7.2.4. When science and religion collide: pyramidology
No other preceding century did achieve as many discoveries and inventions as the 19th century. From William Whewell who coined the term “scientist,” Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of the Species, the discovery of the vaccine by Louis Pasteur to Thomas Edison’s light bulb, this century had the merit of transforming science into a profession. The world began to wake up from the nightmare of superstition and it headed toward an age of knowledge. But for theologians this was not a cause for celebration; they had the difficult task of providing religious answers to the new questions regarding the mechanics of the Universe, the history of mankind and the role of divinity in everyday life. The new discoveries came into conflict with millenary religious traditions. Thus, in a desperate effort to incorporate them into an all-embracing theological scheme, religious scholars gave birth to ideological monstrosities, one of these being pyramidology.
From a historical point of view, the megastructures created by ancient civilizations were a declaration of power and a symbol of the godlike status of the leaders. Height signals dominance. So, by making the subjects feel small and insignificant, large buildings had the purpose of maintaining order and control. But there is a pattern in the ancient ruins: from Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China to Central America, man’s first megastructures are pyramidal in shape. This is due to the fact that the tallest things on Earth, the mountains, are natural pyramids, their shape being dictated by the forces of gravity and friction. Hence, ancient people were inspired by nature’s lesson: if you want to defy gravity and build tall, but you have only rudimentary materials and little expertise, then you have to build a mountain-like structure. This is how civilizations, with no direct contact, separated by oceans, continents and sometimes thousands of years, created similar megastructures. Indeed, pyramids fascinate, but this happens not because pyramids themselves, of any kind, have something special, but because of the primordial relation between the human species and mountains. Nevertheless, many people have found this explanation unsatisfactory and they have refused to accept that the ancient megastructures were nothing more than a colossal waste of materials, time, lives and toil. Instead, they have preferred to think that there is something more, suprarational or supernatural, related to their shape and their purpose.