America Before: The Key to Earth’s Lost Civilization
- Hancock, Graham
- St. Martin’s Press
- Released April 23, 2019 (U.S.)
- 592 pages
I received Graham Hancock’s new book in the mail from the publisher to review a little under a week ago as I write this review. I reached out to St. Martin’s Press back in February and offered to review it and, although I received a polite response indicating that I’d be considered, I was somewhat surprised to actually receive it just days ago, nearly a week ahead of its official release date in the United States (it’s been available in the UK for weeks now). My surprise was that the publisher either didn’t vet my previous reviews of pseudoarchaeology or that they did and were willing to take a chance anyway.
Having provided the above disclosure, let me say that though I didn’t spend money on the book, I will make an effort not to be swayed by the “gift.”
If you Google the word “pseudoarchaeology” then click the first link, which is probably to Wikipedia, Graham Hancock’s photograph is displayed prominently at the top of that page. If you read this review to its completion, you’ll understand why.
The book itself is thick. Weighing in at nearly 600 pages, it has 30 chapters broken down into 8 parts. That said, it reads very well. It isn’t dense by any means and, though Hancock references quite a bit if real science, it isn’t overloaded with jargon or technobabble. In fact, Hancock’s writing style is generally very good. I found myself annoyed at some of his writing habits (“the reader will recall…,” etc.) but I wouldn’t expect this to bother most others. For the average reader who isn’t scientifically inclined, Hancock does a better than average job explaining concepts. At least to the extent that he actually understands them.
Hancock begins the book with sections discussing the Serpent Mound in Ohio, the Cerutti Mastodon site in California, ancient DNA (aDNA), and earthworks and dirt in South America. Early on, he begins his love-hate relationship with archaeologists as a theme that continues as an undercurrent or sub-plot to his overall narrative. On one hand, he’s clearly enamored with archaeologists and the work that’s been done that suits his own ideas. On the other, however, he’s clearly upset that archaeologists refuse to let him in the club—to give equal deference to these ideas. If you stick to the end of this review, you’ll understand why.
Brother, can you paradigm?
The overall theme develops slowly. Hancock simmers the pot as he slowly introduces each premise he believes leads up to it. But the sub-theme is right there in our face from chapter to chapter: archaeologists aren’t to be trusted because they are resistant to “new paradigms.”
He’s immediately on the offensive and continues through to the end, accusing archaeologists and archaeology as being an institution that doesn’t want change and will ruin careers to see to it that none of it happens. The dead horse he beats over and over is the Clovis first hypothesis. That there were people prior to Clovis is something he says, “archaeologists have recently been dragged kicking and screaming to accept.” As example, he mentions the work of Jacques Cinq-Mars, who insisted years ago that he was finding pre-Clovis materials at Bluefish Caves in Alaska.
“As a result of such attitudes, funding drained away and Cinq-Mars had to stop his work, only to be proved correct, many years later, by a new scientific study…”Hancock, p.58
I can’t speak for Cinq-Mars and the extent to which his career was affected by the Clovis-first hypothesis. But, then, neither can Hancock. Archaeologists are people. Some people excel in their jobs; others not so much. The Clovis-first “paradigm” as the fringe are so fond of saying (“paradigm” is a sciencey sounding word) went out of fashion decades ago. Are there still some old-timers clinging to it? Perhaps. But there are some very well-to-do archaeologists who were on the cusp of discovering pre-Clovis back when it was made a part of history.
Here’s how it works: scientists obtain data. That data are analyzed and more data are obtained based on new research questions… and so on. Eventually, a provisional conclusion is arrived at—usually when the data reach some sort of plateau or some overriding reason exists to think the data aren’t likely to change. For the Clovis-first hypothesis (it was always a hypothesis more than a “paradigm”), older sites were just not yet found. And once they started to show up, there was evidence that peopling North America had to occur after 13,000 years ago due to the small window of opportunity provided by an “ice-free corridor” and lowered sea-levels that created a land-bridge across the Bearing Sea.
Archaeologists, rightly demanded strong evidence before accepting a pre-Clovis hypothesis. This, they demanded of themselves. And they met the challenge. All conclusions in archaeology, as with any science, are provisional. They’re waiting sufficient evidence to either support or revise them as conclusions. Sometimes they’re completely scrapped and something very new takes its place. In the case of Clovis-first, some would say the revision is small. The Clovis culture still exists in the archaeological record. Everything that was found of them is still present. But we now know that there existed cultures before this technology came about. Let’s not forget, “Clovis” describes the technology not the societal norms, kinships, and beliefs of the various peoples that made use of it.
The alternative would have been to simply accept a new hypothesis as a provisional conclusion, willy-nilly and without sufficient evidence. Of course, all would have turned out fine. Pre-Clovis is the correct way to think. But such a slippery-slope of letting just any-old hypothesis in as a provisional conclusion just won’t work. If it wasn’t hard to change a provisional conclusion for a new one, where would the line be drawn? At Vikings in Minnesota? At “bigfoot?” The nephilim? The Annunaki? Polka-dotted unicorns that breathe fire and traded corn with China 25,000 years ago?
Chances are, I lost the average fan of Graham Hancock somewhere between “Vikings” and the “unicorns.” But who gets to draw that line. Hancock would like it to include his own idea. Let’s press on to see why it’s a bad one.
Guilt By Association
I won’t spend any time on the Cerutti Mastodon site here. It has its own problems, but one of them is now Graham Hancock. I’ve written on this in the past and may again soon. But I found it interesting that Tom Deméré initially declined to meet with Hancock, then did so with what seemed to be open arms if Hancock’s account is to be believed. It’s interesting because Hancock mentions later in his book that “Egyptologists avoid me” and spends several pages discussing how different factions of the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis were upset that he incorporated each other’s’ material. Apparently a video of Hancock’s was posted to an anti-pseudoscience website and one of the scientists “achieved some unwanted negative-celebrity among his colleagues. He was challenged about the wisdom of hosting [Hancock] and suffered the indignity of wondering about the effect the … video might have on his career and reputation.”
The recent association of Deméré with the pseudoarchaeological television show hosted by Megan Fox and now the pseudoarchaeological notions of Graham Hancock are likely to do little in helping him win over his colleagues.
Chopping Down a Cherry-Picked Tree
In the final few sections of the book, Hancock returns to North America where he describes some of the earliest known earthen mounds in North America, such as Watson Brake and Poverty Point. Then he heads up the Mississippi River Valley, ultimately to Ohio and the more recent mounds there. All the while describing alignments, the solstices, lunar cycles, astro-archaeological features, and so on. But this is also where he dives head first into specious comparisons between Native Americans and ancient Egyptians. He readily admits he doesn’t think there were any cross-cultural transmissions of information, and that he accepts the “orthodox” explanation that geographic and temporal separation of these two cultures means that they didn’t have the chance to share information.
But it’s after his section on the global cataclysm that only affected North America that he finally comes clean on what his game truly is. He states several times through the book that he believes that there was a “lost civilization” which was a “third party” responsible for the similarities we see in multiple cultures. An example is the constellation Orion seen as relating to the land of the dead in both Egyptian and Native American cultures. Never mind that the constellation we understand to be Orion today, probably the easiest to spot north of the equator. And that it “travels” east to west, seasonally. Or that, the sun coming up in the east is so easily associated with birth and renewal and, as it sets, associated with death and ancestors. The common element need not be a “lost civilization.” It’s already people. Humans. Homo sapiens. The same common element for all of his other spurious correlations.
By this time, I’ve waded through Hancock’s cherry-picked science. I say “cherry-picked” because he avoids a lot of the parts that don’t work for him. For instance, he likes where Raghavan et al (2015) and Skoglund et al (2015) mention the “Australasian signal” among some of the ancient populations of South America. He likes it a lot. In fact, he mentions is many times after chapter 9 where he introduces it. And even though he provides the quote where Skoglund et al clarify that it was the founding population that was more closely related to indigenous Australians, New Guineans, and Andamen Islanders than to other Native American groups, he still missed the significance. Or at least he didn’t adequately share that significance with his readers.
What the Australasian genetic “signal” really tells us is that we should be on the lookout for populations that were fast-moving or small. There’s also as good a chance that this Population-Y (the Australasian population in question) began in Southeast Asia then moved both north toward Beringia and south into Melanesia and Australia and what we’re seeing is where they ended up. Hancock doesn’t share these bits along with many others. They don’t jive with his shtick.
What’s the Gist of It All?
Overall, America Before is presented as a carefully picked set of genuine scientific notions, mixed with a few pseudoarchaeological ideas (like spurious similarities between Egyptian and Native American cultures) in order to set Hancock up for his final pitch. One that he holds back until he thinks he’s won the lay-reader over. His easy-to read writing style makes the reader comfortable and probably sympathetic to him personally. He carefully poisons the well here and there with “the skeptics will say…” etc.
There is much within America Before that I can actually agree with. And there is much that I could “debunk” in this book if I cared to. I suspect the comments below will give me ample opportunity if the Hancock acolytes and cult following (he truly is a charismatic figure with a following) respond. But the reality is, none of the premises Hancock puts forth, even if every single one were correct, would mean that his conclusion is right. He conveniently provides a conclusion that cannot be tested or evaluated by science since it isn’t within the realm of science.
Here’s his conclusion:
“My speculation, which I will not attempt to prove here or to support with evidence but merely present for consideration, is that the advanced civilization I see evolving in North America during the Ice Age had transcended leverage and mechanical advantage and learned to manipulate matter and energy by deploying powers of consciousness that we have not yet begun to tap.”
In short, Hancock believes this “lost civilization” used telepathy, telekinesis, remote viewing, and healing powers to transmit their legacy to the world.
I wondered throughout the entire book what mechanism he would suggest. I honestly thought it would be the power of oral history, perhaps tied to mnemonic devices (figurines, rock art, landscapes) or religious ritual to ensure fidelity.
I was not expecting ESP.
M. Raghavan, et al (2015). Genomic evidence for the Pleistocene and recent population history of Native Americans. Science, 349, p. 3884.
P. Skoglund, et al (2015). Genetic evidence for two founding populations of the Americas. Nature, 525, pp. 104-108
I found my way here through Joe Rogan’s podcast, as I was initially skeptical of Hancock’s claims and looking for some alternative view points. As you know, he does initially take a very sympathetic line, framing himself as a presenter of overlooked evidence and a brave truth-seeker revolting against the “paradigm”. I would agree that Hancock’s suspicions are overzealous, and I’m not prepared to accept them as realistic, even if theoretically plausible (I’m not an archaeologist, so I really don’t know). However, I think this topic speaks to something larger. Thorough-out the history of knowledge, individuals who had the gaul to rebel against the status quo, often times lacking in evidence, were able to change the course of scientific wisdom by simply being brave enough to imagine. Science isn’t about your imagination of course, it’s about reality, but I think the popularity of figures like Hancock speaks to the public’s frustration (or boredom) with the perceived (or real) rigidity the scientific community often finds itself in. While you state are willing to accept any legitimate evidence put forward, the public, simply, is always unfortunately always going to find eccentric views like those of Hancock’s more interesting. My question is then is it possible for the archaeological community to take a public relations approach that presents as more open minded and curious (as all science should be)? While I appreciate Hancock’s themes about questioning authority, as the mainstream scientific community has indeed clung to many incorrect ideas in the past, I do share your condemnation for the leaps he takes (even if does state them as merely “suspicions”). Do you think the field can do better in its handling of such figures, and is there possibly something we can learn from them?
I think the field and profession of archaeology can certainly do much better at being inclusive to the average consumer. And I say “consumer” with great intent. We’re one of the few sciences (in as much as we can dare call ourselves a science) that has a ready-made audience. The only other scientific endeavor that seems to come close is astronomy. In both archaeology and astronomy, people of all ages and walks of life seem fascinated by the discoveries we have. Certainly biology has it to a degree when it comes to animals and plants of the wild. While some people do get excited about new processes in chemical engineering or advances in physics or math, an oldest site in any country or even *county* will go viral. People love a hoard of Roman coins or sunken remains of a pirate ship!
I think this is where we go wrong. Our audience wants the material. They want to consume books, magazines, and movies that feature this stuff.
So what’s this have to do with the archaeological profession being so rigid and hard to change, etc.? Possibly not much. But I suspect if we can force ourselves to embrace our consumer audience we might have to develop a temperament that permits us a little more tolerance *within* as well. I don’t think we should accepted just any old hypothesis that gets thrown our way as equal to conclusions that have been tested and I certainly don’t agree that scientific conclusions should be driven by popularity. Scientific conclusions can’t be voted on.
That said, I don’t agree that clovis first was incorrect. It was precisely the right conclusion when it was originally arrived at based on the evidence available at the time. The real question is, “at what point did it become the wrong conclusion?” The answer to that is, of course, once sufficient evidence was presented that showed otherwise.
The problem then becomes, “who decides when the evidence is sufficient?” And that, my friend, is what I think Hancock doesn’t understand. There is no overall governing body; no central office or elected official; no “priesthood” or “elites” within the profession of archaeology that are deciding what is accepted or not.
We, as archaeologists, make that determination. And not all at once. This is where I think being more vocal and public with our work comes into play. If we improve our public or consumer image by producing more interesting, accessible, and engaging media then we will likely reduce the prominence of the mystery-mongers selling pseudoarchaeology to them. And likely improve our abilities to talk within to ourselves.
I hope this is found helpful in how I see the rigidity of science and discovery. As I write this, I’m still exploring my own thoughts and perspectives on the subject. I don’t think the situation is as bad as Hancock would like his readers to think it is, but I can see how there’s the perception that it is.
I really enjoyed this question and response almost as much as the well-said review you put forth. Quickly piggy-backing off the discussion, I firmly believe that the scientific process of consensus debate and discussion based on facts couldn’t be more useful as a model for public discourse in our modern world. Every psuedo-altruist loves to put these ideas forward in mainstream media, however archeology/ science as a whole puts forward a backbone of communication for average “consumers” to really buy into. While there is no “governing body of science” the scientific method itself could serve as an excellent guideline for proper consumption of information in a vastly over-saturated market.
I agree with everything put forth, by the comment above and simply would love to see more transparency from this realm of science. You all deal with some of the most extraordinary topics on the planet and yet, I feel as though the discoveries do not receive the reach necessary. Perhaps this is due to a poor selection from mainstream media, perhaps the delivery of the information is not disruptive enough to really highlight its very significance. Im not looking to place blame, just pose my current and honest thoughts
Hancock was the first to illuminate me too many of these mysteries/monuments on our extraordinary planet, only for me to find out that archeologists were obviously already discussing such matters. Perhaps there’s a way to put forward an actual archeologist who can discuss such eccentric possibilities, but with a little more grounded truth? I know that many people would love to latch on to this, should it fall into their diet
Just food for thought, really enjoyed the dialogue thanks again
“There is much within America Before that I can actually agree with. And there is much that I could “debunk” in this book if I cared to.”
Well – This is pretty much Hancock’s attitude to certain areas of what he refers to as “Mainstream” Archaeology.
From the beginning of the trilogy – starting with ‘Fingerprints of the Gods’ – Hancock has always admitted that he may be completely incorrect in some of his theories, but they may be worth considering. He has also accepted that some of his earlier speculations are wrong. Hancock also freely admits that he is a ‘reporter’ although today I think we can all admit he has done allot more than just report on others work.
Hancock has dedicated around thirty years of his life to the subjects investigated withing these publications.
He has travelled the world, personally visited all the featured sites in his books and even risked his own life many times in doing.
So, I think it is safe to say that they are not a product of drug induced psychosis, as some have suggested here, but a true passion for regaining the memories of what he refers to as a “civilisation with amnesia”.
Hancock’s books feature a huge amount of real scientific data, cherry picked you may say, but certainly well researched and understood before putting pen to paper.
I am absolutely certain that Hancock has no intentions of trying to “trick” a gullible audience as stated elsewhere on this site. I Have met Hancock on many occasions and talked with him, he is a very warn and friendly person who is willing to listen to other peoples ideas.
I once attended a book signing after one of his lectures and he took four hours of his own time to make sure he had answered every bodies questions, most Archaeologists are prepared to take maybe four or five questions.
I have now read ‘America Before’ twice and also the previous two books a good few times, I don’t agree with everything Hancock has to offer but he certainly makes some good points that cannot be ignored, and why should we?
As for the above ‘Review’ – I can only say that I cannot see a possible way to write a proper review of a non-fiction, six hundred page book – Especially on the grounds of trying your best to debunk it.
And as for the final chapter (before appendix 1 & 2)
“I was not expecting ESP.”
Well Carl, that’s Hancock for you .. He loves throwing a spanner in the works, although the affects of DMT have been highly explored by scientists for decades now.
In his book ‘The Spirit Molecule” Dr. Rick Strassman M.D – clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine – proposed, just as Hancock does, that the psychedelic seems to produce or allow supernatural experiences.
“From 1990 to 1995, Dr. Rick Strassman conducted U.S. government-approved and funded clinical research at the University of New Mexico in which he injected 60 volunteers with DMT, one of the most powerful psychedelics known. His detailed account of those sessions is an extraordinarily riveting inquiry into the nature of the human mind and the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. DMT, a plant-derived chemical found in the psychedelic Amazon brew ayahuasca, is also manufactured by the human brain. In Strassman’s volunteers, it consistently produced near-death and mystical experiences. Many reported convincing encounters with intelligent nonhuman presences, aliens, angels, and spirits. Nearly all felt that the sessions were among the most profound experiences of their lives. Strassman’s research connects DMT with the pineal gland, considered by Hindus to be the site of the seventh chakra and by René Descartes to be the seat of the soul.
Sauce – The Spirit Molecule” ©2000 Rick J. Strassman, M.D. (P)2011 Tantor.
I’m not going to “Cherry Pick” Hancock’s new book here, but only say that maybe Archaeology needs Hancock as Hancock needs Archaeology!
I am new to the argument posted here, but I had to write and say that writers that include only what supports their “shtick” describes most writers over a whole range of topics. And to say you could debunk something and then not be bothered, that just seems beneath your obvious skills. I haven’t read the book yet, but I plan to read it soon. Anyone who gets this much flak for simply asking us to speculate beyond the norm must have quite a worthy contribution to make.
Or… he could simply be betting your sentiment will be the norm among thousands and you’ll each give him a few bucks.
Carl – Your getting an audience here, but i’m not sure its the one you intended.
I would suggest that accepting Hancock in the 21st Century may be “Archaeologically correct” – if nothing else. He seems to be in the forefront of some pretty big revelations in 2019!
So, “archaeologically correct” means accepting and injecting bullshit explanations about telepathic civilizations and telekinetic stonemasons. Rather than real science.
No thanks. You can keep that drug-addled nonsense. I’ll stick to science.
And, as I’ve demonstrated over and over, Hancock has a conclusion to which he cherry-picks whatever science (good or bad) that seems to support it. Then, his well-meaning but generally ignorant followers pick this up and say, “look, Hancock was right about [insert scientific discovery]” even though he didn’t discover or predict anything.
He’s no different, in this regard, than the celebrity-psychics that make shotgun predictions and take credit for all their hits and none of their misses.
Carl, I would first like to state that although I have read Mr. Hancock’s trilogy including the newest book, I do not follow his ideas and beliefs like a blind zealot. That being said, he has put for many interesting ideas based on decades of evidence that he has gathered through osmosis or through personal discovery. It is indeed interesting and fun to take his ideas and run with them but I take all of them with a heaping grain of salt.
Fanciful or factual, I don’t think it is fair to say that he cherry picks his facts. Although it may be true that he does, many scientific minds do exactly that. In a way, it is necessary to propagate their ideas far enough to be tested by other minds. Michio Kaku didn’t have all of the evidence gathered when he originally proposed his String Theory and at the time. And when he proposed it, he cherry picked the places where the math worked in order to get enough credibility to take it even further. Now, I am NOT comparing Kaku and Hancock in the sense that they are equals and that their ideas hold the same merit, but I am using String Theory as a prime example of emerging ideas using “cherry picked” evidence. And on a side note, String Theory may still be proven very wrong in the not so distant future.
I am not a “fanboy” and just because I read Tolkien’s trilogy doesn’t mean that I believe in elves and orcs. Hancock has some very interesting ideas that are at least based on what he has come across so far. Sure, there may be quite a bit of evidence that points to him being wrong but who’s to say that he didn’t at least get part of it right. I don’t think it makes sense to throw the baby out with the bath water and discount the more plausible pieces of his work just because he makes connections and assumptions that don’t make immediate logical sense to many.
Also, let’s not forget the non-geologist Alfred Wegener who proposed continental drift and plate tectonics well before he had any solid evidence. His life and career were indeed ruined and only decades later was it discovered that he was right on the money. Again, not saying that Hancock is on the same plane as Wegener but I bring him up to further illustrate the point that sometimes even the most asinine ideas can wind up being at least in part true.
Thanks for taking a moment to leave a comment, I really appreciate it!
I would caution against using the argument you’ve put forth to defend Hancock. Although you’ve invoked Alfred Wegener, it’s often refered to as the “Galileo Gambit” or “Galileo Fallacy.” The argument is usually presented this way:
Claim X is made.
Claim X is ridiculous.
Person A argues that claim Y was seen as ridiculous at the time, and it turned out to be right.
Therefore, claim X is true (or should be given more credibility)
Also, while Wegener did not get his degree in Geology, he was considered a “geophysicist” since he did study physics, meteorology, and astronomy. Moreover, his life and career, while hindered by his hypothesis, were hardly ruined. He continued to write and publish, teach, and even lead expeditions to remote places like Greenland, where he died in 1930.
I think I’ve provided good reasons to legitimately accuse Hancock of cherry-picking data. I’ve outlined a more than one instance and gave examples in this review and in earlier commentary. Those examples included his use of the Cerutti Mastodon site, where he highlights all the favorable data but none of the contradictory except to say that “skeptics are out to get Demere” (paraphrasing). I also pointed out his insistence that the Australasian aDNA “signal” (as he calls it) strongly suggests that people arrived in the Americas from Australia. When the reality is that it weakly suggests that people who were ancestral to modern inhabitants of Australia, Melanesia–probably of South Asia–traveled to both Australia and the Americas. He misses what scientists are finding the most fascinating with that aDNA data because he has a conclusion he needs to fit it into.
And none of it excuses the fact that he is ultimately claiming, “therefore, a lost civilization existed that used ESP, telepathy, and telekinesis to spread it’s knowledge and abilities.”
Sorry I think that was worded wrong.
What I mean is that maybe Archaeology should accept that Hancock has a roll to play here.
After all, and as you state yourself, much of Hancock’s latest book we can agree on.
Also, their is no harm in considering some of the more fantastic concepts, our civilisation has been influenced by religion since it’s dawn – is this not similar?
Hancock may well be drawing the attention of people who will NOT just take his work at face value (whether its right, questionable or wrong) but decide to do their own research, develop a greater interest in past history and even choose a career in “mainstream” Archaeology – surely this is healthy?
I have a friend who spent his whole youth hooked on Area 51 UFO stuff, he now has a senior job with Airbus.
Its just a thought.
Also remember that Archaeology is only one of the large amount of subjects Hancock deals with.
Doctors once bled ill people as a form of medical treatment. They were wrong. Therefore they are wrong when they deny the healing properties of crystals and pyramids.
In the space of a month or so frequenting this site I have seen more reference to Clovis First conspiracy than in the previous 35 years. It’s turned into the intellectual equivalent of herpes. It just keeps flaring up and flaring up.
The skeptics may disagree but is it not within the realm of possibility that Carl is the anti-Christ and is using the cover of archaeologist to persecute Hancock the true Messiah rather than a career stoner. I will make no effort to substantiate this assertion. I humbly submit it as fruit for consideration.
