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Early Man: The Cause of Mass Extinction?

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the getting-an-early-start dept.

Science 324

xpccx writes: "There's an article over at CNN about the possibility that early man hunted large animals ( like mammoths ) into extinction. "New work by American and Australian researchers is adding weight to the theory, while undercutting the notion that climate change and not human influence was the cause."" Update: 06/14 03:32 PM by H : This is touched on in Guns, Germs and Steel, which I highly recommend. This has been the going theory with many (most?) historians as to why the megafauna in Australia, the Americas all disappeared within a couple thousand years of the appearance of humans. Considering they had survived countless millenia before our arrival, I'm inclined to think that the two events might just kinda be linked.

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324 comments

Re:Semi offtopic... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#151864)

How come you got pissed off halfway through the first sentence and flipped on the bold?

Re:Get prepared, here come the greenies (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#151868)

You'd think that at a web site devoted to computers, nerds and logic, we would be immune to fellatious arguments

You'd think so but fellatio is hard to resist.

The only humorous sidenote is that this punctures the myth of the American Indian as an environmental superbeing. Obviously, they committed carnivorous genocide on every being their primitive technology allowed,

Where did you get your facts you fucking moron? American Indians were the original practitioners of conservation, a fact that would be obvious to you if you had done anything approximating study of them. Just because they killed things doesn't mean they were out there raping the environment. It is the white man, by killing off all of the upper level predators, that wrecked the biota.

You greens are the most misguided bunch I have even seen. The only time you have spent in the woods is to chain yourself to a tree to stop a logger, or taken a nap in a meadow at some college campus. Try to learn something before you run your mouth about who wrecks what, stop watching so many Disney movies where the animals cooperate with one another. It isn't like that in real life. You think deer aren't supposed to die to feed predators? Do you think that if we just stopped killing them they'll all be just fine? The biota is far more intricate than you will ever understand, more intricate than we will ever be able to model. You think because people hunt they are somehow contributing to the destruction of nature but thats because your are guided by your politics.

Not all bad (3)

Tim Macinta (1052) | more than 13 years ago | (#151870)

From the article's list of creatures that are extinct: "...a 26-foot lizard also disappeared."

I, for one, am glad that I don't have to worry about one of those showing up in my back yard.

The Hunting Hypothesis... (2)

coats (1068) | more than 13 years ago | (#151876)

is in fact old news among ethologists; this article describes modeling support for trying to get the details of how it happened. A good reference is Robert Ardrey's The Hunting Hypothesis, published in the late seventies. Homo sapiens is a cursile group-hunting species, in fact a very efficient one. Note that the only places there are large fauna extant are where the species arose in Africa and Asia, and evolved slowly enough that the rest of the fauna could keep up. Elsewhere, they didn't have time to adapt.

Re:Early man? Mammoths? More liberal mythology (1)

Misfit (1071) | more than 13 years ago | (#151878)

"We know about evolution, dinosaurs, the big-bang et al".

Yeah, I know about the Easter Bunny, Santa Clause and Batman, but that doesn't mean they're real, (maybe Batman). I won't argue Dinos, I have no reason to believe they didn't exist, but evolution and the big-bang are only theories; theories that are in a constant state of flux.

I don't personally believe in either. I just can't grasp the idea that we're all happy little coincidences brought on by an exploding grapefruit sized ball of energy.

Misfit

Re:Sent to destroy Earth (1)

Misfit (1071) | more than 13 years ago | (#151879)

Oh great. Just ruin the ending for everyone, why don't you.

Misfit

More power to early man! (1)

Nelson (1275) | more than 13 years ago | (#151880)

I don't know, I'm not in favor of making things extinct but if early man could take down a mammoth with sticks and stones then I'm all in favor of letting early man decide fate of those beasts who clearly did not have the needed skills to survive. Early man was hardcore if he was killing mammoths at will.

Re:time travel? (1)

Nelson (1275) | more than 13 years ago | (#151881)

Why not if we're going to make shit up and present it as a possible history?

How is this science? (1)

Johann (4817) | more than 13 years ago | (#151887)

...used a complicated computer model to simulate...

Please. Given how easy it would be to bias a computer model, this 'research' is laughable.

...hunting but also of environmental chaos wrought by humans, such as burning the landscape to facilitate hunting or travel.

Okay, so these nomadic, hunter-gathers would set fires that they have no way of controlling to facilitate 'hunting or travel'. Come on!
--
"In the land of the brave and the free, we defend our freedom with the GNU GPL."

Uncivilized barbarians... (1)

kcbrown (7426) | more than 13 years ago | (#151888)

If they had been truly civilized with a proper (large) form of government, they would have had to prepare an environmental impact statement and thus the extinction would never have happened! If anything shows how important big government is, this does!

(That was sarcasm for those of you who didn't get it)


--

Re:So what... (3)

Tharsis (7591) | more than 13 years ago | (#151889)

Since when did we stop being part of natural selection?

AUSTRALIAN DESERT CAUSED BY MAN (1)

lab rat (12325) | more than 13 years ago | (#151895)

Maybe the mass landscape burning mentioned here is responsible for all the desert land in Australia???

This article is ridiculous

Don't think too hard... (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 13 years ago | (#151899)

...or you might become a heretic. Hmmm... evidence? Can you show me a photograph of the chariots at the bottom of the Red Sea? How about Noah's Ark that has been found so many times, they haven't even bothered to bring back evidence? The fact is, there is no hard evidence of anything supernatural caught on a photograph, video, or audio recording. It's amazing how all of these miracles ceased when humanity gained the ability to prove their experiences beyond a written testimony.

Early Man: The Cause of Mass Extinction? Well... (1)

Max von H. (19283) | more than 13 years ago | (#151907)

Any real 'dotter knows the answer is CowboyNeal

'nuff said.

.max

That's still natural selection. (2)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 13 years ago | (#151909)

Modern man paving the earth and killing animals can still lead to natural selection. Those animals that can exist in the new envornment survive, others don't. That's what natural selection is all about.

Of course, I'm not saying let's pave the earth.. only that natural selection happens whether we interfere or not.

Let's see. . .are we talking the same God . . . (1)

Salgak1 (20136) | more than 13 years ago | (#151910)

. . .who commanded us not to bear false witness, and who by your theory, placed false evidence throughout the Universe ??

Kind of shows the inconsistency in YOUR worldview, friend, unless you posit that God is a hypocrite....

