knowledge and proceed from there. When you don't you might as well argue about how many dinosaurs there were on the ark or which volcano blew up Atlantis...
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby bigtim » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:44 am

Something else that is very interesting in a /sigh or /pain moment is that this "we fell to only X humans" is being talked about in conjunction with bible stories...
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Matthew Ellard » Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:02 am

Some can find that certain events in the Bible can "be matched" to an event or catastrophe in our distant past. That, honestly, while interesting to talk about, is also as interesting as talking about some fictional series like star trek or star wars... or even gunsmoke....

This is my contention. Start from fact or historical knowledge and proceed from there. When you don't you might as well argue about how many dinosaurs there were on the ark or which volcano blew up Atlantis....


OK...I agree with your view. I cant pretend to be Albert Einstein and then seriously argue about light sabres on Star Wars. I will move my Pellegrino books from "speculative explanations" to "enjoyable fictions". ( This is a bummer because of the volume of books I have that speculate on the origins of religion...but if it leads to better science....)

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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby landrew » Sat Jun 21, 2008 4:56 am

Someone who starts out with the premise that every word of the bible is literal truth, will require some truly bewildering mental contortions to fit those conclusions to the evidence.

Liken this scenario to a pile of crashed airplane wreckage in someone's back yard. For someone who is convinced it is a car, he can probably reconstruct a car from it. If someone imagines a boat, it could probably come together as a boat. If the preconceived conclusion is that it was a cinnamon bagel, he might be judged quite insane.

Imagining that every word of the bible were literally true would be just about as sane as that.
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Jay Hoover » Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:18 pm

bigtim wrote:Something else that is very interesting in a /sigh or /pain moment is that this "we fell to only X humans" is being talked about in conjunction with bible stories...


Well, go figure, hunh? :lol:
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sun Jun 22, 2008 11:42 pm

landrew wrote:Someone who starts out with the premise that every word of the bible is literal truth, will require some truly bewildering mental contortions to fit those conclusions to the evidence.

Liken this scenario to a pile of crashed airplane wreckage in someone's back yard. For someone who is convinced it is a car, he can probably reconstruct a car from it. If someone imagines a boat, it could probably come together as a boat. If the preconceived conclusion is that it was a cinnamon bagel, he might be judged quite insane.

Imagining that every word of the bible were literally true would be just about as sane as that.


I came to this board from the SAB ( Skeptic Annotated Bible) forum. On that forum some people argue about greek translations. It is interesting but a little exhausting. However, have a look, because the webpage systematically works through all the contradictions in the Bible. ( In the bible it clearly states that when Jesus arose so did all the dead saints, who then wandered around Jerusalem. How come they dont mention that in Church!)

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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Jay Hoover » Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:56 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:( In the bible it clearly states that when Jesus arose so did all the dead saints, who then wandered around Jerusalem. How come they dont mention that in Church!)


This was one of those questions I got smacked by a nun for asking in my days in Catechism class. I had come across the verse myself (we had an elaborately manufactured bible with classic art work plates in it, and I would thumb through it sometimes), and I wanted to know what happened to all those dead people walking around. This was about the same time as George Romero's original "Night of the Living Dead" came out, a movie which scared the hell out of me (I couldn't sleep for days after seeing it; I was about 8-9 years old at the time).

I wasn't asking to be a smart ass -- I was scared of the idea that the dead could rise and walk around, but when I asked, "Were they zombies? Did they kill people?" I got a crack across the knuckles.

My immediate reaction was, "These people are hiding something TERRIFYING."

Little did I know!
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Matthew Ellard » Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:03 am

Jay Hoover wrote:
Matthew Ellard wrote:( In the bible it clearly states that when Jesus arose so did all the dead saints, who then wandered around Jerusalem. How come they dont mention that in Church!)


This was about the same time as George Romero's original "Night of the Living Dead" came out,


You and I have the same brain! When I first read about the dead saints walking I thought about the exact same film. It is a big topic for discussion at the Skeptic's Annotated Bible forum. You would think that one of the historians living in Judea at the time would have made a note.


Dear diary
10am: Had a nice chat with mother
11am: Went to buy goat for cousin's birthday
12am: Big earthquake and then watched 100 dead jewish saints walk around city while someone else stole the body of the executed jewish tax avoider charged by Herod's men
2pm: bought an apple at the market for 2 shekels. Very fresh

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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby jr Magoo » Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:38 am

C. 74K BCE the Lake Toba volcano(Indonesia, of course) erupted with such an effect that it has been speculated that it created a worldwide population bottleneck that reduced humans et al to less than 10K! Yow! The volcano was greater by several factors than Tambora 1815(The Scream, The Year w/o a Summer) and Krakatoa 1883. Nonetheless Eve and her intrepid clan made it to Australia C. 55K BCE. We have always been at the mercy of the earth's geology and at some future date an earthquake or volcano will kill millions. Recorded history has been replete with excellent examples of smaller geologic events that have devastated or nearly destroyed entire cultures. Now we have more people living in potential danger zones. It's only a matter of time.

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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby charles brough » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:47 pm

In 1995 I was in Sumatra and almost reached Lake Toba. I did see Krakatoa twice. It has reformed into a new volcano belching smoke as we passed nearby on a ship. Big boulders the size of a garage still visible on the beach ashore. Lake Toba is not called a volcano but a volcanic caldera like Yellowstone Nat. Park. It is so big that the island in the lake is as big as the whole city state of Singapore.

As someone suggested, there were different hominids out of Africa, but only Ancient Sapiens seems to have been targeted by the volcanic caldera(!?) Or perhaps not . . .
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby landrew » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:53 pm

There's good evidence that a large portion the fledgling human population (70k years ago) was inhabiting the varied coastlines of South and Southeast Asia and migrating southeastward towards Australia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_migration it's not a stretch that one good belch from a large volcano could send early humans to the brink of extinction.

Some authors have proposed that humans were beginning to adopt a semi-aquatic niche, and were it to continue for a few million years, might have produced a fully aquatic species, similar to seals, or even eventually like dolphins and whales.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquatic_ape_hypothesis

Apparently a better niche became available, but remnants of those first evolutionary steps back towards the ocean environment remain with us today.
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Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Matthew Ellard » Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:19 pm

landrew wrote: Some authors have proposed that humans were beginning to adopt a semi-aquatic niche, and were it to continue for a few million years, might have produced a fully aquatic species, similar to seals, or even eventually like dolphins and whales.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquatic_ape_hypothesis


I'm open minded about humans having an aquatic influence into their evolutionary origins. However on one tiny point, pigs do not have hair either and they do not swim. I cannot see how not having hair can be an advantage in swimming or fishing unless there was some unique parasite like sea lice or something.

I would love to know why humans are hairless. ( Imagine if we had full pelts....what a pain dealing with hair products....I would be a scruffy mixed tabby....Pyrrho would probably look like Sylvester from the Bugs Bunny show...Bigtim would be a fluffy white Persian)


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