A little history, in a snippet of rarely heard Pre-Roman adoption of Christianity history, this, from the Roman writer Celcus, in his voluminous complaints about the growing number of disparate groups of Christians roaming the civilized world.
Interesting starter information about the mythic lost tribes of Israel here for those who are curious about it. This subject is necessary to know about only for a contextual understanding of human conversation and historical reading, or for a study of religious folkloric literary devices. Completely unimportant for any other reasons.
Was there a historical Jesus? Well as it turns out, barely. More has been written about a person who we know less about than anyone else in human history.
As historians will attest, we know approximately 3-5 things about the man commonly known as Jesus historically: he was Jewish, he was the brother of James, he lived and died during the first century CE. From there historians are almost unanimous that he was born in Nazareth, not Bethlehem. And that be was executed for sedition by Roman authorities. After that it’s all myth and legend as told by a very large assortment of so called gospels, some approved by the authorities of the christian church presently ie allowed in “the gospels” and some not. The point being that for all the hype and hoopla, for the entire world to be so adamantly committed to “worshiping” this strange amalgamation of ideologies shoved underneath this lone Jewish man, annexing ancient holidays and adding him into the mix of them — talk about confusing, there are very few facts and very little actually known about him. The rest is made up. And that for some unknown reason doesn’t seem to bother most humans. It is a mind boggling fact of humanity circa 2023 CE.
For more check out this video….
In a biological preserve in Mexico’s Campeche State, a team of archaeologists has documented pyramids, palaces, a ball court and other remains of an ancient city they call Ocomtún.
Read more about this new discovery, from the New York Times. Link below.
There was news late this week about some archeologists who had allegedly found a 25,000 year old pendant in a cave in Siberia that belonged to a woman. It was even purported that DNA testing taught us a lot about that mysterious woman. Unfortunately, not much of the news piece is actually true, which we dig into in some depth below.
The article was written by Katie Hunt for CNN on May 3, 2023 — Traces of ancient DNA contained in old bones have spilled fascinating secrets about the past.
I must admit that when I first saw this headline I was a bit peeved. Not even confused — though granted if taken at face value the headline would be confusing if someone didn’t know much about the science and actually believed it… but really it was just downright annoying and anger inducing if you’re a lifetime subscriber to these subjects.
And I’ll tell you why. We, modern humans of the homo sapien variety, that is, don’t find “jewelry” or anything as ornate or complex or artistic from the peoples who existed 25,000 years ago. We find stone tools, in reality mostly bone tools, spear heads or arrow heads or hand axes, but that’s it. A pendant?!?! Not a chance.
Well as it turns out the article IS misleading, and thus that’s where the confusion comes in to any reader who has a full or even healthy grasp of this field.
Firstly, they didn’t find a pendant. They found a deer tooth that has a tiny hole poked through it. they’re guessing that it may have been worn as some kind of jewelry, like a pendant or bracelet or any number of other things — since all they found was a deer tooth. The picture that accompanies the article is also completely misleading. It’s not a photograph of what they found. It’s a drawing by a modern artist of what a necklace made of metal (that’s still 20,000 years away…) with a pendant dangling from it made out of a rather fancy deer bone. Having nothing to with anything remotely realistic or possible 25,000 years ago
They were able to find traces of human DNA on the tooth they say, and from that they are concluding that one of the people who wore it may have been female. Because of this, they assume it may have been used as a pendant.
This is THE aspect of these sciences that bothers me the most. Let me make it clear, as any longterm readers already know, that out of all the myriad sciences human beings have created over the last 10,000 years, anthropology, archeology and paleontology are right up there with cosmology, ontology, astrophysics and quantum mechanics as my favorite. I am thoroughly obsessed with them and spend far too many hours per week studying and keeping up with these particular subjects — for someone who doesn’t actually work in any of those fields that is.
The biggest drag about the three aforementioned “earth sciences” is that unlike the others, they incorporate a LOT of guessing and assumption in their work. If you started studying any of them, you’d be immediately taken with, and perhaps slightly pissed off by, just how much guessing is involved in coming up with certain ideas that we were taught were truths when we were kids — and yet at least 40-50% of the ideas are formed around guesswork and assumption and not truths or facts at all.
That’s an important point. Something real and solid that everyone should know and can use as a stable reference point. My personal feeling is that they should stop with all the ventures into imagination mode and just stick with science the way the other human sciences do.
To make it clear and hammer this important distinction home, look at the headline of the article. But it should read:”DNA from a 25,000 year old deer tooth perhaps reveals a woman who possibly may have worn it in some manner, or not.” Now that would be accurate. And truthful.
Now we’re all familiar with the Denisovan caves of Siberia. It’s the home to one of the five different human species who all walked the earth at the same time. Most people don’t know this fact. But indeed FIVE different human species existed, all at the same time, and walked the earth together. Only one survived to modern day, Homo sapien sapiens. That’s us. But there were also the Neanderthals, the Tomai Man, Homo Florenciensus, and The Denisovans.
Imagine an earth for a moment when all five different humans were roaming around, hunting gathering protecting procreating all at the same time. That reality boggles the mind no matter how many times one ponders it.
Because this deer tooth is so new, or recent, it’s too new to belong to the Denisovans, who lived in earlier times. So they claim ownership belongs to a group they call the Eurasians, a group of Homo sapiens who would have been in that area approximately 18,000 to 25,000 years ago. BUT they were living in what was once home to a different human species, the Denisovans.
This deer tooth is still an incredible find. And the DNA testing showing extracts from a female who may have worn it is intriguing, because it is one of the only times we’ve been able to extract any human DNA from a stone or bone artifact from the prehistoric age. But other than that, the actual facts underlying the article wipe away all the glitter and glamour the headline portends.
The field of anthropology continues to get upended over the last 20 years. There are two most interesting developments, from my viewpoint and personal studies. One was the discovery that there was a time in relatively recent history — 50,000+ years ago — when FIVE different species of human beings roamed the earth at the same time. All different species, but all human. Yes Neanderthal was one of them. And so too were Homo sapien sapiens. That’s us. Three others also lived on earth simultaneously with us and Neanderthal. [will come back to list their exact species name].
The other development of course was the cracking of the genome or genetic code of the most modern, or better put the last surviving human being, Homo sapien sapiens. This remarkable scientific achievement changed anthropology forever. We no longer classify humans from a nationality perspective, but from a tribal i.e. genetic perspective.
From a species perspective almost all human beings are genetically 80-95% Homo sapiens, with anywhere between 5-20% Neanderthal. In other words, no one is strictly a Homo sapien as their species.
From a racial perspective, we’ve brought it down to 4 different races, sub Saharan African, Caucasian, south eastern Asian, and north eastern Asian. In my opinion this is a deeply flawed and soon to change conclusion, because what race are norther Africans a part of? They aren’t Caucasian nor are they south or north eastern Asian.
From there we go what genetic TRIBE(s) everyone is from. And this is done through genetic testing now, NOT from where people live or where they used to live or where their ancestors lived. A person may live in America, their ancestors lived all over Europe, but genetically they are Russian and Scandinavian, since Scandinavians originally populated Russia. Someone like me for instance who is half italian half English is genetically a small part italian a small part english a larger part German and and an even larger part Scandinavian. And for obvious reasons. Since the Vikings (modern day Scandinavian) were the first people to populate Germany, and then both the regions of England and Italy; the Germans came soon after to those regions. So our family may be “from” Italy and England. But genetically we’re primarily Scandinavian and German for a much longer time period.
Another fascinating aspect of the genetic testing revolution of anthropology is how it dissolves the idea people have that being Jewish is a religious demarcation, not a nationality. They’re right about that. It’s not a nationality. But it is it’s own unique and singular genetic tribe, different from every other human tribe on earth.
The primary change — and this is still a fast moving evolution in the science — is that #1 we no longer categorize humans by nationality (from an anthropological sense); we classify human beings according to what tribe they are of based on their genetic markers, and there are a LOT more unique genetic tribes of human being than we originally theorized; and where a person or their ancestors lived for the last few hundred years doesn’t matter half as much as we used to give credit for.
In any case, the blow article presents a recent dig that blows the entire dating system of human beings off by a good million years, making us much older than we originally presumed. More later.
Comment: “Very admirable, but who exactly would be “fronting the bill” for all of that??”
Now don’t shoot me, but after studying other democracies around the world, that lean more socialist and less cut throat capitalist, we do find 1, (hold, don’t respond yet) whole populations of countries whose basic needs are met, based on a top down distribution system and they can still manage to not tax anyone more than 39%. One aspect of these systems is the recognition by everyone in the country, not just the governments — remember, they’re elected by the people, that once someone has collected a few million, they don’t need nor even benefit from millions or billions more.
The caveat: they are of course smaller countries with far fewer people. Which several of you have already reminded me of. I get that.
The irony, as I type this out, is that I am “the person in our friends group” who gets attacked the most for my extreme pro-capitalist views and defenses. I really really believe it’s what made America the best country in human history. (Not Democracy, because that’s common all over planet earth, and there are other countries that have much better more functional democracies.). It’s our capitalist spirit and the freedoms we have to do whatever we want to create and succeed. The lack of laws and limitations on our population in regards to business (comparatively) are singular and very beneficial. So I dont just support it; I love it. Plenty of my more blue blooded friends think I’m a fascist for loving capitalism so much. Fine.
BUT I do think we’ve created an extreme economic imbalance in the country. And I mean Czarist Russia or monarchical Great Britain level economic imbalance. It’s only a matter of time before America goes full on french or Bolshevik Revolution due to these imbalances. Just a thought, based on human history. Where America is now, with a relative few so wealthy they’re able to burn 100 dollar bills for fun and the majority not able to even pay for their health insurance, eventually they’re going to see the con and resist and revolt.
(IMO that’s what the Trump vote was. Revolt against wealthy elitists. Ironically. If the nomination went to Bernie, the candidate who actually won the nomination, it would have been an election between two outsiders both offering an “f this system” platform.)
Frankly, I’m at a point now where I’m more compassionately concerned about millions of people unable to make ends meet than I am about paying a high tax rate as I was 20 years ago. I’ve travelled to and lived in too many other democracies where everyone is cared for to believe the myths about “we can’t do that here”.
I’d really like to wake up one day and know that everyone’s basic needs are being met by a functioning compassionate system. That might be socialist capitalism. I’m alright with that now.
PS – this idea that we throw around that “people won’t be motivated to work” is still true now. In the present system. And it’s a small percentage. Most people would be more inclined to work hard and create something if they weren’t so angry depressed and desperate about paying their bills.
PPS – the other argument billionaires love to promote, they won’t be encouraged to philanthropy anymore. (!!!!!! Have to get that anger off my chest) Do I really have to even say it??? How about a system like so many other countries have where we don’t NEED billionaires to hold philanthropy over our heads. It’s a scapegoat to justify all the loopholes we allow. “Hey I’ll build a hospital wing if you let me pay only 3% in taxes this year through loopholes.” No thanks. We’ll build our own hospital wings.
Comment: “Admirable ideas. But source beings don’t ask for free gifts. Giving things away to people just creates more dependence.”
Ed Hale: Aaahhh…. See, I dont see the above as “free gifts” at all. BUT I’m viewing it from way above with the perspective of the last 7,000 years of recorded human history and heck, even adding the prior 3,000 — so from the moment of the melting of the last ice age when Homo sapiens first started forming modern civilizations (which admittedly is from where I always view nearly everything when we’re speaking of humanity).
From there one doesn’t see the “free gifts” idea. What one sees is a cooperative human society focused on survival and long rooted in 10,000 years of deliberate maneuvering and intelligent strategic decisions where each member does what they are naturally best at to serve the whole. Strong ass men are going to hunt, or work security and defense, or chop wood and build fortresses; smart folks are going to design better and better weapons or fortresses or tools; younger fertile women are going to carry children to term, have the babies, feed the babies i.e. one part of a much larger whole that perpetuates the species; older women are going to teach them how to do that, help and nurture them while they do that; etc etc. That’s just a tiny sample of a much larger picture of 10,000 years of human history as we know it. Humans have survived by working as a collective.
(If a man sits down at a fire to eat and play with this babies and kids in his tribe after a long day hunting, he’s not thinking that that fire that someone else built is a “free gift”, nor is that meal someone else cooked all day that he’s eating a free gift, nor are those babies he’s playing with a free gift. He understands how successful human societies work.
Comment: Ed Hale Wow You should be a poet, or writer, even a song-writer!😘
You speak with truth and wisdom.
We see the natural way of things.
Comment: his intelligence is refreshing and I love it! We could use a daily dose of Ed Hale and his wise words❤️👍💯
Comment: Ed Hale Yes everyone needs to contribute. I agree with that. Handouts are not providing anything of value in return. #Disservice
Before we dive in to the specific platforms and policies that we heard proposed in the first Democratic Debates over the last two nights, let us address a few things that may have been left out or only alluded to in the last piece I wrote about the candidates yesterday [Read that here if you missed it].
I’ve given this some thought over the years…. So from the start I’d like to attempt to share it with you. It’s no secret that I have often been accused of being “wishy washy”, i.e. refusing to take a position on a variety of subjects, not decidedly having an opinion, as most people seem to. On a whole host of matters. This is something I share with a very good friend you’ve heard me reference here in the Diaries many times, Matthew Sabatella (occasionally referred to as Toad in earlier years when these Diaries were more a workshop for the novel The Adventures of Fishy. And with Madeline O’Ryan. We spent our youth teens and twenties often ruminating and philosophizing on a whole host of subjects, finding it very difficult to understand the consciousness of those who could readily just make up their mind on something and give it no more thought. We found, and still do I believe, that important matters often have multiple facets that affect many people.
Despite what you may think you believe, research it a bit more or give it some more thought and you’ll find that it’s deeper and trickier than you first were led to believe. As a Philosophy major and a recording artist this way of being served me well, certainly didn’t hurt me, and in fact led to the whole “Ambassador” ideology that helped shape who I am today. I truly subscribe to the Will Rogers “I never met a person I didn’t like” mentality. Of course this infuriates both my liberal and my conservative friends. But it’s just how I was genetically spun. It’s how I came out. It serves The Ambassador very well. Ed Hale, maybe not so much sometimes. But I just happen to love people, and can usually find it pretty easy to see their side of things… and I just happen to be able to see all sides to almost any issue. They’re all just beliefs after all. Beliefs that we make up in each present moment. Whether we know it or not. (That’s really the secret. But that’s not what this post is about.)
Some people decide to be leaders. They want to be leaders. Some of them choose politics as their way of leading. In the old days, throughout our short history here on earth, these political leaders usually started out as corrupt thieves, conquerors, murderers and warriors. That’s human history in a nutshell. Study it. Royalty is a fancy way of attempting to legitimize being a heartless and corrupt thief and murderer. So too are most major religions. And most of human history’s most famous political leaders. Whether you start at the very very beginning with humanity’s first known “king” Sargon the Great, or the Egyptian Pharoes, through to the Akkadian, Babylonian and Persian kings or Alexander the not so Great, Attilla the Hun, Gengis Khan, Julius Caesar, all the Popes, the Sultans, the Ottomons, the English kings and Queens, etc etc on down the line what you find is a very bloody list of horrible human beings. more “Making Sense of the First Democratic Debates – Proposals and Policies – Part 1”
The original title of this post was “Christianity Is Making Progress Towards Enlightenment… But Needs to Do it Faster”. But after the final read-thru edit, that didn’t quite seem to sum up its core message. It’s important to note however that the reason for the original title is because despite the ideas expressed below, especially regarding the apparent backwards direction many christian churches around the world are moving in, along with seemingly every other major world religion, there are plenty of others, just not in the majority, that are making great strides toward becoming more progressively minded institutions that embody the highest ideals of enlightenment, or what we might call an enlightened humanism for the modern world we live in. Refuges for both the spiritually hungry and compassionate AND the liberally minded intellectual. It’s not all bad news out there. There just happens to be a lot less of them than there are the more rigidly close minded so called fundamentalist types.
