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Re: Atawallpa was no chicken (An Apology to Richard)

In article <00002050+000007e5@msn.com> rfedrick@msn.com (Richard Fedrick) writes:
>it is not others who are simple-minded yuri, it is you. you are also 
>irritating, tedious, ill-informed and stubborn. why do we have to put 
>up with your endless ramblings in this newsgroup? you have expressed 
>some opinions on a range of subjects in which you are merely an 
>interested amateur - and your opinions have been reviewed, and mostly 
>uniformly rejected, by the bona fide experts who generously take the 
>time to contribute here. now is the time to desist gracefully, (a) to 
>avoid making a complete fool of yourself (but it's probably too late 
>for that now), and (b) to show some courtesy to the rest of us who 
>are getting pretty pissed off with your ceaseless drivel.
>most of us who listen in to this newsgroup are like you, just 
>interested amateurs. we come here to listen and learn from informed 
>experts, not to argue with them from a position of obstinate 
>ignorance. i notice from your web page that your real area of 
>interest (and possibly even expertise for all i know) is mythology - 
>why can't you just go and find (or found) a newsgroup called 
>something like alt.speculation.fairy_tales and leave the rest of us 
>in peace.

Richard, I think I owe you an apology as much as I think Yuri does 
since I've only fueled his fires by trying to respond to him.  The difficulty 
is that it seems that many people thing that the 'net is a good source of 
info on archaeology (I can't tell you how many students in classes I've 
taught in the past brought me information from off-the-wall web sites 
believing that they were actually getting some kind of decent info).  

I get the feeling that there are quite a few lurkers in this group who can 
easily be suckered into believing that the case for diffusion is extremely 
strong, and for some god-knows-what reason archaeologists are hiding 
"the truth." So I've responded to the theories that Yuri has brought up 
hoping to mitigate the damage I believe he is causing to the general public's 
understanding of archaeology and what it is archaeologists do.

To be fair to Yuri, at least most of his topics haven't been completely
off the wall (as has been shown most of these have been considered by
at least some respected archaeologists).  The same can't be said for some
of the other "theories" I've seen in this group.  Still I've tried to point
out to Yuri that the theories he cites have been considered by archaeologists
and other related specialists and generally have been found to be lacking
the kind of definitive proof which he seems so sure exists.  Note I'm not 
saying they've been proven false, as I've explained many times it is not
possible to falsify them completely.  All we can say is that most are either
unverifiable, lack the necessary data , and/or have such a paucity of 
supporting data that most professional archaeologists don't consider them 
to be likely options.

I'm going to try to track down some stuff re: the maize in India argument
in the coming days (or weeks if the library isn't open this week), but then
I think that's it for me and in-depth evaluations of ideas Yuri wants to bandy
about. I've lost too much valuable time on these tracking down original 
articles and building what I think are reasonable cases to refute his 
arguments, all he seems to do is then move on to the next chapter in Needham 
or Man Across the Sea.

I was at home this past week for a few days and had hoped to work up a 
summary of the culture history of the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico (similar to 
many of Paul P.'s excellent posts on various topics).  Like an idiot, however, 
I allowed to let myself get suckered into a mindless debate that degenerated
to an all-time low (IMO) when I was accused of being a racist (not that I 
didn't at times help out in the de-escalation process).  I hope to post this 
Oaxaca summary in the coming weeks and I hope it will be of interest to 
you and others.

So again, I apologize for fanning the flames and allowing myself to say
some rather immature things at times.  I'd like to be able to provide
more interesting material for people like yourself who actually understand
that archaeologists don't know everything (far from it) but that there are a
lot more interesting topics than trying to prove a couple of shipwrecked
sailors *might* have washed up on New World shores.

BTW Is there any topic which you are particularly interested in?  If so,
perhaps you could start up a thread with a request for info. I know
that the other archaeologists (and some well-informed amateurs) in this 
group would love to help out someone with a real interest in trying
to learn about the fascinating cultures of the New World.

Peter van Rossum

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