At the National Scientist site there is an article on a pair of what appear to be primate teeth.What some have called human teeth. There’s a problem with that.
For one thing, who says they have to be human, or human-like? What makes them human, and are teeth like this unique to us? Or is it a matter of convergent evolution, of coincidence? If we had fossils of every tooth that once existented how many would look “human” even if the original owner wasn’t even primate or even mammalian.
One tooth has even been identified as a canine, while the other is identified as a molar. Now I look at the picture apparently of the two teeth and as far a I can tell they aint either. They both look to me as if they were both damaged, and they look remarkably alike. Now I’ve seen human canines and they have a single deep root. In both cases the two teeth apparently have a single truncated root. Far as I know only canines have a single root, and that is long.
Now take a good hard look at the two teeth in the picture in the article. Don’t know about you, but to me they look like the same kind of teeth. If it weren’t for some rather small difference in detail they could be copies of the same tooth. Depending on how the tooth was copied the differences could be due to copying errors.
What I’m hearing is people insisting it has to be because it fits a preconceived notion. Much like the claim that Weberpithecus naledi has to be a type of human because the discoverer, a Doctor Weber, needed to find a human. To me this is a case of people jumping to a conclusion because they got excited and irrational. We’re human, we do stuff like that.
My conclusion is; they’re not human, they might be canines or incisors, but neither is a molar or premolar. They may not even be primate. And I have a suspicion that both were damaged during the long years buried and are not complete speciemens. Of course, this assessment is just from a single picture and a proper exam could well tell us a lot more.
The one thing we can learn from this i the wisdom of the old adage, dont jump to conclusions. Check things out and check them out seriously. Most importantly, don’t guess. Make sure you know and if that means taking time then you take the damn time. Things don’t need to be what you need them to be.
Think of paramedics using this at a scene of traumatic injury, or to close up wounds after minor surgery. Or parents using a tube of it to patch up their kids. And I suspect that a version could be made that just needs sunlight to activate it.
Science is cool, and applying science is neat, that’s all I’ve got to say.
It’s what happens when animals are born who are not afraid of humans, and when being comfortable around humans improves their chances of survival and reproduction.
I expect that mother and cub have people who feed them, and may even pet them. In a few fox generations we may well have pet foxes who live with a human on a voluntary basis. If we don’t have them already.
Defining art is a lot like defining science, most of the time it is a matter of describing an example of a thing as the thing. Still, as with science there are elements in art that help us identify it as art.
In the long run it comes down to a matter of feelings. As with science art is about evoking feelings, and evoking them in such a way as to arose feelings of awe. Your first exposure to a work of art is one that makes you say, “wooh.”
Art is impressive. Art gets your attention. More importantly, art remains impressive even after you’ve seen it for awhile. Too much exposure to a piece of art can lead to burn out, but when you understand how it is impressive it remains art.
Ask a painter about the Mona Lisa, a musician about the Stairway to Heaven; either will try to tell you about what makes them art, but as long as you don’t have the background necesssary you’re not going to understand them.
Could video games be art? In my opinion when the people who create them understand what makes art art, then they will be art. Until then they will be just an amusement. We first need to ask ourselves, what is it about art that impresses us? How are the elements of the piece handled, how are they brought together to get the result we see as art. What did Mozart do to produce his art? When at the core its just a matter of the technology of music writing.
Art really is not about the technology of producing the piece, but rather a matter of how it is put together in such a way as to evoke an enduring response. Most importantly it is an understanding of how we work, or how and why we find something impressive and what stays impressive even after it’s been around for awhile. Cartoons have been acknowledged as art because of how they appeal to their audience, or how they were done in such a wise that they appealed to the audience. Chuck Jones and friend timed Wiley Coyote’s falls to elicit the best response from their audience. A technical answer to eliciting an emotional response. That is how we handle the creation of art, using the tools we have to get the responses we are looking for.
Can anything become art? Of course, but only as long as we understand what art is and how we create it.