Friday, February 12, 2021

A Rant About the Complete Lack of Logical Reasoning on Ancient Aliens

Once in a while when there is absolutely nothing on TV something tempts me to switch to Ancient Aliens. I need to learn to stay away from that show because it usually takes about 3 minutes before I want to reach into the TV and slap the stupid out of the people on that show.

Tonight one of the guys was making a big deal about how the pyramid of Giza is located at 29.9792 degrees North longitude, and the speed of light is 299792458 meters per second.  He said these numbers being the same can't be a coincidence.  Apparently he thinks the aliens that helped build it wanted it at that point because the coordinates match the speed of light.

Let's examine how many things are wrong with this idea.  It's a long list...

First of all, the number for the speed of light is totally dependent on the units you use.  Sure, it is 299792458 meters per second.  It's also approximately 186,282 miles per hour, 1802613915490 furlongs per fortnight, and 10569718815 Smoots per minute.

But back to meters per second.  Meters weren't defined as a unit of measurement until 1793.  Ancient Egyptians didn't have meters for measurement.

Seconds were first used as a unit of time by either the ancient Greeks or ancient Babylonians, depending on which theory of their origin you believe.  Either way, this was thousands of years after the pyramids were built.

So meters per second didn't exist as a unit of measurement to the ancient Egyptians, so the number 299792458 would have been meaningless to them as the speed of light even if they had known what the speed of light was.

So now, on to the system of latitude and longitude as a measure of position on Earth.  Latitude and longitude use the idea of 360 degrees as divisions of angles in a circle.  It seems nobody knows for sure when 360 degrees in a circle first came to be used but the most common belief pins this one on the ancient Babylonians again, long after the pyramids were built.

The idea of using degrees on a circle to measure position on Earth came centuries later than the invention of degrees as a unit of angle.  According to Google "Eratosthenes in the 3rd century BCE first proposed a system of latitude and longitude for a map of the world."

So the idea of the pyramid of Giza being located at 29.9792 degrees north had no meaning until degrees in a circle and latitude and longitude were invented.

And last but NOT LEAST, ancient Egyptians didn't use the Arabic numerals "0123456789" for their numbering system because this system wasn't invented until about the year 500.  So the numbers for "299792458" would have been nothing but meaningless scribbles to them.  They used a system where they had separate hieroglyphs for 1, 10, 100, 1000, etc.  And you used as many of each as you needed to add up to the quantity you wanted to represent.

You might claim that the ancient aliens that were visiting would know the speed of light in meters per second and therefore where to instruct the ancient Egyptians to put the pyramid.  But that is also impossible, since meters, seconds, Arabic numerals, degrees, latitude, and longitude didn't exist then.  They would have either used ancient Egyptian units of time, speed, and location, or used their own units.

I'm not even sure how to express my feelings about how a major TV network can put something like this on with zero critical thinking or logical reasoning applied to whether or not what they are saying makes an ounce or sense.  

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