Diamond, Jared M;
The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee
Hutchinson Radius 1991 / Vintage 1992, 360 pages
ISBN 0099913801, 9780099913801
topics: | biology | history | genetics | science | philosophy | evolution | anthropology | genocide | first-contact
This book constitutes the broadest investigation of inequity one can conceive. It takes a breathless sweep to take two concerns, traditionally the subject of completely different fields of inquiry, and relate them within the folds of a single book:
- Why did one animal species (man) come to dominate other, very close relatives (chimps)? - Why did one group of humans (eurasians) come to dominate others (native americans)?
and it is a tribute to Diamond's writing that the whole thing coheres so well.
To put the first q. in perspective, Diamond points out that with a 1.6% genetic distance from us, "the chimpanzee's closest relative is not the gorilla (2.3%) but the human." In fact, larger variations may be seen in two species of gibbon (2.2%), or even between closely related birds - the red-eyed vs white-eyed vireos (2.9%). This makes the case for treating humans as a third chimpanzee.
From this question, to the second, is a long walk through dark alleys in biology, anthropology, sexual selection, animal signalling, moving on to language, world history, the consequences of contact between animal groups and civilizations, and finally, the environmental devastation that awaits humanity if the present path continues.
This book was a revelation for me when I first read it in the late 90s, and two points stayed with me. One was the role of sexual selection, particularly how human art and language could be related to sexual selection rather than function (a claim further reinforced in Geoffrey Miller's Mating Mind). The second were the reasons behind Eurasian dominance in culture and technology, part of which at least could be attributed to greater climate similarity across the E-W landmass. Also disquieting are the descriptions of genocide resulting from contact between technologically advanced groups meeting weaker (gentler?) civilizations - as in the violent extinction of the Tasmanians, described in detail by Diamond.
Jared Diamond writes cogently and engagingly, and does not lose the reader in this vast landscape; in fact, I remember reading the book with great interest, penciling notes (which I later typed in), and making comparisons, etc. Eventually, the content of this book became part of my worldview. Diamond states the book's objectives clearly: How the human species changed, within a short time, from just another species of big mammal to a world conqueror; and how we acquired the capacity to reverse all that progress overnight The first bit occupies most of the book; latter talks of the civilizational impulse to over-exploit our environment, leading to the collapse of civilizations (like Easter Island). The narrative is amazingly broad in its scope; starting with human biology and how it relates to apes, Diamond goes on to develop theories of what happens when two species (or two civilizations meet), and why is it that starting from the same origins, one group advances (in war technology) further than another. This leads him to issues such as genocides in history, and finally how civilizations eventually collapse. Material in this book was expanded to become several of his later books on allied topics: * Why Is Sex Fun? (1998): Parts two and three * Guns, Germs, and Steel (2003): Part four * Collapse (2006) : part five: Following are the excerpts as I typed them in from the pencil markings
It is obvious that humans are unlike all animals. It is also obvious that we are a species of big mammal, down to the minutest details of our anatomy and our molecules. That contradiction is the most fascinating feature of the human species. [opening lines] [In the years between reading this book and Daniel Gilbert's Stumbling on Happiness, I realize now that I have moved my position to challenge the first statement here - are humans really unlike animals? This leads me to challenge Gilbert's attempt to define human uniqueness in terms of the ability to look ahead, to plan.] Quick method of measuring changes in DNA structure is to mix the DNA from two species, then to measure by how many degrees of temperature the melting point of the mixed (hybrid) DNA is reduced from the m.p. of a single species. A lowering in m.p. by one degree centigrade means that the two species DNA differ by roughly one percent. (15)
Difference in DNA and estimated millions of years since common ancestry - common and pygmy chimps (which are hard to distinguish) differ in 0.7% of their DNA and diverged from their common ancestor about 3 m years ago; we differ in 1.6% from both genes and diverged about 7 m years ago; gorillas differ in about 2.3% of their DNA from us or from chimps and diverged about ten million years ago. (Orangutans - 3.6% with gorilla, human, or chimp - 15 m y ago). ... the most similar DNAs are those of common chimpanzees and pygmy chimpanzees, which are 99.3 per cent identical and differ by only 0.7 per cent. So similar are these two chimp species in appearance that it was not until 1929 that anatomists even bothered to give them separate names. Chimps living on the equator in central Zaire rate the name 'pygmy chimps' because they are on average slightly smaller (and have more slender builds and longer legs) than the widespread 'common chimps' ranging across Africa just north of the equator. [but very different behaviours, esp. sexual. ] The genetic distance (1.6 per cent) separating us from pygmy or common chimps is barely double that separating pygmy from common chimps (0.7 per cent). It is less than that between two species of gibbons (2.2 per cent), or between such closely related North American bird species as red-eyed vireos and white-eyed vireos (2.9 per cent), or between such closely related and hard-to-distinguish European bird species as willow warblers and chiffchaffs (2.6 per cent). The remaining 98.4 per cent of our genes are just normal chimp genes. For example, our principal haemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein that gives blood its red colour, is identical in all 287 units with chimp haemoglobin. In this respect as in most others, we are just a third species of chimpanzee... (19) Traditional taxonomy has reinforced our anthropocentric tendencies by claiming to see a fundamental dichotomy between man and other beasts... but now it turns out that we are more closely related to chimps than chimps are to the gorilla. [NAMES: WHAT WE CALL THINGS - How would it be if we called ourselves "upright ape"? Would we then be able to exhibit chimps in zoo cages? Or subject apes, without their consent, to lethal experiments for purposes of medical research?] Names are not just technical details but express and create attitudes. (23)
- 6 mya - upright hominid separates from chimps - 3 mya - A. Africanus div from A. robustus (ext 1.4 mya) - 2.4 mya - H. Habilis div from hypothesized "Third Man" - 1.7 mya - H. erectus - 0.5 mya - H. sapiens - 0.1 mya - Asians, modern Africans, Neanderthal; Cro-Magnon or modern man from modern African; [By 1.7 mya A. robustus is extinct.] H. erectus ate both meat and plant food, used tools and a larger brain which made him more efficient at getting even the plant food. It is also possible that H. erectus gave his sibling (H. robustus) a direct push into oblivion, by killing him for meat. (31) Australia was first reached by humans around 50,000 years ago, implying watercraft capable of crossing stretches of water as much as sixty miles wide between e. Indonesia and Australia. The occupation of Siberia by at least 20,000 y ago depended on many advances - tailored clothing (eyed needles), elaborate houses with elaborate fireplaces, and stone lamps to hold animal fat and light the long Arctic nights. The occupation of Siberia and Alaska in turn led to the occupation of North America and South America around 11,000 years ago. (41) [the common ancestor of all humans lived in Africa, about 70,000 to 100,000 years ago. Some Africans colonized Asia, and then Australia (55,000 years ago) and North America (maybe 30,000 years ago). About 40,000 years ago others from Africa, along with colonists from Asia, founded the European population of Homo sapiens and, probably, as they did so, eliminated the Neanderthals who had preceded them. Cavalli-Sforza, a geneticist at Stanford for many years, first produced a tree of human evolution in the 1960's. Indeed, he largely invented the idea... -- Mark Ridley, reviewing Genes, Peoples, and Languages, by Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, NYT Aug 00]
Chimpanzees, gorillas, and even monkeys are capable of symbolic communication . . . wild vervet monkeys have a natural form of symbolic communication based on grunts, with slightly different grunts to mean leopard, eagle and snake. A month-old chimpanzee baby named Viki learned to say four words: 'papa', 'mama', 'cup', 'up' - it breathed rather than spoke these words . . . why have apes not gone on to develop much more complex natural languages of their own? The answer seems to involve the structure of the larynx, tongue, and associated muscles that give us fine control over spoken sounds.  It is easy to appreciate how a tiny change in anatomy resulting in capacity for speech would produce huge change in behaviour. With language, it takes only a few seconds to communicate the message, 'Turn sharp right at the fourth tree and drive the male antelope towards the reddish boulder, where I'll hide to spear it.' . . . Without language two proto-humans could not brainstorm together about how to devise a better tool, or about what a cave painting might mean. (47) [Neanderthal extinction - possibly language primitiveness?] This interpretation seems to me to account for the lack of evidence for Neanderthal/Cro-Magnon hybrids. Speech is of overwhelming importance in the relations between men and women and their children. That is not to deny that mute or deaf people learn to function well in our culture, but they do so by learning alternatives to a spoken language that already exists. If Neanderthal language was much simpler than ours or non-existent, it is not surprising that Cro-Magnons did not choose to marry Neanderthals. 
Despite negligible changes in our anatomy, there has been far more cultural evolution in the past 40,000 years than in the millions of years before. Had a visitor from outer space come to Earth during Neanderthal times, [he] might have mentioned humans along with beavers, bowerbirds, and army ants as examples of species with curious behavior. Would the visitor have foreseen the change that would soon make us the first species in the history of life on Earth, capable of destroying all life? Among polygamous mammals, average harem size increases with the ration of the male's body size to the female's. gorillas, with a typical harem of three to six females, weigh nearly double the weight of each female; but the average harem is forty-eight wives for the southern elephant seal, whose 3-ton male dwarfs his 700-pound mate (10:1). . . the bigger the harem, the fiercer the competition and the more important it is for a male to be big.  From the vegetarian diet of our ape ancestors, we diverged in the last several million years to become social carnivores . . . our hunting prowess depended instead on large brains . . . human children took years to acquire the information and the practice needed to be an efficient hunter-gatherer, just as they still take years to learn how to be a farmer or computer programmer today. During those many years after weaning our children . . . depend entirely on their parents to bring food to them. . . baby apes ather food as soon as they are weaned. [reasons - both mechanical dexterity to wield tools, and also mental] 
The resulting parental burden makes care by the father as well as the mother important for a child's survival. Orangutan fathers provide their offspring with nothing beyond their initial donation of semen; gorilla, chimpanzee, and gibbon fathers go beyond that to offer protection; but hunter-gatherer human fathers provide some food and much teaching as well. Hence . . . the human male retains his relationship with a female after fertilizing her, in order to assist in rearing the resulting child. The chimpanzee system, in which several adult males are likely to copulate with the same oestrous female, also would not work for us. The result of that system is that a chimpanzee father's. . . exertions on behalf of the troop infants are modest. The human father, however, had better have some confidence in his paternity -- for example, through having been the exclusive sexual partner of the child's mother. Otherwise, the child-care contribution may help to pass on some other man's genes.  men's unusually large penis, and the large breasts of women even before first pregnancy - in this we are unique among primates. 
(testes - man - 1.5 oz, gorilla, slightly less, chimp - 4 oz - why?)] Female gorilla does not resume sexual activity until three or four years after birth, and she is receptive for only a couple of days a month until she becomes pregnant. So for even the successful male gorilla experiences sex as a rare treat -- a few times a year. His relatively tiny testes are quite adequate for those modest demands. However the male chimp in a promiscuous troop [needs] to outdo other male chimps in semen output.  [THEORY OF PENIS LENGTH (there is none)] The length of the erect penis is 1.25 in in a gorilla, 1.5 inches in an orangutan, 3 inches in a chimp, and 5 inches in a man. Visual conspicuousness varies in the same sequence - a gorilla's penis is inconspicuous even when erect because of its black colour. . . . our mean duration of coitus (about four minutes for Americans) is much longer than for gorillas (one minute), pygmy chimps (fifteen seconds), or common chimps (seven seconds), but shorter than for orangutans (fifteen minutes) and lightning fast compared to the twelve-hour long copulations of marsupial mice. (63) [Has the human penis become a male object of display, like the lion's manes or peacock's feathers?] Since it thus seems unlikely that special features of human coitus demand a large penis, a popular alternative theory is that the human penis has also become an organ of display, like a peacock's tail or a lion's mane. This theory is reasonable but begs the question: what type of display, and to whom?...Proud male anthropologists unhesitatingly answer: an attractive display to women. But the anthropologists' answer represents mere wishful thinking. Many women say they are turned on by a man's voice, legs, and shoulders more than by the sight of his penis. . . . When the [women's magazine] Viva's nude men disappeared, the number of female readers increased, and the number of male readers decreased. . . . While we can agree that the human penis is an organ of display, the display is intended not for women but for fellow men.  Phallocarps [penis sheaths] vary in length (up to two feet), diameter (up to 4 inches), shape (curved or straight), angle made with wearer's body, colour (yellow or red), and decoration (such as a tuft of fur at the end). Each man has a wardrobe of several sizes and shapes from which to choose each day, depending on his mood that morning. Embarrassed male anthropologists interpret the phallocarp as something used for modesty or concealment, to which my wife had a succinct answer on seeing a phallocarp: "The most immodest display of modesty I've ever seen!" p.64 Astonishing as it seems, important functions of the human penis remain obscure. Here is a rich field of research. 
Our concealed ovulation, constant receptivity, and brief fertile period in each menstrual cycle ensure that most copulations by humans are at the wrong time . . . even young newlyweds who omit contraception and make love at maximum frequency have only a 28% probability of conception. . . Animal breeders can schedule a single artificial insemination so that the cow has a seventy-five percent chance of being fertilized.  [Copulation is a dangerous luxury - burning up calories, neglecting food gathering opportunities, vulnerable to predation etc, so that advertising femae oestrus results in evolutionary advantage. Most mammals; in some primates the female genitalia also turns a vivid red, pink or blue.] Related to the paradox of concealed ovulation is the paradox of concealed copulation. All other group-living animals have sex in public, whether they are promiscuous or monogamous. 
1. [traditional male antrhopologists] enhance co-operation and reduce aggression among males. 2. [other traditional male anthropolgists] A woman remains sexually attractive and receptive so that she can satisfy a man sexually all the time, bind him to her, and reward him for his help in rearing her baby. (Women evolved to make men happy). 3. [Donald Symons] Male chimpanzees more likely to share their kill with an oestrous female than otherwise. Women remain receptive in order to extract more of the kill from men. 4. [Joint man-woman team] If a man could recognize signs of ovulation, he could use this knowledge to fertilize his wife and safely neglect her the rest of the time. 5. [Sarah Hrdy] Male primates often kil infants not their own. The mothe is induced to come into oestrus again and often mates with the murderer. (In human history, male conquerors kill the vanquished men and children but spare the women). Concealed ovulation is a counter measure to confuse the issue of paternity. 6. [Nancy Burley] Human women are at greater risk during childbirth (gorillas - mother 200lb, child 3.5lb). If ovulation is not concealed, women would avoid the risky act of copulation during this period.
In the late 1940s Dr X was studying the genetics of human blood groups. . . to Dr. X's shock, the blood groups (collected from 1000 newborns and parents at a highly respectable hospital) revealed nearly ten percent of the babies to be the fruits of adultery. - 72 Adultery has also been observed in many other animal species whose societies resemble ours on being based on male and female co-parents with a lasting bond. (73) . . . some mammals and most bird species do opt for marriage. . . There appear to be no recorded instance of EMS in the little apes called gibbons, while snow geese indulge regularly. (74) a female Barbary macaque in heat mates promiscuously with every adult male in her troop and averages one copulation every seventeen minutes. (74) As Freud pointed out, we often use humour to deal with things that are intensely painful. - 73 A 19th c. visitor who spent a week at the court of the Nizam of Hyderabad reported that four of the Nizam's wives gave birth within eight days, and that nine more births were anticipated for the following week. The record lifetime number of offspring for a man is 888, sired by Emperor Moulay Ismail the Bloodthirsty of Morocco, while the corresponding record for a woman is only sixty-nine (a nineteenth c. Moscow woman specializing in triplets). . . . As a result of this, a man stands to gain much more for EMS [extra-marital sex] or polygamy than does a woman - if one's sole criteria is the number of offspring born. women cannot be cuckolded, they see their baby emerging from their bodies. Nor can there be cuckoldry of males in animal species practicing external fertilization . . . some male fish watch a female shed eggs, then immediately deposit sperm on the eggs and scoop them up to care for them, secure in their paternity. [But] men can be easily cuckolded. . . . An extreme solution to this asymmetry is adopted by southern India's Nayar society . . . women freely took many lovers simultaneously or in sequence, and a Nayar man did not live with his wife or care for his children, but he instead lived with his sisters and cared for her children. At least, those nieces and nephews were sure to share one-quarter of his genes. (75-6) Among herring gulls in Lake Michigan, thirty-five percent of mated males weree observed to engage in EMS. . . nearly the same as the thirty-two percent reported for young American husbands in a study published by Playboy press in 1974, but whereas EMS (is seen) in twenty-four percent of young American wives, [in gulls] all cases of male EMS involved unmated female gulls practising PMS. (78)
[WHOM WE MARRY - IMPRINTING] physical appearance - include traits that we usually do not consciously notice, such as ear lobes, middle fingers, and interocular distance. . . we tend to marry someone who looks like us . . . i.e. a parent or sibling of the opposite sex that we grew up with.  [Quails raised by foster parents (one egg switched) preferred mates of the colour of their foster parents and siblings. Yet not too similar to their sister - first cousins preferred to third cousins] "Principle of Optimal Intermediate Similarity". infant male rats were reared by mothers whose nipples and vagina were sprayed with lemon odour . . . males with scented mothers mounted and ejaculated more quickly when placed with a scented female than an unscented one (11.5 min vs 17 min, and vice versa for unscented mother rats). [91-2] [AGING and BIOLOGICAL REPAIR MECHANISMS] self-repair mechanisms are of two sorts -- damage control, and regular replacement. The most visible example of damage control [in] our bodies is wound healing, by which we repair damage to our skin. Many animals can achieve more spectacular results: lizards regenerate severed tails, starfish and crab their limbs, sea cucumbers their intestines, and ribbon worms their poison stylets. At the invisible molecular level our genetic material, DNA, is repaired exclusively by damage control. We have enzymes that fix damaged sites in the DNA helix while ignoring intact DNA. [regular replacement] teeth are similarly replaced on a pre-scheduled basis: humans go through two sets, elephants six sets, and sharks an indefinite number, during their lifetimes. Though we humans go through life with the same skeleton with which we were born, lobsters and other arthropods regularly replace their exoskeleton by moulting it and growing a new one. Still another highly visible example of scheduled repair is the continual growth of our hair: no matter how short we cut it, its growth will replace the cut portion. [Cell level replacement] about once every few days for cells lining our intestine, once every two months for the cells lining he urinary bladder, and once every four months for our red blood cells. . . . When you compare [your] photograph with that taken a month ago, we may look the same but many of the molecules forming the body are different. While all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't out Humpty Dumpty together again, Nature is taking us apart and putting us back together every day. 
Q. Why do skunks smell bad? [Chemist or Molecular Biologist:] Skunks secrete chemicals [which] due to quantum mechanics, result in bad smells. [Evolutionary Biologist:] It's because skunks would be easy prey if they didn't defend themselves with bad smells. Natural selection made skunks evolve - skunks with the worst smells survived to produce the most baby skunks. Even people doing hard exercise and eating rich food - lumberjacks, or marathon runners in training -- cannot metabolize much more than about 5,000 calories a day. How should we allocate those calories between repairing ourselves and rearing babies, if our goal was to raise as many babies as possible? - (113)
Even if you spend all day every day just lying in bed, you need about 1,640 (man) or 1,430 (woman) calories per day. Much of that maintenance metabolism goes to our invisible scheduled replacement. (114) In most specis, males suffer greater accidental mortality than females, partly because they put themselves at greater risk by fighting and bold displays. This is certainly true of human males today and has probably been so throughout history. Correlated . . . men also age faster and have a higher non-accidental death rate than women . . . evolution has programmed us so that women put more energy into self-repair, while men put more energy into fighting . . . it just is not worth as much to repair a man as it is to repair a woman. (115) If you are likely to be eaten by a lion tomorrow, there is no point paying a dentist to start expensive orthodontic work on your teeth today. (114) [FEMALE MENOPAUSE] Most mammals, including human males plus chimps and gorillas of both sexes, merely experience a gradual decline and eventual cessation of fertility with age, rather than the abrupt shutdown of women's fertility. [AM: Could this have a connection with the degradation of the DNA in the ovum - leading to 1 in 10 Down's Syndrome by age 45? (down from 1 in 10^6 in late teens)] p.116
[CREOLIZATION] The linguist Derek Bickerton studied creolization in Hawaii, where sugar planters imported workers from China, the Philippines, Japan, Korea, Portugal, and Puerto Rico in the late Nineteenth Century. Out of the linguistic chaos, and following Hawaii's annexation by the US in 1898, a pidgin based on English developed into a fully fledged creole. . . creolization had begun by 1900, was complete by 1920, and was accomplished by children in the process of acquiring the ability to speak. (143-4) Creoles happen to resemble English in placing subject, verb, object in that order, (e.g. "I want juice") but the borrowing from English could not account for creole grammar, because creoles derived from languages with a different word order still use the subject-verb-object order. These similarities seem likely to stem from a genetic blueprint that the human brain possesses for learning language during childhood. Such a blueprint has been widely assumed ever since the linguist Noam Chomsky argued that the structure of human language is far too complex for a child to learn within just a few years, in the absence of any hard-wired instructions. [ENGLISH AS A CREOLE] Germanic languages are Indo-European, which may have been spoken in southern Russia 5,000 years ago and then spread west across Europe. However the Germanic languages (arising presumably in the area of the Baltic Sea) also include many word roots and grammatical features unique to them, and absent from all other Indo-European families. Familiar examples include the English words 'house', 'wife', and 'hand', close to the modern German words Haus, Weib, and Hand. Could the Germanic languages have arisen as a creole, when proto-Indo-European traders settled among proto-Germanic tribes? (147) [Can we look upon URDU as a creole - with Persian as the dominating language, and hindustani the language of the masses, evolved in the 2-3 centuries between Babur (or pre-Babur?) to Shah-jAhAn, eventually lending itself to poetry by the time of Zafar.]
