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Author Topic: Logical explainations for the myth.  (Read 4063 times)
bicyclebuilder
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« on: December 05, 2013, 10:48:05 am »

As you might know, I'm a bit sceptic when it comes to myths. Ghosts, goblins, pixies, bigfoot. The stories are endless and come from all over the world. I think this is either a metafore for something else, warning people for something. Or at one point, someone actually seen something and over the years eggederated. Somehow, there must be a logical explanation for myths.
I'm making this thread for theories for explaining myths. For instance:

Bigfoot: More recently with the video's and photographs, I'd say "guy in an ghilly suit." but there are earlier sightings. If bigfoot exists, an explanation could be that early mankind outcasted freaky looking people. People with Hypertrichosis (an abnormal amount of hair growth over the body) or Gigantism. What if these outcasted people went to the forrest, away from the "normal" humans. Had children with the same medical condition, resulting in a giant hairy tribe.

Dwarfs (as in the seven dwarfs, working in the mines): This is actually true. My wife, little daughter and I been to a copper mine last summer. The guide told us about the workers and their attire. A pointy leather hood to protect them from falling rocks. Inside the mine there where dolls showing how the miners worked. The dolls where rather small. To keep our daughter interested, I told her those where the dwarfs from snow white. At the end of the tour, the guide told us that the children of the miners had to break up the rocks to get to the copper. Exposing them to all kinds of chemicals. Because of these chemicals, the children stayed small. After a few generations, the whole mine worker tribe was small. Real dwarfs.

Pixies: What if, somewhere in a mountain region there is a Pygmy tribe. Due to their small appearance, they where easy target for regular size tribes. To protect themselves, they moved higher up the mountain, above the tree line. Because they still needed food from below the tree line, they needed a way to rapidly go down, get what they need and go back. What if they developed a wing suit with cow hides? Base jumping from the mountain, swooping down the trees. Gathering stuff and go back up the mountain.

So, this is the concept of this thread. Feel free to add your logical explanation
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2013, 01:29:48 pm »

What exactually are you asking for mate?
Peoples theory's on how Mythobilogical species could have existed?

Between working on my books I have been working on a thesis of how a dragon could exist (6 limbed fire breathing kind).

While I have various theories there are possible in nature, like Darwinism would cause many arguments.

The only one I am happy to share is that the Kitsune are real but are never seen (except to select few) because

1) The average adult has been brought up to dis believe in them and so there brains automatically blank them out!
2) You cant see them because they are walking around in human forms!

I also stipulate that the werewolf is a genetic partner of the kitsune cause by a difference in species much like the divergence between cats and dogs. (actually I add other factors to this equation in my books.) But My stipulations actually mean that it is possible to tranceform from Human to Lycanthroupe.
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2013, 02:03:43 pm »

@CPT_J_Percell: My idea is that the creatures are based on something. Sometimes two regular animals combined, sometimes a figment of imagination, sometimes it's a real existing animal but misinterpreted. There are so many different stories from different countries and so many versions, but they usually are originated from something. In short, like you said: how mythical creatures could exist.

A few more:

Ogopogo, Nessie: the easy explanation would be that rotting tree trunks are bobbing out of the water or the shape of the lake and it's surroundings makes it easy to get isolated gusts of wind, creating waves. But for a real creature, studies have proven that there are not enough fish in the lake to provide food and that one creature wouldn't live that long. A family of Ogopogosses would have been seen more often.
There are fish that moves around in groups to divert the animals who hunt them. A collective moving as one being. What if this school of fish found a way to fool us humans? Swimming in a monster-like formation. It could also be a mating ritual for a kind of fish. Swimming in formation, the one who's the best leader gets the most mates.

