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Thread: Prehistoric life vs Dark Ages

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    Hmmm, cool new subforum!


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    The average height, weight, and adult lifespan of humans decreased druing the Dark Ages - pre-agricultural European people were as tall and healthy as those of the better modern industrial countries.
     

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    Actually getting a living as a hunter gatherer is more difficult and involves more hard labor than agriculture.
    That is most definitely false.

    Even the hunter gatherers of modern times, a poor and miserable lot restricted to the most marginal of landscapes and subjected to insult and injury from their farmland neighbors, don't work as hard as people who depend on agriculture.

    As late as the early 1800s, with all the advantages of the Renaissance and New World prosperity bestowed upon the European agriculturalists, the tallest and healthiest people on earth were the Northern Cheyenne buffalo hunters - average height six foot plus, lifespan easily into their 60s barring combat, sound teeth and clear eyes and robust physiques.

    The reduction in average height, state of dentition, strength of muscle and bone, lifespan, etc, as agriculture took over from hunting and gathering is documented - the skeletons have been measured. The attraction of agriculture is not freedom from toil and hard living.
     

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    pre-agricultural European people were as tall and healthy as those of the better modern industrial countries....

    The reduction in average height, state of dentition, strength of muscle and bone, lifespan, etc, as agriculture took over from hunting and gathering is documented - the skeletons have been measured.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    Actually getting a living as a hunter gatherer is more difficult and involves more hard labor than agriculture. Also it produces no surplus and no food stores to last through lean times. Not so long ago a scientist stuying the native american people of the southwestern US determined what their diet had been. He studied "feco liths", basiclly mummified shit, to determin this. (aint science exciting). In any case he put himself on the same diet, gathering his food in the desert. He lost something like 50 lbs. He determined that as a hunter gatherer he burned nearly all of the clories he took in, in the effort to gather his food.
    That scientist did not know the first thing about conditions for hunters and gatherers. Game and wild food was so abundant in pre-industrialized North America that many slaves in the south gathered their own abundant meals as they worked, catching rabits and other small mamals just by reaching out a hand. For native aboriginals and early settlers in North America, before the clearing of the forest, the damming and destruction of the rivers, life was like a walk in a modern supermarket but no cash or plastic needed. Children routinely brought home game they killed with sticks and stones. Fish and fowl were unlimited (or so they thought until the nut forests were cleared and their hogs ate the passenger pigeons young and nests.) Wild nuts and roots were everywhere .. the Wapato, water potatoe, was superabundant in the marshes which were then superabundant .. and was wild rice. All the foods they ate were super nutritious. They had hundreds of gallons of maple syrup, birch syrup, hundreds of pounds maple sugar. To catch a 50 pound salmon was a ten minute job. Natives could walk on the fish. Plus they had big game everywhere and easy .. a settler could lay down his axe, walk ten minutes into the woods, and bring home a bear or Elk, Elk then being the main meat throughout much of North America, coast to coast. Remember, this is modern history, not thousands of years old.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    The reduction in average height, state of dentition, strength of muscle and bone, lifespan, etc, as agriculture took over from hunting and gathering is documented - the skeletons have been measured. The attraction of agriculture is not freedom from toil and hard living.
    The ploughed ground of Babylon. Cain was a tiller of the ground. Abel a shepherd. When one strong man kills a few weak men and takes their land, he can then enslave the weak man's children to till the land, and sell them the produce they grow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aristarchus in Exile View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    Actually getting a living as a hunter gatherer is more difficult and involves more hard labor than agriculture. Also it produces no surplus and no food stores to last through lean times. Not so long ago a scientist stuying the native american people of the southwestern US determined what their diet had been. He studied "feco liths", basiclly mummified shit, to determin this. (aint science exciting). In any case he put himself on the same diet, gathering his food in the desert. He lost something like 50 lbs. He determined that as a hunter gatherer he burned nearly all of the clories he took in, in the effort to gather his food.
    That scientist did not know the first thing about conditions for hunters and gatherers. Game and wild food was so abundant in pre-industrialized North America that many slaves in the south gathered their own abundant meals as they worked, catching rabits and other small mamals just by reaching out a hand. For native aboriginals and early settlers in North America, before the clearing of the forest, the damming and destruction of the rivers, life was like a walk in a modern supermarket but no cash or plastic needed. Children routinely brought home game they killed with sticks and stones. Fish and fowl were unlimited (or so they thought until the nut forests were cleared and their hogs ate the passenger pigeons young and nests.) Wild nuts and roots were everywhere .. the Wapato, water potatoe, was superabundant in the marshes which were then superabundant .. and was wild rice. All the foods they ate were super nutritious. They had hundreds of gallons of maple syrup, birch syrup, hundreds of pounds maple sugar. To catch a 50 pound salmon was a ten minute job. Natives could walk on the fish. Plus they had big game everywhere and easy .. a settler could lay down his axe, walk ten minutes into the woods, and bring home a bear or Elk, Elk then being the main meat throughout much of North America, coast to coast. Remember, this is modern history, not thousands of years old.
    BS, support this with actual documentation or retract it.
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    I sure wish people would do some reading. There are numerous pioneer accounts of life in North America which depict the beauty of life for hunter gatherers BEFORE industrialization destroyed the natural systems. I can't waste my valuable time finding references for those here too lazy to pick up a book and read.
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    "life was like a walk in a supermarket"

    Im not sure the Donner Party would agree with that. That depends on the region and the season. In my area supermarkets are lot more comfortable and food filled then a frozen forest in january.

