By Kirkpatrick Sale

While did the human species flip opposed to the planet that we rely on for survival? Human and intake of assets have altered the weather, polluted the water and soil, destroyed ecosystems, and rendered many species extinct, greatly expanding the possibility of an ecological disaster. How did humankind come to rule nature to such an quantity? to treat the planet’s assets and creatures as ours for the taking? to discover ourselves on a doubtless relentless course towards ecocide?

In After Eden, Kirkpatrick Sale solutions those questions in a greatly new method. Integrating study in paleontology, archaeology, and anthropology, he issues to the start of big-game searching because the foundation of Homo sapiens’ estrangement from the flora and fauna. Sale contends new, recognizably sleek human tradition in line with the looking of enormous animals constructed in Africa a few 70,000 years in the past in keeping with a fierce plunge in world wide temperature prompted by means of an incredible volcanic explosion in Asia. Tracing the migration of populations and the advance of looking millions of years ahead in time, he exhibits that looking turned more and more antagonistic on the subject of the surroundings as humans fought over scarce prey in the course of Europe’s glacial interval among 35,000 and 10,000 years in the past. via the top of that period, humans’ concept that they have been some of the best species on this planet, loose to take advantage of different species towards their very own ends, used to be good established.

After Eden is a sobering story, yet now not one with no desire. Sale asserts that Homo erectus, the adaptation of the hominid species that preceded Homo sapiens and survived for almost million years, didn't try to dominate the surroundings. He contends that vestiges of this extra ecologically sound lifestyle exist today—in a few tribal societies, within the valuable teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism, and within the center ideas of the global environmental movement—offering redemptive percentages for ourselves and for the planet.

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Extra resources for After Eden: The Evolution of Human Domination

Sample text

2. Spear points, Blombos Cave, c. 70,000 years ago. Courtesy of University of Bergen. grain stones at Blombos, for example, are almost all from non-local sources, as is much of the ocher; at Border Cave the chalcedony used for nearly half the spear points came from some twenty-five miles away; at Nelson Bay Cave on the southernmost coast the proportions of exotic stones range from 83 to 99 per cent over the millennia of occupation there. Two anthropologists who have examined the artifacts of this period, Stanley Ambrose and Karl Lorenz, have argued in fact that this new stone industry "marks the first time in human history when there was a significant change in human territorial organization, " another survival response to volcanic winter.

He bases his conclu­ sion on the extraordinary number of projectile points there - he estimates 38 T H E C O N QU E S T O F E U RO P E that people at the two sites dug out 500, 000 stone cores from the surrounding £lint deposits for knapping into p oints - and the high proportion of points as compared to other tools, making up 90 per cent in the deposits at Taramsa 1 . The number of points , a n d t h e extensive quarries from which t h e stones were taken, also suggest a considerable population density and, to Van Peer, "a context of enhanced social interaction" such as characterizes complex Sapi­ ens cultures elsewhere.

Occurred in Southeast Asia" about 40,000 years ago, reflecting "changes in human behaviour on a global scale," It has been argued in some recent studies of migration movements that "the time required to cover the southern coasts of the Asiatic continent can be estimated at approximately 10,000 to 15,00 0 years," though the disper­ sal would have gone in successive waves as one area was overpopulated or overexploited after many years and then some bands were forced to move on. That would confirm the idea that the migrations from Africa began after 60,000 years ago, perhaps sometime around 55- 50,000 years.

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