The penultimate curiosity : how science swims in the by Roger Wagner, Andrew Briggs

By Roger Wagner, Andrew Briggs

Whilst teenagers first start to ask 'why?' they embark on a trip without ultimate vacation spot. the necessity to make feel of the area as a complete is an final interest that lies on the root of all human religions. It has, in lots of cultures, formed and encouraged a extra all the way down to earth medical curiosity within the actual global, that can as a result be defined as penultimate interest.

These manifestations of interest have a heritage of connection that is going again deep into the human previous. Tracing that historical past the entire approach from cave portray to quantum physics, this booklet (a collaboration among a painter and a actual scientist that makes use of illustrations through the narrative) units out to give an explanation for the character of the lengthy entanglement among faith and technological know-how: the last word and the penultimate curiosity.

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This made it possible to establish with a specified degree of accuracy the date of organic materials like the charcoal used in cave paintings. Radiocarbon tests revealed that the Lascaux paintings were executed 18,000 years ago and the Altamira paintings 14,000 years ago. When the torch marks made by the ten-year-old child were tested, it became clear that he or she had visited the Ardèche cave nearly 10,000 years before a single mark had been made at Lascaux: somewhere that is between 26,000 and 27,000 years ago.

11 While some form of symbolic expression may reach back deep into our human ancestry, the artefacts in the Blombos Cave still remain the earliest known examples of modern human symbolism (though for how long remains to be seen). Symbolism and image-making may not though have been the only customs that human beings took with them in their migration from Africa. The most recent dating of the burial at 10 M. , ‘Pleistocene Cave Art from Sulawesi, Indonesia’, 223–7. 11 R. Rifkind, C. S. Henshilwood, and M.

Then in 1895, seven years after Don Marcelino’s death, a farmer at La Mouthe in the Dordogne cleared out debris from a rock shelter and uncovered the entrance to a tunnel. When four boys explored it they found at the end a painted bison. The accumulated Palaeolithic deposits which had blocked the entrance meant that it could not have been painted recently. When Émile Rivière excavated it in 1899 he found an artefact that combined both technology and art: a stone lamp with an engraving of an ibex on the underside.

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