Perverse & apocryphal, needed to be corrected out of respect -was"Holy People.."
- Perverse! & apocryphal!, needed to be corrected out of respect for
-because it was extremely negative,
-fictitious in many of its parts, and
--evidence, in many of its parts:
--- In email@example.com, Robert Monie <bobm20001@...>
>Isaac Newton rightly said he was standing on the shoulders ofgiants, and so was the Tibetan nun.
Nobody ever said she isn't, least of all Tenzin Palmo, herself. She
has a name often quoted in the article. So why the hell did you over-
emphasise this which Tenzin Palmo says about herself often, just to
be so negative?
>heaven, in a few other places either a natural or fabricated hell,
> A Problem with Oz Philosophy
> This world is not heaven. It is in a few places a fabricated
and in most places a kind of neutral limbo.
>easily conclude that this world is heaven. No need to farm, just sit
> If you wake up one morning in a forest teeming with life, you can
back and philosophize. You have this luxury because your ancestors
and the forest have done all the work for you. You are, like Newton
and the Tibetan Nun, "standing on the shoulders of giants." you are
living in a fabricated heaven that somebody else build for you.
I suppose in your apparently, frantically-confused-reply, do you
mean the "forest teeming with life" was *"fabricated"* by nature!?
Then you contradicted yourself there, in a perversion of, your own
aggressive, loaded meaning of, "fabricated" - for something made by
humans - ie. the "... somebody else build for you"
>17th century America and to the Yellow Fever swamps of South
> Come with me, Oz philosophers, to the malarial swamps of 16th and
Louisiana. Tell me with a straight face, if you can, with the
infectious mosquitos buzzing about your head, flying up your
nostrils, and into your mouth and ears, that you are in heaven. You
are in a natural hell. You will not begin to have heaven there
until you fabricate a way to drain the swamps and removed the
hellish pests. Come with me to a radioactive dump, a man-made hell,
and tell me that you are in heaven.
Just evidently, plain wrong, eg. please see evidence from:
"Guns, Germs and Steel" - Pultizer prize winning *non-fiction* book:
For example, the yellow fever virus is carried by African wild
monkeys, whence it can always infect rural human populations of
Africa, whence it was carried by the transatlantic slave trade to
infect New World monkeys and people."
-- page 204.
When I was young, American schoolchildren were taught that North
America had originally been occupied by only about one million
That low number was useful in justifying the white conquest of what
could be viewed as an almost empty continent. However,
archaeological excavations, and scrutiny of descriptions left by the
very first European explorers on our coasts, now suggest an initial
number of around 20 million Indians. For the New World as a whole,
the Indian population decline in the century or two following
Columbus's arrival is estimated to have been as large as 95 percent.
The main killers were Old World germs to which Indians had never
een exposed, and against which they therefore had neither immune nor
-- 2ll GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL --
genetic resistance. Smallpox, measles, influenza, and typhus competed
for top rank among the killers. As if these had not been enough,
diphtheria, malaria, mumps, pertussis, plague, tuberculosis, and
yellow fever came up close behind. In countless cases, whites were
actually there to witness the destruction occurring when the germs
arrived. For example, in 1837 the Mandan Indian tribe, with one of
the most elaborate cultures in our Great Plains, contracted smallpox
from a steamboat traveling up the Missouri River from St. Louis. The
population of one Mandan village plummeted from 2,000 to fewer than
40 within a few weeks.
WHILE OVER A dozen major infectious diseases of Old World origins
became established in the New World, perhaps not a single major
killer reached Europe from the Americas. The sole possible exception
is syphilis, whose area of origin remains controversial. The one-
sidedness of that exchange of germs becomes even more striking when
we recall that large, dense human populations are a prerequisite for
the evolution of our crowd infectious diseases. If recent
reappraisals of the pre-Columbian New World population are correct,
it was not far below the contemporary population of Eurasia. Some
New World cities like Tenochtitlan were among the world's most
populous cities at the time. Why didn't Tenochtitlan have awful
germs waiting for the Spaniards?
One possible contributing factor is that the rise of dense human
populations began somewhat later in the New World than in the Old
World. Another is that the three most densely populated American
centers the Andes, Mesoamerica, and the Mississippi Valleynever
became connected by regular fast trade into one huge breeding ground
for microbes, in the way that Europe, North Africa, India, and China
became linked in Roman times. Those factors still don't explain,
though, why the New World apparently ended up with no lethal crowd
epidemics at all.
(Tuberculosis DNA has been reported from the mummy of a Peruvian
Indian who died 1,000 years ago, but the identification procedure
used did not distinguish human tuberculosis from a closely related
pathogen (Mycobacteriutn; bovis) that is widespread in wild
Instead, what must be the main reason for the failure of lethal crowd
epidemics to arise in the Americas becomes clear when we pause to
ask a simple question. From what microbes could they conceivably have
evolved? We've seen that Eurasian crowd diseases evolved out of
-- LETHAL GIFT OF LIVESTOCK 213 --
of Eurasian herd animals that became domesticated. Whereas many
such animals existed in Eurasia, only five animals of any sort became
domesticated in the Americas: the turkey in Mexico and the U.S.
Southwest, the llama / alpaca and the guinea pig in the Andes, the
Muscovy duck in tropical South America, and the dog throughout the
In turn, we also saw that this extreme paucity of domestic animals in
the New World reflects the paucity of wild starting material. About
80 percent of the big wild mammals of the Americas became extinct at
the end of the last Ice Age, around 13,000 years ago. The few
domesticates that remained to Native Americans were not likely
sources of crowd diseases, compared with cows and pigs. Muscovy
ducks and turkeys don't live in enormous flocks, and they're not
cuddly species (like young lambs) with which we have much physical
contact. Guinea pigs may have contributed a trypanosome infection
like Chagas' disease or leishmaniasis to our catalog of woes, but
that's uncertain. Initially, most surprising is the absence of any
human disease derived from llamas (or alpacas), which it's tempting
to consider the Andean equivalent of Eurasian livestock.
However, llamas had four strikes against them as a source of human
pathogens: they were kept in smaller herds than were sheep and goats
and pigs; their total numbers were never remotely as large as those
of the Eurasian populations of domestic livestock, since llamas
never spread beyond the Andes; people don't drink (and get infected
by) llama milk; and llamas aren't kept indoors, in close association
with people. In contrast, human mothers in the New Guinea highlands
often nurse piglets, and pigs as well as cows are frequently kept
inside the huts of peasant farmers.
THE HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE of animal-derived diseases extends far
beyond the collision of the Old and the New Worlds. Eurasian germs
played a key role in decimating native peoples in many other parts
of the world, including Pacific islanders, Aboriginal Australians,
and the Khoisan peoples (Hottentots and Bushmen) of southern Africa.
Cumulative mortalities of these previously unexposed peoples from
Eurasian germs ranged from 50 percent to 100 percent. For instance,
the Indian population of Hispaniola declined from around 8 million,
when Columbus arrived in A.D. 1492, to zero by 1535. Measles reached
Fiji with a Fijian chief returning from a visit to Australia in
1875, and proceeded to kill about one-quarter of all Fijians then
alive (after most Fijians had already been
-- 214 GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL --
killed by epidemics beginning with the first European visit, in
Syphilis, gonorrhea, tuberculosis, and influenza arriving with
Captain Cook in 1779, followed by a big typhoid epidemic in 1804 and
numerous "minor" epidemics, reduced Hawaii's population from around
half a million in 1779 to 84,000 in 1853, the year when smallpox
finally reached Hawaii and killed around 10,000 of the survivors.
These examples could be multiplied almost indefinitely.
However, germs did not act solely to Europeans' advantage. While the
New World and Australia did not harbor native epidemic diseases
awaiting Europeans, tropical Asia, Africa, Indonesia, and New Guinea
certainly did. Malaria throughout the tropical Old World, cholera in
tropical Southeast Asia, and yellow fever in tropical Africa were
(and still are) the most notorious of the tropical killers. They
posed the most serious obstacle to European colonization of the
tropics, and they explain why the European colonial partitioning of
New Guinea and most of Africa was not accomplished until nearly 400
years after European partitioning of the New World began.
Furthermore, once malaria and yellow fever did become transmitted to
the Amencas by European ship traffic, they emerged as the major
impediment to colonization of the New World tropics as well. A
familiar example is the role of those two diseases in aborting the
French effort, and nearly aborting the ultimately successful
American effort, to construct the Panama Canal.
Bearing all these facts in mind, let's try to regain our sense of
perspective about the role of germs in answering Yali's question.
There is no doubt that Europeans developed a big advantage in
weaponry, technology, and political organization over most of the
non-European peoples that they conquered. But that advantage alone
doesn't fully explain how initially so few European immigrants came
to supplant so much of the native population of the Americas and
some other parts of the world. That might not have happened without
Europe's sinister gift to other continentsthe germs evolving from
Eurasians' long intimacy with domestic animals.
that's it! - that's more than enough posts with content that has
horse-sh!t mixed into it!, Bob.
If i'm gonna choose to listen to someone who eats food grown by
farmers then i would much rather listen to Venerable Tenzin Palmo,
than to the worst bilious content written by you Bob. Are you a
militant, fundamentalist pseudo-Christian or some such thing?
(everyone) feel good!