Adjunct professor debunks conspiracy theories

By Jessica Sierocki, co-editor-in-chief

UNIVERSITY CENTER –  Have you ever wondered how ancient and modern conspiracy theories came to be? Adjunct history instructor Christina Szilagyi answered these questions and more at the Humanities and Learning Center Brown Bag Lunch event Nov. 8.

The topics Szilagyi spoke about ranged from the ancient alien theories of the Olympian deities and the ancient pyramids of Giza as well as modern day conspiracy theories such as denial of the Holocaust and the September 11 attacks.

“The idea of the ancient alien theory is basically that human societies have been influenced and visited by extraterrestrials at various points in our history, and that those beings were worshipped as gods. It also claims that the gods of various societies are the same alien or group of aliens.

“Ancient alien theorists make things more complicated than they need to be. These ancient stories are not meant to be taken seriously,” says Szilagyi.

The historian started to become interested in these theories ever since she was a teenager.

“I considered myself quite the expert, at least as much as any 13-year-old can be an expert on something,” says Szilagyi.

Szilagyi believes that these theories are skewed based on race in ancient societies.

“There are a lot of reasons not to believe in ancient alien theories. It’s rarely adopted to dominate societies and belittles the ability of humans. It claims that non-dominant cultures are less capable than others,” says Szilagyi.

According to Szilagyi, these ancient alien and conspiracy theories are popular because they make people feel special.

“They allow people to account for seemingly inconceivable events so that we may grasp onto it and make it seem like we can understand whatever happened instead of actually trying to comprehend it. These theories are dangerous and give people the idea that they are powerless to have influences on their own lives and influence over the world,” says Szilagyi.

Szilagyi encourages everyone to double-check sources when they come across any type

“Always reconcile your sources with another source that isn’t the internet. Pick out facts and see if there is any valid evidence to support what someone is saying. The truth is out there,” says Szilagyi.

To read her blog, visit historywiththeszilagyis.wordpress.com or visit her Facebook page “History with the Szilagyis.”

This is the last brown bag lunch for the fall semester but will continue in January with a screening of “Stigmatic: Our Opioid Crisis.” The date is yet to be determined. For more information about the Humanities and Learning Center, contact coordinator Amy French at [email protected]

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