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Oct 21 2013

An invitation from Ancient Aliens

I received a polite invitation from the makers of the History Channel show, Ancient Aliens. Here’s what they asked:

Dear Dr. Myers,

I’m working with Name Redacted on the show Ancient Aliens. We have a crew coming to Minnesota this week, most likely Wednesday, and we would like to find out if you would be available for an interview. We’d also like to speak with you on the phone briefly about some of the topics we’d be discussing (development of the brain, embryonic development, evolutionary development of reptiles and mammals) and make sure that they are topics you’d fell comfortable talking about. Is there a convenient time when we could speak with you on the phone?

Kind Regards,

Name Redacted
Associate Producer
Prometheus Studios

I considered it. I’m always happy to engage with people with wacky ideas — heck, if I was willing to talk to Ray Comfort, you know I’m open to conversation — but I’d only seen a few snippets of this program and heard about it by reputation. So this evening, before I replied, I tuned in to the History Channel website to get an idea of what I’d be getting into.

I was aghast. It was the same nonsense I’d seen presented at the Paradigm Symposium this past weekend, in a very glossy and professionally done format. I congratulate Prometheus Studios on their skill in turning out superficially slick and attractive programs. The content, though…the content. It was just a series of ludicrous assertions of the most absurd claims of gods and aliens and extraterrestrial conspiracies and outright nonsense. Not once did I see any skepticism expressed. Mainstream academics were treated as dogmatic ignoramuses who couldn’t see the power of totally unsubstantiated hypotheses about aliens.

I could foresee how any material I might give them would be treated. So this is what I wrote back.

I actually know quite a bit about those topics, evo devo and neuroscience are my specialties. However, having viewed a few of your programs, I doubt very much that my skeptical view — that the processes of the development of the brain are entirely natural, that they do not support any claims of extraterrestrial intervention, or that humans lack any exceptional capabilities that require a design hypothesis to explain them — would actually survive the editing process to make it on air. In fact, I notice a remarkably complete absence of any critical evaluation of the rather bizarre “theories” that tend to get promoted in your programming, so I don’t even see how my expertise could contribute.

After due consideration, I’d have to say that no, I’d rather not contribute to the program, and that there’s no point to wasting your time or mine.

Thank you for the invitation. I’d wish you well in your work, but seriously — your show is credulous, ridiculous, and offensively ignorant of any reasonable understanding of science. If you’re ever involved in programming that actually contributes to human understanding, rather than undermining it, please feel free to contact me then.

Willing as I am to have a conversation with people with wild & weird ideas, it was just too obvious that my side of the conversation wouldn’t be useful to them…and couldn’t possibly appear on their program.

Also, all of the people on their show enthusiastically promoting aliens were clearly total wackaloons, and I’d be embarrassed to be associated with them.

177 comments

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  1. 1
    Atticus Dogsbody

    Ancient Aliens is my favorite comedy. A laugh-a-minute classic.

  2. 2
    schweinhundt

    Allow me to post the obligatory lament that the History Channel folks feel they must stoop to airing this kind of malarkey in order to make money.

  3. 3
    mferrari

    DUDE!!! PZ, you should have gone on the show with a completely ridiculous haircut and keep saying “I’m not going to say it was squid… But it was squid”

  4. 4
    Dick the Damned

    Have they replied yet? Please post their reply, please, pretty please.

  5. 5
    Cuttlefish

    The host spoke at Cuttlefish University, and was particularly proud that he does not follow the mainstream ideas of archaeology. Every bad thing about that show is a point of pride.

    And I have had people ask me about “theories” they have heard from friends or relatives, which really could only have come from Ancient Aliens; this show actively makes people stupider. It is an affront to everything it pretends to be interested in.

  6. 6
    billforsternz

    I really liked your reply to the invitation. In an ideal world, that would trigger some nascent curiosity and common-sense in the no doubt young and well-meaning associate producer. That in turn would lead to a personal self-education program followed by an epiphany followed by internal debate and re-evaluation within the whole production team. Before you know it there would be some damn good programming (TM) coming out of that team. Unfortunately, there is some evidence extant that we are not living in a an ideal world. Still, once can dream and hope.

  7. 7
    Menyambal

    Obviously, stupidity of that magnitude could not have evolved without alien intervention.

  8. 8
    garydargan

    Don’t worry I am sure they will find some way of selectively editing your reply and using it in their program. Did I just write “don’t worry?” Oops!!! Delete the “don’t. Eric von Dunnycart has a lot to answer for.

  9. 9
    ekwhite

    Giorgio Tsoulakis’ hair is obvious proof of extraterrestrial life.* It is clearly a parasitic life form that has latched onto his brain. What other explanation could there be?

    *It even has its own Facebook page

  10. 10
    kevskos

    One of my roommates watched one of their shows the other week (I think she had fallen asleep and it came on in her defense). I can hear the TV from my bedroom and the show sounded like a cheap infomercial, loud with rising and falling volume. I could not fall asleep to the wild and ridiculous claims of the show. Most of them I had heard of back in the 70′s from that Hal Lindsey guy. It was bad then and it is getting worse because hey had even more weird ideas.

    So glad you dissed them PZ.

  11. 11
    brianpansky

    there is some fairly good debunking in a youtube video series i saw.

  12. 12
    javierdelgado

    Allow me to recommend this three hour debunk of most of the material, it´s very well done. Curiously the producer, Chris White is a fundamentalist christian, and ex-ufo believer, but only in the section about Ezequias you will notice some bias, in general is very well done.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9w-i5oZqaQ

    —————- copy / paste —-

    See it all in one section, or check references at http://ancientaliensdebunked.com or to see the individual sections click time signatures below:
    Intro ( 0:00 )
    http://ancientaliensdebunked.com/refe
    Puma Punku ( 3:38 ) or
    http://ancientaliensdebunked.com/refe
    The Pyramids ( 22:41 ) Or
    http://ancientaliensdebunked.com/refe
    Baalbek, ( 37:40 ) Or
    http://ancientaliensdebunked.com/refe
    Incan sites ( 55:33 ) Or
    http://ancientaliensdebunked.com/refe
    Easter Island ( 1:01:33 ) Or
    http://ancientaliensdebunked.com/refe
    Pacal’s rocket ( 1:05:36 ) Or
    http://ancientaliensdebunked.com/refe
    The Nazca Lines ( 1:13:10 ) Or
    http://ancientaliensdebunked.com/refe
    Tolima “fighter jets ( 1:21:16 )
    http://ancientaliensdebunked.com/refe
    Egyptian “light bulb” ( 1:27:01 )
    http://ancientaliensdebunked.com/refe
    Ufo’s in ancient art ( 1:36:08 )
    http://ancientaliensdebunked.com/refe
    The crystal skulls ( 1:46:38 )
    http://ancientaliensdebunked.com/refe
    Ezekiel’s Wheel ( 1:58:17 )
    http://ancientaliensdebunked.com/refe
    Ancient nuclear warfare ( 2:11:16 )
    http://ancientaliensdebunked.com/refe
    Vimana’s ( 2:20:50 )
    http://ancientaliensdebunked.com/refe
    Anunnaki ( 2:32:52 )
    http://ancientaliensdebunked.com/refe
    Nephilim ( 2:54:37 )
    http://ancientaliensdebunked.com/refe
    Conclusion ( 3:07:10
    http://ancientaliensdebunked.com/refe

    Ancient Aliens Debunked is a 3 hour refutation of the theories proposed on the History Channel series Ancient Aliens. It is essentially a point by point critique of the “ancient astronaut theory” which has been proposed by people like Erich von Däniken and Zecharia Sitchin as well as many others.

    The film covers topics like:
    Ancient building sites: Puma Punku, The Pyramids, Baalbek, Incan sites, And Easter Island. Ancient artifacts: Pacal’s rocket, the Nazca lines, the Tolima “fighter jets”, the Egyptian “light bulb”, Ufo’s in ancient art, and the crystal skulls. Ancient text issues: Ezekiel’s wheel, Ancient nuclear warfare, Vimana’s, the Anunnaki, and the Nephilim.

    All the claims are sourced at the website: http://ancientaliensdebunked.com

    It was produced by Chris White and includes commentary from Dr. Michael Hesier.

  13. 13
    Hammer of dog

    or that humans lack any exceptional capabilities that require a design hypothesis to explain them —

    Did you mean “have” instead of “lack”?

  14. 14
    Muz

    It might have been a chance to record the interview on your side and then do a comparison of just how much they use and in what context.

    Hard to say though. Doing that is obviously work and probably requires a bit of legal wrangling to let you film at the same time. May not be worth it.
    I’d be curious to know what the format they were proposing was. Have they used any skeptics so far, even token ones? They must be running out of angles.

  15. 15
    AstroBio

    I thought this might cheer you up, but then I read the reef fishing post.
    Have it anyway, Greatest of the Great Apes.mp3

  16. 16
    sugarfrosted

    I think I know the real reason they wanted to interview PZ. They’re onto the fact he’s an squid like alien, which is so obvious given his fascination with cephalopods. Anyone who doubts this is just ignoring the evidence or in on the conspiracy.

  17. 17
    Brain Hertz

    My teenage kids both love that show. That, and all the reality shows about hunting bigfoot, and more recently “Mountain Monsters” which is especially awesome. As far as they’re concerned, this stuff is just the best comedy on TV.

    Naturally, Giorgio Tsoukalos is a particular favorite.They’re both rolling around on the floor as soon as he appears on screen… he doesn’t even have to say anything anymore.

  18. 18
    chigau (違う)

    Brain Hertz #17
    I think you have done well with your offsprings.

