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    Amerigo Vespucci's navigational claims
    From: Fred Hebard
    Date: 2007 Aug 12, 11:58 -0400

    In the New York Times, a review of a book about Amerigo Vespucci  
    mentions his claims to navigational skills. The link is:
    
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/books/review/Philbrick-t.html? 
    pagewanted=2&ref=books
    
    The claim is quoted below:
    
    In these narratives, Vespucci depicts himself as a navigator par  
    excellence. While mere seamen rely on experience and orally  
    transmitted sailing instructions to find their way across the ocean,  
    Vespucci ostentatiously wields his navigational instruments. Much  
    like that of the medical doctors of his day, Vespucci's science  
    appears to have been more about deception and bluff than actual  
    results, but as Fern�ndez-Armesto writes, "the difference between  
    magic and science is narrower than most people think today."
    
    
    
    Does anybody know what Vespucci's claims were?
    
    
    
    I also found interesting the quote, "the difference between magic and  
    science is narrower than most people think today."  Certainly the  
    skill needed to become proficient in the use of a sextant, not to  
    mention sight reduction, makes proficiency appear as magic.  This is  
    predates the use of any of the magical electronic devices with which  
    we are becoming familiar.
    
    
    
    Fred Hebard
    
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