Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Gerard Harbison, who comments here from time to time, has a couple of posts on his blog about a holocaust denier being jailed in Germany and the religious right coming to his defense in this country (it should perhaps be noted that I would also come to his defense; I think laws against holocaust denial are outrageous and oppressive). More importantly, he points to this post by Dembski using this as evidence that Europe will soon begin imprisoning ID advocates. I’ll take paranoid nonsense for $1000, Alex. No, skip that. I’ll take convenient and dishonest claims of persecution to support one’s political agenda for $1000, Alex.

Comments

  1. #1 dogmeatib
    June 28, 2007

    Ed,

    I think you have to take Germany’s history in to account before you transfer our ideas of free speech onto their legal system. For us in the United States it’s a horrible piece of history, for them it is a horrible part of history that we did. The historical element of it is quite significant, look at Native American history here in the United States. Few Americans realize the depths to which colonists and early Americans were willing to stoop for the “free lands.” The scope of the American Holocaust is drastically minimized. Numbers are reduced by at least a factor of 10 and in some cases one of 100. The average American (who generally doesn’t know their own history worth a damn) has no idea what slaughters were perpetrated in their name.

    I think one could argue, quite accurately, that being able to publish what one wanted regarding American history made it much easier to minimize the impact of conquest and colonization. Reduce the numbers by a factor of ten, blame diseases rather than Indian hunts, early slavery practices, teaching native peoples a lesson (lopping off hands and feet), using biological warfare, launching military campaigns to obtain specimens for museums, etc. Eventually the reports of early ethnographers, explorers, trappers, etc., stating that they found entire villages with hundreds of bodies were dismissed. They “overestimated, exaggerated,” etc.

    Today you have people who argue that the Holocaust didn’t happen, or actually worse, that it was only a few thousand or even a few hundred people. The danger there is that the denier seems like a loon, but the person who argues that the horrified allies overestimated the losses can seem reasonable. Before too long 12 million becomes a few hundred thousand. Then just a footnote in the march of history. No, it’s not likely to happen in a world much more aware of what’s going on around them (but still intentionally blind so often). But it is a reasonable fear that the European Holocaust could be minimized, forgotten. Armenia happened in the 20th century, few people know what really happened there. Even fewer know the true scope of the “Middle Passage,” and fewer still know of the “American Holocaust.”

    Again, I’m not saying I necessarily agree with the law, but I can understand their reasoning.

  2. #2 bwv
    June 28, 2007

    But the 90% population decline was largely a product of disease. In most cases it occurred before the expanding European population even came into contact with the Indian population. The recent book 1491 does a good job of summarizing the recent research on this topic.

  3. #3 dogmeatib
    June 28, 2007

    bmv,

    That scenario is by no means a consensus opinion. There is also evidence that Native Americans enjoy longer, healthier lives because they lacked the diseases of Europe. And really, that’s precisely my point. Let’s ignore Columbus’ own journals and log. Ignore the other conquistador’s statements, really disease killed them. In fact, now the claim is that disease killed them before the Europeans even arrived.

  4. #4 Eamon Knight
    June 28, 2007

    That scenario is by no means a consensus opinion.
    Which scenario? The claim as I’ve heard it (which in no way denies the occurrence of direct atrocities starting with the conquistadors) is that European diseases such as smallpox, starting from the areas of initial contact, were transmitted via trade routes and/or refugees, and spread through the vulnerable indigenous populations well ahead of the advancing front of colonization. By the time Europeans reached, say, the North American interior, the native societies had already been decimated.

    Or are we talking about something different?

  5. #5 Michael Fitzgarrett
    June 28, 2007

    Dogmeat, Your history has a very Europhobic PC bias. You would have us believe a made up fantasy of peaceful, human rights respecting Indians. What nonsense. Apparently you’re unaware that the Indians wiped out Kennewick man the original Caucasian inhabitants of America. We could also mention the 50,000 human sacrifices per year by the Aztecs before Columbus arrived.

  6. #6 Brian Thompson
    June 28, 2007

    dogmeatib,

    I haven’t quite heard that claim. It would be pretty hard for european diseases to kill the native americans before the arrival of the europeans. I think what bmv is trying to point out is that after the initial contact with europeans, the native american population went in a steep decline as the disease spread throughout the americas. By the time the european settlers advanced inland (particularly in North America), most of the indians living there had already been wiped out several years before.

    There is a fair amount of evidence from colonists’ diaries and archeology that suggests this scenario. That’s not to say that you’re not accurate in your assessment that the colonists did horrible things. Giving out syphillis-laden blankets and slughtering those who resisted ‘manifest destiny’ is an unfortunate, regretable part of our past. Not to mention slavery (both native american and african), false treaties, and general inhumane treatment of all non-europeans, even during the last century. I’m not advocating that we forget that it happened, but jailing dissenters is not the appropriate path.

  7. #7 Alison
    June 28, 2007

    Now, now. . .I never read the diaries of Columbus, but I was a Spanish major many, many years ago, and remember the journals of many of the Conquistadores. They were pretty open and honest about what they did to the Mexican Indians. Of course, they didn’t feel much responsibility, even when they were direct causes of so much death and destruction, because after all, they weren’t really people, just amusing little animals. It was pretty awful to read.

    As to the UD article and comments – it has ceased to amaze me how purposely uninformed these people are, and how clumsily adept they have become at turning everything into an attack against truth, justice, and the fundamentalist christian way. I doubt that they will ever understand that “Darwinism” isn’t an “ideology”; that their belief in myths isn’t threatened by a different belief in myths, but by a science that doesn’t deal in philosophy or morality. That their belief is not threatened by a different way of speculation, but by observable facts and repeatable, reliable results.

  8. #8 BobApril
    June 28, 2007

    Alison, that was damned well said. I’ve been groping for a way to express the difference between creationism and evolution for awhile – consider your last paragraph shamelessly stolen.

  9. #9 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    June 28, 2007

    ditto

  10. #10 Dave S.
    June 28, 2007

    Alison says:

    Now, now. . .I never read the diaries of Columbus, but I was a Spanish major many, many years ago, and remember the journals of many of the Conquistadores. They were pretty open and honest about what they did to the Mexican Indians. Of course, they didn’t feel much responsibility, even when they were direct causes of so much death and destruction, because after all, they weren’t really people, just amusing little animals. It was pretty awful to read.

    I saw a show on PBS the other day about Pizzaro’s conquest of Peru. Apparently, a group of bodies was found that dated from an uprising in Lima, and although some of the bodies showed signs of Spanish steel and horses (including one chap with a bullet hole in his skull), most showed signs of having been killed by Incan weapons. This indicated that the Spanish chronicles of the time underplayed, perhaps wildly so, the role of their indian allies in these conquests.

  11. #11 Raging Bee
    June 28, 2007

    Isn’t corrupting minors, or “contributing to the delinquency of a minor,” a crime in Europe as it is here? If so, a lot of IDers — at least those who try to teach their religion to other kids disguised as “science” — could be jailed on such charges, without having to write any new laws, right along with drug-dealers and pornographers who turn their efforts to minors.

  12. #12 Coin
    June 28, 2007

    I think you have to take Germany’s history in to account before you transfer our ideas of free speech onto their legal system.

    Regardless of whether or not one finds the limitations on holocaust denial in Germany rightful or reasonable, though, I think it can be agreed that something is deeply wrong or confused in the head of any creationist who views these laws as a threat to them. No?

  13. #13 David Heddle
    June 28, 2007

    Rging Bee,

    Isn’t corrupting minors, or “contributing to the delinquency of a minor,” a crime in Europe as it is here? If so, a lot of IDers — at least those who try to teach their religion to other kids disguised as “science” — could be jailed on such charges, without having to write any new laws, right along with drug-dealers and pornographers who turn their efforts to minors.

