On the Origin of Man
Humans have pondered the age-old question of our origins for millennia. Throughout history, there have been many people and cultures that have come forward with their own belief or theory on mankind’s creation. Regardless of the details, there have been 3 or 4 primary views on the general story of humanity’s source. The most recent and scientifically accepted theory is that of evolution, which states that through a long and complex process over billions of years, organisms have developed and sometimes improved over time eventually leading up to the formation of modern humans. Those who follow a literal translation of the 3 most popular religions of the world believe that an Omnipotent God created the world and humans, as well as everything else, less than 6,000 years ago. The more ancient belief systems described plural gods, each having their own tasks and creative forces. The modern interpretation of the pluralistic god belief is that these were myths to explain what ancient people could not understand. Some who still follow their religion from a traditional viewpoint have accepted that their holy books are allegories to teach lessons rather than facts.
Now, there is another viewpoint, one that mixes parts of each of the theories and adds another interesting factor, extraterrestrials. People who subscribe to this possibility have a mixed bag of stories, but all agree on one thing. That is, before humans existed on Earth, another humanoid race of beings arrived to this planet and genetically modified the existing creature that naturally evolved here. Most of these people still believe in evolution, but during this natural process there was interference that sped up or changed our path. Many of the people who doubt this theory ask for evidence, while the religions point to their holy books as the only evidence that they need. No matter what a person believes, some faith is required, whether that is to accept a previous scientists’ findings or that a book has the absolute truth contained in it.
The belief in the possibility that extraterrestrials were involved in our conception is most often referred to as the ancient astronaut theory. Proponents of this theory point to many factors as evidence. Some of these factors are the ancient megalithic structures spread all over the world, explaining that the archaic tools were not enough to construct such wonders. Others point to the myths and legends of ancient civilizations, all describing gods and angels, not in a spiritual sense, but as flesh and blood beings. Many of these ancient cultures, some who still have remnants today, wrote about their gods or angels as coming from the heavens (space?), flying in chariots, as well as other miraculously sounding feats. These ancient people describe their gods as rulers and teachers. The Sumerian civilization (present day Iraq) called their gods, the Anunnaki, and described how these gods taught them about writing, mathematics, astronomy and many other fields of advanced knowledge. Prior to this civilization, there are no other known groups that had all of this documented. Many question how such an advanced culture could arise without a previous less-developed one, and their answer is that an advanced race of beings helped pave the way. When taking a step back and observing that there are many commonalities between unrelated cultures spread throughout the world, we should at least accept that they all stem from a common root. Regardless of which theory one subscribes to, evidence shows that some major events took place thousands of years ago that influenced cultures around the world. Cultures that have similar stories of gods are the ancients of India, Egyptians, Mayans, Hopis, Peruvians, and the list goes on and on. Nobody has the absolute truth to what took place thousands of years ago and should not claim so.
There are theorems and theories. Theorems are easier to prove because they are based on formulas and can be replicated using mathematics. Theories, on the other hand, are more complex and put together from many pieces of data, observations, as well as interpretations. For example, the Pythagorean theorem, can be easily calculated, leaving no room for debunking. When we are describing what took place thousands of years ago, that is not so straightforward. Personally, I do not like to deny someone of their beliefs. My point is that I, myself, am no trained scientist, and even if I was, I am basing my own knowledge on a trust of the scientists that came before me. There is dogma in science as well and that is something we need to get past. Many scientific theories or studies have been skewed or reversed at a later point in time, like those related to health or nutrition. When there is a functional theory or theorem and it works, then we must trust it, but still leave room for deviations.
When it comes to a topic like religion or the ancient astronaut theory, it gets a lot more complicated. A small part of the overall theory can be proven to be incorrect, but this does not disprove the entire premise. I am not saying that the bible should be interpreted literally, but that if a moral can be taken away from it that does not harm others, then I see no harm in that either. I have not made it my mission to argue away religious belief from so many people out there. That is, especially if they were raised this way, even if I believe that a lot of what they think may be incorrect. The same goes for the ancient astronaut theory, just because someone comes forward and points out a flaw does not make the overall premise untrue. We also have to look at the motive of the person doing the debunking. If they are open minded and balanced that is one thing, but if someone has an agenda to disprove the whole theory from the start, only to push their religious views, then that needs to be scrutinized. Many scientific aspects that we take as fact these days were at one point on the fringe, ridiculed, or the person executed for going against the establishment. It should not be this way. When it comes to religions, I feel that there is a common root in them all that is spiritual in nature, while the rest of it is confusion with our ancient history and misinterpretations of what the ancients did not understand. Even spirituality can be connected to science if we take that route. We are all searching for the truth and should be open minded to hearing out and researching a variety of ideas, then come to our own conclusions and not let someone else do the thinking for us.
How can so many people around the world be convinced that their interpretations of reality or spirituality be the true one while all others are incorrect? Even within the major religions, there are sects that disagree with each other’s interpretations. Is it not the circumstances we are each born into, that determine what belief system we are taught? Do most actually get an opportunity to explore a diverse set of beliefs from early childhood? Majority of the world has been stuck in the same cycle, where they have been taught as children not to doubt their teachings, while accepting certain dogmas to be true. Can a person truly have free will if they are taught from birth that their culture is right while others are wrong or possibly evil?
An omnipotent God can still exist alongside the ancient astronaut theory. All creation, including extraterrestrials and their actions, would all stem from such an omnipotent God or force of creation. The moral aspects of these belief structures can still be applied, it’s the stories themselves that may have been misunderstood over time. Based on quantum physics, every particle is connected to one another and is made of energy. This energy in its entirety, or the creation force itself, can potentially have a supreme consciousness. Just as an ant cannot fathom a human’s experience, we may not be able to fathom what lies beyond our own evolutionary scale, especially at its utmost extreme.
By Alex Teplish