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Stan Gooch - RIP

 
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smoocherOffline
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PostPosted: 30-11-2010 13:01    Post subject: Stan Gooch - RIP Reply with quote

Very sad to hear the news that Stan Gooch has died. I only heard yesterday, but in fact he died on Monday 13th (!) September. There was an obituary in the Independent in early November: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/culture-obituaries/books-obituaries/8110857/Stan-Gooch.html
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 08-12-2010 20:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

I said good morning to this man god knows how many times in a local cafe, never realising he was the author of a book The Neandertal Question which I got removed from our local library.

Sorry to hear of his death he seemed a very introverted but pleasant man.
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smoocherOffline
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PostPosted: 08-12-2010 22:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many of his theories have been vindicated of late; this month's New Scientist, for instance, has a cover article about the genes we share with neanderthal, and the likelyhood that cro-magnon interbred with them. Ideas he'd published back in the 70s. It goes without saying that he doesn't get a mention himself.
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 08-12-2010 22:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well to be fair he wouldn't really warrant one, many others had been offering this theory besides him. Also what Gooch was saying in that book was on a pretty different theme to the objective results of the recent genetic studies, as far as I can remember it was pretty questionable on several levels.

As I say though sorry to hear of his death.
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smoocherOffline
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PostPosted: 09-12-2010 11:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking forward to the FT obituary, probably in the new year.
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MythopoeikaOffline
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PostPosted: 09-12-2010 20:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why did you get the book removed from the library?
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smoocherOffline
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PostPosted: 09-12-2010 21:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

...bit weird, that, isn't it. Didn't realise you could get a book that you happened to not like/ agree with removed from a library. Didn't fancy asking, though. But since you have...
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 09-12-2010 22:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Why did you get the book removed from the library?


Quote:
Didn't realise you could get a book that you happened to not like/ agree with removed from a library


I think it was the chapter headed The Jew as Neandertal that was the clincher for the librarian.
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smoocherOffline
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PostPosted: 10-12-2010 09:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

Banned for a chapter heading!

It's wildly wrong to believe Gooch or his views in any way anti-Semitic. For one thing, he was Jewish. 'Neanderthal' was in no way a pejorative for him, and shouldn't be for anyone else, in context.

Your last statement was glib. And I find it hard to believe you could have read his books or else you would know that, however far-fetched or delusional you may find his theories, this Jewish man was not in the habit of publishing anti-Semitic slurs.
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Pietro_Mercurios
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PostPosted: 10-12-2010 10:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think Gooch was at all, or at least wilfully, anti-Semitic. But, it has to be said, he did seem to have some quite old fashioned and even quaint notions, when it came to race. I remember attending a talk he gave at an UnCon (2006?). Some of the other Posters here might remember the event, too. Even I was a bit disappointed in what he'd had to say and I'd read some of his work, years earlier.

However, who knows but that time and tide might yet turn in his direction?
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/05/100506-science-neanderthals-humans-mated-interbred-dna-gene/

It's a funny old World.
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smoocherOffline
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PostPosted: 10-12-2010 10:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes, if anything, and especially in Guardians of the Ancient Wisdom, Gooch seems to be making a case for those in possession of Neanderthal characteristics as being in many ways, not superior exactly, but of having a definite advantage.

Agreed that there are times, though, when reading his books when you think' are you being serious?'

Thanks for the link, Pietro_Mercurios. Gooch even got the red hair right, I think.
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 10-12-2010 14:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smoocher you may well be right that I had a knee jerk reaction to that, but I'm sticking to it. I don't think it makes a blind bit of difference what your ethnic roots are, if you start looking for cultural explanations in genetics you're on an unhealthy road that's never led anywhere good, and never will.
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smoocherOffline
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PostPosted: 10-12-2010 15:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well you were able to decide for yourself, unlike anyone else using that library. I don't doubt your motives were and are noble, but surely people must be able to be clearly heard in order for their ideas to be openly dismissed, ridiculed or the reverse. Not that I want to get into the far wider discussion about freedom of speech.One of Gooch's aims was to attempt to explain the centuries of irrational and seemingly ineradicable persecution of Jews. In Guardians of the Ancient Wisdom he was anyway. I admit I haven't read The Neanderthal Question...it's a little hard to come by.
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 10-12-2010 17:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I haven't read The Neanderthal Question...it's a little hard to come by.


I think its likely if you had read it you'd be unpleasantly surprised.

Really I'm not just trying to have the last word, but since this discussion started I've begun questioning whether it was the right thing to do. What actually happened was that I got the book out thinking it was a mainstream book on the subject as it was in the science section, as was another book I took out which turned out to be a creationist rant.

I couldn't have opened either in the library because when I actually did 'The Neandertal Question' was full of mocking and in some cases angry annotations made by previous readers. I did still read it, I must admit not all of it but enough to find it offensive drivel. I thought that scrawling in the margins was a bit childish so I decided to complain to the librarian instead.

Quote:
Well you were able to decide for yourself, unlike anyone else using that library.


I can't disagree with your point there, and I realise it was my opinion that the creationist book was infantile crap, and that Gooch's book had crossed the line into racism, but I was quite entitled to complain about the content of both, especially as they were stocked in the science section. What action they then took was up to them, but still I think that it was wrong of them to stock the book in the first place.
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