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archaeology

Bone Wars: How Activists Are Targeting Teaching

Disputes rage across campuses and the courts concerning the location and treatment of human remains from other times, places, and cultures. How do we balance the rights of protesting ethnic groups against the scientific need to study and teach medicine, ancestry, and evolution? Disposition needs to be based on the preponderance of evidence — scientific versus affiliation to modern-day claimants.

Apocalypse! Why Graham Hancock’s Use of the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis in His Netflix Series Ancient Apocalypse Is All Wet

A major theme running throughout Ancient Apocalypse is Graham Hancock‘s persecution complex. Archaeologists are picking on him, he says, because “I am trying to overthrow the paradigm of history.” Hancock fails to understand that “just asking questions” is unlikely to create a scientific revolution. Especially when he appeals to a hypothetical comet catastrophe that violates the laws of physics, contradicts astronomical data, ignores the geological record, and defies logic. When scientists ask to see data, it’s not persecution. It’s science.

Upending Civilization

One of the surprise bestselling books of 2022 is David Graeber’s and David Wengrow’s book The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity, in which they attempt to upend the standard and widely accepted model of how Hunter-Gatherer bands and tribes developed into chiefdoms and states. How accurate is their alternative history of humanity? In this review essay, Chris Edwards considers the evidence as presented in this compelling book.

Elizabeth Weiss on Woke Archaeology and Erasing the Past

Michael Shermer speaks with anthropologist Elizabeth Weiss about woke archaeology and erasing the past, based on her book Repatriation.

eSkeptic for February 15, 2022

Michael Shermer speaks with anthropologist Elizabeth Weiss about woke archaeology and erasing the past, based on her book Repatriation.

Mytho-history: The “Evolution” of Adam and Eve

One of the most influential conservative Christian theologians goes all-in for evolutionary science and finds room for a Paleolithic Adam and Eve. This has left some schools of Christian orthodoxy scrambling to find a way forward. With any luck, they may start to reevaluate their opposition to evolution altogether.

David Wengrow on The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity

In this conversation, based on the book The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity, Michael Shermer speaks with professor of comparative archaeology, David Wengrow, about his pathbreaking research in archaeology and anthropology that fundamentally transforms our understanding of the human past and offers a path toward imagining new forms of freedom, new ways of organizing society.

eSkeptic for December 21, 2021

In this conversation, based on the book The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity, Michael Shermer speaks with professor of comparative archaeology, David Wengrow, about his pathbreaking research in archaeology and anthropology that fundamentally transforms our understanding of the human past and offers a path toward imagining new forms of freedom, new ways of organizing society.

eSkeptic for January 1, 2021

From our Distinguished Science Lecture Series Archives from February 2010, we present Jared Diamond, author of the Pulitzer-prize winning Guns, Germs, and Steel and the bestselling work in environmental history Collapse, revealing for the first time his methodology in the applied use of natural experiments and the comparative method.

The Mystery of Göbekli Tepe: A New Chapter in History

View of Göbekli Tepe excavation

Archaeologists believed that construction of megalithic monuments were beyond the capabilities of hunter-gatherers until they discovered Göbekli Tepe, a 12,000 year old site in Turkey. Is it proof of a lost civilization, or is there another answer?

eSkeptic for February 24, 2016

In this week’s eSkeptic, scientist and historian, Michael Shermer, responds to evolutionary biologist and anthropologist, David Sloan Wilson, about ancient warfare and the notion the blank slate.

On Slates and Tweets: A Reply to David Sloan Wilson on Ancient Warfare and the Blank Slate

Scientist and historian, Michael Shermer, responds to evolutionary biologist and anthropologist, David Sloan Wilson, about ancient warfare and the notion the blank slate.

Uncovering Archaeology Fantasies

Blake Smith interviews archaeologist Sara Head, co-host of a podcast that debunks the fringe claims of pseudo-archaeology.

10-05-05

Robert Temple is lauded and often cited by the New Age and alternative archaeology movements for his excellent scholarship and broad understanding of mythology and ancient history. In this week’s eSkeptic, Jason Colavito explores Temple‘s use of the Greek myth of Jason’s quest for the Golden Fleece to see if it stands up to scrutiny.

Natural Experiments of History

Jared Diamond, author of the Pulitzer-prize winning Guns, Germs, and Steel and the bestselling work in environmental history Collapse, here reveals for the first time his methodology in the applied use of natural experiments and the comparative method.

04-04-26

In this week’s eSkeptic, Jason Colavito examines alternative archaeology in his article, Charioteer of the Gods: H.P. Lovecraft and the Invention of the Ancient Astronauts. Richard Dawkins offers advice to young science writers.

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