From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Arbitration Committee Decisions on Pseudoscience

The Arbitration Committee has issued several principles which may be helpful to editors of this and other articles when dealing with subjects and categories related to "pseudoscience".

Four groups


I removed the Kon Tiki reference near the bottom. Mitochondrial DNA testing may indicate that Heyerdahl's theory was wrong, but that doesn't make it pseudo-archaeology. Also, I have yet to see a solid refution of his study of food plants in the Pacific and their interrelation with South American food-plant species... True, he may have been a sensationalist, but that does not necessarily discount the whole of his theories.

Pseudoarchaeology, fact or fiction? I don't believe that all searchers of Noah's Arc or other religious artifacts put their religious perspectives over scientific inquisitions. I hope that some day someone does find proof that the Arc really exists. Better yet somebody finds the Arc of the Covenient. Wouldn't that throw a rock into the gears of science!! I feel that religion although almost impossible to overlook in these searches should be put aside and kept at home. The thought that the bible is a treasure map will only cloud their investigations!!!

I removed the Antikythera mechanism and the Baghdad Battery from the 'see also' list. They are normal archaeological objects, and not pieces of pseudoarchaeology, as putting them on this page would seem to claim. I also removed the prior text from this talk page, because it was discussion about the subject of the page rather than about the page itself. Andre Engels 18:13, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)

removed the Antikythera mechanism and the Baghdad Battery? hmmm ... both are pointed to by some in the pseudoarchaeology community.
normal archaeological objects? YMMV on that ...
not pieces of pseudoarchaeology? They have been historically pseudoarchaeological subjects.
putting them on this page would seem to claim? Solution, mabey, is to note specifically that they were and are not, generally, anymore (e.g. ppl are looking for them now, analyising them, etc...)?
removed the prior text? it should be archived ... [rv'in that]
discussion about the subject of the page? That isn't what the talk page is for, inaddition to "about the page"? hmmm ...
Sincerely, JDR

I have re-added them now - re-reading the page I realized my objections could be solved by putting them directly under 'archaeology' rather than under 'anachronism'. However, regarding the last question, no a discussion page is not for discussion about the subject: See Wikipedia:Talk page#What is it used for?. Andre Engels 12:04, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

In other words, the Talk page is about the article on the subject, about making it better. But not for debating the subject itself. A useful distinction! The Antikythera mechanism has been controversial and represented, pseudoarchaeologically, as an anachronism. The pseudoarchaeology here is in the interpretation rather than in the find. Good to list it.Wetman 16:59, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Problematically, the Antikythera mechanism page itself no longer seems to discuss the anachronism theory, as they consider it too much of a minority opinion. I want to try seperating out the list on this page so that it should be clear what's bunk and what isn't. Ethan Mitchell 01:13, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Nationalistic/chauvinistic pseudoarchaeology[edit]

  • Piltdown Man, which was possibly forged to ensure that the earliest hominid was English.
  • The theory, commonly held by European settlers, that the mound builders were a long vanished group.

What are the sources for these two comments? Seems like conjecture to me. Piltdown Man may have been just to get a quick buck. Just because people thought the mound builders were gone does not imply prejudice. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aaronjhill (talkcontribs) 11:08, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

For the second, read Robert Silverberg's Mound Builders of Ancient America: The Archaeology of a Myth--Doug Weller (talk) 17:14, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Bad example[edit]

I think this paragraph

In a favorite area of pseudohistory claims are made that a major immigrant group of modern North Americans made a "discovery" of the New World before Columbus. Archaeology unearths a temporary Viking encampment at L'Anse aux Meadows. Pseudoarchaeology associates a stone tower at Newport, Rhode Island with Vikings or claims Viking remains in Minnesota.

is a really bad example, or is not phrased very clearly, since the discovery of a Viking encampment (however temporary) does prove that the Vikings discovered America before Columbus did.

The passage explicitly distinguishes the archaeology of L'Anse aux Meadows from the pseudoarchaeology of the Newport Tower and Minnesota pseudoarchaeology. Maybe it needs a "on the one hand..." etc. to make it even more obvious. Wetman 13:28, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)

That is not the part I am objecting to. The first sentence implies that America was not discovered by the Vikings. The second implies that it was.

