Many readers are familiar with Coast to Coast AM, the most-listened to late night talk show in the world. I’ll be on the evening of Feb 2. I’ve been on Coast over twenty times, and it’s always fun and unpredictable. The topics tend to be fairly wide-ranging when I’m on, but no doubt things like ancient astronauts and other PaleoBabble fodder will come up for discussion. One new item I am offering listeners is English translations to the only three scholarly articles on the Anunnaki that I know of. They are all in German, and over the past two years I have had them translated into English. Hopefully Coast listeners will want to actually engage the original sources in regard to the Anunnaki, which are a favorite candidate for ancient astronaut mythology.
About The Author
Elongated Skulls (aka, Artificial Cranial Modification): It Has Nothing to do with Nephilim
April 9, 2016
A New Planet Beyond Pluto? Sitchin is Still Wrong
January 21, 2016
The Spaceships of Ezekiel Fraud
April 28, 2013
G. Noory on CtoCAM doesn’t agree with your assessment of Stichin on alien contact, I tend to agree with you. We are the ancient astronauts. Just a heads up about Noory, seems to make a point of telling everyone he doesn’t agree with you, depending on the guest he has……Cheers
I know; I’ve been on with George many times and talked about ancient astronauts.
I am very much looking forward to this! I haven’t listened to Coast to Coast in a long while. It used to be fun, and occasionally made me reconsider, or at least defend, some of my beliefs, but now it just seems like going to the same slasher flick over and over.. once it loses its ability to shock, surprise, or move you in any way, the only thing that’s creepy is that you keep watching it over and over again!
But knowing that some scholarly work is being put out there tonight, who knows what might shake loose from the trees? For me, the real Holy Grail is that occasional person who is able to engage the facts as they are, play within the rules of genuine scientific theory, and still come up with some novel interpretation that leaves me scratching my head and saying “That can’t be right! I mean…. Umm.. Let me get back with you!”
Such gems are far and few between it seems. Maybe having the bar set a little higher tonight will bring one or two out. We can only hope.
I understand completely; had to chuckle!
Wasn’t able to catch the show last night. Where can we listen to it?? Eager to hear it!
You’d have to subscribe to the Coast to Coast streaming.
I caught it and it was very good! During commercials I read your friend, Rick Perrin’s article on the Gospel of Thomas. The ability to take something as difficult and technical as textual analysis of ancient writings, and make it enjoyable for the general reader/listener is something you and Mr. Perrin have in common. I also have mighty powerful respect for your ability to stand unflinching about your own personal spiritual beliefs while still keeping it separate from your scholarly work, even when the two run so closely parallel. THAT is the crossroads of art, science, philosophy, and spirituality. Not so long ago they would have burned you at the stake, just before cannonizing you.
thanks (and had to chuckle here, too).
Thanks for posting this and I thought it was a fairly good show, though it would’ve been nice to hear some more details.
As someone who approaches texts from a philosphical view-point (any set of texts), I’m trying to situate you and Sitchin. I am by no means a Sitchianite as I think there are quite a bit of holes in his view, but considering the reading of Genesis 6 and the nature of the ‘sons of god’ I wonder if Sitchian is more in harmony with the law of parsimony (and I’m not even sure if Sitchian makes this argument).
If the Genesis 6 ‘sons of God’ are equivalent to the Sumerian Annunaki, and they are capable of interbreeding with the ‘daughters of men,’ then by dint of that interbreeding the two groups would need to be at least of the same genus. Interbreeding being the modern taxonomy for a set within a genus.
On that score, it would seem that Sitchin’s view that the ‘sons of god’ as humanoids would be not only plausible, but quite probable if this is in fact the case at all. If that argument is sound, however, I would probably take a different approach than Sitchin to the referent being astronauts for similar logic (though I guess one would have to be open to it on the occassion of more evidence for an astronaut theory).
The other way I could see it explained that doesn’t violate the modern taxonomy is if the ‘sons of god’ have a different ‘mode of existence’ that still participates in the wider genus of humanity. Again that’s not traditional, and has to make many more assumptions than what I stated above (law of parsimony), which is indeed problematic.
