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Forum LockedJared Diamond North-South axis thesis

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jun-2009 at 17:03
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

 Some researchers think that maybe Monte Verde in Chile is most old with a dating to about 14000 years. Since it must have taken a while for the proto indians to reach South America many researchers think that the crossing of the Bering strait occured about 16 000 years ago.
 
It is not impossible that they made all the way much , much faster thatn those 2000 years. You can compare with later marches and wanderings to get an impression what humans potential are, You can calculate approximate distances (though of course early humans hade some obstacles, missed roads and bridges), or test friends or own capacity. Regarding physical abilities I would rather think early humans were capable of more than less our average. and they could perhaps for some important parts have used "boats" or canoes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jun-2009 at 17:13

In less than 100 years all the Americas could have been settled. If a man walks in the southern direction just 1 kilometer per day, in three years would have made 1.000 kms! and in 30, 10.000 kilometers. So, that figure of 100 years is very conservative. It didn't requiered thousand of years for that job, particularly when there weren't other humans there to ask for permission to pass.

 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jun-2009 at 18:10
The question is if they just marched on or if they first settled in a neighbourhood and maybe some, or a couple, of generations later started marchin southwards again. They didn´t have to hurry.
 
Look at the Jews, according to the Bible it took them 40 years just to cross the Sinai desert.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jun-2009 at 18:52
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

The question is if they just marched on or if they first settled in a neighbourhood and maybe some, or a couple, of generations later started marchin southwards again. They didn´t have to hurry.
 
Look at the Jews, according to the Bible it took them 40 years just to cross the Sinai desert.
It is not that You wrote anything definately wrong, but I think You gave an impression humans only after many generations could walk through the americas (the use of the word "must").  Then the answer can be: We know very little, and we cannot exclude the possibillity the peopling happened in a very short fraction of the continents (human)history.
The same is of course true regarding the first humans anywhere else. Undoubtly some peoples  have walked many times the distance of the way round the planet (for us a little more than 1 km/day in a lifetime of 70-80 years.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jun-2009 at 05:32
These humans would have had to feed themselves while they walked, thus taking time off for hunting, fishing, food preparation, etc.. We would also have to allow for dead end paths, and not so minor obstacles like the Darien region of Panama, which even today keeps the Pan-American highway from completion. And don't forget seasonal variations in weather, and the effects of currents on maritime transport. In short, a small group of hunters may just take off (but experience suggests that their success will be dependent upon the amount of pre-hunt preparation), but the migrations of people are a longer process. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jun-2009 at 05:37

According to what is known (which is not much), the ancient expansion from North America to South America was done following the coastal line, either walking, boating along the coast or both. Sea food remains of that time are quite common in some specific places of the Americas coast.

"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mixcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jun-2009 at 06:39
But do you really think that some one who was born in - say - Alaska would think the Baja California desert would be a nice place to move to? Or somebody from the Baja California desert to the humid Central America Atlantic coastal plain? Or from the Atacama desert to Tierra del Fuego?

It's true that it's not that difficult physically just to cross the distance, but if people would have a reason to do so is another question alltogether.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jun-2009 at 07:37

Why pretend that either we or even the "experts" know much? Of course except the very obvious, that they had their two legs and perhaps some sort of navigation, but had to follow natural paths. But there may be something to add, even if completely subjective and without any proof: I have an idea that there may be some "psycological traps" for researchers. Since we know these events happened so many years ago we could be "tempted" to assume everything went slow? The second is our very incomplete understanding of prehistoric mens capabilities and situation - often we hardly know our own.

Rapid climate change or far better opportunities in other parts could be reasons for mobitity.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jun-2009 at 10:32
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Try http://www.daysknob.com/Topper_A.htm or google around on "pre-Clovis sites".
 
 
It says 16.000 to 20.000 BP (Before present) and not 35.000 or 50.000 BP.
Yes it does. It says (direct quote):
Quote
Above:  Apparently a simple scraper/pick from Topper, seeming to incorporate the usual imagery, more anthropomorphic in this case.  (Note in particular the charac- teristic eye, upper right, and the crest over the forehead.)  It is, of course, of no little interest that this object is from the Topper stratum radiocarbon dated to at least 50,000 years BP. 
 
So stop bluffing, assuming you even read the link.
Quote   Which is a big difference in chronology. Even though, the first realiable remains are not older than 12.000 BP.
The Topper results may or may not be valid. But they're there. All I said was that there was some evidence pointing back that far, and that in any case the actual chronology isn't the point. All today's human peoples started developiong at the same point in time if you go back far enough.
Quote
 
 
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Though as I pointed out, it doesn't make any difference since the migrants into the Americas weren't new-born creations but had many thousands of years of cultural development behind them.
 