A couple of short ones: A Jackalope is a rabbit with Shope papilloma virus infection. A unicorn is a rhinoceros, explained to people who have never seen a rhino before. A big fat horse with a horn sticking out of it's head.
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2013, 02:20:02 pm »

But how do you explain a 6 limbed fire breathing dragon?
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violaambroseflux
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2013, 02:47:24 pm »

Myth Cyclops( giants with one eye): all you have to do is look at a elephants skull (or ancient elephant-like species known as Deinotherium giganteum) to see where that myths came from
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2013, 03:22:07 pm »

But how do you explain a 6 limbed fire breathing dragon?

To be honest I found that quite easy to explain based on genetic mutation.

I'm sure that the jackalope was proven to once exist!
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Atterton
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2013, 05:34:21 pm »

What makes outcast humans who grew really big and hairy more logical than unknown primate?

The stories of dwarfes go back to at least the viking age. So there might not have been the chemicals you talk about back then.

The kind of unicorn people these days describe as a horse with a horn is more likely to have been a form of gazelle I'd say. However I do believe ancient bestiaries talked about two types of unicorn, one of which was clearly a rhino.
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2013, 05:45:32 pm »

Just a thought but a rhino's horn is nowt but hair. One could stipulate that based on that fact, A unicorn could have existed but a modern horse has just learned how to brush it hair.
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Dave Leppo
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2013, 06:04:13 pm »

Legends of Dragons were the result of people in the middle ages or before encountering Dinosaur fossils.
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mako
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2013, 06:35:27 pm »

Frankly, the explanations you like will depend on whether you are a Darwinist or a Creationist. 

But as for some of them, they are the same in either case.  For instance, the "Bigfoot".  Monkeys are incredibly widespread;  there is no reason that gorilla-like creatures were not, as well.  But a gorilla is almost humanoid.  Primitive man fears that which resembles him, but is not him.  Therefore, it is extremely likely that man hunted already rare creatures into extinction, long before "science" came around.  We only discovered the mountain gorilla in the early 1900's, and they are isolated and comparatively numerous.  What with the American Indians and then the highly superstitious settlers, it is entirely possible that fear took care of the "Bigfoot". 

The yeti?  Finishing the exploration of the Himalayas is a job for our descendants.  There is probably TONS of stuff hidden in them.

The dwarf?  Well, dwarfism is often hereditary.  Not to mention that human height is drastically dependent on nutrition.  And dwarfs were popular in royal courts.  It would be only natural for a mythology to spring up around them. 
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Rockula
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« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2013, 06:41:45 pm »

But how do you explain a 6 limbed fire breathing dragon?

Bread mold madness?
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2013, 07:24:26 pm »

But how do you explain a 6 limbed fire breathing dragon?

Bread mold madness?

Actually I stipulate that it was down to a freak mutation that caused two arms to grow from each shoulder joint. There is evidence of this kind of mutation throughout medical science and the only logical explanation for the wings based on my study of bird and reptiles skeletons.

As to the fire breathing?
Glandular chemistry!
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George Salt
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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2013, 10:06:47 pm »

To keep our daughter interested, I told her those where the dwarfs from snow white. At the end of the tour, the guide told us that the children of the miners had to break up the rocks to get to the copper. Exposing them to all kinds of chemicals. Because of these chemicals, the children stayed small. After a few generations, the whole mine worker tribe was small. Real dwarfs.

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck would be proud of that explanation!  Chemical exposure could stunt the dwarf of successive generations each exposed to to the same chemicals and working conditions, but it would not be a cause of true dwarfism.
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Athanor
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« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2013, 06:40:05 am »

To keep our daughter interested, I told her those where the dwarfs from snow white. At the end of the tour, the guide told us that the children of the miners had to break up the rocks to get to the copper. Exposing them to all kinds of chemicals. Because of these chemicals, the children stayed small. After a few generations, the whole mine worker tribe was small. Real dwarfs.


Jean-Baptiste Lamarck would be proud of that explanation!  Chemical exposure could stunt the dwarf of successive generations each exposed to to the same chemicals and working conditions, but it would not be a cause of true dwarfism.


