The Astronomical Nature of Mythology: The Casual Reader of Popular Mythology May Not Realize to What Extent Scholars Have Studied Mythology's Astronomical Content / The Scientific Community Will Only Consider the Parts which can be Force-Fitted into Confirmation for their Own Theories / And What is Remarkable is that they Do So Even as those Theories Undergo Significant ChangesA Cliff's Notes Timeline of Researchers Proposing Planetary Catastrophes as an Explanation for the Origin of Mythology
This controversial subject has historically been inaccessible to those who do not dedicate a significant amount of time to its study. I find C.J. Ransom's historical-timeline approach, which he delivered at the 2016 Electric Universe conference in Phoenix, AZ., to be very helpful for establishing context. But, his presentation skips over many scholarly works.
What I generally seek to do when explaining a controversy is to see how fast I can get a person to understanding it; in this case, I feel a very different approach is required: Since part of the problem of mythology is that people are simply unaware of the enormous volume of scholarship that has to-date gone into the connection of catastrophe with mythology, I've decided to abandon my typical attempts to be concise for this timeline.
This is not a list of original sources; this list is mostly limited to a review of works of scholarship which relate to the catastrophe-mythology connection, with some context added that I feel can help to understand the bigger picture.~400 BC: Plato's Dialogues
- See https://books.google.com/books?id=6IJEAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA367&lpg=PA367#v=onepage&q&f=false
- "Phaethon, the son of Helios, having yoked the steeds in his father's chariot, because he was not able to drive them in the path of his father, burned up all that was upon the earth, and was himself destroyed by a thunderbolt. Now, this has the form of a myth, but really signifies a declination of the bodies moving around the earth and in the heavens, and a great conflagration of things upon the earth recurring at long intervals of time ... All of these stories, and ten thousand others which are still more wonderful, have a common origin; many of them have been lost in the lapse of ages, or exist only as fragments; but the origin of them is what no one has told ..."
... then further on ..."... All of these stories, and ten thousand others which are still more wonderful, have a common origin; many of them have been lost in the lapse of ages, or exist only as fragments; but the origin of them is what no one has told"First Century:
The works of Titus Flavius Josephus6th or 7th Century: The Sibylline Oracles
- Described as an odd pastiche of Hellenstic and Roman mythology interspersed with Jewish, Gnostic and early Christian legend1681-1690: Sacred Theory of the Earth
(various versions in this timeframe), by Thomas Burnet
- wikipedia: "a speculative cosmogony, in which Burnet suggested a hollow earth with most of the water inside until Noah's Flood, at which time mountains and oceans appeared."1696: A New Theory of Earth
, by William Whiston
- Claimed some biblical stories could be explained scientifically.
- Claimed evidence also indicated the biblical flood was due to a comet hitting the Earth.
- Believed the doctrine of the Trinity was incorrect, opposed the Nicene Creed, and thought of hell as cruel, as well as an insult to God.
- Ideas about catastrophes in history may have been considered had he not mentioned religious views.
- Queen Anne died in 1714 so the court dropped the proceedings against him.
- However, these events did indirectly seem to contribute to discouraging scientific consideration of ancient stories for many years.1800's:
The rise and fall of the catastrophist worldview
- "[N]ineteenth century catastrophists postulated a succession of great upheavals culminating in a 'general flood which swept away the quadropeds from the continents, tore up the solid strata, and reduced the surface to a state of ruin' (Buckland, 1823, p224). Their worldview extended beyond a simple theory of geologic change; it encompassed a methodological procedure, excluded from the modern definition of science, which permitted direct providential control of earth history ..."
- "... Lyell and the uniformitarian school could not agree. To become a science, they affirmed, geology needed not only an empirical theory unencumbered by Biblical preconception, but also a methodology which affirmed the potential natural explanation of terrestrial development and relegated intrinsic mystery to its proper theological realm."
- "... But Lyell was even more interested in controverting the catastrophist methodology which affirmed that geology 'could never rise to the rank of an exact science (1833, v.3, p.3); for it could lead only to 'hypotheses, in which we see the ancient spirit of speculation revived, and a desire manifested to cut, rather than patiently untie, the Gordian knot' [an extremely difficult or involved problem] (p.6). He thus postulated another, very different, type of uniformity that asserted the invariability of natural laws in space and time as a necessary condition to his contention that reference need only be made to observable processes in explaining past changes."
(was formerly at http://courses.washington.edu/ess408/Gould1965.pdf
)1813: Essay on the Theory of the Earth
, by Georges Cuvier
- Interpreted to have proposed that new species were created after periodic catastrophic floods.
