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[escepticos] (Fwd) FWD: [ASTRO] Son of Squirrel

No sé si reir o llorar. ¿Alguna sugerencia?


------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date:          Wed, 14 Jan 1998 15:12:52 -0500
Reply-to:      skeptic en listproc.hcf.jhu.edu
From:          Ron Ebert <ron.ebert en ucr.edu>
To:            skeptic en listproc.hcf.jhu.edu
Subject:       FWD: [ASTRO] Son of Squirrel

I am forwarding this message from the Astro list as I think it is of
interest to skeptics.

Ron Ebert
ron.ebert en ucr.edu

>>  Tuesday, 13 January 1998
>>           NASA sorry ashes will defile Moon
>>           Promises Navajos more sensitivity
>>           By Enric Volante
>>           The Arizona Daily Star
>> 	- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
>>           NASA will consult with American Indians before it rockets any
>> more human ashes to the
>>           moon, a spokeswoman for the space agency pledged yesterday.
>>           The National Aeronautics and Space Administration quickly
>> apologized after the president of the Navajo Nation complained of
>> insensitivity to traditional Navajo religious beliefs.
>>           NASA's Lunar Prospector spacecraft blasted off Tuesday and
>> started orbiting the moon
>>           Sunday. Inside the 650-pound craft is a 2-inch-long capsule
>> containing an ounce of the
>>           cremated remains of renowned planetary scientist Gene Shoemaker
>> of Flagstaff.
>>           In a tribute to Shoemaker, his remains are to be the first ever
>> laid to rest on another celestial
>>           body.
>>           Navajo President Albert Hale learned of the plan over the weekend
>> as he emerged from the
>>           customary four days of seclusion that follows a Blessing Way
>> ceremony.
>>           ``I read this, and I was appalled and upset,'' he said in an
>> interview yesterday. ``The moon
>>           is revered and it regulates life cycles, according to Navajo
>> traditions and stories. To send
>>           something like that over there is sacrilege.''
>>           Traditional Navajos avoid the dead to the point of not mentioning
>> the names of deceased
>>           relatives. Some still observe the old custom of abandoning a home
>> in which someone has
>>           died.
>>           ``It is one thing to prove, to study, to examine and even for men
>> to walk upon the moon,''
>>           Hale said in a statement issued Sunday. ``But it is sacrilege, a
>> gross insensitivity to the
>>           beliefs of many Native Americans, to place human remains on the
>> moon.''
>>           NASA meant no disrespect, said Peggy Wilhide, the agency's
>> director of public affairs.
>>           ``None of the scientists on the program were aware that this
>> would be insensitive,'' she said
>>           last night in apologizing on behalf of NASA.
>>           ``I give my commitment that if we ever discuss doing something
>> like this again, we will
>>           consult more widely and we will consult with Native Americans.''
>>           She would not rule out another launch of cremated remains, but
>> said none is planned.
>>           Hale said he appreciated the agency's apology. But he said even
>> scientists unfamiliar with
>>           Navajo beliefs should have known better than to scatter the dead
>> on ``something as sacred as  the moon,'' he said.
>>           He noted that President Clinton, early in his first term, ordered
>> federal agencies to consult
>>           with Indian nations before taking actions that affect tribes.
>>           The criticism from the leader of the country's largest Indian
>> tribe comes as Clinton's
>>           commission on race relations is to meet in Phoenix today and
>> tomorrow.
>>           University of Arizona planetary scientist Carolyn C. Porco
>> conceived the tribute to
>>           Shoemaker when she read his obituary and learned he would be
>> cremated. Shoemaker died
>>           in a July car wreck.
>>           His widow and longtime research companion, Carolyn, watched the
>> launch in Florida last
>>           Tuesday.
>>           Reached at her Flagstaff home last night, she said she was
>> ``completely astonished'' to hear
>>           the space mission disturbed Navajos.
>>           ``One reason it would never have entered my mind that they or
>> anyone else would be
>>           offended is just knowing Gene's feelings about going into space,
>> and particularly about
>>           going to the moon. It's almost a religious thing with him,'' she
>> said.
>>           The Shoemakers are best known as part of the team that discovered
>> Comet Shoemaker-Levy
>>           9, the vast ball of ice that crashed into Jupiter four years ago.
>> But Gene Shoemaker, an
>>           astronomer and geologist, also conducted important studies
>> decades earlier of Northern
>>           Arizona's Meteor Crater.
>>           ``He always said that every crater was a sacred site to him,''
>> Carolyn Shoemaker recalled
>>           yesterday. ``I think he felt that same way about the moon because
>> he had studied it so much
>>           and had yearned to be there so much. It was just an important
>> part in his life, and he would
>>           never have thought about desecrating it.''
>>           Her husband's ashes will hit the lunar surface a year from now as
>> the spacecraft's fuel runs
>>           out.
>>           The ashes of the dead are not a new issue for the Navajo. Last
>> summer, medicine men
>>           warned tribe members to stay away from the San Francisco Peaks
>> north of Flagstaff after
>>           they learned the sacred mountains had been defiled by people
>> scattering cremated remains.
>>           Navajo holy men arranged purification ceremonies last year to
>> restore the sanctity of the
>>           mountains.
>>           U.S. Forest Service officials later confirmed that people scatter
>> ashes in the peaks even
>>           though depositing human remains on federal lands is illegal. They
>> said there was no way to
>>           prevent the practice.
>>           Those illegal acts not only offend Navajos, but force them to pay
>> for costly ceremonies, Hale
>>           said.
>>           Explore American Indian culture at NativeWeb's Resource Center.
>> Also, learn more about
>>           the Navajo Nation at its Web site.

Fernando L. Frías Sánchez
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