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Paleobabble

Your antidote to cyber-twaddle and misguided research about the ancient world. Lots of people do research on the mysteries of antiquity. Some insights are valuable; others are insanely stupid. PaleoBabble exists because insisting that conclusions be drawn from data is a coherent idea, because conjecture isn’t evidence, and because appealing to conspiracy to validate ideas is intellectually lazy.

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Paleobabble Blog Entries

More Nephilim-Bigfoot-Mound Builder-Peruvian Cone-Heads Flim-Flam

Posted by on Jul 22, 2014 in archaeology, Bogus History, Conspiracy Theory, Cult Archaeology, Giants, _Paleobabble, _UFOreligions | 0 comments

This would all be discouraging were not Jason Colavito’s lengthy reviews of this stuff so entertaining.

Both of these essays were posted this month. Annotations are mine.

Creationist “Bigfoot” Veterinarian Wants Cash to Sequence Nephilim “Giant” DNA

  • Readers will appreciate the photographic sleight-of-hand (read: deception) by Dr. Melba Ketchum of the recent Bigfoot DNA fiasco. Talk about depending on reader credulity.

Review of Richard Dewhurst’s “Ancient Giants Who Ruled America” and Its “Pre-Indian Caucasian Culture”

  • I saw this book at a Barnes and Noble recently. Thank you, Jason, for saving me the self-torture.
  • Readers will appreciate how Jason documents the poor methodology, outright errors, and plagiarism in this book.
  • I’ve collected a few dozen PDFs of accounts of giant human skeletons in the US in the 19th and early 20th centuries. I can tell you firsthand that it is quite inadequate to end your research with newspapers. Just because it’s in a newspaper, especially that era, doesn’t mean it’s true or that the “find” has been processed correctly. Newspaper reporters aren’t doing scientific testing. Hard to believe we have to point that out.
  • Once again, it’s pseudo-research (and non sequitur thinking) like this that gives the idea that there was a Creator a bad name. Pretty sad.

Did the Times of India Just Endorse the Ancient Astronaut Theory?

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in Ancient Astronauts, Ancient Sites, Bogus History, Cult Archaeology, _Paleobabble, _UFOreligions | 2 comments

Kind of . . . sort of . . . well, not really . . . maybe. Actually, it depends on what one wants to read into what’s said and isn’t.

I can hardly wait for the ancient astronaut crowd to think this means something. They are truly desperate for validation.

But let’s be honest. Let’s suppose that the people quoted in the Times are the smartest people on the planet. What does that mean for the Times‘ article? Nothing. Why? Because it is entirely opinion-based. In other words, the claims lack actual scientific data. There are no data that prove the people doing the opining aren’t doing more than reading our technological culture back into antiquity.

If you’ve followed ancient astronaut “research” for any amount of time you’ll note that isn’t unusual. It’s the norm.

But enjoy.

(Hat tip to Jason Colavito).

Ancient Aliens Researcher Calls the Show’s Content “Absurdity” and Her Job “Ridiculous”

Posted by on Jul 13, 2014 in Ancient Astronauts, Cult Archaeology, _Paleobabble, _UFOreligions | 1 comment

No kidding.

I encourage readers to read this post by Jason Colavito, which chronicles the admissions. If this is news to you, here’s another news flash: pro wrestling outcomes are scripted.

At least someone associated with the Ancient Aliens bunkum can be honest about what it is they’re doing.

I hope the Christian researchers who baptize the show’s content are listening (and repenting).

Ancient Aliens Debunked Crosses 3.5 Million Views on YouTube

Posted by on Jul 6, 2014 in Ancient (Non-Alien) Technology, Ancient Astronauts, Ancient Legends, Ancient Sites, archaeology, Cult Archaeology, _Paleobabble, _UFOreligions | 0 comments

Pretty amazing.

For those new to the blog, I’m in the documentary. It’s three hours long — all free, on YouTube. Lots of good information. Links to the research sources are available on the creator’s website.

The Racism of the Ancient Astronaut Theory

Posted by on Jul 5, 2014 in Ancient Astronauts, _Paleobabble, _UFOreligions | 6 comments

Readers will know that I’ve long thought the ancient astronaut theory is tinged with racist thinking. (Think about it — the AA theory says Egyptians and various South American civilizations couldn’t possibly have built their pyramids and temples — they needed alien help — and that’s just the most obvious bias).

I direct readers to the following article to demonstrate I’m not alone:

“Leading Expert on UFOs” Nick Pope: Ancient Astronaut Theory “Borderline Racist”

The author of the article is Jason Colavito. As the title makes clear, he’s directing attention to some comments on this topic by Nick Pope, a familiar name to those into ufology.

