reply to post by ProfEmeritus
If you read the book more closely you will find that the fleet was not sent to find trading partners. The fleet was sent to spread the glory of china
around the world, to amaze people with the wealth and power that was china (35000 troops in the fleet), to bring back rich and wonderous items from
far off lands, AND HAVE THEIR RULERS RETURN TO CHINA AND PAY TRIBUTE TO THE EMPEROR. This is why you find paintings of giraffes in china and 15th
century porcelain in kenya. All pieces of EVIDENCE of the voyages. It sems to me that europe would be the perfect place to find tribute. The military
might of europe was seriously greater than the nations in africa. The european love for fine chinese silks and ceramics was fostered during the pax
mongolia. With the fragmenting of the mongol empire, the europeans sought a sea passage to asia. If the chinese had working knowledge of europe, why
would they sail right over the top of a place that held value.
Gavin uses some seriously flawed statements in his arguments for the supposed journey. He has enough truth in his book to make it seem very
plausible. The pbs documentary on his book asked very critical questions that gavin was unable to answer. In the book, gavin claims, from a document
of zeng he's voyage that he visited over 3000 kingdoms. This is a simple mistranslation of the chinese character for 10, which looks to the
untrained, non chinese speaker to be very similar to the character for 1000. Other ming documents clearly state he visited 30 kingdoms, not 3000.
these amatuer mistaked are readily obvious to "members of academia" with experience on the subject. This is why his hypothesis is discredited. He
lacks real evidence, even so far as to ignore other records of that time. The records of the voyages were partially destroyed, but many other records
of the time survive, even some relating to the zeng he voyages. In the book gavin names admirals that were supposedly responsible for rebuilding the
fleet off bimini, yet there are other ming era records that name those same admirals as commanding navies in china at the same time. When pressed
about this subject, he quickly recants the statement in his book and then asserts that it was actually a leutenant of said admiral. Again unlike the
vikings who left hard evidence, there is no EVIDENCE as in hard, undisputable proof that the SUPPOSED voyage happened.
It is very easy to log onto an effectively annon web board and claim to be a professor, or a pilot, or a person with great knowledge of a
subject, but the responses I have recieved from you prof, show a total lack of critical thinking on the subject. I find it hard to believe that
someone would be a tenured professor at a university for almost a decade yet lack the abitity to think critically on a hypothesis that was published
in a for profit book completely outside the realm of Academic history. Since you also refuse to name the prestigous instution that you were tenured
at, or even the subject you taught, I suggest you do like me, login with a bullsnit name, like say jonpauljones and then go to your local JC and take
some intro to logic classes, and some critical thinking classes, and stop claiming to be an academic. This website is chocked full of believers who
claim to be "experts" yet have read only a small amount on the actual subjects, like gavins book, while ignoring the wealth of information available
on the subject. As i have stated before, I really like gavins book, but his "answer for everything including the newport tower(a documented grain
mill)" hypothisis just seems too good to be true. This, combined with a lack of hard evidence just makes it seem implausible. I will change my tune
when the evidence presents itsself, but until then, It will be mental masturbation.
[edit on 6-2-2008 by JohnWorfin]