I posted this on my blog but realized I should have made it a discussion topic...sorry if this annoying, I'm new to the site!
I hope some of you have watched this series 'Ancient Aliens'. I bring it up here, because the 'experts' that are interviewed remind me of supposed experts in the fields of creationism and relgion.
Have any of you watched it? Like a fking train wreck, I try but I can't look away! For those who haven't seen it, 'experts' on possible ancient extra-terrestrial visitors discuss how certain hard-to-explain structures or works of art may have come to be.
Take the Egyptian pyramids for example. An expert will claim something such as "there is simply no way that people 5,000 years ago could have built these pyramids", without any real explanation as to WHY they could not have done it, and immediately jump to the conclusion that they must have been visited by super intelligent aliens who gave them the technology and engineering expertise needed to build such a thing. They go further and surmise that the reason for the mysterious air shafts running through the Great Pyramid were possibly hydrogen refueling stations for alien spacecraft. They then provide absurd drawings and examples of how such a thing would work. They never seem to ask the logical question: why did the aliens stop helping us? why/how did we lose these technologies? why is it that the aliens would teach ancient egyptians how to build a hydrogen storage and refueling station, but none of the technology of how to build a hydrogen fueled craft of their own was ever passed on?
It reminds me very much of a believer blindly following what they read in (or are told is in) the bible. Not thinking for themselves. Not using REASON.
I really don't know where I am going with this post, just curious what, if anything, others here might think about this show and creationists/believers/blind faith in general?
their brains could very well have been the same as ours but they weren't anywhere near as intelligent or as advanced as us... they weren't even using the wheel and axle at that point.
Look.. all these ancient civilizations people love saying how they were so advanced...
Did they ever go to the moon? Did they have a hubble telescope? No, they had more primitive means of looking at the solar system which gave them a different viewpoint in some regards...
Never try and say they were anywhere near as advanced as we are.
This isn't to say we aren't still primitive as well. We have so far to go... so much to learn.
I wasn't trying to say they were as advanced as we are. Obviously we have learned quite a bit since then, but we have not evolved as a species to any great degree from the time of ancient Egypt. They didn't have our knowledge but they were intelligent. The fact that they figured out how to build pyramids is self evident. To say aliens did it is an insult to the glory that is us! :)
I think being the rationalists we are we obviously believe aliens exist. But would they bother coming here to help us build pyramids? I highly doubt it. Watch what Michio Kaku has to say about aliens visiting us...
It's this arrogance that so many people think aliens would give a shit about us that bothers me.
The point, Ryan, is that the things that they show DO all add up, perfectly - when you include thousands of mundane, boring observations that show the evolution of technology/techniques that lead to the ability to create the pyramids.
I do enjoy the show for entertainment value, and love imagining that aliens roamed around the pyramids like some background story for Stargate. That's where it ends, however; at imagination.
Either way, I don't deny the existence of aliens. I do find it incredibly implausible, however, that they are visiting us right now just so they can scoop people up and peek in their bums with colonoscopes because, although they have interstellar warp drives, they lack the technology to use magnetic/radiometric imaging. Could they have been here in the past? Sure - although, to date, I have seen ZERO evidence for this idea that is even remotely compelling.
Realistic science doesn't go through paradigm shifts everyday. When Einstein realized that the Michelson/Morely experiments were dead right (contrary to the beliefs of Michelson/Morely) we had a paradigm shift in realizing that time was not constant but that did not, in the least, discredit the meticulous observations of Newton. In point of fact, even in consideration of relativity, Newtons original syntax for his laws of motion hold.
Now, just because you heard a story about some neutrinos travelling faster than light, that doesn't mean that Einstein's formulas are being tossed out the window. For one, Einstein didn't actually rule out FSL velocities for matter - his formulas just suggest rather absurd parameters should such velocities be obtained. The idea that time wasn't constant was an absurd idea - until it turned out to be true.
Finally, not only did Newton's observations hold perfectly under Einstein's formulations - but our understanding of Newton's observations simply grew more accurate. Our understanding of nature was not turned on it's head, it just became more accurate through a better understanding of the same basic concepts on a grander scale.
So, no, being a realist is not a 'time frame thing'. Good day.
I see what you see Alex. I luv Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart and Tim Minchin satirizing these people, they make my day, and give me hope - but the gullible do believe it. Have a look at Student of Knowledge comments - it is enough to make me cry. Herman Cain followers, or right wingers 'get money at any cost', would not be watching Rachel or Jon :(
The brilliant thing about humans is the imagination - the brain can think up anything. In a couple of hundred years time, there is going to be a religion following The Lord of the Rings, another following Star Trek, oops, sorry, that's already happening, Matrix. Look what SCientology believe in!!!!!! it's also what gets us to the moon. This bloke is one of the reasons I hate, per se, religions. Just on the bandwagon to make money. And for a History channel to air this codswallop, disgraceful.
This is adding nothing to the conversation, but I just noticed I wrote the original post over a year ago. ANd the fact that people are still talking about it makes me both happy and sad. I mean really - Ancient Aliens? Why would there need to be an ancient alien anymore than an ancient god or ancient angel?
The show is still on the air, and they continue to film new episodes. What a trip.
I have to admit I seem to be drawn to watch it when its on. I mean I would say pretty much it is speculation based on an argument that if it fits it must be true and is horse shit. You can tell there is much stretching done to make their points... I mean time traveling Nazi's really? Now sadly I almost am more likely to believe that it's possible that a few of the things presented as being possible seem more likely than the bible. I think the way we should approach it is by saying hey some of the more interesting ideas with decent arguments are worth a look with a more serious manner as skeptics. The interesting thing in all of this is that whether or not aliens had anything to do with ancient peoples there have been some things coming out that point to that it's possible that many civilizations may have formed much earlier then we thought. Interesting indeed. Anyways the Ancient Aliens TV show... mostly just for fun for me.