That title is something I personally believe, and have always believed, for a very long time. I feel like a lot of times misinformation gets passed around because people don't remember that. Sometimes it's easy to hear something and believe it without testing that knowledge against what you know of the past. If you're pastafarian, that's all fine and dandy - part of pastafarianism is that the Flying Spaghetti Monster changes scientific test results and history at will with His Noodly Appendage for reasons we may never understand, but nobody seriously believes in a Flying Spaghetti Monster. Still, I feel that this is how most people view spirituality - it is seperate from these other two aspects of our world, and thus we don't have to take these other aspects into account. On the contrary; the only things we know for certain are our history and our science, and the only reason we can trust those two things is because we've spent the past several hundred years developing methods for uncovering the truth and we've reached a point where the process is...pretty trustable.
I am not speaking to anybody in specific when I write this post, but I am speaking to a lot of what I've seen on this website and on the rest of the Internet. You have to be careful what you believe, and you have to be careful what you pass on. Just because you've read something that mentions the name of an ancient god and puts it into an alien context doesn't mean that it's Truth. Just because this is written as if it were fact, or just because it was channelled, doesn't mean it's true. I feel that writing anything that we don't know for certain as Truth is wrong - but that's just personally me. I try to write as if everything I know is something I heard somewhere, or something I've read, or what the experts believe. I have no true knowledge myself; I have not been out there digging up ancient scrolls, translating them, dating them, putting them into context with other scrolls or tablets from their time period, formulating answers. I am not digging up fossilized bones and studying them and placing them into evolutionary context. I am a reader, a watcher, a passive learner...what knowledge I have, I have gleaned from others. Know that every Truth we have is subject to change when new information surfaces.
However, there are certain things that I feel it's important to keep in mind when talking about various historical and mythological beings, and certain scientific theories. I'm going to write in this blog about Sumer, its gods, some of the ideas I've heard about them that worry me, and I'm going to write this blog about evolution. Know that I am a creative writing major at my city's university, but before I switched to writing I declared a physics major and astronomy minor (due to clerical issues, the astronomy minor is still on my record - I need to get that changed soon here). Also know that when I changed from my physics major, I thought about both history and evolutionary biology as potential backups. I have a keen interest in all of these subjects, with a specific focus on the development of life in the very beginning, and the movement of life from the simply animalistic to the sentient, self-reflecting, intelligent being we are today. And, my main historical interest is in the earliest civilizations - from when cities first started popping up in the fertile crescent to the New Kingdom of ancient Egypt.
Shall we get into it?
I often hear mention of the Annunnaki in posts here and articles on the Internet. They are associated with aliens. Several times I've heard them referred to as having come from another planet to Earth so that they could use humans as slaves to mine for gold. I wonder how many people who believe this know who the Annunnaki are to the Sumerians? As we understand it, the Annunnaki were a series of gods in several of the ancient civilizations. You can do more research on them on the Internet; Wikipedia has a brief article on them. However, I would suggest looking for an article that does not mention this alien heritage so that you can get a good idea of how our history looks at them. From what I've gathered, the Annunnaki were merely a set of Gods - some on Earth and some in the Heavens. You can look at a "creation" myth that involves them on Wikipedia, or read this web page which has the entire translation of the creation myth itself. According to the Wikipedia article on the Annunnaki: "The Anunnaki appear in the Babylonian creation myth, Enuma Elish. In the late version magnifying Marduk, after the creation of mankind, Marduk divides the Anunnaki and assigns them to their proper stations, three hundred in heaven, three hundred on the earth."
The gods in ancient Sumer seem to have been used in the typical way you'd expect them to be used: they ruled over various cities (I will use Inanna and Enki a gread deal because I know the most about them). Inanna, for instance, ruled over Uruk. Enki was the god of Eridu (considered the first city, and the city that had the most power until the power passed to Uruk...the Sumerians explained the passing of the power by saying that Inanna visited Enki one day and the two of them got roaring drunk; in their drunkenness, Enki told Inanna how special she was to him and gave her all of his me; she then left happy, ready to take the me home, but Enki sobered up and sent various monsters after her to get it back. She called on the help of other goddesses or female powers to protect her and managed to get the me back to Uruk safely, at which point Enki gave up and basically said something akin to, "You win, sweetie; good game. You keep those me safe, and I'll keep you safe, and everybody will be happy, and I guess Uruk is in power now." Not in those words, though, of course ^_^).
