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Author Topic: Scott vs. Amundsen: The Herald Sinks To A New Low  (Read 3557 times)

RaikoRaufoss

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Scott vs. Amundsen: The Herald Sinks To A New Low
« on: June 14, 2011, 01:42:17 am »

I remember reading an article in The Sun a few years back about the poor education standards of British school children.  I posted it someplace, and quickly learned that The Sun is a tabloid.  Lesson learned.  Apparently, the people at The Herald honestly think that The Sun was being truthful and extended this "fact" to everyone in Great Britain, because I can see no other way they could publish this without being even more inhumanly cynical than they were:


To make it clear, I am a Amundsen supporter.  In the course of my research into the comparison of Scott vs. Amundsen, I notice a phenomenon I like to call "Scott Syndrome".  This phenomenon most frequently occurs with British individuals, and consists of ignoring the fact that Amundsen even existed.  Note that they don't mention him at all. And that's only the beginning.

How does this article attempt to mislead the British people?  Let us count the ways:

[list=*]
  • First, it invokes the old heroism legend, even though it's already been beaten to death by others (and by others, I don't mean only Huntford).[/*]
  • It then talks about the supposedly vast quantities of specimens that were collected.  If you read any of the recent statements by Dr. Edward Wilson's nephew, you end up wondering why they bothered going for the Pole at all.  The whole "The Pole was never the primary objective" card had been played since at least 1912, and always in an effort to deride Amundsen to Scott's benefit.[/*]
  • Then Falcon Scott says "He was a modern man of his time.  He was inspirational, and went to the ultimate limit given the technology." Evidentially he didn't go to the limit, as Amundsen beat him and got out alive, with all members on Amundsen's run to the pole having gained weight at the end.  Scott had a huge head start at first, as he got to Antarctica while Amundsen was still in Norway, thus making him 16,000 miles ahead.  But Scott frittered his time away so much that by the time the main party got a proper start on November 1st 1911, Amundsen had landed, set up base, and gotten 200 miles ahead.[/*]
  • Now for the outright lies.  "She said her grandfather's findings had contributed to understandings of tectonic plates..." Not so, according to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_development_of_tectonophysics
    And who has ever heard of Scott's contribution to plate tectonics?  The answer is no one.


    The lies go on: "... and environmental change such as the levels of pesticides absorbed by penguins."  Technically, pesticides have been in use since 4500 BC, but they didn't go into widespread production until the 1940s.  Here's where the problems begin.  Do the people at the Herald honestly think Antarctica is filled with crops?  How would pesticide levels at this time even be measured, when the first regulations as to their use were only just being created?


    And now for the biggest lie of all: "Despite this, he (Scott's son and the father of these three whatever they ares) inspired his family with nature and their father (Scott's son, I presume) founded the World Wildlife Foundation." (!?!?!?)

    Not.  Even.  Close.  Just check the WWF's website.[/*]
  • It ends on a chilling note: "The year-long events are designed to focus attention on the bravery of the 1910-12 expedition, its scientific achievements, and inspire a new generation"


Which, incidentally, was how it was used to inspire Tommies going over the top at WWI slaughterhouses like the First Battle of the Somme.  I apologize for what looks a lot like a low blow, but the similarity is frightening.[/*]
[/list]

In closing, the events will most likely fail.  Why?  It's not because of cultural shifts, as Crane and others would have you believe.  The faults were out there to find from 1922 onward, with Cherry-Garrard's The Worst Journey In the World pointing them out gently.  But no one paid any heed, even when the finger was pointed more directly.  It took Roland Huntford to wake people up.  The events will fail because people know the truth.  They know that Oates' death was closer to suicide than heroic sacrifice.  They've either forgotten that there was anything resembling science in the Terra Nova expedition, or they keep it separate from Scott.  They know that Scott and his men died needlessly so close to vital supplies, which they could have reached if they had either not wasted time collecting those much touted rock samples and not had them slowing them down in their starving state, or they had placed One Ton Depot at 80 degrees as intended (regardless of Solomon's weather argument).  But the real reason the events will fail is because, the world knows.
Logged
Far from the fame
Far away from the fame
But we still remember your name
Karel Janoušek
We mourn the day that you died
So be our guide
CZECHOSLOVAKIA'S PRIDE!!!!!!