Doctors once practiced “medicine” that wasn’t based on evidence. At least not with any consistency. Now, medicine is evidenced-based. If there’s no evidence that it is helpful (as with the alleged healing properties of crystals and pyramids), then it isn’t medicine. Doctors today rightfully deny such poppycock.
Just because something is “possible” doesn’t imply that is in any way probable.
But it *is* more likely that I’m the anti-christ than Hancock is correct about the ESP and Telekinesis of his lost civilization.
If you want another example of the (il)logical by pseudos take a look at the Bigfoot believers. According to them, because scientists believed that the coelacanth was extinct until its rediscovery, they must be wrong when they are less than enthusiastic about the existence of Sasquatch, the Loch Ness Monster, and Thunderbirds.
Carl, if you would listen to Hancock on the podcast or perhaps read his book, you would know that Hancock is NOT at all claiming to “prove” the existence of ESP or telekinesis. He proposes it as a possibility but specifically says that it is a product of his imagination. Science is one way of learning about the world, but it is not the only one. As an archeologist, I would think that you would understand that there are other ways of knowing outside of western science. Hancock isn’t a materialist reductionist, if you disagree with him fundamentally on that point, of course it is impossible to consider ideas beyond materialism. However to throw out his entire argument because of one belief of his that you cannot reconcile with is, in my opinion, equivalent to not listening to someone because they don’t practice the same religion that you do.
Of course he’s not out to prove the existence of ESP. It doesn’t exist. Claims about it have been tested ad nauseum in past decades and all have shown the effect to be non-existent with no plausible mechanism to explain it.
I think Hancock enjoys this as an elusive quality that he knows will never be demonstrated, allowing his silly “lost civilization” claim to live indefinitely. Or at least until people quit accepting it without evidence.
And you say “ways of knowing outside of western science.” First, there is no “western” or any other geographic modifier for science. In the paraphrased words of Steven Novella, science is simply a systematic way for carefully and thoroughly observing nature and using consistent logic to evaluate results. It matters not where you are geographically. The process is either scientific or it is not. If you find that disagreeable, what part, specifically do you disagree with? Using careful observation? Being systematic? Using consistent logic?
And for the record, I read the book. That’s why I wrote the review you’re commenting on.
Carl, you said:
“I also pointed out his insistence that the Australasian aDNA “signal” (as he calls it) strongly suggests that people arrived in the Americas from Australia. When the reality is that it weakly suggests that people who were ancestral to modern inhabitants of Australia, Melanesia–probably of South Asia–traveled to both Australia and the Americas. He misses what scientists are finding the most fascinating with that aDNA data because he has a conclusion he needs to fit it into.”
But is this not precisely what Hancock is arguing? That there was an ancient civilization that was capable of seafaring long distances? Forgive me if I am wrong, but I don’t believe Hancock ever makes the claim that boats were sailed directly from Australia to The Amazon. I believe he entertained that as a possibility, but more parsimonious and central to his argument is a shared ancestry and culture of these very spatially separated peoples.
No, that’s not what Hancock is claiming at all. If you read the book, you’ll find that he repeatedly assumes that the “Australasian signal” means that people are coming from Australia (or Melanesia). What the scientists he cited actually said was the evidence points to an ancient founding population that are more closely related to modern Australasians that probably originated from Asia. As did the modern Australasians. In other words, people migrated across the Bearing land bridge after their ancestors went two different directions.
And Hancock suggests that these people sailed from Australia at least once. And suggests that the “lost civilization” had “mastery of the sea” and ports and harbors all over the world. Without any evidence, of course.
The point is, he never really outlines what the researchers he cited suggest explains the weak aDNA “signal” as he calls it. Which is that a fast-moving, small population, after a migrational pause in Siberia, headed out across the Bearing land bridge and down to S. America. And while the authors of the papers referred to the Australasian aDNA signature weak, he characterizes it as strong.
I can go through my copy of the book and cite the page numbers if you’d like.
If the ancestors migrated across the bearing land bridge, why isn’t the “signal” found anywhere else in the America’s but in The Amazon? How do you explain that without seafarers?
Feng shui is something that immediately comes to mind. It is a way of knowing that is not scientific, yet it works, towns built according to feng shui principles really are better constructed than those that are constructed only with modern principles in mind. You can look into the science behind this (feng shui minimizes the damage of natural disasters, for one), but the point is that our science didn’t know this, whereas an ancient way of knowing did.
I’m not against science, I’m a scientist myself. But I think that claims should be entertained, even ridiculous ones. Before the evidence against Hancock was that there was no cataclysm, now we know there was… You say he’s shotgunning claims… but that is a very specific claim.
When it comes down to it Hancock is advocating for two things in the future: archaeological research in marine environments, The Amazon, and the Sahara. He also advocates for preventative and precautionary measures to be taken for potential cosmic bodies that could hit Earth again.
You say there’s no evidence, but we haven’t looked too deeply into the places where the evidence would be!
And spending money on military “defense” when we take no measures against something that could actually destroy society as we know it…
Lot’s of ways. I actually provided one in the comments.
Except Feng shui doesn’t work. There have been some tests to show it. I’m pretty sure it involved a control group that was *told* feng shui was applied when it really wasn’t and they reported all the touchy-feeling B.S. that comes with it. In other words… bullshit.
I notice the America Before ‘Pre-Review’ thread now has 109 comments, pretty impressive!
I also notice that the debate here and on the ‘Pre-review’ page is becoming pretty random
and in some cases personal.
I’m not sure that the Hancock subject is ever likely to be dealt with here, simply because of the staggering amount of work that Hancock has published along with the nature of the subjects.
However, there are some points, debated here, that need to be further addressed.
For a start the “Cherry Picking” argument is simply not working, and here is why:
1.Whatever information Hancock chooses to include, it has to be relevant to the subject, also he DOES include allot of the arguments against – he does this again and again by reiterating the ‘commonly accepted theories’.
2.Of course Hancock is going to use the information most valuable to his cause. After all, the ‘Mainstream’ Archaeologists, in their usual arrogant, disingenuous, short-sighted, un-scientific and dogmatic manner have certainly ‘Cherry Picked’ the arguments against him to near extinction.
3.Hancock repeatedly states that he has hunches, beliefs and theories that may not be accepted by all and may well not be fact.
4.The usage of ‘Cherry Picking’ here is completely different to the methods in which Hancock conducts his research.
5.I WOULD NOT describe – Diving on seventy underwater sites, travelling around the world to investigate ancient sites in over two hundred countries, interviewing hundreds of ‘mainstream’ scholars, touring the north American Scablands with an expert Geologist and risking his life on numerous occasions as ‘Cherry Picking’.
6.Hancock has dedicated thirty years of his life to this subject, personally funded his research and tirelessly researched thousands of leads; it is his passion – He hasn’t just sat down in front of Wikipedia for six months in order to cut and paste enough ‘agreeable’ material to form a book.
As for the comments on DNA.
If you read the whole section properly Hancock states that the DNA Signal was found to be stronger in some groups than others, for instance Surui and Karitiana people of the Amazon had stronger ties to indigenous groups in Australasias, New Guineans and Andaman Islanders than to Eurasians.
Hancock also points out the possibility of these people reaching South America by sea rather than by crossing the bearing landmass and continuing down that route as they seem to have left no trace in North America. If they had come from the north, you would expect them to have interacted and bread with the North American people as well.
Hancock only speculated on a direct crossing and suggests that another and more acceptable possibility of the boat scenario is that they used the coast lines and ports along the way.
“A DNA Search for the First Americans Links Amazon Groups to Indigenous Australians”
“Harvard lab teamed up with researchers in Brazil to collect more samples from Amazonian groups to investigate the matter. Together they scrutinized the genomes of 30 Native American groups in Central and South America. Using four statistical strategies, they compared the genomes to each other and to those of 197 populations from around the world. The signal persisted. Three Amazonian groups—Suruí, Karitiana and Xavante—all had more in common with Australasians than any group in Siberia.”
In the previous (Pre Review) post – one of the commenters –Harte- refers to my description of ‘Fingerprints of the Gods’
“I still regard ‘Fingerprints of the Gods’ as a good piece of work. OK it is flawed in places and Graham has changed his views on the cause of the ‘Cataclysmic’ Event at the end of the Ice age, but it does still hold a place on the historical bookshelf. It is full of undisputable facts as well as justified speculation.”
The Reply – by Harte:
“Hancock showed the paucity of his intellect in that train wtreck “Fingerprints of the Gods.” I was greatly amused to read from Richard”.
“Hancock is a lazy researcher with a talent for the written word. He lost me permanently in F.O.G. with his many idiotic claims therein. You can refute the entire book in three words: Flash. Frozen. Mammoths.”
This summery just shows the intellect of some of the contributors here!
I will (AGAIN) make it clear that I DO NOT take everything Graham Hancock proposes at face value, some must be taken with a very large pinch of salt – Hancock would be the first to acknowledge this.
When Hancock says “Lets consider for a moment” he means just that.
I also consider a majority of ‘Mainstream’ historical studies and their conclusions to be true and accurate but there are large question marks hanging over certain areas – Undoubtedly Ancient Egypt (Early Dynasty) is one of these.
“Fingerprints of the Gods” is a 760-page publication, and it does contain a huge amount of factual information as well as a fair amount of pure speculation. That was the whole point of the book in the first place – Hancock wanted to shake things up, and it worked.
I’m not going to spend too much time here so let’s have a quick look at the points raised by Hancock in regard to the Giza Plateau and its structures.
1.The three main Pyramids “Khufu, Khafre, Mankaure” hold a correlation with the three stars of Orians belt in 10500 BC. Hancock does not state that they were built at this time but only that it is possible the lay out at Giza dates to this era.
2.The extremely distinctive pattern of ‘precipitation induced’ weathering on the Sphinx enclosure has conclusively dated the monument to a far more ancient period than commonly accepted.
3.The Osireion, and other architecturally associated structures were built in a far more ancient period than commonly accepted.
4.The Great Pyramids purpose may very well not have been a Tomb.
5.The ramps and tools suggested to have been used in the construction of these monuments would not have been able to accomplish anything close to what we see at Giza.
These five points would of course be, and still are, considered complete rubbish by ‘Mainstream’ archaeology, and would have been swept under the carpet and forgotten if the actual evidence had not pointed to the fact that they are much more likely to be closer to the truth than the alternative and accepted conclusions that, as usual, have stood dogmatically for centuries.
The point being that anybody from the ‘outside’ who dares to challenge the theories that support the careers of orthodox scholars will be immediately and ruthlessly discredited without any pause for consideration.
“Fingerprints of the Gods” pointed out that allot could be wrong with the teachings concerning our ancient past, it also predicted that megalithic sites, well outdating the accepted model for their first appearance, would be discovered – This prediction was honoured with the discovery of Gobekli Tepe and various other sites now solidly dated to 10,000BC of before.
Hancock also proposed in ‘Fingerprints’ that the flood at the end of the last ice age had been the result of a cataclysm of immense proportions. He theorised Earth crust displacement – but later, and due to his research into North America, he was to change his mind- and why not? That’s how progress is made.
We are now pretty sure that there was a huge extra-terrestrial event at the end of the Ice age that did, in fact, produce cataclysmic floods. We need only to read ‘America Before’ to get the factual scientific data for this – Agreed by hundreds of highly accredited scientists worldwide.
It may hurt some to hear this, but Hancock was way ahead of any Archaeologist when it came to considering all the flood myths from around the world, logically taking them at face value and looking for the evidence and mechanism – he found both!
Lastly in this comment I come to Carl’s utterance:
“So, “archaeologically correct” means accepting and injecting bullshit explanations about telepathic civilizations and telekinetic stonemasons. Rather than real science.”
Well Carl, I think you’re missing the point.
Hancock does not say any of this (discussed in the last chapter before appendix 1&2) is based on scientific evidence, and OK it sounds pretty fantastic, but so do allot of the religious beliefs that human beings murder one another over every day.
It’s also pretty convenient to describe it here in such a context that the reader may automatically reject the decades of work by Hancock under the pretence that he is a drawling mad man because of one proposal that he fully admits is just a conceptual theory.
I’m no expert on what is referred to as the supernatural or the occult, but maybe science one day will find that the human brain does had a few more deployable powers that we have lost the ability to use or the knowledge of how to control. I would mention that ‘Science’ has yet to explain how supersized rocks where quarried, transported and raised hundreds of feet in Circa 2500 BC and before.
I’m fully aware that the Romans and Greeks were more than capable of working with blocks weighing in excess of 50 tons, but that was a long time later and they did have much higher technological abilities. But thousands of years earlier it seems that to work with blocks weighing hundreds of tons (some approaching a thousand) was normal and simple procedure.
Is it not possible that they did have some kind of far more fantastic methods for achieving these feats than we are led to believe? If science can’t explain it then maybe, we have to turn to alternative explanations. That’s all Hancock is doing.
– But here I stop before being tarred with the “Crazy Old Hancock Brush”
There’s actually a setting that closes comments permanently after 45 days. So the “pre-review” comments will probably only have a couple days left.
It’s an anti-spam measure. Spammers look for old blog articles to post comments to then sneak links in which get noticed by Google and help their SEO.
For those keeping score at home, you can check othe boxes for:
I think there is a No True Scotsman or two thrown in the comments as well, but I was just skimming.
Are all commentators now moderated on the “Pre-Review” Page?
If you’ve logged in or used your email to leave the comment and have had at least two approved comments, you can comment without the need for approval on the back end. Some folks don’t enter their email when they leave a comment (the email isn’t shown) and it makes it necessary to approve manually.
That’s the least level I can set an not be overwhelmed with spam for porn and sneakers.
Point of order.
In order for Hancock to be a “pseudo archaeologist” I imagine he would have to claim to be an archaeologist in the first place?
As far as I am aware he is a “real” journalist rather than a “false” archaeologist. Is it not the case that journalists report and comment on the actions of others rather than committing the actions themselves.
If I were a pedant I could claim that you are a “pseudo” book reviewer, unless, of course, you are qualified to undertake that job by an accredited university.
When Hancock picks up a trowel and a toothbrush and starts digging holes you can feel free to denigrate him as much as you like.
As it is…well, you do the math.
He makes claims that are archaeologically-based. That’s good enough for me. If you don’t want to apply the label “pseudoarchaeologist” to him, that’s your prerogative. I feel differently. You can feel free to call me a pseudo-book reviewer all you like. I did, however, stay at a Holiday Inn Express recently, so that should qualify me.
You trying to call me a “mathematician?!” Now you’re just being mean!
Cheers for that.
When Archaeology explains how folk in prehistory were lifting 1000 tonne blocks of stone 20 ft in the air (Baalbek) and building structures like Puma Punku with its extraordinary precision and peculiar magnetic properties or the massive Megalithic, earthquake proof,polygonal walls on top of mountains in Bolivia…hell, even the 12,000 year old Gobekli Tepe megastructures then Hancock will dry up and blow away.
As it is, your discipline relies on theories just as speculative and unbelievable as Hancock et al.
He isn’t writing a dissertation for peer review, he’s just asking (to dealfening silence) for a sensible answer from your colleagues. Some of the crackpot solutions offered by respected Archaeologists are so ridiculous that it diminishes your specialty in the eyes of the Laity. If an Engineer with 20 years of expertise asserts that he couldn’t build the foundations of the temple of Jupiter in Lebanon with the biggest cranes available in 2019 I’m inclined to believe him over an experimental archaeologist with literally 0 experience in moving and shaping massive stones. I’m pretty sure that about 80 of Hancocks theories are dead wrong but there are some genuine anomalies out there that allow the question…WTF. That’s Hancocks niche.
“Is it not possible that they did have some kind of far more fantastic methods for achieving these feats than we are led to believe?”
Yes, it is POSSIBLE. But it is much more PROBABLE that they were able to accomplish much more with the known technology of the time than you are willing to give them credit for. There is actually some interesting experimental work being done to explain how things were built in ancient Egypt. But if your heart is set on tossing out Occam’s Razor for the sake of attributing the lifting of really big rocks to things like deployable brain power then reading up on the topic would probably be a waste of time.
Hancock has never been ahead of archaeologists on anything. He isn’t even ahead of other fringe theorists as pretty much everything that he says/claims is derivative from earlier fringe theorists. A fantastic highly advanced ancient civilization wiped out by some sort of cataclysm. Mystical secrets of the ancients that can only be grasped by taking hallucinogenic drugs. Grand conspiracies to hide the “truth.” Oh yeah, really original stuff that has never been pitched before.
Much more money to be made by selling what is possible instead of what is probable when it comes to things like this, though.
Sorry, yes – I was on ipad ?
If one does a google search “Graham Hancock archaeologist” it doesn’t take much effort to find people referring to Hancock as an archaeologist. People here have tried to legitimize him by stating that Hancock has risked his life to visit and investigate multiple sites. If supporters of Hancock can spin him as an archeologist or at least someone doing archaeology then it is perfectly fair for critics to label him as a pseudoarchaeologist.
Hell, in the summer of 1994 I risked my life during a Phase One survey in the Tunica Hills. But that wouldn’t stop my colleagues from treating me as a crackpot if I claimed that smoking massive amounts of pot allowed me to commune with some sort of spiritual guide that revealed that the Tunica Treasure was actually 5000 years older than we know it to be.
Probably a decent list of fringe theorists who have donned a scuba suit and took a close look at things like the Bimini Road, but I’m not sure how that replaces actual scientific investigation that considers it to be a natural formation.
Touche` Mon Brave.
Seriously Sir. I admire your willingness to engage with amateurs and dullards in a non combative way. It speaks well of you.
I don’t agree with your description of Hancock as a bogus archaeologist. He doesn’t publish in Archaeological journals, hasn’t ever dug up anything and, in reality, goes to extraordinary lengths to NOT claim your profession for himself.
He relies on hard to explain areas in your Canon and includes other academic opinion to arrive at his speculations.
He includes Geologists, archaeoastronomers, Genetecists, Theologians, Crackpots, Shamen…His is a broad church.
And, frankly, it makes for a damn good read.
There are only 2 possible outcomes. He’s right or wrong. Either way works well for me. If he’s right and we are heading for another extinction event Cometary disaster it won’t matter anyway that he’s made a few million dollars telling us we’re all doomed.
Carl: I agree with the blog, spammers comment.
But a goot thread will also help your site gather interest, Google will rank it higher.
I notice comments are closed on the ‘Pre-Review’
Page – proberbly a good thing, the debate over the dating of ‘Atlantis’ was definitely not a good direction to take.
Plato really did create a huge hornets nest when he wrote about the lost continent.
“I’m pretty sure that about 80 of Hancock’s theories are dead wrong…”
Yet Hancock quite consistently tries to play a game of connect the dots by tying all these things together to claim a mounting body of evidence to support the same grand assertion.
It’s a common strategy used by fringe theorists. That is, take a bunch of unsubstantiated “anomalies” at face value to accumulate an alleged insurmountable body of evidence rather than taking the time to explore each one in-depth to determine if it can stand on its own merits or not.
Makes for great “what if” or “Is it possible” fantasy writing, but it quickly turns into a house of card. Demonstrate that a couple of these anomalies aren’t really anomalies and the whole thing comes crashing down. That’s why it is so amusing when his supporters actually admit that he is wrong about something but then claim that it doesn’t matter because he makes all these other great points. He really doesn’t. He is just throwing as much stuff against the wall as possible then claiming victory if something occasionally sticks and hoping people forget about all the stuff that doesn’t.
Hancock might be taken at least a little more seriously if he actually engaged in the serious study of individual anomalies instead of just collecting them and using them to constantly trying to hammer square pegs into round holes.
Walter – I would point that without people like Hancock, who question authorities, we may be in a much more dangerous place .
We wouldn’t have anyone to insist that there’s a “lost civilization”–conveniently wiped from existence and the archaeological record (which makes you wonder why he’s so sure) that used ESP and telekinesis to pass on it’s wisdom to Native Americans and ancient Egyptians!
Where would we be without such pillars of our community!? 🙂
Lets foget the telekinesis stuff. It seems to be the main reason to descredit all of Hancocks work.
Anyway, havent we all had some kind of experience in life that just doesent conform. When my son boke his arm at school (he was seven) 5 mins before the call from the school I had a really strange feeling that somthing bad had happened, Then the phone rang, maybe coincidence? But..
Forget it? It’s the conclusion to all his premises.
I hate to say it, but Carl, I agree.
On reading the last chapter I actually thought “Hancock dont do this”
But then its his book.
I will always defend Graham in parts but will also accept his mistakes.
Dillehay questioned “authority” and as a result now holds a prestigious professorship at a world class archaeology program.
I questioned authority and ended up with an award winning dissertation.
Hancock pretends to question authority and seems to have made some pretty good money.
As Walter perhaps indicates some people question authority with “isn’t there the slightest possibility that…” while others question authority with “I can clearly demonstrate the probability that…”
I need to drink a fifth of Scotch and then commune with my guardian spirit, that may or may not be a figment of my imagination, for guidance to understand the difference between confronting authority with possibility versus probability.
I just wanted to add a couple of video reactions from my friend, Andy White. He hasn’t read the book, but did watch the Joe Rogan Experience YouTube thing.
Cool!!!! I saw the comments closed in this article and got bummed. https://ahotcupofjoe.net/2019/03/pre-review-of-america-before-graham-hancocks-new-pseudoscience/. I thought I would never hear from James, Richard or Bill again. And i had just fired up my new popcorn machine and was munching away. I was only able to find you guys again by going to Carls Fb page, then figuring out to go to the Archeology page, by backtracking to the article, then scrolling down to find this article. LOL!!!!!!! Anyways . . .1. I am an ancient astronauts precivilization von daniken fan since I was 10 years old in 1979 and read chariots of the gods. In my suburban upstairs bedroom. BEFORE I became a pothead. And it did blow up my mind. Between that and In Search Of with Spockhead and Spontaneous Combustion there wasnt much else UFO-y or aline-y in pre-cable land to tickle the brain. Its amazing what has happened in 40 years with these topics. 2. I just heard of America Before a few hours ago because I saw a Joe Rogan DMT article posted on FB . . . .which led me to watch a Joe Rogan video with Graham Hancock . . . which lead me to watch bits and pieces of America Before videos and have been watching videos (background), while simultaneously reading article on it in a separate window on my 27″ imac. LOL. I am already sold on fingerprints of the gods basic idea/theory. So i was buying into America Before. Pretty quickly. Until I stumbled across Carl. 3. I think Carl and Bill won this debate, based on the merits. Facts, Arguments etc. At least to the point where the comments closed in the last article. But at the very end it seemed Richard was landing some decent blows, so i will now read carls review and these comments and see what how the fight turned out. Actually, its 2 am so i will do it tomorrow. Even though i would rather do it now :p 4. i demand you bring bill back. Immediately. He is primary to this debate. Also, try to bring back a couple of the other missing people who made comments so they are at least aware of this article and this thread. Thanks 5. That stuff at the end with Al was funny. :p Bookmarking and good night.
I thoroughly enjoyed both this article and the pre-review!
I’m just an average guy with no stake in the game and I don’t usually post comments online so please forgive any poor grammar. At first I was seeking a less biased and more independent review and was put off a bit by the breaks in the review to take jabs at Hancock defenders that so adamantly swarm your comment section (and often don’t look great doing it). I would have preferred taking that opportunity to acknowledge them but then educate them in a positive way. To me this painted a picture of an outraged scientist that can’t help but pound furiously at a keyboard to defend a single unwavering point of view and saturate his well written review with angry quips. Based on the pre-review there was no other possible outcome but a negative review, even without having read the book yet.
But as I digested the content of your review and continued to gain context, it became more clear that you are justified in your views. I quickly began to find value in a clear opposing point of view. You provided sources and broke down the book in a fair and well structured manner from the Archaeologist point of view. A point of view of someone that has an author writing a book in their field. What I originally conceived as spite, turned to education and I learned a little about the field itself and consumers and got a little taste of the type of mind behind a character such as Hancock. In the final quote in your review Hancock tells us himself his basis, his possibly agenda, what may have colored the whole book.
