What The What?



Patrick is a mid-40 year old geek with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master's degree in Information Systems. Nothing he says here has anything to do with the official position of his employer or any other institution.

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8 Responses

  1. Avatar Glyph says:

    I think it is clear that the NK archaeologists are mythtaken.

    Still, just in case they are not, we better get to work. We don’t want a unicorn gap.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    Sadly this isn’t much worse than some of the archaeology taking place in the Holy Land these days.Report

  3. Avatar Stillwater says:

    This will be my second Saul Kripke reference of the week, but … Saul Kripke … argues that scientists finding archaeological evidence of a horse-like creature with a single horn on its skull (properly pointed, no doubt) would not be evidence that there were, in fact, unicorns, since the terms “unicorn” necessarily refers to a mythical creature.

    He’s a pretty smart guy. But old, now. So I don’t know that he’s up to the challenge posed by the DPRK scientistas.Report

  4. Avatar Christopher Carr says:

    Serious question: who are you to judge their culture?Report

    • Avatar James K says:

      That their culture once believed in unicorns is not ridiculous, or at least its no more ridiculous than any other culture’s mythology.

      That a group of purported scientists would suggest a unicorn actually existed without some very good evidence is ridiculous.Report

      • Avatar Matty says:

        I thought, though I’ve never actually checked, that unicorns were what you get when a description of a rhinoceros is filtered through a long chain of rumours and storytelling so in a sense they do exist. Add to that Javan rhinos were found as far north as Vietnam and a brief google suggests contact between the two countries at least as far back as the 11th century I’d say there is a fair chance an ancient Korean king would have heard stories of animals with large horns on their faces.

        Of course rhinos are not noted for having lairs or letting people ride them but I suspect something like this is a more likely origin of the story than just making shit up.Report

        • Avatar BlaiseP says:

          Henry VII and VIII went to elaborate lengths to prove they descended from King Arthur to legitimate their claims to the throne. Henry VII went so far as to name his first son Arthur.

          The Japanese emperors go back into antiquity and miraculous mythology via a book called the Kojiki. The Chinese have their founding myths in the Daoist books: Shiji and the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors. So the Koreans wrote their book, the Samguk Sagi, for the same reasons.

          Myths are foundation stories. Miracles always accrete around these ancient figures. This hoo-hah surrounding the Gogureyo is a simple, silly attempt to lend some credence to the DPRK regime, already surrounding Kim Il Sung with miracles and wonders.Report

  5. Avatar wooby says:

    Been entertained this election season with part of the electorate’s fascination with various of the early mythologies of the Mormons. And their willingness to take at face value other bloggers’ attention to this truth or that truth–when said truths had pretty much been abandoned before I left the church fifty years ago. Kolob and the White Horse Prophecy come to mind. Both acknowledged to have existed in early church history, but of little import in the living belief system of an active church member.

    I would expect that if we examined early Christianity with as much energy that we’d find an equal amount of absurdities, which affect modern Christian not at all.

    I didn’t find Willard a compelling candidate at all, but it sure wasn’t because of his magic underwear.Report