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    Re: Sea crossing in ancient times
    From: Trevor Kenchington
    Date: 2004 Dec 18, 20:47 -0400

    Thanks to Peter Fogg for being kind enough not to point out that I said
    that the traces of Homo erectus were on Lombok, when they really were
    (as he says) on Flores (3rd major island east of Lombok). The critical
    water crossing on the shortest route to Flores was the Lombok Strait and
    thus it is likely that they either established themselves on Lombok
    before moving on or at least coasted along its shores. I failed to store
    the details in memory and muddled the essential point (crossing of
    Lombok Strait) with the particular island on which traces of the human
    presence have been found so far. [Only a small proportion of all human
    artefacts survive in the archaeology record and only a small proportion
    of that has yet been found. Much of archaeology is a classic case of the
    absence of proof not being proof of absence.]
    And thanks also to Peter for pointing out that the newly-found "hobbits"
      (which appear to have been hobbit-like only in their stature) were
    connected with this voyaging, at least in their origins. I hadn't
    grasped that point when their discovery was announced several weeks ago.
    Trevor Kenchington
    Off-topic P.S.:
    Wallace and Darwin co-authored the first formal statement of their
    independently-developed theory, though Darwin subsequently put out the
    book-length version under his name alone. He had been working on it for
    years but, when Wallace sent a manuscript to the great man for review,
    Darwin volunteered to stand aside and let Wallace take all credit -- or
    perhaps all blame. (It seems that Darwin anticipated the social
    implications and consequences of his theory and was reluctant to release
    it for that reason.)
    But they must both share the credit with several earlier thinkers who
    provided the foundation for the theory without quite achieving it. As
    Newton observed, even the greatest scientists are but midgets standing
    on the shoulders of giants.
    Unfortunately, the popular imagination needs to single out particular
    heroes and hence the work of many is credited to the likes of Newton,
    Darwin, Einstein and Hawking -- great scientists all but not quite as
    singular as most people suppose. Much the same can, of course, be said
    of the big names in navigation: Harrison, Maskelyn, Sumner and the rest.
    Trevor J. Kenchington PhD                         Gadus{at}iStar.ca
    Gadus Associates,                                 Office(902) 889-9250
    R.R.#1, Musquodoboit Harbour,                     Fax   (902) 889-9251
    Nova Scotia  B0J 2L0, CANADA                      Home  (902) 889-3555
                         Science Serving the Fisheries

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