Even though it was always going to be negative review, perhaps reviews like these aren’t something that can be as close to grey as I expected. Either Hancock is misrepresenting things, or he isn’t. Although I’ll never be in the forefront of vehemently defending or opposing Hancock’s books I’ll gladly support education in the matter.Hancocks books will always come with a big fat asterisk.
Why is it that retired Archaeologists are more open with Hancock and tend to be in agreement?
In this statistical observation, n=?
Why is it that Richard makes claims like retired Archaeologists “tend to be in agreement” with Hancock?
Any retired archaeologists here who tend to be in agreement with Hancock? Any active archaeologists here who have first hand knowledge that retired archaeologists tend to be in agreement with Hancock?
Anything at all that would demonstrate a clear pattern of retired Archaeologists being in agreement with Hancock? My understanding is that there are probably thousands of retired Archaeologists, so should be easy to dig up dozens or hundreds of examples if his statement is true.
Hancock cherrypicks from archaeology, so safe bet that if he has cherrypicked a given published study then he will be in agreement with the archaeologist who did the research and those who agree with it. However, whether those same archaeologists agree with the broader assertions that Hancock tries to support with said data is a different matter.
I would suspect that Richard is trying to insinuate that many archaeologists are secretly in agreement with Hancock but can’t reveal themselves as such until they are retired and safe from persecution. I can’t think of any such examples although one could probably come up with an example or two if they dig long enough. I do know of one example of a retired archaeologist who embraced a particular fringe theory AFTER retirement. But it appears that he did so because he was very elderly and experiencing significant health and financial problems and he had been led to believe that he would benefit financially from his involvement.
The “mainstream” scholars (anthropologists and other scholars as well) that I am aware of who were involved in fringy work did so while still active, for example, Betty Meggers, Stephen Jett, Cyclone Covey. But I can’t think of any such work that would indicate an agreement with the broader assertions made by Hancock although he and his supporters would like to portray the situation differently.
Do you have any idea how many active archaeologists there are in the U.S.? Let’s say anyone with a B.A. in anthropology or higher and working fulltime. Could be anything from working as an entry level staff shovel bum for a private company up to full prof at an Ivy League school.
I think Doug Rocks McQueen did an informal study once and he came up with a few thousand total. That was back in 2014/2015 I think.
I think that it is important for the public to have a decent idea of how many practicing archaeologists (or anthropologist in general) are out there and the wide range of different perspectives and interests that they have. It seems that some people have this image of the field of archaeology consisting of a handful of likeminded old guys with tenure and full professorships sitting in a conference room somewhere deciding what is acceptable or not in terms of research. Dissenters are blackballed. The reality is much different.
..is my question still in moderation?
It was. Now that you have at least one approved comment you shouldn’t have to worry about the moderation queue unless you don’t use your email address or include too many links.
…Hancock’s quotes and even interviews quite a few professional archaeologists in his works, including Dr. Goodyear from the University of South Carolina as it relates to the Topper Site. A lot of mainstream archaeologists disagreed with Dr. Goodyear’s ideas about what he’d uncovered; does that mean it would be okay to call him a “Pseudo-Archaeolgist”? I think that derisive term tends to be a “show stopper”, or as Sam Harris noted. “a conversation ender”. Surely we can do better for those whom we disagree…
I certainly hope scientists and researchers of all fields are free to disagree with each other without resorting to having to be categorized as “pseudoscientist” or in the case of archaeology, “pseudoarchaeology.”
I disagree with some of Goodyear’s work. I’ve had many discussions with colleagues about his work and found myself being skeptical of his finds. We discussed it. I think we even won each other over a bit. And I think even Goodyear will cheerfully admit that there is still much for him to sort out. The idea, in science, is to relentlessly find ways to falsify hypotheses. Until they can no longer be falsified.
I’m eager for Goodyear’s work to win me over.
But your comment reads like you noticed someone call Goodyear a pseudoarchaeologist. I don’t think that’s the case.
Lack a degree in anthropology.
Have no experience in archaeological fieldwork or lab analysis.
Cherrypick data from research that someone else had conducted on the Topper site.
Are known for being stoned all day and every day while doing most of your thinking and writing.
Claim that the Topper site supports the existence of a highly advanced civilization that could build pyramids using telepathy or ESP, or whatever, and had global influence.
Say that this civilization was wiped out by a comet 12,000 years ago without leaving a single trace.
Think that insights can be gained into said civilization by taking hallucinogenic drugs.
Then you might be called a pseudoarchaeologist by real archaeologists.
Carl: I agree that one should be open to criticize the works of others, especially if a person has a high knowledge of that field they are critical of. I didn’t mean to imply anyone has used that term to refer to Dr. Goodyear (they might have), but I’m not aware of it.
Jamed Ford states: “…Then you might be called a pseudoarchaeologist by real archaeologists…”.
..so you agree that it’s perfectly rational to label and ridicule someone who you disagree with, that’s all in the realm of normal scientific inquiry?
Plus, who, or what is a “real archaeologist” in your opinion? Do you happen to have a set of standards that we could apply to someone claiming that?
Well, holding a degree in anthropology with a specialization in archaeology is a good start. You might look into the requirements for earning an M.A. or Ph.D. in anthropology (archaeology) to gain some insights into what it takes to do so. You could also look into what is required to be certified by the Society for Professional Archaeologists. I’m sure that Carl would be happy to discuss this in more detail with you.
Hancock’s efforts don’t fall within the realm of scientific inquiry. So, saying what he does certainly opens him up to being labelled and ridiculed. I don’t have a medical degree or any training or experience in practicing medicine. So, if I started saying that all the doctors are wrong and if your kid breaks his leg with a compound fracture you should take him to a shamanistic healer instead of the emergency room then I would certainly expect to be labelled and ridiculed.
Carl Feagans states: “…I disagree with some of Goodyear’s work. I’ve had many discussions with colleagues about his work…”
Have you had or sought actual communication with Dr. Goodyear himself? Why or why not?
It’s not high up on my list of priorities. That, and I’d like him to be right about it all.
Boooooo. Boring. The pre-review thread was much better. There was way more back and forth about the actual merits of Hancocks work and less “Poor hancock” and “but he brings up cool ideas” and the “nature of archeology and discovery”. SNOOZE. And bill just killed with the facts and research. I beg of you again, bring back bill. And i ask everyone here still clinging to hancock to read what Bill provided there. He took a lot of time and thought putting together a lot of those posts and source links. As well as things James Ford stated. In addition, i am sorry, but Hancock is hardly the first person to claim that there were civilizations in pre-history that got destroyed by some kind of cataclysm. Or that they may have been more advanced than we thought. Or that they might even be hyper advanced. Or they might even be linked to aliens. Again, Von Daniken started this party 60 years ago ago. There are plenty of other people who have floated and rehashed von danikens ideas in the decades since him and before hancock. Quite honestly, the idea of a “lost precivilization” is a tried and true method many archeological panhandlers have used to sell books. And the orion thing? SNORE. Heard it a thousand million times already. I think that Carls explanation in his review here of why that occurred in both egypt and the aewricas is reasonable. Namely “it was most visible” (insert occam’s razor here> I dont think “just talking about these things or expanding on them” isnt some great achievenent nor does hancock deserve that much credit. Any more than Giorgio A. Tsoukalos should from hosting ancient aliens. I was the original aliens and ufo and prehistory kid. I still am. I still think we had lost civilizations. (duh) I still think other creatures have visited here. (duh) Maybe still visiting here (duh) But 90% of the stuff than von daniken, hancock and others discuss has very rational conventional explanations. That dont involve worldwide tesla power grids, animal hybrid alien pharohs or lost galactic federations. As i get older I become more skeptical and and demand more *actual* evidence for these theories. As the world is already full of speculation.
50 years ago. :p
Mike from Chicago: I think that’s a bit of Urban Myth on your part that “Von Daniken started this party 60 years ago”. Others wrote about what was termed “Paleo-Contact”, including the..wait for it..the late great Skeptic Carl Sagan, who actually said there might be a “Kernel of truth” in the original idea. Surely you don’t want to call Carl Sagan a “crank”, do you? Von Daniken likely poisoned the party and subsequent conversation since, but he didn’t start it…
I suspect you’re taking Sagan out of context.
Carl: …I honestly don’t think it would mean a great deal to me either way, if Hancock was completely right or so wrong that he needs a strait jacket. I just want to know the truth; my world wouldn’t end on either account…
Oh, you mean Hancock. I thought you were asking about Goodyear. No, Hancock is Coo-Coo for CocoPuffs with that ESP silliness. It’s Goodyear I’d like to be right, which has zero to do with Hancock’s wacky conclusion.
Mike from Chicago: I did look it up prior, even went to Harvard’s website, hence my questions for you. The questions that Hancock asks, it seems to me, are just that, mere questions. That seemingly is the first thing *any* scientist would do.
Here is the original story from 2004.
QUESTION: Why has nothing further happened in 15 years? You’d figure a prize of this size would have at least a few mainstream archeologists scrambling and looking for sites to dig up. There seems to be a decent number of people who have pushed preclovis back 2500 years +/-. But no one looking to “dig deeper”
Yes. Just questions. Anyone can ask questions. Like for example. i am thinking of writing a book about Polka-dotted unicorns that breathe fire and traded corn with China 25,000 years ago. Its not even my original idea. I read it online somewhere. But I’d like to further propose that some kind of ESP was involved. As well as the aliens with the wings more commonly known as “Dracos”. Ad this is all part of an Illuminati plot to keep *real* history hidden from mankind. I hope you will buy my book so i can continue to ask and seek the answer to these tantalizing and far reaching questions.
Carl states: “…I suspect you’re taking Sagan out of context….” Without knowing the actual quote, or it’s source, why would you suspect it’s taken out of context? The quote is from a book called “Other Worlds”, that I believe was published back in the mid 70’s, co-authored if I recall correctly with a Russian scientist. If you’ve followed Carl Sagan across his career, several things stand out about what he believed with a high degree of certainty; that life beyond the Earth was almost 100% certain. In fact, he argued for a specialized type camera on one of the Viking Mars missions due to the fact that he thought life might exist there. I’m assuming you recall the plaque he designed for the famous Pioneer 10 spacecraft? Sagan was not adverse to the idea in and of itself about a possible Paleo-Contact. I think what happened was that when von Daniken got hold of the idea, he wanted to distance himself from it…
Mike from Chicago: there must be quite a few stacks of straw where you live…:)
Mike from Chicago: “..Here is the original story from 2004.
My degree is in history, not archaeology, so I can’t say. You might try a book called “Rain of Fire and Ice”; the author details sightings of meteors and meteorite impacts that were dismissed with ridicule for far longer than 15 years. Sometimes science is slow, but that’s a good thing don’t you think?
Don’t forget that when you ask questions then don’t like the answers that you get from the people actually qualified to answer them then engage in your own campaign of ridicule and labelling by accusing them of being involved in a conspiracy to suppress inquiry, being hidebound and unable to think outside of the box, being trolls. From time to time throw in a “fascist” for good measure.
Carl: I haven’t gotten to the ESP part yet as I’m still stuck in the Amazon with the mini-stonehenge circles. I “keep up” with archaeology on an amateur level but was unaware of those discoveries…
Von Daniken pre-dated Sagan. Chariots of the Gods (1968) pre-dated Cosmos. (1980) Sagan was actually a strict rationalist rationalist who shunned even the smallest deviations from established thought. He spent a lot of time debunking stuff. He didnt believe we have had any alien contact of any kind. Ever. Now or in the past. Right before he died the best he could do was “possibly maybe”. Prior to von daniken there was no ancient alien + ufo + pre-history culture. Outside of 1940s and 1950s golden age science fiction writers like assimov and pohl and harry harrison and others. But it was very fringy at that time. Very tiny % of the public and not even remotely mainstream. And even then there stories were 99% about “future sci-fi” and not “past history.” And the only thing pre-dating that was H.G Wells and Jules Verne. Von Danikens Chariots of the God’s was turned down by many publishers. Even after it was published it took a number of years to gain steam. It is the template (and genesis) from which all future “prehistory + ancient alien” discussions were/are based on. Without that there was no In Search Of, there was no Ancient Aliens and drum roll please . . .there was no graham hancock. Von Daniken was talking about the egyptian Pyramids and Orions Belt in the 1950s when Hancock was still just a toddler, LOL.
Sorry. 1960s when Hancock was a teenager 🙂
Mike from Chicago: you are FLAT wrong but I know you’ll never admit it; below is copied from Wikipedia..NOTE the dates…
“…In Intelligent Life in the Universe (1966) astrophysicists I. S. Shklovski and Carl Sagan devote a chapter to the argument that scientists and historians should seriously consider the possibility that extraterrestrial contact occurred during recorded history; however, Shklovski and Sagan stressed that these ideas were speculative and unproven. Shklovski and Sagan argued that sub-lightspeed interstellar travel by extraterrestrial life was a certainty when considering technologies that were established or feasible in the late 1960s; that repeated instances of extraterrestrial visitation to Earth were plausible; and that pre-scientific narratives can offer a potentially reliable means of describing contact with aliens.”
Chariots of the Gods came out in *1968*, the book by Sagan came out in *1966*…
I think Hancock’s next book is going to be “Fingerprints on the Chariots: Ode to Von Daniken”:p . . . . “The story of how, 50 years later, another trailblazing psuedoarcheologist pedaling the same exact ideas and who was also likewise shunned and rejected by the mainstream archeological community. But didnt have youtube and nice tv shows to appear on” . . .
Mike..care to retract your prior statements?????
Come on Mike, you can do better than that; are you going to resort to name calling now when I just PROVED you were/are wrong????
“cricket sounds”..looks like Mike is “headed for the tall grass”..LOL….
In the 1966 Walter Cronkite documentary “UFO: Friend, Foe, or Fantasy,” Carl Sagan delivers quite the memorable spiel on the matter. He doesn’t necessarily say it’s impossible that these sightings are legit, but just how unlikely it is that they are. When it comes to all the different possible pit stops across the cosmos, it’d be seriously anthropocentric to think that Earth is the universe’s most popular destination. Thinking that so many aliens are heading our way would be akin to expecting every tourist on Earth to flock to the same barbecue joint in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
“If you believe, as the flying saucer cultists would have us believe, that the majority of the saucer reports are due to visitations, then you have a very strange situation. That means several spaceships are coming to the Earth over interstellar distances every day,” Sagan explains. “I think it’s much more reasonable if you want to speculate on the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligence that there are very rare visits from extraterrestrials to the Earth. There’s no evidence for this, I just say that’s not implausible. But to have several visits a day, I think, is strained credulity.” https://curiosity.com/topics/aliens-arent-visiting-us-all-the-time-because-theyre-making-other-stops-said-carl-sagan-curiosity/
“…Additionally, Shklovski and Sagan cited tales of Oannes, a fishlike being attributed with teaching agriculture, mathematics, and the arts to early Sumerians, as deserving closer scrutiny as a possible instance of paleocontact due to its consistency and detail.…”
So is Wikipedia now considered a bastion of loons, cranks and other such nut cases?
Hardly “Chariots of the Gods”
Also, i dont remember calling anyone any names 😉
Mike says: “…In the 1966 Walter Cronkite documentary “UFO: Friend, Foe, or Fantasy,” Carl Sagan..”
Again, Mike, you simply don’t have a clue what you’re talking about; you are conflating Sagan’s views on UFOs with his view of Paleo-Contact. The two ideas are vastly different. Sagan always considered UFOs to be part of the lunatic fringe, simply put, “that UFO/aliens are NOT visiting us today”. But that had nothing to do with aliens visiting us thousands of years in the past. Do you see the very obvious difference???
Mike..you said in an earlier post in reply to me that ridicule was perfectly acceptable to you..did you not?
“Chariots of the Gods”, the book, is obviously sloppy and unscientific. But the *idea* that underpins it, Paleo-Contact, is scientific and worth of inquiry, at least in Sagan’s mind. And who am I to dispute that what Carl Sagan said must be the absolute truth?
Sagan asked some questions. He speculated a little. Again, it wasnt unusual for people to do that starting with the golden age of sci-fi and the space age starting after WWII in the 1940s and 1950s. And beyond. Especially an astro physicist like Sagan. But it was like only 1% of what Sagan did. He was a teacher, researcher and then TV show host. Von Daniken was full metal jacket. Completely out of his mind nuts (for the time). People literally looked at him like they do Alex Jones today. Or fake News. He blew the doors off the barn with Chariots of the Gods. So 10 year olds like me (in 1979) and 30 year olds like hancock had their jaws drop through the floor reading his book. This wasnt Sagan talking about the “rings of saturn” or the “Mars viking mission”. lol. Von Daniken created a whole new break in consciousness on the issue. At that time there was nothing even remotely like it. And this wasnt 1% of what he did. Its all that he did. And if you look at what Hancock has to say, 90% of it is Von Daniken. He could have literally written “My Chariots of the Gods” instead of “Fingerprints of the Gods” lol
I never said ridicule of you was acceptable. OR ridicule of me was acceptable. As two people commenting on a thread about a 3rd party. But i did intimate that ridicule of hancock is acceptable and i have provided some very plausible justifications as to why that is the case. Also, i never said i disagreed with the idea of paleso ocontact or the need to consider it. I think its obvipus thats the opposite. I am a big fan. I am just not a big fan of a lot of what hancock has to say because its either 1. just a rehash of previous ideas 2. a little nuts
I believe that EVD had published one or more articles during the several years leading up to the release of Chariots of the Gods. It appears that both Sagan and EVD had some interests in alien contact going back to their childhoods and one might be able to dredge up something in writing from both going further back than the mid-60s.
Who beat who to the punch really isn’t all that relevant compared to the fact that Sagan acknowledged that he was open to the possibility of alien contact whereas EVD made a career out of claiming that every stone carving of someone wearing a native headdress was really an alien in a spacesuit helmet.
Mike, this is just another example of the fringe trying to lure people down their rabbit hole by quibbling over minutiae to try to equate the likes of Sagan with the likes of EVD.
Carl says: “..Oh, you mean Hancock. I thought you were asking about Goodyear. No, Hancock is Coo-Coo for CocoPuffs with that ESP silliness. It’s Goodyear I’d like to be right, which has zero to do with Hancock’s wacky conclusion…”.
Agree 100%..no good reason also to believe that Goodyear’s believes anything at all about Hancock’s overall theory…
Mike…the best “rule of thumb” is to not ridicule *anyone* about *anything” and then there’s be no need to worry about it. Not a good idea at all to suppose that some people should be ridiculed and others not, no matter *what* the reason is that you think makes it okay (like the shaman example you brought up earlier)….
I get this feeling you havent actually read Chariots of the Gods. It wasnt actually that sloppy. It was fairly detailed and well researched. And unlike Hancock, Von Daniken went out of his way to say over and over and over again that it was 90% speculation. He didnt present himself as an archeologist. He didnt spend any time bitching about archeologists shunning him or refusing to acknowledge new theories. And lastly, he didnt really cherry pick other peoples research. It was all his own research. Period. Years and years of being the first person to ever look at all of these novel ideas and travel around to research them and put them in one composite book and theory. What von daniken did really cant be understated. Especially for the time. And especially with the comparable limitations he had in terms of access to information, travel etc. It took him years to put together. It took him years to get published. It took him years to get people to buy it and read it. It was a long thankless process. Not ike today where Graham can just write a new book called “Some crazy thing I think now” and its an instant best seller, LOL. As Carl F has so well put here in his threads . . . Hancock cherry picks other people’s work for what he likes, ignores what he doesnt, ridicules “them” on top of that and then adds on some spice of his own that is pure speculation. And many times, just isnt true. Or even reasonable. You want to talk sloppy? THAT’S sloppy. On a number of levels. Literary. Scientific. Morally. Intellectually etc. It does a dis-service to the topic. It detracts not adds to its credibility. . .
I get it. We cant ridicule hancock. For any reason. Even though this is a critical analysis review article and comment thread about the individual. Basically, the “whole point” of the matter. But its okay for you, to ironically, personally ridicule me. Even though I havent actually personally ridiculed you. And have just met you with well structured arguments. #LogicFail. #OnAtLeast7Levels LOL!!!!!!!!!
Mike: ..from an idea standpoint, the biggest difference between “Chariots” and “Fingerprints” is von Daniken is looking for ancient aliens and Hancock’s is looking for an ancient lost civilization of humans. I have opinions, like anyone, on what seems to me that best fits the evidence, but ultimately none of us here will ever really know….I love Hancock’s books, but I’m not going to get angry if he’s 100% correct or even just 5% correct. It also wouldn’t bother me in the slightest if aliens find the Pioneer 10 spacecraft a million years from and enshrine Sagan as the biggest Loon in the history of the Milky Way..:)…
Mike..my goodness, I was born in 1963, and got hold of Chariots of the Gods in the very late 60’s/early 70’s; it tuned me in to archaeology. Who can ever forget the Nazca Lines, which was my intro into stuff like that. I agree that von Daniken often just posed a lot of questions, sure, no doubt there. When I used the word “sloppy”, i meant in the evidence of Paleo-contact that he presented like the rust-proof iron column, the Nazca lines, etc. They seem like sloppy examples if he was saying that was his BEST proof…..I read his other books also….Gold of the Gods was one I think….Gods from Outer Space another..
Mike I don’t doubt Hancock doesn’t cherry pick some of his data; it seems a remarkably human thing to do, and Hancock won’t be the first or last to do it, and I don’t have the relevant background to actually know when/if he does it. My specialty is the American Civil War and my sub specialty of that is the Naval War of that conflict, THAT I can parse, not so much sometimes archeology…
Mike if I ridiculed you I profusely apologize….I’m sitting here late nite at a radio station on a 12 hour nite shift and sometimes sleep deprivation will get to me….LOL…
Actually, Daniken talked at length about ancient lost civilizations. It was a main theme in his book. If you want people to take you seriously, dont make things up. Thats good honest advice, not personal ridicule. Read the actual book. Hancock doesnt present much in his body of work that is radically different than what von daniken orginally presented. In his forst book or successive books and speeches. Most of which I am sure hancock read and heard, No one has. Thats how groundbreaking and thorough it was. It doesnt matter how many times hancock or gianopolopus want to drag out the pyramids and orions belt or the nazca lines or easter island or puma punkhu or atlantis or the ancient prehistory of south america or underwater cities of cuba or japan or the sumerian tablets or the annunaki to any number of related basic topics. Von Daniken did it ALL first. LOL!!!!! The only new thing we have had in 50 years is gobekli tepi. hancock is literally just a copy cat and a rehasher of all things von daniken. Not some “amazing trailblazer”. Hes what is known in more common parlance “valor stealer” or “glory stealer” . . . “Hey everybody, i have these really original ideas that someone else had before me . . . “
No worries. lol!!!!!!!
MIke..what did you perceive that I was “making up”? I haven’t read Chariots in years, but if I recall any reference to a Lost Civilization was the possible impact ET might have had upon it. I recall the Peri Ries map that he talked about. And he butted heads with the archaeologists just as Hancock does..
I’ve read all of Hancock’s books, including The Sign and the Seal, also I’m guessing von Daniken has published close to 20 books maybe? I read all of his that came out in the 70’s. By the time 1980 rolled around I began to sour on von Daniken’s central thesis..
This is the gamechanger. Dwarka found 2002. Home of Krishna, the little blue god from another star system. I am not sure why they are dragging their feet with it . . .
Marine scientists say archaeological remains discovered 36 metres (120 feet) underwater in the Gulf of Cambay off the western coast of India could be over 9,000 years old. Author and film-maker Graham Hancock – who has written extensively on the uncovering of ancient civilisations – told BBC News Online that the evidence was compelling:
“The [oceanographers] found that they were dealing with two large blocks of apparently man made structures.
