Episode #012: Younger Dryas - Extinction

19th century scientific journal articles make it clear that megafauna were killed in such quantity at the Younger Dryas Boundary, it must have been a global catastrophe.

Pleistocene - Holocene Transition

Maps from NOAA that compare modern sea level and the extended coastlines with 110m lower seas during the Ice Age

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RC and crew continue to introduce the conditions and difficulties for life and the planet during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, and evaluate the extinction of the mega-mammals at the Younger-Dryas Boundary, bringing in 19th century scientific journal articles that spell out the findings and evaluations in direct terms – making it clear that the way the animals were killed and the sheer quantity of the remains puts the question beyond the possibility of human hunters and into the broad realm of global catastrophe.


Globalsealeveldrop110m map et al. https://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/topo/pi...

Near Earth Asteroids census video: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.ph...

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  • It was mentioned in this video that the one thing that is needed for civilization is agriculture. Let's explore that notion. Why is agriculture needed? Because it creates a stable, reliable and efficient food source, which then frees up enough time for people to develop and specialize new skills. So, do we need to have agriculture, or, do we just need a stable, reliable and efficient food source, and if so, can we achieve this without agriculture? I think the answer is yes. Plato suggests this as well in his account on Atlantis where he specifically mentions the fact that the island of Atlantis was abundant in natural food sources. Considering that paleolithic man had a healthier diet than holocene man (and in particular neolitic man) and therefore had a much longer average lifespan (even longer than today) we can deduce that prehistoric societies had some form of stable, reliable and efficient food source available to them. In addition to this we find overwhelming evidence of advanced medical knowledge and the use of plants for their medicinal purposes, which must lead us to conclude that humans were extremely well aware of what was available to them in their natural surroundings and were expertly making use of this. It is not much of a leap to then hypotisize that humans were proactively managing their natural environment in order to increase the number of useful plant species through the use of forestry and permaculture methods. When we look for evidence of agricultre we look for evidence of soil tilling. However, tilling soil is by no means an absolute requirement to produce food. In fact, tilling has a detrimental effect to the soil and will over time degrade it. I would even go as far as to say that we see the appearance of soil tilling (and agriculture) in the neolithic because drastic measures were needed to ensure food supply after the catastrophic events during the Younger Dryas. The appearance of agriculture brought with it a sharp decrease in life spans and an increase in all sorts of medical conditions which we can find evidence of in skeletal remains. Humans being very smart and having evolved during the ice ages I would find it hard to believe that they would purposefully till the soil unless it was absolutely nessecary. On another note. Besides agriculture the other absolute requirement for civilization is a system of writing. Why? Because writing facilitates the storage and transfer of knowledge. So the same question applies here. Do we need a system of writing, or do we simply need a way to store and transfer knowledge? and if so, can we achieve this without writing? Again, I think the answer is a resounding yes. Just look at the vast collection of myths and legends that we have which have come down to us from prehistoric times. Even the very oldest writing we find, like for example the epic of Gilgamesh, begin by referencing that the story takes place many many years ago. In fact, in Gilgamesh it is specifically mentioned that the story takes place before the great flood. What we have here, is quite simply a system of storing and transfering knowledge through oral traditions. Even up until the time of the "ancient" Greeks we find people (like Homer for example) who's entire life's work is just to memorize stories, down to the tiniest details, and relating these stories to others. Throughout history, knowledge has always been transfered orally from one person to another and these individuals, like Homer, took great care to avoid creating a giant "game of telephone". They were very, very meticulous. We even see these practises still being alive and well in modern day hunter gatherer cultures. The only use of writing, the reason for which it was invented, is accounting. We see this over and over again in all of the very oldest texts we have found, writing was used to keep records of who owed whom. So writing is only a requirement when you have a currency. And currency (though it may seem hard to contemplate today) is only a requirement within a society when that society operates on a "zero-sum-game" and that in turn only becomes a requirement when resources become scarce. In my opinion this is another indicator of the massive changes that occured during the pleistocene-holocene boundary.
  • Watching here quite a bit later - I'll have to look into what I found on wikipedia about the pliocene climate changes which were according to them mostly being caused by the earth's orbit around the sun, similar to, according to what I have read, what is happening today. I do believe that we not only know of more near earth objects but also that it is more widely known because of the internet.
  • @ 30:00===> Debouchery!
  • If the Commenter you quoted in the first 2 minutes spelled that "Yia Yia" she might be a gramma of a Greek Family... like my Sister! - - - - - - - - - - - - - about the fires in CA, much of the blame for the devastation can be placed on the present government of the state. For much of the last decade or more they have imposed the reflexive vehement hostility of the wacko arm of the California ecofanatic extremists to commercial logging. The logging companies used to be allowed to thin the trees in state-owned forests, removing deadwood in return for the profits of the trees they harvested. But under the new protocols embraced by the "progressives" they poison the unwanted trees and leave the dead carcasses in place. They justify this, because it has been used selectively in other states, like Pennsylvania, if I recall correctly. Of course, scale and local weather regimes can make a huge difference. Speculation about sinister aspects of the Santa Rosa fire and other similar bizarre conflagrations of 2017 aside --- I lived in CA for 15 years, the last five married to a professional firefighter w a major metropolitan service. She told me that one of their regular routine duties was helping Cal Fire monitor and enforce rural abatement regs for private land owners, ensuring the maintenance of cleared margins and lanes, and abatement of accumulated brush and deadwood. I think Cal Fire personnel were responsible for that preventive work in Forests and lands owned by the State. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Living in Ventura county as kids, my brother and I watched coverage of a lot of forest fires from KTLA, the indie TV station with a news helicopter, unusual in 1960. Even when I worked in Silicon Valley during a multi-year state-wide drought, the fires were NEVER as intense and destructive as they seemed to be in the period starting about 2017. But with the new policies put in place, the California state forests were allowed for years to build up extravagant levels of brush and deadwood --- perfect fuel to feed any fire. Like the 1988 Yellowstone "Super-Fires" the recent fires in CA seen to have sterilized the forest soil in some places to depths of several feet, burning with a much greater intensity and temperatures than if those fuels had not been deliberately left in place over years. It's tempting to calculate that policy was Not from sheer stupidity, but malice.
  • Randall, Shinny Snakes, Normal Guy & Brad - so enjoying this wonderful series - very happy to know as much as we know is what shall be mine by the end of these podcasts! I do remember learning about Long Shore Drift - what do they call it these days. Podcasts like this are an incredible learning resource - thank you.
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