I’d like to know more of your thoughts here.
see http://www.sitchiniswrong.com. When a theory depends on data that do not exist, it is in no way plausible. And I have said before that Sitchin makes first-year level mistakes in ancient language work. That would be another blow to what he says being plausible.
Sorry, I do not see anything on your website that addresses what I said. I’m more or less taking your statements on the show that:
(1) The ‘sons of God’ in the Genesis 6 text are virtually equivalent to the Sumerian Annunaki.
(2) That these ‘sons of God’ according to the Genesis 6 text interbreed with the ‘daughters of men.’
The argument is simply a modus poenens given a proposition that X interbreeds with Y, assuming for the sake of argument that this text is not mythological or metaphorical texts.
By the law of parsimony, if this is a factual event at all, then it’s a de facto stronger case that X and Y are, at minimum, of the same genus if not the same species, rather than asserting that ‘sons of God’ refers to disembodied ‘supernatural’ beings.
The argument does not support or predjudice the idea of ‘ancient astronauts.’ That claim by Sitchen is irrelevant to the argument. The only intersection between ‘ancient astronauts’ and the argument above is the idea that the ‘sons of god’ are humanoid.
I’m really not sure what you’re asking me to agree or disagree with. Let’s cut the academese and ask clearly. My point was not to deny that there is a category analogy between the Anunnaki and the sons of God of Gen 6. My point is to deny (a) that any of them are extraterrestrial — i.e., from other planets, beings with determinate lifespans, need to reproduce their own species, etc. and (b) that teh Old Testament has some sort of narrative whereby humans were created by this group.
While I’m not asking you to do anything by way of agreement or disagreement here with me, I am attempting to demonstrate that while a certain aspect of Sitchian view(s) could be erroneous (i.e. extraterrestrials), that does not negate a probable interpretation that is latent in Sitchian itself (and the biblical text): the idea that the Annunaki or ‘sons of God’ are in fact human beings if this story has any historical traction. A kind of cleavage within the social space if you will between ‘sons of God’ on one hand and ‘daughters of men’ on the other (elite vis. non-elite). If not extraterrestrial, then perhaps terrestrial, that there is a real [human] persona behind the these figures. My approach to this text would be analogous to the Greek mythographer Euh?meros.
Neither text corpus has these entities as human beings (Gen 6 in fact contradicts that by contrasting the phrase “sons of God” against “daughters of men”).
lol @ Neoplatonist
see? at least someone does agree I am not having my genes from aliens..
According to the texts, some Watchers (god creation) reproduced with humans but this lineage got completely destroyed with the flood.. They apparently mixed with Cain lineage and Cain
died under his house, this apparently before the flood.
Of this civilization the only archeological remains could be the megaliths around the world
although there is no proof of it.. apart may be fro the book of jubilee (enoch)
and he called his name Kainam.
And the son grew, and his father taught him writing, and he went to seek for himself a place where he might seize for himself a city.
And he found a writing which former (generations) had carved on the rock, and he read what was thereon, and he transcribed it and sinned owing to it; for it contained the teaching of the Watchers in accordance with which they used to observe the omens of the sun and moon and stars in all the signs of heaven.
And he wrote it down and said nothing regarding it; for he was afraid to speak to Noah about it lest he should be angry with him on account of it.
“Neither text corpus has these entities as human beings (Gen 6 in fact contradicts that by contrasting the phrase “sons of God” against “daughters of men”).”
Yes, there is a principle of individuation there, but the text doesn’t say what that individuation amounts to on a taxonomical level. Yours is part of a traditional interpretation, if taken on a historical level, is nonsensical. And, since being X breeds with being Y of a different genus (given your interpretation), we can thereby index this story into the realm of myth like we do other demigod stories. In the end, an interpretive tradition ‘about X’ does your critical thinking for you, instead of the other way around. The other approach is that of an Euhemerus and attempt to give a rational account of reality in lieu of the episode having some historical merit.
IF the story is historical, by dint of what the text says about the two groups producing off-spring, then the invididuation that the text speaks of is something else than two groups of a different genus, but perhaps of a different *class* (and that’s only one possible explanation; Sitchian’s is another; possibly others). What is certain is that the two groups are of the same genus by modus poenens, something that cannot be dealt with given the ‘traditional interpretation.’
so, what semantic information in the text allows a taxonomical blurring? Remember, we’re talking about the text.
