Jason Colavito has a short write up on how Christian apologists are using a prop — a giant human skeleton that isn’t a skeleton at all — from von Daniken’s ancient astronaut theme park for the gullible.
Since when is defending one’s faith with a lie a good idea?
Pretty pathetic. It leads people to follow several bogus thought trajectories:
1. That belief in a creator needs to be defended via the idea of giants (it doesn’t, and that “approach” is absurd).
2. That belief in a creator is synonymous with young earth creationism and rigid biblical literalism (it isn’t).
3. That those who defend the young earth view of creationism will basically stoop to any level to do so (many would not; that is, they aren’t ethically challenged).
Jason Colavito has a worthwhile post demonstrating the flawed thinking and resourcing of such claims (and they are quite common). But hey, I guess it sounds better than a giant prehistoric dog eating the evidence.
Jason Colavito has written some recent pieces on presumed discoveries of giant human specimens. Often such reports are simply not what they claim to be – evidence is misunderstood or even fabricated, or reports get garbled and transformed in transmission. Here are two illustrations courtesy of Jason’s work:
This link from the Ancient World Online (AWOL) will take you to a few dozen SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) seminar papers that have been made available for free. There were several academic papers on 1 Enoch that caught my eye:
I’ve blogged before about giant human skeletons that aren’t giant human skeletons. The first two examples I blogged about were hoaxes, created with image editing software (see here and here). The Remnant of the Giants blog recently had an interesting post about a presumed giant human skeleton discovered in Belgium in 1643. Turned out the giant was a mammoth. This is typical, both in the ancient world (as chronicled by Adrienne Mayor) and, as this article points out, in modern times as well.
Many of you have no doubt heard of the Cardiff giant — supposedly a genuine fossilized human giant discovered in 1869. Despite the conclusive evidence for a hoax, one can still find pictures of the giant on obscure websites where it is assumed tobe evidence for biblical giants. There’s a new book out on the hoax (2010) that looks like a definitive work. It’s entitled, “A Colossal Hoax: The Giant from Cardiff that Fooled America.” You can check out the book’s website here. It just went on my wish list.
Before this gets mis-reported all over the web on Christian sites that promote phony Photo-shopped pictures as proof of giants in the ancient world, I thought I’d post it. Here is the link; the photo is below. And I’ll save you the conversion time. 193 cm = just under six feet, four inches, not ten or fifteen feet. Unusually tall for Chinese (these days) but right in the range I’ve suggested constituted a giant in the ancient world (anything over six feet tall upward into the seven foot range — sort of like today on the higher end).
I can hardly wait for the ancient astronaut crowd and those who want 2o-foot giants in antiquity to cite this find. Never mind that it’s an obvious *sculpture* (hence “foot mark” not “footprint” in my title). A connection to the pyramids can’t be far behind.
Yesterday I received an email containing some pictures of alleged giant skeletons. PaleoBabble readers know that I’ve posted before on this topic before, noting how Photoshop is certainly the solution to many of these pictures you see circulating on the web. Whenever I get photos like these (see below), I wish I had the time to comb the web for the originals that were used to create the hoaxes. Sometimes you find someone who’s already done that work (like my earlier post, linked above). But this sort of thing could take dozens of hours. Fortunately, among the two photos sent to me are two that are easily demonstrated to be fakes. Here’s the first of the two:
Now here’s the second:
Can you spot the problem? Look at the skulls side by side below:
See it? What are the odds that two skulls, at two allegedly different archaeological digs, would be missing the exact same teeth? A billion to one, I’d say. Take a closer look at the comparison picture. You can see that the fracture lines on the two photos at the bridge of the nose are also exactly the same. It’s the same skull, photo-shopped into two different pictures, with adjustments made in tinting.
You can find these pictures on several creationist websites. That’s a shame. Readers should know that I am no enemy of the idea of a divine creator. Frankly, I think creation is much more philosophically coherent than naturalistic materialism. But this is simply unethical.