From Abracadabra to Zombies
reader comments: Sitchin
28 Nov 2006
I am writing to you to clarify some of your mistakes in your "Zecharia Sitchin" entry.
reply: Thank you. I always appreciate it when someone clarifies my mistakes. There is nothing worse than unclarified errors.
My first clarification is in regards to the statement that "Sitchin's claim to fame is announcing that he alone correctly reads ancient Sumerian clay tablets."
This is entirely false. Mr. Sitchin has never once claimed that he right [sic?] and/or the only one to correctly read and interpret Sumerian tablets. Since the beginning, he has proclaimed that these are merely his interpretations. If you happen to have any of his books I can direct you to page number and paragraph where he states this and only this.
reply: What you say is literally true. Unfortunately, my writing style is sometimes confusing because I use figures of speech. I have added a bracketed comment to the entry on Sitchin to notify those readers expecting a straightforward, literal report that Sitchin didn't announce this by taking out an ad in the New York Times [nor did he announce this in any literal way in any other format] but by implying it with his "translations" that do not jibe with the work of legitimate scholars in the field.
Of course his and everyone else's understanding of what they read in their own or some other language is their "interpretation." But when your interpretation flies in the face of every other legitimate scholar on the planet, you are implying that they're all wrong and you got it right. Sitchin needn't add "I might be wrong" after each and every one of his speculations. We already know that. I think you are attributing to your hero the quality of modesty, which is not the first word that comes to my mind when reading his preposterous claims about rocket ships and nuclear bombs during biblical times.
You next say that " No other scientist has discovered that these descendents of gods blew themselves up with nuclear weapons some 4,000 years ago."
Could you please site a source of this statement? I have read through the "Earth Chronicles" and have never once seen Mr. Sitchin claim anything near the above sentence. Also, you spelled descendant wrong. I would expect more from a person with a PhD.
reply: 'Descendent' is a variant of 'descendant', but the latter is more common and should be used. Thank you. (My Ph.D. is not in spelling, by the way.)
The source for my statement about nuclear weapons is Sitchin's book The War of Gods and Men, p. 310. I think Sitchin wrote twelve books to go with his twelve planets, but I could be wrong.
Next you say that " He alone knows how to correctly translate ancient terms allowing him to discover such things as that the ancients made rockets."
Once again, you are quoting something that Mr. Sitchin did not say. If you believe differently, then please provide a cite.
reply: Again, literalists please forgive my figure of speech. And, again, the source is The War of Gods and Men.
You go on to say that "Each begins with their beliefs about ancient visitors from other worlds and then proceeds to fit facts and fictions to their basic hypotheses."
Can you please provide an example of Mr. Sitchin doing so? Not a generalization, a direct cite from his works that proves the above statement. You have the burden of proof.
reply: See the quote I've added to the top of the Sitchin article. It is from Sitchin and is posted on his website:
"...the Sumerian Epic of Creation is not an allegorical myth but a sophisticated cosmogony scientifically describing how our solar system came to be...."
I'm not going to pick through the rest of the article because it seems as if the rest is a matter of opinion. I believe that you owe Mr. Sitchin a factually correct article pertaining to his writings. How would you feel if someone were to pick and place fictitious facts about your writings to make you look "fake"?
reply: It's been done, apparently in retaliation for my being extremely critical of his website. Come to think of it, that fellow seemed to be a literalist, too. He calls me the "nutty professor" and refers to my works as "Pathological skepticism from a non-scientist." I don't like it but we live in a country where criticism is allowed as long as it is not aimed at the administration's war policies.*
Your article was a deplorable attempt to discredit a man who has actually put forth an idea instead of trying to discredit any and everything that seems revolutionary to common acceptances. You are a modern day "Holy Office".
reply: Well, you've got me there, sir. I have no idea what Holy Office you are referring to, but I can gather from your tone that, in your opinion, it is not good.
Part of being a respected investigator is getting your facts straight. I can't decide who is worse, yourself or Geraldo.
reply: Speaking for myself, I'd say it was Geraldo.
