Posted in history, Uncategorized

Logical Fallacies

This essay will address the video, “Higher Level Technologies” from the show The Pyramid Code. The essay will go over the logic, logical fallacies, and some examples of the pseudo science contained in the video. The video in question is about the pyramids of Gaza, but also makes reference to the Abydos Temple, pyramids and structures at Saqqara, and Stonehenge in England. The video uses these locations and various “clues” found there to “prove” that ancients had access to a higher technology.

As previously stated, the central claim that is being made is that the ancients had access to some higher technology that we modern humans cannot access. They give a whole 45 minutes worth of examples and proof, starting with the fact that though the aforementioned sites are world heritage sites that the governments in charge of the sites have restricted access. This, to the makers of The Pyramid Code, indicated that this definitely means they are hiding something. In order for an argument to be considered valid the logical form of the argument must work — must be valid. An argument must be one where both the premise and conclusion are true. Additionally, if one or more of the premises is false then the conclusion is also false, which can lead to a valid BUT false argument. Which is exactly  what happened in the first few minutes of  “Higher Level Technologies.” The creators of this show premised that if they government is restricting access then there must be something to hide. This is the type of premise that while it COULD be right it left out relevant facts that are necessary to get to a right conclusion. So yes, the government COULD be hiding something, but is it just as likely they are trying to protect these world heritage sites from additional decay, and damage so that they may be here for future generations?

Moving on to the higher technology claim, the video states that a device called the “Baghdad Battery” is proof that the ancients had electricity. They further support there claim with hieroglyphs that they claim show images of light bulbs, and the lack of soot in the tunnels from the traditional forms of light sources in that era. There main logical fallacy in this video is Ad Ignorantiam. Which means that because we cannot prove that it is not true that it must be true. This fallacy ignores many things; for instance, just because the tunnels do not have soot now doesn’t mean that there has never, ever been soot in those tunnels. It is just as possible that in the thousands of years since when the tunnel was last used and when it was discovered that the soot gradually disappeared from the walls. From, the conclusion about the battery, light bulb, and soot-less walls they video jumps over to the idea that the pyramids are not tombs because there are no mummies therefore they must have been used to generate electricity. Here we can see both the Ad Ignorantiam and the Argument from Authority logical fallacies at play. They parade in front of us a series of professors, historians, etc. that state that this information is true. They premise that because someone of authority states that it is true then of course it must be true. They back this idea of pyramids being used to generate electricity by having a local say that the slaves were not slaves, but in fact willing participants because they knew they would get something in return, i.e. electricity. The location of sites are “overwhelmingly” on lay lines. Which contain Telluric currents which allows for lay energy and other subtle energy to pass along these lines. The ancient peoples preferred to put their sites on the lines/intersections because of electromagnetic fluctuations. These people in positions of academic authority say temples, pyramids, and other ancient structures were built where more than one line intersects. These intersections were in places of connectivity discontinuities, the place where one area of ground that as a good ability to conduct electricity meets another area of ground that has a lesser ability to conduct these natural electric currents. This is a clear example of pseudoscience. While Telluric current are an actual know scientific occurrence there is no actual proof that the ancients were aware of this, or were capable of harnessing that energy. Once again we see Ad Ignorantim; we can’t prove or disprove it so it must be true. The scientific community has over time proven things that at one time were thought to not be true. However, using the argument that it must be true because it has yet to be disproven is dangerous to science and history.

Many more pages could be dedicated to the mockery of science that is, The Pyramid Code. However, for the purposes of this essay we can conclude that most of this video is pseudoscience simply because it uses scientific fact to make huge leaps into the unknown. They blatantly overlook or ignore facts that would contradict their premises to leap towards ideas that prove their “science.” While the “code” talked about in this show are interesting to say the least, they should be taken with a grain of salt because they completely ignore the scientific method and most known facts.

Pyramid Codes: Higher Level Technology

This essay was written for a college class titled, “ANTH 1020 – Fads, Fallacies, and Human Origins”. It is taught by Dr. Ryan Gray at the University of New Orleans. This essay also uses information from the reader, “Critical Engagements.”

Posted in Uncategorized

Camp Ruston, Ruston, LA: Endangered Landmark

For most people Ruston is not a place they have ever heard of, and it is not an everyday space. Growing up in North Louisiana, just a few miles from Ruston, I had heard mention of “an old army base” that used to be near Ruston. No one ever knew much about it, other than it used to be there. Well, it turns out, it is still there and it was a lot more than “an old army base,” it is a place called Camp Ruston. The worst part is that Camp Ruston is in trouble. It has been poorly kept and is in disrepair, and despite its rich history it isn’t even on the state or national register of historic places. The following pages will describe Camp Ruston’s history, why it is endangered, why it should continue be on the National Register of Historic Places, and why more attention and money should be spent to keep the property in good condition.

