Archeothoughts 2018 annual

The year started and ended with pseudo-archaeology, and it has been one of the main themes. I began with a reaction to CBC’s uncritical coverage of the Solutrean Hypothesis on the Nature of Things’ Ice Bridge episode, and ended with an assessment of critical thinking in Curse of Oak Island fan communities. The conclusion of…

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Pseudo-archaeology and self-correction in Curse of Oak Island fan communities

Significant online fan communities have developed around the most popular pseudo-archaeology television series, such as Ancient Aliens and Curse of Oak Island. Far from being uncritical of the claims made on those shows, these fan communities are spaces for radical speculation, but also for rapid self-correction. They are spaces in which professional archaeologists could participate…

Genetic testing companies and neo-eugenics: Anthropologists must speak out

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, scholars such as Charles Davenport and Karl Pearson popularized the idea of eugenics: that through careful management of our collective genetic resources, we could improve not only ourselves, but the whole of society. Classical eugenics Eugenics “promised not only an experimental understanding of mind and behavior, but…