Site note: The author of this site has not adopted the paradigm
proposed below nor the evolutionistic or uniformistic aspects of the framework,
but finds the study of the larger, more valid picture of human devolution and
the archaeological information that Cremo brings to be worthwhile. Indeed, the
extreme "Brahmanic" paradigm outlined below could be considered to be an example
of perverse human imagination run wild, yet accepted and believed by several
hundred million people on earth.
The interview below gives valid evidence and stark testimony
to the confusion and perversity that abounds in the fields of archaeology and
Joan d'Arc Interviews
1993, 900-page tome, Forbidden Archeology and its condensed version,
Hidden History of the Human Race, co-authors Michael Cremo and
Richard Thompson brought forth largely unknown evidence illustrating that
modern humans worked and walked the earth millions of years ago, even as far
back as 2 billion years ago. The reverberations of this work on the
scientific materialist hegemony warranted an extensive response, entitled
Forbidden Archeology's Impact, wherein Michael Cremo provided a
blow-by-blow of his dealings with the fashion elite of the Darwinist
persuasion. This is as important a book as the first two, but for different
Impact reprints a multitude of negative reviews of the first book, followed
by a reprint of a personal letter from Michael Cremo to each reviewer
addressing the deceptive disclaimers therein with gracious but pointed
sophistication. Cremo's unruffled confidence in response to the openly
boorish and arrogant comments of these defunct fur-covered die-hards is a
wonder to behold. His professional finesse makes me feel a little ashamed of
my joy in watching this pathetic group go extinct. In truth, the supremacy
and authority of the Darwinists is in trouble. This slipshod paradigm
doesn't hold up to the scrutiny of those leading the emerging paradigm of
mankind's genesis. Cremo is one of those leaders.
sequel, Human Devolution: A Vedic Alternative to Darwin's Theory,
Cremo suggests that human beings "did not evolve up from matter; instead we
devolved, or came down, from the realm of pure consciousness, spirit." Cremo
sees "a new consciousness emerging that integrates science and religion into
a cohesive paradigm of reality." Yes, the emerging paradigm is a spiritual
one, but it's Universalist in scope. The Intelligent Design movement is not
just comprised of Christians: atheists, new agers, conspiracy theorists, and
yes, Hare Krishnas, have joined the ranks. After 150 years, Darwin's theory
is a flop and a diverse body of transcendent philosophies promises to
undermine its authority.
featured Forbidden Archeology in its 1996 program The Mysterious
Origins of Man, hosted by Charlton Heston, establishment scientists
lobbied the FCC to fine NBC for airing this opposing view! In this exclusive
interview, Cremo discusses what he calls a "knowledge filter" upon which
materialist science has based its dominant paradigm of human origins. A
research associate for the Bhaktivedanta Institute, Mr. Cremo's
anti-Darwinian thesis is embraced by both Christians and alternative
epistemology advocates. His conclusions demand a paradigm change. Will it
happen in our lifetime? Stranger things have happened. Stay tuned to BIPED
for the latest.
Michael, your books, Forbidden Archeology and Hidden History of
the Human Race, co-written with Richard L. Thompson, presented the
thesis that mankind is an exceedingly ancient race which was contemporaneous
with the apelike creatures from which humans supposedly evolved. About how
far back was your research able to document the human race? What is the
oldest "anomaly" you reported in your book?
oldest artifacts go back about 2 billion years. These are round metallic
objects that have been over the past couple of decades by miners in South
Africa. The objects come from a mine near a place called Ottosdalin, in the
West Transvaal region. The objects are one or two inches in diameter. The
ones we had analyzed by metallurgists turned out to be made of an iron ore
called hematite. The most interesting feature of the objects is the parallel
grooves that go around the center of each one. Some have four grooves, some
three, some two, some only one. The metallurgists who examined them said
they were not produced naturally. Therefore, the objects must have been
manufactured by someone with humanlike intelligence. Yet they are found
solidly embedded in mineral deposits over 2 billion years old.
characterize Forbidden Archeology as an "archeology of archeology."
digging into the history of archeology. From my studies in the ancient
Sanskrit writings of India, I learned of a human presence that goes back
about 2 billion years on earth. When I looked at the current textbooks on
archeology, I did not see any such evidence. But I decided I would dig
deeper, and when I did that digging I found that over the past 150 years
archeologists have discovered huge amounts of evidence, in the form of human
skeletal remains, human footprints, and human artifacts tens of millions,
even hundreds of millions of years old, going all the way back to about 2
billion years. My digging took eight years, and it meant searching out
original archeological reports in archives and libraries from around the
world, in many different languages.
the oldest anomalies you report are the Laetoli footprints, discovered by
Mary Leakey. These footprints were found in Tanzania in 1979. How old are
these footprints and what is so anomalous about them? Is there any other
evidence for anatomically modern humans at this same time?
