Without the discovery of sailing, keeping food edible for multiple months (at sea), X and Y – we would’ve even have gotten to Z. But we wouldn’t have discovered X without first discovering W…
Of course a lot of things might’ve happened (or not happened) because the potato got introduced to Europe, but the same can be said about months-long travel by ship, or the fact that wood can float if built in the shape of a ship etc. etc.
It’s a cool thing to say, for sure, that the potato has created our current world, but it just seems very weird to me to claim stuff like that.
One of the most awful diseases in the world caused a surprising advance in medicine. Though the Black Death killed roughly a third of the people in the nations it touched, it ended half a century of religion-induced medical ignorance.
Did you know: Investigating the cause of death on people is called an “autopsy”, while for anything else? That’s called a “necropsy”.
Some believe that the black plague made the Renaissance happen, partly because many of the survivors were suddenly rich (from inheriting from a lot of dead relatives) and partly from a drive to put the black death as far behind them as possible. It’s not far fetched – a lot current culture can be traced to impact from either during or after the two World Wars. Men having short hair and clean shaven is attributed to WW1 trench warfare, lobster changed from food for the poor to high class because it wasn’t rationed like meat… The predominant language in North America was German until the wars, and largely due to internment camps and the practice around them of confiscating land, business, and money. The butterfly effect…
Europe has surprisingly little genetic variety. Learning how and when the modern gene-pool came together has been a long journey. But thanks to new technological advances a picture is slowly coming together of repeated colonization by peoples from the east with more efficient lifestyles.
In a new study, we have added a piece to the puzzle: the Y chromosomes of the majority of European men can be traced back to just three individuals living between 3,500 and 7,300 years ago. How their lineages came to dominate Europe makes for interesting speculation. One possibility could be that their DNA rode across Europe on a wave of new culture brought by nomadic people from the Steppe known as the Yamnaya.
This was interesting to encounter, as it came up in conversation at lunch. Someone brought up the tidbit about Y Chromosomal Adam…
On a related note, it’s interesting to look back on what a wedding is. What the roles originally meant/signified… If you read the Game of Thrones series (as the Wilding customs have not been covered on the TV series to date), the Wilding action of “taking a wife” is quite literal – in our history it’s known as marriage “by capture”. It was a time long before customs and such were white washed by media in the likes of Disney, or even the Brothers Grimm.