Thread: Ancient Aliens
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Old November 23 2012, 06:08 AM   #419
TIN_MAN
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Re: Ancient Aliens

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
My position is that the pyramids were used as tombsand there isn't much to indicate what else they would have been used for…
Then I did understand you correctly, and this is essentially, your position after all. And that last part in particular is tantamount to saying they “must have been” tombs, regardless of whether you used those specific words or not. So your objection is nothing more than a quibble over semantics.

I'm skeptical, again for the lack of corroborating evidence. In particular, there are some archeologists who believe that various pharaohs actually impersonated their parents to provide the illusion that the old king was actually still alive and running the country in a sort of "Dread Pirate Roberts" scheme. That makes sense on its face, but it strikes me as too specific a claim to make without some powerful evidence to back it up.
So again, I understood you correctly and you do not really hold to this view after all, and contrary to what you just said previously, you personally, did not entertain this as a serious alternative possibility?

Both the above, taken together, along with your implicit comparison of pyramids with mausoleums, proves my point; you’re really not thinking outside the box on this one.

Reality is weird like that. Not everything is as cut and dried as can be expressed in a short news article or an excerpt from a book. Most intellectuals tend to be more nuanced than that.

I have several problems with this;

1) “Reality is weird like that.” Subjective, and doesn’t really answer my question, because, even if true, you’ve yet to show evidence that this is the “reality” in this particular instance!

2) “Not everything… can be expressed in a short news article or an excerpt from a book”. First of all, although you may rely on such sources for your information, you’re assuming -without any supporting evidence- that this is true in my case, far from it.

Secondly; When Hawass and Lehner state their position repeatedly over the course of their careers, in their own words in their own books and articles etc. (some of which I have read; have you?) and in public debates on the matter, it becomes a matter of historical record and qualifies as the only evidence we have, and in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, such as a public disavowal or a sworn avadavat to the contrary, it’s all we have to go on.

3) “Most intellectuals tend to be more nuanced than that.” It’s yet to be established that Hawass and Lehner are intellectuals, the jury is still out, but it doesn’t look good.

… but it's just as possible that they, perhaps, know something you don't, and have information that they haven't made public or that you haven't seen or heard of cited elsewhere.

Sure it’s possible, it’s also possible the lunar landings were faked and the moon is made of cheese, and we’re not being told the truth for some reason!

But on a more serious note, regarding the pyramids, there’s certainly no shortage of conspiracy theories out there. In fact, some people think that Hawass and other leading Egyptologists are lying for socio/political reasons, because they’ve uncovered the “Hall of Records” that prove the pyramids were built by Atlanteans and not native Egyptians; so it’s a matter of professional face-saving pride and political correctness, so the theory goes, that motivates them to lie.

But what counts is evidence, and there’s insufficient evidence to support either of the above scenarios, IMHO. In the case of whether leading Egyptologists are misrepresenting their opinions, the only evidence we have to go on is the testimony of their own words, which supports my position; all you have is your “possible” and “perhaps”.

We can play this game forever, and it’ll get us exactly nowhere.

I'm suggesting that your understanding of their positions may differ slightly from their actual positions.

You’re free to “suggest” anything you like, but again, where’s your evidence to back it up? I notice you conveniently failed to quote the part of my post where I asked you previously if you had talked to them about this! So I’ll take that omission as a ‘no’, and you don’t even have so much as a personal anecdote to offer up to support your ”suggestion”.

Hell, you and I have been corresponding for more than a week and you barely understand MY position.

I’ll let other posters decide whether this is true or not.

After all “more than a week” is such a looong time and we’ve exchanged so many hundreds of posts that there’s no way we could ever misunderstand one another, right?

Even If it were true that I don’t understand your position; after so much flip-flopping on your part, would it be any wonder? At least Hawass and Lehner have been consistent with their views over the years.

And besides, if you had even the merest shred of actual evidence that Hawass and Lehner’s publicly stated positions are not their true thoughts/feelings on the matter, you would have offered it up by now, and wouldn’t need to resort to underhanded tactics to “devalue” my position which is based on documented evidence.

Therefore I find your objections to be baseless and argumentative.

So, until you do come up with some evidence, I’m done discussing this topic with you.

