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John Martin's The End of the World, which depicts the "destruction of Babylon and the material world by natural cataclysm”. (Public Domain)

The Ancient Civilizations that Came Before: Self-Eradication, Or Natural Cataclysm? – Part I

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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.

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.

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.

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.

The deluge or great flood myth is found in cultures around the globe.

The deluge or great flood myth is found in cultures around the globe. ( Public Domain )

The Golden Age of Skepticism and Scientism

“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”— Carl Sagan

The postmodern world is a golden age of skepticism, relativism, materialism, presentism, obscuritarianism, and scientism. Such extraordinary claims would not make it to the public attention; not because the evidence is insufficient or invalid, but because it is prejudged by the current biased philosophical view of the modern age. Consequently the claim is not pursued and remains in the realm of pseudoscience. Believing in such claims presupposes a destructive event that ruined the face of the earth, thus the challenge of finding the evidence to prove it is even greater.

However, how much do we really know about the earth? We so much take the earth for granted; we think we know every inch of it when we do not even know ourselves. Absence of evidence is no evidence of absence. Dr. Melvin Cook, accomplished chemist and Nitro Nobel medalist, concluded that the earth underground oil deposits were formed as a result of a sudden and rapid burial of organic materials just a few thousand years ago. Could it be the case that underground oil deposits are prehistoric cities that turned into oil due to the sudden sedimentation and high pressure?

New Ways of Thinking

Speaking of concrete evidence, how about we start with the prehistoric structure that had been the tallest edifice on earth until the Empire State Building skyscraper was completed in 1931, and still is “the most colossal single building ever erected on the planet.”

The mighty pyramid of Khufu silently speaks louder than the chatter of skeptics. It is aligned to true geodetic North and its location is found to be the center of the earth landmass. This sort of precision entails a comprehensive knowledge of earth geography, e.g. mercator projection, which is something very unexpected of ancient Egypt. As for its structure, engineers and scientists conclude that it is impossible to replicate the great pyramid despite the sophisticated technology we have now, given the structure’s immensity and staggering precision.

 Speaking in numbers, engineer Markus Schulte speculates that the Great Pyramid alone would cost us some $35 billion. Investing such money in a colossal structure—one that is not even habitable, and without any expected profit—is something we certainly would not do today. In that sense, the question ‘ how was it built?’ is less important than ‘ why was it built?’

The Pyramids of Giza.

The Pyramids of Giza. (Bruno Girin, Flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0 )

Science and technology change our expectations of the future. If one compares the sci-fi movies in the 50s with modern fare one can immediately feel how our attitudes towards the future have changed over time. This is due to our many breakthroughs and the new horizons and goals that seem attainable. Nevertheless, we fail to notice that advancing science and technology changes our attitudes towards the past, given the rise of new techniques and processes of investigating facts.

Read more: Building on the Ruins of the Ancestors – Part II

Featured image:  John Martin's The End of the World, which depicts the "destruction of Babylon and the material world by natural cataclysm”. ( Public Domain )

By: Zakari Bziker

References

Amos W., Hoffman J. I. 2010. Evidence that two main bottleneck events shaped modern human genetic diversity. Proc. R. Soc. B 277, 131–137. From http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2842629/

Bauer, S. (2007). The history of the ancient world: From the earliest accounts to the fall of Rome . New York: W.W. Norton.

Cook, M., & Cook, M. (1967). Science and Mormonism; correlations, conflicts and conciliations, . Salt Lake City: [Deseret News Press].

Cox, R. (1997). The pillar of celestial fire: And the lost science of the ancient seers . Fairfield, Iowa: Sunstar Pub.

Dey, G. (2012). Gospel train . S.l.: Authorhouse.

Fix, W. (1978). Pyramid odyssey . New York: Mayflower Books.

Harold G. Coffin, (1969). Research on the Classic Joggins Petrified Trees. Creation Res. Soc. Annual pp. 35-44, 70

LaViolette, P. (2005). Earth under fire: Humanity's survival of the Ice Age . Rochester, Vt.: Bear & Co.

Malkowski, E. (2010). Ancient Egypt 39,000 BCE: The history, technology, and philosophy of Civilization X . Rochester, Vt.: Bear & Co.

