Thursday, February 22, 2024

More Neanderthal Art Discovered

SciAm reports:
Over the past decade, increasing evidence suggests artistic expression emerged much earlier in human evolution than scientists once thought, and it's reshaping our understanding of the cognitive abilities of archaic humans, such as Neanderthals and earlier hominins. For instance, there's archaeological evidence that Neanderthals made abstract designs on cave walls long before Homo sapiens arrived in Europe and may have made pendants from eagle talons up to 130,000 years ago.

"Cognitively, Neanderthals seem to have been just as capable at becoming artists as our own species, Homo sapiens," Leder said.

As our own species? For whom is he speaking? Unless he is a sub-saharan African, he is descended from Neanderthal and African hominim interbreeding, estimated to have happened about 47,000–65,000 years ago.
These findings are forcing archaeologists to rethink their understanding of our ancient human relatives' cognition. For a long time, archaeologists thought only H. sapiens were intellectually developed enough to make, use and appreciate art, which they tended to equate with symbolism. This ability was epitomized by hundreds of stunning animals emblazoned on the walls of France's Chauvet Cave. Often likened to a prehistoric Sistine Chapel, these drawings of woolly rhinoceroses, mammoths, bison and cave bears were sketched by people of astonishing artistic ability as far back as 35,000 years ago.
Those cave paintings were made by hominims at least 20,000 years after the interbreeding. Those are evidence of Neanderthal-derived art, and not evidence that African H. sapiens had superior art.

These articles on Neanderthal art all have a tone of surprise that extinct Neanderthals might have been as smart as the African invaders. But the Neanderthals are not extinct, and probably were smarter than the Africans until an interbreeding event produced hybrids that eventually outcompeted the Neanderthals and the Africans.

1 comment:

CFT said...

When you see science taking the shape of political correctness, walk away.

I've seen many scientific concepts or understandings of biology, genetics, history, and now medicine (medical Weathering? Are you kidding me?), and mathematics (1+1 could be 3...unless you are a white or racist).

The only thing more ridiculous than what has happened, is going to be the great walk back that will occur when Woke dogma is no longer du jour. I adore listening to all the medical 'professionals' talking about how they are just shocked ('Oh physician, where is thy skepticism?') when they discover how they were mislead about the efficacy of the 6feet distancing, masking, the Jab and the lab origin of Covid 19 (Poor little Fauci couldn't even recall who told him 6feet was preventative). Most of these 'professionals' knew they were doing something ridiculous, but peer pressure (not just for kids anymore!), job security and fear of being cancelled was more important than first doing no harm.

I have contempt for anyone who switches off their reason for authority. There is no good reason to believe an expert who folds like a paper napkin at the first whiff of fear.
It would seem cowardice is the rule in academia and the sciences.

“The Society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools.”
― Thucydides

"The virtues of science are skepticism and independence of thought"
-Walter Gilbert