Alternative Scientific Theories
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Are there any plausible theories on the evolution of humans that are not based on Darwin? Theories that would explain the possibility that the temple in Peru with the odd astronomical alignment was actually accurate at the time of construction. (That and controversial discoveries dating to more then ten thousand years old in North America challenge the Land Bridge Theory.)
What about explanations of how the Egyptians build the pyramids? Or what if the Sphinx actually predates the Egyptians?
Any theories on how wild plants, inedible by humans, were modified to domestic plants, which are edible by humans? How did Neolithic man do what is still being worked on replicating today?
You're asking a lot of leading questions about topics for which a lot of serious peer-reviewed research is widely available. Are there any answers that the members of this forum could possibly give you that you would accept given that the experts have (apparently) failed?
Question that aren't going to be answered in one place: theories of evolution, and the history of plant domestication, and theories about the origins of various cultural artifacts.
Re theories of evolution, you might try http://home.wxs.nl/~gkorthof/index.htm. The author has a biology background, is interested in synthesizing modern discoveries and techniques into a more complete theory of evolution, reviews books spanning the scope of core neo-Darwinism, scientific extensions and alternatives, non-religious and religious anti-evolution critiques. The reviews are thorough, and the list of books could keep you occupied for years.
Evolutionary theory is not based on Darwin, it is based on research. Research that is available to you, as the previous poster pointed out. Look it up. You didn't put a lot of effort into your questions - "that temple in Peru", "controversial discoveries" - which temple, what controversies, and why do they argue against human evolution? So you probably won't put the effort into finding the answers. Why ask?
And, furthermore, what do temples in Peru and Pyramids have to do with evolution? I do believe they were all created by the same species.
These are wild assertions for which there is no evidence.
You seem to have a library full of fantasy, science-fiction, and romance. Perhaps you should read some actual science books on anthropology, biology, evolution, archaeology, and paleontology.
Humans were created by an alien interbreeding program. The Peruvian temple is a landing site. The pyramids were originally built upside down in in the sand, then flipped over. The Sphinx was built by that youngish guy on "Lost". Regarding the plants, Jesus told people what was safe to eat and what wasn't.
How did Neolithic man do what is still being worked on replicating today?
Being that the Earth is only 6,000 years old, there is no such thing as "Neolithic man".
Human evolution, based on the research of Darwin, is a linear process. The questions I asked are all related to the same issue. Darwinism cannot explain how "primitive" humans accomplished feats that cannot be replicated today. According to what I have read of mainstream science, implausible accomplishments are linked to cultures without explanation of how the accomplishments were made. What I was hoping for was rational discussion and book recommendations.
Or perhaps those on this forum cannot consider the possibility that Darwinism is not perfect? Makes it hard to have an open, scientific mind, when questions, simple, non insulting questions, result in lashing out at the person who asked them.
As for me taking those classes, I have a college background in biological anthropology, biology, cultural anthropology, sociology, and philosophy, among personal research I have done over the years.
Evolution is not linear.
"Darwinism" HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH
WHAT PRIMITIVE HOMO SAPIENS DID OR DID NOT DO.
I think I've said that about 10 times now. I'm about done with you.
Please provide evidence for your unsubstantiated claims.
You don't have any, do you?
I'm not clear why you are expecting biologists to explain the construction of Egyptian pyramids...
Are you claiming something along the lines of this: There are some ancient cultural artifacts (Egyptian pyramids, Peruvian temple, etc) that have not been adequately explained. One possible explanation is that past humans were different from present humans in ways that allowed them to accomplish things that present humans cannot. The theory of evolution contradicts this possibility.
Note that I am not agreeing with any of the above, I'm just trying to figure out what you're saying. (I did, BTW, recommend some books on evolution, some of which are not mainstream science. The other issues you raise are not of particular interest to me, and I don't happen to know of any books about them.)
Ugh, I think I'm using the wrong word. Perhaps I should explain it as the belief that humans started as something primitive and less then humans. These primitive beings are accredited to grand accomplishments that everything I have seen written about them says that they could not accomplish. I label it Darwinism because the basis that humans evolved in that manner is based on Darwin's research.
The basis for my disagreement with linear evolution is that certain things have not been explained. Its not the idea that humans evolved. Its the related evidence around the evolution of humans that contradict it.
Had someone explained where my word usage error was, it could have still been a constructive discussion. Instead, people chose not to be kind. That is in no way beneficial to anyone. Perhaps a lesson is in treating people better. But after this, and a couple of rude discussions on other forums, I have decided to leave.
10: I think there are time line troubles in your questions. The people who are believed to have constructed the cultural artifacts you refer to were biologically modern, if culturally "primitive".
Based on this and other threads, I suspect that one of zyndell's problems is not knowing the meaning of the word "linear". And other words.
"Are there any plausible theories on the evolution of humans that are not based on
Fixed it for you. Who cares about Darwin? Yes, he was a genius, but he wrote "Descent of Man" over 140 years ago. Some of what he wrote stands up so far, some doesn't — just as he would have expected.
(Edited for typos.)
Homo sapiens sapiens (aka "modern man" aka Cro-Magnon Man) has existed for somewhere over 40,000 years, co-existing with Neanderthal Man for much of that time. As a biological species, there is virtually nothing to differentiate any member of that species at any time, from us today. Therefore the cave paintings at Lasceaux were accomplished by our own kind, not even "near" relatives.
Recorded history goes back to somewhere around 5000 BC, though it is all quite hazy until the end of the Bronze Age period (Minoan Civilisation and the Mycenaean Culture of mainland Greece - no later than c750 - 1000 BC). All the artefacts you mention - pyramids in Peru, Egyptian Pyramids, Sphinx, etc, were built by "modern man".
I agree that the method of construction of these is awesome, and probably not replicable today, but that is because our culture does not accommodate the use of 000,000's of labourers single-mindedly engaged in a single project over 100 years. Yet the minds and intelligence of those who designed and built them is anthropologically identical to our own.
I'm not sure where Darwinism comes into this. Evolution of our species is not measurable during its 40,000 year existence. How and why it emerged, is something that anthropology, archaeology and science have not yet discovered.
I don't get the idea that "Darwinism cannot explain how "primitive" humans accomplished feats that cannot be replicated today".
This is completely nonsensical, and based, I suspect, on claims by von Daniken and his ilk that it would be "impossible" to construct something like the pyramids today. It served von Daniken well to create this misunderstanding, because it gave him the opportunity to advance his thesis that "aliens did it."
You state that you have a college background in biological anthropology, biology, cultural anthropology, sociology, and philosophy, among personal research I have done over the years. This is pretty hard to believe, based on your phrasing and misconceptions. If you expect to be taken seriously, it would help if you began with a coherent argument.
I thought you might take my first response with the humor with which it was intended, but it seems I may have hit a bit too close to the mark.
I snorted too. So obviously wrong. The Sphinx was created by Dr. Daniel Jackson of SG1 when the team went back in time to fight the Goa'uld. I thought everyone knew that!
"Or what if the Sphinx actually predates the Egyptians?"
Actually, geological and geophysical analyses of the Sphinx have determined that it does indeed predate the Egyptian dynastic period to which the conventional wisdom of the Egyptologist and archeologist academics have always attributed its creation. It would appear that most modern day Egyptologists are still clinging to the circa 2,500 BCE dating of the Sphinx despite the fact that much more scientifically rigorous disciplines (such as geology) started to cast serious doubts on this traditional dating almost twenty years ago.
However, it was roughly 40 years prior to that date that the Alsatian mathematician and philosopher R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz had first pointed out that the Emperor wore no clothes; or, in this particular case, that the Sphinx, uniquely amongst the ruins of Ancient Egypt, suffered from water erosion. In order to quash this heretical observation and challenge to the orthodoxy of the "established" circa 2,500 BCE dating of the Sphinx, the Egyptologists immediately dismissed this possibility as being totally ludicrous - how could the Sphinx possibly suffer from water erosion when it's sited in the middle of the desert? - and they have almost unanimously refused to entertain this possibility ever since.
According to the professional Egyptologists, the erosion patterns observable on the Sphinx were obviously due to the effects of wind-blown sand erosion rather than water erosion. Considering that this same conventional wisdom also held that the Sphinx was, for most of its supposed 4,500+ years of existence, buried up to its neck in sand - and therefore completely protected from the ravages of such wind erosion - the even greater absurdity of this claim seems to have been lost on just about everyone. Therein lies the real Riddle of the Sphinx - namely, since when did someone expert in only hieroglyphs and mummies become an instant authority on climate and rock erosion?
According to the diagnosis of geologist Dr. Robert M. Schoch, who performed geological tests on the Sphinx and its immediate environs in 1991, the main weathering evident on the Sphinx (as well as the pit enclosure walls surrounding the Sphinx) could only have been caused by running water from prolonged and extensive rainfall. Based on the extent of this water erosion he estimated the date that the Sphinx was originally carved out of the bedrock as being in the range 5,000 to 7,000 BCE at a minimum.
The conservative "as a minimum" caveat needs to be stressed here, since weathering, like evolution, does not proceed in a linear fashion. As the weathering gets deeper, it goes slower, since it's protected by the rock on top. Furthermore, it is also very conceivable that the Pharaoh Chephren - the Egyptian ruler originally credited with the creation of the Sphinx circa 2,500 BCE, but now viewed as more likely to have been its restorer - may not have been the Sphinx's first restorer!
Over the past couple of decades there has been a general revision and upgrading of the archeological experts' opinions of the civilizations that flourished between 10,000 BCE and the so-called rise of civilization in Egypt and Mesopotamia around 3,000 BCE. The city of Jericho dates back to 9,000 BCE and featured, even in those times, massive stone walls. Similarly, the ancient site of Çatalhöyük in Anatolia shows evidence of a fully-fledged, sophisticated city culture. Thus the hunter-gatherer Neolithic image for this long period that we all learnt in school (or probably did not learn at all, since in most western European countries the history that is taught in school begins no earlier than the Greeks and Romans, and in America no earlier than Columbus!) has been somewhat revised during the last 40 years or so.
Dr. Schoch believes it quite possible that the Sphinx was produced by an Egyptian community that was contemporaneous with those other ancient Neolithic cultures - thus it could be as old as 9,000 - 10,000 BCE. Even though the Sahara region was already desert by this time, it was not as dry as it was in the later dynastic Egyptian era, and there were periods of increased rainfall during these millennia; thus it is most likely these rains that weathered the Sphinx.
Thanks, Rule42. Very interesting.
Following the links you've thoughtfully included, it's pretty easy to see that these are "lone wolf" type researchers. Time will tell whether their theories gain any acceptance. I'm leery of both men because of their whole-hearted forays into metaphysics and such. Makes me suspicious. I'm not sold by those citations.
I am also leery of catastrophism as a theoretical construct in general. It's another way for pleading a special case (earthquake, flood, gods, meteor) that has no merit in and of itself, without extensive evidence. It's easy to say "well, we only have this one thing from the ancient, ancient civilization because a disaster of some sort obviously wiped everything else away". To that, I say, hmmmm. Not buying that. Bring on the exhaustive evidence, like the Chicxulub meteor impact. (whose existence is not in dispute, but the extent of it's effects are currently being worked on, and research continues)
In any event, neither of these researchers, nor their theories, have one whit to do with evolution. :)
As you point out, there were civilizations contemporaneous with the "supposed" date of Sphinx creation that we already know and are confident about. I suppose it's possible. However, there does not appear to be any evidence, beyond weathering, which could be a natural anomaly.
I seem to recall an article a long time ago (Smithsonian magazine, maybe?) discussing wind erosion in the Sahara, noting weathering of outcrops in patterns remarkably similar to the Sphinx. I believe the theory was that the Sphinx was one such weathered outcrop that was subseqently modified by humans.
As for the water erosion theory, I would say that some solid supporting evidence would be necessary. And I'm not talking about the Atlantis legend (the conjunction of geology and parapsychology in Schoch's research doesn't give me a lot of confidence).
Then, I'm neither a geologist nor a meteorologist, so I can't really make any statements against his claim. I would be interested in knowing if Schoch has had any peer-reviewed (I know, a dirty word for some) studies, and what the rebuttals might have been.
