Talk:Theory of the Portuguese discovery of Australia

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Darwin Swivel Gun[edit]

I have reverted the edit by an anon user re recent find of an object alleged to be a Portuguese swivel gun. Until it is professionally verified, it may be anything and is thus, entirely speculative and unencyclopedic.(It might be Portuguese, Spanish, Indonesian... even English) Nickm57 (talk) 09:37, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

I agree. At the moment all we have is the opinion of some kid. Hesperian 10:04, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
I also agree, it's totally speculative at the moment. Could be a gun from any country and any era. We should wait for proof of both its origin and its provenance.--Dmol (talk) 10:14, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
So here is the sober analysis.[1]. As this is not the first time a SE Asian cannon find has been incorrectly attributed to a Portuguese presence, its probably noteworthy. I may try to build it into the page in the next few days. Nickm57 (talk) 04:21, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Even if the swivel gun turns up to be of European origin and not made in Indonesia, the point to remember is that after the Dutch arrival in Indonesia around 1600,they swapped guns for trade in timber and spice with the Indonesians. Also see "Java la Grande" by Pat Zalewski, 2012, issue 23, Journal of Northern Territory History. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pat Zalewski (talkcontribs) 23:29, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Agreed. Thanks for your contribution. You need to alert yourself to Wikipedia's rules about citations, conflict of interest etc. I will put a list of links on your talk page. Nickm57 (talk) 02:27, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Who owns this article?[edit]

A user called Nick57 seems to think he/she is the exclusive owner of this article. He/she has repeatedly reverted a number of edits which add clarity to the article, for no apparent reason. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:52, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

What is regretable is your attitude, acting as if the article were yours. Your contributions don't make you the owner of the article. Language correction is fine. Name-calling is not. Nor is assuming bad faith or bias, or ignorance in other editors. If you want to put forth your own exclusive views, write a book. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:21, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm inclined to agree with Nick57 that the reverted edits read as partison in places. Clarity is important, but not at the expense of neutrality. Hesperian 00:40, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

I can assure you that having worked on Wikipedia articles over the last five years, I have every intention of continuing to do so, including here. The edit log shows that on 18 and 19 June I requested you bring your suggestions for improvements to the talk page. Apart from the personal attacks on me as above, you still haven't brought any suggestions for improvements here - which is the point of this page. Also, when and where have I called you names? Please provide examples so I know what you are referring to. I will very happily apologise if so. Nickm57 (talk) 08:01, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Name-calling? Yes, you probably forgot that you described previous edits as "partisan". Ironic you should say that when in fact it is the whole article that is "partisan" and biased. The tone of skepticism is so blatant it is ridiculous. It's propaganda disguised as some encyclopedia article. And every attempt to bring some neutrality to the text is being countered by your clicking the "undo" button on the View History page. Change that belligerent attitude for a start. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:51, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

No one owns this article[edit]

Thanks for following my advice and coming to the talk page. This is the place to get consensus (agreement) for proposed changes, particularly those which significantly change the tone of an article, as your edits over the last few days propose. I am as entitled to write here as anyone else. Regretably, the changes you have proposed are either ungrammatical or highly partisan. The sentence "specially the Mahogany Ship, a shipwreck of an alleged vessel of Portuguese sea captain Cristóvão de Mendonça, which arrived in Australia in 1522" is such an example. "Specially" is not the right word in this context, you mean "Especially". The rest of the sentence is ungrammatical. You probably mean "an alleged Portuguese shipwreck, known as the Mahogany ship." (It is not "a shipwreck of an alleged vessel..." is it?) The second issue is that your edits on this page, and European exploration of Australia, suggest it is a fact a Portuguese mariners arrived in Australia. This is simply not the case. It is a highly contentious theory even if it appeals to you personally. May I suggest you read on the topic before making any further changes? For example, your inclusion in one edit, of Nick Thieberger's 2006 article "Language is like a carpet," as support of Carl Georg von Brandenstein's fringe theory, shows that you had not actually read it. Nickm57 (talk) 21:36, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

The point of this talk page is not to indulge in personal abuse, however much you like/dislike the edits of others. I have repeatedly invited you to bring your suggestions for improvements here - but you either can't or won't discuss what you write. You can expect to be reverted by other editors if you make significant changes you don't explain, especially if they dont follow WP policies or change the tone of the article. You state that you think the page is fundamentally biased. I suggest if you really do feel that way you take the matter to Arbitration or an Admin at least.Nickm57 (talk) 09:55, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

Newspaper accounts of the Mahogany Ship[edit]

Re the use of Baker, M. "Quest of the Mahogany Ship" The Age, 6 January 1975; O'Neill, G. "Signals point to Mahogany ship" The Age, 27 March 1992; Adams, D. "Buried in the dunes..." The Age, 10 March 2000. In what way do any of these newspaper articles on (unsuccessful) searches for the Mahogany ship provide any supporting evidence of the theory? I added them to the Mahogany Ship page several years ago, (I have hard copies of them) because they illustrate popular Australian interest in the wreck. Is Graham O’Neill’s (The Age’s Science Journalist at the time) speculation that one detected signal may be a buried tree, (it was), noteworthy at the start of this article? Of course not. Have you read them?

