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Spotted Horses May Have Roamed Europe 25,000 Years Ago

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the space-horses-run-the-cia dept.

Science 87

sciencehabit writes with an excerpt from Science: "About 25,000 years ago, humans began painting a curious creature on the walls of European caves. Among the rhinos, wild cattle, and other animals, they sketched a white horse with black spots. Although such horses are popular breeds today, scientists didn't think they existed before humans domesticated the species about 5000 years ago. Now, a new study of prehistoric horse DNA concludes that spotted horses did indeed roam ancient Europe, suggesting that early artists may have been reproducing what they saw rather than creating imaginary creatures."

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Well (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983364)

We (in Europe) prefer to call them cows.

Re:Well (0, Offtopic)

Tukz (664339) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983462)

+1 funny.
Made me laugh at least.

Re:Well (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983774)

What's with this "+1" bullshit? This isn't Google Plus. This isn't Digg. This isn't reddit. This isn't Mozilla or whatever open source projects do that +1 mailing list voting nonsense.

If you've got mod points, then use them. If you don't, then it's not your place to be rating comments, so pipe down.

Re:Well (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983844)

-1 not-funny...

Re:Well (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983850)

-1 stupid rant.

What's with this "+1" bullshit? This isn't Google Plus. This isn't Digg. This isn't reddit. This isn't Mozilla or whatever open source projects do that +1 mailing list voting nonsense.

If you've got mod points, then use them. If you don't, then it's not your place to be rating comments, so pipe down.

Re:Well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983896)

+1 Angry

Re:Well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983936)

+1 damn right!

Re:Well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983950)

+1 you must be new here

Re:Well (2, Informative)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37984014)

He must.

Slashdot has been doing +1 before numbers were invented.

Re:Well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983964)

|-1 doesn't really make any sense tho.

Re:Well (0)

Frenzied Apathy (2473340) | more than 2 years ago | (#37984600)

Geez! Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the /. site today! :(

Re:Well (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988184)

Slashdotters were +1-ing posts long before Google+ came about.

Re:Well (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989064)

-1 grumpy

Re:Well (1)

laejoh (648921) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983662)

In ancient times...
Hundreds of years before the dawn of history
Lived a strange race of people... the Druids

No one knows who they were or what they were doing
But their legacy remains
Hewn into the living rock... Of Stonehenge

Well... now we know what the Druids were doing. They were painting horses!

Re:Well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983752)

We (in Europe) prefer to call them cows.

A lot of street niggers like to wear black-and-white camoflage. They look like cows, they hang out in huge packs.

Most of them are fat too. And will somebody give these fuckfaces a belt already? You think their welfare plan should include one.

Re:Well (0)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986284)

I know I shouldn't feed a racist troll but he brings up something that maybe someone here can answer because it has been puzzling me...How in the fuck do those "Thug Life!"ers walk down the damned street with their pants THAT low and they don't fall off? hell how do they even stand? Do they use glue? Tape? Because I have seen thug lifers stand on a corner for hours like that and NEVER have to adjust or pull those things up and gravity dictates that they should be around their ankles. Hooks attached to the outer thigh?

As for TFA why wouldn't there be spotted horses? mother nature is pretty well known for having offshoots and variants and as we have seen with many animals spots can make for a good camouflage, so it would just seem natural that at sometime in the past horses would have offshoots that had mixed colors. Now pink polka dot or something like that I could see doubting, but mixed coloring on animals is probably as old as time. After all if we can have hobbit sized people and elephants the size of horses i doubt horses having spots would be THAT big a leap.

I also doubt there would be much fibbing on the part of the painters, as from the cave paintings I've seen anyway they appear to be telling the tribal stories, the men dropping game, migrating herds, the things that would actually affect their lives. I wouldn't be surprised if the horse migrations were watched and followed like any other large game.

Re:Well (0)

lsolano (398432) | more than 2 years ago | (#37984008)

:-D :-D Hilarious indeed!

Re:Well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37984312)

I bet the learned the hard way when they attempted to milk a "cow" for the first time.

Re:Well (1)

ryzvonusef (1151717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37997170)

I am sure female horses lactate, they are mammals too /pedantic

Damn (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983406)

Damn, and I was rooting for psychedelic use among cave painters.