It's important to remember that the Sphinx was buried in sand up to the neck until the 1920's. There were earlier attempts to dig it out in the 19th century. It was carved, in place, from several layers of bedrock of varying softness/hardness which are different from the stones used to construct the other monuments at Giza. The weathering of the Sphinx doesn't seem inconsistent (to me at any rate) with aeolian erosion processes. Obviously there were significant winds involved over the course of thousands of years to bury it in the sand. The wind erosion during deposition makes far more sense than water erosion after it was buried.
That said, I'm neither an Egyptologist nor a geologist.
(edited to make one more point)
Me too. He has a cool name, his dog has a cool name, and he graduated from UT. (Fred, that is, not the dog.)
"Human evolution, based on the research of Darwin, is a linear process. The questions I asked are all related to the same issue. Darwinism cannot explain how "primitive" humans accomplished feats that cannot be replicated today."
Some people might possibly claim that you are confusing Jacob Bronowski's The Ascent of Man with Charles Darwin's The Descent of Man. That humans are descended from other primates, developed the opposable thumb, stood upright, developed a large brain, learnt how to make and use tools, etc. represents the evolution of our species (homo sapiens). OTOH, The Ascent of Man traces the development of science and the arts as an expression of the special gifts that characterize human beings and that have made our own species unique among all other animal species.
Consequently, whether the Sphinx was carved in 2,500 BCE, 7,000 BCE, or 12,000 BCE it would still be the product of homo sapiens rather than homo erectus, homo neanderthalensis or homo habilis et al. The descent of man from the trees is a process that has taken millions of years of human evolution (as per Darwin). In contrast, the ascent of man from primitive Neolithic cave dweller and hunter-gatherer into sophisticated urban dweller with lava lamps, cell phones and diminishing 401K plans (as per Brownowski) accounts for only the last 15,000 years or so of all those multi-million years of evolution, and the vast majority of that "cultural growth" has occurred in only the last two millennia (the years CE). Thus, although the re-dating of the Sphinx from circa 2,500 BCE to, say, circa 7,000 BCE may have profound ramifications on what we all thought we understood WRT man's most recent intellectual and cultural development (viz. the ascent of man), from the perspective of the complete evolutionary history of mankind (viz. the descent of man) it is relatively insignificant.
I just went to the trouble of making the distinction between "descent" and "ascent" of mankind above in order to demonstrate why you were so unfairly attacked. The truth of the matter is that you are, in fact, correct ... however, you just didn't express yourself very well. Because the story of the cultural and civilizing growth of mankind - the ascent of man - simply focuses in on the very tail end of his complex multi-million years long evolutionary journey. Or alternatively, one can the view the long evolutionary process of our species from, and interactions with, all of the varied life forms that came before it - the descent of man - as the very first stage of man's intellectual and spiritual ascent. In fact, the whole paleontological prehistory of mankind takes up only the first chapter of Brownowski's book (which was a companion publication to the highly lauded BBC TV series). A book published today on the history of man's Darwinian evolution might similarly consign the years 10,000 BCE - 2009 CE to only the last chapter.
"In any event, neither of these researchers, nor their theories, have one whit to do with evolution. :)"
I disagree, for the reasons given above. Mankind's evolution is not just a physiological one. What primarily distinguishes species homo sapiens from all other species on planet Earth is his intelligent and spiritual nature, not the fact that we form pair-bonds, walk upright or deftly use our opposable thumbs to manipulate tools. The vast portion of mankind's intellectual and spiritual development and achievements fall into the last 15,000 years ... so from an evolutionary perspective, they are the most important and most interesting ones. Although man's evolutionary history is millions of years long, our development has been an exponential one; thus 99% of all the interesting and important milestones along that growth curve fall into the last 15,000 years, 95% into the last 1,500 years, and probably 90% into the last 150 years!
When biologists and botanists taxonomically classify animals and plants into their various species and sub-species they do so based entirely on physiological characteristics, not spiritual nor intellectual ones. As a species homo sapiens is distinguished from other species in the homo genus such as homo erectus or homo neanderthalensis based purely on physical traits such as skeletal structure, and this distinction has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that modern day homo sapiens are primarily monotheistic, or might sometimes try their hand at writing haikus, or may regularly post on message boards.
That is, our species differs from the species homo erectus because, among other differences, it has a larger cranium that holds a larger brain. What we do with that larger brain doesn't count one iota WRT how we are classified as a species ... nor should it count, because we really have no idea what homo erectus did with his smaller brain in order to make a fair and objective comparison. All we have is his unearthed skull - which allows us to determine his maximum brain size but provides us with no information as to how well homo erectus utilized his brain, since the skull doesn't come with videos or an instruction manual explaining what and how homo erectus thought. Thus all anthropologists are able to do is compare skull and skeletal bone structures and taxonomize genus, species and sub-species accordingly.
I do agree that neither of those researchers, nor their theories, have one whit or jot to do with man's physiological evolution. But any intelligent reader can see that that was not what zyndell was considering when he referred to Darwin and human evolution in his OP. From the context of what he was saying it was obvious he was referring to man's intellectual and spiritual evolution. Thus your twisting his "ascent of man" context into a "descent of man" one in order that you could then ridicule him was IMO a little childish and unnecessary. However, in the end the joke's on you. :)
The truth of the matter is that you are, in fact, correct ... however, you just didn't express yourself very well.
From the context of what he was saying it was obvious he was referring to man's intellectual and spiritual evolution.
Sorry if I seem less than generous, but I don't really see any kind of thesis or argument in the OP, and it seems a bit presumptuous to assume "well, what he really must have meant was this...."
I'm still unclear on just what he/she was supposed to be correct about.
"Mankind's evolution is not just a physiological one"
Rule42, I broadly agree with most of your post. However I think that this statement does need expansion. The word 'evolution' has two distinct applications : 1. Darwininan evolution which is wholly genetic in its operation, and 2. a wider sense that precedes Darwin and would also apply to humanity's artistic, cultural, and spiritual achievements which you highlighted. The latter are not covered by the mechanisms of Darwinian evolution. I know that Dawkins invented the 'meme' to account for it, but I don't hold with that as there is no evidence for its existence and operation, and it also requires the somewhat supernatural belief that a datum of information (created by human beings) acquires a 'survival instinct' once liberated from one individual's mind.
Sorry, I didn't mean to rant about memes - you didn't use the word but no doubt others will - but I feel strongly about this and I believe it is an unscientific concept.
I agree with #26, and would take Rule42's gentle remonstrations much more seriously had the OP even one percent of the subtlety and distinction that post #24 had.
Rule42, you've really constructed your own answers to your own questions, quite elegantly and thoughtfully. I'll still take the stand that there's no evidence for the original assertions and that you've
extrapolated your own points out of what is originally fringe nonsense, as stated by Mafikat in post 25.
As the OP has fled, and you've stepped in, we can continue discussing your points, but substantially we're off on a new
As for being "childish and unnecessary", I will confess that the usage of ALL CAPS above is one of the only instances I've ever done that, and I'm not happy about it. The OP, however, had asked the original question, and was asked to back it up, several times on several threads. They just kept repeating the same thing over and over. They refused to lift a finger to clarify their usage (as you have presumably done), and wouldn't cite any research (which you have attempted to do).
You get the cred, they fled. So it goes.
#26: Tid "... a datum of information ... acquires a 'survival instinct' ..."
I suspect that you're getting your Dawkins second hand. As I see it, his view when he invented the word meme was that memes don't need a survival instinct any more than genes do, but that simply because some replicators of any sort will replicate better than others (of the same sort), it will look as though they're trying to survive and expand. Not that I'm a big fan of memes, though it is an idea that, used with considerable care, can sometimes be useful.
Minor quibble: Darwinian evolution can't be wholly genetic, or even a little bit genetic, because Darwin had no idea of genetics. Your point is valid, of course, in the sense that genes are now known to be very significant in biological evolution. Indeed, a widely favoured definition of biological evolution is "change in allele frequency in a population".
Points taken jim : I was actually referencing (without quoting her directly) Dr Susan Blackmore who in a recent interview did say "All these memes are in your brain and mine, competing for attention - and the strongest survive"; she appeared to be ascribing an independent autonomy to these things - in the context of the interview - which raised my hackles! I doubt Dawkins is so unscientific.
And yes, when I used the phrase Darwinian evolution I meant it in the way Dawkins uses it, i.e. to describe the process as Darwin would readily have understood it had he known about genetics at the time, and which Origin Of Species prompted the later discoveries of.
#29: Tid "when I used the phrase Darwinian evolution I meant it in the way Dawkins uses it"
You're right, Dawkins does use Darwinian loosely. It annoys some of his US colleagues, who frequently hear "Darwinian" thrown around even more loosely by creationists.
The term and concept of memes is a strange one, indeed.
You're correct that in speaking of them, it's hard to do so without ascribing some sort of autonomy--or even existence (!) to them.
Dawkins and Dennett both speak of memes like they are things sometimes. I have warmed to the idea of memes, though, and fault our language for oftentimes constricting the way that we must speak about such things without stopping to qualify and parse every time we mention them.
In that context, I can see the whys and wherefores of Dr. Blackmore's comments, and they just waft by me, now.
People often speak of genes as Dr. Blackmore spoke of memes. It's just looseness of casual speech and you shouldn't believe that she actually thinks that memes have independent volition, anymore than genes do.
Various people, especially Darwin, showed that teleological and intensional language in biology can be translated into respectable language about differential replication and survival, thus justifying the loose language which is so much more congenial to us. Though sometimes particular caution is necessary because of potential misunderstanding by people without the relevant scientific background.
I think it may be more than just "loose language". One of the sticks that some biologists and geneticists use to beat neo-atheists with is precisely on this territory of the "intent" of genes, arguing that a gene is far from "selfish" as Dawkins implies, but is merely a tiny unmotivated cog in a much larger machine, and simply functions blindly according to its coding, with no actual investment in its own transmission.
Their argument is that the process of natural selection incidentally perpetuates particular genes, rather than being driven by the genes per se which have no intelligence, no motivation, no purpose, but simply function.
#34: Tid '... a gene is far from "selfish" as Dawkins implies, but is merely a tiny unmotivated cog in a much larger machine, and simply functions blindly ... "
In particular in The Selfish Gene, Dawkins makes quite clear that a gene "simply functions blindly". Nonetheless, an appearance of purposefulness arises.
You might notice that The Selfish Gene is the only Dawkins book that I own. That's because I didn't like it. I now strongly suspect that I would find some of his others are much better.
"I'm neither an Egyptologist nor a geologist."
Not only are you not an Egyptologist nor a geologist, based on yout post #21 you are not a rational thinker either. You too have fallen victim to the Riddle of the Sphinx (see post #18) and now hold the irrational belief that it was significantly weathered by wind whilst being submerged under a large body of sand for most of its "assumed" 4500+ years of existence.
"It's important to remember that the Sphinx was buried in sand up to the neck until the 1920's."
You are quite right in recognizing that the Sphinx has been buried in sand up to the neck until the 1920s, with four attempts between 1816 and 1925 to fully or partially excavate it (and consequently also open it up to the elements again). The important thing is that you recognize that for most of its 4500+ year history (granted for now the traditional dating for the creation of the Sphinx being circa 2500 BCE) it has been buried in sand up to its neck. Most people don't even understand that fact - when they see photographs and videos of the Sphinx as it appears today they simply assume that it has been that way for most of its existence. Not true. Other than when it was first carved out of the bedrock, and some short periods in between, the Sphinx has only been fully exposed since 1925 when the fourth modern era (i.e., post 1800 CE) full excavation of the Sphinx was executed.
Consequently, for most of the Sphinx's existence wind-blown sand erosion, straight wind erosion, and water erosion have simply been impossible. I am not talking about erosion on the head of the Sphinx here (which has always been exposed to the elements). I am instead referring to erosion on the torso, legs and forepaws of the Sphinx, as well as to the walls of the surrounding pit enclosure (which have for a good portion of those 4500+ years all been buried deep under sand). The amount of time these portions of the Sphinx have been exposed to the elements during those 4500+ years has not been sufficient for either wind or water based erosion to do as much weathering of these surfaces as has clearly occurred.
The fact that you believe that wind erosion can occur to something that has been buried in sand for most of its existence (which you obviously appreciate based on my quote from you above) makes the logic of your thinking, IMO, a lot dottier and more irrational than those people that do not appreciate that fact, and thus believe the wind (or any other kind of) erosion adequately explains the weathering visible today on a Sphinx that has been fully exposed to the elements for the last 4500+ years.
In effect, those people start with a false premise (full exposure to the elements for most of its existence) and then apply rational logic (4500+ years of wind erosion) to account for the Sphinx's appearance today. That their conclusion (a wind-eroded Sphinx) is wrong is simply because their premise was wrong. In your case, you start with a correct premise (protection from the elements for most of its existence due to being submerged deep in sand) and then apply really wacky reasoning (4500+ years of wind erosion below the level of the sand!) to account for the Sphinx's appearance today. Your conclusion (a wind-eroded Sphinx) is wrong because your logic is nonsensical. To be quite honest, I find your irrational belief in wind erosion beneath the surface of the sand a little scary! :(
I think you must have missed this sentence in msg #21.
Obviously there were significant winds involved over the course of thousands of years to bury it in the sand.
"The wind erosion during deposition makes far more sense than water erosion after it was buried."
Nobody has claimed that water erosion occurred after the Sphinx was buried. That would be impossible unless the Giza area was then subsequently flooded and under water (with the Sphinx effectively buried beneath a lake or sea bed) which we all know didn't happen. I believe my original post #18 was very lucid and clear in stating that the water erosion occurred in much earlier times when the Giza area received regular rainfall, which it hasn't received in historic times (viz. circa 3200 BCE onwards). The climate of the Sahara has undergone enormous variation between wet and dry over the last few hundred thousand years. During the last glacial period, the Sahara was even bigger than it is today, extending south beyond its current boundaries. It is currently believed that the end of that glacial period brought more rain to the Sahara, from about 8000 to 6000 BCE, perhaps due to low pressure areas over the collapsing ice sheets to the north.
With that kind of rainfall there was presumably some kind of minimal surface vegetation (viz. scrub) to anchor the top soil in place, so sand continually blowing into the man-made pit surrounding the Sphinx and repeatedly burying it up to its neck would probably not have been a problem at that time. Alternatively, since the climate back then was more temperate, resulting in irregular rainfall in the region, the area in the base of the pit surrounding the Sphinx may have possibly been full of water (similar to a moat around an ornamental fountain in a contemporary shopping mall). Or, thirdly, since the Sphinx was obviously very important to the community that took the tremendous time and effort to originally carve it, any accumulation of sand in the pit surrounding the Sphinx may have been immediately removed by human labor. Such a scenario requires no more stretch of the imagination than realizing that in our own current day urban society we employ street-cleaning trucks and snow ploughs, and we clean the accumulated litter from our shopping malls, cinemas and theaters at the end of every business day.
Whether there was originally any scrub vegetation in the region to prevent surface soil / sand from blowing around, or whether the Sphinx effectively sat in a man-made moat when it was initially created, once the weather in the region became much drier and arid and more like today's more severe desert climate, both of those scenarios essentially reduce to the third one (viz. the need for regular weekly or monthly removal of accumulated sand) anyway. The scrub would disappear to be replaced by loose top soil / sand that would become continually wind-blown, and the water would drain or evaporate from the pit never to be replenished. The reason I even mention the moat / scrub scenarios is that IMO it defies common sense that the creators of the Sphinx would have constructed it the way they did knowing full well that they were creating a giant sandbox that would require perpetual significant human effort to maintain it free of sand. That subsequent climatic change brought about that unfortunate situation makes much more logical sense.
"Obviously there were significant winds involved over the course of thousands of years to bury it in the sand."
However, it's irrelevant whether you accept that the Sphinx initially required no sand maintenance or not. The conventional wisdom of the Egyptologists holds that the Pharaoh Khafra (Hellenic name Chephren) constructed the Sphinx in the middle of the desert at Giza circa 2500 BCE, so the conventional wisdom also believes that the Ancient Egyptians knowingly constructed a giant sandbox. Whatever the reasons for the Sphinx's original construction, and whatever the initial climatic conditions under which it was first created, at some point in time afterwards (be it months, years, decades, centuries, or millennia) the Sphinx pit initially filled up with sand, burying the Sphinx up to its neck (because that is the height of the pit enclosure in which the Sphinx sits).
From that point in time down until the present day, being completely buried under sand in this manner is the Sphinx's natural state. The Law of Entropy comes into play here. Whenever someone excavates the Sphinx out of its complete sand covering it reverts back to its natural buried state within 20-30 years after the immediate maintenance of that effort ceases. By rights, 20-30 years after the 1925 excavation the Sphinx should have been completely buried in sand up to its neck again. I'm assuming this hasn't happened because the Egyptian Antiquities Organization (EAO) have performed the necessary sand removal maintenance since 1925.
Remember that Egyptology is a science (and I use that term very loosely, because most Egyptologists are primarily historians NOT scientists, so it is more of an art than a science) that is less than 200 years old. Modern day interest in Ancient Egypt only took off slowly with the invasion of Egypt by Napoleon in 1798. Most of the archeological excavations of the major Ancient Egyptian sites by western European and American archeologists only occurred in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Which is why the Sphinx has been completely excavated four separate times since 1800 CE (by Caviglia in 1816, by Mariette in 1853, by Maspero in 1888, and once again in 1925). Prior to Napoleon's invasion of Egypt at the turn of the nineteenth century, the Giza region held very little interest for anybody (including the nearby citizens of Cairo who treated the Giza site more like a stone quarry than a highly important historical site) and had thus languished and run to ruin for nearly two millennia - which included the Sphinx being buried up to its neck in sand for all of that time. Thus by the time of the fourth 1925 excavation significant worldwide archeological and tourist interest in the Giza region had reached such critical mass as to make it pretty politically and financially incorrect to allow entropy to run its course yet again.
"I think you must have missed this sentence in msg #21."
And I think you cross-posted. Read post #38.
The fact that something is buried in sand does not necessarily suppose that it is "protected". Sand is both an abrasive and notoriously unstable. It is unlikely that the sand in which the Sphinx was buried remained completely static for thousands of years.
I've never stated that the Sphinx being completely buried in sand caused it to be "protected" from ALL kinds of erosion. I've only stated that being so buried protected it from water and aeolian erosion, because those are the only two forms or erosion currently being disputed by the geologists and mainstream Egyptologists.
The fact that sand is abrasive and notoriously unstable is all fine and dandy but that is a complete red herring in this instance. Even if there were such a form of weathering as "static-but-shifting-sand erosion" the real issue here is how does the Sphinx come to have extensive water erosion (which most geologists are now agreed upon)? Whether it was fully exposed to the ravages of the elements in a desert climate for the whole of its existence, or whether it was completely buried under sand for all that time, or whether it has spent that time alternating between both those states, the real issue that needs to be addressed is where did the comprehensive water erosion come from?
41 > I think he was referring to that fact that even though the sands generally will keep the hole filled, the sames forces that put the sand there could and probably did remove that same sand as well, then filled it in and then removed it, and in the process causing a lot of erosion.
When did I say it was subject to aeolian erosion while buried? As someone with archaeological experience, I can attest that, yes, sand can move over time, and, as an abrasive, it can have an impact upon artifacts which may be buried in the matrix. I'm sorry if this revelation is a shock to you.
It would probably be a good idea (if you want to salvage your rapidly eroding credibility) to stop putting quotation marks around statements that others never said.
But then again, who am I to argue against the researches of "writer, scholar, and Pythagorean" John Anthony West?
And you're calling me "pseudoscientific"?
>43 "When did I say it was subject to aeolian erosion?"
Let me see now, how about this post ...
"I seem to recall an article a long time ago (Smithsonian magazine, maybe?) discussing wind erosion in the Sahara, noting weathering of outcrops in patterns remarkably similar to the Sphinx. I believe the theory was that the Sphinx was one such weathered outcrop that was subseqently modified by humans."
My post #41 addressed your comments in both your previous post #20 and your prior post #40. The way your comment is phrased in post #20 suggests you uphold and accept the discussion in the ephemeral Smithsonian magazine that you cited. You phrased that comment vaguely thus allowing you the option of "plausible deniability" which you now seem to be exercising. In light of your latest post #43, let me add this to my post #41 in order to address it ...
You appear to agree with my statements that the Sphinx has spent most of its existence submerged up to its neck in sand. If you no longer accept that the weathering on the main body of the Sphinx is aeolian erosion (as per your post #20) but instead are now arguing that it's a case of your own proffered "static-but-shifting-sand erosion" (as per your post #43) please cite some examples of other submerged artifacts that have been subject to that same type of erosion (to both back up your argument and so that I can go acquaint myself with those instances).
"It would probably be a good idea (if you want to salvage your rapidly eroding credibility) to stop putting quotation marks around statements that others never said."
I have not put any quotes around any statements that others never said. All my quotes have been cut out of the text to which I'm responding and pasted into the post I'm writing in italics as I compose my response. That was a nice attempt at spin-doctoring reality but I'm sure most intelligent readers saw through it.
Everything I have posted on this thread to date is consistent and logical. You are the person back-tracking and contradicting yourself here (see above). If anyone's credibility is rapidly eroding it would be yours. It appears you have gone from tentatively (or possibly wholeheartedly, I cannot tell) supporting the theory of wind erosion (in post #20) to now supporting (in post #43) some other type erosion that has no name. Please clarify your position without resorting to ad hominem attacks.
Regardless of how the Sphinx eroded or when it was constructed (and those are fascinating questions), that does nothing toward establishing an alternative theory of human evolution like the original post wants it to. All of the dates being given are well within the timespan of modern homo sapiens. In fact, they all fall in the period when modern agriculture began to spread (and with it stone masonry).
Can anyone cite any other evidence for this supposed archaic civilization besides a theory of Sphinx erosion? Any other artifacts, buildings, writing, anything? Just curious.
"I will confess that the usage of ALL CAPS above is one of the only instances I've ever done that, and I'm not happy about it."
Well, it wasn't the ALL CAPS that came across as being a bit over the top, it was the statement, "I think I've said that about 10 times now. I'm about done with you," which seemed more than a little hyperbolic, childishly pouty and simply unmerited. I am not party to any of those other threads, and there was no reference to those other threads on this one up until the point where you made that admonition, so claiming it was your tenth or so time of stating it, when it was only your first time you stated it on this thread, did seem like you were loading your position more than a little unreasonably by resorting to plain old fashioned fibs.
"As the OP has fled, and you've stepped in, we can continue discussing your points, but substantially we're off on a new tangent, here."
I don't mind taking up the baton dropped and abandoned by the OP but ONLY on the condition that you and others posting here are able to carry a LOGICAL argument and debate the issues rationally in a point-counterpoint fashion. It is my experience that most people on the LTMB cannot do that. Making broad, vague statements that really don't say anything of substance (the MB equivalent of waving your hands around or petulantly stamping your foot) is NOT rational discourse. Neither is citing vague references to Smithsonian magazine that no one can follow up on (so that you give your non-statement the air of additional authority because it's supported by a fairly intellectual publication, but not in any way that can be practically pursued in order that a counter-argument can be constructed to refute it). Nor is giving yourself bogus titles and accreditations (as the OP did) that claim you are some kind of expert on paleontology or archeology - or in the case of Makifat, "someone with archaeological experience" - simply because you used to know someone that once read a book on one of those topics (green it was, about so high).
Nor is a statement such as, "I believe fredbacon more than Dr. Robert Schlock," a rational argument for anything. That, my friend, is just plain name-calling, worthy of earning a snicker from the not-so-bright crowd in middle school, perhaps, but hardly a constructive argument for anything, and not worthy of any kind of adult rational discourse. If that is the best you can do in a MB debate then I'm not interested in participating in such a "debate" with you, because IMO that kind of thing will only result in a mutual slug fest rather than a rational discussion.
