genetic facts [was: Ashby, botanical facts

Yuri Kuchinsky yuku at
Fri Oct 23 10:08:02 EST 1998

Duncan Craig (dunkers at wrote on Thu, 22 Oct 1998 17:30:03 -0700:

:   I have to agree. This from 'Civilization', the magazine of the Library of
: Congress (mar-april 1996).  The article is titled "Mapping the Past"
:  "Slowly but surely, researchers like Kolman are rewriting history. In the
: Pacific, scientists are tracing the genetic trail left by the ancient mariners
: who settled Polynesia, finding evidence of a journey that began in Southeast
: Asia nearly 4,000 years ago-

Fine by me. I see no problem with this.

: and sinking for good the widely publicized theories
: of Thor Heyerdahl, 

One more example of clued out journalists who have not done their basic
homework. If this nerd only bothered to read Heyerdahl, he would not be
spouting such nonsense. Because Heyerdahl _accepted_ the ultimate Asian
derivation of Polynesians. He only suggested that they first came from
Asia to America, following the currents and winds prevalent in the area.

: who sailed the balsa raft Kon Tiki from Peru to the Tuamotu
: Archipelago to "prove" that American Indians had settled the Pacific.

His trip alone certainly did not prove so much. But his scientific
research, that goes mostly unread, is a different matter.

: And, in
: disproving Heyerdahl,


: the geneticists have found evidence of the Polynesians'
: traditional sagas, which speak of their ancestors' frequent voyages between
: Hawaii and Tahiti in huge ocean-going canoes."

Non sequitur. Nobody opposes this.

:   So, while the genetic evidence against Heyerdahl is strong as to origins and
: directions of migrations, 


: the same evidence seems to support Heyerdahls
: estimation of the maritime abilities of ancient Polynesians. The next paragraph
: of the article is haunting.
:           "Archaeologists kept saying that it was impossible, that it was just a
: story people told," says Rebecca Cann, a geneticist at the University of Hawaii.
: "But by doing a very fine analysis of the DNA, we've seen that there is in fact
: one very common cosmopolitan lineage that's spread throughout the Pacific,
: [which] could only have happened if people were in constant physical contact.
: The idea that these islands were so isolated is really a foreign invention.  The
: Polynesians used the ocean as a superhighway."

This is what Heyerdahl has been saying for a long time.



Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=-

Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he 
will pick himself up and continue on -=O=- Churchill's Commentary on Man

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