Realistic vs Imagination (1)

tetrahedrassface (675645) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983456)

While spotted horses once ran and roamed the fertile plains of Europe, they may have been a small subset of the total horse population. Maybe the spotted horses were made fun of. Maybe the cave-people laughed as they graced the walls of caves with their likeness. It's never been easy to be different, and possibly the cave-people just wanted to say to history.. 'we have diversity too'. Or, maybe not. Maybe all the horses were spotted. Maybe some were striped, or perhaps looked like a Palomino. Would we feel differently then? Actually, the cave-people drew what they saw because they were cave-people. They weren't drawing imaginary cities or imaginary trees... How is this news really? Spotted horses are great, if you like horses.

Also, Dear Slashdot: Please get a Google + page and post these article to Google plus, so I don't ever have to visit the darkside of the force of facebook again. Thank you. :)

Re:Realistic vs Imagination (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983500)

Anyone here, really, could (unethically) make a Slashdot page on G+ and doggedly keep track of the stories for the benefit of the whole world. Pity we're all lazy bastards...

Re:Realistic vs Imagination (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983554)

Any real slashdotter would automate it. Today's xkcd [xkcd.com] applies.

Re:Realistic vs Imagination (0)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983566)

That was yesterday's. XKCD isn't published on Tuesdays.

Re:Realistic vs Imagination (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983640)

That was yesterday's. XKCD isn't published on Tuesdays.

Depends on your time-zone.
At +10GMT, US Pacific Time is 18 hours ago so the "Monday" strip was published on Tuesday.

Re:Realistic vs Imagination (0)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983724)

Pfft. UTC is what counts.

Besides, it was published more than 24h ago, so it couldn't have been "today" anywhere.

Re:Realistic vs Imagination (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983762)

Uhm... I'm in London and the strips are available by 10 a.m. - If you add 10 hours, that 8 p.m. that the strips are published where you are (Latest)

Re:Realistic vs Imagination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983536)

I've been using the Slashdot gadget window on iGoogle for years. It shows the last X articles posted to their RSS, and when you expand you can read the entire summary (for what that's worth) without leaving the page. Can't say iGoogle is evil if you're already using G+! Is actually great, I have the entire right side of the window setup to search for my local sports teams, so I can read articles from all of them easily found from my homepage. Gmail integration is nice, too. I'm sure there's 10k more useful gadgets, but I haven't changed my page in a while.

Back on point though, iGoogle already has this functionality.

Re:Realistic vs Imagination (1)

Frenzied Apathy (2473340) | more than 2 years ago | (#37984700)

^^ This

I keep an eye on the latest /. postings from my iGoogle page, too. That way I don't end up visiting /. only to find out the story is useless and a waste of my time, like that stupid story about spotted horses from 25,000 years ago.

Wait - I umm - oops...

Re:Realistic vs Imagination (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983730)

If you don't like going to Facebook to find out what's on Slashdot, the following link is extremely useful:

http://www.slashdot.org

Re:Realistic vs Imagination (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983926)

I use the RSS feed for my google home page.

Every time I use google there is the list of the 9 most recent Slashdot articles approved.

Don't know why Google only allows 9 not 10... I think the people from the "snooze timer institute" have been sleeping with some of the google execs.

Re:Realistic vs Imagination (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37984344)

It's trinary: 3^2 is 9. Slashdot is a computer-oriented site, and computers work in trinary numbers, expressing everything as zero, one, or CowboyNeal. This system was pioneered by C. S. Peirce, the only American philosopher and physicist to be kicked out of both Harvard and Princeton for moral turpitude: his trinary-based logic lies at the heart of Slashcode, the efficient, well-designed, standards-compliant and always fully functional content management system that delivers fresh, non-reduplicated, authentic news free of astroturfing, dupes, and slashvertisements to your door every morning along with your milk.

Re:Realistic vs Imagination (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985024)

If you don't like going to Facebook to find out what's on Slashdot, the following link is extremely useful:

http://www.slashdot.org

I just recently started reading my /. here:
http://alterslash.org/ [alterslash.org]

Re:Realistic vs Imagination (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983732)

I like horses - mainly nags - but this was a story I skipped on the BBC yesterday because I cannot see any point to it.

Brown is the only colour that matters with horses. The brown horse always wins.

