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Britain's Eastern Coast Yields Oldest Human Footprints Outside Africa

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the before-the-invention-of-wellingtons dept.

Earth 120

schwit1 writes "They were a British family on a day out — almost a million years ago. Archaeologists announced Friday that they have discovered human footprints in England that are between 800,000 and 1 million years old — the most ancient found outside Africa, and the earliest evidence of human life in northern Europe. A team from the British Museum, London's Natural History Museum and Queen Mary college at the University of London uncovered imprints from up to five individuals in ancient estuary mud at Happisburgh on the country's eastern coast."

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And did these feet in ancient time (4, Funny)

E-Sabbath (42104) | about 8 months ago | (#46203007)

Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?

And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.

Re:And did these feet in ancient time (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about 8 months ago | (#46203073)

Re:And did these feet in ancient time (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 8 months ago | (#46203753)

Ask Alan Partridge. It's Norfolk.

Early primitive man could have left these footprints, up to our present day.

 

Re:And did these feet in ancient time (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46203175)

Fine, apart from the fact that

a. 'England' didn't exist for another million years and a bit.
b. The skin colour of those who left the footprints wouldn't endear them to the sort of fucking English yahoos who sing that particular ditty..

oh, FWLIW

Pedicabo Beta!

Science needs to be open to new ideas. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46203309)

A very important part of science is being open to new ideas, especially when new evidence is found that suggests that there might be flaws with existing theories.

Real scientists aren't concerned with political correctness or making everybody feel good. They're after the truth, or getting as damn near close to the truth as possible.

Here we have a very old set of footprints that are out of place with regards to more traditional lines of scientific thinking. This should obviously lead to some investigation into the validity of existing theories.

While only further investigation will show whether or not this is the case, it's quite possible that what we call "humans" today did originate in the British Isles, and migrated to Africa. Just because older footprints have been found in Africa does not mean that there weren't even earlier footprints preserved in England, and just not discovered yet, or perhaps destroyed in times past.

And it's even quite possible that these early humans may have even been white, or had lighter and pinker skin. It could very well be that Africans today are the ancestors of these people originally from the British Isles, rather than the opposite, as is commonly thought to be the case.

So it's clear that further investigation is needed now. Hopefully science will prevail, regardless of the outcome, rather than the politically-correct crowd impeding real scientific advancement because it might hurt somebody's feelings.

That said, if there's one thing that all scientists and the politically-correct crowd can agree on, it's that the Slashdot beta is a hunk of donkey shit that should be flushed down the toilet with all of the other fecal matter.

Re:Science needs to be open to new ideas. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46203357)

um.... no
It is pretty well established that homo species originated from Africa
In this case, Homo heidelbergensis, has fossil record in Africa going back 1.3 million years, with other significant finds in Spain
Everything (particularly the 'tapering' of evidence) points to small populations of varying homo species leaving Africa and spreading wherever they could walk

Re:Science needs to be open to new ideas. (1, Informative)

Sique (173459) | about 8 months ago | (#46203411)

And why is it called Homo heidelbergensis? Heidelberg (for Americans: Heidelburg) is neither in Africa nor in Spain. (Yes, the first remainings of H. heidelbergensis were found on a graveyard(!) in Heidelberg, Germany).

Re:Science needs to be open to new ideas. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46203469)

reading is food for your brain
It is also called Homo rhodesiensis, because it was found in Rhodesia as well
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_heidelbergensis

Re:Science needs to be open to new ideas. (1)

Sique (173459) | about 8 months ago | (#46203679)

I don't doubt that H. heidelbergensis indeed lived in Spain and Africa, but additionally, he lived in Central Europe.

Re:Science needs to be open to new ideas. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46204371)

Moved around a lot for work.

Re:Science needs to be open to new ideas. (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 8 months ago | (#46205057)

Heidelbergenisis is pretty hard to spell and pronounce. Homo Heildelbergvariousrandomplacesinanarcbetweenafricaandnorway would be quite a larger mouthful.

Re:Science needs to be open to new ideas. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46203609)

This is England, it will be called Homo Swishpooferectus, (For the rest of the world) an early ancestor to the current Queen of England; Elton John.
Found in a pub near South London, stuck under a table in a back booth.

Re:Science needs to be open to new ideas. (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 8 months ago | (#46204479)

Heidelberg (for Americans: Heidelburg)

So sorry, but it's Heidelberg here in the States too.

"berg" = hill, "burg" = city/town.

Which is not to imply that there are people who can't spell Heidelberg here - after all, there are people who can't spell "their" here....

Re:Science needs to be open to new ideas. (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 8 months ago | (#46203481)

You're over-exaggerating the out-of-placedness of these footprints.

