Friday, October 15, 2010

Forbidden Archeology

Currently reading one of Michael Cremo's books about this topic. It's fascinating and fun - like watching episodes of MonsterQuest, National Geographic, and Ancient Aliens all at once.

Click the pic to get a taste of what he's suggesting.


And here's his site.

32 comments:

J.P. said...

Interesting. My thoughts on the matter actually gravitate towards the opposite end of the debate. I was looking at neat discussion on the subject just yesterday.

Here is the clip I found:

http://derrenbrown.co.uk/blog/2010/09/intelligent-design-conversation-derren-brown/

Rob Brown said...

..I can't watch this. I'm still pissed the world does not exist on the back of a giant turtle.

Halloweenfreak said...

Geez this guy is a buffoon. More creationist nonsense in disguise. You have a great Halloween site try to stay with that. Just the opinion of an evolutionary biologist

Rot said...

I try to keep an open mind with stuff like this. And it's funny because you sound like precisely the environment he discusses in the book.

And I often post items of this nature - alternative beliefs.

If my blog doesn't fit your interpretation of what a Halloween blog should be, you should probably go elsewhere.

HalloweeNut said...

I'm a Christian, and I personally think the idea of evolution is TRUE! Why would a god create science and then not use it?

Oh, and Halloweenfreak - leave Mr. Rot and his blog alone, and ease up a little!

Jon Glassett said...

An open but guarded mind, always.

I can sympathize with Halloweenfreak's strong reaction against this, just as I can sympathize with anyone who wants to give opposing viewpoints equal time. Personally, this kind of thing grates on me. There are a number of logical fallacies in video. That, unfortunately, very common in creationist circles, in my experience.

Still, even the most a staunch adherent to scientific method will agree that there is still a lot more to learn, generally speaking and on this specific topic. To that end, there's no harm in hearing what the other guy has to say as long as you arm yourself with the means to discern fact from fallacy.

My two cents.

Halloweenfreak said...

By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.

Halloweenfreak said...

Rot I mean no offense. I have been a huge fan of your site, but as someone who has worked in the field of science for many years and from time to time has had to deal with people like this one in the video just strikes a nerve. they muddy the waters of science progress by pushing a hidden religious agenda. Research the Human genome project, some of the greatest scientific minds doing real work and don't allow it to be compromised by their beliefs.

Sean Covernton said...

The statement "To me that suggests that we have to go back to the traditional explanation that human beings were placed here by an intelligent designer..." underlines the fundamental flaw in his thinking.

That's throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Yes there are anomalies in data. Yes there are questions that evolution hasn't answered. But saying that you have to throw out the whole idea and go back to a theory which is supported by no credible or at the very best extremely spurious evidence is a terrible way to advance science and thus society.

Science, unlike the religion that he feels is more credible, can itself evolve to incorporate and explain those facinating pieces of data that don't fit with the current theory.

And the statement that science ignores that which does not fit in with its theory is a complete and total falsehood. There are scientists who get attached to pet theories and they do have a hard time disconnecting themselves from the notion that they have taken a lifetime to prove. Kepler having to abandon his theory of a geometrically perfect universe is just such an example. But science moves on and increasingly delights in self contradiction. You show a physicist that what we recognize as the universal laws of physics don't operate as we imagine outside our own galaxy and it incites imagination, wonder and excitement rather than anger that the facts are once again contradicting their dogmatic views. You show that same information to the creationist/intelligent design proponent and you're likely to hear him or her say "That's it then! Physics is wrong!"

It's not wrong. The definition of it is being expanded. Because it is science.

I am very fond of watching debates on the subject and am totally open to the idea that one day a fact might surface that makes me re-evaluate everything I take for granted.

But his argument here is exactly the sort of baseless religious dogmatism that has been trying to invade schools and society and actively works to keep the margins of knowledge sufficiently wide so they can remain thickheadedly literal minded about a book of moral tales written more than a thousand years ago.

Sorry to go ranty here but the debate of religion versus science is one I feel very close to. I'm neither religious nor a scientist but those two sides seem to affect everyone's life in profound ways so I do my layman's best to follow both arguments.

And of course I could be wrong.

But please keep posting provocative material. Because awareness and debate on these issues is important.

Rot said...

I really think emotional replies are exactly what Cremo is talking about. To suggest dismissing the Design theory because of it having an agenda would then mean that Evolution should also be dismissed because of ITS agenda. I think for me the most interesting part of what he's saying is exactly what we saw right here - with sensitive topics which threaten belief systems, emotions get in the way and rigidity and hostility follow. Suggesting what I may or may not post on my blog is a very weak way of presenting your opinion. Jon and Sean presented their views without crossing that line.

