When does our future meet our past? How does our scientific knowledge grow and change? A newly recognized type of Earth orbit can travel directly above a great circle formed by some of the oldest and most distinctive ancient human constructions on the surface of the Earth: the Giza pyramids, Machu Picchu, Easter Island, Angkor Wat, Mohenjo-Daro, and many others.
But is there any connection to all this? What do we need to learn – scientifically – to gain a greater understanding of the links between these sites, and the great changes that happened on our planet 12,800 years ago. Follow the adventures of a science writer and sceptic as he explores extraordinary coincidences, connections, and the evidence linking our modern world to our mysterious past. I like to make up stuff – stories, inventions, visual and auditory experiences. But when it comes to understanding the “real world” I want facts, and the scientific method provides our best way of finding them, and of making sure we are not misled by fantasies, fallacies, or frauds.
Ever since I first learned about Stonehenge when I was very young, I’ve been fascinated by the mysteries of our ancient human past, and the many unanswered questions. Our scientific toolkit lets us push back the unknown to gain a clearer understanding of where we came from, who we are, and in turn – where we might be going.
In my years as a writer, inventor, researcher, filmmaker, sceptic, storyteller and explainer, I have always tried to keep an open mind about what we do not yet know. I seek the truth wherever it resides, and try to follow wherever it may lead, for the greatest mysteries are often the ones that we are the closest to solving next. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx