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The posts on human genetic decline are purely speculative and ignore that evolution is driven not by purpose, but chance. Evolutionary adaptations are as likely to be random as anything (see fly eye coloration). Humans didn't necessarily survive by being "smart"- brutality and dedication work just fine. The ancient Greeks are a fine example.

In the first millennium BCE, we see the rise of several ancient societies. Mahna Graecia is colonized. These early settlers are tribal and eventually developed into armed city states. The dominance is marked largely bu military capacity, with bronze age cultures dominating the neo-lithic peoples from the third through the second millennium and, in turn, bowing to iron age cultures and the development of steel in the 1st. The later half of the millennium is dominated by warfare as rival city states exert dominance. Later, power would shift to the burgeoning Roman Republic and its wars with Carthage.

So, prosperity and "culture" came not by some clever innovation, but by who could muster more spearmen and superior arms. The first western empires were already developing and empire was already well established in the near East (Egypt,etc). Humanity quickly became its own biggest threat. Rome rose ascendant during this period.

Can anyone honestly say that we are that different from the Romans? It is pretty much the prototype for every subsequent western civilization, either in the republican or, much more commonly, imperial mode.

History keeps repeating itself precisely because humans don't change that much. We just develop better weapons, building materials, etc. But in the end, we are still the same short sighted, superstitious, violent, greedy primates we always have been.

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