THE BOOK
Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my book called "The Bluestone Enigma" -- available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
To order, click
HERE

Saturday, 3 September 2011

'Tis but a scratch.......



With respect to the Pont Saeson discoveries, and the flurry of press releases last February:

Mike Parker Pearson, Professor of Archaeology at Sheffield University, added: “This is a hugely significant discovery which will fascinate everyone interested in Stonehenge.
“It forces us to re-think the route taken by the bluestones to Stonehenge and opens up the possibility of finding many of the quarries from which they came.
“It’s a further step towards revealing why these mysterious stones were so special to the people of the Neolithic.”

Hmmm -- if you want to understand what tunnel vision is, look no further.  Most normal people would assume that if you can show that the Stonehenge "foreign stone assemblage" has come from all over the place, that might well indicate that your ideas about sacred stones and sacred sites were up the creek, and that you are looking at an assemblage of glacial erratics.  But no -- that would be to admit defeat in the face of overwhelming odds.  Very un-British.  So you change your strategy and insist that maybe there were many sacred stone types and sacred quarries (How many do you want?  Ten?  Twenty?) targetted in North Pembrokeshire by the builders of Stonehenge, and that from every one of them some sort of route was plotted out and used to get the stones from the "quarries" to the sea, maybe near Newport, and thence right the way round the wild coasts of West Wales and all the way to Stonehenge.  The Great Stonehenge Myth becomes ever more heroic, and ever more telegenic.....

And since when were these "mysterious stones" so special to the "people of the Neolithic"?  If they were so mysterious and special, they would have been used all over Pembrokeshire, in preference to whatever the builders of cromlechs and stone circles etc could pick up in the immediate neighbourhood.  And did they do that?  No way -- they were not that stupid.  They ALWAYS used whatever stones they could pick up nearby, as all the local archaeologists have been pointing out for years.

A powerful image comes to mind -- of the black knight in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" who continues to shout defiance as his limbs are all cut off, one after the other........




48 comments:

Geo Cur said...

Not ALWAYS , there are plenty examples of monuments with components that are clearly not local and in areas where glaciation can not be the explanation .Even Thorpe /Williams- Thorpe accepted human transport within the glaciated areas of Briatin of up to 5 Km .

BRIAN JOHN said...

Fair enough -- I would accept that in some cases people moved stones a few km if necessary. But Steve Barrow (in The Tomb Builders) says that 'there are no instances in wales where it can be demonstrated that megaliths were carried great distances to build a tomb at a specific location..." (p 64) he points out that they always used whatever stone was handy, and that they were essentially scavengers and opportunists, as I have pointed out many times before. Of all the hundreds of megalithic monuments in Wales, there does not seem to be a single one where a non-local rock type has been "targetted" by megalithic builders and used in preference to whatever was available locally. And I suspect that at least some of the standing stones cited as being "a long way from their sources" are in fact glacial erratics, moved most if not all of the way by glacier ice.

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian,

Whether we argue Neolithic men acted as “scavengers and opportunists” picking up stones scattered about by glaciers in Salisbury Plain, or picking up stones at sacred sites and transporting these to Stonehenge, we are still arguing the intentionality of men whose intentionality we know nothing about.

Hard to win a “war of intentions” without knowing where the “weapons of mass destruction” lie!

Men judging the intentions of other men is the greatest threat to truth and survival. Yet all true Wisdom is rooted in Nature to be found by even the most common of men! Beware of experts!

Kostas

Geo Cur said...

We should not lose sight of the fact that the use of foreign materials in monuments is something that was obviously an important part of the architecture / design and intention of the builders .The distance they were brought to the monument does help to provide a measure of their importance but it is not the only index . Whatever the explanation for the presence of the bluestones there is more to their choice than simple opportunism and that is clearly the case in many other monuments .
When you consider the capstones of Welsh portal tombs , the distance they were brought to the site is immaterial , but it is obvious that their erection was not some utilitarian action by scavanging opportunists .

BRIAN JOHN said...

OK -- Newgrange is always quoted as the classic example. But I wonder how true it is that stones were "chosen" (and transported) for their design and architectural qualities? I suspect that where a stone was moved a fair distance, it might have been because there was no convenient flattish capstone available at the chosen burial site, or because there was a good capstone at the site but a shortage of uprights. That all sounds rather utilitatrian, but I'm pretty convinced about it.......

Geo Cur said...