Many metals and metallic compounds that are common in mineral deposits can be mutagenic, i.e. they can cause changes at the level of DNA. Googling "mutagenic metals" leads to a plethora of academic papers on this subject, but the following quote is from a Wikipedia article and gives a useful summary without too much technical jargon (ROS means Reactive Oxygen Species).

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutagen 

"Many metals, such as arsenic, cadmium, chromium, nickel and their compounds may be mutagenic, they may however act via a number of different mechanisms. Arsenic, chromium, iron, and nickel may be associated with the production of ROS, and some of these may also alter the fidelity of DNA replication. Nickel may also be linked to DNA hypermethylation and histone deacetylation, while some metals such as cobalt, arsenic, nickel and cadmium may also affect DNA repair processes such as DNA mismatch repair, and base and nucleotide excision repair."

So..... it's not too improbable that lifelong exposure to metals and metallic compounds could result in congenital dwarfism.....

Athanor.
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2013, 09:13:30 am »

What makes outcast humans who grew really big and hairy more logical than unknown primate?

The stories of dwarfes go back to at least the viking age. So there might not have been the chemicals you talk about back then.

The kind of unicorn people these days describe as a horse with a horn is more likely to have been a form of gazelle I'd say. However I do believe ancient bestiaries talked about two types of unicorn, one of which was clearly a rhino.

About human as bigfoot: that's the reason why we haven't found evidence. Most evidence found is of other animal hair or human hair. Mind you, it's just a theory. Since there is no conclusive proof, any plausable theory could work.

Another explaination of dwarfs is the use of halucinetic mushrooms. They supposed to live in red mushrooms with white spots. A halucination could be that you see everyone smaller.

Just a thought but a rhino's horn is nowt but hair. One could stipulate that based on that fact, A unicorn could have existed but a modern horse has just learned how to brush it hair.

The horse with bad hair day sounds very plausable. I like that theory!

#SNIP#
As to the fire breathing?
Glandular chemistry!
Like in "Reign of Fire"
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2013, 09:27:47 am »

Like in "Reign of Fire"

Binary chemical compounds as stipulated in that material would be the most plausible explanation
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George Salt
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« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2013, 09:36:34 am »

To keep our daughter interested, I told her those where the dwarfs from snow white. At the end of the tour, the guide told us that the children of the miners had to break up the rocks to get to the copper. Exposing them to all kinds of chemicals. Because of these chemicals, the children stayed small. After a few generations, the whole mine worker tribe was small. Real dwarfs.


Jean-Baptiste Lamarck would be proud of that explanation!  Chemical exposure could stunt the dwarf of successive generations each exposed to to the same chemicals and working conditions, but it would not be a cause of true dwarfism.


Many metals and metallic compounds that are common in mineral deposits can be mutagenic, i.e. they can cause changes at the level of DNA. Googling "mutagenic metals" leads to a plethora of academic papers on this subject, but the following quote is from a Wikipedia article and gives a useful summary without too much technical jargon (ROS means Reactive Oxygen Species).

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutagen 

"Many metals, such as arsenic, cadmium, chromium, nickel and their compounds may be mutagenic, they may however act via a number of different mechanisms. Arsenic, chromium, iron, and nickel may be associated with the production of ROS, and some of these may also alter the fidelity of DNA replication. Nickel may also be linked to DNA hypermethylation and histone deacetylation, while some metals such as cobalt, arsenic, nickel and cadmium may also affect DNA repair processes such as DNA mismatch repair, and base and nucleotide excision repair."

So..... it's not too improbable that lifelong exposure to metals and metallic compounds could result in congenital dwarfism.....

Athanor.


The mutations exposure to mutagenic substances would be random, and they would not be directed towards dwarfism.  It would be just as likely to throw up other genetic conditions, and the higher the rate of mutation the greater the diversity of the effects and the less direction the effects would have on the population as a whole.

