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The Maya: Who Woulda Thunk It?

Inasmuch America has a large population of Latin Americans, it seems to me that people, or some people, might want to know about them, and what they are, and where they came from. Most Latinos of the south are either a mixture of Spanish and Indian, or sometimes pure Indian. We have some idea of the Spaniards. They were European. But what were the Indians? What is their contribution to the great numbers of–whether you like it or not–new Americans? In particular, what are their blood lines? Are they, as nativists insist, of very low IQ–83–and have they enstupidated the Spanish? Horrendously primitive?

Without thinking about it, I had the entrenched idea that they were just that. I wasn’t conscious that it was either an idea or entrenched–just a fact. It didn’t occur to me that I knew virtually nothing about these people, or that there was anything to know.

What pulled me up short was their architecture. Throughout a large region, sort of Yucatan through parts of Honduras, you find ruined cities of monumental architecture that would match most of what is found in the ancient Near East. A great deal of it is overgrown with jungle. To get to major sites like Palenque, you walk through dim trails with unexplored walls and passageways. But the existence of these ruins did not set well with the idea of primitive incapacity. The architecture was entirely Indian since they had no contact with Europe.

Chiapas. Compares well with a lot of Roman monumental architecture. There are lots of these: Palenque, Tikal, Piedras Negras, Copán, Yaxchilan, Teotihuacan, Caracol, Uxmal, etc.

Chiapas. Compares well with a lot of Roman monumental architecture. There are lots of these: Palenque, Tikal, Piedras Negras, Copán, Yaxchilan, Teotihuacan, Caracol, Uxmal, etc.

Chiapas. Time and the weather have not treated this building well, but it seems to me that these things must take considerable engineering talent.

Chiapas. Time and the weather have not treated this building well, but it seems to me that these things must take considerable engineering talent.

Pyramid at Chichén Itsá. For scale, note people at lower left.

Pyramid at Chichén Itsá. For scale, note people at lower left.

Aha! I thought with the brilliance of one who has been hit over the head by the obvious. Something screwy is going on here. How witless can you be and engineer these things? I started poking around. And found interesting stuff. For example:

Mesoamerican Mathematics

The Maya invented a sophisticated base-20, positional-exponential number system, including zero. The invention of zero is regarded as major advance in mathematics, and occurred in India for sure and perhaps in other places, though never in Europe. Until Fibonacci brought zero back from the Hindu-Arab world, Europe used Roman numerals, a horrible system. I knew this, but had never thought about it. Well, it’s worth a little pondering.

In a positional number system, a number–7, say–has an absolute value–in this case unsurprisingly 7–as well as a different value depending on its position. For example, in the number 100,007, seven means, well, 7. In 100,070, its value is 70, and in 10,700, its value is 700.

“Exponential” means that each position in a number represents a different power of the base, in our case 10. Thus we have ten to the zero power equals one, to the first power, ten; squared, 100, cubed, 1000, and so on.

The Maya, using base twenty, had a similar progression, going 1, 20, 400, 8,000, 160,000 etc.. (Inevitably the choice of 20 as the base is attributed to our number of fingers and toes, though I have trouble imagining anyone actually counting on his toes.)

Neither of these ideas is obvious, or anywhere approaching obvious. Both eluded Archimedes, for example. They seem natural to us because were are steeped in them from the first grade and, since everyone has had high school algebra, exponents seem routine. Using a thing and inventing it are very different animals. Any bright freshman can sling definite integrals; it took a Newton to invent them.

Imagine that you are a Mesoamerican Indian somewhere in Central America trying to figure out how to deal with large numbers. The fact that you are interested in large numbers suggests that you are not stupid. You have never had high-school algebra or heard of exponentiation. I cannot imagine how you would get from here to “Eureka!” (though as a Maya you probably didn’t know Greek either).

The idea “Hey, what if I line up powers of 20, multiply them by sort of coefficients, and add them….?”–is a huge intellectual leap. So far as I can determine, it only happened twice. It never happened in Europe.

For the mathematically curious, the Maya system had a remarkable peculiarity. Number systems, or anyway all I have heard of, require a number of symbols equal to the base. For example, binary, base-2, has two symbols, 0 and 1; decimal, base-10, ten symbols 0-9; and hexadecimal, base sixteen, 0-F. So I thought, Oh help, I’m going to have to memorize twenty symbols of some weird sort. In fact, the Maya ran a base-20 system with only three symbols representing 0, 1, and 5. That is truly strange, but it works. If interested, the link above explains it nicely.

For the record, from The Story of Mathematics: “The importance of astronomy and calendar calculations in Mayan society required mathematics, and the Maya constructed quite early a very sophisticated number system, possibly more advanced than any other in the world at the time ….The pre-classic Maya and their neighbours had independently developed the concept of zero by at least as early as 36 BCE, and we have evidence of their working with sums up to the hundreds of millions, and with dates so large it took several lines just to represent them. ”

Curious from a Stone Age people, which they essentially were. I note that Europe did not invent zero.

The Wheel

Maya-Wheels

It is often said that the Maya never invented the wheel. Actually they did. Hundreds of these wheeled pull-toys for children have been found. Several writers have commented that it is difficult to understand why the Maya were unable to make the mental leap to the idea of making full-sized carts. But of course they could. Thing is, there were no animals to pull them, such as horses or donkeys. Making a mental leap to horses does not get you a horse.

Human Sacrifice

ORDER IT NOW

The Maya in the popular mind are thought to have been murdering, torturing savages given to human sacrifice. This is probably because they were in fact murdering, torturing savages given to human sacrifice. Why this is thought especially reprehensible is a mystery. The Romans sacrificed huge numbers in the arena so that the public could enjoy watching them die, crucified large numbers, and poured molten lead down the throats of criminals. In the European witch hunts, sort of 1450-1750, some 500,000 were killed depending on whose numbers you accept, mostly by burning alive. The Tudors hanged criminals, cut them down still alive, opened their abdomens and removed their bowels while still alive, and had four horses attached to their arms and-legs put them into pieces. And of course everybody and his dog put entire cities to the sword, from Joshua to Hiroshima. Despite their best efforts the Maya could not keep up with the moderns.

Writing

The invention of writing is among the major intellectual achievement of humanity and one that occurred at most three or four times on the planet, and perhaps fewer. Specialists argue, idiotically in my view, over whether Chinese was or was not influenced by earlier writing. Specialists have to do something with their time. What is not arguable:

Wikipedia: “It is generally agreed that true writing of language (not only numbers) was invented independently in at least two places: Mesopotamia (specifically, ancient Sumer) around 3200 BC and Mesoamerica around 600 BC. Several Mesoamerican scripts are known, the oldest being from the Olmec or Zapotec of Mexico.”

The Maya script is logosyllabic and said to be functionally similar to Japanese, to which it is utterly unrelated. It is not “proto-writing,” but actual real writing. This was not immediately known because the script had not been deciphered, but now about ninety percent can be read. This doesn’t help as much as might be expected since the Spanish Christians, as destructive as the Muslims of today, burned almost all Maya books–codices actually–and so everything we know comes from inscriptions carved on buildings. Imagine how we would look to Martians with the same problem. The book to read if interested is Breaking the Maya Code.

The Arts

MayaPot1

MayaPot2

MayaPot3

The aesthetic is a matter of taste but these to my eye appear artistically respectable. The Maya of today do nothing in math and technology, but retain a fine sense for design and the use of color.

Astronomy

Again from The Story of Mathematics: The Maya “were able to measure the length of the solar year to a far higher degree of accuracy than that used in Europe (their calculations produced 365.242 days, compared to the modern value of 365.242198), as well as the length of the lunar month (their estimate was 29.5308 days, compared to the modern value of 29.53059).” Try to imagine how they did it.

It is interesting that Europe invented neither writing, zero, nor its number system, but the Mesoamericans did all three. Perhaps the Indians were enstupidated by the admixture of Spanish blood. While this is all good fun, it again raises the question of how and why groups pass through periods of intellectual fertility and then stop, as the Maya certainly have. Always there is some pat genetic explanation that doesn’t make sense, can’t be established, or both. But the Indians did what they did. Interesting stuff, no?

(Reprinted from Fred on Everything by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: History, Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Hispanics, Mayans 
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  1. I completely agree, we should give them every opportunity to rebuild their impressive ancient city-states in the jungle, wouldn’t want the next Pacal the Great to end up as a janitor at the J Edgar Hoover building instead.

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    • Replies: @Lord Effington III
    I know you were making a more or less humorous comment but there is much truth in what you say. Rather than making Mexican indigenous types miserable raking our leaves it would be much much MUCH better to have them in an environment where they are expressing their creative powers as they did with those pyramids. (and not in the USA coercing our society away from what makes Europeans creative)

    Now it may very well be that trying to impress Spanish culture upon the Mexican natives screwed up Mexico. That's a shame.

    But of course Fred is trying to talk up Mexicans. Problem is I am from Arizona and I'm not impressed. However in Brazil I've met several European Mexicans and they are fully capable of PhD level work.

    The whole thing would work better if we were practical and embraced true diversity ......which of course would have a bigger sigma ( variance) and of course that implies some greater segregation than that being forced on us by the SJW culture warriors.

    , @Anonymous
    Off topic. All the great civilizations of old had emperors or kings.
    The reason there is any democracy at all in the USA comes from
    traditions of northern Europe. Thomas Jefferson researched this:

    A Thing (Old Norse, Old English and Icelandic: þing; German, Dutch: ding; modern Scandinavian languages: ting) was the governing assembly of a Germanic society, made up of the free people of the community presided over by lawspeakers. Its meeting-place was called a thingstead.

    Mathematics and pyramids are all well and good except for the fact that, back when,
    unless you were royalty or priesthood you were a peon.
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  2. Actually the Aztecs were the torturing savages. Mayans, not so much.

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    • Replies: @Jim
    Human sacrifice and cannibalism were widely practiced in Mesoamerica, including by the Maya, but rarely as extensively as among the Aztecs.

    One thing to note about the Aztecs - because they were at the height of their power at the time of the arrival of the Spanish and they were the first major adversaries to the Spanish they have have had a very big impact on European perceptions of Mesoamericans. However the Aztec Empire was of very recent origin just prior to the arrival of the Spanish and the Aztecs themselves were fairly recent migrants form the North. So they are actually not that typical of Mesoamerican cultures of which a very large number existed at various times and places in the more than two thousnad years of Mesoamerican pre-C0nquest civilizations.

    Focusing excessively on the Aztecs is not conducive to a balanced appraisal of Mesoamerican culture.
    , @Clyde

    Actually the Aztecs were the torturing savages. Mayans, not so much.
     
    Correct! It's amusing how Mel Gibson made an Aztec-Mayan mashup in Apocalypto. Still a great movie. I read Conquest of Mexico by William H. Prescott https://goo.gl/rY0SEg in the 1990s and it gave me good ideas what present day Mexicans are up to.

    The Aztecs were the ones who would sacrifice 20,000 captives in a year for their blood thirsty their sun god. Who would not rise tomorrow without being fed the blood of human sacrifices.
    , @Joe Wong
    Comparing to the barbarism practiced by the Japanese during the wars and before the wars Aztecs' torturing and butchering might seems child play. Aztecs doing barbarism to please their Gods, while the Japanese was doing barbarism for the purpose of genocide and bloodthirsty. The Japanese is still denying the war crimes they committed against humanity, if you call Aztecs savages, what would you call someone who is more barbaric than the Aztecs while denying their sins?
  3. Why, clearly Ancient Aliens explain the Mesos’ scientific acumen. That guy with the funny hair says so on cable and if it’s on cable–especially the History channel!–it’s got to be right.

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  4. Good article, but you forgot to credit European descendants for inventing the verb enstupidate.

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  5. It is perfectly possible for the vast majority of them to have been low IQ, yet an endogamous subpopulation within their society to have been high IQ. The contrast between India’s low average IQ and the high IQ people it sent to the West is another example. Generally, the existence of distinct subpopulations is how you reconcile the issue of having a less than intelligent population which, nevertheless, has high achievements. Razib Khan had a post on this recently.

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    • Replies: @Jeff77450
    You beat me to it. Good point.
    , @in the middle
    May be they were not vaccinated nor forced to use fluoride in their toothpaste or their drinking water. Nor their food radiated and or maintained in a frozen state for months. I encountered several 'graduated' people who can't write or read properly. So, we have it, the 'great' american nightmare in our education system and our drinking/eating habits.

    Just sayin'....
    , @Fred Z
    Quite right. John Derbyshire, with whom Fred seems to be feuding, makes it clear that the argument is statistical.

    Derb says, and I agree, that the real questions are related to a rise in the enstupidated proportion of your population. I see sub-issues namely how stupid are they, what percentage are stupid and is average IQ an adequate measure for the ability of the less stupid to lead and control those more stupid.

    The other question I have been wrestling with is whether or not intelligence is all that much of a survival trait for human beings. Only God knows whether stupid violence will serve us better in the long term. Intelligence certainly makes us wealthy and comfortable, but who says that's a good thing for the long term? So far it seems also to make us weak, feckless and lazy.
  6. Those of us who have any knowledge on the subject at all are well-aware of the advanced nature of the Mayas, particularly their mathematics and astronomy, relative to other contemporaneous civilizations.

    The question is why the poor performance of their present-day descendants in modern industrial culture. Immigrants from East and South Asia (China, Southern India, Korea, etc.) tend to excel relative to the “white” average after they come to the U.S. Mexican and other Latin American immigrants generally do not. The HBD explanations usually trotted out to explain such things are, as Fred says here, an inaccurate explanation for this phenomenon.

    Better explanations are necessary in order to have a rational debate on the merits of continued immigration into the U.S.

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    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    The question is why the poor performance of their present-day descendants in modern industrial culture.
     
    Is that really true? People from the Yucatan claim that modern Mayas are quite successful.
    , @Jim
    Speaking of the "advanced" nature of the mathematical and astronomical knowledge of the Maya as compared to other conteporaneous civilizations (presumably you mean in the Old World) suggests that your knowledge of Mesoamerican cultures is extremely slight and possibly based on Hollywodd movies.
    , @dc.sunsets
    On what basis is the relative merit of continued (flooding) immigration to the USA dependent on explaining why Mestizos lag East Asians in success under the USA's system?

    The USA is not short of anything being brought in by Mestizos or, for that matter, anyone else.

    Maybe a moratorium on all immigration would result in more AMERICANS being employed, and at higher wages if the job market wasn't sloshing with job seekers from the world over.

    How about we TRY it? See what happens?
    , @Anon
    The Mayans appear to have had a society that was able to talent-scout and employ the best and the brightest in the capital city through a system of Imperial patronage. Absolute monarchies can be good at that, (e.g. Renaissance France and Italy) if they're inclined to bother.

    The correct question to ask is, have the present societies where the Mayan descendants live been doing the same over the last 400 years? It doesn't seem to me that they're making any particular attempt to find, educate, or employ talented native people, and the fact is, poor societies with chaotic governments/living conditions are not very good at this. Also, a very important factor is that opportunities are often going to people of Spanish descent who are connected to elites, not the native Indians.
  7. “Interesting stuff, no?”

    Yes, but when I try to use examples such as this on blogs where someone has been overdoing the race superiority business, I seem to meet denial or mere bafflement. Face it, inventing zero is a greater intellectual achievement than any in the history of the US or its predecessor colonies.

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    • Replies: @Marcus
    The internet?
    , @Jim
    "inventing zero us a greater intellectual achievement than any in the history of the US"

    Your statement qualifies as complete, utter and total nonsense.
    , @Anonymous
    https://twitter.com/woundtothewest/status/755879178210127872
    , @Lord Effington III
    You think inventing ZERO is greater than anything that was invented in the USA?????????

    YIKES. You are dumb as a rock.

    Can you say "silicon".
    , @Bill
    The responses to your point are depressing and evince the lack of imagination Fred is warning against: "[zero and positional & exponential notation] seem natural to us because were are steeped in them from the first grade"

    On the other hand, Fred's apparent point, Indios are smart because pyramids, is obviously a clever-silly. Something interesting connects together the facts that Indios are not smart and that they had some pretty impressive civilizational achievements 3000 years ago. A long dysgenic process of some kind? A Brahmin caste which was washed away after taboos against mixing were broken down? A Brahmin caste which was slaughtered, Tutsi-style? Who knows?

    , @syonredux

    Yes, but when I try to use examples such as this on blogs where someone has been overdoing the race superiority business, I seem to meet denial or mere bafflement. Face it, inventing zero is a greater intellectual achievement than any in the history of the US or its predecessor colonies.
     
    Greater than Vector Calculus or Statistical Mechanics?
  8. Good ol’ irresponsibly glib Fred. The “Islamists” of ISIS and al-Nusrah he terms “Muslims,” whereas in fact they are evidently an aberration. They are not Muslims according to their own orthodox authorities. See for example the scathing remarks of a Shaykh Imran Hosein or even a Hassan Nasrallah.

    24 reasons ISIS are wrong: Muslim scholars blast Islamic State

    https://www.rt.com/news/190468-muslim-scholars-islamic-state/

    Muslim Leaders Have Roundly Denounced Islamic State, But Conservative Media Won’t Tell You That

    http://mediamatters.org/research/2014/08/21/muslim-leaders-have-roundly-denounced-islamic-s/200498

    “What makes groups like Islamic State “radical” in the first place is that they reject all these centuries of scholarship and tradition, and innovate a newly “reformed” Islam — often pieced together with concepts of ideology and organization drawn from contemporary fascist and Marxist-Leninist movements. Such freelancing is a common characteristic of Islamic extremist groups, and despite their pretensions to ancient revivalism it is also a reflection of their inescapably modern revolutionary heritage.”

    https://theintercept.com/2015/02/20/atlantic-defines-real-islam-says-isis/

    ISIS’s Anti-Islamic Theology of Rape

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/teachingnonviolentatonement/2015/08/isiss-anti-islamic-theology-of-rape-2/

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Very nice bro - and thanks for citations! What people also fail to think about is that the extremists of Daesh are destroying the symbols of cultural heritage NOW because it had actually been left alone or preserved by the Muslims THEN.

    Peace.
    , @Randal

    Good ol’ irresponsibly glib Fred. The “Islamists” of ISIS and al-Nusrah he terms “Muslims,” whereas in fact they are evidently an aberration. They are not Muslims according to their own orthodox authorities. See for example the scathing remarks of a Shaykh Imran Hosein or even a Hassan Nasrallah.
     
    The equivalent of C16th Catholics claiming Protestants "aren't real Christians", because look - all these (Catholic) theologians and authorities condemn their ideas as heretical.
    , @Anonymous
    Is really Imran Hossein an 'authority'?
    And is Hassan Nasrallah an 'orthodox authority' if he is Shiite (the heretics of Islam)?
    , @Karl
    > and innovate a newly “reformed” Islam

    no, it's the ORIGINAL Islam. Read the early history of Islam, bro
    , @Eric Novak
    Muslim extremists want to kill you; Muslim moderates want Muslim extremists to kill you. Those scholarly sources you referenced are just countering the claims of ISIS to be the caliphate. Their theology is the same.
    , @Dan
    I agree. Good ol' boy Fred trashes his own kind from what few of his articles I've read at Lew Rockwell--just for fun of course, right?--setting up a straw man in this article to do it again. And you can bet your last dollar the only Mestizos this phony knows are either cutting his grass or on their knees cleaning his toilets.
    , @anon
    if they pray 5 times a day , accept allah as god and mohamad as his prophet and endeavor to make pilgramige to mecca, than they are muslims regardless of their other activities .

    nice try at Takkiya/tawriya/kitman though
    , @Clyde

    Good ol’ irresponsibly glib Fred. The “Islamists” of ISIS and al-Nusrah he terms “Muslims,” whereas in fact they are evidently an aberration. They are not Muslims according to their own orthodox authorities.
     
    Utter nonsense. ISIS emulates the later life of Mohammad the warlord when he led his armies, going out killing and conquering. The faithful Muslim must emulate the exemplary life of the most perfect human being. Muhammad.
  9. Priss Factor [AKA "Dominique Francon Society"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Does anyone know if there were cultural or tribal connections among the Mayans, Aztecs, and the Incas?

    Or did they develop entirely separately from one another?

    I aks because of the remarkable similarity in the pottery, architecture, and the arts. Look at their pyramids. Look at their sculptures.

    In the case of Western Europe, much of the art and architecture came to be similar because just about all European civilization followed the Classical Model. So, we have Greek and Roman columns in France, Spain, Germany, Britain, Sweden, Russia, and etc. Even up to the early 20th century, many buildings were modeled on neo-classicism.

    And a lot of stuff in East Asia look somewhat similar because many Asian nations adopted the Chinese style of painting and architecture. So, we see the same kind of tiled roofs and pagoda-like structures.
    And India and all nations influenced by Indian religion and culture have similar kind of architecture. The Angkor Wat in Cambodia looks very much like Hindu/Buddhist Temples in India.

    In contrast, there is a great deal of divergence among the arts and architecture of Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, and etc.

    To be sure, there is something like a similarity among the Near East folks, the big beardos. Babylonians, Persians, Assyrians, and such folks were into massive sculptures of men with huge beards and of giant bulls. They seem to belong to a cultural family distinct from the Greeks and the Egyptians.

    Were the connections(historical or cultural) among the Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs? Why are their arts and architecture so similar? After the Mayan empire fell, did the survivors of that civilization keep alive some of the culture and did that serve as seed for creating the later civilizations? Or did the other ones begin from scratch on their own?

    If the latter is true, there seems to be a collective consciousness among the Meso-American folks. Their mental archetypes are different from that of other races. Though American Indians never created great civilizations, one can find similarities between their artistic expression and those of the South and Central Americans.

    When we look at Black African sculptures, the main theme seems to be elongation, stretch-arm-strong-ism, coneheadism, Giacomettism, and etc. Was it simply due to the fact that blacks had longer limbs and dongs? Or is there something in the black psyche that prefers a kind of elongation approach? Consider how blacks like to stretch words out: ‘sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiit’ and ‘daaaaaaaaaaaaaaang’ and ‘he naaaaaaaasty’ or ‘dat mothafuc*a craaaaaaazy’.

    In contrast, a lot of the artistic expression of the Meso-Americans seem to squat-ism, crunchism, smooshism, playdo-ism, squeezism, Tattoo-ism(Fantasy Island), turtle-ish, and etc. It could have been due to the shorter stature of the Mesos. Or maybe there is something in the Meso-psyche that prefers things short and curt. Mesos are related to Americans Indians and East Asians who have similar squatism in their styles of psyche. American Indians just say ‘how’. Japanese speak in clipped style. Chinese language is made up of mono-syllables.

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    • Replies: @Kyle a
    The Mayans were long gone by the time the spaniards showed up. Don't know if that excludes the groups from interaction.
    , @Truth

    When we look at Black African sculptures, the main theme seems to be elongation, stretch-arm-strong-ism, coneheadism, Giacomettism, and etc. Was it simply due to the fact that blacks had longer limbs and dongs? Or is there something in the black psyche that prefers a kind of elongation approach? Consider how blacks like to stretch words out: ‘sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiit’ and ‘daaaaaaaaaaaaaaang’ and ‘he naaaaaaaasty’ or ‘dat mothafuc*a craaaaaaazy’.
     
    Dude, I think the Human Anthropology PhD lecture circuit is awaiting your brilliant contribution. Take my word here, Sport; DO quit your day job!
    , @Jim
    Incas, Aztecs and the Maya are certainly not closely related. Although the Andean culture zone developed largely independently of Mesoamerica items of Andean origin have been found in Mesoamerica indicating that they were not totally isolated from each other but certainly their interaction was very slight.

    Aztecs were relatively recent arrivals from the north to the Valley of Mexico. Nahuatl is a Uto-Aztecan language most closely related in that group to the Kiowa-Tanoan languages of northeastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle. The greatest number of Uto-Aztecan languages are found in the Great American Basin indicating that that area is the place of dispersion for the Uto-Aztecan languages.

    The Maya have been present in the Yucatan, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, El Salvador, extreme southern Mexico since as far back as they can be traced. Their languages are Penutian, a large family of languages spoken from the Northwestern US down to the area of the Maya.

    There was a lot of interconnection and interaction among all the numerous Mesoamerican cultures. For example some archaeologists believe that Chichen-Itzan may have been a Toltec colony in Mayan territory. There were also Mayan enclaves located in the Valley of Mexico. The Mayans and other Mesoamericans were certainly not at all isolated from each other. The Mesoamerican cultural area also included as a peripheral part the cultures of the American Southwest.

    There never was any "Mayan Empire" to "fall". At various times different Mayan cities achieved greater status and prestige than others but there was nothing like the old world empires such as found in the Ancient Near East beginning with Sargon of Akkad.

    The Highland Maya did experience a collapse but there is little evidence of foreign intrusion and the common Mayan people of the area continued to live there much as before and of course can still be found. The Lowland Maya never experienced any "collapse" and were still going strong when the Spanish arrived. There is however evidence that Toltecs may have conquered and ruled over parts of the Yucatan for a period.
    , @random observer
    Maya culture lasted a very long time, and its early phases were BC on the Christian calendar. That stage of their culture was contemporary with part of the Olmec civilization, the ur-civilization of central Mexico.

    The Maya continued on, having their heyday in what was Europe's dark ages, with their post collapse village culture surviving to meet the Spaniards and still exist today. Their language is spoken today. And contrary to early accounts, some of their city-state cultures were actually around centuries after the overall collapse of their urban civilization, still around at the arrival 0f the Spaniards. In that sense, the ending of Gibson's Apocalypto was not entirely as implausible as some critics had it.

    The Olmecs did not last so long, but were the template for all who followed in central Mexico.

    The Aztecs, their last imitators, were actually late arriving 'barbarians' [to use a European analogy that the inhabitants of the valley of Mexico when the Aztecs showed up would likely have agreed with] from the distant north [I think they are considered kin to peoples like the Ute] who built their civilization broadly along the lines of the cultures and traditions they found, which went back to the Olmec traditions.

    Think of the long arm of influence of the Egyptians or Babylonians on the traditions of the Hellenistic age, despite the reach of two thousand years.
    , @RaceRealist88
    Yes. They had contact with the Olmecs and traded culture and even people with them. Look into La Venta.
  10. Priss Factor [AKA "Dominique Francon Society"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment

    “The Maya in the popular mind are thought to have been murdering, torturing savages given to human sacrifice. This is probably because they were in fact murdering, torturing savages given to human sacrifice. Why this is thought especially reprehensible is a mystery. The Romans sacrificed huge numbers in the arena so that the public could enjoy watching them die, crucified large numbers, and poured molten lead down the throats of criminals. In the European witch hunts, sort of 1450-1750, some 500,000 were killed depending on whose numbers you accept, mostly by burning alive.”

    Well, all peoples have done bad things.
    But cruelty isn’t just about what but why.
    If a nation kills 100,000 people of another nation in war, that is less horrifying that if a nation killed 1000 people in human sacrifice.
    Wars are terrible, but they are, as some guy said, ‘diplomacy by other means’. There will always be conflicts among man over resources and other reasons. Wars are necessary evils.
    As for cruel punishments meted out by Romans and others, yes, they were horrible. But there was still the matter of justice. Even if the methods were barbaric and extreme, people were being punished for something they did.
    As for the witchhunts in Europe during the Christian era, there was the genuine panic and belief that the witches were possessed by the Devil. So, there was a moral component to the violence. It’s like communism killed many people but in the name of creating a more just society. And even though US did horrible things in WWII and other wars, wars are like that. It is fought to win, and people lose their minds in the melee. Winning becomes everything, and the hatred of the enemy drives much of the action.

    The bloody Gladiatorial games are more problematic morally, but many of the victims were animals. Also, the humans were given some chance of fighting and surviving. And if they won enough fights, they might even be shown clemency and be admired as a hero.

    In contrast, human sacrifice in Meso-America had no moral justification. The victims didn’t commit any crime. They were innocent. They weren’t seen as possessed by demons or forces of Evil. Rather, the Meso-Americans worshiped amoral gods that was into might-is-right. And this god had to be satiated with the blood of innocents.
    Now, such rituals also existed in other cultures. I think Babylonians sacrificed little children to the gods, at least in some silent movie.

    There is a difference between violence in service of over-zealous sense of justice or revenge AND violence in service of amorality of might.
    Righteous people may cruelly punish the wicked.
    Soldiers in war may carry out horrible acts of vengeance against the other side. Consider what Soviet troops did to Russian women in WWII. Or Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US.
    But the Mayans in Mel Gibson’s APOCALYPTO were just being ‘a**holes’. They just abducted forest folks and sacrificed them to some Lord of Amoral Might in the sky.
    There was no reason for the killing except to satiate the Conception of Power without Moral Vision.

    Maybe the lesson of the Mesos is that the smart elites shouldn’t be too cruel. Maybe there were indeed very smart elites in Meso-America. But they acted to cruelly and amorally that the masses came to really really hate them. And when the civilizations fell, the masses were so pissed off that they killed off all the smart people.

    In any society, there is a limited number of smart folks, esp very smart folks.
    Among Old World civilizations, such people might become elites and gain great power and wealth. But they still showed that they were not all about power and force. They also won the trust of people with show of justice, spirituality, civic virtue, and etc.
    It seems the elites of Meso-America failed to develop any moral or spiritual system that could win and hold the trust of the masses for long. They ate too many magic mushrooms and worshiped some bloody god and decided to rule by sheer terror and fear-mongering.
    So, when the empires fell, it could be that the angry masses killed ALL the smart folks.
    Bill Gates said ‘be nice to nerds cuz they might hire you one day.’
    It could also be said, ‘be nice to people because they might bring you down one day.’

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    • Replies: @Erebus
    My God man, what an ignorance you have put on display. I'm taken aback.
    , @Jeff77450
    Interesting and very well said. It's always been my understanding that the whole human sacrifice thing was about pleasing the god(s) and trying to influence him/her/them to do or not do something. In other words, from their point of view human sacrifice was done for pragmatic reasons and not just because they could. In any case, man's inhumanity to man just never ceases to amaze me. Just when I think that I've seen it all some new, heretofore unknown, atrocity makes the news and my mind is blown yet again.
    , @5371
    [I think Babylonians sacrificed little children to the gods, at least in some silent movie.]

    The child sacrifices of the Carthaginians, very well attested in history, have been confirmed by archaeology.
    , @in the middle
    I noticed you based all your bla bla, bla, in 'movies'. Well, what the 'European' Belgians did in the Congo comes to mind. For that matter, all colonizing European nations did.

    when you say that the Mayas sacrificed 'innocents' you base your idea on a Mel Gibson Movie. I am sure you also believe that the Spaniards at the end of the movie, also were clean cut good looking types, and not the dregs that they were and looked. Well, back to the movies..since movies is where we get our world view, and the truth..

    , @voicum
    are you for real?????
    , @Logan
    Sorry, but the gladiators were not by any means all criminals. Some were. Others were random slaves, perhaps slaves who had pissed off their master. Others (many), were POWs, guilty only of being captured by the Romans. This group includes, quite probably, Spartacus and his chief lieutenants.

    The Aztecs came along log after the heyday of the Mayas. But one of the previous groups in the Valley of Mexico, the Toltecs, sent an army that conquered at least one of the major Mayan city-states. So there was considerable contact and influence between the Mayan and Valley of Mexico areas.

    The Inca, like the Aztecs, were very recent conquerors when the Spanish showed up. But Andean civilization goes WAY back in time.We have no evidence at all that the Mesoamerican and Andean civilizations even knew of each other. Maize seems to have made its way from Central America to South America, but few other things did.
  11. It’s clear that the Maya had some very intelligent people between 50 and 100 generations ago, especially in areas like astronomy and architecture…That doesn’t tell us much about the intelligence of their descendants 50 generations later. Check out the research on Mouse Utopia and the movie Idiocracy….

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    • Replies: @gwynedd1
    This also worries me. Social progress over time seems to allow for weakness in the individual. This seems to be the primary weakness of our race.

    Take the Cesarean section. In the contemporary world it is seen as a a life saving device. However I see a grim road ahead for a species that must cut their young out them. Today Europeans are the smart ones. In 20 generations , it is easy to project this may not be so.
  12. So, did the Europeans invent zero? You never mention this.

    Seriously though, mathematics seemed to have developed in those ancient societies where astrology was very important – Egypt, Babylonia, and, apparently, the Maya. By contrast, the Greeks did not contribute to math as much as is commonly thought. E.g. Pythagorean Theorem was well known in the Middle East centuries before Pythagoras; there are many examples like that. However, the Greeks were excellent systematizers and textbook writers.

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    • Replies: @Kyle a
    The Muslims stole from the Greeks and the Indians
    , @Anton
    Mayans and Aztecs are part of the same Mesoamerican cultural space which also includes Olmecs, Mixtecs, and a number of other peoples. All of them evolved together and influenced each other's cultures and religions and were as similar as, let us say, Chinese, Japanese and Koreans. Mayans seem to be the only ones who developed a genuine system of writing, while the others used pictography.

    The Incas are part of the Andean family of cultures. Andean peoples were very different from Mesoamerican ones. For example, they used copper and bronze weapons and tools, while in Mesoamerica they fought their wars and buit all their palaces and temples with stone and wooden ones. Another specific feature was quipus or talking knots - a system of recording information by means of threads with knots.

    The system of government in the Andes and Mesoamerica seemed to be different. Mesoamerica consisted of great number of small states constantly at war with each other and never managed to coalesce into a bigger entity. And Incas built a huge centralised and somewhat totalitarian empire.

    There seem to be very little contact between the two areas. However, it is believed that the Purepecha Indians in Mesoamerica originally came from the Andes. They made and extensively used bronze unlike their neighbours.

    In any case, all these civilisations are very interesting, though their religion and general view of life seem rather gloomy and depressing. Just one example: Mayans worshiped a goddess of suicide depicted as a hanged woman dangling on a rope attached to the skies!

    On the whole, their history demonstrates the essential unity of the human race. For all their difference, pre-Columbian peoples developed in the same way as the ancient peoples of the Old World and you find a lot of similarities between them and the Bronze Age Oriental cultures.
    , @Anonymous
    This is patently false. The Greeks introduced the concept of proof into mathematics. What were empirical observations to the Egyptians and Babylonians, were actual theorems in the hands of the Greeks.

    And most concepts and theorems of Greek mathematics were completely original. With no precedents in Egypt or Mesopotamia.

    Greek mathematics was vastly ahead of anything that had come before. They were indeed extremely good at mathematics. Much better than any other people of the ancient world. Only in Europe since the renaissance have their mathematical achievements been equalled and surpassed.
  13. @Priss Factor
    Does anyone know if there were cultural or tribal connections among the Mayans, Aztecs, and the Incas?

    Or did they develop entirely separately from one another?

    I aks because of the remarkable similarity in the pottery, architecture, and the arts. Look at their pyramids. Look at their sculptures.

    In the case of Western Europe, much of the art and architecture came to be similar because just about all European civilization followed the Classical Model. So, we have Greek and Roman columns in France, Spain, Germany, Britain, Sweden, Russia, and etc. Even up to the early 20th century, many buildings were modeled on neo-classicism.

    And a lot of stuff in East Asia look somewhat similar because many Asian nations adopted the Chinese style of painting and architecture. So, we see the same kind of tiled roofs and pagoda-like structures.
    And India and all nations influenced by Indian religion and culture have similar kind of architecture. The Angkor Wat in Cambodia looks very much like Hindu/Buddhist Temples in India.

    In contrast, there is a great deal of divergence among the arts and architecture of Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, and etc.

    To be sure, there is something like a similarity among the Near East folks, the big beardos. Babylonians, Persians, Assyrians, and such folks were into massive sculptures of men with huge beards and of giant bulls. They seem to belong to a cultural family distinct from the Greeks and the Egyptians.

    Were the connections(historical or cultural) among the Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs? Why are their arts and architecture so similar? After the Mayan empire fell, did the survivors of that civilization keep alive some of the culture and did that serve as seed for creating the later civilizations? Or did the other ones begin from scratch on their own?

    If the latter is true, there seems to be a collective consciousness among the Meso-American folks. Their mental archetypes are different from that of other races. Though American Indians never created great civilizations, one can find similarities between their artistic expression and those of the South and Central Americans.

    When we look at Black African sculptures, the main theme seems to be elongation, stretch-arm-strong-ism, coneheadism, Giacomettism, and etc. Was it simply due to the fact that blacks had longer limbs and dongs? Or is there something in the black psyche that prefers a kind of elongation approach? Consider how blacks like to stretch words out: 'sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiit' and 'daaaaaaaaaaaaaaang' and 'he naaaaaaaasty' or 'dat mothafuc*a craaaaaaazy'.

    In contrast, a lot of the artistic expression of the Meso-Americans seem to squat-ism, crunchism, smooshism, playdo-ism, squeezism, Tattoo-ism(Fantasy Island), turtle-ish, and etc. It could have been due to the shorter stature of the Mesos. Or maybe there is something in the Meso-psyche that prefers things short and curt. Mesos are related to Americans Indians and East Asians who have similar squatism in their styles of psyche. American Indians just say 'how'. Japanese speak in clipped style. Chinese language is made up of mono-syllables.

    The Mayans were long gone by the time the spaniards showed up. Don’t know if that excludes the groups from interaction.

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    • Replies: @Anton
    That is not quite true. Those Mayans who were long gone by the time the Spaniards showed up inhabited the southern part of the Maya lands. But in the north, in the Yukatan peninsula, the Mayan civilisation continued to flourish - the city states of Chichen-Itzà and Mayapan, for example. It was their books that Diego de Landa burnt.

    Mayan Indians still inhabit Yukatan, as well as Guatemala, Honduras and Belize. And a number of Mayan languages is still spoken.
    , @Jim
    Utter nonsense. The Maya not only were still around at the time of the Spanish they are still around today. The Maya in fact proved considerably harder for the Spanish to overcome than the Aztecs. In fact after the initial conquest of the Yucatan a Maya rebelliin against the Spanish temporarily drove the Spanish out.

    The "collapse" of the Mayan civilization which you may be thinking of affected only the Highland Maya.
    , @RaceRealist88
    They weren't long gone. There were still some left. When the Spanish landed on the Yucatan in 1519, one Spaniard had smallpox and it spread throughout mesoamerica, and per the Mayan writings, population levels declined 70 to 90 percent.
    , @anonymous
    Half of them have long gone to places like Los Angeles, Dalton, Georgia, and Fort Payne, Alabama. And they still speak Mayan languages. It is one of those mysteries, though, what made them collapse civilizationally.
  14. @inertial
    So, did the Europeans invent zero? You never mention this.

    Seriously though, mathematics seemed to have developed in those ancient societies where astrology was very important - Egypt, Babylonia, and, apparently, the Maya. By contrast, the Greeks did not contribute to math as much as is commonly thought. E.g. Pythagorean Theorem was well known in the Middle East centuries before Pythagoras; there are many examples like that. However, the Greeks were excellent systematizers and textbook writers.

    The Muslims stole from the Greeks and the Indians

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Why do you say "stole" especially in eras before IP law?
    , @uslabor
    Pablo Picasso said:

    A good artist borrows, a great artist steals.
  15. I submit a controversial concept: electro-magnetic genius, or EMG. The Maya seemed to be aware, as well as the early Egyptians, that the solar system is on a 32,000 year cycle. The positions of the planetary bodies in relation to the sun create disturbances in their relative electro-magnetic fields, which on Earth, interact with the genes of everybody’s favorite sentient species.

