Posted by: graemebird | December 25, 2009

Evidence For Photons: Can Someone Help The Idiot Tinos Out?

Once dopey concepts get locked into the mainstream, they wind up with their ready-made band of unscience supporters. People with the toadying gene. People who mistake the sociological process of elevating dumb ideas, with the scientific process of proving good ideas. In the question of light we see evidence only that light is wave motion. And this contradicts the concept that light is particle motion. It refutes it.

Nonetheless its possible that where light hits matter and changes in its direction, it makes sense that at this point, we can find clues as to the nature of the medium involved. In the mainstream they do not have any good theory as to what it is that the light, which we know to be waves, is moving through. Ocean waves of course move through water. Sound waves through air. In both cases the medium is made up of particles called molecules. Where a sound wave or an ocean wave hits solid matter and rebounds, its not unreasonable to think we could have some manifestations that give off clues as to the nature of the mediums that these waves are moving through. But in the cases where the mediums are water and air, we would not see these clues as clues. Since we already know about the mediums of air and water through other means.

But supposing we are talking light? Here we do not know all that much about the medium that the light moves through. Even if we have a good theory about it we don’t have all the dots filled in with that theory. So its not unreasonable to assume that at the point in which light scatters, or changes direction, that we would find manifestations of the medium itself. Quite different from the light, which is wave motion. But here the toady steps in and gets in the way of authentic science. Here instead of being on the lookout as to what might be rightly speculated about the medium that light travels through, the science toady is at the ready to halt all progress by interpolating his particle view of light onto the scene. This when we already know that light is not particle movement. But wave movement. It would be alright to speculate about unknown particles being part of this rebound interaction. But this is another story.

Here is the idiot Tinos at work:

“Irrefutable evidence of photons:
lambda’-lambda=h/(mc) (1-cos(theta))

You need to show how this formula can be deduced without the photons assumption. ”

Of course the above is idiocy. A formula is merely an aid to calculations and proves nothing in itself. Tinos could die and be born again and he would still be a toadying sycophant quite unsuited for science. The priesthood and its toadying sycophants appear to give great totem-like belief and status to formulas. Which are nothing more than human created general rules for trying to lock in predictions of how a thing is going to act. The dummies actually mix the formula up with the reality. The formula becomes the reality. In the same way that a global warming fraudster is so useless that he will habitually put his computer model ahead of the empirical evidence relating to the climate, past and present. Here is what I had to say about the comments of the idiotic Tinos:

“So there we have it. A complete moron who has no understanding of reality at all. Who doesn’t even have a grasp on the process by which general models are made and formulas are derived.

Supposing if you didn’t know that formula, and were trying to figure out a way of predicting how the light would scatter? Waves are just pretty hard to work with. Supposing you were stuck. Well interpolating a particle matter model on the subject might help you get unstuck so that you could put together a generalised rule in formula form. One could see how that would make things easier to work with.

But you’d be utterly delusional to then turn around and and delude yourself that your formula was evidence for photons. We have evidence for light as wave movement. And this evidence for light as wave movement directly contradicts the concept of light being particle movement. Since it manifestly cannot be both. Its one or the other.

What we want to know, is what the medium for the light is. Suppose you have a wave splashing against a rock. Some of the spray is the movement of the particles of the medium itself. The main point is we don’t want to confuse the two. You could have some sort of ricochet phenomenon that reflected the action of the medium itself, as opposed to the light, which is a wave moving through a medium. But this is never really here nor there. What is important is that one not act like a dickhead and mistake the wave for its medium.”

Can anyone help Tinos out? Can anyone find actual evidence for light being particle movement as opposed to wave movement? We don’t want this fool to be clutching at such a lame straw as what he is doing. He’s just stuck on this one point. Refuses to budge since he has no evidence. In this story we have waves coming in. This he would surely acknowledge if he were a person of good character and not a complete fuckwit. Then we have an interaction with matter, and we have waves going out. Nowhere do we have evidence for anything else but light as waves. On the other hand what would interest me, is if there was evidence in this interaction between light and matter, for behaviour relating to lights medium. Rather than light itself. If there was manifestations relating to the medium, yes for sure, this is where you might be likely to see them. In the same way as you see manifestations of water when a wake crashes against a rock and a fine sea-spray is produced. No longer in this case are we seeing a manifestation of the wave itself. But rather we are looking at the behaviour of the waves medium. That is to say the water and the air.

