Re: Speciation - how do you know?

David Sierra (
Thu, 19 Sep 1996 17:19:09 -0500

On Mon, 16 Sep 1996, Paul Crowley wrote:

> In article <>
> "David Sierra" writes:
> > I seem to remember a traditional type of hunt, particularly in western
> > Europe that involved "closing" with the animal in question, usually a
> > large wild boar [very nasty animal], goading it into charging and
> > "setting" a spear wereupon the creature in question would impale itself on the
> > spear and die fighting.
> Yes, but the nobles were on large, fast, horses. They had lances and
> other weapons, such as crossbows. They were fairly safe unless they
> dismounted. They could harry the boar until it was exhausted.

Actually, I'm fairly positive (remembering a series of woodcuts from the
time period in question) that the objective *was* to kill the thing while
on foot.

> > Supposedly this was quite the thing to do for young medival gentlemen to
> > do to prove their machoness (or stupidity!).
> It was sport. It certainly wasn't for the food.

Point taken

> > I think a reasonably inteligent group of H.n. armed with similar spears
> > (perhaps minus the crosspieces) would stand a very good chance against a
> > large, ferocious, tusked, etc. creature.
> I'm sure the gentlemen would not have risked it with a fragile wooden
> spear. And attempting to do it all on foot would have been suicidal
> even with weapons of medieval steel. In any case "standing a very good
> chance" (which I don't accept) might be OK on occasion. It's not viable
> as a regular way of life.

Ahh, yes. However, consider three things: 1) just because something is
rational doesn't mean a person is going to do that! 2) As pointed out in
another post, African natives have been killing LIONS with such "fragile
wooden spears" for as long as can be remembered. 3) Even if the band
would take casualties in the course of say 10 such hunts, think about the
potential cost vs return for the band as a whole.

David Sierra