“Cities on this scale are not known in the archaeological record until roughly 4,500 years ago when the first big cities begin to appear in Mesopotamia.
“Nothing else on the scale of the underwater cities of Cambay is known. The first cities of the historical period are as far away from these cities as we are today from the pyramids of Egypt,” he said.
This, Mr Hancock told BBC News Online, could have massive repercussions for our view of the ancient world.
Harappan site in Pakistan, BBC
Harappan remains have been found in India and Pakistan
“There’s a huge chronological problem in this discovery. It means that the whole model of the origins of civilisation with which archaeologists have been working will have to be remade from scratch,” he said.
Mike….do you think Hancock tries to pass himself off as the originator of the Lost Civilization hypothesis? I don’t think that he comes across that way, IMHO. In his 1st book, Fingerprints, he devotes the whole first chapter, indeed the very first page, to the theories of Professor Charles Hapgood. I stumbled upon Fingerprints quite by accident, but I do recall being struck by the similarity of title and content with Chariots..
I’m not sure that Hancock should be compared with Erich von Daniken or his books with “Chariots of the Gods”
Daniken really does have some far out ideas.
Hancock always insists that there is no UFO influence when it comes to his work and even though he doesn’t deny the possible existence of life on other planets, It has had no influence in our history here on Earth.
There are plenty of Authors out there who have written shockingly unfeasible books under the guise of “Non- Fiction” – and not just centred on Archaeology or Astronomy.
Very few have done anything like the research we see in Hancock’s Work.
A point to make is that the extreme claims that Hancock makes, for instance ESP and the movements of heavy blocks by more unorthodox means, do not actually harm the cause. The do not alter historical events, they just add a little mystery.
I don’t think Hancock is damaging Archaeology with his studies and reports, it’s quite obvious from these threads that he, if nothing else, is creating interest and debate.
Carl has stated that there is “Much” in ‘America before’ that he agrees with, so even if you regard the other parts as inaccurate of ludicrous it’s not all bad.
One of Hancock’s main suggestions is that Earth was hit by a large fragment or fragments of an asteroid at the end of the ice age. This caused rapid melting of the North American ice sheets and huge flooding, and we do now seem to have a crater in Greenland that may very well date to this time, and we also have large amounts of evidence on the ground in the form of Geological signatures of a huge flooding event.
This is where Hancock’s lost civilisation bit the bullet, and I can imagine, if there was a civilisation in North America at the time, then it would be highly unlikely to have survived such an event.
I think what annoys the Archaeologist so much is the method Hancock Uses to come to conclusions.
Archaeologists keep to the accepted theories, even it they begin to look wholly incorrect, until the new theory has been proven without doubt (even if this take decades).
Hancock on the other hand doesn’t have to abide to this code and jumps straight in.
Can I also raise this question again, and it is relevant to Hancock’s work:
When Dr Robert Schoch (professor of Geology at Boston University) was hired by John Anthony West to investigate the water erosion on the Sphinx enclosure he concluded (as did hundreds of other Geologists) that the Sphinx must be hugely older than Archaeologist conclude.
Schoch, at the time, had no interest in Archaeology or debunking it, he also understood the potential career risk of getting this wrong.
after thoroughly and professionally investigating the evidence and conducting numerous
scientific analysis he presented his findings to Archaeology – it, of course, was immediately rubbished on the grounds that there was no other evidence of a civilisation that would have been capable of building the monument at the time Schoch proposed – That was then, now we do have evidence of megalithic sites that date back far beyond what had been previously believed as the dawn of megalithic architecture.
Please could anybody tell me (scientifically) what was wrong with Schoch’s work and why the data was incorrect? All he did was put a date to the obvious signs of rain induced water erosion, that’s what Geologists do every day.
I can provide proof of the existence of ESP. Last night when the conversation here really started to roll into the rough I said to myself, “Richard is going to show up and start in about Egypt to try to get the conversation even further away from the topic of people trying to use Goodyear and the Topper site as pro-Hancock fodder.” Shazam, here he is doing it. Maybe Hancock will put me in his next book as proof of deployable brain power.
Suffice it to say, there have been any number of archaeologists, geologists, and climatologists who have offered their own perspectives on why Schoch has failed to prove his assertion(s). Even among the relatively few geologists who lean toward agreeing with Schoch, the belief among some is that the evidence suggests that the Sphinx is several hundred years older than the accepted date not thousands and thousands of years.
Lehner has a nice detailed discussion of the age of the Sphinx that musters a wide range of data here: http://www.aeraweb.org/projects/sphinx/
Getting back to ESP, I have another vision. Richard is now going to go on another of his mega-rants where he cuts and pastes from 40 years worth of fringe writing on the Sphinx and Great Pyramid, makes naive and incorrect statements about disciplines like archaeology and the scientific method, and maybe even works in references to Clovis First conspiracy and hallucinogenic drugs. Predicted word count: 1288.
1. All I want to know is why Schoch was so wrong, and not from Lehner who struggled to defend the ‘approved date’ in the first place.
2. The only cuts and pasts I have ever placed on this site have been clearly pointed out.
So why is Schoch wrong ?
By the way its me who made up the “deployable brain power” description – Not Hancock , feel free to use for non profit making publications LOL
All I want to know if why Schoch is so right LOL.
And yes, the acknowledged sources of your various cut and pastes have proven to be quite amusing at times. That is when they were presented in anything resembling a coherent format and could be recognized as being attributed to someone else.
Lehner has quite effectively defended the approved date and is a well experienced and highly regarded Egyptologist. I think that you are cherrypicking quotes from news reports on portions of the debate from years ago to try to spin the situation as one where Lehner was at a loss to respond to Schoch. He wasn’t.
Sorry, but if you are going to play the usual fringe card of outright rejecting the perspective of every qualified Egyptologist like Lehner then any further discussion is an even greater waste of time than it already is. Based on that strategy, I could make an intelligent sounding case in support of the person who claimed that the Sphinx is actually 800,000 years old.
This is just turning into yet another round of changing the subject to deflect away from the fact that all the previous pro-Hancock statements in this thread have been shot down. It’s all so increasingly predictable and boring and unworthy of further discussion. Think I will go crappie fishing.
Just a quick note. I’m on my lunch break which is this low-calorie, medium-bodied cigar, in the woods of Kentucky. But I happen to have service in this spot, so I was able to approve posts in the moderation queue from my phone. Just a reminder, if you include your email when you comment, WP remembers you and your comment won’t need approval.
If I remember correctly one red flag concerning Schoch that has been raised is the paleoclimate chronology. There can be periodic wet periods including heavy rain within the midst of a long-term drying period. There is evidence that Egypt continued to experience these types of events for centuries after the Sphinx was built. Another theory links erosion to moisture seeping out of the Sphinx rather than rain acting on it from the exterior. I’m not a geologist and can’t comment on the veracity of these alternative theories other than the fact that they have apparently been offered up by people whose credentials are on par with Schoch.
I do know that most geologists and geomorphologists and paleoenvironment types don’t really give a damn if their findings aren’t popular with archaeologists. If there was dead-bang geological evidence for Schoch’s claim then his work would be universally accepted among geologists no matter how loudly the archaeologists howl. But that isn’t the case.
Richard: Professor Schoch is a professional geologist, while Lehner’s an Egyptologist, so I’d have to take anything that Lehner said in relation to geology with a huge grain of salt (maybe a salt block in fact)….:)…
James Ford states: “…It’s all so increasingly predictable and boring and unworthy of further discussion. Think I will go crappie fishing…”
*sigh*…another over the top control freak who thinks he’s the sole arbiter of what’s worthy and what isn’t..
Doc Rock says: “…If there was dead-bang geological evidence for Schoch’s claim then his work would be universally accepted among geologists no matter how loudly the archaeologists howl. But that isn’t the case…”
You’re operating under at least 2 false premises: the first is the idea of “dead-bang geological evidence”. I don’t know where you got that standard of evidence (just made it up?), but most cases are made in a cumulative fashion and do not rely on a single piece of evidence, which Schoch addressed in his books. Your second false premise is that every scientific theory must be “universally accepted”; if you believe that your nuts..:)…
Richard says: “…Please could anybody tell me (scientifically) what was wrong with Schoch’s work and why the data was incorrect? All he did was put a date to the obvious signs of rain induced water erosion, that’s what Geologists do every day…”
One partial answer might reside in the field of human psychology: having worked as a farm hand, a public school teacher, the US Navy, a clerk in a court house and now at a radio station, there will *always* be someone, or a group, who are resistant to change. The fields of archaeology, geology and Egyptology are no different…
Uh, a huge body of convincing evidence accumulated over time could be accurately described in popular terms as dead-bang. I was simply stating the fact that this has not happened with Schoch even within his own discipline. A theory does not have to be universally accepted but i made no such claim. i simply said that widespread support for schoch by fellow geologists is lacking and i doubt it can be attributed to loyalty to archaeologists.
Thanks for helping to reaffirm the points I was making.
Doc Rock stated: “…If there was dead-bang geological evidence for Schoch’s claim then his work would be universally accepted among geologists…”
And then Doc Rock stated: “…A theory does not have to be universally accepted but i made no such claim…”
CLEARLY, you did MAKE THE CLAIM….
Doc Rock stated: “…Uh, a huge body of convincing evidence accumulated over time could be accurately described in popular terms as dead-bang….”.
Never heard the phrase “dead bang” either in a text book or in a popular setting, ever…sorry….
I’m running late for happy hour and dont have time to comment on gleaner’s struggle with basic logic and the english language. An ice cold Natty Lite tallboy to the first person who can help help gleaner out here?
Well, that explains a lot, Doc rock, didn’t know I was dealing with an alcoholic…LOL…
Oh, come now. For someone so determined to point out this logical fallacy and that one… making the leap from “late for happy hour” to “alcoholic” is which logical fallacy?
And who was it that said, “the best “rule of thumb” is to not ridicule *anyone* about *anything*”?
Carl:….do you not get a little light hearted humor? Go back and look at the posts and see who fired the first ridicule bullet; it wasn’t me…
I *did* end with a smiley.
Carl, ..I’m a non-drinker, completely bone dry, not even wine; did the alcoholic comment strike a raw nerve by chance in you?
LOL, no. I’ll imbibe my bourbon as the mood hits (or the wallet permits).
“Mike….do you think Hancock tries to pass himself off as the originator of the Lost Civilization hypothesis?” – Gleaner
“A BESTSELLING author who inspired the world with tales of a lost Atlantis civilisation now says the same comet that killed them is about to kill us. So does he have a leg to stand on?”
I have not cut and pasted any part of my comments in any thread on this sit – accept the relevant quotes and information where I have clearly pointed out the source.
Try and Google some of the sentences you think are cut and pasted.
I like beer. Let me take a shot at this. To wit:
A. The online Urban Dictionary defines “Dead Bang” as, “To have an excellent shot at something with little chance of missing.” The online Phrase Finder equates the term with “an open and shut case.”
B.you referred to Scoch’s “claim” and “work” and its less than universal acceptance “among geologists.” That’s not the same as “every scientific theory” needing to be universally accepted. The latter presumes the overwhelming number of people everywhere. You were referencing a trend specifically in geology.
Besides, Plenty of things are universally accepted among geologists unless they have a degree in biblical geology from Jimmy Swaggart College. The difference between granite and sandstone, how oil is formed, etc.
C.The concept of theory has been used fast and loose here. I suppose someone could be getting on thin ice when they suddenly start evoking “Scientific Theory”, especially in engaging in a bit of musrepresentation of what you were arguing.
Could you make that three cans of Natural Lite. I need enough to play Devil’s Triangle with Squee and PJ.
Sorry. Can’t resist jumping in.
Archaeology is not a “hard Science.” Archaeological interpretations are often (even usually) subjective. This is not my idea; please look up Ian Holder, British Academy, Cambridge U and Stanford U. He pioneered post-processualism in the 1980s as a response to those claiming archaeology could scientifically produce one definitive version of the truth.
(Transparency alert: The next paragraph is largely copied from Wikipedia because I’m too lazy to explain it myself.)
“Post-processualism is heavily critical of a key tenet of processualism, namely its assertion that archaeological interpretations could, if the scientific method was applied, come to completely objective conclusions. Due to the fact that they believe archaeology to be inherently subjective, post-processualists argue that “all archaeologists… whether they overtly admit it or not”, always impose their own views and bias into their interpretations of the archaeological data.” And all too often these “views and bias” can be traced back to the established status quo.
Anyway, this largely-subjective view of archaeology sounds about right. As I have seen PhD-holding archaeologists come up with wildly differing explanations of what artefacts were used for, etc., and even what era they should be associated with. Radiocarbon dating results are sometimes tossed out when they come up with an awkward date (“must have been contaminated! That can’t possibly be right!”); witness Kenneth Emory’s Hawaiian settlement radiocarbon date of the second century CE being thrown out because it was “too early”. Right now, I am watching as Gobekli Tepe throws a spanner into what were (only a few years ago) firmly established timelines about the relationship between large stone monuments and the advent of agriculture. And, unless I miss my guess, even older antecedents of Gobekli Tepe will one day emerge. Unless, of course, GT was invented out of whole cloth by those supposed hunter gatherers. Unlikely.
Graham Hancock? He’s an entertaining writer/researcher who has turned out to be “right” at least twice (Younger Drias impact and civilization older than circa 5,000 years ago.) I have no reason to be confident about some of his more grandiose imaginings. However, I do love watching grown-up archaeologist go into knipshen-fits over anyone who does not have a degree in archaeology. Historically, probably half the great names in archaeology were amateurs.
@Tom – AMEN !
I will try again.
And please don include anwers like “We know Khafre was responsible for the Sphinx” – Because we dont “Know” anything of the sort.
SO here we go –
(Q) Scientifically, with parts of Scochs research produced incorrect data and why? !!!
Doc Rock and Brett, AKA “Neil and Bob”; Okay, I get the whole man thing about your ability to drink alcohol in large quantities; but what’s next, sharing stories about the time you burnt your lips on a crack pipe?
On Archaeology being a “soft science”: It most certainly is. Imagine if every couple years electrical engineers changed their mind about the properties and nature of electricity……or that they even “argued” about it….
I like Beer too, and its unfortunatly answered a few questions for me in the past, but its not yet managed to answer the question a few comments above. Do I have to use DMT to get the answer or will mortal mad provide it?
Sorry i meant “mortal man”
“Historically, probably half the great names in archaeology were amateurs.” Yep, as with other disciplines. The Society for American Archaeology I believe still gives an annual award for amateur archaeologists who continue to contribute greatly to archaeology. Now the intelligent question to ask would be why someone like Hancock will never win the award?
Funny how people push a particular narrative about archaeology when it is working against their pet beliefs. But when someone like Hancock uses actual archaeological work to support his assertions then suddenly it is sophisticated scientific research.
Brett nailed it. But those three cans of Natty might be warm by the time the package arrives in his office. Best to leave the part of scientific theory vs the popular concept of theory alone BK. To quote the great Al Swearengen, it confuses the hoopleheads, and a couple of them are confused enough already.
Lunchtime. In the spirit of my alcoholism I may even partake of a glass of Chardonnay.
You really don’t think that electrical engineers argue about how to go about generating electricity, transferring it, and utilizing it relative to its properties? You really don’t think that the state of knowledge about electricity is continually revised through experimentation, some of which is successful and some of which fails? I guess the time has come to lay off all those NASA engineers and burn the textbooks devoted to electrical engineering theory.
Pull my finger….
There have been responses here to your request for comment on Scoch’s work. Have you considered broadening your horizon by making a similar query on a geology discussion forum and then getting back to us? I would be interested in hearing what geologists have to say on the matter whether it be pro or con.
Schoch is a geologist but his earlier academic work seems to have focused on paleontology. Scholars in any given field may pursue differing interests though time, but it does seem a little curious that someone would rather suddenly jump from studying fossil vertebrates to weathering of the surface of the Sphinx and then going beyond that to pursuing broader efforts pertaining to “fringe” topics. It reminds me of Scott Wolter who jumped from the forensic study of concrete to analysis of the Kensington Stone to writing about medieval Templars in North America.
Thanks for responding. Sorry, I haven’t checked back. Glad your review is getting a lot of traffic. Ideas being discussed in an open forum is the best way to sort through fact and fiction, in my opinion. And I appreciate you keeping emotion out of your responses(as much as anyone can anyways) and sticking with your logic and knowledge. I understand yours is not always an easy position to be in when constantly having to defend your viewpoints.
Forgive me for invoking Wegener. And I’m more than familiar with the Galileo Fallacy. It wasn’t my intent to take my reply down that road but after rereading it(which I should have done initially but apparently did not do so after writing it much too late at night), I can understand why you thought that.
What I was meaning was that even though Hancock may be completely incorrect on the big picture, and it’s likely that he is, he presents some interesting correlations and coincidences that create some unexplained mysteries in our history. I’m not saying he has the correct solution/s to them but I do appreciate him poking and prodding as much as he does. Perhaps if none of his ideas hold water, it could be that someone else finds the correct answer to one of those correlations after reading his material and doing their own research. Even if their sole intent is to prove him wrong. Much like Einstein and Bohr spent entire years working off of each other’s calculations, dead set to find the correct answers believing the other to be incorrect, it could be possible that Hancock brings his ideas to the table and someone else discovers the truth of the matter just to spite him.
Hancock is an above average author and exposes the entire field in general to a wider audience with his books. They are entertaining and I can appreciate that he has spent years traveling and researching these subjects instead of copying others works or trying to piggybacking off of facts others spent their entire careers trying to discover. I can give him at least that much.
Perhaps everything he has had an idea about turns out to be incorrect. Or maybe he gets some of it right(again, I totally agree the advanced civilization theory is a big stretch) but either way, time will tell. In the meantime, his books are entertaining to read and he brings up some topics that most people wouldn’t give a second glance out of sheer disinterest. All I was saying originally was that I don’t think I want to write off everything he’s come up with just yet. Some of what he’s said may end up holding water.
Doc, Hancock does piggyback on the work of others, both other pseudo scientists and legitimate scholars. Simply visiting a lot of sites doesn’t make one a qualified expert on any or all of them. As has been previously discussed he freely engages in cherry picking from the research produced by the hard work of others.
This discussion looks to be coming to a merciful close. A primary benefit has been that it serves as an excellent illustration of fractal wrongness among hancock’s most enthusiastic supporters. I am excluding you because you seem fairly rational and are making a good faith effort to find a silver lining to this nonsense.
Carl is a nice chap and is providing some new materials on footprints and recent findings of ancient remains. Why don’t people show a little gratitude and throw a little additional traffic his way by engaging with this other material with as much enthusiasm as they do in supporting their favorite fringe theories?
7 crappie, 3 largemouth bass, 1 carp.
Mr. Non Binary, Nick Tesla: Although I’m not an engineer, I’ve worked with Double Es for about 25 years now; how about you? I can’t recall any episodes where, in working with AC or DC, that’s there’s ever been any debate on what those are, and how “they” operate. If they’re is, please let me know and I’ll pass it down to a Georgia Tech of Clemson EE and I see what they see. I guess I’ll just have to tell one of them tomorrow night that a local blog idiot said we can no longer trust what our multimeter has been telling us for 25 years now, because, “…that good ole AC is just actin real funny..”. Are you really that big of an idiot? Or is it that you are simply ignorant on these matters but you just can’t stand the thought of not being able to have “an opinion”?
My background is in Electronic engineering and Electrical installation.
The IEEE in the UK is constantly changing it’s mind.
But it’s not about the principle , its the regulations involved with the work.
Every year the regulations are changed in some way, this is because of progress and agreement the the older regulation are not the safest and best way to do things.
Shame that’s not the case with Archaeology”
One person says
“Although I’m not an engineer…”
Another says he is an electrical engineer but claims that the only changes in electric engineering have involved regulations.
Pull my finger again
Over 45k patent applications in electrical engineering last year. Hundreds of journals devoted to electrical engineering or related fields. Engineering method and theory textbooks entering their 5th edition. A department of Theoretical Engineering.
I thought Everything was settled everything when I flew that kite?
Nick Tesla says: “…Another says he is an electrical engineer but claims that the only changes in electric engineering have involved regulations…”.
Your response tells me all I need to know about you; you don’t have one clue as to what you’re talking about. No one is saying that electrical engineering procedures/techniques and safety regulations don’t change. No one, absolutey no one has made that claim here. Are you just spouting off because you can’t get to the liquor store before it closes????
Ben Franklin: first tell us about your background in electrical engineering or a closely related field. You honestly think that Alternating Current changes somehow, from year to year, in how it can be generated, applied and measured? Or with the publication of a 5th edition textbook? My god, you are a loon…
I am better at basketball and beer than engineering. I, however, know that engineers will argue about anything, any time, anywhere. The best way to see an argument among engineers would be to have Gleaner’s Georgia Tech friend write a 1000 word essay supporting Gleaners and Richards specific statements here then post them on an electrical engineering forum and ask for comments.
Or, since supporters of pseudoscience are quite fond of challenging critics to prove negatives maybe it is time they get a taste of their own medicine. Please give us concrete proof that electrical engineers have never argued about the properties of electricity and never will.
Or maybe a miracle occurred. Electrical engineering suddenly flashed into existence with instant and complete understanding of electricity and is applications instead of developing through time through trial and error.
Or we just acknowledge that Gleaner attempted a clumsy comparison and waste no more time with it and head over to the kegger at Boof’s place.
Brett: here’s what you are confused about; engineers often argue over what the problem is with a particular piece of equipment, or how to fix it. For example, is an “open? or a “short” circuit causing the problem. Is it a blown fuse? Or a bad resistor or a bad capacitor? However they DO NOT argue over how AC or DC “work”, or how “they” are measured or even which of the 2 is present. Two statements:
1.) Alternating Current (AC) is an electric current which periodically changes direction.
2.) Direct Current (DC) is an electric current which flows in only one direction.
So, which of these 2 statements is true, or false, in your mind? And, which of these 2 statements do electrical engineers “argue about”?
I’ll hang up and listen to your answer….
I regard to the soft vs. hard science debate: look at the following 2 statements in regard to the Great Sphinx, both taken from Wikipedia, not Graham Hancock:
1.) Origin and identity: The Great Sphinx is one of the world’s largest and oldest statues, but basic facts about it are still subject to debate, such as when it was built, by whom and for what purpose.
2.) Dissenting hypotheses: Theories held by academic Egyptologists regarding the builder of the Sphinx and the date of its construction are not universally accepted, and various persons have proposed alternative hypotheses about both the builder and dating.
Question: compared to a “hard science”, like elements of electrical engineering (the AC/DC example), how can archaeology be considered a science at all, when a monument that has been known and studied for hundreds of years, and even the *basic* facts still cannot be agreed upon?
I think at this point Richard and Gleaner first need to get their collective story straight then get started on addressing the various other issues that have been raised.
Benjamin Franklin: what is our “collective story”, I don’t get what you’re referring to….
You have an excellent record of not getting most things here and this trend continues. But it is nice to see people here and elsewhere express such confidence in the hard(er) sciences (engineering, geology, physical geography, genetics,etc.) given that these various fields quite often contribute in no small part to archaeological research and/or the debunking of fringe claims.
A lot of work in the present associated with archaeology is in fact interdisciplinary. The process of dating materials recovered by archaeologists is carried out in labs staffed with “hard” scientists. I think it is engineers who inform the perspectives by archaeologists that it didnt take an alien spaceship or telepathy to pile up those rocks at any given site. If I recall, there may have been electrical engineers involved in debunking the notion that ancient Egyptians lit their interiors with electric lamps. Pretty sure that Schoch has recieved as much skepticism from people in the earth sciences as from archaeologists. Dirt archaeologists aren’t the ones doing the lab analysis which demonstrates that elongated skills aren’t Nephilim or lost races. But you don’t hear many claims about geneticists or osteologists being soft scientists who are always wrong and involved in a conspiracy to hide the truth.
