The study of plants and other lifeforms on the planet is shedding light on concepts that were already known in our ancient world. Everything on our planet is alive. Just because it is living in a different form than we are, and has different biological processes than we do, does not mean that these lifeforms do not possess consciousness or that they cannot think, feel, and react.
If you told somebody that plants can feel pain, you might think they are nuts, but the truth is – an enormous amount of research has been conducted by plant scientists, and much of it clearly shows how plants have some remarkable abilities to react to and sense the world around them. Some plant scientists insist that yes, plants are intelligent, they learn, remember, and again, react. So, it’s not far off to suggest that they might even feel pain. There are also studies suggesting that plants can learn from experience.
“They have ways of taking all the sensory data they gather in their everyday lives… integrate it and then behave in an appropriate way in response. And they do this without brains, which, in a way, is what’s incredible about it, because we automatically assume you need a brain to process information.” – Michael Pollan author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “The Botany of Desire” (source)
Plants respond to anesthetics. As shown in the video below, you can put a plant out with a human anesthetic. What’s even more remarkable is the fact that plants can even produce compounds that are anesthetic to us!
We learnt how to walk.
And I was struck by how often practical magical workshops are about learning to do things we thought we learned in childhood – walking, vocalising, breathing, standing. So much of our lives and culture encourages us to disconnect from our bodies, our selves, our natures, to live in ways which are destructive to our health, to cut ourselves off from the core of us which is embodied. As a result we need to undo harmful habits and relearn how to do even basic things, in order to fully embody and express our core-self.
This weekend I attended a workshop where we just walked, until walking became a dance and the dance became a magical act. And it was still “just” walking.
But what of fairies and the dead? What specific links are there between them in pre-modern magic? In the judgement of at least one historian, this turns out to be ‘the most consistent association’ for the Fair Folk. Noted political philosopher of the mid-seventeenth century Thomas Hobbes judged that ‘Faeries are Spirits and Ghosts’, and that ‘Faeries and Ghosts inhabite Darknesse, Solitudes, and Graves.’ [Lathan, The Elizabethan Fairies (Columbia University Press: New York, 1930), p.45] Scottish clergymen and theologians – especially Robert Kirk and James Garden – relayed similar opinions, and the conclusion ‘that these learned commentators accurately reflected popular belief is illustrated by the fact that many people claimed to have seen dead friends and relatives in fairyland.’ [Emma Wilby, Cunning Folk & Familiar Spirits, p. 18] At the very least then, ‘fairies were often defined as either departed souls themselves, or as existing in, or having access to, a spirit-realm inhabited by the dead.’ [Wilby, CF&FS p. 69] This realm was not necessarily entirely tangibly physical: ‘after natural death human souls might find themselves in fairyland, or living humans taken into or visiting the fairy realm could find themselves unwilling or unable to leave, resulting in the death of the mortal body.’ [Wilby, CF&FS, p. 102] Significantly in light of the events of Clarke’s story, such a visit or forceful abduction “in spirit” – a sort of kidnapping of the Christian soul – could also occur to those with imbalanced imaginations: ‘ravished out of their bodies & caried to such places’. [James, Daemonologie (London, 1597) p. 39] Of course contact and compact with the Fae could itself encourage and exacerbate such reveries and fugues, and such states habituated the soul to being removed, and increased likelihood of further and deeper abductions. The more you were fairy-taken the easier it was to be taken further. Lost Hope, indeed.
— TATJANA SL (@TATJANASL) December 22, 2015
Nobody pays me anything to write this stuff. In fact, it costs me money to pay the web hosting fees. This is good, because I am not beholden to anyone, and can say whatever I wish to say, on any subject whatsoever.
I don’t even care if anyone reads it or not, although when I feel it’s burdensome and a chore, I do think about my few hundred invisible regular readers whom I strive to entertain and inform. I distribute this information. You can take it or leave it, just as you wish.
