Jason Colavito just posted a review of the Ancient Aliens episode “Alien Operations.” As usual, the review is informed and insightful, while the episode was disturbingly dumb –another ode to incoherence. My favorite paragraph:
Tsoukalos adopts Thomas Aquinas’s argument from first cause to argue that human medical knowledge could not have developed spontaneously because every surgeon alive today learns from previous surgeons who learned from previous surgeons; therefore, invention is impossible and only aliens could have been the first cause. The idea of gradual evolution is for him inconceivable; a discipline must exist as an unchanging, complete whole or it cannot exist at all. This is the cultural version of the creationist staple about what good half an eye is. How then does he explain the fact that treatments exist today that did not exist ten years ago, like, say the 3D printing that the show discussed only minutes earlier?
I’ve blogged about the famous Nazca lines before (“Doodling and Chicken Scratch of the Gods“), both in terms of why they have nothing to do with aliens and to expose readers to the thoughts of scholar-anthropologists on their manufacture and meaning. I recently came across an essay posted last December on the Ancient Aliens Debunked blog that pertains to the alleged Nazca astronaut that’s definitely worth a read: “The Nazca Astronaut Man: Owl-man or Fisherman?” The post focuses on the relief under the right elbow of the “astronaut” and the “spaceman’s” clothing. It makes a good case that: (1) the relief is actually a fish held on a line, next to a fishing pole (certainly has a fish shape when you look at it closely) and (2) the clothing is traditional Peruvian garb. It’s an interesting post. I’m betting an expert in Peruvian art could find analogous examples.
Many PaleoBabble readers have no doubt heard of the stone spheres of Costa Rica. In addition to the debunking of the “Nuremberg UFO” engraving I posted about a few days ago, Frank Johnson of the Ancient Aliens Debunked blog also has a worthwhile piece on these stone spheres. Hope you’re sitting down: aliens didn’t make them.
As Johnson notes in his post, ancient alien theorists not only don’t have a firm grasp of the obvious (like hammer marks still visible on the stones – thanks for that advanced technology, ET), they’re just plain irritated that he would dare dispute amazing “proof” like this for ancient alien contact. I’m sure they’ll soon realize that’s a poor strategy. Why not just film another Ancient Aliens episode and make up different evidence? I’m just saying.
As is so often the case, mainstream scholars are not curled up in the fetal position, rendered dumbstruck by the shocking evidence for alien causation offered by the likes of Erich “I’m the reincarnation of P.T. Barnum” von Daniken. Johnson introduces readers to anthropology Professor John Hoopes. As Johnson notes, “Hoopes has not only examined the Costa Rican giant stone balls, he has a Website explaining them and the errors in many of the claims.”
At any rate, if you haven’t read a thoughtful treatment of the stones spheres, the post is recommended.
The Bellingham Herald, the local newspaper in my neck of the woods, ran an article on me today (you have to love the rocket behind me in the picture). The interview with Michelle Nolan was a lot of fun. It was fascinating — she’s a veritable walking encyclopedia on the history of comic books and science fiction. We tried to focus on several of the ideas in The Facade. I actually got several good trajectories for the sequel, The Portent, from the interview.
Readers may recall a few months ago when I announced I’d be interviewed for this documentary. That happened in August. Well, I’m happy to announce that the documentary is finished and online. It’s just over three hours, and free to the public. I haven’t had time to watch it yet, but having read all the scripts, I can tell you it will be well worth viewing. There’s a lot of good research that went into this. Jason Colavito’s work, to which I often direct readers, figures prominently in several places. The producer tells my I’m in the last section. Lastly, make sure you visit the actual website, since other video that didn’t make it into the final product will be kept there for viewing, along with source documentation.
I’ve also created a Page on this blog with a link to the documentary so you can easily find it later and direct friends to it.
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.
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.