Friday, January 26, 2018

Cultural Anthropology

Alice C. Linsley

Cultural anthropology is a science that focuses on human societies and cultures, and their development over time. It investigates the social structures and patterns that characterize a community, a clan, a caste, or a society.

Humans live within structures like the nuclear family, marriage traditions, gender roles, hierarchies, traditional ceremonies, annual festivals, etc. Some of these are human in origin, but others are dictated by environments in which people live and by fixed patterns in Creation: male-female; night-day; seasonal changes, the east-west solar arc, etc. The Apostle Paul refers to such fixed patterns in Romans 1:20:

"For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse."

Biblical anthropology focuses on biblical populations. Most of these populations are in the same genetic group: Haplogroup R1b, shown on the map above. These populations share a common ancestry linguistically and genetically. Artifacts found among these populations also indicate common technologies, objects, and symbols.

One example is the six prong or six petal solar symbol which is called by different names depending on the location. Among the Slavs it is called Perun's Flower.

These are symbols of the High God among the Baltic Slavs. Svetovid is related to the words Sventevith and Zvantewith. These words share the same root word svętъ, meaning saint or holy. Svetovid means "Holy Lord." The word vid in Latin refers to seeing. It is as variant spelling of vit, meaning lord or ruler. There likely is a connection between the lord's oversight and the idea of divine appointment to rule.

Among the Hebrew it is called the Merkaba. Consider all these places where the same image appears among the R1b peoples.

This is the Black Obelisk found in ancient Kalhu (Nimrud/Nimrod). It shows King Jehu/Yehu of Israel bowing before the Assyrian King Shalmaneser III after the Assyrian defeat of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The obelisk dates to 841 B.C. Note that the six-prong solar symbol appears in two places: on the winged celestial creature directly above Yehu and above the sheaves of wheat presented as tribute by one of Yehu's priests.

Nok figurine found in Nigeria.

Note the solar mark on the ruler's forehead indicating divine appointment by "overshadowing." A solar horse mark was found of the cheek of the Ur David mummy (1000 BC) buried in a pyramid in the Tarum Valley of China.

Funeral stele found in Arabia.

TNT stele found in Carthage, North Africa

Grave marker in Banais, Israel

The Magdala Stone in Galilee, Israel

Ossuary of the High Priest Joseph Caiaphas. 
He organized the plot to kill Jesus.

The Star (Sun) of the Alps

"Il fiore a sei petali" in Italy

The same solar symbol appears on the top right seal.
These were found in Spain.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Priests of the Ancient World Studied Astronomy

In the ancient world, priests were the wise men of learning. They were astronomers and medical practitioners.  They were scribes and accountants. Young men of the ruling class studied under these priests at famous shrines and temples. These were the "universities of the archaic world.

The priestly lines known as Horite Hebrew served rulers and were dispersed very widely. Some were serving rulers in the area of Lake Chad in central Africa some in Mesopotamia, some in southern Europe, and some in India. Plato recounts how the priests of the Nile had been keeping astronomical records for 10,000 years. He studied for 13 years in Memphis under a priest named Sechnuphis. Many Greek philosophers studied at Egyptian temple schools.

Iamblichus wrote that Thales of Miletus insisted that Pythagoras had to go to Memphis to study because the Egyptian priests were a great source of knowledge and wisdom, especially when it came to the natural sciences, medicine, and astronomy. 

This recently recovered fragment of a circular star calendar from the library of King Ashurbanipal (668-627 BC) is an example of the relationship between the priest-astronomers and the King. This Babylonian star calendar was found in an underground library in Nineveh, Iraq.

Read more about the Babylonian star calendar here.

By observing the heavens, ancient astronomers was able to understand that the stars and the planets move relative to one another in a fixed and stable pattern. There are seven visible planets and stars to the human eye, although all were called "stars" by the ancients. They included the Sun and the Moon. The seven celestial bodies were perceived as urns or bowls from which God poured forth both blessings and curses. In Revelation 16, the angels are instructed to go and pour out the seven bowls of divine indignation upon the earth.

According to the pre-Socratic philosopher, Heraklitus of Ephesus, these bowls carried the stars and other celestial bodies. Heraklitus received this idea from the Afro-Asiatics who explained the diurnal motion of the fixed stars as they revolved around a point above the north pole, and the apparent motions of the sun, the moon and planets.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Digging Through the Trash

Remnants of the Monolith of Silwan, a tomb dating to the time of Solomon's Temple. It was once thought to be the burial site of Solomon's Egyptian queen.

Archaeologists are interested in ancient trash heaps which they call "middens." They tirelessly shift through rubbish heaps to discover pieces of broken pottery (shards), fragments of bone, broken tools, and other castoffs. These finds reveal a great deal about the daily life of the local residents.

