Fake-Archaeology On the Internet

Here’s a couple articles on the interwebs the last week or so that are fake-archaeology (farkaeology?)

Ancient-Batman?

Misinformation spread by the Ancient-Origins concierge of pseudoarchaeology, Chris Aguilar.

This one was being passed around the webs by the Ancient-Origins pseudoarchaeology page.

AO and their pseudoarchaeology concierge for Facebook, Chris Aguilar, are spreading visual misinformation with the image of a work of modern art. Created by an artist named Kimball for an exhibition in Mexico City called “Batman Through Mexican Creativity” (“Batman a Través de la Creatividad Mexicana”). This was for the 75th anniversary of Batman in 2014.

As per AO and Aguilar’s normal method of operation, they injected a little fact then a bunch of nonsense. The ancient Maya did, in fact, have a bat-deity. But AO went on to describe giant bats of the Pleistocene, bat-like demons, and Dracula. All as a means to sell mystery to those eager to buy it.

Made up Maternal Mention

A now removed article poorly written by a clickbait copyeditor.

This one isn’t necessarily archaeology, but since DNA is becoming more and more common as a tool in archaeological research I thought I’d include it. Also, it’s a very good example of how rash copyeditors for clickbait sites work.

Bright Side wanted us all to believe that Children Get Most of Their Genes From Their Maternal Grandmother. Well, they probably actually gave two-peas in a bucket about what we all believe or don’t believe as long as we clicked the link. Don’t worry, you can click the link since it sends you to an archive of their page–not the page itself.

The original article (they’ve since pulled it) stated: “the genes that children receive in their mothers’ wombs come directly from their grandmothers.”

Of course this is just nonsense since we all get 23 chromosomes from each parent, 50% from mom, 50% from dad. From each grandparent, we inherit 25% of their DNA, but it is quite indirect. The original article also had some nonsense about how genes can “skip a generation.” I suspect the article was thrown together by someone who gave a quick read to the actual study they wanted to interpret (which they badly did) and that person didn’t have a basic understanding of genetics. Or science.

The actual study (given a small, unobtrusive link) was titled, Grandma plays favourites: X-chromosome relatedness and sex-specific childhood mortality. The authors conclude, “elderly women are able to contribute to their grandchildren’s survivorship through nutritional provisioning, which would increase a woman’s inclusive fitness because she shares one-quarter of her genes with a grandchild.”

About Carl Feagans 369 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.

3 Comments

  1. Dealing with my mate who keeps ranting on about Graham Hancock’s work. After much time away from my studies in computer science trying to look at the stuff with an open mind that he insists I need to look at I just decided to stop wasting my time, and now my mate says it’s because you’re closed minded and unaware of the lies of fake history and dogma being spread through the elites and mainstream archaeology. No offence to orthodox Archeological circles, it just doesn’t interest me, because of the amount of questionable information out there now on the internet that is readily sucked up without considering a rational view and evidence. no disrespect to the Archaeological community, I don’t claim to be an armchair expert and try to keep an open mind to it, but I just don’t want to spend time proving who’s right or wrong by having to learn cuniform, Egyptian hieroglyphics so I can verify sources of fantastical information claiming Annunaki on summerian tablets.

    In regards to Graham Hancock just watching The BBC Horizon documentary which I thought was quite objective kinda made me stop looking further.
    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x10qjc2

    I feel it’s good to keep an open mind and explore the idea no matter how radical. But just doing bad science which is so obviously blatantly wrong even by my layman’s point of view and then claiming that “you just can’t see what I am seeing because you’re just not aware enough to see things in a certain point of view and stuck in dogma” just seems like pure arrogance to me.

    I feel for people doing real legitimate work on both sides, there’s just so much unfounded ridiculous conspiracy theory nonsense out there on the internet now that just pulls your work down to their level to be ridiculed. It’s like people have stopped using their logic and reasoning now.

  2. Rationalist,

    You really don’t have to master Egyptian hieroglyphics to separate the wheat from the chaff when considering different perspectives any more than I need to learn to write computer code to figure out who the majority of the BS artists may be in computer science. Just take a look at the training and credentials of people, the work they have produced and where it appeared, positions they have held, etc. If someone has a degree in computer science from a well respected program and has published in the relevant journals in the field or has worked in a prominent position in the field or has registered patents that work, etc. there is a good chance that they are a more reliable source than someone with a degree in Animal Husbandry who claims that they learned to write computer programs (never proven to have actually worked) by channeling the spirit of a 13,000 year old resident of Atlantis while dropping acid.

Comments are closed.