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Woolly mammoth extinction 'not linked to humans'
BBC ^ | August 17, 2010 | Pallab Ghosh

Posted on 08/18/2010 11:32:29 AM PDT by decimon

Woolly mammoths died out because of dwindling grasslands - rather than being hunted to extinction by humans, according to a Durham University study.

After the coldest phase of the last ice age 21,000 years ago, the research revealed, there was a dramatic decline in pasture on which the mammoths fed.

The woolly mammoth was once commonplace across many parts of Europe.

It retreated to northern Siberia about 14,000 years ago, where it finally died out approximately 4,000 years ago.

(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...


TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: catastrophism; godsgravesglyphs
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1 posted on 08/18/2010 11:32:30 AM PDT by decimon
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To: SunkenCiv

Sallie told Hallie ping.


2 posted on 08/18/2010 11:33:18 AM PDT by decimon
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To: decimon

Wow, it only took 4,000 years to clear these guys.


3 posted on 08/18/2010 11:34:00 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: decimon

So it was climate change?

That means that humans definitely caused their demise; only humans cause climate change.


4 posted on 08/18/2010 11:35:08 AM PDT by DBrow
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To: decimon

Why did I just think of Michelle Zero????


5 posted on 08/18/2010 11:35:19 AM PDT by geege
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To: DBrow

Yeah, when they invented fire, poof! There went the mammoth. All those caves, ya know and the smoke. It all comes back to not wanting to freeze and convenience for humans. The creeps.


6 posted on 08/18/2010 11:37:07 AM PDT by ReneeLynn (Socialism is SO yesterday. Fascism, it*s the new black. Mmm Mmm Mmm.)
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To: decimon

Ruminant herbivores survived, non-ruminants were wiped out.

Try proposing a theory explaining that.


7 posted on 08/18/2010 11:41:23 AM PDT by Snickering Hound
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To: decimon
Interesting, but it must have then just been a coincidence that wherever man has arrived at lands previously uninhabited, there has been a major extinction of much of the mega-fauna?

I mean, the mammoth lived in North America for thousands of years, then Clovis man shows up, we see Clovis points stuck in the butt of mammoths, then we don't seem to find any more mammoths.

Now I am not saying that such evidence CONCLUSIVELY shows anything! But the extinction of much of the mega-fauna coinciding so clearly with human habitation seems to paint a compelling picture.

8 posted on 08/18/2010 11:45:29 AM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
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To: decimon
Woolly mammoth extinction 'not linked to humans'

Well hell and here I thought it was due to neandrethals driving Ford Explorers and not worrying about their "carbon footprint." Next some one is going to say that global warming is the result of solar cycles and not our current standard of living.

9 posted on 08/18/2010 11:47:29 AM PDT by from occupied ga (Your most dangerous enemy is your own government,)
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To: Smokin' Joe
Ya done a lousy job.

The WalMart parking lot is just full of mammoths.
Scientific Name: Hugeasseous Doordingerus

10 posted on 08/18/2010 11:52:00 AM PDT by Kenny Bunk (The Republican Party was founded to Save the Union. Can it now Save the Republic?)
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To: decimon

I have always proclaimed my innocence.


11 posted on 08/18/2010 11:52:58 AM PDT by paulycy (Demand Constitutionality Now: Islamo-Marxism is Evil.)
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To: allmendream

Their regrettable habit of sticking Clovis Points into the gluteal region of Mammoths is exactly why there are no more Clovis People.


12 posted on 08/18/2010 11:53:59 AM PDT by Kenny Bunk (The Republican Party was founded to Save the Union. Can it now Save the Republic?)
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To: Kenny Bunk

We be lookin’ for tuskers, not hippos.


13 posted on 08/18/2010 11:54:45 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: allmendream; Snickering Hound

These researchers have allowed their politics to damage their brains.

The large mammals survived multiple ice ages and end of ice ages for multiple millions of years. Man shows up - and they are gone in a few thousand years.

And not just in North America - in multiple locations planet wide.

And the theory is “climate change and grassland”.

Stuck on stupid.


14 posted on 08/18/2010 11:59:16 AM PDT by Eldon Tyrell
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To: Kenny Bunk

An absolute truth. I personally think that most of these people do not have a clue.


15 posted on 08/18/2010 12:03:49 PM PDT by Little Bill (`-)
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To: allmendream

While man and mammoth were in the same neighborhood, it’s highly unlikely that a group of humans could have put the final hurt into the population with stone tipped weapons.

