I’m reading and studying Charles Ginenthal’s “Pillars of History” series, (volumes 1 and 2) and recognised an interesting intellectual trait or characteristic in how archaeologists and other ‘scientists’ lapse into dogmatic/religious behaviour when explaining problematical history.
Ginenthal is of the Velikovskian camp that asserts history has to be shortened; Gunnar Heinsohn is another along with Emmet Sweeny, Lyn Rose etc. These shortened chronology advocates more or less maintain that middle east civilisation started around 1200 BC, before which a ‘Velikovskian-event’ happened, a global externally driven climatic and geologic catastrophe.
For example the Shorter History (SH) camp maintains that middle east history was nore or less doubled or expanded, and that the Sumerians alleged to exist ~2500 years BC, actually existed in the 1st millennium BC and were the Chaldeans. Sumerian civilisation is demonstrated by artefacts, etc, cunieform tablets and various tells, but there is scant evidence for the Chaldeans, if any, and intriguingly the Greeks and Romans never heard of the Sumerians but did know of the Chaldeans. A similar pattern was identified between the Mitanni and Medes, where there is, again, abundant archaeological evidence for the Mitanni but not much if any for the Medes.
The explanation for the lack of archaelogical evidence for the Chaldeans and Medes falls onto the ploy of ‘denudation’, in which erosion is used to explain the lack of evidence.
This same ploy is also used to explain the ‘missing’ species problem in biological evolution, where the necessary intervening species linking one specie to another are deemed to have existed in the various geological hiati, such as unconformities, etc, or the result of ‘denudation’ or erosion. And while on a geological note, subduction zones are exemplary mechanisms to hide all sorts of geological paradoxes or problems.
Closer to our times is the identification of a phantom or dark-age in the first millennium AD, (CE), where Heinsohn has identified a possible 700 years of fabricated history between 235AD and 935AD for which there is no stratigraphic evidence, much like the lack of stratigraphic evidence for the Sumerian-Chaldean problem, and also the Mitanni-Mede one. In the case of the most recent ‘dark-age’ that terminated the Roman-Era, the catastrophic events associated with the Comet of Justinian, thus seems the most plausible explanation if we presume this comet was possibly Venus and which was worshipped by both the Israelites and many arabs. It might be important that Islam’s most holy place, the K’aaba in Mecca, houses a fragment of a meteorite, possibly linked to Venus; But I speculate.
Rather, I want to point to the fact that science seems to have developed into a prophesising institution, here the imminent climate catastrophe that many believe to be heading humanity’s way.
But what distinguishes science from religion is that the scientific method does not rely on authority to settle observations, while religion does. Hence when archaeologists and historians assert that the Sumerians and Mitanni civilisations existed, but which the Greeks and Romans, etc knew nothing about, and then argue that the evidence for the Chaldeans and Medes have been eroded away, then that process of thinking is essentially religious.
The problem is that religious thinkers cannot change their minds, since to do so would potentially mean rejecting their authority or theory and hence must resort to ad hoc alternatives when contradictory evidence is encountered that needs to be explained. The scientific thinker, as the late economist John Maynard Keynes stated, changes his mind if the facts change. There is a good reason why Karl Marx, or was it Engels, who described religion as the opiate of the masses. After all, a fixed pattern of thinking that has become habitual and hence almost unconscious, is the hallmark of the religious mind. And minds that cannot change their thinking patterns and adapt to new circumstances, are essentially fossilised minds, and thus dead. But a very animated dead if one has to be honest; undeads that refuse to lie down and pass on.
The present battle between the climate sceptics and the climate changers is essentially religious in nature, and my advice to the sceptics is to flow with the winds of change rather than resist, since their goals remain unachievable.