And have, perchance, paleo-anthropologists come to a consensus about the average yearly rainfall in the Giza region during Khafre's reign?

If you had even the slightest clue about the subject you’re attempting to refute, you wouldn’t have to ask the question, whether rhetorical or not. And in any case, it’s not my job to spoon-feed you information, go do your own research!

First of all, "Recent and sudden" in geologic terms is on the order of hundreds of thousands or millions of years, at least.

Actually, no; this is more like the average time scales in geologic terms, especially the “millions of years” part. Here again you demonstrate your ignorance on the subject you’re attempting to discuss.

Secondly, Egypt may be a desert, but that doesn't mean it never rains.

I specifically stated earlier that there has not been enough rainfall since Egyptologists say the sphinx was built/carved to account for the weathering we see! Not enough means some and not none, does it not?

I don’t need to click on your link to know this because, aside from already being familiar with the fact that it does occasionally rain in deserts, I’m also familiar with this angle in this particular debate, pro and con, and it has certainly been taken into account by all; except those unfamiliar with the specifics, like yourself.

Geologically speaking, I think Schoch is taking the piss if he dates those structures at anything less than a few dozen millennia. Regional climate just doesn't shift fast enough to be statistically measurable on such short timescales.

You are speaking personally, not “geologically”. And besides, again playing by your own rules, you can’t speak for geology because you’re not a geologist!

And If you had bothered to do some research on Schoch’s (and his colleagues) evidence that led them to their conclusions on this, or just geology in general, you would (hopefully) know the difference.

So unless and until you get up to speed by doing that research, I’m done discussing this topic with you.

You opened by contesting the conclusion that the Pyramids are "tombs and tombs only." You've yet to explain why.

But the point is; you’re the one insisting on professional credentials as a necessary prerequisite to judge the validity of evidence and theories, so you’ve yanked the rug right out from under your own feet! Besides, not only have I said that some (Egyptian) pyramids were probably tombs; I have given several reasons why I believe certain others are likely not. I specifically explained that, based on my research;

a) the ‘evidence’ Egyptologists rely on is flimsy and insufficient at best, and is not based on any ‘hard’ evidence, not the least of which is, that no body period, much less the body of the pharaoh specifically associated with a given pyramid, has ever been found inside one!

B) There is, on the other hand, ‘hard’ observable and testable evidence to the contrary (I’m speaking of some cases), aside from the general statements I made about the interior design not being conducive to that purpose, I also gave a specific example, i.e. the aforementioned granite block that obstructs the “ascending passage” of the “GP” since the time it was being built.

There are also other examples –in other pyramids- I did not mention, like narrow vertical shafts rising from one horizontal passage (and chamber) to another that are twenty to thirty feet or more in length; which is hardly conducive to funeral processions, among other things.
And need I say that this is not, by far, all the evidence against the” tombs and tombs only” hypothesis.

So unless you bone up on the internal structure of Egyptian pyramids, further discussion would be fruitless, so I’m done discussing this topic with you.

Recognizing precession necessarily requires some fairly precise observational tools (e.g. telescopes) and a complex mathematical system for detecting deviations from a previous pattern of observed movement (e.g. calculus or something similar).

No it doesn’t. Here again it’s clear you haven’t even begun to research the matter, and don’t know enough about the subject to make an effective rebuttal.

Even if telescopes were needed, which they are not; there is evidence in Greek writings that the Druids used a device for which the description sounds suspiciously like a telescope, which allowed them to see the mountains on the moon, and know that Jupiter has four (big) satellites, etc.

And although we do not (yet) have evidence that the Egyptians used telescopes, there is the glass and quarts crystal lenses I mentioned on another occasion, which at the very least, shows they had the technology to manufacture the essential components of one.

There is a wealth of evidence both circumstantial and direct (the artifacts themselves) that the ancients knew all about the optical properties of glass and crystal convex and concave lenses, but here again, archeologists have generally not appreciated this because they don’t know the first thing about optics, and as a result, miss-identify and catalogue many ancient lenses as “jewelry” or “gems”.

It's not exactly willful ignorance to claim the Egyptians probably hadn't developed calculus or telescopes, so I'm with the Establishment on this one.

Actually, it’s pretty darn close, see previous reply.

