Re: Greeks (was Group selection)

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Mon 21 Feb 2005 - 23:01:11 GMT

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    At 05:48 PM 21/02/05 +0000, you wrote:
    >>Even though the psychological traits behind this story were right out of
    >>the stone age, the effects on the track western civilization took were
    >>profound--and probably more from Athens than Sparta.
    >Its the interplay that always got me....Athens would not have flowered
    >without Sparta's military ability saving Greece, and then Sparta finally
    >finishes off Athens in the Pelopponesian war but in the process weakens
    >itself sufficiently to be pulled down in later wars
    >>Keith Henson
    >>PS. The rise and fall of Greek society gets only end note treatment in
    >>Dr. Diamond's Collapse, but it was for the same environmental damage that
    >>happened to the Mayans, though not so extreme.
    >D'you think so...I thought it was the socio-economics of non-unity...

    Nope. The downfall of Greece can be seen in any core sample of the valley farmlands. From the bottom up you find a layer of good soil, then a mess of sand washed off the deforested hills, then a thinner layer of decent soil, then *another* layer of sand.

    Overpopulation and deforestation got them at least twice.

    >Philip of Macedon "industrialised" himself sufficiently to arm a much
    >bigger country that could face the Greeks militarily, and the Greek states
    >didn't unite against him sufficiently (no unity memes in circulation....).
    >Sparta's weakness by now didn't help either.

    At the root of almost all downfalls is a damaged environment, sometimes complicated with climate change.

    Keith Henson

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