    The Maya broke up the solar cycle into various ages, which may correspond variously to an environmental nudge towards activating genius in the human species at greater or lesser rates depending on the Age.

    EMG. It could be a thing.

    It may help explain the cycle of civilizations as well, which seem regular if you follow Martin Armstrong.

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    • Replies: @Reactionary Utopian

    The positions of the planetary bodies in relation to the sun create disturbances in their relative electro-magnetic fields ...
     
    Heee, heee, heee; haw-haw; chuckle-chuckle-chuckle.

    Good one! Thanks, I was needing a good laugh this afternoon.
  16. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Is it possible that the environment in the Maya area after the collapse created a strong selection pressure for something other than intelligence, such that it degraded? My understanding is that can happen. Suppose for example that an individual appears with a genetic difference that causes him to be able to run 10 km/hr faster, but knocks 2 points off his IQ. Remember, he doesn’t have to outrun a cheetah, he just has to outrun his buddy. Sounds like quite an adaptive change! Granted, it seems that 1000 years aint quite enough for a significant genetic change to take place, but then again, all the variation between the human races appeared in the space of 200,000 years, so maybe 1000 is enough for this relatively minor change after all.

    This all assumes that they had a way of keeping cheetahs and the like out of cities during the civilized period.

    I was amazed when I climbed the pyramids at Teotihuacan. The spell was kind of broken at the top of the sun pyramid where the park ranger said in monotonous repitition, “vayan caminando” (or however he put it. My command of Spanish is as poor as my memory and my command of Spanish) and sent us right back down.

    Here’s another hypothesis for the diminished Indian IQ, but before I get to it I’d like to thank you, Fred, for enriching my vocabulary with the words “enstupidate” and “Clitler”. I notice you don’t seem to use the latter, but my enthusiasm for it continues unabated. Anyway, here’s one for you if you haven’t invented it already: encolonate. Example usage:

    “Maybe the reason that some races perform poorly on IQ tests is that they feel that you can take your stupid test and encolonate it.”

    Great read as always, thank you kindly.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Something analogous to the decline in the average English intellectual performance (masked to some extent by the rise of women in higher education) in the last 120 years or so could have happened if there was a smart upper caste or class which was disproportionately killed off in civil or other wars and/or discouraged from reproducing itself by severe loss of wealth and status.
    , @RaceRealist88
    I had a discussion about this a few months ago and the conclusion we came to was similar to yours.

    Basically how civilization is set up is not conducive to how they genetically are.
  17. @Abelard Lindsey
    Those of us who have any knowledge on the subject at all are well-aware of the advanced nature of the Mayas, particularly their mathematics and astronomy, relative to other contemporaneous civilizations.

    The question is why the poor performance of their present-day descendants in modern industrial culture. Immigrants from East and South Asia (China, Southern India, Korea, etc.) tend to excel relative to the "white" average after they come to the U.S. Mexican and other Latin American immigrants generally do not. The HBD explanations usually trotted out to explain such things are, as Fred says here, an inaccurate explanation for this phenomenon.

    Better explanations are necessary in order to have a rational debate on the merits of continued immigration into the U.S.

    The question is why the poor performance of their present-day descendants in modern industrial culture.

    Is that really true? People from the Yucatan claim that modern Mayas are quite successful.

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  18. Fred, in a contest between the ancient Maya at their peak, and Europe of the same era, you may well be right that the Maya had comparable or higher IQ. Though primitive Europeans had some pretty impressive monuments such as Stonehenge.

    That does not tell us much about the IQ of modern mesoamerican indios compared to whites. The most direct way to compare is look at IQ tests, and the former have much lower IQs than the latter.

    Whatever the case 1000+ years ago, Europeans had a long period of strong selective pressure for higher IQ from the Middle Ages until about 1900, as documented by Clarke and others. It is possible it went the other way in ancient Mexico. Its cities may have acted as demographic sinks for higher IQ people from the countryside. And there were multiple cycles of more advanced civilizations in ancient Mexico being conquered by barbarians migrating from the north.

    Certainly, there is the well-documented example of the decline of Rome. Rome was semi-meritocratic, but had very dysgenic fertility, to the point it greatly worried Augustus. And it too was destroyed by barbarian invaders from the North. The Bronze Age Collapse provides another example of multiple advanced, relatively high IQ civilization being destroyed by illiterate and likely low-IQ invaders.

    In summary, I do not think the advanced civilization of the ancient Maya tell us much about the intelligence of modern mesoamerican indios.

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    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    In summary, I do not think the advanced civilization of the ancient Maya tell us much about the intelligence of modern mesoamerican indios.
     
    Well, although that statement may be correct, there really doesn't seem to be much evidence that modern mesoamerican indios have particularly low IQs, at least when compared with those of various European countries. If you haven't already done so, you might want to read a couple of my own articles discussing that issue in some detail:

    http://www.unz.com/article/race-iq-and-wealth/#implications-for-the-american-immigration-debate

    http://www.unz.com/article/raceiq-the-jason-richwine-affair/
  19. Priss Factor [AKA "Dominique Francon Society"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Why do people condemn imperialism and slavery but celebrate diversity?

    Diversity in the New World is mostly the consequence of imperialism and slavery.

    Spanish came to the New World, conquered and enslaved people. From this there was rape and race-mixing.

    And the Spanish and Portuguese imported millions of black Africans to work as slaves.

    That resulted in Diversity.

    Celebrating Diversity is celebrating the dark violent forces that brought about it.

    Some will say that the New Diversity is the product of immigration, but much of immigration is forced on the native population.

    For example, the American Indians and Hawaiians who lost their homeland to whites didn’t ask whites to bring immigrants so that they will lose their lands to immigrants as well as to whites.
    And white Americans and white Europeans didn’t demand their elites to bring in all these foreigners. It was pushed by the elites against the wishes of the people.
    The voters found out that whether they voted ‘right’ or ‘left’, the elites of all parties push open borders and more immigration.
    Immigration is the globalized elites’ destruction of their own peoples.
    Diversity is Elite Treason against the native majority.

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  20. @inertial
    So, did the Europeans invent zero? You never mention this.

    Seriously though, mathematics seemed to have developed in those ancient societies where astrology was very important - Egypt, Babylonia, and, apparently, the Maya. By contrast, the Greeks did not contribute to math as much as is commonly thought. E.g. Pythagorean Theorem was well known in the Middle East centuries before Pythagoras; there are many examples like that. However, the Greeks were excellent systematizers and textbook writers.

    Mayans and Aztecs are part of the same Mesoamerican cultural space which also includes Olmecs, Mixtecs, and a number of other peoples. All of them evolved together and influenced each other’s cultures and religions and were as similar as, let us say, Chinese, Japanese and Koreans. Mayans seem to be the only ones who developed a genuine system of writing, while the others used pictography.

    The Incas are part of the Andean family of cultures. Andean peoples were very different from Mesoamerican ones. For example, they used copper and bronze weapons and tools, while in Mesoamerica they fought their wars and buit all their palaces and temples with stone and wooden ones. Another specific feature was quipus or talking knots – a system of recording information by means of threads with knots.

    The system of government in the Andes and Mesoamerica seemed to be different. Mesoamerica consisted of great number of small states constantly at war with each other and never managed to coalesce into a bigger entity. And Incas built a huge centralised and somewhat totalitarian empire.

    There seem to be very little contact between the two areas. However, it is believed that the Purepecha Indians in Mesoamerica originally came from the Andes. They made and extensively used bronze unlike their neighbours.

    In any case, all these civilisations are very interesting, though their religion and general view of life seem rather gloomy and depressing. Just one example: Mayans worshiped a goddess of suicide depicted as a hanged woman dangling on a rope attached to the skies!

    On the whole, their history demonstrates the essential unity of the human race. For all their difference, pre-Columbian peoples developed in the same way as the ancient peoples of the Old World and you find a lot of similarities between them and the Bronze Age Oriental cultures.

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    • Replies: @Jim
    Your statement that Mesoamericans other than the Maya used only pictographs is totally false.

    To me the differences between Mesoamerican cultures and those of the ancient Near East are far more striking than the few similarities.

    One very striking difference is that although true writing was widespread in Mesoamerica its use almost exclusively involved monumental inscriptions and high status work of a poetic, religious or epic nature. In contrast to this the writing of the Ancient Near East had its origons in the needs of merchants to record business transactions and was used in this way for centuries before the first monumental inscriptions. The use of writing in the Ancient Near East pervades the whole of society. In fact mounmental inscriptions and poetic, religious and epic texts form a very small part of the recovered texts. We have a huge amount of business documents, vouchers, bills of lading, contracts and merchant correspondence. Also there is a massive quantity of administrative documents and diplomatic correspondence. There are also private letters, diaries, pharmacopeias, manuals on all kinds of practical subjects such as horse-training, wills, records of legal proceedings, historical chronicles, extensive legal codes and on and on. In comparison with this the use of writing in Mesoamerica remained very restricted over the approximately two thousand years in existed prior to the Conquest.
    , @Joe Schmoe

    Mayans worshiped a goddess of suicide depicted as a hanged woman dangling on a rope attached to the skies!
     
    Okay, but Christians worship Jesus who is often depicted as crucified and hanging dead on the cross.

    I think it may be hard to tell what is really going on from just an artifact.
  21. @Kyle a
    The Mayans were long gone by the time the spaniards showed up. Don't know if that excludes the groups from interaction.

    That is not quite true. Those Mayans who were long gone by the time the Spaniards showed up inhabited the southern part of the Maya lands. But in the north, in the Yukatan peninsula, the Mayan civilisation continued to flourish – the city states of Chichen-Itzà and Mayapan, for example. It was their books that Diego de Landa burnt.

    Mayan Indians still inhabit Yukatan, as well as Guatemala, Honduras and Belize. And a number of Mayan languages is still spoken.

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    • Replies: @Jim
    There is no evidence that the Maya suffered any substantial decline in their numbers or territory that they inhabitated in Pre-Conquest times. The Highland Maya did experience a collapse of the great cities but there is little evidence of foreign intrusion and the life of the common Mayan people in the area seems to have continued much as before the collapse. There was no collapse of the Lowland Maya prior to the arrival of the Spanish although there is some evidence that parts of the Yucatan may have conquered by the Toltecs and ruled by them for a period of time.

    The Maya were not "long gone" by the time of the arrival of the Spanish and are still there in substantial numbers.
    , @Jim
    Chichen-Itza is very different from other Mayan sites. Some archaeologists believe that Chichen-Itza was actually a Toltec colony in Mayan territory.
  22. “Perhaps the Indians were enstupidated by the admixture of Spanish blood.”

    Having known a few Spaniards, I’d say this isn’t out of the realm of possibility ;)

    More likely though is that the cultivated elite of Mayan society threw open the gates of the empire to bring in people to do the work the less-cultivated Mayans would not do (at the price the elites were willing to pay).

    History may not always repeat, but that doesn’t mean it won’t.

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  23. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    ” In the European witch hunts, ….some 500,000 were killed depending on whose numbers
    you accept…” Jack Chick’s numbers?

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    • Replies: @fred c dobbs
    LOL!!!!!! Jack Chick. 40 years ago, in high school, my friends and I came across some Jack Chick comics and fell all over ourselves laughing.

    BTW.....Did you know he's still alive at 92?
  24. @Richard
    Good ol' irresponsibly glib Fred. The "Islamists" of ISIS and al-Nusrah he terms "Muslims," whereas in fact they are evidently an aberration. They are not Muslims according to their own orthodox authorities. See for example the scathing remarks of a Shaykh Imran Hosein or even a Hassan Nasrallah.

    24 reasons ISIS are wrong: Muslim scholars blast Islamic State
    https://www.rt.com/news/190468-muslim-scholars-islamic-state/

    Muslim Leaders Have Roundly Denounced Islamic State, But Conservative Media Won't Tell You That
    http://mediamatters.org/research/2014/08/21/muslim-leaders-have-roundly-denounced-islamic-s/200498

    "What makes groups like Islamic State “radical” in the first place is that they reject all these centuries of scholarship and tradition, and innovate a newly “reformed” Islam — often pieced together with concepts of ideology and organization drawn from contemporary fascist and Marxist-Leninist movements. Such freelancing is a common characteristic of Islamic extremist groups, and despite their pretensions to ancient revivalism it is also a reflection of their inescapably modern revolutionary heritage."
    https://theintercept.com/2015/02/20/atlantic-defines-real-islam-says-isis/


    ISIS’s Anti-Islamic Theology of Rape
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/teachingnonviolentatonement/2015/08/isiss-anti-islamic-theology-of-rape-2/

    Very nice bro – and thanks for citations! What people also fail to think about is that the extremists of Daesh are destroying the symbols of cultural heritage NOW because it had actually been left alone or preserved by the Muslims THEN.

    Peace.

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  25. @Priss Factor
    "The Maya in the popular mind are thought to have been murdering, torturing savages given to human sacrifice. This is probably because they were in fact murdering, torturing savages given to human sacrifice. Why this is thought especially reprehensible is a mystery. The Romans sacrificed huge numbers in the arena so that the public could enjoy watching them die, crucified large numbers, and poured molten lead down the throats of criminals. In the European witch hunts, sort of 1450-1750, some 500,000 were killed depending on whose numbers you accept, mostly by burning alive."

    Well, all peoples have done bad things.
    But cruelty isn't just about what but why.
    If a nation kills 100,000 people of another nation in war, that is less horrifying that if a nation killed 1000 people in human sacrifice.
    Wars are terrible, but they are, as some guy said, 'diplomacy by other means'. There will always be conflicts among man over resources and other reasons. Wars are necessary evils.
    As for cruel punishments meted out by Romans and others, yes, they were horrible. But there was still the matter of justice. Even if the methods were barbaric and extreme, people were being punished for something they did.
    As for the witchhunts in Europe during the Christian era, there was the genuine panic and belief that the witches were possessed by the Devil. So, there was a moral component to the violence. It's like communism killed many people but in the name of creating a more just society. And even though US did horrible things in WWII and other wars, wars are like that. It is fought to win, and people lose their minds in the melee. Winning becomes everything, and the hatred of the enemy drives much of the action.

    The bloody Gladiatorial games are more problematic morally, but many of the victims were animals. Also, the humans were given some chance of fighting and surviving. And if they won enough fights, they might even be shown clemency and be admired as a hero.

    In contrast, human sacrifice in Meso-America had no moral justification. The victims didn't commit any crime. They were innocent. They weren't seen as possessed by demons or forces of Evil. Rather, the Meso-Americans worshiped amoral gods that was into might-is-right. And this god had to be satiated with the blood of innocents.
    Now, such rituals also existed in other cultures. I think Babylonians sacrificed little children to the gods, at least in some silent movie.

    There is a difference between violence in service of over-zealous sense of justice or revenge AND violence in service of amorality of might.
    Righteous people may cruelly punish the wicked.
    Soldiers in war may carry out horrible acts of vengeance against the other side. Consider what Soviet troops did to Russian women in WWII. Or Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US.
    But the Mayans in Mel Gibson's APOCALYPTO were just being 'a**holes'. They just abducted forest folks and sacrificed them to some Lord of Amoral Might in the sky.
    There was no reason for the killing except to satiate the Conception of Power without Moral Vision.

    Maybe the lesson of the Mesos is that the smart elites shouldn't be too cruel. Maybe there were indeed very smart elites in Meso-America. But they acted to cruelly and amorally that the masses came to really really hate them. And when the civilizations fell, the masses were so pissed off that they killed off all the smart people.

    In any society, there is a limited number of smart folks, esp very smart folks.
    Among Old World civilizations, such people might become elites and gain great power and wealth. But they still showed that they were not all about power and force. They also won the trust of people with show of justice, spirituality, civic virtue, and etc.
    It seems the elites of Meso-America failed to develop any moral or spiritual system that could win and hold the trust of the masses for long. They ate too many magic mushrooms and worshiped some bloody god and decided to rule by sheer terror and fear-mongering.
    So, when the empires fell, it could be that the angry masses killed ALL the smart folks.
    Bill Gates said 'be nice to nerds cuz they might hire you one day.'
    It could also be said, 'be nice to people because they might bring you down one day.'

    My God man, what an ignorance you have put on display. I’m taken aback.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ace
    You're working on a detailed rebuttal I take it?
    , @Wizard of Oz
    I agree with Ace. Your assumption of superiority constitutes no rebuttal and sounds like arrogant blustering in someone else's conversation.
  26. @Richard
    Good ol' irresponsibly glib Fred. The "Islamists" of ISIS and al-Nusrah he terms "Muslims," whereas in fact they are evidently an aberration. They are not Muslims according to their own orthodox authorities. See for example the scathing remarks of a Shaykh Imran Hosein or even a Hassan Nasrallah.

    24 reasons ISIS are wrong: Muslim scholars blast Islamic State
    https://www.rt.com/news/190468-muslim-scholars-islamic-state/

    Muslim Leaders Have Roundly Denounced Islamic State, But Conservative Media Won't Tell You That
    http://mediamatters.org/research/2014/08/21/muslim-leaders-have-roundly-denounced-islamic-s/200498

    "What makes groups like Islamic State “radical” in the first place is that they reject all these centuries of scholarship and tradition, and innovate a newly “reformed” Islam — often pieced together with concepts of ideology and organization drawn from contemporary fascist and Marxist-Leninist movements. Such freelancing is a common characteristic of Islamic extremist groups, and despite their pretensions to ancient revivalism it is also a reflection of their inescapably modern revolutionary heritage."
    https://theintercept.com/2015/02/20/atlantic-defines-real-islam-says-isis/


    ISIS’s Anti-Islamic Theology of Rape
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/teachingnonviolentatonement/2015/08/isiss-anti-islamic-theology-of-rape-2/

    Good ol’ irresponsibly glib Fred. The “Islamists” of ISIS and al-Nusrah he terms “Muslims,” whereas in fact they are evidently an aberration. They are not Muslims according to their own orthodox authorities. See for example the scathing remarks of a Shaykh Imran Hosein or even a Hassan Nasrallah.

    The equivalent of C16th Catholics claiming Protestants “aren’t real Christians”, because look – all these (Catholic) theologians and authorities condemn their ideas as heretical.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Randal,

    The comparison is not the exactly the same even though Daesh are indeed reformers. First off, the Catholic Church never had monopoly as the voice of Christianity (see Orthodox Churches). Second off, Christianity never had the concept of ijma (consensus) as does Sunni Orthodox Islam:
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/ijma

    Daesh has broken with consensus on multiple issues:
    http://www.refutingisis.com/

    They have no high-caliber scholars of any note (I'm open to be contradicted in this regard if anyone has proof - they seem to be a bunch of young guys with guns making up stuff as they go along); at least the Protestants had people like Calvin or Luther.

    Peace.
  27. @dearieme
    "Interesting stuff, no?"

    Yes, but when I try to use examples such as this on blogs where someone has been overdoing the race superiority business, I seem to meet denial or mere bafflement. Face it, inventing zero is a greater intellectual achievement than any in the history of the US or its predecessor colonies.

    The internet?

    Read More
  28. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Richard
    Good ol' irresponsibly glib Fred. The "Islamists" of ISIS and al-Nusrah he terms "Muslims," whereas in fact they are evidently an aberration. They are not Muslims according to their own orthodox authorities. See for example the scathing remarks of a Shaykh Imran Hosein or even a Hassan Nasrallah.

    24 reasons ISIS are wrong: Muslim scholars blast Islamic State
    https://www.rt.com/news/190468-muslim-scholars-islamic-state/

    Muslim Leaders Have Roundly Denounced Islamic State, But Conservative Media Won't Tell You That
    http://mediamatters.org/research/2014/08/21/muslim-leaders-have-roundly-denounced-islamic-s/200498

    "What makes groups like Islamic State “radical” in the first place is that they reject all these centuries of scholarship and tradition, and innovate a newly “reformed” Islam — often pieced together with concepts of ideology and organization drawn from contemporary fascist and Marxist-Leninist movements. Such freelancing is a common characteristic of Islamic extremist groups, and despite their pretensions to ancient revivalism it is also a reflection of their inescapably modern revolutionary heritage."
    https://theintercept.com/2015/02/20/atlantic-defines-real-islam-says-isis/


    ISIS’s Anti-Islamic Theology of Rape
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/teachingnonviolentatonement/2015/08/isiss-anti-islamic-theology-of-rape-2/

    Is really Imran Hossein an ‘authority’?
    And is Hassan Nasrallah an ‘orthodox authority’ if he is Shiite (the heretics of Islam)?

    Read More
    • Replies: @dahoit
    Aren't Protestants the heretics of Catholicism?
    One mans born again hypocrite is another mans righteous Christian.
    The eye of the beholder,and as someone else mentioned,Nasrallah is much less radical than the head chopping IsUS clowns who have given once righteous Muslim resistance a black eye.
    Obvious tools of US and Zion.
    In fact the NYTs admitted it today,probably as counter to the Wikileaks revelations regarding HRC.The fix is in.
  29. @Priss Factor
    Does anyone know if there were cultural or tribal connections among the Mayans, Aztecs, and the Incas?

    Or did they develop entirely separately from one another?

    I aks because of the remarkable similarity in the pottery, architecture, and the arts. Look at their pyramids. Look at their sculptures.

    In the case of Western Europe, much of the art and architecture came to be similar because just about all European civilization followed the Classical Model. So, we have Greek and Roman columns in France, Spain, Germany, Britain, Sweden, Russia, and etc. Even up to the early 20th century, many buildings were modeled on neo-classicism.

    And a lot of stuff in East Asia look somewhat similar because many Asian nations adopted the Chinese style of painting and architecture. So, we see the same kind of tiled roofs and pagoda-like structures.
    And India and all nations influenced by Indian religion and culture have similar kind of architecture. The Angkor Wat in Cambodia looks very much like Hindu/Buddhist Temples in India.

    In contrast, there is a great deal of divergence among the arts and architecture of Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, and etc.

    To be sure, there is something like a similarity among the Near East folks, the big beardos. Babylonians, Persians, Assyrians, and such folks were into massive sculptures of men with huge beards and of giant bulls. They seem to belong to a cultural family distinct from the Greeks and the Egyptians.

    Were the connections(historical or cultural) among the Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs? Why are their arts and architecture so similar? After the Mayan empire fell, did the survivors of that civilization keep alive some of the culture and did that serve as seed for creating the later civilizations? Or did the other ones begin from scratch on their own?

    If the latter is true, there seems to be a collective consciousness among the Meso-American folks. Their mental archetypes are different from that of other races. Though American Indians never created great civilizations, one can find similarities between their artistic expression and those of the South and Central Americans.

    When we look at Black African sculptures, the main theme seems to be elongation, stretch-arm-strong-ism, coneheadism, Giacomettism, and etc. Was it simply due to the fact that blacks had longer limbs and dongs? Or is there something in the black psyche that prefers a kind of elongation approach? Consider how blacks like to stretch words out: 'sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiit' and 'daaaaaaaaaaaaaaang' and 'he naaaaaaaasty' or 'dat mothafuc*a craaaaaaazy'.

    In contrast, a lot of the artistic expression of the Meso-Americans seem to squat-ism, crunchism, smooshism, playdo-ism, squeezism, Tattoo-ism(Fantasy Island), turtle-ish, and etc. It could have been due to the shorter stature of the Mesos. Or maybe there is something in the Meso-psyche that prefers things short and curt. Mesos are related to Americans Indians and East Asians who have similar squatism in their styles of psyche. American Indians just say 'how'. Japanese speak in clipped style. Chinese language is made up of mono-syllables.

    When we look at Black African sculptures, the main theme seems to be elongation, stretch-arm-strong-ism, coneheadism, Giacomettism, and etc. Was it simply due to the fact that blacks had longer limbs and dongs? Or is there something in the black psyche that prefers a kind of elongation approach? Consider how blacks like to stretch words out: ‘sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiit’ and ‘daaaaaaaaaaaaaaang’ and ‘he naaaaaaaasty’ or ‘dat mothafuc*a craaaaaaazy’.

    Dude, I think the Human Anthropology PhD lecture circuit is awaiting your brilliant contribution. Take my word here, Sport; DO quit your day job!

    Read More
  30. Eruption of El Salvador’s Ilopango volcano explains A.D. 536 cooling

    1,500 years ago, it may have been the site of one of the most horrific natural disasters in the world. It may be the long-sought cause of the extreme climate cooling and crop failures of A.D. 535-536

    The massive Plinian-type event with pyroclastic flows would have instantly killed up to 100,000 people, displaced up to 400,000 more and filled the skies with ash and dust for more than a year. The new findings would make it the second-largest volcanic eruption in the last 200,000 years. “This event was much bigger than we ever thought,”

    Such an eruption would explain the episode in Mayan history known as the Classic Period Hiatus, when the Maya stopped building stelae, decorative stone columns erected to mark events, Dull said. It would also finally explain the global cooling of A.D. 535-536, an 18-month period of cloudy skies, crop failures and famines that was described in both Roman and Chinese historical accounts.

    http://www.earthmagazine.org/article/aag-eruption-el-salvadors-ilopango-explains-ad-536-cooling

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Could that volcanic explosion and crop failures elsewhere help explain the apparently big hole in the story of how Roman-Celtic Britain came to be English speaking in a remarkably short time?
  31. Positional notation in the Old World goes back to Babylonia where a base 60 system was developed. At first they had no symbol for zero but sometimes left an empty space to indicate the abscence of a power of sixty. Later they developed a special symbol to indicate a missing power. They did not have the equivalent of a sexigesimal “point” but scaled numbers by context.

    The Hellenistic astronomers took over the Babylonian system and introduced an accent mark to serve the function of a sexigesimal “point”. They used this system for measuring angles and also developed a decimal system which they used for measuring chords.

    A non-positional system somewhat like Roman numerals was used in Hellenistic culture for commercial and practical applications but Hellenistic astromomers and mathematicains were well aware of positional notation.

    Hindu astronomy was largly derived from translations of the works of Ptolemy and other Hellenistic astronomers. Even the names of the planets used by Hindu astronomers are
    derived from the Greek names of the planets. The Hindu positional system was thus derived from Greek sources.

    The Hindus did develop the modern symbols used for the digits 0-9. The Hellenistic astronomers had used Greek letters. These symbols were adopted by the Arabs and from there transmitted to the West.

    The system used for the Long Count is somewhat interesting. In the positional systems as they are usually described the value at every position is the same however theoretically one may use any sequence of integers greater than one as the values at successive positions. However as far as I know the positional system used for the Long Count is the only example of a mixed base system actually adopted in practice.

    Incidentally it is not clear that the Long Count positional system was invented by the Maya. The first inscriptions with Long Count dates are associated with the Olmec. Long Counts were later used by both the Maya and Zapotecs but not by other Mesoamericans. Now Olmec culture is similar in many respects to Mayan culture but unfortunately the Olmec script has not been deciphered and it not known what kind of language the Olmecs spoke. At present the Amerindian languages spoken in the area of the Olmec culture are not Penutian like Maya but Mixe-Zoque. However these languages may be a later intrusion as Penutian languages are spoken to the north and south of this area. Incidentally Zapotec is neither Penutian nor Mixe-Zoque.

    It seems then most likely that the Long Count was invented by the Olmecs. It’s not known how closely related the Olmecs were to the Maya although culturally there are a lot of similarities. It is possible that the Olmec language might have been a Mayan language or a closely related Penutian language but this is not known.

    Fred – a personal comment – Mesoamerican cultures are extremely fascinating to study but you only seem interested in them as a springboard for ideological drivel and racial breastbeating. Ideologically driven study is not a path to understanding. However understanding does not seem to be one of your interests.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jacques Sheete

    Fred – a personal comment – Mesoamerican cultures are extremely fascinating to study but you only seem interested in them as a springboard for ideological drivel and racial breastbeating. Ideologically driven study is not a path to understanding. However understanding does not seem to be one of your interests.
     
    So true.

    He's sufficiently opinionated and sounds soused enough to be a candidate for a Linh Dinh interview, but LD's other bar-room subjects generally make much more sense.
    , @K
    ''Hindu astronomy was largly derived from translations of the works of Ptolemy and other Hellenistic astronomers. '' Source? ''Even the names of the planets used by Hindu astronomers are
    derived from the Greek names of the planets. The hindu positional system was thus derived from greek sources.'' Both sanskrit and greek are indo-european languages and this could explain the similar names of planets. Snake is called sarpam in sanskrit and sarpa/sarpe in greek/latin. Doesnt mean snakes came to india from greece.

    ''In fact there really isn’t much evidence of any theoretical knowledge of mathematics. There is no evidence of the existence of professional scribes or of any schools teaching any theoretical knowledge about mathematics or any other subject. In contrast there are a huge number of school tablets containing worked problems in mathematics, surveying etc. from the Ancient Near East. This is long before the classical Greek mathematical texts.'' Did people actually look into each and every nook and cranny of mesoamerica? I doubt it. Also didnt the author say most of mesoamerican books/scriptures/texts/whatever you call them, were burned down and most of what is left is temple inscriptions? So are you actually expecting to find theoretical knowledge of maths on temple walls?
  32. @Randal

    Good ol’ irresponsibly glib Fred. The “Islamists” of ISIS and al-Nusrah he terms “Muslims,” whereas in fact they are evidently an aberration. They are not Muslims according to their own orthodox authorities. See for example the scathing remarks of a Shaykh Imran Hosein or even a Hassan Nasrallah.
     
    The equivalent of C16th Catholics claiming Protestants "aren't real Christians", because look - all these (Catholic) theologians and authorities condemn their ideas as heretical.

    Hey Randal,

    The comparison is not the exactly the same even though Daesh are indeed reformers. First off, the Catholic Church never had monopoly as the voice of Christianity (see Orthodox Churches). Second off, Christianity never had the concept of ijma (consensus) as does Sunni Orthodox Islam:

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/ijma

    Daesh has broken with consensus on multiple issues:

    http://www.refutingisis.com/

    They have no high-caliber scholars of any note (I’m open to be contradicted in this regard if anyone has proof – they seem to be a bunch of young guys with guns making up stuff as they go along); at least the Protestants had people like Calvin or Luther.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I'm not very interested in Richard's egocentric excursion from what Fred chose to write about but I have to point out that your distinctions don't work. The persistence of Orthodox Christianity is wholly irrelevant (and anyway paralleled in Islam). Orthodox Christianity was no more an alternative source of authority in the West than Iranian Ayatollahs are in Egypt.

    As to consensus, what is the difference between that and the authority of the Pope or Vatican Councils for the purposes of your argument?
  33. Ironic that the invading Europeans stopped the intellectual upward spiral of the Amerind civilizations — broke them so badly that nothing remained of pieces to “pick up” and go on.

    Ironic indeed, since that is exactly what the invading Amerinds from Mejico and points southerly are doing to the once-great American civilization.

    Damn. What goes around comes around in spades, don’t it?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim
    The "upward spiral" of Mesoamerican civilizations was certainly proceeding very slowly compared to progress in the Old World. In some respects the civilizations in existence at the time of the Spanish arrival were not at the level of the Toltecs before them.

    In the two thousand years from 3000 BC to 1000 BC there is much more in the way of "progress" in the Near East than in the two thousand years or so of pre-Conquest Mesoamerican civilizatiosn.
  34. @Kyle a
    The Mayans were long gone by the time the spaniards showed up. Don't know if that excludes the groups from interaction.

    Utter nonsense. The Maya not only were still around at the time of the Spanish they are still around today. The Maya in fact proved considerably harder for the Spanish to overcome than the Aztecs. In fact after the initial conquest of the Yucatan a Maya rebelliin against the Spanish temporarily drove the Spanish out.

    The “collapse” of the Mayan civilization which you may be thinking of affected only the Highland Maya.

    Read More
  35. @Priss Factor
    Does anyone know if there were cultural or tribal connections among the Mayans, Aztecs, and the Incas?

    Or did they develop entirely separately from one another?

    I aks because of the remarkable similarity in the pottery, architecture, and the arts. Look at their pyramids. Look at their sculptures.

    In the case of Western Europe, much of the art and architecture came to be similar because just about all European civilization followed the Classical Model. So, we have Greek and Roman columns in France, Spain, Germany, Britain, Sweden, Russia, and etc. Even up to the early 20th century, many buildings were modeled on neo-classicism.

    And a lot of stuff in East Asia look somewhat similar because many Asian nations adopted the Chinese style of painting and architecture. So, we see the same kind of tiled roofs and pagoda-like structures.
    And India and all nations influenced by Indian religion and culture have similar kind of architecture. The Angkor Wat in Cambodia looks very much like Hindu/Buddhist Temples in India.

    In contrast, there is a great deal of divergence among the arts and architecture of Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, and etc.

    To be sure, there is something like a similarity among the Near East folks, the big beardos. Babylonians, Persians, Assyrians, and such folks were into massive sculptures of men with huge beards and of giant bulls. They seem to belong to a cultural family distinct from the Greeks and the Egyptians.

    Were the connections(historical or cultural) among the Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs? Why are their arts and architecture so similar? After the Mayan empire fell, did the survivors of that civilization keep alive some of the culture and did that serve as seed for creating the later civilizations? Or did the other ones begin from scratch on their own?

    If the latter is true, there seems to be a collective consciousness among the Meso-American folks. Their mental archetypes are different from that of other races. Though American Indians never created great civilizations, one can find similarities between their artistic expression and those of the South and Central Americans.

    When we look at Black African sculptures, the main theme seems to be elongation, stretch-arm-strong-ism, coneheadism, Giacomettism, and etc. Was it simply due to the fact that blacks had longer limbs and dongs? Or is there something in the black psyche that prefers a kind of elongation approach? Consider how blacks like to stretch words out: 'sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiit' and 'daaaaaaaaaaaaaaang' and 'he naaaaaaaasty' or 'dat mothafuc*a craaaaaaazy'.

    In contrast, a lot of the artistic expression of the Meso-Americans seem to squat-ism, crunchism, smooshism, playdo-ism, squeezism, Tattoo-ism(Fantasy Island), turtle-ish, and etc. It could have been due to the shorter stature of the Mesos. Or maybe there is something in the Meso-psyche that prefers things short and curt. Mesos are related to Americans Indians and East Asians who have similar squatism in their styles of psyche. American Indians just say 'how'. Japanese speak in clipped style. Chinese language is made up of mono-syllables.

    Incas, Aztecs and the Maya are certainly not closely related. Although the Andean culture zone developed largely independently of Mesoamerica items of Andean origin have been found in Mesoamerica indicating that they were not totally isolated from each other but certainly their interaction was very slight.

    Aztecs were relatively recent arrivals from the north to the Valley of Mexico. Nahuatl is a Uto-Aztecan language most closely related in that group to the Kiowa-Tanoan languages of northeastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle. The greatest number of Uto-Aztecan languages are found in the Great American Basin indicating that that area is the place of dispersion for the Uto-Aztecan languages.

    The Maya have been present in the Yucatan, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, El Salvador, extreme southern Mexico since as far back as they can be traced. Their languages are Penutian, a large family of languages spoken from the Northwestern US down to the area of the Maya.

    There was a lot of interconnection and interaction among all the numerous Mesoamerican cultures. For example some archaeologists believe that Chichen-Itzan may have been a Toltec colony in Mayan territory. There were also Mayan enclaves located in the Valley of Mexico. The Mayans and other Mesoamericans were certainly not at all isolated from each other. The Mesoamerican cultural area also included as a peripheral part the cultures of the American Southwest.

    There never was any “Mayan Empire” to “fall”. At various times different Mayan cities achieved greater status and prestige than others but there was nothing like the old world empires such as found in the Ancient Near East beginning with Sargon of Akkad.

    The Highland Maya did experience a collapse but there is little evidence of foreign intrusion and the common Mayan people of the area continued to live there much as before and of course can still be found. The Lowland Maya never experienced any “collapse” and were still going strong when the Spanish arrived. There is however evidence that Toltecs may have conquered and ruled over parts of the Yucatan for a period.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jeff77450
    Interesting. Thank you.
    , @iffen
    Jim,

    Do we know which group likely domesticated the turkey and muscovy duck?
  36. @dearieme
    "Interesting stuff, no?"

    Yes, but when I try to use examples such as this on blogs where someone has been overdoing the race superiority business, I seem to meet denial or mere bafflement. Face it, inventing zero is a greater intellectual achievement than any in the history of the US or its predecessor colonies.

    “inventing zero us a greater intellectual achievement than any in the history of the US”

    Your statement qualifies as complete, utter and total nonsense.

    Read More
  37. Yes, Mayan civilization is an interesting one, but it didn’t seem to help the peoples in the America’s when Western explorers discovered this new world. It was a case of advanced civilization meets stone age civilization. Guess which one always wins?

    Lamenting history is an invitation to stupidity. History happened – deal with it. Look at any nation colonized by the Catholic Spanish and you will find corruption a even worse than ours and rampant poverty. I think it says more about the Spanish and the corruption created by Catholicism than anything else.

    Face it, if you want a successful and prosperous nation, it needs to be white and have a western protestant culture. (Which it will if it is white. And for Japan and South Korea, and other Asian nations – they adopted Western ways to get where they are.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim
    Japan has had one of the highest standards of living in the world for most of the past 1500 years. It was only about the end of the eighteenth century that the standard of living in Western Europe surpassed that of Japan.

    Your statement that a succesful and prosperous country must be white and Protestant is ludicrous. Certainly Protestantism has had very little influence on modern Japan.
    , @Anonymous
    https://books.google.com/books?id=XLSa_RIDHMUC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Himmler had scientists undertake excavations of prehistoric sites.
    Hitler commented:

    "Why do we call the whole world's attention to the fact that we have
    no past? It isn't enough that the Romans were erecting great buildings when
    our forefathers were still living in mud huts; now Himmler is starting to
    dig up these villages of mud huts and enthusing over every potsherd and
    stone axe he finds. All we prove by that is that we were still throwing stone
    hatchets and crouching around open fires when Greece and Rome had
    already reached the highest stage of culture. We really should do our best
    to keep quiet about this past. Instead Himmler makes a great fuss about it
    all. The present-day Romans must be having a laugh at these revelations."
     
    , @Hippopotamusdrome


    Look at any nation colonized by the Catholic Spanish and you will find corruption a even worse than ours and rampant poverty.

     

    Protestant America has indian reservations. How do our natives compare to South American Natives?
  38. @Anton
    That is not quite true. Those Mayans who were long gone by the time the Spaniards showed up inhabited the southern part of the Maya lands. But in the north, in the Yukatan peninsula, the Mayan civilisation continued to flourish - the city states of Chichen-Itzà and Mayapan, for example. It was their books that Diego de Landa burnt.

    Mayan Indians still inhabit Yukatan, as well as Guatemala, Honduras and Belize. And a number of Mayan languages is still spoken.

    There is no evidence that the Maya suffered any substantial decline in their numbers or territory that they inhabitated in Pre-Conquest times. The Highland Maya did experience a collapse of the great cities but there is little evidence of foreign intrusion and the life of the common Mayan people in the area seems to have continued much as before the collapse. There was no collapse of the Lowland Maya prior to the arrival of the Spanish although there is some evidence that parts of the Yucatan may have conquered by the Toltecs and ruled by them for a period of time.

    The Maya were not “long gone” by the time of the arrival of the Spanish and are still there in substantial numbers.

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  39. @Romanian
    It is perfectly possible for the vast majority of them to have been low IQ, yet an endogamous subpopulation within their society to have been high IQ. The contrast between India's low average IQ and the high IQ people it sent to the West is another example. Generally, the existence of distinct subpopulations is how you reconcile the issue of having a less than intelligent population which, nevertheless, has high achievements. Razib Khan had a post on this recently.

