Message #273

Date: Tue Dec 29 21:06:05 1998
Subject: AAA Piltdown Prize

[ AzTeC / SWA SASIG ] :

From: Mara Greengrass

To anthropologists interested in pseudoscience, I wanted to call
your attention to a new award being given by the American
Anthropological Association, the Piltdown Prize. I urge you to
please submit an entry or entries. Following is the announcement,
which appeared in the December _Anthropology Newsletter_.

Mara Greengrass, Program Assistant,
Government and Media Relations 703-528-1902 x3029

The AN's Piltdown Prize is your opportunity to tell us what's
really gotten your goat as an anthropologist. It will be given to
whomever or whatever was the biggest banana peel in the road of
the discipline in the past year. Winners can be a person, place,
organization, thing, idea or cartoon character--as long as it's
not a fellow anthropologist or the AAA. Be prepared to explain
how this entity has set back the field of anthropology. 

Possible nominations for this year might be as small as the
zillionth edition of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective
People (management is that simple?), or as all encompassing
as capitalism (who needs money anyway?). 

Semi-Official Rules

1) All entries must include an explanation, don't assume we know
everything that happens in the wide world of anthropology. 

2) Mean-spirited entries, or entries picking on other
anthropologists or the AAA will be summarily discarded. 

3) Judging will be at the whim of the AAA staff, their friends,
families and pets. 

4) Entries will be judged on humor, truthfulness, humor,
aerodynamics of the printout, humor and grammar, but not
necessarily in that order. 

5) All entries must be received by January 31, 1998 and winners
will be printed in the To Wit column of the AN. So, what
irritated you in 1998? Send your nominations and let your
kvetch be heard. 

Send nominations to Mara Greengrass, 4350 N Fairfax Dr,
Suite 640, Arlington, VA 22203-1621;
[Mara is the Program Assistant for Government and Media Relations,
even though her mother wishes she were a doctor.] 

Piltdown Prize Example #1 

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the video store,
it's Technologies of the Gods. Yes, the children of von Daniken
live, and these days they are living at Fox Lorber Associates and
Mystic Fire Video. The AAA office recently received a press
release trumpeting a new video. They "present an unorthodox case
for pre-historic high technology." Apparently "the Great Pyramids,
Stonehenge, and the Mayan Temples were built with high-tech
engineering methods equal to, if not superior, to those used
today." Aliens, lost technology... Sound familiar? Do we have to
do this all over again? Thank you, film makers, for setting back
public knowledge of archaeology at least 50 years.