James is right about the current (what I call and distinguish as) ‘Zeitgeist mythicists’–at least the ones I have encountered so far. Just like creationists, they use shoddy scholarship from incredible sources, dated sources (we’re talking over two hundred years in some cases! A lot has been learned and discovered in that amount of time people!), and play on ‘God of the Gaps’ where, in place of their (quite an abundant amount of) ignorance, they fill it in with ‘astrotheology’ or ‘aliens did it’–something many of you might find surprising. But, apparently, it’s convincing enough for some.
To wit: I have been having a long (and painful…very, very painful) discussion on this thread (see comments). First, you should know Robert comes to us from Dorothy Murdock’s forum (and fan base–the fan base which is surprisingly cult-like and neopaganish–you will soon see what I mean when I am attacked in the comments section of this blog post mere minutes after I hit the ‘publish’ button. I swear it’s like a swarm of locusts that consume all sanity in its path). Now, not only is this individual (Robert) defending the possibility (he thinks he has at least a circumstantial case–a statement he makes himself) that the aliens might have guided the construction of the pyramids, but that they actually could have built them. Why? Because they are an enigma, he writes, ergo (his logic) aliens did it (this is essentially his point–we can’t understand it, nor fathom it [even though we can, and we know how the pyramids were built] so it had to come from….the outer limits).
His sources? Well, for one, try this guy. Yes, that’s right. He believes that a civilization existed 12,500 years ago which is identifiable with the lost city of Atlantis. But wait, there’s more!
We can’t forget about Graham Hancock, the guy who writes about Earth Crust Displacement and was the key inspiration for the movie 2012 (which I don’t think is supported by any credible science, actually).
Also this guy (John Anthony West, not to be confused with this John West, though they are quite similar since the latter is an intelligent design proponent) who, in his biography, claims to have discovered all sorts of interesting links between astrology and antiquity (which is why ‘Zeitgeist mythicists’ buy into this sort of horse crap–it’s not that different than what Dorothy Murdock proposes in her books). Here is one such discovery (for all of my colleagues reading this who hold real degrees in related fields, you might want to get a brown paper back in case you get sick):
The ancient Egyptians themselves attributed their wisdom to an earlier age going back 36,000 years. West set out to test the hypothesis that the Sphinx was much older than its conventional date of 2500 BC. His findings provide the first hard evidence that an earlier age of civilization preceded the known development of civilization in the Nile valley.
So clearly everything every archaeologist and Egyptologist over the last fifty years have been completely wrong and this “scholar” and “expert” (according to his site–anyone who has been to my lectures and heard me say that placards with these titles are used too frequently by people who don’t deserve them, this is what I mean. Watch out for this! I don’t even call myself a scholar or expert [and I am about to be published]; be wary of people who do without the proper paperwork) figured it all out. How can anyone accept, even as possible, anything any of these individuals has to say about antiquity, science, history, and the universe? Following the logic of Robert, they must all be aliens, clearly, because it’s an enigma to me.
What this goes to show is that if someone wants to believe something, they will find any hypothetical, whimsical opinion of one or more authors and use them as support, as if the very fact that they wrote something is substantial enough to count as evidence for what they believe. It isn’t. And people who support this sort of pseudoscience will not be swayed by reason, or logic, or evidence to the contrary–they will come at you (and they have come at me). And unlike those who take time to think through their conclusions, these sorts will just attempt to character assassinate you (in pathetic ways) in order to coerce you into shutting up–you shouldn’t dare speak out against their pseudoscience! What is wrong with you!
Let this be a reminder for those who have wondered why I so strongly discourage people from putting too much stock in such hypotheses; once you start down this dark path, the end results can only be Atlantis, Earth Crust Displacement, 2012 disasters, astrotheology, intelligent design (by aliens or God…does it really matter? Same thing), and aliens building giant pyramids at the geographical center of the earth. Afraid? I sure as hell am. I’m scared that these people might actually persuade those lay-individuals who have no reason yet to doubt or question what they are being told because, after all, they all claim to be experts and scholars and archaeologists and all sorts of fancy things.
Council for British Archaeology
Frauds, Myths and Mysteries – Dr Kenneth Feder
Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal
Atlantis – Fact, Fiction or Exaggeration?