Ben Finney, Anthropologist Who Debunked Theory on Island Settlement, Dies at 83

In an effort to prove that the settlement of Polynesia came about through deliberate exploration, rather than aimless drifting — the so-called accidental settlement hypothesis — he oversaw the construction of a 62-foot double canoe based on 18th-century illustrations made by members of Capt.

Ben Rudolph Finney was born on Oct. 1, 1933, in San Diego, where his father, Leon, a Navy pilot, had recently been transferred from Hawaii.

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets...” ― Napoléon Bonaparte