Well that's what I'm saying, they grew as much as they could and they stopped when they had no more food.Fyyr wrote:Since native Californian were in California for about 20,000 years and reached approximately 500,000 people, it is fairly reasonable to assume that they reached their limit, their carrying capacity; at that point they were limited by food.
Just as the Aztec, Maya, and Inca grew as much as they could and they stopped when they had no more food.
It's just that the farmers could obtain orders of magnitude more food than the hunter-gatherers could, and their numbers were, correspondingly, orders of magnitude larger.
The differences in growth rate due to medicine or technology (outside of agriculture) are trivial when you are looking at 650+ generations. Do the math: even a miniscule growth rate will fill up the area in that time.
If you assume 500,000 people in California, that might sound like a lot, but California is also a really big place (over 160,000 square miles). A hunter gatherer might have a home range of 10-15 square miles, maybe even less in a lush area. So most of them lived and died in very small communities, not knowing that any of the others existed, except maybe a few of the neighboring ones. It's very likely that some of these people only saw 100 or so other people in their entire lives.
By comparison, Tikal had a population of least 50,000, and the greater Tikal area was populated by hundreds of thousands of Mayans. Teotihuacan was even more populated in its day. These weren't people spread out over a large area. They were large metropolises, some of the largest in the world at that time.
The major difference between the two groups was simply the availability of food.