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Ancient Aliens. Critical Thinking. Claims. A claim is something that is presented as true . Critical Thinking. Is there any evidence to support the claim? Is the evidence reliable and trustworthy? How reliable is it? Should you accept it? Does the evidence actually support the claim?
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Ancient Aliens Critical Thinking
Claims A claim is something that is presented as true.
Critical Thinking Is there any evidence to support the claim? Is the evidence reliable and trustworthy? How reliable is it? Should you accept it? Does the evidence actually support the claim? Is there other evidence you should consider?
Critical Thinking Critical thinking involves asking these questions at the right times, knowing how to answer them, and knowing how to use those answers to accept or reject a claim.
Fermi Paradox “The Fermi paradox is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilization and humanity's lack of contact with, or evidence for, such civilizations.” – Wikipedia
Fermi Paradox “The Sun is a young star. There are billions of stars in the galaxy that are billions of years older; some of these stars likely have Earth-like planets,which, if the Earth is typical, may develop intelligent life; presumably, some of these civilizations will develop interstellar travel, a technology Earth is investigating even now just as the first human-made object, Voyager 1, leaves the Solar System; at any practical pace of interstellar travel, the galaxy can be completely colonized in a few tens of millions of years.” – Wikipedia
Ancient Aliens • On the History Channel in the US. • About 1-2 million US viewers in first few seasons (comparison: Colbert Report has 1.1 million viewers).
Appeal to Popularity “Millions of people around the world believe that we have been visited in the past by extraterrestrial beings.” – Narrator
Appeal to Popularity “The Reuters Ipsos poll of 23,000 adults in 22 countries showed that more than 40 percent of people from India and China believe that aliens walk among us disguised as humans.” (The Independent)
Appeal to Popularity Just because lots of people believe something doesn’t mean that it’s true, or that there’s good reason to believe it.
Loaded Questions These questions flash at the beginning of the program: “Who were they?” “Why did they come?” “What did they leave behind?” “Where did they go?” “Will they return?”
Claim Claim: Ancient aliens visited Egypt and taught the ancient Egyptians how to make gliders.
Evidence • The wings are not shaped like normal bird wings. • The tail is vertical rather than horizontal. That’s not how bird tails look. • The wings curve down as they move outward from the bird. This would help something fly. • The wings are thicker in the middle and thinner at the edges. This would help something fly.
More Evidence In the episode, they use a scale-model replica of the Saqqara bird, and test it to see whether it can fly. They find that if it’s given a rear stabilizer, then it can generate enough lift to fly. They don’t say how long it could fly, and they don’t test it to find out.
Is the evidence reliable and trustworthy? How reliable is it? Should you accept it?
Expert #1: Dr. AlgundEenboom Dr. AlgundEenboom is a doctorand is presented as an expert on the show. He is described in the program as “Author of Aircraft of the Pharaohs”
Google Search http://www-user.rhrk.uni-kl.de/~aws/seta/Eenboom.htm Dr. Algund Eeenboom (Leer, Deutschland) geb. 1946 in Leer (Deutschland) studierte Zahnmedizin an der Universitat Munster und promovierte in diesem Fach an der Universitat Tubingen. Als Zahnarzt ist er seit 1979 in eigner Praxis tatig.
Google Translate: German to English Dr. LagundoEeenboom (Leer, Germany) born 1946 in Leer (Germany) studied dentistry at the University Munster and a PhD in the subject at the University Tubingen. As a dentist he is TTIG since 1979 in his own practice.
“Aircraft of the Pharaohs” “Aircraft of the Pharaohs” was an article published in Omni magazine in 1982. Omni was described by its cofounder as: “an original if not controversial mixture of science fact, fiction, fantasy and the paranormal.”
The Model Is Different • The original wings are not the same length. • The original tail is crooked. • The original is made out of sequoia wood; the test plane is made out of balsa (3 times lighter). • There’s no evidence the original actually had a tailplane.
Other Tests In 2002 Martin Gregorie, a glider-designer, built balsa wood models of the Saqqara bird and tested them to see if they would fly.
Martin Gregorie’s Analysis • The performance of this model proves conclusively that the Saqqara Bird never flew. It is totally unstable without a tailplane. A cursory inspection of the photos shows that it never had one. • Even after a tailplane was fitted the glide performance was disappointing. The Saqqara Bird was certainly never a test piece for a low speed, cargo carrying aircraft.
Why Can’t It Just Be a Bird? • It’s designed to look like a bird, with feathers and a beak and eyes. It’s not designed to look like a plane. • Egyptians carved lots of bird figurines. • There’s no archaeological evidence of Egyptian gliders.
“I Want to Fly” According to the show, the Saqqara bird was found next to a papyrus that read “I want to fly.”
“I Want to Fly” Shouldn’t it have said: • I like to fly. • I have already flown. • I fly all the time. • This is a model of my flying machine. • Aliens taught me how to fly.
Representation? Suppose that the Saqqara bird could fly, and that the ancient Egyptians could builds something that can fly. I can build something that can fly. But that doesn’t mean I can build something that flies me around!
Remember that there’s no written evidence, and noarchaelogical evidence, of working Egyptian gliders. All we have is a tiny bird statue.
Conflict? “But if the Saqqara bird is capable of flight, where would ancient Egyptians have acquired such technology?” – Narrator “It’s a fact that our ancestors were more intelligent and had more technologically superior capabilities than our history books give them credit for.” – Philip Coppens
A Better Explanation? Real scientists think the Saqqara bird might have been a weathervane. That would explain its upright tail!
Claim: Ancient aliens visited Columbia and showed people how to construct fighter jets.
From Wikipedia, “Pijao” The chiefdom was based on an extended family clan with ancestral lineage. The people did not live in separate households gathered in villages; instead, they lived in carefully built, large communal houses made of bahareque, which were placed at distances.
From Wikipedia, “Pijao” Like many ancient peoples, they relied on waterways for routes of transportation; and due to their navigation skills and knowledge, could get around much of their territory fairly rapidly. They called their best navigators boha (boga). Their boats were called kanoha(canoes) and were carved from a single piece of Saman wood.
From Wikipedia, “Pijao” The Pijao were experts in metallurgy, manufacturing gold articles and clothing. Their work has been seen in gold artifacts from the Tolima, Quimbaya, Calima, and Cauca cultures. They used techniques such as "lost wax" casting, rolled gold, filigree and other methods to make their balacas (ornaments) and other items for ceremonial use, such as the Poporos (bowl with lid).
“Many of those looked like insects and fish; however, out of those hundreds that they found, they also found about a dozen that are eerily reminiscent of modern day fighter jets.” “They have nothing in common with anything similar in nature.” – Giorgio Tsoukalos
It’s a Plane! “There is not a single insect in the world which has got its wings at the bottom. Now when you exclude the possibility that it’s an insect, one of the things that remains is the fact that this is, yes, what it actually looks like… a plane.”
“We don’t need to put much parts to this shape because this shape is perfect. Everything was already done by the native people 2,000 years ago” – AlgundEenboom.
“They did not add an inch or remove an inch. They just essentially blew the little thing into a larger size.” – Giorgio Tsoukalos