The History Channel’s Unethical Science Fiction

Apparently cable TV needs some basic ethics rules, particularly focusing on integrity. SyFy, the science fiction channel, includes professional wrestling prominently in its programming, as well as movies that qualify as horror or fantasy but have no science, fictional or otherwise, in evidence. Chiller, the horror channel, includes movies that are pure suspense or science fiction, as well as re-runs of the reality show “Fear Factor,” which would belong on the Stupid Channel if there was one (other than E!, of course.) This week, a religious program was on Chiller; I have no idea what that was about. Meanwhile, The Learning Channel has become the Child Exploitation Channel, led by the “Jon  & Kate plus 8” franchise, spin-offs and imitators. What are we learning? Not much, except that the names of cable channels mean little or nothing.

Nevertheless, while it is sloppy and false branding to show “Apollo 13” on the SyFy channel, it is considerably worse to show fiction and fantasy on The History Channel, which is what The History Channel has been featuring recently with “Ancient Aliens,” a series that presents the wacko theory that aliens visited Earth centuries ago as fact. Indeed, anything a channel called The History Channel shows should be at least arguably fact, especially when the same channel is often assigned for homework assignments. If “The World at War” is reliable history, and it is, and History Channel series on the U.S. Presidents and the Revolutionary War are fairly accurate, and they are, gullible or ill-informed viewers can be expected to regard other presentations as equally reliable…and they aren’t.

Especially “Ancient Aliens.” The website Bad Archeology (now added to the Ethics Alarms list of useful sites) includes a terrific takedown of both “Ancient Aliens” and The History Channel for running it. The offended archeologist writes:

“Given that many people in the modern world use the television as their principal window on the world and source of information about that world, for a significant number of them, it has an authority that probably no other institution (even school) does. If it’s been on a television documentary, so popular wisdom has it, then it must be true: a twenty-first century equivalent of “I read it in the paper, so it must be true…”. A quote from an online forum should suffice to illustrate the point: “I don’t think you will be able to easily ‘debunk’ anything you see on the history channel. Everything that you see on their shows comes from legit scientific sources and is supported by many word class researches and experts”. There are times when I despair for the future of our civilisation.”

Me too.

The post goes on to carefully and deliciously deconstruct the assertions made in the series, most of which will be familiar to anyone who read “Chariots of the Gods” by Erich von Däniken. Read it for knowledge and pleasure.

The History Channel including science fiction is worse than just a breach of integrity; it’s a breach of responsibility, respect and honesty. The word “history” has meaning, and it means events that happened. Exploring conspiracies theories about Kennedy’s assassination, another History Channel favorite, is at least within the field, if on the shadowy side of it (or the grassy knoll). “Ancient Aliens,” however is calculated to make people dumber than they already are.

The ethics problem can be solved by merging two of the integrity challenged cable channels into “SyFy History,” or perhaps “History Horror” …or, better yet, by The History Channel showing some respect for its viewers and the vital discipline of history by not presenting titillating nonsense as fact.

44 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Education, History, Popular Culture, Religion and Philosophy, Research and Scholarship, Science & Technology, U.S. Society

44 responses to “The History Channel’s Unethical Science Fiction

  1. Ugh. Man you must have it out for me, or are trying to ruffle my feathers. Too tired to respond in kind, but it just boggles my mind how closed-minded and narrow you are in what you label as “real”.

    I will give a more detailed response tomorrow if I have time, buy when did you become an expert about something you know absolutely nothing about? Just because it doesn’t fit into your Credit Default Swap Harvard MBA carbon dating testing does not mean that this planet is stranger, more vivid and unbelievable than you can or could ever imagine… reality is a wonderful, beautiful thing, and it is what we make of it. You seem obsessed with constantly trying to define “Normal” or “Real” – Frankly, you’re kind of obsessed with it, and at the same time you dismiss anything that doesn’t Fit or can’t be explained as “Crazy’, “Nonsense” and “Impossible”.

    Who died and crowned you King of Reality? Seriously.

    • History, ba. The channel is for history. It shouldn’t be running the X-Files. Even if it isn’t bad science (though it is), you, even you, cannot call it HISTORY. Theories are great—fun. But speculations just isn’t fact, and can’t be presented as fact.

