Who has not, at one time or another, wondered “where do we come from”?
It is human nature to wonder about our nature, our origins, or place on the big blue and green ball called Earth. Has any one period, society or station in history held the monopoly on providing the answer to “who are we” or “why are we”?
The following is an article written on December 13th, 2014 by Zakaria Bziker. Zakaria is a student at Ibn-Tofail University (Kenitra, Morocco), currently pursuing a master’s degree in Education. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in General Linguistics and something in his writing, and or questioning, stirred me and I am presenting his work here on our blog. We will only take you part of the way, and then you can clock on and go on to read the “rest of the story” as they say.
Kenitra – “Why should we be so arrogant as to assume that we’re the first homo-sapiens to walk the earth?” (J.J. Abrams et al., 2010)
No one remembers one’s moment of birth and neither does humanity. The beginning of man is a scientific mystery. This article, however, is not about how man came to be, but about shortly after that; it is about the dawn of humanity, a missing chapter in human history. People, in this forgotten chapter, mapped the earth and sky long before there were ancient Egyptians or Jews. They are not to be confused with Australopithecus, Homo Habilis, or Homo Ergaster. Instead, they are remembered by ancients as ‘gods’ because it is they who first engineered societies, leaving baffling traces on earth.
The idea of how humanity’s progress began is relative. Before the enlightenment, human civilizations throughout history viewed the past as glorious and expected the future to simply resemble and repeat the past. Mankind did not think highly of themselves until after Kant declared the motto “Sapere aude,” – dare to think for yourself. But the question remains: what is it in our distant past that made the ancients behold it with such impressiveness?
Scientific and technological progresses do not necessarily take thousands of years. The pace can be exponential, slow, or even regressive – exponential through accidental breakthroughs and inventions, e.g. the 20th century, but slow when impeded by a major force such as the Roman church or the Black Death that prolonged the dark ages for a century. Regression occurs due to a massive loss of knowledge, e.g. the burning of the Alexandria Library in 391 A.D. The idea that scientific and technological development takes millennia is an impression that we get from our assessment of the known history. Progress is inevitable and desirable for any civilization.
The progress of science and technology changes the way we live presently as well as how we see the past and future. Our expectations of the future change based partly on the breakthroughs we make and the pace of the scientific development. Our visions of the past, too, change as we develop new ways of investigating facts. The current worldview of the past is that things were primitive, and that mankind emerged from a state of barbarism to become smarter and more capable. However, emerging evidence suggests otherwise beginning with Plato’s account of Atlantis, although, across the past two millennia, his account was considered fictional. In 1882, U.S. Congressman Ignatius Loyola Donnelly published his book ‘Atlantis: The Antediluvian World’ in which he gathers the then-available evidence in favor of an early mighty civilization that was far more advanced than they had any right to be. He mainly studied ancient myths and believed Plato’s account of Atlantis to be historically accurate.
Forty-seven years later, in 1929, a medieval map called Piri Reis was found at the Imperial Palace library in Constantinople (Istanbul). This map inexplicably depicts, with unprecedented fine details, the continents of South America and Antarctica corresponding to present longitude and latitude albeit it dates back to 1513. It was not until after the Piri Reis map discovery that other maps of high precision started emerging, eg: the Ribero maps 1520-30, the Ortelius map 1570, and the Wright-Molyneux map 1599 (McIntosh, 2000:59).
The Piri Reis map was thought to have been based on Columbus’ explorations, though he never surveyed South America. Later, Charles Hapgood studied the map intensively and concluded that a remote and advanced civilization had existed and mapped the unexplored parts of the world before Columbus’ time (Hapgood, 1966). Hapgood’s unorthodox theory of earth crustal displacement also accounts for a preexistent civilized culture in Antarctica. Albert Einstein found that Hapgood’s ideas had scientific worth (Einstein, 1953).
