Author Topic: What are the Evidence that Humans are Responsible for Megafauna Extinction  (Read 14962 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Squall

  • Boar Hunter
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
In these forums I've heard many times that the evidence that humans are responsible for the extinction of the paleolithic megafauna is overwhelming. Although I'm sure there is more, only two concrete items have surfaced so far which have been considered evidence.

1. Megafauna no longer exist today.
2. Its hard to disprove that we aren't responsible.

I consider both of these insufficient on logical grounds.

1. Megafauna no longer exist today

Consider the logical form of this argument:

Mammoth used to exist. When they did, humans hunted them. Mammoth no longer exist. Therefore, humans are responsible via over hunting.

This argument is a non-sequitor. Unless direct evidence can be shown that humans positively killed off every single live mammoth capable of reproduction, it will remain so.

2. Its hard to disprove that we aren't responsible

I'll go one further. Its downright impossible at this point to prove that we aren't responsible. However, that used as evidence does not make an argument true. In fact, this statement relies on the fact that it is impossible to prove a negative in which observable or verifiable evidence cannot be had.

To illustrate the fallacy, consider this statement:

Unicorns exist, because its very difficult to prove that they don't.

Although you could not prove anyone wrong who said this, I don't think it would convince you that unicorns do in fact exist. At best, you might concede to the person that so far, neither you nor him have seen one.

Like I said, there is probably more evidence that I have not been confronted with. Personally, the first time I heard that humans were responsible for these extinctions was in Diamond's book, Guns, Germs, and Steel. I thought it made sense at first, but it never really sat well with me. Until recently, I had no idea that it was a prevalent theory.
The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd.

- Bertrand Russell

William

  • Guest
Personally, the first time I heard that humans were responsible for these extinctions was in Diamond's book, Guns, Germs, and Steel. I thought it made sense at first, but it never really sat well with me. Until recently, I had no idea that it was a prevalent theory.

It isn't a prevalent theory (hypothesis really) except where some preach the doctrine of contempt for aboriginals including paleolithic man.
I don't remember the extinctions in Diamond's book, maybe because my bullshit filter caught it.

When do you suppose someone will explain all those frozen mammoths? And how about all those bones of large tropical animals on the Arctic islands to the north?

Offline Squall

  • Boar Hunter
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
It isn't a prevalent theory (hypothesis really) except where some preach the doctrine of contempt for aboriginals including paleolithic man.
I don't remember the extinctions in Diamond's book, maybe because my bullshit filter caught it.

As I recall, Diamond's theory was a little more complex. To him, megafauna included animals that still exist today, i.e. elephants, rhinoceri, etc. The reason that they survived the paleolithic was because they had developed a wariness for humans that the other megafauna somehow did not get. According to him, the African animals evolved side by side with humans, and so were acclimated from the get go to humans trying to hunt them. Apparently, human hunting early in our evolution was somewhat poor (understandably), and as the millenia wore on, those animals developed an instinct to stay away from them by simple exposure. By the time early humans were efficient enough at killing large prey, the African megafauna were keen to keep their distance. Once early humans migrated to the rest of the world, they encountered megafauna that were much more docile regarding humans being in their vicinity. Accordingly, all megafauna outside of Africa were eventually eradicated due to over hunting, while the African strains continued to survive until this day.


When do you suppose someone will explain all those frozen mammoths? And how about all those bones of large tropical animals on the Arctic islands to the north?

I will agree with you that much evidence supports the various catastrophist theories out there. In fact I remember reading news articles that talked about entire herds being basically flash frozen. The level of preservation was so high, that when the herds were unearthed, the fur still covered the creatures and their final meals were still distinctly discernible in their stomachs.

Hopefully, we won't need to discuss evidence supporting catastrophist theories in this thread, though. I'm really only interested in compiling a source of the various evidence advanced to support the human-caused extinctions.
The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd.

- Bertrand Russell

Offline TylerDurden

  • Global Moderator
  • Mammoth Hunter
  • *****
  • Posts: 17,016
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Raw Paleolithic Diet
Catastrophism as a theory has been routinely debunked over the decades, with Velikovsky's work, among other catastrophists,  being ridiculed as being unscientific etc.

