Mike on Coast to Coast AM Thursday Night

Many readers are familiar with Coast to Coast AM, the most-listened to late night talk show in the world. I’ll be on the evening of Feb 2. I’ve been on Coast over twenty times, and it’s always fun and unpredictable. The topics tend to be fairly wide-ranging when I’m on, but no doubt things like ancient astronauts and other PaleoBabble fodder will come up for discussion. One new item I am offering listeners is English translations to the only three scholarly articles on the Anunnaki that I know of. They are all in German, and over the past two years I have had them translated into English. Hopefully Coast listeners will want to actually engage the original sources in regard to the Anunnaki, which are a favorite candidate for ancient astronaut mythology.

The History of Pyramid Research: Another Installment from the Em Hotep Blog

Readers should check out this (very) lengthy entry recently posted on the quite useful Em Hotep blog. Readers may recall that Em Hotep has actually produced a series on pyramid construction and architecture that is very readable and worth bookmarking (check out the “Featured Series” on the front page). This post brings us up-to-date with Gantenbrink’s Upuaut pyramid rover.

The Bible Code Myth Redux

Okay, I know — it’s beating a dead horse. But, I was reminded of the Bible Code today by this recent rehearsal of the nonsense at the Skeptophilia Blog. And since we’re beating dead horses, I should remind readers that I wrote a short book debunking this many moons ago (from the perspective of manuscript transmission and the history of the Hebrew OT text). It’s 100 pages or so and available as PDF.

Talpiot Tomb Makes Another Round in the Blogosphere

Thanks go to Mark Goodacre of Duke University for this short post linking us to a recent paper about the alleged Jesus family tomb. As is typical, Mark clearly and succinctly summarizes the two primary points of weakness in the tomb argument — weaknesses that were noted at the beginning and which still kill the identification with Jesus of Nazareth. But perhaps $imcha Jacobovici can still squeeze more profit and notoriety out of it.

Ancient Astronaut Enthusiast Defends Sitchin

Some readers know about my website devoted to demonstrating the nonsense put forth by Zecharia Sitchin. Part of that site includes an open letter to Sitchin (now deceased of course) and his worshippers. It’s been there over 10 years (Sitchin never responded) but at long last someone has stepped forward to defend their hero. I have to give him points for that. The response, however, runs the gamut from excuses, misreadings,  incoherence, and the obligatory “the Asyriologists just didn’t have the benefit of reading Sitchin when they translated these tablets” pablum. <Sigh>  Just what I expected when I originally posted it. Here is the response along with my inserted replies (it’s a PDF; double-click on the sticky notes for my replies).

I know what many of you are thinking: “Why do you bother, Mike?” I’ve had people ask me that many times, including scholars in the various fields Sitchin stumbles through. Honestly, I do it for people who sincerely want to think through the data, not for people already blinded by what Sitchin says because they were bored or offended with something else (like mainstream Judaism or Christianity or materialist science). I don’t do it to win the blinded disciples, because no matter what data you put in front of those people, it just doesn’t matter. But there are people who haven’t been brainwashed but are genuinely curious. They are still reachable.

When Archaeologists Attack: Amateur Researcher of Maya Gets an Earful

Here’s an interesting story about an amateur researcher (an architect by profession) who suggested in a recent article that there may be ruins of a famous ancient Mayan city … in Georgia (the one famous for peaches and iced tea). Turns out an archaeologist he quoted in his book actually read his material and was pretty irked.

I’d love to see more of this (“unintentional peer review”). Other than Dan Brown in the wake of the DaVinci Code, it’s rare that scholars read any of this sort of amateur research. If they did, more of these sorts of enthusiasts would get called out. Most of the time they’d get embarrassed, but I believe that every once in a while they might get some help thinking differently about a topic (presuming the data are real). It’s even more interesting since the offended archaeologist had to read it in the Examiner (the online newspaper that sounds like the Onion at times but isn’t as funny).

2011 PaleoBabble Stats

As is my custom, the first post of the new year summarizes the stats from last year.   Here they are:

Visits to the blog:  340,559

Page Views: 875,611

PaleoBabble had significant jumps in both statistical categories from 2010. Thanks to all of you who stop by and read!