RaikoRaufoss

  • Blood may move the wheels of history, but only our cunning keeps the wheels oiled.
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Scott vs. Amundsen: The Herald Sinks To A New Low
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2011, 10:11:09 pm »

"Don't frown at me like this,
don't bother to pretend that you actually care about the truth.
The truth is out there!
But nobody wants it because it just upsets them."
-Luigi Lucheni, in the musical Elisabeth

This caustic line proves quite timely, given the ridiculous lengths Scott apologists go to these days.  Note that this is a debunking of Scott apologists, not bashing the British.

First: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/the-cold-hard-facts-about-scotts-last-days-2304501.html

[list=*]
  • This article is alright, but fails to distinguish between Scott's achievements (whatever those were beyond getting himself and 4 others killed) and the achievements of the others on the Terra Nova expedition.  Is Scott to take all the credit?[/*]
  • Also, in its mention of Fiennes (whom I like to call "The Mad Bomber" because he stole explosives from the SAS and tried to blow up a movie set from the 1967 version of Dr. Dolittle), it forgets to mention that Fiennes has admitted to falsifying parts of his book on Scott to increase sales, or the fact that Fiennes has caught flak for making his attacks on Huntford too personal.[/*]
Then, of course, there's this: http://www.npr.org/2011/07/02/137481872/in-race-to-south-pole-scott-lost-or-did-he?ft=1&f=1004

[list=*]
  • "Scott's entire expedition was part of a large scientific enterprise. He had teams fanning out throughout the Ross Sea area of the Antarctic, while Amundsen simply achieved getting to the Pole, which is a human achievement..."


This is like comparing Ian Kershaw's critically acclaimed biography of Hitler to a hypothetical dual biography of Hitler and Stalin, and automatically declaring the latter as the winner because Kershaw didn't include a biography of Stalin.[/*]
  • "Scott's work forever changed science, Larson says; along with explorer Ernest Shackleton, Scott discovered the concept of global ecology."  


Shackleton never had such pretentions.  Neither did Scott.[/*]
  • "They discovered global warming"  


What.  A.  Load.  Of.  ********.  Global warming was unknown in 1912.[/*]
  • "They discovered that Antarctica was indeed a continent at one time and that it had been warmer with warm plants and animal life in the past."  


The qualifier to the previous point, which incidentally fails, since if Antarctica was warmer in the past, then this proves cooling in at least the Antarctic region.[/*]
  • "Part of the group that went with Scott to the Pole led by Edward Wilson ... made this remarkable effort in the coldest temperatures that had ever been recorded... to go in the middle of winter, which means total darkness ... to collect eggs so that they could study the embryos of those eggs to determine their evolutionary history."  


A blatant stealing of credit from Cherry-Garrard's legendary journey, and giving the credit for it exclusively to Scott's polar party.  It's bad enough when Scott took credit for the accomplishments of others back in the day.  We don't need others doing it for him today.[/*]
  • "When their bodies were discovered eight months later, much of their research was preserved, including the "holy grail" of fossils: the Glossopteris. The Glossopteris was a type of fern that helped bolster Darwin's theory of evolution, which was at the time under attack."  

This is designed to mislead you into thinking that Scott was a huge scientific hero.  By getting himself and his Polar party killed, Scott jeopardized the science that Scott apologists tout.  For what would have happened to those samples if Scott's last camp had never been found by anyone?  Those finds would have been lost forever.  Credit for saving the samples should go to Atkinson's party which went looking for Scott's final resting place, not Scott who almost caused the samples to be lost for all time.[/*]
  • "But if you look at the broader, in context, of what he was trying to accomplish, and you see the type of scientific expedition that he mounted, it was really a remarkable effort, far beyond anything that Amundsen even attempted."  

A repetition of the first point.  Amundsen's primary goal was the South Pole, and nothing else.  The fact that he sent three of his men to do geographic work on King Edward VII Land is incidental.  Scott's apologists, of course, conveniently leave out Fram's oceanographic work while Amundsen was racing for the Pole.  And Amundsen achieved something Scott couldn't: he led an expedition which handily beat Scott to the Pole, and got all his men back in great shape.[/*]
[/list]
Logged
Far from the fame
Far away from the fame
But we still remember your name
Karel Janoušek
We mourn the day that you died
So be our guide
CZECHOSLOVAKIA'S PRIDE!!!!!!