And as for calculus and other “higher math”, it isn’t needed either, but new evidence is coming to light all the time, pushing further back in time the ancient provenance of this kind of knowledge. And this is largely because researchers, thanks chiefly to the internet, are finally gaining access to data that archeologists had long since collected and shoved on the back shelf (literally in some cases) because they, as archeologists don’t know pi from phi.

But anyway, traditionally it’s been the ethnocentric view of archeology that all such things began with the Greeks. Many people still believe, because they learned in school, that Hipparchus “discovered” precession. This, despite the fact, that he himself clearly said all he did was verify, by experiment, what he had read in the Library of Alexandria.

So he didn’t “discover” anything, he merely proved that pre-existing knowledge was accurate: and what’s more, he did it without telescopes or higher math!

So once again, unless you want to familiarize yourself with the pertinent facts, I’m done discussing this topic with you.

There IS a protocol for that. It's called "professionalism."

And, as I said, it doesn’t work “well enough” IMHO.

Besides, what I’m talking about is something more akin to an impartial peer review system where an interdisciplinary panel can weigh all the evidence, fairly and expertly.

You will notice that almost every instance of "missing the forest for the trees" usually derives from a part or the entirety of the team sliding into unprofessional behaviors, like pitching their own pet theory to the exclusions of all others, playing favorites among team members, or using the team's work to score political points and/or personal points for his own career.

This is, I believe, the rule not the exception, IMHO. And since you feel comfortable throwing out statistics without anything to base them on, allow me to do the same and say “a good eighty percent” of researchers behave this way.

So why is Robert Schoch -- a geologist -- not deferring to the expertise of the Egyptologists who dispute his theory?

Because, in this case, the shoe is on the other foot; the empirical evidence is on Schoch’s and his colleague’s side; the Egyptologists have none to support their own view. It’s the Egyptologists who need to explain why they missed that the weathering on the sphinx might be the key to dating the monument in the first place; and made do instead on indirect inferences (IOW they “guessed”).

And the reason is, of course, that they are not geologists, and as Egyptologist, have no “expertise” in such matters, and don’t know wind erosion from rain erosion, and doubtless couldn’t care less.

The better question is; what makes you think Egyptologists can’t possibly be wrong on this; or anything else, for that matter?

In science we should always be williing to re-evaluate theories, especially when new evidence comes to light, otherwise it ceases to be science we are practicing and becomes a matter of faith in dogma.

So let’s take a look at the “evidence” for Egyptology’s mainstream opinion. The “expertise” they rely on to date the sphinx boils down to the fact that, because the sphinx is surrounded by some temples from the period round about Khafre’s reign (no one disputes this) then the sphinx is “guilty by association”; this, apparently, is what passes for the all important “context” in Egyptology.

The problem with this conclusion is that, as everyone agrees, Egypt’s history spans several millennia, and we know monuments were built and rebuilt and refurbished over that long period of time. The sphinx itself is a case in point, there is written evidence to indicate that it was repaired about the time of Khafre reign. So there’s no reason to assume that its proximity to these other structures tells us when it was built; or that Khafre built it, for that matter (why would a new monument need repairs?).

But sadly, for Egyptologists’ reputations, the sphinx and the temples surrounding it are not even of the same architectural style or quality of work, the former uses megalithic blocks, the later does not. And most telling of all, the temples do not show the same degree of rain erosion that the sphinx and its enclosure do. And this by no means exhausts all the differences in this “context”.

So there’s really no “empirical” evidence for Egyptologists to base their “expert” opinion on; and as I said, they made little more than what amounts to as a guess, and not a very good one at that.

You're making the direct implication here that a geologist/geophysicist is correct when all the archeologists in the same field are wrong.

No, not “a” geologist, I’m saying all (or at least most) geologists agree that the findings of Schoch and other geologists who corroborated his findings by direct observation of the facts in evidence on site, are sound, and they practiced good scientific geology in the process.

This is against the official stance of Egyptology, not “all archeologists”, that are, as seems increasingly likely, given the accumulating evidence, wrong on this. How many archeologist hold to the official view of Egyptology, or have since changed there opinions on the matter due to the new evidence? I do not know, and neither do you, so perhaps you shouldn’t speak for them all, especially since you’re not an archeologist yourself.