I agree that it is badly worded. To me this paragraph says that the claim of pre-columbian discovery of America is pseudohistory, which it is not. I do not think this is the author's intention, either. My attempt at a rewrite: "One example of pseudoarchaeology is the claim of a Norse settlement of North America some five hundred years before Columbus. Although there is clear archaeological evidence of a temporary Norse settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows, pseudoarchaeology also associates a stone tower at Newport, Rhode Island with Vikings or claims Norse remains in Minnesota."--MaxMad 08:24, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Kon Tiki as pseudoarchaeology[edit]

... apart from the fact that I don't think KT is archaeology, I'm not sure it is pseudo-archaeology as such either. You can make the claims about the book and the theories, I think, but the point of KT etc, was to see if such a journey was feasible. It's an experiment, rather than complete evidence.

The Kon-Tiki expedition in itself was not pseudoarchaeology, since it proved its premise that the voyage was possible. On the other hand, Thor Heyerdahl's theories about population spreading from South America to Polynesia have been discredited, with DNA mapping techniques not available at the time of the expedition.--MaxMad 12:06, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Critical theory and pseudoarchaeology[edit]

The paragraph doesn't make a lot of sense:

Archaeologists (and pseudoarchaeologists) schooled in Critical Theory argue that all forms of scientific thought support an ideology of control through which efforts are made to influence society through the exploitation of scientists' status as 'experts'. A relativistic, post-processual commentator might also argue that as there is no such thing as 'truth', and that anyone's view is just as valid as anybody else's. The French philosopher Michel Foucault's concept of governmentality has also led some thinkers to see archaeologists as instruments of the state rather than neutral investigators of the past. The growth of Cultural Resources Management where archaeology is incorporated into the political planning process does little to refute this idea.

I'm a little worried by the implication that critical theory is somehow aligned with pseudoarchaeology. In fact, there is a pretty healthy cohort of critical/Marxist archaeologists who nonetheless practice a scientifically grounded archaeology. Indeed, critical theory has proved a useful avenue for understanding the motivations behind pseudoarchaeological assertions, particularly where those assertions are racist or ideological in nature. A 2004 Charles Orser book, "Race and Practice in Archaeological Interpretation," is one example.

Also, a number of archaeologists (e.g. Bruce Trigger, Bettinna Arnold) have been examining the statist uses of archaeology (with or without invoking Foucault) for some time, and consciousness of the use and misuse of archaeological knowledge is generally on the rise within the archaeological community. I am not sure that the fact that statism is present in archaeology - it is present in all endeavors undertaken in states - negates utterly the knowledge that it produces. Indeed, the difference between pseudoarchaeologies and "straight" archaeologies are that pseudoarchaeologies begin with a premise (ancient aliens) and go around looking for evidence to support the claim, while scientific archaeologies employ systematic data collection,recursive science practices, falsifiability and peer review as ways to produce knowledge. This paragraph seems to imply however, that the two are equally bogus.

I refer you to an essay by Alan Sokal (of the Sokal affair) titled Pseudoscience and Postmodernism: Antagonists or Fellow Travelers? Hoopes (talk) 15:35, 27 March 2013 (UTC)


I made extensive changes to the Critics section, mostly in an attempt to keep it NPOV, weed out irrelevent information, and generally improve the flow of the article. I have only a layman's understanding of the debate, but recommendations for legitimate archaeologists don't seem to have a place in an encyclopedia article relating to criticism of and by pseudoarchaeologists. -- 06:11, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

Article Author?[edit]


I wish to reference this article and I'd like to know the name of the author. Referencing the article to Wikipedia won't do sorry.



It's rarely a wise move to directly cite an encyclopedia article. But see Citing Wikipedia for info. There is no one author. Ethan Mitchell 01:13, 2 March 2006 (UTC)


How is calling archaeologists snobs NPOV?

Good work, but I think that your definition of "pseudo-" is too subjective.[edit]

For example, the statement:

"In a characteristic approach that is symptomatic of many other pseudosciences, an a priori conclusion is established beforehand, and fieldwork is undertaken explicitly to corroborate the theory in detail "

Therefore, if we didn't now know that he was right, Heinrich Schliemann's work at Troy would fit your definition of pseudoscience. Schliemann most-certainly did decide beforehand that he was going to find a city that the scientific world considered as "mythical" before he began work. However, he did find Troy! Yet if he had stopped one spadeful of dirt short of finding Troy he would be labelled a pseudoarcheologist instead of an archeologist.

