Re: >H Re: The Great Filter

The Low Golden Willow (
Mon, 10 Mar 1997 15:07:36 -0800 (PST)

On Mar 10, 2:49pm, Robin Hanson wrote:
} The Low Golden Willow writes:

} >Two, there is no guarantee a bunch of
} >hunter-gatherers will get out of that state. If there's a shortage of

} Could we really have been stuck for 10 million years or more? Over
} that time couldn't co-evolution have created plants and animnals more
} to our liking?

Well, domestication _was_ a process of co-evolution. According to
Diamond some areas were domesticating plants, but they started late and
went slower. Mesoamerica, using corn, or the Eastern US, using things
they quickly abandoned once corn finally came up to them, would be
examples. Australia and California would be examples of agriculture not
happening at all.

But the evidence covers 13,000 years, and you're suggesting 10 million
years of hunter-gatherers, so you may have a point. Or dogs or llamas
could have been bred to other purposes. Or guinea pigs could have been
bred to be really big, if someone saw a point. On the other hand, if my
idea of why African megafauna wasn't domesticable is correct, exposure
to hominids might just cause animals to be more vicious and wary. With
any more docile animals getting eaten before their value could be realized.

This would be one of the kinks in the Great Filter. The previous idea
was that was optimal for the origin of life, Earth for the survival, so
life would require origin on a Mars-like planet and transmission to an
Earth-like world. My kink would be an Africa-Eurasia setup, where
animals can be exposed to us for long enough to survive skilled hunters
but not so long they're impossible to domesticate when needed.

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

"How unfortunate that you should have a reasonable answer, and that I
should be so reasonable as to accept it!"
-- Jane Austen, _Pride and Prejudice_, Elizabeth