Re:Realistic vs Imagination (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983790)

This post is good for all. I read all and it's very helpful for me.
Thanks [blogspot.com]

Re:Realistic vs Imagination (0)

corbettw (214229) | more than 2 years ago | (#37984434)

Holy shit, there's some one Slashdot who doesn't use an RSS feed to get updates on what's on the main page? Git off my lawn!

Re:Realistic vs Imagination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37997424)

I don't use the RSS feed most of the time, I just load the main page and keep loading stories till I get to ones I have already read, then I work from bottom to top and reload and start again when I reach the top, it works for me. I do have the RSS feed on my phones RSS reader, but I don't do much /. reading on my phone.

If I could sync which stories I have read between my phone and desktop, I might use RSS on my desktop, but I'm not aware of anything that will work the way I want it to (my phone is a Nokia N900 and I don't want any information to go through Google to accomplish this)

Oh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983484)

I always thought those "spotted horses" were supposed to be female Fallow Deer.

Up next: Unicorns are not imaginary creatures lol (0)

youn (1516637) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983496)

According to a rumor I just made up, Harry potter has been Lobbying for their recognition for a while

Re:Up next: Unicorns are not imaginary creatures l (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37985244)

A unicorn is simply a rhinoceros. They were never imaginary.

Wait a moment... (0)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983558)

...humans began painting a curious creature on the walls of European caves. Among the rhinos...

Did I miss a memo?

Re:Wait a moment... (4, Funny)

Dreth (1885712) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983590)

...humans began painting a curious creature on the walls of European caves. Among the rhinos...

Did I miss a memo?

It was written on the wall! How could you have missed it?

Re:Wait a moment... (5, Informative)

Calydor (739835) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983616)

Europe had a breed of rhino, actually. It's extinct now.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woolly_rhinoceros [wikipedia.org]

Re:Wait a moment... (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983678)

So I did miss the memo. ;)

I did a quick search but nothing turned up, thanks for the link!

We have them here in the South Eastern US. (-1, Redundant)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983582)

We have these spotted horses all over the place - many many farms around here have them wandering around in their pastures. Of course, we don't call them spotted horses. We just call them "cows."

Shocking! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983588)

Film at 11!

Spotted (2)

jimshatt (1002452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983624)

So these cavemen were horse-spotters! Bwahahaha.

Re:Spotted (1)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 2 years ago | (#37984976)

They were spotted horse spotters who were spotting walls with spotted horses they had spotted.

camo (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983642)

Animals using camouflage before humans appeared on this planet?

I don't believe it.

It never ceases to amaze me... (4, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983788)

how much many modern people assume our primitive ancestors were total morons who had more in common with a screaming chimp than modern humans in their ability to grasp what they saw happening around them. How fucking arrogant do you have to be to believe that they were just making up something like this instead of perhaps prizing the spotted horses as more aesthetically pleasing to their sensibilities?

When you look at what many of the "scientifically-minded" believed in the 19th and early 20th century like phrenology, eugenics, "the noble savage" and a host of other things it is downright shocking that any remotely history-literate person can be so arrogant.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (2)

cfc-12 (1195347) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983890)

How fucking arrogant do you have to be to believe that they were just making up something like this instead of perhaps prizing the spotted horses as more aesthetically pleasing to their sensibilities?

I agree with your main point, but I'm not sure arrogant is the right word. Surely it would take a more advanced mind to invent and draw an animal that nobody has ever seen before than just to draw something that you see every day.

I'm not sure why anyone would have assumed the creatures were imaginary, arrogant or not.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (4, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#37984020)

There are actually two reasons why archeologists believed that the spotted horses were imaginary. The first is that in dogs a spotted coat is a result of the domestication process (as was demonstrated by a Russian researcher who bred foxes to produce a creature that had the same relationship to foxes that dogs have to wolves--simplification of the study). The second is that earlier studies of the DNA of horses from the time showed only black and brown coats.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (2)

geekopus (130194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37984430)

GP is right though: The fact that there were drawings should have tipped them off that maybe their analysis was incomplete, rather than drawing the unwarranted conclusion of "Well, they must have just made them up".

