Sure, It's Funny That Ken Ham Is Planning a Nephilim vs. Dinosaurs Exhibit, But Did You Read the Revealing Tweet-Storm That Followed?
Creationist Ken Ham is a holy hypocrite, at least as far as his claim to follow only the strict text of the Bible goes. Ham is the founder of Answers in Genesis and the brains behind the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter theme park. The last of these is a partially taxpayer-funded religious indoctrination center in the shape of a replica of Noah’s Ark. In this Ark, Ham happily twists both history and the Bible to create a Bible-adjacent pseudo-historical fantasia of what he imagines life was like before Noah’s Flood. In the latest affront to history and to reason, Ham released photos yesterday on Twitter and Facebook of a new diorama he plans to add to the Ark. It features Nephilim giants fighting humans and dinosaurs inside an amphitheater.
David Wilcock Claims an Evil "Cabal" of Aliens and Democrats Are Trying to Stop Trump from Defeating Evil, Revealing Truth about Atlantis
It’s been a couple of weeks since we last had Atlantis news—back when National Geographic turned the lost continent into a proto-Jewish paradise—so we are about due for more Atlantis claims. This week we have two of them. The first, and less bonkers of them, comes to us via Ancient Origins, where Phil Flambas tells us that he believes that Atlantis was located in the Caribbean, in the parts of the sea floor that were above water during the last Ice Age. We’ve heard this claim before, and there is really nothing new to it except that Flambas wants us to believe that he reached his conclusion by taking Plato literally. “I have spent six years researching all of Plato’s descriptions in the Timaeus and Critias as being true and precise.” That’s great, but Plato said that Atlantis had elephants in it, and the Caribbean, so far as I know, has no evidence of elephants, or even mammoths and mastodons, in it. I assume he would argue that we simply haven’t found them yet, or that Atlantis extended into the mammoths’ Mexican range, but it would be helpful for there to be some sort of evidence for a lost city in the area c. 9600 BCE.
Thursday Odds and Ends: A Blow to the Younger Dryas Comet Hypothesis, Lovecraft among the Alt-Right, and More!
Do you remember back in December when I described the cheap Chinese mechanical watch I bought on eBay? At the time, I had expected that it would last six months before crapping out, but it turns out that I was being overly optimistic. The M. G. Orkina brand mechanical watch died this week. I went to wind it, and the winding stem fell off, followed by several small gears that disengaged from the movement, stopping the watch. The watch lasted just about eight weeks. It was a learning experience. Apparently it is possible to make crap that is so cheap that it fails to meet even my lowest expectations.
Why the Icelandic "Dracula" Adaptation Is Probably Not Evidence for a Lost Original Version of Bram Stoker's Classic Vampire Novel
Yesterday I discussed the “lost” Icelandic version of Dracula that was recently translated into English by Hans de Roos and published as Powers of Darkness. I was curious enough about the claims made by de Roos in his lionization of the 1900/1901 Icelandic adaptation of Dracula--that the book was based on early drafts of the novel and contained Stoker’s abandoned first ideas—that I ended up going to check out Bram Stoker’s notes (in facsimile) in order to evaluate whether de Roos is right that Stoker’s notes must be the source of some key details in the Icelandic adaptation called Makt Myrkranna produced by Valdimar Ásmundsson. When I first read de Roos’s claims, I wanted to believe them, and as you can tell from my blog post yesterday, I was more or less happy to go along with de Roos because the subject was so interesting and, with decades of Dracula scholarship under his belt, de Roos seemed like a credible scholar. But like the art historians who sensed the Getty Kouros was fake before they knew exactly why, my unconscious mind kept telling me something was wrong even before I knew what. The particular claim that caught my eye was the allegation that the mute housekeeper in the Icelandic version of Dracula must have come from Stoker’s abandoned notes for the novel. Once I started digging, everything fell apart.
"Dracula" Scholar Publishes Translation of "Lost" Version, Investigates the Mystery of "Dracula" in Iceland
Last night Rick and Marty Lagina appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to discuss The Curse of Oak Island. It was … I almost said interesting, but it wasn’t. After 52 years (!) of interest in Oak Island, neither Lagina was able to articulate the Oak Island story in anything resembling a concise or even interesting way. At one point Colbert needed to remind the brothers that while he knows the story of Oak Island, his audience contains many people who do not, so they need to actually explain why anyone should care about its supposed buried treasure. The closest they came to providing a reason was when Rick said he got interested in the idea in 1965 when he read about it in Reader’s Digest, with a close second coming when the brothers explained that there were lots of logs and rocks and stuff underground. Sadly, that was just about a perfect summation of The Curse of Oak Island.
