Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: Erich von Daniken
« Reply #40 on: December 29, 2013, 08:41:23 PM »
I am currently reading 'Twilight of the Gods', copyright 2010. Von Daniken's skills as a researcher have improved considerably from 1968 when he wrote 'Chariots of the Gods?' using someone else's money. He @ least asks the right questions. Whether his proposed answers are right, I can't say. How did Puma Punku get built, though? It would have been damned hard for our Stone Age friends to have done it! The gigantic stone blocks are precision cut from diorite, hardness 8 (diamond is 10). There have been no tools found around the site that have come anywhere near that hardness. The precision engraving & cutting would require extensive architectural planning, which techniques didn't exist in the Stone Age. Aside from hardness, precision tools would be needed that can only be found in advanced shops today, & certainly were not available then! So who built Puma Punku? I haven't yet gotten to von Daniken's answer. That part ought to be VERY interesting!

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Re: Erich von Daniken
« Reply #41 on: December 29, 2013, 09:23:31 PM »
The biggest problem here is that he asks questions without knowing about ancient cultures. They would certainly surprise you with their ingenuity.

Just saying "they didn't have those techniques" is easy when you don't know anything about them. Obviously, they did have the techniques as aliens have very likely never visited Earth. But we have a lot of missing holes in our knowledge of ancient cultures and lazy people rather say it was aliens then research or dig for themselves.

Just because you don't know the answer doesn't mean it's not a logical, down to earth answer. And for fuck's sake, stop underestimating ancient culture. They were more advanced than you think before the terrible dark ages destroyed their knowledge and started from scratch.

Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: Erich von Daniken
« Reply #42 on: December 29, 2013, 10:50:08 PM »
The only difficulty w/ 'the terrible Dark Ages' argument is 2 fold. 1. Its largely a Protestant invention to make the Catholic Church look bad. 2. It applies only to Europe. Puma Punku is not only in S. America, it is pre-Inca in origin (Aymara, to be precise). Even among the Inca, a post-Stone Age people, its creation by their predecessors the Aymara (most definitely a Stone Age people) was as puzzling to them as it is to us. In fact, the Inca & the Aymara believed that Puma Punku had been made in 1 night by the gods headed by Viracocha. It was today's archaeologists who assigned its building to the Aymara. So who built it? The Aymara, who never claimed to? Or someone else? I'm not saying it was aliens. I'm just saying its a fair question. & why isn't it likely that aliens ever visited Earth? Just because WE don't yet possess the tech for interstellar travel doesn't mean someone doesn't! Its a bit arrogant to use our own advancement as a measuring stick to judge the potential for advancement elsewhere in 

Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: Erich von Daniken
« Reply #43 on: December 29, 2013, 10:57:08 PM »
the cosmos. Hell, I'm not saying aliens exist, although I believe they do. I don't know that they would care about Earth if they did, but they might. Who knows who 'the gods' are? I don't! Von Daniken might be right about Puma Punku. He might be full of shit. But no Stone Age people with flint tools built that place! Maybe there were radically advanced cultures on Earth (like Atlantis or something). Maybe it was aliens. I've got no idea. But @ least he is asking. He has the cajones for that. He deserves credit for that @ least.

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Re: Erich von Daniken
« Reply #44 on: December 30, 2013, 12:00:32 AM »
Atlantis? ... omg. I can't.

South American civilizations are difficult to analyze because the Earth has reclaimed so much of the evidence.

HE DOESN'T DESERVE CREDIT FOR SHIT. You should realize as a historian that people HAVE been asking these questions. Daniken isn't the first to be asking these questions, he's just the first asshole to mass market the aliens tampering with history theory and build a fucking theme park off the idea. If the evidence is gone then it's gone, that doesn't mean fucking aliens built that shit.

Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: Erich von Daniken
« Reply #45 on: December 30, 2013, 12:28:31 AM »
I don't even know for certain how to respond to such an answer, or rather, non-answer. I didn't say I was sure it was aliens. I have no idea. But the Inca, and the people before them, the Aymara, certainly did not believe that the Aymara built Puma Punku and the nearby Tiwanaku. In fact, both people believe that both places were built by the gods in one night. The question we should be asking is not how the Aymara built the place, since they denied building it at all. The question we should be asking is, who the Hell were "the gods" that did build the place? Von Daniken has given us his answer. I am NOT saying that his is the right answer (although I am not certain what his answer is exactly; I have to finish reading the book first). I have no answer at present. But saying the Aymara did it, when they expressly denied doing it, and the natives living in the region (who still speak Aymara and Quechua) STILL deny doing it, and the Inca denied doing it, and everyone who lived there before the Spanish got there, and since then as well, denied doing it and still do, is an incredibly stupid thing to do, and what's worse is a copout. That is the real laziness. We don't know who did it, so lets just say that whoever lived there before there was writing did it. It doesn't matter that they denied doing it, and that the people who followed them and did have writing also denied that they did it (or that they themselves did it). It doesn't matter that both groups have the same story that the gods did it in one night. No, lets assign it to a Stone Age people who possessed none of the wherewithal or tools to do it, and expressly denied doing it! That makes all kinds of sense!

