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Angels & Demons
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« Reply #60 on: June 09, 2010, 02:02:13 am »

Ancient Astronauts theory; and other non-sourced material

I read the entry that had no citation or reference, and while it looks like another wild Atlantis cultural philosophy, I would be interested to know the source. Removing it without asking the editor in question for a citation or justification, seems a little rash to me, regardless of how inappropriate the material may be. It may be pseudoscience, and maybe we should add a short pseudoscientific theories section into the articel to accomodate some of these suggestions. If there is a source referenced, at least other editors can check it out to see what kind of information is being presented.

The whole nature of this article appears to be speculative. Of course Plato and other ancient writers and thinkers mention 'Atlantis', but you know; the City of Troy was only in Homer's imagination until someone actually found numerous verifiable relics from the ancient site of 'Troy'. The Heinrich Schliemann article seems to indicate he was a shyster, so who can tell?
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Angels & Demons
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« Reply #61 on: June 09, 2010, 02:03:13 am »

My point being; sometimes it takes wild theories to point thinkers in a new direction. Unless of course, some of the Atlantis location and cultural theories should be merged with the List of pseudoscientific theories article? Is there a need to differentiate between Atlantis (the location), and Atlantean (culture)? Because the Ancient Astronaut theory, I imagine, would come under Atlantean culture, as vague as that might sound.

I notice that Akhilleus has removed non-sourced material from the "Other Ancient Accounts' section, (as indicated in the talk section above). This is good, but I would suggest once the sources are located, that they be put back into the article. Modern accounts of Atlantis... definitely need sourcing too if they are to be considered at all. Drakonicon 15:57, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

    I'm opposed to adding a "pseudoscientifc theories" section, simply because it would attract many wacky, unsourced contributions and touch off annoying disputes about verifiability and reliability of sources.

    It's not really WP's job to "point thinkers in a new direction"; its mission is to record what reliable sources say about the topic.

    If any "ancient astronauts" theory is to be in this article (something which I would oppose), it certainly wouldn't belong in the "ancient accounts of Atlantis" section, which is where User:Tjchase put it. The placement of an esoteric theory at the top of a page, especially without sourcing, smells of advocacy, not encyclopedism. --Akhilleus (talk) 18:10, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

        I agree. Drakonicon 15:25, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

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Angels & Demons
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« Reply #62 on: June 09, 2010, 02:05:20 am »

content from German article

I'd like to translate most of content of the German article on Atlantis and add it to this article right here. I started today, and it probably takes a couple of days until I completed it. I started today with a translation of the German introduction of the article, and will continue (most likely) tomorrow with the description Plato gave on Atlantis in Critias and Timaeus. Does anyone disagree with that? --Bender235 23:19, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

    So far it's a definite improvement, although there are a few typos/punctuation problems. However, at least in the "Other ancient accounts" section (which I just restored after an act of vandalism), I hope you will merge rather than simply replace, as that section is fairly well sourced; also, for the sections dealing with Atlantis in modern culture, we need to be sure to focus on writers in English, so hopefully the German article isn't too Germanocentric. --Akhilleus (talk) 00:23, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

The translation is an improvement in many fields, but I have to emphasize, that not only the parts supporting the invention hypothesis (the favorite of Bender235) are expected to be translated. I added now some smaller infos breaking up the strict support of the invention hypothesis. Most, but not all scholars are in favour of the invention hypothesis. We discussed this in years on the German page. --Athenaios 15:41, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure I agree with what Athenaios is saying, no matter if it was discussed on the German Wikipedia. Perahaps we should sort out exactly what's meant by the "invention hypothesis" and which scholars aren't in favor of it. As far as I know, there are no classical scholars who think that Plato was reporting actual history, and few who think that he was reporting a story that he heard from somewhere else. --Akhilleus (talk) 04:21, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
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Angels & Demons
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« Reply #63 on: June 09, 2010, 02:06:00 am »

    You are right, and I agree. But Athenaios doesn't, and that's why we argued on this topic for years. Indeed, basically all scholars are supporting the "invention hypothesis" - which means Plato totally created Atlantis on his own, using contemporary events (Helike, Sicily expedition, Graeco-Persian wars, ...) and states (Sparta, Syrakus, Persia, Carthage, ...) as inspiration (more or less). But indeed, there are some scholars who disagree. Eberhard Zangger, for example, who argues that Atlantis and the war between it and Athens are based on an Egyptian Trojan war tradition, brought to Athens by Solon. Or John V. Luce, who argues that Platon himself saw an Egyptian account of the Thera eruption and took it for Atlantis. These opinions are the very minority among classical scholars, but Athenaios want them to appear in this article (like he wanted them to appear in the German article). --Bender235 18:58, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

In the German article we have a three-folded part of criticism against the ruling invention hypothesis:

    * Philologic criticism: Doubts deriving from the text, but this criticism does not state alternative hypthoteses (Zangger, Luce, Brandenstein e.g.).
    * Derivation criticism: Maybe the story came from Egypt, but is anyway not true.
    * Existance hypotheses: Atlantis is real history (again: Zangger, Luce, Brandenstein).

