Joined: Aug. 2006
|Quote (Dr.GH @ Jan. 01 2008,12:59)|
|Quote (olegt @ Dec. 31 2007,15:51)|
|To give you an idea of the scientific level, I'll point out this recent gem:|
I was thinking about lactose tolerance the other day and managed to scrounge up an article that I had remembered reading. This article relates the findings that lactose tolerance is something that evolved in humans rather recently.
The findings supports the idea that milk drinkers became widespread in Europe only after dairy farming had become established there—not the other way around.
This has been a contentious issue for some time now, about how/when lactose tolerance came about. The new findings support that lactose tolerance came about after dairy farming was established, and this presents a tough problem for evolution. Why would humans undertake dairy farming if they couldn’t actually eat/drink dairy products? This question alone is enough to dispel the evolutionary hypothesis. If, however, we were designed to drink milk, then it is only natural that we would search for other milk sources that we could utilize.
The Late Neolithic and Early Bronze archaeology of Mesopotamia sheds an interesting light on the early status of pre-domesticated cattle. The iconography of Sumeria used the bull’s horns as signs of divinity with as many as 14 pairs worn as a helmet by the supreme god Anu, or An. Even after the domestication of cattle in the bronze age, wild cattle were hunted by Neo-Assyrian kings who wore two pair as symbols of their power. The Ugaritic texts form a critical corpus to understand much of the early Bible. There, the king Nimrod is renowned for his ability to hunt cattle which he provided to feasts of the gods hosted by El, and Bal Hadad, to which selected kings were invited. Nimrod was also attested biblically.
You can get a quick introduction to this in;
Cross, Frank Moore
1973 Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the History of the Religion of Israel. Boston: Harvard University Press
2000 Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, The Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others. Revised Oxford: Oxford University Press
Black, Jeremy, Anthony Green, Tessa Rickards (illustrator)
2003 "Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia" Austin: University of Texas Press.
The domestication of cattle, and even dairy farming clearly preceded the bulk of the biblical texts, as we read in Exodus 3:8. “And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.” We can assume the reference is to cattle, or goats milk, although, human milk “on the leg” as it were, was a beverage served at feasts for gods and kings, and is obliquely referred to biblically in Psalm 89:5-6 which is derived from the incipit to an Ugaritic praise hymn. (See Pardee, Dennis 2002 Writings from the Ancient World Vol. 10: Ritual and Cult at Ugarit Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, and Dahood, Mitchell 1965 Psalms I, 1-50: Introduction, Translation and Notes New York: Anchor Bible- Doubleday and 1968 Psalms II, 51-100: Introduction, Translation and Notes New York: Anchor Bible- Doubleday).
This brief note is merely to observe that the interactions between humans and cattle are ancient, and important. And, more obviously, there is much more to cattle than raw milk. Without doubt, the original motive for domestication of cattle was for meat, hides, and not milk to drink.
You have made some gross errors when concluding that “The new findings support that lactose tolerance came about after dairy farming was established, and this presents a tough problem for evolution.” And “This question alone is enough to dispel the evolutionary hypothesis.”
First, you should already realize that drinking raw milk was rare in the ancient past, and is actually rare today except among northern and central European populations. However, fermented milk products such as yogurt, and cheese are far more common and do not require the same lactose tolerance that drinking milk does. So without much grasp of biology or archaeology, you should have known that the PNAS article could not represent, “… a tough problem for evolution.” This would be true even of a good reading of the popular press blurb in National Geographic.
Second, you relied on a popularized blurb from secondary sources to rest your very sweeping conclusions. This is always a mistake, one a professor ought to know to avoid. You should read the original article, “Absence of the lactase-persistence-associated allele in early Neolithic Europeans” J. Burger, M. Kirchner, B. Bramanti, W. Haak, and M. G. Thomas, PNAS | March 6, 2007 | vol. 104 | no. 10 | 3736-3741 http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/104/10/3736
The article is quite interesting and I am sure you will enjoy it and learn a good deal about evolution.
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Evolander in training