One of the themes I’ve written about more than once is the importance of articulating the rules we use for determining whether to accept evidence for extraordinary claims about history. Consider, for example, the following four cases of books with supernatural origins:
Now ask yourself what the difference is between the Necronomicon and these other dubious sources. By what rules do we accept astral literature about ancient airplanes but not about Cthulhu? Until someone can explain to me why some “channeled” texts are real and others are not*—and how we are to judge the difference—I categorically reject supernatural books as so many figments of the human imagination.
* Note: Despite claims that the texts involved are genuinely ancient, the people who claimed not to be their authors vigorously defended their copyrights on the works in question, even though by their own admission these books ought to be in the public domain and freely available for translation.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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