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Who Died…

01 Mar

and left these people in charge of what is or isn’t archaeology?

Bad Archaeology is the brainchild of a couple of archaeologists who are fed up with the distorted view of the past that passes for knowledge in popular culture. We are unhappy that books written by people with no knowledge of real archaeology dominate the shelves at respectable bookshops. We do not appreciate news programmes that talk about ley lines (for example) as if they are real.(https://badarchaeology.wordpress.com/about/)

This is the problem with so many fields of science, everyone thinks that they are the expert and they only have the true way a scientific field should operate.Here is a link to their website– http://www.badarchaeology.com/

When you arrive at their webpage you will read the following:

Bad Archaeology: exposing frauds, misconceptions and distortions

That would be nice if those people actually had the truth and not using their subjective opinions which are influenced by their lack of belief in Jesus and the truth.To prove this point we only have to point to the paragraph immediately under the title:

Bad Archaeology began as part of my personal website in 1997, back in the early days of the web. I was joined by James Doeser as co-author in 2007. The name was inspired by astronomer Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy website (now a blog hosted by slate.com). James and I are fed up with the distorted view of the past that passes for knowledge in popular culture. We are unhappy that books written by people with no knowledge of real archaeology dominate the shelves at respectable bookshops. We do not appreciate news programmes that talk about ley lines (for example) as if they are real. We want to show that claims about alien DNA in ancient skeletons (for instance) are fraudulent.

While we agree with them on topics like aliens, that doesn’t excuse the fact that they use their own ideas to make determinations about other peoples’ discoveries or beliefs.Their standard for determination is not objective but very flawed as their views are biased and not honest.

In short, we are Angry Archaeologists.

If they were honest, had the truth, and were truly objective we would join them but they are not. Most of the time they are promoting their own ideas on different issues and get nowhere near the truth.Their explanation for what archaeology is supports this point as we read:

Archaeology is extraordinarily diverse. From the field technicians knee deep in mud in a Hebridean winter to the Classical specialist examining frescoes on a wall at Pompeii, from the geneticist tracing ancient bovine DNA to the linguist refining our understanding of Maya inscriptions, the range of specialisms and viewpoints is enormous. Nevertheless, there are commonalities of approach and boundaries to that diversity, united by what may be termed ‘the scientific method’.

These boundaries are best explained by showing what archaeology is not. Someone who uses explanations that involve unknown civilisations, extraterrestrial contact, the inerrancy of religious texts or the operation of paranormal powers, belongs to a very different intellectual tradition from mainstream archaeology. The orthodoxy – itself a mass of contradictory, competing and often abstruse arguments – generally relegates these other investigators to a ‘fringe’ or ‘cult’ status, as a result their claims go unchallenged.

This is what bothers us not just about that website but about people involved in scientific research in general. They define the field to be whatever they want it to be, ignoring the realities of scientific research: the subjectiveness of the research and verification, the limitations, the missing information that cannot be recovered, the speculation & conjecture involved. Along with the personal desires of those involved in the research- the protection of one’s reputation or life’s work.

In that blurb we can see the bias against religion, its texts and that bias influences their point of view rendering any claim to objectivity moot.

We aim to explore the main strands of thought within the ‘fringe’ on this site. We want to explain how and why the ideas of the ‘fringe’ are different from those of orthodox archaeology. Much of what we write aims to debunking the misconceptions and distortions of the past promoted by fringe writers. Even so, we are always open to the idea that they may be able to tell orthodox archaeology something of value. The fringe is interesting and entertaining in its own right. This site can only scratch the surface of such a huge area of human endeavour.

This is fine and they are free to do this but they need to remember that those they exam are also free to present their opinions just like they do. Freedom is a two-way street and not an avenue for censorship of those who disagree with these archaeologists.

A quick look through the comments that have been made on various pages will throw up some interesting views. In particular, you will find that our critics accuse us of arrogance, bullying, closed-mindedness, even being in the pay of governments to suppress The Truth™. We are none of these. If you return to the site time and again, you will find that we update our pages when new information comes along, correcting errors that we have made. This is something that Bad Archaeologists never do.

I would be one of those critics though not to the extent that they present here. It is okay to disagree with those you find to be different and present different views, but then one must have something more than subjective opinion to back up their constructive criticisms of those different theories.Simply saying that archaeology doesn’t support, for example, the biblical flood is not good enough because that statement ignores all the mitigating factors that hinder recovery of physical evidence.

Failure to address and accept those mitigating factors is not good archaeology either. Some of those mitigating factors are destructive to the survival of physical remains and a partial list includes: wars, invasions, construction, natural disasters, erosion and so on. It is not objective or truthful to say archaeology does not support a biblical or some other historical event when archaeology cannot possibly recover all the vital physical evidence needed to show that those events took place.

Blaming religious texts for the failure of archaeology is not right nor is it good archaeology. That is passing the buck and infers an idealistic view of what archaeology can or cannot do.We need to include all scientific fields here as well. The limitations of archaeology and other scientific fields does not mean the religious texts are limited or in error, it means that certain events are beyond the scope of archaeology and science and that those fields of research are not equipped to be an authority on life, history or even religion.

I (Keith) have received personal abuse, insults, complaints to my employer (!) and have even been threatened with legal action over some pages and posts. I am not put off. We will continue to dig away, exposing Bad Archaeology wherever we find it.

This should not take place, especially if those doing this abuse claim to be Christian. These men are free to present their ideas in the manner that fits within societal rules. They should not be bullied, threatened and so on simply because they disagree with others. Disagreements with their work and ideas should be carried out in an adult manner supported by proper evidence and thought.

ONE FINAL point:

This page, inspired by the release of the film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull examines the way in which fact and fiction can become blurred in Hollywood film, and what this means for archaeology.

Analysing blockbuster movies can be a perilous exercise for an occasionally curmudgeonly archaeologist. As you can imagine, there are a million and one sites out there on the web whose purpose is to point out the faults, inaccuracies and various anachronistic quirks found in Hollywood films.

Archaeologists need to realize two things about Hollywood films: 1). Movies are meant to entertain not be factual  and 2). correcting the errors found in movies is a waste of time. The errors are there to propel the plot not tell a factual history story.

If archaeologists want to correct those errors, they should make their own movie with the real facts, though that may be hard to do as when you have 4 archaeologists in a room you get 5 opinions, and make it as entertaining as a Hollywood film (another impossible feat). Hollywood is not an academic institution so stop imposing academic rules upon their work

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Posted by on March 1, 2016 in academics, archaeology, astronomy, controversial issues, Genetics, history, leadership, science, theology

 

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