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One of my favourite things to do when browsing dating sites is to think about aliens. So what conclusions would it reach? Well, for one thing it would decide that the female of our species is a lot more attractive than the male, particularly as we age. This is partly because there is an abundance of gorgeous women on dating sites, and not quite so many men. I am constantly surprised by the woeful photographs posted by men trying to pick up women. They post photos of themselves from beneath their chin, so we are staring up their nostrils.
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Until now, I have assiduously avoided Ancient Aliens. I had a feeling that if I watched the show—which popularizes far-fetched, evidence-free idiocy about how human history has been molded by extra-terrestrial visitors—my brain would jostle its way out of my skull and stalk the earth in search of a kinder host. Or, at the very least, watching the show would kill about as many brain cells as a weekend bender in Las Vegas.
I steeled myself for the pain and watched the mind-melting madness unfold. If they did, my entire review would be little more than a string of expletives. Given my restrictions, I have little choice but to try to encapsulate the shiny, documentary-format rubbish in a more coherent and reader-sensitive way. There was so much wrong with the Ancient Aliens episode that I could spend all week trying to counteract every incorrect assertion.
This is a common technique among cranks and self-appointed challengers of science; it is called Gish Gallop after young earth creationist Duane Gish. When giving public presentations about evolution and creationism, Gish rapidly spouted off a series of misinterpretations and falsehoods to bury his opponent under an avalanche of fictions and distortions. Ancient Aliens uses the same tactic—the fictions come fast and furious.
Despite what basic cable cranks might say, Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops were not driven to extinction by aliens. While the main point of the episode is that aliens exterminated dinosaurs to make way for our species—a sci-fi scenario accompanied by some hilarious, mashed-together footage of dinosaurs fleeing from strafing alien craft, perhaps a preview of Dinosaurs vs.
Aliens the movie—the various ancient alien experts do little more than assert that such an event must have happened. Surprise, surprise, they provide no actual evidence for their claims. Instead, they borrow evidence for fundamentalist Christians, who are never actually identified as such. Dye is credited as a biblical archaeologist without any mention of his young earth creationist views. Ancient Aliens producers clearly did not care about the credentials or expertise of the talking heads they employed—just so long as someone said the right things in front of the camera.
Bird found human footprints associated with dinosaur trackways in the vicinity of Glen Rose, Texas. And a few local people carved fake human tracks in the same stone. Bird actually saw a pair of such forgeries at a trading post in Gallup, New Mexico, along with dinosaur tracks removed from the Glen Rose area, shortly before he left to investigate the site himself. He saw them for what they were, and was much more interested in the real dinosaur tracks imprinted in the same stone.
But some creationists, blinded by dogma, have put their faith behind fakes and even dinosaur tracks that they have misinterpreted as being human footprints. When theropod dinosaurs squatted down, for example, the backs of their lower legs, the metatarsals, left slightly curved depressions in the Cretaceous sediment, and creationists have misconstrued these markings to be the footsteps of ancient people.
Dye takes up the standard creationist line that humans and dinosaurs coexisted and reappears a little later in the episode to throw his support to a different icon of creationist nonsense—the Ica stones from Peru. These famous fakes are stones engraved with images of dinosaurs and humans interacting. They were created by farmer Basilio Uschuya and his wife, using pop culture depictions of dinosaurs in books as their guides.
Despite this, both Dye and the Ancient Aliens program present the stones as if they were authentic ancient artifacts that record the survival of dinosaurs such as Triceratops to almost the present day. Dye says that ancient people must have known a lot about dinosaurs because the stones are engraved so precisely, even though we know that precision came from Uschuya copying midth century dinosaur art so carefully. Our narrator says that scientists are skeptical about the origin of the stones, but nothing more.
The show offers a few other awful gems. Our narrator goes on at length about how carbon dating is unreliable for telling the age of dinosaurs, but paleontologists do not use carbon to estimate the age of non-avian dinosaurs. Radiocarbon dating only works for carbon-bearing materials up to about 60, years old. Instead, paleontologists use different radiometric dating techniques to constrain the history of non-avian dinosaurs.
In uranium-lead dating, for example, geologists investigate the relative abundance of uranium and lead, the element uranium decays into, to determine the age of the rock the materials were sampled from. Different dating systems are used for rocks of different ages, and these techniques have put time estimates on when dinosaurs lived.