This raises the question, what is the motivation for my continuing ? One is that, as I live such a solitary life, it lets me have a rant and let off some steam, when I get frustrated and indignant about some issue or other. Which is sort of therapeutic.
Another is, that to write is a means of discovering what I myself actually think and believe about any particular issue. I can do this in my mind, by running the ideas through my head, but writing them down and then reading through helps to clarify and expose nonsense, weaknesses and contradictions.
Unlike McPherson, I do not make any claims towards being a teacher, even less any kind of guru or celebrity. I am just ulvfugl, which is sufficient, and I express my thoughts, opinions, beliefs and so forth, for better or worse, without fear or favour.
In the previous comments, wolfwitch posted this video.
Two of our favourite past guests, Conner Habib and Gordon White join us in this roundtable chat about the occult, magic, synchronicities, positive thinking, morality, hollywood, the esoteric, the new spiritual renaissance and much more. We also get into the polarization of the political climate right now, social media, the makers movement, becoming invincible and pedophilia as well.
What do I think about all that ? I would not have bothered to listen if it hadn’t been posted here, with the mention of pedophilia. As readers will have noticed, I’ve moved considerably towards the authoritarian right, in my political stance, mostly because of this issue of child abuse.
My line of thinking goes something like this. Anyone who has suffered greatly, or witnessed someone they love go through extreme suffering, learns that this world is not all fluffy rainbows, dolphins and chocolate. So much of the suffering appears to be inherent in the system, unavoidable, intrinsic to existence.
My conclusion is, that if it cannot be prevented, then, at minimum, I should not add to it, myself, by way of my own actions and conduct. This is kind of like the ancient Greek Hippocratic Oath that medical doctors are supposed to uphold, ‘Firstly, do no harm’. So, that’s a base for morality. And it’s not the same as the Alistair Crowley, Thelemite, ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law’, which I hold in some disdain.
I think Crowley got it from the libertines of the Hellfire Club.
Children are not thought of as being fully responsible for their actions, because, due to age and lack of experience, they are not able to comprehend the results and consequences, and like all young animals and birds, they make serious mistakes, from which, if they survive, they learn something.
That’s in the natural order of things, and as I see it, what is meant to happen in human soceities, is that there is a transitional rite of passage, where adolescents take on the mantle of adulthood. After that, they no longer have the excuse that is extended to children, they are expected to conduct themselves as being fully responsible for their conduct, actions and affairs.
When adults refuse or are unable to take that step into maturity, and behave badly, then others of the adult community have to intervene and deal with the problem. So then, this becomes a moral and political issue, because there will always be some disagreement as to what’s appropriate action and what’s not, depending upon the beliefs of various social factions. For example, controversy over the death penalty for capital offences, and so forth. I think we each are responsible for our own karma.
I see maximum personal liberty for individuals as being a general public good, but ‘Do what thou wilt’ or whatever you like, does not work, because you personally may prefer to drive on the right hand side of the road, and believe you have that right, but when the majority have enacted into law, that in this country we drive on the left, then your ‘liberty’ means collisions which may be fatal to innocent travellers. So you should not be surprised if your ‘liberty’ is curtailed by policemen.
Likewise, I do not care what consenting adults get up to, sexually, in their own private premises. But when some think it’s okay to have sex with infants, animals, or anything else that they fancy, this is intolerable, and authority has to step in, because children and animals cannot give informed consent.
If all adolescents went through a rite of passage which meant that, thereafter, their sense of pride, decency, moral standing, and responsibility toward the larger community group meant that they behaved with self-discipline, restraint and the various old fashioned virtues, courage, honour, integrity, etc, then we could, possibly, have an anarchist utopia or something close to it.
But this is not going to happen. People are stupid, mean and spiteful, they set fire to other people, they throw sulphuric acid in women’s faces, they bugger infants, they lie, steal, rape, torture and murder, they vote for proven psychopaths, there is no limit to individual depravity and debauchery, unless the wider soceity imposes limits. That means having policemen, detectives, lawyers, courts, and prisons, and all the rest of the paraphernalia.
