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Fun With Debunkers

Posted:  Aug. 21, '03

By Goro Adachi

As anticipated, certain 'debunkers' at the notoriously CSICOP-driven Maat message board (of the In the Hall of Maat website) were quick to take aim at the Time River Theory (TRT) as soon as The Nile Decoded - an introductory web presentation - was made available on my website. The quick response, I am quite certain, was largely due to the fact that the TRT involves and corroborates Robert Bauval's Orion Correlation Theory, which happens to be at the top of those serial debunkers' 'hit list'. (The conservative academic types hate the OCT, largely because Bauval is an independent researcher whose popular theory, in their minds, has overshadowed their ideas and existence).

While there were numerous messages posted there expressing their predictable 'skepticism', only one poster attempted to actually discuss and attack specific points (well, kind of). To illustrate the 'Nile Denial' in action, and just for fun/amusement, I wanted to do a quick analysis of the debunking attempt here.

The message we are going to dissect below was posted by one 'Anthony', who, by the way, has already compared me to the Nazis and told me via email: 'you make me sick'. (Hehehe...) Okay, so, let's see what he wrote. His comments are in in gray (slightly cleaned up) and mine are in black:

Author: Anthony 
Date:   Aug-18-03 10:55

Okay... I took a deep breath and dove into the icy cold waters of stupidity....

Let's start with his core thesis... the Nile.

Anthony says 'core thesis' here but what he lists below are actually what The Nile Decoded presented as 'initial hints'. That's a big difference.

  • The Nile is distinctively vertical (longitudinal), and it is the only notable river on this planet to flow directly northward.
  • The Nile begins at the equator and disintegrates precisely at 30°N latitude, marked by Egypt’s capital Cairo and Giza, the home of the great pyramids and the Sphinx.
  • The generally straight Nile makes a dramatic turn southward near the halfway point. The northern peak of this remarkable bend – sometimes referred to as the ‘Great Bend’ – pinpoints latitude 19.5°N.
  • The significance of #3 comes from the fact that 19.5° is considered a ‘tetrahedral constant’, deriving from the geometric configuration of a circumscribed tetrahedron shown below.

(snip blah blah blah)

  • The fact that the longitude pinpointed by the same Bend’s peak is 33.0°E intensifies our curiosity as ‘33’ too happens to be a key number detected by Hoagland’s team (The Enterprise Mission).
Okay...that's enough to start. Remember... his central claim is: "that our planet’s major rivers have been intelligently designed."

Anthony is using a 'Straw Man' tactic here (a fallacy). He is trying to make the 'initial hints' look like the TRT's central findings. These are just initial clues, and my conclusion - that the Nile is an intelligently designed river - does not depend on them.

Well.... it's a damned good thing that our ancient benefactors ALSO happened to use a 360o circle measuring from the equator like we do, and also just HAPPENED to start the measurement of latitudinal lines in the completely random location of Greenwich, England... otherwise all of this would just be complete and utter NONSENSE!

Which, of course, it is.

First of all, Anthony is confusing 'latitude' with 'longitude' here (the latter is the meridional/vertical grid lines). Second of all, he is still falsely treating 'hints' as essential pieces of evidence upon which the entire theory relies. Part of what Anthony is saying above pertains to my discussion on the numerical significance of longitude 33°E that runs through the apex of the Nile Great Bend. What I wrote was that the combination of the numbers 19.5 and 33 - the Bend's peak is at 19.5°N 33°E - was very interesting because other researchers had considered these very two numbers significant as well.

I am of course aware that, unlike latitude, the longitude system is quite arbitrary in that the Prime Meridian at Greenwich is a man-made 'longitude zero'. But is it enough to entirely deny the possibility that the numerical 'coincidence' is meaningful? The answer is no - because the idea that the selection of Greenwich was 'completely random' actually involves a lot of assumptions. For example, it could be that there was a covert group, versed in esoteric matters, who subtly guided the decisions of the committee set up to select the Prime Meridian. Possibilities like this are not ready to be ruled out. And so it would not be necessarily factual to claim that the longitude system is 'completely random'.

But the biggest point I have to make here is this: the numerical 'coincidence' (involving '33') is, again, just a HINT. In other words, the validity of the TRT's core claim does not depend on it!

As for the applicability of the 360° system... well, this point was challenged even inside the Maat forum. Here is a an example:

Author: Ogygos
Date:   Aug-19-03 05:39

I'm not getting into the issue of whether this Nile theory is correct or not I just want to say that the 30 degrees angle has significant properties which are independent of the angle measure (degrees, rads, grads or any other measure). This corresponds to the half-angle of an isosceles triangle.