      Here’s the distinction: a series about reports and investigations of UFO’s is history. Saying UFO’s have actually come to earth is science fiction, absent evidence.

    • Elizabeth

      What, Blakeheart, does “Credit Default Swap Harvard MBA carbon dating testing” mean? I assume this is some kind of code insult, but it doesn’t make sense. Why don’t you think before you write?

      I agree that Earth is a miraculous, living organism on its own, separate from the species that inhabit it. This doesn’t mean that these same species, evolving all the time just as Earth does, can’t invent, discover, and perform what we now think are miraculous feats… without the assistance of God, the spaghetti monster, or aliens. Just because we can’t explain the actions of the ancient humans doesn’t mean they were assisted by some outside force.

      For the History Channel to basically deny this capacity of humans is a disservice in the extreme. Pretty soon we’ll be “learning” from the History Channel that aliens discovered DNA, found the polio vaccine, and taught architects how to build bridges.

      Get off your hyper-critical kick, and write some sense. You keep bringing up Harvard… got some hang-up there because you didn’t make it to the Ivy League?

      • tgt

        I think you’re giving blameblakeart too much credit. The earth itself fails as a living organism. The earth also doesn’t evolve in the way that species evolve. Your statement doesn’t make sense unless you equivocate on evolution.

    • Bill

      Oh come on and post, because god knows if your beliefs concerning ancient aliens are anything like that idiotic fantasy JFK II, then I really need you to post, as I need a good laugh.

  2. Michael

    This is just the end of the slippery slope. They have had Ancient Aliens on for awhile. You could see this coming in other programs, though. I watched a special on Egypt where the “expert historian” asserted that the Egyptians built the pyramids with kites! Then, the special on Neanderthals had an “expert” who explained the Neanderthal’s matriarchal societal structure and explained their customs. I actually do wonder if the History Channel executives really understand the line between history and fantasy. You can find plenty of well-educated people who believe such things as well as astrology, that crystals cure disease, etc. The aforementioned “experts” both had University positions. Is it not just the History Channel executives, but society that has allowed JFK to be taught in schools and historians who allow colleagues to promote such fantasies as “history” that are the dunces that created this situation.

    • Julian Hung

      A mild correction; in 2001, a team led by Caltech aeronautics professor Mory Gharib did actually manage to raise a 6,900 pound obelisk with nothing but a kite, a pulley system, and a support frame. Of course, we’re not quite sure whether the Egyptians had kites to begin with, so for now it’s at best an interesting conjecture. But at least the proponents of that particular theory are willing to subject their conjecture to empirical testing and critical analysis, which is far more than we can say for the “ancient aliens” crowd.

  3. Dwayne N. Zechman

    I’ve actually watched Ancient Aliens and found it quite entertaining.

    I repeat: entertaining.

    What the show does is pretty transparent: show any and all real, existing things that are unexplained (i.e. how the Pyramids were built, the stone work in Machu Picchu, the Nasca Lines, the crystal skulls, etc.) and jump to the conclusion that they are all clear evidence of the existence of aliens–as if that were the ONLY possible explanation. And by serving up a whole bunch of these in rapid-fire, it gives the impression that there is a LOT of evidence.

    In reality, they’re just overwhelming the wall with spaghetti.

    I wish I could remember the particulars, but I even recall one incident where the show contradicted itself in providing two distinct explanations for the same thing, in order to make it fit the respective narratives of the episodes where it was used.

    For my money, there’s more real science in most episodes of Penn & Teller’s Bullshit! than in the entirety of Ancient Aliens.

    blameblakeart: You are entitled to believe whatever you want, but if you believe in ancient aliens (or even just the possibility of them), then Ancient Aliens isn’t really doing your cause any favors (with the possible exception of showing some well-shot HighDef footage of the subject matter).

    –Dwayne

  4. Tom Fuller

    The History Channel has really been the Entertainment Channel for a long time. It’s a shame, because they actually do what they do pretty darned well. They just don’t do history.

    As for blameblakeheart, I can do no better than echo James Randi: I’m not an expert in visiting alien culture or technology, but I am an expert in nonsense, and I know it when I see it.