Having to read about all the atrocious acts that humans do, everyday in the news, is one reason I sometimes feel like giving up this whole citizen journalist independent blogging thing. But it’s public service, of a kind. I’m trying to figure out what’s really going on – not what we are TOLD by the controlling powers, but what is REALLY going on – and so I try to share whatever is pertinent to that quest with any others who are interested. A lot of it is so extremely depressing, gruesome and grim.
Pretending that this world is other than it is does nobody a service. We must face the ugliness and the darkness and do whatever is possible to mitigate the suffering and horror. We are fed lies, disinformation, and propaganda, more than at any time I can recall in my lifetime. Information is fabricated, manipulated, hyped and suppressed.
Recall, a short while back, almost every page you’d see had some mention of someone called Milo. I was sort of giving him the benefit of the doubt, so to speak, and paid some attention to him.
His Dangerous Faggot presentation, as a sort of ploy to gain himself status and publicity made some sense to me, and he seemed to have the courage to speak his own thoughts, rather than pandering, but the image of him languishing naked in a bath filled with pig’s blood was too much for me. Such gross perversity is no good for anyone, imo, and a good example of what I oppose. Makes this world worse for everyone. Not someone I can respect or admire.
And then he simply vanished from everywhere, as if he had never been, steam rollered by the next news cycle of hyped hysterical distraction, which may have been the guy on CNN eating human brains in India. More obscene gross stupidity.
I have no solutions to offer, regarding all this transgender fluid identity stuff. I think a man should be manly, that is what they should teach their sons, and that the role of the men is to keep the women happy. Not just in bed, although that’s important, but to provider the wider social and environmental context where the women feel emotionally secure about raising their children. If we don’t have that, as the baseline, then there’s no future for the communities, going forward.
So that raises the question as to what happens to those who don’t fit into that sort of structure, for one reason or another. That guy Habib in the Grimerica podcast with says that he’s a ‘sex worker’. I’m not even sure that I recognise that as a valid trade that makes sense, for me, it’s more like a label for a participant in the sleazy underworld associated with cities, where misfits gather to survive, the damaged rejected detritus that sinks to the bottom of the social machinery.
I can see how he feels threatened by the oncoming crackdown on paedophiles, because he senses that this will extend to include his own livelihood. But that’s one of the problems, isn’t it. The world, life, is not about me, or ‘him’ and his preferences. It’s the same sense of threat that caused my dear neighbour to fear vegans and vegetarians taking over the culture, because he made his living raising cattle and lambs for people to eat.
This is something that I hate about people who can only envision their own special limited selfish interests, and cannot sympathise, empathise, identify, with the greater good of the community. If everyone had always been like them, we would not be here at all. I see this in Habib, but also in David Graeber and Kevin Carson and many others, who fight against any power or authority that might limit their self-indulgence, caring nothing for those who do and will suffer terribly because of their commitment to a stupid ideology which they prioritise above compassion and general well-being.
The starkest, most hypocritical example, is those so called progressive feminists who think Hillary is so great, because she’s a woman, whilst ignoring her funding by the Saudis, and her involvement with the Moslem Brotherhood and support for ISIS.
Habib quoted Lacan, about having no masters. But what do we get then ? The vast majority of people are simply not capable of self-control and taking full responsibility for themselves. We just get Lord of the Flies, unless some greater force is available to insist upon boundaries and limits, be it God, the State, or local vigilantes. You surely don’t need to be smart to understand this. Just look at accounts in the papers all through last century.
If soceity does not require hand-loom weavers or chimney sweeps, these vocations disappear. Others are created. Do we need the services of sex workers and pornographers ? I think soceities oscillate between poles, the austere puritanical end and the debauched, depraved, decadent end.
