hippocraticoath

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I've always wondered if medicine is technically considered the second oldest profession (you know, behind prostitution). I've looked it up but there seems to be a lot of speculation about what the second oldest profession is. Some people say that espionage is the second oldest profession, other say farming is the second oldest profession. Can anyone confirm that medicine came after prostitution?
 

SDN2013

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using it in your personal statement/secondary essay I'm guessing?

It's far safer to just say one of the oldest
 

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Medicine is no older than Hippocrates. There are many, many older professions.
 
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Corvus Riley

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Depends on how you define a profession

Prostitution is only referred to as the world's oldest profession colloquially, not as a defined term. I mean, in order to have prostitution you have to set up a system of exchange (something, be it money or whatever, in exchange for sex) and by the time that people develop such a complex system, surely other "professions" have developed.

Perhaps pimping is in fact the world's oldest profession.
 

Raryn

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I'd say prostitution is the second oldest.

The first oldest would be doing something that would give you something to trade for the prostitutes. I.E. you need material goods before you can buy the woman :p
 

Corvus Riley

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I'd say prostitution is the second oldest.

The first oldest would be doing something that would give you something to trade for the prostitutes. I.E. you need material goods before you can buy the woman :p
*points you in the direction of one post up*
 

RySerr21

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Since the beginning of human existence people have been taking care of others.......granted their knowledge was very limited, and they might not have been able to do much in terms of health and saving lives, but it can still be considered "medicine."
 

Corvus Riley

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Since the beginning of human existence people have been taking care of others.......granted their knowledge was very limited, and they might not have been able to do much in terms of health and saving lives, but it can still be considered "medicine."
"Professional Hugger"
 

Corvus Riley

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Lol. I opened this thread in one of my many tabs, then replied when I got to it.

Your post wasn't up yet when I opened it. Sorry!
*snicker* no worries. I'm not upset.

Yet.

*dramatic rodent music*
 

premedrod

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you always hear about hunters and gatherers...so i would assume its gatherers whcih were the second oldest profession, who were mainly women....maybe?
 
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The joke goes that "politics is the second oldest profession. It bears a lot of similarity to the first."
 

mmmcdowe

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Medicine is no older than Hippocrates. There are many, many older professions.


Lol, I think you are mistaken. Hippocrates wasn't the founder of his school, he was just the most influential figure of the school of Cos. There were also other schools at the time that believed in the secular art of medicine such as the Cnidians (aka knidians, etc). This leads to the question of what is a doctor. Is a shaman a doctor, are the aesculpiads before Hippocrates doctors? They believed in mystic healing as much as normal healing, but they still performed the role of healer. In order to decide when doctoring began, one must first define it. For example, we must also define prostitution. Is the cave woman who needed a place to sleep a prostitute if she let the cave man sleep with her?
 

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I'm pretty sure Adam cut himself while chopping wood one time-->Eve probably covered it with something-->It healed. Yeah, I think medicine predates prostitution.
 

Chemdude

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Lol, I think you are mistaken. Hippocrates wasn't the founder of his school, he was just the most influential figure of the school of Cos. There were also other schools at the time that believed in the secular art of medicine such as the Cnidians (aka knidians, etc). This leads to the question of what is a doctor. Is a shaman a doctor, are the aesculpiads before Hippocrates doctors? They believed in mystic healing as much as normal healing, but they still performed the role of healer. In order to decide when doctoring began, one must first define it. For example, we must also define prostitution. Is the cave woman who needed a place to sleep a prostitute if she let the cave man sleep with her?

Cavemen probably forced cavewomen into having sex. I don't think prostitution was necessary in that case.
 

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I would not call prostitution the earliest profession. I mean back then it would have closer resembled a natural exchange between two (or three or four) people much in the way sharing food would be regarded. So, if prostitution is a branch of sharing, as is food-exchange, then perhaps commune organization is the oldest profession. There had to been some form of exchange of goods/service prior to the exchange of sexual favours, because the goods/service were incentive to perform the sexual favour.

So... commune organising (identifying members, allocating resources) is the oldest profession.
 

biophysicianai

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I would not call prostitution the earliest profession. I mean back then it would have closer resembled a natural exchange between two (or three or four) people much in the way sharing food would be regarded. So, if prostitution is a branch of sharing, as is food-exchange...

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

I love how casually you compared the two. I was sitting here bored waiting for an SDS-PAGE gel to finish running :mad: when I read this and burst out laughing in my silent, sterile, all-white lab environment. Props :thumbup:
 
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JeanLuc

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Cavemen probably forced cavewomen into having sex. I don't think prostitution was necessary in that case.

