Pop Culture Homework Assignment: Ancient Aliens

I’m not quite sure how this got in my queue, but I can tell you that I didn’t watch them all and that it has been removed from my queue. Watching this was a little exercise in reminding myself of why I usually can’t spend a lot of time discussing conspiracy theories with people who believe in them. It isn’t that these people are nutters. And, it isn’t that their theories couldn’t possibly be true. It is that I am incredibly bothered by incredibly long leaps of logic without supporting evidence. Apparently, Academia has filtered into other parts of my life.

Here’s what I mean: In the first episode they talk about marvels of ancient architecture. So, they lay out evidence and the ideas. The pyramids at Giza are incredible feats of architecture. They would have taken incredible amounts of energy and/or manpower and/or sophisticated technology to build them. (Okay, I’m with you.)We have no evidence that Ancient Egyptians had anything more advanced than a whole mess of slaves and some boats. (Fair Enough, still with you.) Therefore, aliens must have come down and helped them build the pyramids. (You’ve completely lost me.) Aren’t there better explanations than this that deserve to be explored? For example, isn’t it possible that we developed technology that was lost? Isn’t it possible that we’ve just not unearthed pulleys and levers and what not? Do we have to go all the way to aliens? Really?

Then, because I am a glutton for punishment, I read the comments on the series on Netflix. They fell into three categories: Curious people who watched the show and commented, Disbelievers who wanted to deride the history channel for wasting time and money producing this series, and my favorite category, abusive trolls who wanted to tell anyone who didn’t enjoy the show that they were blind to the evidence and needed to open their eyes and wake up. And, I just have to say that trolls aren’t good for advancing discussion, they aren’t good for the spreading of a theory and they aren’t good for science.

I’d also like to say that some of the logical leaps this show made was baffling and that I didn’t particularly enjoy it.

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