Habib argued something along the lines that the restrictions on sex trafficking might fall upon those who choose that path voluntarily. I’m not an expert, he may be, but I recall reading about an investigation into sex trafficking in UK. There was some sort of massage parlour front, in the Midlands, that offered ‘new girls every week’. These young women, teens and early twenties, were coming from various Eastern European countries.
There was nothing consensual or voluntary about it. Criminals went around rural areas of places like Moldova, Ukraine, Romania, etc, seeking victims. The girls were simple folk, naive, uneducated and unsophisticated, in poverty. They were lured with offers of well-paid and respectable jobs, as waitresses, nannies, kitchen staff, etc, and then smuggled into the UK, where they were forced into prostitution.
They had to service maybe ten men a day, and they didn’t get the money, their owners did. This is sex slavery. If they refused to cooperate, they were physically hurt, or a girl was murdered in front of them, to terrorise them into submission.
Of course, this kind of thing has always happened in various parts of the world, but I don’t see how anyone could argue in its favour. Brutal abuse and cruelty is not to be condoned, according to my personal moral standards, it takes away dignity and self-respect from all of us, if we tolerate such things.
That’s one reason I feel antipathy toward Islam and Sharia Law. I have been unable to discover even one single point where it brings us anything better than what we already have. Why would we want to introduce an inferior belief that makes matters worse ?
Deus Vult means ‘God Willing’, or ‘If God wills it’, in classical Latin.
In 1095 Pope Urban ll, at the Council of Clermont, made a speech calling for the Ist Crusade, to be waged against the Turks who were attacking the Eastern Christians. It’s recorded that Peter the Hermit uttered Deus Vult, which was taken up by the assembled crowd and later became the rallying cry of the Crusaders, used as they launched themselves into the fight against the Islamic enemy troops.
The Muslim term Inch’Allah is the French version of the Arabic In Shaa Allah, also meaning God Willing.
A vernacular pagan version might be something like ‘touch wood’ or ‘fingers crossed’, to express the hope that some future circumstance will come to pass.
Of course, one can say these phrases in an entirely mindless and frivolous sense, with no depth or devout intention. But if you are seriously religious and questing for more profound insight into existence, then the meaning does invoke something significant. It leads to surrender to something greater than one’s self, the mysterious divine background which sustains our personal existence and everything else that exists.
It’s a reminder of the gulf that there is between those who have faith in some mystical sacred or holy aspect to their encounters with being, and those, the materialists, humanists and atheists who do not. These latter believe that existence is devoid of meaning, pointless and purposeless, and they rely purely upon their own ego and intellect. Human vanity, cleverness, desire, is all that they see, without anything significant above and beyond themselves and the raw forces of nature.
This is perhaps the greatest divide amongst the humans today, that is, the division between those who have no need or wish to find deeper meaning, and those who hold to some kind of conception of something greater than themselves, to which they have a personal relationship, which gives their life a larger richer significance.
Ultimately, this is a very personal matter for each one to arrive at in their own way. I cannot force understanding onto another, can I, I can only speak of my own and make suggestions as to what might be helpful or not.
There are those who believe that a Creator God made us, and there are those who believe that we made up the idea of a Creator God in our human imaginations.
God made us, versus We made God.
There are the very smart, educated and erudite intellectuals, who feel they are superior because they don’t have any religious insight or understanding, and don’t need any. But just because God is impossible to understand or explain in logical reasoned terms, it does not follow that there is no God or that the concept is worthless.
It’s just three English letters, and a noise that people make with their mouths, which point toward a mental concept, a cultural concept. For some, it’s off putting and obsolete, old superstition which should be rejected and abandoned, for various reasons.
For others, this word and the concept that it points to, are all that really matters, and what keeps them going from one day to the next.
Essentially, these are very different models as to what we are, and why we are.
As with many other concepts – for example the words ‘nature’, ‘history’, ‘me’, ‘life’, ‘world’ – as you study and think, they change. Ideas evolve and develop and take on new aspects.
