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First Genius

First Genius

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First Genius

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  1. First Genius The Dawn of Creativity as told by Dr. Frank Elwell

  2. First Genius WHO WERE THE FIRST “CREATORS”--THE ARTISANS, TOOLMAKERS AND CRAFT WORKERS--WHO PROPELLED HUMANS FROM A RUN-OF-MILL PRIMATE TO THE TOOL-WIELDING, ART-MAKING, CULTURAL BEINGS THAT EXIST TODAY?

  3. First Genius THE ANCIENT EXAMPLES OF EXPRESSION WE WILL SEE IN THE PRESENTATION TODAY LIE AT THE CENTER OF ONE OF HUMAN EVOLUTION’S DEEPEST MYSTERIES.

  4. First Genius AT THE HEART OF THE MYSTERY LIES AN EVOLUTIONARY DISCONNECT. THE MODERN, BIOLOGICAL FORM OF HOMO SAPIENS APPEARED IN THE FOSSIL RECORD ABOUT 100,000 TO 130,000 YEARS AGO.

  5. First Genius ACCORDING TO MOST TEXTS, THESE WERE CREATURES WHO LOOKED PRETTY MUCH LIKE US. BUT SIGNS OF TRULY HUMAN BEHAVIOR--SPIRITUALITY, ARTWORK, SOPHISTICATED USE OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE DENSE NETWORK OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS THAT MAKE UP SOCIAL STRUCTURE--DID NOT APEAR UNTIL AROUND 40,000 YEARS AGO, WHEN A “CULTURAL EXPLOSION” OCCURRED IN EUROPE.

  6. First Genius NOW SEVERAL RECENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL FINDS HINT THAT THE DAWNING OF HUMAN CREATIVITY MAY HAVE OCCURRED EARLIER AND WAS FAR MORE WIDESPREAD THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT.

  7. First Genius SCIENTISTS DATING NEWLY DISCOVERED CAVE PAINTINGS IN FRANCE REPORT THE ARTWORK IS 30,000 YEARS OLD--NEARLY TWICE THE AGE OF SIMILARLY RENDERED PAINTINGS IN LASCAUX, FRANCE.

  8. First Genius AND THE RECENT FIND OF A BIZARRE STRUCTURE APPARENTLY MADE BY NEADERTHALS DEEP WITHIN A CAVERN INDICATES THAT HUMAN BEHAVIOR MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN CONFINED TO OUR SPECIES.

  9. First Genius ANOTHER PAPER BY ALISON BROOKS AND JOHN YELLEN PUBLISHED IN 1995, FOUND DELICATE BONE HARPOONS IN AFRICA THAT PRECEDE THE FAMED PAINTINGS OF THE ICE AGE EUROPE BY MORE THAN 40,000 YEARS.

  10. First Genius THE NEW FINDS SUGGEST THAT THE TRADITIONAL SCENARIO THAT SAYS HUMAN CREATIVITY SUDDENLY BURST FORTH IN EUROPE IS WRONG.

  11. First Genius “THE BEGINNING OF WHAT WE CALL HUMAN BEHAVIOR WAS FAR OLDER THAN 40,000 YEARS AGO. AND IT BEGAN IN AFRICA, NOT EUROPE.”--ALISON BROOKS

  12. Social Bond MORE IMPORTANT, THE FINDINGS SUGGESTS THAT THE WAY OUR ANCESTOR’S MINDS WERE MOST CREATIVE WAS NOT IN THEIR WORK OR TOOLS AND CAVE WALLS BUT IN THE MANNER IN WHICH THEY CREATED THE FABRIC OF SOCIETY ITSELF.

  13. First Genius DATING BACK TENS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS BEFORE THE ICE AGE PAINTINGS IN RUROPE, BROOKS AND YELLEN’S ANCIENT HARPOONS TESTIFY TO A LEAP IN HUMAN CREATIVE THINKING: LOOKING BEYOND STONE AND WOOD FOR RAW MATERIAL FOR TOOLS.

  14. First Genius TO ANCIENT HUMANS, BONE, ANTLER AND IVORY WERE PALEOLITHIC PLASTIC: TOUGH, FLEXIBLE, DURABLE AND CAPABLE OF BEING SHAPED INTO EVERYTHING FROM DEADLYSPEAR POINTS TO SEWING NEEDLES TO FLUTES.

