Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I watch Ancient Aliens

[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]

I watch Ancient Aliens on the History Channel sometimes. It can be funny, and some of the things they bring up are genuinely interesting. (They should have a second show that addresses the non-quackery explanations for how those things were done and how they fit into history.)

Occasionally I talk to the screen.

"Could they really have worked it out to this precision?" they ask incredulously.

"Yes!" I reply, "Yes they could. Because they didn't have TV and the didn't have the internet and they didn't have electric lights and they didn't have anything better to do than to sit outside and look up at the stars and they were BORED! Night after night generation after generation they looked up at the stars bright in the sky. Of course they knew more about it than you or I. You and I aren't astronomers*. They were. They probably looked at the stars more than most modern day astronomers you arrogant schmuck. Just because you could never work this stuff out without a university system to prop you up doesn't mean they couldn't."

And so on.

In conclusion, the Mayan calendar was not created by aliens.

And yes, I can imagine a bunch of guys with hand tools making all this.
(Though I do love Riley's "The aliens helped them," line from National Treasure.)


*Also, if the aliens really helped them, shouldn't ancient knowledge still be at least as good as our own? Why is it that, "They knew more about it than non-experts do today," is supposed to be convincing?

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