Otherwise if you cannot hang out here putting up evidence for photons you might want to go and abuse Tinos on Jason Soons site for being a belligerent idiot. If you want to do that here is the thread:



  1. Particles and waves are mutually negating ideas. A thing cannot be both itself and its opposite. These two concepts exist in minds not in nature and are crude categories that cannot capture the essence of light.

  2. “Particles and waves are mutually negating ideas. A thing cannot be both itself and its opposite.”

    Right. My view of the situation exactly.

  3. It’s similar to the mind-body clash or false dualism.
    Is the mind biological or psychological?

  4. Right. A thing is not what it is made of.

  5. Our body experiences the world through physical mechanisms but the physical mechanisms are not identical to the experience and the experience in turn remodel the neurons whose chemoelectric messages create consciousness.

    The whole has been compared to a braid and to seize hold of one strand and assign it primacy is totally wrong much like in the quest to understand light by claiming it is wave or particle.

  6. Hmmmm Right. But we don’t want to be saying that the particle view and the wave view are equivalent. Surely we can say decisively that what sets up the phenomenon of light, is a wave moving through some medium or other.

  7. No they are not equivalent but the point is it’s wrong to classify light as one or the other. Science could prove that light has both wave and particulate aspects and yet logically such a dichotomy can’t be true.

    Light doesn’t exist in isolation and like sound it travels and it is modified and/or manifested by objects.

  8. “Science could prove that light has both wave and particulate aspects and yet logically such a dichotomy can’t be true.”

    This part of it I cannot really buy. I don’t think science can prove anything that is logically impossible. I think that science has proven pretty convincingly that light moves in waves. And so it must be an example of wave motion through a medium of some sort.

    Of course if you get hit by a wave, moving through water, there will be manifestations of water that you will notice. To say the least. Up close and personal the medium becomes important. So right up close you can have manifestations of the media of light, appearing as if it were made of particles, like it may well be, and yet you would not then conclude that this light involves photons that race off at the speed of light.

    Always when we go to measure light we only do so with the waves crashing against a solid object. To whit our measuring device. We don’t want to get confused as to what the microscopic constituents of the media are doing at that point where the wave breaks, with the nature of the light wave as it moves unbroken.

  9. Extract from article in The British Medical Journal in 1896. The author, Dr. S. Weir Mitchell, was a well-respected American Physician who became the first president of the Congress of American Physicians and Surgeons. He is describing his experience upon taking mescalin (peyote).

    “My first vivid show of mescal colour effects came quickly. I saw the stars, and then, of a sudden, here and there delicate floating films of colour—usually delightful neutral purples and pinks. These came and went—now here, now there. Then an abrupt rush of countless points of white light swept across the field of view, as if the unseen millions of the Milky Way were to flow a sparkling river before the eye. In a minute this was over and the field was dark. Then I began to see zigzag lines of very bright colours, like those seen in some megrims. I tried to fix the place and relation of these tints, but the changes were such as to baffle me. One was an arch of angled lines of red and green, but of what else I could not determine. It was in rapid, what I may call minute, motion.

    The tints of intense green and red shifted and altered, and soon were seen no more. Here, again, was the wonderful loveliness of swelling clouds of more vivid colours gone before. I could name them, and, sometimes rising from the lower field, and very swiftly altering in colour tones from pale purples and rose to greys, with now and then a bar of level green or orange intense as lightning and as momentary.

    When I opened my eyes all was gone at once. Closing them I began after a long interval to see for the first time definite objects associated with colours. The stars sparkled, and passed away. A white spear of grey stone grew up to huge height, and became a tall, richly finished Gothic tower of very elaborate and definite design, with many rather worn statues standing in the doorways or on stone brackets. As I gazed every projecting angle, cornice, and even the face of the stones at their joinings were by degrees covered or hung with clusters of what seemed to be huge precious stones, but uncut, some being more like masses of transparent fruit. These were green, purple, red, and orange; never clear yellow and never blue. All seemed to possess an interior light, and, to give the faintest idea of the perfectly satisfying intensity and purity of these gorgeous colour-fruits is quite beyond my power. All the colours I have ever beheld are dull as compared to these.