Do you know what multiple ice ages does to the surface? Britain and especially southern Britain is just southern enough that some fossils could have survived. It seems fairly likely that there were humans, either Homo Erectus or some closely related species, all the way up in northern Scandinavia between the several ice ages over the last million years, but we will probably never find evidence that they were there.

Re:Science needs to be open to new ideas. (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 8 months ago | (#46203619)

Time travelling Incas?

Re:Science needs to be open to new ideas. (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 8 months ago | (#46203819)

"Science needs to be open to new ideas"

I'll tell him when he gets back in.

From yo momma's house...

Re:And did these feet in ancient time (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 8 months ago | (#46203547)

Nonsense, the sort of yahoos singing that ditty, would instantly picture the footprint as left by a proto-yahoo, and add a verse.
Who are we kidding?

Re:And did these feet in ancient time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46203651)

Nonsense, the sort of yahoos singing that ditty, would instantly picture the footprint as left by a proto-yahoo, and add a verse...

So damnably correct,
I'll admit I wasn't thinking clearly, I'd forgotten their penchant for extending their existence in the British isles backwards in history..In fact I may have heard that verse howled in Oxford last week, it went something like..

Ug Ug ooh Ug,
Ug oooh Ug Ug oooh,
Ug Uggy Ug Ug ooh Ug Ug,

(repeat ad nauseum, avec lots of beer quaffing).

Re:And did these feet in ancient time (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about 8 months ago | (#46203739)

I'll admit I wasn't thinking clearly, I'd forgotten their penchant for extending their existence in the British isles backwards in history..In fact I may have heard that verse howled in Oxford last week, it went something like..

Ug Ug ooh Ug,
Ug oooh Ug Ug oooh,
Ug Uggy Ug Ug ooh Ug Ug,

Sorry, but you must not have been listening close enough. It was this [youtube.com] , not Jerusalem.

Re:And did these feet in ancient time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46206127)

I'll admit I wasn't thinking clearly, I'd forgotten their penchant for extending their existence in the British isles backwards in history..In fact I may have heard that verse howled in Oxford last week, it went something like..

Ug Ug ooh Ug,
Ug oooh Ug Ug oooh,
Ug Uggy Ug Ug ooh Ug Ug,

Sorry, but you must not have been listening close enough. It was this [youtube.com] , not Jerusalem.

Fires up YT...plugs in headphones...aarrrrghh! my ears! they bleed!

Fark ewe..
(though I'll be downloading it for surreptitious installation on SOs crappy mp3 player thingy, with all ID tags suitably altered to camouflage this killer..)

Besides, anyhoo, will (possibly) be back in a week to see how things pan out, meanwhile I'll be lurking somewhere in the Newsgroup dissident camps..
   

Re:And did these feet in ancient time (1)

tuxgeek (872962) | about 8 months ago | (#46206007)

You are absolutely wrong. This is clear as day ..
Those are the footprints of the earliest Nikes ever produced. The guy next to him was wearing Keens
And behind the short bald guy was Bigfoot in flip flops

Re:And did these feet in ancient time (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 8 months ago | (#46203459)

Betteridge's law of hymns is in effect.

Re:And did these feet in ancient time (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 8 months ago | (#46204009)

Oh dear, did somebody say "mattress" to Mr Lambert?!

Re:And did these feet in ancient time (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 8 months ago | (#46204901)

s/builded/betad/

old news (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46203013)

old news... It was everywhere Thursday. Salshdot is really pathetic now, even the non beta page...

Re:old news (4, Informative)

Koen Lefever (2543028) | about 8 months ago | (#46203129)

old news... It was everywhere Thursday. Salshdot is really pathetic now, even the non beta page...

It doesn't matter if it is old news, it doesn't matter if it is a dupe, it doesn't matter if the linked article is lame, it doesn't matter that some posters are trolls or shills.

What does matter is: is there an intelligent/insightful discussion by the community? I learned a lot over the past 16 years by reading comments here.

Unfortunately, that does not seem to matter to Dice, who wants /. to be a "B2B social network". If the Beta (which has the comments section as an afterthought, in stead of as the starting point of the redesign) goes live and Classic gets disabled, it will only be "Slashdot" in name.

Re:old news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46205419)

Yes, we heard you the first million times, and so did Slashdot. If they resume trying to force-feed the Beta to the community, then you can resume your complaining. In the meantime, STFU, it's gotten really annoying.

Re: old news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46203239)

Too busy working on beta I presume...

And BTW beta sucks balls

Jerusalem (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 8 months ago | (#46203021)

And did those feet
in ancient time
Walk upon Englands mountains green

And please keep the Slashdot classic

The footprints are a code (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46203029)

They say: #fuckbeta

Re: The footprints are a code (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46203233)

Beta sucks donkey balls (and so does timothy)

What does this mean for the "out of Africa" model? (4, Interesting)

Alsn (911813) | about 8 months ago | (#46203035)

As far as I know, the model states that humans migrated from Africa a couple of hundred thousand years ago. Footsteps in Britain from "humans" 1 million years ago would seem to contradict this? Or does this simple mean that these footprints are a Neanderthal precursor species or something similar that's not actually "proper" humans?

