Re: MEDIA: NOVA on Gamma Ray Bursters

From: steve (
Date: Sat Jan 12 2002 - 13:19:32 MST

Mike Lorrey wrote
> Thank you. The reason why I used writing to compare the ages of various
> civilizations is that writing is the primary tool of Lamarkian social
> evolution. Societies which relied purely on oral traditions were not
> very developed, never very organized into city/nation states (since
> city/nation states depend upon the existence of writing to function),
> and thus societies with only oral traditions cannot be considered true
> 'civilizations'. They can be considered cultures, but not civilizations
> due to this absence of writing technology.

Interesting. What do you say about pre-Columbian South America (esp the
Incas and Chimu)? As I understand these did have cities and complex large
scale political organisation but no writing system. SD
> For this reason, the Aryan culture from whence sanskrit developed cannot
> be considered a 'civilization' prior to the development of written
> sanskrit. Given this, my original point that western civilizations are
> older than eastern ones continues to stand.
I think this is true if by "western" you mean "West Asian/Mid East". The
Sumerians had writing about 3200BC but it's 1500BC for China. In India the
Indus civilisation has writing from anout 2600BC but there doesn't seem to
be any continuity between them and the Indian civilisation which develops
after the Aryan "invasion".

A good site for this is

Steve Davies

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