And I myself addressed this issue in the endnote (#4) section of The Nile Decoded, which said:

Since the practice of dividing up the circle into 360 degrees was already in use at the time of the Sumerians (the first known high civilization in history), comparing latitudinal measurements, such as 30°, to other measurements such as 30 years and 30 days should not be any more arbitrary than comparing 30 years to 30 days. Incidentally, 30 days is the length of the ‘reign of Saturn’ (Robert Graves, The White Goddess, p.163).

Let us move on.

However, he didn't stop there, so neither shall I.

He continues...

Throughout history much has been said about ancient monuments - such as those at Giza (the pyramids and Sphinx) - bearing very advanced knowledge surpassing all that came afterward.


I guess we'll just forget about those 40-ton blocks of granite raised 20 meters straight up to make the roof of Karnak Temple...or the 300-ton stone in Menkaure's pyramid... or that teeny statue of Ramesses II in Thebes...

Yup... piling up a couple million stones FAR surpasses those achievements.


Here, Anthony is simply misinterpreting what I wrote. I wasn't at all asserting that those monuments bear 'knowledge surpassing all that came afterward'. No, I was simply saying that that's what many people had thought! I was simply relaying an opinion there.

It is of course a controversial view that many find uncomfortable.

Yes, especially those espousing that absurd view, when they get confronted with the evidence. When you show them the facts, they start to squirm noticeably, and begin to insult people and threaten lawsuits. Very uncomfortable indeed....

But it pales in comparison to the much crazier possibility emerging here... that the world’s longest river, clearly visible from space, may be a gigantic ‘monument’!
Okay... HE used the word "crazy", not I. Can I appear to be polite and "a good sport" if I choose to agree with him on this point?

Well, I hope this showed Anthony that I do have a skeptical side and am very much aware how 'crazy' the theory sounds. The difference is, I don't let that kind of sentiment stop me from pursuing the truth, purely based on objective reasoning and observations (including reading patterns). Adjectives, like 'crazy' and 'extraordinary', are a non-factor in real science.

Not only does Plutarch reveal here that Cronus/time arises in the south and ends in the north just like the Nile, he even goes on to draw a direct parallel between Cronus/time and the Nile! This is almost an open and direct acknowledgement that the Nile may indeed represent the flow of time.
Yes, well... when you start with the conclusion, it's easy to cherry-pick your evidence. Remember, people are really bananas because they both have skins.

Anthony is just reciting his standard line that is simply not applicable here. It's laughable!

It's funny because he is attacking portions of The Nile Decoded that are meant to lay the foundation for the hypothesis of the Nile potentially being a literal 'river of time'. The purpose of these portions is to show how the hypothesis naturally arises from the many clues and how it is not something I had subjectively decided was the truth. So describing these parts as 'starting with the conclusion' is just so... well, 'off'. It doesn't make any sense. I guess Anthony was a little startled by the 'Plutarch' clue, which is actually quite striking.

To all intents and purposes, Osiris is the Egyptian version of Cronus-Saturn, the god of time.
Really? I've not seen that... can anyone please point me to a real reference that says that? Anywhere? I got the whole resurrectioin/rebirth thing down pretty well... and his dominance.... but this guy seems to think that Osiris was there from the beginning as a major player in the Egyptian Ennead of Gods.

It is actually no secret that both Osiris and Saturn are closely associated with death, time, and 'resurrection'. That's undeniable. Is Anthony disputing this? Perhaps he needs to study mythology a little more. (Just to be sure, I'm not saying that Osiris and Saturn are 'identical'; but it is clear that there are large overlapping aspects.)

Sorry, Charlie. He's a late-comer to the game. You're gonna have to find yourself another god to play patsy for your pseudoscience.

For this, we turn to the Giza monuments, evidently an integral part of the Nile scheme (marking the river’s northern edge). Giza, through its astronomical alignments, manages to give us just what we need to turn the ancient river into a tangible map of time.

The key here is Robert Bauval’s popular ‘Orion Correlation Theory’ (or more broadly the ‘Star Correlation Theory’) which traces the Giza layout back to the stars.
As died the OCT, so to die all ideas based on it. This entire section is a non-starter.

In Anthony's mind, Bauval's Orion Correlation Theory has bee, wholly debunked, of course. I addressed this issue in The Nile Denial:

Criticism: [...] The Orion Correlation Theory, a major part of the Time River design, is still a controversial theory. This means that the Time River theory is built on a very shaky foundation.

Response: [...] It is true that some academics are not fond of [the Orion Correlation Theory]. But as mentioned in Chapter 3 [of the book The Time Rivers], those critics’ arguments are quite lame. In almost every case, they are infected with the fallacy of ‘composition’ (where some little inconsistency is somehow treated as a proof of the illegitimacy of the whole theory). And it is also important to point out that the Time River Theory does not depend on the validity of the Orion Correlation Theory. The rivers’ overlay/transposition schemes alone are solid enough to make the theory compelling.

