An uneasy alliance: Indigenous Traditional Knowledge enriches science

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An uneasy alliance: Indigenous Traditional Knowledge enriches science Empty An uneasy alliance: Indigenous Traditional Knowledge enriches science

Post by phildidge on Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:13 am

An article I published last year in The Conversation and republished in Smithsonian Magazineabout Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and western science touched a nerve among some readers. My article discussed examples of Indigenous peoples having detailed knowledge of animal behaviour, coastal ecology and historical events that have only recently been “discovered” or verified by western scientists. Although the article was well received and garnered many readers, there were some harsh criticisms.

In the Smithsonian Magazine online comments, I encountered these opinions:
“I think the Smithsonian should not have published such an extreme postmodernist and anti-science article.”
“This was an astoundingly bad article that a good science editor should have blocked. The author is clearly knowledgeable about his field but lacks a clear understanding of the scientific method … a series of anti-science and postmodernist rants have been passed off as fact …”
“Without the unnecessary anti-science it would have been a good article.”
“The Smithsonian has gone new-age and the anti-science, regressive Left is apparently thriving there …


Criticism in academia is healthy. But there was nothing “anti-science” about my article, which asserted that Traditional Knowledge and western science are often complementary. There is nothing anti-science about my work; as an archaeologist, it is heavily informed by science.

The inaccurate critique by both public and academic arenas and even law courts of Indigenous ways of knowing the world is common. Critics have labeled Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and oral histories as unreliable, incomplete and tainted by outside influences. Some consider “Indigenous science” to be a recent and politically suspect initiative.




https://theconversation.com/an-uneasy-alliance-indigenous-traditional-knowledge-enriches-science-109212

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Post by veya_victaous on Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:47 am

there is a fair argument to this

science, particularly in fields like weather patterns or ecology are heavily based on observations over time, Peoples like the Aboriginals observed and orally recorded these things over millennia. And they are proven accurate by the fact culture/lifestyle choices were made around following them that held successfully for over thousands of years because they worked.

the problem is the specifics around most oral traditions are lost to time. Unfortunately some of the first killed by Christians where those in the 'shaman/priest' roles, which where the ones that held the keys to their societies 'science'.

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Post by phildidge on Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:29 am

veya_victaous wrote:there is a fair argument to this

science, particularly in fields like weather patterns or ecology are heavily based on observations over time, Peoples like the Aboriginals observed and orally recorded these things over millennia. And they are proven accurate by the fact culture/lifestyle choices were made around following them that held successfully for over thousands of years because they worked.

the problem is the specifics around most oral traditions are lost to time. Unfortunately some of the first killed by Christians where those in the 'shaman/priest' roles, which where the ones that held the keys to their societies 'science'.

Glad you found this interesting Veya and do believe we learn much from older traditions

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