PS. Is there a "reply with quote" feature on this forum, or do I just have to manually copy and paste the pseudo-HTML from a previous post and edit it for quotation?
When composing a reply you'll see two radio buttons at the top of the box containing the text of the message you're replying to. They're labeled Normal and Peek Mode. Select Peek Mode and you'll see the original code with markup for easy cut-n-pasting.
Reply w/quote was disabled on this forum because thoughtless use of it in long discussions (common here) caused too many messages to have huge nested quoted portions of the full text of entire message chains. This board has forward and backward links for each message in a message chain, so full message quoting isn't necessary. All that's usually needed is a quote of the portion of a message you're replying to.
You seem to be catching a lot of flak, and I think it's because you accept many things as true or likely true that have not yet been established with any certainty. Famous authors who have taken a similar cavalier attitude toward the need for strong supporting evidence are Erich von Dniken and Immanuel Velikovsky, and you've already mentioned a number of less famous authors who follow in the same vein.
Using books like these as sources can only produce more books like these. If that's your goal then fine, they do make money, but those here on the science side of the creation/evolution debate will tell you you're only producing more woo, something already in plentiful supply. Such books might make good beach reading but contribute to public confusion about science by allowing people to come away falsely believing the scientific community takes such ideas seriously.
And FYI, I absolutely do NOT take a cavalier attitude towards the need for strong supporting evidence.
If you're serious about the need for strong supporting evidence, why haven't you talked about anything with strong supporting evidence? Everything you've mentioned is speculative at best.
There's a reason why views that have been vetted by the scientific process have the most credibility. Science is the way we gain confidence that what we think we know about the real world *is* actually something true about the real world.
Your attention is being drawn to things that are very fascinating and intriguing, but also very speculative. It would be really neat if there were strong evidence for any of these things, but there's not. You're drawn to them because they're fun ideas.
If you're really interested in things with strong evidence then talk about things with strong evidence, instead of trying to convince us that speculations are evidence. For instance, about the cometary bombardment, the link to a supernova is incredibly tenuous. Why are you pushing things like this if you're interested in things with strong evidence?
And so I'm setting out to very carefully examine various theories that deal with man's prehistory.
You're examining theories that are not based upon strong evidence. As Wittenstein said, "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent," meaning that one cannot speak meaningfully about things one doesn't know. You're in the process of joining those who without evidence speak anyway.
From what I've read, William Burroughs was one of the most respected climatologists around.
Yes, he was, and in your Message 39 you mention him in the context of "theories that are controversial." You finally mentioned a genuine scientist, but only to characterize as controversial a theory he discusses in one of his books. While you don't want to commit the fallacy of argument from authority, you do want to invest more credibility in true scientists rather than frauds.
If a respected publication can give a balanced approach on such a theory, why can't I?
Why can't you? From the little I've seen from you, which is just what's in this thread and your book reviews over at Amazon, you seem highly credulous. With a credulous approach the possibility that a comet was responsible for the Younger Dryas extinction becomes the basis for drawing time correlations with a supernova and concluding that was the cause. Speculation piles upon speculation. This is why I don't believe you can take a balanced approach.
The original PNAS paper upon which the American Archaeology article is based can be found here:
Note that a key sentence in the conclusion begins like this:
PNAS paper writes:
These associations, if confirmed, ...
It would be really neat if such things were confirmed, but all they have right now is a really neat idea, and it's competing with a bunch of other really neat ideas. There's insufficient evidence at this time to choose among the possibilities.
I think you misread what I wrote.
Yes, you're right, sorry about that.
Since you're not doing any original research, if you want to do a scholarly work you would do well to keep your focus on what is well established. If you follow this course then you become a science popularizer, distilling complex scientific knowledge for laypeople, and so, for instance, about the cometary possibility you would discuss it as one among many possibilities, and you would discuss the other possibilities, too. But if you want to sell books then I think your current path is the best choice.