Ancient Aliens and UFO Theology
H2’s Ancient Aliens‘ central premise is that everything in history is influenced by aliens from outer space, from the ancient Sumerians to the 2004 tsunami. The series even goes so far as to state that the dinosaurs were wiped out by aliens. Furthermore, every religious text is to be taken literally, except every reference of a divine being is to be replaced with aliens. So “Humanity was created in God’s image,” becomes “Humanity was created by alien beings.” In essence, ancient alien theories are a form of religious mythology like Christian mythology which can also be found on the History Channel.
Let’s compare apocalyptic theories:
In Rapture theology popularized by the Left Behind series, the good Christians will be whisked off to Heaven while the Antichrist reigns on Earth for seven years. Jesus will them return, seal the Antichrist and reign on Earth for a millennium. At the end of this millennium will come the last judgement where the wicked are judged and sent to Hell and the world ends. Everything that occurs happens in order to fulfill this prophecy. Humanity has no control.
A similar idea exists with some ancient alien theorists, who believe that aliens came to the Mayans and revealed to them that the world will end on December 21, 2012. If Ancient Aliens is to be believed, all the meddling of aliens in our affairs is leading up to the end of the world in a little under three months. Everything that has occurred has occurred because aliens made it happen. Humanity has no control.
Ancient alien theories should really be called UFO theology, because that’s what it is. Instead of believing that God created the Earth and continues to be involved in human affairs, they believe aliens created the Earth and continue to be involved in human affairs. Aliens or God, the idea is the same: that there is a higher power behind the universe. However, the UFO believers understand that the major religions, like Christianity, have millennia of societal validation behind them, causing them to have a much a wider acceptance by the general public. So the UFO theologians go back in time to see references of UFOs in order to validate their beliefs. Just like Christians see validation of Jesus in the Old Testament, UFO believers see validation of aliens in ancient religions… as well as everything else in human history.
Then to spread their religion the priests of UFO theology, so-called “experts“ like Jason Martell and Giorio A. Tsoukalos, got themselves a television show where they can espouse their religious beliefs without dissent. Instead of religious services in temples, they have UFO symposiums in conference centers. Instead of attacking other religions and science, like fundamentalist Christians do, fundamentalist alien theologians attack only science, because they see Christianity as really being about aliens, not God. While my head hurts every time I watch Ancient Aliens, it’s not directed at me, my heart has been closed to accepting that aliens from outer space visited ancient Sumeria.
Why don’t UFO believers create a church and get tax exemption from IRS, like the Raelians, who also believe aliens created the world?
Raelism is based on religious-style revelations from aliens to a man named Claude Vorilhon. It therefore sees and presents itself as a religion. UFO theology comes out of crackpot theories of people on the far fringes of science. They don’t call themselves a religion because they see themselves in context of science, despite requiring just as much faith as any religion.
Faith and Tentacles
I believe there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. Have aliens visited Earth in the past? No. Are aliens currently visiting Earth? No. Are we ever going to find other intelligent life? No.
Assume there are exactly two intelligent space-travel-capable species in the entire universe: humanity and my cute tentacle creatures called Brac’tai… yes, those Brac’tai:
And let’s assume the Brac’tai live here:
If we are bound by the laws of relativity then the Brac’tai are bound by them as well. If we can’t travel faster than light, then they aren’t traveling faster than light. And even they found a way around time dialation when traveling close to light speed, it would still take them millions of years to get here. Then, if it were possible to create wormholes, how exactly would the Brac’tai know where we are? All communications would take 122 million years round-trip. Meeting each other, much less knowing we exist, is simply impossible.
But assume the Brac’tai are closer:
So now the Brac’tai are only 425 light years away. Let’s say the Brac’tai pick up our television broadcasts and they love them dearly. Unfortunately, the broadcasts are 425 years old, so nobody involved would even be alive when the Brac’tai decide to send fan mail to them. Traveling via spacecraft still isn’t possible due to the still huge distance. Plus, even if they could make a wormhole to Earth, with all the doom and gloom on TV, chances are they’d figure humanity wasn’t around and just stay home.
Alright, now the Brac’tai are in range of arrival at Earth. After watching TV for awhile, the Brac’tai build a spacecraft and rocket to Earth… only to fly around and abduct crazy people?
It just doesn’t make any sense. If the Brac’tai came to make contact with the only other intelligent species in the Universe , they’d land on the White House lawn, dock at the ISS or do something other than make contact with a select few believers.
Finally, what if instead of showing up now, Brac’tai showed up six thousand years ago to ancient humans and gave them technology to create civilization as well as building ancient monuments? Well, that’s pretty insulting to us, actually, because it means we’re too stupid to have created technology on our own; any huge advancements could only have come from beings from another planet. Even the Old Testament says it was humans who built the great monuments of Egypt, not God.
In the end, my example is irrelevant because UFO theology is not about real intelligent life existing on the other side of the Universe. UFO theology is about aliens filling a spiritual void to people who can’t believe in an all-powerful omnipotent sky god. Science will never be able to fully answer the heavy metaphysical questions such as “Why do we exist?” and “Is there life after death?” When faced with the absence of God, people still unable to accept that humanity is nothing more than a bunch of evolved apes have to turn to other sources like aliens from outer space. This is the why the same blind faith that defies reason underpins UFO theology as well as traditional religious theologies.
Therefore, Ancient Aliens has more in common with evangelical Christian shows like Breakthrough with Rod Parsley on the Trinity Broadcasting Network that it does with shows like H2’s own The Universe, which is firmly rooted in scientific discourse regardless of how farfetched it occasionally can get. For example, on Breakthrough, Rod Paisely claims the “Eternal nature of God” is a fact in the same way “expert” Jason Martell can claim bird-like aliens called the Anunnaki visiting ancient Sumeria is a fact. Neither has definite proof beyond ancient Sumerian writings, so their claims ultimately lie in blind faith. The only real difference between Breakthrough and Ancient Aliens is the higher power involved, the nature of both programs are the same.