"You get the cred, they fled. So it goes."
Actually, the following might be more accurate:
The flaky OP fled, and now you will be stuck with his bad cred.
If you want me to be the fall guy on whom you and your compadres wish to unleash all the pent-up wrath and venom you obviously hold against "conspiracy theorists" or "pseudoscientists" etc. then, once again, please look elsewhere for your whipping boy, because you won't find it in me. I'm a Popperian that is highly skeptical about anything that isn't potentially falsifiable. Just because, after reviewing the available evidence, I am currently leaning towards an earlier dating of the Sphinx by geologists rather than the extant dating that many accredited Egyptologists continue to cling to with little to no evidence to support them, does NOT automatically imply that I believe the Sphinx was carved by alien visitors from Alpha Centauri 50,000 years ago. Please give me some credit here.
So how about you posting a cogent counter-argument for why the Sphinx was created by the Pharaoh Khafra some time around 2500 BCE in the same manner as I have outlined for it having an earlier construction date?
"Following the links you've thoughtfully included, it's pretty easy to see that these are 'lone wolf' type researchers."
I posted URLs to wikipedia pages in my initial post #18 so that any reader, not already familiar with the people I was citing, could immediately give themselves a quick overview of them so that they could then better understand what I was summarizing in my post. Personally, I'm a big critic of wikipedia because almost anybody can post an article there and the quality, accuracy and validity of the information so posted can vary considerably from topic to topic depending on the subject author and the popularity of the subject matter (viz. many readers equals many reviewers of accuracy and validity, so really bogus ideas get quickly modified or deleted). However, the fact that some background information now exists on wikipedia for so many diverse topics (whatever the quality of it) is still extremely useful, because by including a link to a pertinent wikipedia page you can get someone up to speed on a topic with just a click of a mouse (assuming that the reader doesn't suffer from OCD and subsequently reads and comprehends what you've pointed him towards).
You appear to be pretty closed-minded WRT any idea that you feel is not mainstream enough for you to safely associate yourself with. That is, you seem to be reluctant to investigate anything outside of the prevailing scientific paradigm, no matter how silly that paradigm may have now become. IMO, the three most important prerequisites for a good scientific approach is to keep an open mind, to remain emotionally impartial from your current beliefs, and to pursue new knowledge both skeptically but objectively. I'm not so sure that your reading of the three wikipedia pages I initially linked you to and deciding within 10 minutes, based solely on everything you read there, that you are immediately leery of someone, really demonstrates that you possess any of those qualities.
Remember, that Einstein was just a clerk in a Swiss patent office when he developed his theories of Relativity. Or, to use your own terminology, Einstein was a "lone wolf" with no acknowledged academic accreditation in atomic physics and cosmology. Similarly, I'm quite sure that Copernicus would have been equally ridiculed by those such as yourself if the LTMB had been around in his day and he had bothered to take the time to post a brief summary of his heliocentric theory on it - simply because his theory did not agree with the prevailing geocentric dogma that was the then current "scientific" paradigm to which the majority paid lip service. So why is being a "lone wolf" a bad thing in your opinion? Almost everyone that has made a significant contribution to the advancement of our current base of scientific knowledge started off as a "lone wolf" as you so like to ridicule them. BTW, what are your own academic accreditations in the field of paleontology and stratigraphy for you to be able to dismiss the good doctor so readily?
"I'm leery of both men because of their whole-hearted forays into metaphysics and such. Makes me suspicious. I'm not sold by those citations."
Yes, yes, I quite understand. Such unhealthy curiosity must, by definition, totally invalidate their mainstream scientific work, mustn't it? After all, that sort of thing kind of puts them into the same category as this charlatan or even this mountebank. Or how about this obvious fraud? (Ooops, sorry, about the pun! :( )
If I were you, I wouldn't pay any attention to anything any of those three pelfers contributed to their respective scientific fields either. That way, I'm sure you'll sleep a lot sounder at night.
I'm curious as to what "scientific fields" Freud and James might have contributed to.
For every Einstein there are a million "lone wolves" who are nothing but crackpots.
Rule 42, you've obviously mistaken me for a much harsher individual. I've no bone to pick with you, I stated that your posts were thoughtful, and I've read them with interest. I'm not sure whether to be flattered or shocked that you've taken so much time and energy to rail against me.
To clip and quote mine (sorry, couldn't resist) from your post, I and others here are described by you as "Not a rational thinker, hyperbolic, childishly pouty, resorting to plain old fashioned fibs, closed-minded, and full of pent-up wrath and venom."
Wow. No wonder I don't sleep at night.
I sincerely apologized to the thread regarding what I regard as one of the more petulant posts I've ever written. Thanks for adding a few lashes, I really needed that to make sure I really learn my lesson.
I followed the links to wikipedia and on to the authors' own websites, and around to a few other places as well. How can you presume what I've read?
I was not being smarmy at all when I thanked you for including the links, by the way. yeesh.
The phrase 'the OP fled, you get the cred' was meant to be complimentary,
and the way you have reworded it is improper.
I hadn't given much thought at all to the weathering of the Sphinx since I was in Egypt over 10 years ago and had some brief discussions about it. Oh, and when I returned I spoke with some Geologist and Paleontologist friends of mine as well. That's about it--I have no specific refutation of what you're offering. I am learning about it from what you're offering here!
I am merely an amateur with respect to Geology and Stratigraphy, but an engaged one, who has participated in scientific research, goes on digs every year, does my interested laypersons' reading, etc.
My skepticism of the weathering claim comes from the lack of any other supporting evidence, and that's pretty much it. I haven't claimed to be an expert.
As for Newton, et. al. I don't buy into comments like that. Scientists are human, and "live in their times". It's no surprise that Newton would have trafficked in activities that we now know to be incongruous with a modern scientific worldview. He's not a poster boy for anything, nor is Freud or James. In this day and age, for a serious scientist to be writing books on the paranormal (from a credulous, not rigorous standpoint) is pretty silly.
I don't blame you if you don't want to continue, though, since
"It is my experience that most people on the LTMB cannot . . . carry a LOGICAL argument and debate the issues rationally in a point-counterpoint fashion. (They make) broad, vague statements that really don't say anything of substance."
It's gotta be tough dealing with such a bunch of people.
If you want to continue, (and I sure don't blame you if you don't) can you please answer my question in #47?
And, as long as you asked me for professional credentials, can you please provide some information on your Geological/Stratigraphical/Archaeological/Paleontological background?
Or not. I might choose not to discuss this with me any more, if I were you. :)
You'd think I'd have about covered it, but I want to restate that the OP had posted this nonsense about the dating of the sphinx being a refutation of something that they called "Darwinism". This claim had been posted in several threads, and despite gentle responses and direction towards proper definitions and additional reading, they stubbornly continued to post the same questions.
Over. and. over. again.
Which is why I indicated, that as soon as Rule42 jumped in, this became a completely different discussion, unrelated to the original assertion.
Time for a fresh start, as it were. Unless we want to take up the idea that the sphinx erosion refutes evolution.
re: Freud in post 50 by Makifat, In Jones's bio of Freud I'm pretty sure he credits Freud with locating the sex glands (no joke) of the eel. (It is kinda funny, though.) Jones claims that Freud did this by being the first scientist to use a color stain on microscope slides, and that if Freud had done nothing else in his career, he would have become famous for this (staining slides,) alone.
I no longer have Jones's biography of Freud in my possession, so I can't provide a citation; and I may be completely wrong. It's one of those curious memories stuck in a corner of my mind along with Jefferson's invention of the dumb-waiter, etc.
I stand corrected.
I have the bio, so maybe one day I'll look it up.* Maybe in spring, when my thoughts turn to sexing eels. ;)
*I think its in a box with my back issues of Smithsonian.
Interesting site with lots of discussion on
Interesting site Atomic. There seems to be (in my opinion) two categories of 'way out theories' : 1. the ludicrous variety, e.g. the cynically half-baked profit-driven Von Daniken "Was God An Astronaut?"; 2. the counter-establishment radical variety, e.g. new research that overturns a long-held academic thesis, and which the Establishment converges upon to discredit.
Belonging (I assume) to the latter group was a fascinating BBC documentary some years ago that appeared to show that traditional Egyptian chronology was based on wrong assumptions and always had been; if the evidence from various monuments, tombs, inscriptions etc were put together with historical references concerning the Israelites in the Old Testament, and other sources (I've now forgotten much of the detail), then the traditional dating would need to 'slide' in one direction by something like a few hundred years, and suddenly all the historically recorded events came together with no discrepancies.
Sadly, like many fascinating TV documentaries, interesting theories pass before our eyes and then disappear without trace. Whether because they were later discredited, or because the 'closed shop' of academia decided to heap contempt and contumely on them, it's hard to say.
Yes, this site does look interesting. I'm looking forward to checking out "Egypt: The Stoned Age?"
It sounds as if the documentary you mention may have been the one John Anthony West participated in (although the time reference in his work seems to diverge by more than a few hundred years). To show my open-mindedness, if it's on Netflix, I'll have a look at it.
Okay, 50-some posts in is a little late for this, but...
To be accepted as a scientific theory, an idea must be supported by the evidence. So there really are no "Alternate Scientific Theories". What our OP was talking about should be called alternative hypotheses, which could then be compared to the data, and then rejected.
edited for spelling
Theories can be incomplete in some ways and still be rich enough to be theories. String theory and loop gravity are alternatives.
Whitehead worked out an alternative physics to comply with process philosophy. Even if it were demonstrated not to be the end theory itself, it held interest in that it took a different view of things still not fully understood.
"For every Einstein there are a million 'lone wolves' who are nothing but crackpots."
I quite agree. I've expressed exactly that sentiment many times myself elsewhere. Nevertheless, it is still true that many of the greatest scientists, particularly the real paradigm changers, were initially "lone wolves" when they started out. They were also frequently dismissed and ridiculed, by those that held the established viewpoint at the time, as being looneys and crackpots. In many cases, they went to their graves with this pejorative status, with recognition for the originality or quality of their work only coming posthumously, often generations rather than just years later.
The point I was trying to make to Atomicmutant was that to ensure that you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater you cannot simply dismiss someone's theory or life's work (in any discipline, not just science) simply because they are a "lone wolf" - otherwise you end up dismissing the likes of an Einstein. To coin myself a new aphorism here: "genius is frequently akin to lone wolfiness"!
In any intellectual discussion one must address the argument being presented and NOT the person, even if one is tempted to dismiss what they are saying out of hand by muttering, "you're a looney, I have no time for you." If you really know your stuff it should take you very little effort to counter a wacky argument on its own terms rather than just calling that person a name or putting a pejorative label on them. Back in Medieval times people that couldn't carry an argument would probably have stooped to the expedient of labeling their opponents "witches" - which would have got them carted off and burnt at the stake; end of argument. During the Spanish Inquisition the RC church, when it didn't agree with what someone (such as Galileo) might be saying, used the expedient of labeling them a "heretic" - which got them carted off to the dungeons and tortured; end of argument. At the end of the 19th century the rivals of Oscar Wilde that couldn't compete with his wit and intellect but didn't like his liberal opinions stooped to the expedient of labeling him "queer" - which got him carted off to Reading Gaol; end of argument.
An equivalent modern day expedient of the intellectually lazy and lamebrained is to immediately label something they disagree with or don't understand as being "pseudoscience" or a "conspiracy theory" - nobody gets carted of anywhere anymore but it does have the same similarly satisfying result of effectively killing the discussion or debate. Note that in all the cases I've cited it is the party with the untenable position or dogma to uphold that resorts to such desperate tactics.
That doesn't mean that pseudoscience should not be called out as such when it becomes obvious that it is exactly that. OTOH, to immediately apply that disparaging label in a knee-jerk fashion to every idea that ones come across but disagrees with is indeed just a modern form of crying "witch", "heretic" or "queer" in order to quickly bully your opponent instead of bettering him in a fair debate.