This is why I think that your definition needs some more clarification.

I purpose that you rethink your definition of "pseudo-" in terms of whether or not the purposed explanation of a historical event follows the scientific method and/or is consistant with logic and currently-known facts.

My own personal concept of pseudoscience is more in terms of the intentional or careless distortion and misrepresention of evidence in order to construct specious arguments that "sound" scientific with the intention of misleading the public.

Schliemann certainly did not adhere to what we now consider best-practice in archeology. However, he did not intentionally mislead the public either. Using the practices of the time, he made and honest effort to solve a mystery.

Actually, I prefer the term "alternative history" for authors like Hancock and Bauval, among others, and I think it has its place. In some respects we could consider works of alternative history as new hypotheses, yet to be tested. The distinction may be only that we do not have the technology or information to test these hypotheses currently. The inablility to test a hypothesis with science neither dispproves nor proves that hypothesis. Instead, in my honest opinion, it means the issue is still on the table for discussion.

AndyBlackard 16:19, 26 September 2005 (UTC)Andy Blackard

I disagree. There is a continuum between science and pseudoscience. Schliemann was a pseudoarchaeologist, at least at the start - he didn't know how to do it right, he destroyed lots of clues by digging right through layers that didn't interest him, and he jumped to conclusions. He learned from others though and crossed the border to real archaeology (I think).
Intentional deception is rare among pseudoscientists. The great majority believes in what they are doing.
"The inability to test a hypothesis with science neither disproves nor proves that hypothesis. Instead, in my honest opinion, it means the issue is still on the table for discussion."
No. If the hypothesis cannot be tested, there is no possibility to discuss it either. Except the sort of "discussion" that only consists of different wordings of "maybe this is right, maybe that. We have no idea". But that's not a real discussion. Untestable hypotheses are useless. They are "not even false". --Hob Gadling 09:49, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

"your edits are unsubstantiated"[edit]

I'm confused by this reason to arbitrarily remove all of my edits being there is nothing to "substantiate". All I did was tone down your obviously biased and rhetoric. This entire page is subjective and one-sided and clearly written with disdain for what is in your opinion psuedoscience. Even something as simple as mentioning Von Daineken and Hancock in the same sentence without a qualifying statement is misleading and discredits some of which you say and only proves what I wrote in the "Critic" section which of course you removed. If you can find a better way to say these things than I did please do, but if anything be fair to both sides.Thanos5150 04:27, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Clarifying comment[edit]

" strictly speaking they are psedeuo archaeology, but can be made it. will explaiin more if needed" i meant it to read, "strictly speaking these 2 are not psedeuoarcheaology, but can be made it by their proponents. will explain more if needed". 23:23, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Major slash and burn[edit]

I have heavily re-written this article, seeing as it was pretty much pap. Unsourced, speculative, POV-ridden and potentially defamatory (labelling certain writers as "commonly regarded as pseudoarchaeologists"... nice one!).

Now I am no fan of conspiracy theories, and consider myself to be a skeptic bordering on the cynical, but that's no reason to support a lousy article. It needs far more cutting back, frankly, but I leave that task to someone else. ElectricRay 22:44, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Not an improvement. --Wetman 09:12, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, you can't polish a turd. ElectricRay 11:04, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
[citation needed] DaveChild (talk) 13:03, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes you can. (talk) 09:16, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

History Section[edit]

The History section in its current state is a pointless jumble; most of it seems to belong more in the examples section, if it belongs at all. Thoughts? ClovisPt 06:00, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

God, yes, it's all a mess. I was working on a revamp of the whole article, but I'm in the middle of moving right now. I think some of the history stuff could go well in the examples or in the definition section - for instance, Arthur's alleged tomb at Glastonbury is both a great example of pseudoarchaeological method and of nationalism fueling pseudoarchaeology. I don't have the time at the moment, but if you want to go ahead and fix more of this, please do!!--TurabianNights 06:17, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Kon Tiki was pseudoarchaeology?[edit]

