Why didn't Africans ever establish any society on par with the ones in Eurasia? -

Lemmingwise

The capture of the last white wizard decolorized
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
In Africa the ability to run marathons and track pray would be more important where as in Europe perhaps setting traps was more important to get food.
I get that we have to be somewhat broad in our statements to compare such large groups, but the value of running marathons is not a universal valuable trait in the entire continent of africa (or even the entire sub-saharan africa). Which is also why not every african people are good at it.
 

Menotaur

kiwifarms.net
I get that we have to be somewhat broad in our statements to compare such large groups, but the value of running marathons is not a universal valuable trait in the entire continent of africa (or even the entire sub-saharan africa). Which is also why not every african people are good at it.
But you get the point - environments foster traits.
 

Menotaur

kiwifarms.net
Time periods are vital to any discussion about why different groups emerged as they did; when they did. I tend to view the human evolution over the last 100.000 years as a whole rather than just the last 5000 as of vital importance. Certainly, the genetic traits of humans globally saw little change from what they were in the genetic pools until real exploration started.

The question as to why they evolved recently so differently has a vast number of factors - so no per se argument with Diamond right now - again depending on what time period we view. However, from a genetic point of view the stone was pretty much cast up to about 8,000 years ago and with the advent of technologies since then it would lead to obvious winners and losers. There were very distinct differences with physical attributes and mental.

The stone was cast some time ago, and the result was almost inevitable. IQs are not identical across various groups, and neither are physical traits - for all the right reasons so to speak.

The question the original poster proposes could have an insinuation that Sub-Sahara Africa was primitive by Eurasian standards for not developing as they did because we see them as advanced; but the more interesting question isn't really why they didn't, but why Eurasia HAD to in order to survive. It wasn't really optional.
 

FUTUREMAN

ARE YOU PARTY ENOUGH!!!!
kiwifarms.net
The question the original poster proposes could have an insinuation that Sub-Sahara Africa was primitive by Eurasian standards for not developing as they did but why Eurasia HAD to in order to survive. It wasn't really optional.
Huh i didn't think of it that way.
So what made the old worlders start a civilisation?
 

Lemmingwise

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So what made the old worlders start a civilisation
They wanted to eat in winter.

Some historic questions have weird answers, like "why did we start slavery?" has the answer "they felt bad about killing all their enemies"
 

Godbert Manderville

kiwifarms.net
I thought a thread where we barely mention IQ when talking about this was about sharing make belief opinions that sound nice in our heads.

To contribute something tangible, I've thought on this topic sometimes and I've tried to come up with non-genetic factors such as heat or domestication or disease. But each of these elements is present in areas of the world that did 'make it'. There are plenty of impressive ancient civilizations occupying the blistering tropics that have as many or few domesticated animals as SS-Africa and are also rife with mosquitoes and such. It never stopped them

SS-Africans are the oldest peoples. SS Africa has as many resources as every other continent. All things being equal they should have industrialized first. They did not. Perhaps it is precisely because the distant ancestors of the rest of us mongrelized with Neanderthals and other close relatives that they came out ahead of the purer SS-Africans. Hybrid Vigour is a thing, after all.
 

Johan Schmidt

kiwifarms.net
Something weird happened to humans when we moved out of Africa; and subsequent bands of humans that bred with other human species that were hanging on around in Europe before they went extinct also brought waves of change down through to Africa. Pretty radical changes as well, things like more abstractions in art, two story buildings, rapid advancements in technology.
 

Lemmingwise

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I do think it's likely that neoteny played a considerable role. It's not just the evolutionary pressures on the people that moved to different locations, it's also which people were more likely to move and discover new territory.

Humans are a rather neotenous ape to begin with. More curious and playful, more likely to view other species as being comparable to their own, less territorial, the way youthful mammals differ from adults. It's probably why humans really populated the world after the ice age, because wanderlust was suddenly an advantage rather than a risk, with how underpopulated the world had become.

And I think non-SS africans do seem to differ from africans in the same way; we take longer to mature, we are less territorial, we are more likely to view other species (or races) as our own or being comparable to us.
 

wtfNeedSignUp

kiwifarms.net
About the whole beasts of burden thing, couldn't they just have imported them? Like the last two millenia nobody traveled from the middle east of Africa and told them about the advantages of mutton? Also fix me if I'm wrong, but isn't the ground if Africa fit for agricultural development? Shouldn't have that become the norm rather than hunting?
 

Techpriest

Praise the Machine Spirits
kiwifarms.net
To contribute something tangible, I've thought on this topic sometimes and I've tried to come up with non-genetic factors such as heat or domestication or disease. But each of these elements is present in areas of the world that did 'make it'. There are plenty of impressive ancient civilizations occupying the blistering tropics that have as many or few domesticated animals as SS-Africa and are also rife with mosquitoes and such. It never stopped them

SS-Africans are the oldest peoples. SS Africa has as many resources as every other continent. All things being equal they should have industrialized first. They did not. Perhaps it is precisely because the distant ancestors of the rest of us mongrelized with Neanderthals and other close relatives that they came out ahead of the purer SS-Africans. Hybrid Vigour is a thing, after all.
Well one of the big things is the climate and the location. You might go 'but egypt' - Egypt is in one of the most reliable floodplains on the planet, the floods of the nile were super regular and helped immensely.

The Congo river is another major river system. Why didn't it get a huge unified civilization like Egypt?

