Re: The _Red Earth, White Lies_ thread

Eric Brunner (
31 Jul 1996 15:59:58 GMT

Karl Kluge ( wrote:
: In article <4tiks3$> (Eric Brunner) writes:

: The list of problematic items is already 15-20 long, and that's based on a
: quick scan. Just picking a few (more detail and precise cites later):
Fine, have you any objection to taking the issues in text presentation
order, chapter 1, chapter 2, ...?

: > I do have a problem with finding, a priori, explinations for texts
: > external to those texts, when the text itself may suffice, but given your
: > interest in the text from some Catastrophist shindig, and the possibility
: > that if I work hard enough at seperating the personal from the text I may
: > learn something of use, to myself, and potentially to others, Vine
: > included, I'll read that any your comments as well.

: The Portland Symposium talk doesn't cover the Bering Straits and overhunting
: theories of megafauna extinction material ...
: (It) does, however, cover (...) some of the
: same oral material and his take on the implications of that for the earth
: sciences.

Do you see any problem with addressing the Portland Symposium text after
covering the REWL text, or at least, from the point at which each specific
issue is sufficiently addressed in the REWL text?

: There's also the issue of whether sci.anthro is the best venue. We could take
: it to alt.catastrophism or, or less topically alt.archaeology.

This is I think part of _our_ problem. For the underlying subject material,
pre-Conquest texts, ethnographic issues exist (anthro), as do linguistic
ones (sci.lang is not an obvious choice, but neither is NAT-LANG either).
For archaeological issues, someone who didn't know sci.arch would think that
the obvious candidate for geoarch and cultural remains interpretive issues.
ARCH-L is another possibility. Generally, alt.native, soc.culture.native are
possible as well, though as the FAQ keeper I can see problems there as well,
though not insurmountable ones.

alt.archaeology? No.

I don't doubt that alt.catastrophism or or even sci.skeptic
have subscribers who could contribute to such a discourse. Use your own
judgement as I don't subscribe to any of these and only know second hand
what there is to hope for from those communities.

: Of course, if we do so you'll have the awkward problem of dealing with Ted
: Holden trying to take your side. Please pick an appropriate thread title if
: you don't like the one above, and set the follow-up to what you think an
: appropriate newsgroup would be if you want to move to another newsgroup.

Sci.anthro is fine. Lots of Natives read it from time to time, and so do
archaeologists. If Ted Holden is actually familiar with the primary sources
to which REWL relies upon, even he may have something to contribute.

: I don't think you'll get any "Bash (Vine) Deloria (,Jr.)" posts from Ted. Ted
: is an enthusiastic fan, and is one of the three people (the other two are
: Renee Sansom Flood and Roger Dunsmore) whose opinions are quoted on the web
: page advertising _REWL_ [,

Thanks for the names, always useful to know where people are comming from.
I suspect that most non-Native "enthusiasm" for REWL is not becasue it is
a critical reading of original texts, but rather for the interpretive
conclusions of the author. Catastrophists are I suspect, more keen on the
"endorsement" of their agenda than they are on Native History or the
relation of dominance in "science", ethnocentricism to be succinct.

: "Designed by Knowledge Computing on behalf of Vine Deloria, Jr." The summary
: of the book chapters uses first person, so I assume he had some control over
: the text.]

I don't think so, but if I remember it I'll ask Vine when I next speak with

: >: Are you asserting here that _REWL_ should be seen as having a marginal
: >: position in Deloria's larger body or work (which is not what I understand
: >: your position to be, but which I have no quarrel with), or are you asserting
: >: that his rather fundamentalist adherence to Velikovskian ideas played only
: >: a margin role in his discourse in _REWL_?
: >
: > It is his latest work, and the first part of a three-part work which has
: > as some part of its still-evolving theme religiousity in the context of
: > the Conquest, where, from an Indigenous perspective, all Native
: > intellectualisms are systematically depricated by the intellectual
: > hegemony of the Conquest. At least, that is my understanding of Vine's
: > intent at this time.

: That does appear to be the intent of vols 2 and 3.

I'm amazed. Please, how did you know of this? Has Vine mentioned this in some
other venue? I had it "straight from the horse's mouth" and am unaware of any
other place where Vine has mentioned this. This isn't important however, just
personal curiosity.

: Wrt _REWL_, the crucial
: question is whether (some of) the views he is advocating in Vol I. are
: deprecated because of their Native origin or because of their Velikovskian
: origin (or for that matter, to what extent some of the items in question are
: widely shared Native beliefs at all...)