The gods were also gods of things. I have a book on Inanna called Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer. It has a family tree of the gods that mentions the cities they ruled over and the things they were god or goddess of. Inanna, for instance, was the Queen of Heaven and Earth, the goddess of love, and the morning and evening star. Enki was the god of wisdom and the god of the waters. Ereshkigal was the queen of the underworld. An was the sky god and the god of the city of Uruk. Ninlil was the air goddess, and the goddess of the city of Nippur. Enlil, another god often mentioned in these articles about the Annunnaki, was the air god and the god of Nippur. These are just a few of the gods and goddesses, their cities, and the things they were god/goddess over.
I imagine this was essentially the Sumerian version of science. Why does water have the properties it does? Because the water goddess makes it so. Why does the sun do what it does? Because the sun god makes it so. I know the ancient Egyptian myths better - Ra moves the sun, Nut literally is the sky and stretches herself over the earth, etc. The same basic purposes are served by the Sumerian gods - it was how they understood nature without having the scientific technology to understand as we do today that the sky is there because gravity holds gasses to our planet, and the sun moves across the sky because we travel around the sun and spin on our axis and these two movements make the sun appear to move in the sky.
Now, I'm not saying that there is no way that these gods were, in fact, inspired by visitors to our planet. In fact, that would make a great deal of sense. We went from worshipping animal spirits to worshipping human-like creatures. It's entirely possible that this is because we met an alien race and our only way of understanding "people from the skies with chariots more powerful than our own" was to say, "These people are obviously gods!" and then stick them into rolls we understood. Over time, their origins would have been lost and their purposes would have changed as the need for them changed. Cities moved, gods merged, changed name, added new powers and lost old ones, etc.
However, to say that the Annunnaki came from another planet and enslaved humans for a period of time so that they could use us to mine gold, and to say that these are the same aliens who are here today to help us evolve spiritually to the same place they are at, is problematic to me on several levels. First of all, the origin myths of the gods do not involve the gods creating man or finding man and enslaving them for some purpose. Even in the ancient Egyptian mythos that comes later we do not see the gods enslaving man. We see battles between these gods and those gods, and humans enslaving humans or humans taking knowledge from gods, but we see no exchange of resources and no forced labour.
Furthermore, our archaeological and historical record lack any evidence of a time such as this. Conspiracy theorists can try to listen a bit longer before yelling at me here, because I have more to say. Yes, if we found undeniable proof that there were aliens, it would probably be withheld from the public. However, if we found proof that there was a period of random and great gold mining in a particular area for trading with an unknown personnage, that wouldn't necessarily be withheld. It would be known of and puzzled over, and theories would abound about who those people were. We would say, "Pieces of the puzzle are still missing," never bothering to look skywards. But as it stands, I've seen no mention of a period of time such as this, and I've taken classes both on archaeology (with a very thorough instructor) and ancient civilizations (with a professor who's main area of expertise was Mesopotamia, Sumer, the cradle of civilization, etc. - that particular area). I've also done a great deal of research on my own.
The other problem that I have with the idea of the Annunnaki being aliens who came to Earth to enslave humanity for the purpose of mining gold and the idea that these same aliens are now back to help us evolve spiritually is that we are assuming that these beings were always spiritually evolved, have been with us from the beginning, changing our DNA to help us along, and that now they're here for the final step: our awakening. And yet, I have a very difficult time believing that a spiritually evolved being would come to a planet and enslave its populace for gold. If that's spiritually evolved, then forgive me for saying that I think I can evolve spiritually on my own without help from anybody else...and I think I'll be a better person for it. Now, seeing as I feel that whoever is up there helping us truly is spiritually evolved, I just can't feel that this view of the Annunnaki in any way matches the Ashtar Command many of us believe is waiting in space for us. (By the way, have you checked out Wikipedia lately for the Ashtar Command? The article is titled Ashtar (extraterrestrial being), because Ashtar Command leads to a music group).
Anyway, on this matter all that I'm saying is know your history and know your mythology and any time you hear a story that involves aspects of history or mythology, see if it makes sense with what we already know of history and mythology. You may find that nothing contradicts anything, or that the contradictions are few and easily explained by a few misunderstandings, or you may find that the two ideas are completely at odds. Also beware that not everything channelled is going to tell you the truth - either about who it is, or about what its history contains. So, be knowledgeable about everything you learn and please do your best to research these ideas - both people who agree and people who disagree - before you blindly glue yourself to any one idea. I'm not saying any of these ideas are wrong; I'm saying "Here's an example of one story I've heard that doesn't ring true for me because I know a bit about history and mythology and the story seems at odds with what I know." It's an example. There are many other stories out there - do your research. What are we but sheep if we don't take every piece of information we're handed and say, "Give me sources, give me references, back up your statements, or at least show me that history does not contradict you"?
