Professor Asko Parpola on the Indus script

Steve Farmer saf at SAFARMER.COM
Mon Apr 27 12:01:13 UTC 2009

Sorry, the last link in my post had a typo in it. Here it is  
corrected: i

> Here's that link, which discusses Rao's invented evidence:
> We end with a little argument about whether this was a "script" or  
> not, and it doesn't use sophisticated statistics. I wonder, Pankaj,  
> what you think about the argument? Here it is:
>> The implausibility of the view that the so-called Indus script was  
>> true writing is suggested in
>> many ways that do not require sophisticated analyses. The simplest  
>> argument is the best: the
>> sheer brevity of the inscriptions. We possess thousands of  
>> inscribed Indus objects on a wide
>> range of materials. The average inscription is 4-5 symbols long  
>> and the longest, found on a
>> highly anomalous piece, carries 17. Before our paper, the lack of  
>> real texts was explained away
>> by invoking the purely speculative image of lost perishable  
>> manuscripts. The speculation was
>> spurious: we know of hundreds of literate societies, but not of  
>> one that wrote long texts on
>> perishable materials but failed to do so as well on durable goods.  
>> It is interesting that simple
>> arguments like this have been ignored by defenders of the  
>> traditional view, who often hold that
>> view for reasons that have nothing to do with science, while  
>> questions involving the symbols are
>> obfuscated with complex statistical arguments that when you read  
>> the fine print (and that not in
>> the paper itself) turn out to depend on invented data.
> Best wishes,
> Steve Farmer

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