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Skeleton Fragments of a Giant Found?

ancient fossil giant giants

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#121    kmt_sesh

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 06:19 AM

View PostAvallaine, on 29 September 2013 - 06:16 AM, said:

Very well said.

Cormac?  Please take note of kmt_sesh's post.  That is how to make a skeptical statement worth listening to.  He states his experience with the subject, is polite and thorough, and most of all, he gives specific details, especially listing actual traits to look for in source documents that add to or detract from their believability, rather than dismissing them all sight unseen.

Thanks for the kind words, Avallaine. I appreciate your comment. However, let me assure you cormac needs no assistance from me. He can dance circles around most of us with his knowledge of genetics. He's just grumpier than I am. :w00t:

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#122    Avallaine

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 06:38 AM

View Postkmt_sesh, on 29 September 2013 - 06:19 AM, said:

Thanks for the kind words, Avallaine. I appreciate your comment. However, let me assure you cormac needs no assistance from me. He can dance circles around most of us with his knowledge of genetics. He's just grumpier than I am. :w00t:

Oh, I've seen his genetic knowledge while lurking in the Doggerland thread, and I respect it.  If he'd said seven-foot skeletons were unlikely because there was some sort of genetic detail that prevented it, I wouldn't have bothered to jump in.  But if he has any knowledge about nineteenth-century publications and their reliability in historical matters, he wasn't showing any of it in his arguments; and blanket dismissals based on insufficient data is something that makes me grumpy. :rolleyes:

Thanks again for the lucid and well-reasoned post.


#123    sam12six

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 09:15 AM

View PostAvallaine, on 29 September 2013 - 06:38 AM, said:

Oh, I've seen his genetic knowledge while lurking in the Doggerland thread, and I respect it.  If he'd said seven-foot skeletons were unlikely because there was some sort of genetic detail that prevented it, I wouldn't have bothered to jump in.  But if he has any knowledge about nineteenth-century publications and their reliability in historical matters, he wasn't showing any of it in his arguments; and blanket dismissals based on insufficient data is something that makes me grumpy. :rolleyes:

Thanks again for the lucid and well-reasoned post.

But see, we're not talking about blanket dismissals, but rather, blanket refusal to accept accounts (especially old accounts which there are no real ways to confirm) without corroborating evidence.

The fact is, there are a multitude of stories (almost all old stories) about these caves or mounds full of 7ft plus skeletons, but these stories never seem to have the actual 7ft skeletons to go with them.

No one's saying it's impossible that the occasional extra tall person existed. It may even be logical that a given tribe of people might have entombed these rare individuals together for centuries since extraordinary height is considered "special" in most cultures. Some people are just saying that a written account is no better than a repeated legend when it comes from the time before there was the more rigorous fact checking that we're accustomed to in today's world.


#124    Avallaine

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 01:38 PM

View Postsam12six, on 29 September 2013 - 09:15 AM, said:

But see, we're not talking about blanket dismissals, but rather, blanket refusal to accept accounts (especially old accounts which there are no real ways to confirm) without corroborating evidence.

One of the definitions of "dismiss" is "To refuse to accept or recognize; reject."  So a blanket "refusal to accept" is exactly the same as a blanket dismissal.

At any rate, it's the metaphorical "blanket" I really object to...to lumping together a lot of sources (which may be very different), pointing at one of them and saying "this one can't be trusted, so none of them can be!"  Cormac kept referring to "newspapers and books" as if they were equivalent, and they are not.

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The fact is, there are a multitude of stories (almost all old stories) about these caves or mounds full of 7ft plus skeletons, but these stories never seem to have the actual 7ft skeletons to go with them.

Now, see, that makes the whole story look like an early-day urban legend—which makes it suddenly more interesting to me.  Urban legends have certain characteristics that one can identify in a text...but you need to actually look at the text to pick up on the clues.  And even then, some urban legends grow around a real event; so the reasonable response is to say something "looks unlikely" rather than saying it's just a load of nonsense.

And even complete loads of nonsense can be worth talking about...even talking about as if they were true, as a mental and imaginative exercise (sort of like a casual thought-experiment).  Many a good piece of speculative fiction has grown out of such conversations.

I also thought Dr_Acula was getting a bit of a bum rap; when presented with reasonable evidence as to why a 37-foot humanoid was virtually impossible, he agreed readily that it must be a hoax, before the thread had even reached a second page.  Obviously, he's a reasonable person.  But cormac and  questionmark then proceeded treat him like any fanatical "true believer," and I didn't think he deserved that.

