Over the years I was occupied with many different fields of knowledge. In no other field than history – with the possible exception of modern art – did I read so much nonsense. In my opinion it is interesting to try to analyse this phenomenon.
Dan Brown's book „The Da Vinci code“ sold more than 50 million times. Usually two million sold copies are considered a highly successful book. It is a novel but the author claims historical accuracy and thorough research. The key claims of this book are all inaccurate, though. Other best selling books are claimed to be non-fiction but, again, contain mostly wild claims without historical substance. At the same time books dealing with the same topic but written by serious, knowledgeable authors who stick to the facts sell in relative small quantities. How does the book market work? Why sell hype authors so well? How do they affect the scientific progress?
After more than 200 years of science there are still people – even among searchers - believing in dowsing or swinging a pendulum. How come these remains of medieval superstitious beliefs die so slowly?
Another die hard theory claims the positions of buildings, when marked on a map, make up geographical patterns, indicating all these buildings were planned as part of a common plan. The pentagram is most popular, of course, but simple lines („leylines“, „force lines“, „earth ray lines“) are also used.
Let's have a closer look.