The key is finding layers such as ash beds that contain radioactive materials and are above or below layers containing dinosaurs. But my favorite bit of babble involves the ultimate fate of the dinosaurs. Fringe television personality Franklin Ruehl makes a case for the modern or recent existence of non-avian dinosaurs by way of the coelacanth. These archaic lobe-finned fish, which Ruehl rightly points out were around long before the first dinosaurs evolved, were thought to be extinct before a live one was hauled up off South Africa in Since then, a handful of fossil coelacanth finds has bridged the gap between their modern representatives and those that lived at the end of the Cretaceous 66 million years ago.
As paleontologist Darren Naish has pointed out multiple times, though, the coelacanth is a red herring. In strata from the past 66 million years or so, at least, coelacanth fossils are rare and hard to identify. Non-avian dinosaurs, however, had bones that were far more diagnostic. In fact, the resolution of prehistoric eras gets better as we investigate slices of time approaching the present.
If creatures as large and distinctive as Triceratops , Stegosaurus , Apatosaurus and Tyrannosaurus really did thrive for millions of years after the end-Cretaceous asteroid impact, they would have turned up in the fossil record by now. The evidence is clear—with the exception of avian dinosaurs, all other dinosaur lineages went extinct about 66 million years ago.
Shortly after Ruehl makes his proclamation, however, the program entirely forgets what he said. The suggestion is unadulterated bunk as is they whole show, really. And then crazy-haired alien fanatic Giorgio Tsoukalos throws out another idea. And his talking head peers generally mutter about aliens clearing the way for our species somehow. Which is it? Did aliens clear away dinosaurs so that we might live? Or did some dinosaurs escape extinction somehow?
Competing ideas bounce around like ping-pong balls during the whole episode. Grandpa Simpson tells more coherent stories. There were a few real scientists on the program. Paleontologists Luis Chiappe and Mark Wilson, for example, make appearances throughout the show. Responsible researchers are typically taken out of context to help set up unsupported fictions spewed by the alien fan club. Shows like Ancient Aliens , MonsterQuest and Finding Bigfoot apparently have little or no interest in actually talking about science.
The most sensationalist speculation will always triumph. Actual experts are brought in to deliver sound bites that are twisted and taken out of context while fanatics are given free reign. Fiction is presented as fact, and real scientific research is so grossly misrepresented that I can only conclude that the program is actively lying to viewers. To present the show as a documentary, on a non-fiction network, is a loathsome move by the History Channel spinoff.
But Ancient Aliens and shows like it winnow away at actual scientific understanding by promoting absolute dreck. Ancient Aliens is worse than bad television. The program shows a sheer contempt for science and what we really know about nature. Subscribe or Give a Gift. Sign up. SmartNews History. History Archaeology. World History. Some of the Amazon's Oldest Human Burials. Science Age of Humans. Human Behavior. Our Planet.
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Optimised for dating on the go. George Noory, syndicated radio host of Coast to Coast AM, heard on over radio stations nightly, created Paranormal Date. Mar 26, If you want to initiate some supernatural online dating, visit Kreskin's site The science of proving an object was created by an extraterrestrial.
Posted by: Alejandro Rojas March 26, 4 Comments. The Amazing Kreskin, world-renowned mentalist, has launched a dating website where people who believe in UFOs, aliens, ghosts, or any other supernatural topic can find like minded people. Kreskin says on the site that many people do not respect people with strange beliefs, so he is doing his part to get like minded people together. In an interview with Cosmopolitan , Kreskin went into more detail about the site.
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Until now, I have assiduously avoided Ancient Aliens. I had a feeling that if I watched the show—which popularizes far-fetched, evidence-free idiocy about how human history has been molded by extra-terrestrial visitors—my brain would jostle its way out of my skull and stalk the earth in search of a kinder host. Or, at the very least, watching the show would kill about as many brain cells as a weekend bender in Las Vegas. I steeled myself for the pain and watched the mind-melting madness unfold. If they did, my entire review would be little more than a string of expletives. Given my restrictions, I have little choice but to try to encapsulate the shiny, documentary-format rubbish in a more coherent and reader-sensitive way.
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Have you even been on Tinder, swiping left over and over, and thought "This would be so much better if I knew which guys here believed in ghosts"?
Professor Wright has demonstrated and discussed the important science that is at the root of the Drake Equation The Drake Awards celebrate exemplary contributions to astrobiology through scientific research and space exploration.
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