[extropy-chat] Easter Island not a human-created disaster?

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Sun Jan 7 12:52:31 UTC 2007

On Sun, Jan 07, 2007 at 09:41:41AM +0000, BillK wrote:

> So, to sum up, this article claims that the evidence shows that a
> plague of rats ate all the palm seeds and caused the deforestation.

Of course rats spread via the human ships. Perturbing ecological
systems by introducing alien species (rats, goats, etc) is only a
yet another mechanism by which humans alter existing ecosystems,
typically to their own disadvantage.

> The human population started later and was much smaller than previous
> estimates up to the time that European contact provided diseases and

IIRC, the estimates were made on the base of human labor required
to build and maintain the statues and the pedestals.

> slave-trading that finished the islanders off.

I'm not saying this study is bogus, but I'd like to see more
evidence than just this isolated study.
> Not much room for evolutionary psychology in this scenario.

Assuming you're correct in this particular case, do you think
all the other cases in 'Collapse' are similiarly dubious or bogus?

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820            http://www.ativel.com
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