Anyone with some more knowledge of this care to shine a light on this?

Re:What does this mean for the "out of Africa" mod (4, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | about 8 months ago | (#46203081)

Same people. Primitive GPS was really bad but people still blindly followed directions.

Re:What does this mean for the "out of Africa" mod (5, Interesting)

Zocalo (252965) | about 8 months ago | (#46203131)

Depends on the varient of the theory. One of those is that there were multiple diasporas of early humans out of Africa, but most of the early explorers died out in the ice ages or other calamities, while others may have survived longer to become the various off shoots of the human tree found in the fossil records. I'd say that idea doesn't really suffer from this find, if anything it strengthens it and establishes that humans must have started expanding out of their ancestral homelands much sooner than many may have thought and certainly doesn't prevent all of us current humans from from being decended from a much more recent Mitochondrial Eve that lived in Africa approx 100,000-200,000 years ago.

Re:What does this mean for the "out of Africa" mod (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46203287)

multiple diasporas are strongly supported by fossil and tool evidence

this is just the first example of footprints as far north as Britain

There is no clear proof that these were (they have already washed away) anything more than depressions that looked like footprints

RE: the early explorers died out..calamities (0)

nicoleb_x (1571029) | about 8 months ago | (#46204797)

"the early explorers died out in the ice ages or other calamities"

You human centric slob! The earth is what is important and an ice age or anything else (except human occupation) was NOT a calamity for the earth. The earth is OK with almost everything including asteroid hits, ice ages, super volcanoes and plate tectonics. But humanoids burning hydrocarbons? No way!

Re: the early explorers died out..calamities (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 8 months ago | (#46205421)

"The Earth does not need saving, we do" - George Carlin.

Re:What does this mean for the "out of Africa" mod (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 8 months ago | (#46203135)

It would have been H. erectus, and since we view them,as members of genus Homo, it doesn't seem a huge stretch to call them humans.

Re:What does this mean for the "out of Africa" mod (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 8 months ago | (#46205485)

It would have been H. erectus

TFA says it was probably 'Homo Antecessor'. Wether a particular species of ape is called human or not seems to depend on the hips and skull, AFAIK all apes that walked upright are commonly referred to as humans (or proto-humans) by archaeologists. The rest of us call them "ape men".

Re:What does this mean for the "out of Africa" mod (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46203169)

not homo sapiens in another article they identified Homo heidelbergensis

unfortunately, they were quickly eroded by the sea and no long term study was possible to see if it was just foot shaped depressions or actual footprints

a day late and short on info, woe unto slashdot

Re: What does this mean for the "out of Africa" mo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46203243)

The humans left Africa, the chimps stayed there

Re:What does this mean for the "out of Africa" mod (1)

nietsch (112711) | about 8 months ago | (#46203279)

Yes, I have read in the article that it presumably was 'Homo antecessor'. Species determination fromsets of footprints is very hard. We are 'homo sapiens' so calling it human is a bit of a stretch.

Re:What does this mean for the "out of Africa" mod (2)

fermion (181285) | about 8 months ago | (#46203415)

My view is it like the human population is continuously attempting to expand. The estimates that are in place now reflect when the expansions led to widespread colonization. For instance we may say that Australia had not human inhabintants prior to 50K years ago, but that does not mean it is impossible that we might find a small family group prior to that. After all, it was 200 years between the rediscovery of the continent and the first colony.

In any case I don't know where your data comes from. There was significant population in Europe almost two million years ago, with significant finds correlating to this one 1 million years ago. It is true that Neandertal was a couple hundred thousand years ago, but that was a species thing, not the presence of Hominidae.

It is true that through the 20th century the single migration theory out of africa was the preeminent explanation for how humans migrated. However, we are no seeing the picture is more complex.

Re:What does this mean for the "out of Africa" mod (2)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 8 months ago | (#46203591)

The researchers said the humans who left the footprints may have been related to Homo antecessor, or "pioneer man," whose fossilized remains have been found in Spain. That species died out about 800,000 years ago.

Direct quote. Fuck me, I won't have to try very hard to boycott.

Re:What does this mean for the "out of Africa" mod (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 8 months ago | (#46203937)

Depends on how you define "human." The people who left these footprints would probably be recognizable to us as, well, people, i.e. genus Homo, but would also recognizably very different from any people living today, i.e. Homo sapiens sapiens. The vast bulk of evidence points to successive waves of hominins arising in Africa and migrating outward, with the last such group being us. And since Homo is about two and a half million years old as best we can tell, there's was plenty of time for members of the species that left these footprints, probably Homo antecessor, to do just that.

