Omniology fails to check Snopes

Ah, yes…the familiar “There were giants in the Earth in those days” spiel. I’m always surprised at how credulous creationists are.

You may be wondering where you can see the bones of the 12 meter tall man, like this fellow:

The answer is…find someone good with Photoshop. Also, be ignorant of the square-cube law. You could also try watching the recent HBO documentary about Andre the Giant, who was ‘only’ 7 feet tall and suffered terribly from the difficulties of joints that couldn’t cope with the weight.

By the way, the image seems to come from the Mt Blanco Creation Museum and Journal of Omniology, the less well-known creation ‘museum’ in Texas. It’s one I’d like to visit someday, because the owner, Joe Taylor, seems wackier than most, but it’s got a history of financial woes and was up and down for years. He doesn’t seem to be quite as venal as Ken Ham, but he is pretty cranky.


  1. gijoel says

    So essentially there were humans walking around that were three times the height of an average adult elephant and almost twice as high as an apatosaurus pelvis. Colour me skeptical.

  2. says

    One of the things I was happier not knowing about is that there are folk who apparently believe that ancient statues are life-size — due to some failure of imagination, I guess — and that one with a cat on his lap was “actually” petting a life-size lion.

    To which I can only say that I’d like to meet the woman who modelled for the Statue of Liberty, if she’s still around. And those guys who tried to steal Abraham Lincoln’s bones must have several teams of horses to haul away their relics.

  3. blf says

    The spider who lives behind my monitor and the mildly deranged penguin just got into an argument about this. The spider maintains gravity was weaker in them days, so allowing critters to grow bigger (less force was holding them down). Since the mass was about the same, sayeth the spider, the density was less so the square-cube law isn’t a problem. Besides, the Earth was flat then (it bent into a ball as gravity grew stronger and stronger, pulling away the supporting turtles).

    The mildly deranged penguin disagrees, pointing out there is no reason to think gravity has varied in these locales over this time-span. Instead, she claims, the anti-gravity force has weakened. Back then, it was much stronger and so pulled up the otherwise tiny critters, and also helped support them (so the square-cube law problem isn’t so severe). It also helped to keep Atlantis from sinking. But it has weakened over time, Atlantis keeps flooding, and humans have shrunk in height with the now-excess mass spilling out in width.

    This anti-gravity force, called OMG (Opposing Monopolistic Gravity), also known as “Help, help, I’m being repressed by physics”, is apparently still declining. As a result, nothing will stop gravity, and the Universe will shrink back to a singularity, the Gib Gnab. What happens then to the turtles is unclear — she speculates they’ll hatch another Universe.

  4. cartomancer says

    It says something about the quality of their sources that they can’t even spell “Caesar” right. I wonder if this quirk has anything to do with the mental block that prevents them from spelling “Myers” correctly?

    Mind you, as soon as I saw that they were invoking Maximinus Thrax I knew that their sources were really dodgy. That little gem comes from the notoriously bizarre and unreliable Historia Augusta, which should be trusted on just about nothing. Even the Historia Augusta only goes so far as to claim that “people used to say” he was gigantic. Most historians think that this is just a piece of retroactive physiognomy to make him seem like a brutish barbarian bandit. Maximinus was supposed to have doubled the pay of the soldiers in his armies, resorted to brutal methods to extract the extra money in taxes from the people, and launched as many new wars as he could. The sort of person who does that should really look like a lumbering ogre of a man.

    Mind you, the reality of ancient giants is something that Christian apologists have been trying to establish for thousands of years. Even Augustine claims to have seen giant teeth as evidence.

  5. kestrel says

    @blf, #4: this is brilliant and you really should start your own religion. The participants would put offerings of cheese on the offering plate, and would all dress like penguins. Your religion would make way more sense than Scientology, but could cost nearly as much, as good cheese is not cheap.

  6. cartomancer says

    One other key problem with ancient evidence for the height of exceptionally tall people is that different cultures used different measurements, but often called them the same thing. Many ancient historians were quite unaware of this. An historian using, say, Persian or Indian sources might come across a man five cubits in height, and assume on the basis that those are Egyptian cubits that he’s seven and a half feet tall, whereas shorter cubits might make him only six foot three (Arrian and Diodorus Siculus run into just this problem when describing the Indian king Porus for instance, who apparently sat on an elephant and looked like a normal man on a horse. What precise size the elephant was we aren’t told).

    The same problem can occur with exceptionally long-lived people. Egyptian pharaohs are notorious for this, as we often have to piece together their dates from diverse evidence using diverse dating systems. Many of the very long lived people in the Bible, for instance, are probably based on several individuals living at different times with similar names. Before the 5th century Greek historians put the discipline on a somewhat empirical footing the recording of history was a notoriously slipshod thing.

  7. Oggie. says

    Omniology. Is that the science of trying to figure out why the Dodge Omni was such a piece of shite?

  8. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    If humans evolved from giants, why do they still play baseball in San Francisco?

  9. weylguy says

    What Myers always fails to note is that the square-cube law is violated by God through his wondrous magic. And besides, those graphics Myers put up are absolute proof that giants existed in them there days, because creationists are too stupid to learn Photoshop.

  10. coragyps says

    C’mon out, PZ! Beautiful Crosbyton is right down the road from here! Our third-graders even went to this “museum” on a field trip a few years back, so I’m sure it would be suitable for a couple of old geezers like you and me.
    And Lubbock County is wet now, so we could even get a legal beer on the way back to the airport.

  11. Owlmirror says

    Foolish atheists!

    Snopes is part of the liberal evilutionist agenda, and cannot be trusted. The bible is the Word of God, and can always be trusted!! The Word of God says that there were giants in the earth, therefore, there were truly giants in the earth!! If people say they found giants in the earth, they are probably telling the truth, because the bible says that there were giants in the earth to be found!!

    End of story . . . !!

  12. monad says

    Well, if Egyptian pharaohs weren’t giants, then Hittites and Sea peoples must have been less than two feet tall. You need only look at contemporary representations.

  13. call me mark says

    To be fair, 8’6 for Maximinius Thrax is maybe, if you squint a little, just within the bounds of possibility; Robert Wadlow was 8’10 when he died.

    Also, any “giant” bones (note the latest date for discovery in the image is 1613) could possibly have been misinterpreted fossils.

    On the other hand, why am I bending over backwards to give these loons even a tiny bit of benefit of the doubt? lol

  14. says

    I like the implication that because the king had a big bed, he must have been really big. Obviously, no king would ever conceive of building something supersized, for the gratification of his ego. That never happens.

  15. says

    Oh shit, it’s even better. Guess what the source for that is? Deutoronomy. So, we have an unreliable source, making a claim that, even if true, doesn’t actually prove the point.

    And I was so excited to learn about the OG king.

  16. microraptor says

    call me mark @17: I’ve seen multiple sources that suggest that elephant bones or mammoth fossils formed the basis of the Greek Cyclops, with the opening for the trunk being mistaken for a huge eye socket..

  17. says

    How have I never heard of Maximinus Thrax before? A Roman emperor with a name right out of Mad Max or a comic book who was rumoured to be a giant?

    My day is made.

  18. davidc1 says

    Well ,he has a long white beard ,people who sport them always know what they are talking about .
    So i believe him .

  19. randall says

    @14 & PZ: yes, that Mt. Blanco museum is almost worth the trip. It is in one of those dying little Great Plains/ Texas Panhandle towns and is surprisingly expansive for the location. The guy that owns/runs it is not in the best of health so it is only open sporadically, or so I guess from experience ( I drive through a few times a year to visit my sister in Lubbock and find it open about a third of the time). It’s crackpottery at its finest, a great mix of the legitimate, half-baked notions and outright fraud. I got what was purported to be real trilobite fossils from Morocco there. And yes, the guy is more approachable than you have described Ham, but is still infused with the standard creationist/ ID boilerplate. I really would hope that whatever school classes that go there for a field trip are told the manifold deficiences- and accurately- but I doubt they are.

  20. Nemo says

    @cartomancer #5:

    It says something about the quality of their sources that they can’t even spell “Caesar” right.

    Ah, but alternate spellings of “Caesar” are really popular — there’s everything from “Kaiser” to “Czar”.

  21. Anton Mates says

    The Word of God says that there were giants in the earth, therefore, there were truly giants in the earth!!

    But everything says there were giants in the earth. I mean, how many human mythologies don’t mention any giants? It’s not a biblical thing in particular.

    And almost none of the huge dudes mentioned on this image could be evidence of the Nephilim; they’re too recent. Unless the Great Flood happened some time after 1950….

    So they’re aliens, obviously. Mutant aliens. Mutant alien demigods.

  22. call me mark says

    microraptor #20:
    Yes, and also that Protoceratops fossils might provide the inspiration for the griffin – a quadropedal animal with an eagle’s beak…

  23. blf says

    almost none of the huge dudes mentioned on this image could be evidence of the Nephilim; they’re too recent

    Time is as mutable as facts & logic for the poster’s creator.

    (I suspect the dates are a mixture of invention, alleged date of alleged discovery, and alleged dating of the alleged specimen.)

  24. nomdeplume says

    #20 and #26. In Australia I have long believed that the giant bones of extinct megafauna (especially the diprotodontids) eroding out of the the walls of creeks cutting through flood-plain deposits explain the “Bunyip” monster of Dreamtime.

  25. nobonobo says

    #27 blf

    (I suspect the dates are a mixture of invention, alleged date of alleged discovery, and alleged dating of the alleged specimen.)

    Don’t forget bullshit and lies.

  26. blf says

    Actually, on re-re-re-reading @29, I now realise that was very probably meant to be sarcastic. I finks I needs moar coffee…