I grant that Heyerdahl's theory that the South Sea was peopled from Peru is disproven by genetic evidence. But is it really fair to say that the expedition itself was pseudoarchaeology? I was under the impression that he really did show that Peruvians could have made it to Micronesia with their technology, even though they almost certainly did not. Does anybody have a source here? <eleland/talkedits> 07:16, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree. Heyerdahl's expedition was more of a living archeology, an attempt to recreate a situation to test a theory for plausability. The fact that his theory was eventually disproven by genetics does not move him into the realm of pseudoarcheology, but just another theory that goes to the scrapyard. DoubleD17 (talk) 04:37, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
When you go into the field with the pre-arranged purpose of "proving" your theory, isn't the result pseudoarchaeology? matter how charismatic the adventure may be.--Wetman (talk) 04:55, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
In Early Man in the Pacific Heyerdahl appears to be putting forward the hypothesis that people from the middle east and Africa (Hittites are mentioned) came to SA around 5000 years ago, bringing various skills and technologies including their boats and navigational skills, and then moved

on to colonise Polynesia (as he says on page 105, this is an "explanation of the blond ancestors of the Easter Islanders" and explains how Polynesian Islanders acquired their "deviant Europoid features"). Doug Weller (talk) 07:06, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Mound building (poor example)[edit]

The sentence "The theory, commonly held by European settlers, that the mound builders were a long vanished group" (the first example given in the list) is rather problematic, since mound-building activities had in fact largely ceased in the region of the northern half of the Eastern U.S. long before Europeans came into the area. In any case, archaeology as a modern science didn't really exist when the theorizers proposed that the mounds had been built by Phonicians, the ten lost tribes of Israel, the Romans or whoever, so it wasn't "pseudoarchaeology" at the time... AnonMoos (talk) 16:51, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Merge of Out-of-place artifact[edit]

Our article on out-of-place artifacts has few sources discussing it as a concept, and it may be best merged into this article. Discuss here, please: Talk:Out-of-place_artifact#Sources. Thanks. Fences&Windows 22:47, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Circular dating on Hueyatlaco ~ Virginia Steen-McIntyre[edit]

I have changed the entry: Virginia Steen-McIntyre's circular dating on Hueyatlaco warhead, which is under the heading: Unconventional/Scientifically suspect methodology.

It originally read: Virginia Steen-McIntyre's circular dating on Hueyatlaco warheads. The reader would have inferred from this that Virginia herself has indulged in some circular dating. However, the circular dating referred to was Virginia's statement that her findings were rejected not on their failings or merits, but because her critics engaged in circular reasoning. Cynthia was asked to drop an arbitary zero from an artifact dated to 250,000 years ago, making it 25,000 years ago, to fit into the current paradigm about how long man has been in the Americas and non-recognition, officially, of Pre Clovis.

So now the entry reads:

The circular dating of Hueyatlaco spearheads ...

This is because it is the circular thinking behind the dating of the warheads that is pseudoarchaeological, and not the scientific dating methods that were used.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Gillharley (talkcontribs) 13:57, 26 November 2009 (UTC) 

Piltdown Man[edit]

Wouldn't Piltdown Man be more of an example of psuedoanthropology rather than pseudoarchaeology? (talk) 01:00, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Merger not necessary.[edit]

An Unexplained Artifact is not necessarily Pseudo-archaeology or Bad archaeology. It is exactly that, an unexplained artifact.

A case in point is the alleged Roman terracotta head found in a Pre-Colombian site in Mexico. Even if it is Roman, it doesn't prove anything more than a one-time contact between the civilizations, such as a storm-driven Roman ship. Or possibly a ship of a different origin carrying a Roman artifact. My vote is against merger of the articles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:06, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Biblical Archaelogy[edit]

Biblical Archaelogy was started by pious people who sought to verify the magical elements of the Bible (i.e., signs of a word wide flood, eden, etc). Now Biblical Archaelogy has evolved into a true science. Hopefuly, Mormon Archaelogy can evolve. Prsaucer1958 (talk) 23:37, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Well, some biblical archaeology has moved to the mainstream but certainly not all. I also live next door to an archaeologist who does work on Mormon sites that is quite scientific. What does this have to do with the article? Woland (talk) 17:09, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Since the article mentioned that there are "Numerous spurious claims regarding archaeological evidence to support statements in the Book of Mormon", I wonder if there is any legitimate work being done on Mormon archaelogy. Generally speaking, are all archaelogical pursuits based on any religious text (Vedas, Torah, Koran, Bible, Book of Mormon, etc. automaticaly considered pseudoarchaeological? Prsaucer1958 (talk) 19:43, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I think it's unfair to automatically consider all archaeological pursuits based on a religious text as pseudoarchaeology. There is a section entitled "Religious Fundamentalism" right now, but I think that it should be edited. This article could say that some people (it has to name particular ones) believe that, but then it should also include the opinions from Christians about that. And if it's controversial, I suggest that the section be deleted. This is a bad example of pseudoarchaeology. (talk) 17:40, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
I did an edit to the section. Let me know what you think about it. Thanks! (talk) 18:11, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

