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Re: orion Re: myths, etc.

>From Stephen:
> D. Washburn wrote "So consensus makes truth." But I didn't write that. My
> point is that there is an influential but false myth, a myth that the
> "Essene identification" was "foisted" in the late 1940s and '50s by some
> unified, in-group cabal. Rather, a diverse group reached this conclusion,
> based on evidence which has only grown since then. 

Agreed.  However, I think it is clear that the initial momentum came 
from this small in-group, and the conclusions of the more diverse 
group were based on information released by the main team and 
especially De Vaux.  I apologize if I misread your point there; 
however, I believe the historical evidence shows that the Essene 
hypothesis grew squarely out of De Vaux's pressing for it and his 
influence, as well as that of the team around him.  With the rest of 
the documents sequestered as they were, it was impossible for anyone 
outside the inner circle to examine them and perhaps falsify the 
Essene premise.  However, as I also pointed out, all this took place 
before I ever got into the game, so I have no resentments festering 
within me that cause me to reject the hypothesis out of hand.  I just 
don't think the evidence supports it, that's all.

> Others, e.g., Zeitlin,
> disagreed, and there never has been full "consensus." N. Golb's assertion
> that the order of the discoveries caused the Essene identification is
> non-falsifiable; we can't test it, but it adds to myth.  Pliny did not

Of course it isn't, but neither is the opposite hypothesis.  That's 
the problem with such historical hypotheses: they are never 
falsifiable.  But if we insist that Golb's must be falsifiable to be 
accurate, we place a larger burden of proof on his theory than we do 
on other competing ones.  In that regard, we need to level the 
playing field.

> write about Essenes in hills near En Gedi (see, e.g., Bob Kraft's 15 July
> post). Why try to force theEssenes of Pliny's source away from Qumran?

I read Bob Kraft's post and appreciated it very much (as I always do 
anything from him).  However, his comments do not in any way require 
the site mentioned by Pliny to be Qumran, or even near the site of 

> Thanks for pointing to my misspelling of "visceral."

I hope it didn't sound like a put-down.  I'm just a stickler for 

> 	I. Hutchesson proved my point by referring to some other aspects of
> the "Essene hypothesis," aspects he previously denied existed.

Yes, but as he also pointed out, Pliny is the linchpin to the theory 
of Essenes specifically at the Qumran site.

 Incidentally, let me publicly thank you for posting that message of 
mine that I inadvertently sent directly to you.  One of these days 
I'll figure out these here computer thingies (then they'll completely 
change again...)
Dave Washburn