Guns, Germs, and Steel (2)

g8orade (22512) | more than 13 years ago | (#151912)

Check out this book (title in subject line) that looks at the same issue and posits that on land masses where the large mammals were mostly exterminated, the societies failed to develop technology and more noxious diseases because there was less surplus food.

It is much more complex and detailed than the summary I provide above, and a good read. (It won a Pulitzer).

Re:So what... (2)

hey! (33014) | more than 13 years ago | (#151922)

I hope you disposed of them carefully. Wild birds, especially those that roost in large numbers like crows, frequently carry viruses, such as influenza, Eastern Equine Encephelitis and (now) West Nile Virus, that can infect humans. As their bodies break down, they can be pretty "hot".

A book I read recently, "Virus X" [fatbrain.com] , posits that some viruses which inhabit animal populations (sometimes, as in the case of hanta virus and rodents, with no ill effects) have a symbiotic relationship with their host. They are a form of natural defence against other animals moving into the host's range.

If you're even in Cambridge, MA (3)

hey! (33014) | more than 13 years ago | (#151924)

Take a visit to Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology. They have quite an exhibit of recently (within the last few tens of millenia) critters. North America of a few tens of thousands of years ago was packed with exotic megafauna that would make the Serengeti look like the North America of today in comparison. The reason Africa has so many animals is that they evolved with people, and instinctively know to avoid them.

A friend of mine showed me an interesting trick. If a dog is harassing you, reach down and touch the ground with the knuckles of your first two fingers. The dog either backs off, or it goes completely ballistic, because that posture, that of a human being reaching down to pick up a rock, is hardwired into its genes to mean trouble.

you people... (1)

e-gold (36755) | more than 13 years ago | (#151930)

Are ALL taking this WAAAY too seriously! God and politics have nothing to do with it. The meaning of this is simple, one of my favorite poems [zoomnet.net] has now come true. :)
JMR

Re:Early man? Mammoths? More liberal mythology (1)

ShoeHead (40158) | more than 13 years ago | (#151931)

3: Flamebait, and rightfully so. There is nothing in the bible that excludes evolution, early man, or dinosaurs.

Go and talk to your local pastor; even if you think it would be embarassing (it won't be) there are probably hundreds of possible churches nearby. He'll have the answers.

Re:Hard facts suspiciously lacking (2)

thogard (43403) | more than 13 years ago | (#151937)

Some of the areas that are now desert in Australia used to be covered by bush. It would appear that man came and hunted a large (hippo sized) wombat like thing to extinction which caused the underbrush to get out of hand and the resulting fires would wipe out huge areas.

I was told that there Australia has a few types of trees that lose their leaves in the summer which is the fire season. These seem to have evolved at the same point as the large animal extinctions. These also seems to be some cases where a few local plants are adapting to the new fire conditions brough in by the european trees.

Keep in mind that there are places in Australia that are about the same climate as they had for the last million or so years.

Anyone will tell you it's a prisoner islandHidden in the summer for a million years -Icehouse

More links at Anthropology in the News (5)

YellowBook (58311) | more than 13 years ago | (#151943)

Anthropology in the News [tamu.edu] has links to a lot more news stories on these findings. The BBC story is very short, but noteworthy for including a little bit of information on the dating methods used in the Australian case.

Anthropology in the News updates a lot and doesn't keep stuff on its front page for very long, so for the sake of Slashdot's archives, I'm copying the links here.


--
The scalloped tatters of the King in Yellow must cover
Yhtill forever. (R. W. Chambers, the King in Yellow)

Let me get this straight... (4)

tentac1e (62936) | more than 13 years ago | (#151945)

When animals hunt other animals, it's survival of the fittest, but when humans do it, it's mass extinction?

I find it funny when I hear about environmentalists who are vegetarian because they believe that animals should be held up to the same level as humans. Has it ever occurred to these people that animals (Surprise Surprise!) eat other animals? The only difference between what we do and what a wild cougar does is that we _debate_ whether we should do what we are doing. The most ironic part is that by debating, we prove our distinction, nay... superiority over the animal kingdom.

Yes, I know we shouldn't extinguish an entire species, but I can't wait to hear environmentalists use this news to try to prove the destructive nature of man. To try to blame modern man for the actions of its ancestors is absurd. This is almost as stupid a notion as Americans today being in any way responsible for their great, great grandparents owning slaves.

Actually...

Why don't we combine this with the strategy of racial reparations? These species have been wronged, so why not do something to set things right evolutionarily?

Since I believe the elephant is probably the descendant of the Wooly Mamoth, we simply calculate how much more populated the elephant species would have been had we not slaughtered their ancestors. Then, through system of equal social distribution, we round up a proportion of the human species equal to the number necessary to "level the playing field," and boil and serve them to the elephants.

It's simple, fair, and you have to be a scum sucking capitalist who cares more about his own life than the greater good of the planet to think otherwise.

Re:Get prepared, here come the greenies (1)

tommck (69750) | more than 13 years ago | (#151948)

You'd think that ... we would be immune to fellatious arguments

uh huh huh....
He said "fellatio" :-)

Bottomquark - Scientific American (1)

Ghengis (73865) | more than 13 years ago | (#151951)

Bottomquark coverd the story that appeard on Scientific American's website last week... i'd like some NEWs here!

Another article... (1)

Kidbro (80868) | more than 13 years ago | (#151952)

...on the subject can be found here [yahoo.com] .

--

Re:Early man? Mammoths? More liberal mythology (2)

lovebyte (81275) | more than 13 years ago | (#151953)

When I am writing this reply, the post from Erikson has got (Score:5, Informative). Who are the stupid cavemen moderating this up? WE LIVE IN THE 21st CENTURY! We know about evolution, dinosaurs, the big-bang et al. Creationism is a myth! There is not one scientific fact in creationism. Not one.

Re:See? (2)

lovebyte (81275) | more than 13 years ago | (#151954)

I have been taught and have taught science. Yes sir. As a scientist I try to demonstrate theories with facts. I teach facts and not myths. I tell my students to be critical and not to believe at face value what they are told (even by me) or what they read (even from Darwin). Then they decide by themselves. Is that too liberal for you? You would prefer them to be brain-washed from an early age with the bible or whatever other book. That's your prerogative. That's not what I do.

Well then answer this... (2)

CausticPuppy (82139) | more than 13 years ago | (#151955)

Surely you're just a troll but I'll bite anyway...

