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Re: Extinction Distinctions
>The Quarternary extinctions are a bit out of the scope of this list
>they have been brought up by others in a couple of contexts.My gripe
> with the "prehistoric overkill" hypothesis. ...
> Problem: the dates for human habitation are consistently being
> back _well_ beyond 11,000 b.p. for North and South America, ...
> The same is true for Australia where human contact is now
>placed at 40,000 BP One might make the case for a major cultural
> that led to the over hunting of megafauna, but that requires some
Not for North America, at least. A major cultural change is
*known* to have taken place then - the appearance of the Clovis
Culture. That is, if there were pre-Clovis peoples, the Clovis
Culture represents major cultural shift, one that spread across
There are also know mass kill sites from the Clovis and immediate
> That people hunted megafauna is not in doubt. Overkill is a
> the man-the-hunter stereotype into the past. The past is a place,
> overkill hypothesis makes a place where it is "natural" for humans
> drive species into extinction. This projection into prehistory
> a justification for the contemporary human mediated extinctions.
Huh? Hardly. Just because we have doen the wrong thing before,
this hardly *justifies* doing it again!
[By the way, there *is* at least one fairly solid case for
aboriginal peoples driving something to extinction - the
Moas on New Zealand, by the Maori]
The peace of God be with you.