Introduction to US History/Justification

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Why not the featured US History book[edit | edit source]

which is found at wikibooks here. b:US_History.

from nearly the opening chapter of the book, what I have found was neither neutral nor easily corrected.

  • to start with, the author immediately discounts the major theory on North american settlement; the 'bering land' bridge theory. While it is true that recent scholarship has painted a more complex picture of N american settlement than this 1920's era theory. We do not need to in the words of the talk page; assume that the bering land bridge theory only works if 'million' of siberians cross into america. This is a 'straw man' theory for sure.Indeed recent scholarship has proved that there are undeniable migrations through the bering land bridge.

--Jolie 18:16, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

    • I don't know that such a claim, although evidently incorrect, is properly a "straw man". It is more simply a "false claim", which is not necessarily the same thing. More significantly: Why not simply edit the current Wikibook to be more accurate? The Jade Knight (d'viser) 07:23, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, Geo.plrd is quite significant to this discussion and hopefully will come here to discuss. I think HE might have problems with its organization and ability to meet AP US History
But Here is the question. if we start altering the textbook in a way that he doesn't like, he Might feel we are vandals and take administrative action against us. After all He wrote the book and was heavily against the bering strait theory and might not appreciate my edits. All efforts to invite him into the discussion did not work. It feels more natural (although much harder) to offer an "opposing book" when the book you are using seems heavily skewed and not objective. --Jolie 12:47, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Please keep in mind, the material appears abandoned. IF a project author cannot be reached to work out differences with; you are left with two aggresive steps. Either redo material in another forum or rewrite his work. The latter might just be more aggressive. While we are potentially being somewhat offensive to ignore his project altogether. I trust Geo's assessment that the project was very difficult to redeem. It may also be Geo.plrd judgement that training me is better served by my 'rewriting american history' than neccesarily any serious attempt to create a definitive textbook.
we are in new territory here, because normal history courses utilize history books created by panals of accomplished experts. For a Chemist (with little training) To CREATE a history textbook is NOVEL and Unique (CRAZY?). I make no guarentees that my own little researches are the definitive content of a introductory textbook. That is the weakness of this project. So really, Am I making the definitive textbook??? I don't know. I am studying history, trying to be unoffensive, and trying to learn from Geo.plrd. --Jolie 16:08, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
I think your efforts are to be applauded. I simply like to encourage collaboration as much as possible. Yes, it's possible that the author of the previous Wikibook might take issue with your edits (not as vandalism, but simply as "incorrect" in his opinion). But if the book is abandoned, no one would take issue at all. And there is always the possibility that the current author(s) would be willing to work with you to create a better, balanced book. Would that not be worth attempting? The Jade Knight (d'viser) 21:42, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Well as I see it, the US History wikibook has evolved into a euro centric general US history textbook. That is what the dynamic appears to be. I think it would be counterproductive to waltz in and attempt to shift the dynamic. Also, we are working on an AP textbook. The College Board has different ideas of topics than what you or I would include. Geo.plrd 05:23, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

I think Geo, that Jade has a point. whatever the dynamic of the history book at WB, the author Clearly INTENDED to meet AP requirements, it's in the introduction. moreover the book is 'featured' meaning its been reviewed and approved (in a limited way at least) with the WB community. This is one reason why I was less than certain that anything should have been started at WB.

Keep in mind, I am trying to reach the author. I will continue to do so.

However, I do think we need to continue the dynamic of writing this point. I'm learning alot, and its a little easier to write my own than change the sometimes off-base text (and reorganize). Even if we make NO textbook for AP but we make a bare-bones lecture notes it will be a great teaching project for me. Perhaps in several years,the course could be redone, and the current WB textbook altered by my writings and researches. We need to keep in mind that even when textbooks are written by experts, rarely are they written by one person, doing a chapter a week, and all in part time. If we get more people, the job of fully doing a textbook with solid well-written language, good references, etc will seem less weighty than it does now. I hope that my work allows people to build off it.

from my point of view, this books biggest errors are bizarre inclusions of material and a biased point of view (one aim of all textbooks is to be neutral and not PICK sides in scientific debates). For now, What I want to do is catalogue irregularities. If the author is found we can go through them point by point. Future attempts to reconcile differences would be served by this as well. --Jolie 12:54, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

