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The First Wave Extinction, which accompanied the spread of the foragers, was followed by the Second Wave Extinction, which accompanied the spread of the farmers, and gives us an important perspetive on the Third Wave Extinction, which industrial activity is causing today.  Don't believe tree-huggers who claim that our ancestors lived in harmony with nature.  Long before the Industrial Revolution, Homo sapiens held the record among all organisms for driving th emost plant and animmal species to their extinctions.  We have the dubious distinction of being the deadliest species in the annals of biology.
--Yuval Noah Harari in Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, 2015, p74.

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
bobby1933
Dec. 22nd, 2016 06:54 am (UTC)
I had not heard of the first and second wave extinctions. I must read the book.
I have heard of the great extinctions in which between 75 and 96 percent of all species of plant and animal life were destroyed. There were five of them according to wikipedia, the last of which occurred 66 million years ago. The "sixth great extinction" which is looming, and perhaps occurring now, may or may not be the "third wave" referred to by Yuval Noah Harari.

In any event, the "first" and "second" waves seem to not qualify as "Great" extinctions and the upcoming one is expected to qualify, and the "dominant" species can be expected to be among the victims. Foragers did live in relative harmony with nature, both because they believed in it and because they had no other choice. We don't believe in harmony with nature and we do have other choices which we insist on making.
liveonearth
Dec. 22nd, 2016 06:21 pm (UTC)
Harari may convince you of an alternative view of early human behavior. When we gained the cognitive ability to work together and to devise traps, we became the most devastating hunters the planet had ever seen.
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