If God went through the trouble of instantaneously creating the universe, evidently "with age" as many have said, in order to make it appear to be billions of years old and be consistent with scientific observations, then why did He gloss over such details like the radio halos in granite or whatever? If you're gonna create the universe With Age, do it right, and don't skimp on the details! Either 1) God isn't perfect, or 2) God intentionally "missed" certain things for some reason.

Probably not plausable (1)

frode (82655) | more than 13 years ago | (#151956)

Early man's hunting the cause of extinction?

I doubt this is plausable, looking at the population of early man, where they lived, and
their hunting techniques it's doubtful that early
man was a notable contributor to the extiction
of any large species.

Christianity != Religion (1)

Pennywise (92193) | more than 13 years ago | (#151963)

Religion is a mind-controlling device invented by a certain Jewish huckster named Jesus of Nazareth 2000 years ago.

Just a nitpick. Religion is much older than 2000 years. You said it yourself, Jesus was Jewish. There were many other faiths all over the world thousands of years before that. Perhaps you meant Christianity??

The truth comes out... (1)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 13 years ago | (#151964)

Once Fred and Barney got SUV's, it was all over for Dino.

Re:Nature is our enemy (1)

naasking (94116) | more than 13 years ago | (#151965)

Unfortunately, you are not superior to nature. If you really believed in Ayn Rand's philosophy, you would follow two of the basic premises: a) reality is what it is, and b) logic is the only absolute. Logic dictates that if you drive many animals to extinction and greatly upset the cycle of nature, you will eliminate your own means of survival. The reality is that you will die. You are not superior to nature, as much as you'd like to believe; that is the reality.

-----
"Goose... Geese... Moose... MOOSE!?!?!"

Wrangle Island Mammoth, Neandertals Killed By Man? (4)

cybrpnk (94636) | more than 13 years ago | (#151981)

Actually mammoths didn't die off as long ago as everbody thought. There was an isolated group on an island that survived until only 5000 years ago. The thinking is that being on a remote island protected them from hunting by man which is why they survived so long. Details here [radiocarbon.org] , including the quote: "...surprisingly recent dates on woolly mammoth remains from Wrangel Island in 1990, ranging between 7390-4740 BP. The finds were remarkable for two reasons: they indicated mammoth survival on Wrangel Island for as much as 5000 years after the last known date of mammoths on the Eurasian continent, and they documented the evolution of a distinct dwarf mammoth population on Wrangel Island." Other theories include a virus induced extinction [nodak.edu] , but I think it was man... To me, even more interesting is whether or not man killed off Neandertals. [palomar.edu] These guys were all over Europe for a very long time, and they were smart enought to fight back. A war with them would have truly been "World War One". There is so far only one possible example of a possible human-Neandertal hybrid [archaeology.org] , so their disappearance probably wasn't from interbreeding...Let's take a poll, did humans deliberately destroy neandertals or were they the original Homer Simpsons that just died out???

So what... (1)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 13 years ago | (#151984)

Extension happens all the time. And guess what, it's not always man's fault.

Now, when you start leveling land and killing off animals, that's stupid. But when it's natural selection or whatever, just let it go!


--

Re:So what... (1)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 13 years ago | (#151985)

West Nile is lame.. it will only kill you if your imune system is shot. Otherwise it gives you flu like systems for a few days.

All this hype about it is bogus, and now they're spraying all kinds of chemicals that are more deadly then the freakin' virus.


--

Re:Nature is our enemy (1)

juhaz (110830) | more than 13 years ago | (#151995)

Some of you idiots just don't get it, do you? No?
Well, that's no surprise, it just tells us that you are even more stupid than those ancient cavemans... at least they knew that mankind _CAN NOT SURVIVE WITHOUT NATURE_, we are a part of nature, which seems to be a point that you have forgotten, human is an animal as much as any of those killed ones, we depend on food, clean water and air just as well as they did, so far I haven't seen a human that can eat rocks, breathe air full of toxins and with no oxygen, and drink contaminated water... have you?
'Cause that's the world of future if we do what your kind of people seem to think is "right", and kill all living things besides ourself and continue poisoning the atmosphere and waters...
Dunno about you, but I prefer our children to be living normally, instead of forced to live in sealed domes, eating some hydrophonically grown food, because their ancestors (that would be us, guess twice are they going to like us because what we forced them into?) destroyed the world, turning it into some strange, dead, moon-like alien rock instead of our beautiful, living home planet.

We may well be superior by power, and cold, mathematical intelligence, compared to the rest of animals, but as we lack wisdom tho use that power and intelligence, we are stupid, very plain and simple. People must learn to think about long term consequences before the immediate benefit if we are going to survive.

More liberal mythology, My Ass! (1)

MadMorf (118601) | more than 13 years ago | (#152011)

Oh Jeez... :)

Of all days to not be a moderator...

Get over it and yourself.

You Christians don't even agree amongst yourselves, so how in blazes could you expect anyone else to agree with you?

Yep, moderate this as Flamebait...

Elephant bird? (1)

Zilch (138261) | more than 13 years ago | (#152018)

"The Giant Moa (elephant bird) went extinct in New Guinea..."

Umm...what are you on about?
Are you talking about the Moa - large flightless bird that was hunted to extinction in *New Zealand*? If so:

a) How can you confuse such different countries? and
b) Where did the "Elephant" bit come from??

If not, please post a link - sounds interesting!

Zilch

Re:Early man? Mammoths? More liberal mythology (1)

Zilch (138261) | more than 13 years ago | (#152019)

(I thought it was funny)

BBC had this story a week ago (1)

dazed-n-confused (140724) | more than 13 years ago | (#152020)

This was also covered by the BBC [bbc.co.uk] a week ago.

the ecological indian (3)

e_lehman (143896) | more than 13 years ago | (#152022)

This evidence of mass extinctions caused by early humans is going to rattle some people that I'd very much like to see smacked down.

In particular, there is this line of thought in environmental history that primitive humans were the "first ecologists". Many people seem really wedded to this idea to an extent that runs far, far beyond the facts. For example, the book Conquest of Paradise [amazon.com] by Kirkpatrick Sale argues that not only were native americans environmentally enlightened, but-- by god!-- they were pretty much late 1990's liberals.

Since we know so extremely little about, say, native americans before 1000 AD, they too often serve as a sort of inkblot test. You can project your own fantasies about how people "should be" upon their culture. Not surprising, then, that a slipshod researcher like Sale "discovers" that humans in their natural state were card-carrying democrats.

Awkward facts, such as the native practice of stampeding buffalo heards off cliffs or burning entire forests to flush game get talked around in a fashion that would do ICANN proud.

