Ground Control to Major Tom

Ancient Aliens
I have a confession to make.  I really enjoy watching the History Channel series, Ancient Aliens.

I enjoy the series for a couple of reasons, one of which is most assuredly NOT because I believe that the “ancient astronaut theorists”, as they prefer to call themselves, are coming anywhere close to the truth with their suppositions regarding the history and origins of mankind vis-à-vis visits by tourists from across the galactic expanse.

No, the primary reason I watch the series is that it highlights some really interesting and inexplicable archaeological sites, which is a subject that has always tweaked my interest.  Beyond that, it’s enormously entertaining to watch the “ancient alien theorists” convolute logic and the scientific method to beyond the breaking point in order to make their hypotheses appear to be plausible.

When I was in grade school, I learned that the scientific method consisted of the following steps:  1) Start with a question, 2) Make observations and conduct background research, 3) Propose a hypothesis explaining that which is being questioned, 4) Design an experiment to test the hypothesis, and 5) Accept or reject the hypothesis based on the experiment’s results.  Then of course, rinse and repeat.

The “ancient astronaut theorists” on Ancient Aliens have seen fit to substantially streamline the scientific method to three extremely expedient steps:  1) Start with a question, 2) Propose an hypothesis, 3) Accept the hypothesis.  Why waste time with cumbersome and time consuming stuff like observations, research, and experimentation?  Bah, humbug!

Ancient Aliens never fails to provide a bit of comic relief as the show’s stalwart group of “ancient astronaut theorists” blithely present startling inconsistencies in their extraterrestrial explanations of otherwise earthly artifacts and events.  And they’re able to do so with such straight faces.
For example, in different episodes, the Great Pyramid of Cheops has been explained to have been, without question, 1) an enormous chemical generator designed to produce microwave energy which was then beamed up to the ancient alien’s mothership orbiting the earth, 2) an enormous nuclear powered device designed for the purpose of converting common elements into gold (for as we all know, the ancient aliens were really only interested in our gold), and/or, 3) a cosmic portal used transport our extraterrestrial vistiors, not to mention the occasional Pharaoh, between Earth and the region in and around the Orion nebula.

In the rough and tumble world of “ancient astronaut theorizing”, the rule seems to be ‘If the hypothesis comes anywhere close to fitting, stretch it.
Live Long and Prosper, Ancient Aliens!  It certainly beats watching American Idol.

On second thought, some of those contestants appear to have just beamed down.