Sunday, April 24, 2011

Evidence and the Easter Bunny: A Modern "Invention" or a Copy of Prior Art?

The Guardian has an article titled The modern myth of the Easter bunny challenging the prior art of the Easter Bunny in ancient cultures.

We posted the following comment at the Guardian site challenging that challenge:
"An "Easter Bunny" in archaeology? See the Austrian Hallstatt bronze situla ca. 500 B.C. at
http://archaeologie-welt.blogspot.com/2008/01/die-lteste-darstellung-einer-hasenjagd.html
It is a nice topic you have chosen but you may have drawn your conclusions a bit too quick.
An argument can be made that the pictured situla -- long before Christianity -- shows a hare and companion (perhaps an ancient comparable to Ostara) in a portion of the heavens marking the end of the old year and the beginning of the new year (note the size of the hare as equal to the human). That the sky is being shown can be speculated from the "points" on the situla as stars, as found elsewhere on archaeological objects, e.g. in the Ancient Near East on Bablyonian rolled seals, or even on the German Nebra Sky Disk.
I do not think that the issue should be framed in terms of paganism vs. Christianity, neither of which is my personal belief direction, especially since it is clear by a preponderance of the evidence that Christianity absorbed many pre-existing beliefs and customs. A man who "believed" prior to the era of Christ was just as religious as the man thereafter. They just had different systems. One was based on astronomy. Christianity brings the stars down to Earth. But even the ancient Sumerians had "Sons of God" in the skies -- in the stars (Weld-Blundell, W-B. 62. from Larsa)."
As so often in the patent wars -- here of course tongue in cheek -- a modern invention is claimed to have no prior art, and, as is the case in most cases, almost EVERYTHING in the current state of the art is anticipated by what our predecessors before us have done. That is why we are very skeptical of patents in general, as these for the most part unjustly grant pervasive monopolies for alleged "inventions" which are in the last analysis merely copies or skillful manipulations of prior art, and much of that prior art reaches far back into the technology of human history.

Middle East Population Growth and Dwindling Water Supplies (Depletion of Aquifiers) Leading to Falling Harvests and Greater Dependence on Grain Imports

Lester Brown at the Guardian in
This will be the Arab world's next battle
writes that the Middle East already gives evidence
of substantial food problems on the horizon
as exploding populations and dwindling water supplies for agricultural irrigation (because of the depletion of aquifiers)
have lead to falling harvests and increased dependence on grain imports.

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