Looks like a very worthwhile event. If you’re in the Toronto area and want some relief from paleobabble, this is for you!
For all the ancient astronaut “researchers” out there – a wonderful illustration of why peer-review of your material is important (otherwise known as the nuttiness filter).
Wow, talk about a blast from the past. In my very first post on PaleoBabble, back on May 1, 2008, I blogged about the so-called Jesus Tomb and the mathematical work used to defend the tomb as belonging to Jesus’ family. You can check out that link for the peer-reviewed analysis of the statistical work before checking out this update on the statistical work (warning: this is an offering to math nerds who read this blog; the rest of you normal people, like me, won’t get as much out of it).
Thanks to Mark Goodacre of Duke and his NT blog for the post that brought this to my attention.
I know this will come as a shock, but the claims of Jimmy Barfield, the amateur researcher who claimed to have “deciphered” the “code” of the Copper Scroll (and so, many objects described in it) appears bogus. Hard to imagine that we’ll have to add Jimmy to the paleobabble dustbin of archaeological cheesiness.
Could be. This isn’t from a paleo-babbling source, either. Real archaeologists doing what they do. Read about it here.
Talk about great timing. Just this past Wednesday in my Ancient Israel class at Western Washington University I covered some of the hokey “evidences” put forth by less-than-reputable Christian archaeologists in defense of Jebel el-Lawz as the true location of Mount Sinai. In briefer terms, the Ron Wyatt (see here also) and Robert Cornuke nonsense (see here, here, and here). Cornuke’s adventures (if they occurred) at Jebel el-Lawz, you may recall, were chronicled in a book by Howard Blum (“The Gold of Exodus”) that got reviewed in Biblical Archaeology review under the wonderful title, “Yahoos in Arabia.”
Now, mind you, I do think a good case can be made for Jebel el-Lawz as the location of Mount Sinai (though I’m not married to it). I just think real scholars like Frank Moore Cross of Harvard (now retired) are the people to pay attention to for a defense of that view).1
So now we have the latest archaeo-fiasco. The Jebel el-Lawz view is sullied once more by Christian archaeological amateurism and perhaps fakery. This time it’s an alleged “Yahweh inscription” from Jebel el-Lawz. You can read about the inscription and the claims surrounding it in this debunking by Gordon Franz. It includes a picture (hand drawing) of the object. The lettering on the inscription, which some experts consider a fake, is not epigraphic Hebrew, nor proto-Sinaitic. It’s Old South Arabian script. You can click here to check a South Arabian alphabet and follow the discussion of the letters more easily.
- Note that in saying this, I’m telegraphing the fact that I am not persuaded against Cross’s position by the Jebel el-Lawz debunking by Gordon Franz, the same fellow to whom I’ve directed readers of this post for the Yahweh inscription debunking. I don’t think the Jebel el-Lawz location is without problem, but Franz’s arguments against it aren’t that compelling since they have other answers than the conclusions he draws. It’s just too bad that Jebel el-Lawz gets colored as silly because of people like Wyatt and Cornuke. ↩
I wanted to give a heads up to all of you curled up in the fetal position over the 2012 doomsday that Archaeoblog is running a 2012 countdown, complete with humorous insights to the nonsense. 829 days to go.
I thought some academic relief from the paleobabble might be in order. As a brief respite from the nonsense, check out the Virtual Manuscript Room at Münster. You can view ancient papyri and other manuscripts of the New Testament on the site (nice high resolution pics).
Here’s the story, but you may be disappointed in that there are no photos. The scientist in question will be delivering a paper on how he did what he did, and presumably at that point the world will see images. Interesting for sure.
I blogged this over on UFO Religions today, but PaleoBabble readers will enjoy the video as well.