I have created a note on the 'community bulletin board' explaining our action to the WB community. I have also created a copy of that information on the talk page of my userpage. If we cannot find representation with such a public proclamation, we must evaluate what that means.
I do hope though that the author, or someone will come along to represent that work. Perhaps we could craft a compromise? I have no problems building off of others people's knowledge- that is in a sense the very essence of what wikimedia attempts to do. ok, enough for now I am working on mayan history. I'm impressed, doing a textbook is nothing compared to the splendor of THEIR accomplishments.--Jolie 14:41, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
I talked to Geoff in the wv chat room about the issue, and I've given up trying to convince you guys to merge the two projects. He's given me a copy of the AP requirements, and I'll try to contribute, partially by searching the current Wikibook for materials which are adequate for your project; I figure, if you don't want to rewrite that one, we can at least copy the worthwhile parts of it and shove them here. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 19:41, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Well if the work remains abandoned it is very hard to compromise. At some point someone in Wikibooks must stand up for the work and say 'yeah' its a good book and we should work out differences in our two efforts.
In other words, its really out of my hands. I'm learning lots doing what I'm doing. We've got a long,long way to go. and there's really no issue until the book is Finished and wikibooks must decide what to do with what we've generated. I've already raised a fuss over at wikibooks, so they can hardly say they've had no chance to think about it (given it will take many months for us to write this).
I've spent so much time at justification, that I don't think its justified to keep on thinking about it. YOu all know where I stand. On to Meso-America (still not done)--Jolie 20:02, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Sounds like you've done well. Keep up the good work! The Jade Knight (d'viser) 20:04, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Migration of N America[edit | edit source]

from the talk page "Editorial material moved from main article The following material was moved by this author from the main article to this discussion page since it contains commentary that, although having merit, is more appropriate for discussion (the original conclusions, however, remain in the main article): The Bearing Strait hypothesis has a number of things wrong wtih it:(1) it is a bigoted, racist 19th century European egocentrist view that aboriginees were ignorant heatherns and therefore just too dumb or stupid to construct boats to cross oceans. Contrary to this:the earliest boats have been found to date back some 30,000 years and possiblely earlier all over the world. Certainly by 20,000 years ago; boat building had reached the point that man could cross oceans. The evidence for this comes from Japan et al. (2)Climatological(Ice cores) and wood ring studies do not support the hypothesis because it assumes that humans came down what was then a great ice field blocking easy travel further south where the Alaskan Highway is today. (3) The theory ignores the fact that people could have used the Aleutians to arrive in North America and many Inuit still travel in such manner from Nome,Alaska back and forth from Little Diomede Island to Big Diomede. (4)The Bearing Strait theory has a major problem in that if true then some millions of people arrived instantly all at the same time all over North, Central and South America---something not quiet possible. Humans do not reproduce as fast as bacteria do to arrive at that population level in so short at time and would have needed modern transportation to have distributed so widely in so short of time.Lottamiata 21:49, 29 April 2007 (UTC)"

Number 1-3 does not directly counter the bering land bridge theory. Number 1 shows that mankind had boats at an early era. this is proved! australia was habitated by boat using people 45,000 years ago. but even today, the polynesians are widely spread throughout the pacific ocean, but contained NO direct presence on the west coast. Why? its just a LONG way from hawaii to california. with few pit stops. Number 2 is the most serious challenge, but it lacks direct citing of peer-reviewed study to show that there was not gap in the the ice sheets allowing travel through alberta.

number 3 seems very confusing. if inuit still travel between russia and alaska today in boats- why wouldn't they do so, when the area was a land mass?

number 4 seems the straw man. the bering land bridge theory doen't demand millions, thousands, or even hundreds. Studies show that its very likely SOME people came through the land bridge. NPOV demands that the land bridge is given proper respect. Until scientific consensus changes it is a proven theory (though NOT the only possible way) that Some men came across it to America. I can't find that level of consensus on any other alternative model of migration.--Jolie 17:00, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Mayan End of the World[edit | edit source]

"Furthermore, the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the earth at the Winter Soltice on 21 December 2012, which is similar to Sir Issac Newton's prediction of the end of time in 2060 AD. This prediction was probably arrived at by Mayan Astronomers who observed the near misses of asteroids in their time. "

Reseraches; No, I find no evidence that the mayans knew about asteroids.

  • Most definitely Sir Isaac Newton, did NOT know about asteroids although HIS math was used to calculate the next approach of a sizable asteroid; 2060. Although we must add that it was Kepler not Newton that best defined orbital mechanics.
  • In Fact, I am an amateur astronomer and assure you that the four brightest asteroids are far TOO dim to see with the unaided eye. thus, without the telescope, you would not see them.
  • The mayan ended their "long count" calender on Dec 12, 2012. It was one of 17 calenders and we find no real explanations for the end. except the obvious, that one must end a calender somewhere! Since mayan calenders where built in patterns you would expect all copies of the long count calender to end at the same date; just like all copies of your 2008 calender end on Dec 31,2008. because our printed calenders end on Dec 31,2008 does not mean we believe that time will end.
  • At any rate, if you say that the mayans predicted the "end of the time" on 2012, you need to attach real proof that the mayans thought this, rather than an untrue assertian that they were studying asteroids.--Jolie 12:31, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
The "near misses of asteroids" is a very modern concept. The discovery of asteroids did not even occur until long after the invention of the telescope due to the coordinated effort needed to detect them. Under very rare circumstances it is possible to observe an asteroid naked eye. For example, 99942 Apophis will reach nearly 3.5 magnitude for a couple of hours on Apr. 13, 2029. But to suggest that ancient Mayan astronomers were even aware of asteroids would require extraordinary evidence. BTW, see Earth-impact events  ;) --mikeu talk 01:27, 23 October 2008 (UTC)