- Cuvier became the most influential proponent of catastrophism in geology in the early 19th century.
- Cuvier believed there was no evidence for evolution, but rather evidence for cyclical creations and destructions of lifeforms by global extinction events such as deluges.1830-1833: Principles of Geology
, by Sir Charles Lyell
- "In the 18th century, the winds of democracy from America and the attacks of thinkers like Locke and Rousseau, among others, questioned the Monarchy as the natural form of government. Liberalism was moving, and its method was to go after Biblical Geology (specifically the Flood) in order to disarm the Monarchists ... Scientists in Britain and on the Continent had been making discoveries in the geological record that strained the literal interpretation of the biblical story, while others tried to save it by reinterpreting the words (six days were really six eras, and so on). Many scientists who were also religious tried to find solutions acceptable to the churches, to the people who were increasingly confused, and to themselves as honest individuals laboring to establish the truth. Others wanted nothing less than to destroy once and for all the connection between science and religion. And those who were politically motivated wanted to bury forever the notion of the divine right of kings. If the scientific evidence denied the truth of the Bible, then it also denied any connection between God and the Monarchy, thus freeing Parliament and the people to redefine the political equations."
(from article "What is Uniformitarianism and how did it get here?" by Alex Marton)
- "So science, its methods and its scope, in the formative beginnings, was very much a creature of the times, unabashedly enlisted in the service of political causes by those who sought to affect political and social developments in their own favor. It is in this context that we must view the formation and growth of the London Geological Society and its vast influence on the parameters within which geology was to develop into a respectable science. The society succeeded in recruiting influential members - doctors, lawyers, members of Parliament, and eventually even geologists. One member, a young whig lawyer named Charles Lyell, decided to take a novel approach: in his Principles of Geology, he argued against the catastrophists by saying that the diluvial theory was, in effect, mythological, and that it stood in the way of progress in geology. He concentrated on the gradual effects of erosion and volcanic uplift to rationalize the geological observations, completely ignoring all evidence of catastrophism. The liberals were delighted, and they elected him secretary, and later president of the Geological Society ... Catastrophism was dead, and the principle of Uniformitarianism was established: geological changes took place slowly, over extremely long period of time, free of widespread catastrophic changes. The Society grew powerful: it was able to prevent publication of material favorable to catastrophism, and to arrange evidence so as to satisfy a uniformitarian view. Similarly, the political battle was won by the liberals, and the power flow between the King, the Parliament, and the People changed direction ... It is unfortunate that these crusty notions have shaped the present dilemma of geology. The political issues were settled long ago, but geology is still committed to a paradigm established primarily as part of a political front that is no longer relevant. It is also unfortunate that catastrophism is linked to biblical fundamentalism because that association has inhibited the evolution of catastrophism as a legitimate avenue of scientific inquiry, without reference to religion or politics."
(from article "What is Uniformitarianism and how did it get here?" by Alex Marton)distant past -> well into 2nd half of 19th century:
Astronomers insist that since no stones fall from the sky today, no stones have fallen in the distant past.
- A heavy fall of 3,000 meteorites in L'Aigle, France in 1803 would eventually convince the astronomers to accept ancient records of falling stones; but the observation was initially rejected by the French scientists from the Academy of Sciences of Paris, who claimed that the observers were "a lot of superstitious peasants who had been fooled by a stroke of lightning hitting a pyritiferous stone just below the sod -- and that the supposed stones fallen from heaven were fakes that should be thrown away; and they were thrown away, only one gramme having miraculously escaped at Paris."
)2nd half of the 19th century:
- Argued that myth was primarily concerned with recording early man's perception of the most prominent celestial bodies.
- His "solar" theory had a profound influence on scholarship at the turn of the century.
- Levi-Strauss: "Max Muller and his school must be given great credit for having discovered, and to some extent deciphered, the astronomical code so often used by the myths."
- Most scholars today agree that Muller went too far in tracing so much in ancient myth back to the behavior of the Sun.Late 19th Century - Early 20th Century:
Panbabylonism, mainly Hugo Winckler and Alfred Jeremias
- Emphasized the astral content of ancient myth and religion.
- Held that ancient ideas of cosmogony were based primarily upon a sophisticated knowledge of astronomy, which existed already at 4000 BCE.
- They attempt to account for the striking resemblances between the myths and astral traditions of different cultures by supposing that this gave enough time for the ideas to diffuse around the globe.
