Personnally, I believe the "puzzle", to first consist of three seperate parts.
The collected data, (note here to avoid referring to this as "proof")
the individuals presenting the data, (we are all human, scientist included)
and finally, and maybe most importantly, if the presentation/opinion of the individual presents unbiased theory.
The third is extrememly important, in the fact, that if any presented aspect, or possibility is left out of the equation, then the entire theory can be easily considered biased on the part of the presenter. In other words, if a scientist takes the stand that evolution is proven, and that any possibility of "outer space people" or "God" is just too pagan and unscientific to even be considered, then, of course his findings are biased. I might point out that this is just what has been happening.
In a discussion I had with a very well known paleontologist, about evolution, I was very curious as to what criterea was being used to specifically identify evolution. I asked about interbreeding. His answer was that interbreeding, or changes/defects as the result of, would not be considered evolution. That evolution was based more on adaptability, and very gradual change over time as a result of various changes in habitat/survival. In effect, he said to me, that interbreeding is most often not even considered, as cross breeds, or hybrids, are typically unable to reproduce, and that sufficient evidence shows that animals just don't do it. In the rare event they might try, no offspring are produced.
You see, dogs are not considered to be "evolved", because they were purposely bred by humans from wolves.
That also brings us to current time, with newer genetic findings, showing that in fact early pre-sapien hominids DID interbreed. Certainly, why wouldn't they? Hasn't man been proven to be one of the horniest mammals on the planet? Why would earlier versions be any different?
Another thing we know today, is that one very small fraction of DNA, can create an enormous difference in the appearance, shape and build of an individual. 2, 3, or 4% could be massive changes. Therefore to omit any possibilities from the equation is not only biased, but neglect, damaging to the foundation of discovery itself. To merely label any suggestions and possibilities as ludicris, absurd, looney, or insane, is tampering with the evidence.
Why are so many afraid of the possibility of alien intervention? Where is the logic, that supports the implied absurdity? Entertain for a moment, that such claimed evidence so far presented supports "Both" theories. That of evolution, and later genetic manipulation/intervention. Why? Because the evidence is not there to rule out intervention is it? Absolutely not. In fact, the more people in science that actually lay their hands on the data, the more look for other answers. That is why today, we continually witness an ever increasing number of individuals with Phd's in the field of ufology. How could that be so, if the evidence claimed is so profound?
Now allow me to point out why the Ancient Astronaut theory, the ancient "Gods", and us being genetically interfered with, as a slave race, makes sense.
First off, for an advanced intelligence to be intentionally perceived as "Gods" is precisely logical. In as much as, their visits here to be periodic, their status as "Gods", would ensure the continuity of their property, the slaves, to return to their duties on their return. To guaranty their loyalty. History has proven that forced slavery, to be problematic for the masters, even after 100's of years, the slaves continue to revolt and escape. By encouraging and provoking their "God" status, extraterrestrials would not have to face the arduous task of rounding up and capturing more slaves on their return. It would even make sense then, to teach these lesser beings various aspects of astronomy, to allow them to watch and prepare for the return, as well as adding another tool to keep their history available for future generations.
Another point, is that of instinct, learned habits and traits, listening to your concience. The study of addictions, has led us to discover that these traits are genetically passed, from one generation to another. Here is where we leave bone samplings and enter behavioral science. Any biologist of common sense will tell you, that we as humans match all definitions of an invasive species. There should exist mountains of evidence, proving much larger populative settlements, prior to the existance of the more reknown ancient cities. The gradual, trial and error period, before succeeding to such granduer. Large population centers are much more involved than simply moving a bunch of people in close proximty and feeding them. There has to be law and order. There has to be great incentive to overcome 1000's of years of tribal habits. There has to be recognized rule. Many of these ancient cities were skillfully laid out and planned. People had to have purpose, and guidance, lest arguements and turmoil tear those foundations apart. Indeed, the binding glue had to be much stronger in the beginning. Today, so much is taken for granted, it is nearly impossible for the average person to come close to imagining the difficulty level involved. Tribal people had security in their small clans. Security is, in fact, the most important sub-concience thing to any human. It therefore makes perfect sense, that to overcome these obsticals, that a race of higher intelligence and sophistication, taught and guided early man into this period. That early man, finding comfort and security in the presense of advanced peoples, were able to quickly adjust to these changes. The other evidence, that could show earlier attempts of man to live in larger populations, just isn't there.
This, timeTraveler, is a piece of the puzzle that is so often never included. Bones alone cannot determine our past. Behavioral science must be included. For it is the incentive of man.
Here is another bit of interesting evidence. One you may have recently seen. A group of Russian scientist were experimenting with domesticating wild foxes. They learned, that in fact, they could be bred to be "human" friendly, and even enjoy human companionship. From each subsequent generation, the aggressive pups were removed. Only the more docile ones were allowed to continue breeding. After a mere 20 generations, the entire litters were very tame. Interestingly as well, they began to turn white. (color of fur in inductive to skin pigment). Yes, many were entirely white, while their aggressive ancestors were black/dark grey. Being another form of mammal, why would the possibility of this same scenario involving humans sound so absurd? Interestingly, science attempts to answer the caucasion from negroid scenario, by claimimg an evolutionary process that resulted from migration further north. If that is so, what of the negroid populations that moved further south? They were still on the African continent, but as far removed from the equatorial areas as the species that migrated to Europe. Why did they not change pigment? How does this make good scientific logic? In fact, for what purpose does science continually reconstruct all known Neanderthal scientific displays as caucasion? Only one sample (that I have heard) was found to have possible red hair, (which was certainly assumed to indicate caucasion attributes) note: (there is no gene for race. there are only very slight genetic differences that determine skin color. For the complete Neanderthal genome known to have been created, fragmentary samples were used from up to 100 different individuals).
But, interestingly enough, we remain an invasive species to this planet. Destroying most of nature, and the environment, that a natural species would have held in very high regard as importance to existance. So we continue to destroy this planet, and deplete resources, so that we may continue to populate, and return to our completely artificial environments. The only plausible answers then, that remain, is that we are either a hybrid race created as slaves by another, more advanced outside race, or we have evolved into complete ignorance through facetiousness, and are doomed to become an evolutionary dead end.
You know, even athiests, non religious people, still, worship other humans that they consider "special". It is a shared trait of most all humans. The ones worshipped are celebrities, football and baseball players, actors, actresses, singers, musicians, poets, scholars, scientists, philosophers, politicians, painters, writers, tv stars, radio personalities, teachers.......and on...and on. You see, after several thousand years of being bred to worship false gods, we still cannot get it out of our system.
I would rather have a mind opened with wonder, than one closed by denial. This is the process of discovery.