Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Book Review: Underground! : The Disinformation Guide to Ancient Civilizations, Astonishing Archaeology and Hidden History

So it's been a while since I read Underground!, but thought I'd write up some opinions about it. What made me think of the book was listening to Zohara Hieronimus' FutureTalk show via podcast. On this particular show, they were talking to an individual talking about something called human devolution as an alternative to Darwinism. I'm pretty sure it's the same person who wrote a piece in Underground! about the same thing.

Now, I'm all for admitting that "the map is not the territory" and that scientists can be as guilty as anyone else for practicing what RAW calls "modeltheism" - worshipping the model instead of realizing it's just a model. On the other hand, I think finding a few cases where people try to fit the findings into a model (or hide them altogether) doesn't mean that science needs to be abandoned altogether and things like human devolution (some sort of Vedic theory about human bodies being vessels prepared for souls to descend into, and the bodies being designed from the outset or somesuch thing) or intelligent design need to be embraced.

And that's where Underground! fails in spots. Some of the pieces in there are great, and you don't need to take flights of fancy to think they are possible. Others, like the human devolution one and another one that talks about the technology of the pyramids are, well, uh....

I guess this is the case with a lot of disinfo's output: some of the stuff is great, but all needs to be taken with a grain of salt. It's almost like these guys revel in RAW's Maybe Logic sort of thinking - a person with one set of encylopedias is sure of his "facts" - someone with more than that isn't so sure, and things like the Internet or in particular bring that to the fore with an exclamation point. Now you have to bring critical thinking and research to bear since it quickly becomes obvious there isn't any authority on everything (and people and groups have their agendas and reality tunnels they bring to the table, of course). Anyway, I bought Underground! and don't regret it, but I do wish some of the sillier things could have been excised.

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