Camp Ruston, located in Lincoln Parish near Grambling, was activated on December 25th, 1942 with around 750 acres (Owens). The state of Louisiana petitioned to have the camp placed there (Arant) because the POW could be used as labor, which most southern states were lacking in because men were either at war or in other states working defense jobs (Ouchley). “Those prisoners who were enlisted men were required to work at the camp and for local farms and businesses. They picked cotton, felled timber, built roads, and performed other tasks” (Prescott Memorial Library).  Originally, Camp Ruston was Branch “A” of the 5th Women’s Auxiliary Corp Training Center. They used a nearby abandoned high school as training rooms, a local hotel for staff residences, and a nearby café for officer’s mess hall. That all changed summer of 1943. By June the last of the WAAC had shipped out and the first POW were on their way. In August of that same year 300 men from a group called the Afrika Korps arrived, but by May 1944 they were gone and replaced by Italian POW (Arant). At it’s peak Camp Ruston held 4,315 and included soldiers from Yugoslavia, Russia, Bosnia, Poland, Romania and France (Ouchley).

Despite its status as a prisoner of war camp life at Camp Ruston wasn’t so bad. “The American captors observed the 1929 Geneva Convention on treatment of prisoners of war, and legitimate prisoner complaints were rare. Meals were adequate and medical care was provided. When not involved in routine camp work—such as cleaning and cooking—or on remote details, physical recreation was encouraged. Baseball, basketball, tennis, boxing, and especially the familiar soccer were favorite sports.” (Ouchley). Additionally, camp prisoners, who were primarily enlisted men, also formed theatre groups, had small orchestras, a 40-voice choir, and visual art projects. The men were also given an opportunity to earn money or “Scrip” as it was called in the camp. Scrip could be used to purchase coffee, cigarettes, beer, toiletries, and reading materials. In order to earn Scrip, the prisoners were sent to the camps administrative branches in Bastrop, Lake Providence, Tallulah, and West Monroe. In these branches of Camp Ruston the POW participated in farming and timber, but also in public works such as road building (Arant).

 

Camp Ruston had a lot of history during its time as a prisoner of war camp. However, Camp Ruston closed its doors to its last POW in February 1946. It wasn’t officially deactivated until June 1946. Then, a year later in May it was transferred into the custody of the state of Louisiana. They used it as a tuberculosis hospital until 1958 when it became a state school for the developmentally disabled until 2009 (Arant). After that the land, and the building that were original to Camp Ruston’s POW days have fallen into disrepair. On December 13, 1991, the camp’s remaining buildings were placed on the National Register of Historic Places, by the state of Louisiana. The four-remaining buildings, as well as the site, did not meet the initial requirements for approval due to the site being under the 50 year old mark. The committee was petitioned to waive this requirement for fear that the buildings would be dismantled. The petition was successful in convincing the committee to approve the building and site for inclusion into the NHR (Ouchley).

 

In conclusion, if Camp Ruston is not given more attention and/or funding it will continue to disintegrate to the point where there is no longer a physical landmark of where it used to be. The reason Camp Ruston is so important is because a lot of American do not know the extent to which the United States went during WWII to detain our enemies or people who were potentially our enemies. The people that live near the sites Camp Ruston and its nearby administrative branches have no idea they are walking on the same paths as prisoners of wars. That is why this everyday space is so important to Louisiana State History and to our nation.

Works Cited

Arant, Tanya. “Camp Ruston.” 1 Jan 2012. http://www.llaonline.org. 16 March 2017. <https://llaonline.org/Documents/Conferences/2012/campruston.pdf&gt;.

Franks, Mike. Some of the old buildings from the WWII P.O.W. Camp. Camp Ruston, Simsboro.

Ouchley, Kelby. “Camp Ruston.” 9 September 2013. Know Louisiana, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Ed. David Johnson. 16 March 2017. <http://www.knowlouisiana.org/entry/camp-ruston&gt;.

Owens, Reggie. Ex-POW visits camp, donates WWII artifacts. n.d. 16 March 2017. <http://www.thepineywoods.com/ExPOWAug06.htm&gt;.

Prescott Memorial Library. Camp Ruston Collection. n.d. 16 March 2017. <http://www.latech.edu/library/scma/campruston.php&gt;.