Some lunatic
Is agriculture an invention or a discovery? 12/7/2012 2:34PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I'm going with invention since no one stumbled across a corn field and thought, hey we ought to do this on our own.
stray dog freedom
RE: Is agriculture an invention or a discovery? 12/7/2012 4:05PM - in reply to Some lunatic Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I actually think this is an interesting question and actually was debating this with one of my friends a couple of months ago.

The reason I believe it is a discovery is because it does occur in nature to some extent (the basis of agriculture, not modern agriculture as we know it today). While your example of someone coming across a corn field is silly, I think it is pretty reasonable that someone came across a large berry patch, or something to that effect, and thought, "this is convenient, we should try to replicate this closer to where we live," Which is what I consider to be the basis of agriculture.

I would like to hear more about why you consider it an invention. (I am not being sarcastic, I would actually like to know your point of view).
Bad Wigins
RE: Is agriculture an invention or a discovery? 12/7/2012 8:33PM - in reply to Some lunatic Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Agriculture includes planting the plants, not just harvesting and eating them. If you're just picking and eating stuff, that's not agriculture, it's gathering.

And you can't discover planting plants, you have to do that on purpose.

I read someone thought maybe people eating certain seeds would take a crap outside and then they noticed plants growing where they crapped, but that's not discovery of the actual planting of seeds. Just information allowing for the invention. Much like observing that things can roll contributed to inventing the wheel.

As I said on another thread, the greatest invention of them all is the spear. Without the spear there would be no agriculture, no wheel, no nothing. Just giant cats, wolves and bears eating everyone.
Adam R.
RE: Is agriculture an invention or a discovery? 12/7/2012 8:53PM - in reply to Bad Wigins Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Bad Wigins wrote:

As I said on another thread, the greatest invention of them all is the spear. Without the spear there would be no agriculture, no wheel, no nothing. Just giant cats, wolves and bears eating everyone.


We were throwing rocks before spears. The spear was only a refinement of an existing invention.
Bad Wigins
RE: Is agriculture an invention or a discovery? 12/7/2012 8:56PM - in reply to Adam R. Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Adam R. wrote:
We were throwing rocks before spears. The spear was only a refinement of an existing invention.


The rocks were not effective. They merely bounced off the big cats, bears and wolves and mildly annoyed them. They did not deter them from eating us.
neither
RE: Is agriculture an invention or a discovery? 12/7/2012 8:59PM - in reply to Some lunatic Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I don't really think of something that evolved over generations as an invention. To me, "invention" implies not societal change, but individual innovation at a specific point in time. Eli Whitney invented interchangeable parts. One minute, no one had ever made a product with interchangeable parts. The next minute, a product with interchangeable parts existed. That is an invention.

There was no single individual in the pre-agricultural world who said "hey, I think I should clear-cut a bunch of acres of forest, take some of the seeds from the useful plants we have heretofore been gathering, and plant neat little rows of useful agricultural products. This will reduce the number of people required to feed our tribe and thus allow some members to devote their energy to other tasks." I suppose that the advent of agriculture consists of a series of inventions, but it is not an invention in itself.

I wouldn't consider agriculture to be an invention or a discovery. Innovation might be the right word.
Bad Wigins
RE: Is agriculture an invention or a discovery? 12/7/2012 8:59PM - in reply to Adam R. Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Also, nobody invented rocks. Rocks are in the discovery category.
archaeologist
RE: Is agriculture an invention or a discovery? 12/8/2012 1:49PM - in reply to Bad Wigins Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
How about going to any decent library and leafing through a World Prehistory book?

Do any of you understand that this is a subject that's been researched for many decades? That there's a sh*tload of information about it? That it didn't happen in the same way everywhere in the world?

You were probably all home-schooled and taught that some bearded guy in the sky handed it down.
What the heck
RE: Is agriculture an invention or a discovery? 12/8/2012 2:05PM - in reply to archaeologist Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

archaeologist wrote:

How about going to any decent library and leafing through a World Prehistory book?

Do any of you understand that this is a subject that's been researched for many decades? That there's a sh*tload of information about it? That it didn't happen in the same way everywhere in the world?

You were probably all home-schooled and taught that some bearded guy in the sky handed it down.


Oooh, you are so smart!
archaeologist
RE: Is agriculture an invention or a discovery? 12/9/2012 7:04PM - in reply to What the heck Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
That's right, I am.

For all I know, you and the rest of the uninformed posters in this thread are smart too. But you're not showing it.

Nobody even thought of going to Wiki-f&cking-pedia and having a look?

Just start running your mouths? That's not smart behavior, when some reasonable answers are so, so close at hand.
I'm lazy
RE: Is agriculture an invention or a discovery? 12/9/2012 7:46PM - in reply to archaeologist Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Why don't you just tell us the answer.
CoachB
RE: Is agriculture an invention or a discovery? 12/9/2012 11:41PM - in reply to I'm lazy Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
http://www.ditext.com/diamond/mistake.html

According to this guy, it was neither an invention nor a discovery....it was a mistake.

I've gotta say. Guns Germs and Steel was pretty good. This....not so sure.
Bad Wigins
RE: Is agriculture an invention or a discovery? 12/9/2012 11:46PM - in reply to CoachB Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
That's right, it was a mistake. Grain is bad for you. Meat is good. You should carry a spear and eat meat.

Don't listen to that guy who said use rocks. You will starve if you use rocks.
Hobo w/shoty
RE: Is agriculture an invention or a discovery? 12/10/2012 12:01AM - in reply to Some lunatic Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
It's really both. Humans found wild grains growing and gathered them for eating. Eventually they learned that where they stored the grain seeds grew more grain and so they started spreading the seed out close to thier camps. Over time they spead the biggest and best seeds and got out bigger and better seeds. Eventually these grains got bigger and better and grew to resemble our modern wheat, corn, rice, soy etc. You could say that humans discovered crops and then using selective breeding of those corps invented new and better species of those crops.
Bad Wigins
RE: Is agriculture an invention or a discovery? 12/10/2012 12:25AM - in reply to Hobo w/shoty Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Soy isn't a grain, it's even worse than a grain.

The problem with cultivating grain and toxic beans is that they result in a diet too high in complex carbs and fiber. This leads to people getting fat and many other health problems. But they are still able to reproduce, which allows the population to grow to match the abundant supply of grains and worthless soy.

So in modern times, it's impossible for most people to survive without eating relatively unhealthy foods. Even meat is usually raised on grain and horrible soybeans. It's impossible for everyone to eat good, healthy hunter-gatherer stuff anymore, and it's agriculture's fault.

But the main point is soybeans are not food. They're a nasty substance from which some nutrients can be extracted.
Aqua Lung
RE: Is agriculture an invention or a discovery? 12/10/2012 6:45AM - in reply to Some lunatic Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
guy by the name of Jethro Tull developed row crops
prior to that folk would just randomly scatter seeds
the band took their name from the dude