RE: The Origin of the Kurds
I have read with great pleasure your material. It is a jewel. This is not just a polite or an encouraging word. Your material has a rare and a very valuable feature: it objectively incorporates different (sometimes contradictory) data and opinions, and presents a wide and a versatile picture. It is a truly academic study. People commonly tend to hide or dismiss “other” opinions and data which do not fit or confirm their philosophy. You have managed to escape that trap. Congratulations, indeed. I often repeat to my students that our findings and conclusions present in fact a ”cloud”, not a sharp “truth”. We do not operate with truths. We typically operate with interpretations, which in turn reflect our mentality, our way to see the world.
As a result, we observe a bunch of clouds produced by other researchers, and we try to make sense out of them by “optimizing” those clouds, by trying to find the best overlapping mode between them. What you did – it is not just a study about the Kurds. It is a good illustration of how we should consider interdisciplinary materials which form – sometimes – rather distant “clouds”, however, they are intrinsically connected to each other. Those connections are often obscure, intuitive, sometimes distorted (by us, researchers), but they are there. And our duty, as scientists, is to “optimize” the overall picture, with all blanks, imperfections, omissions, guesses, and present it to the scientific community. Let it be a rough picture, but nobody gets it better. Future studies will correct it, bit by bit. That is how science is developed.
Prof. Dr. Anatole A. Klyosov
Newton MA 02459
Source: mail to the author 17 October 2010
Proceedings of the Russian Academy of DNA Genealogy, vol. 3, No. 12 (December), 2010, 2220-
A FOREWORD BY THE EDITOR
Shown below is a selection of slides from almost 400 slides prepared by Dr. Ferdinand Hennerbichler for his habilitation in history. Defense of his thesis is scheduled for the next year.
For those who are unaware what habilitation is, I can notice that it is the highest academic qualification in Europe and in some countries in Asia, and it is defended by people already having their PhD degrees. In Russia, for example, it is called “Doctor of Science” degree, and, unlike a PhD, it requires a much wider and deeper expertise. In prestigious institutions, it commonly requires to be habilitated (to be Doctor of Science) in order to be appointed a Professor.
Says Wikipedia – “Earned after obtaining a research doctorate, such as a PhD, habilitation requires the candidate to write a professorial thesis based on independent scholarship, reviewed by and defended before an academic committee in a process similar to that for the doctoral dissertation. However, the level of scholarship has to be considerably higher than that required for a research doctoral (PhD) thesis in terms of quality and quantity, and must be accomplished independently, in contrast with a PhD dissertation typically directed or guided by a faculty supervisor… Sometimes (in the humanities) a major book publication is required before defense takes place. Usually the teaching ability of the habilitation candidate is evaluated as well. Thus, the level of academic achievement can be compared in many aspects to a North American tenure review but can take even longer. Habilitation qualification exists in France ("Habilitation à diriger des recherches"), Switzerland, Germany (Priv.-
I have had a pleasure to exchange letters with Dr. Hennerbichler in the course of several months, and was impressed with his meticulousness in data and concepts analysis. He had tried not to leave any stone unturned. Granted, I use in my studies not very orthodox definitions of the Aryans, based on results and conclusions of DNA genealogy, since the latter allowed having a deeper look into the history of the ancient Aryans, their tribal affiliations, their migration routes, not recognized as yet by historians, archaeologists, and linguists. In my works I dismiss sloppy “scientific slang” such as to call “Indo-
Dr. Hennerbichler took those comments very seriously, and checked them with one of the leading Iranist of our times, Professor Dr. Gernot Windfuhr, Professor Emeritus of Iranian Studies, Dept. of Near Eastern Studies, University of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dr. Windfuhr has confirmed those comments, and as a result a few more slides were added to the study by Dr. Hennerbichler. The same story was with a number of my comments, and I am glad that most of them were accepted.
The selection of slides for the publication below intended to show different aspects of the lecture. Unfortunately, many findings and their justifications are missing in the following excerpts. On average, only one slide of every eight was included into the selection as presented. However, it gives an idea of the scope of the material presented for the defense.
I am sure that readers will join me in wishing good luck to Ferdinand Hennerbichler with his defense and the continued scientific career.
Hennerbichler, Ferdinand: The Origin of the Kurds. Vienna Lecture, 2010, excerpts. In: Proceedings of the Russian Academy of DNA Genealogy, vol. 3, No. 12 (December), 2010, 2220-