One way to get me to hate a movie, tv show, or book is to incorporate the aliens helped build the pyramids nonsense into the story. This is the reason I hated “Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull.” I was reminded of this while reading an article in Scientific American about the process of building the pyramids. Turns out, Egyptologists know a lot about how this was done because we have primary written records about the pyramids being built. Humans built the pyramids without alien intervention. Period, case closed.
Why does the idea that aliens helped build the pyramids bother me so? Because essentially when you’re saying aliens built this or that, you’re discrediting human ingenuity. You’re saying humans aren’t smart or resourceful enough to have accomplished the amazing things we have accomplished. This isn’t mere pride on my part, because it has implications for our modern problems.
One of the factors in building the pyramids that the Scientific American article touched on was the power of human social networks in building the pyramids. Communication, cooperation, sharing ideas and discoveries. These were all vital to the pyramids construction.
And these are all things that we are going to need now to solve the problems facing humanity. Global warming. Terrorism. Mass shootings. Cancer.
These things scare me. But this is where the faith of a Humanist comes in. I firmly believe that if our ancient ancestors, who with the primitive technology they had could build things as wondrous and incredible as the pyramids, then we can confront the challenges that we are currently facing successfully.
Aliens, gods, and prayers aren’t going to save us. We are going to have to save ourselves.