SV: SV: Paired Horse and PIE breakup

Lars Martin Fosse lmfosse at ONLINE.NO
Sun Nov 8 19:16:15 UTC 1998

Paul Kekai Manansala wrote:

Trying to pinpoint bias in linguistics work is a bit more difficult,
especially when this is done in a more subtle manner.  Yet one can still
find prima facie bias in various theories out there.  The idea of what
I call the "Mt. Ararat" origin of languages as postulated in various
circles is one example.  When linguistics mysteriously backs
up easily refutable genetic and anthropological theories, one has to be
very suspicious.

Could you be more specific here? What is the Mt. Ararat origin, where is it described? Furthermore, which easily refutable genetic and anthropological theories are mysteriously backed up by linguistics?

Also, it is more an idea of Western outlook altogether.  If there is a
tendency in academia to see Western culture as superior and central, how
can we trust any segment of it to be totally free of that bias?

The idea of Western superiority in academic matters seems to be shared by other peoples than Westerners. Natural science was largely invented in the West, but has since got a following outside the West, so that it is now shared by Westerners and non-Westerners alike. For about 450 years, Europe,  and later the US,  functioned as an intellectual hothouse where new important ideas were developed. In modern times, Asians and Africans have made efforts to acquire this knowledge and use it to their own advantage, since Western knowledge obviously made it possible for them to conquer a very large part of the world, although for a short period, historically speaking. If you look at history, there are several such intellectual hothouses, both in Asia and in the West. But the last hothouse happened to be Western. Looking at Japan, we may perhaps assume that the hothouse is moving away from the West once more.

If you read eugenics literature closely, you will find that there is a
strong bias toward racial genetic inferiority/superiority.

Again, could you please supply us with the most central book titles? My impression - which may be wrong, of course - was that eugenics and racist theories were more or less completely ousted from respectable academic circles after the Nazi experience. I do not count the political lunatic fringe, but would like to see references to academics with a footing in mainstream Western universities. (The Bell Curve has already been mentioned, and was, as I already said, not received with applause).

Best regards,

Lars Martin

Dr. art. Lars Martin Fosse
Haugerudvn. 76, Leil. 114,
0674 Oslo
Phone: +47 22 32 12 19
Fax:      +47 22 32 12 19
Email: lmfosse at

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