I don't think its fair to suggest that only women were raped as there are contemporary examples of primitive societies where males are forced into sex with their social superiors. I don't know how acceptable rape would be in caveman society since the [potential] rapist would need some sort of permission from the others to engage in sex with the other individual. So, I guess what you're saying would be valid only in the case of the "alpha-male".
 

Chemdude

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I don't think its fair to suggest that only women were raped as there are contemporary examples of primitive societies where males are forced into sex with their social superiors. I don't know how acceptable rape would be in caveman society since the [potential] rapist would need some sort of permission from the others to engage in sex with the other individual. So, I guess what you're saying would be valid only in the case of the "alpha-male".

I think the "alpha-male" didn't care unless one of his followers hit-it-up with one of his special ladies.

I actually watched a documentary about "monkeys"(I don't remember their exact name) the other day. Apparently, they have a weird system set up for deciding who gets to mate. Male "monkeys" can fight other male "monkeys" for their "monkey-harem." Whoever loses has to give up their monkey-harem to the other monkey(technically, the female monkeys just leave the loser for the winner). It was actually pretty funny; the male monkeys were fighting while their female counterparts were watching. After a monkey lost, he watched the other monkey get-it-on with one of his mistresses.
 

JeanLuc

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I think the "alpha-male" didn't care unless one of his followers hit-it-up with one of his special ladies.

I actually watched a documentary about "monkeys"(I don't remember their exact name) the other day. Apparently, they have a weird system set up for deciding who gets to mate. Male "monkeys" can fight other male "monkeys" for their "monkey-harem." Whoever loses has to give up their monkey-harem to the other monkey(technically, the female monkeys just leave the loser for the winner). It was actually pretty funny; the male monkeys were fighting while their female counterparts were watching. After a monkey lost, he watched the other monkey get-it-on with one of his mistresses.


I guess you could be right. That documentary you described sounds really familiar. They're always a good laugh.:)
 

hippocraticoath

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I would not call prostitution the earliest profession. I mean back then it would have closer resembled a natural exchange between two (or three or four) people much in the way sharing food would be regarded. So, if prostitution is a branch of sharing, as is food-exchange, then perhaps commune organization is the oldest profession. There had to been some form of exchange of goods/service prior to the exchange of sexual favours, because the goods/service were incentive to perform the sexual favour.

So... commune organising (identifying members, allocating resources) is the oldest profession.


That's what I told the officer in the massage parlor. "Hey this is just a natural exchange of resources between two people. Just like a food co-op. Nothing going on here."
 

mmmcdowe

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They have found ancient Egyptian carving that show people with one small, withered leg - a sign of polio. Most people think that is the first actual diagnosed disease.

Human diseases would have started out with one of two requirements:

Being transmissible from animal to human
being transmissible from environment to human

Thus, diseases like cholera would have shown up first, because they do not require a human host to survive or transmit. Diseases like TB, polio, and Influenza would have evolved during agrarian times, because of the need for denser populations. I say like, because for all we know TB started out being transmitted via water before it switched.

STD's like syph would have also required denser populations, due to the need for body to body transmissions. As an aside, did you guys know that the reason syph used to be called the Great Pox is because it was a far more damaging bacteria in earlier times? Huge sores and other icky side effects. What we know have in our society is a much milder version of the bacteria, because hurting a host only hurts the bacteria's survival. Decreasing damage to the host increases survival.
 
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Law2Doc

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I've always wondered if medicine is technically considered the second oldest profession (you know, behind prostitution). I've looked it up but there seems to be a lot of speculation about what the second oldest profession is. Some people say that espionage is the second oldest profession, other say farming is the second oldest profession. Can anyone confirm that medicine came after prostitution?

I doubt medicine is in the top 3 oldest professions, by your definition. Espionage probably isn't a profession by most definitions. Nor is farming, but it is certainly a whole lot older than medicine. Law/Judiciary is older than medicine. As is prostitution. And law enforcement.
 

mfrizzo3

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I would say that teaching is a much older profession than all off the above.

Somebody taught that hooker how to stand on the corner.
 

moneduloides

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You can make the argument, quite correctly, that medicine is the oldest profession. Taking into consideration the evolution of the human female pelvis, the requirement of aid during birth makes the midwife, the early obstetrician, the oldest profession.

All of these arguments about the "hunter" and the "gatherer" are only secondary to reality; both the hunter and the gatherer must be born before they can be either a hunter or gatherer (or, more correctly, both). And, if you know anything about the anatomy involved in parturition, a female reaching down to aid in her own birth (as many non-human primates do) results in the death of the neonate.

