ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » History, Literature, and the Arts
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 3rd September 2017, 08:04 AM   #41
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 22,567
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
That was the choice being made.
That wasn't the choice being made.
__________________
"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
angrysoba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 08:20 AM   #42
BobTheCoward
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 9,836
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
That wasn't the choice being made.
The choice thought being made and the choice being made are not the same.
BobTheCoward is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 09:00 AM   #43
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 22,567
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
The choice thought being made and the choice being made are not the same.
Making no sense, Bob.
__________________
"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
angrysoba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 09:04 AM   #44
BobTheCoward
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 9,836
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Making no sense, Bob.
I correctly stated the choice people were making. Whether they realized it at the time is not relevant
BobTheCoward is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 09:13 AM   #45
Delphic Oracle
Graduate Poster
 
Delphic Oracle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 1,998
Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
What we think of a s the history of human agriculture is really the recorded history and fossil record of human agriculture.'

There may be a perception and definition issue explaining the apparent age of human agriculture.

Wikipedia was mentioned in the OP. Their definition of "AgricultureWP" includes;


With that as a baseline it might be safe to hypothesize something fitting into the definition being practiced at least to some degree by humans earlier than the 15,000 year old inception being used here.
I think this gets to the heart of it.

I'd say we probably practiced some (unintentional) forms of agriculture early on. In a world full of zero-sum considerations, it wouldn't be as hard of a leap to see that a plant in clear ground grows fast while dozens of plants in the same compact area struggle. Some weeds very clearly visually "attack" nearby plants by spiraling around them and pulling them down (looks like a choke-out). So cultivation and other minor agricultural techniques could have been practiced with no archeological record of tools or other evidence.

We don't have proof of agricultural activity until it hits an industrial scale. Even then, if they just used big pointy sticks to till the soil and weren't growing more than they could simply carry with them, still no evidence survives. The target date for when we 'started' agriculture is potentially more likely a result of when pottery (grinding and storage of grains) and metallurgy (for tools that would last through the millennia for us to find) become more commonplace.
Delphic Oracle is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 09:15 AM   #46
JoeBentley
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeBentley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 8,191
We could have been doing a hybrid version of hunter gathering mixed with some totally by hand proto-farming for a long time prior to the written word or any archaeological evidence.

Hell we were probably doing it before we were human.
__________________
"Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset, Se7en

"Hating a bad thing does not make you good." - David Wong
JoeBentley is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 10:06 AM   #47
Vixen
Penultimate Amazing
 
Vixen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Maaselkä Mielessäni
Posts: 11,175
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Because not only could acorns turn into trees, acorns did turn into useful trees, over a very long period, and barley seeds would multiply over a much shorter period, without human intervention. In the same way, it was known that sheep gave birth to lambs long before the species was domesticated.
Acorns and anything to do with the oak tree (Quercus quercus) is highly poisonous, as an alkaloid, as British POWs found out when fed acorns by their German captors.

Agriculture is a science. Most of Europe was covered in dense woods and forests. Step one: you need to clear whole areas of forests and shrubs. Not an easy job but can be done by burning and scorching (as the Swedish-Finns showed everybody else when they helped colonise the USA in C16). Then you need to be aware of the function of seeds and collect them. The ground needs to ploughed and seeds planted at the right time of year. Then the crop has to be harvested and milled.

Every three years, there needs to be crop rotation or the soil becomes barren.

The harvested grain needs storage space and milling, again something that comes with experience and knowledge.

Then, what to do with it? The discovery of making bread was probaly one of the greatest earliest inventions, as straight away, we have insurance against hunger and starvation, especially if you have been unsuccessful hunting game , shooting birds, fishing or foraging for berries and mushrooms.

So, a knowledge of the change in seasons is needed, a form of mathematical computation.

All a huge leap for our forefathers sitting in their caves tearing hunted red deer limb from limb in a huge meat fest.
__________________
“Nyt, kun Karjalan kansa jälleen nousee ja sarastaa Suomen uusi huomenn.”

- Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
Vixen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 10:17 AM   #48
Craig B
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 21,295
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Seems like the people who did agriculture got pretty good at kicking the butts of Hunter gatherers. What good did not farming do them?
Farmers may have been individually weaker and of smaller stature than hunter gatherers, but they were vastly more numerous, and had stores of food, and were more accustomed to collective enterprises under chains of command. Against this, hunter gatherers stood no chance. Look what happened to the Cape San, or the native Tasmanians, or the Beothuk or the Selk'nam peopleWP in addition, farmers have acquired immunity to many diseases to which hunting and gathering peoples are very vulnerable.

We can't ask, what good did "not farming" do. That was the condition that people were in for the great majority of the time humans have been on Earth. They simply hadn't invented farming. What good does "not writing" do? Everybody did "not writing" before about five thousand years ago, when writing was invented.

Last edited by Craig B; 3rd September 2017 at 10:22 AM.
Craig B is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 10:23 AM   #49
Vixen
Penultimate Amazing
 
Vixen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Maaselkä Mielessäni
Posts: 11,175
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Farmers may have been individually weaker and of smaller stature than hunter gatherers, but they were vastly more numerous, and had stores of food, and were more accustomed to collective enterprises under chains of command. Against this, hunter gatherers stood no chance. Look what happened to the Cape San, or the native Tasmanians, or the Beothuk or the Selk'nam peopleWP in addition, farmers have acquired immunity to many diseases to which hunting and gathering peoples are very vulnerable.

We can't ask, what good did "not farming" do. That was the condition that people were in for the great majority of the time humans have been on Earth. They simply hadn't invented farming. What good does "not writing" do? Everybody did "not writing" before about five thousand years ago, when writing was invented.

...such as?
__________________
“Nyt, kun Karjalan kansa jälleen nousee ja sarastaa Suomen uusi huomenn.”

- Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
Vixen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 10:25 AM   #50
Craig B
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 21,295
Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
...such as?
Such as what? I don't understand.
Craig B is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 10:31 AM   #51
Vixen
Penultimate Amazing
 
Vixen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Maaselkä Mielessäni
Posts: 11,175
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Such as what? I don't understand.
The diseases peculiar to hunter gatherers.
__________________
“Nyt, kun Karjalan kansa jälleen nousee ja sarastaa Suomen uusi huomenn.”

- Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
Vixen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 10:35 AM   #52
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 78,912
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I correctly stated the choice people were making. Whether they realized it at the time is not relevant
If you do not know it is a choice it cannot be by definition a choice.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 10:56 AM   #53
BobTheCoward
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 9,836
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
If you do not know it is a choice it cannot be by definition a choice.
I disagree.
BobTheCoward is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 10:57 AM   #54
Craig B
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 21,295
Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
The diseases peculiar to hunter gatherers.
I'm not saying that such diseases exist. But when farming peoples appear beside hunter gatherers they bring diseases to which the latter are vulnerable, precisely because they have none of their own, and so have no immunity. Infectious diseases are rare among small isolated populations.
Craig B is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 11:02 AM   #55
JoeBentley
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeBentley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 8,191
I think there's probably a psychological aspect to it. The ability to settle down, to create familiar environments just "feels" safer and easier, even if it technically isn't in every scenario.
__________________
"Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset, Se7en

"Hating a bad thing does not make you good." - David Wong
JoeBentley is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 11:12 AM   #56
Craig B
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 21,295
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I disagree.
Prior to five thousand years ago, nobody had ever chosen not to write, because there was no such thing as writing. Not writing was therefore not a choice.
Craig B is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 11:28 AM   #57
Vixen
Penultimate Amazing
 
Vixen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Maaselkä Mielessäni
Posts: 11,175
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Prior to five thousand years ago, nobody had ever chosen not to write, because there was no such thing as writing. Not writing was therefore not a choice.
Very little exists in Old English (anglo-saxon).
__________________
“Nyt, kun Karjalan kansa jälleen nousee ja sarastaa Suomen uusi huomenn.”

- Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
Vixen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 11:36 AM   #58
BobTheCoward
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 9,836
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Prior to five thousand years ago, nobody had ever chosen not to write, because there was no such thing as writing. Not writing was therefore not a choice.
I disagree.
BobTheCoward is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 11:40 AM   #59
Craig B
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 21,295
Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Very little exists in Old English (anglo-saxon).
Until recently, in most societies writing was the monopoly of an elite. There was no universal education, and most people had neither the leisure nor the resources to enable them to choose to become literate.
Craig B is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 12:26 PM   #60
Fudbucker
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,508
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I disagree.
Usually, Darat is wrong, but he seems to have this one right. Explain why you disagree and give an example.
Fudbucker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 12:30 PM   #61
BobTheCoward
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 9,836
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
Usually, Darat is wrong, but he seems to have this one right. Explain why you disagree and give an example.
I just want to be on the record that I disagree. I encourage everyone to think I am wrong. I have no interest in convincing anyone.
BobTheCoward is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 01:30 PM   #62
Fudbucker
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,508
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I just want to be on the record that I disagree. I encourage everyone to think I am wrong. I have no interest in convincing anyone.
I don't care about a record of your disagreements. If you're not willing to back up your claims, why are you here?
Fudbucker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 01:32 PM   #63
Gilbert Syndrome
Philosopher
 
Gilbert Syndrome's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Aigburth, Liverpool, UK
Posts: 5,362
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
I don't care about a record of your disagreements. If you're not willing to back up your claims, why are you here?
You seem to have just met Bob. Posting nonsense for the sake of it and hijacking threads is what Bob does.
__________________
Generic proclamation of positivity:

Scouse saying - Go 'ed, is right, nice one, boss, well in, sound, belter, made up.

Usage: 'Go 'ed, lad, get us an ale in, nice one.'
Gilbert Syndrome is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 01:37 PM   #64
BobTheCoward
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 9,836
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
I don't care about a record of your disagreements. If you're not willing to back up your claims, why are you here?
Because I like skepticism.
BobTheCoward is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 01:57 PM   #65
Fudbucker
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,508
Originally Posted by Gilbert Syndrome View Post
You seem to have just met Bob. Posting nonsense for the sake of it and hijacking threads is what Bob does.
I've interacted with Bob. It's never gone anywhere interesting. It's like talking to a bot.
Fudbucker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 01:58 PM   #66
Fudbucker
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,508
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Because I like skepticism.
Sorry, by "why are you here" I mean, why do you POST here? Why throw out a claim if you're not backing it up? What do you think "skepticism" is, a record of disagreements?
Fudbucker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 02:00 PM   #67
JoeBentley
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeBentley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 8,191
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
Sorry, by "why are you here" I mean, why do you POST here? Why throw out a claim if you're not backing it up? What do you think "skepticism" is, a record of disagreements?
Bob is an extreme of example of a "I'll show the skeptics up by just being a contrarian" performance artists we get here from time to time.

He's actively hijacking pretty much all of the active threads right now and the PTB don't seem to be doing anything about it so people are going to have to just stop engaging him.
__________________
"Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset, Se7en

"Hating a bad thing does not make you good." - David Wong
JoeBentley is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 02:11 PM   #68
BobTheCoward
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 9,836
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
Sorry, by "why are you here" I mean, why do you POST here? Why throw out a claim if you're not backing it up? What do you think "skepticism" is, a record of disagreements?
I throw out my opinion because we share opinions here and we like doing that. But because skepticism is important, i refrain from expressing opinions of fact
But that pretty much leaves the ones not subject to skepticism: the ones that are not falsifiable or ones I don't assert are true.
BobTheCoward is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 03:16 PM   #69
Sherkeu
Critical Thinker
 
Sherkeu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Disneyland
Posts: 479
Originally Posted by Gilbert Syndrome View Post
You seem to have just met Bob. Posting nonsense for the sake of it and hijacking threads is what Bob does.
I am reading this revelation a few hours too late. Oh well.


As for agriculture, I recently read that the first farmers in Turkey domesticated the wheat there (10,000ya?) by finding the mutated stalks whose seeds didn't fall to the ground when mature. This allowed for efficient harvesting and replanting only the selected seeds.