Who were 'the gods'? We don't know, do we? A lot of people in the world have stories of the gods doing this, or that, or the other. Particularly do the gods like to build things. Very large things, that get built that would be difficult or impossible for people nowadays to build, let alone ancient peoples to build. So, the question we should ask ourselves is namely, who are these gods? Von Daniken says they are aliens? Is he right? I don't know. I do not claim that he is. He may be full of shit. He damn sure better have proof if he claims that. So far I have not seen him present any proof that would stand up in a court. But no one else seems to have an answer. So who were the gods? Maybe they were other, more advanced cultures. I used Atlantis as an example. Plato spoke of it. Does that mean it existed? Not necessarily. Does that mean it didn't? Not necessarily.

I'm willing to investigate the question of who the gods were. The reason I am willing is because I find it hard to believe that places like Puma Punku were built by people who couldn't believe themselves that they had built them! If a group of people say, "we didn't do that", who am I to say, "no, you are wrong, you did!". That is a little arrogant, no? So, if they say the gods did it, then I want to know who the gods were. Especially since there are MANY cultures that say that the gods have done many things, including building very large things that would be hard to build otherwise. And I will give someone like Von Daniken a read, just for having the balls to ask the question along with me, even if I disagree with his answer (and I don't know if I do or not).

Re: Erich von Daniken
« Reply #46 on: December 30, 2013, 01:08:56 AM »
How do you know that Puma Punku couldn't have been built by ancient humans?
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Re: Erich von Daniken
« Reply #47 on: December 30, 2013, 01:39:01 AM »
How do you know that Puma Punku couldn't have been built by ancient humans?
Because the gods did it obvi. If ancient people who didn't build it claim it was the gods then it must have been gods.

Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: Erich von Daniken
« Reply #48 on: December 30, 2013, 01:58:30 AM »
Gary, Greeting:

That is entirely possible. There may have been an advanced culture that existed at some ancient time. I used Atlantis as an example, simply because that's one that everyone has heard of. Obviously if they were in South America they wouldn't be Atlantians per se. But could there have been ancient cultures that existed at some point before our recorded cultures did? VERY possibly.

"There are those who believe that life here began out there, far across the universe, with tribes of humans who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians, or the Toltecs, or the Mayans. They may have been the architects of the great pyramids, or the lost civilizations of Lemuria or Atlantis. Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man who even now fight to survive far, far away, amongst the stars."

Those of you who are old enough may recognise that passage from the 1978-1980 Battlestar Galactica theme. I certainly consider the premise at least a possibility. Von Daniken, in my opinion, has essentially written at length on that theme. He simply has taken the sci-fi element out of it and turned it into what he considers serious science. The rest of us may or may not agree with what he has done to it. I don't know for one. I haven't read enough of his work to be able to evaluate it one way or another. I'm reading my 3rd von Daniken book, although I own eight of them now. I shall try to read all 8 of them in the next few weeks. As far as his theme park, given its in Switzerland, that would be hard to visit. I understand he wants to build another but I don't recall where.

But you are right, Gary, Puma Punku, and for that matter, many other places, may have been built by ancient humans. The gods may indeed be humans from ancient cultures, long before our cultures. The Bible speaks of giants. It speaks of the sons of God coming down among the sons of men and taking wives of those whom they chose. And the children were the men of renown. Perhaps these stories were more literal then we knew. We all know the story of David and Goliath. Other cultures also speak of giants. Who knows what came before us many thousands of years ago? What about in antediluvian times? Can we say? No, I don't believe we can. Can we say that Atlantis never existed? That Lemuria was purely a myth?  That something like Battlestar Galactica is not possible in some form? What were the gods?

I ask again: What were the gods? Do we know? Can we know? Who has the audacity to say what they were with certainty? Shouldn't we be trying to find out? Rather than taking the lazy way out, shouldn't we be looking for answers, no matter how much they may challenge our comfortable view of the world? Step out, find out! Don't sit there in your armchair and simply vegetate with the answers, or rather, the non-answers, that do not work. Just Puma Punku alone should not satisfy us! The Aymara built it? Please! Even they didn't believe that! And their descendants still don't! What about the other unexplained mysteries of the world? Come on, people! Who were the gods?