Because we live in a culture that is both spiritually and philosophically illiterate, where education is manipulated to suit certain agendas, people grow up believing that they have to choose, either to be ‘scientific’ or to be ‘religious’. As if this is a matter of a binary option toward finding ‘truth’, like black and white.
Fortunately for me, I can say that I take a Perspectivist approach, philosophically. This means I am liberated from that idiotic false dichotomy. There are very many ways to look at the same thing. They can each be ‘more or less true’, they each have their particular strengths or weaknesses, depending upon what it is that you are asking or what you want to accomplish.
Some hold that science provides the truth, whilst others maintain that their religion reveals the truth. It’s an either/or. Our Enlightenment logic and reason insists that given a pair of contradictory statements both cannot be true. However, Perspectivism says that when you are close to the mountains they appear to be green, and when you go further away, they appear to be blue. At midnight they may be black, and when it snows, they are white. So what is true ? Are the mountains green or are they blue ? Or do we impose some mistaken truth, depending upon perspective.
Here’s a discussion about ‘truth’. The guy at c. 50: who claims to be a philosopher, says that my way of understanding makes absolutely no sense at all. Obviously, from my perspective, he’s an idiot ! 🙂 More about that below.
Streamed live on 27 Mar 2017
Throughout history, truth has preoccupied all disciplines and ways of thought, strongly correlated as it is with the principles that shape our collective sphere, including trust, democracy, justice, and freedom. In this salon, we will discuss what truth looks like in different fields, from science to poetry, philosophy, design, and even journalism, and how the arts can offer alternative ways to unearth and tell the truth.
Paul Boghossian, Professor, Philosophy Department, and Director, New York Institute of Philosophy, New York University
Janna Levin, author; Tow Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Barnard College, Columbia University; and Director of Sciences, Pioneer Works
Emily Parker, writer, editor, and digital diplomacy advisor
Maria Popova, writer and founder of Brain Pickings
Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, Emmy-nominated journalist and senior correspondent at AJ+
Now, that fellow stated that ‘the notion of relative truth, or perspectival truth, makes absolutely no sense’, and then he modifies that by adding ‘in any interesting case’. Which is weird, because who the hell is he to decide what’s interesting and what’s not interesting ? What’s vitally and overwhelmingly interesting to one person, in one context, is absolutely irrelevant and of no interest at all to some other person.
Isn’t that ‘a truth’ ?
He starts with the proposition re the number of people in the room. That there can only be ‘one truth’ in that regard, which can be established by counting them.
Seems to me, that is the avenue which Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein explored, when they tried to describe everything in precise mathematical terms. That project failed. They both concluded, eventually, that it was impossible.
See Gödel’s completeness theorem.
He then brings in moral and political perspectives on the problem. I do not think that assists much. I think that the mythos/logos analysis, or the right brain/left brain, literal truths and poetic truths, analysis is superior for clarifying the matter.
Returning to ‘the mountains’ as an example. What is a true statement as to the definitive colour of the mountains, when perceptions vary ? We can establish that, rather in the same manner as counting the number of people in the room, by taking a long sequence of photographs, at various times and from various locations, and then we study the photos, as being a genuine empirical record of ‘the truth’ re the colour of the mountains.
However, one man will say, of a mountain, that it is composed of iron ore, and it is necessary to destroy it by mining, because it is an essential mineral resource. Soceity requires steel for cars, bridges, planes and tanks, so the mountain, in this context, is ‘raw material’.
Another man will say that the mountain is sacred to his ancestors, and that it is inhabited by gods and spirits, and that to quarry it is to insult the Earth, indeed to insult the whole Universe.
Both of these positions may be considered as true, within their contexts, and they are irreconcilable. We cannot destroy the mountain for ore, and still keep the mountain to please the gods and ancestors. One or other ‘truth’ has to prevail. Moreover, there can be many other truths, and other contexts.