Anyway, the problem is that the evidence against catastrophism notions is mounting. For example, recent evidence from Australia shows that humans must have wiped out the megafauna there:-

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100121141109.htm

Here are some quotations from the article:-


"In a paper published in the journal Science, two Australian scientists claim that improved dating methods show that humans and megafauna only co-existed for a relatively short time after people inhabited Australia, adding weight to the argument that hunting led to the extinction of large-bodied species." and

"Australia was colonised during a time when the climate was relatively benign, supporting the view that people, not climate change, caused the extinctions here," he says"


"Given that people arrived in Australia between 60,000 and 45,000 years ago, human impact was the likely extinction driver, either through hunting or habitat disturbance," he says"

While hunting has beeen cited as being primarily responsible for wiping out megafauna, anthropogenic fire has also been cited as  a cause.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 05:19:54 pm by TylerDurden »
"During the last campaign I knew what was happening. You know, they mocked me for my foreign policy and they laughed at my monetary policy. No more. No more.
" Ron Paul.

Offline goodsamaritan

  • Administrator
  • Mammoth Hunter
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,830
  • Gender: Male
  • Geek Healer Truth Seeker Pro-Natal Pro-Life
    • View Profile
    • Filipino Services Inc.
Catastrophism as a theory has been routinely debunked over the decades, with Velikovsky's work, among other catastrophists,  being ridiculed as being unscientific etc.

Totally my opposite point of view.

Nobody has yet debunked the recent catastrophies in http://www.thunderbolts.info

These catastrophies are too recent, within human historic memory.

Let's see who challenges http://www.thunderbolts.info

As of now catastrophies are FACT and Velikovsky has been soundly VINDICATED.
Linux Geek, Web Developer, Email Provider, Businessman, Engineer, REAL Free Healer, Pro-Life, Pro-Family, Truther, Ripple-XRP Fan

I'm the network administrator.
My business: Website Dev & Hosting and Email Server Provider,
My blogs: Cure Manual, My Health Blog, Eczema Cure & Psoriasis Cure

Offline TylerDurden

  • Global Moderator
  • Mammoth Hunter
  • *****
  • Posts: 17,016
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Raw Paleolithic Diet
Not a very cogent site.

For those wanting an objective overview of Velikovsky, the wikipedia entry is useful:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel_Velikovsky

Note a critical statement made in the above article:- "More recently, the absence of supporting material in ice-core studies (such as the Greenland Dye-3 and Vostok cores) have removed any basis for the proposition of a global catastrophe of the proposed dimension within the later Holocene period."
"During the last campaign I knew what was happening. You know, they mocked me for my foreign policy and they laughed at my monetary policy. No more. No more.
" Ron Paul.

Offline goodsamaritan

  • Administrator
  • Mammoth Hunter
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,830
  • Gender: Male
  • Geek Healer Truth Seeker Pro-Natal Pro-Life
    • View Profile
    • Filipino Services Inc.
Not a very cogent site.

For those wanting an objective overview of Velikovsky, the wikipedia entry is useful:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel_Velikovsky

Note a critical statement made in the above article:- "More recently, the absence of supporting material in ice-core studies (such as the Greenland Dye-3 and Vostok cores) have removed any basis for the proposition of a global catastrophe of the proposed dimension within the later Holocene period."

Velikovsky didn't get his details right.  What is hysterical is debunkers only concentrate on one man, velikovsky and think they have debunked the whole idea of catastrophism.

It had to take the http://www.thunderbolts.info guys to fill in the correct details because they are a GLOBAL GROUP of people in various multiple fields of studies who got together and pieced things together, something 1 man could not.  