Aid in birth is necessary for humans, as a population (exceptions, of course, exist). Medicine, if you include this very crude obstetrics of the Pleio/Pleistocene in the definition of medicine, is the oldest profession. Not arguable, really.
 

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You can make the argument, quite correctly, that medicine is the oldest profession. Taking into consideration the evolution of the human female pelvis, the requirement of aid during birth makes the midwife, the early obstetrician, the oldest profession.

All of these arguments about the "hunter" and the "gatherer" are only secondary to reality; both the hunter and the gatherer must be born before they can be either a hunter or gatherer (or, more correctly, both). And, if you know anything about the anatomy involved in parturition, a female reaching down to aid in her own birth (as many non-human primates do) results in the death of the neonate.

Aid in birth is necessary for humans, as a population (exceptions, of course, exist). Medicine, if you include this very crude obstetrics of the Pleio/Pleistocene in the definition of medicine, is the oldest profession. Not arguable, really.

How did the female give birth to the child? Her male counterpart had to hunt so that she can eat, so that she may nourish the child. After months of nourishment, she gives birth.

Props to the human female pelvis:thumbup:. Irrespective of what created it/caused it, it came out great.
 

moneduloides

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How did the female give birth to the child? Her male counterpart had to hunt so that she can eat, so that she may nourish the child. After months of nourishment, she gives birth.

Props to the human female pelvis:thumbup:. Irrespective of what created it/caused it, it came out great.

If you're implying a human gave birth to a human ad infinitum then you're just spewing logical fallacy. At one point in time we were Australopiths, then Archaic Homo, then Homo sapiens. There was a first human, and that individual was not given birth to by a human (Of course, the line is quite arbitrary, and the difference between the mother and offspring would have been non-observable).

Also, man the hunter/woman the gatherer is a dated theory with very few (dogmatic) followers. I wish I could say the same for people that believe in the "created it" portion of your post.
 

Chemdude

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If you're implying a human gave birth to a human ad infinitum then you're just spewing logical fallacy. At one point in time we were Australopiths, then Archaic Homo, then Homo sapiens. There was a first human, and that individual was not given birth to by a human (Of course, the line is quite arbitrary, and the difference between the mother and offspring would have been non-observable).

Also, man the hunter/woman the gatherer is a dated theory with very few (dogmatic) followers. I wish I could say the same for people that believe in the "created it" portion of your post.

Are you implying that humans(Homo Sapiens Sapiens) were the first to have professions?

I think your argument does not hold true becuase there is no clear way to determine when the first human was born. The differences between the first human and their direct parents were probably insignificant.
 

moneduloides

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Are you implying that humans(Homo Sapiens Sapiens) were the first to have professions?

No, and if you read what I wrote you wouldn't be asking that question. Of course hominoids prior to Homo sapiens had what could be argued as professions, but the whole idea of profession is one culturally defined, and since modern culture is dated to ca40kya, that leaves "profession" as being something unique to Homo sapiens.

I think your argument does not hold true becuase there is no clear way to determine when the first human was born. The differences between the first human and their direct parents were probably insignificant.

Once again, if you read what I wrote you wouldn't be attempting to make the second point either. See "the difference between the mother and offspring would have been non-observable" in my prior post. The fact is, all species definitions are arbitrary in some way or another, especially when its solely paleontological evidence the definition rides on. By definition, there is a point at which a line must be drawn when the human race originated. Whether or not we can find that line (We most certainly cannot) is irrelevant; there was a first human, by definition.

If you cannot cede this, then you are implying that species definitions are irrelevant (Which, in many cases they are, but not most). The LCA of Humans and Chimps, for instance, was surely different from anatomically modern humans; you must draw the line somewhere. It's how humans work, we draw arbitrary lines to define what we see/experience.
 

Chemdude

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No, and if you read what I wrote you wouldn't be asking that question. Of course hominoids prior to Homo sapiens had what could be argued as professions, but the whole idea of profession is one culturally defined, and since modern culture is dated to ca40kya, that leaves "profession" as being something unique to Homo sapiens.



Once again, if you read what I wrote you wouldn't be attempting to make the second point either. See "the difference between the mother and offspring would have been non-observable" in my prior post. The fact is, all species definitions are arbitrary in some way or another, especially when its solely paleontological evidence the definition rides on. By definition, there is a point at which a line must be drawn when the human race originated. Whether or not we can find that line (We most certainly cannot) is irrelevant; there was a first human, by definition.

