Cuneiform Astronomy: The Planets in Mesopotamian Cuneiform Sources

I get asked all the time, “How do you know Sitchin is wrong about aliens in Sumerian tablets?” Short answer: Because I get my information from the actual ancient scribes. Here’s one example among many that could be offered.  It’ s a free PDF paper (28 pp) on the planets in Mesopotamian sources (i.e., the actual cuneiform astronomical texts — also known as the stuff Zecharia Sitchin hides from his readers).  I thought those of you interested in divine into the actual source material for this sort of thing might like it. If you are committed to the ancient Anunnaki astronaut nonsense already, you might want to avoid that link. Actual sources have a way of demolishing this belief system.

A few things to notice as you read:

1. Take this information back to Zecharia Sitchin’s works and check and see if the way he explains the gods and astronomical bodies align with the source texts (Hint: it doesn’t — but don’t rely on my word).  Then ask yourself why Sitchin didn’t get this right. I’ll leave it to you to speculate on why.

2. Look at page 9 – the list of planets and their deity names. Notice anything? Count them. According to Sumerian sources, the Sumerians did *not* know twelve planets, contra Sitchin. And the chart shows no knowledge of a planet beyond Saturn (they are all visible to the trained naked eye). This is devastating proof that from their own tablets that the Sumerians had no advanced astronomical knowledge from aliens.

The Pan-Babylonian Approach to the Hebrew Bible by Ancient Astronaut Theorists: Still Dead After All These Years

I’ve blogged before about “Pan-Babylonianism” — the idea that the content of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is basically plagiarized from Babylonian (more widely, Sumero-Mesopotamian) material. No serious biblical studies scholar or Assyriologist believes this today, but this approach became a majority paradigm in the late 1800s and early 1900s in the wake of two events: (1) the decipherment of cuneiform and (2) Friedrich Delitzsch’s “Babel und Bible” lectures delivered in 1902 to the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft attended by Kaisar Wilhelm II and his staff. In other words, anyone (like Zecharia Sitchin) who supposed or still supposes this approach is novel or cutting edge or “research the mainstream cannot cope with” is behind the curve by 100 years.

The death pf Pan-Babylonianism actually came shortly after it’s rise to prominence due to the famous German scholar Hermann Gunkel’s classic rebuttal-essay, Babylonien und Israel (1903). Gunkel was *not* an evangelical or fundamentalist. He is well know to many people in that crowd as a “liberal” scholar. Regardless of labels, his famous work initiated the lethal injection to Pan-Babylonianism.

Gunkel’s important work is now available in a new English translation. Readers can read a review here, as well as get information for ordering this new work. Bear in mind this is a scholarly work; it is not light reading.The review alludes to an earlier translations of Gunkel’s work by published in 1904 by John Joseph McVey. That earlier translation is available online for free here.

Ancient Mayan Temples Designed as Giant Loudspeakers?

I can hardly wait for the paleobabble-sphere gets hold of this one. No, archaeologists haven’t discovered ancient electronics in the Mayan temples. This article is about how the positioning and certain architectural features of Mayan temples may reflect a knowledge of good acoustics (as opposed to a good knowledge of acoustics). This shouldn’t be a surprise. Acoustics (the fact that the human voice carries better in certain places and under certain conditions) is something that can be learned by experience and experimentation.  But duplicating it takes some smarts. No aliens needed, just smart humans.

But just wait — I would bet my paleobabble library that talk shows that cater to this sort of thing will have “researchers” on that will tell us the temples were designed to communicate messages from the space gods. Or maybe they designed the temples that way so everyone could here “we’re all going to die tomorrow!” on December 20, 2012.

Searching for Sodom (Again)

Todd Bolen has a succinct summary of the newest search for the destroyed city of Sodom. This time it’s the Russians and Jordanians looking underwater in the Dead Sea. As Todd notes, I wonder if anyone will consult Zephaniah 2:9 on this. Probably not. That would cut the (this time Christian, I’d bet) paleobabble cycle short.

Noah’s Ark Researcher Admits Ark Discovery This Past Year was a Fraud

For readers of this blog, this is no surprise. I’ve blogged the hoax several times, including correspondence from Randall Price, the ark researcher interviewed in this article who confirms (again) that the Chinese team’s “find” was a hoax.

But some readers just couldn’t (or wouldn’t) believe it from me. Here you go. Another hoax in the name of defending the Bible – a very poor testimony, indeed.  This chicanery just isn’t necessary, but it ain’t going away, I can assure you.