There are valid explanations for genetic shortness in such a closed community, but not connected to metal exposure.  If the community valued people of a shorter stature (because they can work harder in the confined spaces of the mine, don't suffer as many head injuries and MSDs), to the point that shortness became a sexual selection pressure and taller people were excluded from breeding (short is sexy) then shortness (but not dwarfism) could become established as a characteristic of individuals within the population within a very few generations.  If short breeds with short and tall is excluded.

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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2013, 10:11:20 am »

A question: the shortest man in the world is about 50cm tall. Is it possible to get a tribe that is 50cm average? Same question for the tallest man, who's about 2,5 meter.

The elephant skull/cyclops theory is spot on! Same goes for dino's/dragons. It explains a lot. Finding such a bone without further knowledge, clearly triggers the mind in finding an explaination.

I still think a lot of the mythical creatures are partly creating fear and gaining power by the storyteller. "Don't go into the woods. There are beasts lurking there." or "give me your possesions or I will unleish the monster"
For the actual eye witnesses, I think a mistaken identaty is the main thing. A horse with bad hair day, a woman passing a tree while a black cat comes from behind the tree.
With some Chinese whispers the story changes quickly into something beyond the natural.
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2013, 10:25:34 am »

A question: the shortest man in the world is about 50cm tall. Is it possible to get a tribe that is 50cm average?

There was supposed to be a tribe of pigme's in ether the africa's or the souther america's
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Atterton
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« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2013, 12:12:23 pm »

Are you perhaps mixing up dwarves and gnomes?

There are pygmy tribes in Africs, though they still average a height of 120 cm or so. There are very short individuals in the world, but I don't know how healthy they really are. In South America they once found what appeared to be the mummified remains of an adult, though only about 30 cm tall.
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2013, 12:31:30 pm »

I think the 120cm Pygmy tribe is about as short as "we" get. The mummy of the 30cm tall adult might be a genetic flaw. But not entire families of 30cm tall people. I think beyond a certain length (long or short) it isn't healthy for those people. Usually they are the end of the hereditary line.
On the other hand, there are dogs that are 20x the size of other dogs. Look at a Great Dane and a Chihuahua.
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Rockula
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« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2013, 01:27:29 pm »

Are you perhaps mixing up dwarves and gnomes?

There are pygmy tribes in Africs, though they still average a height of 120 cm or so. There are very short individuals in the world, but I don't know how healthy they really are. In South America they once found what appeared to be the mummified remains of an adult, though only about 30 cm tall.

And on the subject of actual evidence of individuals of tiny stature there was Caroline Crachami, whose bones are on display at the Hunterian Museum, who was only 50cm tall. But she only lived until the age of 9.
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Atterton
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« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2013, 01:44:21 pm »

My impression is also that hypertrichosis is really rare. You get siamese twins more often than you get hypertrichosis. Most Big Hairy Hominids are also described as quite primate-like. It is mostly just the Alma that appears more like feral humans. I do wonder if trolls might have been some human cousin thst went extinct not too long ago.
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2013, 02:50:06 pm »

I don't think Siamese twins is hereditary, hypertrichosis is. So in theory, there can be a tribe or family of hairy people. True, you get more Siamese twins than hairy people, but when the hairy-gene is present, it passes down the family tree. It might skip a few branches, but it can pop up any time.

There are quite a few hereditary disorders that would explain the source of certain myths. Ichthyosis is one of them. It displays in a dry, thickened, scaly or flaky skin. In various degrees and shapes. Epidermodysplasia verruciformis, where the person seems to turn into a tree. Also hereditary. And these are physical disorders.

What about psychological disorders. Clinical lycanthropy, thinking you can transform into a wolf. Species dysphoria. Renfield syndrome, is an obsession with drinking blood.

Now we know it's a disorder and sometimes know how to treat it. But imagine having a disorder like this in the middle ages? Myths would come from this and vice versa.
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2013, 04:15:20 pm »


What about psychological disorders. Clinical lycanthropy, thinking you can transform into a wolf.

That was actually explained as part of the human form of rabies. Aparently it effects the part of the brain associated with identity and cohesive thought!
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