The Ancient Civilizations that Came Before: Self-Eradication, Or Natural Cataclysm? – Part I
Humanity has grown so old that it has forgotten its infancy, and the origin of man is shrouded in mystery.
Conventional wisdom states that humanity was primitive in the past and then things started evolving until people emerged from the state of barbarism to become smarter and more capable. New evidence however suggests otherwise; it suggests that maybe the dawn of history was characterized by forgotten high science and technology that far exceeds modern man’s expectations of the distant past.
This view is as old as history. The ancients spoke of their past as being glorious. The account of Atlantis in Plato’s dialogues Timaeus is the most vivid memory we have of this golden age.
Medieval manuscript of Plato’s Timeas, Latin translation. ( Public Domain )
One of the more modern researchers to immerse himself into a serious study of Plato’s account was the U.S. Congressman Ignatius Loyola Donnelly (1831 – 1901). He believed Atlantis to be historically accurate and gathered all the then-available evidence in favor of an early mighty civilization that was far more advanced than it had any right to be.
A few years later in 1929, a mysterious map from 1513 called the Piri Reis map was found in Istanbul. The map shows the coasts of Antarctica and South America with modern exactitude. This map rekindled the view on advanced ancient civilizations and gave it a solid ground.
More recently the book ‘Worlds Before Our Own’ (1978) by Brad Steiger exposed new facts in favor of early advanced societies. Steiger found that some advanced human artifacts were located in the lowest primordial geologic strata whereas primitive ones are in upper strata. He labeled these anachronistic items that were seemingly out of their proper place in time, “Out-of-Place Artifacts”(OPA). His book fueled a series of later works that characterized the past 30 years with a sort of rebellion towards the current worldview of the ancient past.
- The Babylonian map of the world sheds light on ancient perspectives
- Piri Reis Map - Evidence of Ancient Technology?
- The Controversial Origins of the Maine Penny, A Norse Coin found in a Native American Settlement
If advanced societies did exist, what then brought about their destruction? There are mainly two possible past events. Either these people were so advanced that they destroyed themselves, or a natural force brought about their destruction. The evidence in favor of the second event is more substantial than the first. There are however some indications of ancient warfare.
Map of the world by Ottoman admiral Piri Reis, drawn in 1513. ( Public Domain )
Ancient Creation and Destruction
“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)
Uniformitarianists would not agree on the second scenario, that ancient civilizations might have been destroyed by natural forces. They speculate that the current earth features are the result of a process of millions of years. Cataclysmists on the other hand claim that these features are legacies of a worldwide catastrophe.
The uniformitarianist view however suffers some problems and inconsistencies, for example the inaccuracy of carbon dating. This dating method presupposes an already established balance between the forming and decaying of radioactive carbon that has been maintaining its equilibrium for millions of years in earth’s atmosphere. The C14 forming however is actually greater than its decaying. No state of equilibrium has been reached yet. As a result, the C14 ratio in the atmosphere (0.0000765%) cannot scientifically be used as a benchmark in dating fossils. In other words, we cannot know the age of fossils by which we determine the age of earth strata. Therefore, we cannot be certain about the actual age of the earth features.
A second example is the vertical petrification of trees running across multiple earth geological layers that are “supposed” to be belonging to different earth epochs. These penetrated layers could only suggest that they were formed in a short period of time, a result of a rapid cataclysmal sedimentation for example, but not a process of millions of years, otherwise the petrified trees would just be an impossibility.
Another example is the striking similarities found in myths and legends across the globe of a worldwide cataclysm—more specifically a deluge. Many similar myths on this account are found in Africa, China, North America, Australia, Sumeria, and in very remote cultures that had no way to connect with one another. It is estimated that are more than 500 ancient deluge legends similar to those mentioned in the Biblical and Qur’anic accounts. These myths are actually traces of a global collective memory referring to an actual occurrence in the distant past. Add to that the genetic evidence for a past near-extinction event that took place thousands of years ago, also known as population bottleneck event that supports the cataclysm view.