[ART:] Collection of items which are rare and attractive but otherwise useless is also indicative of surplus energy and is attractive to females - origins of art along evolutionary principles. e.g. diamond ring says more than a box of chocolates. [158-160] And of course, the greatest art may still serve those primal functions. [Rebecca Schroter to Franz Josef Haydn, who at the same time as he was enjoying this doting English lover, also boasted of an Italian mistress and an Austrian wife. Haydn knew how to use great art for its original purposes:] My Dear I cannot close my eyes to sleep till I have returned you ten thousand thanks for the inexpressible delight I have received from your ever enchanting compositions . . . no one can have such high veneration for your most brilliant talents as I have. Indeed, my dear love, no tongue can express the gratitude I feel . . . I shall be happy to see you for dinner, and if you can come at three o'clock, it would give me great pleasure, as I should be particularly glad to see you, my dear, before the rest of our friends come.  [If human history were one twenty-four hour day, every hour of clock time would represent 100,000 years of real past time.] We lived as hunter-gatherers from midnight through dawn, noon, and sunset. Finally at 11:54 pm we adopted agriculture. . . . we are still struggling with the problems into which we descended with agriculture, and it is unclear whether we can solve them. 
Some Gazelle's as they run from a lion pause to jump high in the air - "stotting" - wasting time and energy but demonstrating - "look, I have so much energy you will never catch me." Amotz Zahavi's theory (controversial): these deleterious structures (e.g. male bird of paradise or peacock's plume ) are valid indicators that the signalling animal is being honest in its claim of superiority, precisely because those traits impose handicaps. A signal that entails no cost lends itself to cheating, since even a slow or inferior animal can afford to give the signal. The lion thereby has grounds to believe the stotting gazelle's honesty, and both the lion and the gazelle profit by not wasting time and energy on a chase whose outcome is certain.  [DRUGS - a form of this dangerous signalling behaviour, 181]
Many scientists have tried to calculate the odds of there being intelligent creatures out there, somewhere. Those calculations have spawned a whole new field of science named exobiology -- the sole scientific field whos subject matter has not yet been shown to exist. (186) Only one of the billions of species that have existed on Earth showed any proclivities towards radios, and even it failed to do so for the first 69.999/70,000ths of its seven-million year history. . . Based on our very recent evolutionary experience we arrogantly assume intelligence and dexterity to be the best way of taking over the world, and to have evolved inevitably. . . Encycl. Britannica: "It is difficult to imagine life evolving on another planet without progressing towards inteligence." In reality, vanishingly few animals on Earth have bothered with much of either intelligence or dexterity. . . . Earth's really successful species have instead been dumb and clumsy rats and beetles, who found better routes to their current dominance. (193) The intelligence and dexterity required to build radios are useful for other purposes that have been our species hallmark for much longer than we have had radios - purposes such as mass-killing devices and means of environmental destruction. We have become so potent at doing both that we are gradually stewing in our civilazation's juices. . . . The wisdom of some past leaders of bomb-possessing nations, or of some present leaders of bomb-seeking nations, does not encourage us to believe that there will be radios on earth for much longer. (194) We are very lucky [that search for extra-terrestrial life has failed]. I find it mind-boggling that the astronomers now eager to spend a hundred million dollars on the search for ETL have never thought seriously about the most obvious question: what would happen if we found it, or if it found us. The astronomers tacitly assume that we and the little green monsters would welcome each other and settle down to fascinating conversations. Here again, our own experience on Earth offers useful guidance. [Towards chimps] We shoot them, stuff them, dissect them, cut off their hands for trophies, put them on exhibit in cages, inject them with AIDS virus . . . human explorers who discovered technically less advanced humans also regularly responded by shooting them, decimating their populations with new diseases. . . Think again of those astronomers who beamed radio signals into space from Arecibo, describing Earth's location and its inhabitants. In its suicidal folly that act rivalled the folly of the last Inca emperor, Atahuallpa, who described to his gold-crazy Spanish captors the wealth of his capital and provided them with guides for the journey. If there really are any radio civilizations within listening distance of us, then for heaven's sake lets turn off our own transmitters and try to escape detection, or we are doomed. . . Fortunately, the silence from outer space is deafening. (195)
The outcome of conflicts between expanding human groups [have been decided] by differences in military and maritime technology, political organization, and agriculture. Groups with larger populations, ability to support a permanent military caste, and resistance to infectious diseases [won out]. (199) [PRE FIRST-CONTACT ISOLATION] As with adjacent groups of wolves and common chimps, relations of adjacent human tries were traditionally marked by xenophobic hostility, intermittently relaxed to permit exchange of mates (and, in our species, of goods as well). Xenophobia comes especially naturally to our species, because so much of our behaviour is culturally rather than genetically specified. . . . While Jane Goodall described males of one group of common chimps gradually killing off individuals of the neighbouring group an usurping their territory, those chimps had no means to kill chimps of a more remote group, nor to exterminate all chimps (including themselves). Thus, xenophobic murder has innumerable animal precursors, but only we have developed it to the point of threatening to bring about our fall as a species. Threatening our own existence has now joined art and language as a human hallmark. . . . [we now] make clear the ugly tradition from which Dachau's ovens and modern nuclear warfare spring. (201) While we think of ourselves as travellers, we were quite the opposite throughout several million years of human evolution. Every human group was ignorant of the world beyond . . . there remain only a few tribes in New Guinea and South America still awaiting first contact with outsiders. [Archbold expedition's entry into the Grand Valley of New Guinea, where 50,000 people lived in great isolation (and cultural diversity) was one of the last first contacts] (205) http://www.archbold-station.org/abs/Biennial97/R7Education/R7RArchboldBio.htm: Richard Archbold (RA) (1907-1976). RA devoted his life to the support of science French-British-United States biological expedition to Madagascar in 1929. The United States portion was under the auspices of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and underwritten by RA's father, John F. Archbold. The source of RA's financial support was moneys inherited from his grandfather, John D. Archbold, who was the second president of Standard Oil Corporation after John D. Rockefeller. The experience in Madagascar inspired RA to finance and lead three expeditions to New Guinea during the 1930s, the last of which, in 1938-1939, was the most elaborate (nearly 200 people) and successful. Thousands of specimens of animals were deposited at the American Museum, and of plants at the Arnold Arboretum. Support for explorers of the third expedition came via a twin-engine PBY aircraft originally designed as an amphibious bomber for the U.S. Navy and at the time the largest aircraft in private ownership.