In terms of the Nile timeline, however, it is indeed the OCT that helps us unlock the 'code'. At least one of the two 'anchor dates', 10,600 BC, does derive from the OCT, although it's not required. Orion is Osiris/time. And the constellation's southern culmination (or the lowest meridian transit), due south and very close to the horizon (thus guiding our attention to the Nile's source Lake Victoria lying due south), pinpoints 10,600 BC. (Here is a pertinent illustration from The Nile Decoded.)

In other words, the positioning of Orion alone - without involving the Giza monuments - is quite enough to arrive eventually at the anchor date that would be assigned to the equator at Lake Victoria.

That said, I must state here that the Orion Correlation Theory is very much alive, and there is no need to take it out of the equation. In fact, I will soon write a little article that will support this position.

However... to point out another glaring problem in his establishment of chronological "anchor points"...

We can refine the date by taking a closer look at Point #1, i.e. Orion’s lowest transit point (‘southern culmination’). It occurred more exactly c. 10,600 BC. This, then, is our first ‘anchor date’.
Ummm.... I wonder where he got that date? Hasn't Tony Fairall already demolished the 10,500 (or there-abouts) timeframe? If we adjust the date, in fact... then doesn't the rest of this idea need to be adjusted? And if so, then don't the rest of his "proofs" crumble if we simply stick to exactly the same calculational methodology he has employed to pseudoscientifically reach his preconceived conclusion?

As I just explained, the 10,600 BC date is based on the lowest transit of Orion at the meridian (the lowest point in its long precessional cycle). Therefore that it's a significant date associated with Orion is a fact.

That said, let me address the argument of the debunkers who claim the c. 10,500 BC date is not pinpointed by the Giza monuments because the angles made by the pyramids and Orion's belt stars do not exactly match at that date. It is actually true that the angles don't match precisely, but it is certainly close enough to make the point - especially with all the other accompanying alignments/positions. In The Nile Decode I wrote: [Orion is] 'closely mimicking the configuration of the Giza pyramids'. So I was quite careful and accurate in how I presented the correlation.

Why weren't the pyramids designed to align with the 10,600-BC Orion more precisely? Well, it turns out that the little misalignment itself is an encoded clue that will lead to further discoveries. This will be discussed in my article I plan to write soon.

Same problem as a certain numerologist I recall... when you find out the numbers with which you begin your calculations are incorrect, it should serve as PROOF that your conclusion is absolutely wrong. How much you wanna bet he changes the way he randomly calculates things when he discovers this mistake?

Anthony is just mistakenly assuming that my numbers/dates are wrong. They are still very much valid.

The year 4004 BC is the standard Christian date for Adam, the first man, based on the scriptural calculation done by Archbishop James Ussher in the mid-seventeenth century
Oh, now THERE'S a reliable source to be quoting for world chronology....

Well, it's true that this is not really solid supportive evidence. I really didn't have to mention it. But I did anyway as it's at least an amusing coincidence that may yield further clues, etc. The bottom line is, I can take this part out and the theory will not suffer at all.

Okay.... I'm reaching that point where I can't continue...

Yes, because this is exactly where the most compelling part of the Time River Theory begins! (Page 3 of The Nile Decoded.) Instead of facing it, Anthony decides to run away! Oh my... :)

If anybody else feels the need or desire for self-abuse and wishes to pick up from here, they can do so. I just hope that what I've provided is enough to dissuade any sentient being from giving this guy ANY benefit of ANY doubt. He's proven one thing, and one thing only... he has absolutely no intellectual integrity when it comes to historical research, and ANY work he puts forth needs to be scrutinized far more closely than a known reliable source.

It's like loaning money to somebody with bad credit and a criminal record... it's just not wise to trust 'em.

Ah yes, this pathetic concluding statement makes me look like a prophet, as I predicted just such a fallacious argument! Here is what I wrote in the Nile Denial appendix (discussing an anticipated reaction from a hypothetical 'skeptic' and my pre-emptive response):

Example: “The organization CSICOP believes that the Time River Theory is one big joke, and it believes that any scholars who take the theory seriously should be investigated for their intellectual integrity.”

This statement is essentially a threat and has nothing to do with the legitimacy of the Time River Theory. Many academics often succumb to this type of peer pressure, and their intellectual integrity does go out the window.

So in any case, I've now responded to each and every point made by Anthony, and I think it should be very clear to the reader at this point that Anthony utterly failed to 'debunk' the Time River Theory. He didn't even come close!

So, until next time... Maybe a little more competent critic will come along...

Email Goro: [email protected]

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