I know I've complained about the History Channel's excrable Ancient Aliens series, but I have seen stupidity tonight that I have never before witnessed. On a rerun of a recent episode, David Hatcher Childress stood before a cabinet of Native American skulls and claimed they belonged to giants. They may look perfectly normal, he said, but viewers can see that they belong to giants when one compares the jaw bones of the skulls to a "modern dental impression." The robust jaw bone is twice the size of the tiny, thin dental impression; therefore, even though the skulls are the size of human heads they must actually be twice the size of human skulls and belong to giants, the result of alien genetic engineering.
Oh. My. God. Is it possible that anyone can be so ignorant as to think a dental impression--which records only an image of teeth and gums--is the same as an entire jawbone? Of course the whole jaw is bigger than a dental impression. Unless Childress's dentist knows techniques that defy biology, there is no way to make a cast of the jaw bone from a living--and flesh-covered--head. That Childress can't tell the difference is disturbing; that the History Channel let such blatantly false misinformation onto its airwaves--including the Childress's claims that the archive holding the skulls is engaged in a conspiracy to "hide" the giants (funny how he had unimpeded access)--without even a token rebuttal or fact-check is an affront to knowledge, to honesty, and an insult to the intelligence of anyone unfortunate enough to mistakenly watch the History Channel.
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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