Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bosnian Psuedo-Pyramids Just Won't Die

Afarensis reports that Bosnian pyramid pseudo-archaeologist Sesmir Osmanagic has re-emerged, hawking his snake-oil archaeology to none other than a willingly duped ABC. The network obligingly reports, Afarensis notes, "...the worst piece of dreck passed off as science reporting that I have seen in quite a while".

Osmanagic uses the same logic as Noah's Ark enthusiasts to suggest that any geologic pecularity that he can't personally explain must be the result of human manufacture. (Come to think of it, this is the same logic used by Intelligent Design advocates...I wonder if Osmanagic's "pyramid" meets Dembski's definition of "specified complexity"?). Hot Cup of Joe further devastates Osmanagic's logic as well as ABC's credibility when it comes to reporting science:

Osmanagic's main contention seems to be that the hill is pyramid shaped and the orthogonal jointing present in the bedrock are both evidence of man-made. There are a lot of reasons why it should be obvious to major media outlets like ABC's Nightline that Osmanagic is decidedly not an archaeologist and not a scientist. Of them, failing to recognize orthogonal jointing in bedrock is one. This is a process that is fairly well understood in geology and can form a "ladder-like" feature in sedimentary strata with systematic joints that occurs at 90 degree angles and form during uplift and erosion. The very systematic, "ladder-like" pattern that I've seen depicted in some of the Osmanagic photos may be evidence of 90 degree rotation of tectonic stresses. The primary joints are created first by tectonic force, then the tectonic stresses over time are applied in a new vector creating a new set of joints at 90 degrees from the original.

I reported an interesting blog piece on this back in September, where a geologist reports that the Osmanagic "pyramid" is nothing more than natural sandstone features, just as Hot Cup of Joe suggests. ABC should learn to do a bit more research.


Anonymous said...

ABC is free to report on the major happenongs around the world. If 20000 people come to Visoko on the daily basis I think thats a big to report. If you call yourself scientist you should go there and judge the site by seeing the site not by watching telly.



CFeagans said...

There have been other archaeologists and geologists, real ones, that have gone to Visoko already. Osmanagic is a con-artists and a kook of the first order. The guy thinks the Maya are descendants of space aliens by way of Atlantis for crying out loud!

The consensus among *real* scientists that have already visited the site is that Osmanagic is threatening genuine Roman era archaeological sites. His bumbling around is destroying the cultural resources of Bosnia.

The appeals to authority by his supporters who seem to think that because he has "20000 people" who come to see is nothing more than a logical fallacy.

The guy remains a con-artist that is destroying cultural resources of a nation that is permitting it.