Marie D. Jones’ Outer Edge
People love to speculate that the only possible explanation for our leaps and advances in human technology, knowledge and ingenuity simply could not be explained as having happened naturally. We MUST have had some help getting this far, even overcoming the many challenges throughout history our species has faced, some of which brought us to the brink of extinction.
The popularity of the History Channel series, “Ancient Aliens” has led to some interesting speculations about what, or who, may have once visited our ancestors, imparting knowledge and technological advancement that lead to such progress in human development. Originally, the concept of ancient aliens, or “ancient astronauts,” pointed to extraterrestrial intervention occurring thousands of years ago, and possibly even a little genetic intervention as well, and we likely had some help from entities far more intelligent and evolved than we. Otherwise, how could we have built those amazing Egyptian and Mayan pyramids and erected those massive stone statues on Easter Island, or the meticulously intricate blocks that make up Puma Punku in Bolivia…and what of the many glyphs, cave and rock paintings, carvings, drawings and statuettes from our distant past that appear to portray “helmeted” figures that do not look quite human, or those strange craft whizzing by in the sky? Are all these “archeo-enigmas” proof that our ancestors mingled with the star people, and left us clues in their art, architecture, myths and religious texts?
While many argue there is no proof humans needed a little help from above to make those huge jumps forward in our evolution, there are many who insist the archeological evidence is clear…we were once hanging out with aliens, maybe even breeding with them, or having their DNA spliced into our own, possibly against our knowledge or will. The ancient astronaut theory also posits these aliens were from advanced civilizations, coming to visit lowly human Earthlings from locations both within and outside of our known universe, where the laws of physics might allow for travel between worlds and even timelines.
But the truth is, we do have ample evidence humans have indeed been capable of great advancement, even periods of time when ideas and innovations spread so quickly, it boggled the mind. Speaking of the mind, since most of those advancements happened external to us, in terms of technology, food production, medicine, societal issues and even just simple human hygiene and disease eradication, we may not have always kept up mentally, emotionally or spiritually. But that’s a whole other blog!
Moore’s Law was first posited by Gordon Moore in 1965, presented in a paper that described how the number of components in an integrated circuit, or transistors in a dense integrated circuit, would double every two years. This doubling led to an exponential increase in advancements in the electronic and digital fields, most notably with chip performance in microprocessors and memory capacity that has led, in part, to the tech frenzy we are living in today.
Moore, who co-founded Intel, saw his projections applied to a great deal of technology, even if it didn’t quite “compute” in the natural world. But we now can agree that our computer and related technology doubles at increasingly faster speeds, taking less time to do so, to the point where some have predicted it might one day lead to a singularity or omega point of a single explosive second when we will know it all, all at once.
So speaking of singularity, we have the Law of Accelerating Returns, which takes Moore’s Law further beyond it’s original intent, which was to describe the progress of semi-conductors, and apply it to more areas of technology, as well as written language, medicine, philosophy, scientific achievement, an understanding of our own anatomy and how it works, and more. Futurist Ray Kurzweil made the idea of reaching a singularity famous when he wrote his books “The Age of Spiritual Machines” and “The Singularity is Near,” laying out in detail his theory of accelerating technological progress in the 21st century that would evolve faster and in less time until it reached that flash point of infinite knowledge.
