JAMES BURKE THE DAY THE UNIVERSE C • We see what our H A knowledge tells us we are seeing. N• What a person thinks the universe is , is dependent on Gwhat they know. When that knowledge changes, then theuniverse changes also. • We are what we know today – E D yesterday what we knew was different – and so were we. • All believe that their version of the truth is best and will defend it.
A culture reveals itself by what it does. Asking questions is one of our institutions. We protect what we know by ritual, and institutionalize accepted truths. The only constant in our life is change.
THE JOURNEY OF MAN Spencer Wells - Geneticist • L. Luca Cavelli-Sforza held that every livinghuman is distantly related to each other and • Through the gathering andthat the history of the human race could be evaluation of the blood of isolatedfound in the blood. tribes and tracing genetic markers found on the Y chromosome it was determined that the origin of every human on the planet can be traced back to the San Bushman Tribe of Africa. • At some point these San Bushman had experienced a quantum leap in thinking and subsequently formulated a language with which to communicate these more complex ideas.
•Ice and marine cores suggest a monumentalchange in climate which resulted in expanding icecaps. Droughts ensued. Members of this SanBushman Tribe who had evolved to a higher levelwere able to survive by following the herds whichhad fled the drought. •From Africa, genetic markers point that themigration fleeing the drought went through Indiaand on to Australia. This route explains 10% of theworlds population. • The other 90% bearing a different genetic marker took a route that went to the Middle East. One branch went into India, the other into Central Asia where it split off into two branches. China was settle by one of these migratory groups. The other group continues on up through Siberia and the frozen tundra, eventually crossing the Bering Strait into North America by way of a land bridge created by the second ice age. The migration continued on into South America.
C David Keys , a writer on history and archeology, EVIDENCEA • Dendrochronologist, Mike Bailey sees evidence of consulted with more missed summers and long stretches of extreme cold in than 40 scientists and the mid-6th century. Additionally, evidence of Irish scholars; including crannogs (forts built over water) suggest that thereT astronomers, physicists, was a period of tremendous hardship which forced climatologists, and people to abandon an agricultural based existence and historians, and return to fishing, and hunting.A searched the annals and chronicles of 6th and 7th A.D. , to • Numerous written records from around constructs a theory of a 535-538 A.D., from ancient Rome, Italy,S mid century, world- China, and Japan tell of a sun which doesn’t wide catastrophe. He shine, a summer which never comes, a holds that this paralyzing cold, and a destructive famine.T catastrophe changed the course of history and is responsible for • It is theorized that there was the creation of a dense veil of dust, ash or acid which blocked the sun’s rays fromR laying the foundation of the world we know reaching the earth. The only things capable of producing today. such a massive effect are the eruption of a volcano, or the impact of a meteor or comet. Ice cores dating backO to the year 535 A.D. show high levels of sulphate which indicates a volcanic eruption.P • For the an ash cloud to envelope the world, an eruption would have had to have taken place close to the equator. Volcanologist, Professor Haraldur Sigurdsson is able to carbon date charcoal from the eruption layers, and finds thatH a major eruption could have occurred during the time period suggested by David Keys. Additionally, Java’s Book Of Kings , which records all of it’s history, tells of a mighty thunder,E shaking earth, flood, and dark earth. Geophysicists confirm this as a description of a volcanic eruption. The only volcano close enough to Java is Krakatoa.
THE SUBSEQUENT IMPACTON CIVILIZATION • Scientific study of the city of the Mexican plateau, evidence bacterial Teotihuacán, a primate skeletal remains from inhabitants of • infections which resulted in a higher mortality rate of the younger • Plagues and epidemics are temperature population – those under the age of 25. The civilization is collapsing. related. Colder temperatures which This decline was dated as occurring between the middle to late 6 th resulted from the blocking of the sun, century, concurrent to a prolonged drought. created an environment conducive for the production of bacteria and the • The Celtic British still traded with the Roman Empire propagation of rats. The bubonic plague and brought the bubonic plague to their shores in 547 resulted and fleas brought the disease to A.D.. Weakened as a result, the Anglo-Saxon’s were able the population of the Roman Empire by to defeat the plague-stricken Britain – and England was way of trade with Africa. Millions perish. born. With less population, there are less recruits for the Roman army, and less • David Keys contends that the catastrophe was also linked to revenue from taxes to support the troops the religion of Islam. He suggests that the climatic chaos and the payment of mercenaries. The weakened the Mareb and began the shift of power to Medina Empire is vulnerable. where Mohammad’s family was already established. The apocalyptic attitude at the time made for a better field of reception of the prophet Mohammad’s message. • 3000 miles away, the Avars, formally the most feared horseman army in the world are conquered by the Turks. Their defeat was the result of the reduction of their horses due to starvation. The Avars fled to into the Balkans What if such a catastrophe where they rebuilt their strength and were to happen in today’s eventually met up with the Roman Empire – which they blackmailed – peace for gold. The world? We are encouraged Avar impact, combined with the plague, and the ensuing economic problem resulted in the to be more aware of the eventual fall of the Empire. ability of natural forces to change history.
