As they wrapped up initial studies on Kennewick Man yesterday, scientists already were planning a follow-up session — and hoping a proposed change in federal law won't rob them of the chance to continue working with one of the oldest, best-preserved human skeletons in North America.
On July 28, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee will hear testimony on a proposal by Arizona Sen. John McCain to expand the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. The federal law requires human remains be returned to Native American tribes that can demonstrate some kinship to them.
McCain wants to amend a section of the law that defines human remains as Native American if they are "of or relating to a tribe, a people or a culture that is indigenous" to the United States. He would add the words "or was" before the word indigenous.
[An advocate for the scientists] says the change would make it impossible to study the earliest inhabitants of North America.
"American archaeology would come to a standstill," she said.
Tribes could even re-assert their claim to Kennewick Man, she said.
Stop McCain! Stop McCain! Stop McCain!
Where are all those liberal Democrats who were so solicitous of the claims of "science" when the subject was embryonic stem cells? Why aren't they speaking up now?
Oh, in case I forgot to say it..., "Stop McCain!"
Read it here.