This is the scientific equivalent of those idiots that drive off of cliffs because of what their GPS tells them [techdirt.com] rather than what they see with their own two eyes.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985408)

Depending on how they approached it, concluding that the spotted horses were fantasy could be good science.
However, archeology has done this in a manner that suggests those who go into archeology are too quick to conclude that ancient recorders (whether in writing or in art) of history were fantasists of the first order. In the 1800s, archeologists believed that Biblical references to the Assyrians were made up and that the Assyrians never existed because there were no references to the Assyrians in the records from Egypt and other parts of the Middle East that had been recovered at that time. It turns out that when they did finally discover records of the Assyrians that the Biblical accounts were fairly accurate and that the other civilizations contemporary with them hated them so much that they attempted to eliminate all reference to the Assyrians after the fall of Assyria.
There are several other examples of where archeologists dismissed ancient records of something as fantasy because they did not have independent corroboration, only to later have to admit that the records were accurate (at least by the standards of the time the records were made).

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37988010)

Depending on how they approached it, concluding that the spotted horses were fantasy could be good science.

Most of it is nothing close to "good science". Time and time again archeology finds data to support their conclusions and literally go out of their way to ignore LOTS of data which invalidates their theory. Very little good science comes from archeology; though it need not be that way.

If you dig, you will literally be shocked to learn the full extent of lies and fabrications which are steadfast entrenched in both archeology and paleontology. Factually, many civilizations are much older than is commonly taught and many dinosaurs which we are taught to have existed, never did. Turns out, they existed only because of exceptionally fraudulent "science." And I'm not exaggerating at all.

There are also artifacts in universities and museums which invalidate many commonly taught timelines but are completely ignored simply because no such theories and/or technologically advanced civilizations can account for them. So in spite of knowing full well many popular theories are completely wrong, they go on teaching them as if the evidence actually supported their position; knowing full well it doesn't, if you account for all of the facts and actual artifacts. In other words, they know they teach bullshit on a daily basis.

So yes, factually speaking, it is exceptionally rare for "good science" to intersect with archeology or paleontology; and when it does, its more often than not, shunned.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 2 years ago | (#37991040)

I think with archaeologists, there was (and probably still is) a lingering hangover from the Middle Ages that severely warped their ability to value "traditional" sources (the Bible, classical mythology, etc.) seriously. Too many people wanted too strongly to prove they weren't taking "silly old myths" seriously....

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 2 years ago | (#37984032)

You never take an artistic rendering as a fact in science. See dinosaurs.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (1)

clintp (5169) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986152)

You never take an artistic rendering as a fact in science. See dinosaurs.

I'd take a Audubon rendition of a bird to be a reasonable description of a specimen of a species. Not science, but a reliable factual eyewitness account.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37984526)

Often I find myself holding something in high esteem right before I eat it.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985346)

How fucking arrogant do you have to be to believe that they were just making up something like this

I think you're the arrogant one thinking everything they did was to be some kind of accurate historical record. Lots of modern day humans draw mythological or other fictional creatures too, maybe someone told a tall tale and a shaman decided to paint it on a cave wall. It would be foolish to take it all as fact.

When you look at what many of the "scientifically-minded" believed in the 19th and early 20th century like phrenology, eugenics, "the noble savage" and a host of other things it is downright shocking that any remotely history-literate person can be so arrogant.

What's funny to me is that we've bred wolves to dogs, yet deny that humans can be bred. It might not be a society that we want, but it's no myth that through directed reproduction we could change humanity. And that perhaps there are genetic variations on the inside too, clearly you can see them in size and appearance so why not in intelligence, disposition and so on? Surely nobody denies it in dogs, yet humans are all exactly the same except for individual variations? Sane with gender, you can have gender equality but don't tell me men and women are the same. Despite all the attempts to rewrite reality it turns out men and women make different choices and want different things and it's systematic. It's just gotten very politically incorrect to say anything but that we're all perfectly identical and there's absolutely no linking any trait to any particular ethnic group.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37985576)

How about that, a voice of reason. We can't have that. Come with me.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (1)

Nemo137 (1207298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986572)

Because the influence of cultural systems on humans is greater than the influence of genetics. So any potential variations are swamped by by cultural variations, as seen by, oh, the entire goddamn sweep of human history.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (2)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985372)