- Jonathan Smith: "Of course, the Pan-Babylonian school was wrong. At the factual level, its exponents placed too great a reliance on the high antiquity of Near Eastern astrological texts, dating them almost two thousand years too early. On the theoretical level, they placed too great a reliance on diffusion. Yet, in many ways they were right. They saw clearly the need to ground comparison and patterns in a historical process, saw clearly the need to develop a complex model of tradition and the mechanisms for its transmission, saw clearly the need to balance generalities and particularities in a structure which integrated both, saw clearly the priority of comparative systematics over the continued cataloging of isolated comparative exempla, saw clearly the power of pattern (and hence, of comparison) as a device for interpretation. They bequeathed to us this rich heritage of possibilities -- and they bequeathed to us the problems as well. The two chief options followed by students of religion since then have been either to continue its diffusionist program shorn of its systematic and theoretical depth (e.g., the Myth-Ritual school) or to cut loose the pattern and systematics from history (e.g., Eliade). We have yet to develop the responsible alternative: the integration of a complex notion of pattern and system with an equally complex notion of history."
(J. Smith, "In Comparison a Magic Dwells," in Imagining Religion
, 1982, pp26-29)Late 19th Century:
The Writings of Isaac Newton Vail
- Vail is known for his "Canopy Theory", the idea that Earth had once been girdled by a doughnut-like structure of ice crystals which, in keeping with Genesis 1:6-8, was alluded to as the firmament.1851: The Serpent Symbol, and the Worship of the Reciprocal Principles of Nature in America
, by EG Squier1883: The Natural Genesis: Or Second Part of a Book of the Beginnings, Containing an Attempt to Recover and Reconstitute the Lost Origines of the Myths and Mysteries, Types an Symbols, Religion and Language, with Egypt for the Mouthpiece and Africa as the Birthplace
(2 volumes), by Gerald Massey
- "The controversial and erratic Gerald Massey, in two large works (The Natural Genesis and Ancient Egypt), claimed that the religion and mythology of a polar god was first formulated by the priest-astronomers of ancient Egypt and spread from Egypt to the rest of the world."
(The Saturn Myth
, by David Talbott)1883: Ragnarok: The Age of Fire and Gravel
, by Ignatius Donnelly
- Unlike Whiston and most other scientific investigators on the list, Donnelly was a lawyer, Minnesota state legislator and a member of Congress.
- "Man, by an inherited instinct, regards the comet as a great terror and a great foe; and the heart of humanity sits uneasily when one blazes in the sky."
- We today understand through laboratory experimentation that "mice can pass on learned information about traumatic or stressful experiences"
(Dias, Brian G, and Kerry J Ressler, Nature Neuroscience 17, 89-96 (2014))1885: Paradise Found: The Cradle of the Human Race at the North Pole
, by William F. Warren
- One of the first writers to recognize the pole as the special domain of the great god: "The religions of all ancient nations ... associate the abode of the supreme God with the North Pole, the centre of heaven; or with the celestial space immediately surrounding it. [Yet] no writer on comparative theology has ever brought out the facts which establish this assertion."
- wikipedia: "In this work Warren placed Atlantis at the North Pole, as well as the Garden of Eden, Mount Meru, Avalon and Hyperborea. Warren believed all these mythical lands were folk memories of a former inhabited far northern seat where man was originally created  ... Warren's identification of Atlantis with the North Pole was maintained by positioning Atlas in the far north by mapping out ancient Greek cosmology. Warren equated the primordial Titan Atlas of Greek mythology who supported the Heavens on his shoulders (or supported the earth on a pillar) to the Atlas described in Plato's dialogue Critias as the first ruler of Atlantis (Critias, 114a). In Warren's view, all the axis mundi or cosmic-axis of ancient legends (Yggdrasil, Irminsul and Atlas' pillar) had to be in the far north 'at the top of the world'"1876: The Chaldean Account of Genesis
, by George Smith
- "George Smith (1840-1876) was an English Assyrologist, apprentice engraver, but self-taught in cuneiform in the corridors of the British Museum. Eventually he was hired by Sir Henry Rawlinson, prominent archaeologist. Smith achieved world-wide attention when he discovered an account of the flood with obvious Biblical parallels in 1872, related in The Chaldean Account of the Deluge. This book expands on the previous work"
)1894: The Dawn of Astronomy: A Study of the Temple-Worship and Mythology of Ancient Egyptians
, by Norman Lockyer
- "This book is a tour of the Egyptian monuments uncovered and examined archeologically in his day, and he looks at their orientation and astronomical alignments with expertise and enthusiasm"
(review at https://archive.org/details/dawnastronomyas00lockgoog
)1894: The Swastika: The Earliest Known Symbol and Its Migrations; With Observations on the Migration of Certain Industries in Prehistoric Times1897: The Night of the Gods: An Inquiry Into Cosmic and Cosmogenic Mythology and Symbolism
(Vol 2), by John J O'Neill
- "In a general survey of ancient language, symbolism, and mythology, John O'Neill (The Night of the Gods) insisted that mankind's oldest religion centered on a god of the celestial pole."
