Have you seen the television series Ancient Aliens? The show began airing on The History Channel in 2010 and became so immensely popular that it came to dominate the entire network. The show uses self-styled experts in UFOlogy (yes, that is a real thing), ancient mysteries, and alien activity to explain the “ancient astronaut theory.” The ancient astronaut theory explains the origins of the earth and humanity as being the product of extraterrestrial intervention in the earth’s distant past.
The producers of the show look at various “mysteries,” many of which are not mysteries at all, and walk away with the claim that the only explanation is alien activity. They then posit hypotheses about how and why aliens would have been behind this particular aspect of human history.
The show makes for great entertainment, especially if you are looking for a laugh at the logical fallacies and outright lies that the producers make. Are you on the fence about whether or not Ancient Aliens is based on correct information? Keep reading to learn some of the logical fallacies and factual inconsistencies that habitually appear in the show.
Puma Punku Is Not 17,000 Years Old
Puma Punku is a site in Peru, South America, that was built by the pre-Incan peoples in the Andes Mountains. It was probably a large temple complex with other buildings and was used primarily for worship. For the directors of Ancient Aliens, Puma Punku is irrefutable proof of extraterrestrial activity on earth, considering that they claim the site is 17,000 years old.
There are plenty of scientific ways to measure the age of archaeological sites, yet none of them were used in how the directors of Ancient Aliens measured the age of Puma Punku. Instead, they relied on an unscientific measurement that was made in the 1920s by someone who assumed that one of the blocks must align with the summer solstice. To make that hypothesis work, he had to propose a date 17,000 years in the past.