Against Ice Age Civilizations

Source: Astral Codex Ten
by Scott Alexander

“Supporters of ice age civilizations argue that sea level rose 120 meters as the Ice Age glaciers melted, flooding low-lying coasts and destroying any evidence of coastal civilizations. … if there were Ice Age civilizations, what did they eat? It couldn’t have been any of our known crops, which post-date them. Could it have been their own crops, which were later lost? Seems unlikely. Throughout most of history, civilizations have risen and fallen, but they don’t lose agriculture! The empire divided longs to unite, the empire united longs to divide, but the Chinese never fragmented so hard that they forget how to cultivate rice and rice went extinct. Maize has survived nine millennia of rising and falling bloodthirsty Mexican empires. Almost everyone in the Amazon died in the 1500s when European diseases swept through, but they still left us manioc, squash, and chiles.” (03/03/23)