I suppose I should have posted about this on Thanksgiving (turkey, get it?), but I didn’t have the heart. But people seem to expect me to write about it (the e-mails and comments keep pouring in), so I’ve been rolling up my sleeves and preparing a volley of sarcasm. Fortunately, the ever-dependable Des of Desbladet has saved me the trouble:
A lesser journal than Nature might have invited some historical linguists to review the submitted article, but why let being utter bollocks get in the way of announcing newly-broken ground in a shiny new interdiscipline? “Turkish farmers” means “farmers in what is now Turkey,” of course, and we can put that one down to the journalistes, but we will note with not inconsiderable hilarity that:
Gray was encouraged that his research had been supported in the United States by Stanford University’s eminent geneticist Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza.
When evolutionary psychologists and prominent geneticists agree, what business could historical linguists possibly have objecting?
Why are people so obsessed with trying to prove unprovable things about the prehistory of Indo-European using nonlinguistic methods (necessarily, since linguistic methods have gone about as fur as they can go)? Until we dig up a six-thousand-year-old account of “Our Journey to the West” in PIE, we’re not going to know. Get used to it and start doing something useful with your scholarly apparatus, Varied Nonlinguists.
Addendum. MM, in the comments, has directed me to an invigorating rant on the subject over at Phluzein, which I happily commend to your attention.