Monday, 21 July 2008

Real World Happenings #1: Chariots of the Gods

OK, so welcome to my third semi-regular feature - Real World Happenings. This is a plan to occasionally document moments in my own personal life in which scepticism has played an important part. I can't promise this will happen often, but it's becoming more regular as time goes on and I gain confidence in this part of my identity.

My mother, much like myself, loves to read books. Recently she mentioned she was reading something called "Chariots of the Gods", as if I would immediately know what she was talking about. In my clearly undereducated ignorance, I did not. She described it as an interesting read, which propounds* an "alternative" viewpoint on the history of the human race; the key point of which is that the origin of life on earth may have had intelligent extraterrestrial origin.

Can't say that I was sold at that point. I leafed through it this afternoon, had a look at the pictures because I wanted the bitesize taster version. My immediate reaction was something like "Bunk; bunk; probably genuinely unexplained; bunk; interesting; interesting bunk; batshit-crazy bunk" and so forth. Not one to simply leave it at that (which would be cynicism rather than constructive scepticism), I delved with gay abandon into the internets. Within five minutes I was able to tell my dear mother that Erich von Däniken's theories had been thoroughly discredited, including an entire book which essentially constitutes a page-by-page refutation thereof.

It should be stressed that, despite the near-complete refutation of Däniken's theories - aided by his own admissions of the fabrication of "evidence" - the book remains a rich source of entertainment and even intellectual stimulation; even if he's wrong, it's an interesting possibility to consider. And as my mother so astutely pointed out, it makes about as much sense as some invisible "God" character.

* Yeah, she didn't use the word propound. You got me.

1 comment:

devine_artemis said...

heeheehee "bunk" x