  19. 19
    vaiyt

    I still remember the first time I’ve seen that show. It was about the Pyramids – or rather, about how aliens built the Pyramids as nuclear reactors/colliders to transmute other elements into gold, and that is the explanation to both the Philosopher’s Stone and to why Egypt had so much gold.

    My mind, it boggles.

  20. 20
    Weed(less) Monkey

    But how to flush ancient aliens from one’s Netflix recommendations? You watch one episode for shits and giggles, or a bit of anime, and it haunts you forever.

  21. 21
    chigau (違う)

    A long time ago, in The National Inquirer, I saw an article that said the Pyramids™ were originally balanced on their tips but when the Aliens™ departed, the Pyramids™ … kinda … um … tipped over …

  22. 22
    rowanvt

    My only exposure to Ancient Aliens was an episode that claimed that the pyramids were used to create microwaves to power spaceships.

    :|

  23. 23
    tomtethys

    Jason Colavito is also good source for the development of the Ancient Aliens theme from the purely fictional and the strange thinking of some of the presenters.

  24. 24
    autumn

    The most polite “Fuck You” that I’ve encountered for a while. Awesomesauce.

  25. 25
    Lars

    If you’re ever involved in programming that actually contributes to human understanding, rather than undermining it, please feel free to contact me then.

    <3

  26. 26
    shelldigger

    Good idea shooting them down, and done well to boot.

    My wife likes this show, me…I can’t be in the same room, or within earshot. The formula they use drives me nuts. “The sun rises in the east, therefore my ignorant unsubstantiated nonsense is true” They trick you with a fact or two, then leap to the wildest conclusion, as if that one fact supports these alien theories. Then, it appears to me, not sure they do it so well these days, but I think they green screen their so called experts in rooms full of books to lend some sort of feeling that maybe these “experts” know what they are talking about.

    Gotta love the wife, we get along quite well except when AA is the point of the conversation. I do my best to be nice, but it is difficult not going on a rant.

  27. 27
    birgerjohansson

    It was not ancient aliens that built the pyramids. It was the cthonians, which is pretty much the opposite thing.

  28. 28
    pentatomid

    So the pyramids powered up the alien space craft and were used to turn random crap into gold? Okaaaaay….

  29. 29
    eamick

    History (it hasn’t been The History Channel for years) has nothing but dreck now, and its sister channels aren’t really any better. I can remember when A&E had actual, you know, arts and entertainment.

  30. 30
    borax

    @28 pentatomid, I’m gonna build some pyramids in my front lawn out of sticks and tin foil. Pretty soon I’ll either be off the grid or filthy rich. I just hope my house doesn’t turn into a space ship.

  31. 31
    Richard Smith

    borax (#30): Tsk! Don’t you know that pyramid schemes are illegal?

  32. 32
    hillaryrettig

    this comes to mind:

  33. 33
    RFW

    You did the right thing, P-zed, but you were much more polite than I would have been in the same situation.

  34. 34
    twas brillig (stevem)

    Ancient Aliens is my favorite bit of SciFi on TV these days (aside from Doctor Who and Orphan Back, etc.) I always notice how the narrator states these wild claims flat-out, but always pre-pended with “Ancient alien theorists believe…” I “believe” that is the producers’ “weasel-words” to deflect any accusation of promoting these bizarre notions of ancient alien involvement in human history. I would really like to hear THEIR justification for putting it on a channel nommed “History” (actually: History2 “There’s More To History”, doesn’t really cover it). If anywhere, it belongs on SyFy, but SyFy itself, is so far removed from its Sci-Fi roots, all is lost everywhere on TV.

  35. 35
    knut7777

    As I recall the National Lampoon had a one one word answer to the ancient aliens proponents question of “How could the pyramids have possibly been built?”

    Whips

  36. 36
    moarscienceplz

    @ #4
    Here’s the reply you requested:

    Dear Dr. Myers, blah blah, I’m very sorry you feel blah blah, blah, millions of people watch our show every week blah, blah, blah, many serious scientists have been interviewed on our show blah, blah, keep an open mind blah, blah, blah, science hasn’t discovered everything blah, blah, mysteries of the universe blah.
    Yours,
    Blah, blah blah.

  37. 37
    Sili

    Giorgio Tsoulakis’ hair is obvious proof of extraterrestrial life.* It is clearly a parasitic life form that has latched onto his brain. What other explanation could there be?

    ‘s true. Boris Johnson has one too. I remember seeing an interview with him. If he knocked the creature out with a mallet he was perfectly lucid and very well-spoken. Unfortunately it came to again very quickly.

    –o–

    When you go on the show, remember to hold an invisible watermelon. It’s the only way to show your earnestness.

  38. 38
    Menyambal

    My conspiracy is that all this aliens-built-the-pyramids guff is actually sponsored by the Christians. Or anybody that wants to believe the Ten Commandments were divine.

    See, the pyramids were built of local stone, in simple shapes, as tombs, developed from earlier structures, by a large population of stone-working people with an active religion, many temples, large statues and monuments. There’s no reason to invoke aliens.

    Now, the Ten Commandments: Moses was an Egyptian, one of those stoneworkers and carvers of religious inscriptions, and had hung out near the workers. He went up on a stoney mountaintop, stayed a long time, and came down with stone tablets inscribed with religion. There’s no reason to invoke a god, there.

    (It’s not like he came down with a Macbook Pro, then—it’s like if he came back with a Macbook Pro now, after a trip to the mall.)

    So, if you want divine intervention in your stone tablets, you need to make the case for impossibilities elsewhere, like the pyramids.

  39. 39
    David Marjanović

    ♥ the response.

    DUDE!!! PZ, you should have gone on the show with a completely ridiculous haircut and keep saying “I’m not going to say it was squid… But it was squid”

    Good idea. :-)

    this comes to mind:

    What happened to the sound?

    When you go on the show, remember to hold an invisible watermelon. It’s the only way to show your earnestness.

    It’s the showier version of the Chancellor Lozenge.

  40. 40
    Lynna, OM

    Others up-thread noted this, but I wanted to add my kudos for:

    If you’re ever involved in programming that actually contributes to human understanding, rather than undermining it, please feel free to contact me then.

    It’s that phrase “rather than undermining it” that puts the frosting on the put-down. Well done.

  41. 41
    ChasCPeterson

    all is lost everywhere on TV.

    not surprising; hell, it was a “vast wasteland” already back in 1961.

    I’m envisioning a future religion in which HBO is venerated as The Redeemer and mumbled dialog from The Sopranos is the liturgy.

  42. 42
    ChasCPeterson

    Well I’d never heard of this guy Giorgio Tsoulakis before, so naturally I g**gled.
    he’s a meme!

    just juxtaposin’:
    exhibit A
    exhibit B

    and

    exhibit WTF

  43. 43
    qwerty

    Hooray for PZ – Turning down the History Channel which doesn’t show much in the way of worth watching history anymore, but weird reality programs or totally fictional programs like Ancient Aliens.

    I saw a bit of an Ancient Alien program last night where a Budda had to cross a river that was in a flood stage. Perhaps he was teleported the announcer said.

    I shook my head and changed the channel.

  44. 44
    PZ Myers

    I’m envisioning a future religion in which HBO is venerated as The Redeemer and mumbled dialog from The Sopranos is the liturgy.

    Almost. It’ll be sharply enunciated dialog from Deadwood.

  45. 45
    blf

    The proof that there are Spacey Aliens Amongst Us (and I don’t mean USAlienstanis) is Ancient Aliens. Nobody human could be that stooooipd. Could they?

  46. 46
    ChasCPeterson

    heh.
    I’ll forego the obvious homophobic rejoinder.

  47. 47
    gworroll

    Ancient Aliens is hilarious. It’s amusing to see how many holes you can punch in their logic.

    “We don’t have step by step instructions anymore therefore aliens”. And some of these people seem to take that seriously, though Von Danniken has a record of being a bit shady with his work so I’m not sure he’s in it for anything but the money. Some of the others might be true believers though.

    I probably miss half or more of the logical fallacies in a typical episode because I’m facepalming so hard from the last one I did catch that I just miss it.

    And I think it was that takedown linked above I saw, and it’s not just their logic that is flawed. Flawed logic applied to actual fact is one thing, and somewhat forgiveable- hey, maybe they see something I don’t? Unlikely in this case, but it could happen. But they don’t even get the basic facts right.

  48. 48
    mothra

    I confess, on occasion I watch ‘Ancient Aliens’ on the History Channel, mostly to keep track of ideas that a significant portion of Americans don’t outright reject, but also for the humor. My favorite phrase which occurs in every episode (I have seen) is some variation of: “While scientists say X, ancient astronat theorists believe that X.”

  49. 49
    JohnnieCanuck

    mothra @48,

    Pedantically speaking, I think the second X in your favourite phrase aught to be a Y.

    Hopefully this symptom cannot be explained as being caused by the harmful emissions coming from the ancient artifacts which the television cameras are regularly conducting into your home.

  50. 50
    Rich Woods

    @JohnnieCanuck #49:

    Hopefully this symptom cannot be explained as being caused by the harmful emissions coming from the ancient artifacts which the television cameras are regularly conducting into your home.

    That’s an excellent insight. Based on that (along with my deep understanding of ancient alien science), I have today thrown out all our tinfoil helmets and replaced them with polonium-laced woven grass hats. Now I can be confident that I and my little ones will no longer be subject to external harmful emissions controlling our minds.

  51. 51
    numerobis

    A long time ago, in The National Inquirer, I saw an article that said the Pyramids™ were originally balanced on their tips but when the Aliens™ departed, the Pyramids™ … kinda … um … tipped over …

    What? That’s ludicrous! They aren’t tetrahedra!