Re:What does this mean for the "out of Africa" mod (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46204195)

This is just one of many proofs/evidences, that not all humans originated from Africa, that we have been walking this earth for millions of years. So evolution doesn't exist, and those stupid Americans with there intelligent design, which should originate 600 ? or 6000 years. Our origin is far greater than most people today believe...

We only need to really watch all the proof that's there. And not discard everything that doesn't fit in our way of life...

Re:What does this mean for the "out of Africa" mod (1)

Arker (91948) | about 8 months ago | (#46204209)

Homo *sapiens* migrated out of africa roughly 100k years ago.

These are not homo sapiens, they were members of an earlier and now extinct human race which had already spread from Africa to cover Europe and Asia at an earlier time.

Re:What does this mean for the "out of Africa" mod (4, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 8 months ago | (#46205407)

Yes, Homo Sapiens (proper humans) first appeared about 200kya. However there were other species of "humans" well before that, they too originated from Africa and walked upright. The ice ages regularly pushed the spread of all primates back toward the equator.

Also if you (gasp) RTFA it tells you that the prints were probably left by Homo Antecessor, (pioneer man), sadly the prints were washed away 2 weeks after they were discovered so we can never know for sure.

Re:What does this mean for the "out of Africa" mod (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 8 months ago | (#46209075)

If they were in Norfolk its probably just Homoamphibius they dredge these guys up every now and again to appear on Dr Who

But we weren't there so SEE... (5, Funny)

Capt.Gingi (89525) | about 8 months ago | (#46203059)

I'm sorry, but how can anyone really believe that these pre-date the creation of the planet? Was anyone THERE at THAT TIME to OBSERVE exactly when and by whom the footprints were made? Seems pretty silly to me to believe in this non-obervational "science"! I've got a good book that I can recommend that answers all these questions and more....

Re:But we weren't there so SEE... (2, Interesting)

tylernt (581794) | about 8 months ago | (#46203369)

I'm sorry, but how can anyone really believe that these pre-date the creation of the planet? Was anyone THERE at THAT TIME to OBSERVE exactly when and by whom the footprints were made? Seems pretty silly to me to believe in this non-obervational "science"!

You appear to be proceeding on the assumption that direct observation is the only reliable method of determining truth. By this standard, I must infer that you do not believe in God, since you have certainly never directly observed Him. Yes?

Re:But we weren't there so SEE... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46203543)

Sir, your willingness to engage in pointless discussion seems to be interfering with your sarcasm detector.

Re:But we weren't there so SEE... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46208631)

Whoosh....

Re:But we weren't there so SEE... (3, Informative)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 8 months ago | (#46203531)

I've got a good book that I can recommend that answers all these questions and more....

Questions like:

1. Can I sell my daughter into slavery? Yes! [biblehub.com]
2. Should I avoid all contact with women during her period? Yes! [biblegateway.com]
3. Can I buy slaves from neighbouring nations? Yes! [biblehub.com]
4. Should I kill someone who works on a Sunday? Yes! [biblehub.com]
5. Can I eat shellfish? No! [biblehub.com]
6. I have a lazy eye. Can I go to church? No! [biblehub.com]
7. Can I get a haircut? No! [biblehub.com]

Yup, good book that.

Re:But we weren't there so SEE... (5, Interesting)

claytongulick (725397) | about 8 months ago | (#46205107)

Ok, I try to avoid getting involved in religious conversations like this, but you are coming across as a typical ignorant elitist here, sneering down at things you clearly don't understand. We all get that you aren't religious, but that doesn't give you the right to present skewed information taken out of context. So, I'm going to completely waste my time here and present some *actual* information on each one of your points in the vain hope that in the future you will temper your snark.

Questions like:

1. Can I sell my daughter into slavery? Yes! [biblehub.com]

What you aren't saying, is that at the time selling children into slavery was a common practice throughout much of the "civilized" world. This 'law' was put in to place to *protect women*. The reason why is that normally when a child was sold into servitude, they would be freed after a period of time. Since (by far) the reason that women were taken as 'servants' or ('hand-maidens' depending on the interpretation) was as second wives or concubines, it was grossly unfair to the woman to then release her from service after she had been used as a sex object for years. No one would want to marry her, and she was essentially screwed. To protect against that, this law was put into place saying essentially, that if you're going to take this woman on, you have to care for her forever, you can't just have sex with her for a few years while she's pretty and then kick her out once she gets older.

2. Should I avoid all contact with women during her period? Yes! [biblegateway.com]

Again, you're totally cherry picking here. Leviticus rules of cleanliness were generally *good* things. At the time, they simply didn't understand biology, and sanitary practices were spotty at best. This was the origin of laying down some rules for sanitary practices, which is a good thing, even if they seem strange to us now. And by the way, Leviticus' admonishments were by no means limited only to women:

Leviticus 1-5:
"Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When any man has a discharge from his body, his discharge is unclean. And this shall be his uncleanness in regard to his discharge; whether his body runs with his discharge, or his body is stopped up by his discharge, it is his uncleanness. Every bed is unclean on which he who has the discharge lies, and everything on which he sits shall be unclean. And whoever touches his bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening."

