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    An Argument of Historical Value

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    The tensions between science and culture extend far beyond disputes over evolution. In some cases, science and culture disagree on not just what is true, but how actions should be taken in the real world. The story of Kennewick Man is a perfect example of this.

    In 1996, while two tourists were visiting Kennewick, on the Columbia River in Washington, they stumbled across a human skull. After the police collected the skull and an almost completely intact skeleton, they determined that the bones came from a Caucasian man. But strangely, there was no murder investigation. This is because, in a very strange twist, Carbon-dating tests showed that the bones were more than 9,000 years oldâ?"much older than the earliest recorded Caucasian visits to North America in the 14th century.

    Anthropologists, paleontologists, biologists and archaeologists all whipped themselves into a fury of excitement over these bones, which were soon given the name "Kennewick Man." Everyone, it seemed, wanted to study these remarkably well-preserved remains. At the same time, the local Umatilla Indians, whose ancestors have lived on the Columbia River for thousands of years, claimed the rights to rebury the remains, under the North American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). To this ancient tribe, the bones are sacred remnants of their ancestors, and as such, they should be returned to the ground.

    Before you begin this week's discussion, read Edward Rothstein's article, "Antiquities, The World Is Your Homeland", and think carefully about the complicated ownership issues in this case. This reading is on Library Reserve at the University of Huntsville-Alabama library. To access it, go to http://reserves.uah.edu/eres/coursepage.aspx?cid=235 and enter your course password, which is center32. If you have any questions, please call 800-685-1302 for Library Services or email [email address removed by system]

    Once you have read the article, visit the PBS website about Kennewick man, focusing on the scientists' claims (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/first/claim.html) and on the processes used to reconstruct a very lifelike model of Kennewick Man (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/first/kennewick.html). Then, do some research of your own into this conflict, as well as other science-culture disputes you think are relevant.

    take a side in this controversy. You should make a post that very clearly outlines your opinion on the case: Who you think deserves ownership of the remains and why, what should be done with these remains, and what sacrifices will be made when your own solution is implemented.

    Must be in your own words. Provide appropriate citations, references, and links to any information you use.

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    Solution Summary

    This solution discusses the various arguments for the location of the Kennewick Man, found along the Columbia River in Washington. It analyses the arguments for and against keeping the find in a museum for scientific and anthropological research, as opposed to returning the remains to the Umatilla Indians, who once inhabited the area where the remains are found. The argument is one of the historical culture versus that of a scientific study.

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