FWD: re:Forbidden Archaeology author replies

John Cole. (jrc@TEI.UMASS.EDU)
Sat, 16 Mar 1996 14:38:11 -0500

I just received this item from one of the authors of *Forbidden Archaeology,*
source of much of the infamous NBC show. Cremo was interviewed several times
on the show. Apparently the show is spawning a further "documentary" based on
the book alone....

--John R. Cole

6 13:19:20 +0500
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 1996 13:05 -0500 (EST)
From: "LINK: Michael Cremo" <Michael.Cremo@iskcon.com>
Subject: nbc television show
Sender: Michael.Cremo@iskcon.com
To: jrc@tei.umass.edu

Dear John,

A friend has sent me copies of some of your postings to internet discussion
groups regarding the recent NBC television show Mysterious Origins of Man. I
don't have time to follow all the lenghty discussions on the relevant groups,
so I have asked that the following message be posted for me by a friend. After
the message you will find some additional comments for you, personally.


A friend has forwarded to me copies of messages related to the NBC television
show "The Mysterious Origins of Man" that aired February 25. As the principal
author of the book Forbidden Archeology, which was featured on the show, I have
a few general comments in response to the messages that were posted to this

First, I do not agree with everything that was presented on that show. For
example, I have studied the case of the Paluxy man tracks and decided it is not
possible to conclude whether or not they are genuine human tracks. For that
reason, I did not include them in the evidence for extreme human antiquity
catalogued in Forbidden Archeology. Neither do I subscribe to the views that
the show presented on Atlantis, massive rapid displacements of the entire crust
of the earth, etc.

But I will stand behind the material that came from Forbidden Archeology and
the conclusions that can be drawn from it. In brief, there is a lot of
scientifically reported archeological evidence that puts the existence of
anatomically modern humans back tens of millions of years. This evidence was
not culled from the National Enquirer, but from standard scientific journals of
the past 150 years. In examining the treatment of the reports of this anomalous
evidence, there appears to be a pattern of unwarranted dismissal, based not so
much on the quality of the evidence itself but on its out-of-bounds position
relative to orthodox paradigms of human origins.

I have presented academic papers on this topic at the World Archeological
Congress 3 in New Delhi, in December 1994, and at the Kentucky State University
Institure for Liberal Studies Sixth Annual Interdisciplinary Conference on
Science and Culture, April 1995. I am quite pleased that not everyone in the
scientific world is reacting to the book with the kind of conditioned negative
response that seems so prevalent in the messages posted recently to this group.

For example, Tim Murray, archeologist and historian of archeology at La Trobe
University, said in a recent review of Forbidden Archeology in British Journal
for the History of Science (1995, vol. 28, pp. 377-379): "I have no doubt that
there will be some who will read this book and profit from it. Certainly it
provides historians of archaeology with a useful compendium of case studies in
the history and sociology of scientific knowledge, which can be used to foster
debate within archaeology about how to describe the epistemology of one's
discipline." Tim also guardedly admitted that the religious perspective of
Forbidden Archeology might have some utitlity: "The 'dominant paradigm' has
changed and is changing, and practitioners openly debate issues which go right
to the conceptual core of the discipline. Whether the Vedas have a role to play
in this is up to the individual scientists concerned." This is not to say that
Tim endorses the conclusions or analytical methodology of Forbidden Archeology.
He does not, and has personally told me so. But the point is this--Forbidden
Archeology is worth reading, and I hope anyone who wants to comment on the
elements of it that were communicated in the NBC show would read it before
launching into their critiques. The only mention of the book's Vedic
perspective is found in a few sentences in the introduction. Otherwise, the
main text of Forbidden Archeology is composed of archeological reports and
analytical discussion.


I found the quality of your messages surprisingly low. It seems your main
argument against Forbidden Archeology is that it is "a Hare Krsna book." That
is no secret. I acknowledged my affiliation and motivation in the introduction.
If appeal to religious prejudice is your strongest card, I feel sorry for you.
Although I can understand your outrage at the NBC show, I think you should take
it as one more sign that the cultural and intellectual hegemony of
fundamentalist Darwinism is over. There are lots of competing ideas out here,
and they are growing stronger, not weaker. As far as Forbidden Archeology is
concerned, I don't think you have heard the last of it. Right after the NBC
show, a producer called me with an offer to do a 90 minute documentary just on
the book. I would welcome that. Also, foreign publishers are snapping up
translation rights for the book. Contracts for German, Spanish, Italian, and
Russian editions have already been signed, and I've recently received inquiries
from others, including Japanese and Romanian companies. And guess what--the NBC
show is going to be broadcast in other countries as well. You know, it must
have been interesting to be a Darwinist in the 1860s, when it was a new and
challenging idea, and the promoters of the idea had to stand on their own two
feet. But to be an uncritical defender of an outmoded, dusty nineteenth-century
dogma, on behalf of a lumbering, creaking intellectual orthodoxy, seems quite
boring to me.

Michael A. Cremo

If I recall, I referred to "Krsna Kreationism" in one post, noting that it was
not just Christian fundamentalism involved....and I hardly see that as a low
--John Cole