My point about the use of capstones in Welsh portal tombs is that they are clearly not simply utilitarian , the immense bulk and angle of the capstone as well as the balancing act on pointed orthostats are a perfect example of how the monument builders went to a lot of trouble in their “ conspicuous constructions” . We may not know their purpose but all the monuments of the Neolithic , Long Barrows ,Causewayed Enclosures , Cursus , Portal Tombs , Passage Graves and Henges etc are hardly examples of scavenging and opportunism . Scavaging and opportunism may have applied to everyday subsistence and construction of shelter but not the building of these monuments , any more than the building of a medieval cathedral .
The glaciation argument can always be applied to any monuments when there is a suggestion of long distance transport but it can’t be applied to those areas where glaciation did not occur and where the obvious explanation is human transport .

BRIAN JOHN said...

There has been a lot of fantasising about this -- for example with respect to Pentre Ifan, where some fantasists insist that the silhouette of the capstone mirrors the silhouette of Carningli on the far horizon. For a start, it doesn't look remotely like it, and secondly, why would they even attempt to do that, and then bury the whole thing under a mound? In fact, most of the mound must have been there before the capstone was put in place -- it was used for sliding it up and into position. OK -- Neolithic were doing "ritual things" to the landscape, but I still think they were sensible enough to use whatever raw materials they had to hand.

Geo Cur said...

What of my comments were fantasy ? What I was talking about wasn't phenomenologist's fantasy ,I never mentioned anything about mirroring the landscape , it was architecture and uneccessary effort when something much easier and simpler would have sufficed ,if they were simply scavanging opportunists . Even the 5 km for human transport ,as accepted by Thorpe & Williams -Thorpe suggests something other than opportunism anything greater and glaciation could be argued for but that argument does not apply to those areas where glaciation can not explain the transportaion. The people of Neolithic Europe (and elsewhere for that matter )went to huge amounts of effort to build their monuments ,this sometimes involved the transport of megaliths over greater distances than 5km but that was only one aspect the energy invested

BRIAN JOHN said...

I wasn't accusing you of fantasising, Geo. But you did say: " ...the immense bulk and angle of the capstone as well as the balancing act on pointed orthostats are a perfect example of how the monument builders went to a lot of trouble in their “conspicuous constructions”. That sounds to me very similar to what others have said about Pentre Ifan. We are dealing with subtleties here -- and things that are unprovable, because we don't know the minds of the builders, as our friend Kostas would say.......

Geo Cur said...

These comments were not about mirroring the landscape but showing , despite Steve Burrows comments , in Wales as elsewhere in Europe a great deal of unnecessary effort , from a utilitarian view , was put into a building a monument that could have been accomplished with a lot less effort if the builders were scavanging opportunists i.e. there is no need for the covering stone of the orthostats to have been as massive as they are nor for it to be angled as is often the case or for the orthostats to have been the height , shape and number . Not that we know the function of the monument but surely scavanging opportunists would have used a bunch of local small boulders and covered them with something either organic or much easier to manoeuvre and lift with no concern whether the covering was angled or not .

BRIAN JOHN said...

I don't think we are really disagreeing here, Geo. Of course I have to agree that the builders of barrows and those who put up circles or pairs or individual standing stones were following some "grand design" or other -- so they must have had aspirations and motives. Whether we call those "sacred motives" is another matter. All I'm saying is that in following through their grand designs they would have minimised effort wherever possible by using local materials.

Bob the Builder said...

Taking the quotation from Dr. Burrow's book to the end of the paragraph reads --
'Indeed there is only one example of transportation of megaliths in the whole prehistory of Wales, and this occurred several hundred years after the construction of the last tomb. The transportation of the Preseli bluestones from Wales to Wiltshire for the building of Stonehenge was the remarkable exception to the evidence that construction involving megaliths was usually carried out near the source of raw material.'

BRIAN JOHN said...

I have taken him to task for that, and he has nor responded.
He has no evidence for that statement -- it's just that he did not have the courage to stand against the weight of the archaeology establishment and say the obvious thing, namely that Stonehenge was also -- in all probability -- built of locally sourced stones.

Geo Cur said...