And you discard the possibility that it could be going in the OPPOSITE direction that Schoch simply doesn't know enough about archeology to understand why his theory is flawed?

I don’t discard that he might be wrong, or at least, not completely correct, but there’s been no shortage of mainstream Egyptologists to “educate” him on this, and he’s stood his ground, which he should, because his is the stronger position, IMHO.

You, on the other hand, are discarding the possibility that it is Egyptology’s hypothesis that is flawed. You ignore, or are ignorant of, the meager amount of evidence they have for their position.

You tacitly imply that Schoch should acquiesce to the combined weight of the Egyptological and archeological communities’ reputations as venerated scientific institutions, instead of sticking to the actual facts in dispute.

Who is more likely to miss or misinterpret important clues? A geologist at an archeological site... or an archeologist?

In the case of the archeological site we are discussing, regarding the sphinx and its enclosure, I say an archeologist (or an archeologist calling him/her self an “Egyptologists”) for all the reasons previously stated, and then some.

And that does it for this topic, end of discussion.

The mason says "there's no way they used copper chisels" based on his own experience; he's already projecting his own values and judgments onto an ancient culture he knows nothing about.

First of all, who said he knows nothing about it? You ignore that I said this example was based on actual exchanges between Egyptologists and engineers and masons.

In this case the Mason (whose name escapes me at the moment) was the one who was in the Nova special working alongside Lehner to cut and move stones using the very tools specified by Egyptology!

Since they were using copper chisels to cut the relatively soft limestone they were using, Lehner actually asked him (off camera) how he thought the ancient Egyptians cut granite with only the copper chisels like those reproduced for the special (by experts, “who specializes in ANCIENT construction techniques, someone who is actually familiar with the tools the Egyptians had”). To which he replied, “There’s no way!” (I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the gist of it.)

So they proceeded, again off camera, to experiment with this; and the copper chisels just smushed right up, and became immediately useless. So this statement is not based on “projecting his own values and judgments”, and not even on his experience as a stonemason alone, but with actual, on site, experiments using reproductions of “the real thing” that Egyptologists had authenticated as such.

His objection to the diorite is based on his first assumption, which is simply this: "That would be really hard to do with ancient tools."

Not an assumption, see above

What you need is someone who specializes in ANCIENT construction techniques, someone who is actually familiar with the tools the Egyptians had and understands how they would have used them.

Like someone working under guidance from Egyptologists, see above

Someone who doesn't simply cluck his tongue and say "There's no way they used copper chisels," but sits and asks himself, "If I had to do a job like this using only copper tools, how would I do it? What would the tools look like, and what kind of techniques would I use to keep them from wearing out?"

Like someone actually experimenting with these techniques, see above.

Same again for the engineer, projecting his own experience into a context he knows nothing about and makes reaching assumptions based on his own paradigm.

This is what the archeologists are doing, not the engineer in this case.

…instead of saying "This must have been made with a high-speed tubular drill!" the operative question is "What kind of tool would have been available to them to make these kinds of tool marks?"

Which is exactly the question Christopher Dunn, the engineer in this case, asked himself, and the answer was; none of the tools Egyptologists insist were used.

That is, no modern Egyptologists anyway, but some of the founders of the discipline actually suggested this very "high tech" possibility (one of which was also an engineer) based on the same evidence Dunn eventually analyzed, but this was before it became fashionable to regard the ancients as “primitives”.

This evidence had since been ignored and forgotten, until Dunn revived it, to the chagrin of modern Egyptologists.

In both cases, if you don't have direct evidence for what was used, then you file that away in the books under "Things to look for at the next dig site" or even research into previous sites, looking for objects that were cataloged but not identified.

No, you collaborate with the experts in the most relevant field of expertise, in this case engineering!

That was my point in saying that an archeologist trained in reverse engineering is better off than a simple archeologist. In his case, he's using his secondary skills to make his job easier; it helps him find clues to discover the truth.

If you remember, that was originally my point; I, not you, introduced it into the discussion, and you already conceded that this would be Ideal; but we also discussed the unfortunate reality that there aren’t that many people cross-trained in the relative disciplines, so the next best thing is collaboration.