According to the articles, Biblical archaeology is a "branch of the archaeological sciences" whereas Young Earth creationism is a "religious belief" and "pseudoscience". Where do you draw the line between them? The only difference seems to be which books of the Bible they are concerned with. Keith McClary (talk) 01:37, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Complete replacement of article[edit]

I strongly object to the way User:Midnightblueowl replaced the entire article with the contents of the former article Alternative archaeology, which is now a redirect to here. There was good information in the original article, which is now lost, for example literature. His complaint about the revert of his replacement that properly referenced information should not be reverted was hypocritical, as some information in the original article was also referenced but simply overwritten and thus deleted by him without salvaging it. Instead, Midnightblueowl should have merged the viable information found in this article into Alternative archaeology, and then moved it here, overwriting the now either duplicated or unreferenced content. I strongly urge Midnightblueowl to conduct a proper merger and salvage referenced and useful content (such as references to literature and weblinks) from the original version of this article, before the replacement. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:26, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

To make things easier, I've reverted to the pre Midnight version, and placed that version at Talk:Pseudoarchaeology/Proposed new version. I think both versions have useful stuff and I agree that this should be a more collaborative effort. I'm busy right now, but perhaps you'd like to do some merging? Dougweller (talk) 18:55, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
My apologies if my actions have seemed a little brutal, I accept that it would have been more appropriate to go about this another way. With archaeology articles, on the whole I've found there to be very little participation on them (i.e. Post-processual archaeology, which I have recently drastically pulled up to scratch) and as such have largely just resorted to going it alone, and doing much needed work to these pages, rather than waiting around for secondary opinions that don't often even come along. I was being bold, but perhaps too bold. (Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:24, 15 March 2011 (UTC))
This particular subject is a special case, as it gets lots of traffic from the lunatic fringe, who usually seek to rewrite it to either support ufo gods or Atlantis theories, etc. There are a few of us who keep it on our watchlists to try and keep it in check, and merely speaking for myself on this part, get a little suspicious when one person seeks to unilaterally change its name and focus, and in the process delete relevant cited information while accusing others of doing the same thing. I voiced these concerns in edit summaries a few days ago when you started, when I suggested talk page discussion for your changes, but was counseled by a cooler head to wait and see what you planned. I think a discussion here is a good start. Heiro 21:40, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Well never fear, I'm not from the lunatic fringe. I do think a discussion is defiantely needed here as to whether this page should be titled "alternative archaeology" or "pseudo-archaeology" though. Academic sources can be found that use both, although I think in recent years the former has come to be far more prominent.(Midnightblueowl (talk) 01:58, 20 March 2011 (UTC))
"Alternative" is a weasel word implying that it has some kind of validity. We should stick with "pseudo" which leaves no doubt that it is complete bollocks. No need to compromise with the lunatic fringe.--Charles (talk) 09:38, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree. Heiro 19:20, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
The section "Nationalist motivations" duplicates text also found in the section "Description". The identity of the "Earth Crustal Displacement theory" is unclear as the link points to a disambiguation page; is the Cataclysmic pole shift hypothesis meant? --Florian Blaschke (talk) 23:00, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Bullshit archeology[edit]

Someone keeps adding this in. Now, I happen to agree, but really, that's a descriptive that I might hear over beers. If there's a reliable source for it, put it in there, otherwise, we're all going to revert it. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions

PS. I see that three books are used as references, but short of purchasing and reading them, can someone give us something else reliable? I'd love to see it stay! OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 18:16, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

