Talk:Alternate historical chronology

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This pseudohistory related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.

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A new user named Wedgewood added this under Veliskovsky:

"Usenet and other forum discussions have noted the claim that in several instances, raw data involved in phenomena bearing on Velikovsky's theories actually support Velikovsky but that by the time the stories are published, there are invariably explanations of how the experiments in question must have failed, and the data published is that which would have coincided with standard theories since those are always assumed to be correct. The most major such case is the question of albedo (reflectivity) values for Venus as described in an article by F.W. Taylor of the Clarendon Laboratory at Oxford in an article on "VENUS", Hunton, Colin, Donahue, Moroz, Univ. of Ariz. Press, 1983, ISBN 0-8165-0788-0. Taylor notes that the observed albedo value of .080 would require the planet to be massively out of thermal balance (as Velikovsky predicted) and that, therefore the value .076 which would produce thermal balance, required by the conventional theory for explaining the surface temperature of the planet, is the "most probable value"

Other such phenomena include ancient motion charts for the planet Venus, and infrared flux measurements associated with the Pioneer Venus mission."

Not sure what the point is, other than to point out an unsourced usenet conspiracy theory, and something unclear about Venus. humanUser talk:Human 20:31, 12 December 2007 (EST)

I believe the point is that Venus is much hotter than it should be, and that this somehow proves it is a new planet. Something that's been doing the rounds over at talk.origins, as far as I can tell. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 20:48, 12 December 2007 (EST)
See, the fundamental problem with claiming Velikovsky got anything right is that he made very few testable predictions (calling Venus "hot" is too vague to be meaningful -- 800F greenhouse effect is nowhere close to a molten blob of lava or a very small star). Of the few he did make, the two most central ones are wrong (Venus as a comet -- no, it's a rocky planet) and impossible (being ejected from Jupiter). And I won't even get into the incredible hash he made of ancient mythology -- conflating Athena and Aphrodite, for example, or making assertions about the appearance of Mars that simply can't be verified by the naked eye. Velikovsky was mindblowingly ignorant, and his followers are even denser than he was, though some are more creative (Ted Holden on Saturn, for example). EVDebs 00:06, 13 December 2007 (EST)

"Phantom time theory"[edit]

Just wondering, the first thing that came to mind to verify/debunk this is carbon-dating. If you have some organic artifact and date it as being e.g. 1500yrs old, yet it should according to that theory be a lot younger (1200yrs since it's apparently about a 300yr timespan), wouldn't this blow up the whole theory? Layman speaking here, just wondering :) 80.121.49.14 05:07, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

Certainly, but the problem is that these people and their supporters usually either don't care or simply reject circumstances that don't fit with their theories. For instance, Fomenko has rejected dating methods like carbon dating or dendrochronology because of the many inaccuracies that do exist in the methods. However, he completely ignores the fact that you usually use more than one method to verify the results.
Fundamentally, the problem is that most of these theories are based in political or other agendas, so trying to argue against them on the usual scientific or academic grounds won't get you very far. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 05:53, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

Christoph Pfister[edit]

Christoph Pfister, a Swiss historian, is the most radical of the pseudohistory nutjobs known to me (from German WP), as he considers ANYTHING before 1600 falsified. According to him, all of ancient and medieval history was faked by historians in the early 18th century. Lately he's even started to doubt the consensus chronology of events until about 1770. Priceless. (Of course, the moon landing is also fake. On a talk page, there is mention of crackpots going even further, doubting the reliability of written history until as late as 1848. At this rate, Last Thursdayism isn't far from being proposed in earnest by some pseudohistorian.) Apparently he supports YEC. Considering that the Deluge according to Biblical chronology postdates the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza, it is inevitable for YEC adherents to also engage in chronology fudging. --84.151.186.218 (talk) 04:40, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Why I think Cremo belongs here[edit]

I included Michael Cremo because he is literally presenting an alternate historical chronology by claiming that human history stretches back millions if not billions of years. Just because he isn't rearranging more recent history (à la Fomenko, Illig, or Vellikovsky) this doesn't make Cremo's chronology any less alternative. Basically, I'd add those who claims the Sphinx of Giza is a remnant of an incredibly ancient civilisation too, if I had a specific author to pin it on. ScepticWombat (talk) 11:10, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Terms mean more than their etymology. If you add Cremo, you'll have to add Usher by the same criterion, and adding creationism and ancient civilization types will kill the term as a useful description of Fomenko-style nuttery. Both also don't quite fit a literal reading of the title, as they invent additions to mainstream history instead of re-arranging the "official" chronology. Are you going to include everyone who claims that something happened (when it actually didn't) or didn't happen (when it actually did, e.g. Holocaust or Moon landing denial) at a particular date?--ZooGuard (talk) 12:07, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
The description for alternate historical chronology doesn't really seem to limit itself to conspiracy theories claiming that large portions of the known historical record have been intentionally fabricated, though. And we already treat biblical maximalismWikipedia's W.svg in Velikovsky's section. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 12:59, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I'd say the most notable proponents of that hypothesis are Robert BauvalWikipedia's W.svg and Graham Hancock. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 12:11, 29 January 2015 (UTC)


No, I wouldn't add denialism à la moonlanding or the various holocausts, since such denialists don't actually posit any alternate chronology, but simply denies the validity of certain events (such denialists don't claim that the years of the events were "inserted" into history).
I'll have to agree that, for instance, Young Earth creationism necessarily involves alternate chronologies, but if you prefer to keep them out of this category, that's fine by me - otherwise a simple link to creationism (and/or perhaps some specific authors such as David Rohl) might easily suffice.
Still, at least one of the examples remaining, namely Immanuel Velikovsky, could also a be seen as variant of a "YEC-like" attempt to shoehorn history into fitting biblical records, so should that go as well, because it shades into biblical literalism? ScepticWombat (talk) 12:31, 29 January 2015 (UTC)


(Note, written prior to an edit conflict:) Just to preserve it (without having to go rummaging around in the fossil record), I'll keep my Cremo bit here:
Michael Cremo's Vedic creationism involves a variant of alternate historical chronology in that it claims that human history is billions of years old. Thus, rather than telescoping one era of history into another, Cremo inflates the entire human history to include "extra past". Essentially the inverse of the Last Thursdayism found in Young Earth creationism, Cremo's chronology suffers from the opposite problem of having, say, the Global flood occurring in the middle of ancient Egypt's quite well-documented history. Instead, Cremo has had to "discover" human artefacts claimed to be millions, if not billions of years old.
I'm not entirely persuaded by ZooGuard's deletion, though I accept that he does have a point when arguing for not including Cremo:
"unless he explicitly re-dates _historical_ events (as opposed to pre-historical or paleontological events), it doesn't fit the genre - including creationism will kill any useful specificity of the term"
ScepticWombat (talk) 12:31, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Genuine alternative history[edit]

So where do the 'sensible' alternative histories and 'what ifs' fit in - various in print and on screen fictions, the Althistory wiki and suchlike? Anna Livia (talk) 16:44, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

Other 'alternative histories'[edit]

Different national and cultural perspectives - especially in the more distant past: was it 'a crushing defeat of the enemy' (the victor) or 'a minor skirmish/setback' (the loser)?

Is history about 'upper class chaps and their fights, and other activities', or other groups, technological and other developments, trade and economics etc? 'Alternative approaches to the historical information' perhaps? Anna Livia (talk) 14:20, 7 June 2019 (UTC)