37

There seem to be two claims here. One is that there are no counterexamples of other cultures with a national tradition of a national divine revelation or miracle. The other is an implicit claim that Judaism itself does have such a tradition. Claim that Judaism has an unbroken national revelation tradition In terms of whether Judaism itself has such an ...


23

American Indians of the Pacific Northwest - Library Of Congress [Carolyn J. Marr] illustrates a change in Native Americans' attitudes towards photography from the late 19th to the early 20th century. At first, many Native Americans were wary of having their photographs taken and often refused. They believed that the process could steal a person's ...


22

The story in question was originally attributed not to an anthropologist, but to a childhood memory! Consider the Babemba tribes of southern Africa, where the social structure includes only an elementary criminal code. Apparently, the lack of fixed rules to enforce justice stems from close community living, which never made such laws necessary. Brian ...


17

It's certainly not universal. In the UK, swearing is relatively common among the upper and lower classes and aversion to swearing is a primarily lower middle class trait. This has been studied quantitatively in this wonderfully-titled paper: Swearing in Modern British English: The Case of Fuck in the BNC [British National Corpus] Anthony McEnery and ...


17

Given that prostitution is also observed in animals - including some very closely related to humans - it seems likely that proto-humans were willing to exchange sexual favours for valuables. Whether this counts as prostitution is a matter of definition. I think it might be possible to say that prostitution is the oldest living profession in the Western ...


16

Evan Harper gave a great answer, but I'll supply an alternative one from the astronomy angle. Trans-pluto isn't an astronomical term. The closest is "Trans-Neptunian object", which is any object orbiting outside Neptune (Pluto is one, by the way). By extension you could say that a "Trans-plutonian object" orbited outside of Pluto, but it's not a normally ...


16

This appears to be a metastasization of a hoary old myth originating with the anthropologist Marcel Griaule. The original claim was that the Dogon cosmology included information about the Sirius star system not obtainable without advanced technology. In fact, it is not clear that they had this knowledge – Griaule seems to have severely over-intepreted ...


13

No. Max Ingman and Ulf Gyllensten, Mitochondrial Genome Variation and Evolutionary History of Australian and New Guinean Aborigines, Genome Res. 2003. 13: 1600-1606, doi: 10.1101/gr.686603 This paper looked at the genetic diversity of Australian Aborigines and other indigenous populations in the area. It concludes: The proposed genetic separation among ...


12

It looks like there's no direct evidence from any pre-Neolithic culture about their sexual or marital arrangements. However, the proxy evidence is a bit more extensive: In a comparative study of 190 hunter-gatherer societies, Apostolou [11] showed that arrangement of marriage by parents or close kin is the primary mode of marriage in 85% of the sample; ...


11

Other sources indicate a less innocent explanation: nudity is the penalty for not undergoing female genital mutilation. Amongst females, only those who've undergone it are allowed to wear clothing, and there are other consequences as well. From BBC Tribe - The Dassanech The Dassanech tribe is not strictly defined by ethnicity. Anyone – man or woman - ...


10

The article In John They Trust, by the Smithsonian confirms that such cargo cults exist. Imitation of western societies: Chief Isaac Wan, a slight, bearded man in a blue suit and ceremonial sash, leads the uniformed men down to open ground in the middle of the village. Some 40 barefoot "G.I.’s" suddenly emerge from behind the huts to more cheering, ...


9

Summary It depends on the meaning you give to the word "prostitution" There's clear historical evidence that "sacred prostitution" was practiced from the beginning of time. If you consider those acts true prostitution™, then there's evidence that prostitution is the oldest profession. If you do not consider those acts true prostitution™, then ...


8

According to the US Indian Health Service page Navajo Nation Traditionally, the Navajos are a matriarchal society, with descent and inheritance determined through one's mother. Navajo women have traditionally owned the bulk of resources and property, such as livestock. In cases of marital separation, women retained the property and children. In cases of ...


7

See Women’s Worlds in Dassanetch, Southern Ethiopia, Institut für Ethnologie und Afrikastudien, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität (2005). Unlike boys Dassanetch girls start wearing clothes from childhood on. From the age of about two years they start wearing an apron made of cloth or leather. From the age of four they start wearing a gele. This is an ...


7

This is not my area of scientific expertise. I cannot say if this study by Wilder et al is correct or not, but I can read the study and compare their conclusions to Baumeister's. Wilder et al conclude that women outnumber men in human ancestry, but they do not conclude that the ratio is two to one. They make a different conclusion about a two to one ratio, ...


7

Rather than get caught up in different definitions of the word 'prostitution', let's look at the definition for profession: a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation Since academia didn't exist at the onset of human culture, we can reduce the definition to "a calling requiring specialized knowledge". ...


7

1. Did or do (Sami) reindeer herders castrate reindeer by biting off the testicles? No they don't and (probably) never did. They used to half-castrate reindeer by crushing their testicles without breaking the skin. Any claim in a video that testicles are being bitten off (removed) in traditional Sami practice is likely to be either an ignorant ...


7

Well, there's the death and ascension of Romulus, founder of Rome. Apparently, "Romulus mysteriously disappeared in a storm or whirlwind, during or shortly after offering public sacrifice at or near the Quirinal Hill." According to Livy, "Then a few voices began to proclaim Romulus's divinity; the cry was taken up, and at last every man present hailed him ...


6

Some cultures not only did, but still do. This article (with references) cites some Mexican towns, Voodoo practitioners and photographer James W. Bailey still sharing the belief that images can do harm to soul. Mirrors were considered a major part of the Mayan religion and culture. Mirrors opened portals into the Otherworld, allowing ancestors and gods to ...


6

Richard De Mille's "Castaneda's Journey" does a good job establishing factual discrepancies in Castaneda's accounts. Because Castaneda purported to be passing on a secret shamanic tradition, defenders can explain such discrepancies by appealing to either the need for secrecy or service to a higher truth. A skeptical reader might note that the books are ...


6

Short answer: This is most likely nonsense. Ubuntu roughly denotes "a quality that includes the essential human virtues: compassion and humanity"(1), and while it is sometimes opposed to victimisation of perpetrators (2), it is unlikely that any contemporary customary law system of any traditional community in South Africa operates without a mix of ...


5

To expand on my comment, the 'egalitarian' part of the question has been mostly dealt with on hist.SE, and the answer depends on your definition of egalitarian as well as the hunter-gatherers involved. It is true in the sense that they are/were more egalitarian than most of the post-Neolithic societies, the agricultural revolution being usually regarded as ...


4

According to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History the skull is "Between 350,000 and 150,000 years" old Some further notes on the morphology and dating of the Petralona hominid Journal of Human Evolution vol. 12, December 1983, Pages 731-742, says: somewhat more than 350ky, but certainly less than 730 ky However, A re-analysis of electron spin ...


4

Christianity points to its founding on the Day of Pentecost, described in Acts 2, when an entire group not only observed a miracle but each one personally participated in it. The event is commemorated as the 'Birthday of the Church.' Interestingly in this context, Christianity's founding miracle is said to have occurred during the Jewish festival of the ...


4

Here's another mass apparition, which even happened on multiple occasions. In Coogee, NSW Australia, an alleged image of the virgin Mary appeared on a fence in 2003. It was only seen from the right viewpoint and if the light was just right, but hundreds of people claimed to see her, and some came to pray to her. Of course there are as yet no people ...


3

From a pure physical perspective, it's plausible. There are at least two cases of women removing human testicles just by grabbing them and pulling and at least one case of the woman using her teeth to do so. Human biting forces are up around 1300 N for the molars and 500 for the canines. I have yet to find a study chronicling the tensile strength of reindeer ...


3

Per Philip Yaffe in 2011, "In the 1960s Professor Albert Mehrabian and colleagues at the University of California, Los Angles (UCLA), conducted studies into human communication patterns. When their results were published in professional journals in 1967, they were widely circulated across mass media in abbreviated form. Most people forgot about what they ...


3

As is often the case, No, but with a grain of truth. There was a tribe which was described in legend as "red-headed cannibals" by the oral history of the Paiute tribe: the Si-Te-Cah. According to their legend, as documented in Fossil Legends of the First Americans (2005) and Sarah Winnemucca of the Paiute tribe in her autobiography (1883), the Paiute ...


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