I guess that archaeology serves as a convenient scapegoat for pseudo types who are frustrated by the fact that people of all fields tend to agree that they are promoting nonsense.
Very true. I posted a link to a YouTube video that was of a very recent presentation by a geologist who specializes in ground water. He’s generally called on to help mitigate polluted and toxic groundwater around populated areas.
It was rather lengthy (I think on the order of 50 minutes), but very detailed. Scroll back for the link. It’s soon after Richard asked for some rebuttal to Schoch.
Yes, that was back when someone raised the issue of criticism of Schoch but then suddenly certain parties wanted to talk about anything but criticism of him. Bet you didn’t see that coming LOL.
Ben Franklin: ..and you have an excellent record here of being unable or unwilling to answer a single, simple question….
Sorry gleaner, I’m too busy talking to an imaginary Georgia Tech electrical engineer right now. Let me get back to you later. Probably a lot later.
Ben Franklin: ..no problem; I knew you were an idiot when you said that “AC/DC theory” could be changed any moment, maybe even by a “next edition” EE textbook….LOL…
I have to offer kudos to the fringe dream team here. A valiant effort at hijacking any relevant discussion by the use of apples and oranges comparison of archaeology and electrical engineering, yet again failing to understand what looks to be clear use of the English language, and misunderstanding/misrepresentation of the criticism by others of their more recent round of nonsense. Ihink I even picked up on where they seem to be contradicting each other. I was tempted to step in and offer a 12-pack of Natty Light bounty to anyone who could set them straight YET AGAIN. However, it would just provide them further opportunity to deflect from any intelligent discussion. So, instead of giving the Dead-Bang Gang even more undeserved attention let’s get this discussion back on track.
I just took a look at the youtube video that you referenced. Beyond my technical expertise, but taken in context it makes more sense than Schoch’s proposition. Also, interesting to note that this is a criticism of Schoch developed by an applied geologist whose expertise is hydrological processes. I am, however, confused about how much support Schoch’s claim has among geologists. The speaker in the video seemed to think that there are a lot. Some here, I think, claimed that Schoch is supported by “hundreds” of geologists. But it is a safe bet that hundreds of geologists would represent a tiny fraction of professional geologists. Do you have any thoughts on this?
This possibly stems from Hancock and Bauval’s pseudoarchaeological text, “Message of the Sphinx” (1996), in which Hancock/Bauval write:
Of course, Hancock/Bauval cite West’s self-published book “Serpent in the Sky,” which describes where West and Schoch present their findings to the “Ceological Society of America” (sic) in San Diego in 1992 (p.229 of “Serpents”). West writes, “dozens of experts in fields relevant to our research offered help and advice.” Oh, their presentation? It was a poster session.
West does admit some geologists pointed and laughed (I’m paraphrasing only slightly).
This is what the fringe does: they cite each other. I don’t think Schoch has published his hypothesis for peer review. It’s safer to publish with one of the publishing houses that likes to market fringe stuff and fleece money off the gullible than to put lay out your hypothesis for peers to comment on in a refereed journal.
Dok Rok….ad hom attacks are not arguments. Why don’t you actually try making an argument, and not appeal to “You Tube Videos” and the Local Mob as a substitute? Come on man, even with the booze you can Do It…:)..
I doubt that anyone has taken a poll to determine the degree of support for Schoch among geologists. There is also the issue of how support is defined. Schoch seems to cite the work of other geologists in a way that insinuates that their work supports his. Not necessarily the case, however. Lehner touches upon this topic in his Fall 1994 article “Notes and Photographs on the West-Schoch Sphinx Hypothesis” in the journal KMT.
I do not plan to read Hancock’s latest book unless I happen upon it in the bargain bin at the local Kroger. I presume that he draws heavily upon Schoch’s work and makes no effort to inform the reader that it is a minority opinion, at least in terms of published scholarly research.
Carl States: “Of course, Hancock/Bauval cite West’s self-published book “Serpent in the Sky,” which describes where West and Schoch present their findings to the “Ceological Society of America” (sic) in San Diego in 1992 (p.229 of “Serpents”). West writes, “dozens of experts in fields relevant to our research offered help and advice.”
What’s so nefarious about the offer to help? Were those “dozens of experts” just a boatload of gullible fringe theorists?
Carl sates: “…This is what the fringe does: they cite each other…”.
I don’t think, unless you can correct me, there’s anything wrong with citing other sources, regardless of whether or not those sources agree, disagree, or are neutral. I have a BS degree in history from Charleston Southern University, and if I recall correctly, citing sources to support one’s work is a well attested, agreed upon procedure. In the articles that you write on this blog, do you not cite other sources?
Carl states: “…I don’t think Schoch has published his hypothesis for peer review…”
I don’t know if he has either, but just as a thought experiment, if he did, would you then accept what he says? And by the way, have you ever published anything in a peer reviewed journal?
Carl states: “…It’s safer to publish with one of the publishing houses that likes to market fringe stuff and fleece money off the gullible than to put lay out your hypothesis for peers to comment on in a refereed journal…”.
Has the work of Dr. Goodyear about the Topper Site been submitted to a peer reviewed journal yet?
I give up. What’s nefarious about it?
When Schoch presented his ideas to the Geological Society of America, my guess is that’s somewhat of a “big deal”, maybe even bigger than a blog, or who knows, maybe bigger than Carl’s book review of America Before on Amazon. At any rate, I’m guessing that prior to Schoch’s presentation, it has to pass some type of process/review in order to get a green light. No doubt the Society is not composed on Archeologists and Egyptologists protecting their turf. Or who knows, maybe, just maybe, the Geological Society of America is a hotbed for fringe and pseudo-scientists. Maybe you should post a blog entry called “The Psuedo-Geology of the American Geological Scociety:….
I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a poster being turned away from a conference. Regardless, the larger point was that Hancock and Bauval write as though Schoch stood in front of the entire Geological Society and gave a presentation. But when you follow his footnote, numbered 53 to the reference for this information, then pick up that self-published bit of pseudoscience, you discover that it was a poster session.
This is a clear deception on Hancock’s part. Oh, it has the veneer of deniability. He did, after all, provide a citation.
Meh. Fucking pseudoscience.
I’ve attended some huge conferences. Unless it involves a plenary session I’ve never seen one that resulted in a response, one way or the other, from several hundred participants.
I think that Schoch may have published a research note on his Sphinx research in a journal a long-time ago. But he certainly hasn’t established a body of peer reviewed publications that would effectively support his initial claim of 25+ years ago.
Here is the most recent peer-reviewed publication on dating the Sphinx which supports traditional age estimates. My understanding is that Schoch tried to discount it by claiming that the author took the samples from a portion of the Sphinx that had been restored much later. The author has stated that claim is incorrect.
Of course there has been a lot of research disputing Schoch’s findings over the last two decades that has probably changed minds among geologists even if the claim is correct that many were initially receptive to it.
Walter states: “… I do not plan to read Hancock’s latest book unless I happen upon it in the bargain bin at the local Kroger. I presume that he draws heavily upon Schoch’s work and makes no effort to inform the reader that it is a minority opinion, at least in terms of published scholarly research.
I have “America Before” write in front of me; I cannot find that Hancock cites Schoch at all, anywhere in his book, and I checked the index, no mention of Professor Schoch their either. But then again, the book is set in the Americas, not Egypt, so why would Hancock “draw heavily upon” the former? If you really want to know what Hancock says, do yourself a favor and read the book and don’t rely on the biased and angry posts here about it…
Hancock doesn’t mention Schoch at all in his new book. But he does extensively in Fingerprints and Magicians. In America Before, Hancock’s pseudoarchaeological conclusions rest mainly on the Americas, which Schoch really hasn’t had much to say about. In his earlier woo-works, Hancock talked extensively about the pseudoarchaeological conclusions surrounding the Sphinx, Gunung Padang, etc. so he relied on Schoch’s PhD for legitimacy.
It was an obvious presumption on my part given that pseudoscientists and their advocates seem to have a tendency to jump about and refer to sites throughout the world to try to muster support for their assertion about a site in a given area. In fact, if my memory serves me correctly one of the other visitors here began discussing the Sphinx and Great Pyramid in a discussion that was supposed to be focused on the Topper Site in South Carolina. My presumption in regard to Hancock in this specific instance was incorrect, but I would submit that the logic underlying it in regard to pseudoscientific strategies is quite sound.
I don’t find the posts here particularly biased or angry just frustrated by incompetent research and being willing to call a spade a spade. As someone who has undergone grind of the peer review process dozens of time and has given over 20 professional conference presentations where critics could be quite vicious I find the notion that people here are being overly harsh amusing.
Walter states: “…but I would submit that the logic underlying it in regard to pseudoscientific strategies is quite sound…”.
I can’t speak to that issue other than to say it doesn’t seem a sound method of reasoning to make such a broad statement about such a large group of people.
Walter states: “…I don’t find the posts here particularly biased or angry just frustrated by incompetent research and being willing to call a spade a spade. As someone who has undergone grind of the peer review process dozens of time and has given over 20 professional conference presentations where critics could be quite vicious I find the notion that people here are being overly harsh amusing…”.
I have never had to “undergo the grind” of a professional conference presentation, but I did spend 5 years in the US Navy. So by way of comparison, maybe calling your critics “quite vicious” is a little bit of hyperbole, maybe?
“What’s so nefarious about the offer to help?”
“I give up. What’s nefarious about it?”
Geeze, Carl, I dunno. Generally speaking, I’m assuming you had some reason for posting that statement, or bringing it to our attention (something negative). You mean you don’t even know why you posted it?
Somebody asked about where the “100’s of geologists” notion came from. I quantified it through what I found written on it.
To quote Doc Roc (in part):
So I gave the section you found nefarious.
Carl states: “…Hancock doesn’t mention Schoch at all in his new book. But he does extensively in Fingerprints and Magicians…”
Correct. But the OP was NOT talking about Hancock’s other books, just America Before. And he cited it as a reason he wasn’t going to read it.
Carl states: “…In America Before, Hancock’s pseudoarchaeological conclusions rest mainly on the Americas, which Schoch really hasn’t had much to say about. In his earlier woo-works, Hancock talked extensively about the pseudoarchaeological conclusions surrounding the Sphinx, Gunung Padang, etc. so he relied on Schoch’s PhD for legitimacy…”
Hancock cites a source, again which is perfectly legit, and I know that you know that. Schoch has apparently not objected to the way Hancock has used his work, at least to my knowledge…
Yes. I know. I was agreeing with you.
I’m sure he was elated to be cited. Again, I was just providing some clarification for the person you were commenting to.
Carl states: “…Somebody asked about where the “100’s of geologists” notion came from. I quantified it through what I found written on it…”.
I’m cool with that…
My military experience was with the USMC so I will stick with the assertion that your concept of harsh and vicious will differ significantly from mine in this area as well.
Carl states: “..I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a poster being turned away from a conference…”.
I can’t say, although again, seems like an awfully broad statement. While in college, my hist prof let us know their was a history underway in nearby Charleston and that we could submit papers, but, the papers had to be approved first. I might be wrong but it’s hard to believe the Geological Society would allow a presentation on “Why the Face on Mars is Artificial”. But I could be wrong.
Carl states: “..Regardless, the larger point was that Hancock and Bauval write as though Schoch stood in front of the entire Geological Society and gave a presentation. But when you follow his footnote, numbered 53 to the reference for this information, then pick up that self-published bit of pseudoscience, you discover that it was a poster session…”.
I have Fingerprints at home and I will check the ref. But could you fill me in on what the difference is? What is a “poster session” and how does that differ from another type of session?
Carl states: “…This is a clear deception on Hancock’s part. Oh, it has the veneer of deniability. He did, after all, provide a citation. Meh. Fucking pseudoscience…”.
So it’s all clear now: Hancock is *clearly* a deceiver, based on 1 person’s interpretation of a foot note? Okay I get it…
Conferences like to have posters of relevant material. These are often undergraduates who have done some interesting research or helped in some research–often times still under way. Though there are some really dynamite posters put up by graduates, post-docs, and even non-academics. These often highlight novel methods or interesting or unexpected results. Or sometimes it’s just a way to convey information on a topic to a related audience. They’re typically 38″ x 46″ and printed on a plotter to be hung in the “poster hall” of the conference. Sometimes this is a room set aside with rows of partitions; sometimes it’s just the back wall of the main meeting room.
Posters aren’t meant to be formal peer-reviewed papers or presentations. They’re completely informal and usually there’s a period when the author(s) stands by to answer questions and receive feedback. For some it’s a way to get their feet wet at a conference before the go on to giving a full presentation in a session (usually a 20 min speech with power point slides). Rarely are people–peers and professionals in the field–rude or dismissive. Usually people try to offer constructive feedback, which makes it a good starting point for someone who hasn’t given a conference presentation before.
Other ways of presenting data at a conference are panels or sessions. In these you typically give a 20 min talk. Most try to leave room for questions. If the material is interesting, the questions will find you after the session. These presentations are usually to highlight on-going work or work that is nearing completion. It’s a good way to get professional feedback and and network with others who share your research interests. Sometimes the critique can be brutal if the science is weak–and rightfully so. But 99% of the time feedback is constructive, making it a valuable part of the whole inductive-deductive loop of refining hypotheses.
There was no mention of a poster session in Fingerprints that I’m aware.
Carl states: “…I’m sure he was elated to be cited. Again, I was just providing some clarification for the person you were commenting to…”.
In Hancock’s Underworld, I believe that Schoch was cited rather extensively when it came to the ruins off Japan’s coast (I think he might have even did a scuba dive on them). If I recall correctly he was ambiguous about the possibility they were man-made (might have said mostly natural with some man made alterations). Ive seen Schoch in several videos and read his books, he doesn’t come across as “crankish” at all, at least to me, but then again I don’t have a bone to pick, or turf to protect, relating to any issue surrounding the Lost Civilization hypothesis, although I think that you do…
I agree. Schoch dived on Yonaguni and concluded that the site is probably natural. He did include the caveat that he just learned to dive for that trip, so he was preoccupied with staying alive, but it still seemed to be a natural formation. I cited his opinion in the article I wrote here on Yonaguni some years back.
One of my good friends and former colleague is a geology prof who regularly attends the Geological Society of America meetings. Based on past conversations with him and a quick look at the GSA annual meeting page it looks like the meeting does not do any type of peer review of proposed presentations. A check and an abstract gets you there provided the abstract doesn’t raise any major red flags.
Anyway, it looks like we have gotten to the bottom of the “hundreds of geologist” notion. Of course the GSA gets about 5-7 thousand attendees every year.
This is the normal method for just about any conference when it comes to a poster or presentation. The organizers give the abstract a look then give you a poster # or a time-slot. I think the only way you’d be rejected is if you tried to give a poster or presentation that wasn’t relevant to the field. Maybe a survey of new species of butterfly at a geology conference, for instance. Perhaps they reject those who have poorly written abstracts–this would seem a logical decision–but I don’t know of anyone rejected this way.
In 1991, the GSA conference in San Diego had 5,951 registered attendees of their 17,208 members (35% of the overall membership).
Carl: thanks for that info, I learned something. I didn’t attend the presentation of history papers in Charleston, SC, and that was as close as I ever came to one, so I admit to being ignorant in that area. I’m not distrusting what you’re saying about how the Geology conference was presented by Hancock, but I’d just like to check it myself…thanks again for the info…
Yonaguni looks interesting to be sure, especially due to some of the angles. But I tend to favor the mostly natural idea…
Now Gleaner has some concept of how professional conferences work. Next thing you know he will actually be reading some of the alternatives to Schoch produced by professionals that have been posted or referenced here and keep some degree of focus on the specific issues rather than going gish gallop at every opportunity. Might even attend a professional conference. I would start with one devoted to theoretical electrical engineering.
Have to go back to Tom from April 30th —> “Graham Hancock? He’s an entertaining writer/researcher who has turned out to be “right” at least twice (Younger Drias impact and civilization older than circa 5,000 years ago.) I have no reason to be confident about some of his more grandiose imaginings. However, I do love watching grown-up archaeologist go into knipshen-fits over anyone who does not have a degree in archaeology. Historically, probably half the great names in archaeology were amateurs.
1. Actually, if you research online there is quite a bit to debunk a younger drias impact. Including almost near definitive debunking proof when it cones to A. Timeline i.e. the dates/process dont match up B. Non global homogeneity i.e. the regional changes do not denote a global impact calamity AND 2. Big whoop on the “civilization prior to 5000 years ago”. Yes. He was right after like 300 other people. The man does not get a prize. The problem we are dealaing with with hancock isnt “archeologists uypste over psuedo archeologists”, although thats cause enough prima facie. I am a realtor. I dont like pretend real estate experts. I am sure lawyers dont like pretend legal experts. And no one who actually knows what they are talking about and is rooted in reality appreciates anyone shit talking in any way. And Hancock is the king of shit talk. He’s a snake oil salemsan right out of the monorail guy in the Simpsons. Trying to pitch a levitated train to Springfield. But people have to buy into this “rebel with a cause” and “secret knowledge TPTB dont want you to know about” etc or as Carl F put before . .and I will never ever forget this (ever) . . striped unicorns trading water balloons with the ancient chinese 25,000 years ago. (or something to that effect). This is the same human phenomena that leads us to “Trump is a Russian spy” . . .”We are all going to die in 12 years if we dont do something” (for the 50th Malthusian Killer Bees time) and my personal favorite. John Lennon and Jim Morrison are still alive because i just saw the on an LA bus the other day”. You can read all about it in my upcoming book. “Graham Hancock: The Von Daniken Rip Off Artist” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDOI0cq6GZM
You know, a town with money is a little like the mule with the spinning wheel. No one knows how he got it and danged if he knows how to use it. [crowd laughs]
Carl states: “…I don’t think Schoch has published his hypothesis for peer review…”
I don’t know if he has either, but just as a thought experiment, if he did, would you then accept what he says? And by the way, have you ever published anything in a peer reviewed journal?
If the science holds up I should accept it. But don’t get me wrong. I’m not criticizing his lack of publishing for peer review as equating to not being legitimate, and I should have clarified this earlier. The reason I’d like it to be in peer review is then it’s placed at the feet of relevant peers to either accept or reject. As it is, most archaeologists ignore the pseudoarchaeology and the fringe in general because they don’t have time; don’t want to waste their time; etc. If he were to publish it, then it can’t be ignored and more would have to critique it properly. Or accept it.
There’s no requirement that just because it was published in a journal that it must be accepted. Nor does this mean the science is right. The Cerutti mastodon site is a good example. I’m currently writing an article for publication in a journal that critiques it. While I’m sure my peers will have ample opportunity to respond or critique, it won’t be a refereed paper as far as I’m aware.
And, yes. I’ve been published in a peer-reviewed journal where my work was refereed. But it was an extremely boring article of little consequence.
It would fail peer review. Because it doesnt have any material evidence to support it. Thats the way “science” works. And hypothesis. And “scientific method” And peer review. And that’s why he has never submitted it. I remember my 6th grade science teacher explaining all of these things to me when I was 10 years old and I have no idea why grown adults cant seem to accept it. i guess too many disney movies or harrison ford as Indian jones or something. You know, did I mentuon I saw the holy grail and the ark of the covenant on an LA bus the other day? Anyways. “thought experiments” are dandy. We can hypothesize all day long. And the end of the day, that and $5 will get you exactly one cup of coffee. Like here’s my favorite thought experiment “What if striped unicorns traded water balloons with ancient chinese 25,000 years ago”. Discuss amongst yourselves . . .
“As someone who has undergone grind of the peer review process dozens of time and has given over 20 professional conference presentations where critics could be quite vicious I find the notion that people here are being overly harsh amusing.” – WALTER WINS. LOL!!!!!!!!!!! —> Yes. Walter. presentations, bosses, wives, girlfriends, family, clients, voters. The media. Your mama. The whole world is quite a critical place. to LOL!!!!!!! That usually leaves Disney ON the TV. But i will try a “thought experiment” with my girlfriend later and ask here to contemplate “what if we were rich one day” and see if she starts screaming at me. LOL. She is a very harsh critical russian and would probably respond “STFU why are we even talking about this. Your being stupid. Just let me know when were rich. I will believe you then”
A quick survey of this thread indicates that you have supporters of Hancock who:
Didn’t understand how poster sessions and paper presentations work at professional conferences.
Don’t really understand the peer review publication process.
Don’t understand what processes are involved to become an archaeologist
Have a nodding acquaintance at best, if any at all, with the research of professionals who criticize Hancock and his ilk.
Don’t really understand the concept of science
Don’t really understand the concept of theory
Are poorly read and don’t understand that “hard” sciences generally support archaeological research and criticisms of fringe theorists
Don’t understand the difference between amateurs working in a field like archaeology using proper techniques and methods and fringe scholars doing amateurish pseudoarchaeology.
Are rarely open to even the most politely framed critiques of their perspectives and are downright arrogant in rejecting this much of the time.
With some frequency look foolish without even realizing it.
Yet they are trying to call out professionals here for being biased and close-minded or narrow-minded. Its like dealing with a know it all 15 year old with minimal experience and knowledge in a particular area who is constantly arguing with adults and walks away from every conversation thinking “I really told them,” when in actuality everyone over the age of 20 thought they were a joke.
Carl you ever get the feeling you are trying to put a band aid on a sucking chest wound with your efforts here?
The trick is an air-tight seal. Just when I think I have one, I discover it’s a sucking head wound instead. 🙂
(It was a joke, gleaner!)
Dok RoK: ….be sure to let me know when that next electronics textbook (6th Edition) is available on Amazon that changes the definition of Alternating Current…..:)…
Mike from Chicago: Didn’t you get the memo? Peer review is TOUGH! There’s Navy Seal training, there’s military combat, UFC and even Mountain Climbing; but all of that pales in comparison to getting hollered at by a bunch of pencil-necked academics in pink bow ties and loafers……now that is *vicious!!!!!
Will be happy to keep you updated on new editions of the THEORETICAL Electrical Engineering books if you promise to give me a full report on your first experiences at a THEORETICAL electrical engineering conference. Just don’t have too many cocktails while listening in on the debates in the hotel lounge after a day of presentations. Wouldn’t want to be accused of being an alcoholic now would you.
C-/D+ effort. But maybe in the future….
I counted something like 20 posts by Gleaner in a fairly short time that seems to be covering everything from electrical engineering to Navy Seals to pulling a play from Rush Limbaugh and lashing out at pencil-necked academics. But is extremely light on anything substantive. We both know why. Hope you are prepared for another round of run out the clock by gleaner in a debate over the existence of sucking head wounds. Next time use five smiley faces.
(It was a joke, gleaner!)
haha! I get it Carl!
I believe that you are the one who complained of biased and angry posts here. I was simply making the point that if you are, in the words of my students, “butthurt” by what is being said here then you would have real difficulty with what is sometimes said in actual peer review and conference presentations. Now you are evoking UFC, mountain climbing, the Navy, etc. If you have done all that and are a tough guy then one would think that you wouldn’t be so thin-skinned and complain about comments here. I’ve had combat veterans literally shaking in their boots when I grilled them over an oral undergraduate presentation in front of a class of 70 students. So being tough is relative as is the concept of vicious.
