Back at the lab, Astrid's reading The First People now and declaring it "absurd," which sets Walter off on a tirade about how "arrogant" we are to assume that we're the first Homo sapiens to walk the earth, and I love how people use the word "arrogant" to describe people who don't believe something until there's, you know, PROOF, which you'd think Walter, being a scientist, would appreciate (notwithstanding his whole white tulip nonsense). "History is full of extinction events: climate change, meteorites, Atlantis," he says, at which point Astrid pleads for help from Peter.
"I don't know what I believe yet. All I know is that the numbers in their calendar correspond with the numbers of the first broadcast. That can't just be a coincidence," says Peter. Uh, because the people making the broadcast got the numbers from the book too? Isn't that the most likely explanation? I mean, I realize this is Fringe and everything, but you'd think THAT would be up for discussion here, that the book in real life would be more likely proof that the first people theory is nonsense, rather than lend credence to it.
Astrid reads out a passage: "'They were a people of great technological prowess who made the ultimate discovery. A mechanism known to them as the vacuum, containing at once both the power to create and destroy.'" Walter calls the vacuum "a wonderful name" and that it verifies some of his theories. Astrid's all, "What theories? Create and destroy what?" and Walter says, "Well, everything. Many religions speak of such a power. And science, the big bang, and its counterpart, the big crunch. The universe expanding and contracting and expanding, an endless cycle of creation and destruction." Which is all well and good, but the fact you've got someone else talking about the same nonsense as you do isn't VERIFICATION, for god's sake. Walter might as well theorize that a man can fly and then pick up a Superman comic book and be all, "Holy shit! This verifies some of my theories!"
Thank god for Astrid, who can't roll her eyes fast enough. But Peter continues to run with it, figuring that the first people created the mechanism and then somehow translated into a code. "And now someone is wiping people's memories to keep the code a secret?" asks Astrid, skeptically, but Walter is all, "Not so surprising! It's the key to the universe! It's a secret worth keeping." No, no. Up up down down left right left right A B select start, that's a secret worth keeping. This is just gibberish.