August 24, 2006

It Figures

You know, it would be cynical even for me to admit that I was waiting for the "official story of the demise of Easter Island" to be contradicted, but I totally was.

And now it has. T'wasn't short-sighted human deforestation that killed Rapa Nui, 'twas rats and people.

See, eco-suicide is a neat little theory to put forth--especially when you've got a book to sell--but reality is that eco-suicide just takes too damn long, especially when you've got an opportunity for human beings to do what comes naturally and destroy each other. Guns, smallpox, and rats eating all the native plants work a lot faster than stone axes to decimate a civilization.

On the bright side, this new revelation will at least sell books for the post-colonial screw whitey crowd.

And maybe it'll open up a heretofore untapped market in the "rats are evil tools of The Man" school of social theory.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at August 24, 2006 11:07 AM

Dang, I was really hoping the answer was going to be "alien abduction"

I saw that article too. Tried to read it, but I found myself more wishing it had been on "how did they make those big giant head statues anyway? And why?"

(And also? I had about 15 minutes at home between meetings that day, and that's not exactly conducive to sitting down with American Scientist and a cuppa.)

Posted by: ricki at August 24, 2006 02:23 PM

This reminds me that Boy One's class last year studied the Plymouth Colony intensely. We ended up visiting the restored Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts and while there picked up a stuffed black rat. This was made to be the same size and shape as the actual rats that lived on the Mayflower. Dang, the thing is almost the size of a cat! It's a long way from just a somewhat bigger mouse. So, I am totally down with "rats are the evil tools of The Man".

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at August 25, 2006 12:31 AM

The island was probably done in by young boys.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at August 25, 2006 06:01 PM

I thought it was cats, like feral housecats. Seriously.

Ricki, check out Thor Heyerdahl's Aku-Aku, the Secret of Easter Island. (He of Kon-Tiki and Ra expedition fame.)

Posted by: Laura(southernxyl) at August 27, 2006 09:40 PM