From: Dace (email@example.com)
Date: Sun 29 Jan 2006 - 21:11:46 GMT
> At 01:26 PM 1/23/2006 -0800, "Dace" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> >Barbara Ehrenreich makes an excellent case for this in her 1997 book,
> >Rites.* Human societies were so accustomed to periodically losing
> >to animal predation that the inevitability of human sacrifice became
> >ingrained in our worldview. So successful was this meme that it lived on
> >long after animal predation ceased to be a major factor in human life.
> >Prior to this time, attack by wild animals, especially lions, tigers and
> >bears, was so common
> Is there evidence for significant predation on humans since we started
> chipping rocks? (2.2 million years or so)
There's evidence of significant predation on humans right down to the
present day, particularly in India. The New York Times reported that 33
children were killed by wolves in the summer of 1996 in the state of Uttar
Pradesh. A study of the Gir Forest in Western India found up to 40 lion
attacks on humans each year between 1978 and '91. Even in the American
West, mountain lion attacks occur with alarming frequency. I myself was
chased by a mountain lion down a hillside overlooking Boulder Colorado in
the summer of '87. When I got to the bottom of the hill and told my friends
what had happened, one guy asked if I was sure it wasn't just a dog. Yeah,
I was sure. Dogs don't sound like a cross between a kitten and a Harley
Davidson. Sightings of mountain lions on the eastern range of the Rockies
continued increasing after that, and the first killings of people occurred
by the summer of '90, if memory serves.
> I have a hard time imagining significant predation
> on humans who had fire at least half a million years ago.
The earliest conclusive evidence of the artificial creation of fire only
goes back 15,000 years, to a Belgian site that includes a single iron pyrite
ball with deep grooves from repeated striking. It was also about this time
that effective long-range weapons came into use, which greatly enhanced our
ancestors' ability to hunt and kill animals. This was the era when humans
were making the transition from prey to predator, just prior to the onset of
organized warfare. With the end of the ice age and the emergence of "man
the hunter," both prey and predator populations collapsed worldwide. We can
be certain that how ever much predation we endure today, it was vastly more
15,000 years ago. Ehrenreich refers to predation as the "original trauma"
that triggered the rise of fear-based religion.
> > The US
> > "founding fathers" insisted on separating church and state, in part,
> > so as
> > to create a new religion built around the state, a distinctly
> > unChristian
> > creed in which the new God, while commanding allegiance at home, is
> > free to
> > prowl the earth in search of new victims. Seems their project is
> > coming
> > along quite nicely!
> Hmm... And where, exactly, does this show up in the writings of the
Fair enough. This was probably not consciously intended by the FFs (I can't
find my source who claims otherwise). According to Ehrenreich, the civil
religion, also known as the cult of the flag, didn't get going in the US
until about 1900, following the conquest of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the
Philippines. Later, the phrase "under God" was added to the Pledge of
Allegiance and "IN GOD WE TRUST" was inscribed on our currency. Far from
the God of Christianity, this God is more concerned with order and law than
salvation and love. As Ehrenreich says, it's the Old Testament God,
"short-tempered and tribalistic."
p.s. thanks to Chris for his positive comments!
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Tue 31 Jan 2006 - 11:56:37 GMT