Monday, January 23, 2023

What is an "Advanced Culture", Graham Hancock?

I am deeply distrustful about the "Advanced" part of what Graham Hancock and other Atlantis writers discuss.  

The term advanced is a comparative. To use it is to imply a comparison.  The same is true of many words, such as tall, short, large, small, warm, cool, hot, cold, soft, hard, smooth, rough, etc.  All of these terms imply a comparison. A tall 3rd grader is tall compared to his or her cohort, while a tall adult is tall by comparison with a different standard, and a tall building by yet another.  A soft rock is soft by a different standard than we apply when we talk about soft ice cream or soft money.  

The same sort of clarification is necessary when someone talks about an advanced civilization.  Advanced compared to what?  Is Hancock's civilization advanced compared to the era of the younger dryas, or compared to the time of Plato, or compared to our times, or what?  

Let us call this the logic of the term advanced, that it implies a comparison.  

There is another question to consider, namely, what is required in order to call something advanced?  In this case we are talking about what is required in order to rightfully say that one civilization is more advanced than another. What does it?  One innovation more?  Would that do it?  Does it require a large number of innovations?  Suppose all of them were in one area, such as husbandry or ship building or well-digging.  Would being many generations advanced in one area, but on equal terms in all others, be enough for a civilization to be called advanced as compared with its peers?  Why or why not?  What would justify such a designation?  

Let us call this the material problem of the term advanced: one needs a criterion to apply the term.  

These are the two burdens Hancock must meet if he is to make sense out of his concept of an "advanced civilization".  

Consider the two propositions below:

1 There was a culture in N America during the Younger Dryas

2 There was an advanced culture in N America during the Younger Dryas 

These differ by one word.  In order to defend 2, Hancock must specify the logic of his claim by saying just what the culture in question is more advanced than, but he must also specify the material of his claim as well, by saying what makes it more advanced than this other culture. 

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