And whether you like it or not, what we are debating here is whether or not the people most qualified to examine that evidence are people INSIDE or OUTSIDE of that field. You imply that people outside the field of archeology -- really, ANYONE outside of it -- would be better qualified to answer those questions.

I suppose the distinction between outsiders and collaborators is too subtle for you to grasp? And I never implied that anyone would be better qualified, this is a gross misrepresentation of my position. In fact, I said just the opposite.

And you keep over-generalizing, I never said an “outsider” whether invited to collaborate or not, would know more about everything in archeology, just that they would be more qualified to analyze certain specific data pertaining to their field of expertise, and that aren’t really of an archeological nature, but which crop up in the course of an archeological investigation. Data moreover, that the archeologists would be ill equipped to analyze because it takes another set of skills and training than archeologists usually have.

The only time I conceded that “outsiders” have anything useful to contribute is that sometimes a different “fresh” perspective helps us to see something that “insiders” have become blind to due to “paradigm paralysis”, and these are the ones usually not invited to collaborate. But this is a side issue, and by no means my main point.

I, on the other hand, assert that even an engineer would need to expand his expertise to include archeology first before his engineering knowledge will be of any use to archeologists.

I recommend this as well! And just as good, or even better, what if, as I suggested before, the archeologists are right there collaborating with him along the way.

You're better off looking for an insider with a secondary degree or a diverse background in other fields that can help to broaden his horizons.

Once again, it was I who first suggested this.

Since you can’t seem to grasp the distinction about collaboration vs. “lone outsider” and other things besides, it’s useless to belabor the point. So I’m done here.

They ARE up to the task, actually. That much is not really in dispute, considering the level of technology that went into the Great Wall of China.

Other than the volume of stone that went into their respective constructions, we’re talking apples and oranges here; only some of the tools and techniques would be the same, because the individual stones in the Great Wall are not even as big as those in the Great Pyramid, and to my recollection, the “GW” doesn’t include granite blocks, and even if it did, they had iron tools by then, didn’t they?

It really isn't a question of IF the Egyptians used primitive technology to build the pyramids. Everyone's pretty sure that they did, not for any particular reason except that it's usually safe to assume that old technology is less advanced than new technology

And this is precisely the problem, and my point! The “myth of the given” is never questioned by most, even though, as you say, “not for any particular reason except that it's usually safe to assume”. I, on the other hand, say it’s never safe to assume, especially in science.

Yes they did. It was "The Great Pyramids were definitely NOT built by archeologists."

I doubt they learned that either, but that they did not build it is the main reason they have no more authority than anyone else in telling the rest of us how it was, or was not done!

Only when empirical data is not available, which is distressingly often. They PREFER empirical data, obviously, but you make due with what you have.

And it is for this reason that archeology is not truly an empirical discipline, like I said.

In other words, more often than not they have to “guess”, so we’re right back where we started with this line if discussion where I said as much as you just did in the above, yet you objected. We could have saved ourselves much wailing and gnashing of teeth if you had just agreed with me in the first place.

I also suggested that sometimes “empirical data” is available, but it is missed or devalued because it falls under the expertise of another discipline (like the difference between wind erosion and rain erosion) and is not recognised as the vital clue that it is.

Then you no longer have that evidence and cannot show it to anyone. Someone else can testify that you did have the evidence, but then it's no longer empirical, it's indirect.

So you’ve just refuted your own position! The whole point of rephrasing your definition –keeping only the salient part about obtaining evidence which subsequently disappears- that “empirical” evidence doesn’t have to be replicable; was to show the absurdity of your definition.

To demonstrate, let’s juxtapose your original example of “empirical” evidence against your reply to my rephrased version.

Empirical data doesn't need to be "repeatable" as such. I can count the number of bones in a human body three seconds before I stuff that body in a woodchipper and grind him into pulp; no one else will be able to collect that data ever again, but I still have it and I still obtained it by observation.”

“Then you no longer have that evidence and cannot show it to anyone. Someone else can testify that you did have the evidence, but then it's no longer empirical, it's indirect.”

And yet you accuse me of not understanding your position! Heck. You don’t even understand your own position from one post to the next!

Nuff said!

Last edited by TIN_MAN; November 23 2012 at 10:00 PM.
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