Examples of Advanced Ancient Technology

March 5, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

By Harun Yahya

Excerpted from the book A Historical Lie: the Stone Age

Cogs Used by the Mayans

Research in regions inhabited by the Mayans shows that they used devices containing cogwheels.

mayan cogwheels The photograph overleaf, taken in the major Mayan city of Copan, is one of the proofs of this. A society using cogwheel technology must also possess a knowledge of mechanical engineering.

It is impossible for anyone lacking this knowledge to produce a cogwheel mechanism. For example, if you were asked to produce a similar mechanism to that in the photograph, then without the appropriate training you could not do so, nor ensure that the mechanism would function properly.

Yet that the Mayans managed to do this is an important indicator of their level of knowledge, and proves that those who lived in the past were not “backward,” as evolutionists claim.

The examples up to now are only a few that demonstrate the advanced levels of civilization achieved by communities in the past. These point to one very significant truth: The evolutionist thesis imposed for so many years, that societies in the past lived simple, backward, primitive lives, is simply wrong. Societies with different levels of civilization and different cultures have existed in all ages; yet none evolved from any other. The fact that some backward civilizations existed 1,000 years ago does not mean that history itself evolved, or that societies progress from the primitive to the more advanced. Because alongside these backward communities, there were also highly advanced ones that made huge strides in science and technology and founded deep-rooted civilizations. Yes, cultural interaction and the accumulated knowledge handed down through generations may well play a role in societies’ development. But this is not evolution.

In citing examples of the communities that lived in the past, the Qur`an tells us that some of these did indeed build advanced cultures:

Have they not traveled in the Earth and seen the final fate of those before them? They were greater than them in strength and left far deeper traces on the Earth . . .

Al Ghaffar:21

Have they not traveled in the land and seen the final fate of those before them? They were more numerous than them and greater in strength and left more and deeper traces on Earth, but what they earned was of no use to them.

Al Ghaffar:82

How many wrongdoing cities We destroyed, and now all their roofs and walls are fallen in; how many abandoned wells and stuccoed palaces!

Al Hajj:45

These statements imparted in the Qur`an are supported by archaeological findings. When archaeological discoveries and the sites where past communities lived are examined, it can indeed be seen that most of these societies enjoyed a higher level than some present-day communities, and that they made enormous advances in the fields of construction technology, astronomy, mathematics and medicine. This yet again invalidates the Darwinist myth of the evolution of history and societies.

The Impasse of Language Evolution

In recounting the myth of the evolution of mankind’s history, evolutionists encounter a number of serious problems. One is how human consciousness emerged in the first place. Another concerns the origin of speech—one characteristic that distinguishes human beings from all other living creatures.

When we speak, we are able to shape our thoughts thanks to language, and to express them in such a way that another party can understand them. Although this requires highly specialized muscular movements of the lips, throat and tongue, we are hardly aware of this. We merely “want” to speak. Sounds, syllables and words emerge through the harmonious contraction and relaxation of some 100 different muscles, and sentences comprehensible to others are formed by the appropriate sequences of such grammatical elements as subject, object and pronoun. The fact that we do nothing more than “wish” to use such an ability, based on such complex stages, clearly shows that speech is not merely an ability that arises from essential biological structures.

The human capacity for speech is an exceedingly complex phenomenon that cannot be explained in terms of the imaginary requirements or mechanisms of an evolutionary process. Despite lengthy research, evolutionists have been unable to produce any evidence that an exceedingly complex ability like speech evolved from simple animal-like sounds. David Premack from Pennsylvania University made this failure abundantly clear when he said, “Human language is an embarrassment for evolutionary theory . . .”

The well-known linguist Derek Bickerton summarizes the reasons for this “embarrassment:”

Could language have come directly out of some prehuman trait? No. Does it resemble forms of animal communication? No . . . no ape, despite intensive training, has yet acquired even the rudiments of syntax . . . how words emerged, how syntax emerged. But these problems lie at the heart of language evolution.

All languages on Earth are complex, and not even evolutionists are able to imagine how such complexity could have been acquired gradually. According to the evolutionist biologist Richard Dawkins, all languages—even the tribal ones regarded as most primitive—are highly complex:

My clear example is language. Nobody knows how it began . . . Equally obscure is the origin of semantics; of words and their meaning . . . all the thousands of languages in the world are very complex. I am biased towards thinking it was gradual, but it is not quite obvious that it had to be. Some people think it began suddenly, more or less invented by a single genius in a particular place at a particular time.

