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In order to move forward, let's at least dispense with the notion that the Mesoamericans were so peaceful and weren't acquainted to warfare like the brutal Spanish. Warfare among the Mayans seem very much like warfare in the Old World. If Maya warfare could result in cities being completely destroyed (just like in the Old World), then we are not talking about a peace-loving culture that only engages in ritual warfare.
Sure, but part of the point about warfare was specific to the Aztecs in 1520. Something true about the Maya 700 years earlier doesn't really speak to that either way.

Also, I'm not sure Rai said they were totally peaceful, but rather that Aztec warfare was highly ritualized.

You yourself provided a relevant quote on that point:

I found an article about the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire that seems pretty scholarly, at least by the source (aside from the detail that the 16th century is not really "ancient history"). They list some factors for the Spanish success, among them: Cortes & the Fall of the Aztec Empire

Quote
The second factor in the Spaniard’s favour was the primitive weaponry and ritualised warfare of their opponents. Aztec warriors wore padded cotton armour, carried a wooden or reed shield covered in hide, and wielded weapons such as a super sharp obsidian sword-club (macuahuitl), a spear or dart thrower (atlatl), and bow and arrows. Effective though these were against even more poorly equipped native Americans, they were next to useless against the Spanish guns, crossbows, steel swords, long pikes, cannons, and armour.

Cavalry was another devastating weapon in the hands of the Europeans. Elite Aztec warriors and officers also wore spectacular feathered and animal skin costumes and headdresses to signify their rank. This made them highly conspicuous in battle and a prime target to dispatch as early as possible. Shorn of their commanders, the Aztec units often disintegrated into panic. The Aztecs were used to loose formations in battle; their primary objective had always been to capture a valiant opponent alive so that they might be later ritually sacrificed, and warfare was highly ritualised with precise moments for starting and ending. The objective of Aztec warfare was never to destroy completely the enemy and overturn their culture, while the Spanish were intent on exactly that. The two sides were not just centuries but millennia apart in terms of arms technology and warfare tactics.
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As for the specific technologies and their evidence: now do similar Google searches for the Americas, instead of only bothering to do any research when you think it can disprove something Rai or I said.

So please provide evidence for the existence and extent of:
- European use of fertilizer

Earliest discovered use of fertilizer was in Europe, ~8,000 BCE.

European geological siphons and aqueducts

The Romans were developing a complex system of aqueducts as early as the 3rd Century BCE. Some of these used geologic siphons to raise water from lower elevations.


European sericulture

Silkworms were first introduced to Europe through the Byzantine Empire in the 6th Century CE.
Okay, but what about western Europe in the 16th century? We're comparing technology at the point of contact, not 1-10 millennia earlier.

Quote

European forestry

European forest management techniques began in the late Middle Ages with selective cutting and uneven-age stands. Beginning in the 15th Century CE, Europe progressed to a more sophisticated 'agricultural' approach to forestry involving greater selectivity and regulated land usage.

Not only did Native Americans know how to manage trees agriculturally, some of them possibly did so throughout one of the largest forests in the world.

Quote
Planting their orchards for millennia, the first Amazonians slowly transformed large swaths of the river basin into something more pleasing to human beings. In the country inhabited by the Ka’apor, on the mainland southeast of Marajó, centuries of tinkering have profoundly changed the forest community. In Ka’apor-managed forests, according to Balée’s plant inventories, almost half of the ecologically important species are those used by humans for food. In similar forests that have not recently been managed, the figure is only 20 percent. Balée cautiously estimated, in a widely cited article published in 1989, that at least 11.8 percent, about an eighth, of the nonflooded Amazon forest was “anthropogenic”—directly or indirectly created by humans.

