I can tell you one branch of science that never interested me: cartography (i.e. the science of map making). Maybe I never cared for cartography because I have a dysfunctional sense of direction. Whatever the reason, a book about maps would not have struck me as fascinating reading. Then I came across Charles Hapgood’s work Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings. This is not your typical book in that Hapgood does not seem to be much of a writer. Rather, he is a professor and researcher who has written about the discoveries that he made with the help of his students. This book is full of facts, figures and diagrams – many of which, I did not understand, but what kept me moving through the book was the point that Hapgood was attempting to make. More on that point later.
Scientific theory dictates that a scientist formulates a hypothesis and then attempt to prove or disprove said hypothesis through controlled and repeatable experiments. Sadly, though, most scientists do not realize that this approach to science is faulty. The fault is not in the methodology but in the assumptions behind the hypothesis. A scientist only creates a hypothesis that fits his worldview (i.e. an evolutionist would never create a hypothesis that had dinosaurs living in the last ten thousand years because it is contrary to his basic assumptions about life). Woe to the scientist who challenges the basic beliefs of science for that challenge is an attack on the very foundations of the systems beliefs.
Hapgood has challenged the scientific community in this incredible book. He decided to study the map of Piri Reis a Turkish Admiral in 1513 AD. Hapgood found the accurate detail on the map fascinating and decided to study the map in class as a tool to teach his students how to research. There were many interesting facts to be found, but most interesting was the level of accuracy in the map. When compared to a modern map, many of the cities were relatively close their actual locations. Further, there were interesting lines and circles drawn on the map to assist the cartographer in placing the locations. Hapgood decided to focus on the circles and attempted to figure out the mathematics used. Hapgood spends quite a bit of detail explaining the reasoning that he and his students used in the study as well as many of the dead ends that they hit. (This is used to give credence to the fantastic claims that Hapgood was planning to make.) No one can accuse Hapgood of faulty research as he has well documented the process that they used. In the end, it was discovered that the cartographer used geometry to draw the map. Not even the Greek maps were this accurate, and we know this since the Grecian maps are extant. How did a Turkish admiral come to use maps that were based on geometry?
Since the geometry the Hapgood overlaid on the map was close but not quite the same as what was used on the map, he investigated further. Then Hapgood discovered that this map was based on a spherical geometry that wasn’t developed until the late 1800’s. How could this map have existed more than three hundred years earlier? Apparently, some race had known and used advanced geometry centuries or millennia ago. None of our archaeology can currently answer this question. The Babylonians might be the source of the base maps and the science, but that seems to be a stretch.
Hapgood ran into a problem though. The usual scientists and historians that studied these maps assumed that they were developed very recently. There were many excuses as to the accuracies of Piri Reis map. So, Hapgood continued to research various maps and discovered a trend. Quite a few ancient maps (even a map carved into stone in China) were far more accurate then they appeared at a glance and they were all made with a similar approach to cartography. When one considered the map carefully, the mathematics could be discovered and they were usually built on advanced math. Even more exciting, as the research continued, Hapgood discovered that many of these maps accurately placed lines of longitude and latitude. Western civilization has only been able to do this for the last two hundred years. How could this be? The icebreaker was the discovery of an ancient map of Antarctica. This map showed a continent that was only half covered in ice. Who could have mapped the southern pole before glaciers had completely engulfed it?
Today, some groups would argue that this proves aliens visited the earth millennia ago. Yeah right. Hapgood is correct in his assumption that an advanced civilization lived on the earth around ten thousand years ago. The modern scientific community cannot accept this conclusion. This runs contrary to the fundamental beliefs of science. According to the established scientific community, men were just leaving their caves ten thousand years ago. They couldn’t have mapped the earth. You see, science treats man’s history through the paradigm of evolution: man began primitive and has advanced steadily to the advanced position he now holds. Hapgood turns that idea on its head.
As a Christian, I find Hapgood’s conclusion to be acceptable. I read this book and see evidence that the earth was mapped either just before or just after the Tower of Babble incident in Genesis 11. This is a challenging read, but worth your time.