The problem is that these notions do a great disservice to aboriginal people. First we colonize their land, and then we colonize their history: we run roughshod over the delicate, real evidence of their cultural history, and instead impose a fantasy history that serves our current political agenda. It's disgusting, and I'm glad to see another nail in coffin for such thinking.

So OOG the caveman is a pig? (1)

JonesBoy (146782) | more than 13 years ago | (#152025)

Oh great! Oog the caveman runs around killing and eating anything that he can get his hands on, and thinks no one will notice! Well, now we have definitive proof that he is truly the first compu-geek. Sitting at his TRS-1 and munching on a big bowl of giant armandillo shells. Well OOG, they aren't doritos, if you crunch all you want, they won't make any more! Next time you raid the fridge (or North America for that matter), leave some for the rest of us!

Interesting and Relevant Book By Daniel Quinn... (4)

Lizard_King (149713) | more than 13 years ago | (#152027)

called Ishmael. This book has so many interesting concepts and ideas... I won't even attempt to summarize in a blurb. But Ishmael talks at length about how man puts himself in a position where he(she) is at odds with the world.

I highly recommend reading this book, as it will open your eyes to some new ideas and most of all, make you think.

Take a look at amazon [amazon.com]

Ironic (1)

Jayman2 (150729) | more than 13 years ago | (#152028)

Funny isn't it? How humans advance that is. Back then we had to run around and kill all the animals into extinction. Today we're so advanced that we simply induce the climatic change to kill all the animals (and eventually ourseslves...erhm maybe we haven't advanced that much anyway)

Re:So what... (1)

AndyChrist (161262) | more than 13 years ago | (#152031)

Why all the Y2K fuss, nothing happened!

The absurdity of that question doesn't prove that the fuss was warranted, but it does give one pause about questioning it along those lines.

Same thing here.

Re:Early man? Mammoths? More liberal mythology (1)

muonman (162064) | more than 13 years ago | (#152032)

Jon Erikson, you are a master troll, and I, for one, salute you. Some swine seem not to have recognized or appreciated your pearls, however.

An Old Idea (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 13 years ago | (#152045)

This is an old, old, old, OLD idea. Been floating around since the '80s at least.

1880's, that is.

Re:Nature is our enemy (1)

arkh (197668) | more than 13 years ago | (#152050)

This guy [barnesandnoble.com] traces America's lag in technological development (pre-colonization, that is) to: - the lack of domesticable crops; - the N-S orientation of the continent; - the lack of useful domesticable animals. The latter also account for America being devoid of human viruses (someone mentionned smallpox. why didn't they have an equivalent?). So if this theory is correct (and it's been around for a long time), the humans colonizing America doomed themselves by overexploiting their land. Not that other colonizers behaved differently, but the local animals, evolving along with humans for a much longer time had a better chance. Now, you say the human specie is vastly superior to anything else on the planet. Correct. Significantly, we can thing about the consequences of our actions. Now for more than years. I believe pharmaceutical firms still have people foraging new molecules in plants or animals. We still need nature around. So it might be a good idea not to mess things up too much. Which is why nuclear plants are a Good Thing.

"Native" Americans: An absurd liberal myth (1)

Jon Erikson (198204) | more than 13 years ago | (#152051)

One of the greatest lies that historians have ever told is that the continent that we now refer to as North America was inhabited by "native peoples" at the time of its discovery by Columbus. This, as true history has shown, is sheer poppycock; it is a nefarious fantasy concocted in the minds of those who wish to control our collective destinies. Not only are there no contemporary documents that support the existence of these fantasy "natives", the people who are responsible for inventing them have never been particularly secretive about their true motives.

It is interesting to note that in the late 1950s, no American (indeed, no person) had ever even heard of these so-called "native Americans." But then, in the 1960s, stories of them suddenly started appearing seemingly from nowhere. Your next-door neighbor started relating stories from his great-grandmother about "Injun attacks." Schoolchildren started to get educated about the different "tribes" and "nations" of these people, and yet not one parent demanded to see evidence of their existence. Our children were taught stories about how the great white pioneers of this nation supposedly plundered these peoples and took their land from them, and our children felt ashamed.

Of course they felt ashamed! That's the whole reason these fantasy "native Americans" exist! They were invented by radical leftist agitators at Berkeley in the early 1960s. The primary purpose that these mythical "Indians" serve is to instill false guilt in white people. They exist to make the Chosen People of this land feel badly about their own history and heritage, and that is a thought crime. Liberalism is about (first and foremost) the hatred of self and love of collective. To that end, this nation's leftists felt it necessary to invent an entire imaginary race of people that were "pillaged" by this continent's Anglo-Saxon discoverers. The goal: to make this nation's guardians hate themselves and their heritage, and be sympathetic to that which is alien and unacceptable.

The truth, of course, is that none of these stories has the least bit of credibility; despite repeated requests from the conservative community, liberals have been unable to produce a single "native American." And so we must file this lie in the same trash dumpster as the (extremely overexaggerated) stories of so-called "slavery" of the 1800s. Patriots must constantly guard their country from its enemies, and we must realize that more today than ever before, its enemies are more likely to attack from within.

Re:"Native" Americans: An absurd liberal myth (1)

Jon Erikson (198204) | more than 13 years ago | (#152052)

Yes. They imported tribesmen from the Amazon which had been displaced by logging efforts powered by American greed, and offered to resettle them in America as long as they followed the liberal's plan for collective guilt. Having no other options, these people agreed and were specially educated in their new "culture" before being send to the prepared reservations in America.

Most "native" Americans are unaware of this, as their children were taught the same lies as ours. Within another thirty years, nobody will be alive who was there when they arrived on American soil.

Early man? Mammoths? More liberal mythology (2)

Jon Erikson (198204) | more than 13 years ago | (#152053)

It is the scientific theory that prehistoric people moving for the first time into new geographical areas during their spread around the world invariably hunted large animals into extinction.

The scientific theory? Already we can see the hubris of the professional scientist at work here, portraying one of several such "theories" as the only game in town. Well, I'm sorry to say it here on such a liberal hive of scientism, but there's another game in town, and one which has more proof behind it than a few elephant tusks dug out of the ground.

There were no mammoths! Nor dinosaurs, nor any of these so-called "extinct species" that have been placed in the ground by God Almighty. It's all a myth concoted by the liberal agitators intent on supressing the humanist notions that the Bible teaches us, that people can better themselves without prostrating themselves before the holy god of the State.

