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Dr_Acula

Skeleton Fragments of a Giant Found?

289 posts in this topic

I have presented historical records as a form of non-physical evidence. Prove those records to be false and I will agree with you. If you can't do that then where exactly is your argument?

He said you can't prove a negative. Your response was basically, "Oh yeah? Prove a negative." - really?

Here is one set of bones.

http://www.poweredby...f-grumbles.html

KIdBc.Em.77.jpg

The claim is these are Native American bones dug up locally in Alabama. Some experts claim it is an actual Native American, and some say that the skeleton has some European features. It is still a mystery. Regardless the skeleton is about 7 feet tall. Make of it what you will.

http://www.roadsidea...a.com/tip/14314

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?

PS

If you insist on continuing to advertise your computer die thingys on this forum, I'll be forced to report you for spam.

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He said you can't prove a negative. Your response was basically, "Oh yeah? Prove a negative." - really?

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?

PS

If you insist on continuing to advertise your computer die thingys on this forum, I'll be forced to report you for spam.

DID you really read up on the Link provided in the stuff you quoted off Diechecker???

The image is provided since is it relevant in the context of this thread.

So, when you are really into debating the subject matter, please do try to read what others are posting.

and if you persist on being a troll, i would be forced to report you and hound you to death in these forums.

Go figure!

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I could throw the opposite to you: If others happen to appreciate actual evidence of something being true over merely a claim of same, what is it to you?

I have no objection to it at all, of course. Please feel free to appreciate all the evidence you like.

...And now that I've answered your question, would you do me the courtesy of answering mine?

Solely because something is mentioned in a book isn't a mystery. If that something was indeed true but unexpected, then that would be a mystery. I guess I just prefer my mysteries with a little more meat to them.

There's nothing wrong with that. It's a good thing to know one's own preferences.

But...if someone else would like to discuss a "less meaty" mystery, why can you not simply allow them to do it? As long as they're not claiming it as irrefutable fact, I fail to see why you should object to it.

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DID you really read up on the Link provided in the stuff you quoted off Diechecker???

The image is provided since is it relevant in the context of this thread.

So, when you are really into debating the subject matter, please do try to read what others are posting.

and if you persist on being a troll, i would be forced to report you and hound you to death in these forums.

Go figure!

Umm, yeah, 'cause Diechecker's actually stupid enough to believe I suddenly decided to threaten him as a shill for intel after years of seeing that signature or that anyone actually came to the conclusion I posted. I've always scoffed at movie and TV characters like the title character from Bones who not only don't have a sense of humor, but can't identify an attempt at such (no matter how poor) because I thought there were no such people in real life. You learn something new every day...

There is a difference between trying to make a joke and trolling.

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Also in nearly every old county history book is the fact that several 7-8 foot skeletons were found within several different mounds from several different areas. That tells me that logically - it actually happened.

You have said yourself that you are aware that history changes, so do any modern history books carry information regarding these giant skeletons and whether they exist in truth or only as a late 19th century 'urban legend'?

If modern history books do not relate these giant skeletons, then that tells you that logically - they never happened.

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I have no objection to it at all, of course. Please feel free to appreciate all the evidence you like.

...And now that I've answered your question, would you do me the courtesy of answering mine?

There's nothing wrong with that. It's a good thing to know one's own preferences.

But...if someone else would like to discuss a "less meaty" mystery, why can you not simply allow them to do it? As long as they're not claiming it as irrefutable fact, I fail to see why you should object to it.

Please feel free to appreciate the complete lack of evidence all you like.

The only mystery I've seen is that you and Dr_Acula appear to believe that because something is mentioned in a book that it carries more weight that it does. It's a claim. Nothing more, nothing less and carries no more weight than any other unsupported claim.

cormac

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A 7 feel human is a genetic mutation. Though not good at statistics, i would say, the probability of having a 7 feet human is 1 in 100,000.

But the issue here is, Dr. Acula started his post with a link to a psuedo scientific site called mulders world with the title "Reconstruction the Giant Skeleton rediscovered in Loja in Ecuador 19 October 2012." while the other website he linked to, Jason Colavito has debunked it that it was just a theme part attraction in Con Von Daniken's failed theme park.