I responded the way I did to Atomicmutant's use of the term "lone wolf" in order to solicit from him a response that would allow me to determine if he was simply using it as just an alternative euphemism for the "P" and "C" words. Based on the tone and sincerity of his posts #52 and #53 I don't believe he is. However, there are others posting on this thread for whom this approach to discourse is the only tool in their very limited intellectual toolbox.
"Great scientific theories do not usually conquer the world through being accepted by opponents who, gradually convinced of their truth, have finally adopted them. It is always rare to find a Saul becoming a Paul. What happens is that opponents of the new idea finally die off and the following generation grows up under its influence." -- Max Planck
"First they will deny a thing, then they will belittle it, then they will decide that it had been known long ago." -- Alexander von Humbolt
"During the Spanish Inquisition the RC church, when it didn't agree with what someone (such as Galileo) might be saying, used the expedient of labeling them a "heretic" - which got them carted off to the dungeons and tortured"
I agree with pretty much all your post there Rule42, but I must correct you on this point. By Galileo's time the Spanish Inquisition was simply "The Inquisition", and weren't torturing in dungeons by that late stage anyway.
Galileo was forced to retract his work on heliocentrism and was placed under house arrest and his relevant works prohibited. At no time was he ever tortured.
Also, Galileo was actually supported by Pope Urban VIII, and it was only when Galileo took the unwise step of putting the Pope's own personal views on heliocentrism (which the latter had asked Galileo to include in the book) into the mouth of a fool, that the Pope - and therefore the Church - turned against him.
Although not widely documented, the Jesuit scientists of the time were using Galileo's research in their own astronomical observations and were slowly coming around to the same view. (There is still an active Jesuit observatory in the Vatican).
The Galileo controversy is not as clear cut as history makes out.
Not to gang up, but . . .
The great Oscar Wilde was not sent to jail due to a plot by his literary rivals. He unwisely sued the father of one of his lovers (not a nice guy, that lover--see Wilde's De Profundis) for making defamatory allegations. The allegations were subsequently proved by a huge weight of evidence to be true.
That doesn't justify those Edwardian laws against "gross indecency". But Wilde could have avoided the trap. And those laws were certainly not used to silence dissent.
Oh yes, the infamous note to Wilde "posing as a somdomite (sic)". It always seemed odd to me that he was described as "posing".
Still, De Profundus is a fascinating book, which some smartass called "one of the great extended sobs of self-pity in literature."
Oh my, a perfunctory pedant ... Oscar Wilde would have so loved the paradox inherent in your post, Mr. Spalding. :)
Thanks, for correcting me, but if you are going to do it, at least do it properly. Oscar wasn't carted off to Reading Gaol either ... he only ended up there after first being taken to Holloway from which he was released on bail after his first trial ended in a hung jury. After he was convicted of gross indecency in the subsequent retrial (exactly a 104 years ago tomorrow) he was carted off to Pentonville and then moved to Wandsworth before finally being transferred out to the infamous cell C.3.3 in Reading where he served out the remainder of his two year hard labor sentence for pederasty.
"That doesn't justify those Edwardian laws against 'gross indecency'.
I'm afraid you also need to brush up on your British monarchy too. Oscar Wilde was convicted under Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885. That would make it a Victorian law against gross indecency since Edward didn't ascend to the throne until 1901 when his mother died. Oscar Wilde died in 1900, the year before Queen Victoria died.
"Oscar Wilde was not sent to jail due to a plot by his literary rivals."
I agree that, to some extent, Wilde brought his ultimate demise upon himself by living a double life as a flamboyantly dandified public figure (which, I'm sure, really irritated all the Victorian homophobes) while privately visiting brothels and bath houses where he illegally seduced younger males. It wasn't the smartest idea that he ever had when he decided to sue a member of the aristocracy (the 9th Marquess of Queensberry) for publicly accusing him of being a typo (a "somdomite" no less!) causing all the salacious details of his private homosexual lifestyle to be brought out in a highly public libel trial. All of his friends, including George Bernard Shaw, had advised Wilde against filing that suit ... it was his "not a nice guy" lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, that talked him into doing it in order to get back at his father whom he hated.
Young Douglas got his "not a nice guyness" from his father Queensbury who was also a nasty piece of work; he was a pompous macho type that went around threatening to horse whip anybody that crossed him. Like father, like son, I guess. Since Queensbury's eldest son and heir, Viscount Drumlanrig, had died the previous year (1894) of a mysterious shooting accident after having had a prolonged homosexual relationship with the Prime Minister (Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery) Queensberry, in order to try a rehabilitate his younger son from what he saw as the homosexual clutches of Wilde, threatened to publicly expose the Prime Minister's supposed proclivities if his government did not vigorously prosecute Oscar Wilde WRT his relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas. Queensberry believed that, as he phrased it to Lord Alfred in a letter, "Snob Queers like Rosebery" had corrupted both his sons, and he held the Prime Minister indirectly responsible for Drumlanrig's death. Therefore he blackmailed him. So, yes, it was not a plot instigated by his "literary rivals" but I never said it was.
OK then, mea culpa, point taken Mr. nitpicky OS, perhaps my choice of Oscar Wilde was not a perfect match for my example of "queer-labeling" in post #61. Perhaps I didn't even need to include an example of "queer" in my post; "witch" and "heretic" were quite sufficient. BFD.
Can we please get back to the topic at hand. There is an elephant in the room that everyone appears determined to avoid addressing. Can someone please post a rational explanation for why the Sphinx suffers from water erosion if it has been buried under sand in a desert climate for most of its 4500+ years of existence?
I'm also still waiting to hear a convincing justification from our resident archaeological expert Mafikat that the weathering on the Sphinx is caused by static-but-shifting-sand erosion. He was asked in post #41 to produce some evidence to back up that statement but he has yet to do so. All he has done so far since is post snidy comments and make false accusations and personal attacks. Sapiens nihil affirmat quod non probat.
Can someone please post a rational explanation for why the Sphinx suffers from water erosion if it has been buried under sand in a desert climate for most of its 4500+ years of existence?
No, because the only person claiming that is you, based on some (pardon me) fringe science.
I'm also still waiting to hear a convincing justification from our resident archaeological expert Mafikat that the weathering on the Sphinx is caused by static-but-shifting-sand erosion.
Keep waiting. The "static-but-shifting-sand erosion" thing is yours (post 45) based on your misreading of my post 43. I try to keep my posts short, so as not to confuse you, but Christ, I can't teach you how to read. Whether your other misrepresentations are based on ignorance or willful argumentativeness, I don't know and I don't really care.
I know nothing at all about this subject - Egyptology and limestone weathering - but a simple Google search brought up this site (top of the list) :
It makes interesting reading.
Good. For some reason I thought Wilde died in 1905. You were right to call me on it. And I won't call it nitpicking.
And incidentally, I think you have been treated badly by contributors to the group--whatever my views on the Sphinx (I have none).
But the Gallleo and Wilde examples were ill-made. The scientific "establishment" (when it is wrong) usually has no need to resort to torture or imprisonment. They have (or so they think) better methods.
Thanks for posting that link. I think that page you linked to, plus the whole site it is taken from, could provide a useful point of reference for the debate on this thread ... should one ever occur. :)
"I agree with pretty much all your post there Rule42, but I must correct you on this point. By Galileo's time the Spanish Inquisition was simply 'The Inquisition', and weren't torturing in dungeons by that late stage anyway."
Just so you know, I may have only been guilty of gilding my lily a little there. My original sentence did not contain the parenthetical "(such as Galileo)" and was consistent and unassailable as it was first written. Remembering that I was posting in a "science forum" and that Galileo (a scientist) had been tarnished with the very label ("heretic") that I was addressing, I went back and added that parenthetical detail in order to add a little more color and veracity! :(
However, since you nitpicked me I'm going to return the courtesy. The Inquisition may not have put Galileo on the rack or pulled out his fingernails one by one, but torture comes in many different forms and depends, like everything in life, on understanding the proper context. Or as Einstein or Galileo might tell you, it's all relative. Hence the current debate over waterboarding.
If I remember correctly (and I don't have the time to go look this up) didn't one of the tortures used in Abu Ghraib jail consist of making the Iraqi male prisoners wear women's underwear? Maybe women's undies were just placed on their heads? Whatever it was, I guess you just had to be there in order to appreciate it's truly horrific effects on the victims. * rolls eyes *
"Galileo was forced to retract his work on heliocentrism and was placed under house arrest and his relevant works prohibited. At no time was he ever tortured."
If Galileo wasn't tortured, how the frick was he forced to "abjure, curse and detest" his work on heliocentrism? Even if the Inquisition only tickled him with a large feather, used soft cushions on him, or even made him sit in the dreaded "comfy chair" for hours on end, something they did to him was considered to be torture enough by Galileo for him to feel the need to retract his work. Perhaps the Inquisition just made Galileo read Makifat's posts on this thread?
"No, because the only person claiming that is you, based on some (pardon me) fringe science."
Fringe science, eh? No shit, Sherlock! :)
Despite mingfrommongo's well-taken point in post #59 that this thread would be better titled Alternative Scientific Hypotheses, nevertheless this thread is entitled Alternative Scientific Theories. Either way, theories or hypotheses, that concept would embrace what exactly? Pardon me, if in my attempt to try and rehabilitate the spirit (if not the letter) of what I believed the OP was originally trying to ask in post #1, I actually presented, for the sake of discussion, a brief overview of an alternative scientific hypothesis.
Since it is not the prevailing mainstream paradigm, any significantly alternative scientific theory or hypothesis is, by its very definition, "fringe science"! Thus "fringe science" is the very subject matter of this thread. And you have the effrontery and gall to attack MY reading and comprehension capabilities? LMAO.
Everyone else posting on this thread (other than you) appears to fully realize that my main intent with post #18 was simply to provide some grist for the mill. No doubt if the topic of this thread had been "Victorian novelists other than Dickens" and I had initially posted something here about Thackeray or Trollope you would have got as equally bent out of shape, and called me all kinds of names, simply because you had personally only read Dickens and not the other two. Your post #66 on such an "alternatives to Dickens" thread would probably have read something along the lines ...
... the only person giving any consideration to Trollope and Thackeray is you, based on some (pardon me) fringe reading.
If alternative scientific theories get you so hot under the collar why are you even bothering to post on this thread? Don't you have some small domestic animals that you would prefer to be kicking instead?
As for my being the "only person" claiming that the Sphinx contains a severe level of water erosion, if you actually take the trouble to read - not to mention COMPREHEND - that web page to which Tid kindly provided a link - you will find modified diagrams of Dr. Mark Lehner, who used to be Field Director for the American Research Center in Egypt, that were cribbed by that web page's author, Larry Orcutt, in order to add weight to that author's own arguments refuting Dr. Schoch's geological conclusions. Although he freely admits that he cribbed (and modified) them, what Mr. Orcutt does not state is that Dr. Mark Lehner also holds that the Sphinx suffers from a considerable amount of water erosion - he just doesn't come to the same dating conclusions as Dr. Schoch.
So that's at least two Yale educated doctorate geologists that claim the Great Sphinx suffers from water erosion. There are other geologists too, I believe ... but let's ignore all of them since they haven't been specifically mentioned by name on this thread. What with the good doctors Schoch and Lehner, R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz (mentioned by me in my OP), John Anthony West (mentioned by you in your post #44), plus myself, that would be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 people claiming water erosion on the Sphinx. So clearly I'm NOT the only one. Your numerate skills appear to be every bit as deficient as your literate and comprehension skills.
"The 'static-but-shifting-sand erosion' thing is yours (post 45) based on your misreading of my post 43. I try to keep my posts short, so as not to confuse you, but Christ, I can't teach you how to read. Whether your other misrepresentations are based on ignorance or willful argumentativeness,"
I really don't think I have misread your post #43 and, unless you've modified it since in order to cover your tracks, it is still there for everyone else to read in order to verify that statement. My "static-but-shifting-sand erosion" thing was just my way of pithily summarizing what you said in your post #43 in order, like you, to keep my post short while referring to what you had stated. It was not an attempt to misrepresent you. I did request (at the very end of post #45) that you clarify your position.