Don't belive me? Well, there's evidence! Yes, despite what the liberals would tell you, there is plenty of evidence that the Lord created the world not that long ago. For instance, radio halos in grantie can only be explained by instantaneous creation. And the thousands of skeletons and chariots found at the bottom of the Gulf of Aquaba - with no boats! - perfectly matches the Bible's story, as do a thousand other pieces of historical information that archaeologists have uncovered over the years.

No, we owe nothing to these pseudo-scintific theories that exist only to allow the liberals to continue their pogrom against those that see beyond their hateful lies. Do yourself a favor, and get down to a church on Sunday to find out what real truth is.

See? (3)

Jon Erikson (198204) | more than 13 years ago | (#152054)

We know about evolution, dinosaurs, the big-bang et al.

And how do we "know" indeed? Yes, that's right, because you've been told so! And who by? The liberals in charge of "educating" our young, that have made it impossible to have decent Christian teachings taught in schools because it would let people see the lies they have wrought throughout our society!

Creationism is a myth! There is not one scientific fact in creationism. Not one.

See how you've been indoctrinated into hate? That is the legacy of the liberal - hatred of their fellow man and a love of the State. See here [icr.org] for why Creationism is scientifically proven, and that currently cosmology is nothing more than a tool of the Godless in their purge of Christianity.

Jesus freaks? Another liberal crawls forth (4)

Jon Erikson (198204) | more than 13 years ago | (#152055)

As usual, wheneve the issue of ancient history (where ancient mean "before last Friday"), the flaming Jesus freaks emerge from their self-flagellating to inflict their disgusting morals and creation myths on rational people.

Of course we do. Whenever nonsense like this is released from another liberal brainwashing centre, then it is the duty of all concerned Christians to fight back, to show to people that the Truth of history is already out there in bookshops, churches and missions across the world!

For any truly rational person, persuing wild theories about hairy elephants and "giant lizards" is a waste of time and energy, and playing directly into the hands of the anti-humanist liberals.

Let me give you a hint: Science works. I don't need proof of that.

See how you have been brainwashed! You attack me for not having proof (despite it sitting here on my desk at work!) and then go on and claim science doesn't need any. How hypocritical of you! But then again, the Bible does warn about the hypocrites. Thankfully, they will receive their just reward.

Religion is a mind-controlling device invented by a certain Jewish huckster named Jesus of Nazareth 2000 years ago. 2000 years!

If you believe that, you are even more profoundly ignorant than I had thought.

There is *no* proof for any facet of creationism. Not one.

As I said before, radio halos found in granite, the decay rate of planetary magentic fields, the amount of interplanetary dust and many more. But you obviously haven't taken the time to find out these things, sure in your smug liberal ideology.

Why doesn't he open his big mouth anymore, Jon?

Why should be have to? All the evidence is already there!

Don't be so sure (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 13 years ago | (#152073)

Michaels been posting trolls to the front age for years now, and people still bite

Earth Day becomes "We Shouldn't Even BE Here Day" (4)

tenzig_112 (213387) | more than 13 years ago | (#152077)

The very existence of humans on this planet is an abomination. What arrogance that we continue to choose to exist! Why cannot we come to the logical, rational conclusion that it would be much better for our planet for us to all simply vanish into the ether?

[I think this way because I believe everything I read.]

As Gas-Guzzling, Anti-Kyoto Americans, we should know this best. Ever since we handed those typhoid blankets [ridiculopathy.com] to the land's original occupants, we have cut a swath of pollution and evil human influence across the continent.

Right now the ugliest ugly American [ridiculopathy.com] is defending his oil-friendly policies to the more enlightened leaders of the EU. I bet they're making fun of him using words he doesn't understand. Ha.

Everyone tells me that human beings are bad for the environment, and why should I doubt them? If it weren't for us hunting the dodo to extinction, we would still be able to see that funny little bird hopping around in its non-adaptive fashion. I remember someone in a lab coat telling me that all of Nature is connected in a beautiul and delicate network. Even the macroscopic shifts in climate over the eons is probably caused by human under-arm odor or something. And since the guy was wearing a lab coat, I recommend we listen.

So, why can't we all just vanish and make the Earth pure again?

NOTICE: We will begin distributing the "magic pudding" at noon.

Please tell them (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 13 years ago | (#152078)

Reading old Farsides which feature homonids and Dinosaurs together is not a proper source, besides, Gary Larson said he was already embarassed about it.

--
All your .sig are belong to us!

Re:Not all bad (2)

Hairy_Potter (219096) | more than 13 years ago | (#152081)

Don't worry, I hear those big lizards are scared of camaros.

Hmm, I have a bitchin' mp3 to load up.

Sent to destroy Earth (1)

Genie1 (224205) | more than 13 years ago | (#152084)

I am beginning to think that the humans were sent to Earth a long time ago by aliens to totally destroy this planet by consuming every single resource and killing every other living creature.

The alien sightings that have been occuring... they are just checking up on how we are doing. Probably wondering what is taking us so long.

After we are done, we will be taken back to our REAL home planet as slaves

Re:Sent to destroy Earth (1)

Genie1 (224205) | more than 13 years ago | (#152085)

What would those aliens benefit from destroying Earth anyway?

They probably just hated the scenery then. Plus the fact that mastadon dung didn't smell that nice.

Bad research (2)

James Foster (226728) | more than 13 years ago | (#152086)

It sounds like they set out to prove that man had an involvment in the extinction. The best research never sets out to prove or dis-prove something, rather, it sets out to find out what happened without any prior opinion.
Perhaps man did hunt the animals into extinction, but I wouldn't go by it 100% since it set out to prove that they did.

Why the reluctance... (5)

sansoo (227144) | more than 13 years ago | (#152090)

to accept our role? The Giant Moa (elephant bird) went extinct in New Guinea & points east about a thousand years ago - right after humans showed up.These disappearances had nothing to do with climate change. Plains Indians were hunting buffalo (sometimes) by setting fires and driving whole herds off cliffs. A great waste. They didn't pick them off one at a time by horseback until they acquired the horse from the European invaders. (The American horse had disappeared about 10000 years earlier.) You think we couldn't kill a mammoth with a pit, or a glyptodont with poison tree frog arrows? I watched a film of the Kung! of the Kalahari (bushmen) kill a giraffe with sharp sticks (and poison). This has nothing to do with "guilt" BTW; several postings have brought this up and there will be more. It's just that it's stupid, and self-destructive. A simplified biosphere is less robust. Like a cyberlandscape with only one OS available... variety is more flexible, and adaptable, and interesting. Sure, the biosystem recovered from the dinosaur extinction, but it took a coupla million years.

