Thursday, March 01, 2012

Earthling Or Earthding?

"Because all you of Earth are idiots... Your stupid minds! Stupid! Stupid!" -- Eros, Plan 9 From Outer Space

Are earthlings nothing more than a bunch of ding-a-lings who need ET visitors to bump up our collective IQ?

That's the POV of most true believers into the ancient astronaut/exopolitics meme. Take Roswell -- please. Like a bumbling Prometheus aliens crashed their ship into the New Mexico desert so that earthdings could reverse engineer the tech on board, thus resulting in miraculous devices like high def flat TV panels showing the same old crap but with superior resolution.

In fact, if you follow the reasoning behind AI (alien intervention), the people of Earth didn't have the brains to build pyramids. Aliens in saucers came down like the gods and used their advanced tech to lift and place colossal stone blocks. Forget the thousands of expendable human slaves under the whip using rope, rollers, and ramps to do the job. Hypersonic levitation gets all the credit.

But there's a problem with this scenario. If a planet's inhabitants are too stupid to figure out anything on their own, how did alien visitors to Earth get to be so smart? Did an advanced starship from another world crash on their planet, kickstarting their development through reverse engineering? If so, how did the ETs on that crashed craft become so advanced?

Is the impetus for civilization on various planets nothing more than the result of interstellar traffic accidents?


Doug said...

I suspect the aliens who go to other planets are the annoying, snooty ones who think they know it all... and thus were kicked off their home worlds.

Someday humans will jettison their condescending assholes into space to some backwater planet where they can inflict their ways on the poor beings.

X. Dell said...

John Henrik Clarke, a Black studies scholar who taught at the same university I did, gave a lecture that touched upon this post. In talking about the intellectual traditions of sub-Saharan Africa, he noted how such structures as Great Zimbabwe were being offered as evidence of a narrative, whereby space aliens came to build these monoliths, because the natives were too stupid to do it themselves.

The lecture was rather humorous, but the gags underscored a major train of western thought: that we are more "advanced" than our primative ancestors in ALL ways; that places outside the cultural west had even less wherewithal to build something so elaborate.