River Sarasvati

Ven. Tantra troyoga at YAHOO.COM
Thu Mar 9 02:25:23 UTC 2000

Boys, boys!!

--- Lars Martin Fosse <lmfosse at ONLINE.NO> wrote:
> Tarek Wani [SMTP:tarekwani at USA.COM] skrev 08. mars
> 2000 15:27:
> > Although Mr Wujastyk is entitled to his opinion,
> > it is unreasonable to dismiss work by others
> > that does not belong to one's area of expertise
> without
> > reading it. The ad hominem attacks on work coming
> out
> > of India, without looking at the evidence, takes
> us
> > back to the attitudes of the colonial period.
> >
> > Is it too much to ask to keep racial prejudices
> and
> > hate-mongering out of this list?
> Racial prejudice and hate-mongering do not come into
> it. Let me give you a
> counter-example: Recently, Thor Heyerdahl of
> Kon-Tiki fame, together with a
> cartographer published a book on the Norse
> migrations to Canada containing some
> "controvesial" views. Heyerdahl is man of great
> personal courage and daring-do,
> and both respected and admired for it, but
> unfortunately he also wants to count
> as a scholar without having the relevant
> qualifications and consequently not
> the critical attitude expected in a scholar. The
> Norwegian specialists within
> the field have politely rejected his hypotheses.
> Possibly, his lavishly
> produced book will appeal to the general public.
> I could give a couple of other examples from other
> fields than Indology where
> enterprising amateurs with a good standing within
> other fields have tried to
> attack difficult problems. One of these, a biologist
> called Barry Fell, some
> years ago published a book where he argued that
> Norwegians had discovered
> America 1700 BCE. He also claimed that he had solved
> the mystery of certain
> American rock carvings, which - surprise, surprise!
> - turned out to be Old
> Norse (for once not Sanskrit). (The Old Norse he
> read into the carvings turned
> out to be in a language that was younger than the
> oldest Norse inscriptions we
> know. Barry Fell, like so many scientists, was a
> lousy philologist).
> In Norway, I am probably the only one to know about
> Fell's book, and only
> because I have an American aunt who brought it home
> in the mistaken idea that
> she had some wonderful news for us. I had a hard
> time convincing her that the
> book was nonsense. Apparently, Norwegian-Americans
> were delighted with Fell's
> ideas (does this sound familiar to anybody?).
> Please drop the idea that we reject ideas simply
> because we are racists. That
> is a too  convenient explanation. We usually reject
> ideas because they are
> badly argued and often based upon nationalist
> prejudice of a kind that is all
> too familiar  in Europe and elsewhere.
> Best regards,
> Lars Martin Fosse
> Dr. art. Lars Martin Fosse
> Haugerudvn. 76, Leil. 114,
> 0674 Oslo
> Norway
> Phone/Fax: +47 22 32 12 19
> Email: lmfosse at online.no
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