Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by BillJ, Jun 19, 2012.
Or as I like to say, "it's possible to keep your mind so open that your brain falls out."
I once let my entire brain drip out, so I had to put it back with a spoon, and I still think ancient aliens are unlikely.
Can I borrow your spoon?
There is no spoon.
As a matter of fact, Galileo's information and notes were the SPECIFIC reason why he was arrested.
You DO realize that Chephren was black, right?
Those would be the same kinds of people who claimed the egyptians didn't build the pyramids, that the druids didn't build stonehenge, and that NASA didn't land on the moon.
The ancient egyptians WERE technologically advanced, especially for their time, and by some measures even by our standards. Significantly, they were considerably less advanced than WE are; that does not mean they were only a couple of misplaced rocks away from the stone age (actually, ancient egypt saw the launch of the bronze age).
When did the idea of ancient aliens building pyramids etc.. originate? Didn't Theosophists touch on this? And all those masonic-y rosicrucian type groups?
The late Victorians invented it, IIRC, along with the legend of Atlantis and stuff like that. They, unlike the fantasists around today, understood it was fiction.
Theosophy as a study of religions goes back a ways, but the theosophy of folks like Madame Blavatsky and others of her sort who were more into occultism are a late 19th century thing. The folks who developed the magic systems of 'The Golden Dawn', like Crowley, and others brought concepts from Masonry and Rosicrucianism into occult works of the 19th century. The New Age owes most of its existence to the Victorians.
I'm talking about Blavatsky.
Yeah I'm wondering if it is of that era. Just curious as to when people first began speculating about ancient aliens.
In the second volume of the Secret Doctrine, on the origins of humanity ("Anthropogenesis"), Blavatsky speculated on the possibility of life on other worlds, arguing that the ancients were already aware of spiritually advanced creatures on planets such as Venus, and that these creatures (which she viewed as largely spiritual rather than biological entities, following the medieval Christian idea that angels resided on the crystal spheres associated with each planet in geocentric orbit) had visited the earth and aided the evolution of humanity. In his, Blavatsky generated an early form the Ancient Astronaut Theory, which would blossom into its modern form after European writers rediscovered it through its transmission in the work of later Theosophists like Annie Besant A.E. Powell (who were more explicit about the alien visitors) and the fiction of pulp writers like H. P. Lovecraft. Theosophy's Venusian visitors were even incorporated wholesale into the 1953 UFO hoax Flying Saucers Have Landed by Desmond Leslie and George Adamski.
(Yes that was all one sentence.)
So I'm wondering where she got it from since her stuff was usually fluffed up from others.
At that time, I think they conceived advanced ancient races, like Ignatius Donnelly proposed in his work 'Atlantis: The Antidiluvian World. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantis:_The_Antediluvian_World
Aliens, space travelers, I think is a post WWII idea or slightly before with the development of rocketry and the real possibility of human extra-planetary travel.
Well, a lot depends on the definition of "alien". People have always associated their "gods" or ancestors with various planets and stars or constellations etc. and this is of course, the basic idea behind "ancient alien astronaut" theorist’s (like Däniken) belief that these gods were real and really did come from these places. Since off-times these gods or godlike ancestors were attributed with the construction of pyramids and other megalithic structures, it’s a simple association to the idea that ancient alien astronauts built these structures. But as for “aliens did it” in the scientific (or science fiction) sense specifically, it was Däniken it seems, that first popularized this association in “modern” times.
Kind of like how in 100 years there will be people who actually think Abe Lincoln was a vampire hunter. (Well, I'm sure there are already idiots like that, but I mean it will be more widespread)
Veering slightly from the main topic (but hopefully still related), a co-worker and good friend finds it amusing how many archeologists want to attribute religeous significance to objects they can't otherwise identify in their digs. We humorously speculated how future "diggers" might react if they were to come across, say, pieces of Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures. We imagine they'd ponder the purpose of these toys and mistakingly assume they're "totems" or religeous "fetishes" (the original definition of the word). "It seems obvious this ancient culture had connections with the even older Egyptian civilizations as they too appeared to worship animal headed gods. Since we have usually found these fetishes in the children's nurseries, we reason they represent guardian spirits. They may have links with a cult found in the ruins of ancient Nippon where a terrapin of immense scale, baring tusks, was once worshipped."
My point being, is it possible some (not all, but some) of the "totems" we've unearthed may have been nothing more than neolithic children's "toys"?
Paging David Macaulay....
Okay, I must admit, I'm totally clueless of the reference.
He wrote a book called "Motel of the Mysteries" in the 1970s. It was a pastiche of the discovery of Tut's tomb. Simultaneously it was a commentary on what happens when you derive too many conclusions from too little evidence.
The book was a mockumentary about a future society which unearthed remnants of our own, and the conclusions they derived from what they found. Suffice it to say that you'd find it familiar.
I think I read that book. Was the premise that everyone was buried alive in junk mail?
Come to think of it, certain posters in this thread could benefit from a caution on "deriving too many conclusions from too little evidence."
Ah! Now I understand. I think a friend of mine had that book as I remember him paraphrasing some of the funnier lines.
Thanks for the clarification. I'm at the office so a lot of sites are blocked. (Odd I can access TrekBBS since most message boards are forbidden.)
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