Maybe this would be the best approach to present the criticism. The improvement is, that the ideas of Zangger etc. are not dismissed only by dismissing their location hypothesis. Zangger's and others' criticism is not fully invalidated by invalidating their location hypotheses.
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Angels & Demons
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« Reply #64 on: June 09, 2010, 02:06:47 am »

--Athenaios 13:48, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

    Zangger is a geoarchaeologist, not a classical scholar. His work on the historical geology of Greece is often cited, but few (if any) scholars writing about Atlantis in English cite Zangger. In my opinion, he isn't notable. I can't find anything about Brandenstein in English. I had forgotten about Luce, but I think that he is worth mentioning in this article. However, the "existence hypothesis" is a position held by only a small number of classical scholars, and should not be given undue weight. --Akhilleus (talk) 16:29, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

        What sources should be given the most weight? Classical scholarship is one part of the solution. Archeologists are certainly doing the practical work of exploring the earth and waters for evidence. I wonder why "few (if any) scholars writing about Atlantis in English cite Zangger." Having not read Zangger, but finding a blurb for his book Flood from Heaven..., it seems that he 'solves' the Atlantean location hypothesis. At least the advertisement for his book suggests this: "A geoarchaeologist solves the mystery of Atlantis. The author has discovered the true nature of Plato's story by drawing on modern science, legends and ancient poetry. The story of Atlantis is in actuality an ancient Egyptian account of the Trojan War." from [[1]] Another Final Solution.

        As editors, we are implicitly judging classical scholarship, and every article in Wikipedia, from inception, is formulated with original research. Our act of gathering evidence from the right scholars is contributing to an original whole. In being 'encyclopedic' with our research, doesn't every valueable source of information need to be referred to? We implicitly place value on what is good and bad, by our own standards and life experiences. Geoarchaeology, historical geology, and oceanography are important points of reference in this article. I'm just not sure of Zangger's Atlantean 'solution'. Yes, he is not a classical scholar, but I'm sure he has read Plato to compare classical written knowledge systems with his practical geological investigations. Zangger, in this case necessarily, uses a multidisciplinary approach to establish his solution, much like Donnelly used comparative religion and modern science (as of 1882) to draw conclusions. How is he qualified to compare 'modern science' with 'ancient poetry'? How is any scholar qualifed to perform cross-disciplinary research? Locating Atlantis in place and legend is quite an art, it appears, from attempts by researchers I have encountered thus far.Drakonicon

        I agree with presenting another view of the invention hypothesis (the "three-folded part of criticism against the ruling invention hypothesis" cited by Athenaios above. Some of the reasoning for this is presented below in the 'Plato's Invention Hypothesis' section.Drakonicon 06:16, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

        I'm not so concerned about the article being Germanocentric... I more concerned about it being Eurocentric. Yes, this is an English language article, but Plato was Greek, so we are relying on translations by classical philologists for our information here anyway. A bit of a tall order fantasy for me, but it would be nice if we could glean relevant findings from Japanese, and Icelandic cultures, and the map collectors who contributed their finds to the Finland National Library (to name a few). Simply put: lets explore the other Wiki-articles on Atlantis (location) written in other languages. Can anyone here read Spanish? or Italian? or Mandarin? The German translation work has already been quite fruitful, I find.Drakonicon 06:04, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

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Angels & Demons
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« Reply #65 on: June 09, 2010, 02:07:02 am »

            The role of classical scholarship in this article is straightforward. For each topic, Wikipedia should be based on the opinion of experts; when looking at Plato and other Greek literature, the opinions of classical scholars and philosophers should have most weight, because this is the area of their expertise. Since Zangger is a geoarchaeologist, his opinion should be given less weight; his expertise lies in geological formations, not literature, philosophy, or even architecture and ancient city planning. If Zangger had been cited with approval by classical scholars, then he'd be deserving of inclusion here; but as far as I can see Zangger's work has had little impact on the scholarly community. --Akhilleus (talk) 14:47, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

                I think my point is, that relying solely on interpretations of classical histories, written in Greek and Latin literatures for 2500 years is one way of looking at what Atlantis is. Considering this article seems to be a general overview of the term 'Atlantis', would it make sense to refer briefly to people like Zangger, as an example of an expert investigating the geographical-historical location of Atlantis? Maybe Zangger should be simply relocated to that particular Wikipedia article - Atlantis (location theories)? The invention hypothesis does indicate that Atlantis is a product of Plato's imagination; but it is simply a hypothesis about what Plato thinks.Drakonicon 09:10, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Would you agree with the three-folded structure of criticism or not? Single names are not of importance. Brandenstein was an Austrian scholar for ancient languages. --Athenaios 15:45, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

