Thursday, 16 December 2010

Didactic or Polemic? You decide - PART I

Not being a student of history, its often difficult for me to locate important events on a timeline and to see their relative importance and why they may have an influence on our lives today.  The hypothesis that humans have a single origin was published by Darwin in 1859.  There is significantly more evidence to support this theory today,  apparently hominids diverged from chimpanzees 5-7 million years ago and a discovery within the last decade puts this nearer the earlier date.  Modern humans, Homo Sapiens evolved in Eastern Africa 200,000 to 140,000 years ago and using genetic testing a much more accurate map of human ancestry and migration to all inhabited parts of the world is now available.

Apparently there is still much academic debate, which occasionally spills over to mainstream media, regarding the Recent African Origin (RAO) model.  Around 60,000 years ago a group of 150-200 early humans made it out of Africa and proceeded to populate the rest of the planet.  Ultimately surviving all earlier hominids that had journeyed out of Africa previously.  Looking at the timeline at the top, in the last 800,000 years (80% of the last section of the 7) there were eight ice ages, each interspersed with warmer periods of around 10,000 years.  The impact of the extreme cold on the planet does not only have the obvious effect, that of the ice sheets advancing across the northern hemisphere cutting off vital resources for these hunter gatherer communities, but also the locking up of water in these sheets meant that lower rainfall turned half the land between the tropics into desert.  A torrid time then for the human race.  About 12,000 years ago the last ice age was drawing to an end - temperatures rose, vegetation returned and animals spread into the former wastelands.  The hunters followed.  By this time in the Near East and Central America these humans had begun to develop new ways of producing food, farming had started.  During the 150,000 years that preceded this time, modern humans numbered only in their millions and had migrated the globe foraging and hunting in small groups.  This fundamental change in human behaviour signalled the start of the transition to modern society.

The Levant is an imprecise word with sometimes emotive definitions but in general it can be thought of to cover the area shown in the picture.  I have chosen the picture that has a very arbitrary shading and uses ancient names for the regions comprising it, clearly modern day  Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories fall within this region.  It is believed that the origin of the word is from archaic French and refers to 'rising' as the Sun rises in the East.  This crucible of humanity is where 10,000 years ago these once migratory small groups of humans had advanced their agriculture sufficiently to allow them to remain in one location permanently.  This is worth absorbing.  After 7 million years from the split from chimpanzee, 200,000 years after modern Humans evolved, 60,000 years after migrating out of Africa, after beginning to domesticate animals and selecting genetically superior plants to farm, finally Humanity started to take root.  Small villages with partially subterranean dwellings were clustered together in a community.  Around 8000 BC then, during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA), the world's first known town, Jericho, appeared in the Levant and was surrounded by a stone wall and contained a population of 2000-3000 people and a massive stone tower.   It was a further thousand years before the inhabitants of modern day China would start cultivating rice and farming appeared in parts of the Aegean, it was not until c 4000BC before this reached the shores of Britain and maize was first cultivated in Modern Ecuador and Columbia around 3000BC.  Tune in for part II, where I will explore what these pioneers in the Levant, our ancestors,  did with all their spare time, now they were not hunting for food every waking moment.


  1. Well, part of the time they were shagging Neanderthals, if recent discoveries regarding the presence of about 1-4% Neanderthal DNA in all humans other than those of pure African stock (that never migrated out of Africa in the first place) are correct.

  2. Yes, I remember reading about that too. I thought some people seem to have more obvious Neanderthal traits than others ;-), so it may be true. What I find fascinating is the sheer scale of the time frames that we are talking about. It's staggering and conceptually difficult to get a grasp of. Part II is a becoming bit of a struggle, the scope is huge and boiling it down to a sensible - 'ish - summary is hard. I intend to cover the appearance of religion and the development of society. I'll keep it to less than 500 words :-/

  3. Robert K. Igoe5 July 2011 at 03:04

    We need to push back on early civilization a bit. Although the date of approximately 10,000, b.c. for man's early beginnings is essentially correct, I believe you will find that they were far more advanced than previously imagined, capable of more advanced projects than you describe here. A number of cataclysmic events, such as floods, occurred in the early holocene, erasing many of the previous inhabitants contributions to history. Additionally, a serious of revolts, revolutions, and wars in antiquity did damage to ancient books and records (particularly in the 7000 years before the present), resulting in a drastic foreshortening of the dawn of human history and human consciousness. Many megalithic sites appear to have begun in prehistoric times, only to be finished or improved by others at much later dates. (In some cases they may have done damage.) Also, following the ice age, the seas have risen by anywhere up to 400 feet, obscuring ancient shores and coastlines (where previous civilizations would have settled and built their cities). I think more research needs to be done before we go off the deep end, but I believe you will find the extraordinary accomplishments of our forefathers are presently being overlooked. Our past is far less drab than you imagine.

