This is a Sub-Topic from a Multi-Thread discussion. The Main Thread is located at this link. http://www.lucasforums.com/showthrea...hreadid=109356
Sub-Thread 7 (ST-7) : Explanation by Scenario
It is pretty easy, if one has just a little bit of imagination, to explain something by telling a story, that is by imagining a reasonable scenario. Scientists are sometimes guilty of this practice (widespread, for example, among evolutionary psychologists). In fact, scenarios can be useful, because they may point the inquiry in the right direction. However, when scenarios remain just-so stories, not backed by data, they are not useful tools because many scenarios can be proposed to explain the same data, but presumably only one is actually correct.
Erich von Däniken, author of several popular books, most notably, Chariots of the Gods? Unsolved Mysteries of the Past
, popularized the notion that man is not the culmination of millions of years of biological evolution, but rather the product of alien seed. He suggested a scenario of ancient astronauts
that visited primitive man and mated to produce modern humans.
He also offered the notion that the pyramids of Egypt were built using alien technology such as electricity for lighting the dark hallways of the pyramids and UFOs that lifted the heavy stones. Däniken's perspective is a decidedly ethnocentric one, as he attributes very little ability to ancient cultures outside of European ones.
His scenario of the electricity is based on the fact that those that opened the tombs found no trace of suet or carbon on the walls as there should be for torches and lanterns fueled by animal fats. He doesn't bother to take into account that the builders might have had some pride in their work enough to clean the mess before sealing the pharaoh's body in.
His scenario about lifting the blocks and obelisks refuses to acknowledge that people of the time had essentially the same DNA as modern man and therefore the same intelligence. How could they possibly have had the ability to come up with the mathematics necessary to plan the architecture or the engineering to utilize thousands of workers to make it happen?
Däniken also offers other wild scenarios, such as the Nazca Lines in Peru, giant drawings of animals on the desert floor, as an ancient airport for aliens. He doesn't even suggest the idea that the drawings are religious in nature and used for a variety of ceremonies that involve "walking the road" of the creature or design they outline.
Däniken is an example of pseudoscience at it's worst.