Wednesday, February 27, 2013

De-Bunking a Myth

In a perfect world I'd blog every day.  Some days I'm busy and some days I just don't have anything to blog about (shocking!).  So today I did a google search "things to blog about" and one of the suggestions was de-bunking a myth.  While I don't have any actual data or research to de-bunk a myth, it got me thinking about my favorite kind of shows on the History Channel. 

Lately, I've been watching alot of "Ancient Aliens" and "America Unearthed."  These shows are positively fascinating to me.  I love shows that encourage open discussion and dialogue and open up a whole new world of "what if's."  Let's start with "America Unearthed" today and I'll discuss "Ancient Aliens" another day.  Yeah, I know.  Some of you can hardly wait.


"America Unearthed" is hosted by Scott Wolter, a forensic geologist and president of the Minnesota-based American Petrographic Services."  He developed a new science called archaeopetrography--a scientific process used to date and understand the origins of mysterious stone artifacts and sites. The first artifact Scott studied using this new science was the Kensington Rune Stone, which he believes is an authentic, pre-Columbian land claim carved here in America by none other than the Knights Templar. The Kensington Rune Stone is this guy's claim to fame and he is hell-bent on proving that Columbus was not the first to discover America.  He is convinced that the Knights Templar were here as well as a "giant" race of people (Vikings?) that settled in Minnesota (which is totally plausabile in my humble opinion if the Vikings stopped in Iceland and Greenland before hitting North America).  One of the shows examined the missing colony of Roanoke and another dissected the possibility of whether Meriwether Lewis could have been murdered shortly after his return from the American West. 

I like the show.  I really do.  However, there have been some red flags for me.  Sometimes Mr. Wolter seems like he's really, really reaching to draw a conclusion which correlates with his personal agenda (Mr. Wolter has written a book on the Kensington Rune Stone so obviously his objective is to sell more books).  He's been called a modern-day Indiana Jones and the show has been described as "alternative history." 

Both the show and Mr. Wolter himself come under close scrutiny each week in a blog by a Mr. Jason Colavito who does his very best to de-bunk everything discussed on America Unearthed.  Colavito is a bestselling author and editor based in Albany, NY. He is internationally recognized by scholars, literary theorists, and scientists for his pioneering work exploring the connections between science, pseudoscience, and speculative fiction. His investigations examine the way human beings create and employ the supernatural to alter and understand our reality and our world. He has published several books and is "currently pursuing a number of projects, both in nonfiction and fiction" according to his website bio.  He's also launched his own line of print-on-demand books collecting rare texts about alternative history, the occult, and speculative fiction. Colavito holds a Bachelor of Arts from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York where he majored in both anthropology and journalism. A summa cum laude graduate, Colavito was recognized as the Distinguished Graduate in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, and he was made the Jessica Savitch Communications Scholar for his work in journalism. http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog.html  So yet again we have someone with ulterior motives -- to sell more books. 

4 comments:

David Dietle said...

He sells books because he's an author, it's what they do. He debunks garbage because it's what he does. Accusing him of otherwise is like saying a plumber only fixes pipes to take your money.

David Dietle said...

He sells books because he's an author, it's what they do. He debunks garbage because that's also what he does.


It's not an "ulterior motive", it's another part of his portfolio. :)

Anonymous said...

AU and AA peddle unscientific fantasies under the guise of anti-establishment and scientific open minded speculation on a 'History' channel.

It'd be nice if they made up some new stuff, but no, they are the same old fantasies which have been thoroughly debunked since they first appeared more than forty years ago.

Valerie said...

Thank you so much for your comments and opinions!



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