I know this is a little off-topic but phrenology was founded in good science. It's basic ideas play a large role in how we view the brain today. What happened was that the science of phrenology was popularized (essentially politicized), losing its soundness (for the day) and credibility in the process (think pop psychology shows on T.V.). Phrenology gets a bad wrap because it was misused and abused. Since Gall didn't have any lovely MRI machines at his disposal, he did what he could - try to localize cognition, emotion, and mental functions based on what he could measure - the skull. His ideas helped pave the way for a radical shift in our understanding of the relationships between brain and behavior. Yes, there are ideas of phrenology that seem quaint when looking back from today but Gall helped lead to a paradigm shift in our understanding of the brain. I'm not saying all his methods were sound - there were some serious flaws, but most of the problems stemmed from people misusing his work.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (1)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 2 years ago | (#37998894)

Argh, "its" not "it's".

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985470)

how much many modern people assume our primitive ancestors were total morons who had more in common with a screaming chimp than modern humans in their ability to grasp what they saw happening around them. How fucking arrogant do you have to be to believe that they were just making up something....

Not sure, but all them religions seemed made up...

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (1)

PhysicsPhil (880677) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985644)

How fucking arrogant do you have to be to believe that they were just making up something like this instead of perhaps prizing the spotted horses as more aesthetically pleasing to their sensibilities?

If paintings are all the evidence you need, then surely you find the drawings, painting and written Biblical references to the unicorn even more compelling? How about the extensive and ancient Chinese descriptions of the dragon? Absent other evidence that the spotted horse actually existed, it isn't unreasonable to discount the pictures as fantasy.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37986528)

What biblical unicorns?

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37987332)

how much many modern people assume our primitive ancestors were total morons who had more in common with a screaming chimp than modern humans in their ability to grasp what they saw happening around them. How fucking arrogant do you have to be to believe that they were just making up something like this instead of perhaps prizing the spotted horses as more aesthetically pleasing to their sensibilities?

When you look at what many of the "scientifically-minded" believed in the 19th and early 20th century like phrenology, eugenics, "the noble savage" and a host of other things it is downright shocking that any remotely history-literate person can be so arrogant.

This is common a approach to archeology these days. If you did, you'll find there are conflicts even between archeologists and Egyptologists. There are common cases where oral traditions lay out a history, which if fully backed by artifacts and even written history which conflict with popular timelines so all the facts are literally ignored and a new timeline is completely invited. The completely falsified timeline is then published and that's what is commonly taught. Interestingly enough, most all the facts directly conflict with most major timelines and yet they all, completely independently, point back in time to roughly 9-12 thousand years ago. Modern archeology is definitely a pseudo-science and will remain as such until new theories and discoveries are allowed to be viewed and discussed without destroying the career of any who dare buck the system. Modern archeology is a joke and is built atop one bold face lie after another, time and time again.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37987480)

It never ceases to amaze me how much many modern people assume our primitive ancestors were total morons who had more in common with a screaming chimp than modern humans in their ability to grasp what they saw happening around them. How fucking arrogant do you have to be to believe that they were just making up something like this instead of perhaps prizing the spotted horses as more aesthetically pleasing to their sensibilities?

IDK. Isn't that how the bible was written?

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (1)

Shatrat (855151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37990122)

screaming chimp than modern humans in their ability to grasp what they saw happening around them

Maybe we just assume this of artists, ancestral or otherwise?

Cavemen are not dumb. (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983884)

It is interesting how we like to see Cavemen as dumb unsophisticated creatures. They were just as smart if not smarter then us today. The key difference was they didn't discover a lot of technology we take advantage of. How many of us will know to find metal ore. If you did find it how many would be using it in a fire hot enough to melt it.. Still after you melted it and find ways of molding it. You will probably be only using for jewelry, until you figure out more of its properties. A lot of these early discoveries were just random luck. And it could take a few generations before these random chances clicked.
 

Re:Cavemen are not dumb. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37984078)

gonna bet on smarter. we seem to be devolving.

Re:Cavemen are not dumb. (1, Interesting)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 2 years ago | (#37984112)

They were just as smart if not smarter then us today. The key difference was they didn't discover a lot of technology we take advantage of.