 

Book Cover Art: The Facade and Its Sequel, The Portent

Posted by on Jul 3, 2014 in Announcement, _Paleobabble, _UFOreligions | 14 comments

Finally … I can post the new cover for The Facade and its imminent sequel, The Portent.

Honestly, I didn’t like the cover art chosen for The Facade by Kirkdale, so this change (new designer) is quite welcome. The design and editorial team wanted both books to look like they belonged together, which of course makes sense. I think they did a great job. Here’s The Facade:

FacadeFinalcovWEB

Notice the bottom text indicates a series. Yes, there will be at least one more. Now for The Portent:

PortentFinalcovWEB

The word “portent” refers to something ominous looming over the horizon — an omen. Hence the clock-face imagery, which I think is really cool.

For those who have read The Facade, here’s the back cover text for the sequel:

PortentBackWEB

In case you can’t read the text, here it is:

The climactic ending of The Façade left Brian Scott and Melissa Kelley with only each other—and the terrible secrets they carry. The Portent finds them living together under new identities, their future clouded by constant fear of being exposed. By the time they learn they’re being watched, their carefully constructed lives will be over.

Follow Brian and Melissa into the center of an unthinkably vast conspiracy that spans centuries, crafted by a relentless evil bent on turning the faith of millions against itself. Revelations from ancient tombs, long-forgotten Nazi experiments, UFOs, occult mythologies, biblical theology, and technologies converge in answer to a terrifying question: Now that “they” are here, what do they want?

The Portent should be available in a week or so. Stay tuned!

 

Last Three Days for MEMRA Discount on Ancient Language Courses

Posted by on Jul 2, 2014 in Announcement, _NakedBible, _Paleobabble | 0 comments

Just a reminder.

The discount ends at midnight, this Friday, July 4.

The module begins on August 1. For the courses and registration, click here.

Dr. Gary Nolan on the Atacama Specimen and the Starchild Skull

Posted by on Jun 2, 2014 in Alien sightings, Ancient Astronauts, Ancient Studies & Technology, UFO Research, _Paleobabble, _UFOreligions | 1 comment

Jack Brewer has posted a recent email exchange with Dr. Gary Nolan, the Stanford scientist who conducted the DNA work on the alleged “Atacama alien.” It’s readable and interesting, and so I recommend it to my readers. Some key statements by Dr. Nolan:

The specimen has interesting mutations, but all mainstream genetics.

As to the utility of DNA I am ambivalent. It’s so easy to contaminate DNA or misinterpret the results.

Dr. Nolan has also examined the “Starchild” skull. Jack Brewer included that topic as part of his interview. Again, interesting comments from Dr. Nolan:

I reached out to Dr. Pye originally, and subsequently met him in Manchester, UK, around my offer to examine the skull (after looking online at his evidence). He was very forthcoming and brought the specimen here to Stanford (I paid for the cost of his visit). We had it examined with two high end instruments and by a noted bone specialist. While the skull is certainly unusual (no one can deny that), it also did not fall under the provenance of any known genetic syndromes (despite the skeptics online) according to local experts. So I think the Starchild group’s statements about that latter point are credible. . . .

However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a NEW, purely human, syndrome that affected the skull structure of the deceased. According to the bone specialist he still felt it fell within the realm of “unusual, but still human”. He didn’t rule anything out, but he also didn’t suggest “not human”. Interpret that last statement with all due care. . . .

The problem with the Starchild claims are they are too easy with even a college class in evolutionary genetics to dismiss as overstated. Their current claims, using the available evidence, undermine their goals. And (frankly) allows less open-minded skeptics to paint reasonable scientists interested in the area with the “enthusiast” brush. That discredits the larger goal of understanding exactly what is going on with the Skull and other phenomenon.

Read the rest here.

Larry Hurtado on Bart Ehrman’s Book, How Jesus Became God

Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Jesus, New Testament, _NakedBible, _Paleobabble | 11 comments

Larry Hurtado has a thoughtful, even-handed review of Ehrman’s book here. This subject area is one of Hurtado’s areas of expertise, his criticisms, though irenic in tone, are telling. My only addition would be toward the end. Ehrman seems completely unaware of OT antecedents to godhead thinking, something that’s my own specialty. But you only need to explore Hurtado’s exposure of points of weakness in Ehrman’s argumentation to see that Ehrman’s case comes nowhere close to being compelling.

Egyptology Journals and Books Available Online

Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Ancient Egypt, Online Resources, _Paleobabble | 2 comments

The list located here was compiled for the Egyptologists’ Electronic Forum (EEF), so this isn’t the library from Wackytown.

A lot of good stuff here for anyone interested in ancient Egypt.