Starpaths: Adaptation to Oceania

  • Cameron M. Smith
  • Evan T. Davies
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)


Equipped with a general understanding, now, of how humanity has decoupled behavior from anatomy by using tools - and thus changed the course of its own evolution by inventing invention - we can go on to see two specific cases of proactive human adaptation and niche construction in action. There are plenty of examples we could use, but here we will focus on the example of the Polynesian colonization of Oceania, the Pactfic at large, from Australia to the Hawaiian Islands, New Zealand, and Easter Island. This case provides superb examples of invention and adaptation that can inspire, provide material for creative thought, provide new vocabularies to help reconsider human space colonization, and, overall, energize the project of human space colonization. We will see the construction of great sailing vessels, often as large and complex as those of the European ships of discovery, starpath navigation and an ethos of exploration and discovery, all devised not as ends in themselves, but as adaptations to make human colonization efforts a success.


Niche Construction Coconut Husk Archaeological Culture Space Colonization Sailing Vessel 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cameron M. Smith
    • 1
  • Evan T. Davies
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyPortland State UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.The Explorers ClubNew YorkUSA

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