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Friday, January 21, 2005

Science Friday: The B.S. Theory

In The Academe, the following is considered a given --- from Brad DeLong:

quote: Index card: Question Roughly 15000 years ago about 1000 humans made it to the Americas across the Bering Land Bridge. An unstressed preindustrial human population (whether hunter-gatherer, herder, or settled agriculture) roughly doubles in a generation of 25 years. If the incipient Amerindian population had remained unstressed, how many American Indians would there have been 14000 years ago? Answer: 1000 years is 40 generations. 2^10 is about 1000. 2^40 = (2^10)^4 = 1000^4. Population would multiply a trillionfold--implying a quadrillion, a one followed by fifteen zeros, American Indians 14000 years ago.

If hunter-gatherers walk a mile a week, they could have covered the 8000 miles needed to cover the Americas in 160 years.

Thus in less than 500 years, we think, the Americas were settled--no longer a resource-rich frontier. Food was scarce, infant mortality ferocious, immune systems frequently compromised (but people--hunter-gatherers--still relatively tall). /end quote

While The Academe --- specifically American archaeologists --- debates the details of the migration across the Bering Strait, the theory has come to be known as The Bullshit Theory in many corners of the land.

There's actually fairly good evidence of human habitation in South America many thousands of years preceding the proposed migration. And, much as American anthropologists and archaeologists scorn the possibility of any kind of historical validity to mythologies and legends, there are also a number of intriguing tales of migration from the south --- not the north, the south --- and across the oceans from Polynesian islands and similar and elsewhere.

And there is actually some good evidence to support these tales and legends and myths. Especially the movement from the south, up from Meso-America and possibly even further. And I'm not talking about the Southwestern tribes. Archaeological, linguistic, ecological evidence. Which many American scholars don't like to talk about.

Which is one of the many, many, many reasons why I am no longer in The Academe.

But I like to see it bandied about anyway.

Someday, like everything else I'm going to talk about, I'm going to talk about this. Today, however, I have other things to do.

So I'll leave you with this, which contradicts the popular academic insistence that the Cherokee are Iroquoian and only Iroquoian and any claims to the contrary must be stamped out as quickly as possible:

quote: Upon the creation of the KEETOOWAH people, the Creator gave them mysterious powers and placed them in large settlement on an island located in the Atlantic Ocean. There were other tribes on the island which attacked the KEETOOWAH people, and the KEETOOWAHS were victorious. Another tribe watched the fierce fighting from a mountain top. The leader of the tribe watched the valley ascend toward the Heaven. The smoke divided into three paths midway in the ascension an eagle was seen holding three arrows in its claws. The leader asked his warriors if the smoke and eagle were visible to them and they replied they were. The tribal leader then told his warriors not to attack the KEETOOWAH people because they were the Creators people and they were very powerful. The tribe came down from the mountain and made friends with the KEETOOWAH people.

In later years, some of the medicine men of the tribe became selfish and used their powers to harm their own people. The Creator gave the powers to the medicine men to be used in the best interest of all the people. Other tribal members prayed to the Creator for direction and the Creator heard their prayers. The instruction was to move their fire away from the island and the medicine men. After the departure, the island sank into the ocean.

The people migrated north and settled in the southeastern part of what is now the United States.

[...]

The messenger revealed to them that a "white ball" would arrive from the east which would be an enemy to the people. The grandchildren of the KEETOOWAHS would point their feet to the west and great hardship would be placed upon them at the edge of the prairie. /end quote

End of post.

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