People look at the Pyramids, the Sphinx, the stone cities of the Inca; 150 ton stone blocks that are perfectly carved and apparently moved after being quarried a hundred miles away. People look at these things to boggle their mind with questions of how it was done. It certainly looks impossible to the individual observer. We imagine the technology the ancients possessed and then nearly all imagine the same solution: numbers. The organizational abilities of these ancient people surpass even our own. The coordination required of so many people, in concert, for weeks, month, and even years, strains the plausibility of the historical model most of us have been working with since primary school. Were they a race of supermen? Were they all on the juice, an army of professional baseball players?
The answers come loudest from the xenophilic among us. The stoner conversation goes like this, "The aliens did it! Ooh, they're all around us man, all around us. Yeah, dude, did you know Bush is a Reptilian! Look at his eyes man, look at his eyes. Fucking no eyelids, bro, I'm serious." And so you pull back from the crazies, "No, I'm not one of them! I've just got questions, yeah... questions. That's it. Questions." You try to sound sane but screw the pooch on the attempt. The simple fact remains that there is evidence that begs for an explanation, and many bored consumers across the land (with nary a degree or qualification to share) heed the call to answer it.
Out of the Nile Valley some 5,000 years ago, sprung a culture that created the Pyramids, Sphinx, and littered across the landscape, small underground tombs. But the king was different. Instead, he built a damn stairway to heaven. This God of men, wrangled the wills of men to show us moderns what will really was. And then poof, he was gone. But enough Usual Suspects references, I find this creation to be astounding. This man was able to turn legions of other men into ants in all but appearance. The bullet ants of Africa will build bridges across streams with nothing but their own bodies. They create structures many feet across, and yes, the ants on the bottom become 'sacrifices for the cause', or to use a modern term, 'collateral damage'. It would take men acting with this same resolution and disregard for self, interred for the collective, to satisfy some skeptical historians. Yes, it is physically possible that enough men acting together could do it, and what an amazing achievement it leaves upon the desert landscape.
But forget about evidence with a plausible answer. How were they creating smooth, polished faces and fashioning delicate tools out of diorite, a stone that is nearly impossible to cut without diamond? Well then, they must have used diamonds, and plenty of them. Unfortunately today we have forgotten this ability. No one alive can accomplish the same feat. It would take machines and lasers to re-create the figures seemingly crafted from a mold. "Alien technology!", the stoners say, and for a second it seems possible, hell, even probable. "But no, wait. Then I would be one of the crazies!" So we ignore our curiosity and live seriously, as adults who demand rigorous proof of everything except religion. That is what serious adults do, and that is how serious adults live. Could there be a middle ground?
As with religion, claiming to know that aliens visited our ancestors and gifted them wondrous technologies, rankles a bit. Putting aside the fact that no modern society is getting the Promethean hook-up, it is also annoying to be preached at by anyone claiming to have in their possession pure and objective truth. Most find it off-putting while some even find it caustic. Face it, we barely know with certainty the scientific proofs we hold dear and use with great success on a daily basis. There is currently a twelve year old prodigy who claims the big-bang model is wrong, and is working (prodigiously, in fact) on a new model to satisfy the rigors of science. Much as Chris Rock as the thirteenth apostle in Dogma preaches,
I think it's better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier. Life should be malleable and progressive, working from idea to idea permits that. Beliefs anchor you to certain points and limit growth. New ideas can't generate. Life becomes stagnant.
Poignancy from Kevin Smith. Yeah, it happens. Amidst porn, drug-references, and fart jokes, it happens. "Diamonds are always found in the rough," I claim hyperbolically.
It's completely OK to see evidence of technologies we don't understand, and imagine that beings from another planet were somehow involved. Write vasts tracts of possible scenarios with alien and human players creating Shakespeare for millenia long gone from us. Tell all your friends the possible implications. But do not claim to know with certainty that the Grays of Zeta Reticuli came here on a spring morning in 10,500 BC and befriended a human that loudly grunts his own name and gesticulates wildly, stabbing his thumb into his chest. "Me Rork!" Furthermore, do not claim that the aliens were feeling super generous that day, but that the rest of the story, well... the rest of the story is history. Le sigh. Most of history is the mundane actions of a species struggling to survive nature's whims, and some days are Alexander's conquest of the known world, while still others are the Antikythera Mechanism.
Atheists seethe at what they perceive to be dangerous anti-intellectualism, and the certainty that an ancient Jewish tribal spirit created the entirety of the cosmos, including earth with her many wondrous denizens, in 7 days about 6,000 years ago. But more importantly, Yahweh wants you to vote Republican. Non-Christians anger at the unflappable Christian knowledge of just where and how the heathens will be spending eternity. It is the absolutism in belief that stops a dialogue before it even begins. What's the use in discussing something that is already set in stone? Certainty is a lead weight on an open parachute that closes the mind. Anyone who tells you "different", to quote the proverbial, "is trying to sell you something." No matter how strong your faith is, it is still faith, and as such involves the belief in something outside yourself that cannot be proven.
Be proud of your faith.
Don't preach of your certainty.
Take solace in the fact that your faith is strong enough to weather scientific fact, and mankind's ever expanding database of knowledge. Hold strong to your faith, because it's only going to get worse as humanity progresses. Christianity only requires that you have faith in Jesus and that he died for your sins, not that he rode dinosaurs. If the aliens do show up on the front-lawn of the White House, it's going to matter little if you just knew it in your heart that they were coming. They're not going to give you a medal or anything. Life is most accurately measured by probabilities, not Plato's perfect forms nor absolute truth. Take heart; life is more fun with surprises.