UFO Conjecture(s)

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Heated (and stupid) argumentation about the Ancient Astronaut Theory


aa3.jpg

Our good friend and “colleague” Gilles Fernandez opened his Facebook page to a discussion about the Ancient Astronaut theory.

Gilles presented some Mike Heiser site locations from Mike’s site Ancient Aliens Debunked and a YouTube video:

http://ancientaliensdebunked.com/references-and-transcripts/pacals-rocket/


The discussion at Gilles’ FB page has devolved into a back-and-forth between me and a few academic reprobates,

I see AA theory as interesting conjecture and opinion, sometimes goofy but usually intriguing and imaginatively speculative.

Gilles and his FB cohorts hate AA theorists with a passion and are livid that anyone would enjoy their “nonsense.”

My view is that AA theory (or its hypotheses) is only as speculative as some archeological and anthropological theories – which I claim are as divided and often as speculative as the AA suggestions.

Moreover, Gilles and his friends see the creative musings of Von Däniken and his (as Gilles’ amis have it) lackey Giorgio A. Tsoukalos as fraudulent in extremis.

Gilles and his pals have gotten a little over-heated about the issue and are not debating academically or sensibly.

And I see that as a psychological quirk: the debunkers are fearful of belief systems that rival their own.

Those of you who are interested – and I doubt many of you are – and have a Facebook account might access Gilles page to get in on the fray.

It’s not edifying but may engage your need for vituperation, a flush commodity in the UFO community and particularly among UFO skeptics – a hardy vocal group.

RR

17 Comments:

  • My view is that AA theory (or its hypotheses) is only as speculative as some archeological and anthropological theories – which I claim are as divided and often as speculative as the AA suggestions.

    Quite so. The idea that we know everything that has happened in the history of this planet is absolutely ridiculous, and simply demonstrates our hubris.

    Besides, what's to get worked up about? Gentlemen and ladies should be able to agree to disagree amicably about these things, on the understanding that it's not a matter of life and death. A lesson I've learned over the years. :-)

    In other words... lighten up, y'all, and enjoy the ride.

    Paul

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Wednesday, October 03, 2012  

  • P.S. You're on Facebook? I've looked and can't find you as I've been re-building my page there after I torched the 2,000+ "friends" one I had for several years for a smaller, more intimate one (i.e. with people I actually know or have corresponded with).

    PK

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Wednesday, October 03, 2012  

  • Rich,

    It's only entertainment. I enjoyed the movie Prometheus too.

    The way I see it, ancient aliens are not refuted, and never will. It will always be possible to imagine that strange ancient artifact may have been inspired by a contact with ETs. But... since there is nothing more than wishful thinking and fallacies to back up those claims, any reasonable person should see there is no scientific debate.

    "And I see that as a psychological quirk: the debunkers are fearful of belief systems that rival their own."

    I'm just enjoying the opportunity to learn something new, so the efforts of AA proponents is not completely wasted. Actually I think pseudoscientific claims are useful: they function as an attractive introduction to fascinating scientific topics. It gives curious individuals the motivation to dig deeper. For example Mark Lehner, famous Egyptologist, started out in his quest with fringe beliefs.

    By Blogger Nab, at Wednesday, October 03, 2012  

  • We (and I) have a few FB pages. I think my page is rrrgroup. Our MediaWatch page is fwmediawatch.

    I'll look for you and offer an "invite."

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, October 03, 2012  

  • Hi Paul!

    Paul said:

    "The idea that we know everything that has happened in the history of this planet is absolutely ridiculous, and simply demonstrates our hubris."

    And where does one find such a claim among scientists? I can't imagine a more obvious straw man.

    I can agree that some sciences depend much more upon speculation (Archeology and Anthropology, for sure) but work in those fields operates under a framework and review process that NONE of the AA ideas can thrive in.

    The errors made by AA proponents are often gross and obvious (and contraindicated by established evidence). Further AA proponents reject the give and take process of science: never correcting, never admitting, and apparently never even understanding the nature of evidence.

    These are same kind of errors made by paranormal advocates of all stripes.

    Starting with a straw man argument is one of the most common way these discussion start...


    Skeptic hat off:

    Look forward to Paul's new book which he says is due out very soon. I will buy one (if the price is reasonable).

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, October 03, 2012  

  • Lance,

    Paul was kind enough to send me a pre-print PDF copy of his book for review.

    Like I'm qualified to review his erudite writings...

    Anyway, I'm into the book and it's a gem as one would expect from Paul.

    As for the AA theory. It's a fun and intriguing set of conjectures.

    Does it need peer review? I don't think so. Peers are as snarky as non-peers, even more so.

    Stepping on the toes of science is an iffy proposition.

    Science will cut your head off, then do a forensics to explain why they did so.

