Were there other humans who were the initial victims of the sixth mass extinction?

By: April Carson



There were nine distinct human species on Earth 300,000 years ago. There is now only one. The Neanderthals, commonly known as "Neanderthal Man," were stout hunters who lived in Europe's cold steppes. The Denisovans inhabited Asia, while the more primitive Homo erectus survived in Indonesia and central Africa.


Small, short-brained species continued to thrive alongside them: Homo naledi in South Africa, Homo luzonensis in the Philippines, Homo floresiensis (“hobbits”) in Indonesia, and the enigmatic Red Deer Cave People of China. There are probably more yet to be discovered.


They vanished by 10,000 years ago. The vanishing of these other species resembles a mass extinction. However, there is no obvious environmental disaster - such as volcanic eruptions, climate change, or an asteroid impact - that caused it. Instead, the occurrences of the extinctions suggest they were brought about by the arrival of a new human species that evolved in Africa.


A sixth mass extinction is underway, with modern humans being the cause. A greater than 40,000-year event that began with the disappearance of Ice Age mammals and extended to the devastation of rainforests by civilization today is referred to as a sixth mass extinction. Were there any other victims before them?



We are a highly hazardous species. We hunted wooly mammoths, ground sloths, and moas to near-extinction. For food production, we destroyed grasslands and forests, changing over half the planet's land area. We influenced the climate of the planet. But because we compete for resources and territory, we pose a significant risk to our own existence. This risk is particularly acute when our populations increase beyond sustainable levels and we require more resources for production of goods and consumption of food.


From the Roman destruction of Carthage to the American conquest of the West and the British colonization of Australia, history is replete with instances of groups battling, displacing, and destroying other peoples over land. There have also been recent genocides and ethnic cleansings in Bosnia, Rwanda, Iraq, Darfur, and Burma. A propensity to and a capacity to engage in genocide are, as far as I'm aware, an instinctive aspect of human nature. There's no reason to believe that early Homo sapiens was less territorial, more peaceful, or less intolerant than contemporary humans.


Our more evolved human ancestors were violent, predatory killers. According to the optimists, our culture, not our DNA, generates violence. However, field research, historical records, and archaeology all indicate that primitive civilizations had a lot of war. Guerrilla tactics such as raids and ambushes, together with Neolithic weapons like clubs, spears, axes, and bows, were devastatingly effective. In these civilizations, violence was the most common cause of death among males, and conflicts had higher kill rates than World Wars I and II.


Ancient bones and relics reveal that this bloodshed is ancient. The Kennewick Man, who lived 9,000 years ago in North America, had a spear point driven into his pelvis. The 10,000-year-old Nataruk site in Kenya preserves the horrible murder of at least 27 males, women, and children.


It's absurd to think that our distant predecessors were any more peaceful. The discovery of cooperative violence in chimpanzee males implies that war preceded the emergence of humans. Neandertal remains display evidence of combat trauma, as does archaeological evidence. It's likely that sophisticated weapons gave Homo sapiens a military edge. Projectile weapons such as javelins and spears were used by early Homo sapiens, along with throwing sticks and clubs.


Complex technology and culture would also have aided us in harvesting a wider range of species and plants more efficiently, feeding larger groups, and giving our species a numerical advantage.


The ultimate weapon


Cave art, carvings, and musical instruments hint at something much more dangerous: a developed capacity for abstract thought and communication. Our ultimate weapon might have been our ability to cooperate, plan, strategize, manipulate, and deceive.


Because the fossil record is incomplete, these hypotheses cannot be tested. However, fossils from Europe indicate that Neanderthals vanished within a few thousand years of our arrival there. DNA traces of Neanderthal in some Eurasian people suggest we didn't merely replace them after they went extinct. We met and got to know one another.


DNA also recounts other contacts with ancient humans. DNA from Denisovans has been found in East Asian, Polynesian, and Australian groups. Many Asian people possess DNA from another species, possibly Homo erectus. African genomes contain traces of DNA from an additional primitive species. Our early ancestors must have been confused by these strange creatures and avoided contact. The fact that we interbred with other species demonstrates that they only vanished after coming into conflict with us.


Why would our predecessors wipe out their relatives, resulting in a worldwide catastrophe or, more accurately, a global genocide?


Increased population numbers are the answer. Humans, like all species, reproduce exponentially. We historically doubled our number every 25 years until we started to be hunters that worked together. Once humans became hunting partners, we had no predators. Large populations grew and multiplied as a result of our lack of predation control, and minimal family planning beyond delayed marriage and infanticide.


Overhunting, poor harvests, and droughts would inevitably lead communities into conflict over food and foraging grounds. Warfare served as a check on population growth, which was probably the most important check.


The immense majority of our predecessors are probably gone because of fighting and disease, not due to deliberate enterprise as in civilizations. The outcome, nevertheless, was just as devastating. Modern humans would have worn down their foes one battle at a time over the course of many raid by raid ambushes.


The loss of the Neanderthals, however, took many years – likely thousands. This was partly due to the fact that early Homo sapiens lacked the benefits of later conquering nations: a high birth rate helped by agriculture and epidemic maladies such as smallpox, flu, and measles that wreaked havoc on their enemies. Despite their loss in battle, Neanderthals were able to survive for such a long time by fighting and winning many battles against us, implying a level of intellect comparable to our own.


Today, we gaze up at the stars and wonder whether anything beyond Earth exists. We daydream about what it would be like to meet other intelligent creatures that are not like us, such as in fantasy and science fiction. It's quite melancholy to consider what might have been before we lost them because of something we did.





Exposed w/ Elisabeth & Valeria - The Awakening Process and how we've been able to stay on this path




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About the Blogger:


April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com


To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav


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