    As I looked, and it lasted long, the tower became of a fine mouse hue, everywhere the vast pendant masses of emerald green, ruby reds, and orange began to drip a slow rain of colours. All this while nothing was at rest a moment. The balls of colour moved tremulously. The tints became dull, and then, at once, past belief vivid; the architectural lines were all active with shifting tints. The figures moving shook the long hanging lines of living light, and then, in an instant, all was dark.

    After an endless display of less beautiful marvels I saw that which deeply impressed me. An edge of a huge clif seem [sic] to project over a gulf of unseen depth. My viewless enchanter set on the brink a huge bird claw of stone. Above, from the stem or leg, hung a fragment of some stuff. This began to unroll and float out to a distance which seemed to me to represent Time as well as immensity of Space. Here were miles of rippled purples, half transparent, and of ineffable beauty. Now and then soft golden clouds floated from these folds, or a great shimmer went over the whole of the rolling purples, and things, like green birds, fell from it, fluttering down into the gulf below. Next, I saw clusters of stones hanging in masses from the claw toes, as it seemed to me miles of them, down far below into the underworld of the black gulf.

    This was the most distinct of my visions. Incautiously I opened my eyes and it was gone. A little later I saw interlaced and numberless hoops in the air all spinning swiftly and all loaded with threaded jewels or with masses of colour in long ropes of clustered balls. I began to wonder why I saw no opals, and some minutes after each of these circles, which looked like a boy’s hoop, became huge opals; if I should say fluid opals it would best describe what was however like nothing earthly. “

  10. Marvelous description. Makes one want to have some of this mescalin. Have you got any?

  11. As the poet Yeats asks “How can we know the dancer from the dance?”

    Perceptions of time depend on where you are. Different individuals will disagree about the chronological order of the same events they have all lived through.

    Any mathematical system contains true theorems that cannot be disproved.

    The more precisely one determines the position of an atomic particle the less one can know about or predict its speed.

    What does all this tell us?

    That our very questions delimit the discoverable.

  12. LOL. No. I haven’t ever taken it either.

  13. Where I am its just the sort of rainy day for it. And no work tomorrow or the next day. I should have stocked up on mescalin for such a rainy day.

  14. “As the poet Yeats asks “How can we know the dancer from the dance?”

    Yes. And its hard to analyse the smile of a gorgeous woman as distinct from her face. But still I see this photon story as basically wrong and irrational.

    Since while the medium may be of particles (I think the medium is of orthoganal ropes that hold all protons in the known universe together, following Bill Gaede) still they could never involve particles that charge off away from their source at the speed of light. Since this would be a confusion between the waves and their medium.

    This would be like concluding that since there are air molecules and that these are particles, that sound involves wind blowing at the speed of sound. So whilst I’m not saying that particles might not be involved where light hits a solid object, these hypothetical particles to me, don’t suggest anything akin to this photon dogma. Which I just think is highly irrational. So while I can see where you are coming from with these false ideas of dualism missing the point, I just see the specific photon dogma as being beyond the Pale.

  15. It is probably useful to thing of evolution too as a kaleidoscope, rather than a pyramid or an upward staircase. The shapes and variety of species constantly shift, some features of some individuals seem inharmonious only if you are applying rules that have no basis in nature.

  16. Right. I think you are right there. Its like this Whig view of evolution. (Here I’m comparing it to the so-called “Whig view of history” where the evolution is made out like its pre-ordained. And we were destined to get more and more upright and more and more smart. As if there is some hidden hand behind it. Thats the view the public appears to have without really realising it fully.

    When I first put it about that there must be some sort of Lemarkian mechanism on the fly on apriori grounds alone this was ridiculed outright. But its been discovered to be true. At least one Lemarkian mechanism has been found. And through this mechanism I can trace the history of diabetes in my family coming pretty much straight out of the Irish potato famine. Or at least I could when I had the relevant ages and dates of one line of descent.

    But there is likely to be other Lemarkian mechanisms in play. Its definitely not the case of natural selection alone. Even if the Lemarkian mechanisms are very weak one generation to the next. They would have to be part of this picture along with other things. I never meant to imply on that Berlinski thread that I was a bigtime intelligent design proponent.