Some researchers today regard this figure as conservative. “I basically think it’s all human created,” Clement told me. So does Erickson, the University of Pennsylvania archaeologist who told me in Bolivia that the lowland tropical forests of South America are among the finest works of art on the planet. “Some of my colleagues would say that’s pretty radical,” he said. According to Peter Stahl, an anthropologist at the State University of New York in Binghamton, “lots” of researchers believe that “what the eco-imagery would like to picture as a pristine, untouched Urwelt [primeval world] in fact has been managed by people for millennia.” The phrase “built environment,” Erickson argued, “applies to most, if not all, Neotropical landscapes.”

Or is it not forestry when many of the trees are food crops instead of just being used for burning and construction?
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Quote
Maya civilization - Warfare

Warfare was prevalent in the Maya world. Military campaigns were launched for a variety of reasons, including the control of trade routes and tribute, raids to take captives, scaling up to the complete destruction of an enemy state. Little is known about Maya military organization, logistics, or training. Warfare is depicted in Maya art from the Classic period, and wars and victories are mentioned in hieroglyphic inscriptions. Unfortunately, the inscriptions do not provide information upon the causes of war, or the form it took. In the 8th–9th centuries, intensive warfare resulted in the collapse of the kingdoms of the Petexbatún region of western Petén. The rapid abandonment of Aguateca by its inhabitants has provided a rare opportunity to examine the remains of Maya weaponry in situ. Aguateca was stormed by unknown enemies around 810 AD, who overcame its formidable defences and burned the royal palace. The elite inhabitants of the city either fled or were captured, and never returned to collect their abandoned property. The inhabitants of the periphery abandoned the site soon after. This is an example of intensive warfare carried out by an enemy in order to completely eliminate a Maya state, rather than subjugate it. Research at Aguateca indicated that Classic period warriors were primarily members of the elite.

From as early as the Preclassic period, the ruler of a Maya polity was expected to be a distinguished war leader, and was depicted with trophy heads hanging from his belt. In the Classic period, such trophy heads no longer appeared on the king's belt, but Classic period kings are frequently depicted standing over humiliated war captives. Right up to the end of the Postclassic period, Maya kings led as war captains. Maya inscriptions from the Classic show that a defeated king could be captured, tortured, and sacrificed. The Spanish recorded that Maya leaders kept track of troop movements in painted books.

The outcome of a successful military campaign could vary in its impact on the defeated polity. In some cases, entire cities were sacked, and never resettled, as at Aguateca. In other instances, the victors would seize the defeated rulers, their families, and patron gods. The captured nobles and their families could be imprisoned, or sacrificed. At the least severe end of the scale, the defeated polity would be obliged to pay tribute to the victor.

In order to move forward, let's at least dispense with the notion that the Mesoamericans were so peaceful and weren't acquainted to warfare like the brutal Spanish. Warfare among the Mayans seem very much like warfare in the Old World. If Maya warfare could result in cities being completely destroyed (just like in the Old World), then we are not talking about a peace-loving culture that only engages in ritual warfare.
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And, as always, I'd welcome evidence that the consensus among modern historians is that technological superiority was the deciding factor in the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs.
You've already provided some evidence of that claim, all by yourself.
Are you still talking about that article you quoted here?

As I already explained, a single article with sources from 2008, 1970, and 1907 (seriously) doesn't constitute any evidence one way or the other for what the modern consensus is.

Even if its bibliography were more current and if it were further supported by some original research, it wouldn't be evidence about the consensus unless it referred to the consensus. I'm not expecting an independent statistical assessment of all published research like has been done for climate change, but you should at least be able to find some evidence that yours is the explanation most experts still believe if that is in fact what they mostly believe.
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General Discussion / Re: Notable passings and other milestones
« Last post by CarbShark on January 27, 2020, 02:35:40 PM »
Get-there-itis, scud running, VFR into IMC, controlled flight into terrain. Pilot error.

Likely, but not for sure yet. There are witnesses reporting that they heard the engines "sputtering" which is why they noticed it before the crash.

It was indeed foggy Sunday morning. I was out around the time they would have flown over and I may have heard them.

