Just thought I’d let everyone know that I’ll be speaking in Nashville, TN this coming October at the second “Christian Symposium on Aliens” – otherwise known as Ancient of Days 2013. The event is scheduled for October 3-6. I’ve been assigned two lectures that will occur on Friday, Oct 4:
“The Divine Council, Giants, and a Return of the Nephilim?” (please note the question mark)
“Paleobabble! The Role of Pseudo-Science and Bad Theology in Today’s Popularized Alien Mythos”
I’ll also be participating in a lengthy symposium and Q & A sessions on Sunday, Oct 6. I’ll come up with abstracts a little later and post those. Here’s the schedule as it stands now.
I’m not promising anything, but I’ve alerted the organizer, Guy Malone, that at my present writing rate, the first full draft of The Portent, the sequel to my paranormal / theological thriller, The Facade, should be in the can by the end of summer. That means it’ll be in the editorial stage at the time of this event. That in turn would mean (again, this is all guesswork) that the sequel would be ready for Christmas. If things follow this scenario, I’m considering the idea of taking pre-orders at this event for signed copies of The Portent. (I haven’t talked to the publisher about that yet, but it’s on my radar). This is the only event I have scheduled for the fall, so if such a pre-order offering emerges, Ancient of Days 2013 is the only place it’s going to happen.
Jason Colavito recently produced a series of posts exposing the poor use of data (and perhaps deliberate deception in that regard) on the part of Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck in their book, Wonders in the Sky: Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times. PaleoBabble readers will find the series useful and interesting:
Back in 2011 on my UFO Religions blog I also wrote a lengthy review of this book, which Jason aptly calls Jacques Vallee’s version of an ancient astronaut book. I agree with Jason that much (all?) of the evidence drawing on ancient texts is the result of misinterpretation or wishful thinking. The criteria of the authors for weeding out certain accounts is poorly applied to material they elsewhere embrace.
According to what my blog tells me under the hood, this week marks five years since I started blogging about the wackiness about antiquity we’ve all come to know and love. Hard to believe, I know. And of course some would say it’s five years too many.
As many of you know, I have three blogs. As far as a five-year track record for this blog, here are some stats:
Number of Posts: 525
Word Count: 108,784
Ancient Astronaut believers offended: unknown
People who have rediscovered logic as a result of the blog: hopefully more than in the previous category
I’ve blogged before (here and here) about how what the biblical prophet Ezekiel saw was not a UFO or flying saucer. From time to time I get email (or comments here) about how I’m wrong because of the “research” of Joseph Blumrich, a pseudo-scientist who blessed the world in 1974 with his pseudo-scholarship in The Spaceships of Ezekiel. For some reason I’ve recently gotten a good bit of such interaction, so I thought I’d add something to my previous posts on Ezekiel’s vision.
One of the reasons so many people have (and still do) think Blumrich’s book is worth referencing is that he claimed (and so his followers are fond of repeating) that he was a NASA engineer. He wasn’t. As Jason Colavito demonstrated a long time ago, documentation exists from the U. S. State Department that shows the State Department could find no evidence that Blumrich was affiliated with NASA. Frankly, it wouldn’t matter if Blumrich was an engineer. His ideas are based on desperate and uninformed misreadings of the biblical text anyway. We know what Ezekiel saw because his descriptions mirror ancient Babylonian iconography that we can look at today because of archaeologists. The imagery is no mystery, nor is its meaning.
So, once again, the uncritical thinkers in the ancient astronaut orbit (and I do mean orbit) were duped by a “researcher” that lied to them. You have to wonder how many times this has to happen before some of these folks wake up. The ancient astronaut theory is primarily supported by industrious but duplicitous researchers offering fraudulent research to an emotionally and psychologically primed audience. It’s actually pretty sad.
I can second Jason Colavito’s thoughts on Aaron Adair’s recent post on the very human technology used to move the trilithon stones at Baalbek (and other such stones at other locations). It’s a very good post and, for critical thinkers at least, lays to rest the myths about alien participation at Baalbek.
Here’s a link to an interesting article about recent archaeological research in the village that housed the pyramid builders. It focuses on the evidence for large settled herds that generated food and served as a food source.
Why is it on Paleobabble?
Well, it’s sort of odd that this sort of thing would be needed at the Giza pyramid complex if the ancient Egyptians used the advance alien technology of levitation. We *know* it couldn’t be human. So, if they had levitation, one would think the pyramid would take very little time. Maybe a week with all those stones floating around — no need to drag them. Oh, and the lasers to cut them like butter. The pyramid would be a short-term project. Hmmm.
Or maybe it wasn’t aliens with technology advanced far beyond our own.
The above link takes you to some documentation on this issue posted by Jason Colavito on his website. I happened to come across it a week or so ago. It’s interesting for me in that it mentions astronaut Jim Irwin. I heard Irwin speak at Dallas Seminary back in the late 1980s when I was taking some courses there. Irwin led two unsuccessful expeditions to find evidence for the ark in Turkey. He died in 1991. One would think if the government had an interest in the ark Irwin would have said something about it or produced it. That silence is echoed by the documentation Jason has on his website.
I just blogged this over at UFO Religions, but it’s equally applicable here given the sort of pablum that I deal with so often in the world of paleobabble.
You just HAVE to watch the video below (7:00). It’s clear and to the point, and you’ll no doubt have a laugh or two – a video on how Luke Skywalker’s destruction of the Death Star was *really* an inside job. It’s very well done and has almost two million views on YouTube.
The value of the video should be obvious. Every fact presented in it is indeed a fact from the movie. And every connection drawn is “reasonable” in the context of the narrative created. But the conclusions are absolutely wrong. This is precisely how so much conspiratorial thinking works … and fails horribly. Conspiracy is all about narrative interpretation, not “facts”. Once one part of the narrative fails, the whole thing crumbles. The beauty of the video is that the viewer already knows the narrative is wrong, but can see how that bogus narrative is created using nothing but factual data.
In short, it’s not about the data dots; it’s about how the dots are connected — and that usually (nearly always) happens in the theater of the imagination when it comes to conspiracy theory.
A few days ago the Luxor Times reported the discovery of 40 papyrus documents and 30 caves “sealed by King Khufu’s cartouche” were discovered “at Wadi El Jerf, located on the red sea coast to the South of the city of Suez, about 190 kilo meters.”
Given it’s associated with Khufu (4th dynasty – ca. 4500 years ago), I’m hoping some of the papyri deal with building projects (e.g., the Great Pyramid). We’ll see.