I’m slowly wading through the volumes making up Pillars of the Past and it occurs to me that if one is a devout Christian or Jew, then that world-view needs to cater for Divine Creation in any history of the peoples of that religion. In a similar fashion unbelievers such as secular humanists, would reject any notion of divine creation, and adopt an alternative world view. This leads to two conflicting world-views, and it seems to me that Charles Lyell, himself a devout Methodist, achieved a compromise between the religious and secular humanist world-views by shifting ‘creation’ back into the distant past to placate the religious, but then deploying non catastrophic mechanisms to explain the current biodiversity of the Earth, and along the way also applying the same uniformitarian principles to geology. What bemuses me is how so many militant atheists have no trouble accepting distant creation, aka The Big Bang, while pilloring the religious fundamentalists for their Creationist beliefs.
So it is obviously a workable compromise from consensus, but quite unscientific.
Reason I mention it is because in volume 4 of the Pillars of the Past, it is firmly stressed that civilisation as we know it first appeared around 1200 BC, and that older civilisations have to be anachronisms, which on the evidence they seem to be, and I would assign the remains at Gobekli Tepe to the first millenium BC since it reminds me of the Assyrians. The appearance of civilisation at 1200 BC would gladden the heart of the various Abrahamic fundamentalists, for sure, but then that history would also cause rabid apoplexy among the secular humanists who are as devoted to their Long Uniformist History (hereafter LUH) as their opposing theological literalists or fundamentalists.
So I’m adopting the late Fred Hoyle’s deduction – that when there is prolonged disputation over a theory in which much effort, time and money has been directed, that we have been thinking with the wrong ideas and that both arguments have to be wrong. So we need to deal with a third view or approach that has no creation event, whether recent or distant.
Except if this approach arrives at a more accurate reconstruction of ancient history, but contradicts both camps, then what? Will either change their minds when the facts change?
So it seems that following a global geological/climatic catastrophe, invariably due to external forces, that the survivors will revert to primitive states just in order to survive, especially city dwellers who know nothing about growing food or farming, city dwellers like the ruling elite who tend to also get wiped out, and hence that civilisation’s ‘memory’ is also wiped out leaving the illiterate survivors to inherit the shambles.
And what do we do if scientifically one shows that religions are built on specious foundations, or that ‘science’ is built on equally specious foundations? Will the devout commit apostasy with the often horrendous price that choice entails, or will they, in the hallowed tradition of cognitive dissonance, punish the messenger and continue in their delusions and denialism.