Due to ongoing computer problems, I am once again forced to keep today’s entry brief. Dell has scheduled repair of my computer for today, and I spent a good chunk of this morning watching my computer get disassembled and rebuilt. At least it went a little faster than the last time the motherboard gave out (last June), which turned into a weeklong nightmare of bungling, incompetence, and confusion. During that mess, Dell sent the wrong part and the technician ended up breaking something in the computer while trying to install the motherboard, requiring several follow-ups with more and more new parts. Today, things went smoothly, and (so far) the computer seems to be functioning OK with its new parts.
Anyway, I wanted to share today a rather depressing headline from CNN International. The video linked here aired earlier this month as part of the global version of CNN’s celebration of UNESCO World Heritage sites, and this video discusses the mysterious stone spheres of Costa Rica, believed by archaeologists to have been carved around 800 CE by the native people of the region. The video report itself, while acknowledging that speculation about the stone spheres has included claims of a relationship to aliens and Atlantis, nevertheless comes down firmly on the side of archaeology and links the artifacts to the indigenous cultures of Costa Rica.
So what does CNN International use as its headline? “Aliens or Atlantis? Who Made Costa Rica’s Stone Spheres?” The sensationalistic headline presents a false dichotomy and implies that aliens and Atlantis are the only two options, something belied by the very video the headline is designed to promote. I guess we know what CNN thinks of its online audience!
I also wanted to share a link that Aaron Adair sent to me about another perspective on the myth of the Sons of God from Genesis 6:1-4, the beings later known as the Watchers from the Book of Enoch. The link is to an article by David J. A. Clines, from the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament in 1979. Although it’s an old piece, its author recently uploaded it to Academia.edu so it can be read freely. It posits an interesting hypothesis that the Sons of God were understood to be analogous to the nearly immortal, mostly-divine kings of Mesopotamia, such as Gilgamesh (two-thirds god) and Dumuzi (a human promoted to divine status), who reigned before the Flood, much the way various kings were sometimes styled sons of some god or another. In this reading, the Sons of God take wives by force from the general human population by royal prerogative, and it is their acts of promiscuity and rapine that causes God to bring about the Flood, for violating God’s monogamous view of sexuality and marriage. Therefore, he writes,
…the ‘sons of God’ were both regarded as rulers of ancient times, and traditionally ascribed divine or semi-divine origins. On this interpretation, the ‘sons of God’ pericope is no alien intrusion into the story of primaeval humanity, since it concerns—from ﬁrst to last—humans; but neither is it simply an episode in the catalogue of human sinfulness, since it also concerns the relationship between the divine and the human world that is displayed in the actions of these ‘sons of God’.
Clines suggests that this reading does not need to contradict the longstanding view that the Genesis passage preserves a piece of preexisting mythology from polytheistic times, and he allows that there were various levels of redaction, editing, and revision. It’s an interesting perspective on one of fringe history’s foundational texts.
To end on a happy note, I have now completed correcting the page proofs for Foundations of Atlantis, Ancient Astronauts, and Other Alternative Pasts, as well as compiling the index for the same. The publisher has both the corrections and the index and is currently working on finalizing the text for publication. We should expect to see the book for sale sometime in the next few months, probably around April. I will of course let you know as soon as it’s available.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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