Lactose Intolerance

JoatSimeon at JoatSimeon at
Tue Apr 3 05:00:10 UTC 2001

In a message dated 4/2/01 10:52:44 PM Mountain Daylight Time,
philjennings at writes:

> As he located the Anatolians in situ in Anatolia, he had no need

-- he never did explain why the extant Anatolian IE languages all look

Not to mention the fact that Renfrew never seems to have grasped the concept
of degrees of interrelatedness. (Eg., the fact that Greek is much closer to
Indo-Iranian than to the Anatolian group.)

His latest effort in the JIES is a maze of migrations, re-migrations, and
cross-migrations -- exactly the explanatory framework he tried to dispose of
in the first place!  It's like the cycles and epi-cycles of late Ptolemaic
astronomy, gasping and straining to maintain the heliocentric hypothesis.

In fact, Renfrew's basic problem in the context of IE origins was that he was
trying to solve a "problem" that didn't exist, except in his theoretical
assumptions -- he assumed that a massive linguistic shift _must_ have clear
archaeological traces, and _must_ involve some discernable (in the
archaeological record) techological trace.

Neither of these is true; hence the whole edifice built on them is fatally
flawed from the start.

The primary "technology" involved was probably in the "software", the
cultural framework itself -- including the language -- rather than in the
stones-and-bones stuff; and hence invisible from the archaeological

One can see why archaeologists hate this; it means that their carefully
catalogued sequences of _in situ_ development may be meaningless, in terms of
things like langauge and ethnicity -- subject to random reformatting that
can't be archaeologically traced.

Cultural factors are what usually gives a group an advantage, after all.

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