They also weren't dim or stupid. What they were was handicapped by their geography.
 
 
Nobody has said so.
Well that's the whole point of Diamond's book: cultural development is handicapped or favoured by their geographical surroundings. I don't know how you could have got this far in this thread thinking nobody had ever said that.
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 However, we know very well what they knew and they didn't know from the archeological remains in Peru and northern Chile.
 
 
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

That's why I asked you to think about it. Also think about why the first migrants in to the Americas might have lost what agricultural skills they already possessed when they arrived.
 
That's curious as well. It seems they were mostly hunter gatherers. However, at least a plant seems to came to the Americas will the first settlers: the gourd.
 
You can't just say 'that's curious'. Of course it's curious and demands an answer, and Diamond provides one. So come up with a better explanation.
 
And hunter gatherers are not ipso facto totally deficient in agricultural skills. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jun-2009 at 10:46

Calculating just how long a human would need to walk from the Yukon to Patagonia or even Mexico is pointless.

Mixcoatl and Lirelou both have good points. You can add to them that the migrants first needed to figure out how to keep alive and hopefully prosper in Alaska. The skills that they then develop don't help them much to live further south: chasing seals isn't much like hunting buffalo. Generally speaking it takes generations to settle down in a new environment, developing new skills and techniques, domesticating different plants and animals. With our advanced knowledge and techniques including gene manipulation we can breed new varieties easily.

But how long do you think it took without any of that knowledge to breed an edible strain of wild maize?   
 
These are questions that Diamond doesn't dodge or just dismiss as 'curious'. He attempts, more successfully than anyone. to answer them.
 
That it is quicker and easier to migrate to environments that have the same daylight hours, the same annual rhythms abd seasons, and are generally acceptable to the plants and animals one already has is really quite trivially obvious.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jun-2009 at 16:20
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Calculating just how long a human would need to walk from the Yukon to Patagonia or even Mexico is pointless.

Mixcoatl and Lirelou both have good points. You can add to them that the migrants first needed to figure out how to keep alive and hopefully prosper in Alaska. The skills that they then develop don't help them much to live further south: chasing seals isn't much like hunting buffalo. Generally speaking it takes generations to settle down in a new environment, developing new skills and techniques, domesticating different plants and animals. With our advanced knowledge and techniques including gene manipulation we can breed new varieties easily.

But how long do you think it took without any of that knowledge to breed an edible strain of wild maize?   
 
These are questions that Diamond doesn't dodge or just dismiss as 'curious'. He attempts, more successfully than anyone. to answer them.
 
That it is quicker and easier to migrate to environments that have the same daylight hours, the same annual rhythms abd seasons, and are generally acceptable to the plants and animals one already has is really quite trivially obvious.
On the other when humans arrived the "initial area" may have went from completely uninhabitable to marginal lands for human settlement. It could even have returned to completely hostile one or more times, as climate changed. Still it seems both the Alaskian and Siberian sides of the straits are some of the "lesser hospitable places". Is there any reason that people living from hunting and fishing not adapt as easy as farmers, or are less mobile? (I would rather believe the opposite)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jun-2009 at 19:04

50.000 BP is too much. Please, found an independent source. The site you pointed does give me any certainty at all.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 11:36
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

On the other when humans arrived the "initial area" may have went from completely uninhabitable to marginal lands for human settlement. It could even have returned to completely hostile one or more times, as climate changed. Still it seems both the Alaskian and Siberian sides of the straits are some of the "lesser hospitable places". Is there any reason that people living from hunting and fishing not adapt as easy as farmers, or are less mobile? (I would rather believe the opposite)
Offhand I'd agree with you. However, hunting does involve different skills in different geographic conditions (even fishing does). (And it's much easier in some places than in others, both from the point of view of the prey and that of other dangerous predators.) Moreover gatherers need to know what to gather safely, and that means different plants in different areas, and indeed different techniques in what one may call pre-agricultural cultures - for instance, regularly eliminating unwanted plants.
 
Still I guess that it's easier for hunter-gatherers to migrate than for farmers.
 
The point is though that both for farmers and hunter gatherers it's easier to stay where you are or expand into similar areas than to move on to different conditions. It's easier for instance for the ancestors of the Inuit to move from Alaska across to Greenland than to move on south into totally different conditions from those they are used to.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 11:37
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

50.000 BP is too much. Please, found an independent source. The site you pointed does give me any certainty at all.

I notice you don't bother apologising for wrongly claiming my link didn't say what I said it did.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 14:59

My godess!

