Man Made, by Dr. Rita Louise, PhD and Wayne Laliberté, MS (Softcover, 2012)|
(You can print this review in landscape mode, if you
want a hardcopy)
Reviewer: Mark Lamendola, author of over 6,000 articles.
This book provides a thought-provoking comparison of the major "origins"
myths. I don't agree with all of the authors' conclusions, but if we were
debating the judge would have to give them points if not a few rounds. It's that
thought-provoking part that makes this an enjoyable, fascinating read.
Just to give you an idea of the thoughts it provoked in me, let's look at
the Genesis angle the authors explored.
Prior to reading this, I had been aware that various religious writers
"borrowed" the origins stories of earlier writers as part of creating their
own. What I had not realized was these stories were so heavily plagiarized;
that is my conclusion, not that of the authors. The similarities, point by
point, in these stories is greater than I had realized previously. I see
that as evidence not that these people were reporting on the same underlying
truth, but that they had communicated and shared the same myths.
The authors leave out some explanations as to why so many of these myths
are nearly identical. Their explanation is based on the idea that there's a
common truth. My view is that there is a common lie. The reason I believe
there's a common lie is I look at how these myths have been used to control
people. I believe the myths were created, plagiarized, or adapted by the
ruling elite of the respective societies for that purpose. I don't see in
the historical records where the existing myths were used for some other
Today, we're moving away from the creation myths for control purposes
because they contradict overwhelming evidence (at least if taken literally).
Now instead of fearing a wrathful (or loving) god who really is just an inch
away from killing us or torturing us for all eternity, the elites need us to
fear some bogeyman that they will "protect" us from by eliminating our civil
liberties and saddling us with unbearable debt.
But it's still mythology used to control people.
The authors' attempt to reconcile the creation myths with the evidence is
commendable, but it goes off track and I don't think they end up making a
credible case with their approach. They say it's a matter of how you
interpret what was said, and then they draw parallels to knowledge we have
now due to the most recent advances in physics and astronomy.
One problem with that idea is the origins story writers did not, as far
as the evidence shows, have particle accelerators or radio telescopes to
give them this information.
It is possible that they had that information from extraterrestrial
visitors, but possibility and plausibility are two very different things.
Have you noticed there haven't been rampant "UFO sightings" since
camera-bearing phones became ubiquitous? Any civilization that would have
come to earthy 10,000 years ago to share the same sort of advanced physics
information we only recently obtained would certainly be well-known to us
today (assuming they hadn't become extinct).
The authors' approach on this issue is face-saving for folks who want to
hold on to their creation myths. I suppose it keeps them engaged, rather
than offending them. But it seems to ignore the fact that Genesis was
written by desert tribes who lacked scientific knowledge. So to interpret
Genesis as if they did possess this knowledge is a bit of a stretch.
The most likely explanation for the Genesis narrative is its writers
"borrowed" this story from another culture and put their own bling on it.
Let us not forget that when we look at ancient cultures, the archeological
evidence shows us they were not in isolation. While the common person may
have lacked the means to travel back and forth great distances between
continents, that was not the case for agents of the elite funded by the
Let us not forget also that most of us in the western world can read only
a translation of Genesis. We completely lack the cultural cues for
understanding the meaning, as most likely did those doing the translating.
Translation of anything beyond the simplest ideas (e.g., me Tarzan) is
subjective, because it's not a matter of merely transliterating words.
Now, this addresses a tiny slice of what the authors discussed. This
slice happens to be the one I had contention over. The rest of the book was,
to me, less contentious. I found the discussion of the great flood myth to
be particularly enlightening and based on sound analysis.
The writing style was good, in that it was conversational and
straightforward. This, however, was undermined by a plethora of spelling
errors, grammatical errors, and word misuse. The book needs a good
This book consists of 15 chapters spanning 202 pages, a Foreword
(misspelled in the book), an Introduction, and an 8-page bibliography. If
you look at the sources the authors tapped, you can't help but be impressed.
This book isn't a "shoot from the hip" essay, but is instead a serious
research work that makes you really think about origins myths.