Bring me some new ancient astronauts. I like not the ones I have.

This works for me. So many wacky ideas want to downplay the achievements of humans. So often we fall for the arrogant idea we are so much smarter. The likes of Trump’s popularity is a clear indication we can repeat bad ideas from history. That probably gives a good indication for us actually being dumber.

Matthew Wright

Back when I was a kid, the latest woo-de-jour involved ‘ancient’ aliens who’d apparently arrived in the ‘ancient’ world to help humanity build pyramids and become civilised. Stupid humans!

This is part of the Egyptian learning curve - don't make the pyramids too steep, OK? This is part of the Egyptian learning curve – don’t make the pyramids too steep, OK? Public domain, via Wikipedia.

The idea wasn’t original – Arthur C. Clarke had been toying with it for decades in his science fiction. But as he well knew, it was fiction.

The ‘ancient astronaut’ brigade had no such conceits. The first to gain wide public attention was a Swiss hotelier named Erich von Daniken, who began re-interpreting history along the lines that ‘ancient astronauts’ had built the Egyptian pyramids, along with what he thought were anomalous ‘technological’ relics. He could prove the aliens existed because ‘ancient’ drawings showed humans with what he interpreted as space helmets.

Yup, the aliens were human. Later, von…

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