Mainstream media fails to cover scientific thought (3)

hillct (230132) | more than 13 years ago | (#152091)

It's interesting to me how the mainstream media fails to adiquitely report on scientific thought in any sort of balanced fashion. Fro mthe title of the story, you'd think this guy was some left wing nut case proposing an outlandish new theory

In fact this theory has been around for 30 some years and in the middle of the article, one of the guys to whom the theory is atributed qualifies his argument in such a way to make it sound quite reasonable
Roberts proposes a variation on the theme, saying it is possible the extinctions took place over a longer period of time and were not the result only of hunting but also of environmental chaos wrought by humans, such as burning the landscape to facilitate hunting or travel.
OF course, if you introduce a new predator into any closed or reasonably closed eco-system there will always be a draumatic result. Why would anyone be suprised by that...? It's not like ancient man had the tools nessecery to kill off a sufficient quantity of any animal as to drive it to extinction (unlike more modern man drove the american water buffalo to extinction - using more modern weapons like guns - imagine doing that with a knife or spear, in sufficient quantities to drive any animal to extinction).

But then the guy goes on.... he really does a masterful job of fence sitting here:
The idea that climate change triggered the extinctions is undermined by the fact that they were not simultaneous, Roberts said. "If it had been a global climate change phenomenon, everyone would have gone extinct in all of those different places at the same time. The fact that they didn't really points the finger very, very strongly at human beings, as the new kid on the block, causing all the trouble."
Nah... That's not really plausable... Climate change could vary easily have contributed to the extinction. Look at Gloval Warming, or destruction of the Ozone Layer. These events represent large scal climatic events, but they are affecting different regions of the globe in different ways, and at different rates, baserd primarily based on proximity to the epicenter of the event (antarctica in the case of the largest Ozone Hole) and the pre-existing climate.

I have two problems with this article, first, it didn't cover the theory it strives to cover in a fair and non-judgemental fashion, and it presents it in the light of the enviromentalists versus the conservatives. Well, this is science. It is an exploration of historical events to try and determin fact. There are not politics to it and there are no accusations being made here that would impact modern man. No one is using this theory to try and band deer hunting, or something like that.

People need to relax and take science for what it's worth, rather than taking it so personally. The article it seems was designed to be inflamatory, co I can't fault the traders - perhaps that was the only way it found its way into the mainstream media in the us, after all, an earlier poster pointed out that the BBC had this story a week or more ago...--CTH


---

You guys have it all wrong (3)

rppp01 (236599) | more than 13 years ago | (#152092)

It isn't our fault we started killing all these animals. I mean 4 millions years ago we were happy starving, surviving day to day. And then one day a weird black rectangle appeared in our cave entrance, and taught us to eat meat and beat the shit out of each other. We weren't smart enough to get the fact that we would have been better off starving, and being prey to the cheetah. Blame it on those damn monoliths. They did it!

Hypothesis v. Theory (2)

daniel_isaacs (249732) | more than 13 years ago | (#152096)

This is NOT a Theory. It's an hypothesis. I know damn well everyone learns the difference by high school. For a group that pops a blood vessel when someone confuses "hacker" with "cracker", I'm suprised you tolerate this misuse of the language. Perpetuating the popular myth that a Theory is just 'an idea' does a great disservice to real Theories. Don't make the same mistake Creationists do.

"Evolution is just a theory"
"Yeah. But so is gravity."

Re:Not all bad (1)

clone22 (252516) | more than 13 years ago | (#152097)

They tasted just like chicken.

Re:"Native" Americans: An absurd liberal myth (1)

WebMasterJoe (253077) | more than 13 years ago | (#152098)

I can't believe how many stories you're coming up with! Folks, if you want to see a fun trend, take a look at Jon Erikson's profile [slashdot.org] . Read the comments he's made - menstruation is a sin to punish women for Eve's actions (I guess the liberals want you to think it's some sort of biological thing about reproduction cylcles! Don't believe them!).

Why, why, does this guy think we will believe Native Americans were "invented" in the 1960's? Are we supposed to believe that Mark Twain's stories were also therefore written in the 1960's and backdated to the 1800's? Has this guy ever seen the hundreds of "Cowboy and Indian" movies of the early 20th century?

Moderators, I think our best attack is to mod him down whenever possible, to the point that his karma will be so bad his posts start at -1. It's not like his posts are worth modding up; he is so extreme that he will try to convince us that a race of people was invented in the 1960's, a time that many people here can remember. According to his profile, he was born in 1970. Some freak got to this guy and brainwashed him pretty early on, I guess.

Couldn't help it... (1)

rirugrat (255768) | more than 13 years ago | (#152100)

Early man couldn't stop themselves from letting this happen. Do you know how delicious barbequed woolly mammoth is?!? Mmm mmm good!!!

Chris

Re:Early man? Mammoths? More liberal mythology (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 13 years ago | (#152101)

Moded to 5 as Funny?
Now that's funny.

Re:Brainwashed Xitians spouting off (AGAIN) (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 13 years ago | (#152102)

You're definately on the right track, but Jesus didn't create Religion. Religion existed quite a while before that (Um, budhism maybe?).
Actually, it is strongly believed that Jesus was an actual person whom existed, though whether he even remotely resembled (in action, not appearance) the Jesus described today is concidered extremely unlikely.

No, rather our friends the Romans turned Christianity into a tool of control that has lasted to this day. Christianity came first, the Romans took it, destroyed all workings of it, created 'The Bible', and gave it back to the christians whom falsely believe to this day that they are following the one and only truth. If they'd only realize that their precious bible was the first truly massively successful use of propeganda in known history.

Re:Get prepared, here come the greenies (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 13 years ago | (#152103)

Wow, amazing how many people miss the point.

This article states that it is likely that man, and therefore likely native americans, wiped out the mammoths by over-hunting.
But did the native americans go on and wipe everything else out? Um, NO!

Gee, maybe they learned from their mistake and thus began conservative hunting/living practices.

Hmm, and just maybe this article is suggesting that we 'Remember' this lesson lest we either have to learn it again, or worse, we fuck it all up without ever figuring it out again.

BTW: 13000 some odd fucking years after the Mammoths were extinct the Bison were still roaming, the next day the europeans killed them all...yeah, you must be right, it was just the guns.

