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Posts Tagged ‘human’

Thanks go to Cris Putnam for sending this link my way today. It’s from the Stanford Daily . . . as in Stanford University . . . as in that place that employs Dr. Garry Nolan, the guy who did the DNA analysis of the Atacama “alien”.

The story once again has both Dr. Nolan and Dr. Ralph Lachman, a specialist in dwarfism affirming that the specimen is human. What’s different this time is that Lachman offers some hypotheses for the size and apparent age incongruence. For me the take-away portion is as follows:

Lachman subsequently investigated several similar cases of dwarfism throughout history and found several, including a 19th century “circus freak” named Tom Thumb and an Italian woman who was six inches when she was born and 19 inches when she died at age eight or nine.

According to Lachman, another possible explanation for the skeleton’s small size and advanced calcification is natural mummification, a process that would have made the skeleton appear older than it is.

I’ve been saying this since the beginning — that mummification might be throwing the results in terms of the “age discrepancy.” Given the Chilean context and the fact that this area in Chile has yielded mummies in the past, I thought it reasonable to presume that mummification might be a useful trajectory. As time goes on (presuming scientists don’t lose interest), I’m hoping this suggestion, now made by Dr. Lachman, will yield a concrete answer.

But as far as what is concrete (the DNA) the news is the same: it’s human. And an anomalous human specimen is still human. So, to this point, the scientists who have examined the specimen most closely, using the tools of modern science,  don’t have it as alien or an alien-human hybrid. I don’t know how much clearer they can be.

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Well, DUH.

This is what happens when you promote the work of a charlatan.

Cris Putnam has posted a list of the Top Ten Comments posted online about Steven Greer’s Sirius film. It’s worth a read, unless you’ve worshipped at Greer’s altar for his version of UFO Religion. You might have your faith damaged.

My favorite is actually #10, as it echoes what I’ve been posting here (and I’m no prophet – so how did I figure this out?):

10) Lee Speigel of The Huffington Post wrote, “In early publicity, filmmakers claimed the documentary would reveal that the DNA of the creature with an oversized alien-looking head couldn’t be medically classified. In fact, the film, which premiered Monday in Hollywood, features a scientist who concluded the little humanoid was human.”

Oh yeah.

So, what we have is lots of people paying to see something that claims to be proof of ET and they learn within the documentary that a scientist in the show says it’s human. Was there anything offered that overturned (which is different than disputed) that statement? Any real evidence of a non-human life form? No.

 

 

 

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Yesterday I blogged about the upcoming Citizen’s Hearing for Disclosure. Trust me when I say I’m hoping something substantive comes of it. Stephen Bassett has assembled a lot of people I’d consider credible (but I wouldn’t say that about everyone on the witness list).

Also fast approaching (April 22) is the Sirius world premier that is the centerpiece of Steven Greer’s “Sirius Disclosure” project. Greer is a high profile researcher.  He’s controversial even within the ufological camp.1 I tend to appreciate his efforts to garner witnesses and documentation, but to not trust him when it comes to his claims of psychic contact with ET and alien artifacts. The most current item in the latter category is his touting of the “Atacama Alien” pictured below.

atacama4

 

This “discovery” is not new; it’s actually a few years old. The specimen has also been examined by several specialists. No word on whether any of them will be featured in Greer’s film, though I wouldn’t expect that given the conclusions drawn prior to this world premier. Here’s an excerpt from the report linked above:

“The second transcribed document is a forensic medical report written by Dr. Francisco Etxeberria Gabilondo, a professor of Legal and Forensic Medicine in the Basque Country University, and specialist in Forensic Anthropology with the Complutense University, who wrote the study at the bequest of the IIEE (probably for a fee, although that is not mentioned). Dr. Etxeberria wrote that, “it’s a mummified body with all typical the characteristics of a fetus. The body has a length of 14 cm and displays all the structures and anatomical links normal for the head, trunk and extremities. . . .

Taken as a whole, the proportions of the anatomical structures (skeleton and softer parts), the level of development of each one of its bones and its macroscopic configuration, allow us to interpret it without any shadow of doubt as a completely normal mummified fetus … Both based on the total length of the body as well as the length of the bones, it can be estimated that it’s a fetus in an approximate gestation period close to 15 weeks.”

Bummer.

This of course isn’t exciting enough for a world premier, so don’t expect to hear anything about it in the movie. The whole thing reminds me a bit of the bogus “nephilim skulls” that are out there. I blogged about that over on my PaleoBabble site many moons ago, complete with a picture from a medical supply catalog of these “amazing” skulls – the medical supply company has several models so their medical students can learn about human cranial deformities (which is good, so they don’t have to rob the Smithsonian of one of their hidden specimens from the late 1800s). Sad to say, I’ve seen these models at Christian conferences to promote various nuggets of nephilim nonsense (I normally hate alliteration, but I’ll let that one pass – truth be told, I was tempted to add “nattering nabobs” to that from the Aladdin movie).

It also reminds me of a book I’ve read . . . that had unscrupulous people using doctored human fetuses to create alien remains. . . . Oh yeah, that was my novel, The Facade. Funny.

Of course there will be those who think that because the specimen has a skeleton that it must be alien. To all you Einsteins out there on that point – a human fetus has a skeleton, too. All 206 bones of the human being are present by the end of the fifth week. (Please note that the 5th week would fall before the 15th week noted in the quotation above).

This whole world premier thing illustrates the poor thinking of many who want desperately to have aliens explain everything in world history and our origins (i.e., who want that as a religion). Just Google it. Or better yet, look at the name of Greer’s project: “Sirius Disclosure”. The title plays off Robert Temple’s iconic but demonstrably bogus “Sirius Mystery.” Think about it. Let’s say this six-inch specimen isn’t human — how the Zeta do we know it’s from Sirius? Because that’s a narrative Greer likes – it “connects” (in a non sequitur sense) to cool things like ancient Egypt (Temple had the image of Akhenaten on the cover of his Sirius Mystery book – we all know he was an ET, despite what the recent DNA research on the mummies in his lineage says).2

So where does this leave us? Well, if you’re like me who’d like to see serious people do serious thinking about a subject as serious as whether we’re alone in the universe, you’re embarrassed by this latest stunt (by the way, that sound rhyming on “Sirius” is called assonance – oh, crud, I ruined the aural subliminal). You all know that, if there are such things, I’m on the side of the public having a right to know (i.e., at least confirm the idea if it’s real – I do allow for legitimate national security issues). Stuff like this generates cash and sets tongues to wagging, but doesn’t really help credibility.

 

  1. For some of those, click here, here, here, and here.
  2. See here as well. But what about the alien fetuses in King Tut’s tomb, Mike? We won’t leave them out of the post. Click here.

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I wanted to call the attention of readers to this informative and humorous post from Skeptophilia entitled, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Starseed.” The post is about the nonsensical new-age fantasy maintained by some people that they are actually extraterrestrials in human guise. The post is especially adept at making two items clear: (1) the deeply flawed and self-delusional logic that convinces these poor souls that they are really aliens; and (2) the contrived “research” on the part of people like Brad Steiger aimed at reinforcing the delusion (and selling books).

Granted, I don’t think all of Steiger’s work is this bogus. And to be fair, Steiger doesn’t seem to do research; rather, he “reports” things found somewhere (where?). But this material gets re-cast as though it were empirical, when the string of statistics drawn from his work in this post has absolutely no basis in empirical research. Without citations of actual studies or at least peer-reviewed article references, or URLs to lab reports for these “findings,” the enterprise is irresponsible. Less academically: it’s faked statistical BS that leads to reinforcing a false view of reality and, for these folks, themselves.

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Readers of this blog and those who have listened to various interviews I have done this year know that I think the request by Zecharia Sitchin to have Sumerian Queen Puabi ‘s remains genetically tested to prove her alien heritage is silly. One of the primary problems is that we don’t have (and have never seen) alien biological DNA — so this sort of testing makes the following demand of the geneticist: “Go find that alien DNA we’re looking for even though we don’t know what it would look like since no one has ever seen a specimen since we have no proof aliens exist anyway.” Junk human DNA doesn’t qualify since it’s … human (and the more geneticists learn about the human genome the less they are sure that stuff is junk).

This post over at Uncommon Descent throws another wrench in any such “testing” — and in the oft-repeated claims about human evolution. Readers know that I really don’t care about evolution. As my blogs about Genesis over on Naked Bible make clear, I don’t think the Bible is a science book, and so it’s insipid for biblical critics to criticize it for not being a science book. It’s a little like criticizing a dog for not being a cat. I’m not a geneticist, so I have to pay attention to people who are. And it’s even better when the people who are aren’t bought-and-paid-for by the scientific establishment. In other words, they have the courage to point out the flaws in “accepted theory.” In this case, the post shows how uncertain the “humans are 99% genetically identical to chimps” claim really is. Don’t read it if you fear unfiltered science, or if evolution is your religion, or if you think panspermia would actually provide proof for intelligent ET life. Here is the concluding paragraph:

We have seen that in a genome comparison, the only thing that matters is the degree of similarity. However, once we put the concept of similarity between two text strings on the table we open a can of worms. Many different measures of the similarity between two strings are possible, and different methods of comparing two genomes can result in wildly different estimates of the similarity between them. The assumptions that drive the methods used also drive the results obtained, as well as their interpretation. A simple laymans statistical test, such as the 30-BPM, shows that the 95% claim described above is a highly controversial one. It is worth noting that as more information comparing the two genomes is published, the differences between them will appear more profound than they were originally thought to be. The big question that still remains is: what should one conclude from the similarities and differences between the genomes of humans and chimpanzees? Commonly reported evolutionary statistics that should provide an informative answer to this question may actually obscure the true answer.

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