James Ford: A quick survey of this thread indicates there are critics of Hancock who:
1.) have never read of any of Hancock’s books…
2.) believe that Hancock’s critics cannot be questioned (ever)…
3.) that credentials take precedence over evidence…
4.) that “consensus” means “correct”…
5.) don’t read anything they disagree with…
6.) believes that ridicule is a “normal” part of the scientific method…
7.) thinks that insults are actually a type of argument…
8.) has no real background in science or anything closely related (see J.Ford’s remarks on electrical engineering)…
9.) that if they just repeat something loud enough and long enough it will eventually be accepted as true…
10). and finally, if you disagree with someone, it makes ANY comment, however outlandish, perfectly legit (see comments from several on here about Hancock being purposely deceitful and a drug addict)…
Some random thoughts on Hancock lovers vs. haters: when I compare this tussle with others of a similar nature a few things stand out. On a lot of the blogs that cover the theist vs. atheist squabbles, the comments often descend into blood sport. One gets the immediate impression that something very, very important is at stake, something so serious that if one side were to ever win, it would change the world forever or trigger a global war. What I don’t understand about the whole Lost Civilization hypothesis and related archaeological matters, is what’s so mind-bending or Earth shattering about which position ever proves itself correct. In short, if a lucky turn of the spade next week in Iowa reveals incontrovertible proof of Hancock’s lost civilization, what really changes in the world other than revising a few textbooks? Do people start jumping out of windows, careers are ruined, and the Zombies show up? Or does the world go on as before and the average guy in the street shows up at work like he normally does? I don’t get the vitriol directed toward Hancock and others just because they write books that clash with present archaeological consensus. I can understand the theists who are trying to protect the holy book and their way of life and I can even understand the atheists who believe there antagonists are so utterly wrong and that no one with those beliefs should be allowed to control or have a say about anything. But what in the world are conventional archaeologists and there apologists protecting? And why does it matter so much? An unknown, advanced, human civilization that existed 10,000 years ago and is now lost to history; worth arguing about or not? I’ll hang up and listen to your answers….
Gleaner, Gleaner, Gleaner,
1.Uh, people are commenting on a review by someone who read Hancock’s book. Unless you think that Carl didn’t really read the book or give a decent idea of the themes covered in it. I’m seeing comments here and elsewhere that some people are familiar with other works by Hancock as well as this one. Or at least people read the review. That’s more than can be said for people like you and Richard who can’t even name a lot of the prominent authors of writings criticizing Hancock or at least offering alternative propositions.
2.Hancock’s critics have been questioned here and have responded. You just can’t handle the answers so try to derail the discussions with nonsense and then pretend that people are dodging the questions..
3.Relevant credentials really help if you want to be able to evaluate evidence in any credible fashion and be taken seriously. I guess having untrained people being the judge is the path to the truth.
4.So then lack of anything resembling a consensus is now the sign that something is correct? You also are confused about the issue of something being widely accepted as correct versus simply being accepted as the best argument at the time given existing evidence. You don’t understand how science works.
5.See #1. Also, I’ve probably read more work and watched more videos by various fringe proponents in the last five years than you have in the last decade. That’s why I am quite familiar with the arguments of people like Hancock, Schoch, Hubbard, Wolter, and a long list of others. Much of Carl’s blog is devoted to fringe topics, so duh.
6.You have taken your share of shots at people here. Plus, you don’t give any evidence of understanding the scientific method and spend a lot of time gish galloping and looking silly arguing minutiae (dead-bang ring a bell here) instead of offering scientific arguments. Is it any wonder that people start treating you like a joke.
8.You don’t understand the concept of science or you wouldn’t have evoked the Archaeology vs. Electrical Engineering comparison. Science is more than gadgets used to measure voltage. Its a process where it is expected that people will be wrong. I suspect that a lot of people made mistakes before electrical engineering got to the point where it is now. That’s how the process is supposed to work. If you don’t attend electrical engineering conferences devoted to theory or read a lot of the journals devoted to theory then perhaps you aren’t the best source to comment on debates in the field. But that’s irrelevant because your basic premise was off to being with. If you don’t like people with no background in engineering commenting on EE then you can figure out why people with degrees in anthropology view your comments on that field as childish.
9.That’s the classic fringe tactic. You are well into double digit posts here without saying much except “Archaeology bad, not science” and I suspect they won’t change the next time Hancock is discussed. On the other hand people here have posted several references to resources by different professionals, not just archaeologists, in response to Richard’s comment about opinions about Schoch. Have you bothered to look into any of them and engage in discussion of them here instead of just “Archaeology bad, not science” over and over?
10.Hancock admitted to smoking massive amounts of pot all day, every day while doing much of his research and writing. You don’t see a problem with that in terms of impacting thought processes. Of course since I actually have credentials in drug research and have published in the field that obviously disqualifies me in your mind. Do your electrical engineers toke up first thing in the morning and continue all day while working, experimenting, etc.? How would you feel about a report done by an engineer who admitted they were baked the whole time while researching and writing it. And it has been demonstrated that Hancock is deceitful in how he cherry picks and uses scholarly data.
By any objective standard my list holds up nicely with much of it directly applicable to you. Yours doesn’t, sorry. Now, you have gotten all the attention I am planning to give you. If you want to actually review some of the resources provided here and discuss them then fine. Otherwise, its time to ignore you and just talk to the adults. I suspect that you have much more time to go back and forth with this stuff than I do.
GLEANER63 Says, “I don’t get the vitriol directed toward Hancock and others just because they clash with present archaeological consensus.”
RESPONSE: They don’t just clash with archaeologists they clash with people from many disciplines. I looked at some of the criticisms of Schoch here and it includes a geologist and a physicist as just a few example of what is out there. Nobody likes sloppy research, cherrypicking of data focusing on unsubstantiated sites such as Topper and Cerrutti that seem to support Hancock’s claims while ignoring alternative studies, and wild interpretations by someone who comes across as a New Age Spiritualist type. If you take a close look at the comments by supporters of Hancock and others on various other blogs and pages such as the Joe Rogan forum on reddit they exhibit levels of vitriol toward any criticism of Hancock and associated theorists that make comments here seem like child’s play. I agree with others here who feel that you are overreacting to moderate criticism of Hancock to the point of labelling it as vitriol. It is a poor researcher who does not expect their work to be challenged and accepts that they need to bring their A-game when presenting it. In this regard, Hancock wants to be viewed as one of the big boys but doesn’t want to play by big boy rules. He doesn’t even want to try.
GLEANER63 Says, “But what in the world are conventional archaeologists and their apologist protecting?”
RESPONSE: High standards in research. For example, if the Topper Site proves to be as old as Goodyear claims then it would be a fascinating development. Goodyear would be a rockstar. Nobody loses their job or gets blackballed. Nobody jumps out windows. That’s fringe theorist propaganda. However, first you have to accumulate sufficient data to support your case. It just hasn’t happened yet. However, even if Topper proves legit it would only demonstrate that “primitive” hunters and gatherers were here a lot earlier than previously thought. Again, would make the world a far more interesting place. But trying to extrapolate from that finding, if it was correct, to an advanced civilization with global influence that flourished tens of thousands of years ago simply comes across as silly.
GLEANER63 says, “An unknown, advanced human civilization that existed 10,000 years ago and is now lost to history; worth arguing about or not?
RESPONSE: Obviously yes since a lot of people are expending considerable effort toward that. However, your frustration seems to stem from the fact that you (in a general sense) are arguing from a very weak unsubstantiated position and you simply don’t have sufficient background in the relevant areas to fully grasp why there is an argument that you are losing badly rather than people just agreeing with you and giving Hancock a thumbs up.
GLEANER63 says, “I’ll hang up and listen to your answers.”
RESPONSE: Maybe if you did more “listening” instead of being quick to condemn archaeologists (actually most scientists)for holding to high standards and not embracing Hancocks work you would be less frustrated. You seem to have learned quite a bit from Carl about how professional conferences work by “listening” instead of arguing. As noted by someone else, a number of relevant educational resources have been cited or posted here. You don’t seem to be in a hurry to engage them. Neither does Richard even though he is the one who requested material on criticism of Schoch’s work. On the other hand, there is obviouly a willingness to engage Hancock’s work here or Carl would not put the time and effort into reviewing it. And a number of obviously well educated people wouldn’t take the time to visit here and respond to comments from people like you and Richard and suggest readings and provide insightful comments on the work of Hancock and others even if you don’t like what they have to say.
“You have to have an open mind” is a well known mantra used by fringe theorists and advocates. However, they lose sight of the fact that an open mind is a double edged sword. You have to be open to the possibility that an assertion is correct, but you also have to be open to the possibility that it is BS. Like it or not, given the current state of knowledge, the scale tips heavily toward Hancock’s work being BS. But you only realize that if you are willing to read the massive body of published research that contradicts people like Hancock and actually listen to what his critics here have to say. They are certainly listening to you or I wouldn’t have wasted the time to write this.
My life would certainly change for the better if some magnificent “advanced” 12,000 year old city turns up 100 feet below an Iowa cornfield. Would keep me in fascinating reading on a topic I love for the rest of my days. But I deal in research not wishful thinking and at this point Hancock is all about the latter. When you assume that scholars aren’t of a similar mindset and equate new findings with a zombie apocalypse in the minds of archaeologists and other professional scholars it just exhibits a high degree of naivete on your part and a lack of understanding of a wide range of disciplines that you are criticizing.
Getting back to the Topper Site before some people want to start talking about Pyramids, Navy Seals, and hurt feeling. A couple questions. You said that Goodyear hasn’t tried to publish anything yet. I don’t suppose it has reached the point to where he has done a site report or given any kind of presentation. I think that you said he is being cautious about discussing findings, so how is word getting out. Also, what is the oldest confirmed date that he has for any portion of the site? Do his preliminary findings suggest anything other than pre-agriculture and pre-pottery folks? Is this something that he is dedicated to or a side project that he works as time permits?
I’m really not an expert on the Topper site and don’t know Goodyear personally. I think the guy to ask that of is Andy White.
I thought you were doing a write up on Topper but I guess it is actually cerrutti. I will check with white. Are u writing an article or a post for this blog on that topic?
I’m working on an article about the Cerutti site that should be published in TSAR by the end of the year.
Walter states: “..I believe that you are the one who complained of biased and angry posts here. I was simply making the point that if you are, in the words of my students, “butthurt” by what is being said here then you would have real difficulty with what is sometimes said in actual peer review and conference presentations.”.
Walter, you are the one who used the word “vicious” to describe a conference presentation, not me. You also went way over the top in suggesting that such a scenario is so terrible that only a very few folks could muster the mental and physical strength to endure such an ordeal. I’m merely saying your assertions are bizarre ans grossly exaggerated.
Walter states: “..Now you are evoking UFC, mountain climbing, the Navy, etc. If you have done all that and are a tough guy then one would think that you wouldn’t be so thin-skinned and complain about comments here. I’ve had combat veterans literally shaking in their boots when I grilled them over an oral undergraduate presentation in front of a class of 70 students. So being tough is relative as is the concept of vicious..”.
I never claimed to have done any of that, it was just a comparison. My own father flew 31 combat missions in WWII; I’m pretty sure that was a bit more stressful than a conference don’t you think? Are people really leaving a conference on geology with PTSD? Good grief man, who exactly is “butthurt”?
Classic skeptic line repeated here: “…you don’t understand science..” I’ve been honest about my background, BS degree in History from Charleston Southern University, also took courses in Botany, Geology, Anthropology, Biology and Astronomy. Why don’t the rest of you clowns “fess up”, instead of hurling mud at people?
Early Bird: “..My life would certainly change for the better if some magnificent “advanced” 12,000 year old city turns up 100 feet below an Iowa cornfield. Would keep me in fascinating reading on a topic I love for the rest of my days. But I deal in research not wishful thinking and at this point Hancock is all about the latter. When you assume that scholars aren’t of a similar mindset and equate new findings with a zombie apocalypse in the minds of archaeologists and other professional scholars it just exhibits a high degree of naivete on your part and a lack of understanding of a wide range of disciplines that you are criticizing…”.
The Zombie reference was an obvious attempt at humor, is that something you don’t get? Point to *single* statement where you can show a “lack of understanding” on my part. Here’s one or two for you: is ridiculing someone who disagrees with you a normal part of the scientific method? True or false?
Oh well, nobody can say I didn’t try to get him to act in a manner where he would be taken seriously. Time to deal with adults only.
Carl; I look forward to the cerruti piece. I’ve actually read most of the published stuff on it, including the latest piece. Going to be very interesting to see the Hancock syncophants use it to try to engage in another round of archaeology bashing.
Will get back if I get some information from white. But from the few details that I have seen on topper it won’t realistically support Hancock either.
After a prolonged ghosting..now James Ford wants to talk, and I mean really TALK:
8.You don’t understand the concept of science or you wouldn’t have evoked the Archaeology vs. Electrical Engineering comparison. Science is more than gadgets used to measure voltage. Its a process where it is expected that people will be wrong. I suspect that a lot of people made mistakes before electrical engineering got to the point where it is now. That’s how the process is supposed to work. If you don’t attend electrical engineering conferences devoted to theory or read a lot of the journals devoted to theory then perhaps you aren’t the best source to comment on debates in the field. But that’s irrelevant because your basic premise was off to being with. If you don’t like people with no background in engineering commenting on EE then you can figure out why people with degrees in anthropology view your comments on that field as childish…”
Wow. The poster who won’t reveal anything about his background in regard to the subjects under discussion now holds forth on archaeology AND electrical engineering..and still can’t answer a single question about the latter: still waiting, James on that new, 6th Edition EE textbook that will change, as you have claimed several times here, the definition of AC/DC. And again, James, ad homs aren’t arguments either..
James: Oh well, nobody can say I didn’t try to get him to act in a manner where he would be taken seriously. Time to deal with adults only.”
..an appeal to the mob; why do you keep calling upon or need others to argue for you here? Isn’t that a bit weak minded?
Early Bird states: “..You have to have an open mind” is a well known mantra used by fringe theorists and advocates…”.
No one has a monopoly on the use of that phrase, and it’s just downright silly to suppose that it’s only used by a single group….
Early Bitds says: “..My life would certainly change for the better if some magnificent “advanced” 12,000 year old city turns up 100 feet below an Iowa cornfield. Would keep me in fascinating reading on a topic I love for the rest of my days…”.
I’m not sure you understood what I was asking: the discovery of Hancock’s hypothetical Lost Civilization would be, for most people, and for society at large, inconsequential. Why? It’s a low impact event. For example, nations would not crumble, it wouldn’t cause a new world order, you wouldn’t quit your job. Basically no major impact on the world at large. Contrast this with a high impact event, say the reception of a message from an advanced star-faring civilization from a nearby star; now that event might have profound societal implications, would you agree? Like it or not, as much a fan of archaeology as I am, most people could care less. So, don’t take it so seriously, like your defending religious dogma in mainstream archaeology and Graham Hancock is the devil..:)..
Early Birds says: “…RESPONSE: Maybe if you did more “listening” instead of being quick to condemn archaeologists (actually most scientists)for holding to high standards and not embracing Hancocks work…”.
Point to one instance, just one, where I have condemned a *single* archaeologist in regard to Hancock’s or any other’s work…do you just make up things out of thin air? Or is you just bear the thought that someone might disagree with you?
I intended to prepare a lengthy, stern reprimand of a certain person who has elected to wave the bloody shirt (pardon the creative license) in response to suggestions by others that he, in essence, grow a pair rather than whine about the the angry meanies that unfairly hold him to a minimal intellectual standard. But alas, time, cute 45 year old divorcees, and two for one margarita night at the Oddfellows Temple wait for no man. Instead a little intellectual exercise.
Take a look at the available data from a couple of the sites covered by Hancock in his current book or others. Doesn’t really matter since they all blur together to some extent anyway. Some here are vainly trying to gin up some discussion of Goodyear’s site and the Cali mastodon site (while others avoid these topics like the plague) so let’s go with those two. Throw the science out the window and make a conscious effort to engage in confirmation bias. Try to suspend disbelief and imagine looking at the data through Hancock’s glazed bloodshot eyes. Give it several minutes. Not working is it? You just can’t work past the BS and even get in the same ballpark with him on this stuff. But some people can. That is the mindset that professionals have to deal with.
In the 35 years since I was conned into paying two bucks to look at “Libyan artifacts” from the Burrows Cave my attitude toward fringe pushers and their toadies has nearly reached the zero tolerance zone. A turn of the spade in Iowa changes history and validates Hancock? Hogwash! Get it: Iowa, pigs, hogwash?
Think I will go with margaritas on the rocks…..
James Ford says: “1.Uh, people are commenting on a review by someone who read Hancock’s book. Unless you think that Carl didn’t really read the book or give a decent idea of the themes covered in it. I’m seeing comments here and elsewhere that some people are familiar with other works by Hancock as well as this one. Or at least people read the review. That’s more than can be said for people like you and Richard who can’t even name a lot of the prominent authors of writings criticizing Hancock or at least offering alternative propositions…”
Which “prominent” authors are you talking about? Are you here making the “appeal to authority fallacy”?
James says: “..2.Hancock’s critics have been questioned here and have responded. You just can’t handle the answers so try to derail the discussions with nonsense and then pretend that people are dodging the questions..”.
More accusations, ridicule, exaggerations and ad hom attacks; your going to set a record for logical fallacies on one post if you’re not careful.
James says: “3.Relevant credentials really help if you want to be able to evaluate evidence in any credible fashion and be taken seriously. I guess having untrained people being the judge is the path to the truth…”.
You have no relevant credentials in anything here under discussion, do you? If so, how come you won’t share it? Mmmmm? I think I know the answer. My degree is in History, a relevant field, what’s yours in? Let me guess…
James: “..4.So then lack of anything resembling a consensus is now the sign that something is correct?..”
Nope, where did I say that? You are again doing a cut and paste job on what I said..
James: “..You also are confused about the issue of something being widely accepted as correct versus simply being accepted as the best argument at the time given existing evidence. You don’t understand how science works.
Typical: when all else fails, play the “doesn’t understand science card”…
James: “..5.See #1. Also, I’ve probably read more work and watched more videos by various fringe proponents in the last five years than you have in the last decade. That’s why I am quite familiar with the arguments of people like Hancock, Schoch, Hubbard, Wolter, and a long list of others. Much of Carl’s blog is devoted to fringe topics, so duh…”.
In all seriousness, how could you possibly know what I watch? You mean you spend your time watching Ancient Aliens? Wow….
James says: “…6.You have taken your share of shots at people here…”
Go back to the beginning of the thread, tell me who fired the first “shot”; hint, it wasn’t me…
James says: “..Plus, you don’t give any evidence of understanding the scientific method…”
I managed to make it through Botany, Anthropology, Geology and Biology; do you think I could have done that without understanding the scientific method?
James says: “..and spend a lot of time gish galloping and looking silly arguing minutiae (dead-bang ring a bell here) instead of offering scientific arguments. Is it any wonder that people start treating you like a joke…”
Red Herring, ridicule, false accusations, sheer speculation..ALL the hallmarks all rolled into a single, neat sentence…
James says: “..8.You don’t understand the concept of science or you wouldn’t have evoked the Archaeology vs. Electrical Engineering comparison…”.
I have a degree in History which relates to the field of Archaeology. I also work with Electrical Engineers, which puts me in a far greater position than you to speak about, despite your Phantom Degree…
James says: “..Science is more than gadgets used to measure voltage…”.
Spoken like someone who can’t screw in a light bulb, but calls the tools that EEs use “gadgets”.
James: “…Its a process where it is expected that people will be wrong…”.
Correct (for once), only that doesn’t apply to you, just everyone else.
James says: “..I suspect that a lot of people made mistakes before electrical engineering got to the point where it is now…”
Which has NOTHING to do with the definition of alternating current and how it works…
James says: “..That’s how the process is supposed to work. If you don’t attend electrical engineering conferences devoted to theory or read a lot of the journals devoted to theory then perhaps you aren’t the best source to comment on debates in the field. But that’s irrelevant because your basic premise was off to being with. If you don’t like people with no background in engineering commenting on EE then you can figure out why people with degrees in anthropology view your comments on that field as childish…”…
You can’t change how electricity works at a EE meeting. But maybe the age of the Sphinx…maybe…
James says: “..10.Hancock admitted to smoking massive amounts of pot all day, every day while doing much of his research and writing. You don’t see a problem with that in terms of impacting thought processes…”..
I don’t smoke pot, or do drugs, or drink beer. Aren’t you the fellow on here who brags about drinking copious amount of alcohol? Since you are probably more of an expert on illegal drug consumption, along with your buddies here, I will always defer to your opinion in that area..
James says: “..Of course since I actually have credentials in drug research and have published in the field that obviously disqualifies me in your mind. Do your electrical engineers toke up first thing in the morning and continue all day while working, experimenting, etc.? How would you feel about a report done by an engineer who admitted they were baked the whole time while researching and writing it. And it has been demonstrated that Hancock is deceitful in how he cherry picks and uses scholarly data…”
Boy oh boy: I’ll bet your “drug research” was done in a back alley…
James says: “By any objective standard my list holds up nicely with much of it directly applicable to you. Yours doesn’t, sorry. Now, you have gotten all the attention I am planning to give you. If you want to actually review some of the resources provided here and discuss them then fine. Otherwise, its time to ignore you and just talk to the adults. I suspect that you have much more time to go back and forth with this stuff than I do…”.
Sure, I understand, I wouldn’t want to cut into your “drug research”. And what peer reviewed journal is that published in? Maybe Cheech and Chong’s unlicensed Pharmacists Journal? I’ll keep my eyes open..:)…
Walter says: “..I’ve had combat veterans literally shaking in their boots when I grilled them over an oral undergraduate presentation in front of a class of 70 students…”.
Has to be one of the most egregious, outlandish, exaggerations that I’ve ever read. Really, Walter, are you serious? “Combat Vets” shaking to pieces in front of your students? Wow, despite the fact that you’ve probably never even sniffed a chair in a military recruiter’s office, you must be one tough sumgun. What exactly did you ask the combat vets that made them tremble? Unreal…
Watch Mystery of the Sphinx – John West and Rodert Schoch – its explains all –
Richard: I saw “Mystery of the Sphinx” some years ago and thought it was very interesting. So how long before James Ford and the mob show up and call Charlton Heston a “Pseudo-Actor”, Robert Schoch a “Pseudo-Geologist”, and you and I “Pseudo-Bloggers”..????
@gleaner63 About 6 hours !
Thats if the DMT ESP is working today.
I really cant see that practically the only time Geologist have got thousands of years of rain enduced weathering (erosion) wrong just happens to be at the Sphinx enclosure and “proved” by archeologists.
This isnt rocket science, its one of the easiest things to spot if your a trained Geologist.
Quite simply the dating of the Sphinx inclosure by Schoch was an unfortunate truth for archeologists and had to be discredited by all means possible.
Unfortunatly the evidence is there in plain site, I wonder if Archeologists now look the other way as they pass the inclosure and pretend its not there.
But it is there, a bit like a plaque outside a modern building that reads “Built AD 1986” – but I suppose they will be wrong in the future too!
Here is the link to White’s discussion of the Topper Site that includes some links and references to related research. I will probably post it at least one more time in the next few days since I fear that it will otherwise get buried in another multi-post tirade designed to bury anything relevant. It would be difficult to spin the data to provide any realistic support for Hancock, although I guess that anything is possible if you drop enough DMT.
I have also included the link to a video devoted to debunking myths about the Sphinx. I have no idea of who did it or their qualifications. What I see of real value is the comments section where a list of some of the writings by both Schoch and his opponents is provided. As has been discussed, from what I have seen whatever support there was for Schoch among geologists 20 years ago has eroded as a body of alternative explanations has been developed and Schoch hasn’t really pursued the topic in any serious scholarly fashion.
I forgot to add another video regarding Schoch. Again, have no idea who the guy is who did it. What is interesting is that he cites or refers to a number of interesting publications or scholars including recent research indicating that Egypt was a lot wetter for a lot longer than proposed by Schoch. This was brought up earlier in this thread. That is, there are very long transitional periods when the climate of an area shifts from “wet” to “dry.”