Rot said...

And although Cremo mentions the word "God" in this video, I should point out that his book is the most detailed, and often boring in its minutia, catalog of unpublicized but historically documented archeological finds I've ever come across. He spends almost no time during his exhaustive presentation discussing the God factor. So the impression that he's some God-loving Intelligent Design theorist isn't completely accurate.

Halloweenfreak said...

Rot again let me apologize I surely did not mean to suggest what you should or should not post on your blog..hell its your blog. If my response seemed emotional its only driven by the dishonesty of people like him. I must ask though the I.D. agenda is quite obvious, what agenda do you think evolutionary theory has and the majority of earth and life scientists that support and understand it?

Halloweenfreak said...

When cremo mentions God its not from my understanding the God that christians, muslims, etc. refer to. Cremo who also writes under the name Drutakarma Dasa, refers to himself as a Hindu Creationist, but not young earth he believes man has walked the planet for billions of years.

Rot said...

I'd say that the Evolutionary agenda is all about the massive establishment that's been built around it. Like with every "Establishment," anti-views threaten its existence.

I really need to make clear that I am a guy reading this book and weighing it against a belief system which I have...one in evolution...but one which I've always questioned...like its requirement for a VERY compressed evolutionary timeline.

NecroBones said...

I really have a problem with the "equal time" sort of approach to discussions of scientific models. It creates an illusion of fairness, and is not how science is conducted.

For instance, if 0.1% of the population believes that the earth is flat and that the sun orbits the earth, and then you give them equal time and equal consideration, all you do is falsely present a debate or controversy where there actually is none. When the scientific consensus and all available data very clearly refute the opinions of men like this, it's difficult to take them seriously.

There are gaps in the evolutionary model, of course, but most of it is extremely well understood and explainable.

Science isn't a debate between opposing arguments. It's a laborious process of observation, measurement, and experimentation, and when an explanation fails to fit the data, it's discarded... only to re-appear in youtube videos. :)

Halloweenfreak said...

Rot if your acceptance of evolutionary theory is based upon belief then understanding may be difficult. It should be based upon the science, the vast amount of science which binds and makes sense of fields such as biology, germ theory, geology, etc. but I am not sure what very compressed time line you are refering to? If it is the Cambrian explosion for example that has been twisted dramatically by young earth creationist trying to push their views. What one has to also look at is the mass support among those in the fields of science that understand, present the evidence and utilize evolutionary theory. The idea they wee all are in this global mass conspiracy to dupe the human race.

Jay's Shadow said...

What a minute....you mean to tell me we do not exist on the back of a giant turtle!? Dammit, now I got to change my entire thought of my existence....

I also enjoy listening to what others have to say about how we were created and how we evolved,on both sides of the so called argument, but to do this you MUST keep an open mind and keep your emotions at bay.

As Mr. Glassett said,"there is still a lot more to learn". Learning is how humanity evolves.

In my "OPINION", God put us here and we evolved from that point.

Sara said...

*Looks at this post, looks at the comments, runs away*
:)

Rob said...

I dunno, the guy didn't graduate college, and when he did go, it was creative writing. =)

Have you read Ishmael?

Rot said...

Rob, I know what Ishmael is about but never read it.

Haven't thought about it in years and just google'd it and it sounds pretty awesome.

Rot said...

And Halloweenfreak, has anyone ever accused you of being condescending? Or is that just how it's coming across in the asynchronous environment that is a blog comment section? I'm being honest, not attacking.

My "belief" in evolutionary theory, like most people, is based on what I was taught in school and what I've pursued in the years that followed. So, as with most beliefs, a person is really going with what is published and taught, since the bulk of us aren't directly employed in those fields. So there's a HUGE amount of trust in those publications. Cremo's book is so fascinating because he points out many cases in the past where mainstream-opposing archeological finds have been censored and removed from the historical playing field. THAT stuff fascinates me. The deceptive human element fascinates me.

So his book is primarily archeological in nature. So applying your logic, since you aren't an archeologist your understanding of this topic might be difficult. See where I'm going with this?

Kenneth Mark Hoover said...

Too funny.

You know the world is in trouble when you see Creationism Fail on a superb site like this one, lol.

Why bother with facts and verifiable evidence when you can pretend a Sky Being built humans like Tinker Toys?

Rot said...

The same reason 911 Bigfoot calls and witnesses swearing they saw a ghost or a UFO is interesting and blog-worthy.