    Actually I can see a lot of evidence for sloppy and hasty design in the case of our own species.

  17. Another perception of light this time by George William Russell, 19thC writer, poet, mystic who didn’t use drugs.

    “I was sitting on the seashore, half listening to a friend arguing violently about something which merely bored me. Unconsciously to myself, I looked at a film, of sand I had picked up on my hand, when I suddenly saw the exquisite beauty of every little grain of it; instead of being dull, I saw that each particle was made up on a perfect geometrical pattern, with sharp angles, from
    each of which a brilliant shaft of light was reflected, while each tiny crystal shone like a rainbow. . . . The rays crossed and recrossed, making exquisite patterns of such beauty that they left me breathless. … Then, suddenly, my consciousness was lighted up from within and I saw in a vivid way how the whole universe
    was made up of particles of material which, no matter how dull and lifeless they might seem, were nevertheless filled with this intense and vital beauty. For a second or two the whole world appeared as a blaze of glory. When it died down, it left me with something I have never forgotten and which constantly reminds me of the beauty locked up in every minute speck of material around us.”

  18. G’day Greame, I’ve never been able to get a satisfactory idea about photons myself. I once asked a physics professor about refraction at the molecular level and got the standard” soldiers marching in columns” spiel.
    You surmise a medium for light waves to propagate in,have you heard of prof. Reg Cahil from Flinders Uni who believes that space has substance? I’ve always found the idea of light being a self propagating wave confusing because the wave diagrams always have a null point at each half wavelength, so at that point, what’s generating the wave? I am of course completely out of my depth here but have usually found your blogs on Jen’s site interesting even if I don’t always understand them.
    Cheers, Derek.

  19. Right. Thanks Derek. Hang out. Look I think its pretty simple in that once you know that light moves in waves you go with what you know. Waves clearly need a medium. If you want to see what I consider the best version of what that medium could be you could go to youtube and see Bill Gaedes “What is Light” in his Einsteins idiots series.

    You could put the medium down to being an aether if you didn’t go for the orthogonal ropes story, which really does explain everything most satisfactorily. But since gravity is ubiquitous, whatever is causing the gravity, would seem to be a likely candidate for this aether.

    We have other examples of orthogonal ropes as being natures preferred way to transmit energy and information. Such as in the coils of DNA, or as in space where electrical energy is carried around along what is known as Birkeland currents.

    I think if you look up all of these terms from this post you will get a good idea of how things likely work.

    The speed of light along orthogonal ropes becomes very easy to explain. Imagine a clothesline pulled tight. And you have clothes pegs at both ends. As soon as you create torsion by hitting the clothes-pegs at one end the clothes pegs at the other end move. Nothing moves faster than this sort of arrangement. And by studying general principles of the speed of a torsion wave our scientists, if they weren’t just public servant dummies, could quickly find out a great deal about these ropes. Or should I say they could quickly build an increasingly realistic model involving these ropes. Because we already have the speed of the signal to work with.

    Contrast this to the photon model. The photon is produced ex-nihilo and as soon as it is it apparently wants to bugger off elsewhere from where it started at the speed of light. It wants to be anywhere else but where it is.

    Its like Forrest Gump. Where are you going Forrest? Where are you going little photon? Why are you running away? Don’t you like us? Why are you going so fast? Are you undulating up and down? If so why?

    You see the whole photon story makes no sense. Its a stupid story.

    I approach science from a natural philosophy point of view. I say that we have to use reason to speculate how the natural world works, in such a way as to be consistent with what we know about matters empirically. The mainstream toady to their teachers so cannot practice Ockhams razor. Being as I think that science is natural philosophy, this is why I appreciate so much the sort of posts that Sal has been making.

  20. Greame, I started reading your post about orthogonal ropes but I can see that it’s going to take a bit of time to read and digest it all as well as everything else you’ve mentioned, so I’m going to leave it for now but have bookmarked this site and will definitely be coming back soon.
    Enjoy the new year, Cheers, Derek.

  21. Wasn’t it Lamarck who first noticed that some fossil species were analogous to creatures that are still living. Which suggested that some fossil lines at least might not be extinct but instead had changed by responding to alterations in conditions on Earth and therefore were still living but in a varied form that we don’t recognise or understand?

