Does the field of paleoanthropology have in impact on our lives outside of academia?
Important archaeological sites in war-torn areas like Iraq may be destroyed due to modern social upheavals. This could include hominid fossils and artifacts. Is this important to people who aren`t scholars or not?
If we didn't find an entire age of species extinct (dinosaurs) would we really be so active in preserving endangered animals? I think it effects us to at least a moderate extent that we're not aware of.
I'd say palaeoanthropology has no impact on the day to day lives of the vast majority of people, many of which believe the world came into existance in 4004 BC. It impacts palaeontologists a little (our species is the last of its genus, palaeontology teaches us this is a bad sign... damn), but we soon get over it (extinction is a natural occurence and ultimately results in breathing space for new genera to evolve and diversify).
I genuinely doubt that the sacking of former mesopotamia and the rest of the middle east for that matter would have caused any real damage to the potential of finding anything of real palaeoanthropological value, as they are all far too recent. Historians should be worried though.
I think would it would be less important, and of no direct importance to everyday people. It would only be a travesty if some journalist went haywire about it, or something. Either way, it would certainly be a loss to culture and history in general, and perhaps another frame of the past lost to the world entirely. I think that lack of cultural reference would have an effect, but not totally entirely critical effect.
But you know, look at greek religion/culture. It's used SO MUCH these days. And also art, sculpture, everything.
"Important archaeological sites in war-torn areas like Iraq may be destroyed due to modern social upheavals. This could include hominid fossils and artifacts. Is this important to people who aren't scholars or not?
I think it is very important. I'm proud what the ancient Greek civilization and all the other civilizations have left us. Whether we want it or not it's a part of our history.
There is even tourism for these places. A lot of people go to the Pyramids, Acropollis etc yearly.
I think that all the sites that people go for sightseeing should be left untouched, unharmed and not destroyed by some people who want to destroy them to build something newer that will bring them loads of money and profit.
I want my children and grandchildren to be able to go to these places that are written in history books, not only imagine them in their mind.