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The question of very ancient ruins on our neighboring planet is not one to be addressed by technicians, planetary scientists, or geologists. It is one for the archeologists and anthropologists. It is inappropriate for NASA, having little or no expertise in these sciences, to assume authority and the unquestioned last word on the Cydonia anomalies. “Anthropology never was and will never be a predictive science like Newtonian physics. It is an interpretive science which describes either in words or statistics, probabilities of certain events” (Pozos 1986).

NASA has used reductionism in its approach to Cydonia, a method by which new or unusual phenomena is explained by what is already known or accepted. This way of thinking has two serious flaws: first, new discoveries which could possibly cause a re-thinking of dogma, and thus progress, is not appreciated. More often than not unusual phenomena is debunked, dismissed, and ridiculed in an effort to defend intellectual turf and what is currently accepted; second, the distinction between what is necessary and what is sufficient is blurred. As a result, there is no such thing as sufficient evidence. Reductionism emphasizes the narrow, stringent, and rigorous components of science to the exclusion of intuition, inspiration, imagination, and exploration.

Should the features turn out to be artificial, Randolfo Pozos, author of The Face On Mars - Evidence for a Lost Civilization?, will go down in history as the first anthropologist to seriously consider the plausibility of the Artificial Hypothesis and what it could all mean for humanity.

(Maybe “anthropology” is not an adequate term here. The Greek anthropos means humanity. Even though the Face appears humanoid, we cannot be certain that a human species was ever involved. Pozos suggests “interplanetary sociology”.)

Pozos attempts to deal with the “big questions”. The Viking images have given us something that seems to correspond to our image of ourselves. Pozos says the anthropology of Mars is, at this point, the study of the attempt by humans to deal with the challenge of the Face on Mars. Is the face there? If so what does it mean? Is the true antiquity of human history in question? Is this history connected with Mars? If not, what does this mistaken human perception tell us about human perceptions and the concept of being human at the turn of the millenium?

While asking his questions Pozos at the same time brings to light the reasons why the Artificial Origins Hypothesis has been so intensely ridiculed. Our understanding of what it means to be human is critical in our analysis of Cydonia because our only experience of intelligence is ourselves and also because we define ourselves in terms of intelligence. When we see a “face” we are projecting our notion of humanity. A serious contradiction rears up within our belief systems when the face is on another planet. Essentially, once we scrutinize the way in which we construct knowledge and truth (epistemology) we inevitably find ourselves examining the underlying rules which govern this process - the mind and its falabilities.

Pozos writes that one of the most fascinating things about the Face is that when people first see it, there is almost always a strong visceral reaction. Whether the person believes in God or in scientific reason alone, this new speculative information from Mars causes an intense discomfort. This is a turn of events. New scientific discoveries have routinely been challenging Christian belief systems for decades. Although the Face, if indeed artificial, could be explained within the belief systems of secular humanism, the reaction of non-religious people indicates their concept of humanism is at risk. The difficulty people have with the Martian anomalies occurs at  their fundamental levels of beliefs and values. If the challenge were experienced as a neutral scientific one, such as gravity or electromagnetism, all of which can be handled without serious restructuring of our concept of knowledge, science, and ourselves, the reaction and the resistance to investigating these landforms would not be so intense. In essence these landforms are intellectual landmines (Pozos 1986). There’s a lot at stake in exploring Cydonia, a notion too scary for many to “face’ up to.

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