ESA/Hubble & NASA
Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt
Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt
astro picture for the day/ "In Search of . . ." as a window onto the mythmaking mind
Mankind is defined and distinguished by the other life on Earth by it's dependence on science and technology. I've tried to show the growth of knowledge and mankind's exploration of knowledge.
There was mathematical knowledge early on, but progress towards more mathematics was slow. After one learns of a few numbers, maybe some arithmetic, there doesn't seem to be much left to do . . . but make mythology. I'm suggesting here that mythologizing religions partly comes out boredom. There was simply no other way to excersize the imagination back then. Some didn't know any mathematics at all.
It seems that mythologizing stopped far back in the past, after Christianity was created. But, there's the case of Islam which was created six hundred years later. But, also, in the twentieth century and really back to Kepler.
As soon as Copernicus was confirmed by Kepler and Galileo, some, in this case Kepler himself, started mythologizing. Kepler wrote of going to the moon in a dream.
A famous example is War of the Worlds, published in 1897. Almost exactly after that, UFO mania started. Well, the U.F.O. wiki, finds the first use of unidentified flying objects to 1878. The person says a remarkably fast flying balloon. Well, as I was going to say, U.F.O's started when space rockets were starting to be known. Here, we have a case of people reporting U.F.O.'s around the time when flying balloons were common. Either way, we have people being fantastical and mythologizing. This mythologizing would push very far.
Rod Sterling, famous for the twighlight zone, and Star Trek stars William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy helped narrate a great window on the religious and mythmaking minds - the "In Search of . . ." series and William Shatner later with MYSTERIES OF THE GODS (1977).
The first video that documented these ideas(I've yet to address them), Rod Sterling's "In Search of Ancient Astronauts"
The first interesting part of these videos is the blending of science and mythology(in this case - U.F.O.s). They go to astronomical telescope observatories, including radio telescopes. Rod Sterling's "In Search of Ancient Astronauts" interviews Werner Von Brawn, who explains to them "Fermi's paradox." "Fermi's Paradox" involves the Big Bang cosmology. Fermi actually comes up with this in the 1950s, before the cosmic background radiation discovery/confirmation of the Big Bang cosmology over the steady state cosmology in the 1960s. So, Fermi's paradox is doubly remarkable. Fermi notes that the Big Bang cosmology suggests the universe is between ten to twenty billion years old(Hubble Space telescope has narrowed this down to like 13.82 Billion years old. It's now measured down to some decimal points . . .), and Fermi notes that the recent radioactive dating of the geologic history of the Earth makes the Earth 4.5 billion years old. Taking just the Earth's life history, and the Big Bang cosmology, and the abundance of stars in our galaxy alone, suggest, that Extraterrestrial Civilizations should be billions of years older, and should have gone spacefaring all over the galaxy for billions of years. They should have visted the Earth . . . a long time ago. Well, the U.F.O's mythology in the videos above go far beyond that.
They go to all the great ruins of the past - the Egyptian Pyramids, the Mayan Pyramids, and Easter Island. And they say, humans couldn't possibly have made these, ancient Aliens must have come down and made them and/or taught humans how to make them. Just making a quick disproof; why didn't they build them out of daimondoid materials(diamond, the hardest material in the universe, by physics), or some more exotic material?
One big point I'd like to make of what these U.F.O believers are doing is saying, "we don't know"; therefore, U.F.O's exist and must have visited the Earth a long time ago. Similarly, god believers often say, "we don't know how the universe works, how the brain works", or "our theories are imperfect"; therefore, God exists - submit your souls and believe in "my church and god."
In rewatching Rod Sterling's "In Search of Ancient Astronauts", they show video of a hunter/gatheror tribe who made a straw airplane as a god, because they saw one come over them. It was the first airplane they had ever seen; they never thought that such a thing could ever exist, so they idolized it, made it a statue god. So, this is valuable video of the mythologizing/religious mind in more than one way!
These videos make for great viewing of the great accomplishment of mankinds past - both Egyptian and Mayan temples.