    You beat me to it. Good point.

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  40. @Jim
    Incas, Aztecs and the Maya are certainly not closely related. Although the Andean culture zone developed largely independently of Mesoamerica items of Andean origin have been found in Mesoamerica indicating that they were not totally isolated from each other but certainly their interaction was very slight.

    Aztecs were relatively recent arrivals from the north to the Valley of Mexico. Nahuatl is a Uto-Aztecan language most closely related in that group to the Kiowa-Tanoan languages of northeastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle. The greatest number of Uto-Aztecan languages are found in the Great American Basin indicating that that area is the place of dispersion for the Uto-Aztecan languages.

    The Maya have been present in the Yucatan, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, El Salvador, extreme southern Mexico since as far back as they can be traced. Their languages are Penutian, a large family of languages spoken from the Northwestern US down to the area of the Maya.

    There was a lot of interconnection and interaction among all the numerous Mesoamerican cultures. For example some archaeologists believe that Chichen-Itzan may have been a Toltec colony in Mayan territory. There were also Mayan enclaves located in the Valley of Mexico. The Mayans and other Mesoamericans were certainly not at all isolated from each other. The Mesoamerican cultural area also included as a peripheral part the cultures of the American Southwest.

    There never was any "Mayan Empire" to "fall". At various times different Mayan cities achieved greater status and prestige than others but there was nothing like the old world empires such as found in the Ancient Near East beginning with Sargon of Akkad.

    The Highland Maya did experience a collapse but there is little evidence of foreign intrusion and the common Mayan people of the area continued to live there much as before and of course can still be found. The Lowland Maya never experienced any "collapse" and were still going strong when the Spanish arrived. There is however evidence that Toltecs may have conquered and ruled over parts of the Yucatan for a period.

    Interesting. Thank you.

    Read More
  41. @Anton
    That is not quite true. Those Mayans who were long gone by the time the Spaniards showed up inhabited the southern part of the Maya lands. But in the north, in the Yukatan peninsula, the Mayan civilisation continued to flourish - the city states of Chichen-Itzà and Mayapan, for example. It was their books that Diego de Landa burnt.

    Mayan Indians still inhabit Yukatan, as well as Guatemala, Honduras and Belize. And a number of Mayan languages is still spoken.

    Chichen-Itza is very different from other Mayan sites. Some archaeologists believe that Chichen-Itza was actually a Toltec colony in Mayan territory.

    Read More
  42. @Lot
    Fred, in a contest between the ancient Maya at their peak, and Europe of the same era, you may well be right that the Maya had comparable or higher IQ. Though primitive Europeans had some pretty impressive monuments such as Stonehenge.

    That does not tell us much about the IQ of modern mesoamerican indios compared to whites. The most direct way to compare is look at IQ tests, and the former have much lower IQs than the latter.

    Whatever the case 1000+ years ago, Europeans had a long period of strong selective pressure for higher IQ from the Middle Ages until about 1900, as documented by Clarke and others. It is possible it went the other way in ancient Mexico. Its cities may have acted as demographic sinks for higher IQ people from the countryside. And there were multiple cycles of more advanced civilizations in ancient Mexico being conquered by barbarians migrating from the north.

    Certainly, there is the well-documented example of the decline of Rome. Rome was semi-meritocratic, but had very dysgenic fertility, to the point it greatly worried Augustus. And it too was destroyed by barbarian invaders from the North. The Bronze Age Collapse provides another example of multiple advanced, relatively high IQ civilization being destroyed by illiterate and likely low-IQ invaders.

    In summary, I do not think the advanced civilization of the ancient Maya tell us much about the intelligence of modern mesoamerican indios.

    In summary, I do not think the advanced civilization of the ancient Maya tell us much about the intelligence of modern mesoamerican indios.

    Well, although that statement may be correct, there really doesn’t seem to be much evidence that modern mesoamerican indios have particularly low IQs, at least when compared with those of various European countries. If you haven’t already done so, you might want to read a couple of my own articles discussing that issue in some detail:

    http://www.unz.com/article/race-iq-and-wealth/#implications-for-the-american-immigration-debate

    http://www.unz.com/article/raceiq-the-jason-richwine-affair/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim
    It is simply silly to regard Mesoamerican cultures as having reached a level comparable to that attained by Old World cultures. In evaluating statements about "advanced mathematics" etc. one should note that there is nothing in the surviving Mesoamerican texts comparable even to the Ahmes papyrus. In fact there really isn't much evidence of any theoretical knowledge of mathematics. There is no evidence of the existence of professional scribes or of any schools teaching any theoretical knowledge about mathematics or any other subject. In contrast there are a huge number of school tablets containing worked problems in mathematics, surveying etc. from the Ancient Near East. This is long before the classical Greek mathematical texts.

    It may be reasonable to compare Mesoamerican cultures to Uruk but simply ludicrous to compare them to say Mycenae.

    Certainly though among the Mesoamericans who used the Long Count (Mayans, Olmecs and Zapotecs) there was a knowledge of how to convert the Long Count dates into the common Mesoamerican calendar. The days of religious festivals were set by means of the Long Count and so would drift around the common calendar year.
    , @Jeff77450
    Mr. Unz, I peruse your website several times a week and I usually learn something. Thank you for creating & maintaining it.

    This very credible source suggests that the average IQ of Mexicans and Central Americans is about 85, a full standard deviation, 15 points, below Caucasians: https://iq-research.info/en/page/average-iq-by-country

    Cold-fusion, the cure for cancer and the first manned Mars mission won't be coming from Latin America.

    I have difficulty understanding why people bother denying that IQ exists and that different groups have different averages: Ashkenazi Jews, 110; north-east Asians, 105/; Caucasians, 100; the various brown races, 80-90; black Americans, 85; black Africans, 70. Hey look: my group, "generic American WASPs," didn't come in first *or* second. And *within* the group known as Caucasians my group didn't come in first; that honor goes to the Germans/Dutch. Doesn't seem to have held us "colonials" back. Clearly, a culture that pursues, embraces and values freedom & progress can go a long way towards compensating for IQ deficiency. That truth at least partially explains why north-east Asians didn't split the atom or put a man on the moon.
    , @Marcus
    In your opinion, why haven't the centuries-long efforts of the Jesuits to Europeanize/Christianize various Amerind tribes borne fruit?
    , @Lot

    Well, although that statement may be correct, there really doesn’t seem to be much evidence that modern mesoamerican indios have particularly low IQs, at least when compared with those of various European countries.
     
    "Much evidence" and "particularly low" suck out most of the content of your claim here. I'd say there is overwhelming evidence that the native people of the Yucatan and Central America have lower IQs than white Europeans and Americans.

    Sometimes when we talk about IQ we are not fully clear about if our meaning is actual intelligence or genetic potential IQ. Obviously the Meso-Euro IQ gap is smaller for the latter because so many Mesos were raised by illiterate bean farmers, jungle dwellers, and now mostly in teeming unsanitary slums.

    For the question of the extent of the gap, I'd guess the Indians of central america have actual IQs of about 85 and potential IQs of about 90-92 after reviewing the data we have.

    IQ researchers have certainly made mistakes before. Underestimating Irish and Ashkenazi IQ a long time ago for instance. Looking at broad racial IQ estimates, however, they data and estimates they compiled 70-100 years ago has held up awfully well.
    , @syonredux

    “Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices test was administered to a representative sample of 920 white, Mestizo and Native Mexican Indian children aged 7–10 years in Mexico. The mean IQs in relation to a British mean of 100 obtained from the 1979 British standardization sample and adjusted for the estimated subsequent increase were: 98·0 for whites, 94·3 for Mestizos and 83·3 for Native Mexican Indians.”

     

    http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=266611

    And then let’s compare this to the racial composition of Mexico:

    98.0: Mexican Whites
    94.3:Mexican Mestizos
    83.3: Mexican Amerinds

    According to the CIA FACTBOOK, Mexico’s racial breakdown is:Mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) 60%, Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian 30%, white 9%, other 1%

    And 90% + of the people that Mexico sends to the USA are Mestizo ( mean IQ 94.3) and Amerind (mean IQ 83.3)……

    And the Hispanic population keeps on growing:

    There were 55.3 million Hispanics in the United States in 2014, comprising 17.3% of the total U.S. population. In 1980, with a population of 14.8 million, Hispanics made up just 6.5% of the total U.S. population.

     


    Since 1960, the nation’s Latino population has increased nearly ninefold, from 6.3 million then to 55.3 million by 2014. It is projected to grow to 119 million by 2060, according to the latest projections from the U.S. Census Bureau
     

    The share of the population that is Hispanic has been steadily increasing over the past half century. In 2014, Hispanics made up 17.3% of the total U.S. population, up from 3.5% in 1960. According to the latest projections from the U.S. Census Bureau (2014), the Hispanic share of the U.S. population is expected to reach 28.6% by 2060.
     

    Mexican-origin Hispanics have always been the largest Hispanic-origin group in the U.S. In 1860, for example, among the 155,000 Hispanics living in the U.S., 81.1% were of Mexican origin—a historic high. Since then the origins of the nation’s Hispanic population have diversified as growing numbers of immigrants from other Latin American nations and Puerto Rico settled in the U.S. For example, between 1930 and 1980, Hispanics from places other than Mexico nearly doubled their representation among U.S. Hispanics, from 22.4% to 40.6%. But with the arrival of large numbers of Mexican immigrants in the 1980s and 1990s, the Mexican share among Hispanics grew, rising to a recent peak of 65.7% in 2008 and staying about steady since then.
     
    http://www.pewhispanic.org/2016/04/19/statistical-portrait-of-hispanics-in-the-united-states-key-charts/

    The Anglo-American future looks quite bleak…..
  43. @Priss Factor
    "The Maya in the popular mind are thought to have been murdering, torturing savages given to human sacrifice. This is probably because they were in fact murdering, torturing savages given to human sacrifice. Why this is thought especially reprehensible is a mystery. The Romans sacrificed huge numbers in the arena so that the public could enjoy watching them die, crucified large numbers, and poured molten lead down the throats of criminals. In the European witch hunts, sort of 1450-1750, some 500,000 were killed depending on whose numbers you accept, mostly by burning alive."

    Well, all peoples have done bad things.
    But cruelty isn't just about what but why.
    If a nation kills 100,000 people of another nation in war, that is less horrifying that if a nation killed 1000 people in human sacrifice.
    Wars are terrible, but they are, as some guy said, 'diplomacy by other means'. There will always be conflicts among man over resources and other reasons. Wars are necessary evils.
    As for cruel punishments meted out by Romans and others, yes, they were horrible. But there was still the matter of justice. Even if the methods were barbaric and extreme, people were being punished for something they did.
    As for the witchhunts in Europe during the Christian era, there was the genuine panic and belief that the witches were possessed by the Devil. So, there was a moral component to the violence. It's like communism killed many people but in the name of creating a more just society. And even though US did horrible things in WWII and other wars, wars are like that. It is fought to win, and people lose their minds in the melee. Winning becomes everything, and the hatred of the enemy drives much of the action.

    The bloody Gladiatorial games are more problematic morally, but many of the victims were animals. Also, the humans were given some chance of fighting and surviving. And if they won enough fights, they might even be shown clemency and be admired as a hero.

    In contrast, human sacrifice in Meso-America had no moral justification. The victims didn't commit any crime. They were innocent. They weren't seen as possessed by demons or forces of Evil. Rather, the Meso-Americans worshiped amoral gods that was into might-is-right. And this god had to be satiated with the blood of innocents.
    Now, such rituals also existed in other cultures. I think Babylonians sacrificed little children to the gods, at least in some silent movie.

    There is a difference between violence in service of over-zealous sense of justice or revenge AND violence in service of amorality of might.
    Righteous people may cruelly punish the wicked.
    Soldiers in war may carry out horrible acts of vengeance against the other side. Consider what Soviet troops did to Russian women in WWII. Or Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US.
    But the Mayans in Mel Gibson's APOCALYPTO were just being 'a**holes'. They just abducted forest folks and sacrificed them to some Lord of Amoral Might in the sky.
    There was no reason for the killing except to satiate the Conception of Power without Moral Vision.

    Maybe the lesson of the Mesos is that the smart elites shouldn't be too cruel. Maybe there were indeed very smart elites in Meso-America. But they acted to cruelly and amorally that the masses came to really really hate them. And when the civilizations fell, the masses were so pissed off that they killed off all the smart people.

    In any society, there is a limited number of smart folks, esp very smart folks.
    Among Old World civilizations, such people might become elites and gain great power and wealth. But they still showed that they were not all about power and force. They also won the trust of people with show of justice, spirituality, civic virtue, and etc.
    It seems the elites of Meso-America failed to develop any moral or spiritual system that could win and hold the trust of the masses for long. They ate too many magic mushrooms and worshiped some bloody god and decided to rule by sheer terror and fear-mongering.
    So, when the empires fell, it could be that the angry masses killed ALL the smart folks.
    Bill Gates said 'be nice to nerds cuz they might hire you one day.'
    It could also be said, 'be nice to people because they might bring you down one day.'

    Interesting and very well said. It’s always been my understanding that the whole human sacrifice thing was about pleasing the god(s) and trying to influence him/her/them to do or not do something. In other words, from their point of view human sacrifice was done for pragmatic reasons and not just because they could. In any case, man’s inhumanity to man just never ceases to amaze me. Just when I think that I’ve seen it all some new, heretofore unknown, atrocity makes the news and my mind is blown yet again.

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    • Replies: @Jim
    According to the religious ideology of most Mesoamerican culturs failure to sacrifice humans to the Gods would have lead to crop failures and no doubt other disasters and calamities.

    As for atrocities you definitely did not want to be on the losing side in a Mesoamerican war.
    , @Clyde

    It’s always been my understanding that the whole human sacrifice thing was about pleasing the god(s) and trying to influence him/her/them to do or not do something. In other words, from their point of view human sacrifice was done for pragmatic reasons and not just because they could.
     
    My take is the whole population got their rocks off from these satanic human sacrifice ceremonies. Sure it was done for the Aztec sun god but also for entertainment purposes. The Indians of North America liked to torment/torture captives. Why? Because they liked doing it. But the Aztecs were in a league of their own as far as the numbers sacrificed to satanic pagan gods.
    , @Truth
    Wealthy 21st century white Americans/ Europeans do human sacrifice to this day, to the point where it is part of their "culture."
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OClQLbukQc
  44. @Anton
    Mayans and Aztecs are part of the same Mesoamerican cultural space which also includes Olmecs, Mixtecs, and a number of other peoples. All of them evolved together and influenced each other's cultures and religions and were as similar as, let us say, Chinese, Japanese and Koreans. Mayans seem to be the only ones who developed a genuine system of writing, while the others used pictography.

    The Incas are part of the Andean family of cultures. Andean peoples were very different from Mesoamerican ones. For example, they used copper and bronze weapons and tools, while in Mesoamerica they fought their wars and buit all their palaces and temples with stone and wooden ones. Another specific feature was quipus or talking knots - a system of recording information by means of threads with knots.

    The system of government in the Andes and Mesoamerica seemed to be different. Mesoamerica consisted of great number of small states constantly at war with each other and never managed to coalesce into a bigger entity. And Incas built a huge centralised and somewhat totalitarian empire.

    There seem to be very little contact between the two areas. However, it is believed that the Purepecha Indians in Mesoamerica originally came from the Andes. They made and extensively used bronze unlike their neighbours.

    In any case, all these civilisations are very interesting, though their religion and general view of life seem rather gloomy and depressing. Just one example: Mayans worshiped a goddess of suicide depicted as a hanged woman dangling on a rope attached to the skies!

    On the whole, their history demonstrates the essential unity of the human race. For all their difference, pre-Columbian peoples developed in the same way as the ancient peoples of the Old World and you find a lot of similarities between them and the Bronze Age Oriental cultures.

    Your statement that Mesoamericans other than the Maya used only pictographs is totally false.

    To me the differences between Mesoamerican cultures and those of the ancient Near East are far more striking than the few similarities.

    One very striking difference is that although true writing was widespread in Mesoamerica its use almost exclusively involved monumental inscriptions and high status work of a poetic, religious or epic nature. In contrast to this the writing of the Ancient Near East had its origons in the needs of merchants to record business transactions and was used in this way for centuries before the first monumental inscriptions. The use of writing in the Ancient Near East pervades the whole of society. In fact mounmental inscriptions and poetic, religious and epic texts form a very small part of the recovered texts. We have a huge amount of business documents, vouchers, bills of lading, contracts and merchant correspondence. Also there is a massive quantity of administrative documents and diplomatic correspondence. There are also private letters, diaries, pharmacopeias, manuals on all kinds of practical subjects such as horse-training, wills, records of legal proceedings, historical chronicles, extensive legal codes and on and on. In comparison with this the use of writing in Mesoamerica remained very restricted over the approximately two thousand years in existed prior to the Conquest.

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  45. @Ron Unz

    In summary, I do not think the advanced civilization of the ancient Maya tell us much about the intelligence of modern mesoamerican indios.
     
    Well, although that statement may be correct, there really doesn't seem to be much evidence that modern mesoamerican indios have particularly low IQs, at least when compared with those of various European countries. If you haven't already done so, you might want to read a couple of my own articles discussing that issue in some detail:

    http://www.unz.com/article/race-iq-and-wealth/#implications-for-the-american-immigration-debate

    http://www.unz.com/article/raceiq-the-jason-richwine-affair/

    It is simply silly to regard Mesoamerican cultures as having reached a level comparable to that attained by Old World cultures. In evaluating statements about “advanced mathematics” etc. one should note that there is nothing in the surviving Mesoamerican texts comparable even to the Ahmes papyrus. In fact there really isn’t much evidence of any theoretical knowledge of mathematics. There is no evidence of the existence of professional scribes or of any schools teaching any theoretical knowledge about mathematics or any other subject. In contrast there are a huge number of school tablets containing worked problems in mathematics, surveying etc. from the Ancient Near East. This is long before the classical Greek mathematical texts.

    It may be reasonable to compare Mesoamerican cultures to Uruk but simply ludicrous to compare them to say Mycenae.

    Certainly though among the Mesoamericans who used the Long Count (Mayans, Olmecs and Zapotecs) there was a knowledge of how to convert the Long Count dates into the common Mesoamerican calendar. The days of religious festivals were set by means of the Long Count and so would drift around the common calendar year.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Marcus

    It may be reasonable to compare Mesoamerican cultures to Uruk but simply ludicrous to compare them to say Mycenae.
     
    This seems at odds with your previous post, notably

    The use of writing in the Ancient Near East pervades the whole of society.
     
    My impression is that the Mycenaeans, whose society was centered on the warrior king's stronghold, were much less literate than their contemporaries in the Mideast.
  46. @Ron Unz

    In summary, I do not think the advanced civilization of the ancient Maya tell us much about the intelligence of modern mesoamerican indios.
     
    Well, although that statement may be correct, there really doesn't seem to be much evidence that modern mesoamerican indios have particularly low IQs, at least when compared with those of various European countries. If you haven't already done so, you might want to read a couple of my own articles discussing that issue in some detail:

    http://www.unz.com/article/race-iq-and-wealth/#implications-for-the-american-immigration-debate

    http://www.unz.com/article/raceiq-the-jason-richwine-affair/

    Mr. Unz, I peruse your website several times a week and I usually learn something. Thank you for creating & maintaining it.

    This very credible source suggests that the average IQ of Mexicans and Central Americans is about 85, a full standard deviation, 15 points, below Caucasians: https://iq-research.info/en/page/average-iq-by-country

    Cold-fusion, the cure for cancer and the first manned Mars mission won’t be coming from Latin America.

    I have difficulty understanding why people bother denying that IQ exists and that different groups have different averages: Ashkenazi Jews, 110; north-east Asians, 105/; Caucasians, 100; the various brown races, 80-90; black Americans, 85; black Africans, 70. Hey look: my group, “generic American WASPs,” didn’t come in first *or* second. And *within* the group known as Caucasians my group didn’t come in first; that honor goes to the Germans/Dutch. Doesn’t seem to have held us “colonials” back. Clearly, a culture that pursues, embraces and values freedom & progress can go a long way towards compensating for IQ deficiency. That truth at least partially explains why north-east Asians didn’t split the atom or put a man on the moon.

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    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    This very credible source suggests that the average IQ of Mexicans and Central Americans is about 85, a full standard deviation, 15 points, below Caucasians
     
    Ha, ha, ha... People will believe whatever some random fellow puts up on a colorful website .

    If you look at your suggested website, which is most definitely NOT a "credible source," you'll notice the actual *source* of all those colorful maps are Prof. Richard Lynn's books.

    I've actually *read* all those books and the articles which I provided as links analysis his data in some considerable detail, so you should probably read them.

    Actual books tend to provide much more information than colorful websites. One problem with the Internet is that people have gotten too lazy to read books, and just click on colorful websites instead...
    , @Ron Unz
    Incidentally, I should add that I actually *know* Prof. Richard Lynn (who was the actual *source* of the data for that colorful website you referenced), and have corresponded with him at some length over the years. Indeed, he found some of my articles on the subject of Race/IQ very interesting and quite persuasive.

    Here's a link to a long list of my articles and columns on the subject, totaling perhaps 30,000 words, including exchanges with Lynn and his close collaborators:

    http://www.unz.com/author/ron-unz/topic/race-iq/?ItemOrder=ASC

    You might want to read the articles and then decide for yourself. But that takes much more time than just glancing at a colorful website some random fellow put up.

    I'm sorry for being a little harsh, but it's rather irritating that I publish 30,000 words of detailed analysis and instead of paying any attention to it, someone just glances at some colorful website that an ignorant graphics designer probably put up in 30 minutes or so.
    , @Hippopotamusdrome

    I have difficulty understanding why people bother denying that IQ exists and that different groups have different averages: Ashkenazi Jews, 110; north-east Asians, 105/; Caucasians, 100; the various brown races, 80-90; black Americans, 85; black Africans, 70
     
    Here's a compiliation of national IQ from a study in 1981:
    Holland 109.4
    Germany 109.3
    Poland 108.3
    Sweden 105.8

    From V. Buj, Person. & Individ. Diff., Vol. 2, pp. 168 to 169, 1981
    Subjects >16 yrs. old tested on the Cattell Culture Fair Test 3 (16 SD), standardized in the USA (IQ=100).
  47. @Kyle a
    Actually the Aztecs were the torturing savages. Mayans, not so much.

    Human sacrifice and cannibalism were widely practiced in Mesoamerica, including by the Maya, but rarely as extensively as among the Aztecs.

    One thing to note about the Aztecs – because they were at the height of their power at the time of the arrival of the Spanish and they were the first major adversaries to the Spanish they have have had a very big impact on European perceptions of Mesoamericans. However the Aztec Empire was of very recent origin just prior to the arrival of the Spanish and the Aztecs themselves were fairly recent migrants form the North. So they are actually not that typical of Mesoamerican cultures of which a very large number existed at various times and places in the more than two thousnad years of Mesoamerican pre-C0nquest civilizations.

    Focusing excessively on the Aztecs is not conducive to a balanced appraisal of Mesoamerican culture.

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  48. @Abelard Lindsey
    Those of us who have any knowledge on the subject at all are well-aware of the advanced nature of the Mayas, particularly their mathematics and astronomy, relative to other contemporaneous civilizations.

    The question is why the poor performance of their present-day descendants in modern industrial culture. Immigrants from East and South Asia (China, Southern India, Korea, etc.) tend to excel relative to the "white" average after they come to the U.S. Mexican and other Latin American immigrants generally do not. The HBD explanations usually trotted out to explain such things are, as Fred says here, an inaccurate explanation for this phenomenon.

    Better explanations are necessary in order to have a rational debate on the merits of continued immigration into the U.S.

    Speaking of the “advanced” nature of the mathematical and astronomical knowledge of the Maya as compared to other conteporaneous civilizations (presumably you mean in the Old World) suggests that your knowledge of Mesoamerican cultures is extremely slight and possibly based on Hollywodd movies.

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  49. @Jeff77450
    Mr. Unz, I peruse your website several times a week and I usually learn something. Thank you for creating & maintaining it.

    This very credible source suggests that the average IQ of Mexicans and Central Americans is about 85, a full standard deviation, 15 points, below Caucasians: https://iq-research.info/en/page/average-iq-by-country

    Cold-fusion, the cure for cancer and the first manned Mars mission won't be coming from Latin America.

    I have difficulty understanding why people bother denying that IQ exists and that different groups have different averages: Ashkenazi Jews, 110; north-east Asians, 105/; Caucasians, 100; the various brown races, 80-90; black Americans, 85; black Africans, 70. Hey look: my group, "generic American WASPs," didn't come in first *or* second. And *within* the group known as Caucasians my group didn't come in first; that honor goes to the Germans/Dutch. Doesn't seem to have held us "colonials" back. Clearly, a culture that pursues, embraces and values freedom & progress can go a long way towards compensating for IQ deficiency. That truth at least partially explains why north-east Asians didn't split the atom or put a man on the moon.

    This very credible source suggests that the average IQ of Mexicans and Central Americans is about 85, a full standard deviation, 15 points, below Caucasians

    Ha, ha, ha… People will believe whatever some random fellow puts up on a colorful website .

    If you look at your suggested website, which is most definitely NOT a “credible source,” you’ll notice the actual *source* of all those colorful maps are Prof. Richard Lynn’s books.

    I’ve actually *read* all those books and the articles which I provided as links analysis his data in some considerable detail, so you should probably read them.

    Actual books tend to provide much more information than colorful websites. One problem with the Internet is that people have gotten too lazy to read books, and just click on colorful websites instead…

    Read More
    • Agree: RaceRealist88
    • Replies: @Jeff77450
    "Denial is not just a river in Egypt" and "The truth hurts." Let me guess, you think that _The Bell Curve_ was racist nonsense. IQ is very real and so are those IQ rankings.

    Okay, what's *your* explanation for why every single Latin American country--my use of the word country in lieu of nation is deliberate--is a chronic basket-case that can't seem to gain traction and get its act together??
    , @cipher
    "One problem with the Internet is that people have gotten too lazy to read books, and just click on colorful websites instead…"

    Mr. Unz,

    The behavior you describe strikes me as one of the hallmarks of a median or lower I.Q. population - e.g., America's White middle and working classes.

    There are some things about which said classes are not lazy: televised team sports/games, alcohol consumption, and a remarkable inability to form mutually beneficial self-sustaining groups.
    , @Lord Effington III
    The Mexicans coming to the USA are not the brightest bulbs.......I know that from living in Arizona. Sample Size you ask? LARGE.

    I deal with the high end of IQ as an engineer. What I see in the IQ studies is reflected on the ground no matter where I go.

    You're just wishing it were not so Mr Ron Unz.
    , @Hippopotamusdrome


    One problem with the Internet is that people have gotten too lazy to read books, and just click on colorful websites instead…

     

    Is your dislike of color why Unz.com doesn't animated gif avatars?
  50. @Jeff77450
    Interesting and very well said. It's always been my understanding that the whole human sacrifice thing was about pleasing the god(s) and trying to influence him/her/them to do or not do something. In other words, from their point of view human sacrifice was done for pragmatic reasons and not just because they could. In any case, man's inhumanity to man just never ceases to amaze me. Just when I think that I've seen it all some new, heretofore unknown, atrocity makes the news and my mind is blown yet again.

    According to the religious ideology of most Mesoamerican culturs failure to sacrifice humans to the Gods would have lead to crop failures and no doubt other disasters and calamities.

    As for atrocities you definitely did not want to be on the losing side in a Mesoamerican war.

    Read More
  51. @Jim
    It is simply silly to regard Mesoamerican cultures as having reached a level comparable to that attained by Old World cultures. In evaluating statements about "advanced mathematics" etc. one should note that there is nothing in the surviving Mesoamerican texts comparable even to the Ahmes papyrus. In fact there really isn't much evidence of any theoretical knowledge of mathematics. There is no evidence of the existence of professional scribes or of any schools teaching any theoretical knowledge about mathematics or any other subject. In contrast there are a huge number of school tablets containing worked problems in mathematics, surveying etc. from the Ancient Near East. This is long before the classical Greek mathematical texts.

    It may be reasonable to compare Mesoamerican cultures to Uruk but simply ludicrous to compare them to say Mycenae.

    Certainly though among the Mesoamericans who used the Long Count (Mayans, Olmecs and Zapotecs) there was a knowledge of how to convert the Long Count dates into the common Mesoamerican calendar. The days of religious festivals were set by means of the Long Count and so would drift around the common calendar year.

    It may be reasonable to compare Mesoamerican cultures to Uruk but simply ludicrous to compare them to say Mycenae.

    This seems at odds with your previous post, notably

    The use of writing in the Ancient Near East pervades the whole of society.

    My impression is that the Mycenaeans, whose society was centered on the warrior king’s stronghold, were much less literate than their contemporaries in the Mideast.

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    • Replies: @Jim
    The writing from Mycenae is almost exclusively of an administrative nature but it does indicate that the Mycenae rulers exercised a very tight and extensive control over their realms. Mycenae is not part of the Near East and my statement about the pervasive use of writing in the Near East does not apply to Mycenae.

    Mycenaean culture though in terms of pottery, metallurgy and political organizations was far more advanced than any Mesoamerican culture. There is very little from Mesoamerica in terms of administrative documents, legal codes etc. In fact I've never heard of any legal codes found in Mesoamerica.
  52. @woodNfish
    Yes, Mayan civilization is an interesting one, but it didn't seem to help the peoples in the America's when Western explorers discovered this new world. It was a case of advanced civilization meets stone age civilization. Guess which one always wins?

    Lamenting history is an invitation to stupidity. History happened - deal with it. Look at any nation colonized by the Catholic Spanish and you will find corruption a even worse than ours and rampant poverty. I think it says more about the Spanish and the corruption created by Catholicism than anything else.

    Face it, if you want a successful and prosperous nation, it needs to be white and have a western protestant culture. (Which it will if it is white. And for Japan and South Korea, and other Asian nations - they adopted Western ways to get where they are.)

    Japan has had one of the highest standards of living in the world for most of the past 1500 years. It was only about the end of the eighteenth century that the standard of living in Western Europe surpassed that of Japan.

    Your statement that a succesful and prosperous country must be white and Protestant is ludicrous. Certainly Protestantism has had very little influence on modern Japan.

    Read More
    • Replies: @woodNfish
    There will always be outliers in any pattern, but I am still correct. Even the Japanese saw the writing on the wall after they were opened to the West and began sending their elite children off to western universities to be educated and learn about western society and bring it home to Japan.
  53. @Jeff77450
    Mr. Unz, I peruse your website several times a week and I usually learn something. Thank you for creating & maintaining it.

    This very credible source suggests that the average IQ of Mexicans and Central Americans is about 85, a full standard deviation, 15 points, below Caucasians: https://iq-research.info/en/page/average-iq-by-country

    Cold-fusion, the cure for cancer and the first manned Mars mission won't be coming from Latin America.

    I have difficulty understanding why people bother denying that IQ exists and that different groups have different averages: Ashkenazi Jews, 110; north-east Asians, 105/; Caucasians, 100; the various brown races, 80-90; black Americans, 85; black Africans, 70. Hey look: my group, "generic American WASPs," didn't come in first *or* second. And *within* the group known as Caucasians my group didn't come in first; that honor goes to the Germans/Dutch. Doesn't seem to have held us "colonials" back. Clearly, a culture that pursues, embraces and values freedom & progress can go a long way towards compensating for IQ deficiency. That truth at least partially explains why north-east Asians didn't split the atom or put a man on the moon.

    Incidentally, I should add that I actually *know* Prof. Richard Lynn (who was the actual *source* of the data for that colorful website you referenced), and have corresponded with him at some length over the years. Indeed, he found some of my articles on the subject of Race/IQ very interesting and quite persuasive.

    Here’s a link to a long list of my articles and columns on the subject, totaling perhaps 30,000 words, including exchanges with Lynn and his close collaborators:

    http://www.unz.com/author/ron-unz/topic/race-iq/?ItemOrder=ASC

    You might want to read the articles and then decide for yourself. But that takes much more time than just glancing at a colorful website some random fellow put up.

    I’m sorry for being a little harsh, but it’s rather irritating that I publish 30,000 words of detailed analysis and instead of paying any attention to it, someone just glances at some colorful website that an ignorant graphics designer probably put up in 30 minutes or so.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jeff77450
    IQ has been an interest of mine for thirty-seven years. I'm not basing my assertions on a single website.
    , @Lot
    Ron, I have read all of your writing on IQ and for the most part not been terribly convinced. I don't know if you have an actual bias, but a lot of the writing seems to be slanted toward the idea mestizos/indios have higher IQs that commonly thought, while the gap between Ashkenazi and NE asians is lower than commonly thought.*

    As for Lynn, his first "IQ by country" article was just terrible, but he has since remedied some but not all of the flaws from his initial estimate. I think HBDchick has the most extensive discussion of the problems with "Lynn Round 1"

    *My own estimate is Japan/South Korea/Urban+overseas Chinese have an IQ average of about 105 while unmixed Ashkenazi outside of Israel around around 115. Israeli Ashkenazi and rural Chinese are both a few points lower. The actual numbers depend in part how you weight spatial reasoning, with NE Asians very strong and Ashkenazi nothing special on this area.
  54. @John Jeremiah Smith
    Ironic that the invading Europeans stopped the intellectual upward spiral of the Amerind civilizations -- broke them so badly that nothing remained of pieces to "pick up" and go on.

    Ironic indeed, since that is exactly what the invading Amerinds from Mejico and points southerly are doing to the once-great American civilization.

    Damn. What goes around comes around in spades, don't it?

    The “upward spiral” of Mesoamerican civilizations was certainly proceeding very slowly compared to progress in the Old World. In some respects the civilizations in existence at the time of the Spanish arrival were not at the level of the Toltecs before them.

    In the two thousand years from 3000 BC to 1000 BC there is much more in the way of “progress” in the Near East than in the two thousand years or so of pre-Conquest Mesoamerican civilizatiosn.

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  55. Whether here on UNZ, or among a coven of box wine, hot tub liberal yuppies, the posturing about comparative intelligence is absurd, rather like bragging because we are the smartest retard in special ed. Indeed, the best argument against God condemning evil doers to hell would be that an intelligence so powerful as to think the universe into existence and then create anything as silly as homo sapiens and burn them in hell forever for stupid behavior is absurd. More intelligent than what, dead possums or run over dogs? Indeed, contemporary bomb and rocket scientists, along with chemical engineers are possibly more stupid than even senators and federal judges.

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    • Agree: Jacques Sheete
    • Replies: @utu
    "like bragging because we are the smartest retard in special ed" - the ones bragging are not even that.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    It once struck me that the reason God created the world was obvious once you grasp the "made in His image" identity. Not only is He Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent and Eternal but we know because of that image identity something else about Him. Viz. He didn't do it for us but for Himself.

    Being Eternal, Omnipotent etc. He would have been lonely and bored. Ergo he created the world as an entertaining experiment to watch: a bit like lonely old Uncle George buying a puppy and two kittens to see how they all get on and who gets to finish up the milk. As I pointed out to a Prince of the Church this solved the Problem of Evil because G clearly wasn't interested in telling us what to do. He just started organic chemistry so he could be surprised and entertained by what evolution turned up. The P of the C handled this with the urbanity one would expect of a senior executive director of a 2000 year old multinational corporation that has managed to maintain IP on its main product by subtle variations ever since the JC Hellenistic brand was invented by one Paul. "I don'think that's standard Christian doctrine" he said.

    It being a pleasant social occasion I refrained from announcing my great consequential discovery based also on the "made in His image" identity. Only a bit over 100 years since (as I later discovered) someone coined the expression multi-verse I opined that as human a deity as our God clearly is wouldn't have stopped with one Big Bang and one universe but, like a bored child in a toy cupboard would have gone into frenetic overdrive and set off "pop pop pop...ad inf." so that, amidst the trillion, trillion, trillion universes within his view there would be bound to be one with the physical laws and parameters to provide our engaging perversity - and just that enthralling cruelty needed to sate the appetite for blood to which, it seems probable, all multi creating deities become addicted for a time. (Question: did the good sacrificial son cure his barbaric Daddy of his natural primitive nastiness? And did His - please note the scrupulous capitalisation which good manners requires when you know some people can get so easily upset by disrespect for their unseen mentors, not to mention decapitative when it concerns a certain prophet - ah but I have forgotten my segue as I strove to emphasise the importance of good manners over reason and fact in some areas touching our delicate psyches.... No. I remember. I had remembered how G had not learned from an early experiment from which one Isaac escaped only slightly singed...so JC may well have thought his Daddy, playing with trillions of inflation products may have needed something dramatic to catch His attention).

    So you see mtn cur G is quite happy with his senators and scientists in his millionth most stupid Creation. He just loves the suspense created by the combination of really big bangs by our scale and lots of loons to threaten even more and bigger ones after seeing what unrestrained f**k**g amongst the feckless can do to prepare for the cleaners.

    Just don't speak lightly and irreverently about the mighty Baal whose big joke was to allow some Canaanites to call themselves Hebrews, Israelites and Judeans and get all pompous about those who didn't employ scribes and compete for mankind's tiny slice of eternity.

  56. @Marcus

    It may be reasonable to compare Mesoamerican cultures to Uruk but simply ludicrous to compare them to say Mycenae.
     
    This seems at odds with your previous post, notably

    The use of writing in the Ancient Near East pervades the whole of society.
     
    My impression is that the Mycenaeans, whose society was centered on the warrior king's stronghold, were much less literate than their contemporaries in the Mideast.

    The writing from Mycenae is almost exclusively of an administrative nature but it does indicate that the Mycenae rulers exercised a very tight and extensive control over their realms. Mycenae is not part of the Near East and my statement about the pervasive use of writing in the Near East does not apply to Mycenae.

    Mycenaean culture though in terms of pottery, metallurgy and political organizations was far more advanced than any Mesoamerican culture. There is very little from Mesoamerica in terms of administrative documents, legal codes etc. In fact I’ve never heard of any legal codes found in Mesoamerica.

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    • Replies: @Marcus
    I'm aware of that, my point is that the Mesoamericans seem more comparable to Mycenaeans than to the more literate Mesopotamians, Syrians, etc. Mycenaean writing is mostly limited to palace inventories
  57. @Ron Unz

    This very credible source suggests that the average IQ of Mexicans and Central Americans is about 85, a full standard deviation, 15 points, below Caucasians
     
    Ha, ha, ha... People will believe whatever some random fellow puts up on a colorful website .

    If you look at your suggested website, which is most definitely NOT a "credible source," you'll notice the actual *source* of all those colorful maps are Prof. Richard Lynn's books.

    I've actually *read* all those books and the articles which I provided as links analysis his data in some considerable detail, so you should probably read them.

    Actual books tend to provide much more information than colorful websites. One problem with the Internet is that people have gotten too lazy to read books, and just click on colorful websites instead...

    “Denial is not just a river in Egypt” and “The truth hurts.” Let me guess, you think that _The Bell Curve_ was racist nonsense. IQ is very real and so are those IQ rankings.

    Okay, what’s *your* explanation for why every single Latin American country–my use of the word country in lieu of nation is deliberate–is a chronic basket-case that can’t seem to gain traction and get its act together??