    But I have no problems imagining (or fantasizing about, tropical island paradise) that there are probably regions where climate and vegetation etc is so favorable that it makes life easier as a robinson crusoe hunter garherer than medieval peasants in russia.
    Indians lived in the same conditions as the Donner party. They knew how to live in it. The Donner party was ignorant of any aspect of it.
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    What is your personal idea of the kind of forest in Ontario, for instance, at the time of the settlers. Tangled? Impenetrable? No. It was with trees spaced so far apart that "a horse can be ridden at full gallop." That from an English settler. How many on this thread knew that Elk and not Deer were the principal meat for most North American aboriginals coast to coast? How many posting in this thread knew that Oak trees first limbs were commonly reported to begin at 80 feet, and that those limbs would break from the weight of passenger pigeons nesting on them .. and when they broke the settlers would turn their hogs loose to feed. Before the Chestnut blight destroyed 50% (or so) of the forest in North America I believe I read there was one 'roundup' herd of hogs in the southeastern states of 200,000, those hogs fattened on acorns from the oaks and chestnuts .. the chestnut blight may have been fed by hog effluent.

    Hunter Gatherer society here and in any environment before age of Babylon Industrialization was a pleasure.
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    Which only proves, Aristarchus, that you are not the only romantic.
    This Hearne guy I do not believe. I believe the more rigorous research of anthropologists.
    Obsidian can be very sharp, admitted. It is glass, after all. But sharper than surgical steel? That is a massive exaggeration.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Aristarchus

    Monk mound is rather similar to Silbury Hill in England.
    Silbury Hill - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Primitive peoples constructed a number of impressive structures, including Stonehenge and the henge at Avebury.
    That says nothing of how well they were fed.

    I relate to New Zealand Maori more than North American indigenous people. I know they had something of a feast or famine life style. Skeletons of old time Maori have been studied and the bones show times of malnutrition. New Zealand has always had fertile soils for agriculture with plenty of rain. However, the Maori were a primitive, stone age people, with a limited range of crops, and times of famine were frequent.

    On obsidian.
    I am very familiar with this material, and have handled it many times, since vast amounts were produced in the NZ Mayor Island volcano. Top quality obsidian, widely used by our pre-European Maoris. They called it 'tuhua' and traded it by canoe in large amounts up and down the entire country. It can be chipped to produce sharp edges, certainly. But not to scalpel sharpness.
    Skeptic, the scope of the hard physical labour of the seemingly unending works of the 'primitive' people show how well nourished they were. I will repeat my previous post here:
    One example of the miserable, downtrodden, starving conditions of aboriginals in North America.

    Monk Mound. Pyramid of North America

    About Tuhua:
    Either your Tuhua is inferior to Labrador obsidian or you are mistaken about its quality. You really should read from some of the urls I posted, and other comments by other posters here. You could be right about Tuhua being poor quality, as even diamonds vary greatly in quality, with diamonds from northern Canada being far superior to most diamonds from other locations.

    Obsidian Rock This url mentioned obsidian used in scalpel blades.
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    OK.
    I will admit obsidian has probably been used for surgical blades.

    I do not think much of Aristarchus' reference, though, which includes this little gem.

    "In recent times, this igneous rock has become popular in crystal healing. Obsidian rock helps promote the physical well-being, digestive health and circulation system of an individual. As per crystal therapist, obsidian rock serves as protective stone, thereby absorbing negative energies and transforming them. It should be employed only under the guidance of a crystal expert."


    I regard any reference that promotes quackery as being essentially worthless.

    To iceaura.

    Obsidian is not really a glass. It is glass-like. However, it is a rock, with lots of impurities. It contains high levels of silicates, which gives the glass-like qualities. But it is better describes as a vitreous rock than as a glass.

    Your estimation of "the noble savage" is much more romantic than realistic. Quoting others who believed that myth does not prove your point, either. Lots of idiotic Europeans have written of the "noble savage" after viewing them through rose tinted glasses. We get the same thing here in New Zealand about our Maori people. The Maori are intelligent and capable, but they suffered under a stone age technology before Europeans arrived. This led to tribalism, and inter-tribal violence. poor agriculture led to frequent hunger and ill health. They did not even have suitable ways of keeping warm, despite New Zealand having a relatively equable temperate climate. Yet we continue, to this day, to have idiots who write about them as if they were "noble savages."

    I am not expert on North American natives, but I am willing to accept what Lynx Fox says. From what I have read of his prior postings, he is a realist.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Obsidian is not really a glass.
    Yes, it is. It is a glass. It is classified as "glass", technically and casually. This is about the fifth item of easily corrected ignorance you've posted on this thread, which would not be so bad if it didn't take five and six posts per item to beat even the simplest of basic facts and concepts into your head.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Your estimation of "the noble savage" is much more romantic than realistic.
    I think you should be banned for that kind of post. There really is no excuse. In particular putting things in quotes, as if they were not your invented words and your invented postings, is a nasty species of lying.

    sigh. OK: I never posted anything like that. You made that up, and then presented it as my posting. It's not similar to my posting, it resembles nothing I posted, it is contradicted explicitly by several of my posts, it is quite insulting as appears to be its intent, and the whole scene is you lying and trolling and making false assertions about other posters rather than discussing the matters at hand. Over and over and over.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Pretty much bunk. I know a great deal about watercraft and kayaking. The native skills were remarkable on both use and construction from primitive material; but their craft were neither very stable nor particularly fast-
    No, it's not bunk. The kayaks (and baidarkas? accounts vary) were faster than the ships being manned by the eyewitnesses, for example. especially against current, tide, and wind. We have the eyewitness accounts of this.

    They were of course "dynamically" stable - meaning very tippy in the hands of the inexperienced, but very difficult to permanently upset and quite secure for open ocean travel in the hands of the experienced.

    The umiaks were slower, being flat bottomed, but stable enough for heavy loads and transport of families, animals, etc. across open ocean. As you say, tradeoffs - and they did lack oar tech, which limited their drayage speed and efficiency compared with the whaling dories. But the point was their advantages, not their deficiencies. They did have some.

    Go fix your buddy skeptic's trolling, will you? Warn him, ban him, do your job.
     

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    No, it's not bunk. The kayaks (and baidarkas? accounts vary) were faster than the ships being manned by the eyewitnesses, for example. especially against current, tide, and wind. We have the eyewitness accounts of this.

    They were of course "dynamically" stable - meaning very tippy in the hands of the inexperienced, but very difficult to permanently upset and quite secure for open ocean travel in the hands of the experienced.
    And honestly Ice you don't know squat about ships or boats.

