> Martin, that's hardly accurate. The last time we
> exchanged views was all of six months ago; a
> friend told me you were on GH's site, which I
> don't normally visit. I could also point out that
> you were the one who first dived, and rather
> aggressively, into the comments on my blog.
First, let me say that I know none of the history between the two of you. However, if Martin responded to an article written by you, that likened his research to a random Walt Disney image, I and, I would think most others, could hardly blame him for wanting to respond swiftly and firmly.
That said, I would like to address you directly on some items that I believe now clearly form the basis of his exploratory work.
1. As I see things, the main reason why Martin and others have decided to rigorously explore the possibility that Gobekli Tepi's animals may represent constellations, is because credentialed archaeologists and historians, like yourself, are of the firm opinion that the Ancients were very interested in the stars.
And so I ask my first question, Rebecca. Do you think that's a reasonable possibility? Yes or no? If no, are you then willing to state, on public record, that you think the whole notion of the "Ancients" making celestial art forms is ridiculous, the kind of off-the-wall premise that really does warrant a Walt Disney parody?
2. I will predict that your answer will be a firm yes. In which case you must concede that Martin's starting point IS reasonable, at least in this regard.
So, then there's the matter of Martin arbitrarily choosing a place in the heavens as a starting point. Surely, you would also agree that the equinox and solstices are among the better choices, and not really "arbitrary" since the Ancients are known to have placed much emphasis on these four positions?
I'm going to guess that you will say yes to this as well, which means that you have accepted Martin's first premise as reasonable, based on ample precedent, and the second, also based on ample precedent.
(The only problem I see at this point, is Martin's mentioning that the mortar on 43, which dates to around 9600 BC, is apparently about 1,000 years off of his proposed match. (Correct me, if I am wrongly paraphrasing here.) I can see why people would strongly object to that, but at this point it seems too early to dismiss his thesis based on what we know about GT. If, at present, there is much disagreement between academics regarding dating, then nobody really is in a position to say that they know Martin must be wrong.)
3. So let's move on, to his test. Martin has already directly acknowledged that he is working with a subjective premise, in presupposing that GT's animals 'may' represent constellations. But does he offer a setting which can be explored objectively, to a significant extent? Perhaps, since GT offers a fixed set of animals, from which hard numbers can be derived, depending on one's test.
As I understand it, the test Martin offers is a very straightforward one that goes like this.
Which one of the following letters look the most like the small letter 'b': Rank them 1 through 5, with 1 being the best match, and 5 being the worst. d , p, s, v, z
What about i:
o z l k x
When one isolates an individual, it becomes very easy to say that whatever ranking they concoct is "purely subjective" (with unstated emphasis on 'pure', usually). But given the choices, common sense predicts that we can strongly expect the rankings to be consistently and significantly skewed in favor of d and p in the first place, and l in the second.
Conversely, anyone who might say that z looks more like b than d, or p, is likely to be so in the minority that others would ask if they are even being serious in making such a claim. I think that you know these, Rebecca. Accordingly, if your goal is to bring down Martin's thesis, you have everything to lose by taking this test.
Strong group consensus lends perception a certain degree of objectivity that is impervious to these kinds of tired, "it's all in the individual's head" criticisms. No longer are we being purely subjective, when the majority says they share the same general conclusions. And since Martin's test has us dealing with a fixed number of choices, from this one can make statistical conclusions that are objectively grounded, to a significant extent, depending on how skewed the results are.
And since other people's rankings will be in general agreement, it is entirely reasonable for Martin to say the expected consensus will very likely be crushingly improbable, which in turn fuels the suggestion that the art on 43 is very possibly nonrandom and tied to the stars.
My one main issue with Martin's idea at this point, is the apparent time difference - a thousand years? - between the mortar dating on 43 vs when the skies matched what he was proposing. That seems like a significant difference, but I would assume that we're still very early into the dating of GT, which is to say that there might be ample wiggle room for Martin to be right at this point. However, and to a point I made earlier, it would appear that presently nobody is well-informed enough to say that one dating is clearly the best one, in a way that appeals to the academic consensus. Simply put, it's probably too early to rule out Martin's premises based on a perceived 1,000-year margin of error.
For all of these reasons I now think that it is quite baseless to insinuate that Martin is deluded and worthy of ridicule, for pursuing his thesis. Like I said, I don't know you, or your history with Martin, Rebecca. But looking in from the outside, I am astonished that such a well-credentialed academic would caricature anybody, let alone another academic, as you did with your Mickey Mouse art.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12-Aug-19 17:28 by Poster Boy.