Ah yes, that is such a negative trait in science, isn't it? It is viewed as especially negative by those that wish to simply assert dogma, or are merely too lazy or lamebrained to be able to state and justify their own position.
"If Galileo wasn't tortured, how the frick was he forced to "abjure, curse and detest" his work on heliocentrism? "
This is where the hindsight of history gives such a tint to our perspectives.
Galileo was already elderly (68) when his book Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems was published; as a more vigorous younger man he might have resisted more strongly and defended his position, to what end, we can only speculate. We also have to remember that he alienated his supporter (The Pope) by what he put into the latter's mouth in that book. He may well have feared the Inquisition, though perhaps more through tradition, reputation and his own increasing frailty.
We also tend to forget that Galileo was a genius on many levels, and it was specifically his work on heliocentrism that caused his trial and subsequent house arrest; his work in mathematics, physics, and technology (all considerable) was never attacked. Although the Church did place a general prohibition on his publications, this was as "punishment" not for any heretical content other than heliocentrism.
Rule42, your attacks on Makifat are intemperate, intolerant, and amount to what I would define as abusive. It causes me real distress to read them, and I'm therefore going to retire from this thread as a direct result. I'm sorry, but I believe we should attack arguments not people, and I feel too distressed to stay around.
"Can anyone cite any other evidence for this supposed archaic civilization besides a theory of Sphinx erosion? Any other artifacts, buildings, writing, anything? Just curious."
It is my understanding that this same sort of argument used to be cited whenever Troy was mentioned prior to the 1870s when the city of Īlium / Truva was excavated by the German archeologist Heinrich Schliemann. The Greek-Trojan war (and thus by implication, the city of Troy) is featured in both of the Greek poet Homer's major works, the Iliad and the Odyssey, not to mention the Roman poet Virgil's Aeneid. There are also plenty of other references to Troy and the Greek-Trojan war in the works of other reliable scribes of those ancient historical times such as Herodotus, Eratosthenes and Duris of Samos.
Back before 1870, all those references to Troy in the writings of ancient historical poets and historians could not be reconciled with the fact that nobody knew where Troy was ... there was no ruined city, ancient artifacts, buildings, etc. at which they could point their fingers and say, "that is the remains of the famous city to which those early Greeks laid siege." Thus the conventional historical wisdom of the time - meaning before, say, 1870 - was that the story of the Greek-Trojan war (as recounted in all the poems of the Epic Cycle) was simply a legend, more important for the parable and symbolism that it contained than that it actually existed in fact. By extension, those same historians assumed that the actual city of Troy was simply a creation of the ancient poets for the sake of those legends, and that, in reality, it too hadn't ever existed.
Imagine, if you would, that the LTMB had existed circa 1870, and that Rule42 had been alive then and had made a post on a thread such as this one, stating that if the city of Troy was only a legend, why is it that those very same historians making that argument also hold as fact that Alexander the Great visited the site of Troy in 334 BCE and made sacrifices at the alleged tombs of the Homeric heroes Achilles and Patroclus - that is, why on earth would Alexander honor the living memory of mythical characters, and where the frick on the globe did he honor them since, as they claim, Troy has never existed?
No doubt that post would have been greeted with similar unmerited scorn and wrath by the smart-ass self-labeled Troy experts back then, who would have simply tripped over themselves to post responses asking: "Oh yeah, if Troy really exists, where is it then? Please show us. Show us any artifacts, buildings, writing ... anything that would back up that claim? You can't, can you? Therefore it doesn't exist. It cannot exist. And to even consider that it might possibly exist is a complete waste of time. It doesn't fit our theories nor any of the books we've published stating how it doesn't exist, therefore it mustn't exist, because otherwise we would all look like fools. And to make sure you don't come back making any other inconvenient suggestions that may shake up our comfortable worldview like that one, we are now going to label you a 'legend revisionist'. Now try being taken seriously by other archeologists and paleontologists with that label stuck on your back!"
I have just made the term 'legend revisionist' up, but it's the hypothetical 1870 equivalent of 'new ager' or 'pseudoscientist' or 'conspiracy theorist' today - a term that everyone knows embraces a lot of obviously crackpot ideas so it's universally understood to be a "bad thing" and that anything so labeled is worthy of immediate contempt. Thus when it's applied to a fairly sound idea that challenges the status quo in some manner, it has the effect of rendering both that idea (as well as anybody advocating that idea) as being as ridiculous as all those other crackpot ones to which it normally applies. As I tried to explain in post #61, applying such a pejorative label to an idea (or to someone advocating that idea) which you do not hold yourself, rather than addressing that contrary idea on it's own merits, is just another case of cowardly and lazily casting aspersions on someone, and it is as equally an invalid method of rational discourse as simple name-calling. Or throwing hissy fits.
Consider, for instance, post #44. What exactly in any of my posts does it address? I have never mentioned John Anthony West on this thread. I specifically made a point of not mentioning him in my OP because I know he has been labeled a 'new ager' and a 'pseudoscientist' because he cites the water erosion on the Sphinx as evidence for a lost ancient culture that existed before 10,000 BCE - a culture that was possibly contemporaneous with, or even a legacy of, the lost island of Atlantis. He's also not a professional geologist. Which is exactly why I cited Dr. Schoch in my OP instead of JAW. JAW is irrelevant to the discussion. Mafikat's invoking of JAW is simply a disguised attempt to discredit me with the expedient of labeling me, and what I've been posting, pejoratively without his lifting a finger to address any of it. The logic of his approach is as follows ...
1. JAW has cited water erosion on the Great Sphinx as a possible justification for the existence of Atlantis.
2. There is no way JAW can prove that connection so that idea is considered to be non-scientific pseudoscience.
3. Since JAW advocates a pseudoscientific idea that makes him automatically a pseudoscientist.
4. Your OP cited water erosion on the Great Sphinx as a possible justification for an earlier dating than 2500 BCE.
5. That sounds a lot like JAW's theory to me so you, too, are a crackpot pseudoscientist.
Can anybody spot the logical fallacy with that reasoning? What makes his non-sequitur all the more amusing is the following ... (see next post).
OK. let's try this again ...
Just for the record, like some other people have already stated on this thread, I'm a complete agnostic WRT the arguments over the correct age of the Great Sphinx - so to some extent I'm playing Devil's advocate on this thread. So any attempt to pejoratively label me based on my posted arguments washes over me to some extent because they are not my core views. But that still doesn't mean that I don't recognize the tactic for what it is. The whole process is designed to kill any and all debate of ideas that others don't wish to address - either because they feel threatened by them (which is insecurity) or just because they view them as inferior to their own beliefs and not worthy of their time (which is arrogance). Either way, pejorative labeling of someone is a lazy and cowardly way of attacking the man rather than addressing his argument and it frequently stifles the potential debate much more effectively than a little bit of mutual name-calling and argie-bargie might ever do during the debate (if it is actually allowed to occur).
"your attacks on Makifat are intemperate, intolerant, and amount to what I would define as abusive."
I specifically waited for two days before responding to post #66 to see if Makifat would self-moderate or whether his abuse would be flagged by other people, such as yourself, that claim to be distressed by that sort of thing. Apparently you are very selective in the way that you recognize abuse and only see it where you want to see it. I could accept what you said in your last paragraph if you had demonstrated any kind of objectivity in the matter. As for being intolerant there is a big difference between being intolerant of intolerance (which indeed I am) and simply being intolerant of anything you do not agree with and want to dismiss (which is what Makifat has demonstrated). In the words of some wag, I believe that all bigots should be stood up against a wall and shot. That is is a very different sort of intolerance than Makifat has shown on this thread, first to the OP and then towards me once he realized I wouldn't lie down and slink away from his nonsense in the same manner that the OP did.
In my countering of Makifat's personal attacks on me in post #66 I only stuck to addressing the words that he had used against me in his post and demonstrating that his uncalled for insults against me were fallacious. As for it being intemperate ... how much abuse is OK in your mind? Relative to the number of words we both contributed to the thread his abuse represents a much larger % what he wrote. I was trying to be constructive and rescue the topic of the thread and get a discussion going again on what was potentially an interesting topic, while his posts were mostly derogatory to anyone he didn't like.
Anyone reading my posts on this thread can clearly see that what he said in post #66 is not true. Which brings me to the issue of posting blatant lies and deceit on the LTMB. Where were your abuse detectors when Atomicmutant made post #8 and blatantly lied in what he said as part of his attack on the OP? Where were your abuse detectors when Makifat made post #43 and deceitfully lied in claiming I was misquoting others? Abuse, like torture, comes in all kinds of flavors and is relative to the context of the situation. I happen to value my integrity therefore I consider a fraudulent and manipulative attack on it (viz. "It would probably be a good idea (if you want to salvage your rapidly eroding credibility) to stop putting quotation marks around statements that others never said.") instead of a response to what I was saying to be very abusive. It was unmerited and totally uncalled for.
"I'm sorry, but I believe we should attack arguments not people"
I totally agree and that is EXACTLY what I've been saying all along (if you take the trouble to read and comprehend my posts). Until I joined this thread Atomicmutant and Mafikat were quite happy intellectually beating up on the OP, taking him apart and slapping him on the wrist every which way, simply because they could. IMO, his OP deserved much better consideration than it got from the pair of them, and indeed, some other people (such as bjza and qebo) treated him with the respect he deserved. OTOH Atomicmutant and Makifat were only interested in boosting their own egos at his expense by smugly attacking him and abusing him any which way they could (such as by ridiculing what books he had catalogued on LT). I guess that is all harmless sport in your opinion; however, if someone stands up for himself against the attempted brow-beating of somebody you've exchanged PMs with, then that apparently becomes abuse in your eyes. How very convenient for you.
"I'm therefore going to retire from this thread"
Do what you have to do. Since you are the only person posting on this thread (other than oakesspalding) that has addressed my arguments in a rational and fair manner up until this juncture, I too am now finished with this thread.
Do not repost flagged content in Talk. If you believed you were flagged unfairly, go ahead and discuss the issue (without getting personal). You can discuss it, with short selections. But you may NOT repost it. If people want to read it, they can; Talk allows you to click something to see the flagged content.
To be fair to Rule42, while I didn't like a lot of that post (#74), the really offensive part was edited from the repost (#75).
I didn't notice that. The original is now deleted, and I didn't learn it by heart.
People have "gotten personal" with zyndell and Rule42 from the very beginning. And jimroberts and others just flagged his post illegitimately, after he nicely toned it down (I think). It's understandable to snark back when the other side has cohered into its own snark gang. Oh, sure, flagging those posts took real courage. But what else do busybodies have to do?
Did you unflag Rule42's post? Tim recently added that (with unflags counting half as much as flags). As I didn't see anything terribly egregious in msg 75 I'm going to unflag it myself.
ETA: Also if you can convince any of the flaggers that they flagged in error, they can now remove their own flags.
#79: oakesspalding " jimroberts and others just flagged his post"
I didn't flag his post. I've don't think I've ever flagged anyone for personal attacks. In several threads I've argued that we shouldn't be so quick to flag.
ETA I didn't flag the repost either — I commented on it openly.
My mistake. That's the thing about anonymous flags. Though, since you quoted the TOS at the flagged poster like a scold, the assumption was natural enough. The "Okay, let's try this again" was the giveaway that the poster was trying to conform to the standard. Your missed that or ignored it. And your excuse that your error was perhaps his fault (for deleting the original post) was quite lame.
Looking back, I see that you're right and it does look like a scold, I should be more careful.
Did you see the discussion on making flags not anonymous? I tended to like the idea, but the arguments against were not without merit.
Perhaps there could be a choice? Just as Comments can be made "private", couldn't flags be made "anonymous" but only if you choose?
To be fair, "Okay, let's try this again" isn't very clear. It could very well have indicated that Rule42 intended to repost the message with no changes (as in, maybe the flaggers aren't paying attention and this time it won't get flagged).
And look at that. The message is in the clear again.
Post #85: It strikes me that one should at least read something before red-flagging it. Just assuming that something is abusive and flagging it without even reading it says a lot more about the intolerant and biased nature of the flagger than what is being flagged. Surely flagging something as abusive that isn't abusive is in its own way a form of abuse?
