It seems to me that an honest scholar would just stick to writing things he
can authenticate using the documentary record, or at least the
archaeological record. In the absence of such records the author isn't
just engaging in unfounded supposition, he is engaged in irresponsible
guessing and wild speculation. That is, he is just making up the
story. Such a book is fiction, not nonfiction.
And hence the humble "SWAG" is born...
If science limits itself to just the existing record, whether documentary
or archaeological, and not try to extrapolate beyond that, then it really
can't expand understanding.
There needs to be _some_ supposition, hopefully founded on existing
records, in all archaeological theories (or any theory for that matter),
but it should only be there to help in defining further research. The
problem, as I see it, is that many scientists invest so much of their egos
in defending their more reasonable suppositions that they become 'facts',
and 'proofs' and are then used to base more fanciful suppositions on.
Eventually you have something that resembles complete fantasy because it's
no longer even remotely based on the record.
I don't think Mr. Diamond has gone that far yet, even though he is
apparently ignoring the biblical record.
Something else to consider on the sheep issue John is that we seem to be
the only group that understands that Adam lived here - I think that most
people assume that Eden was somewhere in what is now the mid-east, if they
think about it at all.
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