This was relating to abnormal discharge, no one really understood STD's, they were just doing their best at the time. But great job completely misrepresenting Leviticus as anti-female in order to push some sort of agenda.

3. Can I buy slaves from neighbouring nations? Yes! [biblehub.com]

Again, you're totally misrepresenting the law here. A the time, this was incredibly progressive. Slavery was rampant and commonly accepted, to limit the bounds of slavery and who could be enslaved was a great step in the right direction. Considering that even the U.S. still hadn't worked out slavery issues as of only 140 years ago, applying 21st century morals to a progressive law created to put bounds and limits on slavery thousands of years ago... well, that's just childish.

4. Should I kill someone who works on a Sunday? Yes! [biblehub.com]

I don't even understand your point here. Are you saying this is still a problem? I mean, I agree - we need to stop the rampant slaughter of all the people who work on Sundays in America. Oh wait... you mean, this doesn't happen? At all? So, clearly it was a law intended for another time - a time that penalties were pretty damn harsh for just about any infraction. There's some question about how tightly this was interpreted and enforced even at that time. To casually insult and discard the bible in it's entirety because of some parts of it are written for a totally different time, culture and moral code is asinine. At the very least, it gives us a stunning historical insight into humanity.

Your other points are similarly cherry picked and disingenuous. You take an insulting an elitist attitude about things that you don't know the first thing about, and I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt by assuming you're just ignorant. If you're actually educated on these subjects, then you're willfully misrepresenting these things, which is much worse.

Yup, good book that.

I get that you're just fishing for cool points with this whole post, but your snide, disrespectful attitude just makes you look childish and uneducated. Religious or not, the Bible in an incredible historical document that should be treated with respect and educated thoughtfulness, not snarky cherry picking and misrepresentation.

Re:But we weren't there so SEE... (2, Insightful)

Barsteward (969998) | about 8 months ago | (#46205183)

"Again, you're totally cherry picking here."

thats the typical way the religious interpret the bible so whats wrong with that, the religious only cherry pick the good secular bits and hide the bad religious stuff so don't point that accusation at people criticizing the bible

Re:But we weren't there so SEE... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46205305)

Because as we all know, two wrongs make a right!

Re:But we weren't there so SEE... (1)

Swampash (1131503) | about 8 months ago | (#46205375)

Religious or not, the Bible in an incredible historical document that should be treated with respect and educated thoughtfulness, not snarky cherry picking and misrepresentation.

Just like Mein Kampf!

Re:But we weren't there so SEE... (2)

styrotech (136124) | about 8 months ago | (#46205379)

So you're saying that readers of this writing should take account of the time and the cultural context of the writer(s) and not take it literally.

As a somewhat naive (of these kinds of arguments) observer, it seems to me that you are actually agreeing with those you are apparently disagreeing with.

Re:But we weren't there so SEE... (1)

claytongulick (725397) | about 8 months ago | (#46207609)

Well, it depends on what assumptions you are making about me.

I never said I agreed with the things that I mentioned, or suggested that Leviticus contains a list of rules to live by, or what religion, if any, I ascribe to.

What I disagree with is the casual disrespect and misrepresentation that the OP treated the Bible with.

Regardless of religious preference, such an important historical document should be treated with more respect. Also, regardless of religious preference, it is a fool who goes through life believing that there isn't a great deal of wisdom contained in the Bible. Or the Koran (Quran). Or the Bhagavad Gita. I would defend any of those texts with the same fervor.

I know that it is cool to make fun of religions, especially Christians, here. It's a guaranteed way to score yourself some easy Karma (ironic!). In this case, however, I took exception to the condescending, disrespectful tone and willful ignorance of the poster.

Those points were specifically cherry picked in order to make a distorted point and to trash the Bible: "Yup, good book that"

It was done by applying current moral standards, two thousand years later, to a people, civilization and culture that were *vastly* different.

The poster made no attempt at intellectual honesty, and strictly went for "cool points". This sort of thing lowers the quality of the discussion for everyone. Even if slashdot tends to be something of a hip, liberal echo-chamber - most of us here value reasoned, intelligent debate. The poster didn't do that, so I (quite appropriately) called him out on it.

Re:But we weren't there so SEE... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46207781)

It would be fine if that was that and any of the rules which don't make much sense these days were left in the past but there is a large following of Christians in the USA (probably elsewhere as well but the ones in the USA seem to be the most vocal about it) that believe that the rules set down in the bible are the only way to live and laws should be adjusted to suit.

