The other day I was carrying in some bags of groceries when eleven year-old Iris uber Alles, long known to believe passionately that the moon landing was faked by the American government, said provocatively, "The pyramids were built by aliens!" I ignored this and continued wrestling the groceries in, but Iris was relentless. She was clearly angling for a fight.
"Because according to ancient writing things they wrote on like walls of the pyramids, they wrote about how they built the pyramids, and it says they built them over a certain time period, and if that time period was read right, they lifted one limestone block which weighed about two tons in two minutes , and obviously they needed help from aliens! Could YOU lift a limestone block that weighs two tons in two minutes? Could you?" jeered Iris. "And you know, they had a lot of people, but STILL.. They must have had one really massive helper", presumably an alien.
These special beliefs are saved for the home. Iris showed me a test on Egypt she'd gotten an A on, and it had nary a mention of aliens.
I tried arguing about the pyramids, but to no avail. My arguments about the moon landing didn't change Iris's resolute belief that it was faked. I'm currently reading "Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History" by David Aaronovich in the faint hope that I'll be better educated and better able to argue with Iris, but I'm pessimistic. Iris is a tough nut to crack.
while i'm not with iris on the moon landing thing, aliens and the pyramids is perfectly fine with me. at the least it makes a much better movie.
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