  52. 52
    ThorGoLucky

    Woe to a child that is named Name Redacted.

  53. 53
    nkrishna

    No, do it! This would make my house’s Friday-night boozing so much more fun! How much worse could it be than that weird-ass con you went to?

  54. 54
    pacal

    If you think Ancient Aliens is bad just watch America Unearthed. Both shows are the lowest form of drek.

  55. 55
    PZ Myers

    Scott Wolter also spoke at the conference. His presentation was ridiculous, to put it mildly.

  56. 56
    chigau (違う)

    I had to look up Scott Wolter.
    He doesn’t wear an Indiana Jones hat.
    How can you take him seriously?

  57. 57
    Tethys

    Scott Wolter

    Shouldn’t that read Scott I will say any ridiculous thing the TV producers want even though I have a degree in geology Wolters?

  58. 58
    captainkhan

    You should have showed up and just made fun of them the whole time

  59. 59
    Neil Perry

    I don’t understand the aggression that you all seem to have for the ancient aliens show. They don’t claim to have the facts and present what is described as a ‘theory’..ie if so and so was like this, then this means that. Yes, they are speculative, bold and imaginative with many of the things brought up but surely, an open-mind to re-evaluate history and the world around us is refreshing..Especially in a world that is dominated by so few of the population whilst we actually know very little at all about our ancient past. For anyone who has studied history at an academic level, you would know the various merits of historical facts are subject to many variables. To be a true scientist/academic, one should not be so arrogant as to accept universal truths that are not liable for re-evaluation.
    Like it is impossible to disprove god, ancient alien theory is an extension of religious belief. In religion god is omnipotent and therefore anything is possible and there are no rules for what is possible. For the aforementioned alien theory, an extra terrestrial species that could have evolved and advanced for potentially billions of years before us means that we face a conundrum similar to ‘god’ as it were.
    If this theory replaced the recognised religions, the world would be a more peaceful place because its implications would bury religious disputes. All the show asks you to is to consider, ‘what if’ .Its certainly thought provoking and entertaining to contemplate the consequences if just one of their speculations turned out to be accurate. At the very least, it should be recognised that a vast chunk of human history is missing and that history is not a closed book..Feel free to disagree with me..!

  60. 60
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    but surely, an open-mind to re-evaluate history

    “Open Mind” is code words for so open your brains fall out. We are skeptics. We are open minded to the real EVIDENCE, and not ideas and how they are explained. The shows present no real solid and conclusive physical evidence. Hence, they can be dismissed as fuckwittery.

  61. 61
    Al Dente

    Neil Perry @59

    There’s a difference between having an open mind and taking on any woo which strikes someone else’s fancy. I like fantasy as much as anyone. But Jonathan Young and Giorgio Tsoukalos aren’t peddling fantasy, they’re pushing pseudo-science and pseudo-history.

  62. 62
    Neil Perry

    The show addresses the fact that the evidence isn’t conclusively solid which is why it is narrated as a series of questions. The point is more that what we thought we knew is potentially wrong/limited rather than saying that we now have all the answers. This is the open mindedness that I think should be taken out of it. In my original point, I refer to the theory being impossible to disprove in the way that god can be disproved due to the nature of the beast. Is referring to something as ‘fuckwittery’ an appropriate response (60)? I am sceptical of some sceptics because instead of using reasoned argument, they use childish insults and dismiss things out of hand without actually addressing them in a mature manner. Labelling an idea with a stigmatised term such as pseudo-science is not an academic retort of an idea but a rubbishing of it. This kind of response is actually part of what is responsible for feeding paranoia that leads to ever more complex conspiracy theories meaning that one makes it impossible to differentiate between the inquisitive investigator which our society needs and the paranoid nutjobs whose own psyche develops over-elaborate theories.

  63. 63
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    The show addresses the fact that the evidence isn’t conclusively solid which is why it is narrated as a series of questions.

    Which admits up front they aren’t scientific, don’t show the thinking the real archeological community, and therefore and can will be dismissed as fuckwittery.

    And you problem with solid and conclusive physical evidence found in the peer reviewed scientific literature is what?????

  64. 64
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Neil Perry #62

    The point is more that what we thought we knew is potentially wrong/limited rather than saying that we now have all the answers.

    No one thought this before. The claim that “science thinks it knows all the answers” is a strawman..

    At this point, is might be useful for you to watch this short video.

  65. 65
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Neil Perry

    Like it is impossible to disprove god, ancient alien theory is an extension of religious belief…

    Oh! Well if you wanted the horde to simply accord ancient alien hypotheses the same level of respect that it does to the typical god hypothesis, you should have simply come right out & said you wanted the commentary here to be more biting and contemptuous.

  66. 66
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    @Neil Perry, the burden of EVIDENCE is upon the show, the claimant, to demonstrate they are right using the peer reviewed scientific literature found in places like

    http://www.library.northwestern.edu/libraries-collections/evanston-campus/seeley-g-mudd-library

    . The one thing we won’t accept the is the unevidenced word of anybody, like yourself….

  67. 67
    carlie

    The show addresses the fact that the evidence isn’t conclusively solid which is why it is narrated as a series of questions. The point is more that what we thought we knew is potentially wrong/limited rather than saying that we now have all the answers. This is the open mindedness that I think should be taken out of it.

    You don’t see how disingenuous and misleading “a series of questions” can be? “Is Neil Perry a terrible person? Is Neil Perry embezzling from his employer, or simply living like a reckless spendthrift? What is Neil Perry hiding, anyway?” Nothing wrong with that, after all, it’s just to say that we’re limited in what we know and don’t have all the answers.

  68. 68
    Neil Perry

    66…What’ unevidenced’ word are you referring to? I have not made any claims..My point is that the show making claims to facts either. The point is that it is introducing an idea..and a harmless one at that whose derision is unnecessary on the basis of being unscientific.

    One does not have to prove something in order for it to be plausible. Let’s take the film, The Matrix. If we were all controlled by computers and living in an artificial dreamworld, we would never know and have any way to prove it. It doesn’t mean that it is impossible for this to be a reality even though it would seem rather unlikely!

    Then, if I found a whole range of clues from around the world that even suggested that this might be true, it would certainly be fun to investigate it and even though i knew there would be no way to ultimately prove it, it wouldn’t make my quest for knowledge harmful in anyway.

    Then we have ancient astronauts..reality..our ancestors were more advanced than we originally gave them credit for and did remarkable and surprisingly similar things thousands of years ago, independently on all corners of the globe..Simultanously, we have scripture from most of these cultures saying that they were given knowledge by the gods etc..

    Therefore,they were quite advanced yet quite stupid in they made up a lot of stuff about powerful, unprovable gods..ancient astronaut theory comes in and says both are true because god could have been an alien..Is that so implausible?

    It doesn’t matter how many of the speculations they put on the show are shown to be incorrect, it makes the idea no less implausible. The very fact the show goes on serves the fact that they know they haven’t the evidence yet. Their quest continues.

    All this is a marked improvement on intolerant religious beliefs which have destroyed/held back our society thus far. These people are claiming that something is possible…not fact…That’s why i am standing up to their derision. I am upset that people who claim to be scientific cannot make the differentiation. Stop making assumptions about what I think based on my defence of something you disagree with and actually relate to the arguments I am putting.

  69. 69
    Neil Perry

    to 67..your assuming that the audience are all mindless to begin with and that people cannot reach their own conclusions..When i go to an italian restaurant, I don’t think that the chef thinks that italian food is the only food in the world but I will go there expecting italian food. I can find turkish food elsewhere if i want. It’s up to me if i want to sample foods from all over the world. People with an inquisitive mind will probably sample more.The reality is that most people do.

  70. 70
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I have not made any claims..My point is

    That is a claim, in case you are totally without a clue. Which is why your screeds are ignored. Want to be listened to? Try “this is what I believe, and this (link to peer reviewed scientific evidence) backs that up”… Then we can have a rational evidence based discussion, not sophistry without point or reason.

  71. 71
    Jessa

    Neil Perry @62:

    The show addresses the fact that the evidence isn’t conclusively solid which is why it is narrated as a series of questions.

    A big problem that I have with the show is that it uses their “questions” not like actual questions, but as jumping-off points for their speculations. They very rarely address the accepted explanations for things except to immediately wave them away. They never seem to explain why “aliens did it” is a better explanation.

    Also, they present their ideas in a way that would be difficult for an average viewer to spot what was speculation and what was not. Wild, imaginative speculation is sometimes fun, but when you’re presenting it to the public in a way that most people can’t tell that it’s speculation, that’s a problem.

  72. 72
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    Neil Perry @ 59

    Like it is impossible to disprove god, ancient alien theory is an extension of religious belief. In religion god is omnipotent and therefore anything is possible and there are no rules for what is possible. For the aforementioned alien theory, an extra terrestrial species that could have evolved and advanced for potentially billions of years before us means that we face a conundrum similar to ‘god’ as it were.

    I was in a good mood tonight anyway, but now I’m positively giddy. Perhaps next you could try to convince us of the validity of the ancient aliens theory by likening it to homeopathy?

  73. 73
    vaiyt

    I don’t understand the aggression that you all seem to have for the ancient aliens show.

    For one, it leads to misinformed dumbfucks like you. A lot of the stuff in that program is badly researched, hoaxed or outright fabricated by the show authors. And you eat their drivel hook, line and sinker.

    They don’t claim to have the facts

    Rather, they claim that actual historians and scientists don’t have the facts. Even when they do.

    and present what is described as a ‘theory’..ie if so and so was like this, then this means that.