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    • Replies: @Alden
    Well, one theory explaining why Latin Ameeica is such a mess compared to Anglo America is that the Spanish didn't kill off or drive off to remote areas the Indians

    Therefore the Indian influence remained and overwhelmed the European Spanish influence.

    Of course when I was young liberals blamed every problem in Latin America on United Fruit Company, Americans who owned shares in the Mexican oil company and the fact that AT&T operated copper mines in Chile. Every problem in Latin America was caused by American businesses and our Presidents, State Department CIA and coca cola ( but not Pepsi)
  58. @Ron Unz
    Incidentally, I should add that I actually *know* Prof. Richard Lynn (who was the actual *source* of the data for that colorful website you referenced), and have corresponded with him at some length over the years. Indeed, he found some of my articles on the subject of Race/IQ very interesting and quite persuasive.

    Here's a link to a long list of my articles and columns on the subject, totaling perhaps 30,000 words, including exchanges with Lynn and his close collaborators:

    http://www.unz.com/author/ron-unz/topic/race-iq/?ItemOrder=ASC

    You might want to read the articles and then decide for yourself. But that takes much more time than just glancing at a colorful website some random fellow put up.

    I'm sorry for being a little harsh, but it's rather irritating that I publish 30,000 words of detailed analysis and instead of paying any attention to it, someone just glances at some colorful website that an ignorant graphics designer probably put up in 30 minutes or so.

    IQ has been an interest of mine for thirty-seven years. I’m not basing my assertions on a single website.

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    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    Well, I'm busy with my own work and almost never involve myself in these comment-threads, so perhaps I shouldn't have made an exception here.

    But if you're interested in the topic, I do suggest you read some of my articles. It's possible you might learn something...
  59. @Ron Unz

    In summary, I do not think the advanced civilization of the ancient Maya tell us much about the intelligence of modern mesoamerican indios.
     
    Well, although that statement may be correct, there really doesn't seem to be much evidence that modern mesoamerican indios have particularly low IQs, at least when compared with those of various European countries. If you haven't already done so, you might want to read a couple of my own articles discussing that issue in some detail:

    http://www.unz.com/article/race-iq-and-wealth/#implications-for-the-american-immigration-debate

    http://www.unz.com/article/raceiq-the-jason-richwine-affair/

    In your opinion, why haven’t the centuries-long efforts of the Jesuits to Europeanize/Christianize various Amerind tribes borne fruit?

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    • Replies: @utu
    "why haven’t the centuries-long efforts of the Jesuits to Europeanize/Christianize various Amerind tribes borne fruit?" - Bolivian Mission Towns Revive Baroque Legacy
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90321843

    They composes classical music that never was composed in the US until late 19 century.
  60. @Jim
    The writing from Mycenae is almost exclusively of an administrative nature but it does indicate that the Mycenae rulers exercised a very tight and extensive control over their realms. Mycenae is not part of the Near East and my statement about the pervasive use of writing in the Near East does not apply to Mycenae.

    Mycenaean culture though in terms of pottery, metallurgy and political organizations was far more advanced than any Mesoamerican culture. There is very little from Mesoamerica in terms of administrative documents, legal codes etc. In fact I've never heard of any legal codes found in Mesoamerica.

    I’m aware of that, my point is that the Mesoamericans seem more comparable to Mycenaeans than to the more literate Mesopotamians, Syrians, etc. Mycenaean writing is mostly limited to palace inventories

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  61. @Jim
    Japan has had one of the highest standards of living in the world for most of the past 1500 years. It was only about the end of the eighteenth century that the standard of living in Western Europe surpassed that of Japan.

    Your statement that a succesful and prosperous country must be white and Protestant is ludicrous. Certainly Protestantism has had very little influence on modern Japan.

    There will always be outliers in any pattern, but I am still correct. Even the Japanese saw the writing on the wall after they were opened to the West and began sending their elite children off to western universities to be educated and learn about western society and bring it home to Japan.

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  62. @Jeff77450
    IQ has been an interest of mine for thirty-seven years. I'm not basing my assertions on a single website.

    Well, I’m busy with my own work and almost never involve myself in these comment-threads, so perhaps I shouldn’t have made an exception here.

    But if you’re interested in the topic, I do suggest you read some of my articles. It’s possible you might learn something…

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    • Replies: @Jim Christian
    Your papers are enlightening, Ron. The story of Jason Richwine is a perfect example of the breathless hypocrisy of these witch-burners. They quote science, science, science on the environment (and we can argue the merits of THEIR paid-for-an-opinion-or-else "settled science"). Science on evolution-not-God-science. And they LOVE the social "sciences" that they alternately embrace or reject as it suits their feelings of the day. The science of abortion? No life is destroyed because THEIR science tells them so.

    The science of genetics however, they want no part of and THAT is the lesson of many of your papers. For that part they want the "God created us equal" meme played regardless of obvious evidence to the contrary. Witches, no generation is free of them.

    No reply necessary, Ron, just cheerleading. Go get em.

  63. @alaska3636
    I submit a controversial concept: electro-magnetic genius, or EMG. The Maya seemed to be aware, as well as the early Egyptians, that the solar system is on a 32,000 year cycle. The positions of the planetary bodies in relation to the sun create disturbances in their relative electro-magnetic fields, which on Earth, interact with the genes of everybody's favorite sentient species.

    The Maya broke up the solar cycle into various ages, which may correspond variously to an environmental nudge towards activating genius in the human species at greater or lesser rates depending on the Age.

    EMG. It could be a thing.

    It may help explain the cycle of civilizations as well, which seem regular if you follow Martin Armstrong.

    The positions of the planetary bodies in relation to the sun create disturbances in their relative electro-magnetic fields …

    Heee, heee, heee; haw-haw; chuckle-chuckle-chuckle.

    Good one! Thanks, I was needing a good laugh this afternoon.

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  64. @Ron Unz

    In summary, I do not think the advanced civilization of the ancient Maya tell us much about the intelligence of modern mesoamerican indios.
     
    Well, although that statement may be correct, there really doesn't seem to be much evidence that modern mesoamerican indios have particularly low IQs, at least when compared with those of various European countries. If you haven't already done so, you might want to read a couple of my own articles discussing that issue in some detail:

    http://www.unz.com/article/race-iq-and-wealth/#implications-for-the-american-immigration-debate

    http://www.unz.com/article/raceiq-the-jason-richwine-affair/

    Well, although that statement may be correct, there really doesn’t seem to be much evidence that modern mesoamerican indios have particularly low IQs, at least when compared with those of various European countries.

    “Much evidence” and “particularly low” suck out most of the content of your claim here. I’d say there is overwhelming evidence that the native people of the Yucatan and Central America have lower IQs than white Europeans and Americans.

    Sometimes when we talk about IQ we are not fully clear about if our meaning is actual intelligence or genetic potential IQ. Obviously the Meso-Euro IQ gap is smaller for the latter because so many Mesos were raised by illiterate bean farmers, jungle dwellers, and now mostly in teeming unsanitary slums.

    For the question of the extent of the gap, I’d guess the Indians of central america have actual IQs of about 85 and potential IQs of about 90-92 after reviewing the data we have.

    IQ researchers have certainly made mistakes before. Underestimating Irish and Ashkenazi IQ a long time ago for instance. Looking at broad racial IQ estimates, however, they data and estimates they compiled 70-100 years ago has held up awfully well.

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    • Replies: @artichoke
    Underestimating Irish and Ashkenazi IQ ... that's me, half of one, half of the other. It's hard to believe that anyone would have thought so of my ancestors. Things weren't so different, then to now. We've always been brainy.

    This sounds like truly intentional "IQ-defamation" rather than an honest statistical hiccup. And the fact that it happened means that now we have to be apologetic and cover our asses 20 times to say the truth about other groups that are quite unlike the Irish and the Ashkenazi, with truly low performance and pretty clearly low IQ.
  65. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @dearieme
    "Interesting stuff, no?"

    Yes, but when I try to use examples such as this on blogs where someone has been overdoing the race superiority business, I seem to meet denial or mere bafflement. Face it, inventing zero is a greater intellectual achievement than any in the history of the US or its predecessor colonies.

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    • Replies: @Lot
    Early Germania lacked easy agriculture and high population densities, and their people had to focus a lot of mental effort on surviving winters.

    The closely related Gauls, however, pretty quickly became nearly as advanced and smart as the Romans within 100 years of their Roman conquest.

    And if you zoom forward to 1300AD, the Germans were composing polyphonic music and building Gothic cathedrals while the Maya had abandoned most of their cities.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/03/Cologne_cathedrale_vue_sud.jpg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aachen_Cathedral#/media/File:Aachen_Germany_Imperial-Cathedral-01.jpg

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b5/Aachen_Domschatz_Bueste1.jpg


    Even if you want to go back to 200AD, Porta Nigra, while designed by Romans, was likely built mostly by Germans:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/92/Trier_Porta_Nigra_BW_3.JPG
    , @Hippopotamusdrome


    Yucatan 400 AD vs Germania 400 AD; alt-right please explain.

     

    Yes, explain why Mayans didn't have iron tools and the wheel and Germania did.

    With metal woodworking tools you can have more sophisticated carpently than with stone tools.

    Dejbjerg Wagon with axle and lightweight spoked wheels (Not 400 AD, but 100 BC).

    With stone woodworking tools the best kind of boat you can make is a dugout canoe by hollowing out a tree trunk. A mast and sails ar out of the question.
    Mayan dugout canoe.

    With iron carpentry tools you can make a proper wooden ship with sails.
    Nydam Boat (200-400 AD)
    Nydam Boat exterior
    Nydam Boat interior
    , @random observer
    Apart from what Lot and Hippopotamusdrome have already contributed, let me note the simpler point that this comparison takes the most advanced society of the Neolithic new world and compares it to one of the less advanced regions of the Iron Age old world.

    A more relevant comparison would be "Yucatan 400 AD" to "Rome 400 AD" or "Constantinople 400 AD" [even better].

    If you want a fairer comparison for Germania, pick a fringe region of the MesoAmerican world at the same time.

    Or is there some requirement that Germania has to be the comparison? Even Hitler didn't think the Germans were the best exemplars of the "Aryan" world at that time. He favoured the Greeks and both spoke and wrote to that effect. It might be in his table talk or Goebbels' diaries, but somewhere there is a reference to him lightly pooh-poohing Himmler's veneration of the German tribes.
  66. @Ron Unz
    Incidentally, I should add that I actually *know* Prof. Richard Lynn (who was the actual *source* of the data for that colorful website you referenced), and have corresponded with him at some length over the years. Indeed, he found some of my articles on the subject of Race/IQ very interesting and quite persuasive.

    Here's a link to a long list of my articles and columns on the subject, totaling perhaps 30,000 words, including exchanges with Lynn and his close collaborators:

    http://www.unz.com/author/ron-unz/topic/race-iq/?ItemOrder=ASC

    You might want to read the articles and then decide for yourself. But that takes much more time than just glancing at a colorful website some random fellow put up.

    I'm sorry for being a little harsh, but it's rather irritating that I publish 30,000 words of detailed analysis and instead of paying any attention to it, someone just glances at some colorful website that an ignorant graphics designer probably put up in 30 minutes or so.

    Ron, I have read all of your writing on IQ and for the most part not been terribly convinced. I don’t know if you have an actual bias, but a lot of the writing seems to be slanted toward the idea mestizos/indios have higher IQs that commonly thought, while the gap between Ashkenazi and NE asians is lower than commonly thought.*

    As for Lynn, his first “IQ by country” article was just terrible, but he has since remedied some but not all of the flaws from his initial estimate. I think HBDchick has the most extensive discussion of the problems with “Lynn Round 1″

    *My own estimate is Japan/South Korea/Urban+overseas Chinese have an IQ average of about 105 while unmixed Ashkenazi outside of Israel around around 115. Israeli Ashkenazi and rural Chinese are both a few points lower. The actual numbers depend in part how you weight spatial reasoning, with NE Asians very strong and Ashkenazi nothing special on this area.

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    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Ron, I have read all of your writing on IQ and for the most part not been terribly convinced.
     
    So? You're just some anonymous racialist commenter who hangs around my own website and has never particularly impressed me with either his analysis or his erudition. By contrast, Lynn is a serious scholar.

    As for Lynn, his first “IQ by country” article was just terrible, but he has since remedied some but not all of the flaws from his initial estimate.
     
    Well, at the time I published my major article in 2012 and began the extended exchange, I'd read all of Lynn's 5 or 6 IQ books, and given how elderly he is, I doubt he's published too many more since then. The IQ debate went on for months, plus a few postscripts, and as far as I recall, I was ultimately proven correct in nearly every contested point. I'm not going to waste time regurgitating the long series of arguments, which is why I provided the links upthread, but here's another important one:

    http://www.unz.com/runz/unz-on-raceiq-response-to-lynn-and-nyborg/

    One of the most telling conclusions is that there is overwhelming evidence that a few decades ago the IQ of Ireland Irish was precisely the same as that of Mexicans. How you choose to interpret that important datapoint is your own business.

    Meanwhile, I'm busy with my own work, and probably shouldn't have gotten dragged into this silly debate in the first place. People can believe whatever they feel like, all evidence to the contrary.
  67. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @woodNfish
    Yes, Mayan civilization is an interesting one, but it didn't seem to help the peoples in the America's when Western explorers discovered this new world. It was a case of advanced civilization meets stone age civilization. Guess which one always wins?

    Lamenting history is an invitation to stupidity. History happened - deal with it. Look at any nation colonized by the Catholic Spanish and you will find corruption a even worse than ours and rampant poverty. I think it says more about the Spanish and the corruption created by Catholicism than anything else.

    Face it, if you want a successful and prosperous nation, it needs to be white and have a western protestant culture. (Which it will if it is white. And for Japan and South Korea, and other Asian nations - they adopted Western ways to get where they are.)

    https://books.google.com/books?id=XLSa_RIDHMUC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Himmler had scientists undertake excavations of prehistoric sites.
    Hitler commented:

    “Why do we call the whole world’s attention to the fact that we have
    no past? It isn’t enough that the Romans were erecting great buildings when
    our forefathers were still living in mud huts; now Himmler is starting to
    dig up these villages of mud huts and enthusing over every potsherd and
    stone axe he finds. All we prove by that is that we were still throwing stone
    hatchets and crouching around open fires when Greece and Rome had
    already reached the highest stage of culture. We really should do our best
    to keep quiet about this past. Instead Himmler makes a great fuss about it
    all. The present-day Romans must be having a laugh at these revelations.”

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    • Replies: @utu
    In this quotation Hitler sounds like realist and very pragmatic person. He was not very pragmatic otherwise.
  68. I speculate that the first few decades of human genetic engineering will increase ethnic IQ gaps. IVF has been around for quite a while and is still quite expensive. The initial stage will likely be the creation of a large number of embryos and then running a genetic test on them, implanting the most promising. On one hand, these tests will increase the already high cost of IVF. On the other hand, many of the users of the tech will be women with normal fertility so probably one round will be enough for most of them. Indeed, a single round might be enough for a woman with normal fertility to plan out 2 or 3 kids in advance and implanted a few years apart, thus reducing cost.

    But I cannot see this ending up costing much less than $20,000, and that will be beyond the reach of groups with lower IQs, but easily within the reach of higher IQ groups. And when it comes time to choosing embryos, higher IQ people might end up weighting IQ above other factors much more than the sporadic average IQ couple that can actually afford IVF.

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    • Replies: @colm
    I predict that those who can afford the IQ tweaks, which will probably not include most of the world's coloured races, will drive the rest to extinction.
  69. @Anonymous
    https://twitter.com/woundtothewest/status/755879178210127872

    Early Germania lacked easy agriculture and high population densities, and their people had to focus a lot of mental effort on surviving winters.

    The closely related Gauls, however, pretty quickly became nearly as advanced and smart as the Romans within 100 years of their Roman conquest.

    And if you zoom forward to 1300AD, the Germans were composing polyphonic music and building Gothic cathedrals while the Maya had abandoned most of their cities.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/03/Cologne_cathedrale_vue_sud.jpg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aachen_Cathedral#/media/File:Aachen_Germany_Imperial-Cathedral-01.jpg

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b5/Aachen_Domschatz_Bueste1.jpg

    Even if you want to go back to 200AD, Porta Nigra, while designed by Romans, was likely built mostly by Germans:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/92/Trier_Porta_Nigra_BW_3.JPG

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    • Replies: @Marcus
    You're kidding, right? Germany is extremely fertile with the Rhine Valley, Danube, etc. Alao they had easy access to cattle, horses, etc. that Amerindians certainly did not
  70. @Lot
    Ron, I have read all of your writing on IQ and for the most part not been terribly convinced. I don't know if you have an actual bias, but a lot of the writing seems to be slanted toward the idea mestizos/indios have higher IQs that commonly thought, while the gap between Ashkenazi and NE asians is lower than commonly thought.*

    As for Lynn, his first "IQ by country" article was just terrible, but he has since remedied some but not all of the flaws from his initial estimate. I think HBDchick has the most extensive discussion of the problems with "Lynn Round 1"

    *My own estimate is Japan/South Korea/Urban+overseas Chinese have an IQ average of about 105 while unmixed Ashkenazi outside of Israel around around 115. Israeli Ashkenazi and rural Chinese are both a few points lower. The actual numbers depend in part how you weight spatial reasoning, with NE Asians very strong and Ashkenazi nothing special on this area.

    Ron, I have read all of your writing on IQ and for the most part not been terribly convinced.

    So? You’re just some anonymous racialist commenter who hangs around my own website and has never particularly impressed me with either his analysis or his erudition. By contrast, Lynn is a serious scholar.

    As for Lynn, his first “IQ by country” article was just terrible, but he has since remedied some but not all of the flaws from his initial estimate.

    Well, at the time I published my major article in 2012 and began the extended exchange, I’d read all of Lynn’s 5 or 6 IQ books, and given how elderly he is, I doubt he’s published too many more since then. The IQ debate went on for months, plus a few postscripts, and as far as I recall, I was ultimately proven correct in nearly every contested point. I’m not going to waste time regurgitating the long series of arguments, which is why I provided the links upthread, but here’s another important one:

    http://www.unz.com/runz/unz-on-raceiq-response-to-lynn-and-nyborg/

    One of the most telling conclusions is that there is overwhelming evidence that a few decades ago the IQ of Ireland Irish was precisely the same as that of Mexicans. How you choose to interpret that important datapoint is your own business.

    Meanwhile, I’m busy with my own work, and probably shouldn’t have gotten dragged into this silly debate in the first place. People can believe whatever they feel like, all evidence to the contrary.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Marcus
    Why won't you answer my question? Surely Amerindians have their merits, but doesn't their failure to assimilate into Spanish civilization after five centuries give you pause?
    , @Lot

    So? You’re just some anonymous racialist commenter who hangs around my own website and has never particularly impressed me with either his analysis or his erudition.
     
    My overall impression of you is a lot more positive than that, you are extremely smart on an overall basis, take a selfless interest in truth for truth's sake, and are generous personally with both your time and your money.

    On the more negative side, your writing on crime, IQ, and politics is simply not scholarly. By that I mean your writing generally evinces a mind that has already made a decision and looks for evidence favoring your view and ignores or unfairly discounts contrary evidence. You also do not take criticism very well and tend to react with offense and insults. For an example of this, if you think I am not erudite you have not read my comments with a fair and open mind.

    As another example, you have often called me and others "racialists," not exactly a common term and obviously in your usage a pejorative, while refusing my request that you explain what exactly you mean by the term. And it is not like I make repeated, tiresome requests for you to explain what you mean with various words and phrases. Rather it was the only such request. As it happens, my views on race controversies are pretty mainstream outside of the USA and Western Europe, and were mainstream here fifty years ago. They are also in accord with a healthy minority here, and barely different from, say, Steven Pinker or Razib.

    By contrast, Lynn is a serious scholar.
     
    I agree, but he also, in his 1990's national IQ work, showed that he does not understand how to perform meta-analysis of diverse sets of data. Worse still, he seemed unaware of this inability, and reported his results with unwarranted confidence and precision. Basic common sense should have told him that his SS-African IQ estimates were absurdly low. I think one country he had in the 50's, which translates to "drooling idiot" range. He also reported extremely implausible IQ differences between economically and ethnically similar European countries.

    But what did Lynn do afterward? He got himself more statistically sophisticated co-authors and gradually improved his work! You certainly understand and have written about some of the problems with Lynn's work.

    As a general matter, I think both you and Lynn are engaged in a fool's game of trying to analyze either absolute levels or changes in national IQ. Making the tests culturally fair, properly norming them, getting representative samples, and so on is an enormous task, and nearly all of the data points Lynn uses, and all of the data points for most of the countries including Ireland, simply cannot be used to make apples-to-apples comparisons with tests of native English speakers in the USA.

    In summary, having read all of the articles you wrote and linked to, I think you were overly broad and ambitious in choosing your topics compared with the time and resources you had to devote to them, you engaged in motivated reasoning, and you showed an unwarranted confidence in both your methods and your results. I still enjoyed reading them, because they contained a lot of interest ideas and data. My suggestion for future work is to choose narrower topics and before publishing, try to get comments on your drafts with smart people who you know will likely disagree with you.
  71. @Priss Factor
    Does anyone know if there were cultural or tribal connections among the Mayans, Aztecs, and the Incas?

    Or did they develop entirely separately from one another?

    I aks because of the remarkable similarity in the pottery, architecture, and the arts. Look at their pyramids. Look at their sculptures.

    In the case of Western Europe, much of the art and architecture came to be similar because just about all European civilization followed the Classical Model. So, we have Greek and Roman columns in France, Spain, Germany, Britain, Sweden, Russia, and etc. Even up to the early 20th century, many buildings were modeled on neo-classicism.

    And a lot of stuff in East Asia look somewhat similar because many Asian nations adopted the Chinese style of painting and architecture. So, we see the same kind of tiled roofs and pagoda-like structures.
    And India and all nations influenced by Indian religion and culture have similar kind of architecture. The Angkor Wat in Cambodia looks very much like Hindu/Buddhist Temples in India.

    In contrast, there is a great deal of divergence among the arts and architecture of Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, and etc.

    To be sure, there is something like a similarity among the Near East folks, the big beardos. Babylonians, Persians, Assyrians, and such folks were into massive sculptures of men with huge beards and of giant bulls. They seem to belong to a cultural family distinct from the Greeks and the Egyptians.

    Were the connections(historical or cultural) among the Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs? Why are their arts and architecture so similar? After the Mayan empire fell, did the survivors of that civilization keep alive some of the culture and did that serve as seed for creating the later civilizations? Or did the other ones begin from scratch on their own?

    If the latter is true, there seems to be a collective consciousness among the Meso-American folks. Their mental archetypes are different from that of other races. Though American Indians never created great civilizations, one can find similarities between their artistic expression and those of the South and Central Americans.

    When we look at Black African sculptures, the main theme seems to be elongation, stretch-arm-strong-ism, coneheadism, Giacomettism, and etc. Was it simply due to the fact that blacks had longer limbs and dongs? Or is there something in the black psyche that prefers a kind of elongation approach? Consider how blacks like to stretch words out: 'sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiit' and 'daaaaaaaaaaaaaaang' and 'he naaaaaaaasty' or 'dat mothafuc*a craaaaaaazy'.

    In contrast, a lot of the artistic expression of the Meso-Americans seem to squat-ism, crunchism, smooshism, playdo-ism, squeezism, Tattoo-ism(Fantasy Island), turtle-ish, and etc. It could have been due to the shorter stature of the Mesos. Or maybe there is something in the Meso-psyche that prefers things short and curt. Mesos are related to Americans Indians and East Asians who have similar squatism in their styles of psyche. American Indians just say 'how'. Japanese speak in clipped style. Chinese language is made up of mono-syllables.

    Maya culture lasted a very long time, and its early phases were BC on the Christian calendar. That stage of their culture was contemporary with part of the Olmec civilization, the ur-civilization of central Mexico.

    The Maya continued on, having their heyday in what was Europe’s dark ages, with their post collapse village culture surviving to meet the Spaniards and still exist today. Their language is spoken today. And contrary to early accounts, some of their city-state cultures were actually around centuries after the overall collapse of their urban civilization, still around at the arrival 0f the Spaniards. In that sense, the ending of Gibson’s Apocalypto was not entirely as implausible as some critics had it.

    The Olmecs did not last so long, but were the template for all who followed in central Mexico.

    The Aztecs, their last imitators, were actually late arriving ‘barbarians’ [to use a European analogy that the inhabitants of the valley of Mexico when the Aztecs showed up would likely have agreed with] from the distant north [I think they are considered kin to peoples like the Ute] who built their civilization broadly along the lines of the cultures and traditions they found, which went back to the Olmec traditions.

    Think of the long arm of influence of the Egyptians or Babylonians on the traditions of the Hellenistic age, despite the reach of two thousand years.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    The Aztecs, their last imitators, were actually late arriving ‘barbarians’ [to use a European analogy that the inhabitants of the valley of Mexico when the Aztecs showed up would likely have agreed with] from the distant north [I think they are considered kin to peoples like the Ute]
     
    Right. There were at least four waves of humans colonization of the Americas. (And there's sketchy evidence of a fifth wave from Polynesia.)

    There's no such thing as an 'amerind' race, the current genetic composition comes from the post-Columbus population bottleneck when 95% of the Indians died from disease.
  72. Looked at over the broad sweep of their histories, the MesoAmerican and Peruvian cultures from the last millennium BC to Contact demonstrated probably the maximum possible scope of civilization at a stone-age level of technological development.

    It could not stand up to a late iron-age culture that had developed steel weapons and armour, gunpowder weapons, and ocean-going ships. Although it might have done MUCH better if it had not lived in essentially an alien biosphere to old world germs.

    What that civilization was able to achieve was, as Fred notes, not trivial. Some more interesting questions might be:

    - how much more scope for accomplishment was there in the absence of moving beyond the super-Neolithic level of technology? What if anything might have been seen from them in the absence of contact? And if there had been more to come, where if anywhere was the real hard limit for a Neolithic culture? Presumably, somewhere short of industrialism. But how far short?

    - Would the new world ever have made the leap beyond the stone age? Could they have? Was this indeed, as has been hypothesized, a hard limit set by the north-south geography, agricultural possibilities, climate, types of animals, and geological possibilities of the Americas?

    One thing suggests that there were some hard limits. Despite the advances still being made, especially in purely intellectual areas like math and astronomy, the Americas seem mainly to have been what older anthropologists might have patronizingly called an arrested culture.

    The Olmecs and earliest Maya were doing many of the same things as the early middle eastern civilizations and not so far behind them [arguably not at all, or centuries at worst, trivial on a timescale of a couple of millennia BC]. But at least in such qualities as technology and organization [metalworking, transport, ever-larger forms of social organization both political and commercial, very long distance communication and travel] the major civilization zones of the old world seemed to move far ahead of the New before the age of Augustus or the Han dynasty or the Mauryan empire.

    At least at the level of survey history, it doesn’t seem like the New world civilizations moved all that far beyond the Olmecs or at least whoever built Teotihuacan in the 1000-1500 years between those times and Columbus. Whereas Hellenistic civilization or Augustan Rome were well ahead of where their parent cultures had been in 1500 BC, and the same could be said of the Middle East of the Persians, of India, and of China. And, by 1500, Classicists notwithstanding, Europe had come up with a few new things [optics, better shipbuilding and navigation] and could do as well in architecture. Still behind Rome on some fronts, but advancing in others. And India and China were similarly far more than copies of what they had been circa AD 1.

    To me that’s the key questions- the limits of Neolithic civilization, and whether the Amerind peoples had pushed them to their limit; and the potential limits imposed by the geography and what that did to the potential scope of those cultures.

    One last- the Indians of the eventual eastern US need to be cut some slack.

    They weren’t the Aztecs, still less the Olmecs or Toltecs of old. But they pushed Neolithic culture to an interesting level themselves with the Mississippian or moundbuilder culture [these being archeology terms, not ethnonyms of the peoples].

    They did not build in stone, but in earthworks and wood. But they built large settlements that were well planned. Technologically probably no better than the Celts or Germans could have done two thousand years earlier before contacted by Rome, but much better and more systematically laid out according to rational plans. And bigger than any Gaulish town by a wide margin. [Really, I think my Celtic comparison is more to give an estimate of Mississippian position relative to MesoAmerica, as Celts were to Rome, as to really compare the Mississippians to the Gauls].

    They also had moderately complex religion, at least comparable to some of the earlier bronze age polytheisms of the old world, more than mere shamanism, and with some complex if potentially dark cosmological and sociological notions perhaps similar to those of MesoAmerica.

    They also had complex social organization, broadly of the priest-king format or the chiefdom, anthropological generalizations usually just short of the complex monarchy or city state, and well ahead of mere tribalism.

    The collapse of that culture, whether failure of its religion, harvest failure, climate change, or population collapse due to old world diseases sweeping from the south, or all of those things, had a profound effect on the region and there was definite massive population collapse. The expedition of de soto at least encountered fairly large native polities at the chiefdom level in the southeast, clear successor states. When Europeans showed up in greater numbers generations later, all had collapsed and populations were even smaller.

    I’m no expert, but I gather many cultures including Seminole and Cherokee had some connections to that legacy, and even those that didn’t [Iroquoians?] were influenced by it and the remaining chiefdoms or tribal polities of much of the east were its survivors.

    There’s a case to be made that Europeans settling the eastern US were operating in the equivalent of a post-apocalyptic landscape, far more so than the Spanish in Mexico or South America. Sobering, even to those of us with no qualms about colonization of North America.

    So, like the Mexicans or Peruvians, technologically and organizationally about 1000 years or more behind their old world equivalents, though with some superior niche features comparable to or better than more advanced old world cultures, and possibly at the limits of their scope for development.

    Still stone age cultures, and not about to invent steel, guns, or ocean going ships or the skills to operate them unaided. But not to be taken lightly.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    I still don't buy the 25 million in North America number before Columbus being floated. I don't see any significant number of large scale settlements being unearthed anywhere but in a few places. When the Mississippi and Missouri rivers overflow and create swamps, the midwest is impossible to live in and probably why the plains Indians never became farmers so I doubt the heartland ever had as large a population as the northeast or Pacific coastal areas.
    , @dc.sunsets
    The better question is, will the West suicide via displacement level immigration and as a result see all of humanity drift backwards to the highest "accomplishments" of the replacement peoples?

    Anyone stupid enough to think Western successes (obviously desired by the millions of people invading Europe, Canada & the USA) can be reproduced by the invaders simply because "magic dirt," well, enough said.

    There are no golden eggs without those who lay them. If they who produce what everyone wants are not almost entirely "white males," who are they?
  73. @Lot
    Early Germania lacked easy agriculture and high population densities, and their people had to focus a lot of mental effort on surviving winters.

    The closely related Gauls, however, pretty quickly became nearly as advanced and smart as the Romans within 100 years of their Roman conquest.

    And if you zoom forward to 1300AD, the Germans were composing polyphonic music and building Gothic cathedrals while the Maya had abandoned most of their cities.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/03/Cologne_cathedrale_vue_sud.jpg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aachen_Cathedral#/media/File:Aachen_Germany_Imperial-Cathedral-01.jpg

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b5/Aachen_Domschatz_Bueste1.jpg


    Even if you want to go back to 200AD, Porta Nigra, while designed by Romans, was likely built mostly by Germans:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/92/Trier_Porta_Nigra_BW_3.JPG

    You’re kidding, right? Germany is extremely fertile with the Rhine Valley, Danube, etc. Alao they had easy access to cattle, horses, etc. that Amerindians certainly did not

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lot

    Germany is extremely fertile with the Rhine Valley, Danube, etc.
     
    Sure, but the area was more forested and the early Germans lacked crops adapted to the region. If you want to count as a strike against their IQ they did not develop such crops, sure go ahead and do so, but it certainly was a greater challenge for them than bringing Eastern Med. crops to, say, Southern France.*

    You'll notice the same issue in the New World. Iowa is very fertile, but there was no large-scale pre-Columbian farming there like there was in the Valley of Mexico.

    *(Modern German nationalists sometimes flatter themselves as having stopped Roman conquest. In fact the Romans repeatedly invaded deeply into Germany and defeated every force that tried to fight them, but they saw no benefit to conquering an area unsuited for their agriculture and lacking in any scarce natural resources. The Romans found the Germans to be brave and to fight well one-on-one, but lacking in military disciple and completely unable to engage in an organized retreat and regrouping.)
    , @Karl
    > Alao they had easy access to cattle, horses, etc. that Amerindians certainly did not

    white guys today & for some time now, have been doing selective-breeding with NorthAmerican Bison.

    It's not the Germans' fault that the AmerInds were too stupid to try it.
    , @Hippopotamusdrome
    Yucatan is a low latitude tropical rainforest with high rainfall and no winter. Germany is at a higher latitude, is colder and experiences snow and winters. With antiquity-era technology, crop yields were much lower in marginal conditions.

    Berlin heating degree days: 5260
    Mérida heating degree days: 38

    Berlin heating degree days August: 35
    Mérida heating degree days Febrary: 22

    Mérida average precipitation: 36
    Berlin average precipitation: 22
  74. @Ron Unz

    Ron, I have read all of your writing on IQ and for the most part not been terribly convinced.
     
    So? You're just some anonymous racialist commenter who hangs around my own website and has never particularly impressed me with either his analysis or his erudition. By contrast, Lynn is a serious scholar.

    As for Lynn, his first “IQ by country” article was just terrible, but he has since remedied some but not all of the flaws from his initial estimate.
     
    Well, at the time I published my major article in 2012 and began the extended exchange, I'd read all of Lynn's 5 or 6 IQ books, and given how elderly he is, I doubt he's published too many more since then. The IQ debate went on for months, plus a few postscripts, and as far as I recall, I was ultimately proven correct in nearly every contested point. I'm not going to waste time regurgitating the long series of arguments, which is why I provided the links upthread, but here's another important one:

    http://www.unz.com/runz/unz-on-raceiq-response-to-lynn-and-nyborg/

    One of the most telling conclusions is that there is overwhelming evidence that a few decades ago the IQ of Ireland Irish was precisely the same as that of Mexicans. How you choose to interpret that important datapoint is your own business.

    Meanwhile, I'm busy with my own work, and probably shouldn't have gotten dragged into this silly debate in the first place. People can believe whatever they feel like, all evidence to the contrary.

    Why won’t you answer my question? Surely Amerindians have their merits, but doesn’t their failure to assimilate into Spanish civilization after five centuries give you pause?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Which era of Spanish civilisation are you referring to?

    Are you suggesting that pre Bolivar Amerindians should somehow have reached out and grasped some, and what, features of the crumbling Spanish monarchy that was not even part of the Enlightenment? Same mutatis mutandis for Brazil and Portugal.

    Don't you think literate Ametindians might have noticed that Anglo culture was overshadowing the Hispanic?

    And you should factor in the lower literacy in Catholic countries compared to the Bible reading Protestant ones.
  75. Well Archimedes with his poor numbering system was dealing with the concept of infinity in calculating the area of shapes which is probably more significant than zero since it is the basis of calculus.

    This article says he did devise his own place value system with a base of 100,000,000.

    https://www.britannica.com/biography/Archimedes

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  76. @Ron Unz

    Ron, I have read all of your writing on IQ and for the most part not been terribly convinced.
     
    So? You're just some anonymous racialist commenter who hangs around my own website and has never particularly impressed me with either his analysis or his erudition. By contrast, Lynn is a serious scholar.

    As for Lynn, his first “IQ by country” article was just terrible, but he has since remedied some but not all of the flaws from his initial estimate.
     
    Well, at the time I published my major article in 2012 and began the extended exchange, I'd read all of Lynn's 5 or 6 IQ books, and given how elderly he is, I doubt he's published too many more since then. The IQ debate went on for months, plus a few postscripts, and as far as I recall, I was ultimately proven correct in nearly every contested point. I'm not going to waste time regurgitating the long series of arguments, which is why I provided the links upthread, but here's another important one:

    http://www.unz.com/runz/unz-on-raceiq-response-to-lynn-and-nyborg/

    One of the most telling conclusions is that there is overwhelming evidence that a few decades ago the IQ of Ireland Irish was precisely the same as that of Mexicans. How you choose to interpret that important datapoint is your own business.

    Meanwhile, I'm busy with my own work, and probably shouldn't have gotten dragged into this silly debate in the first place. People can believe whatever they feel like, all evidence to the contrary.

    So? You’re just some anonymous racialist commenter who hangs around my own website and has never particularly impressed me with either his analysis or his erudition.

    My overall impression of you is a lot more positive than that, you are extremely smart on an overall basis, take a selfless interest in truth for truth’s sake, and are generous personally with both your time and your money.

    On the more negative side, your writing on crime, IQ, and politics is simply not scholarly. By that I mean your writing generally evinces a mind that has already made a decision and looks for evidence favoring your view and ignores or unfairly discounts contrary evidence. You also do not take criticism very well and tend to react with offense and insults. For an example of this, if you think I am not erudite you have not read my comments with a fair and open mind.

    As another example, you have often called me and others “racialists,” not exactly a common term and obviously in your usage a pejorative, while refusing my request that you explain what exactly you mean by the term. And it is not like I make repeated, tiresome requests for you to explain what you mean with various words and phrases. Rather it was the only such request. As it happens, my views on race controversies are pretty mainstream outside of the USA and Western Europe, and were mainstream here fifty years ago. They are also in accord with a healthy minority here, and barely different from, say, Steven Pinker or Razib.

    By contrast, Lynn is a serious scholar.

    I agree, but he also, in his 1990′s national IQ work, showed that he does not understand how to perform meta-analysis of diverse sets of data. Worse still, he seemed unaware of this inability, and reported his results with unwarranted confidence and precision. Basic common sense should have told him that his SS-African IQ estimates were absurdly low. I think one country he had in the 50′s, which translates to “drooling idiot” range. He also reported extremely implausible IQ differences between economically and ethnically similar European countries.

    But what did Lynn do afterward? He got himself more statistically sophisticated co-authors and gradually improved his work! You certainly understand and have written about some of the problems with Lynn’s work.

    As a general matter, I think both you and Lynn are engaged in a fool’s game of trying to analyze either absolute levels or changes in national IQ. Making the tests culturally fair, properly norming them, getting representative samples, and so on is an enormous task, and nearly all of the data points Lynn uses, and all of the data points for most of the countries including Ireland, simply cannot be used to make apples-to-apples comparisons with tests of native English speakers in the USA.

    In summary, having read all of the articles you wrote and linked to, I think you were overly broad and ambitious in choosing your topics compared with the time and resources you had to devote to them, you engaged in motivated reasoning, and you showed an unwarranted confidence in both your methods and your results. I still enjoyed reading them, because they contained a lot of interest ideas and data. My suggestion for future work is to choose narrower topics and before publishing, try to get comments on your drafts with smart people who you know will likely disagree with you.

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    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    On the more negative side, your writing on crime, IQ, and politics is simply not scholarly....For an example of this, if you think I am not erudite you have not read my comments with a fair and open mind.
     
    Well, you've left thousands of comments on this website, and I doubt I've read even 5% of them, but my impression is that you're just a typical Jewish-activist/racialist nitwit, whose views on "Jewish meritocracy" and non-white crime rates and IQ are mostly ignorant and/or ridiculous, though it's possible I might be confusing you with another commenter of a similar ilk.

    For example, upthread you wrote:

    My own estimate is Japan/South Korea/Urban+overseas Chinese have an IQ average of about 105 while unmixed Ashkenazi outside of Israel around around 115.
     