    Individual names are of importance; if a theory is widely held, we should be able to name prominent adherents (thus says the NPOV policy). There aren't prominent adherents of the so-called derivation and existence hypotheses, with the possible exception of Luce; and few classicists I've seen agree with his theory. So I am not pleased with the three-folded structure Athenaios sets out, because it appears to give undue weight to the views of a tiny minority.--Akhilleus (talk) 23:48, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

        Well cant Athenaios's 'three-folded structure' be mentioned in the article, in passing, as an example of a minority classicist view?Drakonicon 09:10, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

    In my opinion, the section on Plato should set out a short summary of what the Timaeus and Critias say about Atlantis, then have another section that explains that most scholars believe Atlantis is Plato's invention, with some detail on the arguments of individual scholars (perhaps Vidal-Naquet, Gill, and Morgan). Then mention Luce's theory, in brief. Of course, it should be mentioned that while the majority of scholars believe that Atlantis never existed, the general public tends not to listen to them, but rather eagerly devours the news of each discovery of Atlantis... --Akhilleus (talk) 23:48, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree. However, there is implicit bias in the use of the ideas that 'most scholars believe' (so if you are not a 'scholar of classical literature', you will not understand how to think about Atlantis), and the general public eagerly devouring the news each discovery of Atlantis (implying that the general public having uninformed 'herd-instincts' about truth and reality). I suppose basically, what we are exploring here is: some scholars believe Atlantis exists, other scholars believe it never existed. And both sides should be presented. But I agree with the 'major scholarship/ minor incredulity' structure of the article suggested above by Akhilleus. Drakonicon 09:10, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

        This kind of reminds me of the "debate" between Darwinists and those who favor ID. The latter want the debate to be mentioned, to make the people believe there's an ongoing dispute and biologists do not know whether Darwin's theory or ID is true. Of course that is nonsense, and even American courts ruled the ID to be religious, not scientific.
        Athenaios is one of those who want to make us believe that there is an ongoing debate among classicists whether Atlantis is true or fictional. But this is nonsense, too. --Bender235 09:17, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

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Angels & Demons
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« Reply #66 on: June 09, 2010, 02:07:29 am »

    Yes! The Darwinism vs ID "debate" is certainly one way to explain my ideas here. Religion vs. Science in a court of law. An 'argument battle' (as Edward De Bono might indicate in How To Have A Beautiful Mind.). There is an ongoing dispute, and I believe there is controversy concerning how scientific evidence to support Darwin's claims have been found, reported, and argued under peer review. Michael Cremo's book Forbidden Archaeology suppossedly cites a number of instances where scientific evidence that might dramatically change the archeological record of human ancestors, has been deliberately lost, misplaced or completely overlooked or maligned by scientists whose reputations, careers, and personal theories may be threatened as a result of these new paleontological evidences found by genuine research. Cremo's book, in my mind, is an example of what Thomas Kuhn was referring to about scientific paradigm creations and maintenance, in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Yes Cremo's book is 'one' book of ideas. And Darwinism as been proving and arguing with religionists for over 100 years.Drakonicon 09:10, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

    Its not so much that biologists do not know whether Darwinian evolution or ID is true; I am fairly sure biologists follow the tenets of Darwin's evolution to explore ideas about the world. Is might be clearer to say that biologists hold a different worldview compared to religionists about the origins of man, the origins of consciousness, the mind being an emergent property of the structure and function of biological processes operating in the world. For example, The Pope and Charles Darwin might hold different views about the way the world operates, and how to think, feel, and live; it does not mean that either of them are right or wrong , or holder a 'truer' version of reality. One prefers to think scientifically, the other prefers to think metaphysically. Both have a right to hold these views.Drakonicon 09:10, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

    Maybe there is not an ongoing debate among classicists whether Atlantis is truth, based on truth, or fiction. The central classical conclusion I am seeing in this talk page focusses on what Plato said, and how Plato thinks... which again... is guesswork. We can report what Plato said, and what other thinkers have said about their cultural and historical ideas, and about what they think Plato said. Basically we cannot know whether Plato was reporting truth, or creating fiction to tell a moralistic and imaginative story. I suppose to locate truth, maybe we need to get to the modern science of geo-archaeology, oceanography, or something similar. Because the invention hypothesis about Plato is good, but so are the reports that Plato was writing about a lost civilisation, not simply fantasising about his ideal city-state.Drakonicon

    I read the entire Atlantis article again last night and I believe it reveals excellent scholarship at the moment. Lots of wonderful and inciteful links to classical thinkers that lead me on journey into thought, history, and biography. And that is what I like most about Wikipedia - the wide a varied presentations of belief, truth, possibilities, and probabilities cited. Great work guys! Keep it up.Drakonicon 09:10, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Atlantis/Archive_3
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Angels & Demons
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« Reply #67 on: June 09, 2010, 02:18:19 am »

Talk:Atlantis/Archive 4

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Atlantis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Atlantis/Archive_4
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