    AA theory is not without merit. The inferences are not totally askew.

    But they do seem to ripple the skeptical mind, rabidly so apparently.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, October 03, 2012  

  • Hi Lance,

    Oh, don't get me wrong. I can't stand the AA show, although it's more for the poor television production than anything else.

    As for the book, you'll be happy to know that I finally address Tim Printy's exhaustive RB47 de-construction. Alas, it's in a footnote somewhere around p. 180, and I merely state that I didn't find it compelling (nor did former RB47 crew members I talked to, like Lieut. Col. Bailey), but to be fair, I provided the link and tell readers to check it out themselves, along with the work of McDonald and Sparks, and then make up their own minds.

    Best,
    Paul

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Wednesday, October 03, 2012  

  • P.S. You wrote:

    And where does one find such a claim among scientists? I can't imagine a more obvious straw man.

    Where did I say anything about "scientists"?

    Speaking of straw men...

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Wednesday, October 03, 2012  

  • Ancient Astronaut theorists suggest we all need to lighten up a little.

    By Blogger Frank Stalter, at Wednesday, October 03, 2012  

  • Our own species as a allegedly self aware species could be called ancient and due to the odd nature of evolving consciousness,they being explorers from elsewhere. This in the context of only being to communicate among themselves upon what was to them, a hostile and strangely magical world.
    We are more like them than we realize if we discount our successes in tool making.
    I just watched a show regarding what lies beneath the post ice age Great Lakes, and what they found in one, was a stone wall that extended for mile upon mile to control the migratory path of wild deer who followed these lines as to make harvesting them more efficient..think of the communication skills, community effort this took..AA superimposes the role of teachers or observers of mankind upon the imaginations of ancients, and so, a tradition continues in imagining a sort of creative "lost history" that surfaces from time to time just as it did in ancient origin myths. The world carried on the back of a turtle..or that it was created literally in seven days. No first sources. One dream versus another, or built upon another. What is there to debate in this? Positivists on both sides when as Ouspensky said "I don't know. I was not there." Another heat sink for our natural state of bewilderment.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Thursday, October 04, 2012  

  • BTW..
    After I posted this it occurred to me that what this polemic debate is about is very similar to political analysis, when you strip away the terms of language, each party's analysis is essentially gossiping.Gossip depending on the observer or participant can be either entertaining or a cause of irritation. If this is so, this gossiping about ancient history as tribal chatter seems to be pertinent to political rather than "scientific" debate. We seem to confuse the two.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Thursday, October 04, 2012  

  • More fuel to the bonfires of the vanities
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2007/2007_Stothers_2.pdf

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Thursday, October 04, 2012  

  • I used to get bent out shape about things like this, Bruce, but then I grew up. ;-)

    Seriously, though, it's all really just a form of performance art. The people wasting so much of their time trying to argue against these modern bards should spend more of that time trying to make their communities better - you know, stuff that really matters.

    Now the fact that it's poorly made television, on the other hand, well that I can never forgive!

    PK

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Friday, October 05, 2012  

  • Paul
    I agree and as you said. at one point, a great deal of this is more the display of the sociology of the writers tainted in the the context of our culture in terms of any value resulting from it. Most of it is at the shallow end of the pool which seems to be due to without the insertion of a maybe or a perhaps that is the way of life itself happens. The cats, dogs and horses here perhaps have a better sense of my own foibles than I do. I am an amnesiac among experts.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Saturday, October 06, 2012  

  • Just to quickly respond to Paul's comments:

    Paul said:
    "Where did I say anything about "scientists"?"

    OK, I'll bite.

    Who were you referring to when you said:

    "Quite so, The idea that we know everything that has happened in the history of this planet is absolutely ridiculous, and simply demonstrates our hubris."?

    And how does that connect to Rich's statement just above (which specifically takes mainstream science to task and which you quoted)? This construction caused my apparent confusion.


    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Saturday, October 06, 2012  

  • There shouldn't be any confusion, Lance, given the words "we" and "our" in my sentence, which indicates that I'm talking in general about the human species, and not about scientists in particular... although yes, now that you mention it, they're as guilty of hubris as anyone else - and sometimes more so than most.

    PK

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Saturday, October 06, 2012  

  • > the debunkers are fearful of belief systems that rival their own

    *sigh*

    So when AA theorists lie about their credentials, lie about seeing artifacts they write about, knowingly distort ancient texts, etc., all that fraud is really just happening in the desperate minds of debunkers?

    BTW, Jason Colavito is a tireless fact-checker of AA theorists' claims. He doesn't argue about implausability, he goes to the sources and -- more often than not -- finds the AA writer has committed gross and systematic research fraud.

    Try it out.

    http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog.html

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Saturday, October 06, 2012  

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