A difference in approach. In my opinion, the first issue is to determine
which primary sources are used, and if their usage meets Traditional and
Modern Academic standards of use. Conclusions come ... after. Bias is to
be determined "present" based upon interpretation of known evidence, not
presumed, however difficult that presumption appears to be to look around.

: > I also have the opinion that it is poor method to approach the work
: > through its conclusions, though I take your point that you believe that
: > Vine has a systematic Catastrophist bias toward his primary texts,
: > without careful examination of those texts.

: Reading the Portland Symposium text should (particularly noting the overlap
: in content) illuminate why I think this. His casual dismissal of geological
: straitiography, radiometric dating methods, continental drift, not to mention
: his rather sneering description of punctuated equilibrium, etc., etc., all
: raise some red flags. He has an unambiguous Catastrophist bias in his
: selection of secondary sources (which in some of the "hot spots" are cited
: instead of primary sources).

OK. Enough of this. We can get to his text selection, secondary sources as
well as primary, later on.

: >: > Why is Vine different?
: > Note that Vine Deloria, jr is not a European. It is quite possible that
: > there is a subtext of legitimacy. Indeed, it is exactly the subtext of
: > legitimacy which the author of RE/WL specifically attempts to address.

: It is *possible* that the last century and a half of geology is wrong...

OK, since the subtext of legitimacy is text in REWL, whether or not there
is an ethnocentric problem for Modern Academic readers can be deferred until
encountered in the text. Maxwell's idea noted.

[Paleo for culturals, deleted to just a line for response.]
: To the extent that one could get away with doing cultural anthropology without
: understanding paleontology or evolution, that's fine.

Again, this is related to the subtext of legitimacy. Again, later.

: Sorry for the unclear pronoun reference. I meant Velikovsky's, in particular
: _Earth in Upheaval_, where you will find the Arctic muck of the _REWL_ chapter
: "Corpus Delecti".

Thanks. Please let fly with the details when we get to that chapter, assuming
that you agree to a text presentation order approach.

: > I understand, I think, your interest in the relationship between the text
: > of his talk, and possibly the rest of the Velikovsky/Hapgood/... corpus,
: > and the RE/WL text. My interest is in the primary Native texts which Vine
: > uses. Are his uses good ones (from a common academic critical frame of
: > reference)? Are his uses good ones (from a Native perspective)? Have
: > other texts (European, but others are possible as well) a significant
: > role in the construction of primary texts which Vine has put forth?

: Agreed. Is, for instance, the sample of texts in the chapter "Geomythology"
: representative of the degree of correlation between the surviving preContact
: oral texts and the geological evidence (ignoring issues of dating the
: geological events)?

First the primary texts must be identified, and I'll look into each of your
queries as soon as I find where I left REWL (I moved, boxes and boxes).

: Again, the context was using "supporting evolution...and other fictional
: enterprises" to explicate his views on the theory of evolution.

The agenda, even if polemic, comes after the texts, we'll get to that, if
we've each sufficient patience and interest.

: >: would appear to support the claim the he rejects evolution (based in part on
: >: the questionable logic in the claim that "the doctrine of evolution thus
: >: leads directly to the Bering Strait theory and now, in a bizarre twist, has
: >: led to the Big Game Hunters megafauna-cide.")
: >
: > Agreed that there are logical problems in such a chain of inference, and I
: > trust that you will make these so plain that even I can see each and every
: > broken or weak link.

: Here we get into issues of burden of proof. If it is his claim that descent
: with modification from common ancestry logically leads inexorably to the
: Bering Strait theory (rather than the Bering Strait theory being contingent on
: some specific set of data interpreted in light of DWMFCA), then it is his
: burden (or yours if you choose to defend the point) to explicate that chain of
: logic. All I have to do is point out that there are alternative ways the
: faunal distribution of big-brained hairless apes could have happened consonant
: with DWMFCA separate from which of those contingently came to pass.

I'll be trying as hard with this one as I personally can, so there will be
references to current work on lemur distributions and other paleo issues.

: > Oh well, I suppose the sci.arch.mod fight was not something either of us
: > will get over, or look forward to the repeat of any time soon.

: Unfortunately, true. Being honest, neither of us is going to make the "Top 10
: Most Genial USENET Posters" any time soon. You appear to have tried to keep
: the heat-to-light ratio low in the post I'm responding to, and I'll attempt to
: do the same.

: Karl

I thank you. Chapter 1?

Eric Brunner