- Comparative Mythologists
- Electric Universe Physicists

Catastrophism is real and very recent.  HISTORICAL.  Watch the videos.  Live with it.  Deal with it.  Catastophism shaped our earth and is part and parcel of evolution.  

http://www.thunderbolts.info is game changing scientific idea of the 21st century.  
The universe is electric.
Electricity is the most powerful force in the universe.  Not gravity.
Catastrophism was seen and experienced by our recent ancestors and is littered all over in their history.
These planetary clashes were catastrophies and electrical in nature.  It included our planet.
The ancients saw it and recorded it.
Recognize it and deal with it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6CJenNMsb4

Geezzz... Clash of the Titans Movie 2010.  
Simply story telling CATASTROPHIES.
How obvious!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzxVhLcCH8w
selections 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4ZT-IOf0gM
selections 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoThe9EzcaE
selections 3


« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 07:15:08 am by goodsamaritan »
Linux Geek, Web Developer, Email Provider, Businessman, Engineer, REAL Free Healer, Pro-Life, Pro-Family, Truther, Ripple-XRP Fan

I'm the network administrator.
My business: Website Dev & Hosting and Email Server Provider,
My blogs: Cure Manual, My Health Blog, Eczema Cure & Psoriasis Cure

alphagruis

  • Guest
It is absurd or just hypocrisy and at any rate ridiculous  ;D to deny the major role played by our species in the extinction of so many others during the whole holocene and still ongoing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_extinction

PERIOD

William

  • Guest
It is absurd or just hypocrisy and at any rate ridiculous  ;D to deny the major role played by our species in the extinction of so many others during the whole holocene and still ongoing.


It does not follow that all extinctions were the work of Man.

Frozen mammoths containing tropical vegetation are not so easily dismissed, and there is too much evidence for the shift by ~45° latitude of the geographical pole.

Offline Squall

  • Boar Hunter
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
From your link (emphasis added):

Quote
Such disappearances have normally been considered as either a response to climate change, a result of the proliferation of modern humans, or both ...

Again (emphasis added):

Quote
The extinction of megaherbivores in the late Pleistocene is explained by one of two hypotheses, or a combination of the two: climate change, and the ecological impact of early humans. Not only hunting, but anthropogenic fire selected for the survival of ruminants more than the survival of browsing mammals, and against carnivores and scavengers which fed on both.

The language being used in these assertions is that of conjecture. If evidence being supplied as conjecture was sufficient to prove an hypothesis true, then the following statement (also taken from your link) would also be true:

Quote
... in 2007 a cometary impact hypothesis was presented ...

Conjecture is not evidence.

It is absurd or just hypocrisy and at any rate ridiculous ...

Use of invective doesn't make your argument more sound. Also, I don't think you understand what hypocrisy is.
The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd.

- Bertrand Russell

Offline goodsamaritan

  • Administrator
  • Mammoth Hunter
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,830
  • Gender: Male
  • Geek Healer Truth Seeker Pro-Natal Pro-Life
    • View Profile
    • Filipino Services Inc.
It is absurd or just hypocrisy and at any rate ridiculous  ;D to deny the major role played by our species in the extinction of so many others during the whole holocene and still ongoing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_extinction

PERIOD

Oh nobody is denying humans' possible contribution to the extinction of large mammals.  

Just the same as I point out you can't deny catastrophism either as a shaper of the planet in recent and further pre-history.

I'd like to make it clear that my stand is that extinction of large mammals could probably be a combination of both and of other things we may not have considered.

This is all mind games and mind candy.  It's all in fun and logic.

At no point in time do I ever consider wikipedia an authority on anything.  The editors always toe the line of what is considered the "establishment".  Just like wikipedia toes the line of western medicine.
Linux Geek, Web Developer, Email Provider, Businessman, Engineer, REAL Free Healer, Pro-Life, Pro-Family, Truther, Ripple-XRP Fan

I'm the network administrator.
My business: Website Dev & Hosting and Email Server Provider,
My blogs: Cure Manual, My Health Blog, Eczema Cure & Psoriasis Cure

Offline Raw Kyle

  • Global Moderator
  • Mammoth Hunter
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,701
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
The main argument I heard in school was that since Africa is the only continent with most of it's mega fauna, and it was the only continent that the mega fauna co-evolved with humans, it would imply that the influx of humans with their hunting abilities were too much for the mega fauna of the other continents to adapt to. Just like when an invasive species of plant or fish is brought to another continent by accident on a plane or boat, it often takes over an ecological niche and wipes out one or several native species because it doesn't have a natural predator or any of the normal controls that would develop when all the species in an area co-evolve.

