ancient corn

bortiz at bortiz at
Thu Jun 12 15:41:15 EST 1997

In article <5np69r$m9r$1 at>,
  yuku at (Yuri Kuchinsky) wrote:
> Bernard,
> This is the second part of my reply to your long article. I hope you
> enjoyed the previous installment. Now I will continue where I left off
> before.
> To reiterate, the problem with this is that your information is outdated.
> : Recent reviews of New
> : World diffusionist controversies (Fingerhut 1994; Fritze 1993) offer
> : little in this area after the 1970’s.
> Thanks for pointing out here that Fingerhut and Fritze also have not done
> their homework, or else are too biased to see any way out of their
> American Isolationist impasse where they seem so comfortable. I believe
> that the meaning of scholarship is to consider _all of the evidence_
> objectively. True scholarship cannot consist of reading only among the
> writings of one's own co-religionists and fellow believers. This is not
> scholarship but pseudo-science, I'm sorry to say.
> : Mainstream texts on the origins of
> : agriculture (Cowan and Watson 1992; Harris 1996; Shaw, Sinclair, Andah,
> : and Okpoko 1993; Zohary and Hopf 1993) ignore the matter completely."
> : [BOM I am speaking particularly about claims of plants in the New World
> : from other places, although this also holds for other plant diffusion
> : claims in the rest of the world]
> How nice of you to offer here such a clear indication of the inadequacies
> of the current mainstream dogma. Let us hope that these people will wake
> up one day and smell the coffee.
> [snip]
> I'm aware of studies that suggest precolumbian diffusion of perhaps 20 or
> more agricultural plants. The degree of certainty and/or reliability
> varies. Nevertheless, these studies should not be swept under the rug.
> Now, Bernard, you have also offered some rather sharp comments about the
> quote I posted from D. Kelley dealing with bananas and yams in S. America.
> : 2) You cite this as a *recent* publication after chiding the age of my
> : references, BUT this is misleading. Kelley has NO RECENT REFERENCES ABOUT
> : YAMS OR BANANAS he just cites Van Sertima (1976)
> Is it your opinion that bananas and yams were not grown in America before
> Columbus? Are you sure you're right about this?
> Yours truly,
> Yuri.

I'm going to be gone for a week so that dealing at lenght with claims
will be postponed. But for now:

Fellow list members you can see that Yuri's response to my citation of a
variety of serious sources is to repeat a mantra of "everyone but me is
ignorant, or outdated, or a knave, or is part of the great archaeological
conspiracy, etc." There is no way to ever settle a question if rather
than presenting credible opposite evidence one resorts to rethorical

It is also interesting that when I caught Yuri chiding me for ignoring a
recent reference (Kelley 1995) when in fact the only source for Kelley's
(and Yuri's) clam of pre-columbian bananas was not 1995, 1976, 1921, but
really 1880, his response instead of an apology was a demand that I prove
that bananas were not grown here before Columbus. Yuri, you have it
wrong. It is up to people like you or Van Sertima who make claims to
prove them. Furthemore, extraordinary claims require extraordinary
evidence-- not the weak reads or hypothetical chains diffusionists rely

So long.

Bernard Ortiz de Montellano

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