genetic facts [was: Ashby, botanical facts

Yuri Kuchinsky yuku at globalserve.net
Mon Oct 12 14:39:20 EST 1998


It seems to me like Peter Ashby's general ability to deal with issues in
science is suspect. In another discussion he demonstrated clearly once
again that he could not grasp the complex issues at stake in this debate.

At first I was not going to reply to this obfuscation-ridden opus of his
that features plenty of absurdities. But now it seems like I'll have to
after all... Because he really asked for it...

Peter Ashby (p-ashby at nimr.MAPS.mrc.ac.uk) wrote on Wed, 07 Oct 1998 18:19:43 +0000:
: In article <6vdl79$fdd$1 at whisper.globalserve.net>, yuku at globalserve.net
: (Yuri Kuchinsky) wrote:

	...

: Yuri, yet again, in order to use the absence of a genetic feature as
: evidence for relatedness between two geographically separate populations

Yes, this is what I'm doing.

: it is necessary to show that some thing operated which precludes at least
: one of the events being due to some (any) form of genetic drift. 

I accept that genetic drift is relevant. And yet this does not address the
question of likelihood of this being the cause of the phenomenon in
question -- of the lack of group B both among the Polynesians and among
Americans.

: See J.R.
: Pelmont's excellent post earlier today or yesterday for a detailed
: explanation of how easy it is to change blood groups by genetic drift.

You incompetence is very clear now. I have just reread Pelmont's post. In
his post he says NOTHING about the "ease" of such a change. OTOH, he
merely suggests a mechanism which _could be_ at work for such a change to
take place. In other words, Pelmont suggests that such a disappearance of
group B is possible, and outlines a mechanism for this. He says nothing
about it being "easy" or even probable in this case. His mechanism, as
outlined by him, was purely hypothetical, and he said nothing about it
being adequate to clarify our problem.

Understand now?

: How about on this one you admit defeat Yuri.

Get yourself a clue.

	...

: > : One study found a  very low level of a south american feature
: > : (2 in 1,780 IIRC) which supports some sort of contact between South
: > : America and polynesia. It does NOT support Heyerdahl's contentions.
: > 
: > And what about another study that supported Heyerdahl? Did you
: > conveniently forget?

: Yuri, that was the study you think supports Heyeredahl.

You're confused.

: Although if Thor
: is right you would expect a much higher level of south american features
: which we don't find.

We have plenty of evidence.

	...

[Ashby:]
: > : Yuri, what you have proposed is untestable as I have explained to you as
: > : blood groups do not survive in the fossil record.

: > This is questionable. I believe old mummies can be tested for blood groups
: > to some extent. You seem to be wrong about this.

: Belief is not evidence Yuri. References please for reliable blood group
: data from mummies.

No, Peter, this is not how science works. You've made an assertion that
blood group evidence does not survive in archaeological remains. I've
challenged you on this, because I believe you're wrong. So it is now up to
you to show why your assertion is correct. Good luck.

What's there for me to show? Your assertion seems nonsensical on the
surface of it. You mean like only new blood or tissue can be tested? Like
dried up blood or tissue from last year cannot be tested for blood group
identity? Where is your basic science?

	...

: > There's no problem with my understanding. OTOH there seem to be many
: > problems with both your competence and objectivity in this matter, and
: > with your obvious bias against Native Americans. Why didn't you reply when
: > I asked you to clarify your biased opinions about them?

: yuri, I hate to pull rank on you but I have very good credentials in this
: field

Credentials don't equal ability.

: and you apparently have no credentials in any field. So if you want
: to imply that I am incompetent in the field of DNA you had better be able
: to prove that your own is better. I am waiting, MISTER Kuchinsky.

I consider you an incompetent scientist, yes. I have your posts to prove
it.

: > : Am J Hum Genet 1996 Jul;59(1):253-258  
: > : Lack of ancient Polynesian-Amerindian contact.
: > : Bonatto SL, Redd AJ, Salzano FM, Stoneking M
: > 
: > Well, thank you. So how about this then, from the very same issue of Am J
: > Hum Genet?
: > 
: > Mitochondrial Myopia: Reply to Bonatto et al., R. L. Cann and J. K. Lum
: > 
: > So here you go, my poor confused friend. You've lost another one...

