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Re: [Phys-l] A geek's observations on "Avatar"

No wonder "we" were inevitably able to wipe out the Amerindians with small
pox, etc.

Actually, it was inevitable that we would wipe them out when contact was
established. We did try to spread smallpox by giving them "infected"
blankets, but it turns out that such blankets do not really spread the
disease. We can feel guilty for the things we did, but the large effect was
accidental. Heinlein proposed the same idea when Earthlings mingled with

An interesting theory is that since Eurasia extends E-W in a temperate
region there was a lot of interchange which caused technical development,
and facilitated the spread of disease. After all a large portion of Europe
was wiped out by the black plague. But N-S America does not facilitate
rapid development and commerce as well according to the theory.

Actually the development of disease organisms is one reason why we should
not fear genetrically recreating dinosaurs. The dino probably would have
difficulty with the advanced modern bugs, and might tend to succumb to

Since the organism on the planet in Avatar seem to be very advanced, it is a
wonder that the Humans were not wiped out by a disease. After all if there
is a controlling intelligence it could easily create a human specific bug to
wipe us out with minimal fuss.

John M. Clement
Houston, TX