2 Jul 2001
Since you rely on Rob Hafernik's essay on Zecharia Sitchin's book, THE 12TH PLANET, what is your opinion now that Hafernik has been thoroughly discredited by C.A. Honey in his publications? Hafernik criticized Sitchin by basing conclusions on conventional books written as far back as 1929. Modern discoveries are backing Sitchin right and left and none to date have discredited any thing he said. Do you ever admit you might be wrong on anything. By the way, if you want the criticism of Hafernik's article, I'll be happy to forward you a copy so you can judge for yourself.
reply: C.A. Honey? OK, I'll admit I never heard of him. According to a really reliable source on the Internet (perhaps VITVAN himself),
C.A. HONEY's present endeavor is to expose the 95% to 98% misinformation and outright hoaxes being fed to the public by both official and unofficial sources. UFO's are physical ships, with humanoid occupants, and have no connection to "other dimensions" or psychic sources. The pseudo-religious wacko cults who claim that "flying saucers" are piloted by "demons" and led by Satan are also exposed. Mediums claiming to be in mental contact are either knowingly or unknowingly spreading falsehood. No exceptions exist. The "greys" are manufactured androids who do most of the manual labor involved in the scientific journey's of those coming to the vicinity of Earth. Just as humans were created to do the manual labor of the Nefilim (as recorded in the book of Genesis in the Bible), so were the greys created to serve the same function during this time period.
Even though I am no longer accepting feedback, letters like VITVAN's still arrive all too often. What is the point in responding? I am half-heartedly considering that maybe there is some truth to these alien stories. I can't believe I am a member of the same species as fellahs like VITVAN and C.A. Honey. Can we all really be brothers? Maybe aliens really did do some reproductive engineering with apes or reptiles. Maybe VITVAN, Honey, Sitchin, etc. are the spokesmen they've left behind.
Well, as Bob Dylan has said: "I used to care, but things have changed."
11 Dec 2000
I read the article and the follow-up comments. Gary Gorton made some comments that were factually in error, and I wish to address them.
Mr. Gorton said: New evidence that man was around some 80,000 years longer than women confirms the story of the Anunnaki creating and using us as slaves until Enki came and gave us both knowledge and the ability to procreate.
This is a gross misunderstanding of the "new evidence". This appears to be a great distortion of recent biological findings about the "Mitochondrial Eve" vs. earliest human male common ancestor. Mitochondrial Eve premise uses the DNA of the mitochondria in our cells to trace back to the earliest ancestor for all of humanity. This is done by comparing the DNA in mitochondria from a diverse sample of people and looking for the common ancestor. This traces "Eve", the female ancestor, because Mitochondrial DNA is not like the nucleic DNA - it does not recombine during reproduction, and does not take on half the father's genes. Thus it is a direct maternal line. The earliest father ancestor traces the genes in the Y chromosome - the male contributed feature of our genetic identity. It is thus only a feature in men, not women, and therefore cannot apply to women. It looks for the earliest male ancestor that we all share, using some sampling technique. Obviously in both cases it would be impractical to check.
By these techniques, the "Adam" and "Eve" found do not share a common era, but are separated by the 80,000 years mentioned above. However, it is a gross misrepresentation to assume that this "Adam" and this "Eve" were somehow concurrent with each other (via Genesis), and it is also a gross misrepresentation to assume that there were not other women around with the man and other men around with the woman, or that either was the only member of their gender alive at their times.
Mr. Gorton said: The article is also a little dated now as it fails to mention that NASA is now actively seeking Planet X, thought to be beyond Pluto and the cause for Pluto's irregular behaviour.
No. NASA is not looking for a planet X. Pluto is not exhibiting any orbital irregularities indicating the need for another planet. The oddities of Pluto's orbit can be explained by Pluto being a captured cometary body. See the Nine Planets web page discussion of Planet X and "Nemesis".
I read with great interest the critique posted on your site about Mr. Sitchin's work. I also read the comments from others who have read it.
The style is pretty stereotypical of a person who will critique anything just for the hell of it. The points made against Mr. Sitchin are wishy-washy and to attack the idea that superior alien visitors did not genetically modify man flies in the face of modern enlightenment. If we can do it now then they sure as hell could have done it then and they did.
New evidence that man was around some 80,000 years longer than women confirms the story of the Anunnaki creating and using us as slaves until Enki came and gave us both knowledge and the ability to procreate.
Even without the Sumerian tablets the OT and other ancient writings are full of symbolisms which looked at in light of modern science and understanding make very possible that Sitchin is right on the money.