The woo woo website says that the skeleton is a reconstruction, based on seven fragments. which is purpoted to be around 7 times the size of a normal human being.

If you consider the height of the average human being to be 5 Feet 4 inches. So, 7 times means 37 feet 2 inches , which is already explained to be physiologically not feasible.

So, there went his trump card.

So he settles down to 7 feet.

No one is arguing about a 7 feet human.

Acula, get back on topic and debate on the 37 feet 2 iches giants that you claim to have lived on earth. can you? Will you?

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One can talk about what's possible all day long and never really get anywhere. Theoretical physicists do it all the time. But being possible does not necessarily make something probable nor likely, even if it's mentioned in print. And we're not really talking about what's possible, since these claims are in print and are not outside the scope of modern understanding, we're talking about what's probably or possibly likely. But without any actual evidence to support same then there's no reason to suggest the latter are indeed true. Which leaves us back at square one with nothing but a claim.

And by your own logic you have nothing but a claim as well.

Solely because something is mentioned in a book isn't a mystery. If that something was indeed true but unexpected, then that would be a mystery. I guess I just prefer my mysteries with a little more meat to them.

You seem to have a very different perspective on what a mystery is.... Out of curiosity, what in particular mysteries do you prefer?

He said you can't prove a negative. Your response was basically, "Oh yeah? Prove a negative." - really?

For one thing, he said you can't prove a negative. I did not. I think that it is true in some debates but not in this one. If any of the history books I am referencing is actually reporting the same exact story as one of the old newspaper articles (one that is known to be untrue) then it will discredit my source of information which would in turn disprove my claims.

You have said yourself that you are aware that history changes, so do any modern history books carry information regarding these giant skeletons and whether they exist in truth or only as a late 19th century 'urban legend'?

If modern history books do not relate these giant skeletons, then that tells you that logically - they never happened.

Good question! I'll have to look into some modern history books. I guess since we never hear about it I assumed they probably weren't in newer books but I'll definitely research that.

Acula, get back on topic and debate on the 37 feet 2 iches giants that you claim to have lived on earth. can you? Will you?

We already came to the conclusion in the first page or two of this topic that it was physically impossible, lacked credible sources and was therefore was almost certainly false. I still agree with what we concluded on earlier pages regarding the matter so... there's nothing to debate. Also, note that I didn't claim 37 foot giants ever lived. I posted a link to an article and asked for help deciding if it was legit or not. It turns out we decided it was not.

So, there went his trump card.

So he settles down to 7 feet.

There was no trump card, lol. As I said I was asking for help from this site on how legit the story was. I really don't care that it was false and I'm not the least bit surprised. As for "settling down to 7 feet," you need to stop assuming. I came across this alleged 37 foot giant article by chance while researching the 7 foot tall skeletons of mound builders. So 7 foot skeletons came first. I only posted the article here out of curiosity and kind of expected it to be false anyway.

EDIT:

Also, once I gather the information I need, I will post a new topic on this subject so you won't have to be so concerned about staying on topic.

Edited by Dr_Acula

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Apparently I can't "take humor as it is" and my attempt at sarcasm wasn't understood so I guess I'll have to seriously address this. If you had even looked at the links I provided as my source documentation you would know that they are NOT alternative history books about UFO's, Annunaki or sinking continents. You seem like you have a good head on your shoulders so I'm going to assume you DID look at my source links. This assumption brings me to the conclusion that you made this statement under false pretenses for some reason. Why? I can only speculate...

Well, since you /asked/...

Why? Because it was funny. I -- apparently erroneously -- assumed you would look at the title of a book proposing that the Pyramids were constructed from the magic saliva of giant basset hounds from outer space and immediately think, "This cannot possibly be genuine. This is humorous exaggeration." But you didn't. You apparently thought it to be so real you threatened to inform a mod I was shilling said non-existent book. Which is, in fact, much funnier than my poor joke.

Either that, or you've got a more keenly developed sense of irony than me.

What makes it actually significant is the fact your whole argument in this thread depends on your ability to defend your position as a canny reader and critical judge of written historical material. Your apparently genuine belief that a book could exist (and be sold and advertised) extolling magic space basset hounds who use drool as a construction material rather unfortunately undermines that position of canny, critical reader.