    I hope that was in jest.

  14. #14 GH
    June 28, 2007

    I hope that was in jest.

    This is a fairly well argued topic here. I think people have freedom to say what they think. However I don’t see a huge difference in parents who teach their kids about hell and demons as opposed to those who are criticized for showing children R rated movies. In fact I find the former worse if it is culturally reinforced every weekend by the adults in their life.

    Likewise when creationist/ID people teach such falsehoods what are they really doing other than manipulating a childs brain with false information and dogma?

    What else can one call this other than misguided? abuse? neglect?

    It’s obviously intentional, and it’s equally obviously wrong both in fact and in practice.

  15. #15 Raging Bee
    June 28, 2007

    Actually, it wasn’t. If the drug-dealer and pornographer comparisons strike you as a bit harsh, think instead of Nazis, flat-Earthers, and other wackos who refuse to give their kids the education mandated by law; or who fill their kids’ heads with such falsehoods that they “grow up” unable to hold their own in a modern society. Think, also, of Palestinian parents who teach their kids that it’s a good and godly thing to strap explosives to yourself and blow up a bus with more kids in it? Would you not consider such systematic dishonesty, perpetrated on defenseless kids, a form of abuse, neglect, and/or endangerment?

  16. #16 Ed Brayton
    June 28, 2007

    You people are out of your minds if you want the government to decide what parents can and can’t teach their kids about religion. Remember that just 3 years ago the Senate passed a resolution unanimously condemning a judge’s ruling that “under God” in the pledge of allegiance was unconstitutional. The house passed the same resolution 416-3. You want the government to pass laws on what parents can teach their children about religion? You’ll be the first ones jailed, I guarantee it.

  17. #17 Alison
    June 28, 2007

    The Mexican Indians were smarter than the Spanish gave them credit for. Many of them “voluntarily” entered into servitude because they realized that their lot as sycophants would be much better than as slaves. (Judging by the recollections of some of the Spanish, certain of them were particularly good sycophants, well-practiced in the art of brown-nosing!) However, they still ended up at the bottom of the food chain, even after they’d done the loyal puppydog thing. After killing their brethren, they were never rewarded as they were told they were going to be.

    I don’t know how this history is taught in Mexico, since I got only the European side of the story (it was early Spanish literature – we didn’t read anything from Mexico much before the 19th century). It sounds, though, that regardless of who was “discovered” and which European country “discovered” them, the story went pretty much the same way.

    If their story has been sanitized in history classes the same way as so many others, it’s undboutedly because of the combination of the one-sided record of the events, and the passage of time that allowed that version to make it as fact in the history books. The intention of the German law is good – to insure that the Holocaust doesn’t get watered down or candy coated and thereby more likely to happen again. I don’t think it’s right, though, or that it actually works. Preventing historical revisionism won’t stop a vile but common human behavior, that of considering your type of people as superior to another type of people and using power and influence to subjugate or kill those people. The idea is that by punishing it, a kind of revulsion for that attitude or behavior will be developed – but it has the exact opposite effect on the people who sympathize with the punishee (witness the UD backlash!) IMO, much better to simply make the revisionists subject to plenty of publicity that exposes them for the foul creatures they really are. After all, if he’s in jail, he’s a “martyr”, but if he’s ridiculed, he’s just a moron.

    (BTW, thanks Bob and Rev. BDC. . .)

  18. #18 BobApril
    June 28, 2007

    I don’t see the Bee’s suggestion as a jest. I think that most people would agree that teaching children false and anti-social beliefs is a Bad Thing(tm). As far as I know, it is not generally considered to be a crime – for instance, Klan members and neo-Nazis are still allowed to pass on their poisonous beliefs to their young. But I can certainly see some good sense in criminalizing it.
    That being said, it’s too risky. TPTB could easily alter the definition of “false and anti-social beliefs” to include, for example, atheism. I would not care to place bets on the outcome at a jury trial, either. Safer to keep trying to educate them through reason, rather than coercion, even in a good cause.

  19. #19 David Heddle
    June 28, 2007

    RB and GH,

    Who gets to draw the line? Many physicists believe that String Theory is not science in that it (arguably) makes no connection to experiment. Multiverse theories in general make no connection with experiement and so, at some would argue, are not science. Would teaching those as science constitute corrupting minors and result in jail time?

    Do you really want to go on record as equating the teaching of ID to drug trafficking, Nazism, pornography, and teaching your kids the joys of blowing themselves to kill civilians?

    Go ahead, that will go far in the PR battle. You could not give the folks at UD a softer lob.

    Madness.

  20. #20 dogmeatib
    June 28, 2007

    Dogmeat, [snip] You would have us believe a made up fantasy of peaceful, human rights respecting Indians. What nonsense.

    Actually I never said anything of the sort. It is interesting that you would made such a broad sweeping claim based on a statement regarding the analysis of pre-Columbian human remains. The remains showed evidence that Native Americans proportionally lived longer than Europeans in that same general time period. A large amount of this can be explained by the fact that they lacked the many childhood illnesses that killed millions of Europeans prior to vaccines. Politically they had their own conflicts just like Europe, Asia, and Africa, including bloodshed and war.

    Apparently you’re unaware that the Indians wiped out Kennewick man the original Caucasian inhabitants of America.

    ROFL, Kennewick man’s ethnicity is still in debate. Also claiming that Caucasians were the original inhabitants of America, especially based on a single individual, is truly laughable. Next you’re going to tell me that the lost tribes of Israel were here first too, right?

    We could also mention the 50,000 human sacrifices per year by the Aztecs before Columbus arrived.

    So the fact that some native peoples practiced human sacrifice means that a genocidal European campaign was justified? Also, the sacrifice numbers for the Aztecs have been the subject of debate as well.

    Of course Europeans would never do such a thing … it wasn’t as if they had 150 people burned alive at the stake for witchcraft or anything…

    You sound more like an apologist than I sound like a Europhobe.

    Brian:

    My response was actually a combination of bmv’s disease claim and the claim that native cultures were already in a massive decline prior to Columbus. These separate claims have been blurred somewhat. Yes, the basic argument that disease spread prior to the arrival of Europeans (post 1492) disrupting local cultures is true, there is ample evidence of that. In fact the Pilgims specifically selected an area that a ship reported deserted just a year or so prior to their voyage. My point is that the impact of disease combined with claims that native populations weren’t as high as reported by early trappers and ethnographers were used as arguments that the conquest of the Americas “wasn’t that bad.” Alison’s comment regarding the Conquistadors’ attitudes regarding the native peoples is quite correct. It took the church 20 years to decide that Native Americans were human and had souls. Prior to that time just about anything done to them was okay. Caribbean groups were exterminated. Columbus instituted policies that were horribly brutal and his successors continued those policies.

    Dave:

    The assistance provided by other native groups is actually well documented. Cortez wouldn’t have defeated the Aztecs without the Tlaxcala. Pizzaro wouldn’t have had a chance if he hadn’t arrived right at the end of a civil war. The English at Jamestown and Plymouth, Huron against Iroquois, Pawnee against Lakota. One of the greatest weaknesses of the Native Americans was their inability to put aside existing conflicts to deal with European invaders. The few times they did, Tecumseh, Black Hawk, etc., the Europeans made certain to eliminate those leaders as soon as possible.