Apologizing for what? I know your figures are wrong; you backed it up with a not very serious sitie. Please, make your research and you'll find out the figure you mentioned above in this thread is out of bounds for what it is known and accepted today.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 15:13
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

My godess!

Apologizing for what?
I said the link I gave said there were pre-Clovis artefacts dating back to 50,000 BC.
 
You said that the link did NOT say that.
 
I directly quoted the part of the link that DOES say that, proving I was right (though anyone who had read the link would already know that).
 
You were wrong, and deliberately wrong and deliberately suggesting that I didn't read things carefully, whereas it was and is precisely you that does not read things carefully - or pretends to have read them and hasn't. So you should have apologised (or at least admitted your error).
 
Whether the site is valid or reliable or whether there are any genuine pre-Clovis artefacts in the New World has nothing to do with it. Indeed I never said the claims were valid, merely that they were claims.
 
You on the other hand simply took it for granted that your assumption about the date of the earliest migrations was unchallenged. It's not unchallenged, whether it is true or not.
Quote
 
I know your figures are wrong; you backed it up with a not very serious sitie. Please, make your research and you'll find out the figure you mentioned above in this thread is out of bounds for what it is known and accepted today.
 
Unlike you I made and am making no claims whatsoever about the date of the earliest settlements in the New World, merely pointing to the fact that there is dispute over the issue. When you say 'known and accepted today' all you are doing is referring to people who agree with you. As fantasus (I think) pointed out, people see what they want to see.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 17:57
Well, the figure of 50.000 years BP simply doesn't make sense. 60.000 BP people was living in Africa and only circa 40.000 years ago they reached Australian and Europe. You have to give them time to reached East Asia and then the Americas, and that happened around 12000 BP. That's the standard knowledge.
Yes, there are some hypothesis that maybe not true. However, they have no serious support as yet.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2009 at 10:21
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Offhand I'd agree with you. However, hunting does involve different skills in different geographic conditions (even fishing does). (And it's much easier in some places than in others, both from the point of view of the prey and that of other dangerous predators.) Moreover gatherers need to know what to gather safely, and that means different plants in different areas, and indeed different techniques in what one may call pre-agricultural cultures - for instance, regularly eliminating unwanted plants.
 
Still I guess that it's easier for hunter-gatherers to migrate than for farmers.
 
The point is though that both for farmers and hunter gatherers it's easier to stay where you are or expand into similar areas than to move on to different conditions. It's easier for instance for the ancestors of the Inuit to move from Alaska across to Greenland than to move on south into totally different conditions from those they are used to.
The last 500 years may give an idea about how long it can takes - for more recent men. Some groups have spread very far(many of european origin). People with more "sophisticated" means, but on the other hand probably more "ties" - and they faced opposition from other humans, while the first newcommers to americas by definition did not.
such opposition by other peoples, may be a very big part of those "ties". speaking of different levels of difficulty: I have this idea that the Region around the straits and sea between Alaska and Siberia at least "normally" has been one of the difficult areas, so "adapting to other areas may have been easier than adapting to thatt part.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2009 at 13:21
Except that in going from Siberia to Alaska there's not a great change. The adaptation to northern tundra had already taken place before the migration.
 
More recent comparisons, especially over 500 years, are invalid because of the immense increase in knowledge and the skills involved in domesticatiing wild crops and animals achieved by then. Even by the age of early prehistoric farming massive immprovements in understanding  crop breeding, protection and propagation techniques had taken place.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2009 at 18:22
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Except that in going from Siberia to Alaska there's not a great change. The adaptation to northern tundra had already taken place before the migration.
 
Strictly speaking the question is not how big the difference is, but how big it was. Another thing: This migration most likely went either over whats present bottom of Beringian Sea or "Island hopping".
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

More recent comparisons, especially over 500 years, are invalid because of the immense increase in knowledge and the skills involved in domesticatiing wild crops and animals achieved by then. Even by the age of early prehistoric farming massive immprovements in understanding  crop breeding, protection and propagation techniques had taken place.
You are right in a way. On the other hand this "adaptation" proces could very well have been quicker for fishers/hunters(gatherers) since they did not have to find or breed new sorts of domesticated plants at all. Their only "task" was to find out wether they could  find kill and eat!
I do not disagree such early settlers may have had some strong preferences. Can we be so sure it was for a arctic or subarctic environment? Alaska seems to be one of the more inhospitable parts of the planet - very low population density at present. The newcommers may as well have preferred say the coastal environment. If they did the were the barriers so impassable? Or some may have migrated along riverbanks, fishing perhaps. If they had some sort of boats their mobility may have been increased. But I wouuld not say any nub´mber of years (like "100").
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