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primative peoples knowledge of their enviroment

 
 
north
 
Reply Tue 31 May, 2011 09:36 pm

is their knowledge of their enviroment important and should be perserved ?

I think so , I think of their knowledge as a type of University

or should primative peoples become modernized so to speak ?

thoughts
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 1,037 • Replies: 17
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jun, 2011 11:02 pm
@north,
It's very tempting to romanticize so-called "primitive" people. If they seem to be better stewards of their environment I don't think it is because of special ecological knowledge or a love for mother earth, i.e., ecological intentions. If and when they develop the technological ability to screw up their environment, they often do.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 01:23 am
@JLNobody,
The "buffalo jumps" used by the natives of North America come to mind.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jun, 2011 08:04 pm
@roger,
I've read that these mass killings of buffalo was intended to produce lots of meat and hides to get through the winter. In that case--if it was necessary for group survival--we may want to say that they were using rather than abusing their environment (?)
0 Replies
 
G H
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jun, 2011 10:26 am
Myth of the noble savage. Because of the lower-level technology, a primitive human culture's alterations of the environment and contributions to species extinctions are merely slower. In fact, without knowledge or concern of wider causal linkages and predictive methods of science, and the "save this or save that" awareness of zealotry movements that various literature mediums could stimulate creation of, and a limited ability to reverse or clean-up messes they generated even if they ever happened to care -- they usually couldn't stop the results that their traditions and habits eventually lead to. The disaster of Easter Island is a an example: Almost total deforestation of the island in ever increasing attempts to further attract the attention of supernatural deities or forces to rescue them from what the building and moving of the bloody statues was the cause of in the first place. The difference is that it took the original denizens centuries to destroy their finite home, whereas the Europeans with better tools might have accomplished it in decades.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jun, 2011 10:35 am
@G H,
Good!
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jun, 2011 11:01 am
@JLNobody,
To my mind few peoples are more primitive than those of the western civilizations. Perhaps not the traditional use of the term, but way more appropriate in my (bold) opinion.

I think alot of our general mindset comes from the teachings of christianity. God created the earth and then put human beings in it upon completion, as it's masters. So we are not raised to think of ourselves are part of nature. We are something else, something elevated above it, which has led us to ruthlessly exploit it without a care. We have terms like "unnatural", when nothing really fits that description.

I do believe that a culture founded on a belief that humans are inescapably part of the natural ecosystem are far less likely to screw up their environment, because they would be keenly aware that doing so would be screwing up themselves. That we are so insensitive to this, or at least have been for hundreds of years, is to me a testament to how primitive we really are. Selfishness isn't a particularly advanced driveforce. Even rats have it.
north
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2011 08:42 pm
@Cyracuz,
Cyracuz wrote:

To my mind few peoples are more primitive than those of the western civilizations. Perhaps not the traditional use of the term, but way more appropriate in my (bold) opinion.

I think alot of our general mindset comes from the teachings of christianity. God created the earth and then put human beings in it upon completion, as it's masters. So we are not raised to think of ourselves are part of nature. We are something else, something elevated above it, which has led us to ruthlessly exploit it without a care. We have terms like "unnatural", when nothing really fits that description.

I do believe that a culture founded on a belief that humans are inescapably part of the natural ecosystem are far less likely to screw up their environment, because they would be keenly aware that doing so would be screwing up themselves. That we are so insensitive to this, or at least have been for hundreds of years, is to me a testament to how primitive we really are. Selfishness isn't a particularly advanced driveforce. Even rats have it.


here -here

the Cree

have a poster , that runs like this ;

when we have polluted every river

when we have cut down every tree

when we have caught every fish

only then will we understand that money cannot be eaten
0 Replies
 
wayne
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2011 09:27 pm
@Cyracuz,
We might be able to slow our effect on the environment, culturally, and we have taken some measures in that direction. However, the very success of our species ensures we must overtax our environment.
You put too many cows in a pasture, they will over graze and destroy the pasture.

I suppose it would be theoretically possible for a scientific study to determine the amount of humans the Earth could support. The variables, though, are incredibly complex.
I doubt that 7 billion primitive people would be any more environmentally aware than our present society. In fact, probably less so. Primitive peoples have generally relied on nomadic traits in order to fit into their environment.
north
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2011 09:31 pm

to reiterate

is their knowledge of their enviroment important and should be perserved ?

I think so , I think of their knowledge as a type of University

or should primative peoples become modernized so to speak ?

thoughts
wayne
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2011 09:41 pm
@north,
Maybe you could be more specific as to what knowledge you refer to.
Some South American tribes have the knowledge of which spiders are good to eat, African desert nomads know where to find bugs and ostrich eggs.
I really don't see their knowledge as being any better than that obtained by a good naturalist or entomologist.
north
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2011 09:55 pm
@wayne,
wayne wrote:

Maybe you could be more specific as to what knowledge you refer to.
Some South American tribes have the knowledge of which spiders are good to eat, African desert nomads know where to find bugs and ostrich eggs.
I really don't see their knowledge as being any better than that obtained by a good naturalist or entomologist.


the point is , is that they KNOW how to survive , in that enviroment ( hence how both the naturalist and the entomologist learned in the first place , from them ) and they keep the skill alive , wisdom
wayne
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2011 10:09 pm
@north,
Biologists, and such, depend upon the local knowledge to some degree. However, they apply modern knowledge and technique to advance our modern knowledge far beyond that of the native peoples.

