I was watching The Big Picture with Moviebob the other day when he brought up relics, and how back in the day, as explorers wandered the rainforests of Africa and discovered ancient, lost civilizations, they attributed them to the lost epic cities like Atlantis, but were scared to admit that it might possibly be the work of the local natives, who were unfortunately darker skinned.
Today, it seems that case continues, with people saying the Pyramids, Machu Pichu, the Aztec pyramids, Stonehenge, all of it was built either by aliens or for aliens, who were obviously there to try and uplift the people or at least use them for pin cushions. Why? Why do we believe that everything that doesn’t have a clearly obvious excuse, like an ancient rusting backhoe, belong to aliens here to make us their genetic guinea pigs?
Unfortunately, I think it’s the same mindset as before, only spread across more people and cultures: that humans of ancient periods were obviously retarded and unable to construct anything simpler than a stick hut. Really, it’s an insult to all of us to assume such a thing. The only thing separating our works today from those in the past, except for the tools we use, is time. A human from 5000 years ago could probably be taught everything he needs to know to survive in modern times, simply because he’s got a brain.
People love to scream, “But the pyramids are so intricate and complicated and there’s no way a primitive person with only basic tools could figure that out!” and to them I say, “Yes, they can and did, and just because you don’t know how they did it, doesn’t mean they didn’t.” There are a multitude of ways, many of them clearly documented by the builders themselves, that these tasks were accomplished, and it would be easier for them to find time since for many parts of the year, there was literally nothing for them to do while waiting on the harvest.
Things like this irk me for a whole host of reasons. Automatically assuming someone is dumb because they didn’t have a modern education is an insult, because even with a PhD in quantum physics, a person can still be dumber than a lamp-post. Education does not equal intelligence. The sooner we figure this out, the better we’ll all become.