Giants on Earth

Do legends and traditions of storybook giants have some basis in fact? Fossils of Gigantopithecus suggest the species reached almost ten feet tall and lived up to 300,000 years ago. Fortean Times looks at the possibility that the primate wasn't an ape, but something a bit closer to human, and might not even be extinct.
There is plenty of American Indian lore concerning True Giants; they have left their mark in the names given to places in North America. And there are modern reports for them as well, from all over the world. To survive at all, they remain shy of human beings. It is no accident that the detailed observations of these giants are so often made from a distance and that the best records generally come from mountainous areas, just as they do in North America. There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, these surviving giants no longer confront human beings if it can be avoided. In rare instances of prolonged visual contact, they have kept their distance from observers. Secondly, in the New World’s Pacific Northwest there has been an unparalleled effort to collect accounts of hairy beings of all kinds. If comparable efforts were made elsewhere, we would be likely to hear of similar matter-of-fact and detailed sightings of True Giants.

Of course, you'll want to read this while taking a few large grains of salt. Link

Yet, if you believe the creationists they were giant humans, and if you believe the atheists giants never existed at all... err... wait... they did, we just didn't have sufficient evidence to believe they did, so we asserted they didn't.
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"Fortean Times looks at the possibility that the primate wasn’t an ape, but something a bit closer to human..."

Humans are part of the great ape family so either way they would be apes.

These could only be considered to be the giants mentioned in mythology if humans had any knowledge of them when they appeared in folklore. You can't retrofit findings such as fossils of Gigantopithecus to make post hoc rationalisations claiming they are the same giants the Bible speaks of.
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That's not my intention, my intention is merely to show that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. If Gigantopithecus did live with humans it could be the source of the folk lore. I'm not saying it is, instead what I'm saying is that science like anything else is blind to what it does not know.

People; naturalists, scientists like Richard Dawkins, and atheists the globe over, have been ridiculing theists for their "outrageous" beliefs, some of which are the beliefs in Giants, Unicorns, Leviathan, etc... These beliefs have been ridiculed because there is an absence of evidence, as if that meant evidence of absence.

Nor am I saying folk lore is a good source of knowledge, still, just pointing to the intellectual arrogance of naturalistic types who think that lack of evidence is evidence of lack.
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@ Ryan S,

I wonder why you tend to turn so many topics into an attack on atheists. Is it not just as bad for theists to believe in something despite a lack of evidence and criticise atheists for their outrageous lack of belief?

I'm in the belief that agnosticism and atheism aren't mutually exclusive. There is much interpretation and debate over the definition of these terms however I am in agreement with those that claim that agnosticism addresses evidence and atheism addresses belief. In the case of claims of the existence of god/s, I don’t believe that an absence of evidence is evidence of absence as I acknowledge that such a claim is unscientific as it concerns supernatural entities, and so there is no scientific evidence for or against the existence of deities that could satisfy the issue either way. I acknowledge that the existence of supernatural deities is inherently unknowable.

In terms of belief, it is my understanding that supernatural entities by definition do not exist in the natural world, and if they do not exist in the natural world then they are not based in reality, and if they are not based in reality then they are not real, and if they are not real they don’t exist. So while I acknowledge that the existence of deities is inherently unknowable, it is my personal belief that they do not exist, so I consider myself to be an agnostic atheist. That is not the same as saying “there is no god”.