If it were true that primitive technology was sufficient to wipe-out swaths of mega-fauna, by that reasoning, elephants, rhinos and other similar mega-fauna should have become extinct by the time the first puff of gun powder reached the shores of africa.

Man didn’t become dominant by shooting from the hip or acting like tarzan.

The mere evidence of clovis points stuck in bones doesn’t demonstrate cause of death.

Our ancestors were pragmatic scavengers and not the foolhardy type to risk their lives (or the life of a hunting party member) to take down a mammoth when the abundance of smaller (less harmful) game was bountiful.

My 2 cents... or 2 clams as Fred Flintstone would insist.


16 posted on 08/18/2010 12:11:25 PM PDT by hkusp40 (NJ: The Laboratory of failed social experiments.)
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To: Little Bill

Mammoth, baby! It’s what’s for dinner.


17 posted on 08/18/2010 12:11:34 PM PDT by Kenny Bunk (The Republican Party was founded to Save the Union. Can it now Save the Republic?)
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To: Snickering Hound
Ruminant herbivores survived, non-ruminants were wiped out. Try proposing a theory explaining that.

The Atlanteans had a green-tech society powered by lithium-based batteries. They carelessly discarded their lithium batteries on the steppes which poisoned non-ruminants. They got theirs in the end though.

18 posted on 08/18/2010 12:13:09 PM PDT by TigersEye (Greenhouse Theory is false. Totally debunked. "GH gases" is a non-sequitur.)
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To: Kenny Bunk

What do you do with a thousand pounds of left overs?


19 posted on 08/18/2010 12:18:23 PM PDT by Little Bill (`-)
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To: hkusp40
“Acting like Tarzan?”

As a big fan of ERB, I have to tell you that we should all be so lucky as to have mankind “act like Tarzan”; i.e. as a responsible steward of the wild.

Whatever the logistics of extermination of megafauna with stone tipped weapons, the disappearance of many different species of mega-fauna over many different lands- that just happen to coincide with human habitation - seems to indicate that it really might not have been so difficult as you imagine.

20 posted on 08/18/2010 12:21:15 PM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
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To: Little Bill
What do you do with a thousand pounds of left overs?

Well, according to 'Clan of the Cave Bear,' that infallible guide to Cro-Magnon Life, Love and Cuisine, one might try grinding it, mixing it with Hamburger Helper, and freezing patties for bar-B-qs later in the summer when all of the Clans gather on the steppes for a little flea market and make-out action.

21 posted on 08/18/2010 12:35:58 PM PDT by Kenny Bunk (The Republican Party was founded to Save the Union. Can it now Save the Republic?)
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To: decimon
Ice core samples taken in Greenland indicate that massive vulcanism occurred 11,600 years ago.

The famous Beresovka mammoth, excavated by Otto Herz and E. W. Pfizenmayer and shipped back to St. Petersburg, Russia in 1902, first drew attention to the preserving properties of being quick-frozen when buttercups were found in its mouth and undigested food in its stomach. (Pfizenmayer, 1939) This was no gradual shift in temperature—it had to be both sudden and drastic!

22 posted on 08/18/2010 12:40:08 PM PDT by smokingfrog (freerepublic.com - Thanks JimRob! The flags are back! - 8/17/2010.)
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To: Kenny Bunk
The Clan of the Cave Bear was written by a Frog, I will admit they know a lot of one thing but nothing about Barb-A-Q, experience in both areas.
23 posted on 08/18/2010 1:02:00 PM PDT by Little Bill (`-)
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To: allmendream

Perhaps they were on the way down when we decided to make tools?

Early man didn’t focus on mega fauna other than to scavenge what remained.

Again I’ll pose: if the lethality of sticks and stone were not in question, how then did mega fauna survive the human onslought in other continents?

I can’t blame Bush-men ;) :p

I was a big fan of ERB and my favorite series was the Moon Men etc... Julian I-9


24 posted on 08/18/2010 1:04:36 PM PDT by hkusp40 (NJ: The Laboratory of failed social experiments.)
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To: hkusp40
The spear points stuck into them seems to argue that they did focus on them other than to scavenge their remains.

(mostly) From Science News. Dec 19, 2009.

North American Megafauna: 14,000 to 11,000 years ago.giant sloths; short faced bears; giant polar bears; California tapirs; peccaries; the American lion; giant condors; Miracinonyx ; saber-toothed cats like Xenosmilus, Smilodon and the scimitar cat; Homotherium; dire wolves; saiga; camelids such as two species of now extinct llamas and Camelops; at least two species of bison; stag-moose; the shrub-ox and Harlan's muskox; horses; mammoths and mastodons; and giant beavers as well as birds like teratorns.

