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Creek Running North

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February 06, 2006

Unbelievably wrong natural history observation of the week

The great plains used to be a giant forest. The Indians burnt it to the ground to hunt buffalo. -- Jonah Goldberg

More here. Via Pharyngula.

Posted by Chris Clarke at February 6, 2006 10:18 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.faultline.org/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/1563

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Comments

Time for a new nickname.

Posted by: Roxanne at February 6, 2006 10:26 PM
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Like "Unbelievably Stupid"? Nah...too redundant.

Posted by: Nikki at February 6, 2006 11:41 PM
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if the indians burn the forest and jonah goldberg isn't there does the fire make any smoke?

Posted by: dread pirate roberts at February 7, 2006 07:10 AM
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If you want a topical nickname, how about "Two-Fists With Hostess Snack Cakes"?

However, in our mad dash to develop new nicknames, let us not forget the old classics.

Posted by: norbizness at February 7, 2006 07:30 AM
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hey, check it out -- unknown species recently found, and some thought almost extinct....

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2006/02/07/international/i132721S40.DTL

http://www.conservation.org/xp/CIWEB/

Posted by: kathy a at February 7, 2006 02:10 PM
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I don't know who Jonah Goldberg is, but the comment is just too bizarre. Maybe he got it from Rush Limbaugh?

Posted by: steve at February 7, 2006 05:06 PM
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I literally gagged as my throat tightened up reading that. Does this freakozoid comprehend anything at all about geological, geographical, archeological history of the Great Plains?? Of course not. Has he ever spent time immersed in the floor of the sky country? I can't see how. Does he know how to use the internet and any of dozens of search engines to validate his claim??? Guess not.

Maybe he toured the towns of Bison or Lemmon South Dakota and thought all those petrified trees there were only a couple of centuries old. He must have hung out with the wacky local religious zealot (Grand River Museum in Lemmon) who offers that God made them trees himself in only a matter of a few years. Actually, if you haven't seen them, they are well worth the strange journey it takes to get there. There are several trunks that are still standing upright, and look like large topped (for logging) redwood or sugar pines, until you walk up and touch them. Really pretty cool.

Posted by: spyder at February 7, 2006 05:35 PM
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=v= Hey, I followed the link to the photo and loved the comments about the Abramoff-wannabe in the Fedora and the arboreal, fireproof buffalo. Sometimes blogger-comment-sniping is worth reading.

I wish there was a way to harness this white people energy and use it for good, not evil.

Posted by: Jym at February 8, 2006 02:27 PM
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While I haven't heard of Mr. Goldberg, the comment about fire rings a bell. Tim Flannery, in _The Eternal Frontier: an ecological history of North America and its peoples_, writes: "Stephen Pyne, that great historian of fire, thinks than an even more curious synergy existed between bison and Indians. Bison needed grassy plains in order to benefit from their new herding strategy, and it seems that such plains increased through the Indian use of fire over the past thousand years." Not quite the same as the quoted comment, I know, but these memes need to start somewhere.

Posted by: TFox at February 9, 2006 06:49 PM
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Does he know how to use the internet and any of dozens of search engines to validate his claim???

spyder, I think the answer to that would be no. I get my Jonah Goldberg filtered through the Poor Man, who notes that Jonah has a habit of asking his readers to do his searching for him. The Poor Man also claims Goldberg has asked readers to Paypal him money for the coke machine, but make of that what you will.

Posted by: Violet Socks at February 10, 2006 12:30 AM
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