Monday, July 12, 2010
Stonehenge: What's The Harm?
Recently, I was involved in a discussion concerning extra terrestrial visitors to earth. Aliens are one of my favorite pieces of woo because they are my "hypothetical." Like the skeptical equivalent of the "if you had to" game. "If you HAD to sleep with a guy" (Ryan Reynolds) "If you HAD to sleep with a golden girl" (Betty White, even before the others kicked off, she was my girl) "If you HAD to beat a celebrity with a sock filled with nickels" (Glen Beck, although I had a lot of trouble narrowing the field on that one). "If I HAD to pick a piece of woo" Aliens are the piece of woo I hold out the most hope for; I find it extremely unlikely that our planet is so unique and fortunate as to be the only one in all the universe to have life. That being said, I also don't think your uncle was abducted, Groom Lake wasn't filled with little green men and what crashed at Roswell was Project Mogul. The only real mystery involving aliens is, why I can never remember if it was Bill Paxton or Bill Pullman who played the president in Independence Day, the god damned Olsen twins aren't that similar. But I digress, the real point is that I was speaking with someone who contended that man made wonders such as the pyramids of Egypt, Stonehenge, and the statues of Easter Island are evidence that aliens had visited earth in our not so distant past; the assumption being that humans couldn't possibly have accomplished these marvels on their own. There are far better discussions on the web about the law of parsimony and Occam's than I could ever give so I won't start down that path. Instead I'd simply like to ask the true believers; how dare you? These monuments are testaments to the ingenuity, creativity and resourcefulness of the people who built them. They stand as tribute to the limitless possibilities of the human spirit, how dare you take that away without evidence. Skeptics are often asked "what's the harm?" this is the harm. In each of these cases, a group of people managed to do what could easily seem impossible. Through their hard work and determination, they managed to leave behind proof that when we work together we can both accomplish and become more than we each are alone. When you take that from them, you cheapen not only them, but the rest of mankind.
Below is a video of a man who has chosen to pay homage to the actual creators of Stonehenge. I can think of no more fitting tribute.