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Reply #140: "Jared Diamond's environmental revisionism doesn't hold up to scientific scrutiny" -- !! [View All]

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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #55
140. "Jared Diamond's environmental revisionism doesn't hold up to scientific scrutiny" -- !!
Many have written about these false conclusions but even Wiki covers it --

"describes the foundation of Diamond's environmental revisionism and explains why

it does not hold up to scientific scrutiny."

: "By the time detailed observations were made in the 1880s, the old culture was virtually dead <...> It is my own suspicion that none are valid." Most of the information was "gleaned from a few surviving natives from the late nineteenth century onwards, by then decimated, demoralised and culturally impoverished population which had lost most of the collective cultural-historical memory"

The accounts and reports that cover the period between Easter's discovery in 1722 and the extermination of its culture 150 years later are fundamentally inconsistent and contradictory. When, at the start of the 20th century, the first archaeological expeditions tried to reconstruct the island's history, they stumbled upon an exhausted terrain: the indigenous population had been almost completely annihilated, its culture and natural habitat destroyed as a result of physical, cultural and environmental obliteration.

This would be "discovery" by Dutch --

{b]...research into both the causes and timing of deforestation remains contentious.

Diamond's assertion that Easter's discoverers encountered an island devoid of trees is also contradicted by Carl Friedrich Behrens, Roggeveen's officer. According to Behrens' description of the island and its inhabitants, the natives presented "palm branches as peace offerings." Their houses were "set up on wooden stakes, daubed over with luting and covered with palm leaves" (Behrens, 1903:134/135; his account was originally published in 1737).

Behrens concluded his remarkably cheerful description of Easter Island and its natural environment on a high note: "This island is a suitable and convenient place at which to obtain refreshment, as all the country is under cultivation and we saw in the distance whole tracts of woodland " (Behrens, 1903:137).

and there is much more which raises doubts -- like this --

Roggeveen maintained that Easter Island was exceptionally fertile. It produced large quantities of bananas, potatoes, and sugar-cane of extraordinary thickness. He concluded that, with careful cultivation, the island's productive soil and benign climate could be turned into an 'earthly paradise'. Captain Cook, on the other hand, was less impressed. When he visited the island 50 years later amidst high expectations (in all probability as a result of reading Behrens' upbeat report), he was disappointed by what he perceived to be an impoverished island. Yet, regardless of what may have happened in the aftermath of discovery and early visits, there are compelling reports from the late 18th century that Rapa Nui was far from being in a state of terminal decline. As Rollin, a major of the French expedition to Easter Island in 1786, underlined:

"Instead of meeting with men exhausted by famine, <...> I found, on the contrary, a considerable population, with more beauty and grace than I afterwards met in any other island; and a soil, which, with very little labour, furnished excellent provisions, and in an abundance more than sufficient for the consumption of the inhabitants" (Heyerdahl & Ferdon, 1961:57).

Also, you may be interested in this post I made elsewhere on the thread re

the more likely history of the island --


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