No, it doesn't belong there. Holtorf doesn't use the term [1], nor does Williams. The Fagan & Feder article references 'Daniel 1979) as having used it. So maybe someone has used it once or twice, but I know a lot about this subject and I've never heard the phrase. Cult/alternative/fringe/pseudo archaeology are the usual terms. Not fantastic either, that is not quite the same thing and should probably be removed. Dougweller (talk) 18:39, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
In other words, a bunch of guys over a beer may have used the term? So, why does it keep getting added back in by what seem to be reasonable editors? Definitely should not be subject to an edit war. Thanks Dougweller for digging up the info. I'll have to use that google source in the future for looking up this stuff.OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 18:42, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Already two fake sources have been given for this use of the term "bullshit archaeology." The third source previously given was "Daniel 1977," which was a hyperlink simply linking back to this "Pseudoarchaeology" page. "Maybe someone has used it"? Not that we have seen, and it is derrogative and inflammatory to boot. Let's drop it already. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Brscbr11 (talkcontribs) 17:38, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
Well, that's embarrassing. Of course Holtorf doesn't use it, its Fagan & Feder who are the source.[2]. And as I wrote below, they are quoting an eminent archaeologist. I see it's also used by an eminent German archaeologist.[3][4]. Daniel's use of the term is mentioned in several books also.[5]. Dougweller (talk) 19:35, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Noah's Ark[edit]

I have no problem with finding Noah's Ark, and making sure it exists based on a theory. Science is about hypothesis, right and finding Noah's ark so that someone may find it, may not be pseudoarchaeology, although it's a waste of time, certainly. I have questions about finding the thing so that. It's not pseudoarchaeology, though that's highly contested. Religious archaeology section is misleading because Biblical archaeology is not pseudoarchaeology and the article seems to be misleading because it is not clear about pseudoarchaeology, which is a pejorative term and this is an opinionated article, if anything. Finding out if something exists to solve a mystery, is not pseudoarchaeology, in my opinion to go find the thing on Ararat. Though trying to find it is an adventure, no matter how much of a waste of time, it may be. I don't think it's pseudoarchaeology to go find out something is there, to find Noah's Ark, that's just my opinion. That one is contested, because it has supporters in mainstream archaeology, though. If a biblical college, does an archaeological hunt, is that pseudoarchaeology if they use legitimate methods? I don't think so. Solving mysteries is not bad archaeology, though Noah's ark uses legitimate methods of archaeology, though bad interpretation of evidence and finding out if something is there, is not pseudoarchaeology.

It's not real clear about PSEUDOARCHAEOLOGY, in my opinion because there is no scientific definition of the time and the term is purely a matter of opinion as if the term is a rebellion against science itself, which I think is complete crap. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:53, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Since mainstream archaeology does not give any credence to a world wide flood or to a giant boat that saved all of the worlds human and animal life, this is the right place for it. Heiro 04:59, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Author of Frauds, Myths and Mysteries is not Fagan, but Feder[edit]

As I've just seen in the latest edits of this page that a correction has been reverted (I wasn't involved): Please assume good faith and look up who the author of the book is instead of reverting to a false assumption. Ken Feder is the author. [6] [7] [8] ... --Jonas kork (talk) 08:56, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

"Objective" lead[edit]

I just reverted the change of a few words to the lead that were said to be part of a process of making it more "objective." However, the edits altered some language that is fundamental to the topic. If you'd like to discuss this further, go ahead. Hoopes (talk) 23:27, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Title "Pseudoarchaeology" show bias, negative connotation.[edit]

The term pseudo- has clear prejudices attached to it. A more balanced title would be "Alternative Archaeology" or "Archaeological Revisionism". [See article Historical Revisionism].Ripleysnow (talk) 02:46, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

'Historical revisionism' is a common term, but when I look for archaeololgical revisionism the only times I see it it doesn't refer to pseudoarchaeology. "Alternative archaeology" is better but not used in books as much as seudoarchaeology. See WP:Common name. The connotation isn't relevant in Wikipedia. Dougweller (talk) 05:40, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
"Not used in books as much as [p]seudoarchaeology"? How many books did you survey to come to this conclusion, and which ones? I agree that "pseudoarchaeology" is not a neutral term. "Archaeological Revisionism" fits better I think, but I have never even heard this term before. I have heard the term "Alternative Archaeology," though. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:23, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
If the term "Pseudoarchaeology" has negative connotations, that is because the practice of pseudoarchaeology does. Wikipedia's policy on a neutral point of view is that we represent the diversity of mainstream opinions on subjects - which means that fringe topics like this aren't expected to be presented as 'alternative', but as entirely contrary to the relevant academic consensus. See WP:FRINGE for more on this. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:36, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Pseudoarchaeology on TV[edit]

