If you’re interested in phony DNA research to prop up ancient alien hybrids and alleged nephilim skulls, you’re in luck. Two recent posts came to my attention today. They’re both long, but well worth the time.
Next we have (drum roll, please) a real archaeologist weigh in on the skulls – Keith Fitzpatrick Matthews on the Bad Archaeology blog. Keith’s essay, “The Paracas skulls: aliens, an unknown hominid species or cranial deformation?” is nothing short of devastating. In particular, pretend anthropologist Brien Foerster, a participant in the upcoming “Nephilim Skull Tour” comes out looking very bad, even dumb. (Just read it). This essay deals a bit with the DNA issue, but focuses more on the forensics of the skulls themselves.
Where’s the verse in the Bible again about nephilim having elongated skulls? (crickets chirping)
If you’ve surfed the web at all in the last day or two you have probably heard about this “discovery.” One piece I saw on Yahoo News described the skeletal remains in the picture below as those of a “giant-headed mummy” with a “triangular skull.” It must be alien — right?
At first glance, the “giant-headed” description may cause readers to zip right past the fact that the specimen is twenty INCHES long. Here is another picture you likely won’t see on the archaeo-porn websites seeking to derive up their hit traffic. It puts things into perspective.
The specimen is most likely an infant whose head was wrapped to achieve the shape, as I have blogged about before (and lots of infants have misshapen heads without wrapping anyway). This is the opinion of the discoverer, at any rate (if it really is a discovery, as opposed to a hoax). But that of course doesn’t deter audience-seeking web journalists from using words like “alien” and “extraterrestrial.” But iust couldn’t be the result of head-wrapping, known to have been practiced over nine millennia, including in Peru.
Otherwise, is it just me, or are several of the teeth in the skull a different color? And maybe it’s my imagination that the jaw is also out of proportion. I’m sure there’s no hoaxing involved. I’m also sure the Colts will be in the play-offs this year.
At any rate, at least one report I read noted that there appears to be the remains of an eyeball in the right eye socket (pardon me while I ignore the fact that if this is ancient that shouldn’t be there). But if by some material this non-bone material survived all this time, that would be prime DNA testing material. We can all wait now for the “oh, if only we had the funding [and please help us with that]” lamentations that will likely follow (either that or “the scientific community won’t allow us to test it”). My money is on this turning out to be another in the long line of “finds” that do nothing but perpetuate the cherished mythology.
Have they been found? You don’t know how badly I want to say they were inside Noah’s ark and now brought forth by the Chinese team. (You do now).
A link to this article was sent to me today (thanks to Doug in Colorado). Here’s my favorite part of the piece:
“Further tests are now being carried out on the remains, and the country’s culture minister, Vezhdi Rashidov, declared that people should wait for results before making ‘emotional statements‘ about the identity of the bones’ original owner.”
Yes, by all means, let’s not rush to make emotional statements about the bones’ owner — or stupid ones, either.
I’ve seen a lot of CSI shows in the last few years, but I’m baffled as to how an exact identification with John the Baptist could be made from the remains (parts of a cranium, tooth and arm bone). Usually in CSI work, a DNA sample from the missing person or person of interest is compared to that of physical remains. Or perhaps comparisons on the basis of dental records. Last time I checked, neither method could be a possibility in this case. Even if they had all the neck vertebrae and could determine that one of the vertebrae had suffered an axe wound that wouldn’t point to John (he’d be a candidate, obviously). All we have here is a few bones and medieval tradition. And we all know how reliable medieval traditions are. I am reminded of the relic of the true cross of Christ and the spear of destiny right off the top of my head.
At least the article notes that dozens of other sites have claimed to have John’s head (or parts of it) or physical remains. I’ll bet the splinters from the true cross would be sufficient to build a museum for all the pieces of John’s body. The again they might require too much space.