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Re: Erich von Daniken
« Reply #49 on: December 30, 2013, 02:25:06 AM »
What the fuck are you talking about?

So many of these "mysteries" aren't mysteries. You're the lazy one cause you rather write it off as something we can't understand than figure out how human beings figured these things out.

And no, Lemuria and Atlantis did not ever exist.

Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: Erich von Daniken
« Reply #50 on: December 30, 2013, 02:44:57 AM »
How do you know they did not ever exist? If they never existed, they sure have been in the collective consciousness of the human race for an awful long time! I still want to know how the Aymara built a structure that they themselves denied building! Come now, do tell! Maybe von Daniken is wrong, maybe he is right. Maybe he is partially right and partially wrong. I don't believe that in things this theoretical that anybody has it perfectly correct. How could they? the reason its called pre-history is because there is no written history on the matter. The Aymara had no written language to my knowledge. The Inca did. But the Inca had no idea who built Puma Punku any more than the Aymara did. Both groups said that the gods built it in one night! I don't know what one night means. I don't know who the gods are. I think we need to figure out both things. I think for now we can safely say that a night is what everyone calls a night, namely, about 12 hours of darkness. But who were the gods? Were they aliens? Were they ancient humans? Were they humans along the lines of Battlestar Galactica type humans? I don't know. But I think its high time we started trying to find out, rather than just assigning easy answers to people who themselves reject the answers we are giving!

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Re: Erich von Daniken
« Reply #51 on: December 30, 2013, 02:51:22 AM »
Now you're just saying the same thing over and over. Insert a little skepticism into your life. Put down Daniken and pick up some real ancient history or archaeology books.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2013, 02:55:28 AM by rooster »

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Re: Erich von Daniken
« Reply #52 on: December 30, 2013, 02:53:09 AM »
It's not that crazy. First of all, it was built from sandstone. Not diorite. Second, there are multiple possible ways it could have been done as a quick glance at the wikipedia article reveals.

Anyway, you're suggesting that a race of highly advanced alien lifeforms capable of warpdrive found the Earth, realized that primitive life existed on it, took the unbelievable amount of energy required to get here, built a bunch of simple monuments using available materials, and were never seen again? Is it not more likely that an ancient civilization performed an impressive feat of engineering using slave labor?
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Re: Erich von Daniken
« Reply #53 on: December 30, 2013, 02:56:24 AM »
Maybe not even slave labor since the idea that pyramids were built by slaves was debunked.

Re: Erich von Daniken
« Reply #54 on: December 30, 2013, 03:08:57 AM »
That is entirely possible. There may have been an advanced culture that existed at some ancient time. I used Atlantis as an example, simply because that's one that everyone has heard of. Obviously if they were in South America they wouldn't be Atlantians per se. But could there have been ancient cultures that existed at some point before our recorded cultures did? VERY possibly.

I'm talking about ancient people with ancient technology.  How do you know that a culture similar to the Incans could not have built Tiwanaku?

Here are some examples of humans recreating some possible methods these cultures could have used.

http://interactive.archaeology.org/tiwanaku/project/experiment.html



I have visited from prestigious research institutions of the highest caliber, to which only our administrator holds with confidence.

Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: Erich von Daniken
« Reply #55 on: December 30, 2013, 03:30:43 AM »
Having read the Wikipedia article AND the von Daniken text, there is no disagreement. Here is a relevant portion from von Daniken. "This Puma Punku and neighboring Tiwanaku  are a panorama of another culture. Mighty blocks of andesite and diorite (a gray-green plutonic rock that is incredibly hard and resistant to weathering) are strewn around. There is absolutely no granite there. The monoliths have been worked with such a precision, honed and polished as if they had been created in a workshop equipped with modern tools such as stainless steel milling machines and diamond-tipped drills. Exquisitely precise channels, around a quarter of an inch wide and roughly a third of an inch deep,  cut at right angles-something that simply would not be possible with Stone Age tools, run over the diorite monoliths. (See image 1.6 on page 48.) Nothing here fits in with the image of a primitive Stone Age culture. Puma Punku was witness to some impressive high-tech- and that can be proved."'

It appears that sandstone, diorite, and andesite were all used to construct Puma Punku. Von Daniken quotes Max Uhle and Alphons Stubel who wrote in 1892 the magisterial work, "The Ruins of Tiahuanaco in the Highlands of Ancient Peru".

"The types of andesite worked here display such a degree of hardness and durability that we must surely categorize them as some of the most difficult of all to work.... Bearing in mind the characteristics of the majority of the worked material, we are faced with not only an architectural  but also a technical problem here at the site of the ruins. It would seem that the quality of the work here is out of all proportion to the technical means available to the ancient Peruvians."

