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Re: maize in ancient india: strong transpacific links are indicated

In article <5a1ahd$c9e@news1.io.org> yuku@io.org (Yuri Kuchinsky) writes:
>These fellows don't even wait until the whole argument is presented. Why
>bother to look at the evidence when you can already begin to demonstrate
>your amazing sense of humour? They don't have their usual excuses now
>about the evidence being incomplete, unverified, unscientific, etc. This
>is solid peer-reviewed stuff that I'm presenting... 

Hey Yuri, don't forget I provided you with a solid, peer reviewed ref.
by Payak that refutes the article you cite.  How about you read that?
I would have given you quotes from it but I won't have access to
the material till next week sometime.  Suffice it to say however, not
everyone is in agreement that the maize identification is solid.

>I have followed the maize, and other likely plants, diffusion discussions
>for a while. I cannot think of any evidence that is stronger than
>Johannessen's in demonstrating transpacific contacts. This is definitely
>the "smoking gun". It is so, because, and I guarantee you that, if you
>ask 10 "men in the street" to look at these photos and to identify these
>plants, 10 of them -- without any doubt -- will say, This is maize. And
>this is good enough for me.

Here's a question for you.  Don't you think an actual Precolumbian
maize corn cob would be "evidence that is stronger than Johannessen's"?
I certainly do and that's a major reason why I don't buy into his 
"identification" - no one has reported such a find.  Just like your
chicken example, where the evidence would be most compelling for
the hypothesis it doesn't exist.

>I don't doubt for a second that counter-arguments can be made. I also
>don't doubt that counter-arguments _will be made_, since this matter is
>of extreme importance in defending strong vested interests for many
>scholars. Doubt will be cast upon thousands upon thousands of academic
>careers if this evidence is accepted as valid, and the necessary
>conclusions are drawn.

Please explain to me how it would affect my career if definite evidence
of New/Old World contacts could be found?  I (and every other 
archaeologist I know) have made it a point to maintain that such 
contacts were possible but the majority of us have not seen solid
evidence to demonstrate that such contact did occur.  But I guess
its better to ignore that since it makes it easier for you to claim
we're a bunch of liars covering up the truth to protect some nonexistant

>But can _good counter-arguments_ be made? This is the question. I would
>really like to see them. So far, none came up in these frequently
>vitriolic hasty replies that already arrived to my yesterday's post. Oh,
>yes, definitely, we will see much more of the same... 

IMO opinion good counter arguments can and have been made.  Please see
the articles cited by myself and Thomas Burglin.

>The fear and trembling among isolationists is palpable now. They will
>spare no innuendo, no cheap sarcasm, ad hominems, ex silentio arguments,
>no demands for "more proof". But I think they can smell the defeat in the
>air... I can discern more than a whiff of desperation in their formulaic
>and ritualistic denials. In the replies to my first posting you will see
>the names of stout defenders of the status quo. They are the valiant
>Knights Defenders of the threatened dogma, seeking strength in numbers,
>dressed in cardboard armour and suited for a good food fight, and they
>ride out on their toy horses to wage battle to defend the great Sand
>Castle of Isolationism, reinforced with cardboard-and-styrofoam. 

Very amusing stuff.  Again thanks for the comic diversion into fantasy-land
By the way the fact of the matter is that if New/Old World contacts could
be conclusively demonstrated I'd still be looking forward to a long future
in archaeology.  If such contacts could be conclusively demonstrated not
to have occured, you'd have nothing to contribute to archaeology (not
that you have contributed anything yet anyway).  So who's the one with
the vested interest here?

Peter van Rossum