Buckminster Skeeter: Wanna buy a watch?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Conspiracy Theories

I'm inclined to believe everything I read - for a time - maybe 10 seconds, maybe 10 years. But it is my nature to eventually convince myself to not believe things, to question everything, to disprove 'facts', or just outright refuse to acknowledge something's legitimacy. I don't know why I'm so doubtful.
But getting back to believing everything: First let's talk about what I read - usually history, biographies, science, textbooks, and some ( very little) fiction. I just started this trend a few years ago when I got sick of reading the same old paper back pop fiction crap that floods the bookstores. Every now and then I'll pick up a classic: Melville, Hemingway, Dickens, etc... But usually I prefer something that will educate me in some form or fashion. The last 4 books I've read are Montsegur and the Mystery of the Cathars, The Templar Treasure at Gisors, Fingerprints of the Gods, and Comparative World Religion. I'm currently working on History: Fiction or Science, VOL 1.
Here's a little snapshot of this book. It is written by Anatoly Fomenko, a world reknown Russian mathematician - member of Russian Academy of Science, professor at Moscow University, highly regarded scientist. He began his work in this area (explanation coming) over 30 years ago. Fomenko uses mathematics to create detailed statistical analysis of historical records, writings, and astronomical dating. His theory is basically this: A few 16th century religious 'historians' actually created the historical timeline of civilization as we know it. Before this time there was no disciplined study of history only random records and writings from various regions. Of these 'historians' in the 16th century Scaliger was the main culprit. He and his cohorts assembled a bogus timeline, edited manuscripts, and set the path for all future historians. This particular part of the theory is not Fomenko's brainchild. Many renkown scientist ove the years have question the legitimacy of our written historical timelines and ancient dates. Sir Isaac Newton is probably the most well known of these guys. You rarely read about that in your 9th grade history book. Newton was convinced that the dating system in place for 'ancient' Egypt was completely bogus. He spent much of his latter life perusing the truth, employing scientific methods of research to correctly date 'ancient' events.
So after the ground work is laid as to how history was 'bogified' Fomenko launches into detailed astronomical evidence and statistical analysis. Upon reaching these chapters my reading became very slow. In fact I had to re-read some of them multiple times to understand the statistics. I recall a quote by Mark Twain (or somebody who left a lot of quotes) that goes like this: "There are 3 kinds of Lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.". I know from the business world that you can prove anything with the right statistics so I take all Fomenko's with a grain of salt. His statistics prove that some historical events were duplicated in our timeline: Example: A dynasty of German Kings exactly reflects a dynasty of English Kings from the same epoch. The events of the Old Testament accurately reflect events of 14th century Constantinople. Etc... The mathematics and usage of graphs is overwhelming in this book.

The end result looks something like this (just some tidbits):
Jesus Christ lived in about 1050AD (what we call AD anyway). He was most likely from the Black sea area. The New Testament was written before the Old Testament - both were written sometime around 1200-1400 AD. I don't think he's specifically targeting Judaism or Christianity - it just works out that way. It's a well known fact that the vast majority, if not all, of written records were transcribed by religious groups, scribes, and monks. 'Ancient' Egypt, Greece and Rome were not very ancient - those dynasties probably occurred in the early middle ages, somewhat concurrently. Much of the history of Western Asia and Europe as we know it is falsified. There is little or no written record of human civilization before about 500AD.
I'm almost finished with the 600 + page Chronology 1. There are 8 volumes scheduled for release - the 2nd is already out.
The publisher has put up a 10,000 reward for anyone who can 'statistically' prove Fomenko's theory to be false. You cannot use archeological methods for two reasons: First archeology is based on our accepted historical timeline, which if it were false, would immediately falsify any date you assigned to your findings. Second Fomenko spends a good bit of time showing how Carbon-14 dating, dendrochronological dating and a few other popular methods can give false results. He's not the first to point this out.

So the end result is this: I love a good conspiracy theory. I don't believe his theory yet because I cannot fully appreciate the statistics. But I'm open to believe anything if your argument is good enough.

But what if it were true? What would that say about mankind? Where were we before 500 AD? Why would a religious sect falsify the entire history of Western civilization? That may be obvious... To make theat religion more believable and powerful.

Why would a mathematician spend 30 years of his life pursuing this? Surely not to sell a few books in the 21st century. Rarely does any scientist gain real fame or fortune with conspiracy theories. Graham wrote Fingerprints of the Gods (aformentioned) where he claims wthere was an entire race/civilization of highly advanced people before our recorded history which were wiped out by an 'event'. Call them Atlantians or whatever - his book was 592 pages that never convinced me of his theory. Not nearly the caliber of research as Fomenko.

I recommend History: Fiction or Science, Chronology 1.
True or not, it is fascinating stuff.

10 Comments:

Blogger Dr. Metal said...

Fomenko's book has a Fog Index of 12.1. The book I'm currently reading, Simon Schama's Citizens, has an FI of 17.9.

And you think you're smart.

(The Fog Index is an upcoming blopic.)

3:13 PM  
Blogger mugwump said...

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4:08 PM  
Blogger Buckminster Skeeter said...

I've never read it but I assume it has to do with drunken Irishmen at a funeral.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Buckminster Skeeter said...

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4:47 PM  
Blogger Dr. Metal said...

TKAM has an FI of 8.2.
FW's FI was N/A. (But Ulysses has an FI of 9.0.)

No, you definitely should not be looking at suicide options. And I wasn't advocating suicide, just puzzled about its (relative) infrequency.

8:35 PM  
Blogger mugwump said...

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3:33 AM  
Blogger mugwump said...

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3:35 AM  
Blogger mugwump said...

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6:37 AM  
Blogger Buckminster Skeeter said...

Ok, so I just checked out some sample pages from Finnegan's Wake and I'm wondering why anyone would spend time reading that? I don't mean to insult or anything. Much of the text is some sort of gaelic slang and long forgotten english terms. You might as well read something in another language - or pig latin. I was frustrated after 2 pages. The same effect I get trying to read War and Peace in the origianl Russian. Give me something understandable and I'll sort it out from there.

1:11 PM  
Blogger mugwump said...

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2:28 PM  

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