It should also be pointed out that most of the data contesting Schoch that is covered in these two posts DO NOT come from archaeologists, but from geologists, geophysicist, paleoenvironmental studies, etc. I guess it is not just those soft science archaeologists conspiring to hide the truth?
Richard: James Ford, after an all night, non peer-reviewed, “Drug Research” session, and saying he would no longer participate in this thread, shows up with another ridicule-is-cool post….:)
A great day for the advancement of mainstream scientific methodology, discourse and argumentation as it applies to archaeology: along with credentialed scientists like Carl Feagans and peer reviewed literature, we can now cite “some guy on you tube” as evidence….
I think that for those unfamiliar with the issue it is important to try keep things in perspective when considering Schoch. Schoch made an incredible claim that was not substantiated to the degree that it has gathered any support. If it would have gained any traction in the geology community then his work would be debated in special sessions of the GSA and there would have been special issues of Geology devoted to the topic. I would be surprised to see any evidence that Schoch has any degree of credence in contemporary geology. He is really only significant among proponents of pseudoarchaeology and those who get caught up in refuting pseudoarchaeological claims. Beyond this context he shouldn’t be perceived as anything resembling a major player.
At the risk of being denounced as angry,harsh, biased or even gulp…vitriolic, I will point out that James was clear that the primary value of the videos is the sources that they reference and use for the basis of their argument. Often peer reviewed sources at that. I find particularly interesting the assertion that the climate that characterizes contemporary Egypt may not have been reached until circa-700 BCE, if I understand the discussion correctly. That means that even if one is open to a rain erosion hypothesis the Sphinx would still have been exposed to significant rainfall for about 1800 years after its construction, not to mention occasional rainfall over the roughly 2700 years since the climate of Egypt became what it is, more or less, today.
For any students reading this, keep in mind that even if you do not agree with an article or presentation the bibliography can be quite valuable. You can always use it as a springboard for developing your own thoughts on the subject.
Just watched and read your links.
You obviously have no inerest in REAL science and REAL progress!
Your nack for “cherry picking “ is second to none !
Dr Robert Schoch Is correct – forget your links – its psuodo crap ! Its an unfortunate truth Mr Ford !
You accused me of cut-and-pasting a while back, what you didn’t reslise was that I have the ability to write coherently if ive got the time.
Lets get this absolutely clear – when it comes to the Giza Pyramids and surrounding monuments, there are huge problems with main stream archaeological theories. And they are proved by science, but dismissed by Archeologists as inaccurate becase your papers, books, career, and funding rely on research that is now tens of decades old. – when it comes to early dynastic Egypt!
Maybe Ford can beam some future pre 9000 BC discoveries forward to a convenient time!
Another Question for James Ford and the gang: why is the age of the Great Sphinx, whatever it might be, so god-awful important? An ancient, heavily weathered monument in the middle of nowhere, and it’s almost as if there’s a religious significance (to some) attached to it’s actual age….I don’t get it….
Imagine the reaction of the locals here if I pasted a link to a youtube video about the discovery of Noah’s Ark, and added, “..now I don’t know who made this video, who they are, or their credentials, but it seems like a lot of people are agreeing with them….”. Howls of Pseudo-ism! Charges of anti-science! LOL….
Richard: what you are dealing with here is a type “tribalism”. And, as usual, with tribalism, any thing that challenges that will be met with derision, accusations and finally a mob mentality. After all, look at what people here have leveled against Graham Hancock: he is “clearly deceptive”, a “drug addict”, and perhaps worst of all, a charlatan, meaning that not only is he wrong, but he knows he’s wrong and he does it all just “to make a comfortable living”…..and yes, I can provide the refs from prior posts to document all of that. And yet, when that stuff is said, not one of the locals will chime in and call any of it “over the top” or even downright just false…
Want to have a guess? – you wont need DMT to work it out. Although its intersesting to note that before Moses asended mount Sinai he passed (the signal) a burning Acacia tree. The Acacia tree just happens to have a large content of Dimenthyltryptamine (DMT).
After passing this, and no doubt inhailing the smoke, Moses meets God at the summit and after some tine returns with the Ten Commandments.
Just a thought.
Sorry for typos in above comment, Iphone is rubbish for this kind of thing
Controversial lithics from the deepest level of the Topper excavations but no evidence of ceramics, agriculture, or domestication of animals. Unless some additional interesting evidence turns up the site simply contributes to moving back the time frame for when hunters and gatherers reached North America.Still very worthy research.
Yes anyone with reasonable reading comprehension skills should understand that I was emphasizing the published research cited in the videos and that the research involves a number of people who are not archaeologists. Including of course people from the “REAL” sciences. But what do you expect from people who ask for criticism of Schoch but then start rambling about God and acacia bushes when you provide it? Hell, the post included links to some of Shoch’s own written work so that people unfamiliar with it can have the opportunity to review it. Maybe some folks have been inhaling too much acacia smoke themselves to pick up on that tidbit
I knew that there were some criticisms of Schoch based on work indicating that periods of regular rainfall extended for about 500 years after construction of the Sphinx, but didn’t know that this had been extended by another 1300 years. Hell, people can see pieces falling off the damn thing in front of their very eyes. If the Sphinx had been built as early as Schoch claims the head on the thing would probably be the size of a house cat’s by now (a little joke).
I think there is a problem with Schoch extrapolating from previously published work on erosion of natural geological formations through eons to his analysis of deterioration of a manmade structure that is a newborn baby in geological time. That is brought up in the KMT article that was referred to above.
Just a quick note, I’m currently traveling so I may not have opportunity to approve comments. If you don’t normally add your email to the comment, it puts you in the moderation queue until you’ve had one approved comment with that email. So if you don’t see it right away it should be posted by the evening.
B. Haig states: “…Controversial lithics from the deepest level of the Topper excavations but no evidence of ceramics, agriculture, or domestication of animals. Unless some additional interesting evidence turns up the site simply contributes to moving back the time frame for when hunters and gatherers reached North America.Still very worthy research…”.
Agree 100%. One of the themes in “America Before” is the simple timeline on when anthropologists and others believe that humans arrived here, and Hancock does a nice job of laying out how that has changed. It’s a really uncontroversial idea/point if you think about it…
On April 27th 2017, the prestigious journal *Nature* published a paper by Steven R. Holen and Thomas A. Demere, titled “A 130,000-year-old archaeological site in Southern California, USA”. If proven true, that’s going to create a lot of problems for the present status of the accepted timeline of the peopling of the America’s…
B.Haig states: “..Controversial lithics from the deepest level of the Topper excavations but no evidence of ceramics, agriculture, or domestication of animals….”.
As far as my understanding goes, the Topper Site (I live in a neighboring county where it’s located and had a friend who went out and talked with Dr. Goodyear) is not all that large of a dig, so I’m not sure if the absence of domesticated animals evidence is that big of a deal, at least not yet. Basically, if proven true, the primary impact will be that it pushes the peopling of the America’s back approximately 100,000 years. That, in and of itself, would be remarkable, to say the least…
“Richard: Want to have a guess? – you wont need DMT to work it out. Although its intersesting to note that before Moses asended mount Sinai he passed (the signal) a burning Acacia tree. The Acacia tree just happens to have a large content of Dimenthyltryptamine (DMT).
After passing this, and no doubt inhailing the smoke, Moses meets God at the summit and after some tine returns with the Ten Commandments.
Just a thought.”
Very interesting and maybe it (DMT) is something we could smoke as well..:)…?
There is a fellow who posts here who works as an unlicensed pharmacist and who claims to have published peer-reviewed papers on “Joe’s Cannabis Blog”. Maybe he can set us straight…? LOL…
What a surprise. Gleaner rags on archaeology ad nauseum until someone raises an aspect of it that gives the appearance of supporting Hancock and then he puts on his happy face. But I didn’t drop in just to take a well deserved shot at the Lord of the Flaws crowd. Since videos and Schochie are a hot topic i figured that i would post my own example of his most recent cutting edge research. The topic is Easter Island and it is..is…is….well I’m not really sure. The video starts off like a late night cable TV Scientology commerical and goes downhill from there. Schochie really lost me when he tried the “is it possible that 12 feet tall giant humans inhabited Easter Island” spiel. If anyone tries to tell you that Schoch is rejected by mainstream academics just because he made an unconventional study of the Sphinx then toss the BS flag. He is treated like a walking punchline because he decided to take the crazy up another couple notches and has gone global with it over the years. Easter Island is just one of the latest stops on the Crazy Train. If you are part of the crowd that treats a link to a peer reviewed journal article like it was a portal to hell then this is the link that you will happily click on. Enjoy!!!
James Ford: Some more stuff on the Sphinx dealing with weathering through groundwater seepage.
Unless you are aware of newer age estimates for the Topper Site I am pretty sure that the most optimistic estimate is 50K to 60K years old. There is more confidence in the age estimates that place the site within the same extreme estimated range for Monte Verde. You may be confusing the Topper Site with the Cerutti Site as it relates to estimated dates. The latter is far more controversial.
Materials from the The Topper Site represent a long period of time covering both Pre-Clovis and Clovis. Regardless of the physical size of the site the absence of evidence of ceramics, agriculture, and domesticated animals from the different occupations is a big deal relative to debates over the levels of technological sophistication that are theorized to have existed in North American prehistory.
More apt to say that the Sphinx is barely a fertilized egg in geological time although I am quite sure that there are those here who would be happy to dispute that characterization at length in order to create a lot of space between the posts contra Schoch.
At some point I may dig around some for information on climate trends in Egypt since circa-700 BCE. It would be interesting to see how many non-typical periods there have been when rain events were well above the norm. May come in handy the next time Carl posts an article on pseudoscience. No matter the topic we can be sure that someone will try to work in Schoch at some point even if they will dodge any actual discussion of him. Excellent opportunity to educate others though.
DMT is pretty much always smoked in recreational use
In Schoch’s own words
“To further test the theory of an older Sphinx, we carried out seismic studies around the base of the statue to measure the depth of subsurface weathering. Basically, we used a sledgehammer on a steel plate to generate sound waves that penetrated the rock, reflected, and returned to the surface. This gave us information about the subsurface qualities of the limestone bedrock. When I analyzed the data, I found that the extraordinary depth of subsurface weathering supported my conclusion that the core-body of the Sphinx must date back to 5000 BCE or earlier.”
Richard: “The body of the Sphinx must date back to 5000 BCE or earlier.”
Given that Golbeki Tepi is apparently far older, it doesn’t seem to be earth shattering if the Sphinx was “merely” twice it’s estimated age. Surely, to those so disposed, it could still fit into a “non-lost civlization” time frame. Of course if it’s far older than 5000 BC, then perhaps things become a bit more scary (to some at least)…
It wouldn’t be “earth shattering,” but it would certainly be curious since there doesn’t appear to be any civilization capable of the construction in the vicinity. When you say “twice it’s estimated age” I’m assuming you mean 8-10,000 years ago. There just aren’t any traces of Neolithic settlements in that area at the time. Probably not because we haven’t found them, rather because the area of the Sphinx was underwater most or large portions of the time. The Nile was a very different river then as Northern Africa was coming out of a “Greening” stage. This is why people began to arrive in the Nile Valley, the Greening phase was ending and they were migrating. This is all beginning at around 5,500 years ago.
And this is one of the things that distinguishes fringe idealists from actual researchers in the field: the former has a conclusion and looks for data that are supportive. The latter is interested in data first. Conclusions, always provisional, come later. And those data are inclusive of more than just on singular monument. They also include climate data, demographics, lithics, pottery, subsistence strategies, hydrology, and so on.
Schoch’s myopic model has been rendered a thing of the past by the work of Robert Schneiker in recent years.
Scientists using technology and methods a little more sophisticated than a sledgehammer have determined otherwise. How Schoch “analyzed” the data to come up with “extraordinary depth of subsurface weathering” that could actually be assigned a particular date as a frame of reference is fraught with problems. Harrell criticized Schoch’s work in this area at length in the Summer 1994 issue of the journal K*M*T.
Bottom line, because of the complex geology of the site and the fact that it was non-intrusive subsurface testing, Schoch could not reliable differentiate between weathered limestone and another rock formation. So, even if he could accurately date weathering there is no concrete proof that he was even looking at weathered limsetone to begin with. Unless there has since been extensive and intrusive subsurface investigation since 1994 that has demonstrated otherwise, Schoch’s assertion remains unsubstantiated.
It is important to consider Schoch’s work in relation to research that has been conducted since then. Presenting a “soundbite” of his work in a historical vacuum gives the impression that it has stood the test of time when the opposite is true.
Well, there is weathering present. But it’s dissolution weathering that began with the acidity of the ocean since the Eocene. It continued with the cycles of greening in North Africa that have occurred in the last 20 million years. So, the weathering happened long before people arrived and continued as the Nile River Valley flooded periodically, particularly up to about 5,500 years ago when the last “Green Sahara. The Sphinx, as you probably know, was carved out of the limestone bedrock. There is, however, a weather-resistant capstone over this limestone layer of dissolution that was created during the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum, a hyperthermal period of about 40 million years ago. Limestone deposition from this period is more robust and, because it was a longer than average hyperthermal period, it’s often 8-10 meters thick. The head of the Sphinx is carved from the MECO that overlies the dissolution layers of limestone below.
The weathering that’s happening now is related to wicking effect that occurs once the Sphinx itself was constructed at about 4,500 years ago. This started the wicking, which would have suspended during the years the Sphinx was covered in sand up to it’s neck. Once the sand was cleared, it began again as the solid limestone began wicking the groundwater, resulting in the spalling as salts precipitate the exterior.
Interestingly enough, this same effect was present in rock shelters I worked in the southwest a few years ago and it’s actually part of the rock shelter creation process, geologically speaking.
No doubt there is weathered limestone present at the Sphinx. As I understand it, the issue re: Harrell back in 1994 was whether Schoch’s subsurface testing was even looking at the specific deposit of stone or portion of the deposit relevant to supporting what he was trying to demonstrate in terms of dating the Sphinx through weathering. As you note it has been demonstrated that particular weathering occurred before the Sphinx was made. But I THINK that issue come up after the Harrell vs. Schoch debate. Or maybe that was part of the criticism of Schoch at the time. I can’t recall. It really doesn’t matter which way you spin the bottle. Over the years it always ends up pointing toward the conclusion that Schoch’s assertion cannot be substantiated.
If you consider the process by which initial claims deemed to be shaky gradually become accepted as the best given the accumulation of evidence, one can see that the opposite has occurred with Schoch. As more research has been done on the topic and the relevant technology and methods have been refined that provide deeper insight into the matter, Schoch’s assertion has withered on the vine rather than grow. Unfortunately, old quotes from Schoch probably sounds impressive to those who can’t or won’t look at his assertion in proper context.
If my memory serves me correctly there were claims back in the 1980s that materials from Monte Verde could date back to around 30,000 years BP. If Hancock’s primary goal is to simply assert that the timeline might need to be moved back for peopling of the America’s then he is very late to the game. But we know that he has a different intent that is not supported when one looks carefully at the materials recovered from Monte Verde to Topper, even if one is inclined to go with the older estimates for Topper. The guy is just piggybacking on the work of people in a discipline that fringe proponents love to hate.
The expected response from someone whose only substantive contribution to a 200+ post thread is a 90ish word quote from a discredited study.
Anything else that doesn’t involve involve deflecting to something involving DMT or demonstrating ignorance of about 25 years of scientific literature?
…yes, of course, we always know someone’s (Hancock) “intent”, and naturally enough, that intent is always nefarious and knowingly deceptive, especially when it upsets our worldview. When all else fails, attack the man and not the ideas…:). Hancock’s ideas are not original, and only a person with very limited reading comprehension would suppose that he has presented them as such. Further, *any* knowledge of how history is actually written by real historians, illuminates the simple and widely accepted idea and practice that most works in that discipline necessarily rely, to some extent, on the works of others. Again, widely known and accepted, but naturally enough rejected by someone who has NO training in the field. Hopefully, in the classic WWII history, The Longest Day (1959), Ryan did not rely on any works that came before his…
James Ford: ..that “expected response” is more than likely a normal reaction to someone (like you) who’s known for hurling insults in lieu of a reasoned argument. In my experience, the latter is a tactic of someone who likely knows, or strongly suspects, that his “arguments” cannot withstand any serious scrutiny…
And so the discussion fades out with special pleadings and no indication that the dissenters have made even a token attempt to review the relevant literature and offer intelligent responses.
Cue further references to drugs and World War Two movies, and those meanies with PhD’s…
The earliest estimated date for Monte Verde and the more conservative estimate for the Topper site roughly correspond to the same period of the opening of the Bering land bridge. Any debate about stunning revelations about the peopling of the Americas will have to wait until there is better support for something earlier or there are materials uncovered that call for a radical rethinking of the prehistory of the America’s.
Actually I have commented 21 times in this conversation.
And you talk about fudging the data!
Sorry but this isn’t Facebook where teenagers post a lot of fluff comments to generate a lot of likes. You made a baseless appeal to reject all the criticisms of Schoch in the posted materials. You quoted him at length and it was then demonstrated that his assertion is not substantiated. Apart from that you haven’t offered much given that you are the one who demanded that people discuss what is wrong with schoch’s work. Topper isn’t working out too well either. Maybe you should take a shot with Cerutti so we can then discuss the latest article (by a non-archaeologist by the way) that raises issues with its credibility. Then more accusations can be thrown about regarding the vitriol of archaeologists. Never mind I think I just covered what is going to happen if cerutti is discussed and saved everyone about 20 posts.
Now if you will excuse me I have to get back to an all nighter reviewing this article manuscript submitted to Journal of Drug Issues. I am confident that I can do full justice to the review even after smoking hash for the last 14 hours.
Carl: maybe you could talk a little more about your own experience with the wicking process and rock shelter formation. Be gentle though. Some people find facts to be insulting.
And here is 22:
I would suggest that James Ford and ‘clan’ carefully read back through this thread and realise what is actually happening here.
If we are simply required to read Carl’s review of ‘America Before’, the pre-review and other pre-concluded analysis of Hancock’s work then so be it.
But as we, by nature of the comments box, are allowed to state an opinion, then any of Carl’s analysis must be permitted to come under scrutiny, agreeance or dispute.
The problem here is that none of the perfectly rational questions, queries or objections raised by the commenters have been replied to in any other manner than that of complete arrogance and insults that only reflect the totally unprofessional standards that these people work to as they try to hide behind the Dogma of their beliefs.
From the start of this, now many months ago, the accusation of cherry picking has been the main defence of Carl and Ford’s Clan, but here in this thread we see just that – Mr Ford has repeatedly ‘cherry picked’ data from around the internet to bolster his beliefs. He has accused his opposition of citing other peoples work where he repeatedly does just that.
…Is it the fact Mr Ford; that you have the funding and time available to organise your own personal, elite crew of Archaeologists, Scientists and Geologists?
Have you circumnavigated the planet with them, conducted your own research at hundreds of sites and used the resulting data to conclude that your beliefs and educational learnings are one hundred percent accurate and totally indisputable in all areas?
I find it Frankly amazing that somebody who is obviously a world expert in absolutely all areas of Archaeology and Geology, an individual who has mastered his position as chief in the subject, is really bothered about trolling the fringe areas of an Archaeological Internet presence.
But quite simply this is not the case. Whilst Mr Ford and clan have been sitting in their armchairs randomly insulting their ‘enemy’ with sarcastic and completely unqualified psychological profiling, they have showed only themselves as the enemy of Archaeology, and hence among the contents of a simple discussion board, created a complete picture of the problem that future Archaeologists will face.
I have no problem in citing other peoples work if it is relevant to the discussion and holds merit. After all, and unlike Mr Ford, I do not regard myself as an Archaeological Grand-master of all knowledge where only I am right and the ‘infidels’ can never be allowed to interfere with my work!
Before I continue I would like to point out the Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) reference began in jest – I had no idea that it was a requirement of the Archaeological clan to never express any form of humour whilst defending the realm.
Although, as I have pointed out previously, there has been plenty of research conducted by Scientists and Doctors of Psychology into the effects of DMT and how and why it produces its hallucinatory effect.
In one form of another DMT occurs naturally all over the planet. DMT is also naturally present in the human body, it is produced just like Serotonin and our brain needs it to function. without going into too much detail it has been theorised that larger amounts of DMT are released into our brains at the points of Birth and Death – This is likely responsible for near death experiences. It has also been found that other hallucinogenic ‘drugs’ such as Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) do not create the same effects they seem to merely emulate the DMT ‘trip’.
“Dr Rick Strassman’s (M.D) research connected DMT with the Pineal gland, considered by Hindus to be the site of the seventh chakra and by Rene Descartes to be the seat of the soul.”
We all know that DMT was widely used by ancient civilisations for spiritual awareness, they were as fascinated with the substance as our science is today.
I myself have never used DMT, hence I cannot make any personal opinions, I can only cite the scientists and others involved in this research.
As for the Sphinx debate, I’m not sure we will ever reach round two here. My question has always been “Show me, scientifically, why Schoch is wrong”.
Not – show me another and less plausible reason for what we see on the walls of the Sphinx enclosure.
Of course Mr Ford would have no benefit to cut and paste links to information that may, even in the slightest way, defend Schoch’s work.
Jon Christiansen a German Geoscientist later concluded (after publishing what some people may regard as a good defence against Schoch’s findings, notably on the web site https://www.geoexpro.com/articles/2015/01/the-great-sphinx-of-egypt-nature-s-shabby-chic-trick ) that the appearance of the water erosion was merely created by something like 25 geological coincidences which had made the monument appear older to Schoch. This, I feel, is hard to accept, it appears that everything on the Giza Plateau, that does not Scientifically agree with the accepted Archaeological model, is simply coincidence.
Schoch’s view was…
…”They are simply wrong. It is subsurface weathering, not erosion, that is under consideration here, and postulating unknown and undocumented mechanisms of “hydraulic and capillary action” as a way to explain the data is essentially meaningless.”
Schoch’s research also concluded that the rear of the Sphinx enclosure was far newer than the front – This would actually bolster Jon Christiansen’s explanation a little and confirm Schoch’s findings at the same time.
In response to the criticism of Schoch’s Seismic survey and use of a sledgehammer.
“Using seven sledge hammer shot points run along the data collection line, in general, produces an excellent seismic radar return.
These blows, administered to an Iron plate, excite primarily P-wave energy. The plate is then struck on the side from east to west to generate an SH-wave, then west to east to generate an oppositely polarized SH-wave.
It may all sound very crude but it is the chosen method of seismic surveyor’s worldwide, although the sledge hammer if frequently swapped for hydraulic hammer devices at larger site surveys”
– European Journal of Seismic Surveying 2017
Finally, if Mr Ford of the ‘All knowing clan’ cannot answer my question then I will retract it and ask another.
(Q2) Mr Ford – have you ever been to the Giza Necropolis?
I look forward to the coming character assassination 🙂
James Ford states: “Now if you will excuse me I have to get back to an all nighter reviewing this article manuscript submitted to Journal of Drug Issues. I am confident that I can do full justice to the review even after smoking hash for the last 14 hours.”
You are really into this whole “drug thing” aren’t you? Whatever these constant references have to do with archaeology no one knows, but man they are sure entertaining…
James Ford states: “..Sorry but this isn’t Facebook where teenagers post a lot of fluff comments to generate a lot of likes…”.
Oddly, most of your posts ARE fluff, and do sound very “facebookish”. Can anyone here be absolutely sure that you aren’t actually a teen typing on their mom’s computer in a basement somewhere??? LOL…
James Ford says: “…Cue further references to drugs and World War Two movies, and those meanies with PhD’s…..”.
