Re: New world populations

Paul J. Gans (
21 Dec 1994 22:00:52 GMT

Barbara Washburn ( wrote:

: (Lee Sultzman) writes:


: >The big killers were the European diseases that they inadvertantly brought
: >with them which quickly spread into areas that the Spanish never
: >reached. In the southeastern United States, these are believed to have
: >been responsible for the deaths of three quarters of the original population
: >by 1600.
: >--
: >Lee

: Lee, what evidence is there that these diseases were "INADVERTANTLY brought
: with them"? Biochemical warfare is as old as monkeys throwing feces at one
: another. Some argue the AIDS epedemic in the human population resulted
: because of immoral research done on chimps over the years, etc. At what
: point were TB invested blankets found to be the cause of native american
: deaths? When the cause was discovered, how long before the practice of
: giving such blankets to native americans subsided? What role, if any, did
: Jesuit preists play in such warfare?

Excellent evidence that it was inadvertant can be found by looking
at the state of medical knowledge in, say 1520 AD. The idea of
human-human contagion was not common, in spite of the fact that
quarantine had already been invented.

Another thread is to assume that people *knowingly* travelled with
others infected with what were considered horrible diseases. That
stretches it a bit.

I suspect that the bulk of your paragraph above is conflated material.
The TB blanket episode (I am aware of only one, but wouldn't mind
being enlightened about others) occured rather later than 1520.
Throwing feces has little to do with this. The AIDS story you
repeat has been consistently disproven, but lives on as a kind
of legend of our time. You know, the one that says "evil science
has done all this to us." And, pray tell, what role *did* the
Jesuits play in all this?

Yours for more responsible posting...

----- Paul J. Gans []