  5. Becky

    If only they’d change the title to include the word ALLEGEDLY, we could all agree on it. Right?

  6. Curmudgeon

    Gosh, does this mean that Flintstone guy didn’t REALLY ride on a dinosaur? My heart is breaking…

  7. Aw shucks!!! Taking enjoyment out of a show that doesn’t claim it’s factual but nevertheless shows amazing films of ‘histories mysteries.’ It consistently mentions ‘theories’ and/or ‘theorists’ regarding aliens.

    I’d venture a guess that money has a lot to do with producing “Ancient Aliens” since it is extremely popular and might even keep the ‘history channel’ (now known simply as “History”) profitable in order to produce shows that don’t draw big audiences.

    Years ago I bought several historical books related to “Mysteries of Ancient Americas” and other books related to world mysteries. Seeing many of the printed photos brought to life in “Ancient Aliens” is enjoyable. The books, of course, don’t offer theories, just the mystery of the many oddities on earth.

    Just a few days ago news came out that thousands of lines similar to Peru’s Nasca lines were discovered in the Middle East. Personally, I find it all fascinating and would love a clear and factual explanation. Maybe someday.

  8. Bill

    I find the whole “Ancient Aliens” argument concerning how the Pyramids and Machu Picchu were built to be racist bullshit. For some white college proffesor to state that just becuase he couldnt build it that aliens must have built it is bullshit. And an insult to the “ancient” people who lived in those areas and who built them.

  9. Curiously Bill calls it “racist bullshit.”
    New one on me.

    • I think it’s a good and perceptive take; Elizabeth also suggested this. We look at what these native civilizations accomplished and conclude that they couldn’t possibly be that innovative and inventive. I think racism, or at very least cultural chauvinism, plays a part. I don’t understand how an Elizabethan could have written Shakespeare…or how anyone could be that perceptive. But I’m not going to look for alien poets as the explanation.

    • Bill

      The charges of racism against these theories goes back to when Erich von Däniken, who by the way has been proven to be a crook and liar, made them popular. And if you don’t believe it’s racist, then go to Machu Picchu and start expounding how it had to be built by aliens. I can assure you the Peruvians who work there will give you a piece of their mind.

      A lot of these “Ancient Alien” believers will produce some statement from some engineer where he says ‘I don’t know how they could have built these…… (put in the name of any ancient structure you desire) and that doesn’t surprise me because most engineers I work with in construction with today cant tell you how modern buildings are built. They don’t know all the tricks of the trade or how things work in the real world.The ones who know are the tradesmen doing it and the site supervisor.

    • It’s actually the correct call. White 19th century archaeologists would go around the world, proclaiming things like, Great Zimbabwe was evidence that one of the Lost Tribes of Israel must have made it to southern Africa, because of course, black Africans couldn’t have built them… The idea that ancient aliens must have built the structures is sometimes racist, but more often simply anti-humanist, denying that humans have the capability to do great works on their own.

      Of course, there has been a long tradition of explaining difficult to understand structures with magic, or visitors from the heavens. When the Anglo-Saxons invaded Britain, they assumed that the huge structures left by the Romans must have been built by giants.

  10. Michael

    Maybe a history professor can’t raise a monolith, but youtube is full of people doing it. There are a lot of people who work in the fields of history and archeology who don’t have a lot of physics or engineering knowledge or experience. I love it when they state that some ancient monument couldn’t be built today, what an insult to human civilization.

  11. RandiWatch

    Unethical? Because you disagree? Racist? Is that just a way of proving the adage that you can tell you’re winning an argument with a leftist? This discussion is truly Orwellian.

    That video has already been debunked- there was no asphalt or concrete in these sites to move stones around the way he did and the logistics of the jack are impossible when working to scale. The same with the ropes and the water and all of the rest of the excuses made to prop up the dying historical establishment.

    Go back and read the link and see the so-called Bad Archaeologist run away with his tail between his legs when challenged. Crying racist and all of the rest when challenged is why the Left has become so utterly powerless in this country. Wait until the economical meltdown starts hitting all of the foundations and endowments that keep liberals employed in colleges and non-profits. You people are going to have a lot more to worry about than Ancient Aliens very, very soon.

