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linca:
More seriously, it's entirely possible any outlook on very long term survival would show hunting/gathering as the only viable means of survival, and that can lead to quite interesting culture.

That's been my suspicion for some time as well. The boom-and-bust cycles of human populations ("civilizations") were unknown until the invention of agriculture.

IIRC, the fossil record also indicates that neolithic hunter-gatherers were also healthier than their agricultural contemporaries.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 12:15:34 PM EST
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Then again, if the invention of agriculture was in part a response to changing climate conditions and the threat of starvation...

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 12:25:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There seem to be multiple explanations. Personally I think population pressure played a greater role than outright starvation...

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 01:23:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait, so the population bubble pre-existed agriculture?

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 02:08:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My assumption is that the hunter-gatherer populations expanded to the limit afforded by that niche, and that agriculture initiated a process whereby that limit expanded (and contracted) dynamically.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 05:32:21 PM EST
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