    And therein lies the problem.
    The same way they say “If aliens built the pyramids”, they could start with “If angels dancing on the head of a pin built the pyramids” or “If the pyramids were vomited into place by psychic aardvarks from the future”. That’s not how you fucking do hypothesis, you idiot. You can’t just go on wild fucking tangents about stuff you don’t have evidence for. You have to find evidence that aliens were here FIRST, THEN you speculate on their methods and motives.

  74. 74
    Neil Perry

    70..You fail to understand the meaning of my words and the reason that I am saying them. It is very much like trying to have a conversation with an atheist when I am trying to tell them to stop insulting believers of religion..who will insult me because they think i’m a believer and not used intellectual means to construct an argument.You really don’t listen.

    I DON’T ‘BELIEVE’ IN THINGS..I MYSELF ONLY ACCEPT FACTS BASED ON EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE..EVEN IN THE CASE OF EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE, I HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT UNIVERSAL TRUTHS ARE NEVER GUARANTEED.

    This isn’t about providing scientific evidence.My comments are a rebuttal of the manner in which people who claim to be people of intellect and science put others down. Ancient astronaut theory is ultimately plausible, though not necessarily provable.

    Tell me please how you can prove that this type of idea is implausible…I challenge you.

  75. 75
    Rey Fox

    Ever hear of parsimony, Neil?

    Therefore,they were quite advanced yet quite stupid in they made up a lot of stuff about powerful, unprovable gods..ancient astronaut theory comes in and says both are true because god could have been an alien..Is that so implausible?

    Yes, it is. Because you’re just piling more assumptions on top of what we actually know and have evidence for. The assumption that any kind of alien life exists, the assumption that said alien life can somehow cross vast distances of interstellar space, the assumption that this alien life was capable of communicating in a friendly manner, that this alien life was interested in helping some primates pile rocks on top of each other but has since packed up and left no physical evidence…

    They don’t claim to have the facts and present what is described as a ‘theory’..ie if so and so was like this, then this means that.

    I’m not saying it’s aliens…but it’s aliens.

    What if it were leprechauns?

    Like it is impossible to disprove god, ancient alien theory is an extension of religious belief.

    So you’re saying it’s unfalsifiable bollocks? It’s not worth considering if the side proposing it can just play Calvinball with their theory.

    If this theory replaced the recognised religions, the world would be a more peaceful place because its implications would bury religious disputes.

    One, I highly doubt that. Two, would that exempt it from the demand that it be actually true?

    All the show asks you to is to consider, ‘what if’ .Its certainly thought provoking and entertaining to contemplate the consequences if just one of their speculations turned out to be accurate.

    Well perhaps if it were on the Golly Gee Wouldn’t That Be Neato Channel rather than History (which is an actual academic discipline concerned with evidence and all), maybe we wouldn’t have a problem.

  76. 76
    omnicrom

    So Neil Perry, does Ancient Astronauts even acknowledge that the Ancient Astronaut “theory” is kind of racist? People look at the Pyramids or some other wonder of the ancient world and they say to themselves “How could those Brown people make a monument like that? Maybe they had (white) aliens to help them? They are, after all, backwards and primitive and brown.”

    That’s what’s always bugged me about the Von Daniken mythology. I mean BESIDES having absolutely no positive evidence in its favor.

  77. 77
    Neil Perry

    73..Misinformed dumbfucks?????? Please state where i said that i agree/support any of the theory discussed by ancient aliens..I HAVE NOT. Can you not make an argument yourself without using cheap insults? Usually the sign of people without sufficient intellect.IS THERE NOT ONE PERSON ON THIS FORUM WHO CAN HAVE A MATURE CONVERSATION AND ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND THAT I AM NOT TRYING TO ARGUE FOR/AGAINST THE THEORY ITSELF. I AM DISCUSSING THE PRIMITIVE NATURE OF DISCUSSION SURROUNDING THE THEORY AS PROVED BY THE UNJUSTIFIED PERSONAL ABUSE THAT I AM GETTING.

  78. 78
    Jessa

    I will say this about Ancient Aliens: it’s an excellent tool for honing your skill at spotting logical fallacies.

  79. 79
    vaiyt

    The show addresses the fact that the evidence isn’t conclusively solid which is why it is narrated as a series of questions.

    Questions for which they immediately give the answer “aliens did it”, and then never look back.

  80. 80
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    This isn’t about providing scientific evidence.

    No, it is. YOU ARE MAKING A CLAIM THAT SHOW SHOULD BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY. WITHOUT EVIDENCE, IT IS DIMISSED.

  81. 81
    Jessa

    Neil Perry @ 77:

    IS THERE NOT ONE PERSON ON THIS FORUM WHO CAN HAVE A MATURE CONVERSATION AND ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND THAT I AM NOT TRYING TO ARGUE FOR/AGAINST THE THEORY ITSELF.

    I notice that you have ignored several comments from people, including myself, who have made substantive arguments without using “cheap insults”. Would you care to address them?

    (Also, please use the ‘nym as well as the post number of the person you’re talking to. It makes it easier to follow the conversation.)

  82. 82
    omnicrom

    I AM DISCUSSING THE PRIMITIVE NATURE OF DISCUSSION SURROUNDING THE THEORY AS PROVED BY THE UNJUSTIFIED PERSONAL ABUSE THAT I AM GETTING.

    My condolences Cupcake, but this blog has a low tolerance for nonsense and you’re peddling BS. If you want to elevate the discourse about the Ancient Astronauts “Theory” then you’re going to have to provide some evidence for why we shouldn’t dismiss it out of hand and accept the null hypothesis that it’s bunk. You really stuck your foot in it when you compared the ancient astronaut “theory” to Religion, in a very strongly secular/atheist/humanist blog that can’t be having that sort of nonsense.

    Protip: You are not due reverence. We do not have to accept and respect your word alone out of some misplaced need for urbanity. You are promoting nonsense and have nothing to back it. You deserve the little rudeness you’ve received. If you explode at a couple of insults I strongly suggest you cut your losses and leave now. Is that mature enough?

  83. 83
    Rey Fox

    I AM DISCUSSING THE PRIMITIVE NATURE OF DISCUSSION SURROUNDING THE THEORY

    Debunking is the most mature discussion that can be had.

    And anyway, sometimes we just want to rail against the charlatans of the day.

  84. 84
    Neil Perry

    77. Not racist no..The theory looks at ancient structures/monoliths/megaliths from across the globe..Eg in europe, carnac stones, stonehenge etc where they would have been light skinned..

  85. 85
    omnicrom

    Not racist no..The theory looks at ancient structures/monoliths/megaliths from across the globe..Eg in europe, carnac stones, stonehenge etc where they would have been light skinned..

    That’s good for them Neil Perry.

    Next question: Do they ever provide any good evidence that it might actually be created by aliens? If not why should I bother to watch the show?

    Also for someone who alleges they aren’t shilling for the show you seem to be doing an awful lot of shilling for the show. Why is that?

  86. 86
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Monitor note:
    Please remember to use Nyms and comment numbers:

    If you are replying to a specific comment, use the comment number and poster's name.

    The Rules

    (Also, please lay of the caps-lock. If you want to emphasise, use <em>emphasis</em> and/or <strong>strong-emphasis</strong> tags.)

  87. 87
    Jessa

    Neil Perry @84:

    Not racist no..The theory looks at ancient structures/monoliths/megaliths from across the globe..Eg in europe, carnac stones, stonehenge etc where they would have been light skinned..

    And then they get to the Americas, where the general consensus is that the most of the places that the “aliens” built or helped build were built within the last millennium. Yet the Pantheon, for example, was built almost two millennia ago. Strange how none of the ancient astronaut theorists posit that aliens helped the Romans build it.

  88. 88
    Amphiox

    77. Not racist no..The theory looks at ancient structures/monoliths/megaliths from across the globe..Eg in europe, carnac stones, stonehenge etc where they would have been light skinned..

    This no more absolves the hypothesis of racism than does the infamous “but some my best friends are black”.

  89. 89
    Neil Perry

    jessa..as im typing one response, its hard to keep up with all the other responses that i might have missed. I am frustrated as it’s still clear that no one seems to have any idea as to what i am getting at. Let’s try and put this another way, i disagree with the reasons and nature in which people are trying to dismiss ancient astronaut theory. It doesn’t need dismissing. Its a plausible idea that could be possible. It doesn’t make it likely but that isn’t the point. Comparing it to religion is not stupid because if aliens did exist, they could be advanced to such a level where they would compared to us seem like a god moving the goalposts about what we comprehend is even possible. We humans have already had to amend what we thought were the complete laws of physics. We don’t know what is possible/impossible so it is unscientific to say that the theory is utterly implausible.

  90. 90
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    The theory looks at ancient structures/monoliths/megaliths from across the globe..Eg in europe, carnac stones, stonehenge etc where they would have been light skinned..

    But they misinterpret the standard theories for the pictographs, etc. Which means is can and is dismissed as fuckwittery. You can change minds hear, if you stop pretending your word is worth anything, realize it isn’t, and back it up with EVIDENCE. Until then, nothing you say is believed. That is science.

  91. 91
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Its a plausible idea that could be possible.

    Nope, it is a pipe dream from whacky baccy until EVIDENCED otherwise, and agreed upon within the archeological community. EVIDENCE?

    “Possible” is impossible with evidence. That is skepticism.

  92. 92
    Neil Perry

    omnicrom, i enjoy the show but i have a mind of my own. There is no evidence to say any of it was built by aliens. They only say that structures they built were very advanced so there is more to our history than the histroy books tell us..AAT says that this gap is explained by scripture where they credit ‘the gods’ with knowledge to that stuff.
    amphimox, someone suggested that the theory just explained that brown skinned people couldnt do stuff so someone helped them..I gave an example where this ‘help’ was given to someone not brown skinned.don’t be so ridiculous

  93. 93
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    There is no evidence to say any of it was built by aliens.

    Then you have no point. End of discussion. Nothing but bullshit.

  94. 94
    Neil Perry

    nerd of redhead..seriously…are u that stupid? I am answering saying what the theory presented on the show says..When did i support the theory?? Detach your emotions from your brain for a second and think like someone with an intellect.

  95. 95
    Neil Perry

    nerd of redhead….AGAIN..I’m not trying to make the point..U HAVENT FOLLOWED MY DISCUSSION..you are making an assumption.

    I am standing up for the right of people to make that argument and for it to be heard, i am not making the argument myself. Get that into your skull!

  96. 96
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    When did i support the theory?? D

    By presenting what the show said. If you didn’t believe it, you should shut the fuck up like a person of intellectual honesty and integrity would. You only back that which you believe in. You don’t play “devil’s advocate”, which is a form of trollery.

  97. 97
    Neil Perry

    87..jessa,,I don’t have time to into all of it but it is evident that all of you don’t know the actual details of the theory..The theory would postulate that much of the knowledge that the romans and greeks had was actully derived from the egyptians etc..also the theory talks about greeks/romans having similar gods, just with different names and how the norse gods were also similar. They theorise that these were the same aliens who visisted the different cultures..The theory is an accumulation of speculations

  98. 98
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Neil Perry #95

    I am standing up for the right of people to make that argument and for it to be heard, i am not making the argument myself.

    No one here is trying to remove that right. People here have criticised the argument, and lamented the fact that such a silly argument is given a platform..

    And, frankly, you are defending the argument they’re making, in that you are defending its plausibility.

    (And lay off the fuckin’ caps-llock, for Pete’s sake. You’re doing yourself no favours by shouting.)

  99. 99
    Jessa

    Neil Perry @89:

    We don’t know what is possible/impossible so it is unscientific to say that the theory is utterly implausible.

    No, it is perfectly scientific to say that a “theory” is implausible. I’m using quotes around “theory” because the ancient aliens “theory” is not a theory in a scientific sense.

    In order to accept ancient aliens as a plausible explanation, the following points would need to be accepted:
    1) advanced life exists elsewhere in the universe
    2) that advanced life has the capability of traveling to Earth
    3) that advanced life is able to survive on Earth and communicate with ancient human civilizations.

    Those are some very big and currently unevidenced claims that you have to assume to be true before you even get to “aliens built it”. Why is that preferable to the explanation that ancient humans were as smart as we are now and that they put time and effort and extra care into building these structures?

  100. 100
    Neil Perry

    96.Nerd, can you get through a post without swearing?? im not playing advocate, more of a middleman but it seems you are very unwilling to accept a 3rd point of view or any kind of critique to the way in which you think..If people weren’t so dogmatic with their views, the world would be a much better place. And it is good to play devil’s advocate btw, challenge your boundaries.

  101. 101
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    When did i support the theory?? D

    Can you get through a post without sounding like a total fuckwit?

    more of a middleman

    No, there is no need for a middle man. Either you believe or your don’t. If you do, keep talking. If you don’t, shut the fuck up. Welcome to honest and integrity. You have none.

  102. 102
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    NP, if the show had honesty and integrity, would announce up front “What you see is pure fiction. Nothing said is believed by working and publishing archeologists, and is only being presented for your amusement. Don’t take the show seriously.”.

  103. 103
    Neil Perry

    jessa.it is plausible that advanced life exists elsewhere in the unvierse…eg we exist..why not elesewhere..drake’s equation etc
    capable of travellnig to earth? well, it may be difficult for us but we have no idea about them? 150 years ago, we were using horses, now look at us…maybe they could use wormholes?
    obviously, we don’t know but in an infinite universe, anything is technically possible..That is why it is akin to believing in a god type being..we simply do not know, doesn’t mean we can write it off..we cant just substantiate that it has happened.
    it may not be provable now but could be if we actually made contact with an alien species.

  104. 104
    Neil Perry

    102, nerd..if you listen to the words on the actual show, it asks questions? This means they are not stating facts. Yes, they make fanciful, bold claims but only within the context of ‘what if’. Either you believe or you dont? REALLY? well evidently not because i am here. I am the minority but i do exist. Deal with it.

    Btw, because of your completely unnecessarily primitive abuse, this is the last comment i will address to you. I will not stoop to your level. Swear words only emphasise that you are too emotional to have a proper discussion.

  105. 105
    Jessa

    Neil Perry @97:

    I don’t have time to into all of it but it is evident that all of you don’t know the actual details of the theory..

    I would caution against assuming what people here know and don’t know about ancient astronaut theory. I first read Chariots of the Gods sometime in the mid-1980s, and I have watched pretty much every episode of Ancient Aliens. (It’s a guilty pleasure.) So yes, I’m aware that proponents claim that the Greeks and Romans used knowledge passed to them from aliens communicating with the ancient Egyptians. Isn’t it strange, though, that those aliens, with their ability for interstellar travel, didn’t bother to visit the Americas until over three millennia later?

    And yes, I’m aware of the alternate postulation that ancient Egyptians traveled to the Americas and brought what they’d learned. If that were true, isn’t it weird that the civilizations in the Americas sat on that knowledge for millenia before building anything with it?

  106. 106
    Rey Fox

    The theory is an accumulation of speculations

    That’s exactly what we’re saying.

    And all of what you said earlier in that comment is perfectly easily explained by conventional historical explanations without having to add the myriad assumptions of alien life. Parsimony.

  107. 107
    Neil Perry

    105, jessa..the theory speaks of the mayans being in contact thousands of years ago..Does this not count? Graham Hancock’s books about the lost civilsation says mayan history goes back a lot further than we thought and that 10,500 BC is a key date for tracing back lots of these civilisations.

  108. 108
    Jessa

    Neil Perry @103:

    ..we simply do not know, doesn’t mean we can write it off..

    Seriously, Neil.

    Parsimony. Look it up.

    Yes, strictly speaking, any wild idea out there could possibly be true. But ancient humans working hard is a much simpler and likely explanation than “aliens did it”.

  109. 109
    vaiyt

    Can you not make an argument yourself without using cheap insults?

    Can you make an argument that doesn’t sound insulting to anyone with two brain cells to rub together?

  110. 110
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    the theory speaks of the mayans being in contact thousands of years ago..Does this not count?

    A “theory” meaning conjecture is worthless. And that is all your Aliens show is. Conjecture. Scientific theories have a large body of evidence to back them up. Why are you so confused? Any scientist or skeptic knows the difference between a scientific theory and just a “therory”.

  111. 111
    Jessa

    Neil Perry @107:

    the theory speaks of the mayans being in contact thousands of years ago..

    And evidence of that is…? Because if that were true, it sure looks like they sat on the temple-building information for several dozen generations.

  112. 112
    Neil Perry

    well, historians and archaeologists need to get back to work then because our ancient history before 2000 years ago is mostly a blank canvass! There are so many wonderful mysteries out there waiting to be solved. Yes, the more plausible theory was that of a lost advanced ancient civilisation who circumnaviated the world long before the egyptians were around or even the sumerians.These wer prob their teachers..Hancocks calls them the gnostics, surviovrs from the end of the last ice age etc..I mean that is all one big theory but people dont trash it as much coz only wackjobs believe in aliens right??

  113. 113
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Yes, the more plausible theory

    Sorry, you mean conjecture, not theory, as there is no EVIDNECE to make it a scientific theory. Ergo, nothing but bullshit.

    Make you language precise. It does help in you realizing the vacuity of your arguments.

  114. 114
    Amphiox

    well, historians and archaeologists need to get back to work then because our ancient history before 2000 years ago is mostly a blank canvass!

    Whut??

    Just because you seem to want to refuse to open the book doesn’t mean the canvases therein are blank!

  115. 115
    vaiyt

    amphimox, someone suggested that the theory just explained that brown skinned people couldnt do stuff so someone helped them..I gave an example where this ‘help’ was given to someone not brown skinned.don’t be so ridiculous

    The Ancient Aliens theory is inextricably linked to racism, simply because the whole raison d’étre of its existence is disbelief at the idea that non-Europeans could do engineering.
    No AA proponent would say the Coliseum was built by aliens, and yet, the Nazca and Romans existed at the same time. Same for the French and Khmer, but again, Notre Dame gets no alien help as opposed to Angkor Wat. The attempt to include prehistoric Europeans into the mix is no more than a token attempt at dismissing the fundamentally racist premise of AA.

  116. 116
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Neil:
    Psst…hey there.
    Some advice.
    Try engaging the substance of the comments, rather than whining about harsh words being thrown your way.
    Address the fact that there are no facts and no science behind ancient aliens.
    You could start by developing a clearer understanding of pseudoscience.
    Here:

    pseudoscience

    A pseudoscience is a set of ideas put forth as scientific when they are not scientific.

    Scientific theories are characterized by such things as (a) being based on empirical observation rather than the authority of some sacred text; (b) explaining a range of empirical phenomena; (c) being empirically tested in some meaningful way, usually involving testing specific predictions deduced from the theory; (d) being confirmed rather than falsified by empirical tests or with the discovery of new facts; (e) being impersonal and therefore testable by anyone regardless of personal religious or metaphysical beliefs; (f) being dynamic and fecund, leading investigators to new knowledge and understanding of the interrelatedness of the natural world rather than being static and stagnant leading to no research or development of a better understanding of anything in the natural world; (g) being approached with skepticism rather than gullibility, especially regarding paranormal forces or supernatural powers, and (h) being fallible and put forth tentatively rather than being put forth as infallible or inerrant.

    http://www.skepdic.com/pseudosc.html

    Or you could see how the ridiculousness of the ancient aliens is debunked by clicking the links at comment 12.
    Part of me hopes you will educate yourself.
    A bigger part of me wouldn’t mind watching your support of pseudoscience mocked. As it should be.

  117. 117
    Rey Fox

    Watch out for bridge salesmen, Neil.

    I mean that is all one big theory but people dont trash it as much coz only wackjobs believe in aliens right??

    Well, it has the notable advantage of being human-based, and we already know that humans exist.

  118. 118
    Amphiox

    Notice the parallel between these “ancient astronaut” hypotheses and the arguments for intelligent design.

    X obvious cannot have been caused by Y (but with no presentable evidence in favor other than personal incredulity).

    Therefore it must be Z (where Z is an outlandishly unlikely and unparsimonious conjecture for which no independent evidence of existence is presented.)

    About the only thing the alien people have up on the creationists is that aliens, at least, unlike creator deities, aren’t contradicted by the known laws of physics.

  119. 119
    Rey Fox

    Still has the whiff of bollocks about it though.

  120. 120
    Amphiox

    vaiyt @115: The attempt to include prehistoric Europeans into the mix is no more than a token attempt at dismissing the fundamentally racist premise of AA.

    Precisely. Token inclusionism added belated after the fact, exactly the same in principle as “but some of my best friends are black.”

  121. 121
    Jessa

    Okay, I’m done here. I tried.

    Neil: scientists have enough problems with people trying to confuse everyone with “but you can’t say for certain!” and “it’s not impossible!”. They really don’t need another devil’s advocate* coming along to lecture them on “open minds”. I hope that this has been fun for you, because it certainly wasn’t fun for me.

    *This is assuming that you don’t really believe in ancient astronauts, though I noticed that you didn’t deny believing in them.

  122. 122
    anteprepro

    There is no evidence to say any of it was built by aliens. They only say that structures they built were very advanced so there is more to our history than the histroy books tell us..AAT says that this gap is explained by scripture where they credit ‘the gods’ with knowledge to that stuff.

    “Sure, there’s no scientific evidence to say that Jesus built humans out of dust and divine breath. But look at how complex humans are! I’m just sayin’, is all. Wink wink, nudge nudge.”

    87..jessa,,I don’t have time to into all of it but it is evident that all of you don’t know the actual details of the theory..

    The Courtier’s Reply II: Sophistication IN SPAAAAAAACE

    also the theory talks about greeks/romans having similar gods, just with different names

    HOLY SHIT WHAT A NOVEL AND GROUNDBREAKING INSIGHT

    Truly that is something that requires a supernatural explanation.

    The theory is an accumulation of speculations

    This is like the bizarro approach to “theory” that creationists make. Creationists use the lay definition of theory to dismiss legitimate scientific theories as just fanciful guesses. You use the lay definition of theory to give a scientific legitimacy to phantasmagorical guesses.

    im not playing advocate, more of a middleman but it seems you are very unwilling to accept a 3rd point of view or any kind of critique to the way in which you think..

    For fuck’s sake, you claimed to not believe what you are arguing. That in addition to the above is what a devil’s advocate is. You are one. Own or shut the fuck up already. We don’t need to be educated, or tested, or whatever the fuck you think you are accomplishing.

    capable of travellnig to earth? well, it may be difficult for us but we have no idea about them? 150 years ago, we were using horses, now look at us…maybe they could use wormholes?
    obviously, we don’t know but in an infinite universe, anything is technically possible..That is why it is akin to believing in a god type being..we simply do not know, doesn’t mean we can write it off..we cant just substantiate that it has happened.

    Yep, definitely making the connection with the “god type being” explicitly stated. You are trying to convert us into Space Christianity, aren’t you? Just shrug your shoulders and say enough “maybes” to serve as proper apologetics and then when we are willing to put skepticism aside, magically transform the “maybes” into “probably, yes”.

    We’ve seen this card trick too many times. “Anything is technically possible, so why not [ridiculous specific, highly speculative nonsense of my personal preference]?”. Can you try a different game, please? You’ve got to have better Sophisticated Xenoarchaeology than this!

    .if you listen to the words on the actual show, it asks questions? This means they are not stating facts. Yes, they make fanciful, bold claims but only within the context of ‘what if’.

    I Am Just Asking Questions! You really think that is a legitimate defense, huh?

    I wonder how much the fan-base for Ancient Aliens and the fan-base for Glenn Beck overlap.

    Swear words only emphasise that you are too emotional to have a proper discussion.

    Hah. Really? Can’t take swears? Do you even know where are you? And if not, why do you think you know how much or how little we know on this subject?

  123. 123
    Amphiox

    Jessa @108; Yes, strictly speaking, any wild idea out there could possibly be true. But ancient humans working hard is a much simpler and likely explanation than “aliens did it”.

    Now if Stonehenge (or the pyramids or whatever) happened to be made of Xeelee Construction material, that might be something.

    But it’s not.

    It’s made of stone.

    And dates to the stone age.

    You know, that period of time when humans mastered the art of making things with stone, and made lots of things with stone?

  124. 124
    vaiyt

    There are so many wonderful mysteries out there waiting to be solved.

    That’s the point, bucko. We WON’T solve any of these mysteries if we just declare beforehand that “aliens did it!” and then start speculating away before we even investigate.

  125. 125
    anteprepro

    Yes, the more plausible theory was that of a lost advanced ancient civilisation who circumnaviated the world long before the egyptians were around or even the sumerians.These wer prob their teachers..Hancocks calls them the gnostics, surviovrs from the end of the last ice age etc..I mean that is all one big theory but people dont trash it as much coz only wackjobs believe in aliens right??

    lolwut?

  126. 126
    Neil Perry

    116.. i know what psuedo science is..And yes, I’ve watched the debunking video a long,long time ago..As stated if you actually read my comments, im not here as a supporter of the theory..I dont wanna repeat myself again. You claim i need to educate myself but you cant adequately gauge what my stance even is! Will you people stop making assumptions..It’s time for me to sleep..Goodbye

  127. 127
    Amphiox

    capable of travellnig to earth? well, it may be difficult for us but we have no idea about them? 150 years ago, we were using horses, now look at us…maybe they could use wormholes?

    Then start by presenting some evidence that artificial wormholes are possible. That is, after all, how REAL scientists work. If they have a hypothesis that is complex and speculative, they first break it down into the “required fundamentals” that need to be true/possible for the hypothesis to be correct, and then they do the work to demonstrate that these fundamentals ARE possible. They will, not infrequently, refrain from even mentioning the larger hypothesis until they’ve gathered this preliminary foundational evidence.

    Swear words only emphasise that you are too emotional to have a proper discussion.

    Complaining about other people’s swear words only emphasize that you have no argument and are trying to distract yourself from that cold, uncomfortable reality.

  128. 128
    vaiyt

    if you listen to the words on the actual show, it asks questions?

    They only ask questions in order to immediately pull an answer out of their asses, and then treat it like a fact. It’s dishonest.
    Here’s the trick of Ancient Aliens: when you find some data, say an advanced structure built by some ancient people or other, what does a real scientist or historian do? I explain in another thread where a crank was pushing the same arguments as you.

    1) You make a hypothesis, which contains an opinion on what may have caused that artifact, and what’s also true if you’re right.
    2) Then you go back to the data and test the limits of your hypothesis.
    3)If your predictions confirm themselves and there isn’t a less complicated explanation, you’re on to something.
    4)From there, you start thinking of the ramifications.

    See 2)? There’s the AA rabbit in the top hat. They get up to 1), that is, they see something and make an hypothesis about aliens making it. Then they jump straight to 4). They’re trying to figure out how many angels can dance on a pin before they even find out if angels exist.

  129. 129
    Neil Perry

    o for gods sake..so ive spent the last 4 hours talknig only of swearing!? rubbish..Why are you so concerned with trying to put me down as well as having a discussion?? Seriously, why cant you be mature about it?

    Lastly, tell me, what do you think my argument actually is??????????????

  130. 130
    Amphiox

    Yes, the more plausible theory was that of a lost advanced ancient civilisation who circumnaviated the world long before the egyptians were around or even the sumerians.

    The most plausible theory is that there was no lost advanced ancient civilizations of any sort, and that the Egyptians, Sumerians, Mayans, et al were each intelligent and capable enough to come up with the pertinent techniques and achievements independently on their own.

    I mean, if there WERE such an ancient advanced civilization, why did they bequeath the secret of building arches to the ancient Romans, but not the ancient Mayans? Why did they teach one method of making wheels to the old world civs and an entirely different method of constructing wheels to the new world civs?

  131. 131
    Amphiox

    o for gods sake..so ive spent the last 4 hours talknig only of swearing!? rubbish..Why are you so concerned with trying to put me down as well as having a discussion?? Seriously, why cant you be mature about it?

    Why do you choose to obsess about others’ comments vis-a-vis the swearing question, but ignore the actual substantive criticisms of your positions?

    For example, why do you continue to ignore the fundamental logical error/fallacy that ancient alien hypotheses share with creationism, that I have pointed out previously?

    Why can’t you be mature about it?

  132. 132
    Neil Perry

    its impossible for me to reply to all of your posts..i would be here for a very long time..i have been trying to go to sleep. its very late here in london.

    please tell me what you think my position actually is?

    the only thing i have stated is that anything is possible even though it is improbable.

  133. 133
    Neil Perry

    WHY DONT U GET THAT I AM NOT AN ANCIENT ASTRONAUT THEORIST.. u are pointing out inconsistencies, logical errors/ fallacies in something that i am not claiming to be necessarily so!! I started posting because i dont like the attitude taken by you people towards people who purport the theory. That is it. Thats all it ever was. Getting into the semantics of whether it is a theory or a postulation or however you want to describe it is here nor/there.

  134. 134
    Jessa

    Neil Perry:

    the only thing i have stated is that anything is possible even though it is improbable.

    Yeah, we figured that one out already. We were trying to show you why it’s not a good use of time entertaining wildly improbable things when there’s a perfectly plausible explanation. Again: parsimony, please look it up.

    (I was never good at sticking the flounce.)

  135. 135
    Amphiox

    its impossible for me to reply to all of your posts..i would be here for a very long time..

    And yet you persist in wasting your time and ours making posts that say nothing worthwhile.

    the only thing i have stated is that anything is possible even though it is improbable.

    This is a scientifically useless statement.

    The quantification of improbability is what sets real science apart from useless pseudoscience.

    It is possible, though improbable, for the sun to wink out tomorrow at 1:13pm. How improbable? Are there factors that affect that improbability? That make it more probable? Less? What are they? These are the types of question that real science answers FIRST, when determining if an idea is worth spending time and limited resources to think about.

  136. 136
    Neil Perry

    it is an equally bad use of time as well to obsess over rubbishing things which you cannot disprove which are harmless and is JUST a tv show which is quite entertaining as you know.

  137. 137
    vaiyt

    Lastly, tell me, what do you think my argument actually is??????????????

    That’s a good question. Maybe you could enlighten us? I mean, all I got from your drivel was that you’re a crank who’s awfully mad that we don’t give AA the respect it supposedly deserves. As much as you claim you’re a skeptic, you sound exactly like the last woo-peddler who was totally not defending AA on this site.

  138. 138
    Amphiox

    WHY DONT U GET THAT I AM NOT AN ANCIENT ASTRONAUT THEORIST..

    It doesn’t matter either way. The two main topics of this thread at this point in time are 1) the general logical and structural weakness of ancient astronaut hypotheses in aggregate, and 2) your failures in comprehension of logic, parsimony, scientific method and rational discourse.

    The actual status of your belief in ancient astronaut theory in the unplumbed and unexamined depths of your heart are irrelevant.

  139. 139
    vaiyt

    it is an equally bad use of time as well to obsess over rubbishing things which you cannot disprove

    That’s just stupid. Many things said on AA can be disproven, as they’re based on erroneous facts (Pumapunku’s stonework and age) or known hoaxes (Vimana, crystal skulls). Many others have competing explanations that are more parsimonious and account for more data.

    which are harmless and is JUST a tv show which is quite entertaining as you know.

    A TV show that pushes nonsense as fact and demeans the hard work of real historians. Not harmless.

  140. 140
    Amphiox

    it is an equally bad use of time as well to obsess over rubbishing things which you cannot disprove which are harmless and is JUST a tv show which is quite entertaining as you know.

    That tritely boring show and your commentary on this thread are demonstrations of a type of fallacious magical thinking that dangerously elevates the false dichotomy underlying the concept of “failure to disprove”.

    This type of thinking is a toxic cancer on our current body-politic, and leads directly to such disastrous political decisions as the US invasion of Iraq.

    The type of thinking you have demonstrated here, and the type of thinking underpinning that monumentally unentertaining show, lead in other realms of endeavour to people DYING AND SUFFERING.

    And just because in this particular instance it is employed in a trivial subject doesn’t mean that it is not dangerous, and does not need to be debunked thoroughly.

  141. 141
    Neil Perry

    the only thing i have argued for is greater tolerance if you analyse the conversation properly…I have not disagreed with the logic regarding such theories and about scientific method etc..Not once have i disagreed.

    I enjoy the aat and find it fascinating, doesnt mean i ‘believe’ in it..Its not about giving the theory respect, its about giving people who want to talk about the theory respect. All i essentialyl wanted to do what promote this respect but you people seem to lack any with your repeated cheap put downs. The ‘aggression’ i reffered to in my initial post which you people have proven to be correct the whole way along.

    I’m just a nice guy who just wanted to have an interesting conversation but you people have let me down with your confrontational approach. I hope you’re ashamed of yourselves.

  142. 142
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Neil Perry #136

    it is an equally bad use of time as well to obsess over rubbishing things which you cannot disprove which are harmless and is JUST a tv show which is quite entertaining as you know.

    Until the same viewers who watched all that von Dänitripe and got sold a “Lone Maverick™ Challenging The Big-Science Consensus” as perfectly good science, turn to another channel and watch another Lone Maverick™ waffling about the Evils Of Vaccination, or The Big Climate Change Conspiracy.

  143. 143
    Jessa

    Neil Perry @136:

    JUST a tv show which is quite entertaining as you know.

    Considering that I’ve encountered more than one person who thought that the AA story was actually accepted thinking thanks to Ancient Aliens, I’m not inclined to dismiss it as “JUST a tv show”.

  144. 144
    Amphiox

    I’m just a nice guy who just wanted to have an interesting conversation but you people have let me down with your confrontational approach.

    “Nice” guys do NOT perseverate on complaining about other people’s confrontational approach in discussions which THEY initiated.

    “Nice” guys do NOT conflate every minor disagreement with “confrontation”.

    “Nice” guys do NOT get defensive when their own logical errors are legitimately pointed out to them.

    These are NOT things that “nice” guys do. These are things that passive-aggressive self-important fools do.

  145. 145
    Jessa

    Neil @141:

    All i essentialyl wanted to do what promote this respect but you people seem to lack any with your repeated cheap put downs. The ‘aggression’ i reffered to in my initial post which you people have proven to be correct the whole way along.

    I have, throughout this discussion with you, tried to be substantive and non-insulting. I have not used “cheap put downs” or “aggression”. And neither have several others who have engaged you. Why are you dismissing us?

    Also, it’s possible to use insults while also making a substantive point. It’s not usually my style, but it’s not an invalid way of arguing, either.

  146. 146
    chigau (違う)

    So I’ve just read all of the resurrection of this dead thread and one of the most notable things is the deterioration of Neil Perry’s spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc.
    Dare I speculate..alcohol?
    re: 2000 old blank canvas
    Wrong!

  147. 147
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    the only thing i have argued for is greater tolerance if you analyse the conversation properly…

    There has been no conversation. Until you can an will acknowledge you are wrong, you are pontificating bullshit, and we are correcting your mistakes.

    Its not about giving the theory respect, its about giving people who want to talk about the theory respect.

    Why should that be done at all? If they spout bullshit, they should be called what they are, bullshitters. They want respect, they earn it the old fashioned way, but stopping their bullshit and backing up their claims with solid and conclusive evidence. Like that will happen.

    I’m just a nice guy who just wanted to have an interesting conversation but you people have let me down with your confrontational approach. I hope you’re ashamed of yourselves.

    This is a rude blog. Nobody gives a shit about your poor feelings, if you do nothing but whine and bullshit about our tone. That is called tone trolling, and those trolls, like you, are the lowest of the low. If you can’t deal with real and passionate scientist, skeptics, and just plain folks speaking their minds, you shouldn’t ever post here.

  148. 148
    Neil Perry

    i have a discussion with people…you people just tried to put me down and tell me what an idiot i am..I was concerned with the perceived aggression of people’s attitudes towards the subject title which was i commented in the first place. Having a civil discussion is part of being nice. you can still debate and be nice. Its hard to convey tone in type.

    If you met me, i’m sure you would agree with me! :)

  149. 149
    Lofty

    Neil Perry, if you ever get off your backside and produce some arguments with real data behind them, I’d be interested. As for AA, it’s trash TV, the kind of sucky rubbish that infects the minds of the gullible populace. It’s damaging to rational discourse to take such crap even slightly seriously. Especially when presented on a supposed “History” channel.
    Now why are you actually here? At Pharyngula, famed “rude” blog? No-one likes a whiner. Show some strength, mate.

  150. 150
    Amphiox

    Jessa @143; Considering that I’ve encountered more than one person who thought that the AA story was actually accepted thinking thanks to Ancient Aliens, I’m not inclined to dismiss it as “JUST a tv show”.

    The show consistently presents its outlandish proposals as if they were part of the accepted historical discourse, as if legitimate historians consider them valid speculations and take them seriously.

    It presents itself as “educational” programming, and not as the entertaining mindless-fantasy that Neil Perry tries to claim that it is.

    It misrepresents the discipline of history. It quote-mines legitimate historians. It deceives its audience.

    It is a fundamentally dishonest program from beginning to end.

    In many ways, Neil Perry’s claim that he is not an AA believer puts him in a WORSE light. At least if he were an AA believer he could claim to be defending beliefs he personally honestly holds. But if he is not an AA believer, then he is engaging in a nakedly dishonest enterprise in defending a dishonest program.

  151. 151
    Jessa

    Neil Perry@148:

    i have a discussion with people…you people just tried to put me down and tell me what an idiot i am

    I did not. Several others did not. Again, why are you dismissing us?

  152. 152
    Rey Fox

    Its not about giving the theory respect, its about giving people who want to talk about the theory respect.

    Why do they deserve respect?

    All i essentialyl wanted to do what promote this respect but you people seem to lack any with your repeated cheap put downs.

    Funny, other than Nerd (who I will agree is an annoyingly one-note gadfly), I saw a lot of substantive argument.

    I’m just a nice guy who just wanted to have an interesting conversation but you people have let me down with your confrontational approach. I hope you’re ashamed of yourselves.

    Frankly, seeing as how you’ve consistently ignored the people, like me, who haven’t uttered so much as one naughty word, I feel like you would have been put out by anyone who didn’t blow sunshine up your ass about how we should accept every goofy speculation out there.