You can criticise me if you like, but are all of your personal beliefs based on tangible evidence? I should also point out that I do not care for being lumped in with the intellectually arrogant who criticise others’ beliefs. I am all for respecting a person’s right to believe in inherently unanswerable questions such as the existence of deities and the afterlife, however when it comes to questions that can be addressed by science such as specific religious claims including many of those made by creationists, I am all for criticising with the use of science and logic.
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The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, true, however (there is always an "However") a rationalist should not accept any hypothesis without evidence. To date, I am unaware of any empirical evidence to support the existence of Gigantopithecus, living or dead. No fossils, DNA, hair, dropping, etc. Further more nothing in the orthodoxy of hominid linage points to the existence of Gigantopithecus. Yes, we can be surprised from time to time (see Homo floresiensis) but such discoveries are very, very rare and localized. With a creature as supposedly wide spread as Gigantopithecus the evidence should be abundant. If evidence for Gigantopithecus were discovered and verified, it would turn the accepted view of hominid evolution upside down.
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It is the consensus amongst palaeontologists that Gigantopithecus probably did exist over 100,000 years ago. This is supported by fossil evidence. The authors of this article however are attempting to claim that they are still around and have some link with folklore that mentions giants. Others have argued that bigfoot is a descendent of Gigantopithecus, however there is no evidence for such claims which are likely to be the result of efforts made by the bigfoot community to forge some links between their theories and legitimate science.
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I was mistaken on the fossil evidence for Gigantopithecus. Further research shows that there are a large number of teeth and a few jaw or mandible specimens. The consensus is that the Gigantopithecus was an ape with no homo characteristics and was confined to south-southeast Asia.
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I'm trying to pick on theistic beliefs too. I said creationists would have you believe there were giant humans. I guess this could have been taken as supportive of the claim, but that wasn't my intention. I don't personally believe much at all. Belief is what happens when you choose what you want to be true. I do not choose what I want to be true. I will remain conflicted on this issue until my death. Did or didn't giants exist? Its not a high priority issue for me or anything, but I'm not prepared to go all-in. That's the best way I can put it, people choose beliefs and they put all their chips into the pot. They go all-in with their identity they "become an atheist" and do everything "like an atheist". Someone tells me they are an atheist and I'm suddenly endowed with precognitive insight into their point-of-view on everything.

Agnosticism is not desirable either. Agnosticism that is passive, uncaring and unproductive is no different than ignorance. I've had enough ignorance for one lifetime. What I'm after is the truth. It is not acceptable to take anything for granted. I've acquired a means of monitoring my own psyche for subtleties that influence the cognitive process, and just as importantly I've devised means of counter-acting those forces. If I desire at all to believe in something I run from the feeling like my life depends on it. Desire should not determine what is true. I recognize that the best state for discovery of truth is complete non-attachment. But it is a practice and it doesn't come easy, every time I shift my attention to 'external' phenomena I lose some executive control.

I have never, in my life, come across a single person who would write such words as I have just written. 1) They portray themselves as lacking control would is bad for one's image (ego), 2) They reveal a level of intellectual vulnerability mostly unheard of, 2) They demonstrate an internal dynamic that is alien and disturbing to other people. Most people want to believe something, they want to be something and be loved by like-minded souls. But truth requires non-attachment to everything, including truth itself. If one's identity is caught up in it then it's error. That is what I'm pointing to.

Atheists, and I can say that anyone who calls themselves an atheist is deluded. They have an attachment to an identity, some kind of belief-system. Or an agnostic, or a Christian or a deist. If you have these attachments you fail to see outside of your box. When I read pantheistic, deistic or Atheistic writings, I can't tell the difference outside of the lingo. What Christians describe as God is only different from what an Atheist would describe as Nature or Universe because of the words.

These are myths that describe a relationship, a dynamic, they describe the psychological process I spoke of, the distortions of perception through attachment to identity. The evidence is in the actual definition of the terms "Theist" and "Atheist", these are identities. The evidence is on the battlefield of the internet and outside abortion clinics and funerals. The world has gone mad with identity. It creates a drastic schism between people which intensifies to a state of war. The tower of Babel was not a literal story, it illustrates that all logical thought points to the same God though it is obscured by countless languages.

My experience and to that extent it is a kind of operational belief is that theists do a descent job of interpreting their own theology, but not each others and atheists cannot decipher any of it. They take it all literally. How are we going to solve this insanity of babeling? I think it starts with identifying this problem of attachment and moving beyond it. Unfortunately, it is easy to claim non-attachment than it is to prove, and it is common that someone will say "I am non-attached, so my God is real and yours is not." that person demonstrates attachment. But now, there are all kinds of subtleties about people's belief systems, sometimes theists deny that God is Universe because they think Atheists believe physical matter as we naively perceive it is the final reality, but actually Atheists believe that physical reality as we naively perceive it is completely wrong and that we are all composite of some multidimensional fabric which itself is All. Atheists tend to think Theists believe in a sky-God, a man, but in reality they believe in a Grand Unifying Principal of some sort that operates according to its own laws.