You know, I think it would be useful to include television series on the History, Syfy or Science Channels (along with others) that promote these "alternative" interpretations of ancient history. It's one thing for these authors to publish books to argue their views but the fact that broadcast networks produce hours of television programming to present their historical interpretations (about ancient astronauts and such) and pass it off as education, is worth noting. Liz Let's Talk 17:31, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Some of this is absolute nonsense (Ancient Aliens) while other examples are much more plausible (America Unearthed for example). This distinction has to be made if we are going to include television examples. I would agree that Ancient Aliens belongs here. - Cameron, 1/1/14 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:41, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

Etymology & Characteristcs[edit]

Under "Etymology":

"Other academic archaeologists have chosen to use other terms to refer to these interpretations. G. Daniel (1977) used the derogative "bullshit archaeology",[14]"

Other authors have already been used as sources for this term, "bullshit archaeology," which never even used the term. "Daniel 1977" links back to this same "Pseudoarchaeology" page. Someone is pranking this page with this "bullshit archaeology" stuff. It's neither supported by a legitimate source, nor neutral.

Under "Characteristics":

"3) its tendency to present itself as being persecuted by the archaeological establishment, accompanied by an ambivalent attitude towards the scientific ethos of the Enlightenment."

This statement is also not supported by any credible sources. Rather it seems to me that whoever keeps adding in fake claims that reference back to this same page, like the "bullshit" thing above, has an ambivalent attitude towards scientific enlightenment. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Brscbr11 (talkcontribs) 17:32, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Ah yes, you are talking about Glyn Daniel, one of the 20th century's most prestigious archaeologist - he's the one who used the term you don't like. Of course it isn't neutral, it isn't meant to be. See [9]. You didn't try very hard to check this, did you? Dougweller (talk) 19:19, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Pseudoarchaelogy vs. Controversial Archaelogy[edit]

I've seen a troubling lack of distinction between actual pseudoarchaelogy and legitimate research that draws a controversial conclusion. Currently the category ranges from absolute nonsense "discoveries" relating to ancient aliens on one end to much more logical and plausible work. The latter category includes debate on artifacts with questionable authenticity. An example of this would be the Kensington Runestone. For those not familiar, most of the runological evidence seems to suggest it is a forgery, but geologic tests done on it have seemed to indicate that the carving was not made in the 1800s when the stone was found. To put research on artifacts like this in the same category as complete bullsh*t like that found on Ancient Aliens is a mistake. Remember, under this definition, the search for the ruins of Troy would have been considered pseudoarchaelogy at one point. - Cameron, January 1st, 2014 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:40, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

This page seems overtly biased. I've read Fingerprints of the Gods, and Hancock just presents scientific facts, on sites he himself has visited and documented, mentioning relevant myths anecdotally. He doesn't say aliens built the pyramids or the legend of Atlantis was historically accurate. Of the "Four Groups", his writing falls closer to #4 than #1, but there's no distinction here. When you find evidence of flooding after the last ice age, show PHOTOGRAPHS of underwater monuments and above-water cities with measurements that aligned with sun and stars some 12,500 years ago, and structures whose dimensions match those of the Earth itself, that were built in ways we can't figure out, what else would you call it but scientifically advanced? His mentioning of Earth Crustal Displacement was more tangential theorizing than anything integral to the premise of the book. Nor does he claim to be an archeologist, he's just a writer and explorer. The scientific method is meant to objectively incorporate new evidence, not summarily dismiss it when it's not government-funded; you could stick the label "pseudo" on any discoveries that are new. Nothing is chiseled in stone in archaeology anyway, such as with new discoveries that humans arrived in the Americas NINE THOUSAND years earlier than we were taught in school. I'd be surprised if that discovery doesn't fall under someone's label of pseudoarchaeology, we're just making encyclopedia entries for pretend words now. (talk) 03:46, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Under the guidelines, "we" declare something as pseudoscience by the judgement of real scientists; we are not supposed to use our own judgement. (There are exceptions, per WP:FRINGE, where real scientists don't weigh in, but that's the general rule.) Wikipedia is not supposed to lead the real world's acknowledgment of science, but to follow. In Hancock's case, even if the position of the scientific establishment was that his "facts" are correct, his conclusions are still seen as loony. As for his not declaring himself to be an archaeologist; if he declares himself to be a scientists, and proclaims what is considered pseudoscientific material in archaeology, he's a pseudoarchaeologist. And you're probably correct about the Clovis model, which was the dominant theory, but current adherents are considered pseudoarchaelogists. WIkipedia articles on scientific subjects follow the mainstream scientific view. Whether we should be listing specific living pseudoscientists here is another matter, per WP:BLP, but that is not the argument you brought up for removing Hancock and Fingerprints of the Gods. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 15:03, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
I appreciate the thorough response. It was good to clarify the difference between editor opinion and those of the "scientific community", if such a consensus exists. Graham Hancock doesn't claim to be more than a writer and journalist, like Malcolm Gladwell. I'd say his picture and caption at the top (next to the Ancient Aliens guy) hardly seem like NPOV... It is an issue that he's still alive; Graham makes a living off his books and lectures, that seems overly critical considering a picture is not even necessary. This whole Wikipedia entry is questionable; to quote from the Pseudoscience page:
Larry Laudan has suggested pseudoscience has no scientific meaning and is mostly used to describe our emotions: "If we would stand up and be counted on the side of reason, we ought to drop terms like 'pseudo-science' and 'unscientific' from our vocabulary; they are just hollow phrases which do only emotive work for us". Likewise, Richard McNally states, "The term 'pseudoscience' has become little more than an inflammatory buzzword for quickly dismissing one's opponents in media sound-bites" — (talk) 18:05, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Laudan and McNally's opinions are very much in the minority on the subject. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:11, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Double Talk[edit]

