The Myth Is the Message

“Myths are stories that express meaning, morality or motivation. Whether they are true or not is irrelevant. But because we live in an age of science, we have a preoccupation with corroborating our myths.

Consider the so-called Lost Continent of Atlantis, a mythic place that has been ‘found’ in so many places around the planet that one wouldn’t think there was anywhere left to look. Think again. On June 6 the BBC released a story about satellite images locating Atlantis in, of all places, the south of Spain…

Atlantis also has been ‘found’ in the Mediterranean, the Canaries, the Azores, the Caribbean, Tunisia, West Africa, Sweden, Iceland and even South America. But what if there is nothing to find? What if Plato made up the story for mythic purposes? He did. Atlantis is a tale about what happens to a civilization when it becomes combative and corrupt. Plato’s purpose was to warn his fellow Athenians to pull back from the precipice created by war and wealth.”

More here by Michael Shermer in Scientific American.