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Katlin Profile
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The Human Journey


Food for thought:

What Does it Mean to be Human?

About 100,000 years ago modern humans appeared in East Africa and the Middle East. Research in fields such as genetics, evolutionary biology, anthropology, and linguistics will help us follow the major routes taken by modern humans in their expansion from these areas to the present day.


http://www.humanjourney.us/

Some of this site is still in development. For example:

The Road to Now
An overview of what is known of this pivotal era of human history when the great modern religions took root: Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and the flowering of Judaism, and of the Greek Revolution: The Axial Age (Currently In Development)

The Next World: World 2.0 (Currently In Development): The key questions humanity faces in our near future and how we can help.


http://www.humanjourney.us/intro.html



Mar/23/2011, 4:26 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: The Human Journey


Out of Africa again: "Phonetic Clues Hint Language Is Africa-Born"

“What’s so remarkable about this work is that it shows language doesn’t change all that fast — it retains a signal of its ancestry over tens of thousands of years,” said Mark Pagel, a biologist at the University of Reading in England who advised Dr. Atkinson.

Dr. Pagel sees language as central to human expansion across the globe.

“Language was our secret weapon, and as soon we got language we became a really dangerous species,” he said.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/science/15language.html?_r=1&hp
Apr/16/2011, 6:55 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: The Human Journey


Kat, there is a famous work in paleontology from the 60s. It produced a book called The Roots of Civilization. The researcher was named Alexander Marshack. A journalist by trade. He took small bones and ivory from the period associated with paleolithic cave art that had what appeared to be notches on them. Archeologists had been finding and collecting them for the better part of 100 years. But no one could make sense of the notches. Marshack assumed a deliberate design. He finally intuited that the system of notches might represent a lunar month of 28 days. Intuition was born out by the evidence. He also found that the phases of the moon were represented. These small bones, small enough to fit in the palm of the human hand and therefore easily portable, he took to be calendars. He guessed that the calendars were need-driven, used as a means for predicting the migratory patterns, the return, of the great herds of Eurasia on which humans depended for food. The same herd animals that are amply illustrated on the cave walls of the period. He called the practice the first evidence of "time factoring." Out of which, he surmized, evolved complex language. For him symbol, the use of symbols, is at the root of civilization. So again language is looked to as what has made the species as successful as it has been.

I tried to find a good link to a site devoted to Marshack's hypothesis. Not happening. His book is richly illustrated. His writing, probably because of his training in journalism, very accessible.

Tere
Apr/16/2011, 1:43 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: The Human Journey


hi Kat,

Thanks for the links, I've bookmarked both and skimmed the article.

Here's what it makes me remember: the Hebrew words for 'man' and 'woman' are ish and isha. Ishi is the word for 'person' in one Native American language. (remember the book, "Ishi"? He was the only surviving member of his tribe; he identified himself as "Ishi" or person--never did divulge his name.)

Great links!

Chris
Apr/16/2011, 2:00 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 


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