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A Series About the Origins of Ancient Civilzations is Being Called 'the Most Dangerous Show on Netflix,' Because We've All Gone Insane

This trailer is for the docuseries Ancient Apocalypse, written and hosted by Graham Hancock, the British journalist who has been challenging the long-held opinions by archaeologists about the nature of some of our earliest ancestors, as well as the age of advanced civilizations. WSD wrote about his most recent appearance on Joe Rogan:

And I'm not ashamed to say I listened to the whole 3 1/2 hours of the conversation. 

To sum up Hancock's theories could take a dozen blogs. But to keep it as brief as possible, the Netflix show takes Hancock to various ancient structures around the globe. Some of which, most notably Gobekli Tepe in Turkey:

Shutterstock Images.

… radically changed our understanding of antiquity when it was discovered in the mid-1990s. Because it dates back about 11,500 years ago, a time in which anthropologists have always assumed humans were simple hunter-gatherers. And still thousands of years from being able to construct monoliths such as this. Especially on such a massive scale. 

Hancock connects the dots between Gobekli Tepe and other gigantic ancient builds around the world, from Malta in the Mediterranean to Mexico to the pyramids in Egypt, and finds similarities in the way they were built to support his theory that is controversial among scientists, to say the very least. Essentially he looks at the periods these works were built, that are seemingly far beyond what we thought these ancient cultures were capable of, notes how the timing aligns with the Younger-Dryas comet impact that is believed to have caused a cataclysmic flood 12,600 years ago and created a 1,200-year long ice age, and ties the events into Plato's reporting that the city of Atlantis sunk into the during that exact same time. 

In essence, without ever mentioning Atlantis by name, Hancock's hypothesis is that survivors of that highly advanced civilization went around the world sharing their technology and knowledge of construction, astronomy, language, art and science. And these structures are the result. And to support his claim, he points out how many of these cultures have origin myths involving a great god who came out of the sea to create them. 

So that's more or less the SparkNotes version of the series. Frankly, there's also a lot of grandiose stuff in there. With Hancock constantly reminding us he's been vilified by the scientific community for challenging their deepest held beliefs and how he's been canceled by Big Archaeology for speaking his truth and whatnot. 

And if we're being honest, there's none of what you'd call actual evidence to back up some pretty big assertions. As you'd imagine from a story that's 12 millienia old, all you can do is look at what's survived the centuries and theorize. But I find the whole idea that we're finding the remnants of a technologically advanced civilization that was lost to us due to a worldwide disaster so utterly compelling, I want to believe it. And the more examples he cites, the more plausible his bonkers theory becomes. 

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Again, not everyone agrees. Hancock is way out on the fringe on all of this, and so naturally he's getting pushback. Which is not only fair, it's entirely the natural you'd expect. I couldn't be more out of my depth on this whole topic. But there are experts in the field who challenge all Ancient Apocalypse's major assertions. And point out Hancock's own son is an executive at Netflix. Make of that what you will. 

But recognize that, if nothing else, Hancock is making a public that is normally focused on what Kylie Jenner is wearing have a healthy debate about the roots of civilization and expanding the limits of human knowledge. Which is a good thing, right? 

Wrong. 

It's not only not good, depending on whom you're talking to it's downright dangerous. A threat to all that we hold dear. 

Source - At the time of writing, Ancient Apocalypse has been comfortably sitting in Netflix’s Top 10 list for several days. This presents something of a mystery. … Ancient Apocalypse obviously has an audience, but who on Earth is it? …

Ancient Apocalypse must be a TV programme made exclusively for people who like to shout at you on Twitter. 

Of course it is. These people are Hancock’s bread and butter; the “free thinkers” who, through some bizarre quirk of nature, are often more perennially outraged than anyone else on Earth. …

[I]f he’s right, and the history of humanity really is just the first five minutes of Prometheus, it would change everything we know about ourselves. But we certainly shouldn’t treat his hodgepodge of mysteries and coincidences as fact.

That’s the danger of a show like this. It whispers to the conspiracy theorist in all of us. And Hancock is such a compelling host that he’s bound to create a few more in his wake. Believing that ultra-intelligent creatures helped to build the pyramids is one thing, but where does it end? Believing that election fraud is real? Believing 9/11 was an inside job? Worse? If you were feeling particularly mean-spirited, you could suggest that Netflix knows this, and has gone out of its way to court the conspiracy theorists.

Even racist:

Source - [W]hy has the story of Atlantis – compared with other ancient myths – maintained its popularity for so long? What is the essential attraction of the tale? …

Many [Nazis] swore by the idea that a white Nordic superior race – people of “the purest blood” – had come from Atlantis. As a result, Himmler set up an SS unit, the Ahnenerbe – or Bureau of Ancestral Heritage – in 1935 to find out where people from Atlantis had ended up after the deluge had destroyed their homeland.

And that, in part, explains why the myth of an ancient, lost civilisation is so useful. It is a basic tale of a rise and fall that can be corralled and exploited for all sorts of causes. …

Hancock – who describes himself as a journalist presumably to avoid being called a pseudo-scientist – takes the story to a new controversial level in suggesting that survivors of such a deluge were the instigators of the great works of other civilisations, from Egypt to Mexico and Turkey to Indonesia. As [Cardiff University archaeologist Flint] Dibble states, such claims reinforce white supremacist ideas. “They strip indigenous people of their rich heritage and instead give credit to aliens or white people.” In short, the series promotes ideas of “race science” that are outdated and long since debunked.

OK then. Let's review:

So watching a show about archaeology means you're likely to be a rageaholic Twitter troll. And to question the current established theories of an ever-changing science in the wake of new discoveries makes you an election denier and 9/11 conspiracy theorist. To be interested in a tale of mythic lore of a lost civilization that dates back to Plato and wonder if there's some grain of truth to it, means you're a Nazi sympathizer. To explore archaeological digs from around the world and speculate as to whether there's some ancient connection, means you want to start laying the tracks to Buchenwald. And Graham Hancock suggesting someone might have lived in a city that was more advanced than the rest of the world 10,000 years before Christ confirms him as a white supremacist? Have I got that right? I mean, like I said, he never mentions Atlantis by name. But assuming that's what he means (I do), he automatically assumes Atlantis was whiter than a folk music festival in Provo? And in thinking this, he's secretly harboring racist attitudes toward … whom? Every non-Atlantean on Earth?  He has hatred in his heart for people who've been dead for 120 centuries?

Giphy Images.

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I guess you can't please everybody. And while I think that criticizing a theory that is admittedly wacky-sounding and pretty farfetched comes with the territory, I don't see how you advance science by charging someone with being "dangerous," encouraging conspiracy nutjobs, or wanting to carry out The Final Solution just for coming up with a hypothesis about the distant past of our species. This isn't poking holes in ideas. This is trying to get someone to shut up and go away, plain and simple. And is exactly the kind of tactics they used to use to silence the people who said the Earth revolves around the sun and humans evolved from the apes. You call them "dangerous" and claim their ideas are a threat to us all because they challenge the orthodoxy, instead of just arguing your own points. That to me is not only anti-science, it is exactly what "dangerous" really means.