  4. Fascinating insight Robert, thank you for taking the time to post. In summary I think you are saying that 10,000bc is a good approximate date for "man's early beginnings" but that there is some evidence, and vitally many reasons for the removal of greater evidence, that modern man was very much more sophisticated than we currently presume. It is at least possible then that modern man had created earlier cities which have been lost to us now. I would be interested in any research you could direct me to on this subject. I am currently reading, reviewing and trying to absorb ( as it throws many of our current assumptions into disarray about the motives and timing of early settlements.

    None of this impacts the point that I was leading up to in Part II. I have not written part II yet as it was evident that I had no basis for my presumption and I realised that I was sadly missing many of the required facts.

    In part II I was going to remark that since the origins of rigid society fixed to a single geography (not migratory), mankind has been fighting over resources. What is more, we are apparently still fighting over the very land our earliest progenitors (I use this word, progenitor purposefully, instead of ancestor to emphasise that we are of the same family) had fought over the moment they first thought to build a city.

  5. Robert K. Igoe9 July 2011 at 02:14

    I would like to clarify a few dates.

    10,000 b.c., early civilization -requires: architecture (man). (In opposition to society.) examples: megaliths, ziggurats, later, pillars, roofing, etc.

    20,000 b.c., early culture -requires: art (human). Community. Leads to tribe. examples: tents, later, pyramids.

    100,000 b.c., early man -requires: speech (independent)(broca's area, distict labels attached to words).

    200,000 b.c., early human -requires: communication (dependent)(weinecke's area, indistinct meanings attached to sounds).

    The reason I differentiate between man and human is that human implies an undifferentiated form, which might be male or female. A culture based society tends to be more female based, or egalitarian. This could imply that woman should take the place of human in my list. It chould be more accurately read:

    10,000 b.c. to 1 b.c., as the age of man and early civilization. Economics, means for distribution, barter.

    20,000 b.c. to 10,000 b.c., as the age of woman and early culture. Development of craft. Products for trade.

  6. Robert K. Igoe9 July 2011 at 03:02


    Light bulb (theoretical, feasible given technology at the time). Pyramid (mystery as to origins, use). Battery (found, vinegar, works). Shafts (queen's chamber). Copper fixtures, granite plug (found at end of shafts, recent discovery).

    Explanation: Beacon of light.

  7. Robert K. Igoe9 July 2011 at 03:18


    Egypt (hot). Mummies (European hapalogroup found in later Pharaohs, origins India). India (hot). Sacred Hindu Cave (worship centered around ice formation), Pyramid (interior, 68 degrees constant).

    Conclusion: Air conditioning.

  8. Robert K. Igoe9 July 2011 at 03:51


    Ra was depicted as a ray of light (distinct from source, the sun, Amen). Ankenaten claimed to be this ray of light (early monotheism).

    Supposition: If pyramid was source of electric light for all to see, would culture revolve around its manufacture? Or "light" as opposed to fire, seen as a separate entity, able to arise from a variety of source? Would a cult of (electric) light worship rise in opposition to sun (light) worship? Would this be origins of son of "god," (ray of light) as opposed to his source (the "sun" god)? Would other cultures, unaware of how to manufacture light, be in opposition to this cult on the basis of its seeming apostasy with regards to the sun, or to fire? Would this be seen as threatening? Would previous cultures seek to obliviate its memory, destroy its temples, and discourage its worship? (Also included, possible supplanting of previous night time "fire" god, as consort of moon, who also made light.)

    Conclusion: Origins of cult for Satan, artificial cold light from mysterious unseen source, during lunar phase (night), in opposition to both fire god, and sun god, or with fire god as erstwhile ally, or early devil (Devil tempts, but his heat burns, Satan succeeds to the throne, his light though real, is also to be touched; it cannot give life however, or be its source, it can only maintain its place as both necessary and useful for as long as it serves, but if it usurps the heavens, then the cold vastness of space, though it would be lifeless on it's own, without the sun's original contribution, would be his to rule); or various themes related to both, or all three. There's a lot of stuff there.

