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Setting the Record Straight About Native Peoples: Aliens
Q: Did Native Americans come from outer space?
A: No. But I wish we did, because we could have zapped the colonists with our phasers.
Q: Did aliens build various Native American monuments? If not, then how did Indians
build things that relied on advanced astronomical knowledge, why did they build things that
made patterns visible from the sky, and why did the natives of Mexico and Guatemala build
monuments that were so much more impressive than things in North or South America?
A: No, aliens did not build those monuments. They were built with human tools by the
same people who built the humbler structures nearby. (Nobody ever asks whether aliens built
the out-house.) Indians built things that were astronomically sophisticated because they knew
a lot about astronomy. Ancient peoples watched the sky a lot. Artifacts of ancient Greeks,
Egyptians, and Celts also make use of astronomy. So do ancient Polynesian maps. Mayan
calendars and drawings reveal their knowledge of astronomy, just as their monuments do. As
for making patterns visible from the sky, anyone who's ever climbed a hill knows that
basic principle, and many Indian tribes believed their gods lived in the sky, so those are
more likely to be religious monuments than attempts to communicate with extraterrestrials.
And finally, the civilizations of Central America were the most advanced in the region, so
they built more monuments. Why are there more ancient monuments in Greece than in Poland?
That's where the cities were. The empires of Central America were advanced in more ways than
just impressive monuments. Did aliens also teach them the secrets of irrigation, writing,
and mathematics? (On second thought, don't answer that.)
Q: Why do people believe these things?
A: Some of them are trying to prove that the world was only created a few thousand years
ago, so for their religious purposes, they want everyone to have started out in Israel and
fanned out very recently. Others have been championing the idea that the Indians got here
only shortly before the European colonists since the 1600's. The subtext there is "they're
not really FROM here, so it's ok to take their land." The stuff about aliens mostly persists
because people like to believe in the supernatural, as they have since ancient times, and
stays linked to Indians and Indian artifacts because people have a harder time believing
"savage" Indians could have known what a solstice was than Greeks or Celts. For whatever
reason people promote them, they are factually dead wrong, and should not be given any
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