    Kayaks are displacement hulls and limited to just a bit over hull speeds within the power of a single human, only achieving extremely short sprint speeds of perhaps 50% higher than hull speed (and that much is doubtful). They were fast only compared to similarly length boats with low power. They look fast because they are low to the water--and an expectations by Westerners that primitive peoples couldn't do anything tremendously well.

    They were of course "dynamically" stable
    Wrong again. In fact they were quite dynamically UNSTABLE, being almost all designed with round bottoms. Using these crafts took a lot of talent somewhat against to riding a bicycle in a severe side wind. (I've been swimming more than a few times as well--hehe). Those that did it every day were really good at it, but also tipped them over unintentionally quite often which is why they were also experts at recovery, seldom traveled alone, and still lost lots of men because it takes quite a bit of effort just to keep them upright. They stayed near the coast for the most part because of this as well.

    They are remarkable craft given the materials available, but lets not exaggerate their capabilities.

    Life may have been harsh, in many ways, but the working hours were considerably less,
    Harsh doesn't' even begin to describe how difficult life was; They had low populations because of it. You must have a strange definition of "working hours." The very things that cities and civilization is known for are based on more free time to develop art, music, complex religions, writing and all the rest. Hunter-gatherers had not such luxuries. Everyday was a struggle until you couldn't keep up or otherwise no longer be productive at which point you were left on the ice to die and thanked your grandson for leaving you enough firewood to keep the wolves and cold at bay through the night as you watched your tribe walk into the sunset never to see them again.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; March 21st, 2012 at 12:09 PM.
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    To Iceaura

    Obsidian is not glass, by the normal definition. One of the qualities of glass that is thus accepted is transparency, which obsidian is notably not possessing.

    On the "noble savage"
    I used this term in relation to the posts of Aristarchus, but your approach was so similar that it also applies to you. Primitive people are not any better or worse than modern peoples in term of environmental care. They are just human. Where modern people pollute and carry out actions leading to global warming, primitives kill their prey without any thought of tomorrow, and cause widespread extinctions.

    Your demands to get me banned smack of desperation. Do my arguments threaten your world view that much?
    Last edited by skeptic; March 21st, 2012 at 04:35 AM.
     

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    Ice aura .. your research and documentation are useless to those blinded and deafened by the savagery of prejudice imposed upon them by their ancestral environments and hostile educational institutions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    No, it's not bunk. The kayaks (and baidarkas? accounts vary) were faster than the ships being manned by the eyewitnesses, for example. especially against current, tide, and wind. We have the eyewitness accounts of this.

    They were of course "dynamically" stable - meaning very tippy in the hands of the inexperienced, but very difficult to permanently upset and quite secure for open ocean travel in the hands of the experienced.
    And honestly Ice you don't know squat about ships or boats.

    Kayaks are displacement hulls and limited to just a bit over hull speeds within the power of a single human, only achieving extremely short sprint speeds of perhaps 50% higher than hull speed (and that much is doubtful). They were fast only compared to similarly length boats with low power. They look fast because they are low to the water--and an expectations by Westerners that primitive peoples could do anything tremendously well.

    They were of course "dynamically" stable
    Wrong again. In fact they were quite dynamically UNSTABLE, being almost all designed with round bottoms. Using these crafts took a lot of talent somewhat against to riding a bicycle in a severe side wind. (I've been swimming more than a few times as well--hehe). Those that did it every day were really good at it, but also tipped them over unintentionally quite often which is why they were also experts at recovery, seldom traveled alone, and still lost lots of men because it takes quite a bit of effort just to keep them upright. They stayed near the coast for the most part because of this as well.

    They are remarkable craft given the materials available, but lets not exaggerate their capabilities.

    Life may have been harsh, in many ways, but the working hours were considerably less,
    Harsh doesn't' even begin to describe how difficult life was; They had low populations because of it. You must have a strange definition of "working hours."
    Lynx, your refusal to read from urls is evident. Your apparent lack of interest in non-fiction reading material is also evident. Alaskan Aleuts visited not only the lower parts of the North American continent, but the upper parts of the South American .. as well as Hawaii, in SKIN kayaks.

    As far as populations of strict hunter-gatherers in hostile environments: "Within fifty years after Russian contact, the population of the Aleut was 12,000 to 15,000 people. At the end of the twentieth century, it was 2,000.[4] Eighty percent of the Aleut population had died through violence and European diseases, against which they had no defense." http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Aleut It has been estimated that within 50 years of european influence in lower north america 80 percent of the population had been killed .. working that out for the Aleuts would mean they may have had a population of nearly 100,000 before Russians contact .. not bad for an arctic environment with no vegetable gardens .. and this kind of environment:

    "The Aleutian climate is so notorious that early Russian missionaries called the area "the place that God forgot."(3) High winds, rain that blows sideways, and thick fog are commonplace. The islands are volcanic, treeless, and covered with thick grasses, sedges, and beautiful wildflowers. Environmental conditions were even harsher on the Pribilofs where there were no natural harbors for protection, no freshwater streams or salmon populations, and fewer varieties of berries. The Aleuts developed respiratory problems associated with the climate, malnutrition, and living in government houses that let in the wind." From http://www.amiq.org/aleuts.html
    Last edited by Aristarchus in Exile; March 21st, 2012 at 12:15 PM.
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    Lynx, your refusal to read from urls is evident. Your apparent lack of interest in non-fiction reading material is also evident. Alaskan Aleuts visited not only the lower parts of the North American continent, but the upper parts of the South American .. as well as Hawaii, in SKIN kayaks.
    Show your peer review links because my BS light is spinning. I think you'll be hard pressed to find any long distance expeditions done in kayaks more than a day or so from shore. But please dazzle us with your peer review archaeological papers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aristarchus in Exile View Post
    Ice aura .. your research and documentation are useless to those blinded and deafened by the savagery of prejudice imposed upon them by their ancestral environments and hostile educational institutions.
    I think you would find both Lynx and I are open to references that carry a high level of credibility. Descriptions by explorers trying to impress those at home, in the hopes of gaining sponsorship, are not much different to today's advertisements. However, peer reviewed papers in proper archaeological journals are something else.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Obsidian is not glass, by the normal definition. One of the qualities of glass that is thus accepted is transparency, which obsidian is notably not possessing.
    Obsidian is glass, by every single definition in existence both casual and formal. Transparency has nothing to do with it.

