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(More 2-part posting due to Blogger ineptitude. Here's Part 1)

The New Atlantis And The Dangers Of Pseudohistory
The New Atlantis belief system can be defined by five key features:
1. There was a highly sophisticated civilization that appeared at least 15,000 years ago and is now lost to history.
2. This civilization was destroyed, almost without trace, in a catastrophe at the end of the last Ice Age.
3. Its elite survivors were able navigators who spread across the globe bringing the spark of civilization to benighted primitive populations.
4. The evidence for the existence of this Lost Civilization is indirect and circumstantial, such as inexplicable cultural similarities between supposedly separate ancient civilizations (such as pyramids on both sides of the Atlantic or a fascination with the stars) or the mysterious achievements of some ancient cultures (for example, the Nazca lines in Peru or the statues on Easter Island).
5. More familiar ancient cultures are alleged to allude to the arrival of these elite "Atlantean" visitors in legends and art (such as the Olmec Heads in Mexico, widespread myths about the flood, or tales of civilizing gods arriving from across the sea).

… Notice that the imperialist Atlantis of Plato's political homily has little similarity with the civilization-granting Atlantis of modern alternative historians. Despite the bloody testimony of recorded history as to what actually happens when technologically advanced human cultures encounter less complex ones, the notion of Atlantis as a benign agent of civilization was widely promoted by Ignatius Donnelly's 1882 Atlantis: The Antediluvian World


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