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Re: Extinction scenarios



In a message dated 98-08-19 15:14:15 EDT, PTJN@AOL.COM writes:

<< Perhaps those diseases would not, by
 themselves, have delivered a death blow to those cultures, but by eliminating
 a substantial percentage of the population they certainly dramatically
 increased their susceptibility to outside influences that they may otherwise
 have been able to resist.  >>

None of these pandemics remotely led to the extinction of the human species;
at worst, they merely decimated less-resistant populations.

The only hope of pandemics/disease as an explanation for the extinction of any
species is that once every few million years a virus or bacterium appears that
has super-extraordinary virulence and swiftly kills off an entire species or
group of related species before resistant individuals can develop immunity: an
event too rare to have occurred in recorded history. This has never, to my
knowledge, been directly documented scientifically. If anyone can cite studies
documenting the extinctions of species by pathogens, now is the time to trot
these citations out.