IGN 7-7 - Cave paintings and the origin of natural history

Tuesday, August 8, 2017
C123, Oregon Convention Center
John Pastor, Dept. of Biology, University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, MN
About thirty-one thousand years ago, people entered Chauvet Cave and painted images of animals on the walls. These people were exceptional observers of natural history. They also pushed the limits of their art in the mixing of ochre pigments with fats to make durable paints and in the accuracy and elegance of the composition of their paintings. The best of these paintings convey a sense of awe. Keen observations of natural history, wondering about the world around us, and depicting our wonder in works of art arose together early in our evolution. This is when we became human.