I don’t think we are in agreement Brian . Erecting a pair of standing stones needn’t require that much effort to erect , a small family group could probably do it in a week end . I was talking about Neolithic monuments like Cursus ,Long barrows , Henges ,Causewayed Enclosures Portal tombs etc that would have required collective effort and a huge amount of man hours . We do not know the function of these monuments but the energy expended in construction was immense when compared what would have been required for everyday utilitarian builds . Houses , the most basic utilitarian building have hardly survived ,there are only a handful of Neolthic buildings in the whole of Britain yet the non utilitarian monuments from the same period have survived in their hundreds . These monuments like others elsewhere should not be judged by the same standards as the basic every day survival defensive builds . Religious /cosmological /power based buildings will always outlast them but it is the effort that should not be underestimated . Scavaging opportunists could build a house very quickly but when they build a Long barrow or a Cursus no expense in energy or time was spared and if it meant transportation of heavy orthostats over long distances it was done . I’m sure the builders of pyramids may have minimised effort but the amount effort was not commensurate with opportunism .

BRIAN JOHN said...

Words, words. Not that I dislike disagreeing! We read different meanings into words. I am not disputing the vast social efforts and feats or organization that went into the building of "ritual" structures such as those you name. Where I would part company with you and others is over the tendency to say "These people were capable of great feats of organization, and therefore it would have been no problem at all for them to collect lots of bluestones in Wales and carry them to Salisbury Plain." That comes dangerously close to circular reasoning, in the absence of any evidence to support the proposition.

I prefer to think that people had great aspirations, which sometimes outstripped the capacities of those charged with turning dreams into realities. Hence my argument that Stonehenge was never finished. And I continue to believe that even on the biggest civil engineering projects, people would have used whatever was at hand in the way of raw materials, maybe moving further and further away when local materials were exhausted, until a point was reached at which the effort no longer justified the meagre returns.......

Geo Cur said...

You can only agree/disagree with what has ben said . I never mentioned bluestones . Of course it is possible that people could have transported the bluestones to Stonehenge just as it is possible the bluestones were transported from Pembroke to someplace nearer Stonehenge by glaciation but I never mentioned either possibility .

BRIAN JOHN said...

OK Geo -- I hereby acknowledge you as a person of independent mind who refuses to be put into a category with anybody else!

Geo Cur said...

Only two categories for the bluestone transportation debate ? I think you will find I’m not the only one who fits into another “category “ .

Bob the Builder said...

Is it not a possibility that the archaeological establishment are correct and Stonehenge was not constructed from locally sourced stone.

I accept that a glacier may have deposited the bluestones in a trail leading to Stonehenge, and they can no longer be traced because they have either all been used, or they are at the bottom of the Bristol Channel.
I also accept that the absence of any bluestone erratics on Salisbury Plain could be due to very few examples being plucked from the Preseli region.

However, an examination of the south Wales coalfield shows a vast plateau of Blue Pennant Sandstone at an average height of 400m above sea level. This plateau is deeply incised by many glaciated valleys, probably caused by the Welsh Ice Cap that you show in Kellaway's glaciation diagrams.

As an exercise, the Cynon Valley, an average valley in the coalfield with Aberdare as the main town, was selected and cross-sections were taken along its 15km length at 1km intervals.

This gave an average cross-sectional area of 0.62 sq.kms.

The volume of rock excavated from the valley by glaciation is about 15km X 0.62 sq.kms = 9.3 cubic kms.

Or 0.62 cubic kms of rock removed
per 1km of advance.

The combined length of the glaciated valleys in the Pennant Sandstone Plateau = 434.5 kms.

Therefore the total volume of rock removed is
434.5 X 0.62 = 269.39 cubic kms.

Approximatly 270 cubic kilometres of rock has been glacially removed from the valleys of the south Wales coalfield, which is sufficient to build a continuous wall 1km high by 1 km wide from Carn Menyn to Stonehenge.

It has been confirmed by the Geology Department of the National Museum of Wales that there are no Pennant Sandstone erratics on Salisbury Plain.

In the case of the sandstone the absence of erratics cannot be attributed to scarcity of supply; and as the bluestones and the Pennant Sandstones caught the same bus, then the logical conclusion is ----- no bluestone erratics plus no sandstone erratics = no glacial involvement.

Anonymous said...

Oddly enough at least one largish piece of probable Pennant Sst has been identified from Durrington Walls- (Ixer unpublished data).
What crime did the bluestone commit that they had to suffer transportation-sheep stealing?
Certainly the presence of bluestones in New South Wales could not be due to glacial action but would have to be anthropogenic. Perhaps as ships ballast.
How the bluestones were transported to Salisbury Plain is up for grabs. So I too am a mugwup.
GCU In two minds.

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Bob the Builder,

… thank you for your post! Very interesting analysis, if true.

You write,

“In the case of the sandstone the absence of erratics cannot be attributed to scarcity of supply; and as the bluestones and the Pennant Sandstones caught the same bus, then the logical conclusion is ----- no bluestone erratics plus no sandstone erratics = no glacial involvement.”