The only abuse I'm seeing on this forum is from the flaggers. Also, the abuse appears to have started long before post #70. Did nobody see this PM exchange 6 days earlier?
Rule42 obviously has some emotional issues. I would suggest that you just let the argument quietly drop. You'll never convince him that he's wrong, and there are so many more rewarding things to do on a summer's evening.
posted by fredbacon at 8:14 pm (EST) on May 20, 2009
Thank you for your note and wise counsel. I don't typically back away from a fight, but as these things go, it's not a particularly interesting one. The argument (such as it is) that this person is making seems to be taken whole cloth from the crackpot theories of "writer, scholar, and Pythagorean" John Anthony West. There is just no point arguing with a true believer: they cannot see the limitations of their enthusiasms, but they will also try their damndest to pick you apart with mischaracterization and obfuscation. The hell with that. If I want to hear pseudointelligent ramblings, I will take the crosstown bus. At least then I'll end up somewhere.
posted by Makifat at 12:22 am (EST) on May 21, 2009
I wonder why the person who claims they are distressed so much by abuse finds behavior such as that acceptable? So much so in fact that they rushed to the defense of one of the two people involved in it?
I'm sorry, I just can't understand your post. What are you quoting, what is your own comment? As far as I can see, fredbacon did not post anything at 8:14 pm (EST) on May 20, 2009, Nor Makifat at 12:22 am (EST) on May 21. Maybe this has something to do with the way LT gets times wrong?
Are you perhaps some incompetent's sockpuppet?
Post #87: "incompetent's sockpuppet" ????????
PM = personal (private?) message
The PM is the latest message posted there. It appears the other PM on the other profile has been deleted already.
Thank you. It is, however, unusual for someone to quote from messages on some user's profile with neither a link nor an indication of what profile the post was on. Should we guess that what you are quoting was on a profile and search through 600 000 (or whatever it is now) profiles to find what you're talking about?
You're welcome. I'm sorry, but I thought my first post was perfectly clear. When I said "Did nobody see this PM exchange 6 days earlier?" and the two quoted PMs were by the two characters named, where else would an intelligent person look for that exchange but on each of their profiles?
What you now have to ask yourself is why that other PM got deleted so quickly after I cut and pasted it in order to make my first post?
Oh, by the way, since you are an expert on the TOS, what does the TOS have to say about calling somebody an "incompetent's sockpuppet" ?
The accusation of sockpuppetry is probably a result of someone with a brand new user profile with no library or outside identification ringing-in on a contested thread. It certainly looks suspicious.
Also, PMs are not followed in the same way as Group discussions, and are easily overlooked.
EDIT: I should not that the accusation has some weight, as sockpuppetry goes against the TOS: Users may not set up "shell" or "sock puppet" accounts in order to catalog more than 200 books or stack discussions.
"Did nobody see this PM exchange 6 days earlier?"
Given that it was a private message exchange, there's a very good chance it wasn't seen.
I find the suggestion that everyone would be following comments posted to people's profiles bizarre.
ETA: And as to post #86, I never flagged Rule42, I just was suggesting that Rule42 had changed the post. But when someone flagged a post the first time and another post that starts the same and is about the same length is posted, are you really going to read it all again?
Post #91: Thanks for defining the term sockpuppet for me. But the word I was suggesting as being abusive is "incompetent". I just checked and I see this is your first post on this thread too. I guess the same arguments would all apply to you with respect to you being a suspicious sockpuppet too.
Posts #91, #92 and #93: It is exactly because I thought that there was a very good chance that those PMs might be easily overlooked that I went to the trouble of making my first post to bring them to the attention of y'all. My thanks to all 3 of you for corroborating my decision to make that post because it seemed to me those 2 messages were very pertinent to the discussion that was in progress yet they were being overlooked.
NoAxeToGrind @ 94,
Oh my no. I have identifying information and have been a user of LibraryThing for quite a while-- no threat of being a front for shoring up thread support. Look at the definition of sock puppet again.
Post #93: "But when someone flagged a post the first time and another post that starts the same and is about the same length is posted, are you really going to read it all again?"
If you are going to flag a post surely you must at least read it first? If you don't care to re-read a post then ignore it, in which case you forego your right to flag it. Whether you flagged that post yourself or not, you have just categorically stated that you support the actions of people that flag posts without first reading them. It appears you are the sort of person Jim Roberts is complaining about when he stated in post #81 that "in several threads I've argued that we shouldn't be so quick to flag." It strikes me that flagging doesn't get any quicker than flagging something as soon as you see it without even reading it. Surely that is just vindictiveness?
However, the prohibition against personal attacks in the TOS only applies to Talk and Groups, not to personal comments on profiles. Maybe it should but I don't believe the same rules need apply as that is more of a conversation between two people (although it may be overheard if they don't make it private).
And surely you can understand if you found something distasteful the first time you read it that you have no desire to do so again if you have no reason to believe it has changed? Rule42 could have more clearly stated at the top of his post that he had removed or changed the offending portion and avoided the whole problem in the first place.
#94: NoAxeToGrind 'the word I was suggesting as being abusive is "incompetent"'
Since it was I who asked whether you were some incompetent's sockpuppet and dispute has arisen, I'll try to clarify.
As to sockpuppet, #91 johnnylogic has correctly surmised "The accusation of sockpuppetry is probably a result of someone with a brand new user profile with no library or outside identification ringing-in on a contested thread. It certainly looks suspicious."
As to "incompetent", I appeal to the unclear references to open (not private) messages left on profiles. Since others have agreed on this point, I still think the use of "incompetent" was fair.
That a personal message does not remain visible for long is quite normal and no aspersion on the user who hid or deleted it. Some people like to keep their profiles tidy.
> 86 "I wonder why the person who claims they are distressed so much by abuse finds behavior such as that acceptable? So much so in fact that they rushed to the defense of one of the two people involved in it?"
I was that person. Since I was not in any way involved with the private messages you saw fit to copy and paste in here, how on earth would you possibly expect me to know about "behaviour such as that"? Your post makes no sense, none at all.
Reading this whole thread in real time has been like watching a car wreck in which no one actually gets hurt. It's sort of awesomely fantastic. Thanks!
After reading the posts of the sockpuppet, NoAxeToGrind, I feel the need to come clean. I want to make it clear that my name isn't actually Ming, and I am not from the planet Mongo. It was not my intention to mislead any LT members with my choice of handle.
Messages sent to one individual's profile page should not be dug up and paraded in public by anyone other than the original author. Those messages are useful only in personal attacks on the authors and recipients and do not advance any rational discussion of issues (which this thread ceased to be long ago). Perhaps the words in those posts were unkind - I don't know since they weren't addressed to me, I didn't read them - so what? They have nothing to do with any of the (many, often unrelated) questions raised in this thread.
To back up a bit - I actually did some reading on the alternate Sphinx-dating ideas of Robert Schoch and John Anthony West. Schoch, it seems, came up with some data, formed a hypothesis, and put it to test. The hypothesis didn't survive the test. That's OK - to that point, it was good science. Now he needs to let it go. West is an tour guide with a story (and a house) to sell. Interesting as the reading was, I still don't know how this affects evolutionary biology.
Post #100: 'I was not in any way involved with the private messages you saw fit to copy and paste in here, how on earth would you possibly expect me to know about "behaviour such as that"?'
That's a fair point, but now that you do know about them you are going to have to get even more creative with your own personal definition of what distresses you in order to be able to ignore them. That was much easier for you to do before you publicly admitted that you are now aware of them. FYI they were not "private" messages, because if they were you and I wouldn't have been able to see them. Or at least the one that still remains. They were public personal messages. People only make things public that they don't mind others seeing, so one has to assume that they were intended to be seen. All I did was help you see them.
Post #102: 'Messages sent to one individual's profile page should not be dug up and paraded in public by anyone other than the original author.'
Says who? As explained above they were public messages. If someone had posted here and asked what all the fuss was about you would have probably directed them to go read post #70 or one of the other ones so they could get themselves up to speed. If they came back and said they couldn't because it's now hidden you would probably then have explained to them how they could still view it. I don't see any difference with what I did. I only helped people see public information that they thought they couldn't see. Or perhaps didn't want to see so that they wouldn't have to address it.
(Edited to separate the quotes from the responses to them.)
Post #99 'I still think the use of "incompetent" was fair.'
Could you please clarify that remark for me? Are you saying that something is not abuse if it's also true? For instance, are you saying that it is perfectly OK to call someone "incompetent" if they don't spell something out in enough detail for you to understand what they are saying first time? Because then "incompetent" would be descriptive of that person rather than abusive of them? Have I understood that correctly?
'As to sockpuppet, #91 johnnylogic has correctly surmised ...'
If it helps you any, just think of me as Deep Throat and process the information I've provided you. The fact that Deep Throat was anonymous did not make the information he had to share about Watergate any less true. You really need to address the message, not shoot the messenger (or, in this case, cast aspersions on him by calling him a sock puppet). FYI, it is not a violation of the TOS for a new user with no books cataloged to post on the message boards.
'That a personal message does not remain visible for long is quite normal and no aspersion on the user who hid or deleted it. Some people like to keep their profiles tidy.'
That's certainly one possible explanation of the facts. Still, it's kind of curious that the message was there for 10 days or so before I saw it and decided to share it here, but was deleted pretty quickly afterwards. I'm not telling you what to make of the information I gave you. You are free to process it any way you want. Some Creationists happily explain the existence of skeletal remains that date the age of the earth to much older than the Biblical dating by saying that God put them all there for us to find. That explanation fits the observable facts too.
(Edited to separate the quotes from the responses to them.)
"but now that you do know about them you are going to have to get even more creative with your own personal definition of what distresses you in order to be able to ignore them."
I know about them NOW thanks to your copying and pasting them into here. And why do you assume that now I've seen them I am going to be as stubbornly adhering to my original viewpoint as you seem to be? The opposite is true. Now I've seen them, I've revised my opinion. So your insulting reference to "get even more creative with your own personal definition" says a whole lot about you and nothing about me.
"That was much easier for you to do before you publicly admitted that you are now aware of them."
Implying what? That I'd read someone else's message board and seen those messages without admitting to it? Actually, I don't twitch my curtains to see what my neighbours are doing... And I don't read other people's message boards - unless I am there to reply to a message they sent to me. You're telling me those weren't private messages? Fine. Even so, I had not seen them until you posted them. And if you don't believe me then I shall not lose a moment's sleep over that.
>102 I made a terrible error in my previous post when I suggested that Robert Schoch should let go of his hypothesis since it hasn't held up. I meant that he should let it go or, do more research, compile more data, and see where the data leads.
>103, 104 Anyone with a sense of decorum wouldn't eavesdrop on what was meant as a private conversation. You did not uncover a crime, what you did was not courageous. You are the opposite of Deep Throat - the more proper analogy is that you are like those who broke into the Watergate looking for dirt to use against their enemies.
Been following this thread since day one. Learned a lot about human nature from it.
Can it be that you don’t like the sphinx because the men who built it wore eye make-up? ;o)
>106: I expect Schoch will really welcome your sound advice, ming.
All contributors to date seem delighted that the original poster has retreated without his questions even considered. Not good!
One contributor has gone to a lot of trouble to explain some complicated points and taken a lot of stick for his pains, eventually flagged for daring to talk back. What’s the matter with you all?
Are you all incapable of any form of self analysis? If you kick people out of the debating hall you will not get a proper consensus, will you?
There is very concrete evidence, available to all, that the sphinx was from an earlier period than at first imagined. http://www.antiquityofman.com/Schoch_red... Why that is hurting some of you is what you should be worried about. In time it may be proven or it may not.
Darwin wasn't recieved too well at first either. Maybe you should all get out more.
A few people were sarcastic I'll give you that. But isn't that to be expected in a public forum? The give and take of ideas can get rough at times but one shouldn't take it too personally.
#108: spartan "All contributors to date seem delighted that the original poster has retreated without his questions even considered."
