Discuss how the professor challeged discussion of the downfall of the Easter island natives contrary to the points given in the passage
The passage and the professor discuss the downfall of the Easter island natives. The passage presents three points on why the Easter island natives died out. The professor challenges these points and mentions his own points as well. The passage mentions that the natives cut down large trees for agricultural purposes, which lead to erosion of the land.The professor opposes this fact, saying that whenever the natives cut down trees, they replaced them with grasslands which controlled the soil erosion. The passage also mentions that rats ate the fresh shoots before they could germinate into large plants, thus, leading to the people perishing. The professor, however, asserts that the natives actively ate the rats along with chickens, as evidenced from garbage dumps on the island which contained rat and chicken bones. Lastly, the passage states that war between the long-eared people and the short-eared people resulted to the extinction of the island natives. In contrast, the professor says that the people were already low in number as evidenced from the records of the Spanish explorers to Easter island in 1770 and Sir James Cook's visit to the island. He goes on to say that there was no evidence of a war situation on the island according to the records of the Spanish explorers and Sir James Cook.
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