Two evolutionist brain researchers, W.K. Williams and J. Wakefield of Arizona State University, say this on the subject:

Despite the lack of evidence for intermediate stages in linguistic evolution, the alternatives are hard to accept. If some species-specific characteristic did not evolve in piecemeal fashion, then there would seem to be only two ways to explain its appearance. Either it was put in place by some still-undiscovered force, perhaps through divine intervention, or it was the result of some relatively abrupt change in the development of the species, perhaps some sort of spontaneous and widespread mutation . . . but the fortuitous nature of such a happenstance mutation makes that explanation seem suspect. As has been pointed out (Pinker and Bloom, 1990), the chances against a mutation resulting in a system as complex and apparently so ideally suited to its task as is language are staggeringly high.

Professor of linguistics Noam Chomsky comments on the complexity of the ability to speak:

I’ve said nothing so far about the production of language. The reason is that there is little to say of any interest. Apart from peripheral aspects, it remains largely a mystery. 

To anyone not trapped inside evolutionist preconceptions, the origin of the capacity for speech is perfectly clear. It is Almighty God Who bestows this ability on Man. God inspires speech in human beings and causes them to speak, as is revealed in a verse from the Qur`an:

. . . They will reply, “God gave us speech as He has given speech to everything. He created you in the first place and you will be returned to Him.”

Fussilat:21

In the same way that evolutionists are unable to account for the complexity of the biological structures that enable speech, they are also unable to explain the origin of the consciousness that makes language possible. Human consciousness and the complexities of language show that language was created by a superior Intelligence that belongs to Almighty God, our Lord.

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Examples of Advanced Ancient Technology

February 26, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

By Harun Yahya

Excerpted from the book A Historical Lie: the Stone Age

The Nimrud Lens

A discovery made by the archaeologist Sir John Layard in 1850 raised the question of who actually used the first lens? During a series of excavations in what is now Iraq, Layard discovered a piece of a lens dating back 3,000 years. Currently on display in the British Museum, this fragment shows that the first known lens was used in the days of the Assyrians. Professor Giovanni Pettinato of the University of Rome believes that this rock-crystal lens—which, according to him, is a major discovery shedding considerable light on the history of science—could also explain why the ancient Assyrians knew so much about astronomy, having discovered the planet Saturn and the rings around it.

To what use was this lens put? That answer may be debatable, but it’s still obvious that not all bygone societies lived simple lives, as evolutionist scientists maintain. Past societies made use of science and technology, built deeply-rooted civilizations and enjoyed advanced life styles. Only limited information regarding their daily lives has come down to us today, but practically all we know shows that none of these societies ever underwent evolution.

The Baghdad Battery

In 1938, the German archaeologist Wilhelm König discovered a vase-like object now known as the “Baghdad Battery.” But how was it concluded that this object, some 2,000 years old, was used as a battery? If it actually was used as a battery—which the research carried out certainly indicates—then all theories to the effect that civilization always progresses and that societies in the past lived under primitive conditions, will be totally demolished. This earthenware pot, sealed with asphalt or bitumen, contains a cylinder of copper. The bottom of this cylinder is covered with a copper disk. The asphalt stopper holds in place an iron rod, suspended down into the cylinder, without making any contact with it.

If the pot is filled with an electrolyte, a current-producing battery is the result. This phenomenon is known as an electrochemical reaction, and is not far different from the way that present-day batteries work. During experiments, between 1.5 and 2 volts of electricity was generated by some reconstructions based on the Baghdad Battery.

This raises a very important question: What was a battery used for 2,000 years ago? Since such a battery existed, obviously there must have been tools and devices that it powered. This once again shows that people living 2,000 years ago possessed far more advanced technology—and by extension, living standards—than was previously thought.

The Mayans: Another Civilization That Refutes the Idea of the Evolution of History

Almost all evolutionist publications have one thing in common: All of them devote considerable space to imaginary scenarios regarding why some biological structure or characteristic of a living thing might have evolved. The striking factor is that all the stories evolutionists dream up are depicted as scientific fact. The fact is, however, that these accounts are nothing more than Darwinist fairy tales. Evolutionists seek to present the scenarios they come up with as scientific evidence. Yet these accounts are all entirely misleading, of no scientific worth, and can never constitute evidence for evolutionist claims.

One tale so frequently encountered in the evolutionist literature is that of allegedly ape-like creatures turning into human beings, and of primitive man gradually becoming a social entity. Despite there being no scientific evidence to support them, reconstructions of these supposed primitive human beings—in which they are depicted as walking only semi-upright, grunting, walking together with their “cave-families” or hunting with crude stone tools—are the best known parts of this scenario.

These reconstructions amount to an invitation to imagine and believe. With them, evolutionists seek to convince people not on the basis of concrete facts, but of fantastic speculation, because these are based on their authors’ prejudices and preconceptions, rather than on scientific facts.