Re:But we weren't there so SEE... (5, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 8 months ago | (#46205589)

What you aren't saying, is that at the time...
At the time, they simply didn't understand... ...they were just doing their best at the time...
So, clearly it was a law intended for another time...
A the time, this was incredibly progressive...

Thanks for re-making my actual point for me, which is not that the bible was written by idiots, but that it's still used, by many idiots, as a justification for their own prejudices and wilful ignorance of fact - which appeared to be the OP's position (with the caveat that the best satire is indistinguishable from that which it satirises).

But great job completely misrepresenting Leviticus as anti-female

I wasn't trying to represent it as anti-female. I'm trying to represent it as being millennia out of date.

Religious or not, the Bible in an incredible historical document

Agreed, both as you meant it and other meanings of the word "incredible." Though perhaps only "historical" in the sense of "written thousands of years ago," not "everything within actually happened

that should be treated with respect and educated thoughtfulness

Perhaps in some contexts. But not as a guide for living your life in the 21st century, which, again, is the position the OP took which I took issue with.

Re:But we weren't there so SEE... (1)

claytongulick (725397) | about 8 months ago | (#46207651)

No, I disagree. It was clear that the purpose of your comment was to score points by sneering at the Bible. It was clear that the OP's post was a joke, and poking fun at creationists. The OP was taking a sarcastic tone to illustrate some of the poorly reasoned arguments that are made by new-earth creationists.

You post, however was not that. You post cherry picked individual lines from the Bible in order to specifically misrepresent them, take them out of context in a sort of elitist, intellectually superior tone by applying current moral standards to a culture of thousands of years ago. By doing that, you treated an important book with total disregard and disrespect.

That was inappropriate.

You post was inaccurate, misleading and childish. It lowered the quality of the discussion.

Re:But we weren't there so SEE... (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 8 months ago | (#46208361)

No, I disagree. It was clear that the purpose of your comment...

Oh, right, sorry, I must have been mistaken about what was going on in my own head at the time.

Re:But we weren't there so SEE... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46207367)

This was relating to abnormal discharge, no one really understood STD's, they were just doing their best at the time. But great job completely misrepresenting Leviticus as anti-female in order to push some sort of agenda.

Says a guy who is either straight up lying apparently never has actually met Orthodox Jews. You know the people who actually wrote the Bible?

Why do you think El Al flights won't seat males next to females? Because the men might accidentally touch a menstruating woman and become ritually polluted.

Leviticus is completely clear in both English AND the original Hebrew on this. It has nothing to do with STDs or "abnormal" discharge.

Eh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46208137)

This is just your interpretation of how we should interpret certain parts of the Bible, and that there are many countless believers that would find your interpretation silly, even heretical. Once, I had a conversation with an Orthodox Jewish person about whether the Jewish prohibitions against certain foods was due to health concerns of the day. His response was, "No, these are the commandments. We don't follow them because of health issues. We follow them because God said to." That's not even a paraphrasing. You can't accuse someone of cherry picking bits of the Bible or interpretations of Bible passages without acknowledging that believers do also as a critical part of their specific faith, do the very same thing. I applaud you for trying to find logic in those verses. It can't be all an illogical though poetic mess, but you can't just presume that these laws had any rational basis. People were NOT smarter then than they are now. They weren't beholden to any great esoteric wisdom, and in fact, in those days, everyone was looking for the next Messiah. People constantly claimed being messiahs. The people then who wrote those verses were subject to the same prejudices and irrational knee-jerk reactions as people are today. Somewhere in the Bible is an ancient version of Freedom Fries.

Re:But we weren't there so SEE... (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 8 months ago | (#46203613)

Ah, but the scientists actually found that the group likely consisted of one adult male and several children and most of the footprints were pointing in the same direction...

So clearly this man must have been engaging in all sorts of unthinkable sinful behavior with his young victims right before they all heard the flood approaching and began to run away from it in a vain attempt to escape God's wrath.

My book is better than your book...... (1)

rts008 (812749) | about 8 months ago | (#46203631)

Was anyone THERE at THAT TIME to OBSERVE exactly when and by whom the footprints were made?

Yes, someone WAS there at the time as a matter of fact.
One of the footprint makers THEMSELVES, informed me in a vision, Just exactly how the footprints were made, and who made them.

Their names were Bob, Harry, and Alley Oop. The infamous Oop brothers. They took a wrong turn leaving 'The Cave'(a popular local pub at the time), and ended up on the beach by mistake.
Now their blunder was recorded for history.

And further more, I'll be writing a book detailing all of my visions(sent by Harry Oop), and the book will also have all the answers to everything.

