Friday, March 7, 2014

Your Daily Giant 3/13/2013

Today's Daily Giant is a study of the disease that afflicts Academia, a disease that makes intelligent people unable to evaluate evidence in an open minded way. From the Tuscaloosa News Feb. 23, 1930, we are informed of the unearthing of artifacts and skeletons from the famous Moundville Mississippian site in Alabama. Moundville was the location of a sophisticated and thriving culture from 1000 A. D. until 1450 A. D. Dr. Walter B. Jones who led the excavation announced from his office that one of the skeletons was 7 foot 6 with many others well over 6 feet. I called the museum today that houses the skeletal remains and when I asked about the giant skeleton I was told by the curator, "well, except it didn't happen". I said but Dr. Jones made this announcement and was joined by curator William L. Halton, Assistant curator David de Jarnette and Topographer Carl T Jones all from the Alabama Museum of Natural History in the excavation. How could it be that all these men could sign off on such an outrageous claim. I was then told that there was a persistent mythology in the earlier part of the century and this surely was the reason for this account. I then asked but how could the highly component and respected Dr. Jones incorrectly measure and report such a finding and was once again reassured that someone from Princeton has studied the remains and there are no giants. I then pointed to the next account from the Tuscaloosa News in 1976, that reports that Dr. Jones was made an honorary citizen of Moundville. By the end of his career Dr. Jones was made Director Emeritus of the University of Alabama Museum of Natural History. From the article, "Jones early discoveries uncovered facts about Indian settlements of West Alabama before recorded history, A race which he says were giant people from 6 and a half to 7 feet tall. It was Jones and Jones alone who realized the significance of the discoveries at first." I asked the curator how once again 46 years later in 1976 Dr. Jones could be talking about giants in connection to his excavations at Moundville, an understanding that he had apparently held for all that time after his initial investigations. You happen to work at the Walter B. Jones Archaeological Museum and the founder and lead excavator is claiming in multiple sources over decades of time that giant skeletons were unearthed, "giant" being his word. I was reassured that someone from Princeton had come several years ago to measure the collection. I tried to get the question answered multiple times and then finally gave up. Essentially the tone of the conversation was a condescending arrogance such as son, only fools believe in mermaids. This gentleman had little ability to think for himself or rationally evaluate evidence and did not possess the intellectual curiosity to investigate the matter. Most likely fearing the scorn of his colleagues if he even entertained the notion that giant skeletons had been unearthed. These poisonous attitudes remain a large impediment to the open minded evaluation of evidence that plagues many scientific disciplines. I did not get to mention a third account from the Tuscaloosa News Nov 9th, 1958 page 3. A Mr. P. E. Day writes the paper to talk about the unusually large skeletons at the museum, pointing out that several were 7 feet and all very tall. This is a case to follow up on and investigate further.

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