    Transparent obsidian exists. Industrial glass is often opaque: I own a cheap set of glass stones for playing Go, white and black, that are completely opaque - even small chips off of them are opaque. Tinted glass is very common - various minerals dissolved in the glass to lend color or even complete opacity. Glass bottles for UV protection of caustics, acids, or foods are often opaque. Transparency is a property of some glasses, and also of many crystals and minerals (quartz, diamond, mica, etc), but not others.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    On the "noble savage"
    I used this term in relation to the posts of Aristarchus,
    No, wrong again: You used the term repeatedly in a full paragraph specifically addressed to me, and I quoted it directly in my reply, which called for you to be discouraged from such nasty, juvenile, bullshit rhetorical habits by competent moderation of this supposedly moderated forum.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    but your approach was so similar that it also applies to you.
    No, my approach is almost the opposite. Almost a direct contradiction. Quite explicitly so. I have pointed this out to you twice before, here. Maybe your are simply too stupid to follow even very simple arguments, and must replace them with garbage you have invented for me to have said. Or maybe you are habitually lying and trolling because you enjoy treating people like that and you can get away with it here - I can't tell which.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Kayaks are displacement hulls and limited to just a bit over hull speeds within the power of a single human, only achieving extremely short sprint speeds of perhaps 50% higher than hull speed (and that much is doubtful).
    Kayaks powered by more than one man were and are common. 50% over hull speed (and that is not doubtful - the aboriginal construction flexes appropriately at small and large scales, giving some of the same advantages that boost dolphins and tuna and speed sharks over their rigid shape speed max). Even just 50% over hull speed for some of the remnant baidarka designs known would be around 12 knots - compare with the better Western ships of the time, 8 to 10 knots under ideal circumstances and straight line.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    They were fast only compared to similarly length boats with low power. They look fast because they are low to the water--and an expectations by Westerners that primitive peoples couldn't do anything tremendously well.
    The eyewitness accounts are available.

    Apparently we have different understandings of "dynamic stability" - everyone knows kayaks are tippy (especially, low primary stability) when not under power, but quite flexible and forgiving with a paddle in the water, even in high winds, waves, against strong currents, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Harsh doesn't' even begin to describe how difficult life was; They had low populations because of it.
    They were taller, stronger, in better health, had better teeth, and lived at least as long barring accident or war, as the pioneer European agriculturalists.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    You must have a strange definition of "working hours."
    It's the same as yours - only I go by measurements, rather than presumptions about dreary toil among primitives. Early subsistence agriculture is extraordinarily laborious - far more and harder work than the San are doing right now, in one of the least desirable environments available. Even the stuff first imported to the Americas - with draft animals, etc, to ease the toil - was so onerous and unattractive that in more than a century of mutual contact no Reds except the already agricultural Cherokee adopted any of it, while Whites with the experience and opportunity "went native" by the score.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    which called for you to be discouraged from such nasty, juvenile, bullshit rhetorical habits by competent moderation of this supposedly moderated forum


    maybe you are habitually lying and trolling because you enjoy treating people like that and you can get away with it here - I can't tell which.
    Iceaura

    It is now my turn to warn you.

    This type of phrasing is exactly the sort of thing that gets people banned. Please lay off!

    if you do not, I will report you.
     

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    Kayaks powered by more than one man were and are common. 50% over hull speed (and that is not doubtful - the aboriginal construction flexes appropriately at small and large scales, giving some of the same advantages that boost dolphins and tuna and speed sharks over their rigid shape speed max). Even just 50% over hull speed for some of the remnant baidarka designs known would be around 12 knots - compare with the better Western ships of the time, 8 to 10 knots under ideal circumstances and straight line.
    Actually double and triple were rather uncommon. Flexibility slows boats down which is why other than for portability (e.g. Klepper) almost no-one uses them today in modern designs. (Kayak guide). Your estimates are also way way off. Kayaks make no more than 3-5 knots on average (my personal best is about 25 miles in a long day), with burst for the best reaching about 8 knots in short exhausting sprints. I'm being generous here. Actual estimates using modern hydrodynamic models put the speeds of the fastest traditional kayaks at no more than a hair over 7 knots. How Fast is your kayak? Speed test graph Honestly we're all ignorant about most things--you are about boats.

    Honestly I've sea kayaked, rowed, sailed been around small boats including building & designing my whole life when the Army didn't put me in deserts (and was a liaison with the US Navy there for training Iraq marsh patrol boats)--we should probably continue this in the physics section if you care to learn more about boating.

    --
    My primary source is Qajaq: Kayaks of Siberia and Alaska by David Zimmerly of the Alaska Division of State Museums--I've had his book for over ten years. If there's significant archeological discoveries since that have revolutionized our thinking about traditional kayaks, then you or AIX should post it--it is, after all, why we started this forum. They couldn't change the rules of physics though--claims of 12 knot skin kayaks unless riding surf are ridiculous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    which called for you to be discouraged from such nasty, juvenile, bullshit rhetorical habits by competent moderation of this supposedly moderated forum


    maybe you are habitually lying and trolling because you enjoy treating people like that and you can get away with it here - I can't tell which.
    Iceaura

    It is now my turn to warn you.

