Evolving to make tools?

The science or study of primitive societies and the nature of man.

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Evolving to make tools?

Postby Minimalist » Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:51 pm

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/08/26/MNHK19AS41.DTL&type=science

Those Stone Age people became the world's first engineers - they discovered that the intense heat of a fire's embers could make chunks of stone much easier to flake for making tools, and to make them much sharper too.

It was "a breakthrough adaptation in human evolution," reports an international group of archaeologists and anthropologists. And it may have come about because of changes in those early human's brains, other scientists say.

What began at least 165,000 years ago became the most common method of stone toolmaking in Africa by about 72,000 years ago.

Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby Rokcet Scientist » Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:19 pm

That's the same research I quoted in my thread "The dawn of human engineering: 72,000 BP" (http://archaeologica.boardbot.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=2279).
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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby jw1815 » Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:11 am

And occasionally they might have found that some rocks "melted" when heated. Wonder how long before they stopped avoiding those melting rocks as useless and decided they could do something with the stuff that ran out of them.

Maybe smelting started sooner than we think.
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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby Minimalist » Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:55 am

We had a discussion about that point some time ago. No conclusions were reached (which is normal!) but it did seem as if it would be unlikely that a camp fire could get hot enough to smelt metal ores. IIRC, campfires were a couple of hundred degrees centigrade short of being able to even melt copper.

The question of what convinced early man to decide that he if heated certain rocks really HOT it would lead to metals is one which has bothered me for ages, jw.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby jw1815 » Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:27 pm

Some accidental observation is all I can guess at. And attempts to duplicate it. Had to learn that really hot temps did it and then how to produce the really hot temps.
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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby Minimalist » Tue Sep 01, 2009 5:02 pm

What's the hottest substance on earth? Lava?
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby jw1815 » Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:26 pm

Hottest natural substance that I know of.

Observation of nature's molten rock. But someone had to figure out how to duplicate the heat to melt it themselves.

If lava was an influence, would you expect to see early smelting in volcanic regions? But, before smelting there was hammering, as with copper in North America.
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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby Minimalist » Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:43 pm

It seems like a multi-step process.

See a rock with some sort of metal melted out of it...by lava or anything else.

Next, recognize that it is unusual and potential useful.

Then reach an understanding that only certain rocks will give that metal or ANY metal.

Then figure out how to create sufficient heat to extract it.

Then figure out about "molds."

That seems like a remarkable series of accidents. And even if they WERE accidents, these people were not mindless primitives.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby jw1815 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:20 am

No, not mindless primitives at all.

But, even in modern times, a lot of technology is built on what was at first an accidental observation. The intelligent part comes in shifting gears to recognize that an accident can be beneficial and then developing the technology to make use of it.
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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby Rokcet Scientist » Wed Sep 02, 2009 10:59 am

Minimalist wrote:It seems like a multi-step process.

See a rock with some sort of metal melted out of it...by lava or anything else.

Next, recognize that it is unusual and potential useful.

Then reach an understanding that only certain rocks will give that metal or ANY metal.

Then figure out how to create sufficient heat to extract it.

Then figure out about "molds."

That seems like a remarkable series of accidents.


Too remarkable to be accidents, maybe? Maybe they were taught/shown?
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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby Minimalist » Wed Sep 02, 2009 11:09 am

Which begs the question...."by whom?"
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby jw1815 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:24 pm

I don't think all the steps you listed, Min, would be accidents, at least not all at once or in close sequence.

If lava was a catalyst in realizing that rocks contain metals which can be melted, that would have been an accidental observation of a natural event.

But, examining, analyzing, reflecting on, and remembering events are deliberate thought processes. People observe and remember many things in life. Accumulating and passing on knowledge to future generations enables new developments later when someone puts together the accumulated knowledge in a newly meaningful way. Maybe a number of other facts about nature, mold-making, and heat were known before someone observing nature’s ability to melt rocks concluded that people could do it, too, to extract metal.

For many generations human beings watched birds fly and dreamed of doing it themselves. Leonardo Da Vinci even drew models of planes and conceived in very general terms some of the dynamics necessary to create a flying machine. But, human beings had not yet developed an understanding of gravity forces, energy needs, and energy sources that would make it possible. By the time that Wilbur and Orville Wright (as well as other experimenters) were beginning to succeed, a body of knowledge, from Newtonian physics to gas powered engines, had developed. By building on the accumulated knowledge of others, flight became more than a wistful bird-watching fantasy or the drawings of a genius - who, despite being a genius, wasn't able to master the dynamics of it yet without additional knowledge unavailable to him.
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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby Rokcet Scientist » Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:09 am

Minimalist wrote:Which begs the question...."by whom?"


Why... by the Anunaki, of course!
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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby Minimalist » Thu Sep 03, 2009 9:38 am

People observe and remember many things in life.



But without writing the mechanism of transmission is reduced to human memory. How does that work in reality?

"Many moons ago, Oog the Great told me of a rock with a shiny substance coming out of it?"

Even if someone does see metal smelted out of an ore by lava it is nothing but a curiosity at that point in time.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
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Re: Evolving to make tools?

Postby dannan14 » Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:47 am

Minimalist wrote:Even if someone does see metal smelted out of an ore by lava it is nothing but a curiosity at that point in time.


Unless that person is the tribe's toolmaker and happens to see it as just another property of the stone to be researched.
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