MYSTERIES OF THE ANDES: TIAHUANACO AND THE NAZCA LINES - ARTICLE 4 OF 4
It was mentioned on a biology blog that archaeological engravings from the Tiahuanaco civilization in Bolivia are unlikely to be depicting an ancient astronaut for the reason that, even with an aquatic tail, the creature still looks too much like a human.
The underlying argument was that the evolution of life forms is so diverse that it is highly unlikely an alien would come out looking even remotely like us. In essence, this is the opposite side of the pendulum to Hollywood's consistent imaging of aliens as humanoids.
The biologist ignored the decorative and symbolic imagery added by the Tiahuanaco artists and did not consider the given premise of an aquatic alien inside helmeted spacesuit. I have to assume, therefore, the biologist noted that the creature had two arms and two eyes, and since humans have two arms and two eyes, the biologist concluded that this cannot be an alien.
What should intelligent aliens look like? Or, to phrase it another way, what should we expect interstellar travelers who come here to look like? This is not a complete unknown. If the aliens are capable of interstellar travel, they obviously achieved higher technology. What is necessary to achieve technology? My opinion on this is that to achieve technology, a life form would need a complex brain and the ability to see and manipulate objects. This implies eyes, fingered appendages, and perhaps a head relatively large compared to overall body size. The Tiahuanaco alien has all these features.
The biologist might counter that the issue is not that aliens have eyes, but the number of eyes. Here on Earth, higher animal forms evolved with two eyes. For example, mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and insects all have two eyes, but on another planet the number of eyes would be different. There, perhaps, the life forms would randomly have one, three, four, or even ten eyes. Is that true? Is the number of eyes a random event in the evolutionary process?
Astronomers searching for extraterrestrial intelligence are looking for planets similar to Earth regarding temperature and chemical composition because they know life evolved here, so it is logical to assume that life might also evolve on other similar planets. Likewise, with similar planetary history, we might expect the evolutionary process on those other planets to progress similarly to how it progressed here.
Question: Was the evolution of animal life with two eyes on Earth a random event, so much so that we should expect extraterrestrial life to have a different number of eyes? I think not. Why? It is called natural selection or survival of the fittest. Two eyes are the minimum required to give depth perception and concentrated focus. Perhaps early on Earth there were animals with five or ten eyes, but with a brain too small to orientate five directions, such species quickly became extinct. Only two eyes survived. Should we expect something radically different on another Earth-like planet? No. It is reasonable to expect intelligent aliens to have two eyes, just like humans.
It is also reasonable to expect alien life forms to be imaginable from the diversity of life forms we see on Earth, past and present. The Tiahuanaco alien has features similar to a fish (fish mouth that seems to be breathing inside a water-filled helmet), features similar to a lobster (sea creature with two forward appendages for manipulating objects), and features similar to humans (large head and fingered upper appendages). Only four fingers are depicted in the Tiahuanaco drawings, versus our five, but this easily falls within evolutionary feasibility. The alien's three-pod aquatic tail is also an imaginable evolutionary development.
One of the things that the alien legacy has taught us is that it is possible for water-based life forms to achieve higher technology. In other words, the prolonged and complicated transition from water to land is not an essential step. This sharply weakens the arguments of scientists who would like to believe that technology is unique to humankind: the evolutionary progression from amoeba to technology can be short-circuited.
I think the biologist's appreciation for the potentially enormous diversity of life forms in the universe is admirable. For those life forms that develop higher technology, however, it is likely, not unlikely, that they will have something in common with humans.
Astrobiology in detail
Several aspects of the Tiahuanaco drawings are relevant for studies in exobiology and evolutionary biology:
Animal species on Earth tend to be divided into two sexes: male and female, and this method of procreation is likely to be a feature of alien evolution. To get to the point, the sky god's tail of blossoming "flowers" looks like something designed to attract lovers, and literature deemed written by the sky god provides strong support for improvements in the status of women. For practical reasons, I usually refer to the sky god as "he" or "him" on this website, but more likely than not, this ancient astronaut was a female. See also the comment about the female fish on the SETI page.
Prior to the arrival of the sky god, the artists of Tiahuanaco made sculptures of giants, and in giant size. Since they were not averse to making things in large size, the image of the sky god on top of the Gateway of the Sun may reflect his real size. In other words, the sky god may have been a relatively small creature, perhaps measuring no more than a meter in length from head to tail.
The full frontal images of the sky god do not depict him with teeth, but that does not necessarily mean that he did not have teeth. It could mean only that the teeth were not depicted. Meanwhile, an isolated facial image does show teeth. More likely than not, the species of this ancient astronaut evolved as carnivorous fish.
The aquatic tail likely provided locomotion and upright balance support when the species was evolving in water. On land, the ancient astronaut most likely relied on elevation technology built into his instruments to maintain an upright position.
Two arms are the minimum requirement for the ability to grab hold of large objects, just like two eyes are the minimum requirement for depth perception and one mouth is the minimum requirement for eating. It is reasonable to expect advanced aliens to have two arms, two eyes, and one mouth. Note that on Earth, for all its diversity in animal life forms, we rarely see more than two eyes or more than one mouth, nor do we find apes with more than two arms. We should also expect to see legs or lower limbs, but only for land-based aliens, not for water-based aliens.
No alien is going to achieve technology without the ability to manipulate objects including the ability to push buttons. There is no universal requirement here. It depends upon the complexity of what needs to be held or manipulated. Four fingers and one thumb could be ideal for creatures that need to climb trees and pick fruits, but sea life might be able to get by with just four fingers, as we can see in these Axolotl photographs.
