Do what? Pyramids, aliens and stuff.

It never ceases to amaze me the almost infinite capacity in humans for self-delusion. On Twitter a picture was shown of three pyramids – one Egyptian, one Aztec and one from Indonesia – three cultures separated by time and oceans. The caption was coincidence or connection? The comments were interesting – falling into three camps: 1) coincidence, 2) connected, 3) aliens did it.  The coincidence seems most likely given that a pyramid is quite a stable structure – although I’d imagine one would run into difficulties when adding chambers and tunnels – and the people who built these structures were clearly very capable engineers who knew a thing or two. The connected idea seems unlikely but I guess isn’t beyond the bounds of possibility but I haven’t seen any serious evidence for it. Aliens? No. Just No.

The reason I say no to number three is because for one thing I really believe it is disrespectful to those ancient cultures and people who sat down, worked out the mathematics and physics behind it and hired the best artisans to build it. Also the evidence for aliens building or helping to build pyramids (and other structures around the world) is zero. I know the likes of von Däniken have proposed theories based on carvings and the like but I honestly cannot take these theories seriously. Now I like watching UFO videos and have seen one years ago (that’s another story) but most videos seem to be of lights in the sky, which frankly could be anything. I don’t take much notice of people’s tales unless there is corroborating evidence (rare). There have been a few which stand out as interesting (and baffling) given the sort of people involved – Rendlesham springs to mind, but by and large as fun as they are I don’t take seriously the vast majority (around 99% in truth) of reports. Do aliens exist? Who knows – I certainly don’t think we’re alone in the universe. But have they visited the earth? Again, I guess it’s not impossible but when you consider the obstacles which have to be overcome to achieve interstellar travel (and, presumably, in their own lifetime).

Some people prefer a fantastical explanation over a more prosaic one, I guess. Unfortunately most answers turn out to be prosaic but it doesn’t stop the conspiracy theories or the ancient alien theories from whizzing around, multiplying and cross-breeding. Once, out of curiosity, I tried to track down the origin of one particular story (can’t remember what know  – it was years ago) but the trail just lead from one conspiracy site to another, all repeating the information, slowly embellishing it. A meme or Chinese whispers. I guess the bulk of them are harmless enough, ridiculous certainly, unrealistic definitely, but almost always entertaining. 

But one thing which shouldn’t have amazed me from the comments in the Twitter post was how little people actually knew about things – one chap didn’t believe that anyone was capably of crossing the oceans when the Aztec civilisation was around. I mean, really? Did this person not do history at school? Or perhaps the school simply didn’t teach him these things. The old saying was ignorance was bliss (and I suppose this is still true to a degree) but that was before world-wide media was available. Now, I think, ignorance is the choice not to know.

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