I do not agree with your “logical conclusion” but I'll wait for Brian's response to this challenge before I offer my explanation to this puzzle.

Kostas

GREEK ERN said...

Perhaps Mike Parker Pearson [MPP], famously of Sheffield University Archaeology Dept, should hire Sheffield-born Michael Palin[MP], famed for his leading roles in Monty Python's Flying Circus and its highly profitable spin-off films [Question: was MP the Black Knight in The Holy Grail film?], as television choreographer. This is the same Michael Palin whose own show was entitled "Forty Years Without A Proper Job".

GREEK ERN said...

GCU in two minds:- you say 'I too am a mugwup'. Please explain, haven't come across this expression.

The Stonehenge Enigma said...

Sorry to say Brian - I think Bob the Builder has a very good point!

Back to the drawing board my old mate.

I've now found a few Mesolithic wooden boats at the bottom of the Solent that could move them from Preseli to the shoreline of Stonehenge if that helps?

RJL

BRIAN JOHN said...

Show us the colour of your evidence, Robert, and maybe we'll be impressed. And maybe not...

BRIAN JOHN said...

Bob the Builder -- I do not have a clue where you learned your geomorphology, but I fear that you are all up the creek. All of the valleys in Britain are old, and all are formed over a long period of time by a variety of different processes, including fluvial ones and glacial ones (in many cases) -- but with the glacial processes spread across many glacial episodes.

If I may say so, the sort of sums you have been doing are just plain daft. Neither you nor I can know how much rock has been eroded from the Cynon Valley or any other valley by glacial processes -- or in which glacial episodes the erosion occurred. Neither can you know how this material was transported and then redistributed in other directions during the interglacials. I have tried to examine some of these matters -- including the "flushing"of glacial erratics -- in earlier posts.

You might just as well try and calculate the volume of rock removed during the evolution of the Bristol Channel or the English Channel, and argue that because you can't find all the stuff removed, there wasn't really any erosion after all.

Please read my posts on erratic entrainment and erratic transport. i hope they may be helpful.

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Bob the Builder,

I am with Brian on this one! We both agree that all the erratics that are not found at Salisbury Plain, blue or not, were simply “flushed” into the sea!

Kostas

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Geo Cur,

I am curious – what makes you think the circular ditch and inner embankment at Stonehenge are man-made?

Please no references to 'export opinions' or evidence that can be disputed.

Kostas

BRIAN JOHN said...

The number and volume of erratics moved out of the South Wales valleys may have been quite small, even during the Anglian Glaciation. If, as seems likely, the Altar Stone came from the Senni Beds, it must have been carried by local Welsh ice southwards and then by Irish ice eastwards. That scenario must also have been true for other erratic blocks (including Pennant Sandstone) from the valleys of the coalfield. If the Welsh glaciers were powerful, they may well have flushed everything out into the area now submerged by the sea, in the Bristol Channel. If the Irish Sea Glacier was dominant, it may have blocked off or held up the southwards flow of these valley glaciers -- and also effectively hindered or prevented erosion.

This contact zone, like others around the Welsh peripheries, must have seen some very complex interactions between glaciers, and it will be great if Henry Patton manages to sort things out during his modelling work.

Geo Cur said...

Kostas ,Throughout Europe there are post Mesolithic circular and roughly circular man made monuments of various diameters where the builders have dug a ditch and either removed the spoil or more likely heaped it either immediately outside or inside the ditch thus creating a bank . As means of defence the technique has been in use from prehistory until today , although in these cases the bank is almost always external .
Stonehenge phase 1 being quite early in the sequence has affinities with earlier causewayed enclosures in that the ditch is segmentary but there are contemporary examples like Flagstones which is very similar to Stonehenge , having a very close to circular segmentary ditch similar diameter and no outer bank . Flagstones has the added interest of some man made markings found on the vertical face of one of the segments close to the base of the ditch probably made with an antler tine ,these are not the same as the more common digging markings which are found on these sections but are much finer .There are various suggestions for the segmentary nature of the ditches ,one being various clans or families had their allotted sections another more likely and not exclusive of the former is that digging laterally with a resulting aid of gravity is much easier with the tools used .The tools which are regularly found discarded due to wear and having been broken were antler tines and scapulae , there would have been organic containers for the spoil but I don’t believe any have ever been found . Chalk was difficult enough but in some cases i.e. Brodgar the ditch was cut into sold rock , others e.g. Kingsborough was light soil . Depositions are common in the ditches often in man made pits below the base of the ditch .The main section of undug causeway at Stonehenge even at this early stage is on what was to become the axis of the monument is facing the solstice sunrise as seen from the centre of the monument and also connects to what would be the Avenue . The European monuments that predated causewayed enclosures etc ,the roundels , have similar numbers of major “causeways “ oriented at very similar points of the compass .
Any evidence , expert or otherwise that you can provide to show any of these monuments were not man made would be interesting .