Laetoli footprints were found in layers of solidified volcanic ash, dated by
the potassium-argon method as being about 3.7 million years old, so I would
not call them one of the oldest. There are footprints and even shoe prints
that go much further back in time than that. For example, the shoe print
found by William Meister near Antelope Springs, Utah, goes back about 500
million years. The Laetoli footprints are still quite interesting. According
to Mary Leakey, and other scientists, the footprints are exactly like those
of modern human beings. This is unusual, because according to most
scientists today, human beings capable of making these footprints did not
come into existence until about 100,000 years ago. Mary Leakey did not
believe, of course, that humans of our type existed 3.7 million years ago in
did she explain the footprints?
others proposed that there must have existed at that time some kind of
hominid, some kind of ape-man, who had feet exactly like ours. That is
possible. Unfortunately, there is no physical evidence to support that idea.
We have many hominid skeletons from that period, and none of them have feet
exactly like modern human feet. Their feet are all more or less apelike,
with toes longer than modern human toes, and a first toe that can extend out
to the side, like a human thumb. At present the only creature known to
science with a foot exactly like that of a modern human being is a modern
human being. So I would say that Mary Leakey discovered evidence that
anatomically modern humans existed about 3.7 million years ago in Africa. Of
course, someone might say that it would be better if we had anatomically
modern human skeletons of that age. And such things do exist. For example,
the Italian geologist Giuseppe Ragazzoni discovered anatomically modern
human skeletal remains in Pliocene formations at a place called Castenedolo
in northern Italy. The Pliocene goes from about 2 million years ago to 5
million years ago. And there are other such discoveries from other parts of
particularly intrigued by the bola stones of Olduvai Gorge and Argentina.
What do these stones tell us, that is, what were they used for and how are
they incompatible with the current Darwinian paradigm of human evolution?
stones are stones that have been artificially rounded, and which many times
also have a groove carved around the middle. The rounded, grooved stones are
tied together with a thong, usually of leather. The result is the bola, a
weapon that can be used to capture birds and animals. When thrown, the stone
balls cause the thong to wrap tightly around the legs of the bird or animal,
thus bringing it down. According to archeologists, bolas are a weapon made
and used only by anatomically modern humans, humans of our kind. So Louis
Leakey found bola stones in the lower levels of Olduvai Gorge, which go back
to the Pliocene periods (2-5 million years). Leakey also found there a bone
needle, which he believed was used for sewing leather. At Miramar, in
Argentina, the Argentine archeologist Carlos Ameghino reported finding bola
stones in undisturbed Pliocene formations, about 3 million years old. In the
same layer, he also discovered the bone of an extinct South American mammal
with a flint arrowhead embedded in it. Still later, another researcher found
a partial human jaw in the same formation. According to the current
Darwinian theory of human evolution, humans capable of making bola stones
and arrowheads and bone needles did not exist until between 100,000 and
150,000 years ago.
Homo habilis (the
"handy man") and Australopithecus afarensis ("Lucy") are two
"species" that turned out to be made up of the bones of two of more species.
Yet there are still "mock ups" of these made-up species in museums. Is it
widely accepted now that these species never existed, or are there some who
insist these were viable intermediaries in the human lineage?
some scientists who have reported that Homo habilis and
Australopithecus afarensis were constructed from bones of two or more
species, yet these hominids also do have their supporters. Despite the
controversy, models of these hominids are in fact still displayed in many
museums. These exhibits give no hint of the controversy that exists about
these creatures in the scientific world. In this way, people are being
misled. Of course, the museums also give no hint of the archeological
evidence for extreme human antiquity, the evidence that shows that humans
like us existed alongside our supposed ape-man ancestors, like Homo
habilis and Australopithecus afarensis.
reaction you received from the scientific community when Forbidden
Archeology was published was incredible enough to warrant the
publication of your book, Forbidden Archeology's Impact. How would
you characterize the response?
response was varied, because the scientific community is not monolithic.
There is one group within the scientific community that I call the
fundamentalist Darwinists. These are scientists who take Darwinism as an
ideology to be defended at all costs. They are attached to Darwinism for
reasons that are not really scientific. Their reaction was to reject my work
without really addressing any of the evidence. For example, Richard Leakey
said Forbidden Archeology was "pure humbug." But he did not discuss
any of the facts. However, there are others within the scientific community
who accept the Darwinist theory of human evolution for reasons that are more
or less scientific. They are at least willing to hear alternative ideas and
discuss evidence. From members of this group I have gotten invitations to
speak at scientific institutions like the Royal Institution of London and
the Russian Academy of Sciences, and at professional conferences organized
by groups such as the World Archeological Congress and the European
Association of Archeologists.
the papers I have presented at these conferences have been published in the
official proceedings of these conferences. Scientists from this more
open-minded group have also reviewed my books in the professional journals
of archeology, anthropology and the history of science. For example, noted
historian of science David Oldroyd and his coauthor Jo Wodak said about
Forbidden Archeology in Social Studies of Science that the book
makes a valuable contribution to the literature on paleoanthropology for two
reasons. First, the book goes into the evidence in greater depth than any
other book they were familiar with, and second, the book raised important
questions about the nature of scientific truth claims, particularly in
regard to human evolution. Among this more open-minded group, there are some
scientists who have actually come to agree with my conclusions.