    Now it happens that Lynn published an entire book on Jewish intelligence, which you've clearly never actually read. Among other things, he collects all the dozens of extent Jewish IQ samples, which interestingly enough demonstrate that that for the first 50-odd years unmixed Ashkenazi Jews lived in America, they had an average IQ of about 101. Furthermore, as far as I know, there's not the slightest evidence that Jews have ever had anything like the IQ of 115 you claim, which seems a typical internet hoax, presumably promoted endlessly by Jewish-activists such as yourself. Perhaps I'm mistaken, and Lynn somehow missed all your data, which you can now provide to correct me. Have you actually *read* any of Lynn's books, or do you just casually browse racialist blogsites that summarize them for you?

    http://www.unz.com/runz/raceiq-super-flynn-effects-in-germans-jews-and-hispanics/

    You also claim:

    Basic common sense should have told him that his SS-African IQ estimates were absurdly low.
     
    Really? I assume you're aware that during most of the first half of the 20th century, the average tested IQ of Italians and many other Southern and Eastern Europeans living in America was around 70-75? Now if Italian-Americans attending schools in the world's most advanced and wealthy country had tested IQs as low as 70, why is it so totally absurd that Lynn reported that Africans living in primitive near-jungle conditions might have IQs in the 50s or whatever? I'm not necessarily saying Lynn's figures are correct---they've been disputed by other researchers---but they don't seem so totally absurd to me. Or aren't you even aware of the whole history of 20th century IQ testing in this country?...
    , @vinteuil
    Lot, you should change your handle to Job. Your patience with Unz is remarkable.
  77. @random observer
    Looked at over the broad sweep of their histories, the MesoAmerican and Peruvian cultures from the last millennium BC to Contact demonstrated probably the maximum possible scope of civilization at a stone-age level of technological development.

    It could not stand up to a late iron-age culture that had developed steel weapons and armour, gunpowder weapons, and ocean-going ships. Although it might have done MUCH better if it had not lived in essentially an alien biosphere to old world germs.

    What that civilization was able to achieve was, as Fred notes, not trivial. Some more interesting questions might be:

    - how much more scope for accomplishment was there in the absence of moving beyond the super-Neolithic level of technology? What if anything might have been seen from them in the absence of contact? And if there had been more to come, where if anywhere was the real hard limit for a Neolithic culture? Presumably, somewhere short of industrialism. But how far short?

    - Would the new world ever have made the leap beyond the stone age? Could they have? Was this indeed, as has been hypothesized, a hard limit set by the north-south geography, agricultural possibilities, climate, types of animals, and geological possibilities of the Americas?

    One thing suggests that there were some hard limits. Despite the advances still being made, especially in purely intellectual areas like math and astronomy, the Americas seem mainly to have been what older anthropologists might have patronizingly called an arrested culture.

    The Olmecs and earliest Maya were doing many of the same things as the early middle eastern civilizations and not so far behind them [arguably not at all, or centuries at worst, trivial on a timescale of a couple of millennia BC]. But at least in such qualities as technology and organization [metalworking, transport, ever-larger forms of social organization both political and commercial, very long distance communication and travel] the major civilization zones of the old world seemed to move far ahead of the New before the age of Augustus or the Han dynasty or the Mauryan empire.

    At least at the level of survey history, it doesn't seem like the New world civilizations moved all that far beyond the Olmecs or at least whoever built Teotihuacan in the 1000-1500 years between those times and Columbus. Whereas Hellenistic civilization or Augustan Rome were well ahead of where their parent cultures had been in 1500 BC, and the same could be said of the Middle East of the Persians, of India, and of China. And, by 1500, Classicists notwithstanding, Europe had come up with a few new things [optics, better shipbuilding and navigation] and could do as well in architecture. Still behind Rome on some fronts, but advancing in others. And India and China were similarly far more than copies of what they had been circa AD 1.

    To me that's the key questions- the limits of Neolithic civilization, and whether the Amerind peoples had pushed them to their limit; and the potential limits imposed by the geography and what that did to the potential scope of those cultures.

    One last- the Indians of the eventual eastern US need to be cut some slack.

    They weren't the Aztecs, still less the Olmecs or Toltecs of old. But they pushed Neolithic culture to an interesting level themselves with the Mississippian or moundbuilder culture [these being archeology terms, not ethnonyms of the peoples].

    They did not build in stone, but in earthworks and wood. But they built large settlements that were well planned. Technologically probably no better than the Celts or Germans could have done two thousand years earlier before contacted by Rome, but much better and more systematically laid out according to rational plans. And bigger than any Gaulish town by a wide margin. [Really, I think my Celtic comparison is more to give an estimate of Mississippian position relative to MesoAmerica, as Celts were to Rome, as to really compare the Mississippians to the Gauls].

    They also had moderately complex religion, at least comparable to some of the earlier bronze age polytheisms of the old world, more than mere shamanism, and with some complex if potentially dark cosmological and sociological notions perhaps similar to those of MesoAmerica.

    They also had complex social organization, broadly of the priest-king format or the chiefdom, anthropological generalizations usually just short of the complex monarchy or city state, and well ahead of mere tribalism.

    The collapse of that culture, whether failure of its religion, harvest failure, climate change, or population collapse due to old world diseases sweeping from the south, or all of those things, had a profound effect on the region and there was definite massive population collapse. The expedition of de soto at least encountered fairly large native polities at the chiefdom level in the southeast, clear successor states. When Europeans showed up in greater numbers generations later, all had collapsed and populations were even smaller.

    I'm no expert, but I gather many cultures including Seminole and Cherokee had some connections to that legacy, and even those that didn't [Iroquoians?] were influenced by it and the remaining chiefdoms or tribal polities of much of the east were its survivors.

    There's a case to be made that Europeans settling the eastern US were operating in the equivalent of a post-apocalyptic landscape, far more so than the Spanish in Mexico or South America. Sobering, even to those of us with no qualms about colonization of North America.

    So, like the Mexicans or Peruvians, technologically and organizationally about 1000 years or more behind their old world equivalents, though with some superior niche features comparable to or better than more advanced old world cultures, and possibly at the limits of their scope for development.

    Still stone age cultures, and not about to invent steel, guns, or ocean going ships or the skills to operate them unaided. But not to be taken lightly.

    I still don’t buy the 25 million in North America number before Columbus being floated. I don’t see any significant number of large scale settlements being unearthed anywhere but in a few places. When the Mississippi and Missouri rivers overflow and create swamps, the midwest is impossible to live in and probably why the plains Indians never became farmers so I doubt the heartland ever had as large a population as the northeast or Pacific coastal areas.

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    • Replies: @Rich
    Many years ago,before the Marxists took over the history departments, the number I was taught as a schoolboy was about 1 million people in North America. It's hard to read any new history because everything has to go through the prism of political correctness and affirmative action. It's said that the victor writes the history books and the radicals of the 60's and 70's appear to be the winners now, but it seems to me that for a time, mid 18th century up to the 1980's a lot of honest historians were at work. Those days are gone, maybe forever.
    , @random observer
    Don't know about the pre-contact numbers- I'm completely agnostic on that. I'm as open to 1 million as 25, although I am assuming 1 million is lowballing as 25 is likely exaggerating. Even 25 million isn't that many people in such a large territory, though probably it would be pushing or exceeding the maximum possible at a Neolithic level, especially considering the environment of North America, which is harsh at the best of times and all the more so at that level of development.

    On that, interesting comment about the Mississippi system. that would take significant chunks of the large heartland region out of play for sustained settlement, although note that last I heard there was no malaria in the New World prior to contact. It was an African disease that had spread throughout the old world. There may have been other swampland diseases in the pre-contact Americas, though I don't know what they were. I always thought yellow fever was also African origin.

    Admittedly, even absent those diseases, big swamps aren't great. But they could be part of habitable larger regions if the settlements are on higher ground, especially if there aren't insect borne diseases.

    Agreed on the idea that the plains probably always had low population density. I had assumed it was essentially unfarmable at premodern levels of farming and irrigation. Hence the term 'great American desert' used by the early Americans, before they themselves managed to farm much of it. And it's just as tough to use it for hunting or pastoralism without horses, so the plains indian horse cultures had to await Spanish feral horses after contact.

    The true deserts of the SW did support a couple of the more advanced irrigation-based, town-building chiefdom-level cultures [the Anasazi- I forget the proper name for them now and always mix them up with their successors; just call it the pueblo cultures] but they had the Colorado river and some idea how to manage water. Perfectly respectable, albeit thousands of years behind old world early farmer chiefdoms of the levant or Anatolia, or the Nile or East Africa, or the pre-Indus culture, or pre-Shang China. But again, probably maxing out the development possibilities of their environment.
    , @Alden
    Most historians agree that the Germans the Romans encountered were not farmers Supposedly they were cattle herders.
  78. @Marcus
    You're kidding, right? Germany is extremely fertile with the Rhine Valley, Danube, etc. Alao they had easy access to cattle, horses, etc. that Amerindians certainly did not

    Germany is extremely fertile with the Rhine Valley, Danube, etc.

    Sure, but the area was more forested and the early Germans lacked crops adapted to the region. If you want to count as a strike against their IQ they did not develop such crops, sure go ahead and do so, but it certainly was a greater challenge for them than bringing Eastern Med. crops to, say, Southern France.*

    You’ll notice the same issue in the New World. Iowa is very fertile, but there was no large-scale pre-Columbian farming there like there was in the Valley of Mexico.

    *(Modern German nationalists sometimes flatter themselves as having stopped Roman conquest. In fact the Romans repeatedly invaded deeply into Germany and defeated every force that tried to fight them, but they saw no benefit to conquering an area unsuited for their agriculture and lacking in any scarce natural resources. The Romans found the Germans to be brave and to fight well one-on-one, but lacking in military disciple and completely unable to engage in an organized retreat and regrouping.)

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    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    You mean like the Teutoburg Forest?

    http://www.livius.org/te-tg/teutoburg/teutoburg01.htm
    , @Marcus
    Central America was a jungle, full of tropical diseases, Greece was rocky, lacking fertile land, etc. there are a lot more challenging environments
    , @5371
    That's an inaccurate and overly negative portrayal of the Germans' military achievements against the Romans. That they preferred to fight in situations that favoured them, rather than in ones that didn't, is a sign of their acumen, not of the reverse.
  79. @Richard
    Good ol' irresponsibly glib Fred. The "Islamists" of ISIS and al-Nusrah he terms "Muslims," whereas in fact they are evidently an aberration. They are not Muslims according to their own orthodox authorities. See for example the scathing remarks of a Shaykh Imran Hosein or even a Hassan Nasrallah.

    24 reasons ISIS are wrong: Muslim scholars blast Islamic State
    https://www.rt.com/news/190468-muslim-scholars-islamic-state/

    Muslim Leaders Have Roundly Denounced Islamic State, But Conservative Media Won't Tell You That
    http://mediamatters.org/research/2014/08/21/muslim-leaders-have-roundly-denounced-islamic-s/200498

    "What makes groups like Islamic State “radical” in the first place is that they reject all these centuries of scholarship and tradition, and innovate a newly “reformed” Islam — often pieced together with concepts of ideology and organization drawn from contemporary fascist and Marxist-Leninist movements. Such freelancing is a common characteristic of Islamic extremist groups, and despite their pretensions to ancient revivalism it is also a reflection of their inescapably modern revolutionary heritage."
    https://theintercept.com/2015/02/20/atlantic-defines-real-islam-says-isis/


    ISIS’s Anti-Islamic Theology of Rape
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/teachingnonviolentatonement/2015/08/isiss-anti-islamic-theology-of-rape-2/

    > and innovate a newly “reformed” Islam

    no, it’s the ORIGINAL Islam. Read the early history of Islam, bro

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    • Replies: @Talha
    no, it’s the KHAWARIJ Islam. Read the early history of Islam, bro.

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Kharijite

    Peace.

  80. @Marcus
    You're kidding, right? Germany is extremely fertile with the Rhine Valley, Danube, etc. Alao they had easy access to cattle, horses, etc. that Amerindians certainly did not

    > Alao they had easy access to cattle, horses, etc. that Amerindians certainly did not

    white guys today & for some time now, have been doing selective-breeding with NorthAmerican Bison.

    It’s not the Germans’ fault that the AmerInds were too stupid to try it.

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    • Replies: @Marcus
    Irrelevant, they aren't beasts of burden and their domesticability can't compare to that of horses.
    , @Anonymous
    American bison are mixed. They are no longer pure.
    , @Ozymandias
    "white guys today & for some time now, have been doing selective-breeding with NorthAmerican Bison."

    Well I hope that this new white guy/bison hybrid displays more testicular fortitude than what we've seen from the millennial generation.
  81. @Lot

    Germany is extremely fertile with the Rhine Valley, Danube, etc.
     
    Sure, but the area was more forested and the early Germans lacked crops adapted to the region. If you want to count as a strike against their IQ they did not develop such crops, sure go ahead and do so, but it certainly was a greater challenge for them than bringing Eastern Med. crops to, say, Southern France.*

    You'll notice the same issue in the New World. Iowa is very fertile, but there was no large-scale pre-Columbian farming there like there was in the Valley of Mexico.

    *(Modern German nationalists sometimes flatter themselves as having stopped Roman conquest. In fact the Romans repeatedly invaded deeply into Germany and defeated every force that tried to fight them, but they saw no benefit to conquering an area unsuited for their agriculture and lacking in any scarce natural resources. The Romans found the Germans to be brave and to fight well one-on-one, but lacking in military disciple and completely unable to engage in an organized retreat and regrouping.)

    You mean like the Teutoburg Forest?

    http://www.livius.org/te-tg/teutoburg/teutoburg01.htm

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    • Replies: @Lot
    The Romans won more than they lost until late in the Empire, which is why they conquered a fair part of Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria and Holland, which were all once occupied by German tribes.
  82. @Karl
    > Alao they had easy access to cattle, horses, etc. that Amerindians certainly did not

    white guys today & for some time now, have been doing selective-breeding with NorthAmerican Bison.

    It's not the Germans' fault that the AmerInds were too stupid to try it.

    Irrelevant, they aren’t beasts of burden and their domesticability can’t compare to that of horses.

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    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    How do you know? What was the horse like 10,000 years ago? I bet Yaks and other other forms of Oxen were probably no nicer than bison were before they became domesticated. Elephants have been made into beasts of burden and they are a lot harder to corral than Bison if the Elephant isn't handled correctly.

    I think it has more to do with the mentality of the people. The people of Eurasia had a long history of domesticating animals and had developed methods for selecting members of a wild herd suitable for domestication and then breeding the unwanted traits out of their flock. Amerindians had no such history in North America while in South America with alpacas they did.
  83. @Lot

    Germany is extremely fertile with the Rhine Valley, Danube, etc.
     
    Sure, but the area was more forested and the early Germans lacked crops adapted to the region. If you want to count as a strike against their IQ they did not develop such crops, sure go ahead and do so, but it certainly was a greater challenge for them than bringing Eastern Med. crops to, say, Southern France.*

    You'll notice the same issue in the New World. Iowa is very fertile, but there was no large-scale pre-Columbian farming there like there was in the Valley of Mexico.

    *(Modern German nationalists sometimes flatter themselves as having stopped Roman conquest. In fact the Romans repeatedly invaded deeply into Germany and defeated every force that tried to fight them, but they saw no benefit to conquering an area unsuited for their agriculture and lacking in any scarce natural resources. The Romans found the Germans to be brave and to fight well one-on-one, but lacking in military disciple and completely unable to engage in an organized retreat and regrouping.)

    Central America was a jungle, full of tropical diseases, Greece was rocky, lacking fertile land, etc. there are a lot more challenging environments

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  84. @random observer
    Maya culture lasted a very long time, and its early phases were BC on the Christian calendar. That stage of their culture was contemporary with part of the Olmec civilization, the ur-civilization of central Mexico.

    The Maya continued on, having their heyday in what was Europe's dark ages, with their post collapse village culture surviving to meet the Spaniards and still exist today. Their language is spoken today. And contrary to early accounts, some of their city-state cultures were actually around centuries after the overall collapse of their urban civilization, still around at the arrival 0f the Spaniards. In that sense, the ending of Gibson's Apocalypto was not entirely as implausible as some critics had it.

    The Olmecs did not last so long, but were the template for all who followed in central Mexico.

    The Aztecs, their last imitators, were actually late arriving 'barbarians' [to use a European analogy that the inhabitants of the valley of Mexico when the Aztecs showed up would likely have agreed with] from the distant north [I think they are considered kin to peoples like the Ute] who built their civilization broadly along the lines of the cultures and traditions they found, which went back to the Olmec traditions.

    Think of the long arm of influence of the Egyptians or Babylonians on the traditions of the Hellenistic age, despite the reach of two thousand years.

    The Aztecs, their last imitators, were actually late arriving ‘barbarians’ [to use a European analogy that the inhabitants of the valley of Mexico when the Aztecs showed up would likely have agreed with] from the distant north [I think they are considered kin to peoples like the Ute]

    Right. There were at least four waves of humans colonization of the Americas. (And there’s sketchy evidence of a fifth wave from Polynesia.)

    There’s no such thing as an ‘amerind’ race, the current genetic composition comes from the post-Columbus population bottleneck when 95% of the Indians died from disease.

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    • Replies: @random observer
    I don't have any objections to the theory of multiple waves from Asia- I'm more directly aware of a couple.

    One, the more or less well confirmed idea that the modern Inuit were VERY late arrivals to the North, around 1000 AD and after, and supplanting a previous Arctic culture by the usual assortment of means whether demographic, violent or technological, and arriving in Greenland long after the first Norse settlements were there. I gather they had superior spear technology and correspondingly superior hunting, boating and warring skills, and were better adapted to the rapidly cooling climate of the North in that age.

    Two, the idea that there was at least one later wave of peoples into interior North America [I think the Utes and/or Navajos and/or Dene speakers [apologies for deep imprecision here- I'm no specialist on this] were the emblematic peoples of this wave. Though they were still related to and of similar origin to earlier waves, and of course here millennia before us, they were newcomers to a settled place.

    Though I wasn't really speaking of that level of deep history, which is probably still 7-8000 or more years ago.

    The Aztecs/Tenocha/Mexica were late arrivals to Mexico and northern 'barbarians' in a much more recent sense than that. They had their origin in what is now the SW US alongside speakers of other Uto-Aztecan languages, in what to us would be the late first millennium AD. They didn't arrive in the valley of Mexico until probably the high middle ages of our history, only a few centuries before Contact, at most. They were probably thought primitives by the people already there, since the Aztecs were neither direct descendants of nor [initially] native practitioners of the Olmec/Toltec/Teotihuacan cultural traditions. Think of how the Greeks and Romans thought of Gauls or Germans or, even, how Romanized Gauls later thought of Germans, or later how Romanized Franks thought of the Vikings. Or how the Mesopotamians thought of Persians at first, how the two of them later thought of Arabs, or how Persians and Arabs would first have thought of Turks. Or Chinese of Mongols. [History is replete with this sort of dynamic. I imagine the Igbo or Yoruba have similar views of the Hausa and Fulani right now...]

    For the Aztecs allies/vassals, allying with the Spanish might be compared to the remnants of Rome summoning the Hun to get rid of the Germans, or vice versa. [The game Flavius Aetius was in fact playing for most of his life]. It doesn't always work to one's advantage.
  85. @Richard
    Good ol' irresponsibly glib Fred. The "Islamists" of ISIS and al-Nusrah he terms "Muslims," whereas in fact they are evidently an aberration. They are not Muslims according to their own orthodox authorities. See for example the scathing remarks of a Shaykh Imran Hosein or even a Hassan Nasrallah.

    24 reasons ISIS are wrong: Muslim scholars blast Islamic State
    https://www.rt.com/news/190468-muslim-scholars-islamic-state/

    Muslim Leaders Have Roundly Denounced Islamic State, But Conservative Media Won't Tell You That
    http://mediamatters.org/research/2014/08/21/muslim-leaders-have-roundly-denounced-islamic-s/200498

    "What makes groups like Islamic State “radical” in the first place is that they reject all these centuries of scholarship and tradition, and innovate a newly “reformed” Islam — often pieced together with concepts of ideology and organization drawn from contemporary fascist and Marxist-Leninist movements. Such freelancing is a common characteristic of Islamic extremist groups, and despite their pretensions to ancient revivalism it is also a reflection of their inescapably modern revolutionary heritage."
    https://theintercept.com/2015/02/20/atlantic-defines-real-islam-says-isis/


    ISIS’s Anti-Islamic Theology of Rape
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/teachingnonviolentatonement/2015/08/isiss-anti-islamic-theology-of-rape-2/

    Muslim extremists want to kill you; Muslim moderates want Muslim extremists to kill you. Those scholarly sources you referenced are just countering the claims of ISIS to be the caliphate. Their theology is the same.

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  86. @MarkinLA
    You mean like the Teutoburg Forest?

    http://www.livius.org/te-tg/teutoburg/teutoburg01.htm

    The Romans won more than they lost until late in the Empire, which is why they conquered a fair part of Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria and Holland, which were all once occupied by German tribes.

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    • Replies: @colm
    Most of Germany is east of Rhine, which the Romans did not cross after Teutoberger.
  87. @Lot

    Germany is extremely fertile with the Rhine Valley, Danube, etc.
     
    Sure, but the area was more forested and the early Germans lacked crops adapted to the region. If you want to count as a strike against their IQ they did not develop such crops, sure go ahead and do so, but it certainly was a greater challenge for them than bringing Eastern Med. crops to, say, Southern France.*

    You'll notice the same issue in the New World. Iowa is very fertile, but there was no large-scale pre-Columbian farming there like there was in the Valley of Mexico.

    *(Modern German nationalists sometimes flatter themselves as having stopped Roman conquest. In fact the Romans repeatedly invaded deeply into Germany and defeated every force that tried to fight them, but they saw no benefit to conquering an area unsuited for their agriculture and lacking in any scarce natural resources. The Romans found the Germans to be brave and to fight well one-on-one, but lacking in military disciple and completely unable to engage in an organized retreat and regrouping.)

    That’s an inaccurate and overly negative portrayal of the Germans’ military achievements against the Romans. That they preferred to fight in situations that favoured them, rather than in ones that didn’t, is a sign of their acumen, not of the reverse.

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  88. @Priss Factor
    "The Maya in the popular mind are thought to have been murdering, torturing savages given to human sacrifice. This is probably because they were in fact murdering, torturing savages given to human sacrifice. Why this is thought especially reprehensible is a mystery. The Romans sacrificed huge numbers in the arena so that the public could enjoy watching them die, crucified large numbers, and poured molten lead down the throats of criminals. In the European witch hunts, sort of 1450-1750, some 500,000 were killed depending on whose numbers you accept, mostly by burning alive."

    Well, all peoples have done bad things.
    But cruelty isn't just about what but why.
    If a nation kills 100,000 people of another nation in war, that is less horrifying that if a nation killed 1000 people in human sacrifice.
    Wars are terrible, but they are, as some guy said, 'diplomacy by other means'. There will always be conflicts among man over resources and other reasons. Wars are necessary evils.
    As for cruel punishments meted out by Romans and others, yes, they were horrible. But there was still the matter of justice. Even if the methods were barbaric and extreme, people were being punished for something they did.
    As for the witchhunts in Europe during the Christian era, there was the genuine panic and belief that the witches were possessed by the Devil. So, there was a moral component to the violence. It's like communism killed many people but in the name of creating a more just society. And even though US did horrible things in WWII and other wars, wars are like that. It is fought to win, and people lose their minds in the melee. Winning becomes everything, and the hatred of the enemy drives much of the action.

    The bloody Gladiatorial games are more problematic morally, but many of the victims were animals. Also, the humans were given some chance of fighting and surviving. And if they won enough fights, they might even be shown clemency and be admired as a hero.

    In contrast, human sacrifice in Meso-America had no moral justification. The victims didn't commit any crime. They were innocent. They weren't seen as possessed by demons or forces of Evil. Rather, the Meso-Americans worshiped amoral gods that was into might-is-right. And this god had to be satiated with the blood of innocents.
    Now, such rituals also existed in other cultures. I think Babylonians sacrificed little children to the gods, at least in some silent movie.

    There is a difference between violence in service of over-zealous sense of justice or revenge AND violence in service of amorality of might.
    Righteous people may cruelly punish the wicked.
    Soldiers in war may carry out horrible acts of vengeance against the other side. Consider what Soviet troops did to Russian women in WWII. Or Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US.
    But the Mayans in Mel Gibson's APOCALYPTO were just being 'a**holes'. They just abducted forest folks and sacrificed them to some Lord of Amoral Might in the sky.
    There was no reason for the killing except to satiate the Conception of Power without Moral Vision.

    Maybe the lesson of the Mesos is that the smart elites shouldn't be too cruel. Maybe there were indeed very smart elites in Meso-America. But they acted to cruelly and amorally that the masses came to really really hate them. And when the civilizations fell, the masses were so pissed off that they killed off all the smart people.

    In any society, there is a limited number of smart folks, esp very smart folks.
    Among Old World civilizations, such people might become elites and gain great power and wealth. But they still showed that they were not all about power and force. They also won the trust of people with show of justice, spirituality, civic virtue, and etc.
    It seems the elites of Meso-America failed to develop any moral or spiritual system that could win and hold the trust of the masses for long. They ate too many magic mushrooms and worshiped some bloody god and decided to rule by sheer terror and fear-mongering.
    So, when the empires fell, it could be that the angry masses killed ALL the smart folks.
    Bill Gates said 'be nice to nerds cuz they might hire you one day.'
    It could also be said, 'be nice to people because they might bring you down one day.'

    [I think Babylonians sacrificed little children to the gods, at least in some silent movie.]

    The child sacrifices of the Carthaginians, very well attested in history, have been confirmed by archaeology.

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  89. @Karl
    > and innovate a newly “reformed” Islam

    no, it's the ORIGINAL Islam. Read the early history of Islam, bro

    no, it’s the KHAWARIJ Islam. Read the early history of Islam, bro.

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Kharijite

    Peace.

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  90. @Ron Unz

    This very credible source suggests that the average IQ of Mexicans and Central Americans is about 85, a full standard deviation, 15 points, below Caucasians
     
    Ha, ha, ha... People will believe whatever some random fellow puts up on a colorful website .

    If you look at your suggested website, which is most definitely NOT a "credible source," you'll notice the actual *source* of all those colorful maps are Prof. Richard Lynn's books.

    I've actually *read* all those books and the articles which I provided as links analysis his data in some considerable detail, so you should probably read them.

    Actual books tend to provide much more information than colorful websites. One problem with the Internet is that people have gotten too lazy to read books, and just click on colorful websites instead...

    “One problem with the Internet is that people have gotten too lazy to read books, and just click on colorful websites instead…”

    Mr. Unz,

    The behavior you describe strikes me as one of the hallmarks of a median or lower I.Q. population – e.g., America’s White middle and working classes.

    There are some things about which said classes are not lazy: televised team sports/games, alcohol consumption, and a remarkable inability to form mutually beneficial self-sustaining groups.

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  91. @Lot

    So? You’re just some anonymous racialist commenter who hangs around my own website and has never particularly impressed me with either his analysis or his erudition.
     
    My overall impression of you is a lot more positive than that, you are extremely smart on an overall basis, take a selfless interest in truth for truth's sake, and are generous personally with both your time and your money.

    On the more negative side, your writing on crime, IQ, and politics is simply not scholarly. By that I mean your writing generally evinces a mind that has already made a decision and looks for evidence favoring your view and ignores or unfairly discounts contrary evidence. You also do not take criticism very well and tend to react with offense and insults. For an example of this, if you think I am not erudite you have not read my comments with a fair and open mind.

    As another example, you have often called me and others "racialists," not exactly a common term and obviously in your usage a pejorative, while refusing my request that you explain what exactly you mean by the term. And it is not like I make repeated, tiresome requests for you to explain what you mean with various words and phrases. Rather it was the only such request. As it happens, my views on race controversies are pretty mainstream outside of the USA and Western Europe, and were mainstream here fifty years ago. They are also in accord with a healthy minority here, and barely different from, say, Steven Pinker or Razib.

    By contrast, Lynn is a serious scholar.
     
    I agree, but he also, in his 1990's national IQ work, showed that he does not understand how to perform meta-analysis of diverse sets of data. Worse still, he seemed unaware of this inability, and reported his results with unwarranted confidence and precision. Basic common sense should have told him that his SS-African IQ estimates were absurdly low. I think one country he had in the 50's, which translates to "drooling idiot" range. He also reported extremely implausible IQ differences between economically and ethnically similar European countries.

    But what did Lynn do afterward? He got himself more statistically sophisticated co-authors and gradually improved his work! You certainly understand and have written about some of the problems with Lynn's work.

    As a general matter, I think both you and Lynn are engaged in a fool's game of trying to analyze either absolute levels or changes in national IQ. Making the tests culturally fair, properly norming them, getting representative samples, and so on is an enormous task, and nearly all of the data points Lynn uses, and all of the data points for most of the countries including Ireland, simply cannot be used to make apples-to-apples comparisons with tests of native English speakers in the USA.

    In summary, having read all of the articles you wrote and linked to, I think you were overly broad and ambitious in choosing your topics compared with the time and resources you had to devote to them, you engaged in motivated reasoning, and you showed an unwarranted confidence in both your methods and your results. I still enjoyed reading them, because they contained a lot of interest ideas and data. My suggestion for future work is to choose narrower topics and before publishing, try to get comments on your drafts with smart people who you know will likely disagree with you.

    On the more negative side, your writing on crime, IQ, and politics is simply not scholarly….For an example of this, if you think I am not erudite you have not read my comments with a fair and open mind.

    Well, you’ve left thousands of comments on this website, and I doubt I’ve read even 5% of them, but my impression is that you’re just a typical Jewish-activist/racialist nitwit, whose views on “Jewish meritocracy” and non-white crime rates and IQ are mostly ignorant and/or ridiculous, though it’s possible I might be confusing you with another commenter of a similar ilk.

    For example, upthread you wrote:

    My own estimate is Japan/South Korea/Urban+overseas Chinese have an IQ average of about 105 while unmixed Ashkenazi outside of Israel around around 115.

    Now it happens that Lynn published an entire book on Jewish intelligence, which you’ve clearly never actually read. Among other things, he collects all the dozens of extent Jewish IQ samples, which interestingly enough demonstrate that that for the first 50-odd years unmixed Ashkenazi Jews lived in America, they had an average IQ of about 101. Furthermore, as far as I know, there’s not the slightest evidence that Jews have ever had anything like the IQ of 115 you claim, which seems a typical internet hoax, presumably promoted endlessly by Jewish-activists such as yourself. Perhaps I’m mistaken, and Lynn somehow missed all your data, which you can now provide to correct me. Have you actually *read* any of Lynn’s books, or do you just casually browse racialist blogsites that summarize them for you?

    http://www.unz.com/runz/raceiq-super-flynn-effects-in-germans-jews-and-hispanics/

    You also claim:

    Basic common sense should have told him that his SS-African IQ estimates were absurdly low.

    Really? I assume you’re aware that during most of the first half of the 20th century, the average tested IQ of Italians and many other Southern and Eastern Europeans living in America was around 70-75? Now if Italian-Americans attending schools in the world’s most advanced and wealthy country had tested IQs as low as 70, why is it so totally absurd that Lynn reported that Africans living in primitive near-jungle conditions might have IQs in the 50s or whatever? I’m not necessarily saying Lynn’s figures are correct—they’ve been disputed by other researchers—but they don’t seem so totally absurd to me. Or aren’t you even aware of the whole history of 20th century IQ testing in this country?…

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    When engaging in IQ chatter in H-bd conversation perhaps 15 years ago i recall offering the same opinion about the unreality of Lynn's 50 ish estimates of real Australian aboriginal IQs based on whatever tests had been used in whatever testing circumstances.

    I recall making the point that even with sd of 7 or so you had to expect a large number of them to be hardly capable of the most elementary functioning. Philippe Rushton disagreed without much explanation. That was before you Ron csme up with your devastating critique of Lynn's figures of which those for the Irish stand out as the most egregious. Now I think you are muddling the issue because Lot is surely referring to the underlying reality of the brains which people are born with when he refers to the 50ish figures as defying common sense: much as it defied common sense to suppose that the rise in measured Irish IQs hsd much to do with biology.


    As to the Ashkenazi average IQ being more like 110 than 115 when did you come to that view? I recall about 15 years ago making the assumption that leading newspaper editors (way bsck then when virtually all broadsheets were prestigious) and leading Hollywood directors had IQs of 145 (sd 15) and showing that it wasn't surprising that 50 per cent could come from a community of 3 per cent of adult Americans with average IQ 115. Similarly with Nobel Prize winners. The Jewish achievement in finance snd law I later noted was not reflected in corporation building and management generally as reflected in Jim Collins's impressive books Built to Last and Great to Good. (Despite inclusion of Merck the lists hold up better than those in "In Search of Excellence", also with estimable authors and corporations of which the same ethnic point could be made). Anyway my point is that 115 didn't seem urban legend stuff then but I gradually became aware that the consensus was for something more like 110. As my own rough and ready calculations showing how dealing severely with the reproduction by low IQ people from an average 100 poopulation could raise the average by 15 points in 500 years were apparently beside the point I would be pleased to be pointed in the direction of the up to date best evidence.

  92. It’s easy to wonder at the speed of progress of the Latins until you realize that until recently their population was smaller than North America’s and they bore the brunt of fighting Fascism and Communism in their own countries–and still are, in Venezuela, Brazil, and Columbia.

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  93. @MarkinLA
    I still don't buy the 25 million in North America number before Columbus being floated. I don't see any significant number of large scale settlements being unearthed anywhere but in a few places. When the Mississippi and Missouri rivers overflow and create swamps, the midwest is impossible to live in and probably why the plains Indians never became farmers so I doubt the heartland ever had as large a population as the northeast or Pacific coastal areas.

    Many years ago,before the Marxists took over the history departments, the number I was taught as a schoolboy was about 1 million people in North America. It’s hard to read any new history because everything has to go through the prism of political correctness and affirmative action. It’s said that the victor writes the history books and the radicals of the 60′s and 70′s appear to be the winners now, but it seems to me that for a time, mid 18th century up to the 1980′s a lot of honest historians were at work. Those days are gone, maybe forever.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Many years ago,before the Marxists took over the history departments, the number I was taught as a schoolboy was about 1 million people in North America.
     
    If we're excluding the Aztec Empire of Mexico, is there any serious scholar who claims the Amerind population was drastically higher than 1M, let alone something crazy like 25M? Given the total absence of cities, that seems absurd. I think there are now claims that the Mississippi mound-builders might have had a larger population than previously estimated, and also the plausible argument that the European diseases reached North America before the Europeans themselves, wiping out a large fraction of the pre-existing population. So maybe the true figure might have been 3-4M instead of 1M. But are American textbooks really teaching something much higher than that?
    , @dahoit
    The more alleged native Americans,the more guilt they can lay on white people.
    I would say a couple of million at most,north of Mexico,as there are no relics,or very few ,of their existence.I live on LI,and I've never heard of anyone locally stumbling on Indian remains(occasional arrowheads),although there are some remains of camps found out on Eastern LI a decade or so ago.
  94. @Marcus
    Irrelevant, they aren't beasts of burden and their domesticability can't compare to that of horses.

    How do you know? What was the horse like 10,000 years ago? I bet Yaks and other other forms of Oxen were probably no nicer than bison were before they became domesticated. Elephants have been made into beasts of burden and they are a lot harder to corral than Bison if the Elephant isn’t handled correctly.

    I think it has more to do with the mentality of the people. The people of Eurasia had a long history of domesticating animals and had developed methods for selecting members of a wild herd suitable for domestication and then breeding the unwanted traits out of their flock. Amerindians had no such history in North America while in South America with alpacas they did.

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  95. @Erebus
    My God man, what an ignorance you have put on display. I'm taken aback.

    You’re working on a detailed rebuttal I take it?

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  96. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Karl
    > Alao they had easy access to cattle, horses, etc. that Amerindians certainly did not

    white guys today & for some time now, have been doing selective-breeding with NorthAmerican Bison.

    It's not the Germans' fault that the AmerInds were too stupid to try it.

    American bison are mixed. They are no longer pure.

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  97. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Amerindians have a genetic IQ of 95, same as Middle Easterners.

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  98. “The architecture was entirely Indian since they had no contact with Europe.”

    If you could rid your mind of that irrational assumption it would answer many questions you pose.

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    • Replies: @Carlton Meyer
    Allow me to add something from my blog:

    The great book "Lies my Teacher Told Me," notes that Columbus' diary states that when they reached Haiti, he found the Arawaks (local natives) in possession of spear points made of what they called “guanine.” The Arawaks said they got them from black traders who came from the south and east. Guanine proved to be an alloy of gold, silver, and copper, identical to the alloy preferred by West Africans, who also called it guanine. Given that West Africa is half the distance to the Caribbean compared to Europe, this is not surprising.

  99. @Rich
    Many years ago,before the Marxists took over the history departments, the number I was taught as a schoolboy was about 1 million people in North America. It's hard to read any new history because everything has to go through the prism of political correctness and affirmative action. It's said that the victor writes the history books and the radicals of the 60's and 70's appear to be the winners now, but it seems to me that for a time, mid 18th century up to the 1980's a lot of honest historians were at work. Those days are gone, maybe forever.

    Many years ago,before the Marxists took over the history departments, the number I was taught as a schoolboy was about 1 million people in North America.

    If we’re excluding the Aztec Empire of Mexico, is there any serious scholar who claims the Amerind population was drastically higher than 1M, let alone something crazy like 25M? Given the total absence of cities, that seems absurd. I think there are now claims that the Mississippi mound-builders might have had a larger population than previously estimated, and also the plausible argument that the European diseases reached North America before the Europeans themselves, wiping out a large fraction of the pre-existing population. So maybe the true figure might have been 3-4M instead of 1M. But are American textbooks really teaching something much higher than that?

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    I vaguely remember that a book came out that trotted out that number and on numerous lefty sites people have thrown that back at me. I can't seem to come up with a decent search to find it. I found some articles but they are full of arm waving and speculation about mass depopulation. The problem I have with these claims of large decreases in population is where did all the bodies go? The losses are so great and so fast that there is no way for these bodies to be disposed before they became a serious health problem for a low tech society.

    http://www.bxscience.edu/ourpages/auto/2009/4/5/34767803/Pre-Columbian%20population.pdf

    You have this part of university class syllabus.

    https://www.coursehero.com/file/p40u5h6/in-new-world-there-were-about-20-25-million-Amerindians-in-the-1450s-by-1650/

    Even if they or I misunderstood and assumed it was North America, that would still give 10 million in the North and even that I can't believe.
    , @MarkinLA
    Widely dispersed over the great land mass of the Americas, they numbered approximately 75 million people by the rime Columbus came, perhaps 25 million in North America.

    Maybe it was just Zinn's BS endlessly repeated like a game of telephone.

    http://libcom.org/history/columbus-indians-discovery-america
    , @Rich
    You're right. The 1 million number I was taught was referring to the population of American Indians in the US and Canada.
    , @Jim
    Most serious estimates of the Amerindian population north of Mexico at the time of Columbus range between one to two million.
  100. @Carlton Meyer
    "The architecture was entirely Indian since they had no contact with Europe."

    If you could rid your mind of that irrational assumption it would answer many questions you pose.