Most of the natural cereals are evolved for their own survival, not ours, so we had to figure out how to make them easy to collect and manipulate.
Sherkeu is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 03:30 PM   #70
JoeBentley
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeBentley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 8,191
Oh the history of taking some very impractical wild plants and turning them into modern domesticated crops is... just weird at times.

Wild potatoes are poisonous, having 15 to 20 times the safe amount of glycoalkaloids. Modern crop potatoes have had that breed out of them. But that raises more questions than it does answers. Since it's impossible to breed noticeable amounts of the poison down in only a few plants generations, no way to track the exact amounts of glycoalkaloids in a pre-industrial time, and no idea before the fact that even if you removed the toxins you'd wind up with a decent food crop... why'd you do it?

Nothing in the wild even resembls corn. Teosinte, it's closest wild genetic relative, is a grass with a couple of tiny, barely edible seeds on top. Like potatoes the question of how our ancestor breed that into giant stalks with cob-sized edible seed clusters with protective husks on them is matched only by the question of why they would want to try not knowing the results.
__________________
"Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset, Se7en

"Hating a bad thing does not make you good." - David Wong

Last edited by JoeBentley; 3rd September 2017 at 03:32 PM.
JoeBentley is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 03:55 PM   #71
Fudbucker
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,508
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Oh the history of taking some very impractical wild plants and turning them into modern domesticated crops is... just weird at times.

Wild potatoes are poisonous, having 15 to 20 times the safe amount of glycoalkaloids. Modern crop potatoes have had that breed out of them. But that raises more questions than it does answers. Since it's impossible to breed noticeable amounts of the poison down in only a few plants generations, no way to track the exact amounts of glycoalkaloids in a pre-industrial time, and no idea before the fact that even if you removed the toxins you'd wind up with a decent food crop... why'd you do it?

Nothing in the wild even resembls corn. Teosinte, it's closest wild genetic relative, is a grass with a couple of tiny, barely edible seeds on top. Like potatoes the question of how our ancestor breed that into giant stalks with cob-sized edible seed clusters with protective husks on them is matched only by the question of why they would want to try not knowing the results.
Perhaps they ate small portions of potatoes and noticed some types were easier on the stomach than others (or didn't make you as sick). But you would then have to realize that if you bred those two types together...

It would take some induction, but a pre-agricultural version of Einstein probably would have tried it. And weren't they domesticating dogs long before farming? So they must have known about strains and breeding.
Fudbucker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 03:59 PM   #72
JoeBentley
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeBentley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 8,191
Yeah but again why would you? It's not like proto-corn and wild potatoes were necessary. They civilizations that first cultivated them already had stable crops, mostly Amaranth.

They weren't Matt Damon in the Martian that had to grow the potatoes or die.
__________________
"Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset, Se7en

"Hating a bad thing does not make you good." - David Wong
JoeBentley is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 04:26 PM   #73
Vixen
Penultimate Amazing
 
Vixen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Maaselkä Mielessäni
Posts: 11,175
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Yeah but again why would you? It's not like proto-corn and wild potatoes were necessary. They civilizations that first cultivated them already had stable crops, mostly Amaranth.

They weren't Matt Damon in the Martian that had to grow the potatoes or die.
We didn't even have potatoes- as we know them - in Europe until C15. Before then, root vegetables would have been turnips and onions.

Thinking about northern countries where cultured foods are extremely popular. The practice probably arose out of the extreme cold winters when hunting was nigh impossible, likewise berry and mushroom picking. Fermentation is another way to preserve food.

I shouldn't be surprised if the comment about cultivating grains for the beer is a case of many a true word, said in jest.

You can make all kinds of drinks from grain: vodka, whisky, beers and alcohol is great for preserving foods.

So so I'm hypothesising that there was an incentive for trying to grow more of it.

Then the after product of yeast came in handy for breadmaking.
__________________
“Nyt, kun Karjalan kansa jälleen nousee ja sarastaa Suomen uusi huomenn.”

- Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
Vixen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 04:33 PM   #74
John Jones
Penultimate Amazing
 
John Jones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Iowa USA
Posts: 11,725
In the American colonies that later became the USA, making whiskey was a common way of preserving excess grain. George Washington was a distiller.
__________________
"I have no clue" - King of the Americas
John Jones is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 05:00 PM   #75
bruto
Penultimate Amazing
 
bruto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Way way north of Diddy Wah Diddy
Posts: 21,720
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I disagree.
In what bizarre redefinition of language is not choosing a kind of choosing?

