Guide to Ancient Astronaut PaleoBabble

I’ll be on Coast to Coast AM this evening. This time I decided to do something that will help listeners follow the discussion more easily.  I’ve created a sort of quick guide to my basic responses to a range of ancient astronaut paleobabble. It’s a one-stop reference point for all sorts of links, posts, and files on my sites and blogs.  Check it out.

You may also find this page of interest (it’s linked to on the above guide). A few paleobabble topics here I haven’t blogged on yet.

Yours Truly to Appear on Coast to Coast AM

The date is June 30.

The topic?  Zecharia Sitchin and ancient astronauts.

As many of you know, I’ve been on Coast to Coast AM many times. It’s always fun. No matter what I’m on for, George Noory (the host) loves to talk about ancient astronauts and Zecharia Sitchin. He’s a skilled host and a great conversationalist. (Despite my disagreements with things I hear on the show, I’m a fan). The odd thing is that we’ve never actually done a whole show on that.  The only time to my recollection that I was a guest with that focus was back in 2001 with Art Bell. The show that sort of started all this.

Please tell your friends to tune in! To get a preview of my take on Sitchin’s theories, you can visit my site devoted to that material.

Zecharia Sitchin and Sumerian DNA: Genetic Code for PaleoBabble

Some readers may have seen this article today. The page is the home of Cosmic Log, the science blog of Alan Boyle, science writer for MSNBC. Boyle interviewed Zecharia Sitchin (who’s hawking yet another book about how aliens are the explanation for human life and civilization). Sitchin is demanding that the proper authorities and specialists run genetic tests on Puabi, a Sumerian queen whose remains are at the Natural History Museum in London. Sitchin wants the museum to authorize the genetic testing to prove or disprove his thesis that aliens spliced their genetic material into an earth hominid to create human beings.  Naturally, the demand is being made in the wake of the recent genetic testing of King Tut’s remains and the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome.  Sitchin somehow thinks that his reputation and theories would be at stake if the tests were conducted.

Boyle also interviewed yours truly for this article–and I thank him here for including some of my comments in it.

It should come as no surprise that I think this is an utterly useless exercise.  Sitchin’s theories wouldn’t be at stake if these tests were run. His theories collapse on their own since none of what he claims is in the Sumerian texts about extraterrestrials is there. I have an entire site devoted to Sitchin. If readers go there, I hope they watch me do exciting (but absolutely telling) things like record myself searching the online Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature for the Anunnaki. The term (and synonyms, like Anunna) occurs over 100 times in Sumerian literature — you can get the results in a file from my site — and in no instance do we read things like the Anunnaki being on or in or associated in any way with Nibiru (which Sitchin says was their extra-solar planet home).  I also show his ideas about the Hebrew word “elohim” are incorrect. I won’t rehearse the site here, but there’s a lot on it that shows Sitchin’s ideas are without substance in every regard.

But even if Sitchin’s arguments weren’t vacuous, what about the testing? Think about it. Sitchin wants scientists to go find alien DNA or alien genes. Tell me, Mr. Sitchin, what would that DNA look like?  Since we don’t have an example or control sample of alien DNA or an alien DNA sequence portion, we have no idea what it would look like or how to observe a match from Puabi. Sitchin’s demand is akin to demanding a zoologist to go find an animal that has never been seen — how would our zoologist know if he was looking at one.  The demand is utterly pointless.

Ten years after first accepting the public challenge to debate Zecharia Sitchin on this stuff (a challenge Sitchin never accepted), I’m still amazed by how people can cling so tenaciously to ideas that are demonstrably wrong. It’s positively mystifying.

For those interested in taking some online courses with me on Sitchin’s ancient astronaut theories (and those of Barry Downing), click here.

DNA Results for the Fetuses in Tut’s Tomb

Some readers asked about this a while back in response to this post about how the “small bodies” in the tomb were not baby aliens (!) but human fetuses, as well as in response to the recent DNA testing of Tut’s remains (see, in order, here, here, here, and here).  I had emailed some Egyptologists about whether the fetuses had been tested but came up empty as far as any publication.  But apparently I just didn’t ask the right people. But to be fair, maybe I was asking the wrong question. I was looking for publication of the DNA work on the fetuses. That apparently has not been produced, but the fetuses are included here in terms of DNA comparisons.

