#ParadigmSymposium: Scott Wolters, the Kensington Runestone, the Holy Grail, the Secret Treasure Vault of the Templars, and the Founding of America

Eight Götalanders and 22 Northmen on (this?) acquisition journey from Vinland far to the west. We had a camp by two (shelters?) one day's journey north from this stone. We were fishing one day. After we came home, found 10 men red from blood and dead. Ave Maria save from evil. (side of stone) There are 10 men by the inland sea to look after our ships fourteen days journey from this peninsula (or island). Year 1362

Eight Götalanders and 22 Northmen on (this?) acquisition journey from Vinland far to the west. We had a camp by two (shelters?) one day’s journey north from this stone. We were fishing one day. After we came home, found 10 men red from blood and dead. Ave Maria save from evil.

(side of stone) There are 10 men by the inland sea to look after our ships fourteen days journey from this peninsula (or island). Year 1362

This is the Kensington rune stone. It’s a broken 200 pound block of stone, with Norse runes carved on it, that was dug up by a Swedish immigrant farmer in 1898. Kensington is just a short drive north of where I live, and the stone is currently on display in Alexandria. I’m unimpressed, but there are a fair number of people in this area of Scandinavian descent who really, really want to believe that Minnesota was settled by Vikings in the 14th century.

It’s a very silly ‘artifact’, clearly cobbled up by immigrants at a time when there was a lot of Scandinavian pride movements (I grew up in a family of Scandinavian descent, and I can tell you…yes, there is quite a bit of cultural pride, not undeserved, but sometimes getting a bit carried away). But the true believers can get a bit obsessive.

Scott Wolters is a true believer. He claims to be a forensic geologist, but his credentials in geology are practically non-existent (he used to claim he had a Master’s degree. He doesn’t). He was host of a very bad pseudo-archaeology show, America Unearthed, on the History Channel. His crap has been debunked many times, but that’s no obstacle to being at the Paradigm Symposium. I saw him here a few years ago, where the highlight of his presentation was noting that two points on a globe could be connected by a straignt line.

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#ParadigmSymposium: Scottish Egyptians and the most vapid UFO story ever

notsayingaliens

Have you ever had one of those nightmares where you show up for class, and the professor starts lecturing incomprehensibly about a subject you don’t understand, but everyone else in the class is nodding happily and taking notes, and then you look down and notice you forgot to put on pants this morning? Neither have I, but I’ve lived it. Except for the pants part.

I arrived late at the conference — my wife is shopping for our trip to Korea, and so I got to play the part of the disconsolate husband sitting around in the Mall of America for a few hours. I’m not complaining, it was more fun than watching people make excuses for the paranormal. My plan had been to get there and get my double-dose of ufology that afternoon. It didn’t work out that way, because as usual, everything at the conference was running late. I was off by about an hour. So instead, I got to listen to Laird Scranton. Look him up on youtube — really, he’s hilarious, even though he doesn’t know it.

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UFOs coming right up

lego-guardian

I spent my morning at the Mall of America.

Don’t judge me. We’ve made this a kind of Big City Weekend Holiday, and my wife and I are hanging out here with a couple of responsibilities: I have to monitor the weirdness at the Paradigm Symposium, and Mary is shopping for the stuff she needs to be presentable at the wedding of her son in South Korea next week. Who knew there was preparation involved? I just put on clean pants and I’m good to go.

Anyway, I’m done soaking in unrepentant loud capitalism now, and have to head out to listen to an afternoon of UFOlogy. First up is Peter Robbins, a pal of the notorious Bud Hopkins. I expect to hear the latest poop on anal probings.

After that, it’s Travis Waltonthe Travis Walton, who was the subject of a hollywood movie, who wrote a book called The Walton Experience, and who has a new movie out called Travis: The True Story of Travis Walton. I guess he’s fearfully terrified that you might forget his name. I expect to hear all about his dubious claims of being kidnapped by the saucer people. It should be entertaining, but not entertaining enough to make me want to hang around for the Travis Walton movie screening afterwards.