You also over-read me; the notion of “interbreeding” is not the only view I think possible. The issue is what the text communicated to its creator(s) and its original audience. I see two possibilities there; one is the literalizing view; the other is mythological.
Thank you for your excellent site and your willingness to take on the crazies. As a philosophy professor, I listen to Coast and watch programs like “Ancient Aliens” for the comedy value of the “arguments” presented. My wife doesn’t understand why I enjoy yelling “no! that does not follow!” I notice the line of reasoning presented on such shows and here on your forum from the believers boil down to “science doesn’t explain everything, so of course it must be aliens.” Yes, science does not explain everything, but that isn’t an open invitation for pseudo-academic snake oil salesmen to make stuff up.
One point on which I’d be curious about your response – it seems to me the primary assumption behind the PaleoBabble (wonderful term) is the condescension that ancient humans were neither capable or creative. Underlying every snake oil theory is the premise that ancient humans couldn’t possibly do and therefore they needed help and therefore aliens. Ancients lacked the benefits of history that we enjoy and the many technological advances that brings, but there is no reason to assume they were any less resourceful, creative, and capable than us. Nothing in the megalithic sites and art work cited by ancient alien theorists are beyond the abilities and imagination of a dedicated group of humans.
thanks, Douglas; enjoyed this. You are correct in the observation that for paleobabblers, it’s “truth by omission” or “truth by anomaly.”
On your question: yep, that’s pretty much my take.
“so, what semantic information in the text allows a taxonomical blurring? Remember, we’re talking about the text.”
As I think I stated, I do not believe the text makes any taxonomical claims in an explicit sense. The argument is a deductive one. One that sees the ‘sons of God’ going into the ‘daughters of men,’ and they (daughters) bearing children to them (sons of god) (Gen 6:4). How do women bear children? There has to be genetic compatibility within a genus for that to happen, does it not? Now I can imagine other technological means to accomplish this, but that’s not the plain sense of the text and cuts against parsimony.
“I see two possibilities there; one is the literalizing view; the other is mythological.”
Agreed, but a literal reading as I noted is not outside reason to assert, as Sitchin has, that these ‘sons of God’ are humanoid (rather sound reason would affirm it,IF historical). It may be irrational to assert Ancient Aliens. But again, Sitchin’s aim is inductive on that level. What does inductive cases amount to Dr. Heiser? Does your analysis touch inductive reasoning? Something to ponder I think…textual analysis and parsing philology and etymology only goes so far. Your analysis leaves a lot to be desired for a philosopher like myself.
I don’t have a dog in the fight, but what I’m concerned about is the philsophical (and scientific) implications about what is being said and see little balance to what is being proferred forward as explanation for these things.
Now if you’d like to tease out what you think the text means and give a rational case for it, that would go a long way for helping me understand.
a couple of things:
1. The plain sense of the text is precisely what you deny. The writers were pre-scientific, so to say that THEY don’t make this claim in the text is not coherent. YOU might not, but you didn’t write it, and you are not a child of that worldview. One cannot coherently deny an idea in a text that would have seemed perfectly logical to the person who wrote it based on their worldview.
2. The above worldview becomes comprehensible today if one presumes the supernatural. No technology needed with that presupposition. YOU may not believe in the supernatural, but that does not deny that presupposition to someone who is not a materialist. Ultimately, that struggle depends on the coherence of materialism vs. non-materialism in terms of whether only one or both of those approaches are valid.
3. Sitchin’s assertions cannot be found in the text; he says they are; I say they don’t exist. This is therefore an issue of truth-telling or ignorance. There is nothing inductive about what Sitchin is doing; you can’t do inductive study on data that are not there.
4. Sitchin’s descriptions are not the same as supernaturalism (and I don’t like that term, but for people reading this, it’s the easiest one to use). Sitchin’s descriptions are technological and material; that is, his Anunnaki rely on technology that conforms to laws of physics; their agenda is about survival; they have needs caused by embodiment; their normal state is embodied; etc. etc. These are not the way various religions cast entities or figures from the supernatural world. In the ancient Near East, even when a god dies he doesn’t really die — he shows up later. Yes, there is anthropomorphism, but the gods are not men. It’s apples and oranges, hence a lot of people (not just me) see a disconnect with what Sitchin is describing and what religious texts are describing.
