Jul 09 2012

Ancient Aliens – SkepchickCON/CONvergence panel

Scotty Roberts
Desiree Schell
PZ Myers
Greg Laden


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  1. 1
    Brett McCoy

    Thanks for sharing! I’d read PZ’s summary and am glad someone got it on video

  2. 2
    Allen R. Hall

    *starts watching, his expression becoming increasingly flabbergasted at around the five-minute mark*

    What… is he… talking… a… what?!

  3. 3
    good ol' southern white boy who loves guns

    Dear Christina, a beautiful and exotic young woman such as yourself is much too good for this cesspool of feminazis and watsonistas known as freethought blogs. Oh well. You should be very proud that you are the product of 100% European white racial purity. White Pride, Worldwide!!!!!!!

    1. 3.1

      So…. Why would a good ol’ southern white boy be interested in a heathen foreigner like Ms. Rad here? A good ol’ servile obedient southern white girl not good enough for you? Or…. Are you a COMMUNIST?

      She’s from one of them thar soviet countries, doncha know? /snark

      Seriously though, this man is somehow more painful than watching an episode of Ancient Aliens while sober. I don’t know how PZ did it.

    2. 3.2
      Feminace, formerly Qurikythrope

      Yeah, because she’s just too damned pretty to have an opinion you don’t like, eh?

      Go find a bridge to hide under, troll. Your southern white boy-ness ain’t that special.

    3. 3.3

      Is this parody or not? It’s getting increasingly difficult to tell.

      1. Jason Thibeault

        Wow… I’m just… wow. Yeah. I can’t tell if it’s parody either.

        Mostly because of the unironic use of both “white pride” and “feminazi” in the same comment. So is being a Nazi good, or bad?

        1. Brett McCoy

          He must have seen the other video on the panel about feeding trolls and is testing us out… yeah, that’s it…

      2. smhll

        I was thinking parody. I hear feminazi all the time, but most people have shut the fuck up about racial purity.

    4. 3.4

      What the fuck?

    5. 3.5

      This one (good ole #3) seems sincere and gratuitously offensive. I’m glad there isn’t a /snark on it to make it contestable.

      I gave up at the 8 minute mark (or so). Empirical claims (ancient aliens) are not philosophical issues. You don’t get to define real-world facts as point-of-view specific. The pro-alien guy was defining ‘theory-level’ and just what I belief in my heart. FWIW, Laden shouldn’t make “I’m a thug” jokes, ironic or not. It’s on a par with Loftus’s ‘helpful’ advice to FTB.

    6. 3.6

      Calling Poe’s Law, Calling …

  4. 4

    Flood myths prove aliens? I’m impressed. Tide comes in, tide goes out…

    1. 4.1
      Scr... Archivist

      You can’t explain that.

    2. 4.2

      Laden was right to point out that most of those flood myths are derivatives that all originated from the same region of the world (the Middle East). Aliens Man didn’t have any references on hand for his 600 different accounts, and I very much doubt there is any accurate reference anywhere that can demonstrate 600 independent flood stories.

      All of this also leaves out any differences in the details that can’t be used to declare external agents. If the world flooded in the story, but this wasn’t attributed to a god or special self-aware power, why would that even count?

      Also, what’s the threshold that counts as a flood? Does it need to be a worldwide flood? Almost any culture in most parts of the world will have one story related to a flood somewhere in their total historical lore because, you know, it tends to flood sometimes.

  5. 5

    ME think the Great Pyramid in and by itself presents more than enough evidence that aliens exist, and they visit out planet from time to time. Or, how else could ancient primitive people have such technology???

    1. 5.1

      I’d tell you to read some real history but I’d hate to spoil your fantasies.

      1. Kahfre

        You already have… you insensitive X*&^%$

        Now I’m fantasizing that the Great Pyramid was built by thousands of slaves over a period of 20 years. The most plausible fantasy according to mainstream Egyptologists!

        1. Stephanie Zvan

          Or not: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/pyramids/pyramids.html#who

          Of course, if you’d watched the panel, you’d have learned this already.

          1. Kahfre

            In the end, we do not know anything conclusively. So, it’s a mystery for me.

    2. 5.2

      What technology?

      The Egyptians had boats, the wheel, animal husbandry, wedges, levers, hammers, stone and metal cutting tools, ramps, pulleys, …

      There’s no huge mystery here. The pyramids were made of limestone blocks, which were (and still are) abundant in the region. Quarrying them is simple if tedious; one method was to hammer wooden wedges in and then soak the wood with water. The water will then spread and absorb into the rock formation, and the wood expands as it does so. Cracking and breaking of both the rock and the wood is pretty much inevitable.

      Once you get the block out of the quarry, you can move it a short distance to a boat. Either large farm animals or a team of 50 to 100 people can move even the very largest blocks to the ship. Then you send it down the Nile to the construction site, which doesn’t require much energy.

