[LINK] Human species 'may split in two'

Frank O'Connor foconnor at ozemail.com.au
Wed Oct 18 22:27:53 AEST 2006

Mmmm ... the idea of history, and/or evolution, proceeding in a nice 
predictable way is laughable.

Strange how every civilisation inks a spot for itself as the crowning 
achievement of mankind - but when push comes to shove it doesn't take 
a lot to tip the balance.

Mycanean society: "OK Guys, we're top of the heap. We've got those 
Trojan bozos licked. And with bronze, we're on the top of the 
technology tree. Hey ... What could go wrong?" WHANG! Thera blows its 
top, whole societies are wiped out (Minoa, Crete, the Hittite Empire 
and a host of coastal cities - even Egypt is almost destroyed) in the 
conflagration, weather patterns change big-time and crops fails 
setting off a series of mass migrations and wars, and those nasty 
Dorian tribes made a move south for some time in the sun ... with 
their ugly grey metal swords, shields and spear tips.

OK ... back to the drawing board.

The Egyptian make their play of the day with the New Kingdom. They 
kick out the Hyksos (Hittite rowdies probably) and with three hundred 
years of military expansion and making cunning deals reach the zenith 
of their power. "You don't mess with those Egyptians, Old Son ... 
they got chariots and cavalry you wouldn't believe, a huge army, and 
a stable population that goes back 2000 odd years.  They're the most 
successful civilisation in history. What could go wrong?" WHANG! 
Thera explodes. They partially recover. After a couple of Pharoanic 
disasters Egypt sinks back into civil war, the Upper and Lower 
Kingdoms fragment, pretenders to the throne arise in Nubia, Libya and 
other havens of barbarity ... and in the final disaster some hoon 
from Macdedonia named Big Al brings his lads to the party and they're 
ruled by the Greeks for the next four or five hundred years.

After the Mycanean disaster, the Greeks and Phoenicians take off in a 
big way. They morph into a number of City States (Athens, Tyre, 
Carthage et alia), fight over various beachfront real estate, and in 
the Greek case even fight amongst themselves a heap. Those Persian 
rowdies try to make a killing in the Greek property market and fail 
... but finally there's only two real Meditteranean powers left. 
"Right Guys ... this time we got it licked. A Golden Age is about to 
occur." WHANG! Athens gets itself into the Pelopponesian War and is 
pretty much decimated as a sea power, the Greek states are hammered 
.. until Phil and his mates in Macedonia take over and his son 
decides to monster the rest of the world for the ensuing 15 years 
before carking it in the East.

The Phoenicians and Carthage? "Hey, who could challenge Carthage - 
the city state of merchant princes - especially after the Greeks blew 
their chances in the Pelopponesian thingie. Yeah sure there's these 
Latin mobsters living in some no-account city on the Italian 
peninsula ... but hey, they're just farmers and no account artisans. 
Everything they make or do is a poor copy of what those Greek bozos 
do - we don't even want to trade with them for their garbage. Besides 
that, we have the greatest navy in the world ... how could we lose?" 
WHANG! In three consecutive wars (even with probably the greatest 
general in history on their side in the second one) the Romans first 
learned to become a seapower and defeated the Carthaginian navy, then 
obliterated Carthage on land at Zama in the second one, and finally 
sacked and utterly destroyed the city about 50 years after that.

The Romans also probably thought it was all going to go on 
undisturbed forever, the game was theirs. WHANG! Fall of Rome, the 
nasty Dark Ages thingie, and some serious long term (six hundred 
years of it) aggravation that must've spoilt a few weekends on the 

History is littered with whole civilisations that were destroyed at 
their so-called peak. Implying that it (or evolution based on current 
trends) are in any way predictable is the height of lunacy.

Restrospect ... you gotta love it.


At 7:57 PM +1000 on 18/10/06 you wrote:
>I read this article.  Thought it was pretty silly.  Britain still 
>has an embedded class system where this kind of article makes sense. 
>In the new world societies it doesn't seem to make as much sense. 
>Still if the rich get richer at the rate we're going and pull back 
>into gated communities, gated cities, gated states maybe it will 
>happen but I doubt it.  Human societies aren't that stable as a 
>rule.  Not on the timeline of evolution.  Genetic engineering may 
>change that radically though.
>On 2006 Oct 18, at 6:25 PM, Howard Lowndes wrote:
>>I'm sure someone will have some fun with this one.
>>Humanity may split into two sub-species in 100,000 years' time as 
>>predicted by HG Wells, an expert has said.
>>Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of 
>>Economics expects a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass 
>>to emerge.
>>The human race would peak in the year 3000, he said - before a 
>>decline due to dependence on technology.
>>People would become choosier about their sexual partners, causing 
>>humanity to divide into sub-species, he added.
>>The descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, 
>>healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative and a far cry from 
>>the "underclass" humans who would have evolved into dim-witted, 
>>ugly, squat goblin-like creatures.
>>LANNet Computing Associates - Your Linux people <http://lannetlinux.com>
>>When you want a computer system that works, just choose Linux;
>>When you want a computer system that works, just, choose Microsoft.
>>Flatter government, not fatter government; abolish the Australian states.
>>Link mailing list
>>Link at mailman.anu.edu.au
>Kim Holburn
>IT Network & Security Consultant
>Ph: +61 2 61258620 M: +61 417820641  F: +61 2 6230 6121
>mailto:kim at holburn.net  aim://kimholburn
>skype://kholburn - PGP Public Key on request
>Cacert Root Cert: http://www.cacert.org/cacert.crt
>Aust. Spam Act: To stop receiving mail from me: reply and let me know.
>Use ISO 8601 dates [YYYY-MM-DD] http://www.saqqara.demon.co.uk/datefmt.htm
>Democracy imposed from without is the severest form of tyranny.
>                           -- Lloyd Biggle, Jr. Analog, Apr 1961
>Link mailing list
>Link at mailman.anu.edu.au

More information about the Link mailing list