As far as survival skills go, it's pretty hard to preserve knowledge past the point of usefulness.
For instance, the American Indians had the knowledge to survive in an environment populated by buffalo, but that knowledge is useless now.

We do preserve tool making skills, there are quite a few people knapping stone and making bows from scratch.
A lot of primitive skills are preserved in writing, the internet has added a new dimension to that.
north
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2011 10:24 pm
@wayne,
wayne wrote:

Biologists, and such, depend upon the local knowledge to some degree.


not to some degree but totally in the field

Quote:
However, they apply modern knowledge and technique to advance our modern knowledge far beyond that of the native peoples.


such as



Quote:
As far as survival skills go, it's pretty hard to preserve knowledge past the point of usefulness.
For instance, the American Indians had the knowledge to survive in an environment populated by buffalo, but that knowledge is useless now.


of course

hardly a good example

what of the Northern Natives , Eskimo's for example , and their knowledge of the north

Quote:
We do preserve tool making skills, there are quite a few people knapping stone and making bows from scratch.
A lot of primitive skills are preserved in writing, the internet has added a new dimension to that.


in writing is one thing , to get the experience , the feel and intricate skill is another
wayne
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2011 10:46 pm
@north,
Quote:
not to some degree but totally in the field


Hardly so, they bring their own tools, food supplies, water filters etc.

Quote:
such as


We develop medicines from plants, we have a great deal more knowledge of the intricacys of species habits. We've got scientists living in specialized treetop habitats, studying insects.

Quote:
of course

hardly a good example

what of the Northern Natives , Eskimo's for example , and their knowledge of the north


I don't think you're being realistic here, Eskimos get around on snowmobiles nowadays.

Quote:
in writing is one thing , to get the experience , the feel and intricate skill is another


" If one man can do it, another can do it "
If we preserve as much as we can in writing, it will perhaps be there if we need to know.
Once again, knowledge of the past, is just that, knowledge of the past.
The greater portion of the world has changed far beyond the usefulness of primitive skills, we have adapted and developed new skills.

For the record, I think it's important to preserve knowledge, any knowledge.
But preserving and practicing are 2 different things.
north
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2011 11:01 pm
@wayne,

Quote:
not to some degree but totally in the field


Quote:
Hardly so, they bring their own tools, food supplies, water filters etc.


but who guides them , I have yet to see any program in which guides which are native to this land are not present

Quote:
such as


Quote:
We develop medicines from plants, we have a great deal more knowledge of the intricacys of species habits. We've got scientists living in specialized treetop habitats, studying insects.


sure but the ecology of the natives with their enviroment is my point

Quote:
of course

hardly a good example

what of the Northern Natives , Eskimo's for example , and their knowledge of the north


Quote:
I don't think you're being realistic here, Eskimos get around on snowmobiles nowadays.


snowmobiles is about convience and speed not with understanding their enviroment

Quote:
in writing is one thing , to get the experience , the feel and intricate skill is another


" If one man can do it, another can do it "
If we preserve as much as we can in writing, it will perhaps be there if we need to know.
Once again, knowledge of the past, is just that, knowledge of the past.
The greater portion of the world has changed far beyond the usefulness of primitive skills, we have adapted and developed new skills.

For the record, I think it's important to preserve knowledge, any knowledge.
But preserving and practicing are 2 different things.
[/quote]

this is the thing , the reason the Franklin expedition did not survive is because he didn't learn from the Eskimo's on how to live and survive in the Northern polar enviroment
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Jun, 2011 02:51 am
@wayne,
Quote:
We might be able to slow our effect on the environment, culturally, and we have taken some measures in that direction. However, the very success of our species ensures we must overtax our environment.


This again is about mindset. We are our environment. All this tells me is that we have some fucked up parameters for "success". Perhaps we are not having success now at anything but killing ourselves. We already feel the effects, and that is part of the reason why large parts of the population of the world lives in deprivation so we can sustain our standard of wealth and excess.

Quote:
I doubt that 7 billion primitive people would be any more environmentally aware than our present society.


I doubt that environmentally aware people would allow their population to rise that high. If we had the mindset from the start that we are our environment, we would not have done a whole lot of things that set off this chain reaction of shortage of resources.
And there is a foundation that is working to determine, among other things, precisely how we can live without raping the world. The phoenix foundation. They have some interesting ideas.
urangutan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Jun, 2011 03:53 am
@Cyracuz,
Firstly I apologize Cyracuz, that I am directing this response through your last post but I am a little unsure of format here and have just opted for the easiest option.

I suppose that ther is more to the original question, than has yet been addressed. Are we answering how a primitive culture can have an exact understanding of the cosmos, equal to much of what we have learned ourselves. Does the concept of how native Australians, Aborigines, never developing shields, for conflict was never a warfare but perhaps merely an arguement out of hand and what of the cultures that faded due to the stretched resources in their environment. Are we considering, third world as primitive, however much we and others have infiltrated and most importantly, how primitive we ourselves are, had our history not exploded, during the epoch of the dark ages.

Where would we be, had Alexandria not burned, had the church embraced, ancient understandings, had we avoided conflict in place of greed. Would we be as we are, for better or for worse?
0 Replies
 
 

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