It's fun and entertaining.
It's a form of escapism.
And it's VERY interesting to consider the possibility.

Why not feature something like this?

Jay's Shadow said...

Exactly!

It's fun and entertaining....a way to escape the real world.

Jon Glassett said...

Yeah, I think this is such a controversial subject that it just lends itself too well to heated debate. If I could throw another two cents onto the table, it seems like the momentum we're seeing in this comment thread is largely because people are making assumptions about *why* this video was posted here.

Rot, I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, so edit this comment or don't post it or whatever if it suits you.

NecroBones expressed a distaste for the notion of giving equal time to creationism under the auspices of a discussion about scientific method. That's a clue as to what's unfolded here: people seem to under the impression that this website has been suddenly transformed into a forum for scientific (or pseudoscientific, if you prefer) discussion. I don't believe that is the intent. I don't believe Rot is posting this video as an assertion of his views challenging evolution, etc. In fact, he's really not doing anything he hasn't done before. The way I see it, this is intended as an interesting "what if" indulgence that carries no agenda along with it.

From my perspective, the only thing out of place here is the reaction. As long as I've been visiting here I've never seen anyone get so fired up over, for example, cryptozoology. Plenty of posts about--as Rot mentioned--bigfoot, the mothman, chupacabra, etc. None of THOSE subjects has ever approached scientific validity and yet everyone's more than happy to "go along for the ride" so to speak. Why stop now?

And for you scientific types: I GET that you feel it is your duty to stomp out pseudoscience and faulty logic wherever it lives. I understand that compulsion, truly. This isn't an attack on your principles. I just think we need to keep this particular instance in its proper perspective.

Looking forward to future posts about gay marriage, abortion and gun rights, Rot! ;)

J.P. said...

Rot,

I get where your coming from. Just because something is far-fetched doesn't mean it can't be intriguing.

When I first saw the post, I thought it was going to allude to the possibility that man evolved from an extraterrestrial source, like some DNA that hitchhiked on a meteor or something.

bean said...

Well said, Jon. Thank you :)

JD said...

Am I the only one who likes this post? Personally, I think there's no reason why you can't believe in god and evolution. (Considering the bible has an origin for life and evolution doesin't.) Nice onage on the haters rot! :D

Anonymous said...

I completely get what "Jon Glassett" commented & I'm in agreement, but presenting any uber-creationist POV on an open blog right before a mid-term election in which creationism (along with a boatload of other wingnut crap) is figuring set some readers/commenters off. Set them off Big Time.

Well garsh, who woulda thunk?!?!?

Yeah, I know, I'm banned for voicing this opinion.

Rot said...

I don't ever ban anyone. And I'm not shocked it set anyone off. And to once again reference the book, this is exactly what Cremo is getting at. That every field of research is influenced by people's beliefs and predispositions. To the point of censorship or ignoring the evidence or finding explanations around it. That goes for both sides of the argument - evolutionists and creationists. People muddy the water. And even cold clean science isn't safe from it.

And that's the whole point of the book, when things like "wingnut crap" are said to dismiss opposing views. And yet, if you were brought up in a home with a family and community which taught that wingnut crap, you'd be on THAT side of the fence.

And therein lies the problem.

And that's why I love reading books or watching television programs like this.

Dio said...

I saw an ad in a Christian magazine recently that said "we do the reading for you", implying that the editors will slog through the details on heavy issues and then will let readers know through their articles what is really going on, cutting out the "middle man" of having to think about it for yourself.

Chilling when anyone takes on that task, no matter which side of the discussion they are on.

Pumpkinrot, thanks for the original info and the comments - your responses were incredibly civil and insightful!

NecroBones said...

Not to beat a dead horse, but my previous comment may have been misunderstood, so I just thought I'd clarify. I'm not suggesting that anyone's new ideas should simply be dismissed. Quite the contrary. Some of the most revolutionary discoveries in science were unpopular at first.

However, when a hypothesis is proposed, the burden of proof is on the one who makes the claim. In most of these sorts of fringe science concepts, they're on the fringe for good reason: They simply don't fit the available data, despite what they claim (usually basing their concepts on incomplete or incorrect information). Otherwise they'd be given more serious consideration.

The problem with the equal time scenario is that equal weight is given to people who really don't have any substance behind their claims, despite the initial appearance on the surface. Doing this does a disservice to everyone. It's important to remember that science isn't about differing beliefs, it's about the data, and finding objective truth about how nature works.

So yes, I agree that it's fun to give "what if" scenarios some thought, but I wouldn't put too much faith in them being correct. :)