    • Very funny! You sure nailed this group—a more writhing nest of knee-jerk lefties you’d never hope to see! No, but seriously…who are you really?

      Racist is a reasonable diagnosis when Western fantasists presume that ancient people in Africa, Asia and South America were too primitive and unimaginative to create the architecture and artwork they left behind, and that they must have had assistance from E.T. It’s not the only diagnosis, however, and nobody said it was. If you can’t tell the difference between legitimate evidence of bias and race-baiters claiming that anyone who opposes Obama wears a sheet, this site, and, well, a lot of other stuff is too subtle for you.

      Unless you think the flying saucer theory of Machu Pichu meets the definition of history, I don’t even grasp your point. You like the ancient alien theory? I thought, frankly, that was LEFT wing stuff (stupid left wing stuff), since the existence of aliens makes a literal reading of the Bible problematical. And explain to us again how aliens link up with your college meltdown theory? I’m sure it’s fascinating, but right now it seems to be a large non sequitur. Anyway, thanks for the chuckle—I’ve got to finish reading my Abbie Hoffman memoirs while I get high listening to “Jefferson Airplane,” man.
      The point of the video, since you seem not to understand it, is not that this was the way these things were built, but that large projects can be constructed with ingenuity and simple tools rather than modern machinery. The fact that his exact method couldn’t be used means exactly nothing.

  12. RandiWatch

    It means everything if you understand the logistics of scale. And that’s the issue with these megalithic sites- anyone who do it once, as the saying goes- the issue is finding the manpower to haul millions of 10 to 50 ton stones across forbidding landscapes. That guy was performing a trick- essentially a glorified magic trick. It proves nothing because it ignores the environmental and material conditions that the megalithic structures were built in (ie, not on asphalt).

    Go talk to an honest building engineer. Ask him how big a ramp you’d need to build the great pyramid, and how you’d need all of the wood in the whole of Egypt to move just the blocks of one pyramid from the distant quarry to the middle of the Giza plateau in the middle of the desert. Ask him how much wood you’d need to jack hundreds of thousands of stones the size of SUVs 450 feet in the air.

    Then before you go screeching about racism like some Smith College diversity commisar, go read the actual texts these ancient people wrote and how they described their encounters with strange beings who taught them architecture, engineering, writing and on and on and on. From the Indians of the Southwest to the Mesopotamians of the Persian Gulf. The real racists are the ones who claim they were all too stupid or delusional to understand it was all a myth. You people are the real racists. As well as totally ignorant of the facts, relying on a coward and an idiot like the “Bad Archaeologist.”

    All your lawyer tricks- divert and ridicule, non-sequiturs- may work on novices but there are a lot of people who put their lives into studying this issue and all the establishment can do is mock and contradict. The parapet is crumbling, along with the institutional infrastructure that acts exactly like the Medieval Church when faced with challenges to its 19th Century dogma.

    • No, it doesn’t, because nobody is saying that his method is the one that was used on Stonehenge or the Pyramids.

      The “establishment” mocks and contradicts because you gullible alien-worshippers think ancient people moving huge rocks around is unbelievable, but little green men coming down to earth loooong ago to build primitive structures, leaving no proof that they were here, and never coming back is perfectly reasonable.

      The only one I hear “screeching” is you. Too much of that Leonard Nimoy show, if you ask me. There is something persistently sad about people who are afraid to say “I don’t know” about old events and phenomena, so they have to pretend they do know, choosing magic and the supernatural as their explanation. I’m sure there’s a book in that.somewhere.

      First we were “liberals,’ then we were “the establishment.” Time’s up! The answer is “educated” and “sane.”

      • Tim LeVier

        “I don’t know.”

        Penn Jillette recently had a sit down interview with Piers Morgan that I found entertaining. He was there promoting his book “God, no!” and Piers was trying to corner him about his beliefs. Penn was trying to communicate that his answer was “I don’t know”, which Piers attempted to use against Penn.