  15. First Genius THE NEW SITE, LITTERED WITH THE REMAINS OF A SPECIES OF GIANT CATFISH, SUGGESTS THAT THE HUMANS WHO MADE THE HARPOONS UNDERSTOOD THE LIVES OF THEIR PREY--AND WERE CAPABLE OF PLANNING AHEAD TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT.

  16. First Genius THE ANCIENT HUMANS KNEW THAT THE CATFISH SPAWN AT ONLY CERTAIN TIMES INTHE YEAR, AND THEY TIMED THEIR VISITS TO THE AREA ACCORDINGLY.

  17. First Genius THIS CREATIVE APPROACH TO EXPLOITING THE ENVIRONMENT MAY HAVE BEEN A CRUCIAL DIVIDER BETWEEN ANCIENT HUMANS AND THEIR EVOLUTIOARY COUSINS, THE NEANDERTHALS.

  18. Neanderthals NEANDERTHALS WERE POWERFULLY BUILT, LARGE BRAINED CREATURES AROSE IN EUROPE SOME 300,000 YEARS AGO AND DISAPPEARED SOME 30,000 YA.

  19. Neanderthals SCIENTISTS LONG THOUGHT NEANDERTHALS WERE DIRECT ANCESTORS OF MODERN HUMANS, BUT FOSSIL FINDS OF ANCIENT HUMANS THAT PREDATE SOME NEADERTHAL FOSSILS REVEAL THE TWO SPECIES CO-EXISTED FOR TENS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

  20. Neanderthals A RECENT RECONSTRUCTION OF FRAGMENTS OF A 30,000 YEAR OLD NEANDERTHAL SKILL RETAINS THE CLASSIC FEATURES OF THE SPECIES, SUGGESTING THEY DID NOT INTERBREED WITH HOMO SAPIENS.

  21. Neanderthals NEANDERTHALS HAVE LONG HAD AN IMAGE OF BEING DIM-WITTED HULKING BRUTES, BUT RECENT FINDINGS INDICATE THEY WERE CAPABLE OF SOPHISTICATED BEHAVIORS SUCH AS MAKING COMPLEX STONE AND BONE TOOLS, USING FIRE, BURYING THEIR DEAD, AND POSSIBLY EVEN SPEAKING.

  22. Neanderthals • SCIENTISTS RECENTLY DISCOVERED, FOR INSTANCE, A FOUR-WALLED STRUCTURE BUILT OUT OF ROCK BY NEANDERTHALS DEEP WITHIN A CAVE. • THE ABILITY TO CREATE SUCH A STRUCTURE, WHICH MAY HAVE HAD SYMBOLIC IMPORTANCE, IN THE PITCH BLACK CAVE REVEALS THE NEANDERTHALS HAD MASTERED THE ABILITY TO USE TORCHES AND TO COORDINATE THEIR ACTIVITIES, PERHAPS VERBALLY.

  23. Neanderthals FOR ALL THEIR INTELLECTUAL ABILITIES, HOWEVER, NEANDERTHALS APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN SUBTLE DIFFERENT FROM HOMO SAPIENS IN HOW THEY NEGOTIATED THE WORLD.

  24. Neanderthals LOOKING AT THE GROWTN PATTERN OF THE TEETH OF PREY FOUND AT SITES, WHICH INDICATES WHAT SEASON THE ANIMAL WAS KILLED, DAN LIEBERMAN OF RUTGERS AND JOHN SHEA OF SUNY AT STONY BROOK CONCLUDE THAT NEANDETHALS STAYED AT SITES FOR LONG PERIODS AND AT MANY DIFFERENT TIMES OF THE YEAR.

  25. Homo Sapiens HOMO SAPIENS, HOWEVER, WERE MORE DELIBERATE AND USED A SITE AS ONE OF SEVERAL AREAS WHERE THEY TOOK REFUGE AS THEY FOLLOWED THE WEATHER OR THEIR FOOD SOURCES ON THEIR MIGRATIONS.

  26. Neanderthals • OCCUPYING A SINGLE SITE FOR A LONG TIME INEVITBLY LEADS TO A DEPLETION OF FOOD, ARGUE LIEBERMAN AND SHEA, WHICH MEANS NEANDERTHALS HAD TO WORK HARDER AND HARDER FOR EACH MEAL. • THIS WAY OF LIFE SEEMS TO HAVE LED TO SEVERE HARDSHIP FOR NEANDENRTHALS.

