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Listeners respond to "Science versus the sacred"


Last month on the show, we aired a story about the controversy over how UC Berkeley is a center for unearthing and studying the remains of native Californians. UC Berkeley In it, Professor Tim White says of the study of native remains:

“It is a holistic study, just like a crime scene investigation, but these are very cold cases with very ancient evidence."

San Francisco State professor Clayton Dumont speaks on behalf of the importance of studying the remains:

“Native peoples tend to believe that we know our own history – and we don’t need the archeologists or the physical anthropologists to validate what we know.”

Here's what some listeners who heard the piece had to say:

SHIDESH: I am listening to Crosscurrents. The topic is: should Native bones be repatriated before they go into the museums and they asked for an opinion. I am a Native American and I believe that native bones should be researched and studied only and when all people of all races are studied. So, if we were allowed to go into the tombs of the Catholic church, go underneath the tombs of all churches, and look at their bones and study them as well, then it would be a fair and equitable thing to do. Until that happens one small group should not be singled out for a study. Thank You.

RON CANTRELL: Hi my Name is Ron Cantrell. I just heard the thing about the bones and I think it's the most ridiculous thing in the world. These people don't even know anything about the people they want to get the bones from; they don't want anybody to study the bones. It's ridiculous, that's for all of us, that's for all of humanity to know what's going on. It doesn't belong to any little tribe to hold on to in a petty fashion so count me strongly for the university saving the bones.

If you'd like to share your thoughts on any of our stories, please call (415) 264-7106.

Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.