Your irony detector... Re:See? (1)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 13 years ago | (#152110)

... was turned off. Or your antagonist probes that conservative religious people are amazingly funny to read.

Re:So what... (1)

Bobo the Space Chimp (304349) | more than 13 years ago | (#152114)

And since when did levelling land and killing off animals do something other than raise the level of living for people in the area? For every "bad" situation, there are a thousand and one good situations where that occurred.

Re:Hard facts suspiciously lacking (1)

Bobo the Space Chimp (304349) | more than 13 years ago | (#152115)

So they're not considering climate changes that may have made it easier for ancient Man to get to Australia, or climate changes that may have bulged ancient Man's brainpower a bit more, allowing them to spread to Australia at about the same time?

Climate changes --> dying animals + smarter humans who figure a way to get to Australia

or

Climate changes --> dying animals + changed trade winds blowing humans floating on logs to Australia

I want a job blowing smoke out of my ass!

Re:Nature is our enemy (1)

Bobo the Space Chimp (304349) | more than 13 years ago | (#152116)

I'd rather live in a world of rapidly-advancing technology with lax environmental laws dictated by greedy corporations causing nature to run "a bit dirty" than live in a world where technology is ground to a halt by an overbearing, intrusive government that insinuates itself boldly with moral self-righteousness into every last decision, every single corner of everybody's life from sunup to sundown and all through the night.

Disease scenario makes more sense (3)

bzcpcfj (308756) | more than 13 years ago | (#152121)

It's difficult to imagine human populations in the few thousands somehow wiping out large indigenous species through over hunting. On the other hand, introduction of new diseases can be disastrous very rapidly. The article gives a brief mention of this possiblity, but it seems intent on promoting the concept of the inherent destructiveness of humanity.

Bob Bakker, the off-beat paleontologist, has been promoting disease scenarios for years as a primary cause of mass dinosaur extinctions. It seems a more probable cause in these cases of large mammalian extinctions as well.

Historical revisionism (2)

freeweed (309734) | more than 13 years ago | (#152128)

Actually, I'd wager the theory has been around for a fair bit longer than that. When I was in school, this WAS the accepted theory as to why the mammoths, sloths, etc. had been wiped out.

A good couple of decades of trying to convince people that native americans lived in harmony with nature and were happy bunches of vegans pretty much forced teachers to stop even considering it.

My personal thinking is that climate change, combined with (hu)man's effects, still seems to be a bit more plausible, but one thing archaeology never fails to teach us is, what goes around, comes around.

Someone refresh my memory: are dinosaurs warm-blooded or cold-blooded this year?

Re:Bad research (2)

karmawarrior (311177) | more than 13 years ago | (#152131)

Without disagreeing with you that setting out to prove something is bad science (can't comment if that's true in this case), your proposal of what constitutes "best research" strikes me is flawed too.

For the most part, research tends to constitute looking at the evidence already available and forming theories (explanations that are capable of being proven wrong if they are wrong), and then subsequently testing those theories (trying to prove those theories are wrong.)

If you start out with no prior opinion, (or better, opinions) you're unlikely to have a basis with which to start - where do you start looking?

Trying to prove theories right is obviously a wrong approach. Trying to test them to see if they can be proven wrong, and reporting the results - together with any circumstantial evidence to back up the theory - would strike me as being fundamentally good research.
--

if you really want to know (1)

Ubi_NL (313657) | more than 13 years ago | (#152133)

You read Tim Flannary's 'The Future Eaters'. This will give you detailed information and evidence about the enormous influence man has (had) on the environment, and on the extinction of many many animal (and plant) species.


Man Causes Extinctions (1)

astapleton (324242) | more than 13 years ago | (#152136)

Uhm...this theory has been around for over 30 years now, people...it's an old theory and has a lot of evidence to support it. Like most news agencies, CNN will take any subject and try to convince its viewers it's brand new and they brought it to you first. Blech.

Brainwashed Xitians spouting off (AGAIN) (1)

Sahir (325352) | more than 13 years ago | (#152138)

The scientific theory? Already we can see the hubris of the professional scientist at work here, portraying one of several such "theories" as the only game in town.

As usual, wheneve the issue of ancient history (where ancient mean "before last Friday"), the flaming Jesus freaks emerge from their self-flagellating to inflict their disgusting morals and creation myths on rational people.

Let me give you a hint: Science works. I don't need proof of that. Religion is a mind-controlling device invented by a certain Jewish huckster named Jesus of Nazareth 2000 years ago. 2000 years! No other pyramid scam has lasted so long. Allow me to congratulate all christians for such longevity (but don't become complacent: Amway is catching up).

There is *no* proof for any facet of creationism. Not one. The myth of the "great flood" has been widely debunked by scientists, so much that only right-wing nutjobs, on a high-holy rollarcoaster for JEEZUS could possilby believe them. Not too mention this "god" fellow, who has apparently only spoken to a few desert-wandering lunatics who overdosed on locusts and wild honey. Why doesn't he open his big mouth anymore, Jon? Maybe because there is no god, and every educated person knows it. Rationalism is the only hope for mankind, and the only rational approach is to reject religion and accept evolution and the big bang for what they are: the truth, shown by science.

It's simple... (1)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | more than 13 years ago | (#152139)

...survival of the fittest! What's to be ashamed of?

Re:Why the reluctance... (2)

jonathanjo (415010) | more than 13 years ago | (#152148)

You think we couldn't kill a mammoth with a pit, or a glyptodont with poison tree frog arrows? I watched a film of the Kung! of the Kalahari (bushmen) kill a giraffe with sharp sticks (and poison).

I saw that film on the contemporary !Kung San hunter-gatherer culture in college. Unfortunately, it wasn't particularly accurate: After following the tribe of hunters for days and watching them harasss this poor giraffe, stalking it, poking it with spears until it looked like a pincushion, the Western camera crew shot the beast with a rifle. Then they filmed it falling dramatically, like a mighty oak felled by the logger, as if these noble savages were claiming their quarry.

Who else thinks this is funny? (1)

Supa Mentat (415750) | more than 13 years ago | (#152150)

That's really all I have to say. I mean, now when we do it by being decadent and wasteful it's horrible, but back then it was just their time to go. So much for the thought that humans used to live in harmony with nature I guess. We've always been a plague to other species, but to some extent, it is our right.

