When first I saw Laird Scranton’s book, The Science of the Dogon: Decoding the African Mystery Tradition, I thought, “Oh, another re-hash of the ancient alien theory.”
There had been a lot of talk about the Dogon ever since Robert Temple published a chapter on them in The Sirius Mystery: New Evidence of Alien Contact 5,000 Years Ago. (Temple’s chapter was based on anthropologists Griaule’s and Dieterlen’s work with the Dogon).
But last week I heard an interview with Laird Scranton. He was discussing his work on Chinese cosmology and how it, symbolically, is similar to the Dogon and others. THAT certainly changed my mind. This man is brilliant
Who is Laird Scranton?
He’s not an anthropologist, nor an archeologist, nor a quantum physicist, but he is a cosmologist who has had to delve into all these subjects. The brilliant part is that I probably understand these subjects—especially quantum theory—better from reading his work than from reading “popular” books on these subjects. He is a genius at explanation.
Laird Scranton is a computer programmer—that’s his day job. More specifically, he takes old programs and updates them. This means he must look at code, look for patterns in code, and try to figure out what the original programmer intended by that code. It is kind of like deciphering a new language, but one that uses symbols, not full words and sentences. He took that skill, applied it to Dogon cosmology, and what he found is astonishing.
What he has found
The first thing he discovered is a deep-rooted similarity between creation myths across the globe. Most these creation myths (cosmologies) start with a self-created god/dess who emerges from primordial water then creates more gods (8 to be exact) in pairs of opposites such as male/female, dark/light, etc….
He notes there are symbols common to these cosmologies, most notably a spiraling coil, primordial waters, clay, and the numbers 2 and 8.
He also uncovers concepts in common throughout creation myths including female goddesses of moisture, weaving and language associated with a twin god associated with pottery and/or metallurgy, as well as an original Mother Goddess. Cosmologies also seem to emphasize the four cardinal points and creation as beginning with the Word.
But then things get interesting
After isolating these recurring “themes” he takes a closer look and finds they correlate with current scientific theories, most notably the Big Bang and quantum physics.
His further research uncovers these same themes carried out in different regions of the globe and in different cosmologies, but with the same “root” symbols.
I’ll give an example
The goddess Neith is one of the oldest, if not the oldest Egyptian God/dess. Indeed she pre-dates dynastic Egypt. Born from primordial waters, she is the weaver goddess and this is one of her many hieroglyphs:
The “wavy” line is water, the mound is a representation of matter (at least for the Dogon), the figure denotes a god/dess, but the important symbol is the shuttle with which she weaves the world into existence. Weaving is done with threads, which are also strings.
So that takes us to quantum physics and string theory. What is important to know about string theory is that the basic source of matter is theorized to be like a string rather than a sharp point or blob.
Strings combine—weave together—in complex ways. These pictures of “string formations” are from Wikimedia Commons:
By Nina Hernitschek [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
By Steffenchristensen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
And that’s not all
If this were the only example he gives, I’d say “interesting co-incidence.” But it is not.
Take the word for thread, string, or cord in ancient Egyptian. It is set related to the word sett that means “to tremble” or “to vibrate.” Quantum strings vibrate.
But, again, that is not all. Neith weaves the string, “the fundamental source of the vibration of matter” as Scranton puts it, to create the matter of the universe.
Neith is not the only god/dess that can be understood using quantum theory. Scranton goes on to describe the Egyptian god Menu (or Min) whom he sees as the “composite of the four quantum forces—in a sense virtually a formula for matter.” (It would take me pages to describe that one, so I will spare you.)
What I have just given is at best 1% of the convincing arguments Laird Scranton puts forth. The evidence seems to be overwhelming.
As for me, I am convinced some ancient civilization, lost in one of the many cataclysms of “pre”-history, encoded scientific information in myths and legends as a way of preserving them until humanity was again advanced enough to understand the science behind them.
Or maybe other dimensional beings?
But then, I must admit, Scranton’s view is also intriguing. What physicists have found about other dimensions is also encoded in the science of the Dogon and in Egyptian hieroglyphs. (It has to do with quantum physics and something called spin—again, too long to describe here.) Could this knowledge have been brought to the Egyptians by entities from other dimensions? That’s what the Dogon “myths” say. And the “myths” of many other ancient cultures as well.
Scranton, Laird (2006). The Science of the Dogon: Decoding the African Mystery Tradition. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions.
Temple, Robert (1998). The Sirius Mystery: New Evidence of Alien Contact 5,000 Years Ago. Rochester, VT: Destiny Books.
For interviews, see YouTube or Where did the road go podcast (among many other venues)