Subject:      Re: reed boats
From: (Yuri Kuchinsky 17784)
Date:         1997/09/22
Message-ID:   <604t2i$21a$>
Newsgroups:   sci.archaeology,soc.history (GKeyes6988) wrote on 21 Sep 1997 15:57:14 GMT

[Much lively and imaginative speculation on Greg's part omitted]

Hi, Greg,

It's nice to see that you're back to give us your perspective on things.
Your dollar's worth of popular psychology was interesting, and I suppose I
should take any kind of psychoanalysis offered to me for free and be
grateful for it. No harm done.

But below you will find some corrections of things I disagree with.

> Problem with this was, it was clear that his arguments left no room for
> any invention or any innovation in the New World.

This is not only untrue, but also unfair. I've spent much time to point
out the creativity of ancient Amerindians who knew enough to build and
sail great balsa ships many hundreds of years before Columbus. They were
also the first settlers of the Easter Island.

So how do you think denying these facts will leave much "room for any
invention or any innovation in the New World"?

> He was also having
> trouble explaining why supporting the innovations of the Polynesians was
> "Eurocentric".

I said absolutely nothing about this. So why should I have trouble
explaining what I didn't say?


> I suspect this is why, despite repeated suggestions here (from
> "Establishment" types)  that some relatively credible evidence suggests
> low-level, long-term diffusion along the north pacific rim, he has
> failed to take it up as a banner subject and in fact ignores the
> references -- recall the discussion of Clovis points several months ago,
> for example.

Well, it is nice that you suggest this idea about the North West here now.
If this idea is now accepted in these ngs, I certainly contributed to this
significantly over time. As I remember, a year ago or so I was flamed
mercilessly for suggesting this. So things did change somewhat in the
positive sense. So why should I keep pursuing this idea instead of going
on to new things?

> 4.  To solve this dilemma, Yuri has switched from an
> Asian/Polynesian-driven Pacific diffusion to a S. American driven one.
> I suspect that this solution came ultimately from one of the the more
> deeply rooted Heyerdahl fans on the NG, but that is sheerest guesswork
> on my part.

This idea was suggested by Heyerdahl in the 1940s. Nothing new. Yes, it's
true I've been reading Heyerdahl more recently because he was discussed at
length in the ngs. The more I read him, the more I like him...

> Anyway, now he can claim that we are Eurocentric because we suggest
> that evidence is not good that South American's made transpacific
> voyages,

Well, let's deal with Easter Island then. I think the evidence is solid.
We'll see how the discussion unfolds here.

> continuing to construe an insistence on evidence for failing a
> moral obligation to believe what "ought to be".

Plenty of evidence has already been presented, and more is to come. Have
you seen this Kon Tiki Museum website?

> 5. This shift requires the peculiar stance he has taken -- that the
> South American rafters were more likely to have carried on trans-Pacific
> trade than Polynesians.

I have not been talking of trade. Except for cowries -- which does not
have to be connected with S. America, necessarily. This could have come
precisely through the northern transpacific trade which you yourself
mentioned and which is basically coastal almost all the way to China.

> Given time, however, you will find that he will get back to the
> Olmecs-as-a-Chinese-Jade-mining-colony theory, never fear.

It is highly ironic you should mention this since we have no idea where
the Olmec jade mines may have been located in America. (Were you aware of
this, BTW?) For all we know, all the jade could have been coming by trade
from Asia...

> Oh, and Yuri -- I know that you have never made any of these claims,
> taken none of these positions,

I'm glad my critics are beginning to realize now just how very careful I
am about making claims. Now they are trying to find claims made ages ago
before I became more careful. Even then not much luck.

When going against the mainstream, I expect that each word I say will be
magnified under the microscope and dissected to provide ammunition against
me. I'm not complaining, I fully expect this, and have learned to live
with it, since this is the very nature of this game. Any respectable
critic of any mainstream "received dogma/faith" should expect this -- it's
certainly not only I who is dealt this sort of treatment. This treatment
is actually a compliment to my work, in a twisted sort of way...

So I'm not going to buckle down because of this, certainly not. There's
plenty more valid historical reserch to present... Establishing the
historical truth often demands personal sacrifices. That's the way it's
always been...



Yuri Kuchinsky in Toronto -=O=- [22]

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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