Would You Believe Yoga Can Prove the Olmec Came from Vedic India? This Man Does, and Graham Hancock Wants You to Meet Him
After a week of heavy political material, I imagine we can all use a break with a case of classic ridiculousness. No, I’m not talking about Scott Wolter’s bizarre tweet in which he speculated that the light fixtures around the U.S. Capitol are secret copies of the Ark of the Covenant, or the one later in which he imagined that the Lincoln Memorial, modeled on a Doric temple, is also the Ark. Instead, I am talking about the special guest article by Bibhu Dev Misra on Graham Hancock’s website in which the Hindu nationalist speculates that the Olmec are in fact secret descendants of Vedic Indians because of yoga!
John Anthony West Says That Pseudo-History Is a Means to Overthrow Capitalism and Western Civilization
When I was a kid, the Discovery Channel used to show dubbed English versions of ZDF’s Terra X documentary series. I have a great affection for the show (despite its frequent forays into fringe history) from that experience, and down to the present I have consequently availed myself from time to time of German archaeological documentaries, including those that DWTV dubbed into English. I was surprised and a bit dismayed to learn from László Matthias Simon-Nanko that ZDF purchased the German broadcast rights to the History Channel’s wretched Atlantis Found documentary from 2015 and will be airing an edited version of it as an episode of Terra X a few hours after I post this. To think: Two decades ago America had to import its sensationalist pseudo-archaeology from Europe in the form of Terra X, Erich von Däniken, and Graham Hancock, but now we are an exporter of pseudohistory and ignorance. Thanks, History Channel!
The New York Times reported yesterday that Donald Trump’s advisor, Stephen K. Bannon, who has expressed fringe history views, is apparently influenced by Italian fascist philosopher Julius Evola, who was popular with Nazis and Neo-Nazis. The Atlantic adds that Bannon is a fan of neoreactionary philosophy, which advocates autocracy and, at times, praises Nazi Germany. Evola’s followers call themselves the Children of the Sun, a fascist phrase used in white supremacist contexts going back decades, and a phrase uttered by white nationalist Richard Spencer in his infamous “Hail Trump!” speech. Bannon refused to confirm or deny influence from the philosopher, whom he referenced in a 2014 speech, but Spencer and other so-called “alt-right” thinkers suggest that Bannon can help bring into the mainstream Evola’s elitist vision of a hierarchical society run by a superior caste, a “master race” if you will. The anti-Semitic Evola was influenced by Nietzsche (but of course) and fetishized Germanic culture, becoming an outspoken supporter of the SS. He believed that historical movements such as the Renaissance and the Enlightenment were disasters that disconnected humanity from ancient truths. Does this sound familiar? It’s pretty much exactly what Jay Dyer advocates, minus the explicit racism, as we learned in yesterday’s blog post.
Orthodox Christian Occult Conspiracy Theorist Boards Trump Train, Calls for a Rejection of the Enlightenment and the Establishment of Autocracy
This week we’ve been looking at some of the looney tunes who have embraced Donald Trump as cover for a range of fringe agendas, from reactionary pseudo-archaeology to reactionary white nationalism to reactionary … well, everything. Today’s entry is Jay Dyer, a Trump supporter who advocates for a return to the Byzantine Empire’s Orthodox cultural traditions, as embodied in modern Russia. Dyer, naturally, has followed Vladimir Putin’s lead in celebrating Trump as an avatar of Christian civilization, alongside other extreme right politicians like Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen. Would it surprise you to know that Dyer thinks that modern science is a Satanic conspiracy to destroy Christendom, one that Donald Trump can stop? Consider his recent screed on why he has jumped on the Trump Train:
Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a new law that reduces penalties for domestic violence, and his enablers in the media defended his partial legalization of domestic abuse by turning to pseudoscience. Citing the work of Satoshi Kanazawa, a disgraced evolutionary psychologist who once claimed that African women were “objectively” unattractive, a Russian newspaper now claims that domestic violence is a net benefit for society because it promotes the birth of more males. Yes, the article is both immoral and sexist! I say this as preface for today’s topic, which also offers an astonishing claim about gender.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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