Subject:      Re: bananas again (as requested by Bernard)
From: (Yuri Kuchinsky)
Date:         1997/11/13
Message-ID:   <64fpgv$chv$>
Newsgroups:   sci.archaeology.mesoamerican,sci.archaeology

Bernard Ortiz de Montellano ([22] wrote on Wed, 12 Nov 199
7 17:11:23 -0400:

: 1. I also have Smole's article and there is nothing there.

This is Bernard's "balanced and objective" style for all to see...
Speaking about scholars and propagandists...

: Smole argues
: that the Yanomamo are reclusive and conservative and use plantains (never
: correctly identified botanically as *Musa balbisiana*) AND YURI SAYS THAT

False accusation. This is false accusation probably #5 from Bernard in the
last few days. Very "balanced and objective". Speaking about scholars and

: It proves nothing of the
: sort,  and Smoles is much more tentative in his claims as Peter quotes
: below. We know that *Musa sp* have been here since 1516, and there has
: been plenty of time for these plantains introduced into Brazil to have
: become a staple Yanomamo food.

Translation: "It could have happened, therefore it _did happen_, since
this is in accord with my faith."

: For example I'm sure that West Africans
: feel that manioc (Manihot esculenta) has been their staple food forever--
: but it was introduced by the Portuguese from the New World in the 15th
: century.

: 2. Smole's second point is that there are wild relatives of *Musa* and
: related families near the Yanomamo and that this somehow *proves* that
: *Musa balbisiana* was brought over before Columbus. In my previous post on
: this topic I proved that Smole is sadly deficient and outdated in botany
: a) some of these families were not Musacea; b) some of the families Smoles
: cited had no genera in the New World. For example from my previous post:
: "*Ravenala* [misspelled by Smoles]

This is just ridiculous. His name is not Smoles. Smole did not misspell
"Ravenala". Obviously, such carelessness results from Bernard's zeal to
find fault with Smole at all cost.

This is the second time Bernard harps on about _my_ simple typo. Such
pettiness is typical for Bernard. I even myself feel silly to lower myself
to Bernard's level here, and to even remark about this. But I'm tired of
groundless accusations. Bernard's balance and objectivity AND reliability
are very clear now.

: with one species only, *R.
: madagascariensis* J.F. Gmel, travellers tree in Madagascar [BOM not a good
: candidate for the Yanomamo];*Strelitzia* with five spp. in south Africa
: [BOM not a good candidate for the Yanomamo, either];.. Again this says
: nothing about pre-columbian contacts and is irrelevant to the question.

But Smole's point is not to prove precolumbian contact, of course. This is
_Bernard's_ obsessive idea.


: >     So even those that claim they had these plants said they were different
: >     from the Old World varieties they were familiar with.  This would suppo
: >     a natural evolution of Musa species from early times rather than human
: >     dispersal of the plants.

: All these "eyewitness" claims were dealt with and shown to be of doubtful
: probative value in my other posts.

This is not true. Bernard is blowing hot air. In fact, as it stands now,
the argument for precolumbian contact, which is my argument, stands mostly
on about 5 undoubtable and independent early historical witnesses
indicating that Musa was precolumbian in America. Bernard never refuted
these sources because he's not able to do it. As always, his isolationist
faith stands in the way of his evaluating the historical evidence
objectively. Instead of just dealing with reality as it is, he chooses
simply to claim "victory". This is very sad and a clear case of embracing
an illusion based on faith. In other words, a clear case of denial and

Of course this discussion is a little surreal. Bernard insists he
"demolished" my arguments, but somehow prefers to hide from direct
dialogue with me... Hmm...

What am I supposed to do? To ask forgiveness from His Highness for so
unthinkingly intruding and overturning a few Sacred Images in his
Isolationist China-Shop?

I have nothing to apologize for, and Bernard never actually gave a reason
for not answering my posts other than that I was presumably not
_respectful_ enough for his taste. Bernard complains about my supposed ad
hominems, but meanwhile he unleashed a whole slew of not only ad hominems,
but actual _false accusations_ at yours truly in the last few days.

If this is the best he can do, I do indeed prefer that he stays away from
my postings in the future.



Yuri Kuchinsky in Toronto -=O=- [23]

Comparative studies of primitive art have probably been
jeopardized by the zeal of investigators of cultural contacts and
borrowings. But let us state in no uncertain terms that these
studies have been jeopardized even more by intellectual pharisees
who prefer to deny obvious relationships because science does not
yet provide an adequate method for their interpretation
   -=-   Claude Levi-Strauss, ANTHROPOLOGIE STRUCTURALE, 1958

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