Can Sci use the word “Dildo” for the main feed of Scienceblogs? Oh well, guess we will find out! Sorry in advance, OverL0rdz!
Anyway, if you were on the internets at ALL over the past few days, you will have seen three things:
1) A guy showed his coworker a paper on bat fellatio and is in trouble for it. Sci is going to wait on details of the case before she passes judgment, there appears to be a lot more than just bat fellatio involved. But for more on bat fellatio, see here, and here.
2) VENTER HAS CREATED LIFE! Ok, he made a synthetic genome and put it into a cell. And the cell worked! It’s not synthetic life, but it’s pretty effing cool. Ed as usual does a brilliant job with the story.
3) And of course everyone saw this:
OMG it’s a stone age dildo. Stop the presses!
But before we get our undies all in a twist over this, Sci has some concerns.
First off, there’s no paper describing the dildo yet (at least, Sci can’t find one. Anyone?). Hopefully there will be one out soon. This story apparently broke originally back in 2005, as a “representation of male sexuality“. But in the meantime, Sci has some concerns that none of the multiple stories on this have addressed yet. In short, her concerns come down to this:
Innocent until proven salacious.
Sure, that thing up there might be a dildo. It also might NOT be a dildo. How do we KNOW it’s a dildo? Apparently the carved rings around one polished end may be an indication of dildo use. Ribbed and rocky for her pleasure. It’s also apparently the right size, about 20cm (7.9 inches) long, and 3 cm (1.5 inches) wide. That’s the right length, but seems a bit narrow, though perhaps things have changed in 28,000 years.
Apparently it’s also a firestarter. Or at least it has marks that strongly suggest that.
Now, I’m not saying it’s not a dildo. Sci is just saying that there’s lots of other things it could be. Sometimes a firestarter is just a firestarter. It could also be a pestle for grinding up stuff.
(Mr. SiT took this opportunity to point out that this would be a seriously uncomfortable thing to use after grinding up pepper).
It could be part of a stone grinder for grinding grain.
Heck, it could be a model of a penis used for religious or symbolic purposes and not actually used as a dildo at all. There are, after all, many artifacts of women with emphasized sexual parts, but whether or not they were used as porn is still very up for debate.
(gets you hot, don’t it)
Sci wouldn’t have any problem with it BEING a dildo (though rock! OW. Poor prehistoric ladies), but I think we need more proof before it is. After all, it was found and studied by a scientist who specializes in prehistoric sexual culture (which is an AWESOME specialty and I wish I’d known about that in undergrad!). To a guy with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. To a guy who specializes in prehistoric sexual culture, maybe every correctly sized piece of rock looks like a dildo. He may be right. He may be wrong. The point is that the media saw “28,000 year old dildo” and went “SWEET!” And the idea is pretty sweet.
If it is a dildo, nice stuff. But Sci wants some proof (or at least, as much proof as you can get out of something that’s 28,000 years old). Show me a cave painting or carving with it in use, and I’m sold. Either that, or show me some leftover vaginal mucosa hanging on to that thing. Otherwise…sometimes a rock is just a rock, you know?