Bad Science in "Science", "Nature" and a few others

Paz B. Naylor pnaylor at
Fri Apr 26 00:34:25 UTC 2002

Bravo, Jeff!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeff Marck" <jeff.marck at>
Sent: Wednesday, April 24, 2002 11:59 PM
Subject: Bad Science in "Science", "Nature" and a few others

> I put this out on ArcLing over the weekend and a number of people kind of
> liked it. Obviously has a place on AN-lang and probably ASAO as well so
> here it is:
> ArcLing:
> The geneticists put out some striking papers on Polynesian genetics in the
> last couple years. Per Hage and I have sent off a paper saying the obvious
> conclusion to the observation that Polynesian mitochondrial DNA is mainly
> Asian and Y-chromosome DNA is mainly Papuan is that Proto Oceanic and
> immediately descended societies were matrilineal... as matrilineal
> societies are relatively quick to absorb new men and slow absorb new women
> as opposed to the various vice versas.
> While these breakthroughs in genetics are welcome the archaeology seems
> typically to be read second hand and the linguistics even more remotely.
> And the simple and abundant errors in usages of linguistic terminologies
> (and their implications) are sometimes amazing.
> Perhaps they think we should be capable of speaking correctly and
> authoritatively about genetics without bioscientists having a look at our
> stuff before we send it off to press. Probably not. Why then do so many of
> them seem to assume they can read third-hand linguistics for a week and
> then publish generally accurate interpretations of what it means, what it
> does not, and so forth?
> It's simple arrogance and I for one, have not been entirely polite about
> in things I've sent off to press in recent months.
> Harrumph.
> Jeff Marck
> Jeff Marck
> Adj. Asst. Prof. U. Iowa Anthropology
> Adj. Asst. Prof. U. Hawai'i Linguistics
> PO Box 27129
> Omaha NE 68127 USA
> USA-402-558-1931 (home)
> USA-402-578-3462 (cell)

More information about the An-lang mailing list