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 Post subject: Re: Hard times for men
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:34 am 
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Anthropoid wrote:
It is true that archaeology, and paleo studies in general, do not enjoy as much experimental leverage on their hypotheses as do studies of things that are taking place now. That doesn't mean it is "only" imaginings. Even the most rigorous of sciences are never actually FINAL, so it should come as no surprise that paleo studies are even less final.

The problem in my opinion is that too many people like Nero think that "strong support" for a particular hypothesis (much less some support, or only spotty support) automatically makes it TRUTH. From my perspective, even in the most well-established empirical generalizations and best supported theories in the most rigorous sciences, it is quite difficult to establish any "TRUTH."

Mathematics is perhaps the one area where we can speak of truth (at least some of the time, and there are even exceptions and caveats there!). But math is not "science." Math is a language of logic. Certainly the Queen of the Sciences but not a science itself. Or at least that is my view, and I'm happy to hear those of others!


Yes, I'm not criticizing archaeology or paleology.

I'm just pointing out that they are not that different from economics or sociology when it comes to uncertainty and difficulty.

And despite difficulty in ever reaching any strongly supported conclusion it doesn't mean that it's not worth to study and arrive at best current explanation for findings. These are some of those fields where instead of arriving at "oh yea, we *do* know that gravity exists because it would be silly at this point to criticize it. We could be wrong as always but that's VERY unlikely" we arrive at "this is an ongoing debate and will never be truly solved but here's where we are at".

But that just won't do if you're going to turn the research news into propaganda to support some political agenda. Suddenly it's "SCIENCE proves that our side is right!"

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 Post subject: Re: Hard times for men
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:17 pm 
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This demographic business is one of the few arenas in which archaeological research approaches high certainty. or at least MAY approach high certainty. You are correct that the 7000 years of post-late-Neolithic land use in Europe have likely obliterated most of the sites we'd want to know about. Even so, some aspects of the theory are testable.

If for example male mortality especially among the very young is great among known sites, but female mortality is not, it would support the general assumption that *males* were disproportionately adversely affected. That would tell us much about the nature of the bottleneck. If there's no uptick in evidence for male mortality then the bottleneck is clearly not one of increased "hardship" on males but instead one of massively enhanced success among a small number of somewhat-related males.

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