Re:Nature is our enemy (1)

Tuonenkielo (444651) | more than 13 years ago | (#152156)

Don't know if you have kept your eyes closed, but I have seen people drink contmainated water becuase they have nothing else to drink. That doesn't mean they have survived the experience, though.

Re:Not a new idea (1)

Tuonenkielo (444651) | more than 13 years ago | (#152157)

The theory is not new nor surprising, but then, the theory is not the news here.

I see this here often, when something is news that relates to old theories on something. People mistake the old theory was the reason for news, when in fact the actualy news is that there is some new evidence pointing this way or that way, possibly strenghtening the theory's case or shooting it so full of holes it'll whistle in the wind...

It would be nice if people could separate the news and background in their thinking on: "What is this doing here, it's old already?"

Semi offtopic... (1)

factor-C (448252) | more than 13 years ago | (#152159)

Many people will take this opportunity to argue that the existence of man is a plague on the earth, and a threat to nature. In reality, man is part of nature. Species go extinct "naturally" all the time. It is obvious that species are going extinct at an alarmingly higher rate than before industrialization ocurred, but that is just part of the natural process of evolution (i.e. organisms that cannot adapt to a post-industrial world are not fit to live in a post-industrial world and will therefore go extinct. The caveat here is that we determine exactly what constitutes a "post industrial world"). The only difference between the coming of mankind and the comet that obliterated the dinosaurs is that we can, to a large extent, choose to limit/direct our impact on the surrounding environment. Right now we're choosing to alter the environment at a significantly higher rate than necessary, which is probably a Bad Thing, seeing as we don't fully comprehend the extent of our impact on environmental processes that we have yet to understand.

When (not if) genetic engineering is perfected (or at least largely understood) the whole matter of species going extinct will become moot. Whether or not you would want to live in a world whose organisms that were designed by corporations run by PHB's, however, is another matter entirely.

Re:Semi offtopic... (1)

factor-C (448252) | more than 13 years ago | (#152160)

whoa... using html and posting at 2:33am is not a good idea

Re:"Native" Americans: An absurd liberal myth (4)

Johnny5000 (451029) | more than 13 years ago | (#152161)

How exactly is this +3 informative?
I know the rule about modding up stuff that adds to the discussion, and not if you necesarily agree with it, but come on, people.

I'd like to forward my own theory.

The Native Americans were beamed in here from the third moon of the planet Lothax, third planet in a star system 55 light years away. They arrived in the year 1996, but the reason why we believe they were here so much longer was that, working with the Godless Liberals, they devised a scheme where a mind-controlling memory chip was implanted in the mind of every person on earth, which contained false memories of the Native Americans being on earth for years and years. Implanted memories, like in Total Recall (where do you think Arnold got the idea from?)It's just an elaborate plan to make Honey Nut Cheerios sell better, since they are the main export of the planet Lothax.

The reason I know this is my brother's best friend's uncle's dogwalker's hairdresser used to live next door to the guy who mowed Arnold's lawn.
Do I have any other proof? Of course not.

Now lets see if this one gets modded up to +3 informative.

-Johnny 5000

Re:So what... (1)

Lumpy Claus (451254) | more than 13 years ago | (#152162)

The point of this is that mankind CAN make a species extinct, even using primitive weapons and hunting techniques. Animal rights and environmental groups have long opposed commercial fishing and hunting operations, saying that they may make certain species of fish or game extinct, while opponents say that it's virtually impossible to kill every last member of a species.

This report, if true, would show that human beings, through their hunting, can wipe out an entire species with spears. Imagine what we can do with radar, GPS, guns and nets.

Re:Not a new idea (1)

hyehye (451759) | more than 13 years ago | (#152163)

... Nor a particularly surprising one. Why does this even qualify as news? It's something that made logical sense to me long ago. Think about it - there's a lot of meat, bone, fat, and hide on large mammals, and we needed those things in ever-increasing amounts. We didn't have agriculture or synthetic materials, where else would we get them? I don't get why this is news.

Re:Nature is our enemy (1)

hyehye (451759) | more than 13 years ago | (#152164)

'Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.' So spoke Miss Rand. What this means is that in order to be master of my own life, I must first understand the laws that govern it, and then use those laws to my own advantage. The laws of nature dictate that I must use the only weapon I have, my mind, to gather the tools necessary to preserve my survival. This means I will develop a spear and kill an animal to eat and to clothe myself, or in modern times, I will study harder and learn more and get a better job. It's all the same process, the same abstract, only the concretes of the situation are different. I do hunt, I do not feel guilty. I do succeed in business, I do not feel guilty. And there's absolutely no difference between the two.

Presence of Humans... (1)

Tini Kanooo (454672) | more than 13 years ago | (#152166)

"In all those places, the arrival of humans coincided with catastrophic mass extinction of animals. "

and a terrible smell... -TK

natural selection's a bitch. (1)

turbine216 (458014) | more than 13 years ago | (#152177)

hey, if the mammoths wanted to survive, they would have evolved to the point where they grew opposable thumbs and could walk upright on their hind legs.

kidding aside, who the hell cares? man has destroyed everything he has come into contact with for eons. This isn't news, it's a fact of life.

Re:"Native" Americans: An absurd liberal myth (1)

turbine216 (458014) | more than 13 years ago | (#152178)

and i suppose that the people "posing" as native americans created an entire culture, including several subcultures were created over a period of 20 or 30 years by the government?

Re:Get prepared, here come the greenies (1)

adalger (458844) | more than 13 years ago | (#152180)

You'd think that spelling would've been a giveaway, but no. You have been soooooo trolled.

Re:More links at Anthropology in the News (1)

adalger (458844) | more than 13 years ago | (#152181)

So . . . this Alroy fellow was able to create a computer simulation to tell him pretty closely what he already knew. That's the problem when you already know what the outcome is. There's no chance of being certain that you haven't let your foreknowledge of the results taint the process of creating the model. Useful results come from predicting things you didn't already know.

Re:Early man? Mammoths? More liberal mythology (1)

adalger (458844) | more than 13 years ago | (#152182)

Somewhere, there's a rock that misses the warmth of you underneath it.

Hard facts suspiciously lacking (2)

adalger (458844) | more than 13 years ago | (#152184)

But University of Melbourne geochronologist Richard Roberts and colleagues used advanced new techniques to get the answer. They found that the mass extinction occurred around 46,400 years ago, give or take 3,000 years.

Precisely what advanced techniques are these? Good enough to tell us that humans came and the animals died, in that order, rather than the animals died, and then the humans came because there weren't any large animals to scare them off?

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