        It’s rather entertaining and worth viewing. On YouTube, it’s broken into two segments:

    • Your last comment was killed, and you are hereby banned.
      Bye.
      I will tolerate and even enjoy the opinions of many eccentrics and iconoclasts, but people who hold off the wall opinions have the obligation not to be supercilious about them. I’m not going to be insulted by a guest here because I don’t use valuable time reading theories of ancient astronauts—I enjoy fairy tales as much as the next guy, and I’ve read “Chariots of the Gods,” the relevant National Geographic articles, and Heinlein,but I’ve got too messy a sock drawer to spend much more time on the topic than that.

      Tell me to “shut the hell up” on my own turf, and you can hang out at the “X-Files” website—you’re not welcome here.

  13. Again, the passions that this particular topic raises within people who have looked into the ancient sites and unexplained artifacts around the world. And Jack, thank you for putting up with my differing opinions and my polar opposite views to you on a myriad of levels.. but as you know, I am a ‘Voltaire-er’ in every aspect of the Thought Structure™, or at least that is the area I aspire to.

    What set me of is your initial Framing of the Argument – you have a point, the ‘History Channel’ maybe put this out this way for Maximum Ratings, but I don’t think it’s as clear cut as Humans OR ancient aliens… it’s not that black and white. There’s just too much grey area there – the bible talks about the time before Noah and how God was so displeased that ‘he’ sent a flood… the world was a completely different place back then – the oceans were on average 400+ feet lower (or maybe even meters) then. So to say it’s as black and white as it was either Cavemen or Aliens, it’s just not that simple.

    And, if you just dig a bit deeper, you will see that that is the case.

    • My problem is, simply stated, that at a point where scientists have not even identified with certainty a planet that can support intelligent life, or is aware of a system of transportation that could allow inter-galactic journeys, for something called The History Channel to state as fact that “ancient astronauts” played a role in past civilizations is bootstrapping in an unconscionable fashion.

    • tgt

      Did you just represent a trademark on two random words?

      Did you just reference the bible as reliable?

      Did you just capitalize cavemen?

      Did you just call the ancient egyptians who had discovered writing and built great cities “cavemen”?

      See above for why your opinion is not given great weight.

  14. tgt – I think you take my facetious attitude toward this topic and reality in general the wrong way.

    IMO – we are all too serious, hostile to those who do not agree with our point of view lock stock and barrel – “Why you are KOOK!”

    This is why I am flippant – I capitalize for emphasis. There is Archaeological Evidence of a world-wide flood – the oceans used to be 400 feel lower less than 10000 years ago. Ancient maps, the Piri Reis map in particular, which is a copy of much older, ancient maps that didn’t survive – shows Antarctica and South America and Africa – and their coastlines how they would have appeared from space, as they would have appeared Before the melting of the Ice Age…? how can you explain that?

    If you think the bible is the only reference to the flood – well, sorry.

    The caveman remark is a nod to the attempt to peg those people who existed 3000 years ago were “ignorant” or unevolved, and 5000 years ago they were riding dinosaurs – this is great for new Texas Schoolbooks to teach ourselves and descendants into ignorance… I just try to think for myself. So your Jargon aside, Have your own opinion, especially of me – and I will have my own opinions about this reality we all share and how we deal with it.

    So Ancient Aliens maybe shouldn’t be the title of this series – maybe it should be Ancient Ancestors… Censorship of history, as cited above, has happened over and over again.. just think how different our perception would be if we had the full information of the Library of Alexandria at our disposal and digitized – and for that matter all the clay tablets destroyed by the Spanish monks of the Mayans and Aztecs, translated and available – I know for a fact we would perceive this world, and reality itself, in a completely different way.

    • tgt

      I don’t think you know what facetious means. Either that, or you don’t believe anything your saying.

      Capitalization: If you want to emphasize something, use italics, bold, or underline. You know, emphasizing marks. The TM is just stupid. It doesn’t emphasize, it’s an attempt to add meaning where there is none.

      Bible reliability: Lots of cultures have tales of a great flood, but the flood does not cover the whole world and kill everyone. That’s also neither here nor there. You are referencing the bible as reliable on ancient history, even though we have clear evidence that it is not.

