Re: Pig-headedness and anthropology

Philip Deitiker (
Wed, 04 Sep 1996 17:45:13 GMT wrote:

>Shannon Adams wrote:
>> Everyone get ready for a flame war.
>> All joking aside I am SO SICK of hearing everyone ranting and raving about
>> the fact that other people don't think the way they do! Have any of you
>> ranters actually taken an Anthro class? If you have you haven't interalized
>> it! One of the most fundamental aspects of cultural anthropology is that
>> different peoples have differing idealogies, cosmologies, thought patterns,
>> associations, languages, should I go on? And while I personally believe that
>> an individual has the RIGHT to decide what he/she believes to be correct
>> or the truth among these differences, IMHO an individual (or group, for that
>> able to find fallacies in their beliefs, but guess what there are fallacies
>> in yours as well! I'm so flustered I can't even remember the anthropologist
>> now but somebody said that all cultures/ideological systems are internally
>> logical and I would add that all cultures/ideological systems are externally
>> illogical. LIVE WITH IT!!
>> Shannon
>please calm down, dear.

If you want to paternalize folks I can easily paternalize you.

> You're frightening the intellects who rule this
>joint, and making an unintelligible laughing stock of yourself. This
>business is flustering, cruel and often opinionated.

Opinionated, fine.....derogatory in order to confuse this issues and
muddle the water. If you read some of the post currently here, there
are personal/derogatory remarks aimed at rather fit scientific
arguments resulting in a discussion that is less than scientifically
productive. From what I seen, there is the production here of
psuedoscientific arguements disguised as to meritorious until the
point in which some one challenges them, then the presenters of the
original arguments resort to personal attacks to try to devolve the
argument and distort others opinions. (An anthropological study in
itself I might add, :-). )

> My only suggestion
>to you is to always have four or five references to back up arguments
>you may voice.

Even if the references come from decidedly non-refereed sources or the
"journels of unsubstanitated data".

> These dudes that run off at the mouth know what they are
>talking about. believe it or not.

As alchemist once knew what they talked about, only problem was that
they were mostly wrong. Why, they did not use a scientific methodology
of analysis, similar to many of the arguments made here. Most of
science prior to the 20th century has shown to be wrong, and even much
of 21st century science will shown to have errors; however, its
probably best to use the most precise techniques of determination
versus techniques proported by ancient civilizations or neolithic
The basic point is you can't say there is life on pluto (as an
example) unless you have some kind of reasonable proof thereof.
Arguments here are made in this kind of scenario:' There is life on
the equator and its hot, theres life in the artic and its cold, theres
life in anartic and its very cold therefore therefore there should be
life on pluto even though its very, very cold....= anthopological
In the immunity and disease thread there are arguments put forth
such as there was a documented 90% + mortality rate do to epidemeic
disease in certain areas and the conclusion was made

Native america + european contact.old world diseases -----> 90%
population reductions over 100 years....... with little proof of how
absolute this tendency was and with a complete ignorance of other
possible contributing factors.

> One of the fuels that feeds your
>flame is that you don't understand some of these concepts and theories,

Some theories don't need to be understood to be shot down. Think about
how many variant theories of creationist-evolution have been put forth
to reconcile the paleotological record and molecular genetics with a
6000 year old semetic myth. While each new theory gets more
sophisticated, the fact is that in the end, there are factual elements
that are thrown out and non-factual elements introduced. Understanding
in these theroies is better spent trying to understand the behavior of
the presenters rather than the theories themselves.
The same has been done for atlantis, the unicorn and for wild myths
from every corner of the earth. In each of these myths there may be
meritorious arguments; however, the entirety must be considered what
they are ancient stories, most of which are void of documentation and
carried mouth to mouth and permutated for social reasons until the
point they were finally recorded. The basic problem I see here is that
there are folks here who pass themselves off as scolars who are
actually proponents of mythological and superstitious arguments.