Above is the ref that you missed. And you had the cheek to claim that it
was not posted? You're one of the most incompetent scientists I've ever
come across, Peter. Sorry.

: Yuri, next time you go walking in usenet land, keep a better eye open for
: traps. You said that there was no mtDNA evidence which contradicts
: Heyerdahl. The reference I posted is just such evidence.

No, friend, this is not evidence. This is merely a ref. I along with Dr.
Cann do not consider this research as evidence that really contradicts
Heyerdahl.

: Your reaction to
: it is a classic example of the fact that you don't understand the nature
: of scientific evidence.

Yammer, yammer.

: I never claimed that it was conclusive proof. I
: never claimed that it was GOOD evidence, 

Thank you.

: The data I discuss earlier in
: this post contradicts it.

Not really.

: The point is that is evidence against heyerdahl,

Not really.

: that is however all it is. Maybe one day you will understand the
: difference between evidence and proof. 

Yammer, yammer.

: > Now, what is the real situation with all this latest mtDNA stuff? Actually
: > this evidence is entirely consistent with Heyerdahl, and supports him to a
: > significant extent.
: > 
: > Rebecca L. Cann and J.K. Lum are the scholars who are supporting
: > Polynesian -- American links recently based on DNA. They have studied the
: > DNA of living Pacific populations and compared their findings to the DNA
: > of native Americans. They found that several mitochondrial DNA lineages
: > occur both in the Pacific area and among Amerindians.
: > 
: > Bonatto et al. actually AGREE with Cann & Lum on this. So this is very
: > significant. 

: Yuri, I can make no judgement from this. References please. Title,
: Journal, date, volume, page number.

Duh!

How confused can anyone get? He sees refs above already, and he asks me
for refs? Do you really like to have egg on your face, Peter?

And also, I've already asked Peter to clarify some of the terribly
uninformed (and perhaps even arguably racist) things he said or implied
about Native Americans. Peter dismissed out of hand the navigational
abilities of Native Americans -- the abilities that are so amply attested
in the archaeological record. For some reason he declined to provide an
explanation...

: > And thus, your game is up, Peter. Certainly the latest DNA finding cannot
: > be seen as contradicting Heyerdahl. Supporting him is more like it. 

For those who missed the conclusion of my previous post to Peter, which
was a summary of my general view of this problem, here it is again in its
entirety as posted on 1998/10/06.

[quote]

Now, what is the real situation with all this latest mtDNA stuff? Actually
this evidence is entirely consistent with Heyerdahl, and supports him to a
significant extent.

Rebecca L. Cann and J.K. Lum are the scholars who are supporting
Polynesian -- American links recently based on DNA. They have studied the
DNA of living Pacific populations and compared their findings to the DNA
of native Americans. They found that several mitochondrial DNA lineages
occur both in the Pacific area and among Amerindians.

Bonatto et al. actually AGREE with Cann & Lum on this. So this is very
significant.

The disagreement between these two teams of researchers is on how to
interpret these findings. Bonatto sees these similarities as indicating
the retention of some very old lineages in both Polynesia and America,
attributing the similarities to some possible remote shared Asian origin.
OTOH Cann sees them as supporting direct pre-Columbian oceanic contact.

And thus, your game is up, Peter. Certainly the latest DNA finding cannot
be seen as contradicting Heyerdahl. Supporting him is more like it.

AT BEST (for you) these findings may be seen as inconclusive. And this is
exactly how I started this discussion a while back. My earlier
understanding of such DNA evidence was basically correct. If anything,
further research only made me see yet additional support these recent
findings are giving Heyerdahl.

That these recent genetic findings may be inconclusive is not a problem
for me at all. Because so much more SOLID evidence exists already to
validate Heyerdal's theories about Polynesian-American links in ancient
times. It is my view that it is only the deeply institutionalised
anti-Native American bias and even racism that are still preventing the
wider academic community from accepting these theories as valid.

Regards,

Yuri.

Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- [17]http://www.globalserve.net/~yuku

It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than
to put out on the troubled seas of thought -=O=- John K. Galbraith



More information about the Bioforum mailing list