Re: This used to be on disease and immunity

Karl Kluge (
28 Jul 1996 23:22:01 -0400

In article <4tg2qa$> (Eric Brunner) writes:

> Karl Kluge ( wrote:
> : In article <4talke$> (Eric Brunner) writes:
> Reordering issues a bit:

Doing the same:

> If you can help Firl (<4t0pc5$>)out and actually pin down
> this Ted Holden item of scholarship:
> Deloria claimed to have identified amerindian myths and oral
> tradition which described the "red, shaggy fur" of the stegosaurus;

Try pages 242-3 of _REWL_

> I personally would appreciate it.

I'll look forward to an appropriate expression of your gratitude.

> I responded to Deitiker that deconstruction of the ethnographic record is
> part and parcel of doing any Contact Period demographic work. Where Firl
> is comming from with his interest in Vine's latest publication, which is
> not "about" Contact Period demographic issues, but rather about surviving
> pre- Contact oral texts, their interpretation, and the relationship of
> all indigenous peoples in contact with Conquest Cultures, nationalistic
> pseudo scienticism included, is inobvious.

Where Firl appears to be "coming from" is the question of to what extent this
is a rather creative reading of what _REWL_ is "about" arrived at due to the
ethnicity of the author and reader rather than any critical examination of the
text and it's relation to other utterances of Deloria's.

> What is odd here is the narrow, even perverse focus on a rather minor
> part of Vine's work.

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_?

> When the Aluminum Chappeaued Contingent cite the
> rather apocraphal "endorsement" of another brand of catastrophism
> (entirely Euro in its social construction) by Albert Einstein in his
> dottage, there is no derision of his opus, or election of catastrophism
> to received wisdom.

Probably because (1) people would prefer to deride him for his rejection of
probabilistic interpretations of QM or his insertion of the Cosmological
Constant into GR in order to avoid an expanding Universe, (2) the
"endoresement" is, as you say, largely apocryphal, and (3) the depth of his
commitment to the ideas is rather unclear.

> Why is Vine different?

Perhaps because, unlike Einstein who was (as you so kindly phase it) "in his
dottage" when dealing with Velikovsky and Hapgood, Deloria appears to have
been a committed Velikovskian ever since he visited V. in Princeton in 1964,
shortly after flunking out of the Colorado School of Mines (largely, according
to his Velikovsky symposium talk, because his casual observations during his
"days as a boy on the Pine Ridge reservation, hunting rabbits and prairie
dogs" convinced Deloria that he knew more about the process of fossil
formation than the profs there did).

Not to mention his continued belief in the basic theory V. outlined in
_Worlds in Collision_ and his other books in total disregard of the mass
of evidence against it, which makes him a bit of a fringe figure even
within that community, and raises some questions regarding his competence
to make valid judgements or criticisms in scientific areas.

> Let me know when you get around to reading "Red Earth, White Lies", or "God
> is Red", there are better things to do than tease catastrophists for their
> weaknesses. There are also more productive things to do than ask if people
> have actually read Kuhn for that matter.

Just dug it out of the sorting shelves tonight. Let me know when you get
around to reading his talk at the Velikovsky symposium. Then we'll both
be in a position to make informed arguments about the relationship between
the two texts instead of only one of us being is that position.

> Note that the very best minds in the two areas mentioned below have no
> problem with identifying errors of theory and method in their respective
> disciplines, and the phrase "all wrong" may be Vine's rhetoric, and it
> may also be Ted Holden's, and it may even be Gerold's "best effort" at
> summary of a position he views with something less than genetic
> predisposed enthusiasm.
> evidence that biological evolution and scientific archeology were
> all wrong.

If the only thing you'll settle for is a citation of the form "I think
biological evolution is all wrong", then I may not be able to oblige. His
rejection of the geological column (pp. 236-7, _REWL_), his claim that Native
American oral traditions establish that most mountain building occured while
humans were around to witness it (not to mention the old Creationist stand-by
"vapor canopy") (pp. 234-5, _REWL_), his claims that Indian oral traditions
appear to be describing dinosaurs (thus claiming that humans and dinosaurs
were contemporary) (pp. 240-245, _REWL_), plus statements in his Symposium
talk like

"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. It
seems quite obvious to us that immense tidal waves of catastrophic nature
deposited all kinds of animal skeletons all over the world. Orthodoxy,
however, insists that the animals "migrated" across dozens of mythical land
bridges in order to leave their fossils on different continents."


"Now we are seeing a few younger Indians become interested in connecting
tribal traditions to outside bodies of knowledge. I fear that for the most
part they will follow orthodox thinking and become apologists for mainstream
thought, supporting evolution, the Bering Strait and other fictional
enterprises in order to gain favor with establishment science."

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.")

> Feel as free as the air when posting to USENET Karl, and reach any
> conclusions you feel are the best ones for you.

Thank you so much for your permission, Eric, you can't imagine how much it
means to me.