Part 1 of My Interview on the Exposing PseudoAstronomy Podcast

A few weeks ago astronomer Stuart Robbins interviewed me for his informative Exposing PseudoAstronomy podcast. Here is Part 1 of that interview. I’ll let you all know when Part 2 appears. The topic was the bogus use of ancient texts by Zecharia Sitchin and others to support their pseudo-astronomy.

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The Planet X Fraud

In case you haven’t heard of “Planet X,” it’s a notorious piece on Paleobabble that was derived from Zecharia Sitchin’s 12th planet Nibiru nonsense. However, Planet X has since taken on a (fake) life of its own, so that the idea cannot be equated with Sitchin’s ancient astronaut fairy tales. It’s since been married to the Mayan 2012 buffoonery and other conspiracy thinking about astronomy.

I’d encourage all readers to check out the Pseudo-Astronomy podcast for its series (now five parts) on “The Fake Story of Planet X.”  Good stuff.

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Satirical Music Video Targeting Nibiru 2012 Mythology

One of the members of the Boston-based rock band, Metaphor for Everything, sent me the link to a new single, accompanied by a note that the song was inspired by my Zecharia Sitchin site. Apparently the site convince one of the band members to leave the ancient astronaut fold. I got a chuckle out of it; some clever lyrics. I also liked the swipe at Harold Camping in it.

And for those ancient astronaut fundies out there who take that material too seriously, the song is a parody of the Sitchin/Nibiru/2012 hysteria — it’s not a suicide anthem.

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Ancient Aliens Debunked: The Official Trailer

I’m guessing all PaleoBabble readers know about the Ancient Aliens series put out by the Fantasy Channel (still though of by many as the History Channel). I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be interviewed later this summer for the documentary film response, Ancient Aliens Debunked. If you visit the link you can sign up for email notification when the documentary is released. It will be FREE and viewable online. The trailer is below. The film is being produced by Chris White. Since the documentary will be free, all of the expense incurred by Chris is his own. This has been true of his online and YouTube ministry since its inception. Please visit his site to donate and help support this project!

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NASA, PaleoBabble, and the 2012 BS

I just wanted to alert readers to this page on the NASA astrobiology website.  It’s a Q&A regarding the 2012 hysteria. The page answers the questions that the more conspiratorially-minded think are “gotchas” that really aren’t.  Very worthwhile. (Thanks to Guy for the heads up!)

You’ll notice that one of the links the NASA people refer people to is my site debunking Zecharia’ Sitchin’s Nibiru nonsense.  Nice to get the love!

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Ancient Astronaut Enthusiast Defends Sitchin

Some readers know about my website devoted to demonstrating the nonsense put forth by Zecharia Sitchin. Part of that site includes an open letter to Sitchin (now deceased of course) and his worshippers. It’s been there over 10 years (Sitchin never responded) but at long last someone has stepped forward to defend their hero. I have to give him points for that. The response, however, runs the gamut from excuses, misreadings,  incoherence, and the obligatory “the Asyriologists just didn’t have the benefit of reading Sitchin when they translated these tablets” pablum. <Sigh>  Just what I expected when I originally posted it. Here is the response along with my inserted replies (it’s a PDF; double-click on the sticky notes for my replies).

I know what many of you are thinking: “Why do you bother, Mike?” I’ve had people ask me that many times, including scholars in the various fields Sitchin stumbles through. Honestly, I do it for people who sincerely want to think through the data, not for people already blinded by what Sitchin says because they were bored or offended with something else (like mainstream Judaism or Christianity or materialist science). I don’t do it to win the blinded disciples, because no matter what data you put in front of those people, it just doesn’t matter. But there are people who haven’t been brainwashed but are genuinely curious. They are still reachable.

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Nibiru Nonsense Finally Gets Some Mainstream Attention

Here’s a link to a pretty lengthy piece by a science writer for Discovery News (“Nibiru: Imaginary Planet Blamed for Earth’s Woes“). It’s well worth the read. The writer calls the Nibiru notion what it is: pseudo-science largely based on a chick channeling aliens. Got to love that! (I wish the article had linked to my own nibiru page, though).

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After 90 Years the CAD is “Finished” (Chicago Assyrian Dictionary)

Here’s the link to the recent announcement.

I say “finished” because, having been begun in 1921, many volumes are now outdated. But it’s still a great achievement.

The CAD is available for free in PDF (or you can buy all the volumes for $1400).

I mention the CAD on this blog since it was one of the tools I used to create a video showing people how to search through (perish the thought) actual data to debunk the ancient astronaut nonsense of Zecharia Sitchin. Here’s the link for what I mean, and the link to the video is available therein.

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Recent Essay on Nibiru

Most of what you’ll read on the internet about Nibiru comes from Zecharia Sitchin’s noggin and those of his cyber-acolytes. In other words, most of it’s nonsense. Here is an exception. I’ll have to admit some of it is over my head (I’m not an astronomer), but this strikes me as an earnest attempt to make sense of the Mesopotamian material on Nibiru (read: the real stuff, not what Sitchin invents in his books). It may be helpful for readers to have these other links handy:

MUL.APIN

Enuma Anu Enlil

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Zecharia Sitchin and Sumerian DNA: Genetic Code for PaleoBabble

Some readers may have seen this article today. The page is the home of Cosmic Log, the science blog of Alan Boyle, science writer for MSNBC. Boyle interviewed Zecharia Sitchin (who’s hawking yet another book about how aliens are the explanation for human life and civilization). Sitchin is demanding that the proper authorities and specialists run genetic tests on Puabi, a Sumerian queen whose remains are at the Natural History Museum in London. Sitchin wants the museum to authorize the genetic testing to prove or disprove his thesis that aliens spliced their genetic material into an earth hominid to create human beings.  Naturally, the demand is being made in the wake of the recent genetic testing of King Tut’s remains and the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome.  Sitchin somehow thinks that his reputation and theories would be at stake if the tests were conducted.

Boyle also interviewed yours truly for this article–and I thank him here for including some of my comments in it.

It should come as no surprise that I think this is an utterly useless exercise.  Sitchin’s theories wouldn’t be at stake if these tests were run. His theories collapse on their own since none of what he claims is in the Sumerian texts about extraterrestrials is there. I have an entire site devoted to Sitchin. If readers go there, I hope they watch me do exciting (but absolutely telling) things like record myself searching the online Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature for the Anunnaki. The term (and synonyms, like Anunna) occurs over 100 times in Sumerian literature — you can get the results in a file from my site — and in no instance do we read things like the Anunnaki being on or in or associated in any way with Nibiru (which Sitchin says was their extra-solar planet home).  I also show his ideas about the Hebrew word “elohim” are incorrect. I won’t rehearse the site here, but there’s a lot on it that shows Sitchin’s ideas are without substance in every regard.

But even if Sitchin’s arguments weren’t vacuous, what about the testing? Think about it. Sitchin wants scientists to go find alien DNA or alien genes. Tell me, Mr. Sitchin, what would that DNA look like?  Since we don’t have an example or control sample of alien DNA or an alien DNA sequence portion, we have no idea what it would look like or how to observe a match from Puabi. Sitchin’s demand is akin to demanding a zoologist to go find an animal that has never been seen — how would our zoologist know if he was looking at one.  The demand is utterly pointless.

Ten years after first accepting the public challenge to debate Zecharia Sitchin on this stuff (a challenge Sitchin never accepted), I’m still amazed by how people can cling so tenaciously to ideas that are demonstrably wrong. It’s positively mystifying.

For those interested in taking some online courses with me on Sitchin’s ancient astronaut theories (and those of Barry Downing), click here.

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