*teaser from upcoming book*
It was Bob Oop that discovered friction made fire, as he slid down a steep embankment. He later remarked that it was handy there was a creek nearby, or the discovery of firemaking might have been delayed by centuries if he had burnt up then, and it made his hemorrhoids act up!
;-)

On a less sarcastic note, why don't you keep your myths and cults out of a science discussion.
Your myths have no useful information for the discussion, just like my 'Oop brothers' fabricated story above....NOTHING.

Re:My book is better than your book...... (1)

cusco (717999) | about 8 months ago | (#46207475)

If you had watched the Nye/Ham debate the other day (and you really should, it's hilarious in places) you would have realized the OP was simply channeling Ham's "arguments" from the debate. Not quite, but almost, "woosh".

Green and pleasant land (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46203099)

Ah, no beta in those days.

Re:Green and pleasant land (-1, Offtopic)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#46203281)

Remember that the boycott starts this evening at midnight. Please don't post comments or stories after it becomes midnight in your timezone.

Re:Green and pleasant land (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about 8 months ago | (#46205191)

we won't miss you

Re:Green and pleasant land (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 8 months ago | (#46205543)

Seems silly to boycott the classic site, the boycott of the beta needs no organisation, it will happen organically.

Messed up teeth? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46203201)

Can the footprints tell us if they had crooked teeth?

The mammoth in the room (1)

MikeRT (947531) | about 8 months ago | (#46203235)

They said well it's possible they were a lot more advanced than we thought. You think? Unless there was a land bridge or glacier linking France and England, that means they were ship builders.

Re:The mammoth in the room (3, Informative)

Geeky (90998) | about 8 months ago | (#46203307)

There was a land bridge at the time - in fact until quite recently [wikipedia.org] .

Re:The mammoth in the room (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46203347)

..Unless there was a land bridge or glacier linking France and England,

Oh, look, just Google the English Channel..these footprints are approx half a million years older than that event..

(Captcha: disband, quite apposite, considering the current climes here..and rearrange these two words into a well-known phrase Beta, Fuck..)

Re:The mammoth in the room (1)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 8 months ago | (#46203571)

http://arstechnica.com/science... [slashdot.org] ">Ars has an interesting take on this question, which does not require full ships.

And because I'm mobile and went through enough trouble on your behalf already, you may on your own find more about suggestions that people have essentially rafted about the world longer than we have had actual ships.

In addition to land bridges and other possibilities, it is very easy to imagine without requiring ship building, unless you spend no time reading or thinking about how ancient people lived.

Ships are the obvious and sole answer if you lived in the past hundred years, but might they have built weather balloons created by the gas from volcanic vents? Domesticated flying dinosaurs? Tamed dolphins? Oh no, ships are not the only possibility.

Re:The mammoth in the room (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 8 months ago | (#46205611)

The English channel is said to have been cut by a single massive flood from an natural ice dam that burst toward the end of one of the "recent" ice ages. Humans were most likely living on the land bridge at the time. The loose rubble it left behind is why they had so much trouble finding a suitable path for the channel tunnel.

Join the slashcott farewell: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46203247)

http://slashdot.org/submission/3326505/the-individual-midnight-thread

Incidentally marek as spam, makes you wonder...

Re:Join the slashcott farewell: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46203259)

Arthur Philip Dent (5, Funny)

denisbergeron (197036) | about 8 months ago | (#46203329)

It's obviously footprint of Arthur Philip Dent when he was back in the past abord the phone's cleaner spaceship.

Re:Arthur Philip Dent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46203365)

It's obviously footprint of Arthur Philip Dent when he was back in the past abord the phone's cleaner spaceship.

Hmm, the 'B' ark landed in the London area..then there was the trip to Norway..(looks at map)..I think we have a winner!

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where are jesus's foot prints (1)

maxwells daemon (105725) | about 8 months ago | (#46203367)

This has so many problems. Number one. the photograph is undated, so who knows the reference point for the footprint dating? Number two. the lens cap is obviously intelligently designed. This foot print is 4000 years old. Max.

Re:where are jesus's foot prints (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 8 months ago | (#46206829)

Jesus didn't leave any footprints anywhere, because his feet never touched the ground. He could walk on water, so I guess he just sort of floated around everywhere.

He must have looked like Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk.

Mr. and Mrs. Piltdown? (1)

shankarunni (1002529) | about 8 months ago | (#46203379)

On a summer's beach outing with the family?

Timothy, let's vote BETA (1)

FUCK BETA, FUCK DICE (3529333) | about 8 months ago | (#46203391)

Do it if you have guts, and put the results with the nicks online so we can all take a look.

And .... they're gone (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 8 months ago | (#46203429)

The footprints themselves, which survived for almost 1 million years, won't be there. Two weeks after they were uncovered, North Sea tides had washed them away.

Proof that the Doctor was there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46204623)

It's proof that time travel is real. I bet if they looked for it, they will locate the imprint of the Tardis.