      The only really open question is exactly how the blocks were moved into place once they reached the pyramid base. They either had to be lifted, dragged, or rolled onto the current lowest level. Using a large pulley system, lifting would have been feasible although perhaps a little dangerous. Alternatively, a ramp system would allow the blocks to have been dragged into place by a big enough team of people or animals. How rolling would work is a little beyond me; ask a civil engineer about that one.

      1. Kahfre

        The Egyptians had boats, the wheel, animal husbandry, wedges, levers, hammers, stone and metal cutting tools, ramps, pulleys, …

        Yes they did. But the blocks were huge and heavy, and the precision with which the blocks were put together … just blows your mind completely.

        “More than 2,300,000 limestone and granite blocks were pushed, pulled, and dragged into place on the Great Pyramid. The average weight of a block is about 2.3 metric tons (2.5 tons).

        How much is that? Well, you can think of it in terms of refrigerators. An average refrigerator weighs about 91 kg. If 1 metric ton = 1,000 kg, how many refrigerators equal a 2.3-metric ton block?”


        I am not saying the ancient Egyptians couldn’t have built the pyramids using pulleys, ramps, crude cutting tools… This is one theory gone popular in mainstream Egyptologists. But considering the extraordinarily precise measurements of the great pyramid, and considering how it has withstood the wrath of natural forces for thousands of years… I think some people have good reasons to doubt the pulleys, ramps, boats and cutting the blocks with crude chisel-like tools theory…. Me too. Me one of those people who always saw these pyramids much more than that. A wonderful and magnificent mystery that can probably never be solved!

        At least, this is how I see them personally, because I don’t want to spoil their magnificence and grandeur by theories that last no more than 10 to 50 years on average. Call it fantasy if you like, but it is no less a fantasy than saying they were built using pulleys, ramps, boats, ropes, and simple cutting tool… The truth is, no one really knows how they were built and why they were built ….

        1. usingreason

          From your link:

          More than 2,300,000 limestone and granite blocks were pushed, pulled, and dragged into place on the Great Pyramid. The average weight of a block is about 2.3 metric tons (2.5 tons).

          How much is that? Well, you can think of it in terms of refrigerators. An average refrigerator weighs about 91 kg. If 1 metric ton = 1,000 kg, how many refrigerators equal a 2.3-metric ton block?

          a) 25 refrigerators
          b) 5 refrigerators
          c) 90 refrigerators

          Now I’m no good math type guy but this seems like a 1000/91 answer yet I don’t see that anywhere and the correct answer is 25 according to the link?

          I question your beliefs, your evidence and your link.

          1. usingreason

            Never mind I see my mistake.

  6. 6

    Well, there went an hour. I watched this whole thing and the Ancient Aliens side didn’t even say much to entertain, let alone prove their case. How do you go into a debate about factual occurrences with a philosophy or purely theoretical viewpoint? This is not abstract mathematics; you can’t just make it up as you go along.

    I’m thinking the aliens people are basically just in it for the money. This kind of nonsense sells, so that’s where they’ll run with it.

  7. 7
    John Maddening

    I wish the camera operator didn’t have so many loud people around him/her.

  8. 8

    That debate made me ill.

    Scotty Roberts, the ancient-aliens gentleman, had no evidence worthy of the name, mostly dubious interpretations of ancient mythologies. What a waste of time.

    1. 8.1

      “What a waste of time.”

      Yes, of course. And it does not help the “ancient aliens” team when they insist they have evidence but just failed to bring it because they didn’t know they would be asked for it—- which Scotty said twice. Scotty knew that he would be on a discussion panel with skeptics, but he claimed he did not know there would be a debate regarding his claims?! And we’re supposed to believe him?

  9. 9
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    They’re big blocks of rock! How the hell is that alien technology? That would be like pointing at extremely complex woodcarving or really clever pottery and saying “aliens!” We’ve got less-complex technology than interstellar travel, and we don’t use that technology to make really huge log cabins.

  10. 10

    I watch the ancient aliens shows for fun. It’s basically one long argument from incredulity: I can’t figure out how it was done, therefore aliens. Didn’t watch the debate, but every argument I’ve heard is pretty much the same. These folx totally underestimate the intelligence and ingenuity of people, and are rather dismissive of the intelligence of “primitive” people in particular.

    If you’ve ever seen the Coral Castle, you can find the same thing on a much smaller scale. No one can seem to figure out how this frail man moved those massive stones into place. However, I haven’t heard anyone saying aliens did it.
    (Other woo was involved, but not aliens)

  11. 11

    I find the “ancient aliens” team to be insulting. Their “best evidence” is that they admit they don’t have any, and yet they insist skeptics should take them seriously. As the sane team pointed out, we already have the correct answer to how humans became human, and we have direct measurements showing how; it is asinine and arrogant to insist skeptics should refrain from accepting demonstrably true evidence while entertaining a hypothesis that is not evidenced.

  12. 12

    The fact that you don’t know how they could have done it is not a reason to support the “alien” hypothesis. That’s an argument from ignorance. Are you versed in engineering and geology and anthropology? The Egyptians were very skilled in using the technology of the time. Think of the efforts some University supporters go to support their Football (American) team. Now multiply that by an entire nation. Thats what was happening at the time.

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