Friday, December 16, 2005

And while I'm waxing iconoclastic . . .

The 10 Most Puzzling Ancient Artifacts

Could it be, however, that conventional science is just as mistaken as the Bible stories? There is a great deal of archeological evidence that the history of life on earth might be far different than what current geological and anthropological texts tell us.

(Via Chapel Perilous.)






And don't miss my own free-form speculation on the connection between "impossible" grooved spheres and Saturn's moon Iapetus.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

in what way do you mean "impossible"?

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/mom/spheres.html

Boogey_Man said...

Could be someone in a far future creates a time machine. As part of a prank he fires it up and starts tossing stuff through to far flung past epochs.

"Hehe! This will really bake their noodle!"

Mac said...

Boogey Man--

I've thought of that. If any of these objects are true anachronisms and not misidentifications/hoaxes -- and that point is open to debate -- I'd almost be more inclined to accept that they were displaced in time than created by some unknown prehistoric civilization.

Ken Younos said...

I thought it has been established that these mystery spheres are natural phenomena.

Mac said...

Ken--

The spheres appear to be natural formations. The grooves are more difficult to explain, and it's unclear how many of the spheres have them.

In any case, I find some of the other artifacts more intriguing.

W.M. Bear said...

If any of these objects are true anachronisms and not misidentifications/hoaxes -- and that point is open to debate....

Exactamondo. One major problem with anomalistics is just that many of the phenomena that constitute its subject matter have this, shall we say, somewhat dubious quality. Descriptions of these types of anomalies from various sources simply (by and large) cannot be taken at face value. However, two of the items which ARE apparently authentic are the "Baghdad battery" and the ancient (probably Greek in origin)calculator/astrolabe with differential gearing. For one thing, I find it perfectly plausible that some ancient Middle Eastern civilization might have discovered electricity and how to make use of it. Much of the scientific and technical knowledge from ancient cultures and civilizations was lost during the European Dark Ages (roughly from the fall of the Roman Empire about 500 AD to the rise of the Middle Ages at the beginning of the 2nd Millenium). So its no great surprise that they may have had technological capabilities of which we know next to nothing. (For example, it's also known that the ancient Greek Hero of Alexandria invented a steam engine and quite possibly also a model airplane.)

gordon said...
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gordon said...

I think we went over the South African spheres in a previous post. As I said then, they are well known (and well explained) by conventional geophysics.

Perhaps I didn't mention that when you actually see the specimens (eg at the University's rock collection), the majority of them are far from "anomalistic" - if you saw all the spheres together, they're far less impressive - pulling one or two out of context of course, makes them look far more "sinister".

wearethemetrons said...

Don't confuse em with the facts Gordon, you'll spoil all their fun.

Mac said...

Gordon--

I, for one, appreciate your skepticism.

As most readers can tell from reading the comments at my old sphere post, I wrote my original column -- what I clearly label "free-form speculation" -- before conversing with those more knowledgable than me.

By no means do I choose to be "bothered by facts."

IamTenBears said...

sorry mac, but i guess if you're going to mix your "free form speculations" about already-known-misidentifications like the spheres with what you present as "serious" speculation, then you're going to confuse people as to which is which. Maybe there's not so much difference after all?

W.M. Bear said...

I think we went over the South African spheres in a previous post. As I said then, they are well known (and well explained) by conventional geophysics.

So, Gordon, could you please favor us with those explanations? (I mean this seriously. Unlike certain others on this blog who shall remain nameless, I'm not being sarcastic.) I'm aware that spheres can accrete by natural processes, possibly, I guess, even fairly sizable ones -- it's those three parallel equatorial grooves in at least one of them that kind of has me puzzled as to what geological process was operative there. And as to taking all the spheres on exhibit collectively, well, I can only say that all it takes is a single ETI Artifact to scatter our received, conventional scientific notions all across the barren intellectual landscape like so many Martian machine parts.

So I'm going to reveal my "dirty little secret" anomalistics-wise. Frankly, I would honestly LOVE it if the "rare earth" hypothesis for explaining the Fermi Paradox turns out to be correct, intelligence is an extremely rare product of evolution, and we are the first and only intelligent species to arise, at least in our own galaxy, possibly the entire Universe. I find the contrary notion, that we are surrounded by a "hypercivilization" (to use the what is evidently the latest SETI buzzword) basically depressing. Been there done that will be their basic view of our feeble efforts to evolve. Even the notion that we were preceded in this solar system by a civilization that scattered itself in ruins across the face of Mars (so to speak) does not strike me as terribly comforting. (Fascinating? Absolutely. But a fact that makes me want to live for the great adventure of traveling to the stars? If that means finding out that we're merely the galaxy's special needs evolutionary basket case, not terribly.)

gordon said...

WMB,

Just briefly, as I went over this in some detail earlier (check the archives?).

The "spheres" are actually at least two different object types. Some are pyrite nodules, some are goethite. Both are relatively soft mineral assemblages (although some less-than-reputable newspapers reported them as "harder than steel"). Metamorphism of these nodules in a host rock accounts for the approximate spherical shape. Although the spheres are > 2 billion years old, the "grooves" cannot be, as they would have been defaced whilst in the host rock. Therefore the grooves were made after the nodules were released on the surface. Some look definitely natural. A small few look far more artificial, and probably are - carved by locals within the last 100 ~ 400 years.

W.M. Bear said...

Although the spheres are > 2 billion years old, the "grooves" cannot be, as they would have been defaced whilst in the host rock. Therefore the grooves were made after the nodules were released on the surface. Some look definitely natural. A small few look far more artificial, and probably are - carved by locals within the last 100 ~ 400 years.

Ah, that does make sense. Many thanks, Gordon. I never had any great intellectual commitment to the idea that this was a model globe of Iapetus or some such. And as I said, I am actually happier to see possible anomalies like these "explained away" than I would be to think that they might actually have been left behind by ETI. It's just that, in some cases, the explanations DON'T add up the way they seem to in this instance. When they do, as with the mysterious spheres or, for that matter, Nick Redfern's take on Roswell, I am more than happy to go along! (When the "explaining away" DOESN'T add up, as seems to me to be the case with both large-scale formations on Mars and some of the objects in the Rover pix, well....)