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For serious discussion of the controversies, approaches and enigmas surrounding the origins and development of the human species and of human civilization. (NB: for more ‘out there’ posts we point you in the direction of the ‘Paranormal & Supernatural’ Message Board). 
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Dr C,
I'm trying my best to be civil, really! Your sarcasm is wearing a bit thin now...

I didn't say for one minute that the law is SIMPLE but it IS absolute- the canon of law is written, recorded, documented- in it's entirity, in black and white! It is real, tangible. How do legal experts know how to proceed? Do they make it up as they go along? Anything which happens outside the given law sets a precedent and a new law is introduced into the canon. Simplified I know but you get the point (hopefully).

By contrast, ancient history is- by the fact that it is a study of a 'time', an 'era', a 'past'- an abstract, not real, not tangible, not black and white. Ancient history (as taught in a modern place of education) is based on artifact and documentary evidence - yes or no?

The 'facts', what actually happened in some remote time past, is an extrapolation of the given artifact and documentary evidence - yes or no?

Anyone can extrapolate from given evidence - yes or no?

If 100 academics say 'this' happened and 100 laymen say 'that' happened, all based on an extrapolation of the same evidence- who is correct? Everyone has seen the same evidence, yet two distinctly different conclusions have been reached.

Ancient history is based on supposition and conjecture because the evidence is assumed to be true. If an ancient stela says that Khufu built the Great Sphinx it is assumed to be correct, even if it's all we have to go on (and in fact that IS all we have to go on in this case. My children are taught that Khufu built the Sphinx- all because his name appears, once, on a stela situated nearby).However, the Daily Sport claimed that a London bus had been found on the moon - do we assume this to be correct? It is, after all, documentary evidence.
Have you met Khufu to ask him if he built the Sphinx? No. Therefore you rely on the documentary evidence and extrapolate the 'truth' from it. As do we all.

>>No facts there, no evidence required. Just make up some ideas and you're off. All opinions in this area are equal.

Not exactly what I'm saying is it? The evidence is there, the facts are not. All opinions based on the evidence ARE equal, unless, or until, further evidence is uncovered to help substantiate one particular theory.

>>We really should just fire all those ancient historians in their universities, who have no more authority than anyone who can come up with a nice-looking conjecture.

Why? I have the greatest respect and admiration for ancient historians who dedicate their lives to seek the truth about our past. That does not mean they have the authority over deciding, on my behalf, what did or did not happen in the past. What happened, happened. Historians and laymen alike merely seek to decide what the truth is, or was, based on the evidence available. But as long as decisions are based on the artifact and documentary evidence, we can not say for certain that it is the truth! To coin a phrase- you had to BE there! Therefore it is all conjectural. To take it to its extreme- nothing that has happened in the past, that you yourself have not witnessed, can be substantiated, really. It all depends on greater or lesser degrees of evidence. Eyewitness accounts of a historical event are strong evidence because that person was there and will tend to be believed (especially where there is a large amount of coroboration from other eyewitnesses) . Ancient documentary evidence is weak evidence beacause we cannot rely on it's factual nature, unless, again, it has a deal of coroboration from other contemporary sources. Plato's work, I believe, is generally held in high regard as a good source of historical factual information. However when Plato mentions a sunken island kingdom called Atlantis he becomes Plato the storyteller.
By the way I am not a proponant of Atlantis, I use it only as an example.

>>Was Alfred the Great an alien? Let's keep an open mind on that one. His very existence is only a conjecture anyway. Right?

Sigh..... see above.
BTW, you are the only one that seems to be mentioning aliens. I certainly didn't. I don't have an opinion either way as to whether aliens play any part in Earth's history. I remain open-minded until the evidence sways me.

>>Here's the conspiracy again. Can't have outsiders proving anything (which they can't since ancient hsitory is just conjecture anyway). Call CSICOP!

I AM NOT a conspiracy theorist. I said it certainly LOOKS to me like someone didn't like the idea of an engineer cracking an egyptological mystery. I didn't say I believed it. The evidence merely points at this possible explanation.
I hope that academia doesn't resent any layman presenting a good case.

>> Let's just keep the ideas going forward, regardless of plausibility, evidence, or logic.

Where on earth did I say any of this? You quote me, then paraphrase me but say things I haven't even hinted at. However:
Regardless of plausibility?
Do you believe the Daily Sport? Do you believe the Khufu stela? Which is more plausible?
Regardless of evidence?
I quite clearly stated that ancient history is BASED on evidence.
Regardless of logic?
I did not say, or imply that truth-seeking should not be logical.

>>But, as I recall, there's no point in validation at all, since ancient history is all a matter of opinion.

To validate : to confirm, make legal. Were you there? Can you validate ANYTHING from history?
Who has the greater authority to validate the past?
An academic or a journalist? Or a Doctor? Or a Logistics Supervisor?
I am open-minded and I believe so are you- but who are you to tell me in your sarcastic manner that I am seeking my truth in an incorrect way?

Any clearer? I hope so because I'm knackered!

Best wishes (really),

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