I saw two items today that have convinced me that the PaleoBabble blog needs to begin awarding the PhD in Non Sequitur Thinking for ancient astronaut theorists.
The first is this wonderful post from the Skeptophilia blog. Please read it. It is an uncannily accurate accounting of how ancient astronaut conspiracy theorists think (and it’s entertaining). I loved it since I’ve lived it (too many times). I hereby infer, with all the authority invested in me by virtue of the possession of a sound mind, the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of Non Sequitur Thinking on the student referred to in Gordon Bennet’s Skeptophilia post. May he wear the mantle well. My thanks to professor Bennet for recommending his student for the degree.
The second item comes from my comments page. Karku asked my thoughts on one Maximillen de Lafayette, whom the commenter is apparently having trouble tracking down in terms of credential verification (what a surprise). Basically, de Lafayette seems to want to be the heir apparent to Zecharia Sitchin’s gold train, and so claims expertise in about everything pertaining to the ancient world, along with authoring hundreds of books and thousands of other items worth reading (!). After yawning and chuckling, here was my short response:
1. It matters not how many publications one has if one is writing only for the uninformed. Rather, when one subjects one’s views to experts in the relevant fields (i.e., subjects one’s work to peer review) and they determine that such writings pass muster, THEN and only then should we care.
2. If Mr. de Lafayette lacks real credentials from real universities, then he is a liar when it comes to his credibility for saying anything about any ancient language. I don’t know if he’s lying. I’m giving you a chance to defend him.
3. Who cares if he “takes Sitchin further” when Sitchin’s material is bogus? Taking ideas that do not exist in ancient Mesopotamian records is like taking the anatomical study of unicorns “further.” Caring about his work would therefore be a waste of time.
My guess, of course, is that Lafayette knows even less about ancient languages than Sitchin did, which wasn’t much, as I have noted elsewhere. But maybe he studied something somewhere and can prove it. All this before we even get to the non sequitur nature of his work.