“1. The plain sense of the text is precisely what you deny. The writers were pre-scientific, so to say that THEY don’t make this claim in the text is not coherent. YOU might not, but you didn’t write it, and you are not a child of that worldview. One cannot coherently deny an idea in a text that would have seemed perfectly logical to the person who wrote it based on their worldview.”
What is the plain sense of things here? And how would you know or any other modern expositor know what is signified, since there is No-thing there that is Signified? The only ‘thing’ language comports is ‘what is there for thought: being as sign.’ (Sorry to digress on my Neoplatonism). Yours is more or less an assumption imposed on a text, IF that text is to convey something beyond metaphor and mythology. When it comes to competing hypothesis, what’s going to be the control group to resolve oppositions? I think I can get more mileage out of my interpretation than an ad hoc one that runs out of explanatory gas (i.e. appeals to mystery or ‘supernaturalism’). What we want here is explanatory power, and if you don’t have an analogue for your case of ‘supernaturalism’ (whatever that amounts to), then it’s by definition a weaker case. Furthermore, I already acknowledged that the biblical writer does not make a modern taxonomy in the text, why would he? But I’m not judging the text from the stand-point of it being ‘special revelation,’ but rather from the stand point of *any* text to be interpreted. So to answer your assumption, yes I can deny an idea of a text if it has no analogical basis in reality for its idea in the first place IF understood as having real historical meaning.
Could the biblical writer really be affirming a ‘supernaturalism’? Of course, I don’t deny that could be the case (which is to argue for the writers’ mythological thinking). My argument is built on the back of a philosophical realism, such that if x is the case, then Y follows from it, whether someone takes a literal or mythological approach.
Then there is whole problem of the possible editing of the text by a later redactor. In that case, I question the veracity of the text (and the traditional worldview imposed on it) and have reason to.
“2. The above worldview becomes comprehensible today if one presumes the supernatural. No technology needed with that presupposition. YOU may not believe in the supernatural, but that does not deny that presupposition to someone who is not a materialist. Ultimately, that struggle depends on the coherence of materialism vs. non-materialism in terms of whether only one or both of those approaches are valid.”
As someone that is neither a ‘supernaturalist’ nor a ‘materialist,’ but rather a philosophical idealistic monist (a ‘living’ Neoplatonist), I do not have to provide ad hoc explanations for phenomenon nor be out of step with what modern science has observed. That is to say, I do not need to presume an adherence to ‘special revelation’ (and to differentiate that from standard UFO religion is problematic in itself) to give an explanation for the text, any text. In short, to proffer a view-point that has more explanatory power than another view, leaves the value judgment of the latter wanting. To make an argument that is both rationally and harmonically sound in an interdisciplinary sense is stronger than one that relies solely on the use of one discipline (philology and etymology) and thereby unproven world-view. I would challenge the dialectic of opposition between materialism vis. supernaturalism. Is there a tertium quid? I think there is.
I’ve observed the same approach with you when you adjudicate the case of UFO religion and abductees. You don’t just take their word for it do you? Of course not, you give both an outsiders approach while also offering an internal critique. You examine the case textually, philosophically, and psychologically. You attempt to give a reasoned approach based on your world-view. Same as I would do. What all this amounts to as far as truth claims are concerned is which of the competing views has some rational and analogical basis for the reality they are depicting. Which worldview best explains the facts? That’s what we all want.
“3. Sitchin’s assertions cannot be found in the text; he says they are; I say they don’t exist. This is therefore an issue of truth-telling or ignorance. There is nothing inductive about what Sitchin is doing; you can’t do inductive study on data that are not there.”
I disagree. An inductive case can be made once one approaches the text from an outsiders point-of-view and grants for the sake of argument that you have two groups that have produced offspring based on what we know about taxonomy. This case cannot be discarded as I have shown without being ad hoc. Granted the inductive case Sitchin follows through with is probably a far-cry different than what I would articulate, but that is beside the point. I’m much more of the opinion of the Douglas person above regarding ancient artifacts.
