Author’s Note: A Marxist critique is in interesting and crucial tool available to all as a means to test and analyse knowledge. Marx ascertained that modern bourgeois society is founded upon the inverted thinking of religion, and that this inverted thinking is illogical because it effectively places the proverbial cart before the horse – whilst not understanding (or choosing to ignore) the fact that the cart is placed before the horse, or deliberately ‘believing’ that despite this disarrangement – everything is correct because the horse is before the cart! Believing that something is what it is not is where religious blind faith comes into the picture. Marx advises that to understand things as they are, inverted thinking should be exposed and abandoned as the nonsense it is, by a developed mind the functionality of which is the right way around, and therefore both logical and reasonable. A thought of ‘god’ is created in the mind, and the thinker of the thought misinterprets (i.e. ‘inverts’) this to mean that the god that he or she has imagined – somehow creating the thought that contains his own imagining. Interestingly, Western bourgeois science rejects religiosity and this explains its advancement – albeit still existing within an otherwise corrupt bourgeois societal structure. I do not personally reject the basic idea that members of alien civilisations may have visited the earth in the distant past, or will possibly visit in the future – but I do strongly question the method of ‘gathering’ evidence associated with the contemporary Ancient Astronaut Theory, and the nature of that so-called ‘evidence’ itself. It is my view that until proven otherwise, no alien has ever visited the earth because there is no evidence for this to be true, and as I reject the agency of ‘blind faith’ as a legitimate means of ‘mediating’ knowledge, I remain unconvinced that the Ancient Astronaut Theorists have proven their case correct – or possess any real evidence to achieve such an aim. However, I do appreciate their efforts, and believe that if they exercise self-regulation, and drop the obvious Judeo-Christian mythos and bias in their research, then interesting information might still be discovered. In this analysis I do not ignore or omit the fact that some Ancient Astronaut Theorists – through their attempts to prove their theory correct – inadvertently stumble upon finds that help humanity better understand the history of the world. Academic theories develop and evolve and just because mainstream academia states that something is a certain way today, it does not necessarily follow that it will be that same way tomorrow. To find ‘real’ evidence for alien visitation, the flotsam and jetsam of out of date religiously influenced paradigms of knowledge gathering and knowledge validation must be firmly abandoned. If it is not abandoned, then the gathering of modern knowledge simply becomes the pointless exercise of using modern information to justify and legitimise a blinkered past. ACW 2.6.15
The ancient astronaut theory probably has its roots in mid-twentieth UFO mythology, the work or Erich Von Daniken, and the Space Race between capitalist USA and Communist USSR. It is a mish-mash of mythology and contemporary technological advancement. It is also a secular version of Judeo-Christian theology. In fact, it is this secular religiosity that that gives the Ancient Astronaut Theory its psychological and philosophical underpinnings and the comparison between it and religion is clear. It purports to state that an advanced ‘alien’ civilisation visited the earth in the distant past, and granted the human race certain technological privileges that are very much inaccordance with modern science and technology. In so doing, this extra-terrestrial ‘intervention’ allowed various groups of otherwise technologically backward humans to suddenly manifest architectural structures the likes of which had never been seen before. Not only this, but if the ruins of the pyramids in Egypt, Mexico, and elsewhere are carefully examined, it is evident to any observer that these structures (and others like them throughout the world), simply could not have been built by the humans of the time, with the primitive tools they possessed. However, as these buildings already exist, it logically follows that they were indeed built. This fact means that as these extraordinary buildings were built apparently beyond the means and abilities of the human populations historically associated with them, it must mean that outside assistance was rendered and humanity’s evolutionary position improved – at least intellectually – as from that time on, the exposure to advanced alien technology and building techniques triggered the human mind to develop beyond its former limitations. There are two main strands to the Ancient Astronaut Theory:
1) Judeo-Christian creationist theology including faith and conversion
2) Modern technology
Taking the religious component first, the assessment is simple and straightforward:
a) God is replaced by an all knowing and advanced ancient and alien civilisation
b) Jesus Christ – the son of god who was born into the world to save humanity – is replaced by a ‘visiting’ alien civilisation(s) which performs apparent technologically-based ‘miracles’. Whereas ‘chosen’ individuals in the religious past had god/Jesus reveal itself to them, in the modern world, alien visitors seem to pick individuals at random when they make themselves known, but the ‘revealing’ of advanced or hidden knowledge is an important element of theistic thinking, as it indicates a communication between humanity and its god/alien counter-part.
