The Debate on Graham Hancock – Archaeology or …. Bust?
At least Twitter and Youtube have been going nuts on this poor guy’s head. Lots of posts about who he is and if he has things right. And worse, if he has the right to say anything. (Free speech vs bigotry?)
So I thought I’d raise a few issues in the debate…. (in case you’ve been living under a rock lol)
- GH has a Bachelor in Sociology. It’s true that that isn’t archaeology, but it IS a well respected field of human study. And shy of an MA and PHD thesis, he’s done a lot of the work of being an academic. He’s obv learned to research and write. Two things that get you tenure in the academic world. One could argue that his books and the Netflix program prove that he has these skills. But he made the fatal decision to go private…. (Academics hate that!! Academics also have grudge matches between fields and accepted theories!!)
- GH also has a long background in journalism. So he knows how to tell a story and what questions to ask. He can and has shown that he can teach. He knows how to do research. Which is key in academics. You can argue his conclusions (Nephilim or visitors from Atlantis taught the early people), and maybe some of the sources he considers to be credible… But again that is a field issue. Academia isn’t monolithic. Just because archaeology doesn’t buy his theories, it doesn’t mean no field would. Though I doubt sociology would either. Unless they were considering it to be a modern myth & their origin view. And there are sociologists who study that very thing. So not that off.
- GH is getting people really excited about topics that are pretty dry. Like weather patterns, migration of peoples and why they did that, human evolution, stone age cultures…. So that’s a good thing, right? (Are archaeologists jealous? Are they being protectionist? Duh!)
- GH has picked up on common myths told by many Indigenous groups and brought them to today. One of a ‘visitor’ or origin people who taught them what they needed to know to survive. And included scientific sources/interviews and tests that even archaeology accepts as valid and tested the myth or theory he has against those tests. He has noted that the world of the sea and underneath cities cannot be fully explored. So much has been lost in even that context. And some entire cultures no longer exist. Not even as ancestors to current peoples.
- Yes GH is a white man going around telling tales. Ahem! So are a LOT of archaeologists. And at least he’s interviewing the locals. He’s not considering them to be savages who can tell him nothing….
- GH is also not saying no one was in the Americas prior to the Clovis era. He’s also not saying the Beringia bridge is the only plausible explanation for how the first people came here. That is a pretty ‘easy’ explanation, dependent on early peoples not inventing things like boats or rafts. Which stone age people did indeed have. Which they are now known to have had. If you do consider the one land bridge possible, why aren’t you looking to see if others were? What about land shifts or islands that once were bigger during earlier iterations? Placing them closer to each other?
- GH has not ever claimed to be anything but a guy who goes around interviewing people and checking records. Armchair research is commonly used by many fields and inside their fields they don’t seem to consider it to be junk. Whether or not they should? It’s not like they have much of a choice when looking at lost peoples.
- Is GH right? Plato (who many social fields consider to be a ‘father’ of their field) was the one who raised the Atlantis ‘myth’ in the first place.
- And as I said, many cultures have the story of an other or other people, a god, demon or alien who arrives to teach them things. So saying this doesn’t make GH racist. Not in and of itself.
- Academia is full of money woes and jealousy over who gets the funds for their depts, research grants, and publications. And it is a live or die fight, You can’t keep yourself on the tenure track without proving you have the stuff to make them money or bring cachet to their school. And again going private was all it took to make GH their target. Whatever he said.
If you have been following the debate, what do you think of the fuss?