Red Earth, White Lies: Native Americans and the Myth of Scientific Fact

Overview


Vine Deloria, Jr., leading Native American scholar and author of the best-selling God Is Red, addresses the conflict between mainstream scientific theory about our world and the ancestral worldview of Native Americans. Claiming that science has created a largely fictional scenario for American Indians in prehistoric North America, Deloria offers an alternative view of the continent's history as seen through the eyes and memories of Native Americans. Further, he warns future generations of scientists not to ...
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Overview


Vine Deloria, Jr., leading Native American scholar and author of the best-selling God Is Red, addresses the conflict between mainstream scientific theory about our world and the ancestral worldview of Native Americans. Claiming that science has created a largely fictional scenario for American Indians in prehistoric North America, Deloria offers an alternative view of the continent's history as seen through the eyes and memories of Native Americans. Further, he warns future generations of scientists not to repeat the ethnocentric omissions and fallacies of the past by dismissing Native oral tradition as mere legends.

Native American activist Vine Deloria, Jr., whose national bestseller Custer Died for Your Sins changed the public's view of Native Americans, now offers a collection of scintillating essays that pits modern science against American Indian oral history.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Though Deloria (Custer Died for Your Sins) has a broad academic brief-he teaches history, law, religious studies and political science at the University of Colorado-here he ventures into a new area, attacking the way scientists have created ``a largely fictional scenario describing prehistoric North America'' and suggesting that Indian lore may offer better explanations. Given Deloria's not-so-temperate tone-``Christianity has been the curse of all cultures into which it has intruded''-it is hard to judge all his arguments. He finds flaws in scientific accounts of how Indians once traversed the Bering Strait land bridge; he also reports that geological evidence suggests an earlier Indian presence and notes that no tribal creation stories reflect such a migration. Similarly, he criticizes scientists who argue that Indians killed off North American megafauna of the Pleistocene era. Deloria's fiercely argued study sometimes overwhelms as a narrative, but his charges should provoke more evaluation, as well as examination of the consonance of science and Indian tradition. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Deloria, one of the most outspoken Native American voices of the century, is back-this time to take on the scientists. Demonstrating that a theory is just that until it has been solidly proved, the author of Custer Died for Your Sins (Univ. of Oklahoma, 1988) takes the scientific community to task for insisting on uniformity of opinion within academia while neglecting Native oral traditions about such events as the peopling of the Western Hemisphere and the disappearance of the giant animals of the Pleistocene era. While many will challenge Deloria's arguments, the author's insistence that scientists investigate non-Western knowledge in their search for the truth echoes a cry heard through Native American communities. An important addition to all collections.-Mary B. Davis, Huntington Free Lib., N.Y.
Booknews
Deloria (history, law, religious studies, political science, U. of Colorado-Boulder), author of the best-selling Custer Died For Your Sins, examines modern science as it relates to Native American oral history and exposes the myth of scientific fact, defending Indian accounts of natural history and population movement. He demonstrates how scientists manipulate data to fit their theories and documents traditional knowledge of Indian tribes in areas such as evolution, planetary history, the origin of humans, and natural disasters. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555913885
  • Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/19/1997
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 365,157
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Vine Deloria Jr., was a leading Native American scholar, whose research, writings, and teaching have encompassed history, law, religious studies, and political science. He is the former executive director of the National Congress of American Indians.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 22, 2010

    If you like to look for a good argument...

    This book will challenge every single scientific fact that you thought was true. Think the Native Americans crossed the Bering Land-Sea Bridge? Do you think that major catastrophes never happened on this continent? Do you think that the Native Americans were not an advanced civilization? How do you explain scientific "anomolies"? Yes, I found myself arguing with Vine Deloria, Jr., throughout the text. BUT, it did open my mind to other possibilities and explanations of American Natural History. This book will also make you realize that more work needs to be done in all scientific fields before we start drawing some terribly misguided assumptions.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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