Journal article Open Access

Traces of the Gods: Ancient Astronauts as a Vision of Our Future

Richter, Jonas

Ancient astronaut speculation (also called paleo-SETI), often labeled pseudoscience or modern myth, still awaits in-depth research. Focusing on Erich von Däniken and reconstructing his views on god and cosmology from scattered statements throughout his books, this article analyzes his attitudes toward science and religion as well as his concepts of god and creation. In this regard, his pantheistic combination of the big bang theory with a model of god as supercomputer is of special interest. Analogous to interpretatio Romana, Däniken utilizes what I call an interpretatio technologica, explaining myths by converting them into technological language. Building on the works of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Jean E. Charon, the Swiss writer also develops the vision of a cosmic tendency towards increasing knowledge and information. A short comparison with Raël demonstrates that similar ancient astronaut myths can lead to different applications or worldviews.
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