I generally don't get confused by double-talk, but this one is confusing me. What does this mean?

"Very few people disbelieved the likelihood that Atlantis does not exist."

Does it mean:

"Very few people believed the likelihood that Atlantis does exist."

If so, could the sentence be updated? Also shouldn't it be:

"Very few people believed the likelihood that Atlantis did exist." (talk) 10:10, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

It's unclear, and it doesn't seem to serve readers, so I removed it. bobrayner (talk) 21:02, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

Black Egyptian Hypothesis[edit]

Might we want to add in tripe like the "Black Egyptian Hypothesis" to the category of pseudoarchaeology motivated by nationlistic/racist ideology? It certainly seems to hit a lot of the switches presented, and the contention that there's a massive conspiracy to cover up the "blackness" of Egyptians in ancient art smacks of the sort of moonbattery that often occurs in this field. (talk) 16:52, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Sure, if you can present sources that describe the hypothesis as a conspiracy theory, or as a crackpot theory, etc. --Enric Naval (talk) 17:57, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree. What do independent sources say? bobrayner (talk) 18:15, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Is this a valid or unbiased argument?[edit]

In section 'Lack of Scientific Method' I see the statement "Hindu fundamentalist pseudoarchaeologists believe that the Homo sapiens species is much older than the 200,000 years old it has been shown to be by archaeologists." Have archaeologists found some definitive way of limiting human provenance other than the oldest reliably datable evidence of presence? I know that those who study genomics have made guesstimates based on mutation rates, but those hardly constitute definitive proofs, and at any rate are not part of the practice of archaeology per se. You may for instance know that a stash of (carbonized) spears ~800,000 years old were recently found at the bottom of a lignite deposit in Germany. My point is, supposing your 200,000 year inference does in fact refer to the oldest evidence now known for homo sapiens, it establishes only a limit that hs can't be any newer than, and can't really establish a limit on how old hs may be. I imagine this is a way of taking a swipe at Michael Cremo, the leading 'Hindu fundamentalist pseudoarchaeologist'. It seems out of place in the context of Wikipedia though, and is at best misleading. Jwilsonjwilson (talk) 23:16, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Reviews in Antiquity Magazine about books pushing pseudoarchaeology[edit]

This is great - I ran across What Archaeologists Really Think About Ancient Aliens, Lost Colonies, And Fingerprints Of The Gods which mentions that section in Antiquity Magazine with 9 reviews of fringe books which are here. Doug Weller (talk) 10:38, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

who wrote this article?[edit]

Hello who wrote this article? Can't find a name? An author? Who found out what's written there? where is the "proof"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:51, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

At current count, 349 people have edited this article. They uses various sources which you can see in the article. Our articles are built upon what sources that meet our criteria for reliability say about the subject. Doug Weller talk 10:59, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 4 external links on Pseudoarchaeology. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 23:29, 25 May 2017 (UTC)