I’ll start by saying my prediction last month looks pretty close to spot on.
I essentially predicted (and you can read it here for yourself) that Fox would interview some token “mainstream” archaeologists about the technical aspects of Stonehenge (when built, phases of construction, etc.). Then she would probably visit with Tim Darvill and explore the “healing” aspect of the site.
And that’s pretty much how it went.
In about the first half of this episode, Fox spent time with Si Cleggett and Jackie McKinley of Wessex Archaeology. Even though Fox began the segment with saying she, herself, is “someone drawn into fantasy and magic” and described the stones at Stonehenge with the usual fringe hyperbole of being “placed with laser-like precision,” I quite liked this first half.
I liked it because Cleggett and McKinley got the chance to really speak and show some aspects of the archaeology at Stonehenge not typically represented. McKinley, for instance, discussed the bioarchaeological ramifications of several burials in and around Stonehenge.
I actually recommend watching that portion of the episode. Once you get about half way, right around the time Fox and her guide reach the Preseli quarry in Wales, go ahead and feel free to switch over to NCIS or Black Lightning. You’re not missing much at that point.
Down hill at the quarry
But if you stick with Legends, you will see Fox fulfill another of my predictions. She meets with Tim Darvill, who shows her the quarry at Preseli Hills in Wales, its freshwater springs, and explains Geoffrey of Mammoth‘s assumption that the healing stones of Stonehenge were “healing stones.”
I really couldn’t tell if Darvill truly believed they have healing properties or if he thinks this was just something that the people responsible for Stonehenge believed at the time. I suspect there was some careful editing by the show’s producers to bias Darvill’s position somewhat and that he doesn’t actually believe it in the way Megan clearly does.
They go so far as to record the sound of a rock bashing on a blue stone after Darvill demonstrates its peculiar auditory nature. They take this recording to Ullrich Bartsch of the University of Bristol where Fox dons an EEG net used to monitor her brainwaves as several sounds, including the blue stone bashing.
Before knowing the result, Fox said if she was “affected in a positive way, it must be too much of a coincidence.” Of course, Bartsch concluded that the stones had a beneficial affect on the alpha waves. To this Fox was elated and said she “thought science was going to come in and crush my dreams.”
Oh, and in this study of brainwaves, you would be right in guessing that n=1. The sample size was Megan Fox. Some other sounds were used, but it wasn’t clear to me if these were klaxons or rainwater. The sound of a rock pounding against the dolerite of the blue stone isn’t unpleasant. Unless maybe you had to listen to it more than a couple minutes.
But it’s in this episode that we truly to see see what Fox thinks of science in general. In the beginning of this episode, she remarks that Si Cleggett “doesn’t look like what you would expect a mainstream archaeologist to look like.” And, in the last third of the episode, she talks about seeking some “alternative theories” and “alternative knowledge.”
It’s fairly clear that Fox doesn’t really have an understanding of what science or archaeology is. Or how either works to explain the world around us. I really like the way Steven Novella once put it: science is simply a systematic way for carefully and thoroughly observing nature and using consistent logic to evaluate results. Which part of that does Megan Fox disagree with? Is it being thorough? Using careful observation? Being systematic? Or using consistent logic?
I suspect she would hesitate to admit not using any of these aspects of investigating the world around us with science. But I take issue with her usage of he word “mainstream” when it comes to describing archaeology. There is no mainstream since this implies some alternative to archaeology. Archaeology is done using science. One is either doing archaeology or one isn’t.
She closes this episode with two people who aren’t.
First, Fox interviews Maria Wheatley, a self-described “druid.” Wheatley describes the nonsensical notion of ley lines (you can read about these and why they’re a silly notion in one of my previous articles) and how there are “energy bands” in the stones of Avebury, which she points out using a “dowsing rod.” Another nonsensical notion that has long been debunked (read here, here, and here) but, because of the ideomotor effect, it has the appearance of being real.
Finally, Fox travels to Bath, not terribly far from Stonehenge, where she visits the home of Graham Hancock, an author who writes about fantastic ideas of the human past that often have little to no supporting evidence. In particular, Hancock is peddling an idea sure to be in his next book for the gullible.
This is the notion that there was once a ancient civilization that is now completely lost to us, but had “high technology” (whatever that means), but was wiped out by a comet around 12,000 years ago. This civilization, even though they were completely lost to us, somehow managed to transmit how to make “megalithic architecture” to the far reaches of the globe.
To close this review
Megan Fox didn’t surprise me. Not one bit. Given her previous comments in the media about science and her gullibility and intentional lack of education, I fully expected the crazy to escalate from one episode to the next. There are two episodes left. I expect episode 3 to be at least as far-fetched as this one with the final episode being the absolute worst.