Many paranormal and mysterious news websites have been abuzz about the free and available documentary called “Ancient Aliens Debunked” by Chris White which rips down the History Channel show “Ancient Aliens” that gives credence to unsupported speculation about aliens visiting earth. (You can safely dump the whole thing into the pseudoscience bin.) This new documentary picks at each of the show’s topics.
Ancient Aliens Debunked is a 3 hour refutation of the theories proposed on the History Channel series Ancient Aliens. It is essentially a point by point critique of the “ancient astronaut theory” which has been proposed by people like Erich von Däniken and Zecharia Sitchin as well as many others.
The film covers topics like:
Ancient building sites: Puma Punku, The Pyramids, Baalbek, Incan sites, And Easter Island. Ancient artifacts: Pacal’s rocket, the Nazca lines, the Tolima “fighter jets”, the Egyptian “light bulb”, Ufo’s in ancient art, and the crystal skulls. Ancient text issues: Ezekiel’s wheel, Ancient nuclear warfare, Vimana’s, the Anunnaki, and the Nephilim.It was produced by Chris White and includes commentary from Dr. Michael Hesier.
White has even promoted his work on Skeptic.com: Ancient Aliens Debunked.
[…]thanks to the erstwhile efforts of skeptic Chris White, this video is a complete analysis that will give you all the ammo you need to respond to people who breathlessly proclaim that they saw this “documentary” on the History Channel that offers “proof” of alien visitation. You can say, “not so fast!” And then tell them what we actually know about ancient history and aliens (and the lack thereof).
The video comes with high praise from viewers for it’s takedown of the rather reprehensible Ancient Aliens TV series, but there is something you may want to know about Chris White. Check out the comments on the Skeptic piece:
“I did not like the Christian spin they pulled toward the end.”
“Was an excellent debunking until it went completely off the rails with the ‘Noah’s Ark must be true’ and ‘Nephilim are real’ nonsense, your clear Christian bias shone through there.”
Yes, White is a fundamentalist Christian and conspiracy theorist. He does not hide this fact but is not quick to disclose it either (though, it’s arguable if that is necessary to do so or not). Nowhere To Run with Chris White: Beliefs:
We believe the Bible to be the inspired, infallible Word of God and inerrant in the original languages.
You can also see on this post that the praise is high until that same point. (See the comments.)
White is a Christian (which I know because he told me so), and he has a Biblical perspective that leads him to propose, for example, that the flood of Noah really happened and that global myths are connected through one exceedingly ancient source (a la the Tower of Babel). This doesn’t significantly impact the good work he does in his film (it’s a very minor part of the story), but it would have been helpful to know two hours or so earlier.
Should we be promoting White’s documentary if he certainly fails to apply the same rigor to all his other beliefs? Some people do seem to be annoyed that the rationality theme of the movie goes off the rails. There is much to be said for taking the piece on its own merits, not on the personal beliefs of the person who made it.
A commenter on the JREF forum had an excellent suggestion, we should certainly set this documentary in context. Show how evidence is correctly used and compelling arguments are presented. However, we can refute the Flood Theory and nephelim arguments using the same high standards. This is the proper way to critical review such a piece.
What do you think about White being promoted as a “skeptic”? Appropriate?
Have you watched the piece? (I am not familiar with the Ancient Alien show or the topics covered so don’t feel qualified to comment on the debunking either.)
Here is a link to the video on YouTube.
Please add any additional links regarding this topic. We appreciate it. (Please note if you add 2 or more links in a comment, it will be delayed in posting by the comment software, but it WILL be posted.)
- Ancient Aliens – interview with Ken Feder on MonsterTalk
- Five Mysteries of Ancient Aliens from Skeptoid
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UPDATE (17-Oct-2012) eSkeptic has published a piece on the Flood Myth.
Recently, we posted Chris White’s 3-hour refutation of the theories proposed on the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens that claim we were engineered by extraterrestrials. However, the notion of a worldwide flood mentioned in the otherwise excellent documentary could use some debunking.
In this week’s eSkeptic, Skeptic magazine’s Religion Editor, Tim Callahan, and our resident geologist Donald Prothero, debunk Noah’s Flood both from a mythological and geological standpoint.