You will, I trust, remember Doug Woodward, a Christian apologist who criticized me for criticizing the “Nephilim theorist community” over claims that sin is transmitted through deoxyribonucleic acid. Woodward contacted me privately to inform me that he would be publishing another rebuttal and asked me to refrain from criticizing it lest he feel compelled to respond in an infinite spiral of mutual criticism.
For interested parties, Woodward’s re-rebuttal is here.
Both Woodward and Learn attribute to me naturalist, materialist, and atheist beliefs (religiously held beliefs, Woodward says), which they derive from the fact that I ask for evidence of the supernatural before endorsing its reality. Woodward, however, criticizes Learn for failure to endorse Christian supernaturalism as thoroughly as he would like. However, both Learn and Woodward would like me to correct the following errors, which I will relate with minimal comment:
- According to their brand of Christianity (but not most mainstream churches), the biological component of “sin” enters the human line due to a change in Adam’s genome caused by God.
- Jesus was created by a divinely-crafted sperm encoded with special DNA and delivered to Mary by the Holy Spirit; any suggestion that his conception occurred without sperm (such as through a supernatural miracle, or the incarnation of the substance of God, or the myriad other versions proposed over the centuries) is false. I will leave it to others more skilled in such matters to explain how a sperm, with only half a set of chromosomes, can also be of one complete and identical substance with the Father.
- Some but not all Nephilim researchers believe that sin is carried on the Y-chromosome, though they are not clear how it is that women also have biological sin, lacking Y-chromosomes.
- The Nephilim corrupted humanity by hybridizing already-sinful humans with angel DNA, which was part of Satan’s plan to thwart Jesus’ redemption of humanity. According to Learn, God was angry at the hybridization because it was forbidden, and nearly all beings alive on earth at the Flood were hybrids. I am not enough of a theologian to parse this against Genesis 6:5-7, in which God says he was mad at sin, not hybridization, and wanted to kill the human race he created, not angel hybrids.
- The books of Enoch and Jubilees can be used to understand the role of the Nephilim, but only insofar as they agree with Genesis (Ethiopian Christians they are not). Passages that disagree are prima facie false.
- The Bible was written by different people at different times, but the Torah is the sole work of Moses.
- Christian scholars who disagree with Woodward’s view on the Nephilim, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, are misinterpreting the texts that Nephilim researchers correctly understand.
With those corrections in the interest of fairness, I will now say a word about Woodward’s final objection, in which he took me to task for dismissing his claims of copper-armor giants without sufficient warrant, arguing that my “disdain” for his evidence was not proof of its failure. He’s right. He provided a citation to the story, claiming that eight armor-covered giants were found in Walkerton, Indiana in 1925, as reported in his book The Final Babylon (2013). Since this is a testable claim for the depth and persuasiveness of Woodward’s Nephilim research, it deserves careful and thorough treatment to show just how sloppy Nephilim scholarship is.
Let’s dispense with the simplest part of the claim first. The photograph Woodward identifies as the “giant” burial from 1925 is almost certainly a modern photograph, as indicated by the black-and-white measuring reference seen in the photo, not exactly standard equipment for 1920s amateur diggers; he was probably confused by this website which uses it as an illustration and labels it an Adena burial. The photograph does not, as he asserts, depict copper armor.
The story of the giants was first reported in the South Bend Tribune for October 4, 1925 under the headline “Skeleton in Armor Found in Indian Burial Mound.” Although I do not have access to this article, the story was then picked up and summarized by national media. Here is an original Time magazine report from November 16, 1925:
At Walkerton, Ind., a farmer opened a mound, disclosed eight skeletons, one of them clad in copper armor, lying feet together like spokes in a wheel. A giant for stature had a flint arrow head embedded in his skull. The bones appeared to be of Mound Builders.
The secretary of the Northern Indiana Historical Society investigated and reported the results in in the Indiana History Bulletin for 1926. No surprise, but there is no mention of “giants.”
Carl Litchfield of Teegarden, and Jesse Lichtfield, who lives just north of Teegarden, recently excavated a mound on the farm of Grove Vosburg, some three miles north of Walkerton. The mound is reputed to be of great antiquity and this seems to be confirmed by the memory the owner of the farm has of an oak tree a yard in diameter formerly growing on top, which fell down about twenty years ago. The mound was at one time about twenty-five feet high but in recent years its height has been decreased. At a depth of about twelve feet, the Litchfields found eight skeletons in an arrangement somewhat like the spokes of a wheel with their heads toward the center. In the skull of one of the skeletons, said to be of large size, a fine flint arrow was embedded. With this same skeleton several plates of copper were found. The excavation also brought to light a number of other articles, bands, beads, etc., and two pipe bowls, one smooth, and the other elaborately carved.
From these reports, the myth of “giants” emerged.
By 1965, the Rosicrucian Digest had made them into “eight giants,” though recognizing that only one wore armor. As the story grew, the “eight giants” became “eight-foot giants,” almost as if the number of giants became confused with their size. Suddenly, they all started to sport armor. The key transformation took place with Jim Brandon’s Weird America (1978) where the skeletons were claimed to be giants and “all were wearing heavy copper armor.” Charles DeLoach in his Giants: A Reference Guide from History, the Bible, and Recorded Legend (1995), altered this, probably by mistake, to (in quotation marks) “substantial copper armor”—still a far cry from the “copper plates” associated with just one of them. From Weird America and from Giants, everyone from David Childress to Wayne May to Doug Woodward takes his information. And they all claim the giants and armor “disappeared,” with Childress suggesting a Smithsonian conspiracy. But there aren’t any giants or suits of armor to hide! None of these recycling authors went looking for normal-sized skeletons with typical Hopewell copper artifacts, which the original reports were very clear about.
And thus the modern myth of eight armor-clad giants, recently identified as Nephilim. You’re welcome.