Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ancient Inventions



"To us this seems like a kind of racism, in which our ancestors are looked down on simply because they lived in the past." -- Peter James, historian, and Nick Thorpe, archaeologist, July 1994

"A popular misconception exists that the builders of the pyramids or the cave painters of prehistory were somehow less intelligent than we are. This simply isn't true -- there is no evidence that the human brain has evolved at all in the last fifty thousand years at least. Modern people are simply benefiting from thousands of years of accumulated knowledge and experiment, not from increased intellect." -- Peter James, historian, and Nick Thorpe, archaeologist, July 1994

"These ideas are part of a mistaken view of history best described as temporocentrism -- the belief that our own time is the most important and represents a 'pinnacle' of achievement. The temporocentric view is a hangover from nineteenth century ideas of progress. This crude version of Darwinian evolution has led to many misinterpretations of the archaeological evidence for ancient technological and cultural achievement." -- Peter James, historian, and Nick Thorpe, archaeologist, July 1994

"... so many inventions have been developed only to be forgotten and redeveloped much later." -- Peter James, historian, and Nick Thorpe, archaeologist, July 1994

"... every now and again an object or a text turns up that completely surpasses all previous estimates of an ancient culture's technical skill. The increasing number of such finds is forcing us to reasses completely our view of ancient technological abilities." -- Peter James, historian, and Nick Thorpe, archaeologist, July 1994

"... we ... have much to learn from the exploration of ancient science and technology. The goal of such exploration is unimaginably rich: a vast store of accumulated knowledge, arrived at through thousands of years of trial-and-error experience on the part of all our ancestors." -- Peter James, historian, and Nick Thorpe, archaeologist, July 1994

James, P., and Thorpe, N., Ancient Inventions, 1994

2 comments:

Fungus FitzJuggler III said...

The growth of pseudoscience despite widespread exposure to science and scientific method suggests that TV, drugs, dumbing down are all having an effect on modern humans.

The AGW and black hole worship shows that many humans will not ever be able to understand that they are being manipulated.

OilIsMastery said...

Amen and God bless you.