  22. This might be useful.

    “However, some of the assumptions at the foundation of The Modern Synthesis started to crumble in the 1970s with the discovery of super-abundant genetic variation that arguably often didn’t evolve under the strict aegis of natural selection. Then cells were found to incorporate
    genes, mobile genetic elements, and organelles of diverse historical origins. Furthermore, it became apparent in the last decades of the 20th Century that DNA sequences often evolved in ways that reduced the fitness of the organisms
    that bore them. It is now abundantly clear that living things often attain a degree of genomic complexity far beyond simple models like the “gene library” genome of the Modern Synthesis.”

  23. Here is what the Wiki says Sal. And it sounds right to me:

    “Although he was not the first thinker to advocate organic evolution, he was the first to develop a truly coherent evolutionary theory[5]. He outlined his theories regarding evolution first in his Floreal lecture of 1800, and then in three later published works:”

    I would like to read him. He’s remembered for his view that characteristics obtained during your life could be passed on to your offspring. So for example a dual gold medalist at the Commonwealth games, well I noticed that most of the lads, even the baby had overdeveloped glutes. While I don’t think this is a case of so-called Lamarckian evolution, I think there are at least some mechanisms for adaptive traits gained from efforts and experiences in ones own life-time, being passed on. And as I say they have found one to do with diabetes and famine.

    But I think that this Lamarkian adaptation was a small part of what he was about. And its likely a small part of evolution, at least in the short-run, as well. It might be that he had a more balanced view of the situation then what Darwin did.

    There was a Soviet scientist that had a Larmarkian view of matters and he unfortunately got himself into a position of control with the Soviet bully-boys. Anyway leftists like Tim Lambert, in the past would often pull the leftist reversal on you for daring to go against the natural-selection-only orthodoxy.

    But already the Lamarckian perspective has proven right in at least one mechanism. And no doubt there will be a little bit more where that came from. The dogged cleaving to natural-selection-alone in biology is a bit like the gravity-alone view of the galaxy. Its getting in the way of a fuller picture of what is really going on.

    Its also giving the more religiously inclined advocates of intelligent design a big boost. Since they are made to look more intelligent then the dogmatic natural-selection-alone crowd.

  24. Right Sal. Yeah excellent post. I’ll have a good look at the link.

  25. Atheists who are bigoted against Christian commentators on these matters are really missing out I feel. I like particularly the observations of Tom Bethell. Whereas someone else will see that he is a Christian and may read some overly sweeping condemnation of evolution per se (which I consider proven) they get turned off with the entirety of his commentary. Which I think is often excellent. He points out the complexity of the cell even without the genes.

    To me cell-complexity implies a much greater time period then the just-earth model suggests. If Nasa would get out of the way and we investigated microbial life on Mars I would imagine we will see uncanny likeness in the biology there as well. I think the overall “life-factory” is a lot larger, and has been going on a lot longer, then this earth-alone model assumes. I think we would see these implications if we listened to people on all sides and not written people off through bigotry.

  26. Alfred Russel Wallace’s theory of natural selection unlike Darwin’s did not emphasise competition between individuals but rather competition between individuals and the environment.

    An interesting notion which suggests that individuals less well adapted to their environment will suffer or be wiped out especially when there are major changes in that environment. Each individual in that sense struggles against the environment and their fate is independent of others.

  27. But the major philosophical implication of Darwin’s theories, that “design” can be explained by purely materialistic processes, definitely stands.

    Individuals of any species show variations and those better suited are more likely to reproduce and give rise to a new generation and in this way what were in origin accidental variations that “fit” better than others are generally encouraged.

  28. Right. But one supposes that in those times when the species is totally dominant within its own niche then competition within the species would make a difference then.

    I think to get really full-blown evolution, beyond mere adaptation, I break it into two different types of evolution.

    1. Rolling holocaust evolution.

    2. New-Niche Morphing evolution.

    To me only number 2. is akin to the publics view. We see it with the ancestry of the whale. To my mind the only other type of evolution is really hard yakka. Millions of horrible death for a little bit of progress.

