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Author Topic:   Any Evidence for Giants?
Gregory Rogers
Junior Member (Idle past 277 days)
Posts: 7
From: South Africa
Joined: 10-15-2016


Message 1 of 35 (794631)
11-18-2016 11:19 AM


Good day,

Could anyone tell me whether there is any reliable evidence of a giant species of homo sapiens (or even Neanderthal) ever living on earth.

My question, by the way, relates to Genesis 6, which speaks of a race called the 'Nephilim' (translated 'giants' in the King James).

Is there any reliable evidence of such giants, whether special individuals who enjoyed special warrior status (Goliath being a later example) or a race of people of general giant stature (perhaps seven to twelve feet tall on average?)

I heard of a History Channel documentary that made this claim, but am unsure of the science.

Would appreciate input.

-Greg


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Message 2 of 35 (794633)
11-18-2016 2:19 PM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Any Evidence for Giants? thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Coyote
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Joined: 01-12-2008
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Message 3 of 35 (794634)
11-18-2016 2:30 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Gregory Rogers
11-18-2016 11:19 AM


No giants...
No, there is no skeletal evidence for a race of giants.

There are a few large individuals in each population, but that's about it.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

Belief gets in the way of learning--Robert A. Heinlein

In the name of diversity, college student demands to be kept in ignorance of the culture that made diversity a value--StultisTheFool

It's not what we don't know that hurts, it's what we know that ain't so--Will Rogers

If I am entitled to something, someone else is obliged to pay--Jerry Pournelle

If a religion's teachings are true, then it should have nothing to fear from science...--dwise1

"Multiculturalism" demands that the US be tolerant of everything except its own past, culture, traditions, and identity.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Gregory Rogers, posted 11-18-2016 11:19 AM Gregory Rogers has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Phat
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Posts: 10253
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 4 of 35 (794635)
11-18-2016 2:35 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Gregory Rogers
11-18-2016 11:19 AM


Biased Opinion
I rely on Google, but being human I read stuff that confirms my bias...
like this

I am predisposed to believe what the Bible says is true, anyway.

Here at EvC, many of our secular science minded friends may provide you with an answer more in line with critical thinking (and unbiased) as far as evidence goes.

Keep in mind that there is a lot of fake stuff on the internet. A phenomenon of our times is fake news passing as legitimate news. Always look in a wide variety of sources before deciding upon a definitive answer.

Edited by Phat, : spellcheck


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.~Proverbs 28:26

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Phat
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Posts: 10253
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 5 of 35 (794636)
11-18-2016 2:37 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Coyote
11-18-2016 2:30 PM


Re: No giants...
I guess Wilt Chamberlain doesn't count, though he did score 100 points in a game once

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.~Proverbs 28:26

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Coyote, posted 11-18-2016 2:30 PM Coyote has responded

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Coyote
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Posts: 6037
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 1.6


(1)
Message 6 of 35 (794638)
11-18-2016 2:45 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Phat
11-18-2016 2:37 PM


Re: No giants...
I guess Wilt Chamberlain doesn't count, though he did score 100 points in a game once

Wilt was indeed large, and unusually well-coordinated for one so large.

But one individual does not make a race or a population.

If there indeed was a race of giants that information would be in the archaeological and osteological literature, but that information is conspicuous by its absence.

In a google search for "race of giants" all of the leading hits are religious sites of one kind or another. (I have learned never to trust a religious-oriented site on any matter relating to science.)

Incidentally, I have personally examined something over a thousand skeletons without finding any hint of giants.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

Belief gets in the way of learning--Robert A. Heinlein

In the name of diversity, college student demands to be kept in ignorance of the culture that made diversity a value--StultisTheFool

It's not what we don't know that hurts, it's what we know that ain't so--Will Rogers

If I am entitled to something, someone else is obliged to pay--Jerry Pournelle

If a religion's teachings are true, then it should have nothing to fear from science...--dwise1

"Multiculturalism" demands that the US be tolerant of everything except its own past, culture, traditions, and identity.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Phat, posted 11-18-2016 2:37 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
New Cat's Eye
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Posts: 11858
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


(2)
Message 7 of 35 (794640)
11-18-2016 3:02 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Gregory Rogers
11-18-2016 11:19 AM


There is no evidence of a giant species of humans.

I get why they thought there were giants, though. They found bones. Check out the size of this femur bone:

Man, how big would the guy have to have been to have a thigh bone like that? Can you imagine how big this person must have been!

Turns out, it's from an elephant.

Makes a great story though!


This message is a reply to:
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PaulK
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Posts: 13391
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 8 of 35 (794641)
11-18-2016 3:02 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Gregory Rogers
11-18-2016 11:19 AM


While there are a lot of reports (and recently faked photographs) all are at best dubious and there is no physical evidence of a race of humans outside the usual range. Individuals may be unusually tall, some peoples are taller than others but that is all that can be confirmed. A lot of older reports of giant bones are likely the bones of large animals, and not human at all.

So, a few individuals that reach seven feet tall - quite likely. But certainly nobody near twelve feet.


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Taq
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Posts: 7282
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 9 of 35 (794643)
11-18-2016 3:53 PM


Cardiff Giant
The modern myth of a race of giants can usually be traced back to the PT Barnum marketed hoax called the Cardiff Giant:

http://hoaxes.org/archive/permalink/the_cardiff_giant

As others have mentioned, tall humans do not a separate species make, just as humans with achondroplasia do not a separate human species make.


  
Dr Adequate
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Posts: 15987
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.0


(3)
Message 10 of 35 (794647)
11-18-2016 5:02 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Gregory Rogers
11-18-2016 11:19 AM


Could anyone tell me whether there is any reliable evidence of a giant species of homo sapiens (or even Neanderthal) ever living on earth.

Well there is of course evidence of Neanderthals living on earth. But we can look at their skeletons and they were short and chunky compared to us: the average Neanderthal height was around 5'5''. So they were not giants. If that made someone a giant, then I would like to boast about how I tower above you mere mortals with my magnificent 5'7''. Behold me and despair! ... oh, wait, I'm kinda short.

Creationists like to put up Neanderthals as evidence of how it says in the Bible that "there were giants in the earth in those days" but this is because creationists are too fucking stupid to look it up and find out how tall Neanderthals were. And it's not like a secret, they could look it up. Neanderthals were in fact shorter than the average modern human, as creationists could have found out it they weren't too busy drooling out halfwitted lies.

And then you ask, is there any other evidence of giant humans living on earth? I shouldn't even have to answer that, Gregory, because you know. You know that if we had found giant human skeletons in the fossil record, then you would know about it because of all the giant human skeletons that we would have.

(There is the occasional freakish person who is eight or nine feet tall, but we know of no species with that genetic or developmental abnormality.)

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


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Tangle
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Posts: 5264
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 1.9


(3)
Message 11 of 35 (794648)
11-18-2016 5:19 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Gregory Rogers
11-18-2016 11:19 AM


Gregory Rogers writes:

Could anyone tell me

Yes

whether there is any reliable evidence of a giant species of homo sapiens (or even Neanderthal) ever living on earth.

No


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
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Theodoric
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Posts: 5772
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 9.6


Message 12 of 35 (794657)
11-18-2016 11:45 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Gregory Rogers
11-18-2016 11:19 AM


No. There is no evidence.

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.


This message is a reply to:
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dwise1
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Posts: 3045
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.8


(3)
Message 13 of 35 (794676)
11-19-2016 3:59 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Gregory Rogers
11-18-2016 11:19 AM


Could anyone tell me whether there is any reliable evidence of a giant species of homo sapiens (or even Neanderthal) ever living on earth.

Of course, that begs the question of what you mean by "giant". Some tribes may be taller than average (the Masai come to mind), though I'm certain that that is not what you mean.

In the sense that you obviously mean (ie, 10 feet tall and much much more), the answer is an obvious "no".

I heard of a History Channel documentary that made this claim, but am unsure of the science.

It's very sad how these specialty TV channels have all become the same in their whoring after ratings. Arts and Entertainment (A&E) used to specialize in showing concerts, operas, plays, ballets, etc, but now you never see that anymore as they have become indistinguishable from any other channel. The science and learning channels used to have nature and historic and educational shows, but now they appeal to pseudo-science with "reality" shows about ghosts, UFOs, and Bigfoot. The History Channel used to specialize in history and still do to a point, but its programming is also heavily laden with pseudo-scientific nonsense, such as "evidence of a giant species of homo sapiens".

But so that we can see what you had seen in order to evaluate it, could you please identify that documentary as best as you can?

... special individuals who enjoyed special warrior status (Goliath being a later example) or a race of people of general giant stature (perhaps seven to twelve feet tall on average?)

There are individuals who grow freakishly tall (7 to 9 feet) usually due to giantism. That condition is accompanied by health problems. The tallest man on record, Robert Wadlow, at 8'11.1" required leg braces to walk. He died at age 22 from an infection because of his autoimmune disorder. John Rogan, 8'9", suffered from ankylosis. When he was young he needed to use crutches, but later he could no longer walk nor even stand. He died at age 40 from his condition. John F. Carroll, 8 feet tall (8 feet 7¾ inches if his spine were straight), suffered from severe spinal curvature deformity and died at age 37. André the Giant (see The Princess Bride) was 7'4" and was much more functional, but he also died early, at age 46 of congestive heart failure.

I think you see the pattern. An individual like André the Giant, an anomaly in a normal human population (since when were the French a race of giants?), could indeed stand out, though one factor in his favor was that he was smaller than most other giants. Larger giants would not be able to withstand the rigor of battle or even be able to walk to the battle. An entire tribe of such individuals would be unable to survive.

I thought one of the other respondents had mentioned a rule about how an individual's musculoskeletal structure would have to change in order to allow him to become gigantic and remain functional. I don't care how many times you've watched Ant-Man become Giant-Man in Captain America: Civil War. And the ant that grew to dog-size in Ant-Man would have quickly died from asphyxiation (ants have no lungs, but depend on oxygen diffusing into their bodies via a network of tubes, something that only works when you're small). From our real-world human giant examples, a little past 8 feet is the limit. Going past that requires extensive changes to the body.

{ABE}actually, that reference was from snopes.com (see below). It links to some comparative anatomy class notes in the WayBackMachine archive, http://web.archive.org/.../zy/0301/Topic4/Topic4.html#square (please follow the link to read it in its entirety):

quote:
Bodies change in size by what is called the square-cube law. ... So, if you double the size of an organism, you increase the surface area only four times and you increase the volume it holds 8 times.

. . . if we double the size of the animal, the mass of the animal is going to be eight times greater, it will weigh more in other words, . . .

How does the square-cube law pertain to size? Well, where it comes into play is that with an increase in size of an animal, there has to be a relatively greater in crease in size of its supporting structures. If we look at the leg bones of a mouse, a human, and an elephant and scale them so the lengths are the same, they might look something like this. Note that the elephant leg bone is considerably thicker than the humans and the humans is thicker than the mouse. What this means is that a Liliputian could not exist. A human shrunk down to the size of a mouse would have limbs that the human could not move. They would be too heavy. Giants like Paul Bunyan that stand 20 ft. high would also be impossible because their form would have to be so drastically changed in order to accommodate the increase in size that the person would no longer look human.



{/ABE}

Assuming those changes occur, there's also the problem of what such a giant would be capable of. For example, becoming the size of an elephant raises the problem that elephants can't jump. And if an elephant falls, it's almost certain to kill him. A human the size of an elephant would also face such limitations (again, forget Giant-Man! Even though you did see that with your own eyes.).

My question, by the way, relates to Genesis 6, which speaks of a race called the 'Nephilim' (translated 'giants' in the King James).

Which reveals the reason for any interest in this subject and the motivation behind promoting claims of ancient races of giants: purely religious. And it also illustrates the cause of so much creationist dishonesty: they'll use anything they can and distort and lie about anything they can in order to support their creationist theology, regardless of how false that theology is.

Other participants here have already pointed out much of this. In Message 7 Sci Cat shows someone holding an elephant femur when looks very similar to a human femur (except it's much thicker as expected from that comparative anatomy page quoted above). The origin of many fantastic giant beasts and human giants in ancient mythology was undoubtedly finding such bones. In Message 6 Coyote points out that all search hits on "race of giants" are on religious sites. In Message 4 Phat, a Christian, points out that there is a lot of fake "information" on the Internet and that you must be wary of it. In Message 9 Taq mentions the Cardiff Giant (do also follow the link that he provides), one of many known deliberate hoaxes to exploit the credulity of Christians. In Message 8 PaulK also mentions fake reports as well as faked photographs. There are contests judging one's ability to fake photographs, photoshopping them -- eg (from a Scientific American article on the subject), George H.W. Bush and Margaret Thatcher walking hand-in-hand through a garden when in reality they were at least six feet apart, Marilyn Monroe holding the crook of Abraham Lincoln's arm (she did seem to have a thing for US Presidents).

A number of such fakes involve the uncovering of giant skeletons (like 50 feet tall). snopes.com has one example at http://www.snopes.com/photos/odd/giantskulls.asp (the actual source of the reference to the cube-square law (see above). In another topic thread here (someone, please points us to it), a creationist posted some such faked photos as proof of giant skeletons having been found and in the process of being excavated. All fakes, every single one of them.

But that doesn't stop the creationists from promoting those fakes and lying about them. Never has stopped them and never will stop them. Ed Babinski is a former extremely fundamentalist Christian who committed the "unforgivable sin" of starting to think and to learn. He edited and published a collection of several deconversion stories, Leaving The Fold: Testimonies Of Former Fundamentalists. He is active on FaceBook, so look him up.

Around 1995 Babinski wrote some newsletters, "Cretinism or Evilution?", which are still on http://www.talkorigins.org/. His article, Creationist Folk Science, links to his investigation of a creationist claim about a giant human skeleton having been found (Men Over Ten Feet Tall?). BTW, if you're interested in the creationist claim of a A Frozen Ninety Foot Tall Plum Tree with Ripe Fruit and Green Leaves Found North of the Arctic Circle?, he investigated that lie too.

Two professional creationists, Carl Baugh and Kent Hovind, used a "photograph" from 1856 (according to Hovind) of a 11' 6" human skeleton found in an Italian mine. Both creationists had gotten it from another professional creationist, Clifford Burdick. Babinski researched it and found the claim to have no basis. In addition, at one of his presentations Hovind was told the second-or-third-hand story of another such find in a local mine which has since flooded so it's lost; Hovind immediately started including the story in his presentations.

BTW, Babinski includes that "photograph" in his article. It looks nothing like a photograph, but rather like a drawing. An artist looking at it immediately saw that the shadows did not correspond with the light sources, something that a photograph would not get wrong but someone making a drawing would.

So in summary, there is no evidence of any race of giant humans having existed. All "evidence" of such has been found to be deliberate fakes. Giantism in humans is unviable. In order for giantism in humans to be viable, it would require extensive changes to the human body, in which case they would become an entirely different species.

So then, the answer to your question is "no". But that shouldn't keep this from being an opportunity for you to learn.


This message is a reply to:
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frako
Member
Posts: 2716
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


Message 14 of 35 (794677)
11-19-2016 4:24 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Coyote
11-18-2016 2:30 PM


Re: No giants...
Well depends on what you define as giants, neanderthals ranged up to 2,5 meters and that number probably excludes any of them having giants syndrome where you don't stop growing so there should have been at least a few instances of them ranging to 2,8 3 meters. And i would classify that as being a giant.

So giants existed.

But there is a problem with such large size overheating skin does not scale to mass very well so such individuals would need to drink loads of water.


Christianity, One woman's lie about an affair that got seriously out of hand

What are the Christians gonna do to me ..... Forgive me, good luck with that.


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15987
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 15 of 35 (794678)
11-19-2016 5:44 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by frako
11-19-2016 4:24 PM


Re: No giants...
Well depends on what you define as giants, neanderthals ranged up to 2,5 meters ...

[citation needed]


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