Monday, February 06, 2006

Robin Edgar mad at non-UU?

Anthony Perks, a gynaecologist, has posited the idea that Stonehenge is a symbolic representation of female genitals when viewed from above. David Miles, and archeologist, disputed the theory, and Robin Edgar (A disgruntled Unitarian) was upset by what David Miles said.

Here is how David Miles was quoted in the Observer:
"It is intriguing theory, though it has failed to impress experts. David Miles, chief archaeologist for English Heritage, which owns the site, said Perks's theory, although interesting, was essentially untestable. 'You can come up with just about any idea to explain a structure like Stonehenge if you stare at it for long enough. And if Stonehenge was built so that it looked like a female sexual organ when viewed from above, how were people supposed to see that? As far as we have been able to tell, they didn't have hot-air balloons in prehistoric times.'

In fact, scientists have shown that Stonehenge was not built in one single act of construction, but was put together over a period of more than 1,500 years in a series of successive modifications and improvements. Nor was it built by the druids, the people most often associated with the site. In fact, many more ancient tribes and societies - individuals attempting to make their impact on the landscape of England - were responsible.

'The archaeologist Jacquetta Hawkes once said that every age gets the Stonehenge it deserves,' added Miles. 'For example, in the 1960s, at the dawn of the computing era, researchers argued that you could use Stonehenge as a giant calculating machine.' Later, in the more mystical New Age, it was argued that the monument was really a spaceport for aliens, while, in the Middle Ages, it was said Stonehenge was built by giants. 'By those standards, this latest idea seems to say something quite odd about the twentyfirst century.'
"

And here is how Robin Edgar described David Miles's statements:
  • "flippant and gratuitously dismissive"
  • 'sarcastically dismissive response in the media was uncalled for and at least one of his comments that served to publicly discredit Dr. Perks' theory with the "voice of authority" was a totally spurious non-argument that may none-the-less have been very misleading to the public.'
  • "As far as I am concerned David Miles and indeed English Heritage whom Mr. Milres publicly represents owes Dr. Perks an apology."
  • "flippantly dismissive comments that clearly serve to publicly discredit Dr. Anthony Perks Stonehenge theory"
To me, even the little that was quoted from Miles does not seem to be particularly flippant or dismissive, certainly not excessively so. He is a scientist, and science is about skepticism. We also do not know how much else was said in the actual interview. I do not think that an apology is in order.
Now, Robin Edgar has a personal interest in the idea of 'an eye above', and the idea that ancient societies believed in heavenly viewers. There is a case to be made there and Miles did not address it (or it was not quoted) so it is worth bringing up, but I think Robin Edgar's reaction was out of proportion to David Miles's comments.

This has implications to interpreting Robin Edgar's words against Unitarian Universalists.

2 Comments:

At 7:41 PM, February 07, 2006, Blogger The Emerson Avenger said...

"Robin Edgar mad at non-UU?"

Robin Edgar quite justifiably strongly criticizing a non-UU.

David Miles said - "And if Stonehenge was built so that it looked like a female sexual organ when viewed from above, how were people supposed to see that? As far as we have been able to tell, they didn't have hot-air balloons in prehistoric times."

And those words do in fact justify how I described David Miles's statements as being -

"flippant and gratuitously dismissive"

and

"sarcastically dismissive response in the media was uncalled for and at least one of his comments that served to publicly discredit Dr. Perks' theory with the "voice of authority" was a totally spurious non-argument that may none-the-less have been very misleading to the public."

and

"As far as I am concerned David Miles and indeed English Heritage whom Mr. Milres publicly represents owes Dr. Perks an apology."

and

"flippantly dismissive comments that clearly serve to publicly discredit Dr. Anthony Perks Stonehenge theory"

:Now, Robin Edgar has a personal interest in the idea of 'an eye above', and the idea that ancient societies believed in heavenly viewers. There is a case to be made there and Miles did not address it (or it was not quoted)

Yes he did and yes it was. . . Read what he said again Indrax to see David Miles' "flippant and gratuitously dismissive" "totally spurious non-argument" that most certainly was "very misleading to the public" and clearly served "to publicly discredit Dr. Anthony Perks' Stonehenge theory". . .

 
At 4:41 PM, November 29, 2006, Blogger Desert Rose said...

Im also a Unitarian but I'm also wiccan and i believe Perks theory to the fullest. Before christianity or monotheism even sparked in peoples' minds, the world was covered in goddess religions. Our sabbats (holidays) coincide with the goddess and god creating life, giving birth, death, and then life again. Its the seasons and a calender. We honor the winter and summer solstice and the harvest and the coming of life in the spring. I think Stonehenge was a calender but a goddess calender celebrating life, death, and rebirth through the period of a year and the four seasons. In goddess religions, women were dominant, not men like of today. They were fasinated by the magick of birth and the power that woman had to commit to such a task. When monotheism and male hiarchy arrived, they massacred everyone who believed in the goddess and destroyed sacred idols, temples, statues, etc. It was horrible. But anyone that can't see this truth, is blinder than mole in a box.

 

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