BRIAN JOHN said...

Agree with you on all of this, Geo. Everything I have ever read on Henges etc (whether or not the ditch is on the outside) suggests an association with buried artifacts, tools and even cremations. You can't argue with the stratigraphy, the dating (many hundreds of radiocarbon dates)and the information provided by bones, tools, ornaments, fragments of weapons etc.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Comment blocked from Kostas.

Kostas, you have said all this before, and it's clogging up the web. What Geo says is all backed up by research and published evidence, there for all to see. That is not the case with your hypothesis, which is still a hypothesis in search of some evidence.

The Stonehenge Enigma said...

Geo Cur

A couple of problems with your hypothesis.

"As means of defence the technique has been in use from prehistory until today"

Defensive ditch?? why would you spend 20 - 30 times longer building a ditch than erecting a fence(palisade)- especially when your surrounded by forest?

Even if you wanted a ditch and palisade, there is no evidence to suggest that any form defence was added at the same time of construction at Stonehenge or Avebury.

And the icing on the cake is Avebury - if its defensive, why is it on the wrong side of the ditch? Your giving height advantage to the 'enemy' and making the ditch useless.

This is a tired old flawed theory of archaeology, which then allows dating of the site by the items found in the ditch - but if the ditch is not defensive, what is it for? And only when you can answer that question can you then say if the artefacts in the ditch are contemporary to its construction!

Of course you can hit the traditional 'get-out clause' of stating its 'ceremonial' - if that is the case Kostas 'ice sculpture' hypothesis has greater credibility than yours.

RJL

Geo Cur said...

RJL , What hypothesis? I simply mentioned features found in monuments dating from around the period of Stonehenge that might go some way to show that they were not due to natural causes . Your editing doesn’t help in an understanding of the sentence .” As means of defence the technique has been in use from prehistory until today , although in these cases the bank is almost always external . “ .There was no suggestion there that that was the purpose at Stonehenge or Avebury , did you really believe that is what I meant ?
Read it again and think of hill forts , multi vallate defences and trenches i.e. a defensive technique in use from prehistory to the present .

Anonymous said...

A mugwump is someone who sits on the fence with his mug on one side and his wump on t'other.
It is an old Yank term and an even older Native American one.
GCU In Two Minds

Greek Ern said...

GCU in two minds - thank you for your explanation of "mugwump".

You originally put "mugwup".

Didn't know what "mugwump" meant: however, the word features in The Mamas & Papas' Hit from the 60s,"Creeque Alley", where the group explain their collective musical origins. One of their earlier incarnations was "The Mugwumps". Now you tell me there is an earlier ethnic origin! A bit like MPP's Madagascan interpretation of Stonehenge as Land of the Dead as opposed to Land of the Living. Good to see we're getting into the anthropology of everything!

BRIAN JOHN said...

Thinking of Madagascar, didn't our old friend Geoffrey of Monmouth say, all those years ago, that the stones of Stonehenge had come from Africa? Maybe they were indeed transported from Madagascar, by a tribe of ancestor-worshipping strongmen who were sent off to explore the lands far to the north, taking their ancestor stones with them for protection? Oh dear -- I feel another story coming on......

Bob the Builder said...

Thank you for the response, predictable, but a response never the less. (It never occurred to me that valleys are old --- you learn something every day).

It would appear that your book was aimed at readers experienced in geomorphology, rather than at the general public, so I must apologise for falling into the latter catagory.
I should also apologise for including figures that are 'daft', they were however reasonably accurate, and designed to aid discussion.

In your response you say
"Neither you nor I can know how much rock has been eroded in the Cynon Valley or any other valley by glacial processes -- or in which glacial episodes this erosion occurred. Neither can you know how this material was transported and redistributed in other directions during the interglacials".

That single paragraph undermines your glacial transport theory for all the points that you so correctly make can be equally applied to the Preseli region and the bluestones.

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Aah! Brian,

… you have yet to learn that the more you 'block' my ideas the more you 'confirm' them!

