Chariots of the Gods - Erich von Däniken

For some reason, after reading Gods From Outer Space first, I was not impressed with Von Daniken; I found the read to be disorganized, cluttered, and overall, cocky. But for some reason, I thought that the first book would be better. Maybe he just got cocky from the popularity of Chariots of the Gods. Maybe his success boosted his ego too much, and besides, Gods From Outer Space seemed more like a smattering of unfinished personal notes instead of an actual book.

 

Well, apparently, I was wrong. So, so very wrong. Von Daniken is perhaps even more cocky in this one, so far. That whole "conventional science dogma" thing is so wrong and close-minded, but because Von Daniken had an idea in the shower one day, it's "undoubtedly" true! Literally. It's not "here's a thought", it's "this is the one and only single logical conclusion that can be drawn".

 

The thing that shows this the most is how dated this text is. Which is funny, considering he's talking about events that took place thousands of years ago, so you'd think it'd be timeless. But no, most of his evidence is comparing descriptions of things in the past with technology in present day, i.e. 30 years ago. Obviously the alien astronauts would have antenna, even though nothing we use has them anymore. Obviously their propulsion systems would be rockets, despite the fact that this seems completely unreasonable for traveling interstellar distances. Obviously spacesuits would look like our suits. And it goes on, for everything. Nothing is merely left at "This seems strange, maybe it's something we don't know". It has to be exactly like what we have now.....er, then.

 

The thing I find most offensive is how hypocritical Von Daniken is. He repeatedly -almost bitterly- decries how dogmatic the normal scientific approach, because it approaches scenarios assuming that it knows everything. And yet that's exactly what he does. Obviously ancient people were savages (who therefore obviously believed the magic sky-people were gods), so if there was something that they did that we don't know how they did, it must have been aliens. "I completely reject archaeology's explanation for how this ancient civilization made this thing, yet I will use their expertise in saying that the civilization didn't have the technology to make it, ergo it must be aliens."

 

 

To be clear, I'm not against the theory. Not at all. I find it fascinating. But the amount of conviction that is held within this book for what is literally nothing other than mere speculation is quite revolting.