OOPARTS


I haven’t heard about OOPARTS in ages — they’re a fad that seems to have faded. Pierre Stromberg sent me a note that he has rediscovered an OOPART, the notorious Coso Artifact, and I hadn’t heard about that in years, either.

OOPARTS are “Out Of Place ARTifactS”, and there was a time, back when the Ancient Astronauts craze was producing all kinds of crackpot books and magazine articles, unearthing and bizarrely interpreting artifacts that they couldn’t explain — so they resorted to a) claiming that aliens brought them to earth, or b) they were evidence that ancient humans were advanced, as the Bible shows(?), and that we’ve been in decline since the Fall. Watch this amusing little video from 2004 in which Donald Chittick mocks the von Dänikenites for thinking there were astronauts from outer space instead of God’s people here on Earth.

(Note: You can hear the weird consonants and cadences of Kent Hovind in Donald Chittick — it’s like these old school creationists are clones of each other. He also goes on and on about “man’s opinions” and different “interpretations” of science, just like Ken Ham.)

(Also amusing: the bit where he shows off a Homo erectus skull with a bullet hole, which he proves by running a metal rod through it to reveal the larger exit hole…the foramen magnum.)

Among the favorite pieces of garbage creationists trotted out as proof that ancient people were technologically sophisticated was a peculiar object that they claimed was found in a geode (which would make it very old, except…it wasn’t a geode), made of ceramic and metal rods.

Unfortunately for the whole delusion of OOPARTS, it turned out to be … a spark plug from a 1920s Model T, imbedded in some hardened muck. It then disappeared, and the creationists all stopped talking about it, and OOPARTS kind of shamefacedly disappeared from the lexicon.

Stromberg wrote to tell me, though, that it has been rediscovered! He has updated his article on the Coso Artifact, and has “arranged for Seattle’s Pacific Science Center to display the artifact starting December 1st as part of their new exhibition titled, ‘What Is Reality’.” So now you know where to go if you want to see another piece of creationist evidence.

Check out the Chittick video. It’s amazing how many off-the-wall crazy ideas he throws out one after the other, almost all of which creationists have discarded out of embarrassment.

Comments

  1. microraptor says

    My personal favorite was a gold necklace that was supposedly discovered inside a chunk of coal in IIRC Mexico. The picture showed a dirty but intact fine gold chain that had obviously come from a jewelry store.

  2. nomdeplume says

    “We’ve dug up their batteries” – so many good lines, “Neanderthals the ancestors of Dutch and Germans”! I couldn’t bear more than a few minutes, so didn’t get to the bullet exit hole aka foramen magnum, but surely the latter should take pride of place in any account of the madness of creationists. Speaking of which, you are right about the voice. It is the Dunning-Kruger voice. Once heard only in country bars, expounding on blacks and migrants and women, now, thanks to the internet, expounding on every aspect of modern science in that gravelly ignorant voice.

  3. madtom1999 says

    Most of it is not very amusing shit. I was watching one of these programs where an alien space laser that a Cambodian god wielded to make a lake. The description, and a few others in the program (it was only on because I couldn’t be bothered to get the remote) sounded suspiciously like folk memories of meteor/meteorite events (like Sodom and Gomorrah) so I make actually try and watch that one again in detail to get some further info to chase up!
    These people are deluded – but they do some research by accident!

  4. robro says

    I wouldn’t expect better from these knuckleheads, but you might think a Cambridge educated prelate would know better than to discuss god’s gender. However, Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, thinks the question is worth discussion because a woman (Ariana Grande) asserted that god is female. Welby falls into the “god is not male or female”, “indefinable”, and so on, or at least so he says. Pretty impressive when a 25 year old American pop singer can get the Archbishop into a riveting theological debate like this.

  5. nomdeplume says

    Also love his idea of “the scientific literature” – Newsweek and Parade magazines, a book by a dentist (he of the bullet hole) and so on. This is just like Hovind and Ham – always use newspaper and magazine reports, second or third hand, never use the original literature. Two reasons – they are incapable of understanding the original literature, but they know if they did go to it they could no longer make their inaccurate interpretations.

  6. efogoto says

    I like that the linked page was updated IN THE FUTURE: [Updated: December 1, 2018]
    Very mysterious.

  7. weylguy says

    Move over, OOPARTS. The “Science Channel” (LOL) is currently airing a series on mythical beasts, like the minotaur, the cyclops and the basilisk, along with the not-so-subtle suggestion that these creatures may have actually existed. The stupid American public will gobble down anything, it seems — ergo, Trump.

  8. lumipuna says

    My personal favorite was a gold necklace that was supposedly discovered inside a chunk of coal in IIRC Mexico. The picture showed a dirty but intact fine gold chain that had obviously come from a jewelry store.

    Must be Santa’s prank gift for some appropriately naughty girl.

  9. Derek Vandivere says

    To me, the most offensive part of the whole deal is the fact that Stromberg talks about grams and inches in the same paragraph.

  10. jacksprocket says

    robro @4. you must be aware that Our Parent of Indeterminate Gender which art in An Undefinable Location, State or Condition, and that is why Welby’s church has ALWAYS had an equal number of female vicars, curates, bishops, archbishops and primates.

    As for the spark plug, it would go nicely with the Babylonian battery.

  11. Reginald Selkirk says

    16:45 – He discusses the conflict between Genesis 2:16-17 (God says if you eat the fruit, you will die that very day) and Gen 3:4-5 (The serpent says you will not die, you will know good from evil)

    He acknowledges that the two statements are in conflict and someone must be lying. But then he misses the events of the subsequent story, in which it becomes clear that YHWH was lying. Adam and Eve ate the fruit, and they did not die that very day. They lived for hundreds of years, and they could tell good from evil. So if he believes the narrator, he must believe that YHWH lied.

    17:19 If you’re smart enough to tell if the Creator is telling the truth, you have to be as smart as the creator

    Cattle effluence. You simply need to have access to a reliable source of information to verify the statements.

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