I’ve got to be back to the hotel early to write up my experiences with the UFO people.

#ParadigmSymposium: the saltatory illogic of Rita Louise

notsayingaliens

Shortly after I arrived at the Paradigm Symposium this afternoon, the organizers announced that all the toilets at the venue were backed up. I think there’s a metaphor somewhere in there.

I got to hear Rita Louise talk about “Genetic Engineering in Antiquity” anyway. It was an amazing parade of non sequiturs and irrational leaps, all built on the bizarre premise that aliens had to have guided all of evolution. I say “premise” specifically, because it was not a conclusion from the evidence, but rather a presupposition that she pretended the evidence supported. It was also strange because the entirety of the evidence she presented was conventional scientific observations that support evolution.

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Yep, somebody is definitely trying to kill me with outrage

I’ve been sent a link to a video about the BX Protocol. It’s appalling. The BX Protocol isn’t actually a protocol — there’s nothing that seems to be at all specific about it. It’s a collection of quack cures for everything, daubed with sciencey language to make it sound authentic. If you want to see what I mean, watch this con artist try to bamboozle his audience with his version of molecular genetics.

Ow. That hurts.

First, I’m always suspicious when someone invokes the name of St Tesla. He may have been a clever guy, but he was an inventor, not a scientist, and no, he did not invent a cure for cancer. He’s rightly famous for an engineering solution to the problem of transmitting electricity long distances. But the fannishness surrounding him sounds palpably religious.

But this guy’s explanation of transcription factors is flippin’ nonsense. He claims they “oscillate” and that cancer interferes with the “vibration” of p53, and that the mode of action of transcription factors is dependent on their “frequency”. His treatment for cancer is to basically aim a radar gun at the patient, tuned to wavelengths that will make transcription factors wiggle in such a way that they’ll stop cancer growth.

Nope. Nope nope noppity nope. All lies.

This is going to be a difficult weekend. Maybe you should all pray for me, or vibrate in my general direction, or something.

Can you die of a bogosity overdose?

notsayingaliens

I’m getting worried. This is going to be a weekend heavy on bullshit: I’m bouncing straight from a week of smart students mastering basic science to the Paradigm Symposium, and the shock might kill me. I’m heading off to Minneapolis shortly, and my plan is to ease myself in with one talk today: Rita Louise (should I mention the typo in the itinerary that names her “Rita Lousie”, that sorta messed up my google searches for background?), and she’s going to be talking about “Genetic Engineering in Antiquity”. How could I miss that?

Bestselling author Dr. Rita Louise is the founder of the Institute of Applied Energetics and the host of Just Energy Radio.

She is a Naturopathic Physician and a 20-year veteran in the Human Potential Field. Her unique gift as a medical intuitive and clairvoyant illuminates and enlivens her work.

Rita is the author of the books Man-Made: The Chronicles Of Our Extraterrestrial Gods , Avoiding The Cosmic 2X4 , Dark Angels: An Insider’s Guide To Ghosts, Spirits & Attached Entities and The Power Within.

She actually is a doctor. She graduated from the Berkeley Psychic Institute and has degrees in Naturopathy and Natural Health Counseling, and is also the chair of the International Association of Medical Intuitives. Whew. I am totally outranked.

You might be wondering who was doing this genetic engineering in antiquity. Would you be shocked to learn that it was…ALIENS? She says she has evidence of alien intervention. Her “evidence” seems to be allopolyploidy. Should I tell her that that happens naturally and doesn’t require aliens?

Watch this video and notice a common technique: questions. Did aliens intervene in human evolution?, not “Aliens intervened in human evolution.” I guess it’s supposed to sound more reasonable if you’re Just Asking Questions, rather than making outright claims.

If I survive or avoid lapsing into a coma, I’ll try to report back what I learn about aliens jiggering our crops in prehistory later this evening.