    Allow me to add something from my blog:

    The great book “Lies my Teacher Told Me,” notes that Columbus’ diary states that when they reached Haiti, he found the Arawaks (local natives) in possession of spear points made of what they called “guanine.” The Arawaks said they got them from black traders who came from the south and east. Guanine proved to be an alloy of gold, silver, and copper, identical to the alloy preferred by West Africans, who also called it guanine. Given that West Africa is half the distance to the Caribbean compared to Europe, this is not surprising.

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    • Replies: @colm
    Except blacks did not have too much to say about navigation, even now.
  101. For over thousand years — from about A.D. 500 to A.D. 1500, Westerners were enstupidated by the Christian Bible. For 5,000 years, Jews were enstupidated by the Jewish Bible: for all their vaunted brain power, they contributed nothing to civilization. Today we see in real-time how the Qur’an enstupidates Muslims. We can thank the three great Abrahamic religions for at various times extinguishing scientific invention and intellectual progress.

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    • Replies: @utu
    Enstupidation? An interesting idea. But you are right that Jews prior to their emancipation (by Napoleon edicts that were emulated throughout Europe) have not contributed much to we consider a civilization. Basically their contribution started when they got civilized by entering the co-called Latin Civilization (after Koneczny). The first 1800 years of this civilization Jews were hostile or aloof towards it.
    , @Wade
    Yawn...
  102. @Anton
    Mayans and Aztecs are part of the same Mesoamerican cultural space which also includes Olmecs, Mixtecs, and a number of other peoples. All of them evolved together and influenced each other's cultures and religions and were as similar as, let us say, Chinese, Japanese and Koreans. Mayans seem to be the only ones who developed a genuine system of writing, while the others used pictography.

    The Incas are part of the Andean family of cultures. Andean peoples were very different from Mesoamerican ones. For example, they used copper and bronze weapons and tools, while in Mesoamerica they fought their wars and buit all their palaces and temples with stone and wooden ones. Another specific feature was quipus or talking knots - a system of recording information by means of threads with knots.

    The system of government in the Andes and Mesoamerica seemed to be different. Mesoamerica consisted of great number of small states constantly at war with each other and never managed to coalesce into a bigger entity. And Incas built a huge centralised and somewhat totalitarian empire.

    There seem to be very little contact between the two areas. However, it is believed that the Purepecha Indians in Mesoamerica originally came from the Andes. They made and extensively used bronze unlike their neighbours.

    In any case, all these civilisations are very interesting, though their religion and general view of life seem rather gloomy and depressing. Just one example: Mayans worshiped a goddess of suicide depicted as a hanged woman dangling on a rope attached to the skies!

    On the whole, their history demonstrates the essential unity of the human race. For all their difference, pre-Columbian peoples developed in the same way as the ancient peoples of the Old World and you find a lot of similarities between them and the Bronze Age Oriental cultures.

    Mayans worshiped a goddess of suicide depicted as a hanged woman dangling on a rope attached to the skies!

    Okay, but Christians worship Jesus who is often depicted as crucified and hanging dead on the cross.

    I think it may be hard to tell what is really going on from just an artifact.

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    • Replies: @random observer
    That's fair enough as far as the artifacts, although we have enough other information to know that the Christian teaching was that Jesus [God] died himself to seal a covenant between Man and God and open a path to an idea of salvation ultimately peaceful and life-affirming in nature, ending the need for any kind of sacrifices in ritual, and that this was for Christians the culmination of a long Jewish religious tradition in which specifically human sacrifice had been considered abhorrent and explicitly unjustified since at least the incident in which God made this point to Abraham and Isaac. So, presuming the latter actually happened in some sense, with or without actual comms from God, that would be over 2500 years pre-Contact.

    I claim no specific expertise on the origin of the information, but it seems we have enough information on not only the Aztecs but also the other early-Mexican, Maya, and indeed Peruvian cultures, from sources other than only a few statues, to indicate the living practice of human sacrifice to varying degrees.

    At one time, I think it was assumed that the Aztecs, though coming late to the party, were actually pro-sacrifice extremists compared to even the other practicing cultures. So we needn't assume that every one of them kept the home fires burning all the time. I remain struck by the image of the Aztec priests frantically cutting out hearts in increasing numbers as the city fell, desperate to save the world, as they knew it.

    On that, this article struck me as interesting: http://abandonedfootnotes.blogspot.ca/2013/11/aztec-political-thought.html

    Arguably, a cosmology equally alien to most old world polytheisms and dharmic religion as it is to Abrahamic monotheism. Although perhaps one can see its echo in some Asian shamanism, with which it shared roots. Perhaps this is even what evolves when that shamanistic tradition is left alone to develop into a complex cosmology and pantheon of gods. Regardless, perhaps the darkest idea of cosmology and political philosophy ever imagined. Imagine having this belief system and looking up at the night sky. It's barely short of HP Lovecraft. I'd be desperate too.

    http://archaeology.about.com/od/aztecarchaeology/tp/Aztec-Gods.htm

    Or there's this capsule description of the gods. Whoo-eee. Whatever else may be said of them, this culture was never going to invent either liberalism or libertarianism or worry about trigger warnings.

    The statue above must have been Coatlicue, the Aztecs' mother-deity. The lady of the skirt of serpents, necklace of human hearts and skulls, etc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coatlicue. I'd rather meet Nyarlathotep in a dark alley.
  103. @Ron Unz

    Many years ago,before the Marxists took over the history departments, the number I was taught as a schoolboy was about 1 million people in North America.
     
    If we're excluding the Aztec Empire of Mexico, is there any serious scholar who claims the Amerind population was drastically higher than 1M, let alone something crazy like 25M? Given the total absence of cities, that seems absurd. I think there are now claims that the Mississippi mound-builders might have had a larger population than previously estimated, and also the plausible argument that the European diseases reached North America before the Europeans themselves, wiping out a large fraction of the pre-existing population. So maybe the true figure might have been 3-4M instead of 1M. But are American textbooks really teaching something much higher than that?

    I vaguely remember that a book came out that trotted out that number and on numerous lefty sites people have thrown that back at me. I can’t seem to come up with a decent search to find it. I found some articles but they are full of arm waving and speculation about mass depopulation. The problem I have with these claims of large decreases in population is where did all the bodies go? The losses are so great and so fast that there is no way for these bodies to be disposed before they became a serious health problem for a low tech society.

    http://www.bxscience.edu/ourpages/auto/2009/4/5/34767803/Pre-Columbian%20population.pdf

    You have this part of university class syllabus.

    https://www.coursehero.com/file/p40u5h6/in-new-world-there-were-about-20-25-million-Amerindians-in-the-1450s-by-1650/

    Even if they or I misunderstood and assumed it was North America, that would still give 10 million in the North and even that I can’t believe.

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    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    Actually, your first link provides a detailed summary of the estimates, which vary enormously and emphasizes that the question is clearly hopeless to resolve, based on so much different guesswork. But it quotes a recent scholar who tried to resolve all the different researchers into a "best guess" and came up with a population of 3.8M above the Rio Grande, which seems fairly plausible to me.

    Maybe some of the confusion is semantic, since "North America" would obviously include the Aztec Empire, which had a huge population. I had the impression that everyone has always acknowledged that the Aztec and Incan cities were many times larger than Madrid at the time of the Spanish Conquest, and that the Spaniards themselves emphasized the enormous populations they were encountering.

    I doubt that the bodies from a die-off in the millions would be much of an issue, since even just animals and the elements would have caused them to mostly disappear within a few decades, long before European explorers reached the area. Huge numbers of animals are always dying in the wild, and their bodies quickly vanish. Obviously, the temporary health hazard from human corpses would have been huge, but that merely compounded the deadly impact of the diseases, which probably wiped out entire villages or regions.
  104. @Anonymous
    Is really Imran Hossein an 'authority'?
    And is Hassan Nasrallah an 'orthodox authority' if he is Shiite (the heretics of Islam)?

    Aren’t Protestants the heretics of Catholicism?
    One mans born again hypocrite is another mans righteous Christian.
    The eye of the beholder,and as someone else mentioned,Nasrallah is much less radical than the head chopping IsUS clowns who have given once righteous Muslim resistance a black eye.
    Obvious tools of US and Zion.
    In fact the NYTs admitted it today,probably as counter to the Wikileaks revelations regarding HRC.The fix is in.

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  105. @Ron Unz

    Many years ago,before the Marxists took over the history departments, the number I was taught as a schoolboy was about 1 million people in North America.
     
    If we're excluding the Aztec Empire of Mexico, is there any serious scholar who claims the Amerind population was drastically higher than 1M, let alone something crazy like 25M? Given the total absence of cities, that seems absurd. I think there are now claims that the Mississippi mound-builders might have had a larger population than previously estimated, and also the plausible argument that the European diseases reached North America before the Europeans themselves, wiping out a large fraction of the pre-existing population. So maybe the true figure might have been 3-4M instead of 1M. But are American textbooks really teaching something much higher than that?

    Widely dispersed over the great land mass of the Americas, they numbered approximately 75 million people by the rime Columbus came, perhaps 25 million in North America.

    Maybe it was just Zinn’s BS endlessly repeated like a game of telephone.

    http://libcom.org/history/columbus-indians-discovery-america

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  106. @Rich
    Many years ago,before the Marxists took over the history departments, the number I was taught as a schoolboy was about 1 million people in North America. It's hard to read any new history because everything has to go through the prism of political correctness and affirmative action. It's said that the victor writes the history books and the radicals of the 60's and 70's appear to be the winners now, but it seems to me that for a time, mid 18th century up to the 1980's a lot of honest historians were at work. Those days are gone, maybe forever.

    The more alleged native Americans,the more guilt they can lay on white people.
    I would say a couple of million at most,north of Mexico,as there are no relics,or very few ,of their existence.I live on LI,and I’ve never heard of anyone locally stumbling on Indian remains(occasional arrowheads),although there are some remains of camps found out on Eastern LI a decade or so ago.

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    • Replies: @Racerealist88
    http://thealternativehypothesis.org/index.php/2016/06/02/the-non-genocide-of-northern-native-americans/
    , @Anon
    North American Indians had to deal with the 'surviving winter problem' much the way the Germanic tribes in pre-Roman Europe did. It's not surprising that both areas lagged, culturally speaking.

    In Latin America, they were able to raise more food crops with extended growing seasons, create higher population densities, and thus develop more sophisticated societies, exactly the way the people living around the Mediterranean basin did, and for the same reasons.

  107. @MarkinLA
    I vaguely remember that a book came out that trotted out that number and on numerous lefty sites people have thrown that back at me. I can't seem to come up with a decent search to find it. I found some articles but they are full of arm waving and speculation about mass depopulation. The problem I have with these claims of large decreases in population is where did all the bodies go? The losses are so great and so fast that there is no way for these bodies to be disposed before they became a serious health problem for a low tech society.

    http://www.bxscience.edu/ourpages/auto/2009/4/5/34767803/Pre-Columbian%20population.pdf

    You have this part of university class syllabus.

    https://www.coursehero.com/file/p40u5h6/in-new-world-there-were-about-20-25-million-Amerindians-in-the-1450s-by-1650/

    Even if they or I misunderstood and assumed it was North America, that would still give 10 million in the North and even that I can't believe.

    Actually, your first link provides a detailed summary of the estimates, which vary enormously and emphasizes that the question is clearly hopeless to resolve, based on so much different guesswork. But it quotes a recent scholar who tried to resolve all the different researchers into a “best guess” and came up with a population of 3.8M above the Rio Grande, which seems fairly plausible to me.

    Maybe some of the confusion is semantic, since “North America” would obviously include the Aztec Empire, which had a huge population. I had the impression that everyone has always acknowledged that the Aztec and Incan cities were many times larger than Madrid at the time of the Spanish Conquest, and that the Spaniards themselves emphasized the enormous populations they were encountering.

    I doubt that the bodies from a die-off in the millions would be much of an issue, since even just animals and the elements would have caused them to mostly disappear within a few decades, long before European explorers reached the area. Huge numbers of animals are always dying in the wild, and their bodies quickly vanish. Obviously, the temporary health hazard from human corpses would have been huge, but that merely compounded the deadly impact of the diseases, which probably wiped out entire villages or regions.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Once you start looking at South America you know that the Amazon jungle still hasn't been cut back to uncover the areas occupied by pre Conquest peoples who succumbed to Eurasian diseases.
  108. @Marcus
    I completely agree, we should give them every opportunity to rebuild their impressive ancient city-states in the jungle, wouldn't want the next Pacal the Great to end up as a janitor at the J Edgar Hoover building instead.

    I know you were making a more or less humorous comment but there is much truth in what you say. Rather than making Mexican indigenous types miserable raking our leaves it would be much much MUCH better to have them in an environment where they are expressing their creative powers as they did with those pyramids. (and not in the USA coercing our society away from what makes Europeans creative)

    Now it may very well be that trying to impress Spanish culture upon the Mexican natives screwed up Mexico. That’s a shame.

    But of course Fred is trying to talk up Mexicans. Problem is I am from Arizona and I’m not impressed. However in Brazil I’ve met several European Mexicans and they are fully capable of PhD level work.

    The whole thing would work better if we were practical and embraced true diversity ……which of course would have a bigger sigma ( variance) and of course that implies some greater segregation than that being forced on us by the SJW culture warriors.

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    • Agree: Marcus
    • Replies: @Marcus
    The current uncontrolled mass immigration benefits no one but the extremely rich of both regions. As for Spanish rule: Catholicism with its formality and deep Latin European roots seems to have been a poor fit for most Amerinds, and especially the Central Americans, who are now converting to evangelical protestantism in huge numbers (I think Guatemala is close to 50% Protestant now). A Latin American pontiff was probably chosen to try to stem the tide of defections.
  109. @dearieme
    "Interesting stuff, no?"

    Yes, but when I try to use examples such as this on blogs where someone has been overdoing the race superiority business, I seem to meet denial or mere bafflement. Face it, inventing zero is a greater intellectual achievement than any in the history of the US or its predecessor colonies.

    You think inventing ZERO is greater than anything that was invented in the USA?????????

    YIKES. You are dumb as a rock.

    Can you say “silicon”.

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    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    Can you say “silicon”.
     
    Professional tip: Americans did not invent silicon. Silicon is a naturally-occurring chemical element invented by God.
    , @uslabor
    Couldn't have got to using silicon with the concept of zero.
    , @random observer
    Zero is among the greatest advances ever made in math, the foundation of all sciences. The Mayans did good with that. Pity their technological condition among other things limited its application mostly to theory. Still something.

    The Indians [Hindu and Jain divisions] who came up with it in the Old World, building perhaps a little on Egyptian and Babylonian work that may have been known to them and which was millennia older, just had a bigger world waiting to try on the concept and muck about with it.
    , @gwynedd1
    Well, zero is really more than meets the eye. Its actually a collection of concepts including magnitude, power, displacement and commencement. Zero rarely actually means "nothing" , just like negative numbers rarely means less than nothing. 10 apples for example is a simple passive concept. There may be 10 apples rotting under a tree. -10 apples almost always implies active use like needing it for a recipe or a transaction. In fact in would say the same with credit verse money. Money is a passive concept. Credit is a very active concept with intent to employ it. In other words zero and negative numbers implies a state of civilization of balancing equations in active commencement.

    So the need for zero is everything it implies.
  110. @Ron Unz

    This very credible source suggests that the average IQ of Mexicans and Central Americans is about 85, a full standard deviation, 15 points, below Caucasians
     
    Ha, ha, ha... People will believe whatever some random fellow puts up on a colorful website .

    If you look at your suggested website, which is most definitely NOT a "credible source," you'll notice the actual *source* of all those colorful maps are Prof. Richard Lynn's books.

    I've actually *read* all those books and the articles which I provided as links analysis his data in some considerable detail, so you should probably read them.

    Actual books tend to provide much more information than colorful websites. One problem with the Internet is that people have gotten too lazy to read books, and just click on colorful websites instead...

    The Mexicans coming to the USA are not the brightest bulbs…….I know that from living in Arizona. Sample Size you ask? LARGE.

    I deal with the high end of IQ as an engineer. What I see in the IQ studies is reflected on the ground no matter where I go.

    You’re just wishing it were not so Mr Ron Unz.

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  111. Very instructive. As an innumerate I am impressed. Here’s another consideration. In paleolithic times, 16000 BTP and even earlier, humans painted realistic naturalistic animals on the walls of caves. Human figures on cave walls right next to the realistically rendered animals by contrast were schematized, like stick figures. This suggests to me that self-consciousness, humans’ hardest task, was (already) clouded over by traditional explanations of the human condition. Yes, folks, this was early religion. Afterwards, realistic naturalistic animal drawings disappear from all successive cultures everywhere in the world, in Europe, Africa, the Americas, Australia. Apparently full-blown religion, which “explains” everything including the fauna, prevents a potentially gifted artist from seeing and rendering beautiful animals in their real shapes. And realistic naturalistic representation disappears from parietal art and is never seen again until . . . (Guess where!). Yes, folks, the extremely unreligious ancient Greeks, regained the ability to render animals naturalistically and, a bit later, humans, the way they really are, unclouded by religious belief (pagan religion, compared to the fervor of full religious belief, Christian or Islamic, as furniture of the mind, was worn lightly). This ability survived into the time of ancient Rome. But when religion again took over people’s minds, after the fall of Rome, realistic naturalistic art dwindled away and vanished. Naturalistic art was rediscovered in the Renaissance that is the ability to see natural creatures with the clarity of paleolithic wall art, transcending the constraints of religious belief. Now, consider the rendering of humans in Pre-Columbian art. Yes, folks, you are looking at accurate representations of their world-view. All the cruelty that the human mind is capable of was, it seems, made into the guiding principle of their religion.

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    • Replies: @utu
    "realistic naturalistic animal drawings disappear from all successive cultures everywhere in the world" - what religion was responsible for American abstract expressionism?
  112. @Jim
    Positional notation in the Old World goes back to Babylonia where a base 60 system was developed. At first they had no symbol for zero but sometimes left an empty space to indicate the abscence of a power of sixty. Later they developed a special symbol to indicate a missing power. They did not have the equivalent of a sexigesimal "point" but scaled numbers by context.

    The Hellenistic astronomers took over the Babylonian system and introduced an accent mark to serve the function of a sexigesimal "point". They used this system for measuring angles and also developed a decimal system which they used for measuring chords.

    A non-positional system somewhat like Roman numerals was used in Hellenistic culture for commercial and practical applications but Hellenistic astromomers and mathematicains were well aware of positional notation.

    Hindu astronomy was largly derived from translations of the works of Ptolemy and other Hellenistic astronomers. Even the names of the planets used by Hindu astronomers are
    derived from the Greek names of the planets. The Hindu positional system was thus derived from Greek sources.

    The Hindus did develop the modern symbols used for the digits 0-9. The Hellenistic astronomers had used Greek letters. These symbols were adopted by the Arabs and from there transmitted to the West.

    The system used for the Long Count is somewhat interesting. In the positional systems as they are usually described the value at every position is the same however theoretically one may use any sequence of integers greater than one as the values at successive positions. However as far as I know the positional system used for the Long Count is the only example of a mixed base system actually adopted in practice.

    Incidentally it is not clear that the Long Count positional system was invented by the Maya. The first inscriptions with Long Count dates are associated with the Olmec. Long Counts were later used by both the Maya and Zapotecs but not by other Mesoamericans. Now Olmec culture is similar in many respects to Mayan culture but unfortunately the Olmec script has not been deciphered and it not known what kind of language the Olmecs spoke. At present the Amerindian languages spoken in the area of the Olmec culture are not Penutian like Maya but Mixe-Zoque. However these languages may be a later intrusion as Penutian languages are spoken to the north and south of this area. Incidentally Zapotec is neither Penutian nor Mixe-Zoque.

    It seems then most likely that the Long Count was invented by the Olmecs. It's not known how closely related the Olmecs were to the Maya although culturally there are a lot of similarities. It is possible that the Olmec language might have been a Mayan language or a closely related Penutian language but this is not known.

    Fred - a personal comment - Mesoamerican cultures are extremely fascinating to study but you only seem interested in them as a springboard for ideological drivel and racial breastbeating. Ideologically driven study is not a path to understanding. However understanding does not seem to be one of your interests.

    Fred – a personal comment – Mesoamerican cultures are extremely fascinating to study but you only seem interested in them as a springboard for ideological drivel and racial breastbeating. Ideologically driven study is not a path to understanding. However understanding does not seem to be one of your interests.

    So true.

    He’s sufficiently opinionated and sounds soused enough to be a candidate for a Linh Dinh interview, but LD’s other bar-room subjects generally make much more sense.

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  113. @Ron Unz
    Well, I'm busy with my own work and almost never involve myself in these comment-threads, so perhaps I shouldn't have made an exception here.

    But if you're interested in the topic, I do suggest you read some of my articles. It's possible you might learn something...

    Your papers are enlightening, Ron. The story of Jason Richwine is a perfect example of the breathless hypocrisy of these witch-burners. They quote science, science, science on the environment (and we can argue the merits of THEIR paid-for-an-opinion-or-else “settled science”). Science on evolution-not-God-science. And they LOVE the social “sciences” that they alternately embrace or reject as it suits their feelings of the day. The science of abortion? No life is destroyed because THEIR science tells them so.

    The science of genetics however, they want no part of and THAT is the lesson of many of your papers. For that part they want the “God created us equal” meme played regardless of obvious evidence to the contrary. Witches, no generation is free of them.

    No reply necessary, Ron, just cheerleading. Go get em.

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  114. @Talha
    Hey Randal,

    The comparison is not the exactly the same even though Daesh are indeed reformers. First off, the Catholic Church never had monopoly as the voice of Christianity (see Orthodox Churches). Second off, Christianity never had the concept of ijma (consensus) as does Sunni Orthodox Islam:
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/ijma

    Daesh has broken with consensus on multiple issues:
    http://www.refutingisis.com/

    They have no high-caliber scholars of any note (I'm open to be contradicted in this regard if anyone has proof - they seem to be a bunch of young guys with guns making up stuff as they go along); at least the Protestants had people like Calvin or Luther.

    Peace.

    I’m not very interested in Richard’s egocentric excursion from what Fred chose to write about but I have to point out that your distinctions don’t work. The persistence of Orthodox Christianity is wholly irrelevant (and anyway paralleled in Islam). Orthodox Christianity was no more an alternative source of authority in the West than Iranian Ayatollahs are in Egypt.

    As to consensus, what is the difference between that and the authority of the Pope or Vatican Councils for the purposes of your argument?

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Dear WoO,

    Sharp man! It can indeed be argued that the 'Great Schism' is paralleled in Islam with the Sunni/Shiah divide, but:
    1) There has never been such a lopsided super-majority in Christianity; Sunnis have constituted anywhere from 85-95% of the Muslims, historically.
    2) This is irrelevant to my argument since Shiah do not recognize the concept of ijma in the same way Sunnis do. The Sunni concept of ijma is part of its core self-identification, the actual name being 'Ahl us-Sunnah wa al-Jama'ah (or Ijma)':
    "All Muslims are guided by the Sunnah, but Sunnis stress it, as well as consensus (ijma; the full name of Sunnis is Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l-Ijma, people of the Sunnah and consensus). "
    http://oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t125/e2280?_hi=1&_pos=5

    Perhaps I should have been clearer that I was talking exclusively about Sunnis because...

    With respect to the issue at hand - legitimacy of Daesh and their philosophy - they claim to be Sunni, thus Shiah opinions are irrelevant to them (and it would be even more damning because, if I were to include Shiah opinions in my assessment, Daesh would be even further marginalized). The problem is that you cannot claim to be part of a group and yet define your praxis (I'm not even going to get into their beliefs) so far outside their boundaries that it beggars your claims of legitimacy. Daesh can indeed claim to be Muslim (I was never arguing that they were apostates), because that has a wide berth, but so could the Khawarij, Qarmatis (who sacked Mecca), etc.

    So, in your example, can a group claim to be Catholic and yet go against centuries and centuries of established Catholic norms (by Pope and Councils)?

    Peace.
  115. @Erebus
    My God man, what an ignorance you have put on display. I'm taken aback.

    I agree with Ace. Your assumption of superiority constitutes no rebuttal and sounds like arrogant blustering in someone else’s conversation.

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  116. @Kyle a
    The Muslims stole from the Greeks and the Indians

    Why do you say “stole” especially in eras before IP law?

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  117. @Lord Effington III
    You think inventing ZERO is greater than anything that was invented in the USA?????????

    YIKES. You are dumb as a rock.

    Can you say "silicon".

    Can you say “silicon”.

    Professional tip: Americans did not invent silicon. Silicon is a naturally-occurring chemical element invented by God.

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  118. @Anonymous
    Is it possible that the environment in the Maya area after the collapse created a strong selection pressure for something other than intelligence, such that it degraded? My understanding is that can happen. Suppose for example that an individual appears with a genetic difference that causes him to be able to run 10 km/hr faster, but knocks 2 points off his IQ. Remember, he doesn't have to outrun a cheetah, he just has to outrun his buddy. Sounds like quite an adaptive change! Granted, it seems that 1000 years aint quite enough for a significant genetic change to take place, but then again, all the variation between the human races appeared in the space of 200,000 years, so maybe 1000 is enough for this relatively minor change after all.

    This all assumes that they had a way of keeping cheetahs and the like out of cities during the civilized period.

    I was amazed when I climbed the pyramids at Teotihuacan. The spell was kind of broken at the top of the sun pyramid where the park ranger said in monotonous repitition, "vayan caminando" (or however he put it. My command of Spanish is as poor as my memory and my command of Spanish) and sent us right back down.

    Here's another hypothesis for the diminished Indian IQ, but before I get to it I'd like to thank you, Fred, for enriching my vocabulary with the words "enstupidate" and "Clitler". I notice you don't seem to use the latter, but my enthusiasm for it continues unabated. Anyway, here's one for you if you haven't invented it already: encolonate. Example usage:

    "Maybe the reason that some races perform poorly on IQ tests is that they feel that you can take your stupid test and encolonate it."

    Great read as always, thank you kindly.

    Something analogous to the decline in the average English intellectual performance (masked to some extent by the rise of women in higher education) in the last 120 years or so could have happened if there was a smart upper caste or class which was disproportionately killed off in civil or other wars and/or discouraged from reproducing itself by severe loss of wealth and status.

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    • Replies: @Alden
    " discouraged from reproducing itself by severe loss of wealth and status"

    Or why affirmative action discrimination has caused a drastic lowering of the White birth rate.
  119. @Kyle a
    The Muslims stole from the Greeks and the Indians

    Pablo Picasso said:

    A good artist borrows, a great artist steals.

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  120. @Lord Effington III
    You think inventing ZERO is greater than anything that was invented in the USA?????????

    YIKES. You are dumb as a rock.

    Can you say "silicon".

    Couldn’t have got to using silicon with the concept of zero.

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  121. It is absurd to compare Mayan human sacrifice with Roman gladiatorial games. Mayan sacrificial victims were chosen at random from among female virgins, the population at large, subject peoples, or from captives in slave raids. The numbers of victims were probably in the tens of thousands per year. They were placed screaming on sacrificial alters, their bellies ripped open, and their still beating hearts torn out by a priest reaching into the body cavity through the knife cut. It was bloody and horrible. Gladiatorial contests in Rome were not held on a daily basis, but only on holidays associated with religious festivals or political events, such as triumphs. The people who died in the arena were of various types. Criminals might be condemned to die in the arena, in which case it was really no different than a public execution. No matter how cruel or unjust his death, a person who managed to get himself executed in the arena had to do something illegal. Opponents of the state, whether political conspirators or soldiers, were sometimes condemned to fight for their lives in the arena. However, most gladiators were captured soldiers who were trained to fight as gladiators. They were already accustomed to the use of weapons and inured to killing, and they were often highly esteemed individuals under the empire who were lavished with money and gifts, including the favors of impressionable women. In other words, they came to be looked upon in much the same fawning way we worship professional athletes.

    So let’s be clear. Gladiatorial games were distasteful and often brutal. But human sacrifice is completely abhorrent because it usually fell on a completely innocent population paralyzed with superstitious fear. There is a difference between brutalism and savagery.

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    • Replies: @uslabor
    Pouring molten lead down a criminal's throat; is that brutalism, or savagery?
    , @Wizard of Oz
    I recall reading or seeing documentaries about human sacrifices that were not cruel even if the usually young victim was not actually looking forward to the honour. Being left to die in the snow or being killed by a single blow were examples, the former being known in South America before the Spanish conquest.
  122. @Marcus
    Why won't you answer my question? Surely Amerindians have their merits, but doesn't their failure to assimilate into Spanish civilization after five centuries give you pause?

    Which era of Spanish civilisation are you referring to?

    Are you suggesting that pre Bolivar Amerindians should somehow have reached out and grasped some, and what, features of the crumbling Spanish monarchy that was not even part of the Enlightenment? Same mutatis mutandis for Brazil and Portugal.

    Don’t you think literate Ametindians might have noticed that Anglo culture was overshadowing the Hispanic?

    And you should factor in the lower literacy in Catholic countries compared to the Bible reading Protestant ones.

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    • Replies: @Marcus
    The Jesuits spent centuries trying to "Christianize" various tribes.
  123. @Ron Unz

    Many years ago,before the Marxists took over the history departments, the number I was taught as a schoolboy was about 1 million people in North America.
     
    If we're excluding the Aztec Empire of Mexico, is there any serious scholar who claims the Amerind population was drastically higher than 1M, let alone something crazy like 25M? Given the total absence of cities, that seems absurd. I think there are now claims that the Mississippi mound-builders might have had a larger population than previously estimated, and also the plausible argument that the European diseases reached North America before the Europeans themselves, wiping out a large fraction of the pre-existing population. So maybe the true figure might have been 3-4M instead of 1M. But are American textbooks really teaching something much higher than that?

    You’re right. The 1 million number I was taught was referring to the population of American Indians in the US and Canada.

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  124. @Ron Unz

    On the more negative side, your writing on crime, IQ, and politics is simply not scholarly....For an example of this, if you think I am not erudite you have not read my comments with a fair and open mind.
     
    Well, you've left thousands of comments on this website, and I doubt I've read even 5% of them, but my impression is that you're just a typical Jewish-activist/racialist nitwit, whose views on "Jewish meritocracy" and non-white crime rates and IQ are mostly ignorant and/or ridiculous, though it's possible I might be confusing you with another commenter of a similar ilk.

    For example, upthread you wrote:

    My own estimate is Japan/South Korea/Urban+overseas Chinese have an IQ average of about 105 while unmixed Ashkenazi outside of Israel around around 115.
     
    Now it happens that Lynn published an entire book on Jewish intelligence, which you've clearly never actually read. Among other things, he collects all the dozens of extent Jewish IQ samples, which interestingly enough demonstrate that that for the first 50-odd years unmixed Ashkenazi Jews lived in America, they had an average IQ of about 101. Furthermore, as far as I know, there's not the slightest evidence that Jews have ever had anything like the IQ of 115 you claim, which seems a typical internet hoax, presumably promoted endlessly by Jewish-activists such as yourself. Perhaps I'm mistaken, and Lynn somehow missed all your data, which you can now provide to correct me. Have you actually *read* any of Lynn's books, or do you just casually browse racialist blogsites that summarize them for you?

    http://www.unz.com/runz/raceiq-super-flynn-effects-in-germans-jews-and-hispanics/

    You also claim:

    Basic common sense should have told him that his SS-African IQ estimates were absurdly low.
     
    Really? I assume you're aware that during most of the first half of the 20th century, the average tested IQ of Italians and many other Southern and Eastern Europeans living in America was around 70-75? Now if Italian-Americans attending schools in the world's most advanced and wealthy country had tested IQs as low as 70, why is it so totally absurd that Lynn reported that Africans living in primitive near-jungle conditions might have IQs in the 50s or whatever? I'm not necessarily saying Lynn's figures are correct---they've been disputed by other researchers---but they don't seem so totally absurd to me. Or aren't you even aware of the whole history of 20th century IQ testing in this country?...

    When engaging in IQ chatter in H-bd conversation perhaps 15 years ago i recall offering the same opinion about the unreality of Lynn’s 50 ish estimates of real Australian aboriginal IQs based on whatever tests had been used in whatever testing circumstances.

    I recall making the point that even with sd of 7 or so you had to expect a large number of them to be hardly capable of the most elementary functioning. Philippe Rushton disagreed without much explanation. That was before you Ron csme up with your devastating critique of Lynn’s figures of which those for the Irish stand out as the most egregious. Now I think you are muddling the issue because Lot is surely referring to the underlying reality of the brains which people are born with when he refers to the 50ish figures as defying common sense: much as it defied common sense to suppose that the rise in measured Irish IQs hsd much to do with biology.

    As to the Ashkenazi average IQ being more like 110 than 115 when did you come to that view? I recall about 15 years ago making the assumption that leading newspaper editors (way bsck then when virtually all broadsheets were prestigious) and leading Hollywood directors had IQs of 145 (sd 15) and showing that it wasn’t surprising that 50 per cent could come from a community of 3 per cent of adult Americans with average IQ 115. Similarly with Nobel Prize winners. The Jewish achievement in finance snd law I later noted was not reflected in corporation building and management generally as reflected in Jim Collins’s impressive books Built to Last and Great to Good. (Despite inclusion of Merck the lists hold up better than those in “In Search of Excellence”, also with estimable authors and corporations of which the same ethnic point could be made). Anyway my point is that 115 didn’t seem urban legend stuff then but I gradually became aware that the consensus was for something more like 110. As my own rough and ready calculations showing how dealing severely with the reproduction by low IQ people from an average 100 poopulation could raise the average by 15 points in 500 years were apparently beside the point I would be pleased to be pointed in the direction of the up to date best evidence.

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  125. @Wizard of Oz
    Which era of Spanish civilisation are you referring to?

    Are you suggesting that pre Bolivar Amerindians should somehow have reached out and grasped some, and what, features of the crumbling Spanish monarchy that was not even part of the Enlightenment? Same mutatis mutandis for Brazil and Portugal.

    Don't you think literate Ametindians might have noticed that Anglo culture was overshadowing the Hispanic?

    And you should factor in the lower literacy in Catholic countries compared to the Bible reading Protestant ones.

    The Jesuits spent centuries trying to “Christianize” various tribes.

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  126. @Epaminondas
    It is absurd to compare Mayan human sacrifice with Roman gladiatorial games. Mayan sacrificial victims were chosen at random from among female virgins, the population at large, subject peoples, or from captives in slave raids. The numbers of victims were probably in the tens of thousands per year. They were placed screaming on sacrificial alters, their bellies ripped open, and their still beating hearts torn out by a priest reaching into the body cavity through the knife cut. It was bloody and horrible. Gladiatorial contests in Rome were not held on a daily basis, but only on holidays associated with religious festivals or political events, such as triumphs. The people who died in the arena were of various types. Criminals might be condemned to die in the arena, in which case it was really no different than a public execution. No matter how cruel or unjust his death, a person who managed to get himself executed in the arena had to do something illegal. Opponents of the state, whether political conspirators or soldiers, were sometimes condemned to fight for their lives in the arena. However, most gladiators were captured soldiers who were trained to fight as gladiators. They were already accustomed to the use of weapons and inured to killing, and they were often highly esteemed individuals under the empire who were lavished with money and gifts, including the favors of impressionable women. In other words, they came to be looked upon in much the same fawning way we worship professional athletes.

    So let's be clear. Gladiatorial games were distasteful and often brutal. But human sacrifice is completely abhorrent because it usually fell on a completely innocent population paralyzed with superstitious fear. There is a difference between brutalism and savagery.

    Pouring molten lead down a criminal’s throat; is that brutalism, or savagery?

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Fun I suppose if you've got the stomach for it.
    , @Epaminondas
    Missed the point, did we? We can discuss the propriety of torturing criminals, even ones who DESERVE to be tortured, but can we discuss the propriety of human sacrifice? That is beyond discussion. And that is your difference.
  127. @MarkinLA
    I still don't buy the 25 million in North America number before Columbus being floated. I don't see any significant number of large scale settlements being unearthed anywhere but in a few places. When the Mississippi and Missouri rivers overflow and create swamps, the midwest is impossible to live in and probably why the plains Indians never became farmers so I doubt the heartland ever had as large a population as the northeast or Pacific coastal areas.

    Don’t know about the pre-contact numbers- I’m completely agnostic on that. I’m as open to 1 million as 25, although I am assuming 1 million is lowballing as 25 is likely exaggerating. Even 25 million isn’t that many people in such a large territory, though probably it would be pushing or exceeding the maximum possible at a Neolithic level, especially considering the environment of North America, which is harsh at the best of times and all the more so at that level of development.

    On that, interesting comment about the Mississippi system. that would take significant chunks of the large heartland region out of play for sustained settlement, although note that last I heard there was no malaria in the New World prior to contact. It was an African disease that had spread throughout the old world. There may have been other swampland diseases in the pre-contact Americas, though I don’t know what they were. I always thought yellow fever was also African origin.

    Admittedly, even absent those diseases, big swamps aren’t great. But they could be part of habitable larger regions if the settlements are on higher ground, especially if there aren’t insect borne diseases.

    Agreed on the idea that the plains probably always had low population density. I had assumed it was essentially unfarmable at premodern levels of farming and irrigation. Hence the term ‘great American desert’ used by the early Americans, before they themselves managed to farm much of it. And it’s just as tough to use it for hunting or pastoralism without horses, so the plains indian horse cultures had to await Spanish feral horses after contact.

    The true deserts of the SW did support a couple of the more advanced irrigation-based, town-building chiefdom-level cultures [the Anasazi- I forget the proper name for them now and always mix them up with their successors; just call it the pueblo cultures] but they had the Colorado river and some idea how to manage water. Perfectly respectable, albeit thousands of years behind old world early farmer chiefdoms of the levant or Anatolia, or the Nile or East Africa, or the pre-Indus culture, or pre-Shang China. But again, probably maxing out the development possibilities of their environment.

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    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    I was riding my motorcycle one year around the country and decided to visit Sturgis. I left at night and stupidly passed on the only motel near there and rode through the night. The area had just had a large rainstorm a few days prior to my arrival and the place still had pockets of water.

    There was so much bug juice on my fairing windshield and my visor that I couldn't see out of wither and had to open my visor up and try and not get hit by all the flying bugs. I had to stop for gas as well as clean my windshield. When I got to the gas station, it was like a scene from a 50's horror movie with all the these bugs crawling on the gas station outer walls and buzzing around the lights.

    Nobody could successfully farm that place without effective insect control.

    When people throw that 25 million number at me I ask them what proof do they have. The only thing they come up with is a Mississippian settlement that died out around 1350 that is estimated to contain 10-15,000 inhabitants. My response is good, find me 999 more of those and you might have an argument. There is no doubt that the population near present day Mexico City may have been significant (I save seen estimates of Teotihuacan at 250,00) but elsewhere in NA, I doubt it. Don't some people also speculate that the Aztecs were really doing ritualized cannibalism as a food source with all those people they captured and sacrificed? They were probably at their population limit given their technology.
  128. @anonymous coward

    The Aztecs, their last imitators, were actually late arriving ‘barbarians’ [to use a European analogy that the inhabitants of the valley of Mexico when the Aztecs showed up would likely have agreed with] from the distant north [I think they are considered kin to peoples like the Ute]
     
    Right. There were at least four waves of humans colonization of the Americas. (And there's sketchy evidence of a fifth wave from Polynesia.)

