Ancient Aliens Debunked

Ancient Aliens Debunked is a 3 hour refutation of the theories proposed on the History Channel series Ancient Aliens. It is essentially a point by point critique of the “ancient astronaut theory” which has been proposed by people like Erich von Däniken and Zecharia Sitchin as well as many others.

The film covers topics like ancient building sites: Puma Punku, The Pyramids, Baalbek, Incan sites, And Easter Island.

Ancient artifacts: Pacal’s rocket, the Nazca lines, the Tolima “fighter jets”, the Egyptian “light bulb”, Ufo’s in ancient art, and the crystal skulls.

Ancient text issues: Ezekiel’s wheel, Ancient nuclear warfare, Vimana’s, the Anunnaki, and the Nephilim.

All the claims are sourced at the website. It was produced by Chris White and includes commentary from Dr. Michael Hesier.

It is distributed for free on the internet and is a completely non-profit project. Viewers are encouraged to share, and burn copies to DVD, as long as they do not profit from its distribution.

Thoroughly referenced and worth watching, even though it’s three hours long. Hat tip to Skeptic.com for pointing out its existence.

Caleb Scharf – Gravity’s Engines

From Authors @ Google. Caleb Scharf discusses his book Gravity’s Engines: How Bubble-Blowing Black Holes Rule Galaxies, Stars, and Life in the Cosmos.

Caleb Scharf - Gravity's EngineWe’ve long understood black holes to be the points at which the universe as we know it comes to an end. Often billions of times more massive than the Sun, they lurk in the inner sanctum of almost every galaxy of stars in the universe. They’re mysterious chasms so destructive and unforgiving that not even light can escape their deadly wrath.

Recent research, however, has led to a cascade of new discoveries that have revealed an entirely different side to black holes. As the astrophysicist Caleb Scharf reveals in Gravity’s Engines, these chasms in space-time don’t just vacuum up everything that comes near them; they also spit out huge beams and clouds of matter. Black holes blow bubbles.

With clarity and keen intellect, Scharf masterfully explains how these bubbles profoundly rearrange the cosmos around them. Engaging with our deepest questions about the universe, he takes us on an intimate journey through the endlessly colorful place we call our galaxy and reminds us that the Milky Way sits in a special place in the cosmic zoo—a “sweet spot” of properties. Is it coincidental that we find ourselves here at this place and time? Could there be a deeper connection between the nature of black holes and their role in the universe and the phenomenon of life? We are, after all, made of the stuff of stars.

Logical Fallacies poster / website

Logical fallacies poster
Recognizing logical fallacies is not only an indispensable tool in the skeptic’s toolset, but it is also very useful in day-to-day discussions/debates for recognizing faulty arguments:

In logic and rhetoric, a fallacy is usually an improper argumentation in reasoning often resulting in a misconception or presumption. Literally, a fallacy is “an error in reasoning that renders an argument logically invalid”. By accident or design, fallacies may exploit emotional triggers in the listener or participant (appeal to emotion), or take advantage of social relationships between people (e.g. argument from authority). Fallacious arguments are often structured using rhetorical patterns that obscure any logical argument.

Though an argument is not “logically valid”, it is not necessarily the case that the conclusion is incorrect. It simply means that the conclusion cannot be arrived at using that argument. (…)

The nice poster above is from yet another website that explains the most common logical fallacies. Other excellent sites with information on, and explanations of, logical fallacies are this one, this one, and finally this one.

It may take several readings of those sites to become familiar with the specifics of these fallacies, but the result is being able to recognize them in discussions when they occur, as well as knowing how to counter them, if needed.