You misjudge most contributors. zyndell posted rather similar confused sets of questions in several threads, which, I hope you agree, understandably led some people to doubt his sincerity. Nonetheless, people did sincerely try to tease apart his concerns and start to address his misconceptions. After he said, in #11, that he had left he thread, it wandered off in other directions, as threads do.
Most of us don't hold his ignorance against him. As a wise man said: a man who is ignorant and knows he is ignorant can be taught — teach him.
Hi Jim: If you had been around at the time, isn't that what you would have said about Darwin? A questing mind and ignorance often look like the same thing to some folks.
I find it a bit bizarre that Schoch and Darwin should be compared in this way. AFAIK, Darwin did not associate with "characters" like John Anthony West.
And Darwin's contribution to science will endure for centuries to come; I'm not sure that discovering the precise age of the Sphinx ranks in the same hall of fame, however reliably or scientifically it is achieved.
#111: spartan "Hi Jim: If you had been around at the time, isn't that what you would have said about Darwin? A questing mind and ignorance often look like the same thing to some folks."
I came late to the discussion, after zyndell had said he was leaving, and I'm afraid that my first post, #13 wasn't very kind. Others, especially qebo, had tried kindness with little success, and IIRC I, like Atomicmutant, had been reading zyndell's posts on other threads.
Thank you all so much for this hilarious thread! For a while there I thought you were all serious! I've been involved in a few spats myself but I've never yet seen such a massive storm blow up quite so quickly and about so little. Despite the many wanderings the argument has taken since its genesis I do think it is a terrible shame that the OP should have been so villified for merely asking a question. I couldn't agree more with message 110's reference to the 'wise man' saying we should educate the ignorant, but I don't really understand how some of the comments from #4 onwards fit in with the idea of education, and I've always assumed most LTers are intelligent enough to know the difference so now I know this is a spoof thread. Brilliant, whoever thought of it!
I have pretty much given up on this thread, largely due to the considerations I mentioned in my personal message to fredbacon, which was kindly reproduced in #86, and which subsequent postings have, I think, validated(more on that in a minute).
Rule42 got quite upset with me when I asked him to stop attributing quotes to me I never said, particularly the "static-but-shifting-sand erosion" formulation he came up with in post 41, referencing my post 40. His response (post 45) was:
I have not put any quotes around any statements that others never said. All my quotes have been cut out of the text to which I'm responding and pasted into the post I'm writing in italics as I compose my response. That was a nice attempt at spin-doctoring reality but I'm sure most intelligent readers saw through it.
But then, in post 70 he admits: My "static-but-shifting-sand erosion" thing was just my way of pithily summarizing what you said in your post #43..."
Pardon me, but WTF?! As I never wrote the words "static-but-shifting-sand erosion" at any point in this thread (and you can see that the pertinent post 40 has not been edited), but specifically stated that "It is unlikely that the sand in which the Sphinx was buried remained completely static (emphasis added) for thousands of years," I cannot consider that this person is really interested in a good-faith argument. If I sound dismissive in posts subsequent to this, there is a reason for it (see again the personal message posted at 86).
Now, in post 43 I made reference to my archeological experience. True, this only consists of an undergraduate degree and 6 years of full employment field/lab work many years ago, but it is something, and not what Rule42 dismisses in post 48 as follows:
Nor is giving yourself bogus titles and accreditations (as the OP did) that claim you are some kind of expert on paleontology or archeology - or in the case of Makifat, "someone with archaeological experience" - simply because you used to know someone that once read a book on one of those topics (green it was, about so high).
Clearly, my experience is more than that I "used to know someone that once read a book on one of these topics." I note also that Rule42 coyly ignored a request for a resume of his expertise in post 52: "And, as long as you asked me for professional credentials, can you please provide some information on your Geological/Stratigraphical/Archaeologica... background?" Still, this hasn't dissuaded him from mockingly referring to my experience in subsequent posts, or resorting to those ad hominem attacks he constantly claims to abjure (Post 69: "Perhaps the Inquisition just made Galileo read Makifat's posts on this thread?") I suppose whe he does it, it's teasing, when I do it, it's hateful. Whatever.
There is so much more to say, but I'm rapidly losing interest. Let's just finish with the personal messages that NoAxeToGrind reproduced so gleefully in post 86. I'm not particularly concerned with this, although it is a bit odd for him to introduce them to the thread, something I don't believe I've seen before (a sign of desperation, perhaps?). Apparently, this is to show how....what? ....mean? I am. NoAxeToGrind seems to have a heightened level of concern for Rule42s feelings*. Odd, then, that he would post such a "hurtful" comment.
Now, NoAxeToGrind (gotta love that name) subsequently makes the following sly observations:
"What you now have to ask yourself is why that other PM got deleted so quickly after I cut and pasted it in order to make my first post?" (post 90)
"Still, it's kind of curious that the message was there for 10 days or so before I saw it and decided to share it here, but was deleted pretty quickly afterwards." (post 104)
So what does this mean? Some nefarious intent? Maybe, but since the "deleted" post happens to be the fredbacon comment on my profile page, perhaps I can give some insight. The fact is that my family and I were away from home from Friday afternoon until Tuesday afternoon. Luddite that I am, I don't seek computer access while I'm on vacation, so you can imagine my surprise upon being accused of deleting fredbacon's message soon after the message was posted on this thread on Saturday night. The fact is that I archived the post sometime (I don't remember exactly when) prior to Friday morning, which means that someone found it and copied it for their own purposes prior to that, and decided Saturday night was the time to spring it on the world in all its glory. As I said before, whatever. Poor fredbacon was (to my reading, at least) just trying to save someone some grief. Sensing a bit of Rule42s character**, I archived the comment in a vain attempt to keep fredbacon's good name from being dragged in the muck. His comment was a personal plea to me, a wise counsel. No reason to leave it dangling for someone else's exploitation. (Consider the following: If I were to delete a message to conceal my meanness, why wouldn't I delete my reply to fredbacon from his profile page? It's certainly within my ability to do this. Of course, at some point, poor fred will either delete or archive the post, and to some people, this will be evidence of a cover-up.) I actually don't mind my PM having been posted: it gives a pretty succinct view of my feelings, without having to be exposed to those pesky flags. Thanks NoAxeToGrind!
Anyway, this is all just to say to posts 101/114 - Thanks! Aside from the few quibbles I have noted here, I find it quite entertaining as well. Having said what I need to say, I retire (no really! pay no attention to new users with names such as "NotMakifat") ;)
*Unless he specifically denies it, I will assume that Rule42 (who claims to have stepped out of this thread in post 75: "I too am now finished with this thread. ) and NoAxeToGrind are the same person. They certainly seem to share some stylistic flourishes.
**You will note on his profile page (now that we are into mining off-thread data), particularly his profile picture, that Rule42 seems to revel in abuse. It's like the old conundrum: If a masochist asks you to beat him with a stick, what's the polite response?
It's not funny. Haven’t you ever noticed that the sphinx is wearing exactly the same expression as the Mona Lisa? That must be a sign of something!
I am a half Egyptian male myself and my tears are making my eye make-up run. This is a scientific thread, try to take it a bit more seriously please!
And that's a lot of eye make-up! Did you mean half Egyptian or half male? 'Cos everyone knows the Mona Lisa is really a bloke.
Edited 'cos I hit the 'submit' too soon.
Oh. How dare you? To suggest the Mona Lisa is a man!! I have just checked my copy and I can clearly see lumps in her jersey. Dodgy mascara job, though!
I think Spartan meant that the top half was Egyptian and the bottom half male. As this is a scientific thread perhaps he will confirm, once he has had a look.
Edited to corrreckt spelin.
As this is a scientific thread perhaps he will confirm, once he has had a look.
Good luck. It's notoriously difficult to sex a cat. Or so I've heard. I must admit that I've had little cat sexing experience. I have enough trouble with eels.
"It's notoriously difficult to sex a cat"
But they themselves seem to find it easy enough judging from the sounds outside my window at night :-)
Unless you consider that those horrid sounds are from those who got it wrong!
Ai! Ai! Ai!
It's difficult to sex a guinea pig, as too many unexpected litters have shown me.
>108 I wasn't really looking to give advise to Robert Schoch, just correct the really poor comment I had made earlier. And, with or without my advice, he's recently put up a new post on his web site making some good points against Robert Temple's theory of a moat around the Sphinx.
The link in your post is broken, so I'm not sure what you were suggesting is "concrete evidence". From the links page at The Antiquity of Man site, however, I did find this link, which if you scroll down to the Great Sphinx topic will give you plenty of arguments against Schoch's conclusions.
Also, the debate over the geologic data is only one part of the question of the age of the Sphinx. Scholars who aren't geologists seem to agree with the dating of the monument to the time of Khafra. Radiologic dating of the mortar, while not precise by any means, dates it to the third millennium BCE.
Schoch's ideas seemed plausible when I first read them, but the more I read about the geological debate about the age of the Sphinx, the more I am convinced he is incorrect. But he has just returned from another trip to Egypt, according to his website, and may have some new data. I look forward to seeing it.
Also, some scientists or scientific ideas were not well received at first and were later proved to be correct. That does not mean that every idea that is not well received is correct.
>128 the solution to that problem = slippers.
#129: mingfrommongo "Also, some scientists or scientific ideas were not well received at first and were later proved to be correct."
Yes, it can happen, but it seems to be very rare, unless you just mean "idea not at first accepted due to insufficient evidence". Can you give some examples of bad treatment of a scientific idea by significant numbers of scientists?
>130 I was replying to spartan's posts (108,111), specifically the bits about Darwin's reception. My point was that 'it has happened' does not mean 'it happens every time'. But since you asked, no I cannot quickly think of an example of bad treatment of a scientific idea by significant numbers of scientists.
And there's nothing like a nice pair of guinea pig slippers to keep the chill of your feet on a cold morning.
Tobacco, Asbestos, Thalidomide, Agent Orange, they should keep you going for a while, the list is endless.
>132 Novak, I'll hazard a guess that the idea you think was not well received is that the items you listed are bad for us. That idea did not get a good reception from those who made a buck from the distribution of those chemicals. But that's not what jimroberts asked. He asked about the reaction of scientists, not PR flacks.
Asbestos, thalidomide, and Agent Orange did as much damage as they did because they were used with incomplete or nonexistent research into their effects. With tobacco, we can invoke the Law of Truly Large Numbers - with all the studies that were done it was bound to happen that a few would show no connection between tobacco and health. It was the tobacco companies who promoted those studies, long after the Surgeon General (a scientist) had placed his warning on cigarette packs. I think scientists got behind your idea pretty quickly since that's where the data led.
>132. Good examples Novak.
Another classic is LONGDITUDE. Scientists queuing up to trash the findings of a lateral thinker who was not part of their loop. It is so often true that real innovation comes from minds that are not “preconditioned” by their own working environment.
Guild, Grestch and Gibson, USA’s three top guitar makers hooted with derision at Leo Fender’s innovative “cheap” 1949 solid guitar. In a short while, when it became the standard working tool of the music industry, they were clambering to claim that they had invented it. Leo Fender himself was not a musician and could not even play a guitar, that is why he was thinking “ outside the box”.
On this thread, both the above would have been red flagged out of the door. Our loss!
#131: mingfrommongo "And there's nothing like a nice pair of guinea pig slippers to keep the chill of your feet on a cold morning."
I used to threaten them with the stew pot and with gloves, but they paid no attention :(
134: Neither the question of how to find Longitude, nor the development of the solid guitar were scientific questions. They were engineering questions, and the critics were easily answered by the actual performance of the engineering products that their inventors put forth.
That is entirely different from the process by which a scientific hypothesis is put forward, tested and either accepted as valid or discredited.
#136: ScottNasty "cold feet, eh?"
Welcome to LT. Interesting books you have so far.
Wow! Rule 42, If I said anything to offend you I hereby apologise. Had I known that you had the pull to make even the US President go out and take a look-see at the sphinx, (Daily Telegraph, June 5.) at such short notice too…………..
We are all now in denial !! (pun intended, “big grin.” )
Here (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/5445713/Barack-Obama-...) is the story. (#139)
I don't agree with darwin theories
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