From http://www.time.com/time/international/1996/960520/travel/indonesia.html The one plain truth is that Baliem Valley is the last bastion of the Stone Age---in all its glory. Isolated by 3,000-m peaks, most of the 1,600-m-high valley remains as untouched as it was on the day that American explorer Richard Archbold stumbled upon it in 1938. Today Archbold could have flown from Los Angeles via Singapore--or from Jakarta, as we did--finally changing aircraft at the provincial capital of Jayapura. The final half-hour leg of the journey crosses the snow-streaked peaks that border the 60-km-long valley, and follows the zigzags of the Baliem River to the airstrip at Wamena, a cluster of tin-roofed buildings that serve as the valley's "capital." Dani men who silently offer stone adzes and necklaces of petrified toadstools for $10 each. Half that amount of money buys your very own koteka, or penis gourd, teased to its maximum length by skilled gardeners. The men may use the proceeds to buy cowrie shells, still the currency of choice in remote villages, which are then used to buy pigs, which in turn are used to buy wives. To get this close to the Dani, you don't have to rough it or go over budget. The perfect base for day trips is Wamena, where the 20-room Baliem Palace Hotel offers double rooms with a hot shower and satellite television for $40 and Chinese restaurants serve meals for less than $10. Pugima, the nearest village, is an easy two-hour walk out of town. In the central mountain, lies a grand valley 72 km long and 16 - 31 km wide, inhabited by Neolithic warrior and farmer, the Dani Tribes and other sub tribes of Yali and Lani with their complex and primitive cultures, which looks more like "stone age" cultures. http://www.adventureindonesia.com/irian-baliem-general.htm
This valley has been the most visited part of the island, especially in recent years. The Dani Tribes speak related Papuan, or non - Austronesian language and live in the high central range of Papua Island, the most eastern province of Indonesia. Until the last decades the Dani tribes were some of the most isolated populations by swamps and mountains. They grew root crops, raised pig and used polished stone axes and adzes. They didn't make pottery (which means "sign of the modernity"), but otherwise their technology was very much like that of the Neolithic of the Old and New Worlds. There may be 250,000 Dani living in the central mountains, many live scattered among the steep mountain slopes. The Valley has one of the highest densities of population in Papua Province. The Dani Tribes build their huts in a compound nicely express both environmental adaptation and Dani's character. The men's and women's huts have thick thatched roofs which keep rain, yet retain the heat from the earth, along with just enough smoke to discourage the mosquito. The temperatures of the highland are ranged from 26 degrees Celsius at the day time and 12 degrees at night. The highlights of sightseeing are Dani Market in WAMENA Town, WAUMA Village and, which can be easily reach on foot or by car from Wamena. Farther out are AIKIMA, with its 250 years old mummy, SUROBA, JIWIKA and neighboring villages. With 2 hours climbing, you can see the salt spring where the Dani women make salt in primitive way fashion for centuries. Outer adventures are southward to KURIMA area, where the Dani and Yali Tribes' way of life mixed into a unique combination.
A 30-minute chartered flght to Angguruk or Kosarek area, it's about 35 miles southeast of Wamena live another tribe called Yali. The Yali live on hills and flat terrain deeper in the Baliem Valley. The temperature of this area is 20 C - 30 C in the day time and at night 10 C - 15 C. The total population of this area is 30.000 people. This tribe has similar way of life like Dani but is shorter and "cleaner". The Yali tribesmen wear "koteka", the penis gourd, straight to front instead of straight up like the Dani do. The Yali practice less sophisticated cultivation techniques than Dani and keep fewer pigs. They provide the Dani with decorative bird feathers as well as tree kangaroo and cuscus pelts and fine rare woods, long disappear from the Baliem Valley itself. Yali tools have not changed in a thousand of years - stone axe of pointed shards wrapped tightly onto a wooden stick, net carrying bags supported from the forehead, thick bows five or six feet long, and arrowhead carved to a purpose -broad and flat for large game, a triple barb for birds, notched and tapered black for setting tribal disputes. There are two actually main tribes in the area: Yali and Yalimo.Compared with the Dani people this tribe is much more primitive and less visited. They are also less influenced by outside world. There are no land transportation and accommodation available here, all must be trekked on foot. The only air transportation to Angguruk or Kosarek is served by missionary small flight, that has to booked early in advance. Upon arrival in Angguruk, there're just only missionary's house, teacher's house or even local people's hut for accommodation. Food material must be taken along with, as there is no shop available in this region. ]
While many pre-contact peoples had trade relations with their neighbours, many thought they were the only humans in existence. . . [the For\'e people are famous in science for] their unique affliction with a fatal viral disease called kuru or laughing sickness, which accounted for over half of all deaths (esp women) and left men outnumbering women three-to-one in some For'e villages. At Karimui, sixty miles to the west of the For'e area, kuru is completely unknown, and the people are instead affected with the world's highest incidence of leprosy. Still other tribes are unique in their high frequency of deaf mutes or of male pseudo-hermaphrodites lacking a penis, or of premature aging, or delayed puberty. (207) Pre-contact peoples had no way to picture the outside or world. . . first-contact patrols had a traumatic effect that is difficult for us to imagine. Highlanders interviewed thirty years later still recalled perfectly where they were and what they were doing at the moment of first contact. (208) Leahy's obsession with gold was as bizarre to the highlanders as their obsession with their own form of wealth and currency -- cowry shells -- was to him. (209)
[LOSSES to humanity due to first contact include artistic traditions (often destroyed under missionary influence as "heathen artifacts"), including music (log drums replaced by boomboxes), sculpture, linguistic and cultural diversity. New guinea, with less than 1/10th of Europe's area and less than 1/100th of its population has about 1,000 languages, many of them unrelated to any other known language in New Guinea or elsewhere. (Europe has fifty, all in the IE family). ] (210) Different languages are better suited for different purposes. . . highly inflected languages (like latin or hindi) can use variations of word order to convey nuances impossible with English. (210) [CULTURAL PRACTICES] At the time of first contact, some tribes went naked, others concealed their genitals and practiced extreme sexual prudery, and still others flagrantly advertised their penis and testes with various props. Barua men pursued institutionalized bisexuality by living in a large, communal, homosexual house with the young boys, while each man had a separate, small, heterosexual house for his wife and daughters and infant sons. Tudawhes instead had two-storey houses in which women, infants, unmarried girls, and pigs lived in the lower story, while men and unmarried boys lived in the upper story accessed by a separate ladder from the ground. (210)
[This is the theme elaborated on in Guns, Germs and Steel, but most of the argument can already be found here. ] Why is it that Europeans came to replace most of the native population of North America and Australia, instead of Indians or native Australians coming to replace most of the original population of Europe? [To rephrase the q] why was the ancient rate of technological and political development fastest in Eurasia, slower in the Americas (and in Africa south of the Sahara), and slowest in Australia? For example, in 1492, much of the population of Eurasia used iron tools, had writing and agriculture, had large centralized states with ocean-going ships, and was on the verge of industrialization . . . The Americas had agriculture, only a few centralized states, writing in only one area, no ocean-going ships or iron tools, and were technologically and politically a few thousand years behind Eurasia. Australia lacked agriculture, writing, states, and ships, and used stone tools comparable to ones made over ten thousand years ago in Eurasia. It was those technological and political differences -- not the biological differences determining the outcome of competition among animal populations -- that permitted Europeans to expand to other countries. [The latter belief, of cultural superiority owing to greater intelligence, led to the "manifest destiny" principle - to conquer, displace, or kill 'inferior' peoples] (213-4)
With the discovery of the Canary Islands in 1336, just one hundred kilometers from Morocco off the West African coast, the Portuguese found an Atlantic island archipelago inhabited by a people they called the Guanche. The Guanche, whose ancestors left the African mainland in repeated migrations between the second millennium B.C. and the first centuries A.D., were farmers and herders. They tended crops and animals originally domesticated in the Near East, which included wheat, barley, peas, and sheep and goats. But contact with Renaissance Europeans brought military defeat and enslavement. By 1496 the Guanche had ceased to exist, the first indigenous people to become extinct as a consequence of European maritime expansion.
