2.25.19: They Couldn’t Prevent Jack From Being Happy

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 “The Future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet.”
—William Gibson

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On this day in 1866, miners in California claimed to find a human skull beneath a layer of lava that threatened to upend the theories of Charles Darwin introduced less than a decade before. Dubbed the “Calaveras Skull” (named for Calaveras County, in which it was allegedly found—”calavera” conveeeeeniently also the Spanish name for “skull”), it found itself in the possession of a one Professor Josiah Whitney.

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State Geologist of California and Harvard Professor of Geology, Whitney believed that humans co-existed with mastodons and mammoths—putting the “lie” to Darwin’s outrageous theories. And so after careful examination of the skull, he proclaimed it as being from the Pliocene Period—making it by far the oldest known “proper” human.

This news was not only music to the ears of the Creationists, but also the Theosophists—both groups maintaining beliefs in the origins of humankind that conflicted with those of Darwin. When increasing evidence emerged that the Calaveras Skull was likely a hoax perpetrated by cheeky miners, the debate raged on. And when in 1992 radiocarbon dating placed the skull in the late Holocene Age—the much more appropriate era, with a difference from the Pliocene of millions of years—well, the debate still raged on.

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illustration of the Calaveras Skull

I do not profess to be a student of evolutionary biology (though my mother very well can), so I am only presenting some links along the Rabbit Hole for you to visit if you wish to explore this debate. On one side are the mainstream archaeologists, who flat-out support the hoax theory; among them are somewhat more intriguing skeptics like Jason Colavito who still believe it’s a hoax but will also get into fun pop-cultural Lovecraft shit and stuff like that. On the other side are the creationists, who have provided a furious rebuttal of the hoax theory; and fringe “alternative archaeologists” like Atlantis Rising columnist Michael Cremo, whom the mainstream archaeologists loathe.

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What if “God” created Evolution and DNA and the Scientific Method along with everything else?

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Some news of possible interest to you:

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While I’m on the “calavera” topic, here is a webcomic/essay by Nate Powell for Popula on how the Punisher logo became a contemporary fascist symbol.

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As a person who has written two Punisher stories myself, what do I feel about all this?

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Well, like Powell describes in the comic, I also had a attraction to the pseudo-military elements of properties like G.I. Joe & the Punisher as a kid…

On one hand, it has literally been made clear to me via large elements of the Right that it’s an unacceptable topic for me to write about or indulge in, because I’m a woman…(You know, unless I’m going to be an NRA groupie and/or a Russian honeypot spy, but I’d still need to glam up a bit.)

And on the other, a number on the Left looks askance at my jones for these topics as well, because of their (the topics, not the Left’s) pseudo-fascist overtones. (Also…because I’m a woman, but they’ll never admit it because they’re way too “evolved.”)

I don’t really have a webcomic or an essay in me to expound upon it further. Perhaps this gif will suffice:

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Lastly, I will admit I couldn’t give a rat’s behind about the Oscars, but nice to see Rami Malek won Best Actor. For a couple of reasons (Bryan Singer + the whitewashing of Freddy Mercury’s sexuality), I wouldn’t go super out-of-my-way to see Bohemian Rhapsody—but all the way back from when I followed Malek in the TV series Mr. Robot (as well as the indie film Buster’s Mal Heart), I just thought he was one of the most intense actors I’ve ever seen. So: yay.

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As for the rest of the Oscars itself:

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And that’s it. Well, after going to bed at 7 and then waking up at 12 it’s now 12:45 AM and I’m going back to bed. Enjoy your Monday.

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