The religious component of the Ancient Astronaut Theory is often hidden behind the fact that its adherents believe themselves to be ‘scientists’ rather than ‘religionists’. Generally speaking, they reject the outer forms of the Judeo-Christian tradition, choosing to interpret angels and other holy beings as often misunderstood and misconceived visiting alien beings, but they fully retain the inner, or ‘underlying’ aspects of the psychology of the Western, Judeo-Christian religious tradition. Ancient Astronaut Theorists appear to reject religious thinking, whilst actually perpetuating the very essence of the theological thinking they claim to have rejected.
The use of modern technology is the idea that what exists today, existed in the past, despite the fact that there no evidence for any such existence within the historical record. The exploration and assessment of ancient structures and artefacts is undertaken so as to suggest that modern technology – or even a technology beyond that known today – was known thousands of years ago, even though such an assertion is completely out of place with what is known about historical and socio-economic development throughout the world. Whilst projecting the current level of technological development back into the ancient past, the Ancient Astronaut Theorists – due to a lack of material evidence – must rely on a type of secular ‘faith’ to maintain their beliefs. Again, this is the Judeo-Christian belief that evidence is not required for something to be ‘true’. It is this secular form of faith that holds all of the Ancient Astronaut Theory together. Therefore, even within the idea that modern technology existed in the ancient past, it is a religious faith that is required to legitimate it.
Like the religious zealot who is continuously trying to gain converts for his or her religion, the Ancient Astronaut Theorist is continuously reacting to those who do not accept their interpretation of history, and they dichotomise the world into the ‘believers’ and ‘heretics’. This is no different to religious thinking modified to serve the purpose of perpetuating yet another myth – namely that of the early visitation to the earth by ancient astronauts. It is important that people ‘convert’ and ‘believe’ in the Ancient Astronaut Theory. If an individual does not believe, then he or she is psychologically rejected from the closed community of believers. Pseudo-science is used to continuously misinterpret material data, and this misinterpretation has served as a religiously motivated theory that has been profoundly affected by the development of modern technology. Modern technology is the product of logical and reasonable thinking – and not the product of theological thinking. Theological thinking has been proven detrimental for human well-being in the modern era, as medicine and technology routinely save lives and prolongs human existence. The dominance of theological thinking over the last one thousand years has been so powerful that it has only just begun to be abandoned in the Western mind. The ancient Astronaut Theory is a halfway house where a dying religious theology meets the robust and impressive technological development of the modern era. This assessment exposes the religiously based Ancient Astronaut Theory – but is not designed to ‘negate’ the idea that in principle it is likely that other beings exist in the universe, and that it is within the realms of possibility that these ‘aliens’ have either visited the earth in the past, or will visit in the future. These aliens may probably have developed a different and unique technology – but this must be factually discovered and ascertained not through the power of Judeo-Christian religious myth – but through the power of the human rational mind. Groupings of human beings – and presumably other types of intelligent beings – develop their culture, politics, and technology entirely as the result of their particular socio-economic conditions. The idea that an ancient alien either created or developed humanity is a demonstration of the inverted mind at work – or human perception operating back to front. This is no different to the false belief that a mystical god created a species of living beings out of nothing. Should alien civilizations exist, this should be observed as a material fact through a mind that functions the right way around – and that has abandoned inverted thinking. Inverted thinking sees connections between things where no real connection exists. An ancient cave drawing, or stone engraving must portray a man dressed as a modern astronaut, but why should an ancient astronaut dress like a modern ‘earth’ astronaut? Why should an ancient alien astronaut thousands of years ago, dress in a manner familiar to contemporary humanity? The answer is simple – because it is modern humans who have mistakenly ‘imagined’ the past through projecting the conditions of the present – back onto it. There is no reason why a space traveller from a distant place and different time, should look like human beings, develop a similar technology to that found on earth, or dress in a familiar manner. When the inverted mind is fully functioning, it has to continuously seek-out and develop ‘connections’ between things without pausing – as this is how such an illogical mind-set must maintain its presence. If it stops ‘converting’ things into other things, then it will collapse into logicality and its previous edifice of religiously inspired interpretation will fall away.