    This type of phrasing is exactly the sort of thing that gets people banned. Please lay off!

    if you do not, I will report you.
    Abusers and Bullies often can dish it out but can't take it. Well said, Ice Aura.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Lynx, your refusal to read from urls is evident. Your apparent lack of interest in non-fiction reading material is also evident. Alaskan Aleuts visited not only the lower parts of the North American continent, but the upper parts of the South American .. as well as Hawaii, in SKIN kayaks.
    Show your peer review links because my BS light is spinning. I think you'll be hard pressed to find any long distance expeditions done in kayaks more than a day or so from shore. But please dazzle us with your peer review archaeological papers.
    Full text of "Aleutian islanders; Eskimos of the north Pacific"

    This comprehensive link includes:

    "The umiak consisted of a large wooden frame about thirty feet long and nine feet wide, covered with skins.
    Twenty people or an equivalent amount of freight could be carried in the Aleut umiak. These large open boats
    would have been ideal transports for war parties, and it is not hard to imagine a body of attacking Aleut in an
    umiak being convoyed by lone warriors in their swift kayaks."


    To say the Aleuts could not have reached Hawaii shows a complete lack of understanding of boats of any kind along with their capabilities. Lynx, I survived 2 1/2 hours in four and five foot waves in a completely open canoe despite being in poor health, 56 years old, not previously experienced in canoe tripping. For the Aleuts to reach Hawaii was a walk in the park.

    By the way, it took me a full three minutes to find that link.
    Search engines are such useful tools .. I wonder why more people don't use them?
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aristarchus in Exile View Post
    Full text of "Aleutian islanders; Eskimos of the north Pacific"

    This comprehensive link includes:

    "The umiak consisted of a large wooden frame about thirty feet long and nine feet wide, covered with skins.
    Twenty people or an equivalent amount of freight could be carried in the Aleut umiak. These large open boats
    would have been ideal transports for war parties, and it is not hard to imagine a body of attacking Aleut in an
    umiak being convoyed by lone warriors in their swift kayaks."
    A great link 70 years ago. Unfortunately you'll have to find where it suggest these people went far to sea in them...or even more than a couple days out. Their waring and trading areas are essentially island and shore hops from camp to camp with very few more than a day or so from land. Several of us would love to see evidence of any longer trips from a credible source. So far that hasn't happened.


    Lynx, I survived 2 1/2 hours in four and five foot waves in a completely open canoe despite being in poor health, 56 years old, not previously experienced in canoe tripping. For the Aleuts to reach Hawaii was a walk in the park.
    I'm glad you survived it. Mine include barely surviving a winter gale while serving crew for a gill netter; just getting to shore after a squall hit me in a rowing shell crossing Puget Sound and spending a night in a hastily built debris shelter on a small island while combating exposure; capsizing and demasting a 16 foot catamaran and spending a night with a friend to be rescued by a Maine lobstermen; falling through ice when I was about 13; and probably the most similar to your was getting caught in another squall on Ozette lake in a 13 foot canoe with my pregnant wife. A dozen other events that would have been dangerous if I didn't have a lifetime of boat experiences and ironically enough some native skills from reconnecting with my Algonquin heritage and Scouting. Those who mess around in boats long enough eventually go through similar situations.

    --

    But beyond all that, this new forum was set up to discuss science related to anthropology, archeology and palaeontology--not faux science or unsupported speculations assertively presented as facts. In this case, small boats can certainly do amazing things including traveling long distances out to sea--there's simply no evidence that North American natives ever did so, had motivation, or numerous supporting technology such as navigation skills.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; March 22nd, 2012 at 03:29 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aristarchus in Exile View Post
    Abusers and Bullies often can dish it out but can't take it. .
    Aristarchus

    I would be the first to agree with you.

    Perhaps you might like to point out a quote to show where I have been abusing or bullying anyone? I am very happy to oppose an invalid argument, but I do not make personal attacks.

    If you cannot, then it would be appropriate for you, and iceaura, to apologise.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx
    Actually double and triple were rather uncommon.
    Relatively rare in comparison with the much more common singles. They were built, seen, and used, however, not rarely but in the ordinary course of things. We know that freom eyewitness accounts.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Your estimates are also way way off. Kayaks make no more than 3-5 knots on average (my personal best is about 25 miles in a long day), with burst for the best reaching about 8 knots in short exhausting sprints.
    Modern kayaks are shorter and wider than traditional boats.

    You were the one posting 50% over hull speed as a reasonable sprint estimate - traditional kayaks and the like apparently had faster hull speed configurations than most modern ones, being narrower and longer - IIRC one famous complete one, no doubt familiar to you, had a hull speed calculation solidly over 7 knots, being 19 feet long and 17 inches wide. That was a single - the doubles would tend to be faster, naturally. 50% over that is around 11 knots.

    And the low profile, flexible response, etc, yielded comparatively better performance in high winds and rough seas.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Actual estimates using modern hydrodynamic models put the speeds of the fastest traditional kayaks at no more than a hair over 7 knots. How Fast is your kayak? Speed test graph
    Those are hull speed calculations, done by rule of thumb not careful investigation or sophisticated "hydrodynamic" analysis.

    One second read, I realize that is the very link I used to refresh my memory on the Aleut boat - where I got my numbers from. I was pleased to find my memory basically solid after so many years. Great minds Google alike, apparently, if not think.

    Note that your numbers, taken at face value despite a complete lack of evidence and an argument from personal authority not supported by a history of respectable reasoning or honest claims, easily support my assertion of at least comparable speed and seaworthiness with the best Western seacraft at the time of first contact - 5 to 8 knots under very good conditions being what a full rigged ship could expect, less for dories etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    but I do not make personal attacks.
    Yes you do. Routinely. That and false assertion, or both at once, is the majority of your post content.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Yes you do. Routinely. That and false assertion, or both at once, is the majority of your post content.
    Iceaura

    I challenge you to find anything on this thread, from me, that constitutes a personal attack. Show me the quote.
    If you cannot, I expect an apology for your comments.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    I challenge you to find anything on this thread, from me, that constitutes a personal attack. Show me the quote.
    Already done, several times. Try post 59, which you apparently didn't actually read.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Note that your numbers, taken at face value despite a complete lack of evidence and an argument from personal authority not supported by a history of respectable reasoning or honest claims, easily support my assertion of at least comparable speed and seaworthiness with the best Western seacraft at the time of first contact - 5 to 8 knots under very good conditions being what a full rigged ship could expect, less for dories etc.
    Not quite. Those "formula" are based on approximates which match real performance and more than 300 years of research.
    But if you want more depth about the hydrodynamics you can go here:

    Form and function of the Baidarka: the framework of design - George Dyson, Baidarka Historical Society - Google Books
    Which again suggest max speeds about about 7 knots given human 1/4 horse power which is about max for armed propulsion.

