Thursday, January 15, 2009

Michael Cremo, fraud or just incompetent?

Michael Cremo's book "Forbidden Archaeology" makes a number of claims, chiefly that creatures comparable to modern humans have walked the Earth for millions of years, instead of the hundreds of thousands postulated by most scientists.

Cremo's "research" is deeply flawed, relying upon resources from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the book ignores newer data that contradicts his claims. Disregarding all the current research on human evolution, Cremo barrels on making comical claim after comical claim, never providing any solid data to back up his fantasy land.

A nice detailed review of the book can be found here:
www.ramtops.co.uk/tarzia.html


Despite all this hard work, I think the book falls short of a scientific work primarily (but not entirely) because (1) its arguments abandon the testing of simpler hypothesis before the more complex and sensationalistic ones, and (2) the use of so many outdated sources is inadequate for a book that seeks to overturn the well-established paradigm of human evolution -- scholars must not work in isolation, especially today, when multi-disciplinary approaches are needed to remain on the cutting edge of knowledge. However, for researchers studying the growth, folklore, and rhetoric of pseudo-science, the book is useful as ‘field’ data.

I hesitate in judging the book to be utterly worthless from a scientific standpoint -- various specialists need to compare notes on the book -- but if worthy ideas exist in Forbidden Archaeology , they are hidden under a mass of undisciplined details, lack of critical contextual information, leaps of logic, and special pleading.

"Forbidden Archaeology" makes a lot of claims based upon inaccurate data. The sheer volume of bad data gives it a sheen of believability, mainly because it would take so much time to examine each piece of flawed information. In the end, Cremo doesn't support his claims with reliable source material.

The question at hand is this:

Is Cremo an incompetent researcher with a poor grasp upon reality, or an outright fraud, intent upon deceiving people to sell books?

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can you give examples of the whole load of misleading evidence?

They released another book answering thier critics:
http://www.amazon.com/Forbidden-Archeologys-Impact-Controversial-Underground/dp/0892132833

Anonymous said...

You COULD try treading the review linked to in the article.

Morten said...

I think Forbidden Archaeology raises a serious question about the objectivity of even established research. The above critisim is exactly of the unserious ridiculing kind that the book is all about. The book goes thoroughly and honest to detail and scentific reasoning through a number of finds made by top researchers of the time who sometimes collectively does a number of finds of human artefacts or human bones in layers so old that they to a varying degree contradicts mainstream scentific dogma and thus requires the reader to rethink more than most can grasp- just like old geology professors in the sixties denied plate tectonics till their death 30 years later. It allso tells the story of how some of these scientists were subsequently rediculed and frozen out of career and job because of these unfortunate finds and thus paints a chilling image of scientists behaving on the level of dogmatists- like the above critique. I think the book raises some very serious questions needing to be considered much more seriously than the above. Every one interested in the history of man and life should read it. I dont have a final conclusion or a new theory and I can feel the uneasynes it provokes. It is very tempting to do just what has happend to these finds before: Forget them or ridicule the finder or the messenger ! But then I betray the scientific foundation I stand on: To base my world on the observed facts- or as most of us do -on obeserved facts relayed to us by others in a serious manner.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Michael would be excited to know that you are apparently ALSO able to refute his views without actually REALLY looking at the evidence.

Congratulations...

You are now an ABSURDIST! ;)

Michael is much more PC than we are... He refers to 'it' as 'knowledge filtering'.

That's quite the sense of humor he possesses.

You can now return to your regular routine... Apparently, where you have ALL of the answers. :)

golem

Anonymous said...

It's sad that so many people actually believe in liars like Michael Cremo.

mike said...

I think the real value of his work is that it teaches us that the established view may not be correct and we should be open to new theories. It is also apparent that Mr Cremo talks about many sensational things. Where are the photo? Where is more detailed proof. In short we are left with sensational claims from a source that has a very biased basis of belief.

Anonymous said...

Morten said: "The book goes thoroughly and honest to detail and scentific reasoning through a number of finds made by top researchers of the time who sometimes collectively does a number of finds of human artefacts..."

Not sure what your idea of either 'thorough' or 'honest' is, but the major issue with this book is that it disregards modern scholarship and findings on many of the 'mysteries' that the 'establishment refuses to look at'. Much of this work was done in the 1980's, and proved that some of these finds were outright fraud, misinterpretation, or simply lack scientific dating methods and a modern understanding of stratigraphy.

I suggest you read this for further info for the debunking of some of his 'evidence':

http://www.xmission.com/~tlacy/mom.txt

Anonymous said...