“4. Sitchin’s descriptions are not the same as supernaturalism (and I don’t like that term, but for people reading this, it’s the easiest one to use). Sitchin’s descriptions are technological and material; that is, his Anunnaki rely on technology that conforms to laws of physics; their agenda is about survival; they have needs caused by embodiment; their normal state is embodied; etc. etc. These are not the way various religions cast entities or figures from the supernatural world. In the ancient Near East, even when a god dies he doesn’t really die — he shows up later. Yes, there is anthropomorphism, but the gods are not men. It’s apples and oranges, hence a lot of people (not just me) see a disconnect with what Sitchin is describing and what religious texts are describing.”
Yes I agree with you here that, that is what Sitchin is doing. But also consider that there are those of us like myself, who see the biblical text as a garbled memory and mess (Hector Avalos, Jan Assmann, Donald Redford, etc.), who view these stories as ‘paleobabble’ in their own right if taken literally. In my opinion while I agree with these scholars that it is a garbled mess and hardly ‘special revelation’, I’m not totally in agreement that many of these events are completely mythological (though I have to be open to that possibility), that the texts are the product of heavy editing and needs deep deconstruction to pull out the story without the need of the Magisterium world-view. You may disagree of course, but that doesn’t entail you have a principled basis on which to adjudicate my approach that is a motivated one.
I think the gist of all this is that WE as moderns have varying views of what WE think of their recorded thoughts. You would include semiotics more prominently in the discussion. If that’s the case, I knew that beforehand, but I’m betting this has been useful for readers.
In number 3 – they cannot be made. Where is the text that talks about the Anunnaki’s space travel in ships between planets? There is nothing inductive about what he does in his books with these ideas.
Hey thanks for the discussion Dr. Heiser.
And regard to three, we can both agree that Sitchin’s view in totality is in the end nuts and really quite a story if you will.
I’m off to ascend to the monad, I hope to catch you again soon…
loved the last line (even though I’m not a monist). Quick question: What do you think is the best intro to Neo-Platonism?
The best intro and the person that is the best in my opinion because he’s a “living” Neoplatonist through and through is Dr. Eric David Perl (I believe he’s also a christian as well). His book Theophany is probably a good place to start and I think you won’t have too much trouble since he does a great job defining his terms for someone who is even new to Neoplatonism. You’re a Phd. anyways, so you know your way around texts.
The Anatomy of Neoplatonism by Dr. AC Lloyd is also a good one, but it’ll assume that you know your way around the Platonic tradition. If you read Perl and grasp it well, I don’t think someone versed like you will have a problem.
The Perennial Tradition of Neoplatonism, edit. by John Cleary is a massive collection of academic essays that is also good.
One thing to keep in mind, and something that is not emphasized enough–if not forgotten–in most of the academic studies is the fact that these men were first rate mathematicians and they took the metaphysical text to be symbol of what is to be done and to be graduated into mathematics. Kind of like the Platonic turn in the Allegory of the Cave, one starts with empirical images and is to rise up to the underlying mathematika and arche of reality. The mathematical formalism is what undergirds their metaphysics. I know that’s esoteric, but that’s how these guys operated. On that score, it’s too bad that Iamblichus’s ???? ??? ?????? ??????????? ????????? (On general mathematical science) has never been translated from the greek to make more apparent the contextual goal of Neoplatonism was attempting to do (though I might add Iamblichus Theological principles of arithmetic has been translated, but it was probably written by a student of Iamblichus). How did mathematics, spirituality, and philosophy become fragmented, where for these men there was a ‘unified’ fecundity there of those disciplines? It’s been the burning question on my mind for many years now…
Oops it looks like my greek didn’t go through…hence the “???” sorry…
I’m not sure how to solve that problem on this blog — and I even use Unicode fonts.
sweet – thanks; I will look them all up.
@ Neo and MSH
In all 3 theories
1) would be the darwinian theory of evolution.. with men appearing 200 000 years ago
2) The Genesis or God creation which seem to date men at earlier date
3) Alien interference with human DNA
We have records on the first and second theories but no archeological evidence on the third ..
I am so without a clue..
I don’t really follow what you are asking or saying (sentences are incomplete and I don’t want to read anything into them).
@ MHS just to sum up what you and neo were talking about..
I sum up that there is no archeological evidence of alien DNA with humans..