Episode 15 – Discovering the Mammoth with John McKay

John J McKay
John J McKay with his pet Mammoth

In the podcast, you may hear Mike refer to John as a “Vulcan Historian.” What Mike meant to say is that John J. McKay is a historian with a specialty in the history of the Balkans, and that is an important distinction.  He is also interested in the many weird theories that abound to explain (often not very well) natural history of the earth.  He discovered that the mammoths are used as ersatz evidence in many of those theories, such as the idea that the ice build up at the poles became so heavy that the poles slid southward 40 degrees latitude and that pushed Atlantis to where Antarctica now freezes.

There were many other strange ideas to explain the discovery of these giant bones and Mr. McKay relates how the process of discovering the mammoth is important to the development of science itself.  You can read more from John at Mammoth Tales, his blog, but we highly advise that you read his book!

Said book you may conveniently purchase here to support Ikonokast.

Discovering the Mammoth: A Tale of Giants, Unicorns, Ivory, and the Birth of a New Science

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