How should civilization respond to “Primitive” Societies?


I read an article concerning the problem how we ought to respond to so called endangered cultures. These are societies that have not yet integrated to global human civilization. The practice now is to leave them be and prohibit interaction. Unfortunately these people are often in conflict with farmers, loggers, and others that encroach on their territory. The article argues that pressure on their environment is slowly shrinking their territories below that needed for long-term survival. An argument presented I. The article is that exchange between people is natural and regulated interaction may be better for preserving these cultures that complete abstention.

Comments on the article frequently expressed the opinion that enforced isolation was tantamount to keeping humans in a zoo. I have to counter though that before the current program, contact with isolated peoples were almost always a disaster. Contact spread disease to natives who never needed immunities. Culture clash, disruption of the economy, and inability to comprehend the goals and values of civilized societies led to war and dependence.

As a student of ancient and primitive societies and their religions, these isolated people are a valuable source of pure primitive mythology and ritual. I hope that these might be preserved long enough to at least be properly documeted. On the other hand I have to rember that these are people like me that want to survive, prosper  and evolve and not just serve as a specimen or artifact. 





Belief in Santa Claus Makes Kids Nicer


Well that’s not what this article says, but I think it would apply. A study was conducted across several cultures to see if belief in an all-seeing god made people more neighborly, and the result was yes. Not that surprising really, essentially people tend to imagine that their god’s have minds much like their own. Now it is one thing to have your conscience nag you about your misdeeds, but if you believe that your conscience can pay you back for your evil, then the impulse to take the easy way will be less attractive since you will predict that in the long term it ain’t that easy. The trick though is what happens when people no longer believe that the universe acts according to the demands of their conscience. Sure the occasional saint does good for its own sake, but for the average Jane does unbelief foster selfishness?

2.8 Million Year Old Humanoid Species Discovered

2.8 Million Year Old Humanoid Species Discovered

Details on the discovery of new human species can be found here. It is suggested that the people buried here practiced death rituals. However, I wonder if this was a group that was trapped by predators, enemies, or even by accident. It’s exciting that even now, important new discoveries in human origins can be found.