My Own Limits of Belief
(Image from The Thoughts and Sayings Of Baba Doodlius)
One of my pet peeves is people who think that aliens built the pyramids. Frankly, as a member of the human race, I’m quite insulted. We’re an amazingly ingenious lot. If there’s a problem to solve, we generally get around to figuring it out.
Vaccines? We invented those. Rocketships and submarines? We made those too. Radio, television, and satellites? We solved all of those. Ziplock bags? That was us too.
Even in the ancient world, we were masters of our domain (so to speak). Agriculture? We did that! Irrigation? Humans! Domestication of livestock? Nailed it! Gods and religion? Another human invention. (That last one probably should have stayed in the workshop a little longer, though.)
That’s why it’s so insulting to have some uneducated twat try to deny us one of our greatest achievements: The construction of massive pyramids with little more than levers, wheels, and inclined planes.
The pyramids really weren’t that difficult to build, from an engineering perspective. Sure, there were definitely a few tough problems that had to be solved. There are several pyramids in Egypt that show the earlier attempts. They weren’t so good. But the engineers learned. Once the problems were solved, it was just a matter of implementation. And that is the true marvel of the ancient world.
Managing a project on that scale with the huge workforce and supply problems they had would have been impossible if not for that other human invention: Bureaucracy. Yes, that’s one thing the Egyptians had (made possible by another invention: Writing). Contrary to popular belief, bureaucracy doesn’t guarantee inefficiency. It’s often impossible to get things done without it.
But There ARE Real Limits
I was thinking about this pyramid situation just last week. You see, there are real limits in the universe. As far as we know, you can’t go faster than light. You can’t get any colder than zero Kelvin. And you can’t convince a creationist that he’s wrong.
My recent article, “Reality Denialism and the Limits of Belief“, grew out of this situation. I realized that the reason some people think that humans couldn’t have built the pyramids is because those people have a misconception of what life was like back then. They don’t appreciate how sophisticated Egyptian society already was, and they don’t appreciate just how much work you can do without power tools. That makes a human construction of the pyramids beyond the technical limit of belief for the human-made-pyramid deniers. Since they can’t conceive of any way humans could have done it, the only other explanation that makes sense is aliens. Aliens always have advanced technology with flashing lights and cool whirring sounds. Surely, somebody who has flashing lights and cool whirring sounds can build anything.
But as I said, there are universal limits. I was confronted with this when I had to fix my iPod. You may recall my earlier article about how God works in mysterious ways, such as through iPod repair. The little Toshiba hard drive I ordered arrived last week. I knew, of course, that the thing had to be smaller than the iPod, in order to fit inside of it:
(B) hard drive; (C) Rattus norvegicus (for scale)
As you can see, the hard drive is a bit narrower and shorter than the iPod.
OK. So far, so good. But check out this side view:
(B) hard drive; (C) two quarters (for scale)
Are you freakin’ kidding me?! That’s a god-damned hard drive, and it’s barely the thickness of a couple of quarters! I just assumed that the thing would be almost as thick as the iPod. Sure, there has to be room for the logic board, but they can make those fairly thin. In fact, the hard drive goes between two layers of foam, which they use for shock absorption. So the inside of your iPod is so spacious that they have room for the logic board, the battery, the hard drive, and two freakin’ layers of foam!
I don’t think you comprehend what’s going on here. The significance of what I’m saying. The ramifications for human society.
Do you have any idea how big a gigabyte is? Sure, it’s a billion bytes. But do you comprehend just how big a billion is?
- One billion seconds ago was the year 1976 CE. (There were still liberals in America!)
- One billion minutes ago was the year 106 CE. (John McCain wasn’t even born!)
- One billion hours ago was the year 112,147 BCE. (Humans were living in caves!)
- One billion days ago was the year 2,737,718 BCE. (Humans didn’t even exist!)
So a gigabyte is huge. And there’s thirty of them in that tiny drive!
Some things go beyond the credible.
I don’t care how ingenious we are. We can’t be that good.
This hard drive has to be alien technology. That’s the only possible explanation.
After all, it makes a cool whirring sound.