Lifelong Learning Lectures: A Burning Controversy
In 1984, William Cronon published Changes in the Land, describing how Native Americans purposefully manipulated the forests of New England thousands of years prior to contact with Europeans.
A new crop of research done by relative newcomers to the field challenges the accepted story that Native Americans used fire to clear land for habitation, agriculture, and deer.
The burning controversy over Native peoples’ use of fire is a fascinating story, but also illustrates the surprisingly passionate and un-scientific way science actually gets done.
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