First Contact: New Guinea Highlanders Encounter the Outside World Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson [see review: http://dannyreviews.com/h/First_Contact.html ] [Two Australian film-makers visit the Highland to seek out the elders who still remember the visit of Michael Leahy and Michael Dwyer to PNG in 1930 summer. The people used stone axes and thought they were the the only people in the world. They were amazed at the efficacy of steel axes and blades. See extract in Points Unknown, ed. David Roberts, Outlook Books/Norton 2000] Fifty years later the highland people recall these events with a certain amusement. But their belief in a spirit world gave them a ready-made framework into which the coming of the Australians and their carriers fitted easily, enabling them to come to terms quickly with an even for which they were totally unprepared . . . It was only a short steo fir the highlanders to imagine that they recognized particular individuals -- prominent men, fathers, brothers, sons. Sole Sole from Gorohonota: "We were all gathered there watching these strange people when one of the white men pulled out his teeth. Everyone just ran in all directions. [Michael Dwyer had false teeth, which he used to disperse crowds.] The highlanders were anxious to detect any areas of similarity between themselves and the strangers. Did they eat? Drink? Sleep? Defecate? "Because they wore lap laps [skirts] and trousers," says Kirupano Eza'e of Seigu, "the people said 'We think they have no wastes in them. How could they when they were wrapped up so neatly and completely?' We wondered how excreta could be passed. We wondered much about that." [They used a screened latrine pit.] But the highlander's curiosity could not be left unsatisfied for long. "One of the people hid," recalls Kirupano, "and watched them going to excrete. He came back and said, 'Those men from heaven went to excrete over there.' Once they had left many men went to take a look. When they saw that it smelt bad, they said, 'Their skin might be different, but their shit smells bad like ours." The strangers bodies were covered in a strange material. They must have something important to hide. "We had only our traditional dress to cover our private parts," says Gasowe of Makiroka village in the Asaro. "So when we saw the strangers, we thought they must have a huge penis they were trying to cover up. We thought it must be so long it was wrapped round and round their waists." . . . Reinforcing these assumptions were more mythological stories - dealing with the exploits of men with giant penises.  As for the night lanterns, it seemed these men from heaven had brought the moon with them, or a piece of it. 
'First Contact,'' produced and directed by Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson, is an astonishing record of the meeting between the Leahys and - by the film's estimate - about a million tribesmen whose existence had been unknown to the outside world. In addition to the Leahys' footage, which captures this clash of cultures with an un-self-consciousness that is virtually absolute, Some of the natives, who are now in more or less modern dress, remember their original perceptions of the white men in amusing detail. When they saw the prospectors' rucksacks, for instance, ''we thought their wives must be in those bags.'' The Leahys' khaki trousers fostered another misconception: ''We thought they must not have body wastes in them because they were wrapped up so neatly.'' Among their other, less benign recollections is the Leahys' shooting a pig to show the natives what guns could do, and to discourage any would-be thieves. This is actually captured on film, as is the tribe's first exposure to airplanes, gramophones and tin cans. - Film review NYT
[ANIMAL HUSBANDRY] A herd's subordinate individuals have instinctive submissive behaviours that they can transfer towards humans. North American Bighorn sheep do not (preventing) the Indians from domesticating sheep. Except for cats and ferrets, solitary territorial species have not been domesticated. [HORSES] belong to the group of mammals termed Perissodactyla, which consists of the hoofed animals with an odd number of toes: horses, tapirs, and rhinoceroses. Of the seventeen living species of Perissodactyla, all four tapirs and all five rhinos, plus five of the eight wild horse species, have never been domesticated. Africans or Indians mounted on rhinos or tapirs would have trampled any European invaders but it never happened. [The African elephant is harder to tame, though Hannibal did invade Rome with an army of them] Horses revolutionized warfare in a way that no other animal, not even elephants or camels, ever rivalled. Soon after their domestication, they may have enabled herdsmen speaking the first IE languages to begin the expansion that would eventually stamp their languages on much of the world. A few millenia later, hitched to battle chariots, horses became the unstoppable Sherman tanks of ancient war. After the invention of saddles and stirrups, they enabled Attila the Hun to devastate the Roman Empire, Genghis Khan to conquer an empire from Russia to China, and military kingdoms to arise in West Africa. [Not to mention Babur's wheeling battles against Lodi's elephants] (217) No native American or Australian mammal ever pulled a plough, cart or war chariot, gave milk, or bore a rider. The civilizations of the New World limped forward on human muscle power alone, while those of the Old World ran on the power of animal muscle, wind, and water. (218) [PLANT HUSBANDRY] A typical meal might consist of chicken (from Southeast Asia), with corn (from Mexico) or potatoes (from the southern Andes), seasoned with pepper (from India), accompanied by a piece of bread (from Near eastern wheat), and butter (from Near eastern cattle), and washed down by a cup of coffee (from Ethiopia). [Eurasia was over similar latitudes, and plants could spread easily, in the Americas, climates varied much more dramatically along the N-S axis] Thus, if the Old and New Worlds had each been rotated ninety degrees about their axes, the spread of crops and domestic animals would have been slower in the Old World, faster in the New World.
[LANGUAGES] No matter how we complain while memorizing French word lists, these so called 'Indo-European' languages resemble English and each other, and differ from all the world's other languages . . . Only 140 of the modern world's 5,000 different tongues belong to this language family, but their importance is far out of proportion to their numbers. . . Not until we go out into other parts of the world do we realize how Europe's linguistic homogeneity cries out for explanation [The same is true of India]. In areas of the New Guinea highlands, languages as different as Chinese is from English replace each other over short distances. (225-6) [LANGUAGE EVOLUTION] The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He lets me lie down in green pastures. He leads me to still waters. - Modern (1989) The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. - King James Bible, (1611) Our Lord gouerneth me, and nothyng shal defailen to me. In the sted of pasture he sett me ther. He norissed me upon water of fyllyng. - Middle English (1100-1500) Deihten me raet, ne byth me nanes godes wan. And he me geset on swythe good feohland. And fedde me be waetera stathum. - Old English (800-1166)
British sealers and settlers arrived around 1800. Whites kidnapped Tasmanian children as labourers, kidnapped women as consorts, mutilated or killed men, trespassed on hunting grounds, and tried to clear Tasmanians off their land. [lebensraum has been among the commonest causes of genocide.] As a result by November 1830 the native population of Northeast Tasmania had been reduced to seventy-two adult men, three adult women, and no children. One shepherd shot nineteen Tasmanians with a swivel gun loaded with nails. Four other shepherds ambushed a group of natives, killed thirty, and threw their bodies off a cliff remembered today as Victory Hill. Naturally, Tasmanians retaliated, and whites counter-retaliated in turn. To end the escalation, Governor Arthur in April 1828 ordered all Tasmanians to leave the part of their island already settled by Europeans. To enforce the order, government-sponsored groups called roving parties, and consisting of convicts led by police, hunted down and killed Tasmanians. With the declaration of martial law in November 1828, soldiers were authorized to kill on sight any Tasmanian in the settled areas. Next, a bounty was declared on the natives: five British pounds for each adult, two pounds for each child, caught alive. 'Black catching' became big business. . . a commission headed by William Broughton, the Anglican archdeacon of Australia [considered] proposals to capture them as slaves, poison or trap them, or hunt them with dogs, but settled on continued bounties and the use of mounted police. [By 1869, only three Tasmanians remained alive]. When the last man died in 1869, competing teams of physicians, led by Dr George Stokell and Dr WL Crowther alternately dug up and reburied his body, cutting off parts and stealing them back and forth from each other. Dr Crowther cut off the head. Dr. Stokell made a tobacco pouch out of his skin. [252-3] Many whites on the Australian mainland envied the thoroughness of the Tasmanian [total] solution and wanted to imitate it. . . . A typical strategy was to surround a camp at night, and to shoot the inhabitants in an attack at dawn. White settlers also made widespread use of poisoned food to kill Aborigines. Anthony Trollope: "Of the Australian black man we may certainly say that he has to go. That he should perish without unnecessary suffering should be the aim of all who are concerned in the matter."
They slept soundly those myalls (natives) after their long march, and could have had no thought of us being so close to them, for we were within our presence I was discovered, and then it was too late, for muddled with sleep, sore-footed, weary, and panic stricken they offered no resistance, and many of them were 'wiped out' before they could gain their feet. Talk of the 'Furies of Hell', that night's work amongst those myalls with the white man's rifle and tomahawk would make 'Hell's Furies' blush. How those gins and kiddies shrieked when we got amongst them. The blood of the white man was up and nothing with a black hide escaped death that night. ..for when we had finished our work and drawn off, and in daylight came to view the white man's work of vengeance bucks, gins and piccaninnies were lying dead in all directions, and not a thing in camp moved or breathed. - contemporary newspaper report, quoted in Henry Reynolds, 2002. Why Were We Not Told. Sydney : Pelican [Notice the language: they are not men and women, but "bucks", "gins" and "picaninnies"]
Where was PROTO INDO-EUROPEAN spoken? In 1900 a 'new' but long-extinct IE language (Tocharian) was discovered in a secret chamber behind a wall in a Buddhist cave monastery. The chamber contained a library of ancient documents in the strange language, written around 600-800 AD by Buddhist missionaries and traders. Secondly, the monastery lay in Chinese Turkestan, east of all extant Indo-European speakers and about a thousand miles removed from the nearest ones. Finally, Tocharian was not related to Indo-Iranian, but possibly to branches in Europe itself. . . This whole area is now occupied by people speaking Turkic or Mongolian languages, descendants of hordes that overran the area from the time of at least the Huns to Genghis Khan. Scholars debate whether Genghis Khan's armies slaughtered 2.4m or only 1.6 million people when the captured Harat, but scholars agree that such activities transformed the linguistic map of Asia. (239)
x: < 10K, xx: > 10K, xxx: >100K, xxxx: > 1m., xxxxx: > 10m. 1492-1900 Deaths Victims Killers Place Date xxxx Caribbean Indians Spaniards W.Indies 1492-1600 L xxxx Indians Spaniards N./S. Am. 1498-1824 L xx Araucanian Indians Argentines Argentina 1870s L xx Aleuts Russians Aleut Is. 1745-70 L xxx Aborigines Australians Australia 1800-76 L x Tasmanians Australians Tasmania 1800-76 L x Protestants Catholics France 1572 R(St Bartholomew's Day massacre) 1900-1950 xxxxx Jews, gypsies, Germans Europe 1939-45 Race/R Poles, Russians xxxxx Political opponents Russians Soviet Un. 1929-39 P xxxx Armenians Turks Armenia 1915 P xxx Serbs Croats Yugosl. 1940-45 P xxx Ethnic minorities Russians Soviet Un. 1943-46 S xx Polish officers Russians Katyn 1940 xx Jews Ukrainians Ukraine 1917-20 R [xxxxx? Chinese Japanese China 1941-45] xxx Hindus,Moslems Moslems,Hindus India,Pak 1947 xx Hereros Germans S.W. Africa 1904 L 1950- xxxx Bengalis Pakistan army Bangladesh 1971 P xxxx Cambodians Khmer Rouge Cambodia 1975-76 P xx Moslems,Christians Chris./Moslems Lebanon 1975-9 R x Tamils, Sinhalese Sinhalese,Tamils Sri Lanka 1985 R xxx Communists/Chinese Indonesians Indonesia 1965-67 P xx Timorese Indonesians E. Timor 1965-67 P xx Indians Brazilians Brazil 1957-68 L x Ach'e Indians Paraguayans Paraguay 1970s xx Argentines Argentine army Argentina 1976-83 xxx S. Sudanese N. Sudanese Sudan 1955-72 P xxx Ugandans Idi Amin Uganda 1971-79 P xx Tutsi Hutu Rwanda 1962-63 P xxx Hutu Tutsi Burundi 1972-73 P xx opponents dictatori govt Eq. Guinea 1977-79 x Arabs Blacks Zanzibar 1964 x Opponents Emp. Bokassa Centr.Afr.R 1978-79 x Ibos N. Nigerians Nigeria 1966 CAUSES: P: Political / Power struggle L: Lebensraum / Economical S: Scapegoat / Revenge R: Religious / Race / Ethnic
When the US Seventh Cavalry machine-gunned several hundred Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in 1890, the soldiers were taking revenge for the Sioux's annihilating Custer's Seventh Cavalry at Little Big Horn fourteen years previously. . . In 1943-44, at the height of Russia's suffering from the Nazi invasion, Stalin ordered the killing or deportation of six ethnic minorities who served as a scapegoat: the Balkans, Chechens, Crimean Tatars, Ingush, Kalmyks and Karachai. (260) How do we decide when a 'mere' retaliation becomes genocide? At the Algerian town of Setif in May 1945, celebrations at the end of WW2 turned into a race riot in which Algerians killed 103 French. The savage French response consisted of planned destroying of forty-three villages, a cruiser bombarding coastal towns, civilian commandos organizing reprisal massacres, and troops killing indiscriminately. The Algerian dead numbered 1,500 according to the French, 50,000 according to the Algerians. The interpretations of this event differ as do the estimates of the dead: to the French, it was a suppression of a revolt, to the Algerians, it was a genocidal massacre.  [Rationalizations for Genocide: 1. Self-defence, (Hitler went to the trouble of faking a Polish attack on a German border post to start WW2). 2. the wrong religious or political principle. 3. Victims were animals - resorting to our ethical codes which differ on humans and animals. French referred to Algerians as ratons (rats), Paraguayans to the Ache' hunter gatherers - rabid rats; Boers - Africans bobbejaan (baboons); educated northern Nigerians - Ibos - vermin.] . . . the case we have been trained from childhood to rationalize: our not-quite-complete extermination of American Indians. To begin with, we do not discuss the Indian tragedy much -- not nearly as much as the genocide of WW2 in Europe, for instance. Our great national tragedy is instead viewed as the Civil War. Insofar as we stop to think about white vs Indian conflict, we consider it as belonging to the distant past, and describe it in military language, such as the Pequod war, Great Swamp Fight, Battle of Wounded Knee, Conquest of the West, and so on. Indians, in our view, were warlike and violent even towards other Indian tribes, masters of ambush and treachery. They were famous for their barbarity, notably for the distinctively Indian practices of torturing captives and scalping enemies. They were few in number and lived as nomadic hunters . . . The Indian population of 1492 is traditionally estimated at one million. The figure is so trivial, compared to the present US population of 250 million, that the inevitability of whites occupying this virtually empty continent becomes immediately apparent. Many Indians died from smallpox and other diseases. . . . plausible recent estimates of the pre-contact Indian population is about eighteen million, a number not reached by white settlers until 1840. Most were settled farmers living in villages. [269-270] Who among us paid much attention to the slaughter of Zanzibar's Arabs in 1964, or of Paraguay's Ache' Indians in the 1970s? [Why do we remember the Jew genocide? a. The victims were whites, b. the perpetrators were our war enemies, and c. there are articulate survivors (esp in the US).] Thus, it takes a rather special constellation of circumstances to get third parties to focus on genocide.
. . . The US is not even among the states that ratified the UN convention on Genocide.  BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: If it be the Design of Providence to Extirpate these Savages in order to make room for Cultivators of the Earth, it seems not improbable that Rum may be the appointed means. THOMAS JEFFERSON: This unfortunate race . . . have by their unexpected desertion and ferocious barbarities justified extermination. ANDREW JACKSON: They have neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits, nor the desire of improvement which are essential to any favorable change in their condition. Established in the midst of another and a superior race, and without appreciating the causes of their inferiority or seeking to control them, they must necessarily yield to the force of circumstances and ere long disappear. General PHILIP SHERIDAN: The only good Indians I ever saw were dead Indians.
[OVEREXPLOITING RESOURCES] 29 reindeer intoduced to St Matthew Island in the Bering Sea 1944. By 1957, multiplied 50x to 1,350. by 1963 to 6,000. Eats slow-growing lichen, and after a harsh winter in 63-64, all except 41F and a sterile M perished - leaving a doomed population on an island littered with thousands of skeletons.  [DESTRUCTION OF HABITATS] A. giant statues of Easter Island, B. Anasazi pueblos of American Southwest (now desert, yet caves supported by huge timber pieces. Archaeo evidence - middens - indicate area once vegetated by woodland and forests, which was cleared upto 10 km, and then an elaborate road system was built to even further forests, ultimately becoming a desert) C. Ruins of Petra. The collapse of the Classic Maya civilization, and of Harappan civilization in India's Indus Valley, are other obvious candidates for eco-disasters due to an expanding human population overwhelming its environment. 
Prologue 1 PART ONE: JUST ANOTHER SPECIES OF BIG MAMMAL 9 1 A Tale of Three Chimps 12 2 The Great Leap Forward 27 PART TWO: AN ANIMAL WITH A STRANGE LIFE CYCLE 49 3 The Evolution of Human Sexuality 56 4 The Science of Adultery 72 5 How We Pick Our Mates and Sex Partners 84 6 Sexual Selection, and the Origin of Human Races 95 7 Why Do We Grow Old and Die? 106 PART THREE: UNIQUELY HUMAN 121 8 Bridges to Human Language 125 Appendix: Neo-Melanesian in One Easy Lesson 150 9 Animal Origins of Art 152 10 Agriculture's Two-Edged Sword 163 11 Why Do We Smoke, Drink, and Use Dangerous Drugs? 173 12 Alone in a Crowded Universe 184 PART FOUR: WORLD CONQUERORS 197 13 The Last First Contacts 202 14 Accidental Conquerors 213 15 Horses, Hittites, and History 225 Appendix: A proto-Indo-European Fable 248 16 In Black and White . 250 Appendix: Indian Policies of Some Famous Americans 277 PART FIVE: REVERSING OUR PROGRESS OVERNIGHT 279 17 The Golden Age that Never Was 285 18 Blitzkrieg and Thanksgiving in the New World 304 19 The Second Cloud 313 EPILOGUE: Nothing Learned, and Everything Forgotten? 327 Further Reading 333 Acknowledgements 354 Index 355 MAPS World Conquest 42 Axes of the Old and New Worlds 222 Language of Europe and Western Asia Map 228 A Sheep is a Sheep is a Sheep 234 Honourable Root, Dishonourable Word 235 How Indo-European Languages Might Have Spread 243 Some Genocides, 1492-1900 256 Some Genocides, 1900-1950 257 Some Genocides, 1950-1990 258 FIGURES Family Tree of the Higher Primates 17 The Human Family Tree 30 Males, as Females See Them 60 Females, as Males See Them 61 ILLUSTRATION Ishi, the last surviving Indian of the Yahi tribe 271