Subject:      Re: yes, we have the proof: transpacific trading networks
From: (Yuri Kuchinsky 17784)
Date:         1997/09/07
Message-ID:   <5uugtn$6r1$>
Newsgroups:   sci.archaeology,sci.anthropology

[22] (Fcattus) wrote on 4 Sep 1997 15:07:23 GMT in
> Yuri writes:

> >John R. Cole is no mere innocent bystander in these matters. In the
> late >1970s, and in the 1980s he authored a whole series of highly
> critical >publications, extremely negative towards the possibility of
> ancient >transoceanic contacts.

> So--knowing something about a subject and publishing it in peer reviewed
> journals makes me suspect? Amazing. For what it's worth, I have always
> gotten along rather well with George Carter and a lot of other
> "hyperdiffusionists" with whom I strongly disagree. In 1988 or so, I
> spent several days riding around SE Colorado in a pickup with George and
> his wife, visiting a lot of wonderful rock art sites about which we
> disagreed much of the time--but no one was injured, even as we
> rock-climbed! At one point we passed a herd of zebras in a corral and I
> asked George if he could read the "Ogham" on their sides, and he laughed
> heartily. On that trip, BTW, he was still as adamament as ever about his
> Texas Street and other "Early Man" claims. In fact, he claimed the CO.
> mesaland/High Plains was literally covered with "artifacts" as far as
> the eye could see. When I asked him how so many billions of artifacts
> could be spread over the entire landscape, he told me they had been
> deposited over perhaps a million years!

> Alas, they were not even artifacts. Yuri's assertion that Carter was
> burned by these claims


Do you disagree that Carter was burned by these claims?

> and the implication that he abandoned them is simply wrong.

Where did I imply that he abandoned them? I certainly didn't.

Now, John, all these incidents from the past may have happened exactly
like you say they did. Of course citations from Carter's published works
would have been a lot better if you were indeed intending to build a case
against him in this area. And it would have to go under a different
thread. Because none of what you said so far has anything to do with
transpacific contacts in antiquity.

Lots of people have a variety of interests. Newton may have been a
religious crank, but what does it have to do with his valid scientific
theories? Not much. I don't know much about Carter's theories re: early
peopling of the Americas. Not my area. He may have been wrong there, I
don't know. But I think it is totally unfair to do as you do -- to imply
that if Carter was wrong about an unrelated line of research therefore he
was wrong about other things too. This will simply be false logic, and
false implications.

> Finally, let me add a couple of references here: A series
> of exchanges in *Current Anthropology* in 1976-78 by Carter, Raemsch and
> Vernon proposing and defending an "Early Man" claim in NY (Timlin Site)
> with responses by me, NYS Archaeologist Bob Funk, Bill Rithchie, Bill
> Starna, Laurie Godfrey, and others; *Archaeology and Geochronology of
> the Upper Susquehanna Region, NT*, ed. by me and Godfrey, 1978, Yager
> Museum Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY---two sources which devastated a
> specific "Carterfact" claim and which Carter still defended heartily in
> the late 80s---

Again, I'm not familiar with the controversies in this area. But none of
this has much to do with the subject we're discussing in this thread.

> the time when he told me that I should let dubious
> claims stand so as not to throw out the baby with the bathwater on the
> occasion to which I referred and to which Yuri objects. Similar
> statements are found in Carter's book, *Earlier than You Think.*

This is not such a simple matter. It is apparently John's view that any
new, unusual, and untested theory in any field of study should be subject
to the immediate onslaught of overzealous critics who must immediately try
to pull it apart every which way, and demolish it totally. The opposite
view would be that a new theory should be given some time, some period of
grace, so it can be developed and improved. Both sides of this debate may
have something to recommend them, perhaps.

There are two kinds of criticism. There's the constructive criticism, the
criticism that tries to help to determine the scientific truth. This sort
of criticism is made with an open mind, it is made with the view of trying
to further and improve a new theory. On the other hand, there's also such
thing as _destructive criticism_. This sort of criticism is using ad
hominems, distortions, ignoring the main parts of the theory while
focusing on the peripherals, and making mountans of tiny mistakes. The
purpose of such a criticism is to demolish and to obliterate a new theory.
This sort of destructive criticism, something often seen in these ngs, is
the weapon of choice of the forces of stagnation and torpor that want to
ensure decay in our historical scholarship.



Yuri Kuchinsky in Toronto -=O=- [24]

It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than
to put out on the troubled seas of thought -=O=- John K. Galbraith

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