  29. “But the major philosophical implication of Darwin’s theories, that “design” can be explained by purely materialistic processes, definitely stands.”

    Right. My point is not to bring mysticism into it. Rather I’m merely trying to point out that this natural selection only, combined by the single-planet notion, combined by the big bangs young universe creation theory ……..

    …. well its this combination that is not really credible.

    To explain it I think we need a wider evolutionary factory. A longer universe life-time. More mechanisms on the fly. And so forth. Not anything to do with big-G God or anything like that. Just a more realistic version of the reality of the universe. I don’t think you can be clear-headed about evolution without being clear-headed about cosmology as well. This 13.5 billion year old universe idea, I can only look at with great derision.

  30. While evolutionary theory was widely accepted by the late 19thC natural selection was pretty much ignored or downplayed because it had been contentious from the outset including among other leading contemporary scientists.

    Ignoring the natural selection part was important in that it allowed people to assume that evolution was intentional and unidirectional, like the growth of an embyro into a fetus then into a baby.

    Viewed in this way evolution was not the threat to religion it is still seen to be today in some denominations and countries.

  31. Right. Well of course I’d never want to ignore the natural selection side of things. But rather I’d want to see it as one part of the puzzle. Perhaps the most important single part of the puzzle. But one part only.

  32. “To my mind the only other type of evolution is really hard yakka. Millions of horrible death for a little bit of progress.”

    Well that’s a bit reminiscent of the original views of 19thC people who had difficulty accepting the mechanism of selection because they thought its implications were immoral, i.e. that such a disordered world contradicted their belief in a divinity.

    For if selection is accidental or higgledy-piggledy then life has no essential harmony to it. It implied they thought a selfish and wasteful process such that a benevolent deity would never allow.

    Perhaps similar anti-scientific, anti-materialist moral fears and objections motivate the religious climate change denialists.

  33. Right. But I didn’t form those categories on that basis. I noted that most of the time, through most of the record, most of what you see is simple adaption. Not the progression of one species to a completely different species. And then you usually have an abrupt jump-cut in the historical movie. And these two versions were meant to help explain this jump-cut effect. And also to explain why it wasn’t just the adaptation business-as-usual situation going on. When you saw examples of a more full-blown evolutionary progression.

    So supposing you have a species that is so successful that it spreads out everywhere and grows to be many millions in number during the INTER-glacial periods. And then when the GLACIAL period comes supposing it is cut off and subject to stress and attrition. When the individual bands formulate into one gene pool again after sixty thousand years of like stresses and thinning numbers, then the gene pool is dramatically changed or will be after a second pumping-holocaust sequence.

    For evolution I think you need partial isolation. So hence when the four-legged animal runs to sanctuary in the rivers and on the coast, or if another animal runs into the trees for sanctuary, here is the partial isolation necessary for evolution to occur in a pretty decisive way.

    But the new-niche option isn’t so severe and the competition is more internal. The adaptions more straight-line and morphing.

    But in the pumping holocaust evolution you would see more of a jump-cut effect. Since the population is so attenuated for such long periods of time, and so chances are they don’t make it into the fossil record until something that looks almost totally different arrives on the scene.

  34. Homo erectus, Neanderthal and sapiens all co-existed and developed more or less in parallel with each other and probably contributed genes to each other for extended periods of time.

    Palaeontologists divide into 2 camps as to whether species progression and dominance occurred suddenly or gradually. Many think that prior to about 60,000 years ago homo sapiens and homo neanderthalensis were at roughly the same intellectual and technical level though anatomically modern humans date back to around 150,000-100,000 years.

  35. Right. It used to be that we were supposed to have been descended straight from homo-erectus. But as you point out there was a lot of overlap.

    I see us as being a lot different than these other guys. They had bones so much more thicker. You see a full skeleton and compare the bones its really night and day. Its hard to explain without interpolating us spending a lot of time in the water, or some other great difference that really sets us apart.

  36. You want to check this one sal. This is a real eye-opener. I think this fellow makes very sound arguments:

  37. And to complicate things even further what about the 2004 discovery of Homo floresiensis on the Indonesian island of Flores. This new species of Homo whose closest relative appears to be Homo erectus lived until 13,000 years ago was around 3.3ft tall and had a brain capacity of only 23.2 cubic inches.