As a former believer and long time student of the Old Testament and Antiquities when I read Sitchin's ideas it was as if all I had suspected for many years finally fell into place. I am not for one minute preaching the new way here but will state that I find Sitchin's offering the most plausible explanation to how we came to be here.
The article is also a little dated now as it fails to mention that Nasa is now actively seeking Planet X, thought to be beyond Pluto and the cause for Pluto's irregular behaviour.
I guess the world will always have and need skeptics until Enki himself returns to shove a lightning bolt up their asses.
Oh yes, I forgot the most obvious question. Did Rob Hafernik actually read any of Sitchin's books? My impression is that he did not or at least not recently.
The first step to freedom from religion is accepting that it's OK to die.
reply: Gary, your arguments are so elegant and your evidence so overwhelming, I don't know how I have not been persuaded by the commonsensicalness of them.
22 Jul 1999
I read some of your essays. It is easy to attack the person, but where is your contradictory evidence to the ideas? What happened to the scientific method that you espouse? For example, you criticize Zechariah Sitchin as being basically scientifically illiterate, thus ALL his ideas must be absurd. Have you read his work? He is simply trying to correlate ideas from different cultures and he offers a potential explanation. If someone wants to challenge the explanation, let them take it point by point and show that the explanation is in error. Then, let that same person offer a more reasonable explanation.
reply: I never said Sitchin is scientifically illiterate. I said he was a pseudoscientific mythmaker.
By now you have figured out that I have some biases. So do you. It is called perception and perspective. I could claim that NASA science is no better than the science of the Roman Catholic Church of Galileo. And, I might even be able to provide some real evidence or produce people with contradictory evidence. But, nobody would listen to the contradictory evidence, because NASA is always right, and Galileo is wrong. Do you see my point?
Perhaps Sitchin is right?
Are comets really dirty snowballs as NASA claims? Why won't NASA show us the Hubble images of Hale-Bopp? Moon? Where are all the SOHO/LASCO images taken during that same period of time?
I worked for 5 1/2 years at JPL.
I also saw with my own eyes in the JPL image library two of the Face
on Mars images. Not long after I saw them, they became unavailable. Go
talk to an Intel analyst sometime.
reply: I'll do that, Neal. Thanks for the tip.
09 Feb 1999
Being a sceptic myself, I am interested in finding contradictions in the Zecharia Sitchin explanations of our past, which would have put to an end the discussions originated by Sitchin. Unfortunately, if anything can be called pseudo-science, that's your writings. I tried to find in them a single provable fact, and failed. Your rudeness reminds me of V.I. Lenin's pseudo-philosophical musings, where his only style of discussion was calling his opponents names, instead of confronting them with logic. I would not have replied to your writings, if you kept them for yourself, but you perform a great disservice to people who are really interested in finding the truth.
Yury Girshovich, Ph.D.
reply: Thank you for the kind words of encouragement, Yury. I've never been compared to Lenin before. It could be worse: you could have called me Stalin's son. Anyway, if you really are interested in writings which "contradict" Sitchin's claims, I suggest you take a look at the items I list under "further reading." As I say in my introduction to the Skeptic's Dictionary, I am not going to repeat all the arguments against non-sense that others have made, but I will provide references to the best skeptical literature I know of. Such notions as that beings from another planet (Niburu, which orbits our Sun every 3,600 years) arrived on Earth some 450,000 years ago and created humans by genetically engineering female apes have been adequately handled by others.
Still, there are two things that should be cleared up. When you go to an auto parts store, don't complain when they don't serve ice cream. If my purpose was to provide full arguments for and against each of the topics I took up, then your criticisms might carry some weight. But it isn't, so they don't. Secondly, when someone claims that human evolution did not occur naturally over several millions of years (as the current evidence now suggests) but rather in a burst some 450,000 years ago as a result of genetic engineering on apes (yet these space engineers left no other evidence of their presence), the burden of proof is not on those who reject such notions, but on the one who proposes them. There is no intellectual duty to attempt to disprove ideas which contradict current scientific knowledge. If a revolutionary idea is backed with evidence and arguments, rather than speculations and assumptions, then there is a duty to examine the evidence and the arguments. Thus, however interesting Sitchin is, to take him seriously one would have to reject everything we know about evolutionary biology, as well as what we know about the formation of our solar system. Scientists will do that only if given adequate reason to do so. Telling a compelling story which assumes ancient myths are scientific truths does not count as an adequate reason.