5.2. Philosopher and a giant bone. If an ancient Greek philosopher ever contemplated the fossil femur of a Miocene Samotherium (giant giraffe of Samos), this sketch shows the relative size of the thigh bone. Drawing by the author.
In short, there is absolutely no point to the drawing nor the text. Words like "if" and "ever" simply do not belong in such a work, but this shows a cheap way for a zealot to try and convince a reader, for they know that images carry more heft than mere words do. While I have no doubt that the human and bone represented are to scale, so what? There certainly is no proof given in the book that any ancient Greek philosopher ever contemplated nor held the particular bones of this ancient giraffe, so why show it? Because Mayor unconsciously knows she has not made her argument stick, so time to "show" the evidence, even if it’s made up. She knows that even the sensory ‘image’ of an "iffy" thing is more powerful than mere speculative prose.
Now, for those who may think I have slandered Mayor in comparing her work to that a noted charlatan, go look at the classic works of Von Daniken, and see how many easily explicable and mundane ancient carvings are given "deep" and sinister’ explanations in the drawing and photos he displays, and see how many times words like "if" and "if ever" are used and laced throughout the text of the book and the illustrations. This is the hallmark of scientific quackery, and any decent editor- whether versed in the sciences or not, should NEVER have allowed this, and numerous other illustrations to appear in the book. Other than to willfully mislead the reader, I can only guess the press felt a need to pad the book out.
Yet, at some level, the good reader senses that Mayor still does not wholly buy her own claims, for, late in the book, she offers up two telling tales. The first is of the hoaxed skeleton of a centaur that made the rounds in the 1980s and 1990s. There really is no reason for its inclusion in this book, save for this line, from Mayor:
As a scientist, Willers (the hoaxer) wanted to provoke people to question what their senses tell them and to treat authoritative texts with skepticism, adding a new twist to the old tension between popular beliefs and official knowledge.
Unfortunately, skepticism is what is wholly devoid from Mayor’s book. The second tale is that of the famed 1980 speculative dinosauroid model constructed by Dale Russell, which was made based on claims that certain small carnivorous dinosaurs may have developed human-like features and abilities had not an asteroid slammed into the Yucatan peninsula 65 million years ago. Tellingly, mayor grafts the reconstruction into her book, despite it having utterly no bearing on her claims, because it fits her idea of a ‘half-human, half-dinosaur’ hybrid, even though, this is the first claim that this is what the image is representative of.