Tag Archives: Holy Grail

10 Strangest Biblical Conspiracy Theories

Demythologizing the Knights Templar

More pseudohistory than fact surrounds this ancient’s order’s depictions in pop culture.

Brian Dunningby Brian Dunning via skeptoid
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This ancient order of knights, cloaked in mystery and intrigue, find their way into more of today’s movies and novels than just about any other famous characters. For a fair summary of the degree to which made-up Knights Templar mythology has permeated pop culture, one need look no further than the History Channel, the world’s central warehouse of sensationalized pseudohistory. Knights-Templar-4_0350pxThey’ve cast the Templars in some shadowy overlord capacity in just about every phase of human history. They’ve involved them in the Oak Island Money Pit, a sinkhole discovered in Nova Scotia in 1795; inexplicably entangled them with various alleged pirate treasures; with ciphers pretended to exist on the tomb of Jesus; with modern day Freemasons, separated by four centuries; and granted them fantastic treasures that they discovered buried beneath the Temple of Solomon and have kept secretly hidden ever since — and various described as either the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail, the Shroud of Turin, or even all three.

DaVinciCode_200pxThese, and many more veins of Templar mythology, all extend from the mother lode: the 1982 book Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln, best known today as Dan Brown’s main inspiration for The Da Vinci Code, in which he cast the Templars as guardians of the secret that Mary Magdalene was Jesus’ wife. But although Holy Blood, Holy Grail is clearly the main influence of today’s Templar mythology to which The History Channel owes so much of its programming, it was not the first to employ them in fiction. Sir Walter Scott used Templars for a number of characters in his 1820 novel Ivanhoe, which is set when the Templars existed, but heavily fictionalizes who they were and what they did. A number of French authors picked up this theme, most notably Maurice Druon, whose series of seven novels have been cited by modern author George R. R. Martin as his original inspiration for his series A Song of Ice and Fire and the HBO series Game of Thrones. Yes, the Templars, willingly or not, have had a massive impact on modern popular mythology.

So for now, that’s enough of asserting that everything we’ve heard about the Knights Templar is fiction, and it’s time to now look at their true history.

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Also See: Knights Templar (wikipedia)

Ahnenerbe: The Nazi Quest For Lost Civilizations

Via Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know

It sounds like something out of the Uncharted series, but it’s true: the Nazi party poured millions into a quest to discover lost civilizations.

Conspiracy Theory As Pseudo Theory

By via Conspiracy Theory As Pseudo Theory

Theory is often regarded a systematic framework formed of concepts that analytically account for phenomena observed. Philosophers for centuries have debated whether the goings on are external to human thoughts and cognition and thus real and material; or whether they are constructs of the mind, logically assembled and maintained by the exercising of reason with no independent reality.

20120600 Skeptic excerpt TRASH_300pxTheory is applied in both the social and natural sciences. In the social sciences disputes emerge, once again, between those who advocate that there is a real material world outside the remit of the observer and those who propose that the social sciences can only be understood internally by its inhabitants; resulting in normative theories that encompass Political Theory as well as historical, social and anthropological paradigms under the broader domain of hermeneutics. In the natural sciences the matter is somewhat different. Although Philosophers o f science such a Van Frassen advocate a scientific image along with anti-realism, most would accept that the methodological practice of the natural sciences is to generate hypothesis that form, or derive from, an overarching theory. This runs parallel to the procession of validating the phenomena in question with the eventual goal of producing a correlation between the explanandum and the explanan.

Classifying both the social and natural sciences as science, with the use of theory, means that the procedures of verification, evidence and explanation take the same abstract steps even though the physicist is completely divorced from the world he studies as where the sociologist, by the nature of human existence and the definition of the discipline, is inescapably part of the phenomena he studies, society. Nonetheless the issues that arise for both the sciences centre around preemption; when there is more than one theory competing for the explanation of the phenomena in question, or theoretical redundancy; when there is a theory that explains certain aspects of a phenomena but not every time nor in every context. This coupled with using evidence based empirical data to warrant the application and validation of a theory means that both the social sciences and natural sciences constantly refine their hypotheses and make predictions on future outcomes.

conspiracy to do list_200px_200pxThese are the formal understandings and uses of theory across the spectrum of the sciences and this is what sets both theory apart from pseudo theory and science apart from pseudo science. It is for this very reason that Conspiracy Theory is a pseudo theory. Take firstly one of the Holy Grail‘s of the scientific method: prediction. These abound in the natural sciences, ranging from how, why and when your PC will turn on to planes flying and equations of time and space. The social sciences, as already mentioned, tread a much more precarious, unreliable and unstable ground. However through the collection of data based on conceptualized variables and statistical models of causation, predictions can be levied. Anyone who has an investment portfolio can see the benefits of employing time series and regression analysis in economics although the latest financial crises illustrates that the predictions are far from completely accurate.

Conspiracy Theory as a serious ontological and epistemological alternative to social phenomena must provide predictions, demonstrate their applicability and warrant evidence that at least renders their explanations as plausible or highly likely. Although in the social sciences these do not map exactly due to the nature of the measurement of artificially constructed social variables, Conspiracy Theory falls spectacularly short regarding the relationship between observed phenomena, explanation and the use of reliable and relevant data and thus prediction.

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