William

  • Guest
The main argument I heard in school was that since Africa is the only continent with most of it's mega fauna, and it was the only continent that the mega fauna co-evolved with humans, it would imply that the influx of humans with their hunting abilities were too much for the mega fauna of the other continents to adapt to. Just like when an invasive species of plant or fish is brought to another continent by accident on a plane or boat, it often takes over an ecological niche and wipes out one or several native species because it doesn't have a natural predator or any of the normal controls that would develop when all the species in an area co-evolve.

Are you implying that humans were too stupid to eat all the elephants?

Offline goodsamaritan

  • Administrator
  • Mammoth Hunter
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,830
  • Gender: Male
  • Geek Healer Truth Seeker Pro-Natal Pro-Life
    • View Profile
    • Filipino Services Inc.
Are you implying that humans were too stupid to eat all the elephants?

I didn't see this implication in Kyle's post. 
Linux Geek, Web Developer, Email Provider, Businessman, Engineer, REAL Free Healer, Pro-Life, Pro-Family, Truther, Ripple-XRP Fan

I'm the network administrator.
My business: Website Dev & Hosting and Email Server Provider,
My blogs: Cure Manual, My Health Blog, Eczema Cure & Psoriasis Cure

Offline Raw Kyle

  • Global Moderator
  • Mammoth Hunter
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,701
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Are you implying that humans were too stupid to eat all the elephants?

Maybe elephants are too smart to all be eaten because they had a chance to learn defensive behaviors.

William

  • Guest
It was a bad question.

Africa did not suffer a great climate change, but Eurasia and North America did, and so did Antarctica which was ice-free in recorded history.
It looks like there is more evidence for the cataclysmic theory than for man-made extinction.

alphagruis

  • Guest
It does not follow that all extinctions were the work of Man.

Yeah sure, of course.

As it does not follow that all species extinctions can be simply ascribed to catastrophs of astronomic origin. And by far. Most species extinctions are the result of much more trivial things such as indeed overhunting and other human activities during late pleistocene and holocene but also more generally long before man existed simple competition for ecological niches, slow climate changes related to secular changes in astronomic parameters etc etc. In other words things associated with the multiple bifurcations that necessarily accompany the evolution of the biosphere as one might expect from complex system theory. These birfurcations may be brutal and rapid on geologic time scale but have nothing to do with heavenly bodies collisions at all.

The trouble with catastrophism is that major catastrophs of astronomic origin certainly existed in the past and will exist in future but are in fact very rare events on such a short time scale of a few millions of years. So I cannot accept catastrophism as it is described in the sites you or GS refer to. Moreover as a physicist I cannot accept the "theory" cooked by a few electric engineers and called the "electric universe". All this for many technical reasons that cannot be discussed seriously here.

At any rate there is absolutely no doubt that man activities are directly responsible for the extinction of a considerable number species.

Whether one likes it or not.    

« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 02:10:29 pm by alphagruis »

Offline goodsamaritan

  • Administrator
  • Mammoth Hunter
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,830
  • Gender: Male
  • Geek Healer Truth Seeker Pro-Natal Pro-Life
    • View Profile
    • Filipino Services Inc.
Alright, you are a physicist?

Can you point me to material or forum discussions where they debunk the electrical universe and www.thunderbolts.info?

I'd like to read your side in this debate.

Genuinely interested!

*** going off topic ***
Linux Geek, Web Developer, Email Provider, Businessman, Engineer, REAL Free Healer, Pro-Life, Pro-Family, Truther, Ripple-XRP Fan

I'm the network administrator.
My business: Website Dev & Hosting and Email Server Provider,
My blogs: Cure Manual, My Health Blog, Eczema Cure & Psoriasis Cure

alphagruis

  • Guest
Are you implying that humans were too stupid to eat all the elephants?

Hunting is not just a means to get food, William.

It is also simply tremendous fun

One may become quite addict to. And addiction prevents sound reasoning and seriously impairs our ability to forecast the consequences of our activities.


alphagruis

  • Guest

Can you point me to material or forum discussions where they debunk the electrical universe and www.thunderbolts.info?

