The shows goal? To make you question the work of archaeologists, who are really just trying to mask “the truth” of history from us all.
And Fox should know, because she isn’t an historian or an archaeologist herself.
“History only gives us a one-sided view of the truth,” Fox told Deadline.
“I haven’t spent my entire life building a career in academia so I don’t have to worry about my reputation or being rebuked by my colleagues, which allows me to push back on the status quo. So much of our history needs to be re-examined.”
Archaeologists are less than pleased.
Fox essentially admits that she doesn’t want to be proven wrong by any peer review system, somehow believing that that makes her more qualified to seek out and speak the truth.
“To me, this clearly shows she has embraced the idea that professional archaeologists are too narrow-minded to see the truth,” David S. Anderson, an archaeologist and expert in debunking pseudoarchaeology, told Inverse.
“It is a touch offensive to the profession, but sadly, it is also a vast misrepresentation of the profession. New ideas are constantly being introduced and debated. The field is very active and flexible; the characterizations of it as narrow-minded are clearly pejorative views that originate outside of the field by those who have little familiarity with what goes on inside of archaeology.”
But Fox’s complete misunderstanding of archaeology doesn’t seem to phase the Travel Channel.
According to a press release from the channel, their completely unqualified host “is embarking on an epic and personal journey” to “re-examine history, asking tough questions and challenging the conventional wisdom that has existed for centuries.”
“The series will delve into some of the greatest mysteries of time, including whether Amazon women really existed or if the Trojan War was real,” the press release continues.
The new show is fodder for conspiracy theorists and gullible grandparents, seemingly the only people who still watch the Travel Channel.
Even still, archaeologists are becoming increasingly discouraged by the unsubstantiated nonsense being sold as fact on television.
“Things that are very well understood are being upset by people who may not have all the background knowledge, or an agenda or spin, they want to get across,” said Dr. Eryn Newman from the ANU Research School of Psychology.
Dr. Newman says that people often see high quality shows like this and assume they must be true.
One of Fox’s favorite shows, for instance, is called Ancient Aliens, and it’s a conspiracy show that claims to have found evidence for alien life on Earth – evidence that has been covered up by historians, no doubt.
“It is absolutely true that in the past archaeological research and historical narratives have been manipulated for nationalist agendas and worse,” Anderson told Inverse.
“As a field, archaeology has actively worked to correct those manipulations. That doesn’t mean all of our interpretations today are perfect, but it does mean they’re getting better bit by bit.”
Anderson says it’s “highly dangerous” when people like Fox place zero value in formal education because it places opinion and belief on the same level as fact.
A couple of years ago, Fox even told CosmoGirl that she “just hated school, period.”
“I wasn’t interested and I wasn’t getting anything from it. I’ve never been a big believer in formal education,” she continued.
“To get caught up in something that you don’t feel totally right about or that doesn’t make sense to you is a really, really bad idea.”
Not exactly the sort of person you want re-examining the world’s history.
“I’m guessing that if one day Fox needs a root canal, she won’t go down the street to the local real estate office to have it done, just as if she needs to sell her house, she won’t turn to a dentist,” said Dr. Anderson.
This article was originally published by Science As Fact.
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