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Re: Cheng Ho & Admiral Zheng He

Greetings Cousins;
The National Post in Canada featured this story today following a talk given
by Gavin Menzies to the Royal Geographic Society last Friday. In his thesis
Menzies maintained that Admiral Zheng He from China arrived in the Caribbean
some 70 years prior to Columbus. Apparently it is established that the
Chinese had reached the west side of Africa. Mr. Menzies is publishing the
book and claims to have archeological proof that everyone is waiting for.

I took a couple of observations from this. One is that members of this list
will find the hypothetical reasoning not outrageous as we have collectively
moved away from the established thinking of European Exploration as taught
in the 1950's. The second is a wonderment as to a debate over " who was
first" still persists. It seems this approach to history needs to be
rethought and both Niven, and Sinclair have brought to the table the more
important question of how did an adventure or exploration advance mans
understanding or knowledge, and what happened or transpired afterward.

And history and the advance of knowledge is more than a collection of first
to's. There is rarely anyone that achieved a " First" without the foundation
of pre existing knowledge to get them there in the first place.

In this same vein the Menzies, and Pohls and Tim's of the world have been
taking a view of the past that is not about " first to's" but point a finger
to knowledge and exploration being a series of progressive steps that
gradually accumulate knowledge and understanding by many individuals, some
which we know of and many whose footsteps will forever be lost in the sands
of time and with names never heard.

Neil Sinclair

----- Original Message -----
From: "Stanley St. Clair" <srstclair@alltel.net>
> >>I don't know what is so new about the idea that the Chineese sailed to
> >>America before the Europeans. I read an article in an airline magazine
> >>this  while on a plane enroute to Hawaii in the mid nineties. It didn't
> >>surprise me then.

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