I'd like to read your side in this debate.

*** going off topic ***

I've not yet looked for a forum or a link where they "debunk" the electric universe theory.

My opinion is just based on what I could read about it thanks to your link and confront this with my own views and knowledge of the matter and facts.

It's however a quite technical matter difficult to discuss seriously or convincingly here. Note also that I certainly do not claim that mainstream theories about the universe are satisfactory.

I'll see if I can find material about this on the net and a criticism of the theory I can agree with. Alternatively maybe I'll try to provide a few arguments in a post here. But I'm quite busy now and come back to it later on.




alphagruis

  • Guest
Well GS I looked at it a bit closer.

Here is a first link I essentially agree with http://www.tim-thompson.com/electric-sun.html

By the way IMO whenever you're told that there exists something like a "conspiracy of scientists" in particular in physics be very careful and critical you're probably about to be fooled.

Offline Paleo Donk

  • Chief
  • *****
  • Posts: 664
    • View Profile
Yeah sure, of course.

As it does not follow that all species extinctions can be simply ascribed to catastrophs of astronomic origin. And by far. Most species extinctions are the result of much more trivial things such as indeed overhunting and other human activities during late pleistocene and holocene but also more generally long before man existed simple competition for ecological niches, slow climate changes related to secular changes in astronomic parameters etc etc. In other words things associated with the multiple bifurcations that necessarily accompany the evolution of the biosphere as one might expect from complex system theory. These birfurcations may be brutal and rapid on geologic time scale but have nothing to do with heavenly bodies collisions at all.

The trouble with catastrophism is that major catastrophs of astronomic origin certainly existed in the past and will exist in future but are in fact very rare events on such a short time scale of a few millions of years. So I cannot accept catastrophism as it is described in the sites you or GS refer to. Moreover as a physicist I cannot accept the "theory" cooked by a few electric engineers and called the "electric universe". All this for many technical reasons that cannot be discussed seriously here.

At any rate there is absolutely no doubt that man activities are directly responsible for the extinction of a considerable number species.

Whether one likes it or not.    


+1


Also, Alpha, thanks for looking at the EU.  The EU is not one theory, they simply do not agree with the present gravity-centered model. They really don't know the origins of the universe but believe electricity plays a much larger role in explaining everything. They are extremely open to discussion to pretty much anything and overall tone of the posts from the dozens of threads I've perused is generally pretty nice for an online message board.

If you want a more detailed technical analysis check out Miles Mathis. This guy has written 150+ articles that are worth checking out.

http://www.milesmathis.com/

William

  • Guest
as a physicist I cannot accept the "theory" cooked by a few electric engineers and called the "electric universe".

  I was persuaded to favour the electric universe theory by the lectures of Jim McCanney MS, who is not an engineer,  but rather works in astrophysics.
http://www.jmccanneyscience.com/
  His theoretical work continues to be supported by the available data from NASA space probes and historical evidence including but not limited to that at thunderbolts.info, and by my experience as a technologist in electronics. He postulates a close approach, not a collision.  
  As for a "conspiracy of scientists", he has spoken on this often with reference to NASA's mentally petrified theory and the political/financial reasons for it, and his argument makes sense to me. I think it would make sense to you too.


  Also the work of Robert O. Becker MD in his book "The Body Electric" - it's about the influence of electric fields on biological system of the human body. IMO the planet Earth can be considered to be a biological system.

Offline Squall

  • Boar Hunter
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Hunting is not just a means to get food, William.

It is also simply tremendous fun

One may become quite addict to. And addiction prevents sound reasoning and seriously impairs our ability to forecast the consequences of our activities.

Is an addiction to hunting being offered as evidence that mankind completely destroyed megafauna populations during the Pleistocene and early Holocene eras?
The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd.

- Bertrand Russell

alphagruis

  • Guest
Is an addiction to hunting being offered as evidence that mankind completely destroyed megafauna populations during the Pleistocene and early Holocene eras?

Oh, it's just food for thought. Remember the more recent story of Moby Dick and whale hunting.

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk