Google describes its Talks At Google YouTube channel as “providing a platform for influential thinkers, creators, makers and doers to tell us about their work, their lives and what drives them to shape our world.”
Given all the lip service that Google has given to removing misinformation on YouTube, then, it was a bit surprising to see Talks At Google feature “highlights” from pseudoscientist Michael Cremo.
Cremo is a Hindu creationist who believes that the scientific establishment is suppressing evidence that modern human beings have existed on Earth for tens of millions and potentially billions of years.
Wade Tarzia highlights the sort of insights that Cremo and his co-author Richard Thompson offer in Forbidden Archeology,
Reference to reports of living ape-people (or “wildmen”) caps my list of giant leaps. Forbidden Archaeology uses this section to suggest the simultaneous existence of hominids with modern-type humans (cf. 622), which would supposedly disprove the notion of human evolution, ignoring the possibility of shared common ancestry. The authors seem very credulous of reports of wild-folk sightings. Here the easiest explanation, in the absence of a caged abominable snowperson, is that Yeti/Sasquatch/etc. are manifestations of folklore about anthropomorphic creatures, which is spread world-wide and goes back quite far; the human-eating monsters Grendel and his mother in the 1,000+ year-old epic Beowulf are an example (see Donaldson 1967). In fact, some of the reports cited in Forbidden Archaeology remind me of Beowulf when the theme of the report is an attack of an ape-man (examples on pp. 610, 611, 614, 618). In other ways the nature of some reports reminds me of contemporary legends, in which the actual witness of a strange event is removed from the informant by space and time; one informant said, “Many years ago in India, my late wife’s mother told me how her mother had actually seen what might have been one of these creatures at Mussorie, in the Himalayan foothills.” (p. 607).
Discussing wildmen existing in folklore, the authors cite a reference that says, in part, that wolves appear in folktales because they are real; so if wildmen did not show up in folktales, then their reality could be doubted (p. 617). Well — dragons, giants, and vampires show up in folklore; are we to believe they are real? But chipmunks seldom appear in folktales, so perhaps they are mythical? Asking simple questions such as these help us make a ‘reality check’ on arguments.
Colin Grove also wrote a 1994 review of Forbidden Archeology highlighting Cremo’s flawed methodology toward dating of human remains.