Re: diseases and immunity

Domingo Martinez-Castilla (
Wed, 03 Jul 96 15:42:56 GMT

In my last post I tried to follow up several posts at the same time, and
now I am facing a barrage of "I did not say that" from both Mr Deitiker
and Sisial. I tried to right in a generic way but they both resent the
mix (and rightly so, I believe).

So I will answer now, as time allows, a point at a time and and my own

One of the last pearls of Mr Deitiker (which also touches me very
closely, for I have worked the subject for many years), refers to
domestication. He seems to like to get in trouble, raising one new
issue after another. And just missing the mark big time.

He quoted me and then tried to educate me:

In article <4r9qkr$>, (Philip
Deitiker) wrote:

I wrote:

>>And regarding the domestication of livestock, the word "behind" is also
>>completely inappropriate. In plants and animals, Mr Deitiker, one does
>>not domesticate what one wants, but what one can. There are some
>>animals that lend themselves to very easy domestication (sheep, llamas,
>>wolves), and others that just refuse to be domesticated (zebras, deer,
>>vicunas). This does not have anything to do with being ahead or behind.
>>It never had. Or is it that you do not know much about plant and
>>animals domestication either? Want some references on that? I will
>>gladly provide them.

And then, in article <4r9qkr$>,
(Philip Deitiker) wrote:
>Sorry but on this your wrong, deer are completely domesticatable, ever
>been to Nara, Japan. There are many animals in the americas which are
>domesticatable, bighorn sheep is another example, and some animals
>were infact domesicated. But the question is what relative average of
>european versus native american meat protein came from domesticated
>animals. There are alot of animals which could have been
>domesticated, some were but the degree of dependence on domesticated
>animals is far less than in western eurasia (again if you have
>reasonable proof otherwise please present), matter of fact if you
>like. Even in Mary BW comments on the northeast points to the fact
>that the major source of dietary protein was seafood (was this
>aquaculture?). The point though is well taken that the domestication
>of animals was in the process of developement, again this is an
>example in which there was evidence as early as 10KYA that animals
>were domesticated and this may have been defered in america do to

Domestication of livestock is another issue that is usually raised, as
in "indigenous Americans were not capable of domestication", or a
little more politically correct "indigenous americans did not need to
domesticate animals because they were plentiful". Both are wrong.
Indigenous Americans domesticated what they could. In 500 years, the
Europeans have not been able to add a single one indigenous domesticate
of some significance to what they found. And they found the following
six (five) species: turkeys, llamas, alpacas (allegedly the same, in two
varieties, by some zoologists), dogs, guinea pigs, and a not-so-common
species of dick in what is now Brazil. That was it. That still is it.

Mr Deitiker is way, way, way, way (I cannot possibly overemphasize this)
off mark here. I really do not know how wrong he can be. I dare him
(and tene generations of his descendants) to domesticate all those
species he mentions. Does he know that domesticates cannot survive by
themselves in the wild? Is a tame deer is a domestic deer, Mr Deitiker?
Does one individual animal make a domesticated species? Please go to
any, any book on animal behavior and find out why there are domestic
raindeer and not white tail deer; why you have domestic llamas and not
vicunas, why domestic horses and burros and not zebras, etc?

In common language, the terms "domestic" and "tame" may be allowed to be
synonymous, but if we are talking about the history of agriculture, the
meaning changes radically. A "domestic" species is one that
usually cannot survive in the wild, that has all mating and food
management controlled, that is used for human puposes. Note that we
talk about "species". This is so much so that when some individuals of
a domestic species revert to the wild in some isolated cases, they have
their own adjective, as in "feral cattle".

Enough for now. I will try to read the rest of Mr Deitiker post, and
react if there is anything new.



Domingo Martinez-Castilla