(The Saturn Myth
, by David Talbott)
- "It was while engaged in these researches and on literary work, reviewing books on religious symbols for one of the Quarterlies, that it occurred to him that the common origin of the religious myths and symbols is to be found in the impression made on the mind of every race in every clime, by the phenomena of the revolution of the earth, and its relation, real or apparent, to the sun, the moon and the stars. The phenomena being universally observed by primitive man in the same stage of development, and under very similar conditions, gave rise to similar, if not to identical, interpretations. This general principle, applied to the symbols and myths of races and climes so diverse as those of the Aryan races of Europe and India, the yellow races of Eastern Asia, the red races of America, the black races of Africa and Australia, yields some striking and unexpected results."
(from first pages of book)1899: Star-Names & their Meanings
, by Richard Hinckley Allen
wikipedia: "this work collected the origins of the names of stars and constellations from a panoply of sources, some primary but most secondary; also telling briefly the various myths and folklore connected with stars in the Greco-Roman tradition; as well as in the Arabic, Babylonian, Indian and Chinese traditions, for which, however, some modern criticism having taken it to task, claiming it to be largely superseded ... The book also provides some cursory details about astronomy at the knowledge level of the end of the 19th century. Similarly, astrology and its history are dealt with briefly in the introduction, and some other basic astrological references are scattered throughout the book, although downplayed."1901: The Fundamental Principles of Old and New World Civilizations
, by Zelia Nuttall
- "Zelia Nuttall, in Fundamental Principles of Old and New World Civilizations, undertook an extensive review of ancient Mexican astronomy, concluding that the highest god was polar. From Mexico she shifted to other civilizations, finding the same unexpected role of a polar god."
(The Saturn Myth
, by David Talbott)1909: The Legends of the Jews
(Vol I - IV) - A popular reference source for historians1909: Les origines de l'astronomie chinoise
(The Original Chinese Astronomy), by Léopold_de_Saussure
- "showed that primitive Chinese religion and astronomy honour the celestial pole as the home of the supreme god"
(The Saturn Myth
, by David Talbott)1909: The Earliest Cosmologies: The Universe as Pictured in Thought by the Ancient Hebrews, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Iranians, and Indo-Aryans
, by William Fairfield Warren1913: The Dragon in China and Japan1922: The Tree of Life
, by Uno Holmberg Harva
- "documented the preeminence of the polar god in the ritual of Altaic and neighbouring peoples, suggesting ancient origins in Hindu and Mesopotamian cosmologies"
(The Saturn Myth
, by David Talbott)1925: The Riddle of the Earth
, by Comyns Beaumont
- "'His main subjects were mythology, early history, geology, and ancient astronomical records. In all of them he found convincing evidence that the earth had suffered many cataclysms in the course of its history, the most recent having occurred in about 1322 B.C.'. Beaumont suggested they 'were caused by meteoric impacts which in turn are closely related to cometary movements. That belief was the cornerstone of Beaumont's revolution theories and history and geography'
(summary from http://www.velikovsky.info/Comyns_Beaumont
- Alfred de Grazia summarizes Beaumont's main ideas as follows (list from http://www.velikovsky.info/Comyns_Beaumont
+ The geology of the world's surface is largely catastrophic.
+ The catastrophe was caused by a cometary collision.
+ All geological formations were shifted as a result.
+ Cosmic lightning played a major role.
+ Hydrocarbons were present in cometary tails.
+ Ancient chronology was several hundred years too old.
+ The Ancient calendars had to be revised because of the catastrophe.
+ Many species were extinguished catastrophically.
+ Religion was born in cometary worship and tied to phallic forms because of the shape of comets.
+ Fear of cometary collisions is inherited by mankind.
+ Vermin were deposited by comets which also provoked plagues.
+ Deities from Egypt, Greece, Meso-America, and elsewhere were identified with planets.
+ Pyramids were both astronomical observatories and 'air-raid shelters' for nobility and kings.
+ Planet Saturn, as a comet, caused the Noachian Deluge.
