Otterman speaks... (2003-2007)
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Otterman speaks...

Cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore - Archives

List of Categories : travel * museum * cycling * Singapore Naturalist * science * kakis * mangroves * movies * mac and the internet * meow * NUS * life in Singapore * lit * world *

Fri 20 Jan 2006

'A menace to the cause of knowledge'

Category : world

NUS' Geoff Wade's of the Asia Research Institute has put up a spirited blitz of contradictions to Menzies various claims. The debate was complex in parts but he finally put it simply - "It's rubbish. There is no evidence to back it up"). I have been privy to relevant posts in the H-List as Ai LIn posts selections to the Singapore Heritage list, and there is some correspondence to Wade directly as well.

I blogged briefly about it last June and put up Wade's article to the Singapore Heritage List, "1421 and all that" for easy reference. I felt that the evidence of human migration from Asia to North America, c. 27,000 B.C. pretty much made these claims all moot. With historians keeping a watchful eye on the issue, I let the matter recede into the background, and attended to other more important things like the Back Dorm Boys.

However, much like the ID debate, this refuses to go away. Menzies has revealed yet another map and has made further claims with The Economist featured a seemingly credulous article about his claims . Geoff Wade was quick with a rebuttal.

In the UK, The Guardian featured an article (thanks to Ly Yng and Ai Ling for highlighting this) - "Of course the Chinese didn't discover America. But then nor did Columbus." By Simon Jenkins. The Guardian, 20 Jan 2006. A map supporting claims that the admiral Zheng He reached the New World in the early 15th century is plainly a hoax.

The more forgiving have reckoned that Menzies' agitation has at least excited debate and raised some interest in history. I just hope that when the dust settles, we are not left with more myths to unravel.

Posted at 9:02AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | , .