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The Antikythera Mechanism as a Metaphysical Analogy

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posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 09:48 PM
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(This post is not intended to be a religious argument. I want to approach the topic from a philosophical angle. My intent is to present what I consider a certain line of reasoning. The line of reasoning may seem to resolve in a question of faith, but it goes much than a simple question of faith. It gives shape to a particular world view. I present what I consider to be the flaw in that line of reasoning. If anyone feels able to show - in a reasonable, well thought out manner - how my reasoning is flawed, I welcome discussion. I hope that this does not degenerate into a name calling war between fundamentalists and unbelievers. Given the spirit of many discussions on ATS, I fear that it may.)

At the dawn of the twentieth century an ancient Greek shipwreck was salvaged off the coast of the Greek Island Antikythera. Various objects of interest and worth were taken from the wreck. Among the many artifacts were statues, coins, and housewares. These each were cataloged by the National Museum of in Athens and, over the years, investigated.

While researchers fawned over many of the recovered artifacts, one piece escaped the attention of curators as it appeared to not be much more than a mass of calcified sand. It wasn't until the 1970s that the full import of this particular object was grasped.

In 1971 x-ra images were taken of the artifact and fascination with the "Antikythera Mechanism" was born.

Most anyone with a rudimentary interest in conspiracy theories is at least aware of the Antikythera Mechanism. It has fascinated students of arc, anthropology, science, and history since its make-up was first comprehended.

The Antikythera Mechanism seemed to contradict all of modern man's assumptions about the development of civilization and the place of technology through the millennia. The Mechanism was, by all accounts, an anachronism (the ship thought to have sunk during the first century B.C.). It didn't seem to belong on a sunken ship of its era. While some deductions about the Mechanism have been made over the last few decades and some of its mysteries have been sounded, it is still a source of fascination to many diverse groups of people throughout the world.

Why does this collection of gears and wheels strike at the heart of historians, archaeologist, anthropologists and conspiracy theorists around the globe? I would suggest that there are a few reasons.

DESIGNED INTELLIGENTLY

The Antikythera Mechanism was, obviously, designed and constructed by some pretty intelligent people. (OK, some might say aliens. Whatever.) The point is, whatever person or group of people designed and built this thing, there was a high level of intelligence involved.

Unless, of course, it wasn't actually built by anyone. Might it be possible that the Antikythera Mechanism just ... happened? In a cosmos of infinite possibilities, can we believe that some rocks and some minerals and some metals just happened to come together in some natural event or series of natural events and form this thing that we are all so fascinated with? Could it - in this cosmos of infinite possibilities - be the product of raw, meaningless happenstance? Perhaps the right sized gears and wheels, sprockets and cogs, pins and axles were just randomly formed by natural processes and assembled by random chance - in this cosmos of infinite possibilities - and this thing happened!

Would anyone agree with that hypothesis?

In all the years of study and discussion of the Antikythera Mechanism, I am not aware that any person or group of persons has ever proposed such an idea. They would have been laughed at, ridiculed, dismissed and marginalized.

It is clearly evident that the Antikythera Mechanism was designed by somebody or somebodies. It is clearly a highly complex collection of components, engineered and designed on purpose by someone who knew what they were doing.

DESIGNED WITH PURPOSE

The level of design present in the Antikythera Mechanism speaks to us of another concept, one that has been explored since the device's discovery: purpose.

It is evident to any thinking person that if anyone set out to engineer and build a device of such complexity and precision, they must have had a reason, a goal, an end in mind. The device's very complexity speaks to us of intent, of reason, of purpose. No person - at least no person of thought - ever looked at the Antikythera Mechanism, said, "Meh..." and walked away with no more thought than if it had been a shiny volcanic rock. Everyone has always wanted to know what that thing was designed to do.

Most everything written about the Mechanism since it's complexity was first revealed in 1971 hypothesized over its purpose. We - thinking people - could not just see it and leave it at that. We wanted to know why it existed, to what end. We were not content to just know who made it (though we still would like to know that), but why they made it.

DESIGN AND PURPOSE VEILED

Now, let's take this idea of anachronistic technology just a little into the realm of conspiracy theory.

There is an idea among many thinking people who follow both current events in politics and world affairs and have some knowledge of certain elements of archaeology and history that there are aspects and epochs of the history of man that have been purposefully hidden from general knowledge by people who have an agenda of some sort. It is hypothesized that these chunks of knowledge are held in secret and that those who know them do not wish the general population to know, for whatever reason.

The scope of this essay does not permit me to go into detail about these ideas, but anyone versed in conspiracy theory would know of at least a few examples. Some of them include: the preponderance of evidence that there have been found remains of humanoids who were, by any standard of modern man, giants; physical evidence that seems to point to some knowledge among civilizations in the distant past of the manipulation of matter at a molecular or atomic level.

It is generally thought that the reason for suppressing these bits of knowledge are nefarious. The hiding of any kind of factual knowledge is considered by thinking people to be a suppression of light, a hiding of something in darkness. And that is seldom done with good intentions.

(CONTINUED...)
edit on 2015 1 by incoserv because: continued




posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 09:52 PM
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(...CONTINUED)


INTELLIGENT DESIGN

To extrapolate on this analogy, we live in a universe that is much bigger, much more complex and much more enduring than the Antikythera Mechanism ever was. From the size and patterns that one sees in the cosmos at the most macro levels in galaxies and universes, to the processes necessary for the reproduction of single-cell life and the interaction of elements on a molecular level, there is an incredibly - nay, inscrutably - high level of complexity inherent in every one of these systems. When one layers system upon system upon system, and one sees that these systems interact with each other so that they ultimately merge into one continuous system, the scope of complexity alone is enough to leave one astounded.

As with the Antikythera Mechanism, one would think that people would see a high level of organization indicating an intelligent process of design and realize that there must be some purpose underlying the engineering and construction.

There are people who would argue with this deduction. There are people who would say that anyone who would come this conclusion - that an intelligent and purposeful creator made the cosmos must be a backward, superstitious, uneducated fanatic who has rejected all reason and scientific knowledge.

The same person, however, who would call me superstitious and backward for seeing design and purpose in the cosmos would call me an idiot for saying that the Antikythera Mechanism just happened. They would argue that such a level of order, design and purpose as seen in the Antikythera Mechanism could not just occur randomly; that there had to be an engineer and builder who designed the device with a purpose in mind. To believe that the Antikythera Mechanism just randomly and spontaneously happened would, to them, be the height of ignorance, the sure sign of a backward and unscientific mind.

I would posit that those who would find order by design and purpose by order in something like the Antikythera Mechanism, but scoff at the idea of design and purpose in the cosmos are kin to those who would seek to hide parts of the history of civilization from humankind. This hiding of light is always of nefarious intent, meant to obfuscate parts of our reality in order to force an edited version of life - a constrained, contrived and false worldview - on those who would simply take what is said at face value without bothering to think beyond what they are told and dig for truth.

Edited to add...

The question that I, perhaps, should have asked is this:

Does denying the possibility of an intelligent, purposeful creator of the cosmos while insisting on an intelligent, purposeful creator of the Antikythera Mechanism constitute a contradiction?

If one would say that it does not, how does explain.
edit on 2015 1 by incoserv because: added an afterthought



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 10:09 PM
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I am not sure what you really are trying to say. An obvious intelligence went into the making of a advanced mechanism (for its time) and that somehow creates a problem for who? Fundamentalists? Creationists? I am neither so maybe that is why I am not understanding your point. Most people who believe in God never seem to contemplate the term 'infinite'. It means 'without limitations'. Everything is infinite.
?



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 10:16 PM
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originally posted by: bwcawaterbear
I am not sure what you really are trying to say. An obvious intelligence went into the making of a advanced mechanism (for its time) and that somehow creates a problem for who? Fundamentalists? Creationists? I am neither so maybe that is why I am not understanding your point. Most people who believe in God never seem to contemplate the term 'infinite'. It means 'without limitations'. Everything is infinite.
?


It creates no problem whatsoever for me. I never indicated that I had a problem with it. Not sure what you really are trying to say, there.

So, the question that your statement begs is, if everything is infinite, including all possibilities, are you prepared to say that the Antikythera Mechanism may have just happened randomly and without any outside intervention whatsoever in the context of that realm of infinite possibilities?

edit on 2015 1 by incoserv because: typo



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 10:22 PM
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I don't think any scientist or physicist would claim the cosmos came about from nothingness. It was a singularity meaning everything we can see came from that one single point and exploded into what we know as our universe. Just as the mechanism was crafted from raw materials and machined into what it is or was at the point of it's creation.

Your hypothesis in my eyes is flawed simply because of your perceived nothingness. I may however be mistaking your intent.

I'm sure the more astute and intellectual members will explain this in more detail so I will leave it to them.
edit on 1/4/2015 by Kukri because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 10:28 PM
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originally posted by: Kukri
I don't think any scientist or physicist would claim the cosmos came about from nothingness. It was a singularity meaning everything we can see came from that one single point and exploded into what we know as our universe. Just as the mechanism was crafted from raw materials and machined into what it is or was at the point of it's creation.

Your hypothesis in my eyes is flawed simply because of your perceived nothingness. I may however be mistaking your intent.

I'm sure the more astute and intellectual members will explain this in more detail so I will leave it to them.


I never used the words nothing or nothingness. The idea of nothingness did not come into my presentation. As a point of fact, nothingness is antithetical to my basic hypothesis. It seems to me that you may be making an assumption there. If you can show me where I expressed an idea of the cosmos coming about from nothingness, please point it out, because that was not my intention.

The idea that I dispute is, actually, the idea of nothingness. I do not believe that the cosmos is all from and about nothing. My position is exactly the opposite: that there is something behind the cosmos.

The idea of nothingness is the root of the idea that it all just happened by random chance with no intelligent, creative force behind it.
edit on 2015 1 by incoserv because: typo



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 11:15 PM
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a reply to: incoserv

Yes it would appear I misinterpreted "just happened" to mean created from nothing. I apologise for my mistake.

As for intelligent design this is something I have wrestled with for many years in that yes there is what seems to be intelligent design. But can I honestly attribute such a thing to a "Creator"? In all my crisis of faith and finally my agnosticism turning to atheism no I can't. There was a misleadingly titled post I read earlier in which a mathematician came up with a formula for the abiogenesis hypothesis. This to me seems far more likely even on the grander scale than "God".

Anyway i'm tired and I'm drifting. I'll try to get back to the subject.

Can things just happen? Things 'just happen' all the time just because we can't define the mechanism doesn't mean it involves intelligent design in a theistic or any other sense. That would infer some sort of divine/cosmological intervention. Can something coalesce into something more complex without any apparent interaction or intent. Yes I believe so! Although I can't really identify any specific examples at this time other than "The Big Bang" which isn't truly acceptable as an example.

I'm struggling to express my thoughts on this so I will leave it here and allow myself some time to review what you have written and compose a more philosophical response.


edit on 1/4/2015 by Kukri because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 11:19 PM
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originally posted by: Kukri
a reply to: incoserv

... I'm struggling to express my thoughts on this so I will leave it here and allow myself some time to review what you have written and compose a more philosophical response.



Thanks. Sounds great. I look forward to it.
edit on 2015 1 by incoserv because: typo



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 12:27 AM
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a reply to: incoserv

I understand what you are getting at quite clearly, and I find the analogy fascinating. Not sure why it is so hard for others to grasp.

Compared to the intricate/complex interactions and movements of everything in the Universe, the intricate/complex design of the Antikythera Mechanism is childs play. You've certainly posed some food for thought!



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 04:36 AM
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a reply to: incoserv

You are comparing two things that are not really comparable thus your metaphor doesn't work. In the case of the A. mechanism, we know it is man made because it doesn't use any exotic, really advanced and/or incomprehensible technology, and it uses cogs and wheels, we know it is intellectually affordable for a human being who would have worked on it all his life and maybe learned from a master and picked up where his master gave up. The question regarding the A. mechanism is : why haven't we heard about this kind of knowledge from that time ? Was it knowledge kept as a secret by some sort of secret society ? Or was it knowledge that came from a previous collapsed civilization that mainstream archaeology completely ignores?

In the case of the origin of the universe, the problem is different. We can't think about it in terms of technology, even less in terms of human technology. We are our only examples of intelligent creativity and it is easy to fall in the trap of thinking that everything must have been created by an entity with intelligent creativity. We can't compare this problem with anything else. We don't even know if the laws that govern our universe have any influence on what lies outside of it, we don't even know if there is an outside..



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 07:49 AM
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a reply to: gosseyn

So it seems to me that you are saying that an inscrutably high level of organization in an unfathomably complex and delicately balanced system very well may have just randomly happened in a willy-nilly random way

I don't feel that you've adequately explained why the two - the universe and the machine - not comparable. They are both systems with many parts integrated into a whole which work together in a highly coordinated way. Exactly why should there be no analogous relationship between the two?



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 08:19 AM
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a reply to: incoserv

Are you saying that it is impossible, with the knowledge that we have today in history and engineering, to imagine that the A. mechanism, which is made of low tech., has been built by a human being ? The technology used to build the A. mechanism is not unexplainable, is not alien in nature compared to what we know humans are capable of. Are you saying that it would be impossible for us today to recreate it ?

Are you saying, that today, we have examples of human beings who have created whole universes ? Have we created planets, stars or whole galaxies ? We have no examples of that.

Bottom line is : the A. mechanism is human tech, the universe is not.



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 08:27 AM
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What was Shakespeare writing about?


'I think he'll be to Rome as is the osprey to the fish, who takes it by sovereignty of nature.'


The math for the AK goes back at least 6000 years.



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 12:51 PM
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My post was not about the Antikythera Mechanism. The title presented the machine as ananalogy (not a metaphor).

I wasn't talking about the math behind the mechanism or where it came from or whether or not humans made it.


edit on 2015 1 by incoserv because: typos



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 09:01 PM
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a reply to: incoserv

The Antikythera device was a mechanical expression of the Pythagorean traditions.
Took some amazing engineering to incorporate those functions in tiny little gears.

You want an analogy..

What Vulcans do with their pointy little ears before Pon Farr?



posted on Jan, 6 2015 @ 04:00 AM
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a reply to: incoserv

Basically, you are accepting that anything is possible, and of course it is possible that the object materialised by itself, this would explain the objects perculiarity however it also presents a problem because being able to accept such processes is a further stretch than to accept that there were intelligences that exceed what we would have assumed to exist in that period.

A simple and clever paradox.

In terms of the conspiracy of hidden history, and to tie things together, perhaps you could say that there has been some kind of "conjoining" of two different timelines, with only a few oddities (such as the mechanism) that remain - a completely different world, another half of the world that had existed at some stage, that has been "sliced off" and then time "spliced together" to maintain a stable timeline.

There is design and purpose to reality, but again, there is also chance. Perhaps I was an alien that threw some garbage onto Earth in its founding days, perhaps I left behind a hat and a watch. Come back half a million years later, and the population had remarkably advanced mechanical technology, and a fashion sense stemming from the design of the hat that I left behind. This is where chance and design coalesce, resulting in something complex and seemingly purposeful.



posted on Jan, 6 2015 @ 06:30 AM
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I think your reasoning is very sound and thought provoking to be honest. My "opinion" on the matter is it could be any of the following possibilities. (not much help but let me explain)

1) Both the world and the A. Mechanism are created purely by chance and randomness.
2) The mechanism which ultimately is almost undoubtable man made (by design) and the universe is not and just as stated above, randomly assembled itself in all its complexity. Or.
3) Both the universe and the A.Mechanism are a result of intelligent design.

(sorry I am just stating the possibilities as they seem)

The first idea seems incredibly farfetched especially to consider the A.Mechanism to be not built by man or design... However there is some possibility none the less it could be..

The second idea, would some up the majority of materialistic science. The mechanism is man made and the universe is not etc. This idea makes sense to the majority now, with what we know, can see and reason with. What we are taught through science..

Number 3, seems hard to imagine without being religious minded.. For a long time I was incredibly atheist. I refused to believe in anything but the obvious materialistic world, until i watched the banned Ted talk by Rupert Sheldrake on "Morphic resonance and the science dilution" Especially what hit home was feeling someones "gaze".. Personally, i believe on more than a few occasions I have felt that sensation before (someones gaze) and looked around and sure enough someone was there. Also he mentions animal behaviour, though they cannot communicate they seem to possess some level of telepathy especially in pack animals. Anyway this got me thinking right from that point... There must be something to connect these phenomenon. Others such as deja vu also I have personally in my lifetime felt and not only subtly but I feel i relived moments of up to 10 seconds twice on more than one occasion... the current scientific explanation that we are given to cause deja vu in my opinion cannot account for that level of accuracy of fore site.
Actually of great interest to myself also I know of another biological phenomenon to occur, one my flatmates was doing her phD on, on the breeding cycle of an endangered bird (Kakapo) and the correlation between that and a certain plant which produces fruit... the bird does not lay eggs yearly... She told me (though I haven't actually checked these facts more than what she said) over the last 30 years they have found no clear pattern for when these eggs are to be laid, except this plant also seems to only grow its fruit on the same years that these birds are reproducing. Also weirdly, that the incubation period for the birds is longer than normal and the bird would have no way of knowing that the fruit was going to appear or not if the eggs were laid etc... So obviously this must be a climatic issue right? or a chemical/hormone? A microbial? Well she actually could never find any reasonable cause of this phenomenon. She was still awarded her phD however. So the mystery is still out there what causes these two species to work in synchronisation.

Along with "morphic resonance" mentioned by Sheldrake "orgone" by Wilhelm Reich is another one of those suppressed ideas which scientifically tries to understand "god" along with many other myths of Chi etc etc
Looking through these ideas, I certainly see an area of science which needs more exploration. I certainly see that there could be a higher level of consciousness or energy, however I also feel that personifying "god" (who made us in his image?) is a load of poos. I don't know for sure if any of this is connected, I am only suggesting what if? and could our planet for instance be a living being that we just cannot understand in our level of consciousness.. Just like bacteria exist on and inside us and these bacteria trying to understand us?



posted on Jan, 6 2015 @ 08:33 AM
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a reply to: Judgie

Thanks, I butchered the thread with my first answer.

As you explained the Antikythera mechanism is neither the reflection of purely objective astronomy nor is it an organic subjective cognition like animal instinct or emotive cognition.




Just like bacteria exist on and inside us and these bacteria trying to understand us?


The math for the 235 lunar month metonic cycle that was well documented in Homers Odyssey ~700 BC but only incorporated then.

Google was headlining a story about Homer this morning.

www.washingtonpost.com...

The Metonic cycle was also found much earlier projected into the constructions at Newgrange Ireland.

www.mythicalireland.com...

The Vatican commissioned some artwork in 1960 that attempted to explain the projection process.
Might be some kind of organic mental illness, I was astral projecting to see where Debbie Song lived the fateful day I saw the painting.




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