There's No Arguing with a True Believer

February 23, 2005

This insightful passage from a review of Mary Lefkowitz' Not Out of Africa details the futility of trying to debate an Afrocentrist or other true believer. The writer could easily have included Nordicism among the many other "-isms" cited as examples.

It is not an accident that the students of Afrocentrism and catastrophism act more like disciples of a guru than students of a scientific teacher. They are on a mission, not a quest. And, as with many before them with noble goals, they believe the end justifies the means. Hence, it is nearly futile to engage them in debate. Scholars have difficulty debating opponents such as Afrocentrists, catastrophists, creationists or even anti-abortionists, because they expect their opponents to be civil and play by the rules of scholarly evidence. They mistakenly believe they have entered an arena where all sides are in quest of the same truth. What they are actually getting into is a street fight, where the goal is to defeat and humiliate your enemy. Their opponents don't follow traditional standards of evidence in their printed arguments and diatribes, so why expect them to be any different in a public debate? If you challenge their accuracy, they will question your integrity. If you ask for evidence, they will insult you. If you challenge their sources, you will be asked to prove the absolute certainty of your sources. You think the arena is an intellectual one where the combatants use wit and intelligence to score points, but while you are looking above your opponent's shoulders, he will kick you in the groin. You may have the evidence and the arguments on your side but your opponent doesn't care about the evidence and is not interested in your arguments. He already knows the truth.


"Best of Sicily" Fraud

February 14, 2005

On the surface, Best of Sicily (BoS) looks like a harmless travel and tourism site. But dig a little deeper and you'll find references to Sicily as "African" and Sicilians as "descended from Arabs". Move on to the site's History section and the editors' multi-cultural and multi-racial agenda becomes overtly clear. They've turned Sicily into a diverse island whose inhabitants are an even mix of all of its different settlers and conquerors over the centuries, ignoring cultural factors that may have acted as barriers to intermarriage with certain groups, and projecting their own modern obsession with "cultural harmony" onto ancient and medieval populations.

Upon being confronted with contemporary scientific data on Sicilian Origins that shatters their unsupported fantasies, the site's editors, instead of welcoming the new information, responded with a long-winded exercise in denial called Genetics & Anthropology in Sicily. Not surprisingly, it applies all of the old tricks Nordicists and Afrocentrists use to prove what isn't true, like referencing outdated material on sickle cell and other blood groups (they call a 1978 study "the best kind of research currently available"), giving precedence to speculations based on historical records, and rationalizing it all with vague half-truths and tirades against people with dissenting opinions. Whatever it takes to avoid the facts I've collected, of which they've been well aware for some time now.

You see, they have found my site useful for some things, like obtaining photos of Sicilian models to pretty up their Genetics page. But they don't dare divulge the source, and they absolutely will not post any of the relevant genetic data—though they're quick to dismiss it indirectly, going so far as to warn their readers against "[t]he existence of other, seemingly conflicting, studies, seeking to identify other gene markers possibly irrelevant to migration history, or incompletely documented, or cited out of context". Can you smell the desperation?

The reason they do all this is obvious: They know the available evidence categorically disproves their propaganda, and they can't risk their visitors being exposed to the truth, or even to any interpretation that threatens to undo the elaborate myth they've created. To put it plainly, they're liars and cowards, no different from the Neo-Nazi and Black Power revisionists targeted by my website (who, incidentally, often quote from BoS to further their agendas). But they get away with it by wrapping their politics in a deceptively neutral package. The average visitor to the site inevitably falls for it, but there's no reason you should.

So if you happen to come across a website that endorses BoS, I would urge you to send the webmaster a link to this blog entry, with a carbon copy to the BoS editors. Or you could just e-mail the link directly to the editors with an expression of disapproval (but don't expect a reply). Also, if you see their site referenced in a forum as support for some outrageous claim, you might want to direct the offender(s) to this page as well. The BoS crew has done such a thorough job of maintaining its deception that this is the only way to get the truth out.

Here are some keywords to make sure that when this blog item gets indexed, it'll appear with Best of Sicily in search results: Palermo, Catania, Messina, Siracusa, Agrigento, Cefalù, Monreale, Taormina film festival, Mount Etna, cities, towns, culture, society, trip, vacation, car rentals, hotels, restaurants, cuisine, food, wine, arts, books, heritage, genealogy, ethnology, Saracens, Moors, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Normans, online magazine, Italy, Italians.

Asselar Man

February 5, 2005

A tall, clearly Negroid skeleton (Asselar Man) has been dated to 6500 B.P. (Camp 1974:241; Coon 1962:649-650).


Extinct human known from a skeleton found in 1927 near the French military post of Asselar, French Sudan (now Mali), by M.V. Besnard and Théodore Monod. Asselar man is believed to belong to the Holocene or Recent Epoch; some scholars consider it the oldest known skeleton of an African black.