Escalating the potential of not just technology, but our own brains and consciousness to be able to live with that new knowledge, is part of the transhumanism movement, which seeks to enhance human potential with technology, thus creating a sort of semi-A.I., or artificial intelligence that is also, well, human. If we are going to experience this explosion of knowledge, why not make it work for us, to help us live longer, have less disease to deal with, age slower, or maybe even live forever? We saw a lot of advancement in this direction in the 1990s with various forms of gene therapy and even the rise of the Internet and how it has changed who we are and how we communicate at the most fundamental levels. Think thirty years prior, when there was no Internet. That giant leap was because of some really smart humans, not aliens, and led us out of the age of localization and nationalization to a more vast and global reach. I mean, you can talk to someone a world away on the Web! How did we ever survive before? (Well, telephones and mail come to mind…)
Transhumanism has its critics, though, who worry about the merging of mind and computer, of humanity and technology, and lessening our ability to be empathic, conscious…and human. That the removal of our flaws, inherent and otherwise, makes us no longer human. By transforming us beyond the limitations of our own humanity, do we risk becoming more machinelike in all areas of existence? Is the leap in technology worth that? Do we want to sacrifice the weaknesses and flaws of being human and become more robotic and perfect just to live longer? Rise above the limits of our biology to become more divine? Like the Gods? Some people would accept that trade off in a dead second and suggest we are on an inevitable path towards this new “post human” evolution, and that we already have been. Think contact lenses and surgical implants, plastic surgery, bionic prosthetics, gene therapies for cancer…
Artificial intelligence, artificial body parts, increasingly faster computer processors, and a vastly expanding Internet reach have opened up a world filled with new ideas, and new inventions as well. But, our brains have been a bit slower catching up. That is one of the biggest dangers of the outpacing of technology to our level of understanding and ethical use of it. Empathy, compassion, tolerance…if they are not on a parallel path with the external progress, the whole machine is at risk.
So even before the age of technology, we did see times in our history of great advancement, whether in industry, agriculture, or culture itself. We vaulted out of prehistory with the Stone Age leading to the Bronze Age leading to the Iron Age…and more recently we left the Agricultural Age for the Industrial Age. Now we are in the Social Networking Age. Go figure.
The Renaissance of the 15th – 17th centuries was a time of incredible progress in science that philosophers believe led to a true boost in our understanding of nature, and our role in it. The Renaissance was a leap for individual advancement, too, as we broke down some of the limitations that kept us from reaching a greater personal potential.
The Age of Enlightenment going into the 16th and 17th centuries brought us tremendous advances in the sciences, as well as the world of art and philosophy, that to our primitive ancestors might have seemed “unnatural.” But they were a perfect progression of where we were, and what we needed to adapt to in order to keep up with the necessities of our changing environment.
The German philosopher Immanuel Kant said that progress is akin to a painful passage from the “barbarism of the past” into a more enlightened civilization. One of the goals of this is the end of all wars. Well, we have a ways to go on that one! Education, Kant believed, was the key to raising culture to a new level, allowing history to push civilization forward into new ground. Again, we have a ways to go on that one, as we now treat education, and educators, with terrible disregard.
Politically, and more recently, we have the American Revolution, signing of the Declaration of Independence and formation of the Constitution to thank for a huge leap in defining our particular nation and its laws and beliefs. The singular event of the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. defined a new religion that is a huge force of power today and “made” Christianity what we now know it as, thus quelling the power of more polytheistic and pagan cultures, including many matriarchal societies that gave way to the patriarchies we have today that suppress the feminine and demean women and girls.
We have had, throughout our history, times of decline and times of ascension – Golden Ages, if you will, when we seemed to first take three steps back, but then catapulted ourselves twenty steps forward in significant ways.
But it’s those times of decline, when we seemed to be caught in the Dark Ages, literally and metaphorically, that we appeared to need some extra help to get us out of the quicksand of our own actions, choices and even the advancements we’d made in the prior ages…And although we do see how it could have been us driving that help, there is still a lot of “circumstantial evidence” for alien assistance when we look at the human record of our primitive and ancient ancestors.
So maybe, when we most needed to move beyond our more base, primitive existence and enter what is now the Age of Antiquity, and then again when we needed to bust out of that age and move into technological revolution and a boost in our philosophy and knowledge, we got help. Those images on cave walls, rock art, and later in glyphs, mosaics, on walls of great ancient monuments and written of in world myths, religious texts, legend and lore were really telling us of the ones who came to give us the extra little ass kick we couldn’t give ourselves.
Back to the television, another wonderful leap in technology, especially for those of us hooked on “Game of Thrones” and “The Walking Dead.” The huge audiences for shows like “Ancient Aliens” attest to the popularity of believing in help from our extraterrestrial friends. And shows like that appear to have plenty of fodder to support their theory, with visits to the world’s most ancient sites and ruins to show images that, to us, look like E.T.s and greys and space people and star sisters and brothers as they’ve been described to us by witnesses, abductees, and ufologists, or as they’ve been portrayed in modern entertainment.