It's clear from his personal character that Cremo is neither a fraud nor incompetent. Rather, as has been intimated earlier in this string of comments the value of this work is that it brings into question the "blind-faith" acceptance of scientific research. Sometimes to get people off a fast-moving merry-go-round you have to push pretty hard the other way. That is not at all to say that this work is a purposeful forgery of any sort, but rather that we can appreciate the pause that it will bring for many persons before they leap headfirst into accepting the speculative theories of modern science any more than perhaps they'd accept the theories presented in the book.

Anonymous said...

Oh GOD SAVE the QUEEN, our families and houses & the World. The rest in school classrooms and University laboratories - will be DARWINISM

Anonymous said...

Oh GOD SAVE THE QUEEN, our families, our houses & the World. The rest in the school science classrooms & university laboratories will be protected by Darwin's theory

Aron Smith said...

Dude let alone Michael Cremo.
You run an individual search on the findings such as "klerksdorp sphere" human foot prints along with dinosaurs, cave paintings of dinosaurs, civilizations older than approved like Sunken cities around the world etc., eventually you`ll conclude that all this has been filtered by the mainstream archaeologists and proposed as fact only those findings that are in tune with Darwin's theory.
Which is in itself flawed in many ways be its natural selection, mutation etc.,
Do your homework bro..

Anonymous said...

Cremo is a liar plain and simple.

He knows full well he is lying and ignoring anything that does not fit his ridiculous theory. First cast doubt on proven scientific facts and then play in the gray area you have created for yourself and your disciples.

Anyone who takes this man past that of fiction, is seriously misinformed. I know that will be hard for the religious, but that's why you believe, because someone as dishonest as Cremo persuaded you without a shred of evidence.

Mark Wujek said...

Filtered? It's called being debunked by REAL EVIDENCE. Do your homework bro. It's obvious you haven't. I guess you can call removing the nonsense from what is TRUE, filtered. Any idiot with a keyboard can scam a dollar by writing some dim witted controversial book with no real evidence.

Rob said...

Actually, there is ample evidence that the fairy tale of darwin is indeed just that. Bit the atheïstic dictators just like to dictate with their false claims of ther was nothing, then some explosion from nothing and then transformation of forms. All from nothing. How crazy can one be? Envy toward the Lord, the Creator and Destroyer, brings one to madness, so much is very clear.

Matthew said...

And what, pray tell, would that evidence be Rob?

Put up or shut up.

Anonymous said...

The guy is a hare krishna. his book is based on hare krishna fairy tales.
He is neither a spiritualist or a scientist. He is indeed a fraud.

Anonymous said...

To those who seek to point out the lacking evidence or plain outright lies:

You might want to go through and actually reference the specific things you are trying to debunk, then give solid evidence of how you came to your opinion. Otherwise, you might look like a complete and utter fool while you regurgitate half thoughts of others who have taken the time to form a rounded opinion on any matter, especially one such as this.

Anonymous said...

1000 pages and still it is mislead please go and lie yourself with your subjectivity and let people make objectiv opinion.150 B.C. Anaxagoras told people that sun is nothing less that a fire stone and he was send to exile but when Ptolemy say that Earth is flat panel and space is spinning around Earth he was praised as deity until Nicolaus Copernicus say that might be wrong 1500 years later.It is same story today people full of them selfs dont want to admit the truth or are piad not to tell one.

Carlos said...

It never ceases to amaze me how those who buy-in to the prevalent mainstream theory of linear history are so quick to dismiss another alternative world-view with such vehemence. I have seen this attitude rear it's ugly head many times over. Hail the "Church of Academia" lest we be ostracized for diverging from accepted opinion!

Anonymous said...

This guy definitely is an incompetent pseudoscience. His 'devotional name' is Drutakarm─ü dasa. I was a Hare Krishna, that's how I know about him, he is on a mission from his guru, which they follow blindly, to counter science and spread their cult. I know, I am a former Krishna cult member. The fact that he is a guest commentator on Ancient Aliens should tell you everything about his lack of credibility.

Ray -Trop said...

Ray Trop (robot)
Oh dear, I'm not going to show anybody the 60 million year bone with a message carved into it stating that it IS 60 million years old! I found in my great grand mothers straw sock, and people will say I'm as mad as Joseph Smith and his golden tablets , angels an' all!
Come on folks ,lighten up, as long as they don't teach it in schools next to religious classe thinking folks will sort it out, we always do -----finally!!!?