… that most Amerindians died from Old World diseases to which they had little or no natural immunity, not because of some deliberate, pre-planned genocide by Europeans.
The dying out of millions of Amerindians was a horrible and terrible event to be sure, but the Left’s narrative on this is full of lies and fraud.
I repeat here some excellent analysis of why and how so many Amerindians died after the European discovery of the Americas.
We know that the Native Americans faced a severe group disadvantage caused by differential evolution: namely, their inability to resist or have immunity to new diseases brought by Europeans like smallpox (Cochran and Harpending 2009: 158–159). The HLA gene alleles, in various forms, protect human beings against infectious disease by regulating the nature and strength of the immune system.
But the Amerindians had an unusual distribution of HLA alleles – evolved from their distinct evolutionary history in the Americas – and a much weaker immune system, because they were simply not exposed to the same type and variety of pathogens as the farming peoples of the Old World (Cochran and Harpending 2009: 160–161, citing Cavalli-Sforza and Paolo Menozzi 1994). But the weaker immune systems of Amerindians had an advantage in their distinctive environment: they were much less subject to autoimmune diseases than other peoples with stronger immune systems (Cochran and Harpending 2009: 161).
But when Europeans brought infectious diseases such as measles, smallpox, diphtheria, whooping cough, leprosy, and bubonic plague, the consequences for Amerindians were horrific: there is some evidence that the Amerindian population of the New World suffered a stunning 90% fall in just a few centuries – and most of the deaths were caused by exposure to these diseases introduced by Europeans which Amerindians could not resist because of their different evolutionary history (Cochran and Harpending 2009: 162, citing Cook 1998). For instance, while only about 30% of Europeans might die in smallpox epidemics, a shocking 90% of Amerindians would die from the disease (Cochran and Harpending 2009: 167). This terrible series of plagues obviously aided the European conquest of the Americas, and even with superior European technology, was a factor in the success of the Conquistadors.
For example, the conquest of the Incan Empire by Francisco Pizarro was facilitated by a smallpox epidemic (Cochran and Harpending 2009: 163).
Even Jared Diamond, an academic beloved by the Left, admits these facts:
As late as the 20th century, isolated populations of Amerindians have suffered the same fate: in instances where first contacts occurred between Amerindians and European-descended people in the 20th century the same European diseases have killed 33–50% of the natives (Cochran and Harpending 2009: 167).
The same kinds of biological differences caused terrible epidemics and mass deaths of Australian Aborigines and Polynesians when Europeans invaded or colonised their homelands as well (Cochran and Harpending 2009: 169).
Cavalli-Sforza, L. Luca and Alberto Piazza Paolo Menozzi. 1994. The History and Geography of Human Genes. Princeton University Press, Princeton.
Cochran, Gregory and Henry Harpending. 2009. The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution. Basic Books, New York.
Cook, Noble David. 1998. Born to Die: Disease and New World Conquest, 1492–1650. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.