Von Daniken continues: "These sentences come from Alphons Stubel, a geologist by trade and an expert who-we can be fairly sure-was well acquainted with the degree of hardness of the stones."

EDIT: Von Daniken does acknowledge that there are some figures and blocks at Puma Punku made of sandstone. I did not include that in my messages because it did not seem relevant to my point.

« Last Edit: December 30, 2013, 03:39:48 AM by Yaakov ben Avraham »

Re: Erich von Daniken
« Reply #56 on: December 30, 2013, 03:41:40 AM »
There has been a great deal more archaeological research done since 1892.  Much of it has been experimental, reproducing ancient construction methods using only the tools and knowledge available to those cultures.  This is because most of those methods have been discovered at or near those sites.  The people who built Tiwanaku lefts lots and lots and lots of evidence of how they did it.  Like, for real a lot.

http://davidpratt.info/andes2.htm

http://www.michaelsheiser.com/PaleoBabble/Who%20Taught%20the%20Inca%20Stonemasons%20Their%20Skills%20A%20Comparison%20of%20Tiahuanaco%20and%20Inca%20Cut-Stone%20Masonry.pdf

If you search a library or electronic journal index, you'll find more material on the subject than one person can reasonably handle.

I have visited from prestigious research institutions of the highest caliber, to which only our administrator holds with confidence.

Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: Erich von Daniken
« Reply #57 on: December 30, 2013, 04:30:11 AM »
Well, I can hardly read 22 close-written pages quickly, but I shall take the time to read them later. Probably tomorrow. Nevertheless,  I fail to see the point entirely. Sandstone can be carved relatively easily, this I shall grant. Diorite is an entirely different matter however. And no matter what the thing is made of, you still have the point that the Inca and the Aymara BOTH deny making it, and claim it was made "by the gods", whatever that means.

Who were the gods? If the Inca didn't make it, and the Aymara didn't make it, then who the Hell did? Who existed there before the Aymara? I don't know. Does anybody here know? Von Daniken doesn't. The Puma Punku site dates to 600 CE according to Wikipedia. But who were the gods? Even assuming you can move heavy blocks, is it possible to move that damned many of them? And how long would it take? Wikipedia also notes that Puma Punku was abandoned before it was finished. Why? Or is that the case? Nevertheless, who were the gods?

Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: Erich von Daniken
« Reply #58 on: December 30, 2013, 07:44:21 AM »
Why should it be difficult for aliens to get to Earth if they wanted to? I believe that von Daniken's theory has nothing to do w/ 'little green men' as such, but rather, w/ beings who were able to copulate w/ human females, thus producing a new race. Personally, I'm not partial to this theory. I'm more the Battlestar Galactica theory, ie, the concept that humans as such originated off-world, & may exist elsewhere as well as here. If that were the case, it would damn sure explain how a lot of shit got built that frankly has no earthly fucking business being where it is, Puma Punku being just 1 example. Of course, I may be full of crap, too. If I am, I'm prepared to live w/ that. All I'm suggesting is that von Daniken would probably do well to read an archaeology book or 2, & a few history books, & the historians/archaeologists could read 1 or 2 of his.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2013, 08:03:10 AM by Yaakov ben Avraham »

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Offline Tau

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Re: Erich von Daniken
« Reply #59 on: December 30, 2013, 04:57:47 PM »
Why should it be difficult for aliens to get to Earth if they wanted to? I believe that von Daniken's theory has nothing to do w/ 'little green men' as such, but rather, w/ beings who were able to copulate w/ human females, thus producing a new race. Personally, I'm not partial to this theory. I'm more the Battlestar Galactica theory, ie, the concept that humans as such originated off-world, & may exist elsewhere as well as here. If that were the case, it would damn sure explain how a lot of shit got built that frankly has no earthly fucking business being where it is, Puma Punku being just 1 example. Of course, I may be full of crap, too. If I am, I'm prepared to live w/ that. All I'm suggesting is that von Daniken would probably do well to read an archaeology book or 2, & a few history books, & the historians/archaeologists could read 1 or 2 of his.

The closest star, proxima centauri, is 4 light years away. Even if there were life somewhere in this star system (and there almost certainly is not), it would take them a decade moving at half the speed of light to get here. It's not really realistic to expect them to move more quickly than this, as hitting a single hydrogen atom at .9c would be enough to blow up your space ship. So they spent a decade getting here, braving radiation etc. to... build simple structures and mate with human females? That doesn't make very much sense.

In addition, biology doesn't work like that. Aliens and humans wouldn't be able to produce viable offspring. It doesn't work like that.

In addition again, if you claim that humans started somewhere else, how do you explain the 98% similarity between human and ape DNA? How do you explain the clear lineage of fossils leading up to humanity?
That's how far the horizon is, not how far you can see.

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