    My point is simple. The Germans have their holocaust denial laws in place because, 60 years ago, their people were responsible for millions of deaths. They, as a people, have decided not to allow people to deny that it happened. I mentioned the Holocaust in the Americas because, in a sense, today’s history of the events are the result of what the German’s fear. 500 years ago Europeans began the conquest of the Americas. They utilized the most horrendous tactics to facilitate this conquest and justified it because the victims were subhumans deserving little or no remorse. In some cases they specifically set about erasing the victims’ culture from the face of the Earth, destroying their literature, society, beliefs, etc. They enslaved the survivors, putting them in camps where they were forced to work in horrible conditions, silver mines with their mercury poisoning, brutal instant death for little reason, disease, starvation rations, and in extreme cases, no rations. This holocaust took longer, these Europeans weren’t quite as advanced as the Nazis, didn’t have their technology or discipline, but they were methodical. The records kept weren’t quite as good, and eventually when the victims were declared human after all, there was an effort to cover up some of the scope of the atrocities committed.

    Today most people have little concept of what actually happened. Outside of the Aztecs, who according to Michael deserved it, and the Inca, most Americans would be hard pressed to tell you anything of substance about any of the other cultures. The Americas were mostly empty as far as most people are concerned, and those people who were here died of disease … tsk tsk, what a shame. Most people would be wrong. This misconception and ignorance is precisely what the Germans are trying to avoid.

  21. #21 dogmeatib
    June 28, 2007

    This statement was clipped off by accident:

    Of course Europeans would never do such a thing … it wasn’t as if they had 150 people burned alive at the stake on a single afternoon for witchcraft or anything…

  22. #22 GH
    June 28, 2007

    You people are out of your minds if you want the government to decide what parents can and can’t teach their kids about religion.

    Don’t misunderstand my stance as I think you did. I’m asking whats the difference and why should it be different? There is no logical reason for it to be so. We have rating systems for movies that might show a breast but nothing to prevent a preacher from teaching a 5 year old about demons and hell.

    Just doesn’t seem a good reason for it to be so.

    Many physicists believe that String Theory is not science in that it (arguably) makes no connection to experiment. Multiverse theories in general make no connection with experiement and so, at some would argue, are not science. Would teaching those as science constitute corrupting minors and result in jail time?

    This is a horrible analogy. No one who think string theory has merit is out there teaching it as a dogmatic angle that undercuts science in the nations classrooms. Nor does acceptance or rejection of this theory cause one potential pyschological harm.

    Do you really want to go on record as equating the teaching of ID to drug trafficking, Nazism, pornography, and teaching your kids the joys of blowing themselves to kill civilians?

    This is another bad analogy. Drug trafficking has real world consequences based on the actions of the user. No one says it’s a positive- although majijuana hascertainly been demonized unnecessarily. Nazism= dogmatic thought. Pornography? Frankly I don’t see it as the evil many do. It’s naked people having sex. Get over it.

    If any or all of them target children with false ideas then ID/creationsim is a bedfellow. A different sort but of the same tree.

    Go ahead, that will go far in the PR battle. You could not give the folks at UD a softer lob.

    Yeah, they are doing so well. But again no one compared the list you tossed to ID. Only you did that. I simply said ID implants piss poor ideas in peoples minds and goes after the young. I can’t fathom how that is even defensible to a rational person who cares for children. Fight it out with evidence among science before going to the kids. The fact that this isn’t done speaks of the real merit of ID.

    Madness.

    Thy name is ID/creationsim.

  23. #23 chaos_engineer
    June 28, 2007

    If their story has been sanitized in history classes the same way as so many others, it’s undboutedly because of the combination of the one-sided record of the events, and the passage of time that allowed that version to make it as fact in the history books. The intention of the German law is good – to insure that the Holocaust doesn’t get watered down or candy coated and thereby more likely to happen again.

    I think there are two different issues here. As far as Holocaust Denial goes, “Good speech is the appropriate response to bad speech.” If Holocaust Deniers are forced underground, then they’ll just be passing around their bogus arguments in secret. It’s better to encourage them to go public with their bogus arguments so that they can be publicly exposed as liars and idiots.

    As to American genocide…personally I’ve never seen anyone presenting a positive argument that the Indians weren’t exterminated, and I’ve only seen a handful of people saying that slaves were well-treated. Most of what I hear is along the lines of: “Americans are the ‘good guys’, so whatever we did must not have been all that bad. Besides, it was a long time ago so it’s not relevant and we don’t need to think about it.”

    So the problem isn’t with deniers; it’s with ignorance and apathy. The solution isn’t to silence the deniers, it’s to educate the people who don’t think about the issue. (Only that’s politically difficult and I’m not sure how to get around it.)

  24. #24 bwv
    June 28, 2007

    While I basically agree with the factual case Dogmeat provides, I disagree with the holocaust analogy. No living person lost a family member from the European conquest of the Americas. It is past the historical guilt statute of limitations. You might as well scold Mongolians for not properly appreciating about the holocaust caused by Jenghiz Khan.

  25. #25 dogmeatib
    June 28, 2007

    bwv,

    I would disagree with your last statement. Because the descendants of the conquest of the Americas are still living as second class citizens in most of the countries conquered, with sky high levels of poverty, drug and alcohol addiction, political disenfranchisement, legal and property disenfranchisement, I believe that the statute of limitations is still valid.

  26. #26 Michael Fitzgarrett
    June 28, 2007

    Answers to dogmeat

    “The remains showed evidence that Native Americans proportionally lived longer than Europeans in that same general time period.”

    Please give me the source of this claim. Instead of just spouting off.

    “Politically they had their own conflicts just like Europe, Asia, and Africa, including bloodshed and war.”

    Natives were worse. From the Declaration of Independence written by people, unlike you, who actually lived among Indians “he [King George] has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

    “ROFL, Kennewick man’s ethnicity is still in debate.”

    His ethnicity is not a matter of debate. There was even a reconstruction of what Kennewick man looked like on a few documentaries. He was clearly Caucasian.

    “Also claiming that Caucasians were the original inhabitants of America, especially based on a single individual, is truly laughable.”

    It was so laughable that your side went to court to have the remains buried whithout scientific study. Apparently, some vested interests were very worried.

    There’s a lot more evidence than “one single individual.” For instance, the DNA haplogroup X marker is found in a minority of American Indians and Europeans, but is not found in Asians.

    “So the fact that some native peoples practiced human sacrifice means that a genocidal European campaign was justified?”

    No, you have it all backwards. It’s you who is trying to defend crimes and attrocities committed by natives. Like most of the multiculti Europhobes, you want us to learn every bad done by whites, while every bad done by non-whites is swept under the rug or as you tryed to do to Kennewick man, buried under lots of dirt.

    “Also, the sacrifice numbers for the Aztecs have been the subject of debate as well.”

    You’re an ideologue who won’t except anything that challenges your evil white man theory.

    When historians claim Natives killed X amount of people, had X amount of wars, or committed X types of attrocities, you tell us it’s subject to debate, didn’t happen at all, or is overestimated. When some pseudo-historian exaggerates the amount of Natives killed, or describes a peaceful Native land of plenty that only ever existed in their fertile imaginations, it’s god’s inerrant word to you.

    “Of course Europeans would never do such a thing … it wasn’t as if they had 150 people burned alive at the stake for witchcraft or anything…”

    Burning 150 people is just as bad as sacrificing 50,000 people a year. Your math is as bad as your history.

  27. #27 Coin
    June 28, 2007

    No living person lost a family member from the European conquest of the Americas. It is past the historical guilt statute of limitations.

    I don’t think we could specifically say that. It’s not like we flipped a switch in 1860 and suddenly things started going well for native americans in america or whatever.