    Yet it appears to have walked upright, produced sophisticated stone tools, domesticated fire and its predecessors must have reached Flores by boat since there is no evidence the island was ever attached to the mainland of Asia.

    Their small size is said to be explained by adaptation to an island environment where there were no large predators. But it also suggests that brain size and intelligence or height may not be as intimately linked in early species as previously thought.

  38. Right. To me that makes perfect sense in pumping-holocaust evolution. Bear in mind that during the ice age the Indonesian Archipelago becomes more like a land mass in its own right. And that this is like one of the few places habitable during the worst of the ice ages.

    What they ought to be looking for is the islands being cut off pretty early on. So that they were inaccessible on foot even in the height of the glacial period when the sea level is low.

    If they got cut off some time ago they could have missed out on the changes caused by the stresses of the last few ice ages.

  39. Climate change in one form or another has always been seen as important in species differentiation and advance – or extinguishment.

    One theory is that the eruption of the Mount Toba volcano 71,000 years ago led to a worldwide volcanic winter lasting 10,000 years and drastically reduced all animal populations. It’s said this resulted in a period of severe competition for resources resulting in rapid development among very disparate groups, which itself fuelled innovation.

  40. Right. Toba is associated with a nasty bottlekneck in our gene pool.

    One thing is coastal living. If we got to be coastal after having learnt to fashion tools, and then we spent heaps of time spearing fish in the water and digging sea-shells and this sort of thing, well this particular niche is not conducive to the formation of fossils. And so our branch of primates could have been stuck to the ocean for a very long time and only occasionally breeding with the inlanders. And none of this would show up in the record.

    You would really have to postulate something drastic like this to overturn what Lloyd Pye is saying above. You see the progression in the fossil record it is really the progression of the inlanders, minus the heavy wooded areas. So anything right on the coast or in the deeper thick woods isn’t making it into the record.

    Because we are really so much different from the other species. It would take a great deal for us to become so light-boned and have the different chest cavity, and a lot of other differences that we have. Like millions of years on the coast not revealed in the record or something like this.

  41. BirdLab is making even less sense than usual. Obv an escapee from the increasingly and alarmingly moronic Catallax site poor dear. LOL.

  42. I don’t understand what motivates dummies like Birdlab. He’s a very sad individual for sure.

  43. The period 60,000-40,000 years ago is said by the “creative explosion” camp to be evidence of a qualitative advance in early humans’ intellectual abilities.

    This is disputed by the gradualist school who reckon that humans’ abilities slowly but steadily expanded. Stephen Oppenheimer in “Out of Eden: The Peopling of the World” (Oxford) puts forward a chronology of technical and biologically related advances that leads him to conclude that by 140,000 years ago the cognitive skills and behaviours that took us to the moon were then already present.

  44. I’ve dragged you a bit off track, sorry.

    I’ll look at all your links in the next couple of days, thanks.

  45. You haven’t dragged me off track at all. It just like the comments to two threads are on the one.

  46. The creative explosion camp OTOH point to the beautiful, accomplished, *modern*-looking art that only appeared around 40,000 years ago. Why not before? Was it lost? Or is it evidence of a qualitatively more intelligent species? The advent of art (cave/rock), multicoloured beads and the Venus figurines moreover was widespread appearing across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia.

  47. Right. One wonders what the population was at that point.

  48. Until 70,000 years ago human pop’n density was relatively thin.

    It’s postulated there were 3 different types of intelligence in primitive humans’ brain – natural history, technical and social intelligence – and these all came together in some way between 60,000-40,000 years ago to form the modern brain.

    Another theory is that this cultural revolution if that was what occurred was the result of one or more genetic mutations that transformed the ability to communicate. These language and creativity genes so described developed so the theory goes as a result of random mutation giving rise to a qualitatively higher level of culture.

  49. Right. We really want to know more about why the changes happened. Or alternatively about the reasons the authors think they happened as advertised.

    Hey remember awhile back when I was talking about the Quarternary Extinction? Here is a book I found that says something about this theory.

    Actually I think its really fact rather than theory. But I’m not sure we have the exact date or extent of the disaster.

    This is the disaster that I’m linking to the Vela Supernova.

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