Giantology: Thoughts on the Discipline and Methods
By Judd Burton
When an idea has its time, there is little that can be done to stop it. As such, it is safe to say that with all the research being conducted on giants, “giantology” has become its own field of study. There are certainly qualified researchers-academic and otherwise-who do great work in a multi-faceted field employing mythology, history, languages, archaeology, and anthropology. So there we have it: its own -ology, the study of giants.
However, the field is not without persons inexperienced or untrained in scientific process, testing, or logic. It is a field already sensational because of the nature of its subject matter, but there seems to be a tendency to sensationalize the topics of giants, which only serves to lampoon giantology. Hence, there are right ways to go about it, and wrong ways.
There are all manner of qualifiers which one might attach to the discipline. “Biblical” is usually the first that comes to mind, because of the Old Testament traditions of giants in the text. “World-” or “Mythological-” are others, and tend to focus on the ethnological breadth of traditions around the world over space and time (Giganthropology, if you will). “Historical” is yet another, which settles on the documented accounts of giants in the ancient and modern worlds. As a part of the family of giantology, for material evidences archaeogiantology would be the recovery of physical and artifactual remains of giants.
Species need a proper taxonomy as well, if giantologists are to place giants into the frame of faunal biology. In the most nominal and general terms, we are dealing with hominids of gigantic stature. Hence the scientific name Homo colossicus (“giant man”) or the more immediately recognizable as Homo gigantis (man of/from the giants) could suffice. Tribal divisions as outlined in the Bible would have little to do with taxonomy, but geography might. So the older giants might be Homo gigantis antediluvensis, or giants with Holy Land provenience might be Homo gigantis levantinus, or giants from North America showing physiological singularity might be Homo gigantis americanus, and so on and so forth. There is however the matter of satisfying the supernatural pedigree of giants in the taxonomic designation. In this scenario, Homo titanus (Titanic man), both addresses the supernatural origins (as Josephus equates the Nephilim with the Greek Titans) and satisfies the taxonomc criteria without being overly ostentatious.
Giantological research basically proceeds along one of three axes, or a combination of them. Firstly, the mythological/oral tradition/anthropological evidence comes to us from the mythological traditions of cultures from around the world. Secondly, the historical evidence for giants resides in written records preserved by ancient, medieval, and modern writers. Lastly, the material axis calls on archaeology and paleontology to recover physical remains of giants and the artifacts and features left in their wake. As a rule of thumb-in the order I have outlined-the evidence becomes scarcer. Genetics, epigenetics, physics, geology, and biochemistry also have the potential to provide new insights as well.
Research ethics should also be a high priority for any giant researcher. Thorough scientific methodology should be applied to every project. Any original research in the form of journal articles and books should account for sources. This practice is responsible, and allows others to follow and corroborate or amend scholars’ work. There are any number of publications on the topic of giants with no footnote citations (far too many in my opinion). If one is to be able to make a case to the world, research needs to be presented in the language of science, ethically and responsibly. Dissemination of research project results should be equally mindful of such ethics, and should be in a timely manner. Most journals will likely be reticent to publish which means that other venues and even original peer-reviewed journals dealing with giants should eventually materialize through the efforts of (much-needed) scholarly societies and professional organizations who study giants.
The above statements are all but a summary of the field of giantology. It is changing daily. There are many other issues to be fleshed out, but for now, here are the rudiments for a discipline of giantolgy, each bearing consideration.
For more information on this and other related topics, visit the Institute of Biblical Anthropology at http://www.tioba.org and Burton Beyond at http://www.burtonbeyond.com. To learn more about the process of creating a science of giantology, visit the Sons of God, Giants of Old Conference page at https://www.facebook.com/events/130514714329035/. You may also email me at email@example.com for questions and to subscribe to the free newsletter BEYOND.
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