Giant Kangaroo: 45,000 years ago: Australia. Within 5,000 years of human settlement, 90% of mammal species larger than a house cat, including the giant kangaroo, had gone extinct.

Large Caribbean Sloths: 4,400 years ago: Caribbean. By 800 years after human settlement, serval species of sloths died out.

Elephant Bird: 1,000 years ago. Madagascar. Within a millennium of humans’ arrival, the island's elephant birds, and other magafauna, were largely gone.

Moa: 500 years ago. New Zealand. Within two centuries of human settlement.

Dodo: 350 years ago. Mauritius. Within five or six decades of the island's first permanent settlement, the dodo was done.

25 posted on 08/18/2010 1:19:03 PM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
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To: allmendream
The correlation between human habitation in new regions and megafauna extinction is interesting. But if it's the sole explanation, why do megafauna still exist in huge regions of Africa and Asia? If humans are so bloodthirsty and short-sighted, why didn't they wipe out elephants, camels, hippos, rhinos, etc. with stone weapons where human populations already existed? They had the same human characteristics as Clovis, etc.

I don't deny that humans were responsible for eliminating some species. The moa's extinction happened in historical times and humans were the cause. I don't dispute that humans hunted some of the larger animals but I have a real problem imagining that small bands of hunters could wipe out the entire range of megafauna. The matter remains a totally open question in my mind.

26 posted on 08/18/2010 2:30:54 PM PDT by Bernard Marx (I don’t trust the reasoning of anyone who writes then when they mean than.)
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To: Bernard Marx
Well a lot of animals in Africa and Asia, were right there when humans developed, and developed alongside them.

Many animals not used to humans show no fear of them, and thus were easy to eliminate before they could adapt.

As we have seen from the spread of invasive species (in Australia and elsewhere) a new species tends to throw things out of whack, and they make a huge impact within a short time.

Of course it isn't the sole explanation, and the data is far from conclusive. But the data seems to show that when humans showed up, a lot of mega-fauna soon disappeared.

And it doesn't take “bloodthirsty” or “short-sighted”; it just takes an easily exploited resource and hungry people.

27 posted on 08/18/2010 2:38:15 PM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
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To: allmendream

“The spear points stuck into them seems to argue that they did focus on them other than to scavenge their remains.”

I’ll agree to disagree at this point.

The dual purpose use of a spear on large game: flensing.

It’s a fairy tale that either individual hunters or bands of hunters decided to sacrafice themselves or the safety of the hunting party to pursue dangerous game. I am often confronted by the anti-hunting community with similar presentations of “data”.

I imagine that (as tribes in africa had) they learned their lessons early and passed it on to generations: “if you mess with the mammoth, you’ll become a stain on the forest floor”

As far as the “list” provided, focusing on the mega-fauna and giant carnivores, they were on a decline without the help of man. I do believe that whatever the animals were feeding on, started to become scarce for a myriad of reasons.

Like Ruarke says: Use enough gun! our ancestors probably saw their buddy ‘Ogg’ get pummeled by a mammoth after a foolhardy assault.

My point: if large dangerous game was so easy to “take-out”, then why the heck did african and asian mega fauna survive when human population and technological advance was equal to or greater than the North American counterparts?

Maybe our North American ancstors were better at it?


28 posted on 08/18/2010 2:47:17 PM PDT by hkusp40
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To: hkusp40
You keep your flensing tool, how do you lose it in the carcass?

A spear point that is stuck in and broken off might remain in the carcass.

A band of experienced humans with spears can take out any contemporaneous mega-fauna without much danger at all, even a mammoth.

Mega-fauna that developed alongside humans developed a fear of them. It is likely that much of the mega-fauna that went extinct at the same time humans showed up never developed that fear. We have seen the impact of an invasive species can take place rapidly, before any local animals have time to adapt.

Much of the mega-fauna on the list seemed to be doing just fine until humans showed up, then they were gone. Have any citations for them being in a long term decline BEFORE humans made the scene?

29 posted on 08/18/2010 3:02:09 PM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
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To: hkusp40

30 posted on 08/18/2010 3:03:10 PM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
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To: Bernard Marx

31 posted on 08/18/2010 3:07:23 PM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
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To: allmendream
it doesn't take “bloodthirsty” or “short-sighted”; it just takes an easily exploited resource and hungry people.