GUNSGERMS QUESTION:AND What makes one civilization more successful than another?STE ANSWER: The environment in which they live.ELJared Diamond
• The success of a civilization begins with the initial resources that are available for domestication. The ability to use these resources and develop a successful farming economy allows for population growth and gives those cultures a tremendous head start. Well fed, growing populations are able to build bigger and moreWith the growth of population complex societies as food surpluses allow some to leave theircomes the opportunity for disease. farms and develop more specialized skills.These diseases are often causedfrom living in close proximity toanimals. Many times through theages indigenous diseases havestruck and devastated populations.Some are genetically better able toresist the diseases and they developimmunities to them. People inisolated places do not have theopportunity to develop a wide rangeof immunities because of lack ofexposure, and remain vulnerable.
SOUTH ASIA With the exception of the Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar, all of India is EUROPE under Muslim domination. Islamic Sultan Muhmud owned the greatest With their marriage uniting the port in the world where all the riches of the East and West are sold. peninsula, Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, use Italian The Spice Islands (Indonesia) were the desire of both Spain and Portugal. financial backing to launch their aggressive program of exploration with blessings from Rome. Muslims ruled the waves of the Indian Ocean and Ivan III breaks loose from Mongol rule and declares controlled all the maritime Moscow the “Third Rome”. CHINA AND JAPAN trade routes from the far China had become the richest Eastern European monarchs and most powerful empire in east. The Muslim cities grew forced free peasants into the world. With inventions suchTURKEY TO serfdom to grow grain for as paper, the compass, rich as long as the EuropeanAFRICA western Europe. gunpowder, and their valuable countries had to come to supply of silk, they could have A vast Muslim domain also controlled the waters of them to buy. The greater thestretches across North exploration. However, theyAfrica, and from Persia to believed that naval exploration Muslim strength, the greaterSerbia. was a waste of Chinese the cost of Eastern goods. resources.Jews, expelled from Europeans had to break theSpain, arrive in Turkey. Japan remained independent of China’s domination. Marco Polo grip of the Muslim trade – anChristian Ethiopiabecame an important spoke endless stories of the alternate route to the orient wealth to be found in thisinformation post where country, firing the imagination had to be found.the Portuguese would of Christopher Columbus. THE WORLD AND TRADEdiscover how to travel totravel onto the Indiansubcontinent. THE WORLD OF THE 15TH CENTURY
THE EUROPEAN VOYAGES AND HOWTHE WORLD CHANGES Horses and cattle are brought to the Americas which alters the way of life for Native Americans. They become Potatoes are brought mobile and are able to hunt buffalo back from the Andes which improves their way of life. and are soon increasing The abundance of cattle produces populations around wealth and the eventual rise of the the globe as an iconic cowboy. The native Americans important food will be driven from their lands to staple. The Irish accommodate the growth spurned Slaves and sugar cane Potato Famine from these herds. were both brought to results in the death the Caribbean by of over a million Columbus. The wealth people and solidifies of a few came at the a hostility against an expense of many, as indifferent Britain. sugar cane slaves had Refugees flood into the highest death rate the United States , . impacting American culture. The cassava root was brought by slave traders back Corn is an adaptable There is hardly a corner crop that has to Africa. It traveled from of either the old world or remains a staple food of the poor America. It supplies the new which has not the necessary ever since. carbohydrates for been impacted by the world-wide populations. Columbian Exchange.