Biblical 'Creationism' and the California Business
- Dear List,
It's Sunday, and if you appreciate black humor, here's an example of
the kind of disinformation related to the California issue now flying
around the Web.
Every time a new genetics paper appears that deals with the African
dispersal of genes into the rest of the world -- normally dealing with
temporal ranges on the order of 35,000+ years ago -- the Hindutva
groups begin publicly claiming that the paper provides "proof' that any
migrations of Indo-European speaking people ever occurred in S. Asia
(in early historical times).
These claims have become increasingly common since a paper by Kivisild
et al. appeared on mitochondrial DNA in 1999, which first gave rise to
such claims. (They even trotted this paper out at the California
hearings on Dec. 2.) The fact that the temporal error bars in Kivisild
et al. are longer than the distance that separates us from the
composers of the RV (!), making the data in the paper useless in
discussing historical rather than deep prehistorical events,
conveniently gets lost in in the discussion. So do the profusion of
papers that different sides in this highly politicized issue.
Now for reasons that none of us have quite figured out, the Hindutva
groups have added the claim that the so-called Aryan invasion theory is
linked up with biblical 'Creation Science'. We haven't figured out the
reasons behind this leap of imagination, but on it, see below. This
little Hindutva 'news' item was just yanked off the Web and forwarded
to us by a friendly correspondent.
It would take a long exegesis to untangle this mess -- the stories
falsely ascribed to Jim Heitzman, from UC Davis, are maybe the funniest
of them all -- but so many of these stories right now are flooding the
Net (I found out today too that I'm a believer in 'Creationist
Science') that we can't keep up with all of them.
So let's just let the story speak for itself. Michael has some similar
stories that he might way to share with us. (There are things much
worse than what you see below that we're being sent nearly every hour
-- threats of lasuits, crank emails, and worse.)
There is big money behind the Hindutva moves on California, and we are
currently tracking down the money trail.
Harvard Professor: DNA evidence is Hindu conspiracy!
According to Harvard Professor Michael Witzel, scientific evidence
against the creationism based Aryan Invasion Theory is a Hindu
conspiracy! A few months back, Science magazine published a paper that
disproves the Aryan Invasion Theory.
You can read about that paper here.
The research shows that there was only a single dispersal from Africa,
via a southern coastal route, across the mouth of the red Sea, through
India and onward into Southeast Asia and Australasia. There was
subsequently a northern offshoot from the Gulf region, leading
ultimately to the settlement of the Near East and Europe, but this only
occurred much later. However, this turns out to be wrong. According to
the Harvard Professor who supports theories based on Biblical
creationism, this is nothing but a conspiracy hatched by Hindus! Witzel
claimed the changes were motivated by "Hindutva" forces and would "lead
without fail to an international educational scandal if they are
accepted by the California's State Board of Education." Hindus had
suggested changes in textbooks based on this paper to California's
State Board of Education. According to another "scholar" named James
Heitzman who was on the "Super Review Team" to assess the facts placed
by Hindus, the "undecayed body of Saint Francis Xavier" is actually a
miracle! And Islam began when "Muhammad received visions in which the
Archangel Gabriel revealed the word of God to him." Heitzman also
states that Hinduism is based on speculations. The activists led by
Michael Witzel were also planning to contact BBC and make them take off
the section on Hinduism that stated that the Aryan Invasion Theory "was
not just wrong, it included unacceptably racist ideas." Apparently,
they temporarily succeeded in their efforts to foil the Hindu
conspiracy to plant DNA evidence when BBC pulled down the page for two
days, but the page was restored after BBC received complaints from
people who believed in DNA evidence.