Sunday, September 5, 2010
They Say It's Impossible... They Don't Understand Why, or How, But They Just Know It's Impossible
Generally the average person has little to no knowlege or experience beyond getting along on a day to day basis. As a rule most people never look below the surface, they never, or rarely ask why, or what if. Many don't read, or expand on the knowledge they aquired in school, assuming that they were given all, or more than the teaching they'd need for the rest of their lives. In my own family I've been told that I'm an odd duck, to say it nicly, because I have so many books, that I read. Two or three of my own family have told me they haven't read since school.
Many or even most people assume that an expert in any field knows everything about that subject, and that if they say a thing happened, didn't happen, or couldn't have happened, it must be right, after all they're the experts, right? It never occurs to them that the expert may not know everything, that the expert might have preconceptions or beliefs that color his or her objectivity, or that they have bought into the ideas that they were taught, and their teachers were taught, and their...well you get the idea, they just know it's, whatever it is, impossible, because it's been taught, or believed to be impossible since forever, or even longer.
For instance, I believe, I know, don't ask me how, but I've always known that there were civilizations greater and more advanced than ours tens of thousands of years in the past. Who they were, what they did, how they did it, I don't have a clue, I just know in my gut they were. There are clues, hints, in ancient writings, and myth, but evidence in the hand, little or none.
People ask if true, why only stone tools and weapons, why no skyscapers, why no ancient cars, or airplanes, why no ancient books or libraries? If there were advanced civilizations, or cultures where are the guns, where are the other advanced weapons, where are the advanced tools, why are the only things found made of stone, copper and bronze? My reaction is it's been tens of thousands of years, I'd be more surprised if there were remains on every corner.
From previous or pre-historic civilizations, the great pyramid and the Sphinx, as well as thousands of monuments, temples, pyramids, and buildings are left in Egypt, there are other cities and monuments left scattered around the world, all generally made of stone. As a rule they have several things in common, no matter where they're located, they're huge, made of stones weighing many tons not a few pounds, they're made using mortarless construction, and usually finished so that a knife blade or in some cases even a sheet of paper can't be slid between them. They have holes and grooves, or other features, as part of their finishing so precise and difficult that they must have been done with tools that didn't exist prior to us, as far as we know.
In addition, some of the ruins are in places like the top of the Andes, where finding the materials, moving them, and supporting the workforce that we imagine would be necessary is virtually impossible, at least given what we know today. It's pretty much agreed that with all our advanced knowledge and tools and equipment we would find it impossible or nearly so, to duplicate these ancient feats of engineering and building. Yet there they are, they exist, you can see them, reach out and touch them. Somebody built them. Who was it? A people who are barely out of the trees, that were said to be hunter gathers a few generations before? Who either don't write, or have just developed writing in the form of hieroglyphics? Who have no mathematical skills? No, I agree, it's unlikely that these people built the pyramids, or anything like them. So, who did it? A previous civilization that had the engineering, and math skills, the surveying skills, the equipment and machinery needed to put anything from a 4 ton to 100 ton block of stone in place. The workmen capable of building and setting the blocks together using no mortar, yet so well built that thousands of years later a knife blade or even in some cases a sheet of paper can't be slid between them. My grandfather was a mason, and I doubt even he was that good. So, there was a civilization, one or more, but at least one that was detroyed long ago, people, possibly Neanderthal, possibly not, were nearly wiped out.
Imagine if that happened today, something happens that wipes out a large part of the world population, the large cities, the cars, the electricity. No lights, no heat or a/c, no refrigerators, no telephones, no computers, no internet, no gas so no cars, buses, trucks, trains or airplanes. Suddenly we're thrust back in the dark ages, no pun intended. Maybe not quite but for most of us it would seem so. People are left but just here and there, gangs roam the streets of what's left of the cities, the various militaries around the world try to restore order by doing what they do best, dictators little and big take over. Madness rules and lots of us, some of those trying to survive, and get back what they lost move into the woods, probably hunting for food, possibly growing some food, or eating wild vegitables or fruit, and eventually living in caves, and trying to teach their children what they know and remember.
In kindergarden we played a game called Telephone, we'd sit in a row and starting at one end whisper something to the kid next to us. Invariably whatever it was was nothing like what was wispered at the start. I think it would be the same today in a situation like I described above and was surely the same back then in pre-history, the survivors taught their kids, who taught their kids, who taught their kids, on and on, and on.
Eventually, maybe sooner, the world they knew is gone, gone forever. All they know is hunting and gathering, the family, or tribe is everything. Strangers, as they've been taught down through the generations are at best suspect, not to be trusted, at worst enemies out to destroy the family. The only law is survival, at any expense. The knowledge and experience that the original survivors tried to pass on becomes stories, legend and myth. The skill of writing and reading is lost . Understand, they aren't stupid just nobody remembers.
Also another factor may come into play, mutation, or as some call it evolution. Over successive generations, hundreds or thousands of them, mutation and evolution takes place, they are no longer the same humans that destroyed the world. How or what caused it is anyones guess, possibly they've lost atributes or abilities their ancestors had, or perhaps they've gained some their ancestors never imagined, or both, who knows, but they're different. At some point someone discovers a book, or remembers a myth, that you can plant a seed.
Somewhere, somehow, somebody learns. at least that's the accepted theory, what's taught in schools, probably worldwide, is that "modern civilization," started about 5000 years ago in the mideast, Sumer in Mesopotamia, and Egypt, moving on through the centuries. The accepted theory is that tribes of hunter gatherers today, were building cities, planting fields of grain and orchards, living together by the thousands, building the pyramids, temples and monuments, designing weapons and conducting organized wars tomorrow. Does it make sense? I'm linking a website that does a pretty good job of explaing the accepted theory of where and when civilization started, all I ask is think about it, if it does make sense, great. If not dig deeper and look under the surface, ask why and what if....
History of Civilization