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Puma Punku034 (Small)

A block at Pumapunku

For those who don’t know, Erich von Däniken wrote the controversial novel, Chariots of the Gods?, which attempts to prove the existence of supernatural beings in ancient society. He believes that ancient man was so primitive and helpless that they were unable to build the mysterious structures like the Great Pyramid at Giza and the stones at Pumapunku, Bolivia. Von Däniken’s theory is that in order to build the Great Pyramid in the estimated 22 years that it took the Egyptians, 1 stone had to be added to the pyramid every 9 seconds, which sounds unreasonable. The structures at Pumapunku, Bolivia are flawlessly smooth and fit together perfectly which suggests careful writing and planning, yet the natives who built these structures lived right out of the stone age and all historians believe that they did not have writing yet.
I don’t agree with Erich von Däniken’s theories and even though some of his proof is intriguing, I actually find them somewhat offensive to ancient man. Many critics point out, “prehistoric peoples were not helpless, incompetent, forgetful savages he [von Däniken] makes them out to be.” (http://skepdic.com/vondanik.html) In my opinion, Von Däniken and other supporters of ancient aliens are afraid that another civilization was more advanced than we were now, which is a very selfish fear. Just assuming that aliens created the ancient monuments instead of researching ancient tools is taking the “easy way out” which proves that you have to think carefully to act selflessly. Von Däniken’s theory isn’t extremely popular and has been openly criticized by many, yet his name is pretty well known and his book was successful. This relates back to Machiavelli’s theory that you have to be hated by some in order to be powerful.


In the words of Bruce Springsteen, "Poor men wanna be rich, rich men wanna be kings, and a king aint satisfied till he rules everything."


My questions: Do people question the ancient alien theory because of the lack of substantial evidence or because they are afraid that there was a civilization that was far more advanced then we are now?
“Our ancestors were as smart as we are today”. Does this mean that our society is not as “modern” as it was thousands of years ago? Is this positive or negative?

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