Mr. Quinn, here is an interesting question that a member of our discussion group asked: DQ relies heavily on natural selection as a framework to explain why early American civilizations were abandoned—they didn’t work as well as another form of social organization (presumably tribalism), so the people “walked away,” (like the children of Israel “walked away” from Egypt, pillaging and looting). So my question is, what’s to stop anthropologists and other naive puppets of Mother Culture from using the same argument to explain why tribal peoples “walked away” from tribalism to civilization? DQ would say that wasn’t a free choice; they were misled and coerced—but how do we know that the people of, say, Teotihuacan weren’t misled and coerced, when we have no records of what happened and there are signs of conflict (or at least looting and pillaging)? DQ might then say that the civilizations weren’t environmentally sustainable, while the tribal cultures that our civilization “civilized” were sustainable. But how does that figure into natural selection when the unsustainability is not yet affecting mortality? The way our civilization wiped out tribal cultures was no less “natural” than the way crazy ants (Paratrechina longicornis) wipe out other species of insects. Meanwhile, the Teotihuacanis and Maya had not even come close to reaching the environmental limits of their surroundings . . . so their behavior is “not” explainable by natural selection.
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