[ExI] what the hell was i thinking?

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Thu Mar 14 22:12:51 UTC 2019

Spike wrote:

"In the old days, there were early agricultural civilizations forming,
and civilizations recognizing the advantages of working together in
big groups beyond one's family, central governments and so forth.  As
in nature, where there are plants, plant eaters evolve, and carnivores
evolve.  A civilization equivalent to that would be the agricultural
society would be loosely analogous to the vegetarian or grazing
beasts.  Then raiding societies evolve, which do not farm land, but go
invade existing farm land, kill the inhabitants if they fail to flee,
devour their crops, then move on, in a way roughly analogous to the
pack of hyenas or pride of lions."

I keep up with the work in this area and have never heard of this
model.  If you have a pointer to an article or two on the subject I
would be most interested.

What did settled agriculture do?  For a start, it raised the number of
people who could live on a given area of land by a factor of around
100.  It also about doubled the number of children a woman could
produce compared to hunter-gatherers.  There were other effects such
as the diseases that could spread in larger groups, but the overall
effect was much larger populations.


This is the explanation of something that came out of genetic studies
and was a major mystery for a few years.


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