But modern standards *should* be applied to beliefs. They should be applied to the question of whether the evidence we have is enough to support the claims made. If the culture in the past didn't record sufficient evidence to convince us, now, then we have to remain in non-belief.<quoted text>
That's the problem with your hypothesis Bob. It's your level of expectation that is limiting you. You're super-imposing your modern ideals onto an ancient culture. You're thinking in terms of what **ought** to have happened compared to what **did** happen. The modern standards cannot be applied to ancient standards.
If, furthermore, the claims made are against known laws of physics, and if the historical record is insufficient to show that those laws were really broken, it is reasonable to say that those claims are unproven and almost certainly wrong.