A Friendly Rebuttal to the Ancient Alien Theories

It is indisputably true that what we, as a civilization, know is a small fraction of all that there is to be known. It does not follow that all mysteries that imply knowledge beyond what we now understand are of necessity evidence that they are of extraterrestrial origin. Such an assertion underestimates the potential of our ancestors to discover such extraordinary knowledge and then later forgot it when that civilization eventually declines.

The other thing that is hard to believe is the assertion that any non-human race that is interacting with our ancestors would of necessity come from space. It seems just as possible that they would come from another dimension, or a parallel universe, or even from a different time. The Ancient Alien Theorists conflate evidence that something inexplicable has happened with evidence for their particular theory of what happened.

I find these theories at least entertaining and at best plausible. Even if some of them do turn out to be true, it doesn’t follow that they all will. Their logic is so flawed that it hurts their case more than it helps it.

I think many people enjoy watching the shows because the stories they present are truly mysterious. On occasion it has been suggested that we play a drinking game where the trigger phrase is “Ancient Alien Theorists say yes”.

Is there any other reason to watch these shows other than entertainment or because you have a cult like belief in the theories that they put forward? I think so. These mysteries deserve to be contemplated. If we apply the crowd sourcing principle maybe other explanations for them may be discovered.

Another potentially valuable exercise is to teach critical thinking. If you can catch the logical flaws in their arguments you will be better equipped to catch them in other situations.

I would love for these fantastic assertions to be true but if I believe in anything it is that the universe is a rational place in which we can use our brains and our senses to conduct experiments and learn how it works. I do believe that there are phenomena that are so sensitive to the environment in which they occur that they are difficult, if not impossible, to repeat. These, while resisting attempts to experimentally validate our understanding of their operation, will still yield to rational reasoning about them.

It is also true that all science is initially pseudo-science. The authorities of the scientific establishment have the most to lose when someone comes along with a theory that refutes their pet theories. It is embarrassing to have spent your career teaching one thing as fact only to discover that your explanation was flawed.

It is also true that new discoveries often come from investigators that have no reputation to lose by challenging the accepted cannon of scientific “fact”. But even so, their new theories must stand up to duplication and further investigation by others. Until your theory has survived peer review, it will remain the subject of ridicule.

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.