“...clogging up the web” ??? Isn't that what the Chinese and Middle East dictators argue?

Why not let your readers decide for themselves and make up their own minds? What are you afraid of? If my explanations are nonsense, they will reject them.

But your actions lead them to wonder what it is that you don't want them to know or think!

thank you! You made my day!

Kostas

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Geo Cur,

Sorry you didn't get to read my response to you! I am sure you would like to form your own opinion about my theory.

You can find my comment to you posted at : http://robertjohnlangdon.blogspot.com/2011/08/stonehenge-enigma-incovenient-truth.html#comment-form

Kostas

BRIAN JOHN said...

Tell you what, Kostas -- run your own blog, and you can have a wonderful time controlling the agenda, publishing all your evidence, and arguing with those who don't accept what you try to tell them. You can even block people who waste your time with interminable repetitions of the same points, and who never come up with anything which might be termed "evidence" .......

Just trying to help...

BRIAN JOHN said...

Bob -- you misunderstand me completely. You say: "That single paragraph undermines your glacial transport theory for all the points that you so correctly make can be equally applied to the Preseli region and the bluestones."

My whole point is that you have to take the evidence on the ground and try to work out what has gone on. That is true of Pembs as for everywhere else. There are glacial deposits near Glastonbury and Bath, on Lundy, at Kenn and other places -- what we have to try and do is work out how they got there, what they are made of, and when the ice carried them and dumped them. Nice and simple!!

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian,

This blog is a 'public forum' where people can come and voice their thoughts about Stonehenge! Much like a Parisian cafe, with much lively discussion about politics and life! And you benefit the most from this 'free content' contributions made by the 'patrons' that meet here! You should be thankful for that and not discourage honest discussions.

Choosing what content you allow and what you block puts you in the unenviable role of gate-keeper! Just this side of censorship!

Aside from verbally abusive comments (like the one from Alex Gee to me that you allowed), you should post all “Stonehenge thoughts”. Especially posts that are directed to other 'patrons' and responding to them (like my post to Geo Cur which you chose to block!). Let the people decide for themselves the merits of an idea. You should not seek to do that for them.

So how should you respond to a post that you don't like? Simply, don't respond! But post the post!

Following this simple principle of open honest discussion will make your blog a better place and you a better manager …

Just trying to help …

Kostas

Geo Cur said...

Kostas , you enquired about why I thought the bank and ditch at Stonehenge was man made .If you noticed anything that you believe to be wrong or " evidence that can be disputed " then I'm sure that pointing these out would be
acceptable and not necessarily entail you going over non evidence based material , unless of course there was no evidence to support those beliefs .

BRIAN JOHN said...

Kostas -- I say at the head of the blog that I reserve the right to block comments or discussions that are getting nowhere. Your endless repetitions of your ideas about frozen seas and geothermal holes in the ice, and "natural" circles of stones that have nothing to do with human agency, and your refusal to come up with hard evidence in spite of numerous exhortations from me and others, means that you are abusing the blog. This is a two-way process -- as I have said before, go off and start a blog of your own!

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian,

Don't let your expertise get in the way of your reasoning!

Saying that you 'reserve the right' to block posts does not make such practice any more acceptable. You don't have all the answers on Stonehenge. None of us do. And that's why we need an open and honest discussion without prejudging what is 'right' and 'wrong'.

If we knew the truth, we wont need discussion. If we feel we know the truth, we need even more discussion!

But you become an obstacle to this 'free flow' of ideas when you block posts. In my case, I can say that my experience is that when our discussions get to a point where real progress could be made through more probing questioning and reasoning, you cut me off.

Your claim of 'relevance' can be used to mask your true intentions – not daring to go where the evidence is leading us. At best, 'relevance' is just short of intellectual intolerance to dissenting ideas.

You can make it easy on all of us (especially yourself) if you are a good host, serve the 'posts' and let your guests talk in pleasant and respectful tone.

Kostas

BRIAN JOHN said...

Kostas, you accuse me of "not daring to go where the evidence is leading us." What evidence? You consistently refuse to provide any, falling back on "probing and questioning" as some sort of substitute. That's fine as far as it goes, and I don't object to reasoned debate, but the assembly and citation of evidence has to have a part in that debate, and that is where you consistently fall short. That is why I will continue to block your posts if I feel that you are abusing this blog and simply repeating unsupported assertions ad infinitum. If you don't find that acceptable, you know what you can do!!

BRIAN JOHN said...

This thread is now finished.