Saturday, June 6, 2020

Was Polynesia Settled from South America? – Part V

Continuing from the previous post regarding the settlement of Polynesia, the first five points were covered and we begin this article with #11 below:
11. “The exploration strategy was to search and return. All the occupied island groups acted as broad safety nets for returning canoes.”
Response: If this culture began around 1600 B.C., who else would have been in the South Pacific? 1600 B.C. is only about 700 years after Noah’s Flood. The Jaredites would be in the promised land only about 400 years by this time.
    Even if there were others, generally speaking tribes are not particularly favorable to other tribes, and it is doubtful if a tribe on one island would welcome a stranger from another island since how would he know this would not lead to further encroachment or attack?
12. “The human instinct for survival meant that exploration almost certainly occurred in stages, using different sailing strategies”
Response: Generally speaking, the urge for exploration was based on either a need to escape and find safety elsewhere or the need of economical values of trade or greed, in expanding one’s control and power. Survival was usually seen in the building of walls, forts, and defensive positions.
Island paradise on Samoa, Fiji, and Yasawa Islands

To be realistic, why would someone living in a paradise pack up and move on—to what? Another island paradise? When people are satisfied they do not look for somewhere else to go. The reason behind the Age of Sail was to find a trade route to the Cinnamon Islands, with the Portuguese trying to sail around Africa, and the Spanish sailing across the Atlantic Ocean.
    It was not to explore for exploring sake—that came later when it became known that ships could sail safety across oceans, and was guided in part by the expansion of empires, with a race on between major sea powers to expand their empires and incorporate islands and lands into their circle of power and claim.
More paradisiacal islands that are found throughout the South Pacific: The Papua, Tapuaetal, and Taveuni-Vanua Levu islands

According to archaeologists and anthropologists, about 3,400 years ago, before the Iron Age or the rise of Ancient Greece, people on the Solomon Islands left their white sandy shores for the cerulean seas of the South Pacific. Now we should mention that the Solomon Islands is an archipelago made up of six major islands and over 900 smaller islands, but these same archaeologists and anthropologists give no rational reason why early man would leave their islands and travel out into the unknown.
    Eastward would be into the vast openness of the Pacific Ocean—266 miles from the most eastern island in the Solomons to Latta is 266 miles; 740 miles to Vanuatu, 823 miles to New Caledonia, and 1320 miles to Fiji. In addition, they would have had to sail 400 miles southeast to the Santa Cruz islands, then almost due south to Vanuatu. What would have caused the drastic change in course on an open sea with no knowledge of what lay beyond them?
The openness of the ocean between the Solomon Islands and French Polynesia, then only the Pitcairns and Hanga Roa over the next 5000 miles to the west coast of South America—an empty ocean

It is also claimed that the movement of these people from the Solomon’s brought humanity to the most remote reaches of Oceania, like the tropical islands of Hawaii, Tonga and Fiji. Once again, Fiji is 1320 miles away, Tonga is 2931 miles assay and Hawaii is 3634 miles away—all in a dugout canoe. What would have motivated such journeys?
    According to Alvaro Montenegro, Associate Professor, Director Atmospheric Sciences Program at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and a geographer and climatologist from Ohio State University, “The first ones were traveling into the unknown. They would leave the coast, and it would disappear behind them.”
    Islands, people crossed more than 2,000 miles of open ocean to colonize islands like Tonga and Samoa. But after 300 years of island hopping, they halted their expansion for 2,000 years more before continuing — a period known as the Long Pause that represents an intriguing puzzle for researchers of the cultures of the South Pacific.
    “Why is it that the people stopped for 2,000 years?” Montenegro asks: “Clearly they were interested and capable. Why did they stop after having great success for a great time?”
    What should be asked is why did they set sail into the unknown in the first place and travel thousands of miles just to occupy another island?
    Another point never brought up by the scientists, is that if these early seamen had chosen to go due east, into the rising sun, they would have traveled 1208 miles before coming to Tuvalu and, if they missed that lone island in the midst of thousands of square miles of open ocean, another 660 miles to Tokelau, or 1868 miles overall. And if they chanced to miss both these islands they would have traveled another 6402 miles of open ocean in every direction until they reached the west coast of South America.
    In addition, they would have been traveling against the wind the entire time, which would have required paddling all the way. It is one thing to look at a map and trace a line from island to island, but something entirely different to find those lone islands in a vast open ocean with no instruments, maps, charts, GPS, radio or any other modern means. 
Some of the fruits that grow wild on the islands: LtoR, top to bottom: Mango, Pineapple, Frijoa, Horned Melon, Coconut, and Falsa, all growing wild throughout the South Pacific islands 

In addition to those foods in the image above, other fruit grow wild on the islands, such as Sapodilla, Mangosteen, Pomelo, Durian, Wax Apple Berries, Salak, Fingered Citron, Targo, Carambola, Banana, Lychee, Breadfruit, Casava, Kava, Noni, and numerous others. Then there is the plenteous of all kinds of fish to supplement the diet. The point is, food was available in large quantities that grew wild—even today islanders have plenty of food plants growing wild on the trees and in the bushes.
    These wild plants persist without need of any selection or tending by humans and have genetics that reflect their original co-evolutionary relationships. In many parts of the world, wild relatives of domesticated plants exist side by side, or within short distances of their domesticated kin. There would have been no need to seek better food conditions on other islands to the early settlers in the South Pacific.
    As for why the early settlers left the South American mainland, in the case of the Nephites, we find that because of the continuing wars that at times were extremely threatening, many chose to relocate. While some went into the Land Northward, others sailed northward to a “land which was northward,” and still others went to a location which was unknown to the Nephites (Alma 63:8).
    The Polynesian Islands would have been unknown to both Alma and to Mormon.
(See the next post, “Polynesia Settled from South America – Part VI,” for more on the lack of reasoning behind claiming that early man island-hopped across the Pacific from west to east)

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