you surprised by the reaction from the Darwinist camp?
said, there are two kinds of Darwinists. The first is the fundamentalist
type. I was not surprised by their sneering kind of negative reaction. I
anticipated that, and indeed, I used some of their more strident statements
to get more attention for my work, both within the scientific world and
among the general public. I was rather pleasantly surprised by the
willingness of the more open-minded Darwinists to give me platforms to
present my views at scientific societies, scientific conferences, and
science departments at universities around the world. I was also pleasantly
surprised by the amount of attention they gave to my work in book reviews in
their professional literature.
was the general reaction of Christian fundamentalists?
anticipated that I would be able to find some common ground with them, and
that did turn out to be the case. I believe that scientists and other
intellectuals are, at this point in history, at a major juncture. We are in
the midst of what I call a renegotiation of our whole picture of life and
the universe, something that happens once every few centuries. And there are
many parties to this renegotiation, among them mainstream scientists, but
also alternative science people, New agers, religionists of various kinds,
and others. So I try to stay in touch with all of these different parties
and not get boxed into just one particular audience.
books are overall well accepted by young-earth Christian fundamentalists.
Yet, your message is the opposite, that the origin of the human race is
exceedingly ancient. What is the common ground between your ideas and those
of others in the Intelligent Design movement?
As far as
the young earth creationists are concerned, I tell them that whether we
believe the earth is a few thousand years old (as they assert) or a few
billion years old (as I assert), humans like us have been around since the
beginning of the history of life and we did not come from more primitive
apelike ancestors. On that basis we are able to find some common ground.
intelligent design theorists are a newer phenomenon. They include such
people as Phillip Johnson, biochemist Michael Behe, and philosopher of
science William Dembski. Although they do embrace Christianity, they keep
the Bible and any direct mention of God in the background of their
scientific work, stressing evidence for the more general concept of
intelligent design. They are not necessarily supporters of a young earth. In
fact, it seems that most of them are not. My work offers some support for
their views. We agree that human beings and other things display a level of
biological complexity on the molecular level that has not been explained by
Darwinists. So we do have something in common, although I'm more up front
with my Vedic commitments.
state that the purpose of Forbidden Archeology was to confront
evolutionists with an "accumulation of crucial anomalies" and to provoke a
paradigm crisis in science. Do you think you've accomplished your goal?
the only person challenging the now dominant Darwinian theory of evolution.
That doctrine is now under sustained attack from many directions. We should
also keep in mind that most people in the world, including most Americans,
don't really accept the theory. I don't think that this is a situation that
can long continue. So I would say yes, supporters of the Darwinist paradigm
now are in the beginning stages of a major crisis, as can be judged from the
volume of the howls of protest coming from them. I think I'm doing my part
to keep the heat on them.
reviewer wrote, "Today the creationists deliver the provoking news.
Previously this was the function of the evolutionists." Do you see the
Intelligent Design movement as this provocation?
written by Danish scholar of religion Mikael Rothstein, in a review of
Forbidden Archeology for the Copenhagen newspaper Politiken in
1994. Of course, I agree with him. I believe that the intelligent design
movement is part of the coalition of forces that are provoking a reaction to
the current consensus in mainstream science. But that coalition also
includes various kinds of creationists, New Age authors, researchers in
parapsychology, UFOs, and paranormal healing, and a variety of others. I
have met some of the leading intelligent design theorists. For example,
Phillip E. Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial, wrote a foreword for
The Hidden History of the Human Race. Michael Behe, author of
Darwin's Black Box, and I have met a few times, and we do have a common
cause. However, my Forbidden Archeology coauthor, Richard Thompson,
and I were speaking about the irreducibility of complex biological form and
the need for intelligent design to account for it way back in 1984, before
any of the current crop of intelligent design theorists were doing so.
the movement accepted you in its ranks?
but I differ from the intelligent design theorists in some respects. For
example, most of them appear, along with the Darwinists, to accept that
humans and other living things are simply complex forms of matter. The only
difference between the Darwinists and the intelligent design theorists is
how the complexity came to be. The Darwinists attribute the complexity to
evolution by natural selection, whereas the intelligent design theorists
attribute it to intelligent design. I disagree with the assumption, shared
by Darwinists and intelligent design theorists, that humans and other things
are simply complex arrangements of ordinary matter. I believe that there are
good reasons to suppose that humans and other living things are combinations
of three things: ordinary matter, a subtle mind element, and an element of
pure consciousness or spirit.
think a better clarification is that Darwinists (naturalists) say that
intelligence cannot have been there in the first place and had to evolve,
whereas ID theorists say intelligence was always there in the system and it
came first and gave rise to everything else.
That is a
intelligence itself is the assumed designer, and whatever word you want to
use to describe that is up to you. God or Goddess is OK with some. The
concept of Mind-at-Large might be more acceptable to others. So in a way
this is not that different from what you are saying, or is it?
As far as
it goes, it's not different. But I do go further than that.
getting caught up in terminology that is difficult to grasp. When ID
theorists talk about "intelligence" they are talking about a designer, pure
and simple. Design means the same thing as create, doesn't it?
context, I think most people will take them as closely related, if not the
think the real difference is that you are more specific about what humans
are made of: matter, mind and spirit (pure consciousness) and you are more
"up front" about being a "Krishna creationist," as you have been called.
others perhaps want to distance themselves a bit from their religious views
so they can attempt to get a more fair hearing. I can't say I blame them.
blame them either. But I have been to intelligent design conferences where I
have seen them put on the spot, being pressed to identify the "designer." At
this point, most of the prominent intelligent design theorists are
Christian. Their opponents are not unaware of this and make an issue of it.
"So what is this designer. Are you speaking about a UFO alien?" So I prefer
to just take that issue off the table by stating up front what my personal
In fact, the first words on the BIPED home page are: "This website has no
is actually true, that's fine.
this so people wouldn't immediately switch channels, thinking they had
fallen onto some (god forbid) "creationist" website!
forbidden archeology website, I don't put it up in red lights that I'm a
"Krishna creationist." But neither do I hide it. That way, no one can accuse
me of some hidden agenda. That can be distracting from the scientific
you in a way holding it against them for not being as forthcoming as you
regarding their religious views?
don't hold it against them. They are doing things the way they want to do
it, and they have their reasons. They just want to focus on evidence for
design, and that is fine. As I said, I have been speaking about intelligent
design and irreducible complexity since 1984, before most of them were doing
it. It's definitely part of my program, but I have added some other
elements, by being more up front about my conception of the designer and by
introducing new elements into the discussion: mind and consciousness.
Another thing is I really don't accept the distinction many try to make
between science and religion. I don't see myself as either scientist or
religionist. I see myself as a human being seeking the truth, and I'm
prepared to accept whatever it's that helps me get at the truth, call it
science or religion.
comment by a skeptic was that your book is "a well-written example of
pseudoscience, it looks like the real thing." This skeptic said you should
have aired your arguments through professional journals. In your estimation,
would you have been allowed a foot in a "professional journal" with this
some of my material has been published in peer reviewed scientific
publications. Also, I submitted my book to all the relevant professional
journals for review, and the book was in fact reviewed in about a dozen
professional scientific journals. Some of the responses were negative,
others were not. For example:
Cremo, a research associate in history and philosophy of science, and
Richard Thompson, a mathematician, challenge the dominant views of human
origins and antiquity. This volume combines a vast amount of both accepted
and controversial evidence from the archeological record with sociological,
philosophical, and historical critiques of the scientific method to
challenge existing views and expose the suppression of information
concerning history and human origins." Journal of Field Archeology, Vol.
21, 1994, p. 112.
no doubt that there will be some who will read this book and profit from it.
Certainly it provides the historian of archeology with a useful compendium
of case studies in the history and sociology of scientific knowledge, which
can be used to foster debate within archaeology about how to describe the
epistemology of one's discipline." Tim Murray, in British Journal for the
History of Science, Vol. 28, 1995, p. 379.
be acknowledged that Forbidden Archeology brings to attention many
interesting issues that have not received much consideration from
historians; and the authors' detailed examination of the early literature is
certainly stimulating and raises questions of considerable interest, both
historically and from the perspective of practitioners of sociology of
scientific knowledge." Jo Wodak and David Oldroyd, in Social Studies of
Science, Vol. 26(1), 1996, p. 196.
not to say that these reviewers agreed with all my conclusions. But the
point is that I did air my arguments through the professional journals,
although not exactly in the way that the skeptic insisted. Basically, I did
the same thing Darwin did. He did not air all of his arguments in a
piecemeal way through the professional journals. He spent twenty years
working on his book Origin of Species, and then he just unleashed
that book on the general public and the scientific world.
have described neo-Darwinism as "an ongoing social process of knowledge
filtration" that has a cumulative effect. But when you talk about
suppression of evidence for extreme human antiquity, you are not talking
about a grand conspiracy. How would you then characterize this "knowledge
thing, it's human nature. If we love someone, we tend to overlook their
faults, which may be obvious to others. Darwinists love their theory of
evolution, and tend to overlook its obvious faults and evidence that
contradicts it. It's not that the scientists involved in this process of
knowledge filtration feel that they are hiding true facts which if known to
the public would cause them to reject Darwinism. Rather, when a Darwinist
encounters such [contradictory] evidence, the Darwinist thinks, "Something
must be wrong with this. I don't know exactly what, but I'm sure that a
specialist in the relevant field would be able to point it out."
this year, I gave a talk to the department of anthropology of the Russian
Academy of Sciences in Moscow. After I spoke, one of the anthropologists was
quite upset with me for talking about the knowledge filtering process. She
said, "We are honest people." But then she also said, "I have not read your
book, but I'm sure that everything in it must be either a mistake or a hoax.
There is not any evidence that actually contradicts our evolutionary picture
of human origins." So she denied the knowledge filtering process but at the
same time provided a perfect example of it, letting her theoretical
preconceptions govern how she treated the evidence.
this is probably a very common reaction among those hoodwinked by Darwinist
propaganda. Another common reaction from a "skeptic," in Forbidden
Archeology's Impact, was that you have "abandoned the testing of simpler
hypotheses before more complex and sensationalistic ones." It seems to me
that what makes something "simple" is the prior belief in it. Yet, this
"economy" argument is used quite frequently by "skeptics" who feel that
Darwinian evolution is so obvious as to be unquestionable. How do you
address this argument?
simplicity argument comes up, as in the case you mentioned, the skeptic
assumes that the Darwinian explanation is the simplest one, whereas an
explanation involving creation or intelligent design is the more complicated
one. First of all, I cannot think of a single instance in which I have not
given consideration to the Darwinist interpretation of the evidence. Second,
the Darwinian explanation is not so simple. If we look at the neo-Darwinian
synthesis, we see that it involves quite a complex interaction of genetics,
developmental biology, population dynamics, and fitness in specified
environments. Actually, it's so complex that Darwinists are unable to
actually explain the origin of the anatomically modern human species in the
terms their own theory requires.
example, if they want to explain the human eye, they would have to specify
the genome of some ancestral animal that did not have an eye. Then they
would have to specify a change in the genome of that animal that would
result in the first step in the formation of the modern human eye. Let's
keep in mind that a gene just tells a cell how to make a specific protein
from amino acid subparts. So they should be able to tell us what protein the
mutated gene would produce. We also have to keep in mind that this protein
would have to have an effect in the course of the development of the
organism, starting from the egg.
should be able to specify how the biochemical pathway by which this protein
would have some effect, way downstream in the cell division process, perhaps
after tens of thousands of cell divisions, so that the first part of the eye
is produced in the organism. Then they would have to explain how this change
in the gene, etc., would become spread throughout and fixed in a breeding
population. They would have to explain how this change would contribute to
the fitness of the individuals in that population in a specific environment.
Then they would have to iterate this process, to explain the next step in
the production of the eye.
mind, we are not just talking about the structure of the eye. There would
have to be an optic nerve that could carry signals to the brain. The eye
would also have to have sets of muscles to control it, and these would
require nerves going to the brain, and the brain itself would have to have a
neuronal structure capable of processing the signals from the eye. The
development of each of these subsystems would have to be specified in
exactly the same way as described above. You will find no such explanation
in any biology text or scientific journal. So it might be debatable as to
what the "simpler" hypothesis really is. Ultimately, there is no guarantee
that the simplest hypothesis is the true one.
Michael, I noted on the Internet that you were born in Schenectady, NY, in
1948, and you received your first copy of the Bhagavad-Gita from some Hare
Krishnas at a Grateful Dead concert. You later joined the group and began
writing for the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust at ISKCON (International Society
for Krishna Consciousness). What prompted you to initially become involved
in what I might call your "Darwin Project"?
the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust asked me to work with one of the Hare Krishna
movement's scientists, Richard Thompson, to produce for the general public a
statement of our positions on various scientific questions, including the
Darwinian theory of evolution.
would like to discuss the paradigm you have offered in your new book, Human
Devolution. In your opinion, how solid is the fossil evidence that H.
sapiens pre-dates (precedes) H. erectus or that the two co-existed?
evidence is quite solid - as solid as any other archeological evidence - but
it's not well known because of the process of knowledge filtration that
operates in archeology. Evidence that conforms to the current evolutionary
consensus passes through this filter; evidence that radically contradicts it
does not. The truth is that over the past 150 years, archeologists and other
earth scientists have discovered hundreds of anatomically modern human
skeletal remains, anatomically modern human footprints, and artifacts
normally attributed to anatomically modern humans.
there evidence that H. erectus was an intelligent ape?
H. erectus is quite diverse, and many archeologists and
anthropologists have split it up into several species, such as H.
ergaster and H. heidelbergensis, in addition to H. erectus.
Some of the skeletal remains look more modern, some look more apelike.
state that human-like and ape-like beings co-existed on Earth for hundreds
of millions of years. In the Hindu artwork we see humans pictured with what
appear to be intelligent apes or monkeys. What was the relationship between
these monkeys and humans in the Hindu accounts? Do you think this artwork
might depict reality at a certain time in prehistory?
does reflect a reality. The idea of ape-men is not something that was
invented by Darwinists of the nineteenth century. Long before that, the
ancient Sanskrit writings were speaking of creatures with apelike bodies,
humanlike intelligence, and a low level of material culture. For example,
the Ramayana speaks of the Vanaras, a species of apelike men that
existed millions of years ago. But alongside these ape-men existed humans of
our type. The relationship was one of coexistence rather than evolution.
your new book, please explain how you account for the "non-evolutionary
relationship" between australopithecines and modern humans.
writings speak of 400,000 humanlike species scattered throughout the
universe. In my opinion, anatomically modern humans and the various
hominids, such as the australopithecines, could be placed among those
400,000 species. All of these species, and all of the other plant and animal
species, were designed as vehicles for conscious selves. Today, we see that
auto manufacturers design and build many different kinds of vehicles of
different types and sizes and prices for people of different tastes, needs,
and purchasing power. So the "intelligent designer" does the same thing:
designs and builds various kinds of bodies for conscious selves with
different desires and karmas.
does the age of the earth and the existence of life on it correspond to the
Hindu cosmological calendar? Where are we now in the Hindu calendar?
Hindu, or Vedic, concept of time is cyclical. There are cycles within cycles
within cycles. The basic unit of this cyclical time is called the day of
Brahma. It lasts about 4.3 billion years. It's followed by a night of
Brahma, which also lasts about 4.3 billion years. The days follow the nights
endlessly in succession. During the days, life is manifested in the
universe, and during the nights it's dormant. The current day of Brahma, the
one we are in now, began about 2 billion years ago. So by this account, we
should expect to see signs of life, including human life, going back about 2
billion years on earth.
that is what we do see, as documented in Forbidden Archeology. It's
interesting that the oldest undisputed fossil evidence for life on earth
recognized by paleontologists is also about 2 billion years old. We're
talking about the oldest undisputed fossils of single celled life forms.
Some scientists believe they can detect chemical signs of life going back
further, but that kind of evidence can be questioned. So there does appear
to be a parallel between the Vedic cosmological calendar and the findings of
modern paleontology, with both indicating the first presence of life on
earth about 2 billion years ago.
geologists give the earth an age of about 6 billion years. I think there is
also a Vedic parallel here as well. First, we have to keep in mind that the
Vedic conception of the universe is that it's pretty much like a virtual
reality system, giving the conscious self a temporary domain of experience,
apart from the eternal domain of the realm of pure consciousness, or spirit.
Under this conception, I picture the earth, our particular domain of
experience, as being somewhat like a rewritable CD or DVD disk. It's erased
at the end of each day of Brahma.
is being erased?
geological and paleontological evidence that was written on the disc. Then
comes a night of Brahma, during which the disk is reprogrammed. Geological
information is written on the disk. The night of Brahma lasts 4.3 billion
years. Then comes the next day of Brahma. And then biological evidence
starts to get written on the disk. And we are now 2 billion years into the
day of Brahma.
we look at the evidence, we find geological evidence that the earth has
existed for about 6 billion years, and biological evidence, in the form of
fossils, showing that life has existed for about 2 billion years. This is an
interesting parallel between the Vedic and modern scientific accounts. Also,
the day of Brahma is divided into 14 subcycles called manvantara periods,
each lasting about 300 million years. Between each one there is a
devastation, after which the earth has to be repopulated. We are now in the
seventh manvantara cycle, and that means there have been six devastations
over the past 2 billion years. Modern paleontology also tells us that the
history of life on earth has been interrupted by six major extinction
events, spaced at intervals of hundreds of millions of years, the last being
the one that wiped out the dinosaurs about 65 million years ago.
happens during the "night of Brahma" when the earth is "unmanifest"?
various living entities are put into a state of dormancy or suspended
animation, something like dreamless sleep.
Hindu cosmology the world is created and destroyed and recreated how many
Endlessly. We have been speaking of days and nights of Brahma. One day and
one night add up to a complete day of Brahma. There are 360 such days in a
year of Brahma, and Brahma lives for 100 of such years, or 36,000 days. Each
life of Brahma corresponds to one breath of Maha Vishnu, who lies in the
Causal Ocean. That works out to about 311 trillion years. We are now about
halfway through the life of the present Brahma in our universe. When the
Maha Vishnu breathes out, millions of universes come into being, at first in
tiny seed-like form, then in a burst of light, each universe begins to
expand. And in each universe, a Brahma comes into being and fills that
universe with living entities. And when the Maha Vishnu inhales, then the
universes contract and go back into the Maha Vishnu. Again, there are many
parallels with modern cosmology. Many universes. Expanding universes.
corresponds to Velikovsky's idea that there have been "many Adams." How many
times has the world been created and destroyed?
energy can never be destroyed, would you say then that it just moves into a
different dimension and becomes "unmanifest"?
something like that. There is something in Vedic cosmology called pradhana,
which is the unmanifest, undifferentiated material energy. During the
creation cycles, this unmanifest material energy becomes differentiated into
elements, starting with the more subtle elements and proceeding to the
grosser elements. Then the differentiated elements are manifested into the
forms of planets and bodies, which serve as domains and vehicles,
respectively, for conscious selves.
write that the true ancient Hindu cosmology was "dismantled" by Europeans in
order to bring it into line with the biblical time scale. When was this
happened during the 18th and 19th centuries. They tried to fit everything
within five thousand years.
ancient then is mankind according to Hindu cosmology?
current day of Brahma, humankind goes back 2 billion years. In each day of
Brahma, in each life of Brahma, not only in this universe, but in countless
other universes, the human form has been manifest for vast periods of time.
Keep in mind that the human body is a vehicle for a conscious self, and the
proper use of the vehicle is to bring the conscious self back to its
original position in a realm of pure consciousness, where spiritual human
forms have always existed beyond time. That is our original home.
depart from there, the conscious self is covered by a material form, a body.
That covering process is what I call devolution. But the process can be
reversed, and the conscious self can be freed of its coverings and restored
to its original pure state. That process I call re-evolution. Every genuine
wisdom tradition in the world has some means for accomplishing that, some
method of prayer or meditation or yoga. So I encourage people to look deeply
into their traditions and take advantage of the revolutionary techniques
that are there. Of course, what I'm talking about here goes beyond the
externalities that most people identify with religion.
Michael, quite sychronistically, I picked up from my bookshelf a Manly Hall
book called Invisible Records of Thought and Action and opened it to
a page on expansion of human memory. He suggested that during a mystical
experience part of universal memory would be opened up. He writes, "it's
reasonable to assume that the end of all knowledge in terms of history and
time will be in this restoration of world memory" and that "only by such
restoration will it ever be possible to establish ethical content in
history." He states that history is in a "lamentable condition" since
humankind has probably been here more like "a hundred million years" and
less than 5,000 years is being documented by mainstream science. Hall
presumes since nature is "profoundly economical," this human memory is
accessible somehow. Does this tie in to your concept of re-evolution?
having read the book, it's hard for me to say how much his ideas really do
match up with mine. But on the basis of what you have picked out, I do see
some parallels. The idea of extreme human antiquity is something we have in
common. The idea that we have forgotten some original state of consciousness
is also a common theme.
concept of "re-evolution" requires a deep commitment to meditation? Are you
speaking of attempting to go beyond present individual memory to a deeper
and collective human memory?
depends on how you conceive of this collective human memory. I do believe
that we are all originally from the same place. But our (now lost) memory of
that higher dimensional spiritual homeland is common, not collective. In
some of the old Star Trek shows, we heard about being plugged into the Borg
collective - "resistance is futile." I do not accept that we belong to that
kind of collective, and that our individual existence is kind of an
illusion. Say for example, we have a group of expatriate Americans meeting
in some far off place in the world, in Ulan Bator in Mongolia, for example.
And we meet in a restaurant there. So we will all have our memories of
America. But those are individual memories that we have in common, not
collective memories. We are individuals. We have individual memories. But
those memories do have something in common.
talk about the present time as being an important juncture in the
renegotiation of our picture of life. I think that essentially we're sick of
being lied to and some of us are demanding a major correction to the
textbooks. Would you agree?
view that is presented in the textbooks is a strictly materialistic view,
which involves a Darwinian evolutionary conception. But if you look at
Gallup surveys of the actual beliefs of the American people, you will find
that most people do not accept the Darwinian theory of evolution and its
underlying materialistic ontology. About 45 percent believe that God created
human beings in the beginning. Now these same people may have some pretty
sectarian religious views, which I would not endorse, but I think they do
have it right on the question of evolution. An additional 37 percent of the
American people believe that God created human beings but He did it by
evolution, while only about 12 percent accept the theory of evolution as it
is put forward in the textbooks, as a random natural process. So clearly the
vast majority of the American people do not accept the theory of evolution
as it's taught in the textbooks.
surveys also show that most of the American people accept things that
contradict the materialistic worldview that underlies the evolution theory.
For example, about half of the American people accept extrasensory
perception (ESP). And such beliefs are not confined to the people in
general. They have also infected the scientific community itself. In various
parts of the world, scientists are forming alternative science organizations
to investigate phenomena that are out of bounds in mainstream institutions.
Here in the US we have the Institute for Noetic Sciences, founded by
astronaut Edgar Mitchell, and in the UK the Scientific and Medical Network.
So this is a situation that is not very stable. The majority of people and
many in the scientific community are opposed to what is being forced upon us
in the textbooks by a now dominant elite.
would you like the textbooks to say in the future about the genesis of
humanity on Earth?
immediate future, I would like the textbooks to present alternative views of
human origins. Let them present the Darwinian theory of evolution, but let
them also present alternative ideas, such as intelligent design theory and
devolution. I think the extraterrestrial theory also deserves mention. These
alternative ideas should not be presented in a derogatory way, but in a
neutral way, and students should be invited to make up their own minds about
the question. I think that if this is done, eventually, the Darwinian theory
is going to find itself in the place of an "alternative" idea. I do not
think it will ever disappear, but it will assume a lesser status.
personal experience I have noted that children in junior and senior high
schools are pretty much bought and sold on the Darwinian paradigm. What
would you suppose to be the first steps toward opening their minds to other
experience is actually somewhat different. I find lots of children in their
teens who are very open to new ideas and who are not sold on Darwinism at
all. But for the others, I would say the first step is to allow alternatives
to be presented in the classrooms and textbooks. But then, sometimes I think
maybe it's best to keep the alternatives as kind of dangerous underground
ideas, and let them circulate outside the normal channels. That might make
them really attractive. But I suppose (sigh) that eventually I would want to
see alternative ideas making their way into the regular classrooms and
Perhaps as a first step our textbooks should be more realistic and honest
about what we know and don't know, rather than presenting a metaphysical
theory as a scientific fact.