Today the KV64 blog posted some new discussion of the DNA of the larger of the two fetuses.

The discussion and debate are still swirling about what can and cannot be said about the DNA of Tut and all the other individuals whose DNA was tested and compared. That’s because (a) there are ambiguities in the test results and (b) scholars are typically very cautious people when it comes to publishing their ideas.  Some are now wondering if the fetuses are Tut’s children. There is nothing in the DNA that says they aren’t, but some researchers want all the DNA signs to line up in such a way that the question would be stupid.  The results have just raised certain questions as you can see by reading the above link about the larger fetus.

One question that isn’t being entertained is “hey, what do we do about all the extraterrestrial DNA signatures in the results?” Sadly, there are none. The fetuses are all too human.  Another bummer for the ancient astronaut crowd.

Some Online Learning Opportunities for PaleoBabble Readers

Some of you know by now that I’m creating two online institutes. The academic calendar for the first year begins in October.  One institute is called MEMRA. It focuses on ancient and biblical studies. I’m packing a lot of my content from my now fifteen years of classroom teaching for interested people who don’t care about earning credits.  Courses are six weeks long (except for certain ancient language courses, which are year-long in duration).

For paleobabbler fellow-travelers, here are some MEMRA courses offered during the 2010-2011 year that may be of interest:

  • ancient Egyptian history sequence (three modules); one module is on pyramds
  • history of ancient Israel (has a lot of archaeological content)
  • ancient Israelite religion
  • ancient Egyptian religion
  • history of the Old and New Testament texts (“how we got the OT / NT”)
  • courses in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic (I’m waffling on whether to offer first-year hieroglyphics).

The other institute is for topics related to what is typically called the paranormal. It’s called the Institute for Paranormal, Preternatural, and Parapsychological Studies (IPPPS).  I want to address a range of topics from a critical academic perspective, stressing good sources, methods, and coherent thinking.  There’s actually a lot of peer-reviewed and otherwise academically-oriented material out there on strange topics that people could be exposed to.  How many people know that psychic phenomena was studied by research institutes at Stanford, Princeton, and Duke?  That alleged alien abductees have been researched by two psychology professors at Harvard ( who really don’t like each others’ work)?  It’s interesting stuff.

For this audience, I’m offering three courses critiquing ancient astronaut theories during the first year (two focused on Zecharia Sitchin; the other on Barry Downing’s work), along with a sequence on the history of UFO sightings in the U.S.  Another faculty member who just finished his PhD in historical anthropology is offering courses in the folklore of giants, vampirism, and witchcraft.

Just a heads up.

“Lost Underwater City” Gets Recycled

You just knew it was going to happen.  Now the underwater city that really isn’t an underwater city is being linked to Atlantis!  Sweet!

PaleoBabble followers will recall that many commenters to earlier posts on this “find” pointed us in the direction of “ghost circuitry” images or “compression artifacts” of the Google Earth satellite imaging  Here are two representative comments

Ffrom “Dave in California”:

“If you look closely it almost looks like a cicuit board of sorts, Google Earth people have addressed this before (a few years back), something about a dark spot where the image of the circuitry is reflected back of some sorts, if this is true, who knows, I don’t build satelites, but you can see this all over google earth in many different spots. Is this a record of the land before the flood, or just a reflection of the circutry of the lens? You decide.”

And, from “Isabella”

“The new images make it fairly obvious that the images are compression artifacts. Not surprising, as Google Earth (GE) went through the same thing a few years ago with a “structure” off the coast of Africa. If you look at any GE image of a large body of water you will see the same sort of shapes. It’s the result of the way in which visual information is stored that only really becomes visible in images of this size.”

Hmmm . . . Atlantis . . . or a known technological phenomenon . . . Atlantis . . . technology . . . technology . . . Atlantis . . .?

Where’s Edgar Cayce when you need him!?

Crystal Skull Myth Disproven (Again)

I’m sure you’ve heard of the crystal skulls before. They are allegedly ancient Mayan artifacts capable of mysterious powers, like inspiring a terrible Indiana Jones movie.  Turns out they aren’t ancient (I know–what a shocker). But look on the bright side. Maybe George Lucas will retire from script writing now.