  28. #28 Eamon Knight
    June 28, 2007

    Getting back to the original topic: kudos to Gerard (and a couple of others whose nyms I recognize) for trying to educate the sycophants at UD. Some of the comments over there are, um, impressive in their paranoia, and desperation to spin the story, and Dumbski’s invocation of it, as meaning something other than what it clearly does: Lerle was jailed for being an anti-semitic wanker; Belien is a loon; Dumbski is a fool who uncritically latches on to any kind words from anyone, anywhere.

  29. #29 Ginger Yellow
    June 28, 2007

    “Many physicists believe that String Theory is not science in that it (arguably) makes no connection to experiment. Multiverse theories in general make no connection with experiement and so, at some would argue, are not science. Would teaching those as science constitute corrupting minors and result in jail time?”

    Leaving aside the issue of jail time, I’d be quite worried if someone were teaching string theory to minors. Besides the controversy, it involves seriously heavy mathematics that would be way, way over the heads of all but the most precocious students. You couldn’t teach it in anything but a very superficial manner that would probably do more harm than good.

  30. #30 Justin Moretti
    June 28, 2007

    The average American (who generally doesn’t know their own history worth a damn) has no idea what slaughters were perpetrated in their name.

    I think many of them do, but downplay it in their own minds because they see it as a war of conquest, “and that’s how those things were done in those days”, rather than the systematic extermination of a co-resident population who in the case of the Holocaust were fellow Germans. A closer analogy might be if the target of extermination had been the Mormons.

    Both sets of actions were morally contemptible, but they would not have been seen that way 500 years ago even by relatively ‘enlightened’ people, whereas the majority of people outside post-WW2 occupied Europe would have been justifiably horrified the moment they realized what had gone on.

    I think a lot of things are modified by the mists of time and the acceptance that moral and ethical standards in those days were different.

  31. #31 Ed Brayton
    June 29, 2007

    GH wrote:

    Don’t misunderstand my stance as I think you did. I’m asking whats the difference and why should it be different? There is no logical reason for it to be so. We have rating systems for movies that might show a breast but nothing to prevent a preacher from teaching a 5 year old about demons and hell.

    Just doesn’t seem a good reason for it to be so.

    And I already answered this. Do you really want the government to prevent a preacher, or parents, from teaching kids about hell? If you give such power to government I can absolutely guarantee you one thing: you will find yourself on the losing end. It isn’t the belief in hell that will be banned, it’s the belief that there is not a hell that will be banned. The vast majority of the country truly believes that if you don’t believe in God and heaven and hell, you can’t be a moral person. If government is going to mandate or prohibit what parents may teach their children, it’s your beliefs (and mine) that will be the first ones banned. This isn’t even open to question, this is stunningly obvious.

  32. #32 Graculus
    June 29, 2007

    There was even a reconstruction of what Kennewick man looked like on a few documentaries. He was clearly Caucasian.

    And I am just as clearly a Native American.

    By looks.

    I’m about as Native American as Kennewick Man is Caucasian, somewhere around zero.

    and the New World X haplogroup is as different from the Old World (“Caucasian”) X haplogroup as the “Caucasian” X is from every other Eurasian haplogroup. Maybe the Native Americans colonized Georgia?

  33. #33 james
    June 29, 2007

    Ed, GH I think you both make good points.

    GH: I agree that R-rated movies are not more harmful than the more pernicious religious education (I’m thinking Al Qaieda, KKK etc.)

    Ed: I agree government cannot be trusted to regulate speech adequately, let alone well. Hell, I work for my government, but I wouldn’t trust them to tell me what was good for me (much less coerce me to do it).

    Might I suggest that the solution to this apparent contradiction is to stop imposing movie ratings with legal sanction? Not only would this be intellectually consistent it would be Bill of Rights compliant.

  34. #34 Dave S.
    June 29, 2007

    And I already answered this. Do you really want the government to prevent a preacher, or parents, from teaching kids about hell? If you give such power to government I can absolutely guarantee you one thing: you will find yourself on the losing end. It isn’t the belief in hell that will be banned, it’s the belief that there is not a hell that will be banned. The vast majority of the country truly believes that if you don’t believe in God and heaven and hell, you can’t be a moral person. If government is going to mandate or prohibit what parents may teach their children, it’s your beliefs (and mine) that will be the first ones banned. This isn’t even open to question, this is stunningly obvious.

    Indeed, the vast majority of those in government at all levels believe in Heaven and Hell. Their constituents likewise. They would consider it irresponsible not to teach their children that message. After all, their eternal souls are at sake. And given the charge of enforcing this mandate, surely would do so. They would see very little difference between raising kids without imparting relegion, and raising kids as atheists.

  35. #35 Michael Fitzgarrett
    June 29, 2007

    “And I am just as clearly a Native American.”

    By looks.

    I’m about as Native American as Kennewick Man is Caucasian, somewhere around zero.”

    And there is nothing more useless and lacking in scientific value than what you think, what you wish and what you feel. The consensus scientifc opinion is Kennewick man was not the same race as the American Indian, but Caucasian. That is why the courts have ruled against the Indians in their determination to have the remains given to them.

    How many more court decisions would it take to convince you?

    “and the New World X haplogroup is as different from the Old World (“Caucasian”) X haplogroup as the “Caucasian” X is from every other Eurasian haplogroup. Maybe the Native Americans colonized Georgia?”

    And how did Natives come by this X haplogroup found in Europeans and not Asians?

  36. #36 dogmeatib
    June 29, 2007

    “The remains showed evidence that Native Americans proportionally lived longer than Europeans in that same general time period.”

    Please give me the source of this claim. Instead of just spouting off.

    Pardon me, but why do I have to provide documentation, but you are free to “spout off” as you wish? I happened to find the studies, there were two or three, when I was researching my thesis back in the late 90s. I didn’t save them, or write them down because they didn’t really correspond to my argument. Given your hostility and venom, it’s really not worth my time or effort to look them up for you since odds are good you wouldn’t read them anyway and if you did, you wouldn’t accept the evidence since your position is obviously hostile to anything that portrays Native Americans as anything but savages. Ward Churchill’s: “A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1492″ might give you some of the evidence you claim to seek, but I doubt you’ll bother to read it.

    As you failed to note, I gave a non-culture specific, neutral reason for this suggested longevity. Nothing to do with any perceived superiority of Native Americans, simply to do with reduced instances of infant mortality. Native Americans didn’t have measels, mumps, chicken pox, scarlet fever, etc., so they didn’t lose children to those diseases skewing their life expectancy. Prior to vaccines huge numbers of Europeans (and later Native Americans) died in their first 5 years (try checking out a 17th century cemetary in New England or Virginia). This lowered their life expectancy. Native Americans didn’t have these diseases, logically they would have more children surivive and therefore their longevity would be increased. This isn’t a property of superiority or inferiority, as you seem to be obsessed with, it is a simple matter of genetics and childhood diseases. The diseases that ripped through native populations in the post 1492 era didn’t exist prior to Columbus, that’s it. Again, no paradise, no perfection, no need to get your panties in a bunch.

    “Politically they had their own conflicts just like Europe, Asia, and Africa, including bloodshed and war.”

    Natives were worse. From the Declaration of Independence written by people, unlike you, who actually lived among Indians “he [King George] has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

    Because 18th Century colonials, not exactly an unbiased source, referred to them as “merciless Indian Savages{sic}” doesn’t make the claim an irrefutable fact. You realize that Ben Franklin, I believe he had a little something to do with the Declaration of Independence, greatly respected the Haudenosaunee and adopted many of their concepts of represenative democracy to his ideas for the fledgling United States? I suppose then, because men at the time believed it so, black men are inferior as well and women are too fragile to attend to their own affairs?

    “ROFL, Kennewick man’s ethnicity is still in debate.”