  153. 153
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Having a civil discussion is part of being nice. you can still debate and be nice. Its hard to convey tone in type.

    If you met me, i’m sure you would agree with me! :)

    Who the fuck gives a shit about meeting a tone troll, the scum of the Earth? Don’t like my attitude? Don’t respond. Then I won’t…..

  154. 154
    Neil Perry

    jessa, i dont include you in that..Thanks for your input.
    146…its hard typing so many responses at what is now 5am!! this isnt how i anticpated spending my week off! trying to tarnish me with alcohol..see…looking for another cheap put down,stop it already!

    2000 year old blank canvas..not comp blank obviously but we know far less than we know which is obvious but i was just trying to suggest we should put more work into restudying our pre-history

  155. 155
    Rey Fox

    Oh for the love of criminy. If you want “nice”, turn on the friggin’ Disney Channel. We value honesty more here.

  156. 156
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Anteprepro:
    Space Christianity?
    Christianity by way of zombification is sooo passe.

  157. 157
    Amphiox

    i have a discussion with people…you people just tried to put me down and tell me what an idiot i am

    You conflate ever disagreement with a put down.

    You think that whenever someone calls your ideas idiotic (which they ARE), they are calling you idiotic.

    This too is something that a “nice” guy does NOT do.

    And there is nothing nice about coddling someone’s wrongheaded, erroneous, and dangerous ideas in a debate.

  158. 158
    Rey Fox

    not comp blank obviously but we know far less than we know which is obvious but i was just trying to suggest we should put more work into restudying our pre-history

    Sure, mate. I’ll ring up the history department at the big ol’ research university in the town in which I live and tell them to get their rears in gear, some fan of cable TV bollocks is telling them to.

  159. 159
    vaiyt

    I enjoy the aat and find it fascinating, doesnt mean i ‘believe’ in it..Its not about giving the theory respect, its about giving people who want to talk about the theory respect.
    The AA “”"”theory”"”" doesn’t deserve any fucking respect. Their proponents have done nothing to earn our respect. They’re deluded idiots at least, and con-artists at worst, trying to peddle nonsense masquerading as fact.

    All i essentialyl wanted to do what promote this respect but you people seem to lack any with your repeated cheap put downs. The ‘aggression’ i reffered to in my initial post which you people have proven to be correct the whole way along.

    So what? Our attitude doesn’t matter to the facts. Being polite about AA won’t make it any less wrong.
    Put this in your head: we aren’t interested on politely discussing the multitudinous coats of paint one can put on bullshit. It’s bullshit, and it smells bad.

  160. 160
    anteprepro

    Its not about giving the theory respect, its about giving people who want to talk about the theory respect.

    Ah yes. “Respect”. “Civility”. In other words, don’t criticize the “theory” unless you are meek, mild, and mealy-mouthed about the issue enough so as to not hurt the feelings of True Believers.

    That, in addition to the “of course it is nonsense, but it’s just a tv show” reminds me of something. Oh, how does it go?

    “Teach the Controversy”, I think? Yeah, I’m not sure why you’d think we’d buy that for aliens when we don’t buy it for spectral bioengineers. Or are you really just that uninformed about where you are, and who we are?

  161. 161
    vaiyt

    I enjoy the aat and find it fascinating, doesnt mean i ‘believe’ in it..Its not about giving the theory respect, its about giving people who want to talk about the theory respect.

    The AA “”””theory”””” doesn’t deserve any fucking respect. Their proponents have done nothing to earn our respect. They’re deluded idiots at least, and con-artists at worst, trying to peddle nonsense masquerading as fact.

    Mind you, you’re going through all the exact same arguments as the last idiot who came here to defend AA, down to the claims of finding it merely “interesting” while reacting with indignation at any contrary argument. At this rate, I think I should make a bingo card.

    All i essentialyl wanted to do what promote this respect but you people seem to lack any with your repeated cheap put downs. The ‘aggression’ i reffered to in my initial post which you people have proven to be correct the whole way along.

    So what? Our attitude doesn’t matter to the facts. Being polite about AA won’t make it any less wrong.
    Put this in your head: we aren’t interested on politely discussing the multitudinous coats of paint one can put on bullshit. It’s bullshit, and it smells bad.

  162. 162
    Neil Perry

    Basically, u cudve just said an hour ago that im making a mute point, agree to disagree,sorry didnt mean to offend you etc etc. I cant type fast enough to respond to all of you and can discuss each and every point in painstaking detail if i had been chatting one on one.

  163. 163
    anteprepro

    Space Christianity?
    Christianity by way of zombification is sooo passe.

    Indeed. Zombies, and ghosts, and magic? What primitive would believe in such hoakum!? We live in the future. And the future is explaining everything with stealthy alien overlords and invisible superphysics that science will find out about any decade now. And just remember, and say this reassurance to yourself: if we don’t call any of our ancient alien overlords Xenu, we aren’t violating any of Scientology’s copyrights. Amen.

  164. 164
    Jessa

    Neil: from someone who has a tendency to get involved in late-night arguments on The Internets: please shut down for the night and get a good night’s (or morning’s) rest.

    When you’re fully rested, please re-read tonight’s discussion. If you feel the need to comment further tomorrow, that’s fine. But I ask that you consider all the comments made to you; you seem to be focusing mostly on insults instead of the multitude of substantive points that are being made.

  165. 165
    anteprepro

    Just go to bed already, Neil. I’m not sure what the point you were trying to make really was. Whether you were being honest or not etc. etc. But it is definitely clear that you are very stressed out and frustrated by this. Nerd can be a bit feisty, but you haven’t faced anything too angry or rude from us considering the typical nature of this blog. Not sure if that is reassuring. Regardless, just put us out of your mind for now, take a deep breath, step away from the computer, and go to bed. There might be a little more mutterings put here after you leave, but it will die down and you can back to it with fresh eyes, after some sleep and maybe a little more thought. Maybe things can be straightened out, maybe you just want to forget and move on, maybe you want to try discussion elsewhere on the blog on another topic. Maybe lurk and read more first, learn more about how we work around here. Whatever needs to be done later, but it is obvious that what needs to be done now is you need to give yourself a break. You are flaming out before our eyes.

  166. 166
    Rey Fox

    It’s “moot” point.

  167. 167
    Neil Perry

    well at the end of the day, the only disagreement is philosophical. I agree with the vast majority of points that you guys make in regard to AAT. No one seemed to grasp that i was not in disagreement. I just value the way people should speak to each other and other people/groups in society, no matter how right we think we are.

  168. 168
    vaiyt

    i was just trying to suggest we should put more work into restudying our pre-history

    What does AA have to do with that?

  169. 169
    Neil Perry

    168…now u get it…Nothing! AAT had nothing to do with it! Thank the lord!

  170. 170
    anteprepro

    The disagreement is a nuanced one, at the intersection of philosophy and science.

    And also that you probably disagree with us about “the way people should speak to each other” ( Related ).

    But…yeah.

  171. 171
    Rey Fox

    Tone arguments are so so boring.

  172. 172
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Typical AA argument:

    Aliens must have built the pyramids…

    …because “make each layer a couple of blocks narrower than the one below (oh, and you’ll need some ramps)” is such a hard concept that mere humans could never have come up with it on their own.

  173. 173
    Amphiox

    …now u get it…Nothing! AAT had nothing to do with it! Thank the lord!

    Then why post on this thread in particular?

    Your commentary is getting sequentially more dishonest with each new post.

  174. 174
    Amphiox

    Daz @172;

    Aliens must have built the pyramids…

    …because “make each layer a couple of blocks narrower than the one below (oh, and you’ll need some ramps)” is such a hard concept that mere humans could never have come up with it on their own.

    There is as far as I know not a single case, not a single one of any known ancient artifact where REAL historians and archeologists have not developed plausible, testable theories on how they were made. Indeed for many of them those theories have already been tested and found plausible.

    It is interesting how Perry boy whines on and on about one must respect the “possibility” of an outlandish idea, when the entirety of the AA hypotheses are predicated and denying the much greater plausibility of ALL of these alternative explanations.

  175. 175
    Jessa

    Neil Perry @167:

    I just value the way people should speak to each other and other people/groups in society, no matter how right we think we are.

    You know how the atmosphere at the pub down the street is different from that when you’re having dinner with your family? How you can be brash and outspoken at the former, but maybe more restrained at the latter? Pharyngula is more like a rowdy pub. It’s not bad, just different, though it can be a shock on the first encounter. Don’t mistake how the commenters talk here in this space with how they might talk in meatspace. It might be the same, but it might be different.

    Speaking personally, I live in the southern U.S. I’m an atheist. I have to live most of my life with my head down and my mouth shut. Pharyngula is my outlet for plain, blunt talk. Yes, it’s rude and a bit jarring at first, but it’s a welcome break from meatspace. If people with ill-informed ideas want to be coddled, there are literally thousands of other sites where they can gather. That Pharyngula is not one of those sites is not a failure on its part.

  176. 176
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Neil @132:

    You sound so much like a few agnostics I have encountered. Everything is possible. Don’t discount anything.
    Yeeeeah, and you don’t see a problem being so “open minded” that anything, no matter how unlikely is possible.
    You are not using science, logic, or reason to form your opinions.
    I suggest you go find an Anti-FtB where you will likely be welcome.

  177. 177
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    No one seemed to grasp that i was not in disagreement. I just value the way people should speak to each other and other people/groups in society, no matter how right we think we are.

    That is where we disagree, and will disagree. Bullshit needs to be treated and bullshit and disrespected. Otherwise, people think bullshitting is OK. You haven’t shown any way to stop liars and bullshitters. Until you do, you have nothing to offer anybody.

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