Remember how just the other day I said I wasn’t planning to write any more about Ancient Aliens pundit Philip Coppens, but with the caveat that I would if he brought forth some new claim worthy of note? Well, that took all of five days.
Last night Coppens released a lengthy diatribe “debunking” Chris White’s Ancient Aliens Debunked. Coppens' criticism was a confection of misdirection, misquotation, and misinterpretations that laid bare his own ignorance of the “facts” he discusses, as well as his over-reliance on secondary sources to support his alternative views. However, I don’t need to evaluate his article in any depth because Chris White has helpfully gone through it point for point to show how Coppens systematically abuses facts in service of his beliefs, just like he did in attempting to rebut my own criticism of him last week. I strongly recommend reading White's piece.
The most hysterically funny part is Coppens’ implication that White’s belief (as a committed Christian) in the reality of the Nephilim (“giants”) of Genesis as real, non-human entities means that his debunking of the rest of Coppens' claims is false. While I don’t believe the Nephilim were real supernatural creatures, since when is agreeing with Philip Coppens on a point a reason for claiming the claimant isn’t rational? Apparently, according to Coppens, one must oppose him on every point or none in order to be justified in speaking of him. As White rightly notes, a belief in a supernatural Nephilim says nothing about the reality of extraterrestrials from another planet who built buildings and genetically engineered humans.
(Similarly, Robert M. Schoch’s newly disclosed belief in magical powers and demons does not necessarily repudiate his science—which is faulty on other grounds—though it raises questions of what criteria he uses to distinguish natural actions from sorcery. That, though, is a question applicable to his own internal beliefs, not the external, shared world of science.)
But what I want to share is a very telling passage at the end of Coppens’ critique, where he reveals his true self:
Compare with Coppens’ rebuttal to my blog post criticizing him:
Note that in both cases, Coppens cannot separate criticism of his ideas from criticism of him as a person. (White, in fact, never discusses Coppens as a person in the original documentary.) The purpose of critiquing his ideas is not to goad him into “another reply” but rather to get at the truth. That this criticism is not personal does not enter into his mind, for he has conflated himself with his (spurious) ideas, making an attack on one an attack on both.
But what do I know? According to Coppens, this very post is just “loads of blablabla,” and Chris White’s discussion of Coppens’ points will be met with fingers pressed firmly into his ears as he shouts “blablabla!” vainly to the stars.
You know: Science!
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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