Talk:Essay:Greatest Myths of World History
Just pointing out, this list has two "1"s, when it should have a one followed by a 2....--IScott 11:56, 18 February 2009 (EST)
I don't think there's any real support for the idea that Europeans routinely and deliberately infected Native Americans with smallpox, but the idea that smallpox was communicable *was* well known, so much so that variolation against smallpox was practised in Europe from the 1720s. Pepperlynn
- You can't jump from that to intentionally spreading the disease to Indians with blankets, as anti-Christians claim.--Andy Schlafly 22:29, 18 March 2009 (EDT)
- I'm not trying to jump anywhere; I agree that it's a myth. I'm just saying that the lack of knowledge of germ theory is neither here nor there. Incidentally, the *idea* dates to the 1760s-- there just isn't any evidence that anyone actually tried it. Pepperlynn 22:46, 18 March 2009 (EDT)
- Your edit of the content page was hyperbolic, and unsupported, and missed the point. Hence the reversion.--Andy Schlafly 23:07, 18 March 2009 (EDT)
- It is not hyperbole to suggest that smallpox needed no help to rampage through a population with little immunity. What is the point that I'm missing? Pepperlynn 00:26, 19 March 2009 (EDT)
- When and where "germ theory" was "discovered" is not the point I think. Besieging armies had been catapalting plague-ridden corpses over city and castle walls for many centuries, and even when there was no plague, the effect of a putrifying animal flung by trebuchet into the defenders' water supply was well known throughout the Middle Ages. I have always tended to think the deliberate use of pox-ridden blankets was either a myth, or at most a very scarce occurrence, but there were certainly precedents. AlanE 00:41, 19 March 2009 (EDT)
- Leaving any matters of "intention" aside, I came across this passage while reading Richard Mead's 1720 "Discourse on the Plague:"
- "About the Year 1718, a ship from the East-Indies arrived at that Place: In the Voyage three Children had been sick of the Small-Pox: The foul Linen used about them was put into a Trunk, and lock'd up. At the Ship's Landing, this was taken out, and given to some of the Natives to be washed: Upon handling the Linen, they were immediately seized with the Small-Pox, which spread into the Country for many Miles, and made such a Desolation, that it was almost dispeopled."
- So by the 18th century, they knew that smallpox infected cloth could and did decimate native populations. RatselF 23:00, 23 March 2009 (EDT)
- Your conclusion does not follow from your quotation. There's no disputing that the germ theory of disease was not discovered and accepted until the 19th century.
- By the way, the quotation is plainly false itself: smallpox has a minimum incubation period of a week.
- Looks like the anti-Christian myth is not going away easily.--Andy Schlafly 23:17, 23 March 2009 (EDT)