As is usual this season, a roundtable of talking heads offer some light happy talk surrounding recycled segments from past episodes. They posit that the Biblical notion that God spoke to create the world makes sound an important part of … what, exactly? Somehow they seem to mean both science and theology at the same time. The first segment is about the word “Om,” which repeats material from an earlier episode. Chladni plate patterns are introduced as though they were mystical or had some sort of cosmological meaning beyond the interaction of sound and matter. They allege that Hindu temples reflect the same patterns, though geometric patterns are, well, geometric. Randomly, they start talking about vimanas, flying chariots of Indo-European heritage that were much later imagined as airplanes. We hear that the patterns are a secret code, like a locked “PDF file” (their words), that can somehow be read to give schematics for operating a spaceship. They don’t actually read them, of course, but are sure someone could with the right alien help.
The next segment discusses the physics of sound waves and their ability to seemingly defy gravity. The panel asserts that sound waves were used by the ancients to levitate stones, something that would be prima facie impossible without technology that would make the building of rough piles of stone irrelevant. Tsoukalos cites a medieval story that Merlin used magic to move Stonehenge to England as proof. They then discuss the medieval story of how the pyramids were built. They falsely claim that the Arabs alleged that the stones were levitated with sound after a visit from the Guardians of the Sky. This is false. The story, given in the Akhbar al-zaman, states that a magic spell on papyrus was laid on the block which could then be pushed and would slide amazingly far. Not the same. They attribute the story to al-Mas’udi, but he didn’t write it. They give the wrong author because Erich von Däniken accepted a nineteenth-century error in Col. Vyse’s Operations (1838), already known to be wrong by the end of the nineteenth century. Al-Mas’udi actually wrote this about the building of the pyramids, quoting a local expert: “They built the pyramids by stacking layers in degrees, like a staircase; then they polished them, scraping them from top to bottom. This was the process of a people who combined strength and admirable patience with a religious respect for their kings.”
The next segment describes destructive sounds from the Bible, such as the trumpets that bring down Jericho’s walls. Tsoukalos calls magical spells the “voice commands” for some Siri- or Alexa-style alien assistant, but the various other panelists seem confused about whether they are talking about using your voice to issue orders to machines or whether sonic energy is vibrating destructive waves or whether sound waves are used to encode messages to or from aliens. It’s all kind of mixed together and not clearly presented. Because it is all mixed up, the show can elide the use of acoustics in religious architecture to enhance music and meditation into any or all of the above without the need for evidence. They’ve covered this before.
After another break, we’re still on religious use of sound, this time for inducing trance states. The show alleges that going into a trance connects people to space aliens who are also gods, or something like that. It gets us back to the weird Ancient Aliens idea that aliens and gods are interchangeable and that to meet an entity from another planet is to experience spiritual ecstasy. I keep thinking of that sketch from SNL where Ryan Gosling has a spiritual, ethereal abduction and Kate McKinnon decidedly did not. It’s silly to imagine that a biological being from another planet has divine power, and equally silly to try to imagine that we need to rewrite spirituality as physical and material in order to give it the gloss of science and justify faith in the face of doubt.
A laughable segment follows alleging that the CIA achieved remarkably accurate results with its Project Stargate remote viewing project. Sure they did. There is no scientific evidence that remote viewing has any greater accuracy than random chance.
After another break, the show repeats (whether literally recycled or just reusing the same material with new footage, I didn’t care enough to check) a profile of Pythagoras, to whom is attributed the musical scale. The music of the spheres is discussed, but the show falsely alleges that Pythagoras described the heliocentric solar system as governed by ratios of vibration. He was describing the apparent motion of the planets in a geocentric system. Admitting that makes the “hidden, secret knowledge of the ancients” a lot less impressive.
3/13/2021 01:20:28 pm
I would have gone ahead with the article without Wolter's input but I don't run The Atlantic.
Godwin is a romantic
3/14/2021 06:01:21 pm
Godwin is immersed in esoterica. To Godwin, esoterica is as real as a brick in a house.