Folklorists and anthropologists alike point to the written record, an offshoot of prior oral traditions, and the expression through art that existed even before that, as possible clues to the presence of other civilizations, or at least, “beings” that we may have once mistaken for angels, demons, spirits, wee folk, fairies, gnomes, sprites or whatever other names they have gone by. In the Old and New Testaments alone we have mentions of chariots in the sky, wheels in the sky, fallen angels, demons and what sound like interdimensional entities, giants, Nephilim, and other living beings that are not human, and quite clearly interacting with us, even, in some cases, breeding with us for the purpose of creating the direct lineage of what may now be modern humans.
It’s all still speculation, because we don’t have empirical proof. It’s that simple. But we don’t have proof it didn’t happen, and we sure do have those intriguing images and stories to figure out, don’t we? Study the expression of ideas and it becomes very clear that what went “viral” in ancient times was what was important to them at the time. And obviously the expression of these helmeted astronauts or elongated-skulled humanoids and mysterious flying machines was important enough to chisel into stone or paint on a wall, just as we today write and talk and create stories that reflect what is important to us.
But we also post pictures of cats, our latest bout with toe fungus and what we had for lunch on Facebook and Twitter.
As the UFO world awaits the moment of “disclosure,” when all the secrets our global governments have been hiding for decades about the presence of UFOs and the existence of aliens will be revealed for the public to see, we have to take a step back and wonder…what if there is nothing much to disclose? Maybe they have been visiting for thousands of years. Maybe they did get involved with the progressive evolution of our species, even teach us a thing or two about life and how to better live it. Maybe all the Gods and Demons of our myths and religious texts were aliens interacting with us and lording over us, even destroying us when we sinned too much. Maybe they helped us transcend times when we were on the verge of collapse or outright decimation because of our own perfectly human limitations and vast capacity for stupidity.
Then again, maybe they only stop by to observe us now and then the way we go to the City Zoo or Sea World…interacting a bit here and there, but without truly interfering, except for a few abductions to get some medical data on us…again the same way we tag and track wildlife to “study” it. Maybe the rule of the Cosmos is to help, but not save, any other world because in doing so, the citizens of that world never figure out how to survive on their own.
Progress, then, is the ability to survive and change and adapt to the feedback we get from our surroundings. Progress, then, is the chance to do it for ourselves before we go crawling for help from a cosmic parent, and that includes God. Progress, then, is being able to find the best of what it means to be human without having it told to us from aliens or deities. I know that will make some people angry, but it’s true. Our species seems to have a collective death wish, and also a collective “savior” wish. Either way, it does us little good if we never learn how to work towards our own salvation…and not repeat the lessons of history over and over again.
I think it is exciting to think that at various times throughout human history we’ve been visited and assisted, and maybe I have a little bit of alien DNA in my genetic code, and so do you, and maybe we are related to the same alien species and not two different ones who are constantly at war with each other on their home planets. I am well aware of the great bodies of work of researchers and writers and television personalities that tell me this is so. And I do not in any way rule it out. If a friend or family member were screwing up, I’d offer help, maybe even an intervention if one was needed…but not before I allowed that person the opportunity to find inner resilience and strength to help themselves. And once I helped, I certainly wouldn’t enable. I think this applies to a larger scale, too, like my community and my country.
But I am also excited to think that we humans, at our best, don’t need aliens to help us and can save our own asses and advance our own best causes when we have our backs against the wall, or when our surroundings dictate we adapt to them or perish. Sometimes perishing is the best lesson of all. If we were bailed out every time we created a ton of trouble, the place would be crawling with all sorts of extraterrestrial self help speakers and motivational trainers and political analysts. I wonder if they are Democrat or Republican?
As with a lot of things in life, maybe it’s a little bit of both? We get by with a little help from our friends…now and then.
Marie D. Jones is the author of several books about the paranormal, metaphysics, and cutting-edge science (many coauthored with Larry Flaxman), including PSIence, The Déjà vu Enigma, Destiny vs. Choice: The Scientific and Spiritual Evidence Behind Fate and Free Will,11:11 The Time Prompt Phenomenon and Mind Wars. She has appeared on more than 1,000 radio shows worldwide, and on television, most recently on the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens series. Her website is mariedjones.com.