Oddly, it was you and others who first referenced “drugs” here; first in relation to Hancock apparently being a known drug abuser, and then your own “background” in drug research. And then one of your fellow goons bragged about making combat vets shake in their boots. And oh by the way, you might not be aware, but The Longest Day was a book long before it became a “WWII movie”, but I’m sure you won’t see the significance in that. Now, back to your bong old boy…
The funny thing here is I have never presented anything I am accused of. I have cited papers, speculated a little and offered well researched, alternative theories.
Your patience can only be second (or equal to mine)
I lecture twice a week on electronic engineering at a local university, this I am qualified to do! I may well ask my 53 students on friday to study this thread as an example of how not to conduct a debate – that would be fun!
The date on the calendar is 2019. A lot of interesting research has been conducted and survey technology and/or methods refined in the 25+ years since Schoch made his assertion. But if you cherry pick material what works for you and ignore or discount everything else because of paranoia about a conspiracy then you can support just about any position that you want. Maybe you should debate the guy who claims that the sphinx is 80 million years old or is it 800 million? Would probably get frustrating when you realize his debate strategies sound a lot like yours.
Carl, please discuss wicking or your favorite color or anything that doesn’t have Richard raving about Strassman. Using Strassman to condone hancock’s drug abuse is like listening to a 13 year old condone the use of vegetable oil as suntan lotion.
Doc Rock; ever hear of the secret conspiracy to use 12 feet tall Easter islanders on D-Day during the landings. You can’t prove that it didnt happen so ignore everything those close-minded military historians say.
I stand corrected as should that bastard James and everyone here with an advanced degree and an IQ above 70 should be. Richard and Gleaner are correct in all their assertions. As penance we should be forced to view a video of Richard giving a presentation to electrical engineering students on the issues covered here. Even worse, it should be a presentation attended by every archaeologist, geologist, physical anthropologist, geophysicist, astrophysicist, surveyor, and drug and alcohol researcher within a 100 miles radius. I am sure the presentation will be met with a standing ovation.
Now, many people may be reluctant to attend a presentation on defending Hancock, Schoch, etc because of pressing issues such as laundry nite. But I am sure that if you offer free beer and BBQ that many might be persuaded to attend. Let me be the first to offer to contribute 20 bucks to a gofundme page to raise the funds to purchase the resfreshments required to persuade people in the relevant fields to attend a presentation that exposes all those charlatans here.
A delightful intellectual exercise that will enlighten all. Yes indeedy…
You got ’em on the ropes guys, time to deliver the coup de grace.
James Ford says I’m
“Using Strassman to condone hancock’s drug abuse” and it “is like listening to a 13 year old condone the use of vegetable oil as suntan lotion.”
Yet again it is obvious that Mr Ford had not read any of my comments properly or been unable to understand them.
For the record I have not used Strassman to condone Hancocks cannabis usage, I was simply stating after some sarcastic DMT comments that its effects and why the happen is of Great interest to science, especially phsycolagy.
DMT has also played a huge spititual part in how ancient civilisations viewed life and death, this reflects in their art and atchetecture.
Secondly if you want to see coments that could have been made by 13 year olds then lets take another look at Mr Ford suggesting that if we give any merit to Schoch’s work then we may aswell include some guy who suggests the Sphinx is 80m years old – What a rediculas thing to say!
Lastly I do not condone the use of drugs for recreation, in allot of cases I also do not condone the use of drugs for the treatment of some phycological illnesses. Whether we sould be allowed to make are own minds up to whether we use them or not is a question for another forum.
How do you know this to be a fact?
Using the old hammer and metal plate seismic testing is quite often an adequate singular testing method. Of course it wasn’t adequate to fully support the assertion that Schoch made about exactly which formation was being tested. Also, Schoch used the same method to support claims of hidden chambers and cavities under the sphinx, and even referenced the old myth of the hall of records to add mystique to his discussion of testing around the sphinx.. More recent testing has found that some of these chambers or cavities either don’t exist or are inconsequential. If one is making an extraordinary claim then extraordinary evidence utilizing a wide range of technologies is needed.
A rather moot point anyway since schoch’s rainfall hypothesis simply doesn’t hold water, pardon the pun, when you consider all the research conducted on the age of the sphinx and related topic over the decades.
Yeah, the evidence of “cavities” within the Sphinx is pretty sketchy. If there are any cavities or hollow spaces it’s because some of the rock members the Sphinx itself is carved from are dissolution layers that are eroding in the solution of the Nile River. These natural cavities or spaces would be under water much of the year. It’s extremely unlikely that these are spaces that any human has visited or that they’re even very large if they exist at all. The supposed “Hall of Records” is a fantasy created by a charlatan who pretended to be a psychic who could channel a long-dead person’s “spirit” (whatever that is).
For years I taught a course on drug use across cultures. Tightly controlled ritual use of a wide range of substances to try to gain enlightenment or to interact with the supernatural is a thing. On the other hand there are many societies that achieved the same result through practices such as meditation, fasting, sleep deprivation, drumming rituals to facilitate a hypnotic effect. However, dwelling on the drug use is a far more “sexy” sell when you are pushing a fringe narrative.
I also taught a course more focused on drug problems and policies. I found that the typical student is far more interested in hearing about shaman snorting Ebene and conjuring up spirits than hearing about the numerous adverse consequences of heavy drug use.
Maybe a drinking game where one chugs a beer every time fringe advocates cherry pick information no matter what topic they are discussing is in order. With all due respect to others here, something besides Natural Lite please.
There’s little doubt that past civilizations made use of mind-altering substances. In the Pecos Canyonlands of Texas where I worked on different projects a couple of years in a row, the use of peyote and probably daytura by ancient cultures was a pretty good assumption as both of these featured prominently in the rock art of the region. While there were ethnographic account of the use, these accounts only really speak to modern cultures. It was the rock art that let us make some provisional assumptions about the past (possibly also some residue tests of bed rock mortars that were too deep to reach an arm in, indicating that reed straws were used to ingest a tea), and even these assumptions are accepted only with the caveat that they speculations that fit the evidence along with other speculations that include no drug use; drug use by special members of society drug use by one gender and not the other(s); etc.
My question about the DMT is what conclusive evidence is there that it was used beyond a few generations in the past?
To answer your question:
“Evidence of Ayahuasca usage dates to at least 1000 C.E., based on discovering in 2010 a bundle containing the residue of ayahuasca ingredients along with other various well-preserved shamanic substances in a cave in southwestern Bolivia.”
-wikipedia (but its fairtly well accepted)
As I have mentioned already the Acacia tree contains large amounts of Dimethyltryptamine (DMT).
Acacia is portrayed hugely in Egyptian mythology. It is referred to as the tree of life, and from under it the first gods of Egypt were born. Osiris, god of the underworld, rebirth and the spirit was also born from an Acacia tree. Osiris is also believed to live inside the spirit of all Acacia trees. This is a very similar belief as held by the Amazonian Shamans and the people who have used Ayahuasca.
It’s also worth noting that alcohol was/is used as as a mind altering substance (beyond recreational use) in a lot of settings as wells. I would imagine that beer has inspired a lot more creativity than any given substance.
A while back I saw some reference to the rise of civilization being associated with the rise of beer brewing. But probably some issues in terms of correlation versus causation in any discussion of the importance of any given substance that flies over some heads.
I know there are some documented “wild” rituals in Hinduism where consumption of any drug or alcohol is considered to be a by product of the ritual instead of being central to it. But to the casual observer it could appear that mind altering substances were required for it.
Regarding peyote my understanding is that it was in common ritual use among a lot of groups in the southwest going back to prehistory but that wider usage came with the rise of the American Indian Church since the late 19th century.
Im not sure if beer has the same effect as DMT.
I think the point here is the belife that DMT opens the doors to another state of consciousness that is considered by some as the spirit world.
One things for sure, researchers in this field have been very open minded about the true mechanics of DMT. The fact that test subjects seemed to have identical experiances and meet the same ‘spirits’ without knowlege of each other is quite bizarre.
With DMT, unlike most other drugs, you are totally removed from reality.
I also don’t see the evidence for an Ancient Egyptian “Hall of Records”. Even if there turns out to be such a thing, it seems that placing it underneath the Great Sphinx would have been a terrible choice for many reasons, most importantly due to the possible destruction of those records via water intrusion, either from above or below, which surely the Egyptians were aware of…
I’ve always been sceptical of the Hall of Records under the Sphinx, although there are
plenty of other huge underground complexes in Egypt, so its not out of this world to consider.
If it was in fact there I would imagine that due to its nature the builders would have constructed it of Granite like the Osireion.
I have contemplated that the hall of records may actually be the Serapeum at Saqqara – It looks like a place built to store something extremely important and the Granite boxes would definitely have protected their contents through millennia, also I’m not at all convinced by the Apis Bull explanation.
Unfortunately the contents of these boxes has long gone so we will never know.
After reading this entire discussion I have decided to switch my major to electrical engineering. It sounds like they have solved all the mysteries of the universe and know it all about exactly when, where and how it became possible for things like electricity to exist. There has to be some big bucks in that.
Did I.have the last say ?
Last two comments seem to have vanished?
Ignore that, pc had cached the page ?
Ex Anthropology Major states: “…After reading this entire discussion I have decided to switch my major to electrical engineering. It sounds like they have solved all the mysteries of the universe and know it all about exactly when, where and how it became possible for things like electricity to exist. There has to be some big bucks in that…”.
I am glad to hear that: when you get your first job you won’t have to worry that in an effort to diagnose and correct an EE problem, you will not be required to submit your recommendations to “peer review” or argue endlessly about it on a blog. You will also be pleased to discover there exist no “pro-alternating current” faction nor an “anti-alternating current” camp. AC is AC and always will be. And finally, and perhaps most profound, you won’t find that AC operates one way Monday and a completely different way Saturday or even 50 years into the future. You will find this latter situation very much to your great advantage. Good luck.
But when Archiologists excavate the basement where you installed the fuse box will they call it a mortuary temple or a tomb?
On another note:
What happened to the hidden chamber (void ) found
Above the Grand gallery in the GP by Scan Pyramids?
There seems to be no new info at all.
I wouldn’t put any stock in the talk by the electrical engineers here. Archaeologists are always seeking to better understand the past by working with the material record. Electrical Engineers are always seeking better ways to work with electricity. The majority of engineers have an undergraduate education and work primarily in the practical application of electricity as it is currently understood. They aren’t perfect in doing this. Exposure to more complex issues involving electricity would come in advanced graduate coursework or in other scientific fields. Judging by the posts here the engineers are not really in a position to make the argument that they tried to do, not that it is a decent argument to begin with. In sum, they don’t know what they don’t know. Their use of this silly comparison is to imply that because the state of knowledge in archaeology is always changing that archaeologists are not in a position to judge someone like Hancock. However, the state of knowledge changes within parameters. For example, confirmed sites may move the time-line back for hunters and gatherers living in the western hemisphere but they were still hunters and gatherers. Not really a radical shift in understanding. Being wrong in this sense does not disqualify archaeologists for denouncing work that is wrong by any scientific standard. Modern medicine is frequently wrong, probably more than electrical engineers, but that does not mean that doctors should be discounted when they denounce people who claim that having sex with a virgin will cure AIDS. Hancock’s assertions are just as silly. Anyone who makes a serious effort to defend his work should have any comment they make in his defense taken with multiple grains of salt despite their claimed expertise. Fortunately it looks like that is what the majority of visitors here are doing.
Brock states: “…Anyone who makes a serious effort to defend his work should have any comment they make in his defense taken with multiple grains of salt despite their claimed expertise. Fortunately it looks like that is what the majority of visitors here are doing…”.
Does this standard of “claimed expertise” also apply to you, or just those whom you disagree with? In fact, assuming you are not either an electrical engineer or an archaeologist, why should I take anything you say on either subject serious? You seem like a lot of others here who condemn Graham Hancock, your “standards” are nothing more than double standards…
“…But when Archaeologists excavate the basement where you installed the fuse box will they call it a mortuary temple or a tomb?”..
Have you seen the book “Motel of the Mysteries”? Funny stuff….
Brock states: “…Their use of this silly comparison is to imply that because the state of knowledge in archaeology is always changing that archaeologists are not in a position to judge someone like Hancock…”.
I believe that archaeologists are in a position to seriously examine and comment on what Graham Hancock writes; that is, after all, what drew me to this blog. However, because as you freely admit that “archaeology is always changing”, it doesn’t give archaeologist the right to say with any degree of finality that Hancock is wrong; he might be, but a “simple turn of the spade” could change all that rather quickly…
Brock states” “…Modern medicine is frequently wrong, probably more than electrical engineers, but that does not mean that doctors should be discounted when they denounce people who claim that having sex with a virgin will cure AIDS. Hancock’s assertions are just as silly…”.
Seriously? You honestly believe that is a fair comparison? Sex with a virgin to cure AIDS being equal to a debate over the age of the Sphinx? Wow….
Brock states: “…For example, confirmed sites may move the time-line back for hunters and gatherers living in the western hemisphere but they were still hunters and gatherers. Not really a radical shift in understanding…”.
Well, it’s a radical shift in the time-line, wouldn’t you say. I believe I read somewhere that in the 19th century, the orthodox opinion was that the Americas had been inhabited for no more than several thousand years (maybe 4000 BC at the earliest?). Then later, with the Clovis discoveries, that date was pushed back to approximately 11,000 BP. Now, that date is being pushed back even further, to dates 0f 12000 BP, 14000 BP, or even 24000 BP. From 4000 to 22000 BP…not a radical change to you? It means the consensus was wrong not by a slim margin, but perhaps by *10,000 + years. That tiny error of, oh , say 10000 years doesn’t erode you confidence, not even just a little, of what archaeologists proclaim? Maybe if the alleged dates came with a disclaimer, or maybe a “caution, could be in error by 10000 or more years”. Imagine a Civil War historian announcing tomorrow that “…we made a HUGE error in dating the Battle of Gettysburg; the date of 1863 is erroneous. We now KNOW the date should be revised backwards to 1563. And oh by the way, anyone who disputes that date is a crank or a charlatan…”. Sorry, but I don’t think archaeology is a science at all: it’s a little better than palm reading, but not by much….
This is the sort of retort I’ve grown accustomed to from those that willingly buy into all sorts of bullshit pseudoarchaeology like the Bosnian pyramid and space-aliens are depicted in rock-art, etc. (not that you’re one of these people). The argument is petty and trite, little more than a tu quoque fallacy, usually proffered when the fringe/woo purveyor (again, not that this is you) is accused of holding a pseudoscientific position. When the argument is fallaciously posited, they nearly always offer a comparison of archaeology with some clearly agreed upon pseudoscience (not that you’d do this).
It’s clearly fallacious since nearly all the rational arguments that can be made to support the notion that archaeology isn’t scientific would apply also to geology. Admittedly neither archaeology or geology are hard sciences in the way that chemistry or biology are, but they are both conducted using hard science as a tool. This week, for instance, I’ll be using principles of geophysics to prospect the location of a former boarding house that supported an iron furnace community on my Forest. We previously conducted a statistical sampling of the location using shovel-testing methods. The data we recover this week will be compared and contrasted with those results and the probability of the boarding house’s original location might possibly be mapped out. Our next step will be to add in magnetic resonance prospection using a flux gradiometer. Once we have the highest probabilities of the living spaces and outbuildings, we plan to conduct a field school that will excavate a unit. We may come up completely negative in our results with the GPR, Mag-res, and excavation methods, but negative data are still data. This is all leading up to an eventual prospection and identification of an African American/Slave neighborhood of the community that we’d ultimately like to interpret.
Careful applications of method and theory, then replication is essential to collecting the data that might help in this endeavor.
If anyone would genuinely dare compare these methods and theory to “palm reading,” he/she would certainly be the least educated among his/her peers and utterly unqualified to proffer opinions of professionals in any field of endeavor more sophisticated than NASCAR.
Carl states: “…This is the sort of retort I’ve grown accustomed to from those that willingly buy into all sorts of bullshit pseudoarchaeology like the Bosnian pyramid and space-aliens are depicted in rock-art, etc. (not that you’re one of these people)…”.
I can assure you, I am not “one of those people”, depending on exactly what you mean by that (it sounds like you are using a stereotype in an effort to prove your point). I have a BS degree in history from Charleston Southern University, my wife double majored in Sociology and Psychology (from the same school) and has a Masters degree in Early Childhood education from the University of South Carolina. We are both former, state certified teachers. My wife is also about to retire as a teacher from the federal level. I also spent 9 years in the US navy and have been in the radio industry now for about 25 years. I say all of this to try to get across to you that I’m not a dummy, and I didn’t marry a dummy. I also get a lot of odd looks when I tell someone I’m reading Graham Hancock’s latest work; do you not think anyone other than yourself is capable of making a competent decision on what they’re reading? This is one of the problems with some of your posts; everyone is lumped together, with no effort to draw a distinction between someone who is an honest, intelligent seeker, and sadly, someone who believes everything they read. Isn’t it after all possible, that Graham Hancock actually believes what he writes, and is not in fact a charlatan as someone of your friends on here have charged? I also have “grown accustomed to”, as you put it, to charges of being anti-science or pseudo this or pseudo that, merely for reading Hancock’s and other similar works. Is that vitriol in your mind justified?
Carl states: “…The argument is petty and trite, little more than a tu quoque fallacy, usually proffered when the fringe/woo purveyor (again, not that this is you) is accused of holding a pseudoscientific position. When the argument is fallaciously posited, they nearly always offer a comparison of archaeology with some clearly agreed upon pseudoscience (not that you’d do this)…”.
Here, in this thread, Hancock has been accused of being a drug addict, a charlatan, and making money of the “gullible”: none of that honestly strikes you as “petty and trite”?
There are decent arguments to be made that can support each of these accusations so, no, not particularly. There really isn’t a good argument to be made that archaeology isn’t scientific.
Of course it isn’t. Merely reading the works of mystery-mongers like Hancock, Foerster, or Sitchin shouldn’t result in accusations of being a believer in their conclusions. Believing in their conclusions should.
Carl states: “…It’s clearly fallacious since nearly all the rational arguments that can be made to support the notion that archaeology isn’t scientific would apply also to geology. Admittedly neither archaeology or geology are hard sciences in the way that chemistry or biology are, but they are both conducted using hard science as a tool…”.
I agree with most of what you said there. Archaeology is a little “softer” than Geology and Chemistry, yes, because of mostly what you’re studying, or working with. My favorite history professor used this definition of history: “…History is the scientific study of fragmentary evidence of past people, events, artifacts and places..”. Would you agree with that? We used the scientific method to the fullest extent that it could be applied; but I wouldn’t call history a “science”, nor would most, including the professor who used that definition. After all, I can study the Battle of Gettysburg using many parts of the scientific method, but there’s a point where it “drops out”, and then eyewitness testimony must be used, the latter of which is terribly difficult to parse scientifically. After all, you don’t believe all of the eyewitness accounts of UFOs, do you?
Carl states: “…This week, for instance, I’ll be using principles of geophysics to prospect the location of a former boarding house that supported an iron furnace community on my Forest. We previously conducted a statistical sampling of the location using shovel-testing methods. The data we recover this week will be compared and contrasted with those results and the probability of the boarding house’s original location might possibly be mapped out. Our next step will be to add in magnetic resonance prospection using a flux gradiometer. Once we have the highest probabilities of the living spaces and outbuildings, we plan to conduct a field school that will excavate a unit. We may come up completely negative in our results with the GPR, Mag-res, and excavation methods, but negative data are still data. This is all leading up to an eventual prospection and identification of an African American/Slave neighborhood of the community that we’d ultimately like to interpret…”.
Agree with all of that. You’re using science, the scientific method, and scientific devices, all in attempt to get closer to the truth. No rational, reasonable person could disagree with that, certainly no one who ever took a course in science. As I mentioned before, I didn’t major in science, but I took an Intro to Anthropology course at the College of Charleston….
Carl states: “…If anyone would genuinely dare compare these methods and theory to “palm reading,” he/she would certainly be the least educated among his/her peers and utterly unqualified to proffer opinions of professionals in any field of endeavor more sophisticated than NASCAR…”.
I hereby officially retract the comment about Palm Reading, an obviously “over the top” comment on my part.
I don’t know Graham Hancock, but I would be surprised if he is purposely lying or trying to mislead people by what he writes; I’ve read all of his stuff, including The Sign and the Seal, and he doesn’t come across as a charlatan. He might be honestly confused, or uneducated in the fields he writes about, which might lead him to make erroneous claims and draw odd conclusions, I could accept that. I’m the only history major where I work, almost everyone else has a technical degree of some kind. Like most work places, when people gather to talk, a lack of a degree in a particular field doesn’t stop someone from having an opinion in that area and history is no different. Naturally enough, I hear some “strange talk” on occasion (in regard to matters of history); but usually it’s not that the person is nefarious, they simply don’t have the background and training to know whet they’re really talking about.
This, I’m very glad to read. I’ve been pretty much without internet for the past few days–approving some comments on my phone, but that one caught my eye. I apologize if I was a little defensive.
With regard to Hancock’s beliefs, I honestly go back and forth with whether or not he truly believes his conclusions. It’s been quite a while since I’ve read his earlier works, but I do seem to get the sense he moves his goalposts as facts make it increasingly difficult to defend them. He likes archaeologists who acknowledge him enough to be interviewed and resents those that are critical. But it’s pretty clear he did well with his books over the past couple of decades. He understands his market and his audience and knows how to leverage both a timely and current product.
I once wrote a couple of posts that adapted Robert Park’s 7 Warning Signs of pseudoscience and John Casti’s Hallmarks of pseudoscience to archaeology. Perhaps I should compare and contrast these to Hancock or at least this book to see how it holds up.
Carl states: “…There really isn’t a good argument to be made that archaeology isn’t scientific…”.
I would agree that archaeologists use science, and apply the scientific method, as much as humanly possible given the nature of their work, in the same way I argue that historians do the same, without however making the claim that the study of history is a “science”, as say physics is a science. I don;t recall who said it, perhaps it was Carl Sagan, that “..not all scientific claims carry the same weight, or authority..”. For example, as Sagan said, as a scientist. “..the universe is all there ever was or all there will ever be…”. Science, or philosophy, in your opinion?
I would say that all science is philosophy. This is how we determine and refine the theoretical underpinnings that allow us to systematically observe the universe around us and use consistent logic to evaluate results or arrive at conclusions. All of which are provisional–a better idea may one day come along. This is true for every single scientific truth: gravity, the speed of light, Boyle’s Law, or Avogadro’s Number. Or the date of a potsherd as determined by thermoluminescence.
Carl states: “…Of course it isn’t. Merely reading the works of mystery-mongers like Hancock, Foerster, or Sitchin shouldn’t result in accusations of being a believer in their conclusions. Believing in their conclusions should…”.
I’ve honestly never heard of Foerster, but have heard of Sitchin, though I haven’t read anything he’s written. Hancock mentions the latter in Magicians of the Gods but said he dismissed most of what he wrote….
Carl states: “…but I do seem to get the sense he moves his goalposts as facts make it increasingly difficult to defend them…”.
I do believe he has abandoned the idea of the Lost Civilization being in Antarctica; one reason might be that even it existed there, it’s buried by miles of ice and has quite probably been pulverized. Even if a substantial portion of it was left, getting to it would be impossible, due to the ice and a lack of funds…
The last time Antarctica was ice-free was over 15 million years ago. There were no humans.The closest thing to human was probably Proconsul.
It looks like a couple of people are way behind in their reading. Like several decades of Physics Letters and Physical Review to start with.
Bob Quark and Leonard Preon
The subtitle to hancocks latest offering is “The key to Earth’s lost civilization’, and in the pre-publication blurb, it was promised that Hancock brings his story to a “stunning conclusion”.
Apart from some vague musings that north America is the place to find this lost civilization, (he has abandoned Antarctica), what is this famous ‘key’ and exactly what is the ‘stunning conclusion’?