The numbers simply don't add up for me. I take your points but I doubt mammoths were ever "easily exploited" -- ditto dire wolves, sabre-toothed cats, cave bears etc. Ground sloths maybe. I like your Larson cartoon BTW.

While Occam's Razor might indicate your conclusion, in this case there's simply not enough real evidence either way to convince me. I need a whole lot more data about how many hunters there were etc.

32 posted on 08/18/2010 3:21:08 PM PDT by Bernard Marx (I don’t trust the reasoning of anyone who writes then when they mean than.)
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To: Bernard Marx
Well, as I said from the beginning, the data is hardly conclusive, and never will be.

But mammoths existed for thousands of years, the Clovis people showed up, We have found Clovis points in mammoth butts, then we find no more mammoths.

Did the Clovis people cause or contribute to the extinction of the mammoth?

We will never know.

But there is an obvious pattern of humans showing up, and lots of mega-fauna going extinct.

The evidence of that is hard to deny.

33 posted on 08/18/2010 3:30:51 PM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
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To: allmendream
But there is an obvious pattern of humans showing up, and lots of mega-fauna going extinct.

According to those who worship Mother Gaia in the O-So-Green-Movements. this was a great tragedy. They will make it go the other way 'round, next time.

34 posted on 08/18/2010 3:47:55 PM PDT by Kenny Bunk (The Republican Party was founded to Save the Union. Can it now Save the Republic?)
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To: Kenny Bunk
Not likely.

But on that note I find it interesting that perhaps the greatest mass extinction of mega-fauna to accompany human habitation was in North America, where the indigenous inhabitants are usually credited with being ‘at one with nature’, and other such happy horse sh*t.

35 posted on 08/18/2010 4:04:35 PM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
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To: allmendream
Well, as I said from the beginning, the data is hardly conclusive, and never will be.

We learn more and more about the past every year. New ways of interpreting old evidence are continually being developed. Consider the plate tectonics revolution. Geological processes we now take for granted were laughed at prior to the 1960s. We now have a whole new and insightful way of looking at the Earth's past.

I think the megafauna extinction mystery will eventually be solved. My hunch is catastrophism of some sort or climate change or both, but my evidence is as sketchy as yours. I sincerely doubt small roving bands of stone-age hunters could push so many species into total extinction unless they were already hanging by a thread for some other reason. It's just as logical to consider that climate conditions that made human expansion into new areas possible were also somehow responsible for the extinctions.

36 posted on 08/18/2010 4:14:33 PM PDT by Bernard Marx (I don’t trust the reasoning of anyone who writes then when they mean than.)
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To: allmendream
"North American Megafauna: 14,000 to 11,000 years ago.giant sloths; short faced bears; giant polar bears; California tapirs; peccaries; the American lion; giant condors; Miracinonyx ; saber-toothed cats like Xenosmilus, Smilodon and the scimitar cat; Homotherium; dire wolves; saiga; camelids such as two species of now extinct llamas and Camelops; at least two species of bison; stag-moose; the shrub-ox and Harlan's muskox; horses; mammoths and mastodons; and giant beavers as well as birds like teratorns."

Those were some really busy hunters. Sorry, not buying it. Did they hunt mammoths from time to time? I'm sure they did, but there's no way they were responsible for that butcher's bill you listed.

I would also point out that some of the other examples you listed were wiped out as a result of other non-indigenous animals that the people brought along with them. It turns out that flightless birds stuck on an island can't deal with dogs, rats and pigs eating them and their eggs.

37 posted on 08/18/2010 4:30:24 PM PDT by Flag_This (Real presidents don't bow.)
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To: Snickering Hound
Ruminant herbivores survived, non-ruminants were wiped out.

I have no reason to doubt this but it's the first time I've seen it. Odd that. Do you have any theories of your own? Type of diet or the way the diet was handled by the digestive system???

38 posted on 08/18/2010 4:43:25 PM PDT by ForGod'sSake (You have just two choices: SUBMIT or RESIST with everything you've got!)
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To: hkusp40

North American indians were known to “hunt” buffalo by driving whole herds off cliffs. Not the most stewardly approach, certainly, but still quite effective. It may well have worked with many of the megafauna. They didn’t necessarily have to go speart-to-tusk, mano a mano with a brute weighing some few tons.

I would submit that it’s mainly a numbers game. There simply were never enough humans around to be a serious threat to any particular species ~even~ if their hunting techniques were wasteful.

All this “living in harmony with nature” BS... is just that. They didn’t have any special sense of “balance” with nature... they just didn’t have enough numbers to do much harm, nomatter what they did. They could hunt out one area and move along to new grounds pretty much perpetually.