  27. Neanderthals ERIK TRINKAUS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO EXAMINED THE TEETH OF NEADERTHALS AND HOMO SAPIENS FOR TELLTALE DEFECTS IN THE GROWTH OF THE ENAMEL, WHICH INDICATE BOUTS OF STARVATION.

  28. Neanderthals HE FOUND THAT MORE THAN 70% OF NEANDERTHALS STUDIED SHOWED AT LEAST ONE DEFECT, WHEREAS “TEETH OF THE ANCIENT HUMANS WERE CLEAN AS WHISTLE.”

  29. Neanderthals THE NEANDETHALS’ BONES, TOO, HINT OF A LIFE THAT EMPHASIZED BRAWN AS MUCH AS BRAIN. RINKAUS FOUND THAT THE BONES OF THE NEANDERTHALS, WHICH ARE THICKER AND HEAVIER, ARE ALSO RIDDLED WITH MULTIPLE MINOR FRACTURES.

  30. Neanderthals • THESE INJURIES ARE REFLECTED IN THE NEANDERTHALS TOOL KIT: THE STONE POINTS THEY MADE ARE BEST SUITED TO BEING HELD AND THRUST, RATHER THAN THROWN, SAYS TRINKAUS. • THAT PRESUMABLY EXPOSED THEM TO NASTY KICKS FROM THEIR PREY--AND THOSE BROKEN BONES.

  31. Neanderthals THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HUMANS AND NEANDERTHALS--ONE THAT MAY HAVE MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THEIR CRATIVE CULTURE--WAS HOW MEMBERS OF EACH SPECIES INTERACTED AMONG THEMSELVES.

  32. Trade HUMANS WERE USING LONG-DISTANCE TRADING NETWORKS FOR THE EXCHNAGE OF QUALITY STONE AND OTHER GOODS IN AFRICA AT LEAST 100,000 YA., ACCORDING TO BROOKS.

  33. Trade SIMILAR TRADE NETWORKS MIGHT HAVE EXISTED AMONG HUMANS IN ICE AGE EUROPE, WHERE SHELLS ARE FOUND AT SITES HUNDREDS OF MILES FROM THE SEA.

  34. Social Bond AS PEOPLE BEGAN TO LIVE IN LARGER GROUPS, SUPPORTED BY COOPERATIVE GROUP HUNTING, THE NEED FOR EXPRESSING GROUP IDENTITY INTENSIFIED, ARGUE STEVE KUHN AND MARY STINER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA.

  35. Social Bond THIS LINK BETWEEN HUMAN CREATIVITY AND SOCIABILITY IS EVIDENT IN ONE OF THE EARLIEST EXAMPLES OF ANCIENT ART: BEADWORK.

  36. Social Bond AS RANDALL WHITE OF NEW YORK UNIVERSTIY POINT OUT IVORY BEADS WERE SOWN INTO CLOTHING AND PIERCED CARNIVORE TEETH WERE USED IN BELTS AND HEADBANDS.

  37. Social Bond IT PROBABLY TOOK ABOUT AN HOUR TO MAKE A BEAD. SUCH A TIME-CONSUMING PROCESS WOULD NEVER BE UNDERTAKEN UNLESS PERSONAL ADORNMENT WAS A VITAL PART OF HUMAN EXISTENCE.

  38. Social Bond SAYS WHITE: “WE HAVE THIS IMAGE OF ART BEING THE RESULT OF PEOPLE HAVING LOTS OF FREE TIME, BUT THATS TOTALLY CONTRARY TO WHAT WE SEE. FOR THESE PEOPLE ART WAS A NECESSITY.”

  39. Social Bond SUCH AN IDEA SHOULD HARDLY BE SURPRISING IN A MODERN CULTURE WHERE DESIGNER WATCHES AND T-SHIRTS ALL SHAPE HOW PEOPLE PERCEIVE ONE ANOTHER.

  40. Social Bond EVEN THE MAGNIFICENT EXAMPLE OF ICE AGE CAVE ART APPEARS TO HAVE PLAYED A CRUCIAL ROLE IN THE CEREMONIES AND RITUALS OF SOCIETY.

  41. Social Bond AT ONE ISRAELI CAVE SITE DATING BACK NEARLY 100,000 YEARS, A MAN IS BURIED WITH AN ANTLER PLACED IN HIS HANDS--AN ANCIENT PRECURSOR, PERHAPS, TO THE TOMB OFFERINGS OF KING TUT OR ROSARY BEADS IN MODERN DAY BURIALS.