And while there, please note the Axolotl gills, rising upward from the head, which remind us of the Atacama Giant geoglyph in northern Chile, whose four upward protrusions, in turn, remind us of the four upward protrusions seen in a Tiahuanaco drawing..
Some scientists have noticed that a) humans are a land-based creature, and b) humans have achieved technology, thereby concluding that only land-based creatures can achieved technology. (Well, not everyone has studied logic.)
It seems that at some point in early Earth history: a) the waters on this planet temporarily dried up, or b) the waters on this planet became toxic to animal life due to volcanic eruptions, collisions with comets, or whatever, thereby stifling water-based evolution and forcing the migration to land. But an alien planet here or there may have escaped those comet attacks. In any case, on Earth we see signs of sea life (lobsters and crayfish, for example) developing the ability to manipulate objects, and from there it is an easy enough step to put something afloat on the surface of your sea and begin to make use of air and fire. Nonetheless, evolutionary similarities between the axolotl species of Mexico and the ancient astronaut suggest that the surface of the alien's planet had land as well as water, or perhaps the land reappeared prior to achieving advanced technology.
The page develops a theory of evolution, arguing that evolutionary processes on all planets of the universe are likely to produce a similar diversity of life forms and that intelligent life, in particular, is likely to have features in common wherever it arises. For most of the people of this planet, however, evolution itself is considered to be just a "theory," that is, there may be no such thing. In the face of such massive and widespread ignorance, I am well aware of the futility of trying to convince people about any theory raised on this website. It is only because of a recent display of interest from China -- one of the few places on Earth where creationist religions have yet to expunge rational thinking -- that I will strive to maintain this website online.
The axolotl (see above for link) is an aquatic creature with four-fingered hands, corresponding to the alien's four-fingered hands. It also has upward-pointing gill slits with rakers which may correspond to the four protrusions from the alien's head area, and it has vestigial teeth corresponding to Tiahuanaco's depiction of teeth. Moreover, the azolotl has powerful regenerative capabilities, quite ideal for long space flights!
This is another sculpture from the Tiahuanaco museum in La Paz, and once again the primitive nature of the drawings suggests that this stone was brought back to Tiahuanaco from the Cuzco (Cusco) region of Peru. While the artists of Tiahuanaco depicted the alien with head symbolism (fish heads, bird heads, puma heads, and human heads), the people of Cuzco seemed to have noticed an evolutionary similarity between the alien and the Earth creature known as the sea turtle. This is logical:
1) the sea turtle is a sea creature with appendages
2) the sea turtle is a sea creature that is capable of leaving the sea
3) the sea turtle has a protective outer shell, similar in concept to the alien's astronaut helmet and spacesuit.
This sculpture also reaffirms the alien's descent from the sky in a spiral motion, and it surrounds the communications device with "waves." These waves appear on the Sun Disk of Cuzco but are hard to find in native Tiahuanaco artwork.
In his History of the Incas, Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa refers to an old one (mas de cien anos) who was wearing an unusual full-body garment (vestido de un vestido hasta en pie, muy velludo y lleno de conchas de la mar). This remark about sea shells explains the turtle. The Andean people never perceived the helmet and spacesuit of the ancient astronaut as a manufactured outfit but rather as the natural outer growth of a shellfish.
In Gamboa's History, this shellfish, along with the fish idol of stone (idolo de piedra, figura de pescado) of Cinchi Roca dating from the sixth to seventh century (this would be the same fish who taught agriculture and other matters to the Andean people: el idolo tenia su servicio de criados y tierras de sembrar) wound up all burnt up and forced to fly through the air (volar por el aire). And memory of the flying shellfish was obliterated. At this point, Gamboa was not recording ancient mythology but the history of the collapse of the Inca empire in the sixteenth century: the Incas apparently attribute their rapid demise to losing the protection of the idol of Cinchi Roca, the second Inca, who died in 675 CE being at that time more than one hundred years old (Murio en el ano de seiscientos y setenta y cinco anos de la natividad de Nuestro Senor Jesucristo, siendo rey de Espana Bamba [Wamba] y emperador Leon cuarto, Papa Donus). Gamboa correlates with European history to leave no doubts about the accuracy of his dates. (The Incas could not write but they had sophisticated mechanisms for counting the number of planting seasons gone by since the first Inca.) And the dates given by Gamboa for the flying fish of the second Inca fully correspond to what we now know -- via radiocarbon dating techniques -- was the epoch of the Nazca Lines and expansion of the Tiahuanaco empire. See the bottom of the Tiahuanaco page for details.
According to Gamboa, the first Inca lived pretty much simultaneously with the second Inca. Therefore, we must combine the sun bird (pajaro indi) of Mango Capac with the fish of Cinchi Roca to figure out what was really behind the rise of the Incas: a flying fish! No joke intended. The Peruvian Inquisition would have never allowed direct mention of a flying fish. Evidently, the "indi" bird of the first Inca came down from the sky and landed at the site of Indi-cancha, House of the Sun, main temple of Cuzco, home of the Sun Disk, and global center of the solares, a que ellos llaman cancha.
To reaffirm: the Jesuit censors of Peru were a serious problem for Gamboa and he was pretty much forced to mix history with mythology to get his message across. Other historians place Cinchi Roca in the 13th century, some six hundred years later than Gamboa, but there are many signs that Gamboa's real objective was to tell the story of the Andean sky god along with providing accurate dates for the time of his appearance in the Andes.
A Spanish version of this webpage is available at El Simbolismo de Tiahuanaco.