The recent historiography ‘war’ in Australian seemed to have been triggered by this issue: Had the island of Tasmania (off the coast of Australia) been cleared of its Aboriginal population by killing? History apparently said so.
Not so, claimed a recent book; official records in Britain do not include any directive to exterminate the indigenes; in fact, they died from diseases, their own cultural practices, and so on.
Of course, one would not expect official records to be as open as is Deuteronomy 7.2 of the Old Testament. Second, it was the British settlers who had been credited with killing the Aborigines, a common practice all over the continent following invasion and occupation. This was contrary to official policy to respect any indigenous cultures found in a claimed empty land (‘terra nullius’).
Then, quaintly, came the proposition that reports of killing would have been based on oral reports; and that oral reports cannot be accepted without being tested for accuracy through the adversarial process of the courts.
Imagine a clever barrister: ‘Were you actually there? What was the date? Was the sun in your eyes? Do you have anyone to corroborate your presence? Are you sure you are not lying? Etc., etc. So, there goes most of history, anthropology, sociology, and few other academic disciplines.
It seems to me that British law applied to oral reports, and a revised manner of writing history, should render the study of events of the past irrelevant. As it is, I am uncertain as to the validity of much of the history and pre-history I have read.
I am inclined to this view also by the obvious distortion of India’s history. European scholars, allegedly knowledgeable about the Vedas, claimed that these writings could not possibly be older than 1,500 BC. Were they influenced by the asserted dates of arrival of Abraham and his people in Canaan? In contrast, certain astronomical calculations suggest that the Vedas may go back 9,000 years (about 7,000 BC).
Then, I have been told that the Greeks discovered geometry. Since no ‘black’ civilisations could possibly have contributed any great knowledge or anything progressive to mankind, one would need to credit unspecified extraterrestrials with all civilisational achievements, including the construction of geometrically and geodesically correct monoliths.
Who taught the Athenians, if not Egypt and Persia? Who taught the desert tribes of the Mediterranean about the one and only Creator God of all mankind? As for the complex cosmology of the Hindus, they say that they were told.