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Pages and pages and pages of very detailed descriptions of layers of rock. Utter snooze-fest. Some really fascinating nuggets of information buried within the pages but you need to dig deep to find them. Such a huge and heavy book you can't even read it in bed, you need to rest it on a table. Wonderful author, totally respect what he's doing, but this is for an academic audience, not non-specialists like myself. There is a condensed version of this book - I really wish I'd bought that instead. I keep flicking forward pages when I'm reading and then feel guilty - like when you were a kid and didn't eat everything on your plate ;)
This book is holy place for deep archeological findings and explanations with actual information,not just random story telling.. U need to be technically sounded and imaginative to understand the history.
This is a large tome and a difficult read. The book is meant for people in the field of archaeology palaeontology. It is not really a layman's book, having said that as a layman I found the vast majority of it written in a way I could understand. After I had consulted a dictionary or re-read a passage or two. The book is an insight into the way that the established way of portraying evolution despite evidence to the contrary is kept. I found it a challenge to read but ultimately a triumph when I had finished the book. Perseverance and focus. That is the key to reading this book, I learned a lot and the insights it gave me have been satisfying, understanding the different ways used to date artefacts, and the latitude of error in this process was an eye-opener.
Those of you who have ever been interested in what in the philosophy of science is called 'the demarcation problem', namely, what exactly distinguishes science from non-science (or pseudoscience) will be familiar with the work of Thomas Kuhn, author of the epochal work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Kuhn makes some rather interesting observations about science as it is actually practised in the real world. Rather than being objective, unbiased and value-free, scientific research is carried out within a rather narrow set of assumptions contained within an operating paradigm. Paradigms are dogmas of the day within which 'normal science' takes place. You might think as a non-scientist (most people are not research scientists who have published in peer reviewed scientific journals) that research papers always confirm the basic correctness of the paradigm of the day. On the contrary, Kuhn showed that a significant percentage of scientific research does not support the accepted paradigms of the day but are sometimes freakishly opposed to them. These research papers are generally written off as 'anomalous', put to one side and forgotten about or ignored as bizarre embarrassments. Eventually, Kuhn says, these anomalies build up nontheless and provide the material that in time sets science into an 'extraordinary' phase that results in the proverbial 'paradigm shift' namely the creation of a new paradigm in which a new worldview emerges. Quantum Physics emerged as a result of the problems posed by the Ultraviolet Catastrophe; the Copernican revolution was a result of the anomalies left by the astronomical observations within the geocentric paradigm and so on. Humans always assume that the worldview of their day is correct even though when we look back to the past we see that humans believed things that are nowadays considered clearly wrong. However, we don't consider that in two hundred years humans will look back to our own day and say "How foolish they were to believe such things!".
There are in every age, Cremo contends, knowledge filters that prevent certain kinds of knowledge from entering the mainstream consciousness. This can also work another way as well. I am referring here to what in the philosophy of science (and historiography generally) is called 'whiggism'. This is the naive assumption that the way people saw things in the past was inherently more stupid and inferior to the way we see things now. Many, today, however, are looking to the past to recover forms of wisdom and knowledge that modern man has all but lost. For example, many people today do actually believe in the reality of reincarnation and understand that this view of human destiny must use a different evolutionary paradigm than Darwinian evolution by natural selection.
Forbidden Archaeology is a compendium of anomalous scientific papers which suggest that anatomically modern humans have walked on the Earth for much longer than the accepted current paradigm allows for. Cremo takes the view that the anomalous scientific papers that support this thesis show that there is something wrong with the current paradigm of human evolution. However, rather than acknowledging these perfectly valid scientific studies mainstream science has pushed them to one side and ignored them. Frankly speaking, contrary to what people like Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne will have you believe it is becoming increasingly understood in biology that natural selection is not the principal engine of evolution. Natural selection is a filter but does not account for the creative dimension in evolution. There is something other than random mutations at work in nature that is responsible for the stunning archetypes and order of the natural world. Cremo takes the view that evolution is not a blind process but one that results as a product of successive incarnations of souls into material form. This is the traditional view of the vedic seers and other Indian philosophers such as Lord Buddha, Mahavira, Adi Sankara and others. If biological evolution is based on the evolution of the soul it is not subject to the linear historical model of evolution but a trans-historical model that connects one time space location to another in a very different way. If true this would require a major paradigm shift in our way of looking at human evolution. Obviously we do not understand this at present but reincarnation science may be a not very far away reality.
Anyhow, many of you may find these ideas kooky beyond belief but it does show how we are very attached to fundamental assumptions about the nature of reality. The great Mary Midgley has pointed out how people blindly defend their scientific paradigms as passionately as religious folk defend theirs. If there is plenty of anomalous data to at least entertain the idea that our working paradigms may not be as set in stone as we fancy shouldn't we at least allow researchers such as Cremo to express his point of view without forcing him to the sidelines?
Makes you realise why the Neo Darwin Dawkins brigade along with atheistic science and stubborn archeologist hate this book. Well recommended for all other people like myself, who think that the materialistic view of the earth's and mankind's evolution somehow doesn't fit right.
This book is a bit of a brick at over 900 pages but it doesn't read like one. Cremo puts over a very organised and carefully researched argument that homo sapiens sapiens has been around for considerably longer than the "experts" would have us believe. Although some of the more extreme "fringe" researchers tend to shoot themselves in the foot by including evidence which is either questionable or unverifiable, Cremo also includes some material of dubious probity but informs you of this. The "experts" ridicule or ignore any evidence that does not fit in with current theories. They also demolish the careers of any researchers foolish enough to bring anomolous evidence into the arena for discussion.
Unlike the "experts" he has not hidden anything which goes against the prevailing theories of human evolution and presents a wide range of scholarly research which has failed the "knowledge filter" test. There appears to be a vast collection of ignored and hidden evidence which proves his contention that people, much like us, have been on the planet for as long as 55 million years. He also puts forward a very good argument for the current theory of human evolution to be incorrect.
Unfortunately the "experts" cite each other as sources and ignore any references that go against the current beliefs. What they seem to have forgotten is that a theory is only a theory and not fact. Over the past 150 years any evidence that goes against Darwinism, and the supposed spread of humans from Africa, has been filtered out of the archeological record. Stone tools, bones and other artifacts have been either ignored or hidden if they do not slot somewhere into the current time line of human evolution.
One thing I do know from experience is that the people who shout the loudest and longest usually have the least to say. This includes most of the "experts" who profess knowledge of human evolution using only carefully slected evidence from the vast bank available. Some of this accepted evidence does not bear the close scrutiny given to discarded evidence because it does conform the current theory.
If you want to understand the real story of the evolution of humans, this book must be on your reading list. Cremo presents a cogent argument in a readable form, unlike many similar technical works.
forbidden archaeology takes us to a crossroads of knowledge and invites us to take a courageous first step in a new direction of truth, once again the scientific establishment has suppressed,ignored or forgotten that bones and artifacts found over the past two centuries showing that people like ourselves existed on earth millions of years ago, WHY? because they contradict dominant views of human origins and antiquity, so pre-history is incorrect because of a powerful group of scientists applying a knowledge filter. this book is a brilliant read it was nearly impossible to put down I wanted to read it till the end,the parts of the book detailing the flints etc can be tedious but these are an important part of the book, stick with it you will not be disappointed. if you are interested in archaeology and anthropology then this book should be a part of your collection.