[Indo-Eurasia] **The Farmer-Sproat-Witzel Model

George Thompson gthomgt at COMCAST.NET
Thu Feb 8 14:22:09 UTC 2007

Dear Reinhold and List members,

I know that my post will seem to many to be little more than a personal 
antagonism between me and Farmer, but it is more than that.

Let me cite post #6030 of the IER list dated Monday, Feb. 5, 2007.  In 
this post a notice is sent to the list of an article written by 
Mahadevan that expresses disagreement with the Farmer-Sproat-Witzel 
paper.  A paragraph from Mahadevan's article is quoted there. 

Notice that the post is preceded by a moderator's note from Farmer that 
exceeds the length of the quoted passage, and notice too that it 
concludes with a long essay by Farmer, rebutting Mahadevan, an essay 
that is perhaps three times longer than the material quoted from the 
Mahadevan article.

In short, Mahadevan has been refuted even before he is invited to wade 
into this "debate."  Notice finally also that in the moderator's note, 
Farmer expresses doubt that Mahadevan will accept the challenge to 
debate on the Farmer list since Mahadevan is obviously wrong, and then a 
$10,000 "prize challenge" is offered -- once again! -- to anyone who can 
refute the Farmer-Sproat-Witzel thesis.

Needless to say, there are many good scholars on that list and there 
have been many informed discussions on it.

As one list member has written to me privately, this moderator handles 
the list more like "an impressario than a scholar."   Also, this list 
member reminds me of the South Asia conference in Madison in Oct. 2005, 
where many objections to the Farmer-Sproat-Witzel thesis were raised.  
All of this is ignored on that list, however, as was my objection to the 
way that the Mahadevan invitation to debate was framed.  Why would 
anyone accept such an unfriendly invitation?

Dear list members, if you do not accept my characterization of this kind 
of list moderation, please offer me a better one.

Thank you for your response and your patience.

George Thompson

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