An excellent read: Muslim Sailors, a Skeptical Redux
In a recent issue of Skeptic, Tim Callahan discusses the issue of ancient astronauts and lost civilizations.(1) This is perhaps one of the most frequent and popular theories of pseudo-archaeology, and certainly an area of concern ripe for a skeptical assessment.(2) Overall, Callahan does an admirable job in addressing the common theories of hidden secret civilizations, and it is good to see the inclusion of more recent Raelian ideas, which are generally seen as too off base for archaeologists to even bother discussing them. However, Callahan’s discussion of pseudo-archaeology takes a long diversion into another popular area of fictitious history, using it as an argument against lost civilizations. I refer to his theory that Muslim cultures were in direct contact with the Americas before Columbus, only one of many unsupported propositions of Pre-Columbian exploration of the New World.