Three Takes on Human History
What does a book about giant robots, a archaeological dig in Morocco, and an issue of Marvel’s Thor all have in common? They’re all part of my Morning Ramble today. Actually, they all touch on human origins – from the scientific, to the mythological, to extraterrestrial intelligence. Regardless of of your beliefs in gods, science, or aliens, looking for the origin of man is always a hot topic and one I happened to stumble upon this morning through my reading.
After finishing with the Superman story arc yesterday, I decided it was time to take another look at Marvel so I went on over to Comic Book Herald’s My Marvelous Year to see where they were at. They’re currently running through 2005 this month, but there is a huge message saying that 2004 is a really good jumping on point for current Marvel. Well, I’m sure for some 2004 is current, but I figured it’ll good to read some stuff closer to this time frame (I’m already reading through 1963 Marvel), kinda like I’m doing with DC. This lead me to Avengers Disassembled and the first issue in that story is Thor #80 (actually more on that in another post).
Thor #80 begins with a prologue featuring the birth of the universe. Odin and his brothers put the beat down on Ymir (the big oaf who always freezes people in SMITE) and they created heaven and Earth from his body. Needing a great weapon to destroy their enemies, Odin charged the Dwarf Gitri with forging the hammer Mjolnir. In making the hammer, the mold was created in the forge of the cosmos and in doing so, worlds were shattered, the dinosaurs were destroyed and conditions were set for the rise of man.
While there is not date indicated for this prologue, it happens a long time before the current day, with the main highlight (at least for this post) being that the forging of Mjolnir made the human race possible.
Flash forward to the present (and the real world) and I read an issue of New Scientist, a magazine I love since it gives little snippets of interesting science on a weekly basis so I can feel like I know what’s going on (not like the news covers anything other than political crap these days). This issue contains an article about fossils found in Morocco. This is, of course, nothing new, but the jaw bones they found appear to date back to 350,000 years ago. And they’re Homo sapiens – yeah us!
Apparently prior to this discovery, the oldest bones were found in East Africa dating back to 200,000 years ago but some think South Africa may have some 260,000 year old fossils that fit the bill. In any case, these 350k year old bones appear to be the earliest now known humans.
With Mythology and Science outta the way, I take a look at Science Fiction and Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. In this book, a bunch of parts for a giant robot are found around the world and it is deduced that some alien race planted them thousands of years ago. The idea is that a superior race put these robot parts deep underground to be discovered when human technology reached a certain point in its evolution. Well, with the advent of nuclear reactions, humanity has reached the point where these robot parts start rising outta the ground and the race is on to piece them together to form Voltron. The story is really good and I’ll dive into it another time, but I just thought it was so interesting that an alien type origin or at least alien interference in human development was hinted at when I ran into the other 2 stories.
Such a coincidence that within the past couple of days (I actually finished reading Sleeping Giants 2 days ago) I’m exposed to 3 different takes on human origin. Gods, Science, and Aliens – 3 tales about the rise of mankind. I’m sure there may be more, and someday we might actually know the real story, but I find all the ways people try to understand their origin interesting.