Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2012-04 > 1334269644

From: "Lawrence Mayka" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Out of Africa
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 17:27:24 -0500
References: <151652.612378.1334260668369.JavaMail.root@vznit170064> <02cc01cd18e9$d7f95260$87ebf720$@org><>
In-Reply-To: <>

It is a common fallacy to use the word "certain" of one's own personal
opinion on a vigorously debated topic.

The only near-universal "modern symbolic cognitive systems" are those
specified in the American First Amendment: speech and religion. If an
individual from 150,000 years ago were transported to the United States
today, and could speak and worship, it would be utter hypocrisy to deny him
the basic human rights of speech and religion that the rest of us enjoy.
Indeed, even if that adult could not speak or worship, but her infant child
were successfully taught to do so, all of us would then hasten to recognize
the human rights of both child and parent.

The basic problem is that neither speech nor religion is obvious from
100,000-year-old archaeological artifacts. Most paleontologists recognize
Homo neanderthalensis as a species separate from H. sapiens, yet that does
not stop them from serious debate as to whether Neanderthals could speak
(based on evidence of art)

and even worship (based on evidence of burial)

The bottom line is that we do not, and may never, know for sure when "modern
symbolic cognitive systems" developed. Even if we knew when such systems
arose and became common, we would still not know when they became
genetically possible--which, as in my above example of an infant, is the
real question.

> From: Dienekes Pontikos [mailto:]
> With respect to whether Y-chromosome Adam and mtDNA Eve, we can be certain
> two things: they did not possess a "modern symbolic cognitive system",
since the
> latter is only visible in the last
> 100,000 years or so, and clear is the last 50,000 years, and both Y-Adam
and mt-
> Eve lived much earlier than this period.

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