3/13/2021 02:31:06 pm
A serious approach to the subject could start with Joscelyn Godwin
3/13/2021 06:24:28 pm
You can’t be surprised by this, Jason. For the better part of a decade you have staked out a position as “debunker” of any claim of pre-Columbian exploration of America. You and I have communicated on this point in the past—you make up your mind even before seeing the evidence. “No how, no way, not happening on my watch.” That is your right, clearly. But it hardly makes you an objective, detached observer, which is what a reporter should be. You are biased, and the Atlantic was right to decide your involvement would tarnish the story.
3/14/2021 12:35:58 am
I dunno David, I'm thinking your Atlantis in America (the Caribbean) bias kind of trumps Jason's "bias" which happens to coincide with the opinion the vast majority of qualified and competent historians, or in other words, not a bias at all but rather the accepted and logical position.
3/14/2021 07:25:07 am
3/14/2021 09:08:01 am
I have has seen Wolter TV appearances and listened to his podcasts and radio interviews, read some of his writings, and looked at how he reacts to probing questions and criticism on his blog. I'm not sure how one can maintain objectivity in writing about him. People tend to see him as either a wingnut or as some sort of messiah exposing the true history. I've conducted hundreds of interviews with a wide range of people. Never had much trouble keeping a straight face. I don't think I could do that with Wolter, though.
3/14/2021 01:39:30 pm
Pointless to try to discuss anything. Atlantis was a construct to advance an argument. Templars in North America are a fiction. No horses, cattle, legitimate artifacts. Hoaxed artifacts, scratched rocks and imagined, fictitious connections don’t cut it. And you wonder why you or Scottie can not get actual historians or researchers to debate you. My guess is if you would have an actual construct based on reality it might help. Otherwise, recognize fiction for what it is. So, your books do sell. Uncritical minds are non discerning and you certainly know how to take advantage. I would not read your stuff if it was given to me.
3/15/2021 07:19:42 am
"Pointless to try to discuss anything."
3/15/2021 12:50:58 pm
Anthony C., yes, yes you are correct. You do not speak gibberish or nonsense. Your scribbling does not rise to that level.
3/14/2021 08:26:26 am
Witness how blogs like this have done nothing to change the Believers and how the Believers ignore stuff like this.
3/14/2021 09:59:33 am
Amen brother. I am observing the Sabbath with a double bloody mary and watching the series Norsemen on Netflix, and reading the word of Jesus, oops I mean Jason.
3/14/2021 11:31:31 am
Hallelujah, this heathen atheist that follows Jason's blog may just join you. I hadn't heard of the series Norsemen, so thanks, I will give it a shot.
3/14/2021 11:59:26 am
We can discuss norsemen at Wednesday's prayer breakfast before heading off to harass women trying to enter Planned Parenthood and wind the day down at Hooters.
3/14/2021 01:34:41 pm
Well, I don't know about Hooters. I find it kind of demeaning to men, referring to us as rubbernecking owls with big buggy eyes staring at women. You know us guys aren't really like that.
3/17/2021 03:41:46 pm
Yep, that sums it up.
3/14/2021 05:39:53 pm
I can't speak for others, but as for me I am not a church-goer. I follow/believe, in no organised religion, but prefer the philosophy of balance. Don't take without giving, don't complain without praising, I find that works for me.
MAJORITY WHO ACCESS THIS BLOG
3/14/2021 08:37:51 am
READ THIS AGAIN - THIS WAS WHY JASON COLAVITO DELETED "ANTI-CHRISTIAN" MESSAGES - BECAUSE HE WAS USING CHRISTIANS AGAINST BELIEVERS
An Over-Educated Grunt
3/17/2021 10:42:32 am
Here's how we know you're full of shit, though:
3/17/2021 07:20:47 pm
"USING CHRISTIANS AGAINST BELIEVERS"
3/14/2021 08:40:48 am
Sceptical chatrooms and discussion lists do indeed exist online, but the people who partake in them are hand-picked by the owners. Sceptics never engage in open challenges like what is witnessed on this Blog. Professional academics would never attach their names to such activities.