Andrea Corsali's letter of 1515 and the Pre-Magellanic view of the world[edit]

This page is about theory that exists that a Portuguese expedition arrived in Australia between 1521 and 1524. Collingridge did believe the Portuguese and Spanish first sighted Australia and is the first popular writer on this topic, as this article notes. You have misunderstood the context of Collingridge’s comments. Collingidge uses Corsali to explain the way maps (available in the hard copy of his book but not the online version you refer to) evolved before Magellan’s circumnavigation.

You write - Collingridge, George. (1895) The Discovery of Australia, Sydney, Hayes Brothers. [5] Collingridge mentions Andrea Corsali's letter several times in his work as evidence of the knowledge of the existence of a large southern continent by the Portuguese: (Chapter 18): "Andrea Corsali, speaking of a continental land to the south-east of the Spice Islands, that is, in the vicinity of New Guinea, says...[Italian quote]".

In his account, Collingridge continues with a translation;

“And navigating towards the east, they say there lies the land of Piccinacoli,** and many believe that this land is connected towards the east in the south with the coast of Bresil or Verzino,*** because, on account of the size of this land of Verzino, it is not as yet on all sides discovered.
(**Footnote. Piccinacoli is the name given to New Guinea in G. Mercator's map of 1569.)
(***Footnote. Verzino is the Italian for Brazil-wood.)
As New Guinea was supposed to be connected with Australia, it follows that we have in the above statement of Andrea Corsali the reason, at least, for the presence on subsequent maps of the Shonerean term Brasielie Regio, as applied to the Austral Continent.”
(Page 92, Golden Press Fascimile Copy)
You write - Also in Chapter 23: "The Austral continent, supposed by Andrea Corsali and others to extend from the region of New Guinea (Terra de Piccinnacoli) to the land of Sanctae Crucis..."

The full paragraph in Collingridge continues:

"the land of Sanctae Crucis then known as the coast of Bresil or Verzino, was also known as the Papagalli terra--i.e., land of parrots. The origin of this denomination has been supposed to have been given first to Brazil, because either Gaspar de Lemos in 1500, or Pedralvarez Cabral in 1501, it is not known which, or when, brought some parrots to Europe from Brazil."

The longest paragraph dealing with Corsali in Collingridge you have not referred to and it makes his use of Corsali very clear. This is in Chapter 34 where he is referring to Mercator’s mappamundi of 1569. He explains why Mercator "disregards previous cartographical representations of Australia and lays down a more or less fictitious continent instead."

Collingridge then continues regarding New Guinea:

"New Guinea forms an important feature in this famous mappamundi. It isseparated from the Australian continent by a narrow strait, although thecartographer expresses his doubts as to its being thus separated...simodo insula est, nam sitne insula an pars continentis Australis ignotu adhuc est.
The inscription on New Guinea which contains the above remark reads thus:Noua Guinea que ab Andrea Corsali Florentino videtur dici Terra de piccinacoli. Forte Labadij insula est Ptolomeo, si modo insula est, nam sitne insula an pars continentis australis ignoti adhuc est
The information contained in that inscription is very faulty. Andrea Corsali never saw New Guinea himself, but described it from hearsay. Writing from Cochin China
[Nickm57: Actually Cochin in southern India]
to the Duke of Medici on the 6th of January 1515 he says: [Italian deleted] “And navigating towards the east, they say there lies the land of Piccinacoli, and many believe that this land is connected towards the east in the south with the coast of Bresil, or Verzino, because, on account of the size of this land of Verzino, it is not as yet on all sides discovered."
(Page 92, Golden Press Fascimile Copy P198-199)

As his footnote makes clear, Piccancoli means New Guinea, Bresil or Verzino are Brazil.

None of the contemporary writers on this theory mentioned here – for or against the theory, McIntyre, McKiggan, Fitzgerald, Richardson, Trickett or Pearson interprets Corsali’s significance the way you have suggested. In fact, I can only find Robert J. King mentioning Corsali briefly, and that is in the context of the pre-Magellanic view of the world. His article is here [2]Nickm57 (talk) 05:46, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

