Burden of Proof

Some people just love fakes. When I was working on medieval genealogies at Geni.com I was bowled over by the number of people willing to go to the mat for information they found online or got from Grandma. No other evidence to back it up. Most often their reasoning was something along the lines of “no one would say it if it weren’t true” and “there must have been an oral tradition and that’s why there’s no evidence.”

I would have had a happier experience, I think if I had taken time to look for an easy intro to the burden of proof. I came across this one by accident. It’s very nice. Just what I needed back then.

The burden of proof
  • QualiaSoup, “The burden of proof,” Youtube <youtube.com>, Apr. 25, 2012, retrieved July 11, 2020.

Indians and Polynesians

I think we could file this one under “proving the obvious”. Some South American Indians share DNA with some Polynesians. And the connection goes back way before European contact.

I was a fan of Thor Heyrdahl when I was a kid. I must’ve read Kon-Tiki a dozen times. That’s the one where he built a raft and sailed from Peru to Polynesia because he thought the Pacific Islands might have been settled by people from South America.

That was a controversial theory. Not accepted by academics, but still intriguing because it was something that could have happened, even if it didn’t really.

I secretly held onto hope there might be a kernel of truth. Then it turned out in 2013 that sweet potatoes spread from South America to Polynesia in historic times, say about 1000 to 1100 CE. The articles published back then were mostly hellbent on explaining that Heyerdahl was still an idiot and sweet potatoes were probably set adrift after a typhoon. No human intervention needed.

Ja. Maybe so but those sweet potatoes put a big question mark over the orthodox history.

This new DNA evidence can be explained by a single contact. It doesn’t validate Heyerdahl’s theory that Polynesians originated in South America, but it’s a fun and interesting validation of the core idea.

Website Status

July 1, 2020

I have now brought in two more old websites — hauridna.wordpress.com and underawesternsky.wordpress.com. It will take some time to get everything cleaned up again but this should be the last of the web fragments I intend to import.

October 18, 2019

Website should be up and functional, although many broken links remain. I’m shifting content related to neo-paganism to a different site, and plan to shift the Hauri yDNA material also back to its own website.

February 1, 2019

As expected, I’m pretty much done with the site remodeling now. There are still some broken links. I’ll be working on those as time permits.

January 12, 2019

This site has been torn up for a few months now. It’s probably fair to ask what exactly it is that I’m doing.

The short answer is that I’m doing some cleanup and re-arranging. New template. Converting some pages to posts. Tweaking the categories and tags. Just normal clean up stuff. I think the last time I did any of that was 2008.

The longer answer is that I’ve had a website pretty much continuously since 1996, and some preliminary efforts for a few years before that. I’ve had Blogger.com accounts like Under A Western Sky and Made in America, then the same accounts on WordPress.com. And, I’ve used a variety of domain names, including Howery.com, Howery.org, Stromsborg.com, Swanstrom.org, and HauriDNA.com, and many blogs, including howery.wordpress.com, blogspot.

What I’m doing now is collecting together the pieces that have survived my periodic purges and bringing them all together under one domain. I think I did that in 2003. 2008, and 2013. Seems to be a habit.

As I reorganize this site I’m thinking about what kind of copyright restrictions to apply. I’d like to use a Creative Commons license, but based on what I’ve seen on other sites I have substantial reservations. See my post about Copyright Considerations for some of my thoughts on that.

This has been taking longer than expected, but I’m making progress. I’ve gone from several hundred broken lines now down to just under 50. And, I’ve been bringing in quite a few drafts I’ve started on many different topics.

I don’t think this will take much longer. I’m thinking I’ll keep playing until about the end of January, and then be done with this phase.