    His ethnicity is not a matter of debate. There was even a reconstruction of what Kennewick man looked like on a few documentaries. He was clearly Caucasian.

    Are you a physical anthropologist, or is this “what you think, what you wish, what you feel?” It’s interesting that you would claim he is “clearly Caucasian” when the anthropologist who did the forensic examination of the remains found that his features were a mixture including characteristics that were “typical of neither race.” The specimen had Caucasian, Native, and southern Asian characteristics. Also Joseph Powell of the University of New Mexico, who did a follow up examination, argued that the remains appeared to be southern Asian, not European. So, I hate to break it to you, but his ethnicity remains open to debate. Despite your impressive television documentary evaluation.

    “Also claiming that Caucasians were the original inhabitants of America, especially based on a single individual, is truly laughable.”

    It was so laughable that your side went to court to have the remains buried whithout scientific study. Apparently, some vested interests were very worried.

    My side? Actually a number of parties went to court regarding the remains, including a European group claiming that the remains were their ancestor. The ruling is not at all surprising since NAGPRA requires that the petitioning party establish a cultural relationship to the remains in order to claim them … virtually impossible with 9000 year old remains. It isn’t surprising that a number of native nations would file suit, given that there are tens of thousands of Native American bodies in museums and research centers across the United States, many native groups are a bit touchy about scientists examining remains discovered in their historical lands. I’m pretty sure you’d be a bit touchy if I went over to the graveyard and dug up your grandparents … wouldn’t you?

    There’s a lot more evidence than “one single individual.” For instance, the DNA haplogroup X marker is found in a minority of American Indians and Europeans, but is not found in Asians.

    Ahh, now you do sound like a Mormon. There are a variety of explanations for the X haplogroup, which represents only about 3% of the modern native population. First you have historic contamination, in fact the majority of Native Americans are mixed blood, primarily mixed with European blood. Second you have the extremely scant evidence of any prehistoric X haplogroup specimens. To my knowledge there is only one, that specimen is from 1400-1500 years ago, not exactly “first,” and the researchers who confirmed it concluded that the genetic trail suggested a trans-Siberian route to the Americas.


    “So the fact that some native peoples practiced human sacrifice means that a genocidal European campaign was justified?”

    No, you have it all backwards. It’s you who is trying to defend crimes and attrocities committed by natives. Like most of the multiculti Europhobes, you want us to learn every bad done by whites, while every bad done by non-whites is swept under the rug or as you tryed to do to Kennewick man, buried under lots of dirt.

    Are you delusional? I’ve had nothing to do with Kennewick man, and again, one specimen does not a “great white civilization” make. Are you honestly trying to claim that the European conquest of the Americas, with the millions of deaths, both accidental and intentional, was justified? Was a good thing?

    “Also, the sacrifice numbers for the Aztecs have been the subject of debate as well.”

    You’re an ideologue who won’t except anything that challenges your evil white man theory.

    Resorting to name calling and labeling is generally a sign that you lack an actual argument. I simply made a comparison to what the Germans (rightly or wrongly) are trying to avoid. You’re the one who has responded with venom, personal slights, and attacks. I’ve never made any effort to claim that Native Americans had a perfect world, in fact I said they had their own world with their own conflicts. Also, with the exception of how the European conquerers treated the natives I haven’t said anything negative about Europeans, Europe, or about our own government. A good historian recognizes elements of history that are not properly reported, the contact period is just such a period. Just curious, are you of the school that believes that slavery was a wonderful time where slaves were well treated and happy?

    When historians claim Natives killed X amount of people, had X amount of wars, or committed X types of attrocities, you tell us it’s subject to debate, didn’t happen at all, or is overestimated. When some pseudo-historian exaggerates the amount of Natives killed, or describes a peaceful Native land of plenty that only ever existed in their fertile imaginations, it’s god’s inerrant word to you.

    Amazing, you base all of this on what scientific evidence? I never said anything to support this broad sweeping claim, just as I never claimed that the pre-Columbian Americas were a paradise and stated quite clearly that they had their own conflicts including war.

    “Of course Europeans would never do such a thing … it wasn’t as if they had 150 people burned alive at the stake for witchcraft or anything…”

    Burning 150 people is just as bad as sacrificing 50,000 people a year. Your math is as bad as your history.

    You might want to check the post right after the one you quote, I cut out part of the statement as I made an edit. “On a single afternoon” should have been part of the statement. Now if you do the math, 150 people, 365 days a year, you come up with…? Yes, 54,750 victims.

    Now I could argue, based on this incident and journal entries, diaries, letters, etc., that detail mass witch burnings, that Europeans were bloodthirsty savages that murdered innocent people daily, killing 50,000, 60,000, perhaps 100,000 a year. I could further argue that this murderous tradition was really centered on an area of France and the German states (about the size of the Aztec Empire), and that these savages killed hundreds of thousands of people, perhaps millions.

    That argument actually would be slightly less questionable than the Aztec 50,000/year argument. Why? Because I would be taking about incidents generally written about by not just the opponents of those activities. The difference? They are well documented by the communities and churches responsible. For the Aztecs? The only documention claiming these huge numbers comes from the conquerers who hardly represent an unbiased account. In fact there was a great deal of political pressure to justify the brutality of the conquest of the Aztecs.

    Did the Maya and Aztec perform human sacrifice? Certainly. Did they do so in the numbers the Spanish claimed? The evidence does not support that claim, to quote an archeaologist working in Central America, trying to determine the answer to just this question:

    “We’re not finding anywhere near that … even if we added some zeros,”

    So, let’s wrap it up:

    1) Never claimed a paradise, didn’t promise you a rose garden either
    2) Kenewick man, according to the anthropologist who did the forensic examination: Not “clearly Caucasian”
    3) “Aztecs killing 50k a year,” according to the archaeologists researching Aztec and Mayan human sacrifice: not even close.

  37. #37 dogmeatib
    June 29, 2007

    And there is nothing more useless and lacking in scientific value than what you think, what you wish and what you feel. The consensus scientifc opinion is Kennewick man was not the same race as the American Indian, but Caucasian. That is why the courts have ruled against the Indians in their determination to have the remains given to them.

    How many more court decisions would it take to convince you?

    I hate to break it to you, but it’s not as if the judge said “THIS GUYS A WHITE GUY, GET BACK TO THE REZ YOU PESKY REDSKINS!!!!”

    The requirement established by NAGPRA the petitioning party has to prove a cultural affiliation. That would be like you trying to prove that Otzi was your great, great, great x100 uncle, virtually impossible. It was impossible to prove cultural affiliation, so the decision was against the Native petitioners. The 9th district upheld that ruling because “they were unable to show any evidence of kinship.”

    The court didn’t prove he was Caucasian, it didn’t prove he wasn’t Native American, it simply ruled that the individual native nations who filed the complaint were unable to prove cultural ties. That can happen with 500 year old remains let alone 9000 year old remains.

  38. #38 GH
    June 29, 2007

    Do you really want the government to prevent a preacher, or parents, from teaching kids about hell? If you give such power to government I can absolutely guarantee you one thing: you will find yourself on the losing end.

    Good grief where did I say this? Where? I simply said what is the real difference and why is one activity singled out and other perhaps more harmful ideas given free reign.

    It doesn’t matter what you or I want I’m simply asking about the real world effect on a childs mind from certain activities accepted and not.

    It isn’t the belief in hell that will be banned, it’s the belief that there is not a hell that will be banned. The vast majority of the country truly believes that if you don’t believe in God and heaven and hell, you can’t be a moral person.

    I agree with sentence one but not the second. I don’t think the vast majority of the country thinks you can’t be a good person without such a belief. This is all rather beside the point in any event.