In preliterate times did people wake up each morning and say, "Nah, I guess I won't invent writing today?"
__________________
Sir, I have found you an argument; but I am not obliged to find you an understanding. (Samuel Johnson)

I love this world, but not for its answers. (Mary Oliver)
bruto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 05:22 PM   #76
BobTheCoward
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 9,836
Originally Posted by bruto View Post
In what bizarre redefinition of language is not choosing a kind of choosing?

In preliterate times did people wake up each morning and say, "Nah, I guess I won't invent writing today?"
They did not. But they actions they chose did not lead to that person inventing writing. I can hold them accountable for that.
BobTheCoward is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 05:48 PM   #77
ddt
Mafia Penguin
 
ddt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 17,531
Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Agriculture is a science. Most of Europe was covered in dense woods and forests. Step one: you need to clear whole areas of forests and shrubs. Not an easy job but can be done by burning and scorching (as the Swedish-Finns showed everybody else when they helped colonise the USA in C16). Then you need to be aware of the function of seeds and collect them. The ground needs to ploughed and seeds planted at the right time of year. Then the crop has to be harvested and milled.

Every three years, there needs to be crop rotation or the soil becomes barren.
No.

Step one: burn down a part of the forest large enough for your intended agricultural plot.

Step two: sow your crops for a couple of years in a row, until the soil is depleted.

Step three: burn down a next plot of forest. Rinse, repeat.
__________________
Founder of the group "The Truth about Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu aka Mother Teresa"

"I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people." - "Saint" Teresa, the lying thieving Albanian dwarf
ddt is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 07:37 PM   #78
Delphic Oracle
Graduate Poster
 
Delphic Oracle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 1,998
Western agriculture came from the fertile crescent. Mind boggling to think of now, but prior to the wrecking of the irrigation canals, the Levant was the bread basket of prehistory. The degree of even broader horticulture was incredibly advanced. But it's a terrible responsibility to take on, once you start managing land movement, water flows, soil compositions, erosion control, etc. you have to keep making adjustments or your manipulations will settle (left untended) into a wasteland with no functional ecosystem.

The combination of wide, meandering river valleys and autocratic regimes capable of huge public works programs gave early engineers a lot of time to engage in trial and error and become quite knowledgeable in terms of how to maximize efficiency with the technology at hand. Certainly many "advances" were probably total accidents, but while they may not have been able to pinpoint the formula to reproduce it, they certainly knew how to catalog seeds and make sure to mark better producing harvests as candidates for increased circulation in the years ahead.

Do I have to know why vegetables and herbs perform better when a bee colony is nearby? No. I just put a note in my head to attract a bee keeper to his majesty's newest crop reserve annexation so I can keep my lucrative job at court instead of hauling bricks to build his majesty's newest crop reserve annex and/or keep my head on my shoulders.

ETA: Europe was largely wild for far longer. There were some small plots in frequent tribal campgrounds. Some small varieties of fowl or pigs could be maintained on the move, as well.

Last edited by Delphic Oracle; 3rd September 2017 at 07:45 PM.
Delphic Oracle is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 07:50 PM   #79
Modified
Philosopher
 
Modified's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,401
Originally Posted by bruto View Post
In what bizarre redefinition of language is not choosing a kind of choosing?
Tell it to Rush.
Modified is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2017, 08:03 PM   #80
Jodie
Philosopher
 
Jodie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 5,991
Take the Amazon basin as an example. That land was not very good so the NA added terra preta to what was there to enhance productivity and domesticated many wild fruits and vegetables in the process 10,000 years ago. I think the end of the ice age and the die off of large mega flora and fauna might have provided the impetus to develop agriculture.
__________________
"When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse out of the corner of my eye. I turned to look but it was gone, I cannot put my finger on it now. The child is grown, the dream is gone. I have become comfortably numb. " Pink Floyd
Jodie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » History, Literature, and the Arts

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:02 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.