It would also be helpful if they presented a more accurate picture of the
history of science. For example, every physics textbook mentions Pierre and
Marie Curie, who got Nobel Prizes for their work in discovering radium. Why
not also mention that they were heavily involved in psychical research? Why
not mention the current research going on under the auspices of the
Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Group, showing that mental
intention can cause random number generators to produce more zeros than ones
in a string?
wondering what your thoughts are on the anthropic principle. I've given it a
lot of thought and I believe it's bogus. It's a huge part of the materialist
mindset, the idea that intelligence has got to evolve and cannot have been
"in the system" so to speak from the beginning. I notice that you discuss it
in Human Devolution specifically as it regards the fine-tuning
specifications of the universe. Can you explain your position?
fine-tuning problem is a problem that requires an explanation. The problem
is that particular values for various fundamental physical constants and
ratios of forces appear to be entirely arbitrary. If they were even slightly
different, we would not have atoms, planets, stars, or life forms. It would
appear that the values have been selected by a designer. To get around that,
the anthropic principle proposes we should not be surprised to find
ourselves in a universe where everything is fine-tuned. If it were not like
that, we would not be here. But this still begs the question as to why this
universe is fine-tuned. It still could be because there is an intelligent
designer. To avoid that unwanted conclusion, some propose brute chance. It
just is that way. That is not very satisfying, so they propose many
universes, each with different values for the constants and ratios, and we
just happen to have won the lottery, so to speak. We are in the one where
everything is properly fine-tuned. But this idea assumes that there are in
fact other universes, and that all the other universes, or a good many of
them, are lifeless and have the fundamental constants and ratios adjusted in
a different way. But there is no evidence for this. What if, for example,
there are in fact other universes, but they are all fine-tuned so that life
can and does exist in them. There is no way for them to rule that out.
accept that the fine-tuning problem is a sign of design. I accept the
general principle that we should not be surprised to find ourselves in a
universe where everything in fine-tuned. But this still leaves open the
question how it got fine-tuned. It could be design. But some supporters of
the anthropic principle, in an effort to avoid intelligent design, jump to a
many worlds proposal, with the fine-tunings different in each one, and we
just happen to find ourselves in the right one. But there is no proof of
that. There could indeed be many universes, and in all of them the
fine-tuning is there and life is there, because an intelligent designer made
all of them that way. Indeed, that is what the Vedic cosmology teaches. As
far as the one universe we can see is concerned, it appears to be designed.
The many worlds version of the anthropic principle doesn't really allow us
to avoid that conclusion.
fine-tuning problem is the cosmological component of the anthropic
principle, but it also contains a biological aspect: the minimum time
required for the evolution of "intelligent observers." Frank Tipler's
enunciation of it, in The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, requires
a billion years for the Darwinian evolutionary process to produce
intelligent beings from non-living matter. The term "intelligence" is
implied to mean only "human intelligence." It's, of course, closely allied
to an Earth-centered paradigm that insists we climbed out of the muck of our
local habitat, that we are a localized, one-of-a-kind anomaly that
"acquired" consciousness along the way. In that sense, I refer to Darwinian
evolution as "Western man's totem." What are your thoughts on this aspect of
the anthropic principle?
I disagree with Tipler's idea that intelligence comes only after billions of
years. It's there in the beginning. It has always been there.
Michael Cremo's websites are
He is the
co-author of Forbidden Archeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race
(1993) (also on audio cassette) and The Hidden History of the Human Race
(Condensed Edition) (1999). He is the author of Forbidden Archeology's
Impact: How a Controversial New Book Shocked the Scientific Community and
Became an Underground Classic (1998) and Human Devolution: A Vedic
Alternative to Darwin's Theory (2003), all published by Torchlight. He
is also the co-author with Mukunda Dasa Goswami of Divine Nature: A
Spiritual Perspective on the Environmental Crisis (1995), published by
the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.
Cremo, Michael A., and Thompson, Richard L.,
Forbidden Archeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race,
(Torchlight Pubs; 1993, 1998)
_____, and Goswami, Makunda Dasa, Divine
Nature: A Spiritual Perspective on the Environmental Crisis, (Bhaktivedanta
Book Trust; 1995)
_____, and Thompson, Richard L.,
Forbidden History’s Impact: How a Controversial New Book Shocked the
Scientific Community and Became an Underground Classic, (Torchlight
_____, and Thompson, Richard L., The
Hidden History of the Human Race (The Condensed Edition of Forbidden
Archeology), (Torchlight Pubs; 1999)
_____, Human Devolution: A Vedic
Alternative to Darwin’s Theory, (Torchlight Pubs; 2003)