I get a sense of dread when I see the words ‘Netflix’ and ‘documentary’ in the same sentence. They are rivalling The History Channel in screening any old sensationalist bollocks and claiming it to be factual.
Which is a shame if they accidentally release something worthy of the title ‘documentary’.
I don’t know if the Netflix documentary will be any good but the actual research and story behind Homo naledi is super interesting. I saw a talk by one of the researchers and if I remember correctly the caves in that area often contain Homo sp. remains. This cave happens to contains some of the oldest and the burial location is not easily accessible from the cave entrance.
That said there is of course criticism of the conclusions and other theories of how the bones came to rest where they did and who made the marks on the cave walls. Science in progress although some aspects are unknowable.
But what if an ancient advanced civilization built the caves around the bones before retreating to their lost pyramid of alien artifacts?
Some “lower” animals like corvids have also been shown to have death rituals*, if not quite full on ceremonies or burials. It’s super interesting. We humans like to think we’re special, but we evolved, and thus every single thing we are has antecedents elsewhere in nature.
*Popular press likes to say they “mourn” their dead, but we have to be careful about anthropomorphizing like that. We don’t know what they are feeling or exactly why they’re doing it.
We do have to be careful about anthropomorphizing. I have read an alternative explanation of these corvid “rituals”, which is that it is part of their danger/warning communication strategy. Basically, if a crow has died recently there is likely something dangerous about that place/circumstance and by warning other individuals about that spot they are building collective memory of potential danger.
Yes, it is possible it is a form of mourning. But it’s also possible it’s not, and it’s very hard to tell for sure.
Chimps, elephants, dolphins and orcas have some death reactions/rituals too! I was just reading about that last week. So fascinating!
Did they bury their dead because of a belief in the afterlife? Perhaps. But it’s also possible they learned it would smell less and not attract scavengers. The cave art I find more interesting and indicative of their level of intelligence.
Yeah, while I’d read a study about this, it became immediately clear that the overdramatized preview was even more than I wanted to sit through. The influencer-scientist voice pattern aligned with peaking-drama soundtrack is super grating.
That would be an enormous leap. Burial definitely does not in any way point to the existence of religion.
In the video they make a big deal out of that idea, and just seems like hype to promote the documentary.
I wouldn’t be surprised if that angle came from the focus testing and screenings by the marketing department. “Hey the flyover staters got all excited when we suggested monkeys might be religious. Put that in the trailer, Bob!”. Bob the director:
This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.