  9. Robert K. Igoe10 July 2011 at 00:19

    If you think that stuff's loony, here:

    Tell me if some of that doesn't make sense.

  10. Robert K. Igoe11 July 2011 at 23:57

    I realize that sounds very unscientific at first; it is not a very academic way to approach the subject of ancient civilization. However, I did do the required research first; I did not start from there; I did not begin from a pseudo scientific position from the start. I was very much aware of the problems associated with subordinating (scientific / empirical) research to religious preference. However, I felt that sufficient evidence has been brought to bear to conclude that the role of theology in shaping much of our early thinking and history is vastly underestimated. I don't believe that there was a clearly delineated separation between religious abstraction and conscious awareness. The division of secular and religious thinking occurred much later. In other words, I think that the two were once united and tended to inform one another. So the ancient version of theology would be aware of scientific reality, not in opposition to it. They would use religion and science together, so I think that their religion needs to be examined to see how it worked. It would have to be much more capable of explaining the world than we presently imagine through the various fragments that exist. I believe that the ancient gods and pantheons were used as symbolic representations of existing groups to identify key features, as well as shape their identity. Zues was a representational figure for an existing tribe, living with others, who also had correlate gods or heroes, etc... So "Ra" really was Pharoah (and his cadre), ancient Athens really had a Zues, not one, but many. Those who best typified his persona would be seen as representing his ideal and therefore his form on earth. Plato said as much with regards to platonic solids, he just did not transfer this to living things. The myths are larger than life exploits of these groups, comprising a pseudo history of the tribe, or the earth. The would serve both tho keep a record, as well as keep track of ongoing events. Changes in myths reflect changes in the representational bodies they were meant to encompass. So if a tribe was defeated in battle, this might be reflected in a myth that, though fanciful in its abstract form, and singular in its identification, may accurately convey to the listener the essential elements of the group event. So, the devil, or Jesus, or Jehovah, do exist, if only through their representational form. Religions encapsulate real events in a form, however fanciful in it telling, that did exist. It's like a poem. But without the disconnect, the original audience would have known to whom the myths referred. They wouldn't have been confused as how to interpret the abstraction, and would have identified themselves concretely as related to the characters being portrayed.

  11. Hi Robert, I haven't had any time t give your comments due thought or consideration. It sounds fascinating and I hope to sit and review it all soon. Thanks again for the contribution.

  12. Robert K. Igoe12 July 2011 at 03:38

    20,000 b.c. dawn of culture (drawing)

    requires: art (permanent dwellings)

    evidence: extensive artwork (cave dwellings)

    provides: fixed setting

    crowning achievement: tribe

    ground work for:

    10,000 b.c. dawn of civilization (architecture)

    evidence: permanent dwellings not dependent on natural enclosure for their support

    requires: writing, slavery

    providing: records, labor

    competition: results in stratification

    develops: military organization

    crowning achievement: race

    leads to:


    1000 a.d.

    crowning achievement: word

    2000 a.d.

    crowning achievement: book

  13. Robert K. Igoe12 July 2011 at 04:33

    Sorry, I should have proofread that one more time. It should read:

    20,000 b.c. dawn of culture (art)

    requires: drawing

    needs: permanent dwellings


  14. How's it going? I haven't checked back (in a while)? I hope that you have found my suggestions helpful. I find this whole area of research to be absolutely fascinating; and it is highly improbable we would have been having this discussion a decade or more ago. Advances in science have magnified the amount of information that can be added and sorted. Methodologies have been improved... math and system theories... data management... the list goes on. Well, good luck (researching). I hope to hear from you soon (on your progress).

    1. Hi Robert. I did find your comments really interesting. My first reaction was to dismiss them, they seem so anachronistic, but this wouldn't be the approach of an open minded scientist. I am currently reviewing the material at a painfully slow pace, sorry.

  15. Robert K. Igoe3 July 2012 at 13:02

    Dear Jimmy,

    I'm back. I just noticed your response. I also saw your link for Gobekli Tepe; (I missed the first / second time around). I hope you have had the time to research my suggestions a bit (as well)... I think they are going to fit a lot more than you (may) realize.

    Watch this video, and see if it does make sense:

    Just the first part is really required (vatican "sundial"), the rest is a little "extra," or too "esoteric," and therefore misleading. The main thing, just the "facts..."