That philosopher began by politicising the question, referring to Trump and the number of people at the rallies, etc. Trump became notorious in the UK, for destroying some pristine sand dunes in Scotland to build a golf course. The place was a nature reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) an official designation meant to protect such places from harm or development.
So there is a moral issue there. Trump gained a valuable asset (He tweeted to Sir Alan Sugar, in an acrimonious exchange between them, that his Scottish golf course with its hotel, is worth more than Sugar’s entire wealth.) Trump’s personal wealth was increased, in the standard capitalist manner, whilst the wealth of the wider social good was diminished, by the loss of a valuable rare wildlife habitat and public resource with aesthetic virtue. Some of the local people considered that the loss of the wild unspoiled amenity is compensated by the remuneration provided from jobs.
Trump then fought the local authorities again, over the wind turbines which were built offshore, which he thought spoiled the views from his property. Throughout the saga there are myriad examples of individuals taking very different perspectives on ‘the truth’ of the matter, depending upon their personal contextual evaluations (value judgements) and interests.
Serve Mammon or serve God. We have the crude Cartesian division between internal spiritual truth, versus external objectively verifiable truth. You could say that the mountains remain the same mountains, it’s just that their superficial appearance changes, the underlying geological formations remain stable.
But this is not strictly true. If we could do a time lapse photographic series over millennia, we’d see that the mountains change imperceptibly all of the time, as they are subjected to erosion. And at the other end of the scale, what are they made of ? Minerals composed of atoms, composed of sub-atomic particles, and then we hit the Zeno Effect, where the fundamental ‘stuff’ changes when we observe it or not.
Everything is always flowing, vibrating, transforming, and the appearance of permanence and stability is deceptive. We have this wild ride, between birth and death, where we try to make some sense of it all.
History can be considered from many differing viewpoints, and none of them are going to give you a complete single impression that cannot be contested. But the greater the number of perspectives you use, the richer and deeper your insight will become.
For example, why did Pope Urban enable and encourage the Crusaders to launch their bloody adventure ? You could analyse that from a religious perspective, or a socio-economic perspective, and indeed many others.
I read somewhere that as feudal Europe prospered and grew wealthier, the feudal lords, dukes and princes who had the castles and forts that controlled the surrounding lands and agricultural estates, these families had many children. Only the eldest son would inherit the title and possessions, so that meant there were often half a dozen younger sons who would find themselves with nothing much. The daughters could be married off into strategic alliances, but these younger sons would have no castle, knights and peasantry to offer to gain a good marriage partner.
And in that soceity, these warriors spent all their time practicing and training for armed combat. They were obsessed with weapons, armour, horses, sieges, jousting and the rest of the paraphernalia of war and conquest.
All the guys were part of the feudal hierarchy, with the Pope at the pinnacle, then the Kings and then their aristocratic underlings, down the ladder to the tradesmen and peasants at the base. So they had to obey rulers above them. But they were always quarrelling and infringing upon the rights of neighbours, which meant constant violence all over the Continent. Which was a problem for the Pope, who was forced to intercede on behalf of one party or another to try and restore peace and harmony amongst warring regions.
So the idea was to direct all the military aggression toward an external enemy, the Moslems of the Levant area who had control of Jerusalem. This was a thrilling prospect for all those macho younger sons who relished a wild exciting adventure with plenty of opportunity to attack foes and generally go charging around on horseback with swords and lances, testing their martial skills and equipment for real, with rape, robbery and plunder as an added incentive. A chance to win their own personal title and lands by force of arms.
I have no idea really, whether that theory is correct or not, it’s just something I recall reading many years ago. It seems like a plausible tale, but if there is one thing that we all should have learned from the internet it is that superficially plausible tales are frequently totally wrong. So perhaps others with greater scholarship will have critiqued that idea and proposed very different reasons for the Crusades.