If you cannot cede this, then you are implying that species definitions are irrelevant (Which, in many cases they are, but not most). The LCA of Humans and Chimps, for instance, was surely different from anatomically modern humans; you must draw the line somewhere. It's how humans work, we draw arbitrary lines to define what we see/experience.

You are misunderstanding my first point.

What was the first priority of the first human being(s) and their ancestor(s)? Was their top priority taking care of their health(arguably medicine)? No. The most important priority was finding food. Without the presence of food, the satisfaction of other secondary priorities would have been impossible. So logically, hunters and gatherers had to predate any primitive medical "professionals."
 

moneduloides

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You are misunderstanding my first point.

What was the first priority of the first human being(s) and their ancestor(s)? Was their top priority taking care of their health(arguably medicine)? No. The most important priority was finding food. Without the presence of food, the satisfaction of other secondary priorities would have been impossible. So logically, hunters and gatherers had to predate any primitive medical "professionals."

Correct. I understood this. It all comes down to how you define 'profession'. If I believe that the early humans who aided in childbirth where professionals when, in reality, there were no professions because there was no division of labor, then I would be incorrect. What I was saying, though, is that what these early "midwifes" did is remarkably similar to obstetricians in L&D, and since by definition the human race doesn't exist until the first human is born, then it would be the first profession. That first human grows up and becomes a hunter-gatherer before anybody has a chance to be an obstetrician, but being a hunter-gatherer in and of itself is not a profession; it's a way of life.
 

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No, and if you read what I wrote you wouldn't be asking that question. Of course hominoids prior to Homo sapiens had what could be argued as professions, but the whole idea of profession is one culturally defined, and since modern culture is dated to ca40kya, that leaves "profession" as being something unique to Homo sapiens.



Once again, if you read what I wrote you wouldn't be attempting to make the second point either. See "the difference between the mother and offspring would have been non-observable" in my prior post. The fact is, all species definitions are arbitrary in some way or another, especially when its solely paleontological evidence the definition rides on. By definition, there is a point at which a line must be drawn when the human race originated. Whether or not we can find that line (We most certainly cannot) is irrelevant; there was a first human, by definition.

If you cannot cede this, then you are implying that species definitions are irrelevant (Which, in many cases they are, but not most). The LCA of Humans and Chimps, for instance, was surely different from anatomically modern humans; you must draw the line somewhere. It's how humans work, we draw arbitrary lines to define what we see/experience.

This statement is actually pretty "dogmatic". How can you say that something exists without having proper proof. You are saying that there is an arbitrary line that exists by definition. Anything that exists must be definite. You can't create arbitrary lines and say that they exist by definition. If the lines that you draw are arbitrary and not definite, there is no difference in what you say and religious belief.

"Definition" is created; it is not factual.
 

Chemdude

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Correct. I understood this. It all comes down to how you define 'profession'. If I believe that the early humans who aided in childbirth where professionals when, in reality, there were no professions because there was no division of labor, then I would be incorrect. What I was saying, though, is that what these early "midwifes" did is remarkably similar to obstetricians in L&D, and since by definition the human race doesn't exist until the first human is born, then it would be the first profession. That first human grows up and becomes a hunter-gatherer before anybody has a chance to be an obstetrician, but being a hunter-gatherer in and of itself is not a profession; it's a way of life.

Yes, but hunting and gathering occured before the development of the human species.
 

moneduloides

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This statement is actually pretty "dogmatic". How can you say that something exists without having proper proof. You are saying that there is an arbitrary line that exists by definition. Anything that exists must be definite. You can't create arbitrary lines and say that they exist by definition. If the lines that you draw are arbitrary and not definite, there is no difference in what you say and religious belief.

"Definition" is created; it is not factual.

There is no empirical way to prove the existence of a species, it is only in existence once there is a consensus on what criteria an organism has to meet to be defined as a specific species. These criterion are completely arbitrary, and only used so biologists can differentiate between one species and another. When you sweep away all of this, the organisms still exist, they just have not yet been defined by humans.

My argument is circular, which is of course a fallacy in and of itself. But, the only way our minds are able to discern between blue and red, for instance, are because we have arbitrarily assigned these names to specific pigments, not because these pigments are by definition extant. Something can exist and be arbitrary.

So, once we create a definition (Which consists of arbitrary criteria) then we have a line we can draw to differentiate between one thing and another. It doesn't make us correct, it just makes us human.


Yes, but hunting and gathering occured before the development of the human species.

Hunting and gathering are not professions, any more than me buying food at the grocery story is a profession.
 
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