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    Re: Polynesian navigation
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2009 Jun 6, 16:35 -0700

    George, you wrote:
    "On the face of it, it appears most unlikely that any useful navigational 
    information could be provided by such a phenomenon. Of course, if it could be 
    shown that real navigation could be done on such a basis, then we would have 
    to take it seriously, whether we understood its basis or not. Lewis has 
    provided no such evidence in this extract. Until some such evidence appears, 
    it seems wisest to file the navigational use of luminescence away under the 
    category of "myth", and forget it."
    Thanks for the pages from Lewis. I was thinking in terms of common "bulk" 
    luminescence which could make waves striking an atoll more visible on a 
    moonless night. But this phenomenon, he says, is something else.
    It's conceivable that this is a real phenomenon, and it would be worth 
    exploring. There are thousands of different bioluminescent species, and just 
    as some species on land can sense direction, it is quite possible that there 
    is some marine organism, perhaps unique to deep Pacific waters, maybe a 
    larger squid, that could provide directional information to a careful 
    observer at sea. It would be astounding if it's true, but you know what 
    Hamlet said to Horatio...
    PS: For those who have forgotten their Shakespeare, it's that quotable line: 
    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in 
    your philosophy. " :-)
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