    Or here which compares narrow and similarly dimensioned designs which puts the range at up to 6 knots and compares tank test and several different formula.
    Hydrodynamic Drag of Small Sea Kayaks - Lazauskas, Winters and Tuck.

    If you're really interested to learn this stuff there are several good free CAD programs which get into this and allow you to mess around with different parameters....I'm most familiar with Freeship which is one I've used to design a few boats before and one I'm using now to design small car topable Swampscott dory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Try post 59, which you apparently didn't actually read.
    Iceaura



    Post 59 refers to me commenting on the "noble savage' form of argument. There is nothing personal about that. My reference was entirely to a particular form of argument.

    Try again. or would you like me, or one of the moderators, to explain to you what a personal attack actually is? If you cannot find an example, you still owe me an apology.

    Let me give you an example. A personal attack (see post 59) is when one poster refers to another as : "nasty, juvenile, bullshit rhetorical habits"


    or else accuse someone of : "maybe you are habitually lying and trolling because you enjoy treating people like that"

    Both those examples are clear cut examples of a personal attack. They have nothing to do with the debate. They are entirely personal, and entirely directed at insulting a debate opponent.

    if you cannot find a similar personal attack I have given this thread, you are shown to be entirely in the wrong, and owe me an apology.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    . My reference was entirely to a particular form of argument.
    You named me, quoted me, replied to me, and specifically ascribed that form of argument to me. And your ascription was false - a lie, as it turned out, since you claim to have known better.

    You were completely and inexcusably wrong to do that. It was insulting, and you intended the insult.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Let me give you an example. A personal attack (see post 59) is when one poster refers to another as : "nasty, juvenile, bullshit rhetorical habits"
    An accurate description. If you take it as insult, take the lesson as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Both those examples are clear cut examples of a personal attack. They have nothing to do with the debate.
    They were directly relevant and specifically referential to your prior contributions to the thread. There was no debate involved, in those contributions. That was the complaint.
     

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    Iceaura

    That is an admission that I did not direct a personal attack at you. At worst, I made an error. Your comments to me were personal and insulting. You owe me an apology for your lousy behaviour.

    Are you of sufficiently strong character to admit your error and apologise? If you do not, that is an admission that you have not got the guts.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Form and function of the Baidarka: the framework of design - George Dyson, Baidarka Historical Society - Google Books
    Which again suggest max speeds about about 7 knots given human 1/4 horse power which is about max for armed propulsion.
    Again, not field tested. Again, single man boats only.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Or here which compares narrow and similarly dimensioned designs which puts the range at up to 6 knots and compares tank test and several different formula.
    Hydrodynamic Drag of Small Sea Kayaks - Lazauskas, Winters and Tuck.
    Modern kayaks, with rigid hulls and so forth. Tank tests and assumptions. Single man designs. Etc.

    But more to the point: notice that 7+ knots is enough to support my initial assertion. So we can take that as agreed to by all, and move on. Actual progress, no less.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Are you of sufficiently strong character to admit your error and apologise? If you do not, that is an admission that you have not got the guts.
    And once again, that's what you get when moderators do nothing about this kind of poster. These people are not capable of regulating themselves, or magically becoming self aware. They will not stop posting like that on their own.
    Last edited by iceaura; March 24th, 2012 at 08:27 PM.
     

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    In my youth I was a reader of Euell Gibbons and tried gathering wild foods. Even with modern tools and transportation turning wild gathered food into a meal is hard, boring, dirty, work. Oh its easy enough to get a taste, the hard part is getting enough for a meal. Wild root crop plants for example don't grow in neat rows in tilled gardens, they grow with other nonfood plants in tangled masses that require heavy work to rip up and then tidious picking out of the edible roots from the non edible ones and you have to deal with the dirt and the fauna that lives in it. Anyone who says it is easy probably was watching somone else do it.

    The cattail plant is as Gibbons calls it "the supermarket of the swamp" yielding food in 4 different ways. And it is a bitch to collect that food because you need to be wading in a cattail swamp just after ice out in the spring, and at the height of mosquito season in later spring and for one form of the "bounty" you have to rip up the cattail plants, which is easy if you have a bulldozer. I have tried this I know.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    And once again, that's what you get when moderators do nothing about this kind of poster.
    We don't moderate every imagined offense. Skeptic already admitted he confused your rhetorical style with another (AIX?) when he used "noble savage." It was an easy mistake to make and in no way a personal attack by any stretch of imagination other than perhaps yours. In science and good forums, it's an important to understand the difference between mistaking someone's argument or even directly claiming the argument is stupid and personal attacks which suggest the person is stupid. When Skeptic admitted the mistake he resolved the problem--which is how good forums operate.

    As an observation it seems all too often you use your "personal offense" card when others challenge your presentation of "factoids" without credible evidence. If you directed your discontentment towards supporting your argument rather than looking for the slightest perceived insult and belly aching about it we'd all be better for it...
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    We don't moderate every imagined offense.
    You don't moderate any of that shit at all. You seem unaware of its existence.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    When Skeptic admitted the mistake he resolved the problem--which is how good forums operate.
    He never admitted anything that he did - and you can reread his posts to discover how this forum operates.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Skeptic already admitted he confused your rhetorical style with another (AIX?) when he used "noble savage." It was an easy mistake to make and in no way a personal attack by any stretch of imagination other than perhaps yours.
    Rhetorical style has nothing to do with any of this. It was not an "easy mistake to make" - it was damn near impossible. And no, he didn't say - or "admit" - anything like that, any confusion at all. And if he had, it would have been obviously bullshit - he quoted my posts, he addressed me specifically, he specifically said that he identified my arguments with this other poster's arguments - not confused our "rhetorical style", identified my argument as the same one. In doing that he misrepresented mine and slandered the other's, in a way that he has been specifically and explicitly corrected on more than once before.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    it's an important to understand the difference between mistaking someone's argument or even directly claiming the argument is stupid and personal attacks which suggest the person is stupid.
    Write that on your mirror.

    And recognize the symptom - why "stupid"? That hasn't been one of the common ones. That one is from the back of your own mind - the "conservative's" bete noir, the undercurrent insecurity that drives the sludge spreader.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    As an observation it seems all too often you use your "personal offense" card when others challenge your presentation of "factoids" without credible evidence.
    Inevitably in your attempted responses, gratuitous insult; as always, a symptom of your inability or unwillingness to follow argument or recognize meaning in my posts.

    My complaint here, for example, has - explicitly and repeatedly and declaratively - nothing to do with anyone "challenging" anything I actually posted. You can "observe" that absence in my posts by reading them. It is specifically the lack of such "challenge", the failure to address my actual posts, the substitution of slander and misrepresentation and irrelevant insult for "challenge", etc, that you can observe by actually reading. The only such "challenge" even hinted at here from Skeptic, for example, has been the link to the Scientific American article, and without an argument connecting it to my posting it's just a link.

    As far as your actual challenge, singular, it at least addressed matters present in my posts, however tangential. And by such actual discussion - which involved me overlooking your inevitable insults (you have no idea how much experience and background with kayaks I have, do you) and getting sandbagged by accepting one of your apparently disowned assertions (sprint speed 50% over hull speed) for the sake of argument - we have come to firmly establish the essential accuracy of an assertion I made without such evidence (it was not central to my arguments here, but it was a big deal to you, so what the hey)

    Namely, this one:
    the first Europeans to encounter aboriginal ocean going boats in the High Arctic (kayaks, umiaks, etc) were meeting the fastest and most seaworthy craft of any kind on the planet. They were also looking at the best cold weather clothing available anywhere until very recently, harpoons and other whaling tech superior to their own, and some of the smartest human beings ever to have lived. Likewise elsewhere. A military observer once described the early 1800s Cheyenne force he met as "probably the finest light cavalry in the world" if I recall the quote correctly - that was a commendation of their gear, as well as their horses and riding skill.


    The point being that prehistoric humans were not, in general, the starving and diseased and miserably toiling beings that a simple projection from today's wonderfulness back through the Dark Ages and beyond would have them. Whatever the attractions of early agriculture and civilization, freedom from toil and hard work and the misery of hunting food were not among them.

    The contrast is perhaps sharper in the observations of those on the cutting edge, so to speak, such as the neighboring and erstwhile enemy Hopi and Navajo in NA: the Hopi being the early agriculturalists, the Navajo having stayed with the more nomadic hunting and gathering (turned to pastoralism, when the whites brought sheep). The Hopi view on this, if reports are accurate, is that the Navajo chose the lazy man's life; the Navajo view seems to have been that the Hopi chose ignoble but secure poverty over manliness.
     

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    Iceaura

    I made a mistake, which I admit. I admitted that earlier, though perhaps less explicitly than I should.
    The problem was that you and Aristarchus were arguing along parallel lines, and I generalised the line of argument, when i should not have.

    However, what I did NOT do, at any stage, was levy personal accusations or insults at you. My comment was entirely at a line of argument. Not persons.

    Lynx Fox is correct to point out to you that an error (especially admitted) is not grounds for moderator action. But personal attacks are. Take a good look at your own actions.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    I made a mistake, which I admit.
    You are still denying your behavior, the subject of my complaint.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    However, what I did NOT do, at any stage, was levy personal accusations or insults at you.
    Address that kind of bullshit to your pet moderator, please. He's the guy you have to convince, and the only one you have any chance of convincing - and since he seems to have no more of a clue to what's wrong with you and your kind of posting than you have, you should find the convincing easy.

    Meawhile: We are overlooking the significant transitional period between prehistory and the Dark Ages - that may be unfair to agricultural civilization in general, as some of its advantages seem to have been temporarily lost or discarded in that time of misery and want and filth and violence and disease. On the other hand, comparing modern luxury and security with the tribulations of neolithic hunter/gatherers likewise misleads - the interesting contrast is on the cusp: why did people give up what appears to be a long successful and patently well-suited manner of living, and start buckling down to the exhaustion and insularity and toil and meagre rewards of subsistence stick and gather "farming"?
     

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    And yet you have still not provided viable references for your assertions you are making Iceaura.
    Lynx_Fox likes this.
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    Christianity.

    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by pyoko View Post
    Christianity.

    i fail to see how this post fits in with the thread ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
     

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    And yet you have still not provided viable references for your assertions you are making Iceaura.
    That is not true, in general. It is not relevant, in particular. It is a waste of time, in experience.

    Most of my posts are arguments against posted assertions that either lack all evidence even in possibility (they are errors of reasoning or obvious fact), or claim references which do not work. The references for such posts would be the other posts and references, and they are right here - often quoted, by me. Posts 76, 73, 71, and 68, for example - my last four posts, a quick check - are fully referenced.

    Which assertions of mine are you claiming both need and lack "viable references"?
     

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    If they are obvious fact then they would not be disputed so much, and it should be simple for you to support them with references.

    none of the posts you have listed there have any website, journal, book, etc.. references, you just make assertions and expect them to be taken as correct.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleo
    If they are obvious fact then they would not be disputed so much,
    Around here? You're joking, I hope.

    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    none of the posts you have listed there have any website, journal, book, etc.. references,
    Lessee: I posted a thoroughly adequate link for the categorization of obsidian as glass, which also covered its sharpness compared with surgical steel etc. That was one of the obvious facts that you claim no one would dispute, which was disputed at very great length above, both before and after the link - review that for yourself, above. I accepted the quite reasonable link posted by the self-described authority up there for the speed of a theoretical kayak, and his numbers for its evaluation - my assertion rests quite comfortably on the numbers provided, and I felt that since they were his he might accept them. The disputes about my posts, the misrepresentations etc, are of course self-referencing - I posted the posts at issue, quoted the offensive crap that was the responses right from the thread, etc.

