Sunday, March 30, 2003


One would think that linguistics would be a pretty inoffensive subject. It is for instance well-known and obvious that most modern European languages (Italian, Polish, French, German, Greek, English etc) and some Asian languages (Persian, Hindi etc) have a common origin usually referred to as "Proto-Indo-European". But it seems that you DARE NOT ask which modern group most closely resembles those enormously influential original Proto-Indo-Europeans:

Professor Wolfram Nagel of Berlin University in 1987 argued in the journal of the German Oriental Society that Proto-Indo-Europeans must have been racially northern European. He didn't say they were a master race or destined to conquer the world, just that they were northern European. Although Professor Nagel had reached the top of his profession, his reasoned arguments based on ancient texts and artworks so appalled the learned society that they fired the journal's editors and debated whether to expel him (although in the event they allowed him to stay). This incident offers an insight into the totalitarian climate that intellectuals work under in "democratic" Germany.

I suppose if he had said that they were blacks he would have got a medal.

More here.

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