Anyway, speaking of aliens helping us evolve, someone questioned recently whether we come from animals or not, and how this whole aliens meddling in our DNA thing works. A lot of people had some pretty interesting responses. I want to clear something up - and keep in mind that I'm not claiming to know anything for certain, but I feel that I have a pretty good idea because I feel that science has a pretty good idea. Evolution is the mechanism through which we became who we are today. The dinosaurs died off, most likely from an astroid, and small mammals survived. These mammals - rodents and small primates, etc. - evolved over a very long period of time. We recently found an ancestor with mixed traits of both lemurs and simian primates. This shows that at some point in the past, the primate order was moving along, evolving just nicely, and then this ancestor gave rise to two different species: one species continued to evolve to modern lemurs, and the other species continued to evolve to modern humans. We do not come from lemurs, but we share a common ancestor with them. I cannot stress this enough, because one of the biggest arguments against evolution that I see is "If humans evolved from chimpanzees, how come there are chimpanzees today?" The answer is the same as the lemur history: we did not evolve from chimpanzees. Chimpanzees and humans evolved from the same common ancestor. Think of yourself, and then think of a cousin of yours. Imagine you have one, if you don't. Do you come from your cousin? Or does your cousin come from you? No. You don't even come from the same parents. But you come from the same grandparents, right? Those grandparents are you same common ancestor. Imagine that line goes out much further and involves species instead of individuals. There you have it - same common ancestor.
We have enough archaeological evidence to satisfactorily say that evolution did happen, and did lead to humans. Something most non-scientists don't understand about the scientific community is that a theory is not a theory until it has gone through extensive testing, can be shown to work in many different laborotories, and is accepted by the scientific community at large. There are no scientific "facts". The "laws" of gravity are merely theories that we call laws because they were discovered long enough ago that we didn't quite understand that we can never really know anything for certain about the universe. Science can never be proven; only disproven. A scientific theory is something that has gone through extensive testing and can't be disproven by any methods we have today. It is a theory because the testing is ongoing; we never know when we might discover some piece of information in the future that rocks our world and completely changes how we think about things. However, all the evidence today points towards evolution being the method by which the species alive today came into being. Humans are not excluded from this. Before any of you quote the ineffectualness of carbon dating, keep in mind that we can use dendochronology to calibrate our carbon dates and we can only carbon date back a few thousand years anyway; and, we have many other much more reliable dating methods, most of which are what we use on these prehistoric sites (since carbon dating doesn't actually go back far enough).
Where can aliens fit into this idea of evolution? I see no problem with involving aliens in this; they would serve the same purpose human breeders do. We take dogs with particular characteristics we like, breed them with other dogs with particular characteristics we like, and create offspring that have these special characteristics. We turned maize into corn. We created the fancy rat (the most common pet rat, for those who don't know your rats). I also see no problem with aliens doing what some of our more enthusiastic genetic scientists are doing today. We currently have the technology to go into a chicken egg and turn on or turn off various parts of the chicken's DNA to create chicken that have teeth, chicken that have tails, etc. We know where to turn the feather gene into a scale gene. We decided to learn this because Jurassic Park made a whole new generation of scientists interested in creating dinosaurs (evidently, these scientists missed the entire point of that particular piece of literature) and the only logical way we can do this is to take birds, who have directly evolved from dinosaurs, and change the timing of when various genes turn on in the developmental process of the fetus. If this gene turns on at week x, the baby will have scales; if it turns on at week y, it will have feathers. This other one can turn on for teeth, or stay off for no teeth. Etc.
I see no problem with aliens doing this with our species. Breeding and DNA manipulation? I can see that being used to speed up the process of getting an intelligent, sentient species. And, this uses evolution, which we have plenty of evidence for.
I think this post is basically done for now. I hope that I've covered everything in a logical, understandable way. Again, I'm not saying, "Believe this!" or "Don't believe that!", but I am saying: Know your history, know your mythology, and know your science. Question everything. We have brains that can analyze things! Use them as much as you can. I'd even recommend questioning whether or not you're awake right now. (Do it often enough and you'll start lucid dreaming ^_^).