    Nobody has disputed much of the rest; yet, anyway.

    So what are you actually concerned about - anything in particular you find extraordinary, in need of authority?

    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    you just make assertions and expect them to be taken as correct.
    I expect them to be read and represented honestly, in good faith, if objected to - actual objections or counterarguments could easily result in discussion, the provision of evidence as needed, etc. We haven't achieved that pinnacle of the forum art yet.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pyoko View Post
    Christianity.

    i fail to see how this post fits in with the thread ?
    I'm sorry, I thought I was posting in a different thread. I have no idea how my post got here.
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
     

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    So anyway, I see no reason to doubt that Sapiens of that time would have been well fed also, considering their needs were smaller.
    No need to cross species: the Cro-Magnon people in Europe were taller and stronger than most modern humans, on average, and had larger brains.

    The agriculturalists who replaced them were shorter, sicklier, weaker, with bad teeth and smaller brains. The people of the Dark Ages in Europe were actually fairly tall, compared with the agriculturalists before and after them, but not the equal of the prehistoric hunter gatherers.

    casual summary: Long and short of it - we're taller - Science - www.theage.com.au
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    No need to cross species: the Cro-Magnon people i.....


    The danger of pulling old articles from a non-science site, that doesn't reference peer-review papers, and contains bible quotes is they use obsolete classifications. Cro-Magnon was scrapped as a term some time ago because it did not represent a relevant distinction from other groups of modern humans.

    Cro-Magnons - Why Don't We Call Them Cro-Magnon Any More?
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    . Cro-Magnon was scrapped as a term some time ago because it did not represent a relevant distinction from other groups of modern humans.

    Cro-Magnons - Why Don't We Call Them Cro-Magnon Any More?
    So? I mean, why are you posting like that?

    Have you honestly not followed the argument to that degree, or is your trolling irrelevancy a deliberate goad?
     

  54. #53  
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    Repudeations of ones sources aren't trolling ice. In this case pointing out how bad the link and term you used was by sourcing to another link of an article writen by an archeologist (look her up) for a general population archeology web site. You should fine a better source rather than accuse people of trolling.
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  55. #54  
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    i've read the article, and whilst i can understand why from a professional point of view the term Cro-Magnon might be abandoned, in the vernacular it's a nice shorthand for anatomically modern humans living in western europe around the time of the last neandertals
    a bit like some people will continue to use the term "Brontosaurus" just because it's more euphonious than "Apatosaurus"
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Repudeations of ones sources aren't trolling ice.
    Well that answers the question of whether you were following the argument - no, as usual in these weird irrelevant responses you can't seem to quit making.

    My source for what, eh? A casual, easily read, and accurate general timeline of human height variation over prehistoric to modern times. You did not even address that, let alone repudiate it.

    Instead, you post this:
    Cro-Magnon was scrapped as a term some time ago because it did not represent a relevant distinction from other groups of modern humans.
    And since my very point was based on that lack of relevant distinction from other groups of humans, it's clear that my use of the term is both informative and appropriate - right?

    You posted nothing of relevance, except further support for my claim that the Cro-Magnons were people like us, therefore possibly a better comparison than the Neandertals used by an earlier poster; and as prehistoric hunter gatherers they were taller than the European agriculturalists of the Dark Ages. That's relevant to the thread - I refer you to the OP. Do you disagree with that observation?
     

  57. #56  
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    And since my very point was based on that lack of relevant distinction from other groups of humans, it's clear that my use of the term is both informative and appropriate - right?
    Wrong. Why would you post such a crappy source document to support your argument at all if there were no difference. Both groups were likely hunter gatherers--and both modern humans. And why didn't you address why it was a good source for specifically what you were trying to claim--instead of for the uptenth time on this forum assuming there's something wrong with the people trying to have a conversation with you, in this case to point out how weak the source you referenced was?
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  58. #57  
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Why would you post such a crappy source document to support your argument at all if there were no difference.
    Because it contained a deft and appropriate summary and timeline, accurate and informal, well supporting my argument and subject.

    As was explained to you, and twice now since the original perfectly clear post.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    And why didn't you address why it was a good source for specifically what you were trying to claim--instead of for the uptenth time on this forum assuming there's something wrong with the people trying to have a conversation with you, in this case to point out how weak the source you referenced was?
    How in hell am I supposed to guess what you will decide to obsess about, misread, and bang on about this time? The source was and is just fine, there's nothing at all wrong with it. You, on the other hand, are once again full of shit, missing the entire argument, and making a nuisance of yourself. I've asked you before, I ask again: Please stop replying to my posts.
     

  59. #58  
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    Because it contained a deft and appropriate summary and timeline, accurate and informal, well supporting my argument and subject.

    ...

    The source was and is just fine, there's nothing at all wrong with it.
    That you think an old article, without references, using obsolete terms, written on a non science site by a non scientist, using the bible as part of it's arguments, well supports your argument, regardless of what it might be, is a lot of the problem here. There's a lot wrong with that source--the author has no obvious authority on the matter, he has a Bachelor of Economics, nor does he leave any scientific references to go and check out to corroborate his claims--well other than the bible I suppose. There are a few names mentioned, such as Janet McCalman, who heads a university Department of history and philosophy, but the article fails to mention any expertise in anthropology there either of really point to any other specific study that the reader can use to look further. Ken Fabos's link (thank you) provided part of the puzzle, a credible article that at least shows relative nutrition of native American and its effects on what we know about that population. Kojak provided another.

    And rather than provide credible evidence for many of your health claims in this thread, specifically this one "pre-agricultural European people were as tall and healthy as those of the better modern industrial countries. " or do a bit of digging to back why that article does back your case, by perhaps showing a few studies, you just continue to assume there's something wrong with the audience, despite numerous request by several people that you bolster your argument with scientific evidence. No one in this thread is resorting to the types of personal attacks you're making either--others comments have almost entirely been focused on the weakness of the arguments and sources not personal attacks.

    I'm closing this thread and hoping the next is a bit better focused instead of a whiny dialog.
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