Darkness in El Dorado Controversy - Archived Document

Internet Source: USA Today, LIFE: 9d, November 22, 2000
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'Darkness' claims continue to stir debate

Michelle Healy

American Anthropological Association officials announced plans last week to investigate claims in a controversial book that anthropologists distorted data and possibly helped spread warfare and measles among Venezuela's Yanomami tribe. At its annual meeting in San Francisco, the association devoted two sessions to Patrick Tierney's Darkness in El Dorado: How Scientists and Journalists Devastated the Amazon. Over the past month, increasing numbers of scientists have raised doubts about the book's claims. Mark Papania, a federal scientist who says Tierney quoted him out of context in making his charges, cast doubt on the successful chances of an investigation into the 1968 measles epidemic. Only two out of three such investigations domestically find the source of such a disease outbreak, he says.