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Re: maize in Europe and India: a twisted tale

In article <5a554e$nk3@news1.io.org> yuku@io.org (Yuri Kuchinsky) writes:
>BTW, and who is making these cross-posts now? I have reduced the
>follow-ups on my original post specifically because some people
>(including you!) complained about cross-posting. Perhaps it is your lack
>of familiarity with elementary logic that makes you constantly contradict
>yourself? Well, the cure is on its way -- just read the following this

I'm starting with this first, because it is a completely baseless
accusation on your part.  YOU STARTED THIS "maize in Europe and India:
1. sci.archaeology
2. sci.archaeology.mesoamerican
3. bionet.general
4. sci.anthropology
5. sci.bio.misc
6. sci.agriculture
7. sci.bio.botany

I followed up and neglected to edit the newsgroups line, but it obviously
about you apologize for this one?

>Peter van Rossum (pmv100@psu.edu) wrote:
>: For sure Yuri.  And to cover up their tracks the sneaky Eurocentrics
>: gathered up every corn cob which ever existed in the Old World and
>: sent them on a boat back to the New World so that future archaeologists
>: would never be able to uncover their incredible deceit.  But they
>: didn't count on the pluckiness of a single adventurer who would hail
>: from the far away (in both time and space) land of Toronto.
Yuri wrote:
>Well, since Peter never tires of repeating his one big trump card: the
>argumentum ex silentio, a common logical fallacy, obviously he hasn't yet
>read the file that is available on the Internet, and that I posted
>especially for him a while back. Here you go again, Peter. It's never too
>late to learn new things... 
[Yuri's internet "lesson" of something every archaeologist knows deleted.]

Um, again Yuri I explained this exact point to you: 1. when you claimed
that Old/New World contacts should be the default working hypothesis,
2. with regard to the Pompeii "pineapple"/pomegranite, and most recently
3. when you claimed the Prehispanic South American chicken was an 
easily falsifiable hypothesis. So obviously I am well aware of it.  

It is true that the absence of evidence is not necessarily the evidence 
of absence (I've heard that phrase umpteen times since my undergrad days) 
but when an hypothesis is lacking the evidence which would best support 
it then we should be cautious of the accuracy of that hypothesis. 

But the fact is that you claim that these Indian sculptures are definitely, 
for sure, without a doubt, representations of corn cobs.  It has been 
pointed out to you that others offer different interpretations of what 
these objects represent.  Therefore, it seems to be the identification is 
equivocal.  Given that the sculptures do not stand alone as good proof of 
contact.  Also given that others have explained the historical references 
to early maize as being references to sorghum, that too does not constitute 
proof of contact.

The fact is that no one has reported Precolumbian corn cobs in Old World
contexts even though they are extremely durable (for plant remains),
extremely easy to identify, and should be very widespread if they made 
up any significant portion of a people's diet.  This should give us pause 
for concern that the identification is not correct.

Now you have gone from two dubious pieces of evidence and from there lept
to a tentative hypothesis that Europeans of the 15th & 16th centuries
were engaged in some massive coverup to deny previous contacts by
Asians.  Do you really think logical people should take this seriously?
But then conspiracy theories are all the rage nowadays, they're a hell
of a lot more fun than reasonable explanations.

Peter van Rossum

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