    If government is going to mandate or prohibit what parents may teach their children, it’s your beliefs (and mine) that will be the first ones banned. This isn’t even open to question, this is stunningly obvious

    What is stunningly obvious is that you are mistaking my comments for something I don’t propose. I don’t think parents should be stopped speaking as they wish although I don’t see how subjecting kids to this type of imagery is any different than a parent who lets kids watch inappropriate material on the tube. In fact I think it likely is more potentially harmful long term due to some cultural reinforcement.

  39. #39 Ed Brayton
    June 29, 2007

    GH-

    For crying out loud, when you say:

    We have rating systems for movies that might show a breast but nothing to prevent a preacher from teaching a 5 year old about demons and hell. Just doesn’t seem a good reason for it to be so.

    It’s a perfectly reasonable interpretation that you are, in fact, seeking to prevent teaching kids about demons and hell. If you’re going to phrase it that way, you certainly can’t feign shock at someone misinterpreting your words. Anyone would interpret it that way.

  40. #40 JuliaL
    June 29, 2007

    GH,

    What is stunningly obvious is that you are mistaking my comments for something I don’t propose.

    I’ve been interpreting your comments, such as

    We have rating systems for movies that might show a breast but nothing to prevent a preacher from teaching a 5 year old about demons and hell. Just doesn’t seem a good reason for it to be so.

    and

    I don’t think parents should be stopped speaking as they wish although I don’t see how subjecting kids to this type of imagery is any different than a parent who lets kids watch inappropriate material on the tube.

    to be argument, not for legally restricting children from being taught religion, but for removing the present legal restrictions on children viewing pictures, movies, etc. with explicit sexual content.

    Evidently, Ed is reading you differently. Would you clarify?

  41. #41 Michael Fitzgarrett
    June 29, 2007

    “Pardon me, but why do I have to provide documentation, but you are free to “spout off” as you wish? I happened to find the studies, there were two or three, when I was researching my thesis back in the late 90s.

    Because an extraordinary claim needs extraordinary evidence. Claiming that stone age people lived longer and were healthier than 16th and 17th century Europeans is fairly extraordinary claim.

    “I didn’t save them, or write them down because they didn’t really correspond to my argument.”

    Aw shucks. You just happen to misplace them.

    “Ward Churchill’s: “A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1492″ might give you some of the evidence you claim to seek, but I doubt you’ll bother to read it.”

    The great fraud Ward Churchill who claims to be Indian, but every tribe he has claimed to be a member can’t find him among their membership rolls.

    Here’s a take down of Ward’s silly book http://hal.lamar.edu/~browntf/Churchill1.htm

    “As you failed to note, I gave a non-culture specific, neutral reason for this suggested longevity. Nothing to do with any perceived superiority of Native Americans, simply to do with reduced instances of infant mortality. Native Americans didn’t have measels, mumps, chicken pox, scarlet fever, etc., so they didn’t lose children to those diseases skewing their life expectancy. Prior to vaccines huge numbers of Europeans (and later Native Americans) died in their first 5 years (try checking out a 17th century cemetary in New England or Virginia). This lowered their life expectancy. Native Americans didn’t have these diseases, logically they would have more children surivive and therefore their longevity would be increased. This isn’t a property of superiority or inferiority, as you seem to be obsessed with, it is a simple matter of genetics and childhood diseases. The diseases that ripped through native populations in the post 1492 era didn’t exist prior to Columbus, that’s it. Again, no paradise, no perfection, no need to get your panties in a bunch.”

    Yeah, you did lots of thinkin’ and figurin.’ But I’ve learnt your thinkin’ and figurin’ to be suspect at best, mendacious at worst.

    The facts:
    Average life expantancy in Elizabethan England: nearly 42. Source http://uk.encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_781533797/Elizabethan_England.html.

    About Native average life span “the healthiest cultures in the 1,000 years before Columbus, a life span of no more than 35 years might be usual.” Source: Don’t Blame Columbus for All the Indians’ Ills by John Noble Wilford, New York Times October 29, 2002 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9C06E5D6173FF93AA15753C1A9649C8B63

    Another quote from the same article “What had not been clearly recognized until now, though, is that the general health of Native Americans had apparently been deteriorating for centuries before 1492.”

    “Because 18th Century colonials, not exactly an unbiased source, referred to them as “merciless Indian Savages{sic}” doesn’t make the claim an irrefutable fact.”

    But when the same colonials write about their own violence against the Indians they’re an impeccable source for historic facts. You want to have your cake and eat it too.

    “You realize that Ben Franklin, I believe he had a little something to do with the Declaration of Independence, greatly respected the Haudenosaunee and adopted many of their concepts of represenative democracy to his ideas for the fledgling United States?”

    PC nonsense. No serious historian believes that.
    If you wish to know the true sources of our concepts of reprensentative democray read Madison’s notes on the Constitutional Convention. There is no mention of Indians and Iroquois by Madison or any other founder at the constitutional convention. After you read that, you can tackle the books by Bernard Bailyn and Forrest McDonald on the true, non-Indian sources of our constitutional system.

    “Are you a physical anthropologist”

    I’m pretty sure I got my anthropology degree the same time you got yours.

    “Or is this “what you think, what you wish, what you feel?”

    Why would I wish that Kennewick man be a Caucasian? So I could demand that white people be given control of America? I thought white people already had that. It’s actually you PC mavens that are driven by a political agenda. It’s the PC brigades who have been telling us whiteys that our occupation of this continent is illegitimate because Indians were here first. Without that story, a large chunk of your anti-paleface indeology disappears.

    “It’s interesting that you would claim he is “clearly Caucasian” when the anthropologist who did the forensic examination of the remains found that his features were a mixture including characteristics that were “typical of neither race.” The specimen had Caucasian, Native, and southern Asian characteristics. Also Joseph Powell of the University of New Mexico, who did a follow up examination, argued that the remains appeared to be southern Asian, not European.”

    Notice you quote no scientists who think he was native american. Apparently, the point you’re trying to make is: it is open to debate whether the native americans committed genocide against the original Caucasian inhabitants of America. He might have only committed genocide against the southern Asian, Negro, or some other now extinct race that originally inhabited the Americas.

    “So, I hate to break it to you, but his ethnicity remains open to debate. Despite your impressive television documentary evaluation.”

    Why are you such a dickhead?

    Facial reconstruction of skeletal remains is an accepted part of science. It’s even helped authorities match a name to a previously unidentified body. Your argument from ingnorance is not helping your case one bit.

    “Are you delusional? I’ve had nothing to do with Kennewick man, and again, one specimen does not a “great white civilization” make.”

    Who said anything about a “great white civilization?”

    “Are you honestly trying to claim that the European conquest of the Americas, with the millions of deaths, both accidental and intentional, was justified? Was a good thing?”

    Yep. That’s what I’m claiming.The occupiers of this continent have provided a standard of living for hundreds of millions of people previously undreamt of. All of it made possible by the white man’s social system of individual rights, respect for private property, science, market economy, etc. In totality, far more good than bad has come from the conquest of this continent.

    Furthermore, you can bash white people, but you sure do like to suck up all the white man’s technologies and inventions. Give up your computer and every other invention, medicine, amenity, and product that didn’t exist 500 years ago. See how much fun you have.

    Your point of the morality of the conquest is marred by the presentist fallacy you have fallen into. You make the mistake of judging people by standards of today. Back then, there was no international law against what folks, including Indians, did. And there was no culture or country that followed these rules of invading somebody else’s land that you would lay down ex post facto for white people.

