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Posts by EJK212

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  • African cousins behind extinction of Indians 70,000 years ago!

    05/07/2006 5:39:31 AM PDT · 51 of 51
    EJK212 to bwteim

    Thanks, but just passing through.

  • African cousins behind extinction of Indians 70,000 years ago!

    05/07/2006 5:38:45 AM PDT · 50 of 51
    EJK212 to CarrotAndStick

    You're welcome. Just a few other comments, speculations and wild stabs in the dark, if I may. From the article:

    "Researchers from the University of Cambridge have said that the arrival of Homo sapiens in regions like India and other parts of South Asia had most probably led to conflicts and competition between the Homo sapiens and the indigenous hominids (Homo heidelbergensis), leading to the latter’s extinction over the years."

    Quite possible - even probable - but it seems to me that without the sudden 'nuclear winter' (from carbon clouds blocking sunlight)that lasted 6 years, followed by a 1,000 year long glacial period (from sulphur clouds reflecting sunlight), there wouldn't have been great competition for whatever food sources, previously abundant, remained alive. Add to that the genetic evidence suggesting that the population of homo sapiens dropped to less than 50,000 around that time and its quite possible that Heidelbergensis dropped off of the table on his own, not needing a shove from Sapiens.

    One of the articles suggested it was around this time that in order to survive, social organization went through a major evolution from the family/troop-sized levels to larger, tribe-sized contingents. Large tribes of humans bearing down on Heidelbergensis (Heidelbergensians?) would have either assimilated - after all, safety in numbers - or eradicated them.

    The introduction of clothing is interesting as well. Was there suddenly intense competion for mates? Perhaps the remaining humans decided that, due to a scarcity of resources, drastic population control measures had to be enacted (such as infanticide). Keeping ones 'privates' covered up would reduce the temptation to copulate and thus avoid the trauma of killing one's own offspring. The emergence of relatively 'prudish' sexual mores (many of which remain with us today) may have begun during this time. Another possibility (as it seems to my way-below-expert-level mind) would be that a tribe-sized social organization would have a leadership cadre that may have dictatorially grabbed all the women for themselves. Thus the chieftans may have dozens or even hundreds of wives and concubines, while all the rest of the men got to take out their frustrations on the poor Heidelbergensians. If true, all humans are decended from these tribal tyrants, which explains a lot.

    The introduction of "thinking" (as the last link calls it), may have just been a way for primitive Paleolithic/Mesolithic humans to allocate suddenly scarce resources amongst themselves.

    The Yellowstone blast of 70,000 years ago relates to another Yellowstone blast that occurred 600,000 years ago. In the latter, the entire North American continent was covered in 2 meters of ash. Picture what that would do today. FWIW, the Yellowstone caldera - Crater Lake is a good example of a caldera; its created when the top of the mountain falls into the void created by the eruption - takes up almost as much area as Yellowstone National Park itself! This 'scab' in the Earth's crust has been blown off the map three times in the last two milion years and - if the eruption of 70,000 years ago was a mere tremblor and not a full scale eruption like 600,000 years ago, as it appears from the articles - then we are just about due for another. Links:

    Yellowstone caldera:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Yellowstone_Caldera_map2.jpg

    Toba caldera (Indonesia, right near the tsunami-event's epicenter):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Toba_overview.jpg

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Toba_zoom.jpg

    Obviously dwarfing Crater Lake. Now imagine Yellowstone, and have a nice day. :-)




    The Mount Tambora eruption of 1815 was 4 times more powerful than Krakatoa, resulted in "The Year Without a Summer" (August snow in New England; ruined crops from summer frosts as far south as Virginia), which in turn produced conditions that resulted in the large migration of Americans westward, as well as the invention of the bicycle:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Tambora

    Its amazing what a mere 100 cubic km of soot and sulphur simultaneously ejaculated into the atmosphere can do to the global climate. Now multiply that by 10 (or Krakatoa by 40!) and we have Toba:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volcanic_Explosivity_Index




    Another, item of note, while I'm in the Chicken Little state of mind; the Black Sea Deluge Theory:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sea_deluge_theory

    This occurred much more recently than the near-extinction level event of the Toba eruption, about 7,600 years ago. It does, however, provide a bookend for the end of a glacial period, as Toba began one. The melting of the ice brought sea levels up to the point where they flooded into an area where there may have been significant early proto-civilizations. [IIRC, there was something similar regarding the Mediterranean and a massive waterfall at Gibraltar, but I'm uncertain as to the timeline here, and whether or not humanity was impacted as in the above two events.]

    It should be pointed out that both the Toba Catastrophe theory and the Black Sea Deluge theory are new and, as such, subjects of wild arguments and disagreements in the scientific community. Time will tell with these as well.




    Finally, in the "Always look on the bright side of life" category, there's Exit Mundi:

    http://www.exitmundi.nl/

    Enjoy, and thanks for your indulgence of my attempts to understand human pre-history, the origins of our culture(s) and how we wound up in this mess in the first place.

  • African cousins behind extinction of Indians 70,000 years ago!

    05/06/2006 6:52:15 AM PDT · 47 of 51
    EJK212 to CarrotAndStick

    I stumbled upon your post after googling "70,000 years ago." I was doing some casual research on the Toba Catastrophe Theory. There were many interesting developments occurring during that time:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toba_catastrophe_theory

    Humans started wearing clothes:

    http://www.nature.com/news/2003/030818/full/030818-7.html;jsessionid=03BA4C5430C5BFA794D1A36BC8BB75F0

    Another eruption, in Yellowstone:

    http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo/faqshistory.html

    Sea levels fall and Bering land bridge opens up North America for human migrations:

    http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo/faqshistory.html

    We learned to think:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2003/learnthink.shtml

    All FWIW...