Monday, August 8, 2011

The Most Powerful Force on Earth

What is the most powerful force on Earth?

Earthquakes?  Tsunamis?  Volcanoes, tornadoes or hurricanes?

None of the above.

Some people marveling at the sight of the Great Pyramids of Giza might also find themselves wondering how and especially if it was possible for such an ancient (and, therefore 'primitive') civilization to build such large and impressively engineered structures to such rigorous and seemingly impossible standards.

Such people might even conclude (a la von Daniken) that ancient peoples, with their crude tools and inaccurate measuring devices, would actually be incapable of such physical feats.  They conclude that for the cutting, moving and placing of large stones, ancient peoples would have had to rely upon the technology and beneficence of extraterrestrial beings.

Sadly, these people are seriously underestimating power of the human race.  In fact, they are overlooking the most powerful force on the planet: sustained human effort.  This force, even when applied to mere stones (even very large ones) is more than a parlor trick.  This force is what makes us unique among life forms.

But, how did they do it?  Oh come on.  It's really not that hard to figure out.  They did it with lots of people.  That's it.  Many, many, many man hours.  When each person in a project gives their maximum effort and the number of people is sufficient, feats such as the Great Pyramids are more than possible.  They are downright simple.

As feats of engineering go, without unnecessarily belittling the efforts of the ancient Egyptians, the Pyramids are not as unbelievably difficult as people might--and often do--imagine.  After all, these were just rocks.  True, they were large.  True, they were cut to exacting specifications, transported over long distances and lifted to great heights.

But a pyramid is not a new molecule, a stealth jet, or the International Space Station.  If you can comprehend the truly complex human effort required to build the ISS, why would you doubt the ability of humans to cut, move and arrange a bunch or rocks?

Give the ancients some credit, for goodness sake.

1 comment:

bc said...

I've always thought cell division to be the strongest force on earth--but I can't for the life of me figure how that works into building pyramids...