Well, for starters, the Congo is a bitch of a river. It's hard to travel it, it has rapids and cataracts all over the place, its floods aren't super regular, and it's very remote - it's hard to get to the Congo from Europe or the middle east - trade to the Congo would take an immense amount of time, and ancient ship building could only take you so far. The Sahara is an immense natural barrier to cross, and going around it to reach West and South Africa is not easy. What fueled a lot of Mediterranean civilization was the sea and trade along the sea or other routes. Waterways are natural highways for trade, and Africa was involved with quite a bit of trade - in east Africa that is. Ethiopia was a major player in world trade for a very long time, sitting close to the Red Sea and a natural hub for traders trying to get deeper into africa for ivory, gold, furs, etc. Trade creates a feedback accelerating loop. Every new thing you get speeds up your development if you can use it and if you're close to someone else you trade your stuff and ideas they might like (such as the wheel) and the pace accelerates over time. A lot of Africa was not in contact with the rest of the world, or another big solid hub of settled civilization like China, India, Europe, the Middle East. Sub Saharan africa was geographically a nightmare to reach compared to almost everywhere else on the Eurasian/African supercontinent. You had to sail, or cross one of the worlds largest deserts - or traverse some of the most intense brush on the planet.

Africa also has a rain problem. Every other continent has a big, large mountain range which casts rain shadows and helps regulate the general distribution of rainfall. Africa... doesn't really have that. Agriculture without steady rain fall or regular flooding is not easy to sustain on a large scale prior to modern irrigation and industrialized farming. Without reliable, large scale, organized agriculture, you don't get the luxury of being able to have super hyper specialized members of your society early on - you know, like engineers, or scribes. Subsaharan Africa didn't really pick up writing until later on, as they never needed to pick up writing. Without a huge hyperspecialized hierarchical society that needs to keep lots of records of what goes where and what resources to distribute, writing doesn't really develop. You have to rely on oral tradition - and bad luck in one generation can have some cascading effects.

That said, African metalsmiths were absolutely fantastic at their job, especially their iron smiths. There's traditional African forge furnaces that can reach temperatures well outside the reach of the rest of the world until the 1800's, and what they could make with those is just pure art really. Metal tools are all over Africa, same with jewelry, accessories, etc. etc.

About the whole beasts of burden thing, couldn't they just have imported them? Like the last two millenia nobody traveled from the middle east of Africa and told them about the advantages of mutton? Also fix me if I'm wrong, but isn't the ground if Africa fit for agricultural development? Shouldn't have that become the norm rather than hunting?
It is and it isn't. There's plenty of spaces once cleared that were pretty suitable, but people worked much of those, and large scale land clearing efforts were slowed down by the simple lack of need for more farmland in many places - the population isn't high enough for it, or what they've got already is working fine on sustaining them. There's also some diseases which do a real number on lots of animals, and people infected by it. Animals not native to the area get hit the hardest by it. And by hard, I mean 'are going to fucking die'. So importing animals wasn't always an option.

"What about domestication?"

Good luck. It was really random chance that got us horse domestication - wild stallions and mares will bite and kick and happily kill people - zebras are smaller, just as aggressive, and not the best pack or labor animals. Of the animals in Sub Saharan Africa suitable for domestication, the only one is really the African elephant - but as it's big, the males are very aggressive, and also move in large herds, this isn't easy. And good fucking luck taming a cape buffalo or a hippo.

Also, agriculture was very, very widespread in Africa. It's just as I mentioned before, the climate and geography of sub saharan africa really doesn't allow the super intense farming on one plot of land you got elsewhere. You had to move around occasionally, simply to follow where you could actually grow your crops as the rain patterns shifted. Herding lifestyles were not uncommon either, but by no means was that the default for every community in Africa.
 

biozeminadae1

kiwifarms.net
To contribute something tangible, I've thought on this topic sometimes and I've tried to come up with non-genetic factors such as heat or domestication or disease. But each of these elements is present in areas of the world that did 'make it'. There are plenty of impressive ancient civilizations occupying the blistering tropics that have as many or few domesticated animals as SS-Africa and are also rife with mosquitoes and such. It never stopped them

SS-Africans are the oldest peoples. SS Africa has as many resources as every other continent. All things being equal they should have industrialized first. They did not. Perhaps it is precisely because the distant ancestors of the rest of us mongrelized with Neanderthals and other close relatives that they came out ahead of the purer SS-Africans. Hybrid Vigour is a thing, after all.
They couldn't have industrialized. The inwards of Africa were basically unlivable until the 19th century.
 

Lemmingwise

The capture of the last white wizard decolorized
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
They couldn't have industrialized. The inwards of Africa were basically unlivable until the 19th century.
The african coast is a larger landmass than the entirity of europe (if you count most of russia as part of asia, which is about as unlivable anyways).

This image gives a good idea of approximate sizes.

non-mercator.jpg
 

Techpriest

Praise the Machine Spirits
kiwifarms.net
The african coast is a larger landmass than the entirity of europe (if you count most of russia as part of asia, which is about as unlivable anyways).

This image gives a good idea of approximate sizes.

View attachment 2032048
That's a really shitty map projection. There's also a large chunk of african coast that is desert, just straight up desert.
 

Lemmingwise

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True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
That's a really shitty map projection. There's also a large chunk of african coast that is desert, just straight up desert.
Every map projection is shitty; Peters no more so than Mercator that people are familiar with and a good shock to the system. Comparing sizes is much more accurate in the Peters projection, if I'm not mistaken, but teach me more if you're a map afficianado or expert or whatever.
 
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