First you erase an edit that has taken considerable time to research an produce, and then you ask that it is discussed in the talk page. Interesting that it should not be the other way around. First, I doubt any of the editors here are reputed historians or researchers that can engage in a discussion on Andrea Corsali, the Discovery of Australia, or any complex historical issue for that matter. Presumably this is why Wikipedia does not accept primary research. Second, without wishing to engage in a discussion on the interpretation of Corsali's letter, let me point out that the reference to Verzino or Brazil is simply because it was believed to be connected with the "Austral Continent", ie. Australia. This can be seen in Collingridge's translation of Corsali's words: "... And navigating towards the east, they say there lies the land of Piccinacoli, and many believe that this land is connected towards the east in the south with the coast of Bresil or Verzino, because, on account of the size of this land of Verzino, it is not as yet on all sides discovered." The fact that Brazil and Australia were believed to be connected can be clearly seen in this interesting 1543 Dieppe Map [3]. The point however, is not this. The point is that Collingridge takes Corsali's letter as evidence that the Portuguese knew about an "Austral Continent" beyond the Spice Islands and in the vicinity of New Guinea. And so does the interpretation of Corsali's manuscript published by Hordan House (1989) [4]. I provided the quote in the edit which you erased: "Corsali's Lettera also has a SPECIAL PLACE IN THE HISTORY OF THE DISCOVERY OF AUSTRALIA [capital letters by author]". Therefore, there at least two sources that interpret Andrea Corsali's letter as proof that the Portuguese knew about the existence of a Southern or Austral continent. This should be enough to mention Andrea Corsali's letter in the article, though I am sure there are other sources. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:12, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Well your research is not all wrong here. You are correct in that it reveals the same pre-Magellan view of the world that King is commenting on in his explanation of the Dieppe maps. However Collingridge is not actually using the letter in the way you claim as a reading of his book shows. The 1989 introduction by someone at Hordan House, the antiquarian bookseller, about the special place of the letter is correct in a general sense of seeking knowledge of the Australian region and certainly in its early description of the Southern Cross. However, its really not a source. Doesnt it strike you as strange that not one of the writers on this topic, for or against the theory, see this letter as having the significance you claim? Everyone who has gone into print on this topic has read Collingridge. By the way, you havent read my edit summary correctly. I wrote "see talk page for extensive details on reverted text." By the way, I think everyone is hoping you will create a logon for yourself, or at least sign your edits. Nickm57 (talk) 09:50, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Look, I did read your summary edit and that still does not justify that you revert my text which is well constructed and sourced. I am not going to engage in a discussion on Corsali which is well beyond our reach no matter how much reading you and I have done on the subject. I will repeat however, that Collingridge mentions Corsali as proof of the knowledge by Portuguese sailors of an Australian continent (whether he makes this point literally or not). In his work, the letter is just one pillar of the building that forms the evidence of that fact (according to the author). As for the English interpretation of the manuscript (published in Australia by Hordan House) I cannot accept your comment that this "is really not a source". It is just as good as any other source. The fact that it says that the Corsali manuscript has "a special place in the history of the Discovery of Australia" is self-explanatory. As for other writers "not seeing this letter as having the significance you claim", that is your opinion. Neither of us can answer that question beyond doubt. Even if you and I were experienced historians, our opinions would be of limited value here, as Wikipedia allows for secondary sources only. However, as I anticipated, there are other authors which cite Corsali's manuscript as proof of a prior discovery. One is Giulia Grazi (2007) in her book Il Battista della Croce (del Sud): Omaggio a Andrea Corsali (The Baptizer of the Southern Cross: Homage to Andrea Corsali) [5] [6] in which the author says: ...gli Australiani lo ritengono lo "scopritore ideale" e il più antico testimone della loro terra, l’iniziatore insomma della loro storia (English: "Australians consider him [Corsali] the "ideal discoverer" and the oldest witness to their land, in short, the initiator of their history") [7]. As for a Wikipedia account, I am more than happy to create one. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:29, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
Ok - Obviously I disagree. I certainly think its undue weight in that section because its not a key tenet of the theory. I have to go offline for several weeks - and can't comment more right now, so it's back to you and over to other editors.Nickm57 (talk) 04:15, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

Sockpuppet investigation[edit]

I suspect that the two IPs that have been making contentions edits on this article, and, are sockpuppets for a user who has been banned for abusive and unreasonable behavior similar to the behavior of those two IPs, If you would like to comment on the sockpuppet investigation, please go here: Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Y26Z3 Goodsdrew (talk) 15:50, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

As a sock, any of the IP's edits can be freely reverted. See Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Y26Z3/Archive. Dougweller (talk) 06:30, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Why was my edit reverted?[edit]

I meant to change the quote as it should say "any contact language". I was wrong in thinking the IP had done this. However, why has some of the quote been removed again as 'commentary'? It's from the source and if we didn't allow commentary from sources we'd have very little in the way of historical articles. Dougweller (talk) 07:24, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

The lead[edit]

As it stands it does not conform to WP:LEAD and as almost all of the lead is about the hypothesis it violates NPOV. I suggest it read something like "This is based on interpretations of the Dieppe maps, Portuguese colonies in southeast Asia dating to the early 16th century and Australian artefacts interpreted as Portuguese by adherents of this hypothesis. These arguments have been rejected by mainstream historians and other writers."

