Author of the Month

Black Genesis (cont.)
By Robert Bauval & Thomas Brophy

From Chapter 4, Section More Mysteries at Nabta Playa:

[a footnote about our method and perspective]

When some important and new discovery such as Nabta Playa might put into serious question the established views about the origins of civilization, there is a tendency to wait until a suitable theory can be developed before releasing any data about the discovery. The problem with this is that sometimes the data that fits an established theory is regarded as more valuable than mysterious new data that contradicts it.*

This attitude perhaps harks back to premodernity, which was characterized socio-culturally by often prerational and fused (or predifferentiated) notions of the dualities of theory versus measurement, mind versus matter, inner versus outer, religion versus science. Modernity is characterized by a radical differentiation of these dualities. That differentiation is the wonderful essence of the Scientific Revolution and the Renaissance. Postmodernity, which is only beginning to activate in our culture, is characterized by fully rational operation, a complete appreciation for the modern and Renaissance differentiation of the inner and the outer, the spiritual and the material—and an awareness of the value of both aspects of those dualities and a movement toward a reintegration, at a fully differentiated level, into a new, whole conception of those dualities. Scholarly argument must still operate generally in terms of modernity, because this is how the majority culture operates . . . on a good day, that is. Obviously, vast portions of our culture still operate in the premodern and prerational modes.

Brophy with shaped megalith from “Complex Structure A” at Nabta Playa (inset) and satellite image of the detritus left after excavation of the megalithic structure.

The largest megalith at Nabta Playa, called “X-1” seen on the ground and from satellite. Now broken or cut, its ancient function remains mysterious.

Others, like us, take an opposing view. We see the mysterious, unexplained data as more valuable, because if we try to understand the mystery, we might learn something new. To us that is what scientific research is—or ought to be—all about. In this frame of mind, then, we will look in more detail at some mysterious aspects of Nabta Playa in the hope that such an approach might shed even more light on this mysterious place…

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