...which, sadly, is not at all funny.

--Jaylemurph

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Out of curiosity, what in particular mysteries do you prefer?

Genetic and cultural related ones, such as:

1) What was daily life like for people in the British Isles before the influx of R1b subgroups c.6500 BC and subsequent development of farming.

2) What percentage of genetic material is not the result of interbreeding amongst humans (members of the genus Homo) outside of Africa but is actually the result of either interbreeding amongst groups or splitting from a common ancestor while still in Africa?

3) How many paleolakes were there actually in Eurasia and Africa from the last interglacial period to the end of the Pleistocene.

cormac

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Well, since you /asked/...

Why? Because it was funny. I -- apparently erroneously -- assumed you would look at the title of a book proposing that the Pyramids were constructed from the magic saliva of giant basset hounds from outer space and immediately think, "This cannot possibly be genuine. This is humorous exaggeration." But you didn't. You apparently thought it to be so real you threatened to inform a mod I was shilling said non-existent book. Which is, in fact, much funnier than my poor joke.

Either that, or you've got a more keenly developed sense of irony than me.

What makes it actually significant is the fact your whole argument in this thread depends on your ability to defend your position as a canny reader and critical judge of written historical material. Your apparently genuine belief that a book could exist (and be sold and advertised) extolling magic space basset hounds who use drool as a construction material rather unfortunately undermines that position of canny, critical reader.

...which, sadly, is not at all funny.

--Jaylemurph

If that's the way you'd like to interpret what happened. I see it as you being out of arguments so pulling one out of your ass just to try and get in the last word. It doesn't hold a good case for your character, being an ******* that is. So good luck with that. At least at the end of the day I know I'm a good person. If all you can do is toss out insults then you can kindly leave this discussion.

Genetic and cultural related ones, such as:

1) What was daily life like for people in the British Isles before the influx of R1b subgroups c.6500 BC and subsequent development of farming.

2) What percentage of genetic material is not the result of interbreeding amongst humans (members of the genus Homo) outside of Africa but is actually the result of either interbreeding amongst groups or splitting from a common ancestor while still in Africa?

3) How many paleolakes were there actually in Eurasia and Africa from the last interglacial period to the end of the Pleistocene.

cormac

I see... So why are you so worried about this thread?

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I am doing some independent research on the possibility of giants in ancient times. I ran across an article claiming that some fragments of a human skeleton were found and that the person these bones belonged to would have been seven times larger than the average human... But, of course, the whole story is debatable. I'll give you a little info from the two different perspectives on the issue as well as some links:

<snip>

When I read "Klaus Dona" and "Father Crespi", I think of Erich von Däniken clones.

Or better: don't bother.

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If that's the way you'd like to interpret what happened. I see it as you being out of arguments so pulling one out of your ass just to try and get in the last word. It doesn't hold a good case for your character, being an ******* that is. So good luck with that. At least at the end of the day I know I'm a good person. If all you can do is toss out insults then you can kindly leave this discussion.

I see... So why are you so worried about this thread?

I'm not worried about it. I just don't believe in presenting something that's been written in a book as more than it actually is simply due to it being in a book. And past experience has shown that someone at some point will likely read your links and since no verifiable evidence exists for said remains and you see it as some sort of mystery will be like: "Oh my god, there were giants in (insert location here) and they're being covered up by (insert scientific establishment, the government, any BS organization such as the Illuminati) etcetra. You might laugh but I've seen it time and time again.

cormac

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As I said I was asking for help from this site on how legit the story was. .

It would be hoped that you have had the time to study the cultural/temporal/genetic information previously supplied.

In more specific regards to the various osteological analyses of representatives of eastern North American cultural manifestations from the late Archaic through the late pre-contact period, the bulk of this information will be found in white papers which general readers may not be familiar with. To very briefly condense some of these papers:

Writing in respect to the moundbuilder "giant myth", Iscan and Kessel observe the following:

In contrast, there are no osteological analysis of the data to support these claims...Results indicate that at an average height under 170 cm, these people were definitely not giants (Iscan and Kessel 1997:76).

To further elaborate:

The research of Webb and Snow indicated that the mean male height amongst the Adena culture was 168 cm (5' 6"), while the mean amongst the later Hopewell Interaction Sphere was 170.2 cm (Webb and Snow 1979:28 in Iscan and Kessel 1997:76). The most extreme account was by Dragoo (1963:72 in Iscan and Kessel 1997). This account refers to a representative of the Adena culture calculated to have been 188 cm in stature (7' 2"). Unfortunately, as noted by Iscan and Kessel, Dragoo provided no further critical data.

The analyses of the recoveries from the Kubinski Mound (Hopewell) indicated a mean male stature of 167.8 cm (5' 6") with a maximum of 183 cm (6") (Pestle et al 2007:58).

Recent further refinements of the osteological regression tables utilized in stature determinations that more accurately reflect the morphologies of the eastern Archaic/Woodland cultures have been conducted (Fully, Raxter et al). The analyses of 201 individuals spanning a time period from the late Archaic to the late pre-contact period indicates that the males of the moundbuilding period attained a maximum mean stature of 169.7 cm (5' 7") (Sciulli and Hetland 2007:111,112).

In total, the skeletal remains of literally hundreds of individuals recovered from moundbuilder sites have been forensically evaluated. As evidenced by the above, there would appear to be no indications of a cultural component that did not fall well within the realms of normal morphology.

As previously noted by contributors, "histories" of the period that you have been utilizing are not without their flaws. And, as you have noted, the state of preservation can certainly be a factor.

One additional aspect that should be seriously considered is the state of archaeological/bioanthropological/forensic research during the time period under consideration.

Following are the references cited above plus one additional. Three of these will require establishing a free JSTOR account that will allow you to read (but not download) the references. Enjoy.

http://www.as.miami.... et al 2007.pdf

http://www.clas.ufl..../Braun 1979.pdf

http://www.jstor.org...howAccess=false

http://www.jstor.org...howAccess=false

http://www.jstor.org...=21102693720437

.

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The article you linked has absolutely no citations or even an explanation as to where it originated.

No, I have been stating that I believe that these records are possibly true... So, who is misinterpreting who here?

The books actually only referenced a large number of unusually tall skeletons in a condensed area once that I can recall. The rest recorded only two or three unusually tall skeletons among several regular sized skeletons. The thing is, I never said that I believe this to be true and factual. I believe it is possible because it is recorded in these historical books and it lies within the realm of science and the observable reality that people can be as tall as these alleged skeletons. The reason I'm continuing to research this subject is because I am trying to find more evidence to support the idea that these records may be accurate, while everyone else is seeming to just push them aside. If I am wrong in my allegation then tell me what research you have done on this in particular subject and what your conclusions were and why. If you do that it wont look as though you are automatically discrediting it as I have stated in previous posts.

As for finding the bones, it's not as easy as that. If they are in archaeological storage somewhere, which I assume they probably are, I can't simply walk in and start rummaging through everything trying to find them.

I am still researching this. I am having trouble pinpointing the names of the authors and dates. If I do I will post the results here.

Therein lies the problem neither your source nor mine seems to have any backing evidence as to the claim. You seem to see the problem clearer in what I posted than in what you posted.

I know that the issue is that you wonder if the claims in the book are true. A good position to take. You on the other hand have made specific claims about what I stated and the thread shows you have made unwarranted inferences about my posts. No problem as long as that is now understood. It seems to be.

Posters here are not "pushing them aside". They are pointing out that there are reasons to believe that the reports may not be correct and that the simple solution is to find the physical evidence - the bones.

I and others have already posted why we would be skeptical of the statements in the book. You seem to think that is discrediting the book. Not at all. Posters including myself are saying to take these statements with a grain of salt.

Now you get to the real issue which is finding the bones. Sometimes the book will state where the bones ended up. Sometimes they do not. Sometimes they claim the existence of bones when the area in question is only known for its cremation burial mounds. Sometimes you can learn that the bones ended up being sold to a carnival show because that is what earned money for a town. Sometimes they end up in the state museum or in the hands of wealthy collectors. That is what happened to mammoth teeth found in Saltville, VA. They ended up in the possession of Thomas Jefferson.

Does this book describe where the bones ended up?

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If that's the way you'd like to interpret what happened. I see it as you being out of arguments so pulling one out of your ass just to try and get in the last word. It doesn't hold a good case for your character, being an ******* that is. So good luck with that.

I don't think anyone here would confirm my good character, thank you.

--Jaylemurph

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Please feel free to appreciate the complete lack of evidence all you like.

Ah. So you don't have the courtesy to answer my question. Well, that's that, then.

The only mystery I've seen is that you and Dr_Acula appear to believe that because something is mentioned in a book that it carries more weight that it does.

Me? I only believe that a book from the era in question deserves more consideration than a newspaper from that time - depending, of course, on the nature of the book and where its information reportedly comes from. Whereas you seem to judge all publications by one standard - that of the common newspaper hoax. I just object to the blatant flaw in your reasoning.

I don't actually have an opinion about seven-foot skeletons in early America or the validity of accounts of same. As I mentioned before, I haven't looked at the specific books in question, and, in the absence of information, I refrain from forming an opinion. You, however, with the very same absence of information, have somehow formed a strong opinion. Where I come from, they call that a "preconceived notion," and that, I do have a problem with, as a matter of principle...at least from someone who claims to be an advocate of truth.

It's a claim. Nothing more, nothing less and carries no more weight than any other unsupported claim.

And just how much "weight" must exist for something to be speculated on by interested laypersons in a discussion forum online, in your opinion?

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Dr_Acula, as someone acquainted with historical research over the past 25 years, I fully understand the skepticism shared by other posters. A strong peripheral interest of mine is paleopathology and I have expended significant time over the years reading books and case studies on the archaeology of human remains. Not once have I seen a vetted archaeologist, paleopathologist, Egyptologist, or other specialist bring up a single case study on giants. For this reason alone I do indeed dismiss the notion of a race of giants in ancient times.

This isn't to say archaeologists have not on occasion encountered the skeletal remains of unusually tall individuals, but these individuals would be the exception. The biomechanics of the human body alone make gigantism a life-shortening and disabling condition, so one would not expect to see a race of giants. Considering the wealth of ancient human remains that have been studied throughout the world, and the fact that in most cases in ancient times an average fully grown male wasn't much more than about 5'3" tall, the idea of a race of giants is simply unrealistic.

Other posters are most certainly correct that just because something appears in a book it doesn't mean the thing mentioned is a formal record—it is an historical account, and not necessarily accurate. I've read of numerous cases where the height of an ancient individual based on skeletal remains was grossly exaggerated because the person assessing the remains did not even possess the requisite skills and training to make the assessment correctly.

So an appearance in a book does not necessarily equate fact. Let's be clear on that. I reviewed your links in the earlier post and see they're almost all local histories, and I know from my own research and writing experience that local histories can be remarkably inaccurate—especially very old ones.

There are certain things that are critical to understand when you're reading about such things:

  • Is the book published by a reputable firm with a respected history in historical studies?
  • Are the folks who discovered these remains properly trained archaeologists who know how to assess their findings?
  • Was the dig properly recorded, diagramed, and (preferably, depending on the period) photographed?
  • Was the excavation properly reported to a relevant university or institute?
  • Does the book mention where a given set of bones is today (university, museum, et cetera)?

If you answered no to one or more of these questions, you can be comfortable in deciding that the book you're reading might well not be credible through and through. Consider that the bones of an actual giant human would be an archaeological marvel, and would be known in the archaeological and historical community. Nothing is being hidden, and nothing of this nature would be stored away in a museum's overstorage and completely forgotten. Even if the bones were exceedingly friable and did not survive the excavation (which can happen, I agree), a properly trained digger would've fully documented, diagramed, and photographed the discovery.

Anything short of that...well, you're reading about something that isn't reliable on the face of it. You're reading stories.

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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.

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Dr_Acula, as someone acquainted with historical research over the past 25 years, I fully understand the skepticism shared by other posters. A strong peripheral interest of mine is paleopathology and I have expended significant time over the years reading books and case studies on the archaeology of human remains...<snip the rest, though quite worth reading>

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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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