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    Re: Ancient mariners enjoyed Hawaiian holidays
    From: Michael Daly
    Date: 2007 Oct 30, 19:16 -0400

    Wolfgang K�berer wrote:
    
    > Still I am surprised that the information about Polynesian (and Micronesian,
    > I suppose) navigation is apparently presented as something new. In fact
    > navigation of the island populations of the Pacific has been studied since
    > the late 19th century.
    
    It's not so much that it's new as that it's not mainstream.  Lots of 
    folks study things in obscure corners without getting much attention.
    
    Personally, I don't find it amazing that Polynesians could do these 
    things - they are, after all, just as smart as any Europeans (or other 
    group).
    
    I'm educated as a civil engineer and I am always amazed when I see 
    photos or videos of Gothic cathedrals in Europe.  Hundreds of years 
    before any reasonable kind of theory of elasticity or solid mechanics or 
    strength of materials were formally written down, those architects built 
    huge, towering, light structures that stand for almost a millennium.  I 
    don't know how they figured it out, but they were not just lucky - they 
    were smart.  One of these days I'm going to go see and touch them for 
    myself.  I should brush up on my Latin so I can dig into libraries and 
    museums for the plans and design documents (what very little survives). 
      If we think we know more than others, it's a conceit.
    
    Mike
    
    
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