Does human evolution interest you? As a kid I thought looking at ape skulls was boring, and anthropology really started to interest me once I was an Atheist. (Keep in mind that I didn’t believe in evolution for most of my life.) It’s depressing that humans spent tens of thousands of years doing the same old, and nothing important. It is frightening to consider how close we are to stupid apes.
It would be much more reassuring to have evolved millions of years from now, when your evolution adapted you for technology and the needs of a futuristic wired society in outer space. Instead of still being evolved to fight saber-tooths, and each other for unexceptional females.
I’ve been reading a lot more about human timelines now, trying to answer the question of when we hit certain milestones, and why it took so long. It’s fascinating now. There is so much to learn, and now suddenly I love knowing that X plant came from X continent, or that an animal evolved from various intermediary stages over a long period. It really makes you appreciate everything we have.
That new respect for neolithic anthropology is totally unlike when I was a kid. My grandmothers and my father told me not to believe we evolved from apes, and I was always suspicious of the propaganda in my history text books which said cave paintings were found over tens of thousands of years ago in Europe (which couldn’t be right according to the bible’s ancestry charts.)
Of course I thought the cave paintings were laughably primitive, and thought I could paint better. I thought the stonehenge was lame too, because a handful of giant rocks couldn’t compare to the pyramids of Giza in size or grandeur – when you have the shallow mind of a kid, size is all that impresses you! Nevermind how rare the materials, how old, or how artistically designed for the era – I only cared about civilizations that left the biggest monuments- ancient wonders which would be impressive even by modern standards.
More over, I thought savages were boring. That’s why I found cavemen paintings and the flint rock tools uninteresting. I wasn’t very interested in learning about Native Americans either, when there were more sophisticated cultures that left the big monuments that can still be traveled to today. In a sense, I had a smaller imagination as a kid. Today I could probably go to an empty field with the knowledge of history, and imagine how awesome a city was, or how unique a village’s society once was, but as a kid I would not have bothered.
To be fair, I did start to come around when I entered college. I wondered why there weren’t more advanced civilizations in North America. I concluded it was because they stopped hunting-gathering later, since they had to cross not only from Africa, but also the Bering Straight during the ice age, 13,000 years ago. (By then I had pretty much given up on finding any other explanation for how they got to North America, and I remember googling about it over summer vacation.) My resistance to the immediate dates gradually began to wear away too, and when I took biology again, I had to accept that we evolved from other simian ancestors. That’s how the lives of our ancient cavemen ancestors came to mean a lot more.
I really hope that I’ll be able to impart the same interests I have to kids someday. Nevermind my knowledge – I just want them to be so interested in learning that they won’t stop where I stopped, citing “boredom” or “irrelevance.” If I had been allowed to believe in evolution, and persuaded to accept it at face value sooner without so much resistance, then I’d probably have been interested in those cavemen sooner. I’d probably have studied African civilization and Native Americans more, and overall I’d have a lot richer set of thoughts to muse over. Who is to say that I wouldn’t have gone to a natural history museum and been so spellbound that I’d have become an archaeologist or even taught this stuff at a university?
Anyway, I know my posts aren’t always as detailed as they are when I started this blog. I think my peak posts were around August 2015. I’ve become lazier and have been leaving shorter and shorter posts, which barely record an idea or link to some religious absurdity that I discover or think of. I don’t think I’ll ever leave the path of researching religion, mythology, or talking to Atheists, but scribbling down every single thought is rather time-consuming.
Sorry, but it’s all downhill from here folks! I don’t see how I’ll ever write so many long posts about religion in a short period again, but I hope I’ll occasionally leave a few gems. Maybe someday I or someone else will stumble upon something I said, pick up the pieces I’ve gathered, follow my leads, and develop a useful tapestry.