Ancient Aliens (History Channel 2008) – Review!

Ancient AliensLet’s have some fun, Ok? First of all, I’m a documentary fan. It’s a particular kind of laziness that you can justify because it’s kind of like learning. I am also a skeptic. So, I come at this History Channel series with an open, though cautious, mind (seems quite likely to be batshit crazy, no?). Now, I’m not going to waste a huge amount of time researching the topic – there’s not much there that needs much effort. But I have to admit, it contained enough  interesting information to keep me mildly stimulated.

Basically, the concept is this: Ancient aliens came to earth thousands of years ago, and interfered in human society, even genetically engineering us (possibly breeding with us; Alright, now we’re talking to each other ;-)). Ultimately, practically everything in any religious texts is evidence of this.

The series makes an effort to appear to be fair, by presenting both sides of the story. Naturally, of course, there are a lot more pro-alien astrononaut hypothesis speakers. I found myself saying, ‘Of course it is’ quite a lot. Hmm. In terms of the commentators alone, it ran the gamut from really dumbass scientific claims through typically paranoiac religious claims to some actual science. Regularly I was reminded of Glenn Beck dreaming up his wicked conspiracies with his chalkboard. A dearth of evidence in a sea of connections.

Baghdad Battery

There is some good stuff – some UFO sightings in Britain, some interesting actual anomalies (such as the Baghdad Battery, very cool), some good speakers (not many) along with some annoyingly overexcited personalities. Erich von Daniken came off as a bit of a loon. He is fairly summarily dismissed by, of all people, a Biblical archaeologist (who, remarkably, is one of the few voices of reason). One of Daniken’s assertions is that, “In my book, I had 238 question marks!”, as if that somehow validated his ‘evidence’. Really? Are there 238, whole questions about the universe? Geez…

But listen, it was interesting to hear the fantasy, and I’ll tell you why. It reminds me of where the bounds of my belief system are and why they are there. If I’m not open to even hear it, then that aint right. As long as I am able to separate real evidence from speculation, then I can help safeguard myself against snake oil salesmen. I’m not saying that is what these guys are, to be fair (I’m trying really).  More obviously, it’s good to know in order to have a slightly more informed debate with true believers.

And do you know the conclusion I came to? Well, I would rather their version of the Bible be true than the idea that the Bible is literal. Aliens and ancient atomic warfare is 100% more believable than an All-Dominating God, who’s been a bit of a tit to be honest. Not to mention inherently cooler. It’s just that I don’t think the case has been proven in a compelling enough manner to convince me it is true. Did ancient aliens really visit earth thousands of years ago and inspire all world religions?

Well, probably not.

“Ancient Aliens” by The History Channel can be bought from £9.98. BSB7CM5F3HFN

Factual Content:               ***

Direction:                         *****

Entertainment Factor:       *******

Value:                                ********

Rating:                               *****

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