    There's no such thing as an 'amerind' race, the current genetic composition comes from the post-Columbus population bottleneck when 95% of the Indians died from disease.

    I don’t have any objections to the theory of multiple waves from Asia- I’m more directly aware of a couple.

    One, the more or less well confirmed idea that the modern Inuit were VERY late arrivals to the North, around 1000 AD and after, and supplanting a previous Arctic culture by the usual assortment of means whether demographic, violent or technological, and arriving in Greenland long after the first Norse settlements were there. I gather they had superior spear technology and correspondingly superior hunting, boating and warring skills, and were better adapted to the rapidly cooling climate of the North in that age.

    Two, the idea that there was at least one later wave of peoples into interior North America [I think the Utes and/or Navajos and/or Dene speakers [apologies for deep imprecision here- I'm no specialist on this] were the emblematic peoples of this wave. Though they were still related to and of similar origin to earlier waves, and of course here millennia before us, they were newcomers to a settled place.

    Though I wasn’t really speaking of that level of deep history, which is probably still 7-8000 or more years ago.

    The Aztecs/Tenocha/Mexica were late arrivals to Mexico and northern ‘barbarians’ in a much more recent sense than that. They had their origin in what is now the SW US alongside speakers of other Uto-Aztecan languages, in what to us would be the late first millennium AD. They didn’t arrive in the valley of Mexico until probably the high middle ages of our history, only a few centuries before Contact, at most. They were probably thought primitives by the people already there, since the Aztecs were neither direct descendants of nor [initially] native practitioners of the Olmec/Toltec/Teotihuacan cultural traditions. Think of how the Greeks and Romans thought of Gauls or Germans or, even, how Romanized Gauls later thought of Germans, or later how Romanized Franks thought of the Vikings. Or how the Mesopotamians thought of Persians at first, how the two of them later thought of Arabs, or how Persians and Arabs would first have thought of Turks. Or Chinese of Mongols. [History is replete with this sort of dynamic. I imagine the Igbo or Yoruba have similar views of the Hausa and Fulani right now...]

    For the Aztecs allies/vassals, allying with the Spanish might be compared to the remnants of Rome summoning the Hun to get rid of the Germans, or vice versa. [The game Flavius Aetius was in fact playing for most of his life]. It doesn’t always work to one’s advantage.

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    • Replies: @Racerealist88
    3 waves out of Asia. And 2 our of the Pacific with one being questionable. Ie the Solutrean hypothesis is trash.
  129. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Marcus
    I completely agree, we should give them every opportunity to rebuild their impressive ancient city-states in the jungle, wouldn't want the next Pacal the Great to end up as a janitor at the J Edgar Hoover building instead.

    Off topic. All the great civilizations of old had emperors or kings.
    The reason there is any democracy at all in the USA comes from
    traditions of northern Europe. Thomas Jefferson researched this:

    A Thing (Old Norse, Old English and Icelandic: þing; German, Dutch: ding; modern Scandinavian languages: ting) was the governing assembly of a Germanic society, made up of the free people of the community presided over by lawspeakers. Its meeting-place was called a thingstead.

    Mathematics and pyramids are all well and good except for the fact that, back when,
    unless you were royalty or priesthood you were a peon.

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  130. @Joe Schmoe

    Mayans worshiped a goddess of suicide depicted as a hanged woman dangling on a rope attached to the skies!
     
    Okay, but Christians worship Jesus who is often depicted as crucified and hanging dead on the cross.

    I think it may be hard to tell what is really going on from just an artifact.

    That’s fair enough as far as the artifacts, although we have enough other information to know that the Christian teaching was that Jesus [God] died himself to seal a covenant between Man and God and open a path to an idea of salvation ultimately peaceful and life-affirming in nature, ending the need for any kind of sacrifices in ritual, and that this was for Christians the culmination of a long Jewish religious tradition in which specifically human sacrifice had been considered abhorrent and explicitly unjustified since at least the incident in which God made this point to Abraham and Isaac. So, presuming the latter actually happened in some sense, with or without actual comms from God, that would be over 2500 years pre-Contact.

    I claim no specific expertise on the origin of the information, but it seems we have enough information on not only the Aztecs but also the other early-Mexican, Maya, and indeed Peruvian cultures, from sources other than only a few statues, to indicate the living practice of human sacrifice to varying degrees.

    At one time, I think it was assumed that the Aztecs, though coming late to the party, were actually pro-sacrifice extremists compared to even the other practicing cultures. So we needn’t assume that every one of them kept the home fires burning all the time. I remain struck by the image of the Aztec priests frantically cutting out hearts in increasing numbers as the city fell, desperate to save the world, as they knew it.

    On that, this article struck me as interesting: http://abandonedfootnotes.blogspot.ca/2013/11/aztec-political-thought.html

    Arguably, a cosmology equally alien to most old world polytheisms and dharmic religion as it is to Abrahamic monotheism. Although perhaps one can see its echo in some Asian shamanism, with which it shared roots. Perhaps this is even what evolves when that shamanistic tradition is left alone to develop into a complex cosmology and pantheon of gods. Regardless, perhaps the darkest idea of cosmology and political philosophy ever imagined. Imagine having this belief system and looking up at the night sky. It’s barely short of HP Lovecraft. I’d be desperate too.

    http://archaeology.about.com/od/aztecarchaeology/tp/Aztec-Gods.htm

    Or there’s this capsule description of the gods. Whoo-eee. Whatever else may be said of them, this culture was never going to invent either liberalism or libertarianism or worry about trigger warnings.

    The statue above must have been Coatlicue, the Aztecs’ mother-deity. The lady of the skirt of serpents, necklace of human hearts and skulls, etc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coatlicue. I’d rather meet Nyarlathotep in a dark alley.

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  131. @Lord Effington III
    You think inventing ZERO is greater than anything that was invented in the USA?????????

    YIKES. You are dumb as a rock.

    Can you say "silicon".

    Zero is among the greatest advances ever made in math, the foundation of all sciences. The Mayans did good with that. Pity their technological condition among other things limited its application mostly to theory. Still something.

    The Indians [Hindu and Jain divisions] who came up with it in the Old World, building perhaps a little on Egyptian and Babylonian work that may have been known to them and which was millennia older, just had a bigger world waiting to try on the concept and muck about with it.

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    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    Zero isn't important by itself. What is important is having a placeholder in a base-X numbering system. However, the Romans were pretty good civil engineers without one.
    , @utu
    "Zero is among the greatest advances ever made in math" - Nonsense. You do not need to invent zero. Zero is emergent property of addition and subtraction. There is no lofty concept behind it. Actually it is just a symbol if you opt up to create one. It pops up in algebra structures like groups and fields but it is entirely irrelevant to 99% of engineering that use math except for the notation in numbers in decimal system. However for most people "0" in the number 1027 is not the same as "0" in the equation 5+0=5. The latter has more to do with the algebraic concept of the zero. The former is just the notation that has no intrinsic meaning unless you decide to dig deeper and notice that 1027=1*10^3+0*10^2+2*10^1+7*10^0.
  132. @MJJB
    Eruption of El Salvador's Ilopango volcano explains A.D. 536 cooling

    1,500 years ago, it may have been the site of one of the most horrific natural disasters in the world. It may be the long-sought cause of the extreme climate cooling and crop failures of A.D. 535-536

    The massive Plinian-type event with pyroclastic flows would have instantly killed up to 100,000 people, displaced up to 400,000 more and filled the skies with ash and dust for more than a year. The new findings would make it the second-largest volcanic eruption in the last 200,000 years. “This event was much bigger than we ever thought,”

    Such an eruption would explain the episode in Mayan history known as the Classic Period Hiatus, when the Maya stopped building stelae, decorative stone columns erected to mark events, Dull said. It would also finally explain the global cooling of A.D. 535-536, an 18-month period of cloudy skies, crop failures and famines that was described in both Roman and Chinese historical accounts.

    http://www.earthmagazine.org/article/aag-eruption-el-salvadors-ilopango-explains-ad-536-cooling

    Could that volcanic explosion and crop failures elsewhere help explain the apparently big hole in the story of how Roman-Celtic Britain came to be English speaking in a remarkably short time?

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  133. @Wizard of Oz
    I'm not very interested in Richard's egocentric excursion from what Fred chose to write about but I have to point out that your distinctions don't work. The persistence of Orthodox Christianity is wholly irrelevant (and anyway paralleled in Islam). Orthodox Christianity was no more an alternative source of authority in the West than Iranian Ayatollahs are in Egypt.

    As to consensus, what is the difference between that and the authority of the Pope or Vatican Councils for the purposes of your argument?

    Dear WoO,

    Sharp man! It can indeed be argued that the ‘Great Schism’ is paralleled in Islam with the Sunni/Shiah divide, but:
    1) There has never been such a lopsided super-majority in Christianity; Sunnis have constituted anywhere from 85-95% of the Muslims, historically.
    2) This is irrelevant to my argument since Shiah do not recognize the concept of ijma in the same way Sunnis do. The Sunni concept of ijma is part of its core self-identification, the actual name being ‘Ahl us-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah (or Ijma)’:
    “All Muslims are guided by the Sunnah, but Sunnis stress it, as well as consensus (ijma; the full name of Sunnis is Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Ijma, people of the Sunnah and consensus). ”

    http://oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t125/e2280?_hi=1&_pos=5

    Perhaps I should have been clearer that I was talking exclusively about Sunnis because…

    With respect to the issue at hand – legitimacy of Daesh and their philosophy – they claim to be Sunni, thus Shiah opinions are irrelevant to them (and it would be even more damning because, if I were to include Shiah opinions in my assessment, Daesh would be even further marginalized). The problem is that you cannot claim to be part of a group and yet define your praxis (I’m not even going to get into their beliefs) so far outside their boundaries that it beggars your claims of legitimacy. Daesh can indeed claim to be Muslim (I was never arguing that they were apostates), because that has a wide berth, but so could the Khawarij, Qarmatis (who sacked Mecca), etc.

    So, in your example, can a group claim to be Catholic and yet go against centuries and centuries of established Catholic norms (by Pope and Councils)?

    Peace.

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  134. @Marcus
    The Jesuits spent centuries trying to "Christianize" various tribes.

    Aren’t you changing your question?

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  135. @uslabor
    Pouring molten lead down a criminal's throat; is that brutalism, or savagery?

    Fun I suppose if you’ve got the stomach for it.

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  136. While advanced in certain areas, the Maya were essentially a stone age culture. Metals were not used to make weapons or tools. Metal objects were used as adornments and as religious artifacts. In fact, chipped obsidian was used for weapons by the Aztecs, which were utterly ineffective against Spanish firearms, steel swords and armor. The Maya used the same Neolithic weapons.

    Human sacrifice was a much a part of the Mayan religion as the Aztecs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sacrifice_in_Maya_culture Human offerings were made to the Gods with decapitation and heart extraction. While the medieval Catholic Church is not beyond reproach, it represented a Quantum moral leap over the grisly death cult of the Maya. Remnants of this Mesoamerican cult still exist in the bizarre worship of Santo Muerte.

    To compare the Mayan cultural legacy to the scientific and cultural contributions of Europe only shows the historical insignificance and irrelevancy of the Maya. Of course, one can admire their astronomy, architecture and art, while admitting they contributed little of lasting influence.

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    • LOL: Marcus
    • Replies: @Racerealist88
    They used iron weapons around 900 AD.
    , @RaceRealist88
    Also in total, 300 thousand Spanish fought the Aztecs. Don't forget about smallpox killing off a majority of the Aztec population.

    Moreover, they had courts where people were punished for crimes. For a man convicted of a crime, they would cut some hair as short hair was a sign of disrespect and people would know that he did wrong.

    The Maya were a pretty complex civilization. Concept of 0 independently, independently creating one of the first written languages, the long count calendar, etc.
  137. @Karl
    > Alao they had easy access to cattle, horses, etc. that Amerindians certainly did not

    white guys today & for some time now, have been doing selective-breeding with NorthAmerican Bison.

    It's not the Germans' fault that the AmerInds were too stupid to try it.

    “white guys today & for some time now, have been doing selective-breeding with NorthAmerican Bison.”

    Well I hope that this new white guy/bison hybrid displays more testicular fortitude than what we’ve seen from the millennial generation.

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    • LOL: Marcus
    • Replies: @iffen
    Yes, the fulfillment of the "White Buffalo" myth and legend.
  138. @Epaminondas
    It is absurd to compare Mayan human sacrifice with Roman gladiatorial games. Mayan sacrificial victims were chosen at random from among female virgins, the population at large, subject peoples, or from captives in slave raids. The numbers of victims were probably in the tens of thousands per year. They were placed screaming on sacrificial alters, their bellies ripped open, and their still beating hearts torn out by a priest reaching into the body cavity through the knife cut. It was bloody and horrible. Gladiatorial contests in Rome were not held on a daily basis, but only on holidays associated with religious festivals or political events, such as triumphs. The people who died in the arena were of various types. Criminals might be condemned to die in the arena, in which case it was really no different than a public execution. No matter how cruel or unjust his death, a person who managed to get himself executed in the arena had to do something illegal. Opponents of the state, whether political conspirators or soldiers, were sometimes condemned to fight for their lives in the arena. However, most gladiators were captured soldiers who were trained to fight as gladiators. They were already accustomed to the use of weapons and inured to killing, and they were often highly esteemed individuals under the empire who were lavished with money and gifts, including the favors of impressionable women. In other words, they came to be looked upon in much the same fawning way we worship professional athletes.

    So let's be clear. Gladiatorial games were distasteful and often brutal. But human sacrifice is completely abhorrent because it usually fell on a completely innocent population paralyzed with superstitious fear. There is a difference between brutalism and savagery.

    I recall reading or seeing documentaries about human sacrifices that were not cruel even if the usually young victim was not actually looking forward to the honour. Being left to die in the snow or being killed by a single blow were examples, the former being known in South America before the Spanish conquest.

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    • Replies: @Epaminondas
    Any society that promotes frequent and widely practiced human sacrifice is really only a few rungs above the level of cannibalism. Such societies can in no way be compared to advanced civilizations like those of the Greco-Roman era. Perhaps someone can direct me to the Mayan equivalents of Aristotle, Julius Caesar, or Horace.
    , @Sardonicus
    I don't know about the Maya, but many of the sacrifices for the Aztecs were prisoners of war, and were far from willing. I even recall that a few captured Spaniards were sacrificed to the Aztecs bloodthirsty gods. There was a huge pyramid of skulls of the victims of these sacrifices. Frequently,
    I believe, the priests skinned their victims and wore the skins as part of a religious ritual. I see the Catholic religion, what ever its faults, as a mega-improvement over the blood-thirsty death cults of the Maya and Aztecs.
  139. @pyrrhus
    It's clear that the Maya had some very intelligent people between 50 and 100 generations ago, especially in areas like astronomy and architecture...That doesn't tell us much about the intelligence of their descendants 50 generations later. Check out the research on Mouse Utopia and the movie Idiocracy....

    This also worries me. Social progress over time seems to allow for weakness in the individual. This seems to be the primary weakness of our race.

    Take the Cesarean section. In the contemporary world it is seen as a a life saving device. However I see a grim road ahead for a species that must cut their young out them. Today Europeans are the smart ones. In 20 generations , it is easy to project this may not be so.

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    • Replies: @Racerealist88
    Meaning that selection for smaller heads and brains will occur due to no natural births?
  140. @Lord Effington III
    You think inventing ZERO is greater than anything that was invented in the USA?????????

    YIKES. You are dumb as a rock.

    Can you say "silicon".

    Well, zero is really more than meets the eye. Its actually a collection of concepts including magnitude, power, displacement and commencement. Zero rarely actually means “nothing” , just like negative numbers rarely means less than nothing. 10 apples for example is a simple passive concept. There may be 10 apples rotting under a tree. -10 apples almost always implies active use like needing it for a recipe or a transaction. In fact in would say the same with credit verse money. Money is a passive concept. Credit is a very active concept with intent to employ it. In other words zero and negative numbers implies a state of civilization of balancing equations in active commencement.

    So the need for zero is everything it implies.

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  141. @Ozymandias
    "white guys today & for some time now, have been doing selective-breeding with NorthAmerican Bison."

    Well I hope that this new white guy/bison hybrid displays more testicular fortitude than what we've seen from the millennial generation.

    Yes, the fulfillment of the “White Buffalo” myth and legend.

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  142. Thing is, there were no animals to pull them

    How about a pushcart or wheelbarrow?

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  143. Outstanding article.

    One point to add, the wheel wasn’t conducive to how their city states were situated as well, mainly how they built their roads.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    The fact that the Maya only had wood and stone to work with prompts the thought that purely wooden wheels wouldn't have seemed so useful if you didn't have a soft, or very smooth hard , surface to traverse. It woud have neen extremely inconvenient to have to mend a wheel without even metal tools high in mountains where travel was on rough stone surfaces.
  144. @Priss Factor
    Does anyone know if there were cultural or tribal connections among the Mayans, Aztecs, and the Incas?

    Or did they develop entirely separately from one another?

    I aks because of the remarkable similarity in the pottery, architecture, and the arts. Look at their pyramids. Look at their sculptures.

    In the case of Western Europe, much of the art and architecture came to be similar because just about all European civilization followed the Classical Model. So, we have Greek and Roman columns in France, Spain, Germany, Britain, Sweden, Russia, and etc. Even up to the early 20th century, many buildings were modeled on neo-classicism.

    And a lot of stuff in East Asia look somewhat similar because many Asian nations adopted the Chinese style of painting and architecture. So, we see the same kind of tiled roofs and pagoda-like structures.
    And India and all nations influenced by Indian religion and culture have similar kind of architecture. The Angkor Wat in Cambodia looks very much like Hindu/Buddhist Temples in India.

    In contrast, there is a great deal of divergence among the arts and architecture of Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, and etc.

    To be sure, there is something like a similarity among the Near East folks, the big beardos. Babylonians, Persians, Assyrians, and such folks were into massive sculptures of men with huge beards and of giant bulls. They seem to belong to a cultural family distinct from the Greeks and the Egyptians.

    Were the connections(historical or cultural) among the Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs? Why are their arts and architecture so similar? After the Mayan empire fell, did the survivors of that civilization keep alive some of the culture and did that serve as seed for creating the later civilizations? Or did the other ones begin from scratch on their own?

    If the latter is true, there seems to be a collective consciousness among the Meso-American folks. Their mental archetypes are different from that of other races. Though American Indians never created great civilizations, one can find similarities between their artistic expression and those of the South and Central Americans.

    When we look at Black African sculptures, the main theme seems to be elongation, stretch-arm-strong-ism, coneheadism, Giacomettism, and etc. Was it simply due to the fact that blacks had longer limbs and dongs? Or is there something in the black psyche that prefers a kind of elongation approach? Consider how blacks like to stretch words out: 'sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiit' and 'daaaaaaaaaaaaaaang' and 'he naaaaaaaasty' or 'dat mothafuc*a craaaaaaazy'.

    In contrast, a lot of the artistic expression of the Meso-Americans seem to squat-ism, crunchism, smooshism, playdo-ism, squeezism, Tattoo-ism(Fantasy Island), turtle-ish, and etc. It could have been due to the shorter stature of the Mesos. Or maybe there is something in the Meso-psyche that prefers things short and curt. Mesos are related to Americans Indians and East Asians who have similar squatism in their styles of psyche. American Indians just say 'how'. Japanese speak in clipped style. Chinese language is made up of mono-syllables.

    Yes. They had contact with the Olmecs and traded culture and even people with them. Look into La Venta.

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  145. @Kyle a
    The Mayans were long gone by the time the spaniards showed up. Don't know if that excludes the groups from interaction.

    They weren’t long gone. There were still some left. When the Spanish landed on the Yucatan in 1519, one Spaniard had smallpox and it spread throughout mesoamerica, and per the Mayan writings, population levels declined 70 to 90 percent.

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  146. @Anonymous
    Is it possible that the environment in the Maya area after the collapse created a strong selection pressure for something other than intelligence, such that it degraded? My understanding is that can happen. Suppose for example that an individual appears with a genetic difference that causes him to be able to run 10 km/hr faster, but knocks 2 points off his IQ. Remember, he doesn't have to outrun a cheetah, he just has to outrun his buddy. Sounds like quite an adaptive change! Granted, it seems that 1000 years aint quite enough for a significant genetic change to take place, but then again, all the variation between the human races appeared in the space of 200,000 years, so maybe 1000 is enough for this relatively minor change after all.

    This all assumes that they had a way of keeping cheetahs and the like out of cities during the civilized period.

    I was amazed when I climbed the pyramids at Teotihuacan. The spell was kind of broken at the top of the sun pyramid where the park ranger said in monotonous repitition, "vayan caminando" (or however he put it. My command of Spanish is as poor as my memory and my command of Spanish) and sent us right back down.

    Here's another hypothesis for the diminished Indian IQ, but before I get to it I'd like to thank you, Fred, for enriching my vocabulary with the words "enstupidate" and "Clitler". I notice you don't seem to use the latter, but my enthusiasm for it continues unabated. Anyway, here's one for you if you haven't invented it already: encolonate. Example usage:

    "Maybe the reason that some races perform poorly on IQ tests is that they feel that you can take your stupid test and encolonate it."

    Great read as always, thank you kindly.

    I had a discussion about this a few months ago and the conclusion we came to was similar to yours.

    Basically how civilization is set up is not conducive to how they genetically are.

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  147. @Jim
    Incas, Aztecs and the Maya are certainly not closely related. Although the Andean culture zone developed largely independently of Mesoamerica items of Andean origin have been found in Mesoamerica indicating that they were not totally isolated from each other but certainly their interaction was very slight.

    Aztecs were relatively recent arrivals from the north to the Valley of Mexico. Nahuatl is a Uto-Aztecan language most closely related in that group to the Kiowa-Tanoan languages of northeastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle. The greatest number of Uto-Aztecan languages are found in the Great American Basin indicating that that area is the place of dispersion for the Uto-Aztecan languages.

    The Maya have been present in the Yucatan, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, El Salvador, extreme southern Mexico since as far back as they can be traced. Their languages are Penutian, a large family of languages spoken from the Northwestern US down to the area of the Maya.

    There was a lot of interconnection and interaction among all the numerous Mesoamerican cultures. For example some archaeologists believe that Chichen-Itzan may have been a Toltec colony in Mayan territory. There were also Mayan enclaves located in the Valley of Mexico. The Mayans and other Mesoamericans were certainly not at all isolated from each other. The Mesoamerican cultural area also included as a peripheral part the cultures of the American Southwest.

    There never was any "Mayan Empire" to "fall". At various times different Mayan cities achieved greater status and prestige than others but there was nothing like the old world empires such as found in the Ancient Near East beginning with Sargon of Akkad.

    The Highland Maya did experience a collapse but there is little evidence of foreign intrusion and the common Mayan people of the area continued to live there much as before and of course can still be found. The Lowland Maya never experienced any "collapse" and were still going strong when the Spanish arrived. There is however evidence that Toltecs may have conquered and ruled over parts of the Yucatan for a period.

    Jim,

    Do we know which group likely domesticated the turkey and muscovy duck?

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    • Replies: @Racerealist88
    The maya domesticated the turkey 2300 years ago.

    http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/article00522.html

    Here's one about the duck.

    http://archaeology.about.com/od/ancientdailylife/fl/Muscovy-Duck.htm

  148. @Anonymous
    Amerindians have a genetic IQ of 95, same as Middle Easterners.

    Source?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    http://openpsych.net/forum/showthread.php?tid=271&page=3

    https://figshare.com/articles/Polygenic_selection_on_educational_attainment/3175522/4
  149. @Kyle a
    Actually the Aztecs were the torturing savages. Mayans, not so much.

    Actually the Aztecs were the torturing savages. Mayans, not so much.

    Correct! It’s amusing how Mel Gibson made an Aztec-Mayan mashup in Apocalypto. Still a great movie. I read Conquest of Mexico by William H. Prescott https://goo.gl/rY0SEg in the 1990s and it gave me good ideas what present day Mexicans are up to.

    The Aztecs were the ones who would sacrifice 20,000 captives in a year for their blood thirsty their sun god. Who would not rise tomorrow without being fed the blood of human sacrifices.

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  150. @dahoit
    The more alleged native Americans,the more guilt they can lay on white people.
    I would say a couple of million at most,north of Mexico,as there are no relics,or very few ,of their existence.I live on LI,and I've never heard of anyone locally stumbling on Indian remains(occasional arrowheads),although there are some remains of camps found out on Eastern LI a decade or so ago.
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  151. @random observer
    I don't have any objections to the theory of multiple waves from Asia- I'm more directly aware of a couple.

    One, the more or less well confirmed idea that the modern Inuit were VERY late arrivals to the North, around 1000 AD and after, and supplanting a previous Arctic culture by the usual assortment of means whether demographic, violent or technological, and arriving in Greenland long after the first Norse settlements were there. I gather they had superior spear technology and correspondingly superior hunting, boating and warring skills, and were better adapted to the rapidly cooling climate of the North in that age.

    Two, the idea that there was at least one later wave of peoples into interior North America [I think the Utes and/or Navajos and/or Dene speakers [apologies for deep imprecision here- I'm no specialist on this] were the emblematic peoples of this wave. Though they were still related to and of similar origin to earlier waves, and of course here millennia before us, they were newcomers to a settled place.

    Though I wasn't really speaking of that level of deep history, which is probably still 7-8000 or more years ago.

    The Aztecs/Tenocha/Mexica were late arrivals to Mexico and northern 'barbarians' in a much more recent sense than that. They had their origin in what is now the SW US alongside speakers of other Uto-Aztecan languages, in what to us would be the late first millennium AD. They didn't arrive in the valley of Mexico until probably the high middle ages of our history, only a few centuries before Contact, at most. They were probably thought primitives by the people already there, since the Aztecs were neither direct descendants of nor [initially] native practitioners of the Olmec/Toltec/Teotihuacan cultural traditions. Think of how the Greeks and Romans thought of Gauls or Germans or, even, how Romanized Gauls later thought of Germans, or later how Romanized Franks thought of the Vikings. Or how the Mesopotamians thought of Persians at first, how the two of them later thought of Arabs, or how Persians and Arabs would first have thought of Turks. Or Chinese of Mongols. [History is replete with this sort of dynamic. I imagine the Igbo or Yoruba have similar views of the Hausa and Fulani right now...]

    For the Aztecs allies/vassals, allying with the Spanish might be compared to the remnants of Rome summoning the Hun to get rid of the Germans, or vice versa. [The game Flavius Aetius was in fact playing for most of his life]. It doesn't always work to one's advantage.

    3 waves out of Asia. And 2 our of the Pacific with one being questionable. Ie the Solutrean hypothesis is trash.

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  152. @Sardonicus
    While advanced in certain areas, the Maya were essentially a stone age culture. Metals were not used to make weapons or tools. Metal objects were used as adornments and as religious artifacts. In fact, chipped obsidian was used for weapons by the Aztecs, which were utterly ineffective against Spanish firearms, steel swords and armor. The Maya used the same Neolithic weapons.

    Human sacrifice was a much a part of the Mayan religion as the Aztecs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sacrifice_in_Maya_culture Human offerings were made to the Gods with decapitation and heart extraction. While the medieval Catholic Church is not beyond reproach, it represented a Quantum moral leap over the grisly death cult of the Maya. Remnants of this Mesoamerican cult still exist in the bizarre worship of Santo Muerte.

    To compare the Mayan cultural legacy to the scientific and cultural contributions of Europe only shows the historical insignificance and irrelevancy of the Maya. Of course, one can admire their astronomy, architecture and art, while admitting they contributed little of lasting influence.

    They used iron weapons around 900 AD.

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    • Replies: @Sardonicus
    Cite your source for this astonishing statement? Even if true, which I doubt, the Aztecs had no metal weapons or tools to use against their Spanish conquerors. The Neolithic Mayas were no more technologically advanced than their successors the Aztecs.
  153. @gwynedd1
    This also worries me. Social progress over time seems to allow for weakness in the individual. This seems to be the primary weakness of our race.

    Take the Cesarean section. In the contemporary world it is seen as a a life saving device. However I see a grim road ahead for a species that must cut their young out them. Today Europeans are the smart ones. In 20 generations , it is easy to project this may not be so.

    Meaning that selection for smaller heads and brains will occur due to no natural births?

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  154. @Clyde

    Actually the Aztecs were the torturing savages. Mayans, not so much.
     
    Correct! It's amusing how Mel Gibson made an Aztec-Mayan mashup in Apocalypto. Still a great movie. I read Conquest of Mexico by William H. Prescott https://goo.gl/rY0SEg in the 1990s and it gave me good ideas what present day Mexicans are up to.

    The Aztecs were the ones who would sacrifice 20,000 captives in a year for their blood thirsty their sun god. Who would not rise tomorrow without being fed the blood of human sacrifices.

    Apocalypto was garbage.

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  155. @dearieme
    "Interesting stuff, no?"

    Yes, but when I try to use examples such as this on blogs where someone has been overdoing the race superiority business, I seem to meet denial or mere bafflement. Face it, inventing zero is a greater intellectual achievement than any in the history of the US or its predecessor colonies.

    The responses to your point are depressing and evince the lack of imagination Fred is warning against: “[zero and positional & exponential notation] seem natural to us because were are steeped in them from the first grade”

    On the other hand, Fred’s apparent point, Indios are smart because pyramids, is obviously a clever-silly. Something interesting connects together the facts that Indios are not smart and that they had some pretty impressive civilizational achievements 3000 years ago. A long dysgenic process of some kind? A Brahmin caste which was washed away after taboos against mixing were broken down? A Brahmin caste which was slaughtered, Tutsi-style? Who knows?

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    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
    It's my personal opinion that since the "Natives" are Siberian and evolved in Siberia, that when they crossed into America that they still had a high IQ. But due to thousands of years in a hitter climate their IQ dropped. Not to mention the elites probably didn't have as many kids as the proles did.
  156. Just because Mayans achieved some great things 500 or more years ago doesn’t mean their descendants are the equals of Europeans today. Why have the Indians of Mayan descent not progressed since their zenith around 750 A.D., but Europeans have made giant strides? That is the real question.

    Genetic change and/or decline is the only plausible explanation unless Fred wants to believe that some omnipotents God elects to disfavor certain people while favoring others. Just like the people living in Rome and Italy today are genealogically unrelated to the Romans who defeated Hannibal and destroyed Carthage or who lived during the time of Julius Caesar. Even the Romans at the time of the empire’s fall in 476 A.D were Roman in name only. Civil wars, plagues and low birthrates among leading Roman families took its toll on the founding Roman stock at least 200 years before the ultimate fall and they were largely replaced by former slaves and migrants from other parts of the empire.

    White nationalists, pro-white individuals and Europeans in general are well aware of the skeletons in our own past and that we’ve passed through barbarous phases in our history. But that doesn’t mean that Mexicans of Indian descent should be allowed mass entry into the USA because at one time they achieved great things. Or, that White American should acceded to race replacement policies under the guise of a tolerant immigration system.

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    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    Genetic change and/or decline is the only plausible explanation
     
    Certainly not the only explanation. Their crappy satanic religion is a much better explanation. Look at Western Europe: only 100 years of satanism as an official religion and already their civilization has collapsed.
  157. Besides the general lunacy of the race traitor Fred… (“What pulled me up short was their architecture.”

    What Fred on Nothing seems to shorted on is understanding the nature of a Bell Curve. The average may be low, like amerindian at about 83, but the right tail allows for enough smarties to do some good work.

    That would appear to be true of everywhere except Africa where the average of 67 to 70 is so low that any smarties were probably killed off as witches, etc.

    If you have sufficient Order enforced by military and terror, the few smarties on the right tail of the Bell Curve, can accomplish something, like architecture. This is true all over the third world but for Africa..again. But that is about it. Zero otherwise, unless you count population control thru war and cannibalism.

    However, never has the Third World or East Asia (smarties) come up with liberty. Liberty is a white genetic component, and only White. Fred is apparently white but does not seem to care about the savagery of Mexico, the failed state nature that is coming there.

    Of course, he can beat it back to the states with his bank accounts in yanqui land, etc.

    Fred the Traitor, and mexer-lover. Maybe Trump will grab his passport.

    Joe Webb.

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  158. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Kyle a
    The Mayans were long gone by the time the spaniards showed up. Don't know if that excludes the groups from interaction.

    Half of them have long gone to places like Los Angeles, Dalton, Georgia, and Fort Payne, Alabama. And they still speak Mayan languages. It is one of those mysteries, though, what made them collapse civilizationally.

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  159. In the European witch hunts, sort of 1450-1750, some 500,000 were killed depending on whose numbers you accept, mostly by burning alive.

    Fred, those figures are completely wrong.The actual number was under 100,000, with most estimates being in the 50,000 range.

    And witches in England and Anglo-America were hanged, not burned.

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  160. In the European witch hunts, sort of 1450-1750, some 500,000 were killed depending on whose numbers you accept, mostly by burning alive.

    This is a false claim as per Wikipedia estimates range from 35k To 100K. Even if we use the 100K figure that only comes out to 333 people on an annual basis over a 300 year period which hardly qualifies as a bloodthirst approaching what the Mayans and Aztecs were known for.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch-hunt

    The classical period of witchhunts in Early Modern Europe and Colonial North America falls into the Early Modern period or about 1450 to 1750, spanning the upheavals of the Reformation and the Thirty Years’ War, resulting in an estimated 35,000 to 100,000 executions.[3]

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  161. @uslabor
    Pouring molten lead down a criminal's throat; is that brutalism, or savagery?

    Missed the point, did we? We can discuss the propriety of torturing criminals, even ones who DESERVE to be tortured, but can we discuss the propriety of human sacrifice? That is beyond discussion. And that is your difference.

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    • Replies: @uslabor
    Didn't miss the point, did you? From your reply you think some criminals DESERVE to be tortured. Do you thrive on brutality, or are you merely a savage?
  162. @Racerealist88
    They used iron weapons around 900 AD.

    Cite your source for this astonishing statement? Even if true, which I doubt, the Aztecs had no metal weapons or tools to use against their Spanish conquerors. The Neolithic Mayas were no more technologically advanced than their successors the Aztecs.

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    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
    https://archeosciences.revues.org/4071?lang=en

    Also, contrary to popular belief, give Aztecs beat the Spanish numerous times and only won because they had the help of neighboring tribes that the Aztecs oppressed.
    , @Jim
    Metals such as copper, gold and silver were used by Mesoamerican cultures. There is no evidence of any knowledge of iron or bronze. Obsidan was the most important material for making tools. Mesoamerican cultures predominantly made use of stone and metals played a comparitively minor role.
  163. @Wizard of Oz
    I recall reading or seeing documentaries about human sacrifices that were not cruel even if the usually young victim was not actually looking forward to the honour. Being left to die in the snow or being killed by a single blow were examples, the former being known in South America before the Spanish conquest.

    Any society that promotes frequent and widely practiced human sacrifice is really only a few rungs above the level of cannibalism. Such societies can in no way be compared to advanced civilizations like those of the Greco-Roman era. Perhaps someone can direct me to the Mayan equivalents of Aristotle, Julius Caesar, or Horace.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    We can't really know, the destruction of their culture (even language) was pretty exhaustive:
    "Diego de Landa was a Spanish priest who was given the task of converting the Mayan people to Catholicism, and in the process almost singlehandedly destroyed the Mayan language."
    "De Landa accomplished this through burning books and religious idols that would have helped to give insight to the language and other aspects of Mayan life."
    http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp264-ss13/2013/04/25/diego-de-landa/

    Peace.
  164. @Lord Effington III
    I know you were making a more or less humorous comment but there is much truth in what you say. Rather than making Mexican indigenous types miserable raking our leaves it would be much much MUCH better to have them in an environment where they are expressing their creative powers as they did with those pyramids. (and not in the USA coercing our society away from what makes Europeans creative)

    Now it may very well be that trying to impress Spanish culture upon the Mexican natives screwed up Mexico. That's a shame.

    But of course Fred is trying to talk up Mexicans. Problem is I am from Arizona and I'm not impressed. However in Brazil I've met several European Mexicans and they are fully capable of PhD level work.

    The whole thing would work better if we were practical and embraced true diversity ......which of course would have a bigger sigma ( variance) and of course that implies some greater segregation than that being forced on us by the SJW culture warriors.

    The current uncontrolled mass immigration benefits no one but the extremely rich of both regions. As for Spanish rule: Catholicism with its formality and deep Latin European roots seems to have been a poor fit for most Amerinds, and especially the Central Americans, who are now converting to evangelical protestantism in huge numbers (I think Guatemala is close to 50% Protestant now). A Latin American pontiff was probably chosen to try to stem the tide of defections.

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    • Replies: @Clyde

    As for Spanish rule: Catholicism with its formality and deep Latin European roots seems to have been a poor fit for most Amerinds, and especially the Central Americans, who are now converting to evangelical protestantism in huge numbers (I think Guatemala is close to 50% Protestant now).
     
    Evangelicals do well in the Philippines and with Filipinos living in America. My friend is a Catholic guy who married a Catholic Filipina 25 years ago. After seven or so years living in America she went over to the Evangelicals.
  165. @Wizard of Oz
    I recall reading or seeing documentaries about human sacrifices that were not cruel even if the usually young victim was not actually looking forward to the honour. Being left to die in the snow or being killed by a single blow were examples, the former being known in South America before the Spanish conquest.

    I don’t know about the Maya, but many of the sacrifices for the Aztecs were prisoners of war, and were far from willing. I even recall that a few captured Spaniards were sacrificed to the Aztecs bloodthirsty gods. There was a huge pyramid of skulls of the victims of these sacrifices. Frequently,
    I believe, the priests skinned their victims and wore the skins as part of a religious ritual. I see the Catholic religion, what ever its faults, as a mega-improvement over the blood-thirsty death cults of the Maya and Aztecs.

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    • Replies: @Marcus
    Wouldn't surprise me if some of these Latin Pentecostal churches incorporate human sacrifice in the near future as the Indios revert to their true nature.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    No doubt. It sounds more fun for sadists than the simple painless rituals.
  166. @Sardonicus
    Cite your source for this astonishing statement? Even if true, which I doubt, the Aztecs had no metal weapons or tools to use against their Spanish conquerors. The Neolithic Mayas were no more technologically advanced than their successors the Aztecs.

    https://archeosciences.revues.org/4071?lang=en

    Also, contrary to popular belief, give Aztecs beat the Spanish numerous times and only won because they had the help of neighboring tribes that the Aztecs oppressed.

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    • Replies: @Sardonicus
    Of course, the Aztecs beat the Spanish numerous times because there were only hundreds of Spaniards against thousands of Aztecs. You are correct that many neighboring tribes were against the brutal Aztecs and their contribution may have indeed been decisive.
    , @MarkinLA
    I won't pay to read it but the abstract only talks about copper and copper objects, none of which are weapons. Maybe there were a few arrowheads that weren't mentioned but if there is no alloying to make bronze, copper isn't much use against a Toledo steel sword.
    , @Sardonicus
    Your citation is for the Mayan use of copper not Iron
    , @Hippopotamusdrome
    The metal armor of the Spanish could not be pierced by their arrows and obsidian edged clubs, and they had guns and cannon to shoot back with.