Humans are made up of trillions of eukaryotic cells, which first appeared in the fossil record around 2.5 billion years ago. A human cell is a remarkable piece of networked machinery that has about the same number of components as a modern jumbo jet – all of which arose out of a longstanding, embedded encounter with the natural world. In Basin and Range (1981), the writer John McPhee observed that, if you stand with your arms outstretched to represent the whole history of the Earth, complex organisms began evolving only at the far wrist, while ‘in a single stroke with a medium-grained nail file you could eradicate human history’.
The traditional view of evolution suggests that our cellular complexity evolved from early eukaryotes via random genetic mutation and selection. But in 2005 the biologist James Shapiro at the University of Chicago outlined a radical new narrative. He argued that eukaryotic cells work ‘intelligently’ to adapt a host organism to its environment by manipulating their own DNA in response to environmental stimuli. Recent microbiological findings lend weight to this idea. For example, mammals’ immune systems have the tendency to duplicate sequences of DNA in order to generate effective antibodies to attack disease, and we now know that at least 43 per cent of the human genome is made up of DNA that can be moved from one location to another, through a process of natural ‘genetic engineering’.
Now, it’s a bit of a leap to go from smart, self-organising cells to the brainy sort of intelligence that concerns us here. But the point is that long before we were conscious, thinking beings, our cells were reading data from the environment and working together to mould us into robust, self-sustaining agents. What we take as intelligence, then, is not simply about using symbols to represent the world as it objectively is. Rather, we only have the world as it is revealed to us, which is rooted in our evolved, embodied needs as an organism.
Science has given us that rather mechanistic depiction of what we are. It’s a model that has taken tremendous research by dedicated individuals to arrive at. But it tells us absolutely nothing about what it is like to experience being one of these strange entities, nor how we should best manage the experience as we confront it.
And who knows what mysterious influences there may be, as yet undiscovered, which bend the behaviour of this entity in various ways.
In every animal, these natural (endogenous) cannabinoids play multiple roles, affecting mood, appetite, memory, consciousness, pain response, blood pressure, and more.
The cannabinoids from marijuana tap into that same system, which is why the plant has such wide-ranging effects.
We’re pretty far from fully understanding how that system works and even further from understanding all the compounds in marijuana.
I believe that part of the ‘manly duty’, so to speak, of providing for the women and children, is to establish stability, in so far as that is possible. I think that human populations have adapted to local conditions, and should remain in the areas for which they are optimised. There are numerous examples of how we have genetically adapted to dwell and survive in particular places.
Biologists at the University of Liverpool have discovered how the plagues of the Middle Ages have made around 10% of Europeans resistant to HIV.
Mitochondrial DNA allows tracing of maternal ancestry, and the results show that modern Aboriginal Australians are the descendants of a single founding population that arrived in Australia 50,000 years ago, while Australia was still connected to New Guinea. Populations then spread rapidly – within 1500-2000 years – around the east and west coasts of Australia, meeting somewhere in South Australia.
“Amazingly, it seems that from around this time the basic population patterns have persisted for the next 50,000 years -showing that communities have remained in discrete geographical regions,”
“We found that the Neandertals from Spy Cave consumed woolly rhinoceros and European wild sheep, supplemented with wild mushrooms,” says Professor Alan Cooper, Director of ACAD. “Those from El Sidrón Cave on the other hand showed no evidence for meat consumption, but appeared instead to have a largely vegetarian diet, comprising pine nuts, moss, mushrooms and tree bark – showing quite different lifestyles between the two groups.”
Uttermost parts and humbuggery
In his wonderfully evocative and informative autobiography, Lucas Bridges, son of a missionary turned sheep farmer, tells us how he grew up playing with Indian children around 1900 on Isla Grande, one of many islands, peninsulas, and waterways that make up Tierra del Fuego. He learnt at least one of the native languages, and by the time he was an adult he was tempted to learn the ways of the sorcerer, ways which were, in essence, very puzzling because the fear of magic coexisted with disbelief in the magicians. Note that magic, in the form of killing by means of sorcery, was common.