Evolutionists have no qualms about keeping these stories in the professional literature, nor about presenting them as if they were scientific truth, even though they are well aware of the erroneous nature of their accounts. However, these scenarios so frequently voiced by evolutionists constitute conjectures, not scientific evidence, for the theory of evolution, because there is no evidence that Man is descended from an ape-like ancestor. In the same way, no archaeological or historical evidence suggests that societies evolve from the primitive to the more advanced. Man has been Man ever since he first came into existence, and has created different civilizations and cultures in all periods of history. One of these civilizations is the Mayan, whose remains still inspire amazement today.

Historical sources refer to a tall figure in white robes who came to the communities living in this region. According to the information contained on monuments, the belief in a single God spread for a short time, while advances were made in science and art.

The Mayans: Expert Mathematicians

The Mayans lived in Central America around 1,000 BCE, at a considerable distance from other advanced civilizations like those in Egypt, Greece and Mesopotamia. The most important features of the Mayans are the scientific advances they made in the fields of astronomy and mathematics, and their complex written language.

The Mayans’ knowledge of time, astronomy and mathematics was a thousand years ahead of that of the Western world at the time. For example, their calculation of the Earth’s annual cycle was a great deal more accurate than any other such calculations before the invention of the computer. The Mayans used the mathematical concept of zero a thousand years before its discovery by Western mathematicians, and used far more advanced figures and signs than their contemporaries.

The Mayan Calendar

The Haab, the civil calendar used by the Mayans, consisting of 365 days, is one of the products of their advanced civilization. Actually, they were aware that a year is slightly longer than 365 days; their estimate was 365.242036 days. In the Gregorian calendar in use today, a year consists of 365.2425 days. 67 As you can see, there’s only a very small difference between the two figures—further evidence of the Mayans’ expertise in the fields of mathematics and astronomy.

The Mayans’ Knowledge of Astronomy

Three books which have come down to us from the Mayans, known as the Maya Codices, contain important information concerning their lives and astronomical knowledge. Of the three—the Madrid Codex, the Paris Codex and the Dresden Codex—the latter is the most important in terms of showing the depth of the Mayan knowledge of astronomy. They possessed a very complex system of writing, of which only less than 30% has been deciphered. Yet even this is enough to show the advanced level of science they attained.

For example, page 11 of the Dresden Codex contains information about the planet Venus. The Mayans had calculated that the Venusian year lasted 583.92 days, and rounded it up to 584 days. In addition, they produced drawings of the planet’s cycle for thousands of years. Two other pages in the codex contain information about Mars, four are about Jupiter and its satellites, and eight pages are devoted to the Moon, Mercury and Saturn, setting out such complicated calculations as the orbits of these planets around the Sun, their relationships with one another, and their relationships with the Earth.

So accurate was the Mayans’ knowledge of astronomy that they were able to determine that one day needed to be subtracted from the Venusian orbit every 6,000 years. How did they acquire such information? That is still a matter of debate for astronomers, astro-physicists and archaeologists. Today, such complex calculations are made with the help of computer technology. Scientists learn about outer space in observatories equipped with all kinds of technical and electrical apparatus. Yet the Mayans acquired their knowledge 2,000 years before the invention of present-day technology. This yet again invalidates the thesis that societies always progress from a primitive to a more advanced state. Many bygone societies had just as advanced a level of civilization as current ones, and sometimes even more so. Many communities today have not yet achieved the levels attained by societies in the past. In short, civilizations sometimes move forwards and at other times backwards, and both advanced and primitive civilizations sometimes exist at the very same time.

Network of Roads in the Ancient Mayan City of Tikal

Tikal, one of the oldest Mayan cities, was founded in the 8th century BCE. Archaeological excavations in the city, which stands in wild jungle, have unearthed houses, palaces, pyramids, temples and assembly areas. All these areas are connected to one another by roads. Radar images have shown that in addition to complete drainage system, the city also enjoyed a comprehensive irrigation system. Tikal stands neither by a river nor by a lake, and it was found that the city made use of some ten water reservoirs.

Five main roads lead from Tikal into the jungle. Archaeologists describe them as ceremonial roads. Aerial photographs show that Mayan cities were linked to one another by a large network of roads totaling some 300 kilometers (190 miles) in length and demonstrating detailed engineering. All the roads were made from broken rocks and were covered over with a light-color hard-wearing layer. These roads are perfectly straight, as if laid out with a ruler, and the important questions remain of how the Mayans were able to determine direction during the construction of these roads and what equipment and tools they used. The evolutionist mentality cannot provide rational and logical answers. Because we are dealing with a marvel of engineering, hundreds of kilometers long, it is crystal-clear that these roads are the product of detailed calculations and measurements and the use of the necessary materials and tools.

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