As for Get-there-itist, Kobe went everywhere by helicopter. In this case I would have been a 90 minute drive (maybe less with very light Sunday traffic).
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So please provide evidence for the existence and extent of:
- European use of fertilizer

Earliest discovered use of fertilizer was in Europe, ~8,000 BCE.


European dog breeding

Europeans developed a great variety of domesticated canine forms prior to the 16th Century. 


European geological siphons and aqueducts

The Romans were developing a complex system of aqueducts as early as the 3rd Century BCE. Some of these used geologic siphons to raise water from lower elevations.


European sericulture

Silkworms were first introduced to Europe through the Byzantine Empire in the 6th Century CE.

 
European forestry
(Evidence of these things in pre-Columbian Europe, obviously. The thousands of tons of guano imported from the Americas don't count as evidence for pre-contact European fertilizer use, for example.)

European forest management techniques began in the late Middle Ages with selective cutting and uneven-age stands. Beginning in the 15th Century CE, Europe progressed to a more sophisticated 'agricultural' approach to forestry involving greater selectivity and regulated land usage. That approach changed in the late Modern period with the Industrial revolution when priorities shifted toward maximizing timber production and sustained yield.   


And, as always, I'd welcome evidence that the consensus among modern historians is that technological superiority was the deciding factor in the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs.

You've already provided some evidence of that claim, all by yourself.
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Health, Fitness, Nutrition, and Medicine / Re: new conspiracy theory
« Last post by John Albert on January 27, 2020, 12:24:50 PM »
Quote
QAnon Supporters And Anti-Vaxxers Are Spreading A Hoax That Bill Gates Created The Coronavirus

It has no basis in reality, but that hasn’t slowed its spread across Facebook and Twitter.


Ryan Broderick | BuzzFeed News Reporter | Posted on January 23, 2020, at 5:38 p.m. ET


Travelers wearing facemasks wait at the departure hall of West Kowloon Station on Jan. 23 in Hong Kong.
Anthony Kwan / Getty Images

A false rumor that the coronavirus outbreak is a plot by former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates is being spread by supporters of the pro-Trump QAnon movement and the anti-vax community.

A QAnon YouTuber named Jordan Sather warned his followers on Tuesday that the coronavirus was a “new fad disease” and claimed the release of the virus that causes it was “planned.” Following Sather’s heavily retweeted thread, the conspiracy theory traveled across Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

The newly discovered virus — a member of the coronavirus family that includes past outbreaks SARS and MERS — has infected more than 644 people and killed 18 since Dec. 31, 2019, according to Chinese news reports. Infected travelers have been detected in Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, and Singapore. The first US case was announced on Tuesday, and five US airports have begun screening for the virus after a man in his thirties from Snohomish County, Washington, had his infection confirmed by a recently developed genetic test. (A potential second US case was announced today.) And on Thursday, Chinese officials quarantined a number of cities in close proximity to the center of the outbreak, Wuhan. Public transportation was shut down, roads were blocked, and outbound flights were suspended, leaving 20 million people effectively unable to leave on the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

While the World Health Organization has so far stressed that this isn't a global emergency, online rumors and lies have run fast.

https://twitter.com/Jordan_Sather_/status/1219795721286586368

The crux of Sather’s conspiracy hinges on a 2015 patent filed by the Pirbright Institute in Surrey, England, which covers the development of a weakened form of a coronavirus that could potentially be used as a vaccine to prevent respiratory diseases in birds and other animals. This is a standard way that vaccines are made, for everything from the flu vaccine to the polio vaccine.

“The assignee of this patent was the government-funded Pirbright Institute out of the UK,” Sather tweeted. “Was the release of this disease planned? Is the media being used to incite fear around it? Is the Cabal desperate for money, so they're tapping their Big Pharma reserves?”