Shennanigans? (2)

Toad-san (64810) | about 8 months ago | (#46204993)

Look as closely at the "footprints" as you can in these images:

http://www.independent.co.uk/n... [independent.co.uk]

And then consider this statement:

http://www.independent.co.uk/n... [independent.co.uk]
"Of the 50 or so examples recorded, only around a dozen were reasonably complete - and only two showed the toes in detail. Tragically, although a full photogrammetric and photographic record has been made, all but one of the prints were rapidly destroyed by incoming tides before they could be physically lifted."

Sooooo .. they existed (presumably buried by the seaside) for almost a million years .. appear, and then are DESTROYED by the next incoming tide?

Riiiii-ight.

Re:Shennanigans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46206215)

That's how erosion works. The rocks are protected until they reach the surface level, at which point they are subject to erosion. And at Happisburgh the shoreline is receding rapidly due to erosion, hence the footprint surface disappearing in weeks once exposed is plausible.

Re:Shennanigans? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46207397)

PhD archaeologist here.

It's incredibly common for formerly stable artifacts removed from a state of archaeo-geological stasis to rapidly degrade once exposed to a completely new set of formation factors. These can include air, light, water, or mechanical action.

I myself have seen Roman Fresco fragments fade from a state of brilliant color to near colorlessness in less than 20 seconds when exposed to air by excavation. Similarly, these footprints were protected from air, light, and most importantly hydrological action by a relatively hard and impermeable layer of overburden. As soon as that was removed, the friable substrate the footprints were in was rapidly washed away.

Shennanigans? (2)

Toad-san (64810) | about 8 months ago | (#46205117)

I haven't walked the seashore. I haven't examined the sediments (and never will now, apparently). I'm certainly not the bearer of an archeology sheepskin from some exalted university.

But ...

http://www.independent.co.uk/n... [independent.co.uk]

http://www.independent.co.uk/i... [independent.co.uk]

Does anyone see more than two prints in any sort of logical and likely walking pattern? You know, one in front of the other, left foot, right foot? No, I didn't think so.

"Of the 50 or so examples recorded, only around a dozen were reasonably complete - and only two showed the toes in detail. Tragically, although a full photogrammetric and photographic record has been made, all but one of the prints were rapidly destroyed by incoming tides before they could be physically lifted."

That's odd: EVERY bare foot print I've ever seen clearly showed the toes (even Bigfoot's!). And how curious, that "footprints" cast in rock-hard sediment that has survived for a million years beside a seaside that's repeatedly changed depth over the milleniums .. suddenly are totally and almost completely destroyed by the very next incoming tide? How .. unfortunate.

The Happisburgh geology (readily available with the most trivial search) also does not support this. The beach surfaces and their underlying sedimentary structure are NOT a million years old.

https://www.bgs.ac.uk/landslid... [bgs.ac.uk]
http://books.google.com/books?... [google.com]

No, I'm sorry, I'm not buying this. Someone was seeing what they wanted to see.

News in from Norfolk.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46205119)

Two pairs of ancient footprints in Norfolk are from a father, mother, and son. Early Norfolk Man had six toes like his modern day cousin/sister/mother.

These foot prints aren't 800k years old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46205263)

"The footprints themselves, which survived for almost 1 million years, won't be there. Two weeks after they were uncovered, North Sea tides had washed them away."

So they lasted 800k years and then 2 weeks later they were washed away?

FUCK OFF!

Hardly a news (2)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 8 months ago | (#46207153)

BBC article on human presence [bbc.co.uk] in Britain one million years ago. With a nice map showing that Britain was not an island at that time.

Re:Hardly a news (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 8 months ago | (#46207169)

And the BBC article is from 2010.

Slashcott! (1)

LaminatorX (410794) | about 8 months ago | (#46207913)

This site used to be great. Even in its latter days, it's been good. That is poised to change. Before long, it will be mediocre, and ordinary.

I didn't see a problem when Dice Holdings initially bought Slashdot. I figured there would be efforts to drive nerd traffic towards their job listings and such. That was fine. We all need jobs.

Things have changed now. Beyond the shifts in story choices, the slashvertisements, and so on, something fundamental has changed: Slashdot's owners do not appreciate it.

Their recent financials show that they have written its value as an asset down to zero. They have legally claimed it to be worthless. That is at the root of what is happening now. They want to fundamentally change the nature of this site in order to remake it into something with big growth potential.

Beta is just the latest symptom of this disease. It will not be the last. In striving to make it into a site that will bring them a growing user base and growing revenue per user, they have shown a willingness to dumb down the interface in the name of making it more accessible to newcomers, to cast aside essential elements of decade-spanning community culture, and to plow ahead with changes in the face of overwhelmingly negative user feedback.

This is not going to change. This will not go away. I will not support it.

I will be gone for this entire week, in protest. While away, I will work to create a new community where things can be run with quality user discussions as the paramount objective.

Be seeing you.

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