When you face a difficult problem in life, what do you feel is the best way to solve it?
The reading and the lecture are both about the collapse of the civilization on Easter Island. The author of the reading feels that there are three possible explanations for the collapse. The lecturer challenges the claims made by the author. He is of the opinion that these explanations are faulty. To begins with< the author argues that the collapse might have been caused by rats that ate the seeds of palm trees. The article mentions that this caused erosion and soil loss, which made it hard to grow food. This specific argument is challenged by the lecturer. He says that even if deforestation occurred the people on the island would have been enough food. Furthermore, he points that sixty percent of their diet came from sea, and they also used rock gardens to grow potatoes in weak soil. Secondly, the author suggests that the collapse may have been caused by warfare, since there were lots of curve blades found that would have been used as weapons. The lecturer, however, rebuts this by mentioning that the shapes of blades suggest they were actually not weapons. He elaborates on this by raising the point that they probably used this just as a tool for cutting stone. Finally, the author posits that the society on the Island could have been destroyed by exposure to disease brought by foreign visitors. Moreover, in the article it is stated that thousands of people died as a result of this. In contrast, the lecturer's position s that when contact with Europeans and South Americans at that time the population had already declined and about three thousand but the initial population would have about twenty-five thousand. He notes that the population was started to decline before the visit of foreign people.
Submitted by Hari Prasad Adhikari on