  16. Robert K. Igoe3 July 2012 at 13:06

  17. Robert K. Igoe14 July 2012 at 04:36

  18. Robert K. Igoe14 July 2012 at 04:57

  19. Robert K. Igoe14 July 2012 at 05:27

    (This is just one of many... the proverbial "tip of the iceberg," so to speak. If you reference this to previous comments... about religion... I think you will begin to see it is all interrelated. Religion informs us as to the past in ways we can now claim to discover; it points us in the right direction, if we accept the challenge. What an age of which to be part... -Our ancestors were not so wrong to have believed in what their fathers told them. Now we can verify their recollections, passed on through the generations, did not go for naught; they wanted us to know what happened, and inform the future. There's so much there... that's just for now. I hope you are doing well. -Take care, and good luck with your studies / research... -If I'm still here, I'll check back.)

    R. K. I.

    P. S.: Take a little time looking into the Neanderthal (Europe) and Denisovian (Asia) hypothesis... I think you'll be excited. 'Bye for now...

  20. Hi Robert, I have taken some time to review a few of the videos that you provided links for. Thank you very much. I really haven't given it as much attention as I would like to and so I haven't really managed to garner a full appreciation of the theory you are proposing. You initially posited that the pyramids had some indication that ancient peoples had access to electricity. The later links were more complex and were steeped in conspiracy theory. I shall take a look at your latest suggestion soon. It would help me if you could summarise the premise of these links. Is it that we have had more sophisticated knowledge and now lost it? You also seem to suggest that earlier civilisations were in some way trying to communicate with us, by leaving clues.

    Finally I hope you are well and that you able to carry on your research.



  21. I have spent a few hours this morning watching and reading the links you provided. I have an overwhelming sense that many are very amateurish and quasi-scientific. I know this doesn't instantly mean that they are wrong and not all of the pieces suffer from the same degree. I believe that conventional science can become rather stayed and restrictive to creative thinking so I am willing to read further but I would like to see more solid research based on sound, evidential reasoning. Niaive statements like "exactly what the arc of the covenant looks like" just devalue the presenters entire premise. If your premise is that ancient civilisations were more advanced than we currently believe, I would be interested to read more even if they seem rather fanciful, however I will filter out the obviously unscientific and those suffering from paranoia and conspiracy theory. Thank you again for your messages and sharing the links.

  22. Robert K. Igoe30 June 2013 at 02:21

    You are exactly on the right track. I did not make any of the videos in question, and cannot take the arguable blame for their tone. I did attempt to make that clear to you. I am very much aware of how amateurish and un scientific this garbage dump might seem, but an anthropologist might claim that we only sift through the remains of theirs. Think of what we throw away, and then think of what we don't. My theory on the pyramid was based on this evidence... the two shafts in question have no other discernible purpose. Both shafts twist and turn, before ending in granite plugs. The two granite plugs both contain two copper bolt assemblies which might be said to provide contacts to which one might affix wire and power an exterior beacon. This beacon would be of two fold importance to the people it served... to provide light in the darkness... a beacon... and a means of communication through code. The lights could easily be turned on and off... and seen for miles. A relay of these would enable communication for thousands of miles. The emperor would from his enormous "castle" pyramid... safe from harm... communicate directly, and immediately to his vast empire his thoughts. If this sounds fanciful, might I remind you that the roman empire could communicate along it's length and breadth through just such relay station... the emperor was informed which of the limes were under attack and when through morse code, which is why there were towers all along the roads of Rome... not just for collecting tolls. There is very much more I could tell you about my independent research in this area, the vast majority of it has been reconstructed here independent of any nominal research in the field and relying solely on reported evidence and research gleaned from... a variety of sources so varied that to even begin to attempt to compile a list would be an odious task... don't you think? This has been a life's journey, for both of us I would imagine. I had hoped to write a book one day and tell the story of all creation from the big bang to the present. I am quite artistically gifted, and am attempting to make use of my present means to accomplish this great a goal. I realize that coming out of the blue with such an admission is quite out of the ordinary, and, perhaps, a little less après paux than I would have liked. I had imagined, years from now a book... with pictures, a glossary of terms, and the like... being produce by me so I could tell the story of how we got to be on planet earth and shared this experience of being united as one planet under god. there is so much more to this... but I felt I must establish contact with at least a few individuals outside my home to indemnify myself against the improbable event of my demise... and feel I had done a disservice to the rest of mankind having relied solely on my own vessel for such a momentous (though, admittedly, unsolicited) task rather than delegating the work to a multitude of individuals who then could assist in making this venture a verifiable success, most likely to succeed in its timely completion.

