Holy Grail Across the Atlantic: My Own Rant to Bradley
To start this new category of posts I am starting with Holy Grail Across the Atlantic by Michael Bradley. With my recent research on some of the predominant pre-Columbian contact theories this book was a must read. This review is just about one or two of the main things in this book that really did not sit well with me.
As with most Pseudoarchaeological claims Bradley attacks Anthropology and Archaeology as an academic discipline. This is a somewhat long quote that pretty much sums up Bradley's rant against Anthropology,
"Then, Thor Heyerdahl proved beyond a doubt that the Polynesians had, in fact, migrated into the Pacific from the east, from America. This is gradually becoming accepted now, as those "experts" die off who are responsible for so many textbooks which are mere rubbish." (Bradley 1988)
Where he finds the "beyond a doubt" statement is beyond my own comprehension. Theories do not become predominant because the previous generation died off. They become accepted because they have substantial proof to back them up.
Just after this statement he then attacks Participant Observation.
"... how can some hot-shot academic spend a few weeks or months with a tribe and expect to come away with any idea of what they know and believe?" (Bradley 1988)
These two comments really struck me while I was reading the book and they left a foul taste in my mouth. The fact remains that in order for Bradley's theory to be accepted he needs hard facts; which he is lacking.