Guide to Pseudo-Scholarship

Over the years that I have had this blog, I have come across some really strange claims.  In light of this, I decided to segregate these claims and my roundups of refutations to one location on my blog for easy reference.  Enjoy (and be sure to check out rogueclassicists’ Skept-o-meter).


1. Zeitgeist Mythicism
2. Ancient Aliens and Alien Astronaut Theories
3.  Jordan Lead Codices
4. Jesus, King of Edessa/King Arthur
5. Talpiot and the Jesus Family Tomb / Jonah and the Whale Ossuary

1. Zeitgeist Mythicism

The following posts deal with debunking Zeitgeist on this blog and link to other blogs doing the same thing (more to come):

Debunked on other websites (more to be added):

Who is Acharya S/D.M. Murdock?

2. Aliens Built the Pyramids?

Some time ago, I posted about the claims of aliens guiding the construction of the pyramids (or building them entirely).  Thanks to Aaron Adair, I decided to look around for the BBC Horizon episode and I found the videos online in 5 Parts and a transcript of the show.  At one point they were online, but it seems they are no longer available.  However, here is a snippet from the transcript:

NARRATOR: Archaeology has revealed the startling fact that in one small corner of the world the long road to a similar monument building society was taken by at least two different groups of people independently, proof that it could have happened all over the world again and again. There’s a simple reason why so many ancient peoples built pyramids. Before engineers had invented the dome, the spire or structural steel a sloping pile was the only high structure you could build. If you wanted a high showy monument when all there was to build with was heavy stone it had to be a pyramid. It didn’t take a master race from Atlantis to work it out.

KEN FEDER: So let’s cross off pyramids. Pyramids don’t make a very good argument for Ignatius Donnelly’s claim that there’s a common source in the middle of the Atlantic. Well what about writing? I mean that’s a very sophisticated technology. Well we do have writing on both sides of the Atlantic, so does that mean there’s a common source for the writing? Well again one would think that if there’s a common source for the writing then the writing on either side of the Atlantic would be the same, even identical. It’s coming from the same place – Atlantis.

NARRATOR: Writing is one of the greatest steps along the road to civilisation. Could it have come from Atlantis? Had Atlantian scribes brought writing to Egypt it should appear suddenly, a perfectly formed, complex system handed out to people who had no writing of their own. In Donnelly’s day this was a convincing idea. In every tomb and every temple the hieroglyphs seemed equally elaborate. But at Abydos, Gunter Dreyer made an extraordinary discovery. In the first early tomb he found here, centuries older than the first known hieroglyphs, was scores of little labels with symbols. They were baffling.

GUNTER DREYER: We found about 160 of these little labels, most of them in one chamber on the floor. At the beginning we didn’t understand what might be the meaning of these little labels. They have holes so they must have been fixed to something. Some show numbers so probably they indicated sizes or amounts, but those were the animal signs made no sense in the beginning, but when we tried to read them like hieroglyphs suddenly they made sense. Not all of them at the very beginning, but step by step we understood more and more of it.

NARRATOR: To Dreyer the symbols made no sense just as pictures. But when he read them according to the rules of later hieroglyphs their meaning fell into place. They were a simple system of record keeping: how much oil was in a jar or where a gift had come from. Dreyer had found the earliest known writing in Egypt. In later tombs he found more and more complex inscriptions. Over 500 years they led all the way to a full written language. The Egyptians didn’t get their 3 R’s from Atlantis.

GUNTER DREYER: Finding such objects is a great pleasure for an archaeologist. It’s the best discovery you can make and it’s the greatest thing to change the border between pre-history and history.

Read on here.  Not only does it expose the flaws of this sort of pseudoscience, but it discredits the arguments of a lot of the people who propose this thinking, including a few who I discussed in this blog.

Here is the video of Atlantis Reborn Again which covers refutations by leading academics, archaeologists, and others against the claims made by conspiracy theories as discussed in earlier blogs.

Additional links:

3. Lead Codices From Jordan?

A few years back, this blog was one of many which reached out to the media in an attempt to dissuade them from writing on this subject.  Below are a list of links which debunk the claims about the antiquity of these codices.

4. Was Jesus King of Edessa?

This claim, as well as the one that Jesus is also King Arthur, was made recently by a sensationalist author.  Here is everything one needs to know, including background information, on the claims being made:

5. The Talpiot Tombs and the Ossuaries

In 2012, a documentary aired in which it was claimed that several ossuaries represented the earliest Christian burials and inscriptions known to archaeology.  This was a follow-up documentary related to an earlier one from 2007 wherein it was claimed that the Jesus family ossuaries were found in a tomb near Talpiot.  Here is a roundup of links (in no particular order) which show that these claims are problematic and involve a great deal of special pleading.

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