One of the many, many issues with Sather’s theory is that the Pirbright does not currently work with any strains of the coronavirus that affect humans — its patent covers the avian coronavirus, which only affects birds. (Scientists have suggested that snakes or mammals could be the source of the outbreak — not birds.)

Dr. Erica Bickerton, who studies avian pathology for Pirbright, told BuzzFeed News that the institute patented the avian coronavirus to study how it replicated in chickens and chicken cells.

“The name coronavirus is a whole family of viruses,” she said. “Each of these viruses has their own characteristics.”

Bickerton said she was aware of the misinformation spreading online, but stressed that none of Pirbright’s work with the coronavirus involved humans: “The work we do focuses on an avian coronavirus that affects chickens.”

But the facts haven’t slowed down the hoax.

“Big money in vaccines,” one QAnon supporter tweeted. “Who is pushing for people to be vaccinated? Hillary and Chelsea?”


facebook

According to CrowdTangle, the institute’s patent listing has been shared over 6,000 times in the last week. Facebook Groups like QAnon QClearance 8chan + related articles 2 Staqe 2 and Georgia Coalition for Vaccine Choice have linked the page to their thousands of followers, accusing Pirbright of being behind some kind of nefarious plot, which extends to the very social media company that hosts them.

“This is a man-made, patented virus with a vaccine in the works. Here’s the link to the patent,” one user wrote in a group called United States for Medical Freedom. “So back in Nazi Germany, Hitler didnt want anyone to wake up to his deceit. So he had Jews in every neighborhood give the S.S. intel. Kind of like facebook reporting our comments.”

Sather, who appears to have started the false rumor, has over 100,000 followers on Twitter and over 200,000 followers on YouTube, where he records videos about QAnon, the evidence-free mega-conspiracy theory that claims Donald Trump was appointed president by the military to save the nation from a ring of pedophilic Satanists, which includes Bill Gates.

Paranoid social media users found Google search results that connect the Pirbright Institute to a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant to study livestock antibodies — and latched on to it.

“And would you look at that, some of [Pirbright’s] major funders are the World Health Organization and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,” Sather tweeted.

Other conspiracy theorists have supplied a purported motive: “Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation one of the primary owners. Deep State released the virus to create chaos since nothing stopping Trump,” reads another user’s heavily retweeted post about the patent.

According to Teresa Maughan, a spokesperson for Pirbright, not only does the patent in question not involve a coronavirus strain that affects humans, but the institute’s work with the virus wasn’t funded by the Gates Foundation.

“The patented work cited in the conspiracy theories involved infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) only, and we made four changes in the gene responsible for replicating the virus’s genetic material. This has weakened the virus so it is no longer able to cause disease and has potential to be used as a vaccine, but has not yet been developed,” she told BuzzFeed News. “The patented work was completed in 2015 and is not funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.”

Nevertheless, Sather continues to tweet rumors and lies about the coronavirus. “You see how they try to implant thoughts into your head,” he wrote on Wednesday in a post about the virus that has been retweeted almost 1,000 times. “Fear sells.”
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanhatesthis/qanon-supporters-and-anti-vaxxers-are-spreading-a-hoax-that
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General Discussion / Re: Notable passings and other milestones
« Last post by DevoutCatalyst on January 27, 2020, 12:23:00 PM »
Get-there-itis, scud running, VFR into IMC, controlled flight into terrain. Pilot error.
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Health, Fitness, Nutrition, and Medicine / Re: new conspiracy theory
« Last post by csdave on January 27, 2020, 11:39:45 AM »
I am curious to see what spreads more effectively: viruses or fake news.
Fake news, easily.

I tend to agree, but I was not referring to geographical spread. More to how many people get infected vs how many people believe (we can say retweet/repost etc.) this fake news. Hopefully the virus won't be as good as the fake news :P.
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General Discussion / Re: Notable passings and other milestones
« Last post by John Albert on January 27, 2020, 11:28:34 AM »
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