Amateur archaeologist Bob Lind, whom I have often mentioned here in connection with his wild archaeoastronomical ideas, issued me a challenge today (and I translate):
I saw a statement of yours in yesterday’s Sydsvenska Dagbladet, where you encourage researchers to blog more, which you have certainly done yourself both regarding Ale’s stones and Heimdallr’s stones. And what rot it all is.
Since you have insulted me in writing to journalists and called me an arch-idiot [Sw. ärkeidiot] among other things, while also claiming that my research regarding Ale’s stones and Heimdallr’s stones is completely wrong, I hereby challenge you to a public debate in front of TV, radio and newspaper people.
In addition to the above, you have also slandered geologist Nils-Axel Mörner who has taken part in the investigations of Heimdallr’s stones. I am going to send a press release about the coming debate to the media, which you with your fine archaeological credentials surely will not find reason to complain about.
We will surely be able to agree on a venue for the duel on short notice. I have a flexible schedule. You can either call me or e-mail me your response.
Bob G Lind
I generally try to distinguish between issues and people, and I haven’t called Bob (or anybody else) ärkeidiot. This fine but somewhat outdated insult simply isn’t part of my otherwise reasonably colourful invective vocabulary. But I’d happily debate Bob on TV if any station wants to bring us together. It would surprise me, however, if another one of Bob’s press releases aroused much media interest. It looks more like he wants to organise a debate regardless of whether any media representatives will be there or not. I don’t see the point of travelling to some Scanian village hall and debating Bob in front of fifty locals. They’ve probably already read my opinions about his ideas.
But I think this is really about a major difference between Bob’s approach and mine. I don’t care passionately about the two sites in question, and I wouldn’t see my personal honour threatened if someone proved my ideas about them grossly wrong. Anyway I’m pretty sure that if current scholarly consensus (to which I subscribe) is one day thus proven wrong, then the new results won’t tend to support Bob’s views.