    The rules white people did play by were the same rules that allowed Indians to wipe out other Indians, such as the Erie, and that same rules that allowed them to wipe out the orignial inhabitants of America (whether they were Caucasian or some other non-Indian is beside the point.)

    “Now I could argue, based on this incident and journal entries, diaries, letters, etc., that detail mass witch burnings, that Europeans were bloodthirsty savages that murdered innocent people daily, killing 50,000, 60,000, perhaps 100,000 a year. I could further argue that this murderous tradition was really centered on an area of France and the German states (about the size of the Aztec Empire), and that these savages killed hundreds of thousands of people, perhaps millions.”
    And those numbers you throw around would still give Europeans a lower per capita rate of violence. Let’s see you make this argument that “murderous tradition was centered in France and Germany.”
    “For the Aztecs? The only documention claiming these huge numbers comes from the conquerers who hardly represent an unbiased account.”

    The attrocities and numbers come from Diaz’s eyewitness account. You’re just repeating yourself again. Anything negative written about natives is biased. You make your “facts” fit your consclusion. You made up your mind long ago that white people were worse than the Indians. And obviously no amount facts can persuade you otherwise.

    “In fact there was a great deal of political pressure to justify the brutality of the conquest of the Aztecs.”

    The Aztecs were also very biased against themselves. Have you ever seen the amount of violence in their art?

  42. #42 GH
    June 29, 2007

    It’s a perfectly reasonable interpretation that you are, in fact, seeking to prevent teaching kids about demons and hell. If you’re going to phrase it that way, you certainly can’t feign shock at someone misinterpreting your words. Anyone would interpret it that way.

    Ug, I’m not feigning shock. I just asked why do we have systems to protect kids from movies but not from potentially much more harmful imagery that is often taken for granted? It’s a bit of an idle question. It just doesn’t make sense.

    not for legally restricting children from being taught religion, but for removing the present legal restrictions on children viewing pictures, movies, etc. with explicit sexual content.

    Evidently, Ed is reading you differently. Would you clarify?

    Well it is obvious Ed is getting this and you are getting that so when he says:

    Anyone would interpret it that way.

    Thats obviously incorrect. But no I’m not for removing the restrictions although when people say it’s ok to teach about demons and people burning in hell to small children in essense they are giving a free pass to a different form of the same. The question I asked is there seems to be no rational reason for A and not B. No logic to it.

    If A is bad due to violence, sex, inappropriate ideas then why is B appropriate when it presents the same if not worse and with the caveat of being reinforced often by those closest to the child.

    I’m not saying to censor anyone or not censor. I just don’t see a large difference between the two in a real world sense.

  43. #43 JuliaL
    June 29, 2007

    GH, you say,

    I just asked why do we have systems to protect kids from movies but not from potentially much more harmful imagery that is often taken for granted?

    So you’re asking an historical question? That puzzles me, as I would thought that you are already familiar with that information. I suppose the answer is that there is widespread support for the belief that exposure to explict sexual images/behavior can be damaging to a child’s development. The support comes from a very large number of adults who have moral objections, a smaller but still quite large number of people who have personal experience, and some evidence from scientific/psychological studies. At the same time, there is not widespread support for the belief that religion in general is damaging to child development, not from large numbers of the public at large nor from scientific/psychological studies. Wouldn’t you agree that that’s why we have systems that restrict the one but not the other?

    You also say,

    I’m not saying to censor anyone or not censor. I just don’t see a large difference between the two in a real world sense.

    If you yourself don’t see a large difference, then I conclude that you think they should be treated the same from a legal standpoint. As you take no position on what that legality should be, I also conclude that you think that either both should be restricted, or else neither should be, and either way would be OK with you.

    Now am I understanding you correctly? I’m trying to do so.

  44. #44 dogmeatib
    June 29, 2007

    Wow Michael, you are one angry individual. Slights, insults, what’s next, you gonna kick my cyberass?

    Because an extraordinary claim needs extraordinary evidence. Claiming that stone age people lived longer and were healthier than 16th and 17th century Europeans is fairly extraordinary claim.

    That’s nice, but I didn’t make that claim. I said that evidence suggested that Native Americans may have lived proportionally longer. If you read your own citation link, you’ll see that some populations in North America did, indeed, have life expectancies in their 50s … [psst 50s are more than 42]. When I was doing my research I was looking at sources dealing with the United States and happened to remember that specific one. Rather than trying to hide something, or make outrageous claims, your own source supports my basic comment. Also, in case you weren’t aware, increasing evidence shows that hunter gatherer cultures sacrificed a lot to become agriculturalists. European agriculturalists of the 14th and 15th century weren’t that much more advanced, or healthier, than stone aged peoples. In fact, given hygiene practiced at the time, they may have been substantially less healthy.

    Also I didn’t say anything at all against facial reconstruction as a tool. My disparaging comment was directed at your interpretation of reconstructions aired on a commercial television documentary. Why does the unexplained death of an individual prove genocide and condemn an entire hemisphere but the deaths of millions was okay? You have truly a twisted sense of logic. Also, Kennewick man being Asian doesn’t disrupt the wave theory of new world emigration. There has been genetic, linguistic, and cultural evidence suggesting at least three waves of Asiatic peoples spreading in to the Americas. In fact early Native American remains are far less homogeneous than later remains. How this individual proves European Caucasian settlement of the Americas first is beyond anyone with any common sense.

    That you wish, so badly, that Native Americans weren’t the first Americans, that they were guilty of some sort of horrendous slaughter that justified the horrors of the conquest says a lot about you. Again, I haven’t said anything against Europe, Europeans, or the predominant culture of today. I love your response to an accurate study of history, surrender all the benefits of modernity. You’re really an idiot, did you know that?

    Just curious, given your overall “the ends justify the means” stance, was slavery a good thing? Was the Holocaust a good thing? How about WWI and WWII? Good things? To you, the end seems to completely justify the means to the point that the means need to be ignored. Or is that only the case with Native Americans?

    It’s interesting that you bring up Madison, since he didn’t write the Declaration of Independence. Rather sloppy history on your part. Now Franklin, and Jefferson, along with Adams, did write the Declaration of Independence, and were well documented admirers of the Haudenosaunee.

    Finally, I noticed, when you argue that Diaz’ account proves something, you ignored the archaeologists’ statements that they don’t see anything approaching the numbers claimed by the Spanish. In fact you cut that quote completely out of your citation of my response. Interesting… Obviously a simple error, it couldn’t have been intentional. I’ll quote it again…

    “We’re not finding anywhere near that … even if we added some zeros,”

    Now that quote comes from Leonardo Lopez Lujan, Senior Researcher and Professor of Archaeology at Museo del Templo Mayor, Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia. He and his colleagues have been excavating sites from all three of the major Meso-American cultures for years. The evidence they are finding doesn’t match Diaz’s claims, again, even if you added some zeros.

  45. #45 Coin
    June 29, 2007

    Ug, I’m not feigning shock. I just asked why do we have systems to protect kids from movies but not from potentially much more harmful imagery that is often taken for granted?

    A couple of comments. Note that what I’m saying that follows applies in America only.

    First off, just because this division hasn’t been clearly drawn in this discussion tangent so far, it’s worth noting that the systems that “protect” kids from movies, video games etc are not laws. They might be broken or antidemocratic (and I for one think they are), but they’re not laws.

    Second off and more importantly, in all of these systems that “protect” children, the systems apply at the discretion of the parent. If a parent wants to take their child to see Grindhouse, they under the current systems have as much right to do that as they do to teach their kids that they’re going to hell forever.