You'll note I use the word hypothesis, not theory. It's the correct word and used by at least one of our sources, Atlas of Languages of Intercultural Communication in the Pacific and in a book by a Professor of Hispanic Studies at Lancaster University,Producing the Pacific: Maps and Narratives of Spanish Exploration, 1567-1606 [8]. We have Pole shift hypothesis because of the same argument, it's not a theory. Dougweller (talk) 08:33, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

Looks like a very sound idea to me. Hypothesis is more suitable in the lead. NB Have also replaced the quotation by Mühlhäusler and McGregor - this is clearly their opinion as any reading of the full article would illustrate. Nickm57 (talk) 09:05, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

The last sentence in the quote by Mühlhäusler and McGregor is used out of context. The "unconvincing evidence" and "speculative data" refers to the "secret colony" proposed by Von Brandenstein, not the Portuguese words in Pilbara languages. The lack of "linguistic evidence in his claims" refers to the place names that would support the claim about the colony. Again, not to the words in Pilbara languages. Read text here (p. 101): [9]

Theory vs. Hypothesis[edit]

A theory is an explanation about a phenomenon which has been widely researched and proven. A hypothesis ("hypo" meaning "less than" plus "thesis") is simply a proposition or supposition which requires research or scientific testing. In history, anthropology and social sciences, phenomena cannot be tested or proven fully and beyond doubt because they are not quantifiable (unlike physics or mathematics which are exact sciences). Thus, theories arise from extensive research and acceptance by the academic community. Sometimes theories are not accepted by all members of the community, and new theories are produced to counter the old ones. But the old ones remain theories whether consensus is achieved or not. The thesis of Portuguese discovery of Australia is clearly a "theory" and not a "hypothesis" because it has been extensively researched and there are experts who support it. Many other experts might not agree, some of which have put forward counter-theories about the historical evidence used by its supporters (namely the Dieppe Maps), but that does not strip it of its condition of theory. It certainly does not make it a "hypothesis". There is more than sufficient research and adherents to it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:08, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

I assume you are the same editor who was editing here last July? I suggested then that you create an account for yourself. Please do this. If you are not and are new to Wikipedia, do it anyway. Other editors are much more likely to engage with you if you do this. Re your edit; in English, generally, we don't write that an inanimate object, such as a theory, "states" something. It's not a hard and fast rule but its grammatically awkward. Also please read up on WP:LEAD as Doug Weller has suggested. CheersNickm57 (talk) 10:36, 22 September 2013 (UTC)
I believe I did not edit this page in July. I do have an account, but sometimes do not bother to login. Thanks for your comments. I am pretty sure you can say that "a theory states that" something or other. See this Wikipedia article (2nd line): "The theory states that maintaining and monitoring urban environments in a well-ordered condition...", or this BBC science article [10]: "The theory states that originally all the matter in the universe was concentrated..." . In any case, go ahead and change the wording if you are not confortable with it. The point is a theory is a theory, not a hypothesis. (It would be contradiction to use both terms to describe the same thing). And this is certainly a theory, as explained above. Not all scientists agree with the Big Bang Theory, and it's still a theory. Fortis est Veritas (talk) 01:52, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
Good to meet a real person, so to speak! I think the log on option is vastly preferable! CheersNickm57 (talk) 21:20, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, same here. Look forward to interesting discussions. BTW I have erased "hypothesis" and written that the theory "establishes" whatever it establishes. Feel free to change the wording if you have a better suggestion.Fortis est Veritas (talk) 21:41, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Chunk on Peter Trickett[edit]

From time to time, anonymous editors add well-meant but superficial or misleading sections to this page, usually based on a single source. In the most recent case, which I've deleted, a piece based on a not very accurate 2007 news item about Peter Trickett's book has been tacked on the end, without any awareness of the rest of the article. The news item seems to have been based on a press release from Trickett's publisher. Here are a few undeniable facts

  • Trickett did not find the Vallard Map. It's well known and has been in the collection of the Huntington Library for many years. There are also copies in other libraries and copies have been available on line for some time. For evidence of this and citations showing that it is not different to the Dieppe Maps, see the page Dieppe Map.
  • Trickett's book does not prove "that Portuguese adventurers, not British or Dutch, were the first Europeans to discover Australia." The ambiguous nature of this claim is the point of this article and the sections above.
  • This article already acknowledges Trickett's theory and there is an page entirely devoted to his book Beyond Capricorn.

Always happy to discuss edits but this was too ill-considered. Nickm57 (talk) 13:00, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. Some of the language was also unacceptable, eg "leads us to acccept". Dougweller (talk) 14:06, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Nick. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 18:07, 4 June 2014 (UTC)