I want to stress that my pain comes from the fact that I don't want to do this. I don't want to care or spend the time on this. I don't care, because its futile, people are ignorant and always will be, the wheel of the sky keeps on turning. Trying to save anyone is a fool's errand. I know, it's suicide, stupidity, pointless, but I do it anyway. I can't rationally work out anything better to do. Nothing more productive. Perhaps writing a book would be, but that's debatable. Given that I'm also on the guard for my own biases and desire to be someone I daily suffer the act of being someone when I don't want to. I don't care if giants were real or not, does not matter to me one bit. My convictions are predicated on axiomatic, paramount truth, there is no getting around it - it's getting to it that's difficult. I mean, everything I say is subject to the cognitive structure, identities, attachments and shit of whoever I'm speaking with, I find it all unproductive. I'm trying to knock down barriers that amount to emotional attachments, they can't let go of or see beyond and I become their enemy. I'm equally sympathetic to all classes of people, and equally unsympathetic, but I guess it's hard to see because different circumstances call for different actions. Anyway, enough about me, I'm just trying to describe something of objective importance in my little jabs at people. What else can I do, lengthy analysis are TL:DR and arrogant.
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@ Ryan S

Obviously I can't address all the points you made (well I could, but it's probably unnecessary - at least I didn't find it "TL to R"). At various points in my life I have been a theist, a deist, an agnostic, and an atheist, and I would just like to point out that as an (agnostic) atheist, I do not think that all the stories of theists are intended to be literal (although a select few theists do), and I am not one of those atheists who understands their beliefs to be merely in that of a man or a “sky god”. I don’t like to oversimplify such things, in fact I have a great interest in the beliefs of various religions, the purposes they serve/d, and origins of mythology that I developed long before my atheism, or agnosticism for that matter. Perhaps your precognitive insight into my point-of-view on everything was slightly off the mark.

I do not feel shame in applying labels to my “beliefs”. It helps me to express to others in broad terms where my opinions lie if they ask without having to go into some great spiel that will quickly cause them to lose interest. I am not ashamed of holding various beliefs, but I acknowledge that they may not necessarily be true (which is more than can be said for many). Nor am I ashamed of having biases, cognitive or otherwise, as I am human and could never free myself of them if I tried – although I do like to be aware of these biases to gain better insight into how they are affecting my judgement, and perhaps minimise them if I can.
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Well, see that kind of intellectualizing is markedly different from falling into a state of complete uncertainty and despair, struggling vehemently to break out of your biases and delusions with the same determination a victim of strangulation tries to get out of their attackers grip.

If you are content to believe "I could never free myself" and are complacent to your prison, then even if you check that with some more intellectualizing about cognitive biases, you are still in a prison. Intellect is a compartment of the mind, one can arrive at all kinds of conclusions in the intellect and then act from a more base emotion that runs completely contrary to the deliberations of the intellect. The task of the philosopher is to assimilate his convictions into the fabric of self, such that the desires and the distortions cease to arise.
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All that means is that you don't value truth above everything else. It means if you have to choose between truth and your ego, you will choose your ego. All a philosopher is, is one who loves truth more than anything and so conforms him/herself to what is true at the expense of their own sense of self-hood.

In the colloquial sense, that philosophy is thinking about the world and formulating beliefs; everyone is a philosopher. No one can escape making judgments, in particular no one can escape making metaphysical, ethical and theory of mind judgments. It is best that we do so in a way that is truthful, instead of egotistical. Which is the impetus that should make us all strive to be genuine lovers of wisdom.
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@Ryan S, that is assuming that philosophy is the path to truth. Personally I feel that science has more to offer when it comes to finding the truth of things. Philosophy has its uses too but when you read too much into it it becomes a distraction. I am aware of your post-modern opinions of science, so there is no need to tell me again.
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