  23. Robert K. igoe30 June 2013 at 02:27

    So, I do not mean to distract you with my seemingly trivial inconsistencies regarding religious observations and possibly reconciling the Bible and other religious tracts to a scientifically acceptable interpretation which could be said to be in accordance with institutions revered by millions and billions of people for many, many, millennia, now, as well as the criteria required by science, thereby healing the rift which has been allowed to form, as though that really counts for anything. Sorry if that seems rude. I know my temperance is on display and is most unbecoming, but for the time being I only wanted to make that clear. I do get that. The garbage dump of lies has the evidence needed to prove the case. I do not mean to suggest that you value the droth, or chaff, thereof. I also wanted to convey that the need for unity exists, and, although I was hoping to accomplish that myself, from here, I no longer wish to rely solely, or so strongly, on that development to occur. At least not according to plan. I hope that about covers it for now. we can converse at greater length later some time if you like, but for now I feel I have addressed the most pressing details... poor grammar, and shoddy syntax aside. I once again apologize for my tone, which is hardly in keeping with the professional nature of this task. I have been under a degree of stress, or strain, recently, and it only occurred to me this very moment to inform you of that. I hope that explain the abrupt nature of the commentary, and its woefully inept execution. Thank you, as always for listening, and good luck in your continued studies, or work.

  24. Gee, Robert, one might think you would realize (by now) that your very own personal history is a mystery to you. Seeking out the "family trees" of others seems to be another unsound (and perhaps unhealthy) preoccupation of yours. Instead of trying to uncover the "family trees" of those you were once familiar with, those who are no longer associating with you, and those who, for reasons well-known to you have disassociated themselves from you, try accepting your very own "family tree." Although you have shared with many that you were raised by others (not your 'birth parents') your preoccupation with the "family tree" of others further demonstrates your abject need/cries for professional help in the areas of societal integration and psychotherapy. Oh, your writing is run-on, disinteresting and one would assume your need to be quasi-pompous and pseudo-intellectual clearly indicates, once more, intervention from professionals specializing in societal integration, if that is indeed even possible. Your writing is full of trivial inconsistencies, and moreover, the obvious need to be heard and seen. In most cases, I suggest those reading this drivel know you and your unyielding desire to be seen and heard. As usual, no matter what you say, write or do, there is no audience. A wise man once said "It is better to be thought a fool, than open one's mouth and prove it." Good luck in your search for the actual members of your very own family tree. Writings such as this will serve to guarantee your lifelong estrangement from them that was, wisely, their choice.

  25. The Above Comments directed to Robert Kent Igoe of Lorain, Ohio.

  26. Jimmy Mac, hats off to you for putting up with all of this nonsense the above "contributor" has shared. He seems as if he has no respect for you or your website. He seems only to wish to challenge your actual knowledge with his nonsensical banter. He does not succeed in his futile attempts. Thankyou for your very insightful and informative knowledge, Jimmy Mac. Peace.

  27. Not directly above. I mean the "historian" (lol) above the last two comments, Mr. Igoe. Thankyou again, Jimmy Mac. I will check back to see new entries from you concerning Didactic/Polemic. Peace.

  28. Jimmy Mac, the above mentioned comments that I referred to in the above comment were directed at the long-winded Igoe. Thankyou so much for your sharing information on Didactic or Polemic. Very interedting and informative. I look forward to more entries from you about this fascinating topic, Jimmy Mac. Peace.

  29. Dear anonymous, thank you for adding some thoughts and don't worry about directing comments at another contributor, I understood. I have not added anything to this blog for ages although I am still writing a little in a personal journal. I may get back to this again one day. I must admit the RKI comments seemed a little "left field" for me. The main thrust of my thought process was humans have been on this planet for only a brief period of time really and during that entire existence we seem to have been fighting over the same piece of land in the the Levant. I'm not sure how Pyramids and extra-terrestrials impact that premise.

  30. Robert Kent Igoe30 March 2014 at 19:53

  31. Robert Kent Igoe8 April 2014 at 10:13

    I do try here. If you know what that means...