Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Little Debates

As many know, I love a good academic debate.  However, I despise when said debate goes into crazy theories that their only basis is someone that negates evidence because it does not prove what they are looking for.  Case in point, purposely dismissing archaeological evidence and prizing others because it does not support your belief that aliens or some superior race helped build ancient relics and architecture.  Yes, there are holes riddling the theories of much of archaeological dogma, but that does not mean that your hypothesis that there was a superior race that there is ZERO archaeological evidence of, other than images in art that do not fit into our views of normal, supporting that there was such.  It is known that there were humanoids that had larger brains or brain cavities than homo sapiens; however brain size and brain cavity size is not always equate to more brain power.  The size is first relative to the proportion of the size of the species and second to the structure of the brain.  Homo sapiens brains are a bit more compact than other humanoids, but they structure of the brain allows for more information to be stored.  The folds of the brain allow this.  You could think of it as the difference between the total surface area of a flat sheet versus a balled up one.  The folds cause the sheet to become more compact.  Since brains, like other organs, are soft tissue, they are easily lost to time, and rarely preserved.  I do not have the information to know whether or not the interior of the brain cavity can show us how much or little the brain was folded; however memory is suggesting there may be a way to tell, dependent entirely on how the remains decomposed. 

I enjoyed my conversation until wild speculations of a superior humanoid race was brought up with very little evidence presented.  If your evidence is solely based on History Channel and other “educational” channels, you are gravely mistaken.  The shows and theories presented tend towards bias for ratings.  My opinions on archeology and anthropology are based on actual work by actual anthropologists, a couple I had the privilege of being taught by.  To dismiss something I say, based only on what you saw on Discovery Channel, is not only an insult to me, but to your own intelligence.  I will never claim to know all there is to know about the subject, but I have to scoff someone, usually in my mind, when they use such programming as the basis for an argument.  However, tonight’s conversation/debate was one of the most intellectual I’ve been a part of in quite some time. 

And it reminds me how desperately I need to be in grad school.  Sadly, my options here in Germany are very limited.  To get into a German grad school program, fluency in Latin is required, in my understanding.  The few schools that participate in the education program in Europe for American military personnel and their families do not have any programs that fit my needs.  This puts me in the bind of finding an online program that is not with one of the many schools that my future university employer would deem as reputable.  I was told there’s a possibility I could try getting into a British university, but I reside in Germany and thus would have to move to England and away from my husband.  My biggest fear in the entire process, though, is that I will be rejected based on my cumulative GPA when I graduated.  There is also the hurdle of any testing the school would require to get into the program.  I am having many issues researching schools as well.  The only way I have found success in a search is to go to individual schools that I would be willing to have on a diploma and looking to see what they have available online.  This is a cumbersome way to search.  

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