Friday, June 01, 2007

Cavemen Don't Exist

Some people say that modern television is bad. I think this is terribly inaccurate. In fact, modern television is unacceptably poor. The fact that someone is turning a commercial which mentions cavemen into a program is the latest symptom of the disease that is modern television.

Anyway, the program seems to think that cavemen are a separate race from us human beings. They are not. In fact, the "cavemen" of this program seem to lack the defining characteristic of cavemen. They do not live in a cave. The writers are probably thinking of Neanderthals, who have two advantages in my mind:

1) Neanderthals are a separate race from us.
2) Neanderthals are real.

See, cavemen are not real in the generally accepted sense of the term. At no point in human history were humans limited to living in caves. Caves have always been a shelter for man, and they remain so today, but never has man been limited to living in caves alone.

So why do we think of cavemen as being a class of historical persons? Because artifacts are perfectly undisturbed in caves. A group of prehistorical men could camp in a cave for a week and we could find that camp today, relatively undisturbed. When prehistoric man left a camp next to a stream, it would quickly be destroyed by wind and water erosion (and a variety of other factors). Since the proof of cave life was so much more preserved, it may have seemed that early man lived there exclusively.

Anyway, I already saw Cavemen when it was called 3rd Rock From the Sun.

"Look! We're from outside your culture, so we're doing something that someone in your culture wouldn't do!"

(laugh track brays)

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