39 posted on 08/18/2010 4:49:13 PM PDT by Ramius (Personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To: decimon

I’ve got a beautiful Benchmade Gold-class knife with a woolly mammoth ivory handle.

It’s breathtaking. :-)


40 posted on 08/18/2010 4:51:07 PM PDT by Ramius (Personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To: Ramius
I’ve got a beautiful Benchmade Gold-class knife with a woolly mammoth ivory handle.

It's stag horn, Ram. ;-)

41 posted on 08/18/2010 5:10:18 PM PDT by decimon
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To: decimon

heh... Nope, not mine. It’s mammoth ivory, and a particularly nice, creamy white example. Lots of mammoth ivory is darker, and commonly filled with tiny cracks. The flawless white stuff is harder to find.

but it’s out there.


42 posted on 08/18/2010 5:25:44 PM PDT by Ramius (Personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To: allmendream
Now I am not saying that such evidence CONCLUSIVELY shows anything! But the extinction of much of the mega-fauna coinciding so clearly with human habitation seems to paint a compelling picture.

From the looks of things Clovis people chased the North American megafauna all the way to the North Slope of Alaska where miles of bones are stuck in the muck. Maybe worse, they apparently formed a fire line over much of Siberia and drove the megafauna all the way into the Arctic Ocean where there are complete islands made of nothing but carcasses. Fact is they must have followed them into the ocean themselves because Clovis culture disappeared about the same time. Mass suicide???

43 posted on 08/18/2010 5:56:38 PM PDT by ForGod'sSake (You have just two choices: SUBMIT or RESIST with everything you've got!)
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The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes: Flood, Fire, and Famine in the History of Civilization The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes:
Flood, Fire, and Famine
in the History of Civilization

by Richard Firestone,
Allen West, and
Simon Warwick-Smith


44 posted on 08/18/2010 8:52:37 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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45 posted on 08/18/2010 8:52:58 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: gleeaikin; 75thOVI; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; ..
Thanks decimon!
 
Catastrophism
 
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic · subscribe ·
 

46 posted on 08/18/2010 8:57:28 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: decimon; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 21twelve; 240B; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; 31R1O; ...

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic · subscribe ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Thanks decimon.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

·Dogpile · Archaeologica · Mirabilis.ca · LiveScience · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Discover · Bronze Age Forum · Science Daily · Science News · Eurekalert · PhysOrg ·
· Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· Archaeology · The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·
· History topic · history keyword · archaeology keyword · paleontology keyword ·
· Science topic · science keyword · Books/Literature topic · pages keyword · ·


47 posted on 08/18/2010 9:00:10 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: allmendream
As is well known, The Native Americans who lived here when the DWM showed up, lived in perfect peace and blissful harmony, in perfect cooperative brotherhood, and were at one with Mother Earth.

They were excellent executive time managers, too. They somehow managed to fit in this idyllic outlook with a busy schedule of bashing each other's brains, kidnapping, massacres, and other quaint and colorful war rituals.

South of the now non-existent border, other Native Americans were working on advanced open heart surgical techniques, which they doubtless would have mastered had their research not been stopped by the arrival of gold-crazy Spaniards and evil Christian Missionaries.

48 posted on 08/18/2010 9:36:10 PM PDT by Kenny Bunk (The Republican Party was founded to Save the Union. Can it now Save the Republic?)
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To: Kenny Bunk
Come now, we won because we had raised bashing each other’s brains, kidnapping, massacres and other quaint and colorful war rituals to an ART FORM, seldom matched in ferocity and cunning, and did it on a larger scale.

But I never understood this “one with nature” Iron eyes Cody the crying Sicilian Indian crap either.

History is what it was. As Teddy Roosevelt said ‘it was ridiculous to think that North America could remain the last great preserve of nomadic and horticultural society’.

They were going to be supplanted by a more productive agricultural society, as has been the history of mankind from the dawn of agriculture - and they were damn lucky it was by us. Because we are so damn good at killing that we had the power and inclination to have that most blessed of human qualities, mercy.

In the light of history we can also have understanding. Of both peoples, both on a collision course that would shape the world we live in today.

But no need to get all propaganda good guy bad buy with it. It was what it was.

49 posted on 08/18/2010 9:52:02 PM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
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To: Smokin' Joe

Bush did it.


50 posted on 08/18/2010 9:56:22 PM PDT by TruthWillWin (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money.)
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