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  •  Well Contemporary Flu Often Comes From Asia (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim J, KenBee, HylasBrook, annieli, MichaelNY

    via migrating birds, don't they?, and there would've been vastly more bird migration 500+ years ago. Were Asians already raising pigs and birds together in close quarters by then? I'd guess so. That's the incubator I always seem to see mentioned for the source of the flus.

    It'd be interesting to try to discover when Asian influenzas began hitting native Americans. Could've been a long time ago, and the results could've been severe.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 07:14:48 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  I bet there were a fair number of Europeans (6+ / 0-)

      that washed up along America's shores before Columbus - they just never made it back.

      The Basques were killing and processing whales for oil 50 years before Columbus in Labrador.

      Like many things in history, a specific 'point' is deemed to be a first historical event.  Gutenberg wasn't the first European to invent the printing press - other men were experimenting with it too, but his was more successful.  So, in school we're taught that Gutenberg invented the printing press.  Forget that the Chinese had invented it about 400-500 years before Gutenberg did.

      So there would have been earlier European contact than Columbus'.  

      Was it likely that there became a tipping point?  A contact with a few ship wrecked sailors may not have made a difference, but as the amount of contact grew, the disease germs started spreading.

      HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

      by HylasBrook on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 07:39:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  and the Chinese were here earlier (0+ / 0-)

        if the premise of '1421' can be believed.

        What I can believe however is that people have traversed the Atlantic for a long dam time before somebody came back, claimed anything ("Now we can make Tortillas"..firesign theater) and was listened to.

        People have crossed in rowboats, canoes, kayaks, and when the water was 300' lower, crossing along the Artic ice edge from both Asia and Europe is so likely it's silly to even argue against it. From Asia it's almost a pond inside the kelp, a kelp highway, as anyone who kayaks knows.

        The Aleutian people went far out to sea in skin boats to hunt and fish.

        And people would have brought their bugs with them.

        Responsible people leave neither loaded guns nor paranoid, eliminationist ideologies laying around for the mentally ill to play with.

        by KenBee on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 02:05:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The claim about China can't be believed (0+ / 0-)

          From Wikipedia, but please note the extensive footnoting:

          Within the academic world, the book (and Menzies "1421 hypothesis") is dismissed by sinologists and professional historians.[19][20][21] In 2004, historian Robert Finlay severely criticized Menzies in the Journal of World History for his "reckless manner of dealing with evidence" that led him to propose hypotheses "without a shred of proof".[5] Finlay wrote:

             Unfortunately, this reckless manner of dealing with evidence is typical of 1421, vitiating all its extraordinary claims: the voyages it describes never took place, Chinese information never reached Prince Henry and Columbus, and there is no evidence of the Ming fleets in newly discovered lands. The fundamental assumption of the book—that Zhu Di dispatched the Ming fleets because he had a "grand plan", a vision of charting the world and creating a maritime empire spanning the oceans—is simply asserted by Menzies without a shred of proof ... The reasoning of 1421 is inexorably circular, its evidence spurious, its research derisory, its borrowings unacknowledged, its citations slipshod, and its assertions preposterous ... Examination of the book's central claims reveals they are uniformly without substance.[22]

          A group of scholars and navigators, Su Ming Yang of the United States, Jin Guo-Ping of Portugal, Philip Rivers of Malaysia, Malhão Pereira and Geoff Wade of Singapore questioned Menzies' methods and findings in a joint message:[23]

             His book 1421: The Year China Discovered the World, is a work of sheer fiction presented as revisionist history. Not a single document or artifact has been found to support his new claims on the supposed Ming naval expeditions beyond Africa...Menzies' numerous claims and the hundreds of pieces of "evidence" he has assembled have been thoroughly and entirely discredited by historians, maritime experts and oceanographers from China, the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.[23]

          In a later review, Wade also pointed out Menzies had a propensity for making claims of dramatic, forthcoming evidence that never arrived.[15]

      •  Can you offer more specifics (0+ / 0-)

        or documentation on your points? I'm not contesting them; I'd just like to know more.

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