If one is not specifically a Christian, or better put, an actively participating Christian, then it would be easy to not notice what has been happening in the various denominations of the larger world of Christendom over the last few years. That’s a given. And one would have a valid excuse for not being up to date on the latest and greatest hits of the Christian world. After all, a healthy majority of people – especially in the united states and in The West in general have moved to a more non-religious secularism in the modern world we live in, due in part to the fact that for thousands of years we as humans have witnessed religion in all its various shapes and forms do almost nothing but cause great pain in the world. So this mass shift towards what is known as secular humanism or the now popular “spiritual but not religious” makes sense.
But there are massive shifts that are taking place in the Christian world (and in the Muslim and Buddhist communities) presently that are important to take note of due to the transcendent nature of the very real threat they pose of infringing on the basic rights and freedoms of our fellow man. Regardless of whether one is religious or not. Some of these radical movements further right unfortunately align with similar shifts within other world religions and the more fervent nationalist fervor that is taking place politically around the world. Various Christian protestant denominations are beginning to swing further toward what they consider a more “conservative” fundamentalist or evangelical agenda. And these moves have the potential to have larger reverberations socially that extend beyond the confines of their local church community.
It shouldn’t matter where a person is being hurt or neglected; only that when it becomes known, that there are those who are willing to reach out and come to their aid.
Three states in the US have already made moves this year that come very close to banning abortion, Georgia, Alabama and then Missouri. Which would be shocking to learn, except for the fact that we are now being bombarded by such an onslaught of so much shocking news on a daily and even hourly basis that much of it seems to go over our heads.
Christians and the LGBTQ Community
In regards to the LGBTQ community, The United Methodist Church recently convened late last year to announce that they intend to make their “rules” stricter to allow less inclusion, fewer rights and permit less tolerance of people of this persuasion. You can read more about it here: United Methodist court upholds Traditional Plan’s ban on LGBTQ clergy, same sex marriage
Performance Art and Video Blogs
At some point in 2006, the author of the Transcendence Diaries — sometimes known as Fishy or Tobias Guess — disappeared, or better put, stopped posting here in the Diaries. It wasn’t immediately clear why. In the meantime, singer-songwriter Ed Hale, being caught up in the filming of the new TV show Transcendent Television, began to get obsessed with YouTube, specifically using it as a new vehicle for blogging on his Transcendent Television YouTube channel. In 2011, the proverbial cat escaped from the bag and it was formally revealed that Ed Hale was indeed the author of the Transcendence Diaries. And hence the strange extended absence of newly written Diaries posts in the years 2006 to 2007 herein was explained. Hale went on YouTube as Ed Hale the recording artist and was excited about the new medium. But he did not want to reveal that he was the author of the Transcendence Diaries. So the two were completely separate entities and not connected in any way. Until now. Ed Hale recorded and uploaded nearly 100 video blogs to YouTube during that one year period. Along with an additional 100 new songs he was writing. So We’ve created a playlist that features all of the video uploads that could logically be said to be “blogs”, because in reality they really do belong here, and always did.
Caution might be noted here: though Ed Hale never held back from saying whatever he thought or felt when he was writing in the Diaries, and still doesn’t, which for some may be one of the more appealing aspects of the project, that same ideology and approach has a different tone and vibration when it is translated to video and the audible spoken word. It may be prudent to advise that some of the material could for some be easily offensive. Or not. But it’s been said at least. Bare in mind two things, number one, some of these entries go back a good fifteen years, before the world had become so politically correct, and two, The Ambassador is often joking around, except when he’s not (that distinction should be obvious), experimenting with a new medium and its potentialities, 99% of the time he’s riffing in real time with no script, just as he does in the Transcendence Diaries. If something seems offensive or politically incorrect or just too damn long, skip it.