Re: "Chariots of the Gods?"

wd&aeMiller (
28 Sep 1996 01:43:00 GMT

In <52ht4c$> Ron Kephart <>
>Fellow sci.anthers,
>I sent this to the Florida Times-Union today after watching the ABC-TV
>program last night, and I thought I'd share it with you. I'll let you
>know if it gets printed. -Ron Kephart
>Readers who watched ABC-TV's program "Chariots of the Gods" on
>September 26 were treated to a wonderful example of racism
>masquerading as science. For years, Erich Von Daniken has been
>trying to "prove" that the architectural, mathematical, and
>astronomical knowledge displayed by the peoples of ancient Egypt,
>Mesoamerica, South America, etc. were gifts of "ancient astronauts."
>The assumption, stated by Von Daniken in the program, is that these
>ancient peoples were too "primtive" to have done these things, so
>they must have had outside help- and he means outside the Solar
>First, none of the peoples mentioned in the program were "primitive."
>The Mayans, Incas, Egyptians, even the gatherer-hunters of ancient
>France, were all completely modern people. They were us, but with
>different lifestyles. There was nothing inherent in them to prevent
>them from figuring out anything we can figure out. Secondly, nearly
>all the "impossible" achievements of these peoples have been explained

>by archeologists and anthropologists, who of course did not appear
>in the program. They were not allowed to appear because if they had,
>Von Daniken's entire thesis would have been debunked in seconds.
>Finally, on a personal note, for several years I studied Aymara, one
>of the languages of the descendants of the Incas who live in what
>are now Peru and Bolivia. Many of them consider Von Daniken's thesis
>racist and insulting. It makes good TV, but it is not good science
>and it does not give our ancestors the credit they deserve.
>Ronald Kephart
>Jacksonville, Florida

Very well said. I wish I were as well spoken. More people need to
hear that because these charlatans are no better in my mind than Sai
Baba. They are wasting many people's time, and convincing even more of
the public of the incorrect story. Fantasies like "Chariots of the
Gods" are what make research difficult for university students like me
because there are many a day where I'm not sure if what I'm reading is
just another fantastic concoction by another Erich Von Daniken-esque
dork. When will anthropology be treated as the science that it is?

Amanda Miller