Succumbing to the myths of science reduces archeology


“Dominating the past governs the future. Dominating the present governs the past.” George Orwell’s frequently quoted dictation has become a problem among adversaries in the field of archeology. Encapsulates the disputed terrain. On the one hand, there are scientists who support a tradition of indifferent research into the origin of our species. Meanwhile, academic executives are obsessed with the progressive theory of social justice and prioritize indigenous myths over evidence-based science.

The controversy over the 1996 discovery of the Kennewick Man, the skeleton of the ancient Indians 8,400 years ago in Washington, has brought public attention to the internal tensions of archeology. Native American activists sought to repatriate the Kennewicks as ancestors of tribes in the nearby modern Indian community before sending them to the Smithsonian Castle for proper research. They had no evidence of such a connection, but the Home Office was on their side. To prevent further investigation, the site was destroyed with 600 tonnes of rock and embankment. (Fortunately, after a lengthy legal debate, scientific research was accomplished and archived in a peer-reviewed 2014 volume.)

The controversy revealed a gap in attitudes that could not be bridged. Indigenous peoples in North America rely on “blood volume” for their identities and strongly adhere to their status as Native Americans. The unrelated discovered human bodies are inconsistent with their “ancient” creation myths. In addition, the discovery of extinct precursor tribes inevitably raises the question of how they disappeared.

One of the perfectly reasonable answers is that it has been wiped out by other tribes. However, such conclusions were accepted by the indigenous peoples as calm, supportive and wise people who were innocent of the brutal methods introduced by racist, imperialist white settlers. Next to “branding” is unpleasant.

Even the most recent historical records believe in such illusions, but that is what the ideolog wants to believe, and the truth is established in the circle of activists to belong to the oppressed, so indigenous peoples. It is one of the more brilliant beads in the catechism of rights.Progressive allies that sympathize with existentialism Indigenous people’s plightHas upheld their claim to ownership of human bodies in the land of their ancestors. And the guilty masses tend to be automatically generated before all indigenous claims.

At the 86th Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America (SAA) last April, archaeologist Elizabeth Weiss co-authored with lawyer / anthropologist James Springer, entitled “Creative Theory Creeped on Archeology.” When I gave a remote lecture, the internal tension came to my mind. ?? In essence, Weiss’s story puts the animistic creation myth of the indigenous oral tradition on an equal footing with scientific evidence such as the exciting revelations that are now emerging in the field of increasingly sophisticated paleogenetics. It was a warning to put it in.

The SAA audience may find them welcoming these advances in their field. Instead, activists tried to thwart Weiss’s story, and when it failed, they filled the chat bar with hostile accusations of “thinly obscured racism,” but race It never appeared in the presentation.

The SAA Queer Archeology Interest Group (speaking volume by name alone: ​​what is the need for such a subgroup of scientific organizations?) Tells Weiss and Springer “tremendous anger and pain among SAA members. He accused him of asking for “promoting.” An indigenous archaeologist at the University of Alberta declared that he was shocked by the presentation. “It was a very difficult experience to read the paper when your humanity and human rights were being questioned.” Another archaeologist described the paper as “a race with issues from white supremacism.” Discriminatory and anti-indigenous bull **** “. Not only was the video of the controversial talk not posted on the SAA site, but SAA refused to provide a copy to Weiss (Weiss and Springer). Re-recording.. )

The idealistic “right” approach to paleontological research was demonstrated at the 2019 Brown University conference. There, the panel presented new “best practices” in this area. At the beginning of the study, they may want to talk for their ancestors. But this raises the question of whether these relics are really their ancestors. Science says it isn’t. But scientists now agree that it’s better to pretend to prevent hurt emotions and ruin the indigenous brand of the Garden of Eden.

Anthropologist Bruce Burke fights for ownership of ancient DNA Recent Quillette articles, “Campaign to Block Paleobiotic Research on Indigenous Peoples in North America”, is well worth the time of readers interested in this topic.

Bourque describes a major project by a multinational team of paleogeneists led by Ana Duggan of McMaster University. They investigated the origin and disappearance of maritime paleontology, relying on mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) from skeletal relics found thousands of years ago in Newfoundland and Labrador. By examining the mitochondrial genome diversity and isotopic ratios of 74 ancient sites of the Penobscot and “Red Paint” people in New Fundland, along with archaeological records, Bourque states: ..[t]On the northeastern edge of his North America, he did not share a common ancestor these days, but seems to have been inhabited many times by groups much deeper in time at the entrance to the continent. “

Penobscot stakeholders were dissatisfied with this counterargument to their inherited allegations of kinship with the “Red Paint” people. According to Duggan, her team feels bound by “research standards and ethics suitable for the 21st century” and “discusses and agrees” with the indigenous community before publishing “another ancient genome.” Was required, so the publication of the survey results was delayed. According to Bourque, Duggan’s lab was “suddenly darkened” on this issue.

Both these scenarios and the fascinating third example of the decline of archeology-to population growth by the artificial geneticist Lluis Quintana-Murci of the French University and the Pasteur Institute and the Etienne Patin of the Pasteur Institute. New research on connected migrations in Micronesia and Polynesia Lighting supplies The November issue of The New Criterion by Peter Wood, President of the National Association of Scholars. Although this study was a “great achievement of genetic research,” it aroused anger from indigenous allies because it did not include the members of the indigenous community who contributed the DNA to the study as “authors.” But today’s indigenous Hawaiians have nothing to do with the 7,000-year-old ruins under investigation.

All three examples show “the power of the subcommittee to mobilize public sentiment for scientific research.” Wood’s article is ominously entitled “Archaeological Burial.” He concludes, “We betray the pursuit of truth because of our intellectual frivolity and count ourselves wisely in our stupidity.” Just so.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Barbara Kay


Barbara Kay has been a regular columnist for the National Post since 2003, a senior columnist for the Western Standard, and has contributed to other publications. Her latest writing project is co-authored with Linda Blade in the book “Unsporting: How Trans Activism and Science Denial is Destroying Sport.”