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Ancient Astronaut Theorists - A Recovering Physicist's Apology

About Ancient Astronaut Theorists

Previous Entry Ancient Astronaut Theorists May. 20th, 2010 @ 12:54 pm Next Entry
Ancient astronaut theorists are my new favorite kind of moron.   Such theorists hold that alien's largely control the evolution of man and have intervened from time to time in earth history/evolution.  Their evidence is adorable.  Their reasoning is precious.  Look, I love 2001: A Space Odyssey.  I love Star Gate.  I love the idea as a fictional idea.  I also like the werewolves as a fictional idea, but I don't want them to be real, I don't dream up elaborate "theories" as to how the werewolves' are all around us.

So on the History Channel's Ancient Aliens appeared this actual line of thinking:
Sunken cities have been found around the Mediterranean and within the Black Sea, therefore they were flooded over.
Since there was a flood and the Bible talks about a giant flood these events must be the same event.
Most agree that Noah's arc as a giant ship containing 2 of every animal is impossible.
But isn't it possible that Noah's Arc wasn't a real ship but a gene bank made with alien technology?!?!
Actual conclusion drawn: "So, the question arises, could it be possible that Noah's Ark wasn't necessarily a boat made out of wood, but what if Noah's Ark was some type of a DNA storage facility that was used in order to preserve all the species on planet Earth? If each species can be held in a tiny vile like this, then it all becomes very logical."

To read the whole transcript (which is a real hoot) go here, the Noah discussion appears around 00:09:54

The problems here are manifest, but I'll just point out two.  Possibly true/actually true are not the same thing and the equivocation of "possible".  Conspiracy theorists make tons of hay off of this very error.  There are very few things that are actually impossible (logically impossible-the strictest form of impossibility) but most things are possible (logically).  When you consider other forms of possible the number of things that are possible shrinks.  It is, after all, logically possible that I could fly around the room, but this claim is not physically possible.  The only thing that is logically impossible are contradictions (and as we discover more about the quantum world even that is looking shady).  This is subtly used in the above "assessment".  It is concluded that a giant boat with 2 of every species on it is impossible.  This is NOT impossible logically.  No rule of logic is broken by a giant boat, but it is impossible physically.  This is not necessarily made clear because then the guy asserts that is it possible that the boat was actually a gene bank.  Here he seems to be talking about logical possibility rather than physical possibility (which was what he he used to sink the big boat theory).  But speaking strictly from the rules of logical, the big boat vs. the gene bank vs. pixies and werewolves are all equally logical!  You can't go around dismissing one silly idea by applying a different standard of possible to your silly idea.

Trust me, you don't want to live in a world where possibly true and true are the same thing.  It is possibly true that this room is filling with a poisonous gas, but that doesn't make it... [cough]... [cough]...  gaaaaaaa!.... See that's why the whole possibly true therefore true thing doesn't work.  It is possible that I'm wearing a red shirt, ergo I'm wearing a red shirt. That is horrible reasoning!  We don't live in that kind of a modality.
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From:luxylyx
Date:May 20th, 2010 05:53 pm (UTC)
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You mean werewolves are made up? I cannot go on living if this is true.
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From:biggrumpy
Date:May 20th, 2010 07:11 pm (UTC)
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But isn't it possible that werewolves just want you to believe that they are made up? BUM BUM BAAAA!
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From:ophidios
Date:May 21st, 2010 11:11 am (UTC)
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UGH. People like this make me angry. It's a novel theory, one that's CERTAINLY not new or original, but to swing it around on your flagpole like it's a certifiable reality is just nonsense.
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