Years later in 1978, Brad Steiger’s book ‘Worlds Before Our Own’ rekindled the issue of past advanced societies. Steiger studied the OPA (out-of-place artifacts) to support his theory which challenged the well-accepted idea that if humans were primitive in the past, common sense then says the deeper one digs down into the earth the more un-advanced artifacts one finds. What he actually found was that some advanced human artifacts are located in the lowest primordial geologic strata whereas primitive ones are located in upper strata (thus labeled Out-of-Place Artifacts). He also presented evidence that strongly suggests the cohabitation of dinosaurs and humans. Steiger’s unconventional book fueled other subsequent works such as Dead Men’s Secrets (1986), Forbidden Archaeology (1993), The Orion Mystery (1993), Fingerprints of the Gods (1995), and Technology of the Gods (1999). But, Steiger’s book was also met with a great deal of criticism.
Today, theories such as Steiger’s, along with supporting evidence, call into question the current worldview of the first people. When one subscribes to this unconventional and unaccepted theory of history, one is then driven to speculate two possible past events that put an end to these historical societies. Either they were so advanced that they destroyed themselves, or they were destroyed by a global cataclysm from which a few survived. The first case seems less probable than the second although there might be some clues that imply ancient warfare.
“When the first atomic bomb exploded in New Mexico, the desert sand turned to fused green glass. This fact, according to the magazine Free World, has given certain archaeologists a turn. They have been digging in the ancient Euphrates Valley and have uncovered a layer of agrarian culture 8,000 years old, and a layer of herdsman culture much older, and a still older caveman culture. Recently, they reached another layer, a layer of fused green glass” (New York Herald Tribune, 1947)
The assumption of uniformitarianism makes scientists attribute the current features of the earth surface to a slow process that took millions of years. The alternative view however suggests that these features are the result of a worldwide cataclysm that took place mere thousands of years ago. In this regard, three pieces of evidence in favor of the past cataclysm will be discussed.
First, we have the problem of the carbon dating method. Most geologists use carbon dating to determine the age of fossils and geologic strata. The reliability of this method requires a balance between the forming and decaying of radioactive carbon that has been maintaining its equilibrium for millions of years in earth’s atmosphere. However, carbon’s forming and decaying has not even yet reached equilibrium on earth for the amount of C14 that is being produced is greater than that which is being decayed. As a result, we cannot use today’s C14 ratio (0.0000765%) in the atmosphere as a benchmark to measure the presence of C14 in ancient fossils. Plus, it is hopeless to correlate earth’s epochs with the geologic column since the latter is based on fiction (Huse, 1983:15; Smith, 2012:242). Vertical petrified trees are the whistleblower that exposes the invalidity of the geologic column. Many petrified trees running across multiple geological strata have been observed in nature which could only suggest that these strata formed in a short period of time, a result of a rapid cataclysmal sedimentation for example, but not millions of years (Harold 1969; 1971, Rupke, N.A, 1970).
Secondly, there is scientific evidence of a past near-extinction event, also known as population bottleneck event. The two researchers William Amos and J.I. Hoffman from University of Cambridge found genetic evidence for a sudden and drastic decline of the world population to a very small number of people thousands of years ago (Amos & Hoffman, 2010:131-7). This is speculated to be caused by a worldwide cataclysm.
Third, there are stunning similarities among several ancient myths and legends of different people across the globe on the event of a past global catastrophe, more specifically a global flood similar to the one mentioned in both Biblical and Qur’anic accounts. Some of these myths are Sumerian creation myth (ca. 1600 B.C.), Ancient Greek flood myths, ancient myths of Kwaya, Mbuti, Maasai, Mandin, and Yoruba people in Africa, Yu the Great (ca. 2200 B.C.) and Nüwa in China, Tiddalik in Australia, Hopi mythology in North America, Unu Pachakuti myth of the Incas in South America and this is not the end of the list for there are more than 500 ancient deluge legends (Cox, 1997:198; Dey, 2012: 112; Wohl, 2000:273; LaViolette, 2005: 235). These myths are traces of a global collective memory referring to an actual event in the distant past.