  46. #46 kehrsam
    June 29, 2007

    Kennwick Man was not Caucasian, for the simple fact that Caucasians did not exist 18,000 years ago. It is generally accepted that light-colored skin is a genetic adaptation to calcium stresses, allowing the skin to produce more vitamin D. This happened about 5,000 BC, as large groups of people started living in the European interior for the first time when the combination of grain agriculture and dairying spread from the middle east.

    It is certainly possible that Kennewick Man was part of a people group similarly stressed and was shaped by similar evolutionary forces. But they weren’t no honkies.

    As for the suggestion that our material excess of today somehow justifies the murder and enslavement of millions…the mind wobbles, as Kelly Bundy used to say.

  47. #47 MJ Memphis
    June 29, 2007

    Re: the claim that Indians were healthier pre-Columbus- this is also made in “Plagues and Peoples” (William McNeill, original copyright 1976, chapter 5 “Transoceanic Exchanges, 1500-1700″). McNeill argues that, owing to isolation from the Old World disease pool (the result of large, settled populations), the Indians were relatively free of most parasites and crowd diseases (with syphilis being, arguably, one possible exception). This resulted in both the decimation of the Indians (as Old World viruses ran wild in a virgin population) and the lack of any serious pathogen or parasite that the natives could transmit back to the Old World populations moving into the Americas.

  48. #48 GH
    June 29, 2007

    I suppose the answer is that there is widespread support for the belief that exposure to explict sexual images/behavior can be damaging to a child’s development.

    This may be true although I doubt it. The question I’m asking is if this exposure addles the mind any more than the indoctrination of superstition like a place of eternal suffering. Many mental health professionals deal with the effects of religious indoctrination in it’s many forms.

    At the same time, there is not widespread support for the belief that religion in general is damaging to child development, not from large numbers of the public at large nor from scientific/psychological studies. Wouldn’t you agree that that’s why we have systems that restrict the one but not the other?

    I would agree that there is a wide spread belief that it is so but I’m not sure the underlying premise has even been tested much less proven less damaging. Otherwise yes I would agree. All things being equal I suspect they would come out about even in terms of discomfort to a child except I think sexual imagery may be less so.

    I essentially think as Coin stated a few comments above in terms of my legal thinking on this matter. Myquestion is simply why are people ok with one but not the other. Violence is violence, pain is pain.

    I have no real attachment to either position it just seems odd to me.

  49. #49 Michael Fitzgarrett
    June 30, 2007

    “Wow Michael, you are one angry individual. Slights, insults, what’s next, you gonna kick my cyberass?”

    I think I already kicked your cyberass.

    “That’s nice, but I didn’t make that claim. I said that evidence suggested that Native Americans may have lived proportionally longer.”

    You did make the claim that Natives as a whole lived longer than Europeans. The link I provided shows the exact opposite. Not only did the natives not live longer than Europeans that were invading them, their lifespans were in already in decline.

    “If you read your own citation link, you’ll see that some populations in North America did, indeed, have life expectancies in their 50s … [psst 50s are more than 42]. When I was doing my research I was looking at sources dealing with the United States and happened to remember that specific one. Rather than trying to hide something, or make outrageous claims, your own source supports my basic comment. Also, in case you weren’t aware, increasing evidence shows that hunter gatherer cultures sacrificed a lot to become agriculturalists. European agriculturalists of the 14th and 15th century weren’t that much more advanced, or healthier, than stone aged peoples. In fact, given hygiene practiced at the time, they may have been substantially less healthy.”

    This is what the article says: “in the simplest hunter-gatherer societies, few people survived past age 50. In the healthiest cultures in the 1,000 years before Columbus, a life span of no more than 35 years might be usual.” Psst, It says few people survived past age 50 not that the average life span was 50.

    “Why does the unexplained death of an individual prove genocide and condemn an entire hemisphere but the deaths of millions was okay? You have truly a twisted sense of logic.”

    Don’t you know that most remains are not fossilized. Obviously, most of his kind wasn’t fossilized. Or would you have us believe that Kennewick man was just one man sent down from heaven with no parents or other relatives of his kind?

    “Also, Kennewick man being Asian doesn’t disrupt the wave theory of new world emigration. There has been genetic, linguistic, and cultural evidence suggesting at least three waves of Asiatic peoples spreading in to the Americas.”

    I’m well aware that the American continent was invaded and conquered by many different bands of Mongoloid and non-Mongoloid Asians. I’m just bothered by your self-righteous hypocrisy and selected outrage. White people invade and conqueror, you have a problem with that. Non-white people invade and conqueror, you have no problem with that. You’re so too PC.

    “That you wish, so badly, that Native Americans weren’t the first Americans, that they were guilty of some sort of horrendous slaughter that justified the horrors of the conquest says a lot about you. Again, I haven’t said anything against Europe, Europeans, or the predominant culture of today.”

    I’ll repeat what I said before, it doesn’t matter whether their act of genocide was against Caucasians or not. Kennewick was not related to Natives as every scientist you quoted so stated and as the ninth circuit court agreed. That they may have only wiped out an earlier group of unrelated south Asian settlers not Caucasian, doesn’t change the fact that modern Indians and their ancestors were not here first.

    “I love your response to an accurate study of history, surrender all the benefits of modernity. You’re really an idiot, did you know that?”

    I love your non-answer to my perfectly reasonable question that if western civilization should not exist on this continent, why don’t you live by example and forgo all that western civilization has produced? I like to see more PC mavens putting their money where their big fat mouth is. Instead, like good hyprocrites, they prefer to suck up all the benefits of western civilization while condemning that same western civilization. It’s hypocrisy based on jealousy.

    “Just curious, given your overall “the ends justify the means” stance, was slavery a good thing? Was the Holocaust a good thing? How about WWI and WWII? Good things? To you, the end seems to completely justify the means to the point that the means need to be ignored. Or is that only the case with Native Americans?”

    Nowhere did I say the ends justify the means. I said white people violated no law or moral prescription that existed at the time of the conquest. To say that white people of the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th century should have used 20th century morality and law is about as ludicrous as saying 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th century white people should have used 20th century airplanes, antibiotics, and computers. Morality like technology evolves. It is not handed down wholly formed from God. 15th century white man’s treatment of natives indicates as much about his moral quotient as 15th century white man’s lack of airplanes indicates about his intelligence quotient. Zilch!!

    “It’s interesting that you bring up Madison, since he didn’t write the Declaration of Independence. Rather sloppy history on your part. Now Franklin, and Jefferson, along with Adams, did write the Declaration of Independence, and were well documented admirers of the Haudenosaunee.”

    Madison didn’t write the Declaration, you really caught me there–not. Madison recorded the debates on the formation of our constitution. Our constitution established our form government not the Declaration of Independence. If, as you claimed, our government borrowed it’s idea of reprensentative democracy from the Indians, it would have been at in our constitution not the Declaration of Independence.

    Nowhere are Indians mentioned in the constitutional convention.

    “Finally, I noticed, when you argue that Diaz’ account proves something, you ignored the archaeologists’ statements that they don’t see anything approaching the numbers claimed by the Spanish. In fact you cut that quote completely out of your citation of my response. Interesting… Obviously a simple error, it couldn’t have been intentional. I’ll quote it again…”

    Stop accusing Diaz and everyone else that ever recorded a negative thing about natives as being biased. Provide some proof that they didn’t see what they claim to have seen. All you have provided is motives for an unproven allegation. You have it backwards. You should prove the allegation before you theorize a motive.

    “We’re not finding anywhere near that … even if we added some zeros Now that quote comes from Leonardo Lopez Lujan, Senior Researcher and Professor of Archaeology at Museo del Templo Mayor, Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia.”

    Anywhere near what? What is some zeros?

    He’s purposely vague and gives no numbers, so there’s nothing to comment on.