That "discovery" is part of our historic background and social evolution. We have have rediscovered the knowledge stored in the East (they transcribed the Greek wisdom and had mathematics and astronomy) with the crusades giving us "Enlightenment" and later making knowledge accessible. The desire to make knowledge easily accessible produced the bookpress. Without the ability to write, all that had no purpose or maybe some people going around singing about.

Also, don't judge a fish's intelligence by its ability to mount a mountain; Cavemen knew how to operate in a world that we cannot even phantom, not by choice but by necessity. But we operate in a world a cavemen wouldn't be able to comprehend either, and we use our tools by necessity to come to a simular result (we live, eat and play).

Re:Cavemen are not dumb. (1)

NiteShaed (315799) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988494)

Cavemen knew how to operate in a world that we cannot even phantom, not by choice but by necessity.

It's true. The average Slashdotter wouldn't stand a ghost of a chance in their environment.

Re:Cavemen are not dumb. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37986654)

Depends on the cave man.

We tend to forget that prehistory goes back a VERY long way. 5,000 years ago may seem like a long time to us, but if you drew a to-scale timeline of human existence from the earliest homo-sapiens to the present, these prehistoric painters would be considered ultra modern. Civilization itself would be such a recent invention that you would say it's too early to tell whether it's going to stay around a while, or if it's just a fad.

And that's not even taking into consideration other earlier human species. Homo sapiens? Oh, they're that popular group that happen to be the "in" crowd right now. It's amazing what they've accomplished in just a couple hundred thousand years, but I wouldn't bet on them sticking around for very long. Give it another couple hundred thousand and I'll bet no one even remembers them.

So yes, the cave men of 5,000 years ago were probably just as smart as we are. Take a cave man infant from that time, put him in a time machine and bring him forward to present time, put him in a modern school system, and he'll end up just like anyone else around him.

But get your cave man from a couple of million years ago and you probably won't get the same results.

Re:Cavemen are not dumb. (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987328)

How many of us will know to find metal ore

Everyone, if the challenge was to go back to the caveman days and find metal ore, when it was practically on the surface, and no one had exploited the "low hanging fruit" yet.

Re:Cavemen are not dumb. (1)

ticker47 (954580) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987772)

I agree, I've seen the Geico commercials and cavemen enjoy many of the same activities that we do.

Re:Cavemen are not dumb. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37988288)

"Before the fall when they wrote it on the wall
When there wasn't even any Hollywood
They heard the call
And they wrote it on the wall
For you and me we understood"

"Caves of Altamira" - Steely Dan

Hi (-1, Offtopic)

sabrina7712 (2503202) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983956)

I just wanted to share that I am very excited about joining. Best of luck to anyone! Regards! Montana [vacationhomes.net]

minus 3, troll) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37984082)

United [StaTes of

Appaloosas rule! (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#37984404)

Knabstrups are ok too.

The best horse I ever owned was an Appaloosa. He died two years ago at the age of 36. Good old Snout.

Re:Appaloosas rule! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37988928)

Methinks the biologists doing the original DNA study need to get out more. Dark bays (brown) are optimized for light and shadow camoflage - they're hard to see at the edge of a forest. Appaloosas on the other hand disappear when the ground has partial snow cover.
Horses for courses, mates, horses for courses.

And yes, appies rule. Especially leopard spots.

Symbolism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37987264)

"I am innately skeptical of "symbolism" when it comes to most ancient art (see e.g., the destruction of the "mother goddess" theory - http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2009/09/mother-goddess-figurines-theory.html). So, an article that shows that ancient artists painted horses as they saw them, and did not put dots on them for some strange symbolic reason, is very welcome."

From Dienekes' anthropology blog:
http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2011/11/cave-painters-painted-spotted-horses-as.html

Spotted Orange Penguins: +3, Informative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37987502)

What about LSD [youtube.com] ?

Yours In Minsk,
K. Trout

old news if you read Dale Guthrie. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37993692)

Dale Guthrie's book The Nature of Paleolithic Art covers this very issue. He makes a compelling argument that the cave paintings are representative of what paleolithic peoples experienced. He looks at the issue of horse markings particularly. It's a good book.

Darwin (1)

Yev000 (985549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37996588)

Surely we need a Darwin icon here, not Einstein... Unless of course the horses were the result of some nuclear testing done by time travellers from the 24th century.

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