The Pseudoarchaeology of America Before: A Review

America Before: The Key to Earth’s Lost Civilization

  • Hancock, Graham
  • St. Martin’s Press
  • Released April 23, 2019 (U.S.)
  • 592 pages
  • $29.99
    ISBN: 978-1-250-15373-9

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

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.

Clovis point dating to 11500-9000 BCE from Sevier Co., UT. Photo by Picasa.

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

Illustration by Chumwa

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.

References:

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

About Carl Feagans 387 Articles
Professional archaeologist that currently works for the United States Forest Service at the Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area in Kentucky and Tennessee. I'm also a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Army and spent another 10 years doing adventure programming with at-risk teens before earning my master's degree at the University of Texas at Arlington.

59 Comments

  1. 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?

  2. “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?

    • 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):

      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?

      So I gave the section you found nefarious.

  3. 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…

    • Correct. But the OP was NOT talking about Hancock’s other books

      Yes. I know. I was agreeing with you.

      Schoch has apparently not objected to the way Hancock has used his work, at least to my knowledge…

      I’m sure he was elated to be cited. Again, I was just providing some clarification for the person you were commenting to.

  4. 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…

  5. Gleaner63,

    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.

  6. 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…

    • What is a “poster session” and how does that differ from another type of session?

      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.

  7. 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.

  8. Carl,

    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).

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

    Peace out

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Lyle Lanely:
    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]

  14. 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?

    • 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.

  15. 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 . . .

  16. “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”

  17. 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?

    • 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!)

  18. 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…..:)…

  19. 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!!!!!

  20. Gleaner,

    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….

  21. Carl,
    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.

  22. Gleaner63;

    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.

  23. 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)…

  24. 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….

  25. 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.

    7.See #6.

    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.

  26. 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.

  27. Carl,

    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?

  28. 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?

  29. 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”?

  30. 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?

  31. 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?

  32. 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.

  33. 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..

  34. 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?

  35. 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….

  36. 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..:)..

  37. 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?

  38. 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…..

  39. 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..:)…

  40. 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…

  41. 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”..????

  42. @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!

  43. Carl,

    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.

    https://www.andywhiteanthropology.com/blog/the-topper-site-pre-clovis-a-newcomers-perspective

    https://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/comments/b7wg0d/debunking_the_5_biggest_conspiracy_theories_and/

    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.

  44. 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?

  45. 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….:)

  46. 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….

  47. James,

    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.

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