They also kept making statements like "evidence that is not producible is not evidence," which is perfectly true in scientific fields, but not in history—where sometimes a written account is all that's left over the years.  There are methods—like contextual analysis—that can shed more light on recorded accounts, but the absence of physical corroboration doesn't necessarily mean an account should be rejected wholesale.   They (at least in this thread) showed no cognizance that, in a field dealing with past events (which by definition cannot be repeated), standards of evidence are necessarily different.  Science deals with what happens; history with what has happened.  Until we invent a time machine, history is almost always going to fall short of science's rigorous expectations.  But that doesn't make it any less worthy of attention.

Edited by Avallaine, 29 September 2013 - 01:41 PM.


#125    sam12six

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 02:33 PM

View PostAvallaine, on 29 September 2013 - 01:38 PM, said:

One of the definitions of "dismiss" is "To refuse to accept or recognize; reject."  So a blanket "refusal to accept" is exactly the same as a blanket dismissal.

At any rate, it's the metaphorical "blanket" I really object to...to lumping together a lot of sources (which may be very different), pointing at one of them and saying "this one can't be trusted, so none of them can be!"  Cormac kept referring to "newspapers and books" as if they were equivalent, and they are not.

It's not exactly the same, at least not as I stated. It's not an immediate "that can't be true", but rather, a "there's no way for us to know it's true without more evidence".

I get what you're saying about lumping sources, but the problem is proliferation. A bogus story gets printed in the early 1800s, a book is written citing the bogus story 20 years later and every book that references the first book takes the original bogus story as fact.

View PostAvallaine, on 29 September 2013 - 01:38 PM, said:

Now, see, that makes the whole story look like an early-day urban legend—which makes it suddenly more interesting to me.  Urban legends have certain characteristics that one can identify in a text...but you need to actually look at the text to pick up on the clues.  And even then, some urban legends grow around a real event; so the reasonable response is to say something "looks unlikely" rather than saying it's just a load of nonsense.

Yes, and this particular urban legend has one thing in common - a story about truckloads of skeletons that somehow disappeared. While it's easy to say, "Museums have tons of skeletons and the giant ones are probably mixed in with the normal ones.", a 7ft+ skeleton in a pile of 5ft ones is going to stick out like a sore thumb and likely invite further study from any museum staff who walks by.

View PostAvallaine, on 29 September 2013 - 01:38 PM, said:

And even complete loads of nonsense can be worth talking about...even talking about as if they were true, as a mental and imaginative exercise (sort of like a casual thought-experiment).  Many a good piece of speculative fiction has grown out of such conversations.

Agreed. Speculation is great and it's what keeps all us skeptics interested.

View PostAvallaine, on 29 September 2013 - 01:38 PM, said:

I also thought Dr_Acula was getting a bit of a bum rap; when presented with reasonable evidence as to why a 37-foot humanoid was virtually impossible, he agreed readily that it must be a hoax, before the thread had even reached a second page.  Obviously, he's a reasonable person.  But cormac and  questionmark then proceeded treat him like any fanatical "true believer," and I didn't think he deserved that.

I didn't get that impression, but how we react to what others say is going to vary. I felt more like he was trying to be a little dishonest in his characterization of the rebuttal that was posted (the whole "He says they look like rocks. Fossils ARE rocks." thing when what the rebuttal said was more along the lines of "They look like rocks or fossils fragments from some other large mammal."). Quoting out of context is kinda fighting dirty, and once you do it, you can't really expect everyone to ignore it.

View PostAvallaine, on 29 September 2013 - 01:38 PM, said:

They also kept making statements like "evidence that is not producible is not evidence," which is perfectly true in scientific fields, but not in history—where sometimes a written account is all that's left over the years.  There are methods—like contextual analysis—that can shed more light on recorded accounts, but the absence of physical corroboration doesn't necessarily mean an account should be rejected wholesale.   They (at least in this thread) showed no cognizance that, in a field dealing with past events (which by definition cannot be repeated), standards of evidence are necessarily different.  Science deals with what happens; history with what has happened.  Until we invent a time machine, history is almost always going to fall short of science's rigorous expectations.  But that doesn't make it any less worthy of attention.

I agree with what you're saying about history, but isn't pointing out that average people were much smaller than we are today so their definition of giant might be skewed putting it in context? Isn't pointing out the physical issues that are very problematic for exceptionally tall people taking the subject seriously and giving a logical reason that there's never been races of giants, as opposed to simply writing the stories off as nonsense?

The fact is, we can't trust any stories (whether they've satisfied scholars to the point of being considered history or not) that have no evidence to back them up. Lots of places have stories of giant people. Lots of places have stories of dragons. Without physical evidence, one's worth as much as the other in terms of history.

As we've agreed, speculation is great, but part of that speculation is critiquing how reliable a source is.


#126    stereologist

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 02:58 PM

I would like to add a little story here. I have traveled to ancient sites in the world - certainly not as many as I'd like to visit. One of the first things we learned was that we needed to be able to talk openly in front of guides without offending them. We invented the word "geeding". If someone in the group thought that the guide was telling us a question issue about the site we might remark, "Oh, geeding." Others could respond with "yes, geeding" or "maybe geeding" or something similar.

I recall that we were at a site outside of Karnak in Egypt and I was still puzzled about these grooves in the monuments. There were often 2 or 3 parallel grooves across pillars. I asked a fellow traveler about the grooves and someone from a tour group came over to tell us that the grooves were made my people praying. They would scratch and scratch at the stone until months or years later they had made a groove. And those up high were made when the sand had blown in around the ruins. I told my wife "ahhh ... geeding" We already knew that many of the marks had V-shaped cross sections. Human fingers cannot fit into those grooves. The point of geeding by the guides is to be able to answer questions so that the tour group provides a big tip. If a guide says they do not know then the tip is much smaller.

What this story is about is that there are often reasons for making statements. It sells newspapers. It also sells books. It can also turn a typical burial mound into a more interesting place to visit. Think for a moment how you might bring travelers to your town and you can probably come up with reasons for embellishing.

I'm not saying it did happen in the case of these burials mounds. All I can suggest is why there are records of many human remains of tall people, and those remains are no longer available.


#127    Avallaine

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 03:36 PM

View Poststereologist, on 29 September 2013 - 02:58 PM, said:

I would like to add a little story here. I have traveled to ancient sites in the world...One of the first things we learned was that we needed to be able to talk openly in front of guides without offending them. We invented the word "geeding". If someone in the group thought that the guide was telling us a question issue about the site we might remark, "Oh, geeding." Others could respond with "yes, geeding" or "maybe geeding" or something similar....The point of geeding by the guides is to be able to answer questions so that the tour group provides a big tip. If a guide says they do not know then the tip is much smaller....

Fascinating!  I think I need to adopt that word - it fills a definite need.  Did you coin it by combining "guiding" and "feeding" (as in, hand-feeding) or some such?


#128    stereologist

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 03:58 PM

I'm unclear about how it was invented, but I have a vague recollection that it was a mispronunciation of guide. So instead of saying that they were guiding us, they were geeding us.

I remember one in the US. A guide at the tobacco museum in North Carolina had a story about tobacco pouches and men's underwear that did not seem plausible. We asked another guide and they knew who the person was. The guide was known for getting laughs out of the tour groups by making up fanciful embellishments.

I too have to admit that I have done that. In a previous lifetime I was doing some rock climbing at Devil's Tower. People would ask us if we made it to the top and when I tried to explain that we stopped at the lower angle weathered cap they would say, "Oh too bad." We learned to say yes and then they went away happy. Some people would ask what was on top. We told the truth at first. "It's just like the land down here, but no trees or prairie dogs." That was not what people wanted to hear. So a climbing partner told people that the Tower was hollow and rainwater had filled it to form a small lake. He went on to tell them that the park service did not want pitons used since that could cause a leak. You should have seen the amazed and happy faces when that geeding was told to them. I refrained from telling the hollow Tower story, but I did not stop the telling of this tall tale. There might be people out there today telling their friends they had eyewitness reports that Devil's Tower has a hidden lake on its summit.


#129    DieChecker

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 08:58 PM

View Postkmt_sesh, on 29 September 2013 - 06:00 AM, said:

I nearly forgot and wanted to add that I have a close friend at the museum who did a lot of digging in various mound sites in her younger years. She came across quite a few skeletal remains. Not one was of a giant.
I had thought that all the remaining mounds were Federally protected? Was this years and years ago, or does digging still occur on individual mounds?

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#130    DieChecker

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 09:02 PM

View Postsam12six, on 28 September 2013 - 08:38 PM, said:

If that's supposed to be some ancient skeleton, why did the guy die sitting on a barrel in a modern (if you consider the 1970s modern) building? Huh? Huh?

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If you insist on continuing to advertise your computer die thingys on this forum, I'll be forced to report you for spam.
Supposedly the bones came from a farmer over 100 years ago who dug them up and traded them for treatment. The bones then were kept by the doctor till he died. They then ended up wired together in a nightclub, and eventually moved next door to the restaurant.

Various experts have looked at them and noted they could be 300+ years old. A DNA test would tell for sure the ethnicity.

:yes:

Do you want some die-thingys? There're cheap and I give them out to just about anyone. Call it a bribe......

Here at Intel we make processors on 12 inch wafers. And, the individual processors on the wafers are called die. And, I am employed to check these die. That is why I am the DieChecker.

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#131    DieChecker

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 09:09 PM

View PostKaa-Tzik, on 28 September 2013 - 07:12 PM, said:

WeAny landbound creature that tall will have serious hydraulic problems trying to pump blood around it's system. It's too tall to live with a ribcage the size shown in the reconstruction, it's too small for the very large heart it will need.

I agree. Even a biped like a Tyranosaurous has it's head only a little more then three times as high as a human. A tyranosaur might be able to reach 35 feet tall, but it is designed a lot different then a slim human figure.

Here at Intel we make processors on 12 inch wafers. And, the individual processors on the wafers are called die. And, I am employed to check these die. That is why I am the DieChecker.

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Qualifications? This is cryptozoology, dammit! All that is required is the spirit of adventure. - Night Walker

#132    jaylemurph

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 09:16 PM

View Poststereologist, on 29 September 2013 - 03:58 PM, said:

I too have to admit that I have done that.

...my summer job in college was in the Outer Banks of NC, pretending to be a 16th Century soldier. We did it /all/ the time. We made a game of seeing who could make up the most ridiculous story and sell as real to the tourist.

   A particular favorite was telling about the dwarf elephants of Roanoke Island, that the English colonists hunted to extinction. You'd run them through with a pike, flip them over on it to break their back, and then use halberds to cut up the carcass.

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#133    Dr_Acula

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 02:39 AM

View Postsam12six, on 29 September 2013 - 02:33 PM, said:

I didn't get that impression, but how we react to what others say is going to vary. I felt more like he was trying to be a little dishonest in his characterization of the rebuttal that was posted (the whole "He says they look like rocks. Fossils ARE rocks." thing when what the rebuttal said was more along the lines of "They look like rocks or fossils fragments from some other large mammal."). Quoting out of context is kinda fighting dirty, and once you do it, you can't really expect everyone to ignore it.

I'm sorry I gave you that impression.  I wasn't being dishonest or trying to quote out of context.  I was just relaying what I got from the statement that was written.  I even gave a link to the article.  If I was trying to be dishonest, why do you think I would leave a link to what I was allegedly being dishonest about?

If this is the reason why everyone is so defensive after everything I post in this thread then, please, accept my apology.  I think you all took something from that particular part of the article that I didn't.  I simply interpreted what I was reading differently.

I don't have much time to address any of the other comments yet but I will when I can.


#134    sam12six

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:19 AM

View PostDr_Acula, on 30 September 2013 - 02:39 AM, said:

I'm sorry I gave you that impression.  I wasn't being dishonest or trying to quote out of context.  I was just relaying what I got from the statement that was written.  I even gave a link to the article.  If I was trying to be dishonest, why do you think I would leave a link to what I was allegedly being dishonest about?

If this is the reason why everyone is so defensive after everything I post in this thread then, please, accept my apology.  I think you all took something from that particular part of the article that I didn't.  I simply interpreted what I was reading differently.

I don't have much time to address any of the other comments yet but I will when I can.

I wouldn't sweat it. This forum is the most respectful place I've ever seen online to debate and discuss. There's not a lot of the "You, sir are building a strawman!" "Oh, I'll raise your strawman and accuse you of arguing from ignorance", etc, etc - basically annoying debate talk. Here, most people try to stick to fact and logic to make their arguments so anything that even vaguely resembles being disingenuous is something people jump on.

Anyway, anywhere you can debate topics from complete opposite positions with the same people for years without anyone getting p***ed and degenerating to open flaming or taking their ball and going home is a good place to hang...


#135    DieChecker

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:48 AM

I'd probably suggest that the original bone fragments be scanned into a 3D program and compared to ancient animal bones. Surely there is a 3D bone database somewhere with North and South American animals in it. Making such a database seems like an obvious Graduate level Project.

It seems clear to me at least that the giant skeleton is NOT the actual bones that were dug up, but a recreation of an exact human skeleton based on the proportions of the obviously misidentified bones.

Edited by DieChecker, 30 September 2013 - 05:49 AM.

Here at Intel we make processors on 12 inch wafers. And, the individual processors on the wafers are called die. And, I am employed to check these die. That is why I am the DieChecker.

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Qualifications? This is cryptozoology, dammit! All that is required is the spirit of adventure. - Night Walker





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