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The serious mystery - Robert K. G. Temple on life in the universe

The serious mystery - Robert K. G. Temple on life in the universe-slide0
Fair use, to illustrate article's context.

Robert K. G. Temple is, perhaps, most well-known for his 1976 AD book “The Sirius Mystery.” Herein, we will consider a statement made in a chapter titled, “The Knowledge of the Dogon”:

“Any people who still believe human beings are unique as intelligent life in the universe are seriously out of touch with reliable and informed estimates by scientists and astronomers. An attitude which asserts that man is the only intelligent life form in the universe is intolerably arrogant today, though as little as twenty years ago it was probably common belief.

But anyone who holds such an opinion today is, fortunately for those who like to see some progress in human conceptions, something of an intellectual freak equivalent to a believer in the Flat Earth Theory. I mention that theory because I once met a woman who appeared quite sane and yet who was a member of a cult who believe the Earth is flat.

This was one of the more startling experiences anyone can have, and a salutary education to me. It taught me never to underestimate the power of the human mind to believe what it wants to believe despite any amount of evidence.”

Let us consider this statement in segments:

1) “Any people who still believe human beings are unique as intelligent life in the universe are seriously out of touch with reliable and informed estimates by scientists and astronomers.”

If you “still,” mind you, believe that “human beings are unique as intelligent life in the universe” you are not necessarily “seriously out of touch with reliable and informed estimates by scientists and astronomers.”

You may believe, still, that “human beings are unique as intelligent life in the universe” even whilst being perfectly aware of “reliable and informed,” and here is the key word, “estimates.”

You can believe that humans are unique while affirming estimates against your view and withholding a conclusion that there is other intelligent life in the universe until such a time as we have actual evidence and not merely estimates.

2) “An attitude which asserts that man is the only intelligent life form in the universe is intolerably arrogant today, though as little as twenty years ago it was probably common belief.”

It would only be “intolerably,” mind you, “arrogant” if it is not true. If it is true, then it is a mere fact.

Also, note that he is not claiming that it was “intolerably arrogant” twenty years ago (that was written in 1976 AD) but it is so “today”—such are the ways of the moral zeitgeist which is tentative and can quickly go from zeitgeist to poltergeist.

3) “But anyone who holds such an opinion today is, fortunately for those who like to see some progress in human conceptions, something of an intellectual freak equivalent to a believer in the Flat Earth Theory.”

This is, somewhat, reminiscent of Richard Dawkins correlating those who doubt his chosen version of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution to Holocaust deniers (see here and here for the specifics of Dawkins’ claims in this regard; he actually stated that those who doubt that humans are related to bananas and turnips are like Holocaust deniers).

So, if you believe that humans are the only intelligent life in the universe despite mere estimates; you are “an intellectual freak equivalent to a believer in the Flat Earth Theory.”

That the Earth is not flat is not based on estimates but on reproducible science. Moreover, the other problem in believing in the flat Earth is that the concept of a flat Earth is a secular myth; it was invented in order to make religious people look like freaks, sans that intellect. For the facts on this see the article Positive Atheism - Cliff Walker: The Flat Earth Falls Flat.

4) “I mention that theory because I once met a woman who appeared quite sane and yet who was a member of a cult who believe the Earth is flat.”

Well, there is a reason why it is a cult.

5) “This was one of the more startling experiences anyone can have, and a salutary education to me. It taught me never to underestimate the power of the human mind to believe what it wants to believe despite any amount of evidence.”

And now we come to the nut, the main point, the key, the rub, etc.

If you still believe human beings are unique you are seriously out of touch with reliable and informed estimates and are intolerably arrogant and also an intellectual freak equivalent to a believer in the Flat Earth Theory some of whom formed a cult.

Yet, Robert K. G. Temple believes that extra-terrestrial chimeras consisting of some combination of fish-frog humanoids flew their spacecraft to Earth in order to impart their knowledge, and some lack of knowledge as they got much wrong, about the universe. They spent their nights on Earth in the water and the days amongst certain civilizations, such as the Dogon of Africa upon whom Temple focuses his, debunked, book, “They Sirius Mystery.”

In fact, he titled one chapter, “The Nommo – the Amphibian Race from Sirius.”

It is easy for Robert K. G. Temple to point his finger but, when he does so, three fingers are pointing back at him.

Be on the lookout for our series wherein we will consider the main premise of “The Sirius Mystery” book.

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