      Cavemen: You created a false dichotomy to prop up your alien ideas, and now you’re trying to blame it on others. That whole “think for myself”/jargon bit is just dissembling (and projection).

      Censorship of history: Yes, some records have been destroyed and it is tragic, but I see no backing that censorship of history has actually occurred? Some attempts by the faithful? Yes, and some works have likely been lost, but we know what we have and what is missing.

      I’m also pretty sure that ancient words would not change how I perceive reality, though it could change what I think about reality.

      • Tim LeVier

        Side bar: Can you imagine if the bible had been lost to history? Without taking a stance on it, what a fascinating debate that might be to watch.

        What if something was lost that would have polarized this world even more? Did the lost items from the Library of Alexandria have the potential to destroy society or make us more advanced?

        I guess it depends if it was accurate historical accounts or invented fluff.

  15. tgt & Tim – I agree with both of you in regards to your comments. The Structure of Thought™ and Thought Structure™ are two terms that are in the process of being trademarked™ my me – the paperwork has been filed, and the wheels are turning to make that official sooner than later. My website, http://www.thestructureofthought.com will give you a general idea of where I am coming from… it’s a theory in progress.

    Sorry I forgot to address that in the earlier retort. And I know facetious means – I just don’t know how to spell it… had to google it. Hey I have been researching alternative theories for 20+ years – History belongs to the winners, and the “Truth” and “Fact” are as mailable as clay – we can shape this reality into something beautiful and inclusive for all Earthlings, or into something narrow, evil, full of fear, ignorance and shallowness, like the way it is being projected for us right now.

    And to address – I do believe everything I express here – I’m not trying to deceive, belittle or change anyone – but if you explore a bit on your own, you’ll see that these theories are being resisted from moving into the mainstream by many entrenched forces. Two links to share:

    1. – this one is brand new, a 2 hour Podcast of the Joe Rogan Experience with Graham Hancock – an Awesome intro into alternative history, highly recommended, just this week. Great discussion on myriad of topics –

    2 – Thunderbolts of the Gods – talks about the Immanuel Velikovsky related theories that he put out in the 30-40’s, a peer of Einstein – and how his view of the Omniverse™ was poo-pooed at first, but is now looking to be very true.

    http://bit.ly/ThunderboltsoftheGods

    I try my hardest to tune into the Positive Thought Structure™ that has always been, and If I can participate in the school of the Earth and say my piece and contribute, a la Walt Whitman, I am here to do just that.. peace out, have a great weekend..!

    • tgt

      You TM’ed trademarked. You’re not doing so well. The rest of your post is junk.

      Clearly, you still don’t know what facetious means, as you doubled down on its usage, but then explained in other words that you weren’t actually being facetious.

      Moreover, now you don’t know what “truth” or “fact” mean, as they are most definitely not malleable. Opinions and beliefs can be changed, truth cannot.

      Velikovsky’s theories are built on ephemera. They are not looking to be “very true” or even “true” on its own.

      • facetious [fəˈsiːʃəs] adj
        1. characterized by levity of attitude and love of joking – a facetious person
        2. jocular or amusing, esp at inappropriate times facetious remarks
        [from Old French facetieux, from facetie witty saying; see facetiae]

        Hey – sorry you feel the need to make me feel insignificant and stupid.. that’s your problem. Having a sense of humor is a noble thing – I think all great leaders should have it. I feel bad for you that you don’t see it that way, and obviously you don’t get the joke. It’s Humor, or at least my brand of it.

        Not looking to pick a fight – looks like you are. So you are the dominant dog, I’ll roll over and you can growl over me and win. Whatever you want. The truth is the truth – I agree with that. But in the Vietnam war, the “Truth” of the Gulf of Tonkin incident was truth until it was found out to be a big lie – but for years, it was accepted as “The Truth”.

        So, Truth changes, or it at least it evolves or is uncovered.. much like the material I am discussing and the links I am providing. And for you to Poo Poo Velikovsky’s ideas as ephemera – What the heck ever! Nice big word usage, again, you’re smarter than me, I had to google it. You win.