Very old trash heaps have been found dating to about 8000 BC in Turkey, at Jericho in Israel, and ancient manuscripts have been found at the dump in El-Bahnasa, Egypt. Another ancient landfill is being excavated on the eastern slopes of Jerusalem's "City of David" or the area know as Silwan. The trash found here tells archaeologists what life was like for people living in Jerusalem during the Early Roman Period (100 BC-100 AD).

Looking south into the Kidron Valley from the southeast corner of the Temple Mount. Photo shows the Arab town of Silwan.

The trash digging at Silwan is under the direction of Tel Aviv University archaeologist Yuval Gadot. His team is bringing to light pieces of history when Jerusalem was under Roman rule, the Temple stood, and Jesus preached about the eternal kingdom and foretold His death and resurrection.

Godot reports that the garbage layers on Jerusalem's eastern slopes are more than 36 feet deep in some places. He explains that "the garbage layers could potentially shed light on the dietary habits, trading practices, and vocational diversity of the ancient residents of Jerusalem."

The huge scale of the dump suggests that Jerusalem had a trash collection system. The Jews were careful to avoid contact with human waste, urine, blood, bones, and dead animals. Likely, there was a caste of trash collectors who were regarded as necessary, but not respectable by Jewish ritual standards. In India, for example, trash collectors and street sweepers are the lowest caste and called "untouchables."

Related reading: Jerusalem PilgrimageA Place Called Oxyrhynchus; Can an Archaeological Dig Change the Future of Jerusalem?

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Disconnections Between Evolutionary Theory and Reality

These coccoid Staphylococcus cells move very easily and can reproduce aggressively. 

Organic scientists have long speculated that the shape of an organism is correlated to its movement (motility). Human anatomical structure correlates to our walking upright and this was true for archaic humans 3-4 million years ago. 

However, scientists have found that this correlation of morphology and motility is not a law of biology. This is the case in the study of  the shape of bacteria.

The research of Stuart Humphries “has produced evidence that these theoretical predictions don’t match reality, at least in this group of bacteria, and it therefore makes a major contribution to our understanding of the evolution of bacteria.”

In this article, Darwinian scientists discuss the surprising shape of bacteria. Some go so far as to admit that "Darwinian theory is broken and may not be fixable."

Read the article on Bacteria Evolution here. Related reading: Reshaping our ides of bacterial evolution

Common Ancestry of Apes and Humans

If we accept the biblical assertion that humans were created in the image of God (with all that means) then we must conclude that humans are a special creation and have been from the beginning. The order of creation indicates a hierarchy of organic life developing over time. This aligns with the evolutionary scheme. However, when it comes to humans, the fossil record indicates that they appeared suddenly on Earth about 4 million years ago.

Paleoanthropologists have made amazing discoveries in the past decade. So much so that it has become necessary to rethink existing models of human origins and development. New fossils do not always support existing hypotheses. Also labels such as Neanderthal, Australopithecus, and A. anamensis cause confusion, and individual egos get in the way. To simplify, it appears that the physical features identified in early hominid fossils from Africa to Asia correlate to the range of features found in modern human populations. So much so, that it is more helpful and probably more accurate to speak simply of archaic humans and modern humans.

Gradualism is a principle of evolution. It requires many millions of years for the emergence of a new species. The origin of new species usually equates with the extinction of older ones (horotelic evolution). Rapidly or slowly changing lines may be horotelic during certain episodes in their history. In contrast, lines that exhibit little or no morphological change over a 100 million years or more are called "bradytelic." Applying these terms to hominid fossils ranging from 500,000 to 4 million years leads to the conclusion that there were multiple prototypes of modern humans that became extinct. Some lines were not well adapted for survival. Does this prove that humans and apes have a common ancestor? No. 

It does suggest that there are genetic boundaries. It explains why apes give birth to apes and humans to humans, and calls into question the semantics of evolutionary theory. 

As a fascinating and perhaps inconvenient point of information, the term "horotely" is derived from the Greek word "horos" for boundary or horizon, which is related to the ancient Egyptian word Horus, the son of God, who was said to be the fixer of boundaries, and the God of the Two Horizons (East-West).

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2018's First Total Lunar Eclipse

The first eclipse of 2018 will be a total lunar eclipse on Jan. 31. It is popularly referred to as a Blue Moon. Such a skywatching event hasn't happened for more than 150 years. The eclipse will be visible in the evening sky to people living in central and eastern Asia, Indonesia, New Zealand and in southwestern Australia.

Blue Moons happen about once every 2.7 years.

Read more about it here.