    The true history of the conquest of Mexico : written in the year 1568
    they were three hundred for every one of us
    ...
    We then walked over the field to examine the lots of the enemy, which we found to amount to upwards of eight hundred
    ...
    burying two of our soldiers, who were killed, one by a wound in the ear, and the other by one in the throat

     

    Battle with 1 to 300 odds. Loss ratio 1 to 400.
    , @Hippopotamusdrome


    A total of 187 copper objects dating to the 12th through 16th centuries AD have been recovere

     

    The tweet was about Germania 400 AD.
  167. @Sardonicus
    I don't know about the Maya, but many of the sacrifices for the Aztecs were prisoners of war, and were far from willing. I even recall that a few captured Spaniards were sacrificed to the Aztecs bloodthirsty gods. There was a huge pyramid of skulls of the victims of these sacrifices. Frequently,
    I believe, the priests skinned their victims and wore the skins as part of a religious ritual. I see the Catholic religion, what ever its faults, as a mega-improvement over the blood-thirsty death cults of the Maya and Aztecs.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if some of these Latin Pentecostal churches incorporate human sacrifice in the near future as the Indios revert to their true nature.

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  168. @Bill
    The responses to your point are depressing and evince the lack of imagination Fred is warning against: "[zero and positional & exponential notation] seem natural to us because were are steeped in them from the first grade"

    On the other hand, Fred's apparent point, Indios are smart because pyramids, is obviously a clever-silly. Something interesting connects together the facts that Indios are not smart and that they had some pretty impressive civilizational achievements 3000 years ago. A long dysgenic process of some kind? A Brahmin caste which was washed away after taboos against mixing were broken down? A Brahmin caste which was slaughtered, Tutsi-style? Who knows?

    It’s my personal opinion that since the “Natives” are Siberian and evolved in Siberia, that when they crossed into America that they still had a high IQ. But due to thousands of years in a hitter climate their IQ dropped. Not to mention the elites probably didn’t have as many kids as the proles did.

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  169. @Epaminondas
    Any society that promotes frequent and widely practiced human sacrifice is really only a few rungs above the level of cannibalism. Such societies can in no way be compared to advanced civilizations like those of the Greco-Roman era. Perhaps someone can direct me to the Mayan equivalents of Aristotle, Julius Caesar, or Horace.

    We can’t really know, the destruction of their culture (even language) was pretty exhaustive:
    “Diego de Landa was a Spanish priest who was given the task of converting the Mayan people to Catholicism, and in the process almost singlehandedly destroyed the Mayan language.”
    “De Landa accomplished this through burning books and religious idols that would have helped to give insight to the language and other aspects of Mayan life.”

    http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp264-ss13/2013/04/25/diego-de-landa/

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
    I can only imagine the type of information that was in the burned codecies.
  170. @Abelard Lindsey
    Those of us who have any knowledge on the subject at all are well-aware of the advanced nature of the Mayas, particularly their mathematics and astronomy, relative to other contemporaneous civilizations.

    The question is why the poor performance of their present-day descendants in modern industrial culture. Immigrants from East and South Asia (China, Southern India, Korea, etc.) tend to excel relative to the "white" average after they come to the U.S. Mexican and other Latin American immigrants generally do not. The HBD explanations usually trotted out to explain such things are, as Fred says here, an inaccurate explanation for this phenomenon.

    Better explanations are necessary in order to have a rational debate on the merits of continued immigration into the U.S.

    On what basis is the relative merit of continued (flooding) immigration to the USA dependent on explaining why Mestizos lag East Asians in success under the USA’s system?

    The USA is not short of anything being brought in by Mestizos or, for that matter, anyone else.

    Maybe a moratorium on all immigration would result in more AMERICANS being employed, and at higher wages if the job market wasn’t sloshing with job seekers from the world over.

    How about we TRY it? See what happens?

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    "All" means you lose the benefit of smart Indians creating new Silicon Valley and other cutting edge businesses. Do really think doubling the employment of <90 IQ Americans would go anywhere remotely near compensating for that self-inflicted harm?
  171. @random observer
    Looked at over the broad sweep of their histories, the MesoAmerican and Peruvian cultures from the last millennium BC to Contact demonstrated probably the maximum possible scope of civilization at a stone-age level of technological development.

    It could not stand up to a late iron-age culture that had developed steel weapons and armour, gunpowder weapons, and ocean-going ships. Although it might have done MUCH better if it had not lived in essentially an alien biosphere to old world germs.

    What that civilization was able to achieve was, as Fred notes, not trivial. Some more interesting questions might be:

    - how much more scope for accomplishment was there in the absence of moving beyond the super-Neolithic level of technology? What if anything might have been seen from them in the absence of contact? And if there had been more to come, where if anywhere was the real hard limit for a Neolithic culture? Presumably, somewhere short of industrialism. But how far short?

    - Would the new world ever have made the leap beyond the stone age? Could they have? Was this indeed, as has been hypothesized, a hard limit set by the north-south geography, agricultural possibilities, climate, types of animals, and geological possibilities of the Americas?

    One thing suggests that there were some hard limits. Despite the advances still being made, especially in purely intellectual areas like math and astronomy, the Americas seem mainly to have been what older anthropologists might have patronizingly called an arrested culture.

    The Olmecs and earliest Maya were doing many of the same things as the early middle eastern civilizations and not so far behind them [arguably not at all, or centuries at worst, trivial on a timescale of a couple of millennia BC]. But at least in such qualities as technology and organization [metalworking, transport, ever-larger forms of social organization both political and commercial, very long distance communication and travel] the major civilization zones of the old world seemed to move far ahead of the New before the age of Augustus or the Han dynasty or the Mauryan empire.

    At least at the level of survey history, it doesn't seem like the New world civilizations moved all that far beyond the Olmecs or at least whoever built Teotihuacan in the 1000-1500 years between those times and Columbus. Whereas Hellenistic civilization or Augustan Rome were well ahead of where their parent cultures had been in 1500 BC, and the same could be said of the Middle East of the Persians, of India, and of China. And, by 1500, Classicists notwithstanding, Europe had come up with a few new things [optics, better shipbuilding and navigation] and could do as well in architecture. Still behind Rome on some fronts, but advancing in others. And India and China were similarly far more than copies of what they had been circa AD 1.

    To me that's the key questions- the limits of Neolithic civilization, and whether the Amerind peoples had pushed them to their limit; and the potential limits imposed by the geography and what that did to the potential scope of those cultures.

    One last- the Indians of the eventual eastern US need to be cut some slack.

    They weren't the Aztecs, still less the Olmecs or Toltecs of old. But they pushed Neolithic culture to an interesting level themselves with the Mississippian or moundbuilder culture [these being archeology terms, not ethnonyms of the peoples].

    They did not build in stone, but in earthworks and wood. But they built large settlements that were well planned. Technologically probably no better than the Celts or Germans could have done two thousand years earlier before contacted by Rome, but much better and more systematically laid out according to rational plans. And bigger than any Gaulish town by a wide margin. [Really, I think my Celtic comparison is more to give an estimate of Mississippian position relative to MesoAmerica, as Celts were to Rome, as to really compare the Mississippians to the Gauls].

    They also had moderately complex religion, at least comparable to some of the earlier bronze age polytheisms of the old world, more than mere shamanism, and with some complex if potentially dark cosmological and sociological notions perhaps similar to those of MesoAmerica.

    They also had complex social organization, broadly of the priest-king format or the chiefdom, anthropological generalizations usually just short of the complex monarchy or city state, and well ahead of mere tribalism.

    The collapse of that culture, whether failure of its religion, harvest failure, climate change, or population collapse due to old world diseases sweeping from the south, or all of those things, had a profound effect on the region and there was definite massive population collapse. The expedition of de soto at least encountered fairly large native polities at the chiefdom level in the southeast, clear successor states. When Europeans showed up in greater numbers generations later, all had collapsed and populations were even smaller.

    I'm no expert, but I gather many cultures including Seminole and Cherokee had some connections to that legacy, and even those that didn't [Iroquoians?] were influenced by it and the remaining chiefdoms or tribal polities of much of the east were its survivors.

    There's a case to be made that Europeans settling the eastern US were operating in the equivalent of a post-apocalyptic landscape, far more so than the Spanish in Mexico or South America. Sobering, even to those of us with no qualms about colonization of North America.

    So, like the Mexicans or Peruvians, technologically and organizationally about 1000 years or more behind their old world equivalents, though with some superior niche features comparable to or better than more advanced old world cultures, and possibly at the limits of their scope for development.

    Still stone age cultures, and not about to invent steel, guns, or ocean going ships or the skills to operate them unaided. But not to be taken lightly.

    The better question is, will the West suicide via displacement level immigration and as a result see all of humanity drift backwards to the highest “accomplishments” of the replacement peoples?

    Anyone stupid enough to think Western successes (obviously desired by the millions of people invading Europe, Canada & the USA) can be reproduced by the invaders simply because “magic dirt,” well, enough said.

    There are no golden eggs without those who lay them. If they who produce what everyone wants are not almost entirely “white males,” who are they?

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  172. @Talha
    We can't really know, the destruction of their culture (even language) was pretty exhaustive:
    "Diego de Landa was a Spanish priest who was given the task of converting the Mayan people to Catholicism, and in the process almost singlehandedly destroyed the Mayan language."
    "De Landa accomplished this through burning books and religious idols that would have helped to give insight to the language and other aspects of Mayan life."
    http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp264-ss13/2013/04/25/diego-de-landa/

    Peace.

    I can only imagine the type of information that was in the burned codecies.

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    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    When civilizations die a lot of information goes with it. European medicine was probably more backward than Roman medicine until around 1890 or so. However, there isn't any proof that the Maya or Aztecs were doing anything more advanced than other civilizations that died out. We know that advanced surgeries (even brain surgeries) were carried out by Egyptians, Indians, Persians, and others, yet it was all lost to later civilizations. I doubt there was anything of real value to even the Spanish when they arrived.

    It is a crime that an entire written history of a culture was wiped out, but by the time of the Spanish, none of the successors of the Maya were doing anything of an advanced nature, no matter what was written.
    , @Jim
    Some of the descriptions of the pre-Conquest Maya by commentators here certainly rely on an awful lot of imagination and very little evidence.

    It is interesting though that knowledge of Mesoamerican writing dissapeared very quickly after the arrival of the Spanish. Most likely this is because knowledge of writing was restricted to a very tiny elite class.
  173. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Abelard Lindsey
    Those of us who have any knowledge on the subject at all are well-aware of the advanced nature of the Mayas, particularly their mathematics and astronomy, relative to other contemporaneous civilizations.

    The question is why the poor performance of their present-day descendants in modern industrial culture. Immigrants from East and South Asia (China, Southern India, Korea, etc.) tend to excel relative to the "white" average after they come to the U.S. Mexican and other Latin American immigrants generally do not. The HBD explanations usually trotted out to explain such things are, as Fred says here, an inaccurate explanation for this phenomenon.

    Better explanations are necessary in order to have a rational debate on the merits of continued immigration into the U.S.

    The Mayans appear to have had a society that was able to talent-scout and employ the best and the brightest in the capital city through a system of Imperial patronage. Absolute monarchies can be good at that, (e.g. Renaissance France and Italy) if they’re inclined to bother.

    The correct question to ask is, have the present societies where the Mayan descendants live been doing the same over the last 400 years? It doesn’t seem to me that they’re making any particular attempt to find, educate, or employ talented native people, and the fact is, poor societies with chaotic governments/living conditions are not very good at this. Also, a very important factor is that opportunities are often going to people of Spanish descent who are connected to elites, not the native Indians.

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    • Replies: @in the middle
    Also, a very important factor is that opportunities are often going to people of Spanish descent who are connected to elites, not the native Indians.

    I have still to meet a worst racist than the Spanish descendants in Mexico. They treat their Natives horrible and when they cry about the treatment they get here, It pissed me off, because I saw how they look at natives in Guadalajara, and it is reprehensible big time. Natives in Mexico are oppressed, discriminated and disrespected in a way that will embitter any human being. It is horrible indeed.
  174. @Lot

    So? You’re just some anonymous racialist commenter who hangs around my own website and has never particularly impressed me with either his analysis or his erudition.
     
    My overall impression of you is a lot more positive than that, you are extremely smart on an overall basis, take a selfless interest in truth for truth's sake, and are generous personally with both your time and your money.

    On the more negative side, your writing on crime, IQ, and politics is simply not scholarly. By that I mean your writing generally evinces a mind that has already made a decision and looks for evidence favoring your view and ignores or unfairly discounts contrary evidence. You also do not take criticism very well and tend to react with offense and insults. For an example of this, if you think I am not erudite you have not read my comments with a fair and open mind.

    As another example, you have often called me and others "racialists," not exactly a common term and obviously in your usage a pejorative, while refusing my request that you explain what exactly you mean by the term. And it is not like I make repeated, tiresome requests for you to explain what you mean with various words and phrases. Rather it was the only such request. As it happens, my views on race controversies are pretty mainstream outside of the USA and Western Europe, and were mainstream here fifty years ago. They are also in accord with a healthy minority here, and barely different from, say, Steven Pinker or Razib.

    By contrast, Lynn is a serious scholar.
     
    I agree, but he also, in his 1990's national IQ work, showed that he does not understand how to perform meta-analysis of diverse sets of data. Worse still, he seemed unaware of this inability, and reported his results with unwarranted confidence and precision. Basic common sense should have told him that his SS-African IQ estimates were absurdly low. I think one country he had in the 50's, which translates to "drooling idiot" range. He also reported extremely implausible IQ differences between economically and ethnically similar European countries.

    But what did Lynn do afterward? He got himself more statistically sophisticated co-authors and gradually improved his work! You certainly understand and have written about some of the problems with Lynn's work.

    As a general matter, I think both you and Lynn are engaged in a fool's game of trying to analyze either absolute levels or changes in national IQ. Making the tests culturally fair, properly norming them, getting representative samples, and so on is an enormous task, and nearly all of the data points Lynn uses, and all of the data points for most of the countries including Ireland, simply cannot be used to make apples-to-apples comparisons with tests of native English speakers in the USA.

    In summary, having read all of the articles you wrote and linked to, I think you were overly broad and ambitious in choosing your topics compared with the time and resources you had to devote to them, you engaged in motivated reasoning, and you showed an unwarranted confidence in both your methods and your results. I still enjoyed reading them, because they contained a lot of interest ideas and data. My suggestion for future work is to choose narrower topics and before publishing, try to get comments on your drafts with smart people who you know will likely disagree with you.

    Lot, you should change your handle to Job. Your patience with Unz is remarkable.

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  175. @Romanian
    It is perfectly possible for the vast majority of them to have been low IQ, yet an endogamous subpopulation within their society to have been high IQ. The contrast between India's low average IQ and the high IQ people it sent to the West is another example. Generally, the existence of distinct subpopulations is how you reconcile the issue of having a less than intelligent population which, nevertheless, has high achievements. Razib Khan had a post on this recently.

    May be they were not vaccinated nor forced to use fluoride in their toothpaste or their drinking water. Nor their food radiated and or maintained in a frozen state for months. I encountered several ‘graduated’ people who can’t write or read properly. So, we have it, the ‘great’ american nightmare in our education system and our drinking/eating habits.

    Just sayin’….

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  176. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @dahoit
    The more alleged native Americans,the more guilt they can lay on white people.
    I would say a couple of million at most,north of Mexico,as there are no relics,or very few ,of their existence.I live on LI,and I've never heard of anyone locally stumbling on Indian remains(occasional arrowheads),although there are some remains of camps found out on Eastern LI a decade or so ago.

    North American Indians had to deal with the ‘surviving winter problem’ much the way the Germanic tribes in pre-Roman Europe did. It’s not surprising that both areas lagged, culturally speaking.

    In Latin America, they were able to raise more food crops with extended growing seasons, create higher population densities, and thus develop more sophisticated societies, exactly the way the people living around the Mediterranean basin did, and for the same reasons.

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    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    As I recall, the Lakota were chased to Canada and given refuge by the Canadian government and decided that winters there were too harsh compared to South Dakota and came back. My understanding is the Lakota were invaders from southern Canada below the Hudson Bay who came in and pushed the Crow out of their ancestral home so at least the Lakota a history of being in more northern regions.

    The point being that there were likely very few Amerindians in Canada other than those around the Iroquois confederacy and in British Columbia.
  177. @Anon
    The Mayans appear to have had a society that was able to talent-scout and employ the best and the brightest in the capital city through a system of Imperial patronage. Absolute monarchies can be good at that, (e.g. Renaissance France and Italy) if they're inclined to bother.

    The correct question to ask is, have the present societies where the Mayan descendants live been doing the same over the last 400 years? It doesn't seem to me that they're making any particular attempt to find, educate, or employ talented native people, and the fact is, poor societies with chaotic governments/living conditions are not very good at this. Also, a very important factor is that opportunities are often going to people of Spanish descent who are connected to elites, not the native Indians.

    Also, a very important factor is that opportunities are often going to people of Spanish descent who are connected to elites, not the native Indians.

    I have still to meet a worst racist than the Spanish descendants in Mexico. They treat their Natives horrible and when they cry about the treatment they get here, It pissed me off, because I saw how they look at natives in Guadalajara, and it is reprehensible big time. Natives in Mexico are oppressed, discriminated and disrespected in a way that will embitter any human being. It is horrible indeed.

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  178. @Priss Factor
    "The Maya in the popular mind are thought to have been murdering, torturing savages given to human sacrifice. This is probably because they were in fact murdering, torturing savages given to human sacrifice. Why this is thought especially reprehensible is a mystery. The Romans sacrificed huge numbers in the arena so that the public could enjoy watching them die, crucified large numbers, and poured molten lead down the throats of criminals. In the European witch hunts, sort of 1450-1750, some 500,000 were killed depending on whose numbers you accept, mostly by burning alive."

    Well, all peoples have done bad things.
    But cruelty isn't just about what but why.
    If a nation kills 100,000 people of another nation in war, that is less horrifying that if a nation killed 1000 people in human sacrifice.
    Wars are terrible, but they are, as some guy said, 'diplomacy by other means'. There will always be conflicts among man over resources and other reasons. Wars are necessary evils.
    As for cruel punishments meted out by Romans and others, yes, they were horrible. But there was still the matter of justice. Even if the methods were barbaric and extreme, people were being punished for something they did.
    As for the witchhunts in Europe during the Christian era, there was the genuine panic and belief that the witches were possessed by the Devil. So, there was a moral component to the violence. It's like communism killed many people but in the name of creating a more just society. And even though US did horrible things in WWII and other wars, wars are like that. It is fought to win, and people lose their minds in the melee. Winning becomes everything, and the hatred of the enemy drives much of the action.

    The bloody Gladiatorial games are more problematic morally, but many of the victims were animals. Also, the humans were given some chance of fighting and surviving. And if they won enough fights, they might even be shown clemency and be admired as a hero.

    In contrast, human sacrifice in Meso-America had no moral justification. The victims didn't commit any crime. They were innocent. They weren't seen as possessed by demons or forces of Evil. Rather, the Meso-Americans worshiped amoral gods that was into might-is-right. And this god had to be satiated with the blood of innocents.
    Now, such rituals also existed in other cultures. I think Babylonians sacrificed little children to the gods, at least in some silent movie.

    There is a difference between violence in service of over-zealous sense of justice or revenge AND violence in service of amorality of might.
    Righteous people may cruelly punish the wicked.
    Soldiers in war may carry out horrible acts of vengeance against the other side. Consider what Soviet troops did to Russian women in WWII. Or Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US.
    But the Mayans in Mel Gibson's APOCALYPTO were just being 'a**holes'. They just abducted forest folks and sacrificed them to some Lord of Amoral Might in the sky.
    There was no reason for the killing except to satiate the Conception of Power without Moral Vision.

    Maybe the lesson of the Mesos is that the smart elites shouldn't be too cruel. Maybe there were indeed very smart elites in Meso-America. But they acted to cruelly and amorally that the masses came to really really hate them. And when the civilizations fell, the masses were so pissed off that they killed off all the smart people.

    In any society, there is a limited number of smart folks, esp very smart folks.
    Among Old World civilizations, such people might become elites and gain great power and wealth. But they still showed that they were not all about power and force. They also won the trust of people with show of justice, spirituality, civic virtue, and etc.
    It seems the elites of Meso-America failed to develop any moral or spiritual system that could win and hold the trust of the masses for long. They ate too many magic mushrooms and worshiped some bloody god and decided to rule by sheer terror and fear-mongering.
    So, when the empires fell, it could be that the angry masses killed ALL the smart folks.
    Bill Gates said 'be nice to nerds cuz they might hire you one day.'
    It could also be said, 'be nice to people because they might bring you down one day.'

    I noticed you based all your bla bla, bla, in ‘movies’. Well, what the ‘European’ Belgians did in the Congo comes to mind. For that matter, all colonizing European nations did.

    when you say that the Mayas sacrificed ‘innocents’ you base your idea on a Mel Gibson Movie. I am sure you also believe that the Spaniards at the end of the movie, also were clean cut good looking types, and not the dregs that they were and looked. Well, back to the movies..since movies is where we get our world view, and the truth..

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    • Replies: @Jim
    Human sacrifice and cannibalism certainly were widespread among Mesoamerican cultures including the Maya. While many aspects of this culture dserve admiration there is no question that by modern standards they were quite gory. Much of their art can be described both as striking and gruesome at the same time.
  179. @Kyle a
    Actually the Aztecs were the torturing savages. Mayans, not so much.

    Comparing to the barbarism practiced by the Japanese during the wars and before the wars Aztecs’ torturing and butchering might seems child play. Aztecs doing barbarism to please their Gods, while the Japanese was doing barbarism for the purpose of genocide and bloodthirsty. The Japanese is still denying the war crimes they committed against humanity, if you call Aztecs savages, what would you call someone who is more barbaric than the Aztecs while denying their sins?

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  180. @random observer
    Zero is among the greatest advances ever made in math, the foundation of all sciences. The Mayans did good with that. Pity their technological condition among other things limited its application mostly to theory. Still something.

    The Indians [Hindu and Jain divisions] who came up with it in the Old World, building perhaps a little on Egyptian and Babylonian work that may have been known to them and which was millennia older, just had a bigger world waiting to try on the concept and muck about with it.

    Zero isn’t important by itself. What is important is having a placeholder in a base-X numbering system. However, the Romans were pretty good civil engineers without one.

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    • Replies: @random observer
    Indeed. On that, do you know of any good reference on how to do simple arithmetical operations using Roman numerals? I gather this is still known but have yet to see any guidelines. I mean how they would have done it, without having the ability to translate to Hindu-Arabic in one's head.
  181. @Richard
    Good ol' irresponsibly glib Fred. The "Islamists" of ISIS and al-Nusrah he terms "Muslims," whereas in fact they are evidently an aberration. They are not Muslims according to their own orthodox authorities. See for example the scathing remarks of a Shaykh Imran Hosein or even a Hassan Nasrallah.

    24 reasons ISIS are wrong: Muslim scholars blast Islamic State
    https://www.rt.com/news/190468-muslim-scholars-islamic-state/

    Muslim Leaders Have Roundly Denounced Islamic State, But Conservative Media Won't Tell You That
    http://mediamatters.org/research/2014/08/21/muslim-leaders-have-roundly-denounced-islamic-s/200498

    "What makes groups like Islamic State “radical” in the first place is that they reject all these centuries of scholarship and tradition, and innovate a newly “reformed” Islam — often pieced together with concepts of ideology and organization drawn from contemporary fascist and Marxist-Leninist movements. Such freelancing is a common characteristic of Islamic extremist groups, and despite their pretensions to ancient revivalism it is also a reflection of their inescapably modern revolutionary heritage."
    https://theintercept.com/2015/02/20/atlantic-defines-real-islam-says-isis/


    ISIS’s Anti-Islamic Theology of Rape
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/teachingnonviolentatonement/2015/08/isiss-anti-islamic-theology-of-rape-2/

    I agree. Good ol’ boy Fred trashes his own kind from what few of his articles I’ve read at Lew Rockwell–just for fun of course, right?–setting up a straw man in this article to do it again. And you can bet your last dollar the only Mestizos this phony knows are either cutting his grass or on their knees cleaning his toilets.

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  182. Ancient Greeks really stood out as creative and intelligent. Modern Greeks, not so much. Same with the Ancient Sumerians vs. modern Iraqis, including the Marsh Arabs that are supposed to be the descendants of the Sumerians. Lots of examples. When a society loses it, they really lose it.

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  183. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Groovy Battle for Blair Mountian"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Fred

    White Nationalist-Alt Types have an obsession with IQ test scores. I find this kind of strange. If the fundamental issue is race replacement immigration policy, then the IQ test psychometric jibber-jabber is completely irrelevant.

    Some White Nationalist-Alt Right Types have a serious Asian fetish which explains their fetish for IQ psychometrics(Jared Taylor).

    IQ tests are a collection of meaningless math and logic puzzles given to young children. The deep problems of math..physics…engineering..are interesting because of the context in which they exist..otherwise there is 0 interest in a particular problem. Context is everything.

    I submit that IQ test score research is at the bottom in terms of scientific depth. And here is why:hypothetically in a racially homogeneous society with unbounded resources and $$$$$$$$$$$$….outside a few Asperger afflicted tards, there would be almost no interests in IQ tests. IQ tests enthusiasm is always framed at the most fundamental level in terms of scarce educational money being spend wisely-we don’t want to waste the educational money on the intellectually dull. But this puts the IQ test score and human intelligence debate in the realm of political economy…that is to say, about the political and economic organization of Society. IQ Test score enthusiasm is inseparable from the type of political and economic system that IQ Testing Enthusiasts are enamoured off. I’m giving a variation of Chomsky’s argument against IQ testing. And I completely agree with Chomsky on the irrelevance and dangers-academic tracking-of IQ testing.

    Rhazib Kahn was interviewed on NPR after the most recent Fields Medals awards. They should have interviewed Fields Medalist Terrence Tao who has had a very interesting 7 year long conversation on his blog about mathematical ability and IQ Test Scores.

    Richard Feynman was very impressed with Mayan Mathematics.

    If Alt Right Celebrity Richard Spencer wants to waste his time arguing about IQ test score psychometrics..he is 1) a dullard…and 2)a fool…

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    • Replies: @5371
    Not long ago on Terry Tao's blog he posted a hilarious "muh LOGICAL PROPOSITION that Trump is unqualified" take on the election:

    https://terrytao.wordpress.com/2016/06/04/it-ought-to-be-common-knowledge-that-donald-trump-is-not-fit-for-the-presidency-of-the-united-states-of-america/
    , @utu
    "White Nationalist-Alt Types have an obsession with IQ test scores." - You made a very good argument. I ddi not know it was Chomsky's. For many commentators here it's some kind of fetish and in their hands or minds it's more a pseudoscience and mere rhetorical tool that for a strange reason gives them a psychological solace and satisfaction. Perhaps not that strange. It's pure tribal nationalism like listing German composers against Slavic ones or Jewish Nobel prizes against Aryan. The listing is usually done by people of no achievements in composing or any science.
  184. @RaceRealist88
    https://archeosciences.revues.org/4071?lang=en

    Also, contrary to popular belief, give Aztecs beat the Spanish numerous times and only won because they had the help of neighboring tribes that the Aztecs oppressed.

    Of course, the Aztecs beat the Spanish numerous times because there were only hundreds of Spaniards against thousands of Aztecs. You are correct that many neighboring tribes were against the brutal Aztecs and their contribution may have indeed been decisive.

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  185. @random observer
    Don't know about the pre-contact numbers- I'm completely agnostic on that. I'm as open to 1 million as 25, although I am assuming 1 million is lowballing as 25 is likely exaggerating. Even 25 million isn't that many people in such a large territory, though probably it would be pushing or exceeding the maximum possible at a Neolithic level, especially considering the environment of North America, which is harsh at the best of times and all the more so at that level of development.

    On that, interesting comment about the Mississippi system. that would take significant chunks of the large heartland region out of play for sustained settlement, although note that last I heard there was no malaria in the New World prior to contact. It was an African disease that had spread throughout the old world. There may have been other swampland diseases in the pre-contact Americas, though I don't know what they were. I always thought yellow fever was also African origin.

    Admittedly, even absent those diseases, big swamps aren't great. But they could be part of habitable larger regions if the settlements are on higher ground, especially if there aren't insect borne diseases.

    Agreed on the idea that the plains probably always had low population density. I had assumed it was essentially unfarmable at premodern levels of farming and irrigation. Hence the term 'great American desert' used by the early Americans, before they themselves managed to farm much of it. And it's just as tough to use it for hunting or pastoralism without horses, so the plains indian horse cultures had to await Spanish feral horses after contact.

    The true deserts of the SW did support a couple of the more advanced irrigation-based, town-building chiefdom-level cultures [the Anasazi- I forget the proper name for them now and always mix them up with their successors; just call it the pueblo cultures] but they had the Colorado river and some idea how to manage water. Perfectly respectable, albeit thousands of years behind old world early farmer chiefdoms of the levant or Anatolia, or the Nile or East Africa, or the pre-Indus culture, or pre-Shang China. But again, probably maxing out the development possibilities of their environment.

    I was riding my motorcycle one year around the country and decided to visit Sturgis. I left at night and stupidly passed on the only motel near there and rode through the night. The area had just had a large rainstorm a few days prior to my arrival and the place still had pockets of water.

    There was so much bug juice on my fairing windshield and my visor that I couldn’t see out of wither and had to open my visor up and try and not get hit by all the flying bugs. I had to stop for gas as well as clean my windshield. When I got to the gas station, it was like a scene from a 50′s horror movie with all the these bugs crawling on the gas station outer walls and buzzing around the lights.

    Nobody could successfully farm that place without effective insect control.

    When people throw that 25 million number at me I ask them what proof do they have. The only thing they come up with is a Mississippian settlement that died out around 1350 that is estimated to contain 10-15,000 inhabitants. My response is good, find me 999 more of those and you might have an argument. There is no doubt that the population near present day Mexico City may have been significant (I save seen estimates of Teotihuacan at 250,00) but elsewhere in NA, I doubt it. Don’t some people also speculate that the Aztecs were really doing ritualized cannibalism as a food source with all those people they captured and sacrificed? They were probably at their population limit given their technology.

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  186. @RaceRealist88
    https://archeosciences.revues.org/4071?lang=en

    Also, contrary to popular belief, give Aztecs beat the Spanish numerous times and only won because they had the help of neighboring tribes that the Aztecs oppressed.

    I won’t pay to read it but the abstract only talks about copper and copper objects, none of which are weapons. Maybe there were a few arrowheads that weren’t mentioned but if there is no alloying to make bronze, copper isn’t much use against a Toledo steel sword.

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    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
    Here's a better source:

    "Notwithstanding the popular belief that the Maya did not have metal, most museums will have a small display of copper and bronze objects in their Mesoamerican section. We were fortunate enough to have been granted a research visit at the Peabody Museum at Harvard in April of 2007. During this visit, we saw and handled blades and knives of various sizes and configurations from their collections in storage. Some are rough and green with age, but some are still smooth and relatively uncorroded, indicative of an alloy like bronze. We also saw large copper spearheads, something we had not known of before and did not expect.

    Those who still assert that the Maya had no metal implements can not have visited many museums or read the Spanish priest Diego de Landa’s description of metal blades and tools.2 While they did primarily use stone and obsidian as cutting blades, it is certain that they had weapons and tools of metal as well, even though these date from centuries after the Book of Mormon. Just how common these were will probably remain unanswered, as the damp climate of Mesoamerica is not conducive to the preservation of metals."
     

    http://www.bmaf.org/articles/metal_weapons_tools__johnson

    It was definitely possible to have metal weapons in Mesoamerica. With the other achievements of the Maya, of course they had metal working and metal weapons.

  187. @RaceRealist88
    I can only imagine the type of information that was in the burned codecies.

    When civilizations die a lot of information goes with it. European medicine was probably more backward than Roman medicine until around 1890 or so. However, there isn’t any proof that the Maya or Aztecs were doing anything more advanced than other civilizations that died out. We know that advanced surgeries (even brain surgeries) were carried out by Egyptians, Indians, Persians, and others, yet it was all lost to later civilizations. I doubt there was anything of real value to even the Spanish when they arrived.

    It is a crime that an entire written history of a culture was wiped out, but by the time of the Spanish, none of the successors of the Maya were doing anything of an advanced nature, no matter what was written.

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    • Replies: @utu
    "We know that advanced surgeries (even brain surgeries) were carried out by Egyptians, Indians, Persians," - any evidence that owners of sculls with some holes actually survived those alleged surgery.
  188. @Anon
    North American Indians had to deal with the 'surviving winter problem' much the way the Germanic tribes in pre-Roman Europe did. It's not surprising that both areas lagged, culturally speaking.

    In Latin America, they were able to raise more food crops with extended growing seasons, create higher population densities, and thus develop more sophisticated societies, exactly the way the people living around the Mediterranean basin did, and for the same reasons.

    As I recall, the Lakota were chased to Canada and given refuge by the Canadian government and decided that winters there were too harsh compared to South Dakota and came back. My understanding is the Lakota were invaders from southern Canada below the Hudson Bay who came in and pushed the Crow out of their ancestral home so at least the Lakota a history of being in more northern regions.

    The point being that there were likely very few Amerindians in Canada other than those around the Iroquois confederacy and in British Columbia.

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  189. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    The idea that the Amerindians were dumbified by the Spaniards is problematic. First, today we would be observing an IQ gap in favor of the former, which is not what the IQ scholars or the PISA scores reveal. Second, they wouldn’t have been easily conquered by the latter, who were in the very process of creating the first Empire where the sun would never set.

    On the broader subject, there’s hardly anything extraordinary in the Mayan example. If one looks at the current descendants of the Babylonians, the Egyptians or the Indians, one observes the same phenomenon. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance, either in stocks or in civilizational achievements.

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  190. @Jeff77450
    Mr. Unz, I peruse your website several times a week and I usually learn something. Thank you for creating & maintaining it.

    This very credible source suggests that the average IQ of Mexicans and Central Americans is about 85, a full standard deviation, 15 points, below Caucasians: https://iq-research.info/en/page/average-iq-by-country

    Cold-fusion, the cure for cancer and the first manned Mars mission won't be coming from Latin America.

    I have difficulty understanding why people bother denying that IQ exists and that different groups have different averages: Ashkenazi Jews, 110; north-east Asians, 105/; Caucasians, 100; the various brown races, 80-90; black Americans, 85; black Africans, 70. Hey look: my group, "generic American WASPs," didn't come in first *or* second. And *within* the group known as Caucasians my group didn't come in first; that honor goes to the Germans/Dutch. Doesn't seem to have held us "colonials" back. Clearly, a culture that pursues, embraces and values freedom & progress can go a long way towards compensating for IQ deficiency. That truth at least partially explains why north-east Asians didn't split the atom or put a man on the moon.

    I have difficulty understanding why people bother denying that IQ exists and that different groups have different averages: Ashkenazi Jews, 110; north-east Asians, 105/; Caucasians, 100; the various brown races, 80-90; black Americans, 85; black Africans, 70

    Here’s a compiliation of national IQ from a study in 1981:
    Holland 109.4
    Germany 109.3
    Poland 108.3
    Sweden 105.8

    From V. Buj, Person. & Individ. Diff., Vol. 2, pp. 168 to 169, 1981
    Subjects >16 yrs. old tested on the Cattell Culture Fair Test 3 (16 SD), standardized in the USA (IQ=100).

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    • Replies: @Jim
    The cited figures for European countries are very high and are most likely based on small or unrepresentative samples.
  191. @woodNfish
    Yes, Mayan civilization is an interesting one, but it didn't seem to help the peoples in the America's when Western explorers discovered this new world. It was a case of advanced civilization meets stone age civilization. Guess which one always wins?

    Lamenting history is an invitation to stupidity. History happened - deal with it. Look at any nation colonized by the Catholic Spanish and you will find corruption a even worse than ours and rampant poverty. I think it says more about the Spanish and the corruption created by Catholicism than anything else.

    Face it, if you want a successful and prosperous nation, it needs to be white and have a western protestant culture. (Which it will if it is white. And for Japan and South Korea, and other Asian nations - they adopted Western ways to get where they are.)

    Look at any nation colonized by the Catholic Spanish and you will find corruption a even worse than ours and rampant poverty.

    Protestant America has indian reservations. How do our natives compare to South American Natives?

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  192. The Mayans were no strangers to violence and bloodletting and treated neighboring peoples just as harshly as the Spanish conquistadors treated them. Arguably much worse since the Mayans played a sort of bowling or soccer with the severed heads of their enemies. The Mayans were already in steep decline by the time the Spanish arrived and they merely delivered the coup de grace to a civilization seemingly it its death throes.

    http://latinamericanhistory.about.com/od/Maya/p/What-Happened-To-The-Ancient-Maya.htm

    http://www.pravdareport.com/science/tech/27-06-2005/8476-maya-0/

    Like the Amerindians in the lower 48 states, the Mayans waged internecine war upon other Indians and enslaved and sacrificed them. Left leaning historians and other enemies of Western civilization just shrug that off. But it’s suddenly a crime against humanity when white, Westerners wage war on the saintly Indians. It’s not as if Central and Southern Mexico were in a state of peace, prosperity and plenty and the indigenous Indians were living fairy tale lives when the conquistadors landed.

    We’ll never know the scale of slaughter between the Mayans, Aztec, Toltecs and other lesser tribes from between 100 A.D. and the time of the Spanish landing in the 16th century and can only speculate. Probably the only thing that prevented these tribes from wiping each other out is the lack of destructive enough weaponry to do so.

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    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
    I seem to recall reading that the Maya were introduced to human sacrifice by the Aztecs but it was the Toltecs who introduced it to them.

    One of the more interesting things Fred didn't bring up was how their ball game mimicked the galactic alignment.

    I'd bet they killed a lot of people, are there any estimates?
    , @Jim
    The comments on this blog are full of utter nonsense about Mesoamerican cultures. It's true that Mesoamerican cultures tended to militarism but the "scale of slaughter" between Toltecs, Aztecs, and Mayans doesn't seem to have been very great. The Aztecs came after the Toltecs and it is not clear that Aztecs and Toltecs ever fought each other. There is some evidence that Toltecs may have invaded the Yucatan and ruled over parts of it for a while but no evidence of any mass population replacement.

    Their is evidence that groups from the Valley of Mexico established control at various times over some of the Highland Mayan cities in early Mayan times but no evidence of any significant population replacement.
    , @Jim
    Endless nonsense about the Maya. They were not in "steep decline" or in their "death throes" at the time of the arrival of the Spanish.

    One thing to understand about the collapse of the Highland Maya which took place long before the Spanish is that it seems to have been restricted to the cities where probably less than 1% of the population lived. There is no evidence of much change in the life of most of the Highland Maya. The collapse was a collapse of the ruling elites and seems to have been an internal collapse as there is no sign of foreign invasion.
  193. @Ron Unz

    This very credible source suggests that the average IQ of Mexicans and Central Americans is about 85, a full standard deviation, 15 points, below Caucasians
     
    Ha, ha, ha... People will believe whatever some random fellow puts up on a colorful website .

    If you look at your suggested website, which is most definitely NOT a "credible source," you'll notice the actual *source* of all those colorful maps are Prof. Richard Lynn's books.

    I've actually *read* all those books and the articles which I provided as links analysis his data in some considerable detail, so you should probably read them.

    Actual books tend to provide much more information than colorful websites. One problem with the Internet is that people have gotten too lazy to read books, and just click on colorful websites instead...

    One problem with the Internet is that people have gotten too lazy to read books, and just click on colorful websites instead…

    Is your dislike of color why Unz.com doesn’t animated gif avatars?

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