        Also, I could say that you questioning me personally and attacking my “usages” is a trick to draw attention from the discussion of the topics at hand – meaning, my understanding of word meanings, but ignoring the topics of the links at hand – 3 hours of opinions based upon results of exhaustive scientific observation, experience and data. Again, I’m stupid, so the info I point out to you and yours has no meaning or influence. Therefore, you win. Congratuations.

        Velikovsky’s ideas and theories are based upon all the research he did into the ancient myths from all around the world that have been around for ages , literally thousands of years of forgotten texts and oral traditions, not manufactured to be “disposable” as you imply. It’s like your trying to use 1984ish Orwellian descriptors to label things in dubbelspeak – like “the clear skies act” that pollutes the air. So nice try with the dismissive remark based in flim-flam Jedi mind tricks – I’m not buying it.

        I’m again sorry that this info I am sharing with everyone is such a threat to your worldview. I wish you peace, tgt… to each their own.

        • Crap my bolding didn’t work right on the above comment – I just wanted to bold the word “ages” and it ended up bolding the whole rest of the paragraphs.. my apologies.

        • tgt

          How exactly are you being facetious? What are you joking about/being unserious about? I don’t see any inappropriate humor; just unsupported assertions.

          In no way have I attacked humor. I just don’t see anything you’ve written as kidding. Now, if you were a Poe (of Poe’s Law fame), I’d see alot of humor, but you’re specifically disclaiming that by saying you are being facetious.

          Do I pick fights? For the most part, I argue against unreason. If you want to say “Unsupported, ridiculous statement X,” I don’t believe it’s picking a fight to say that unsupported, ridiculous statement is both unsupported and ridiculous. Characterizing me as a bully or alpha dog wannabe doesn’t seem to fit. I’m not demanding fealty, just noting the lack of clarity, evidence, and reason.

          Your “Gulf of Tonkin” example should be using the word “story” instead of the word “truth.” Then it makes sense. The only other way it makes sense is if you are equivocating on the word truth (as both actual fact and commonly believed story).

          As for my attacks on your writing and communication skills, I’m guilty as charged. Either you are writing complete gobbledy gook or you’re a complete idiot. For example, you wrote I try my hardest to tune into the Positive Thought Structure™ that has always been, and If I can participate in the school of the Earth and say my piece and contribute, a la Walt Whitman, I am here to do just that… Is anyone supposed to read that and think, “hey, this guy knows what he’s talking about?” I hope not. I read that phrase and see something on the level of homeopathy and healing crystals. By misusing words and terms, your point is obscured. It’s either intentional (you’re trying to pull a fast one) or unintentional (you don’t understand basic English). I think assuming the latter is the nicer thing to do.

          Velikovsky’s ideas can be based on any texts, oral traditions, mythology, or writings of Plato’s pig, that doesn’t mean there’s one shred of evidence for them. Freud’s ideas were based on authoritative sounding things, too. He did research of texts and traced through the subconscious of his patients. In both cases, the scientific evidence does not support the conclusions. Again, I’m left with a choice to believe you ignorant or a liar. I’m gonna go with the former. You don’t know what “scientific evidence” actually is.

          • tgt – all good points… and In honor of the Death of Steve Jobs I’ll let him speak for me here – it’s his commencement speech from Stanford University in 2005. I believe he defends me, and gives you a peak into my mindset that seems to baffle you.

            http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html

            RIP Steve Jobs, and tgt, thanks for the measured reply.

            • tgt

              Now, that reply was facetious. Unfortunately, I don’t think that speech backs up any of your statements that I’ve attacked. The closest is his comment that you should just trust what you’re doing will work out, and that has 1 major issue, and 1 relation issue. The major issue? Most people aren’t Steve Jobs. He’s wickedly smart, but even with such intelligence, the likelihood of success is low. Without thinking you can do it, you won’t, but thinking you can do it doesn’t get you there. The relation issue? What he was actually trusting in was his intelligence, not the collective thought structure of history.

              Also, your mindset doesn’t baffle me. You desire something greater than yourself, and you found an idea that matches. That it is insane doesn’t phase you. Humans are very good at finding patterns in nature, but very bad at accurately doing so.

  16. Hey Gang – here’s the videos imbeded – forgot how to do them, sorry..

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