3/14/2021 01:42:39 pm
So many wrongs.
3/14/2021 11:04:30 am
Call me when they interview the Harmonica Virgins.
3/14/2021 01:17:24 pm
The idea that your reputation as a 'debunker' has disgruntled (and intimidated) the Ancient Astronaut Theorists is well earned. They who always, as in the tagline by the show's announcer "Say Yes!" to everything as a block but, as you point out, frequently make diverse and conflicting claims for their pet theories when you lock them in a room together (Astrophysicist Dr. Travis Taylor always looks so distressed listening to unfounded and untenable flights of fancy regarding technical issues in those Round Table discussions as he at least has some actual scientific training despite his own strange lapses in credibility).
Randi wasn't great
3/14/2021 01:48:24 pm
Randi left out Puthoff in his debunking books because guess what, Randi was careless enough to allow Puthoff to put holes into his debunkings of Geller. What a hoot. Randi had weaknesses in his arguments that were highlighted by Puthoff. What a nerd.
Rabbit in the hat
3/14/2021 03:34:15 pm
Puthoff couldn't even defend himself against randi and other critics let alone poke holes in those who exposed Geller.
3/14/2021 03:47:29 pm
Holes in Randi's debunking of Geller? Never happened. Watch Geller squirm on The Tonight Show when Johnny Carson, himself an amateur magician, consulted with Randi beforehand.
Puthoff is omitted from Randi's book about Geller
3/14/2021 05:58:53 pm
Because Puthoff gave Randi a good spanking
The Good Shepherd
3/16/2021 03:38:41 pm
Don't take his word for it, take the word of the CIA.
Take Puthoff's word for it
3/17/2021 03:56:17 pm
It's Puthoff's Paper that discredits Randi's Rebuttal of Puthoff
3/17/2021 10:20:56 pm
A paper by Puthoff available compliments of the CIA. Now we are really operating at a high confidence level.
3/14/2021 03:57:32 pm
"Anyone remember Tolkien's Silmarillion where pre-existent magicians sing creation into existence?"
3/14/2021 06:57:57 pm
I had previously decided not to reply to the rantings of the junior members of this group as they do not advance the discussion in the slightest. But I will make one last attempt.
3/14/2021 11:14:04 pm
An Over-Educated Grunt
3/15/2021 10:43:02 pm
Given that the Maiar were part of the chorus, and that several of the Maiar became known as the Wizards later, it's an acceptable simplification. It's wrong, but not so wrong it's worth arguing about given every other target on the field.
3/17/2021 10:11:38 pm
Yeah, I do, along with you.
3/15/2021 09:50:31 am
Happy holidays, and you will get another chance with the Atlantic, I am quite confident. Sometimes, such a step back is the basis for two steps forward.
3/16/2021 12:36:15 pm
My dear Thorwald, you were bound to turn up, because Atlantis was mentioned somewhere in these comment posts. But then, so was I. No one understands God, nor how Plato's Atlantis fits in with the Most Beautiful, Universal Divine Plan. You need to stick to your own misconceptions. The universe is not beautiful, you say?
Frank, thank you for helping me in demonstrating that the misconceptions about which Jason Colavito is talking are deeply rooted. They can be found in science itself.
3/24/2021 06:03:44 pm
"modern physics does not make progress for 40 years now"
3/17/2021 09:12:31 pm
A minor quibble about terminology, but not incorrect. The Maiar came later.
3/17/2021 10:17:02 pm
"I was a Tolkien fan before everybody started wearing 'Frodo lives' t-shirts."
3/18/2021 06:35:00 pm
3/23/2021 09:22:30 pm
"I study Chaos Theory Music and those musical plates eventually working on esoteric technology possibly guided by alien intelligences ... ya ... you probly think nutcase here ... I am an expert in Electronics from audio to microwave ... tried to put in for Wright Patterson you guess why ... was pretty much brainwashed into religion but have respect for it a there are underlying proofs of Astral Travel from within that the Church will refuse to acknowledge"
3/26/2021 11:40:19 pm
This is killing me from laughter.
3/23/2021 09:35:30 am
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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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