New York Herald Tribune newspaper, 16 Feb. 1947.

Rupke, N.A., (1966). Prolegomena to a Study of Cataclysmal Sedimentation. Research Society Quarterly, Nutley, 3(1), 16-37.

Wohl, E. (2000). Inland flood hazards: Human, riparian, and aquatic communities . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 

Comments

I don't think you understand entropy--it's the nature of the universe for everything to go from an ordered state to an unordered state. Buildings, dams, mines, etc, require an ordered state...and are all subject to entropy, and thus have a relatively short shelf life.
500 years from now, little or no signs of our own modern civilization would exist, were we to disappear tomorrow. Our buildings would of long since crumbled and our roads would have become dust. Perhaps global warming would be our only lasting legacy, but even that won't last forever.
Nevertheless, there are many instances of civilizations from the ancient past. You just have to -duh- look. Try google.

I've been travelling by roads which had been abandoned for 10 or 20 years they were nearly gone. Look at a piece of concrete wall without care, it will rot within 20 years and it will be gone within 100 years (except for Roman concrete who's not as hard but last for a very long time).
Take a city like New York made of still, concrete and glass. Run a tsunami through it and abandon it. Within 500 years no one will know it was the largest city in the world.

The fellow who first translated the Chaldean account of the Flood stated it seemed to be about 30 thousand years old, "but of course we know that can't be true", he said. He believed the earth to be less than 7 thousand years of age.

I completely agree with you about pre-ice age civilisations.

Global flood stories seem to be linked to the potential (and there is strong evidence emerging that it did happen) Younger Dray Comet impact in around 10,500 BC. This seems to have centred on North America as the native American myths seem to have descriptions of the comet as well as resulting floods + science seems to be finding it was centred on the ice caps there at the time. It seems to have resulted in extinction events of large American mammals and probably drove any human cultures it did not wipe out south. It would undoubtedly have had a global impact.

The issue with the Bible and other documents is that they are not contemporary to the events they describe, event he stories of Jesus were written down a few hundred years after his death and so much was voted in or out by the Romans and their 'conference'. In the case of genesis etc we have maybe a few thousand years of verbal tradition warping the story, one can even argue that Jews educated in Sumer took the story and made it their own. There was also trade with Africa and India, maybe of stories as well as goods?

The only evidence we have in America for cultures at this time is 'Clovis' and they were using stone tools etc. Thats not to say there were not other advanced cultures globally - and by advanced I mean something between the mainstream proposed 'hunter gatherer' and e.g. much later Greek/Egyptian/Sumerian etc cultures as opposed to 'modern' day equivalent.

This might mean 'star worship' is older than even Gobekli Tepe, with that monument set up by a culture who survived the flood and started over - the fact the older parts are better than the younger might support this, although the very oldest parts have not been dug yet. Neither has an almost identical 'tepe' elsewhere.

It also might mean other large stone monuments either incorporate or sit on much older sites - e.g. the Sphinx and parts of temples may pre-date known Egyptian dynasties, although this lacks carbon dating etc to confirm but erosion suggests it is possible.

It also might mean older writing systems, pottery production, fabric production, medicines etc etc.

The only way to be sure is for Archaeology to find it and date it reliably (it also needs to be more open minded to the possibility) as relying on 'I believe' or 'I think' could be used to argue the existence of Santa Claus...

It is possible that all this evidence is buried under huge depth of silt though!

As for human civilisation in some advanced form going back millions of years... 'I believe' alone does not cut it. DNA says not. Fossil records say not. The archaeological record says not. The majority of Ooparts presented have been explained or were not presented with an original context to date them reliably.

Extra-ordinary claims require extraordinary evidence (wasn't that Carl Sagan or someone?) ought to be the case, and there appears to be none for anything past a few 10's of thousands of years in terms of us being much more than hunter gatherers.

Uh that would be Gob eke tepee and other such places that are dated back to a time where your people have said could not exist.
There's a roadway system in Peru that dates back further than the Inca.
There's all kind of pre-flood evidence.
I'm one to believe that man lived as far back as Pangaea and that would answer why all these places have flood accounts, and similar architecture skills. Like the pyramids in Egypt, Mexico, South America, and even in North America.

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