+ The Atlantis date (c. 9500 BC) given by Plato had to be shortened.
+ Extensive legendary evidence pictures the 'hairy', 'bearded', 'blazing stars' that were comets.
+ Stonehenge, Avebury Circle and similar monuments were astronomical instruments.
+ Central American legends (and cultures) were contemporaneous with those of the Old World.
+ The intercalary 'five evil days' were cursed because they coincided with a world disaster and the ending of an age.
+ The serpent, dragon, winged-globe, caduceus, and other ancient symbols are traceable to cometary catastrophes.
+ Religious festivals are dated by cometary catastrophes.
+ Cometary conflagrations are the origin of coal deposits.
+ The ancients had a true 360 day year.
+ The planet Venus underwent great changes in color, diameter, figure, and orbit in the time of Ogyges.
+ Quetzalcoatl (Coculkan-Hurakan) commemorated the cometary dragon for the Meso-Americans.
- "Did Immanuel Velikovsky knowingly present ideas someone else had developed many years earlier as his own? While this question seems bizarre even to his most ardent opponents, it was recently raised in a paper by Robert Stephanos. [..] Beaumont's theses are almost identical to those of Velikovsky. Yet Beaumont developed and published them as early as the 1920s and 1930s."
(Benny J Peiser, quoted at http://www.velikovsky.info/Comyns_Beaumont
- "De Grazia was suspicious: 'Could there have been a 'Bridie Murphy Effect'?' Had Velikovsky simply forgotten that he had already come across Beaumont's books (or ideas) in the 1920s or 1930s? ... In hindsight, de Grazia was too quick to rule out direct influence. He failed to check whether Beaumont's books were stored in the Public Library on 42nd Street, the other big library which Velikovsky had frequently used during the 1940s. It holds all of Beaumont's early books , so they were readily available to Velikovsky during his ten years of research."
(Benny J Peiser, quoted at http://www.velikovsky.info/Comyns_Beaumont
)1926: The Migration of Symbols and Their Relations to Belief and Customs
, by Donald A Mackenzie
- "In this interesting volume Mr. Mackenzie deals with the occurrence of certain widely spread symbols, such as the swastika and the spiral, on the basis of the Diffusionist theory of a common origin, which seems to him a far more plausible hypothesis than that of the 'psychic unity of man.' He rejects the latter mainly, it seems, because we do not know enough about the workings of the primitive mind to justify the assumption that different tribes and races will think alike in like circumstances. His book is therefore mainly a contribution to the attractive but still very speculative theory that the Diffusionist school of anthropology has built up. He regards the 'winged-disc' of the Egyptians and the 'whirling-logs' of the American Indians as identical in origin, and would trace a common source all the variations of the spiral ornament or symbol. This sees to be going far beyond what is warranted by our present state of knowledge ... [paywall]"
)1927: The Celestial Ship of North
, by E Valentia Straiton
- "This is an extraordinary work. It is one of most [comprehensive] examinations of mythology ever produced. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to expand his or her knowledge base in mythology, metaphysics and/or astrology."
- "An important and informative work. An incredible resource of occult knowledge."
- "Very good. Amazing information"
(Amazon.com review)1931: Symbolism of the Cross
, by René Guénon
- "sought to outline a universal doctrine centering on the polar gods and principles of ancient man."
(The Saturn Myth
, by David Talbott)1932: The Mysterious Comet: Or the Origin, Building up, and Destruction of Worlds, by means of Cometary Contacts
, by Comyns Beaumont
- "The Mysterious Comet examines the relationship between the Earth and other bodies in space, with or without 'fixed' orbits, noting the effects on various systems, weather and otherwise. He notes the interaction between comets, meteors, meteorites and volcanoes, and the manner in which all life is sustained by the replenishment of air and water and other energies brought by cometary bodies ... Comyns Beaumont brings together accounts of the earthquakes and eruptions of his day and those from history along with meteorological and astronomical accounts and mythical references. He builds on neo-platonic and catastrophist theories and places Atlantis in the region of the British Isles ... A fascinating and thorough book with lots of well indexed references for readers interested in doing further research."
(summary from http://www.twelvearound1.com/cb2.html
)1934: Ancient Oriental Seals in the collection of Edward T Newell
, by Edward Theodore Newell
- Does not appear to show the original seals, but it does show many drawings of the archetypal forms which appear within these seals, with some discussion of what they might refer to.
- "The collection of cylinders and other seals here presented was assembled by Mr. Edward T. Newell during a period of about thirty years ... This publication should be considered primarily as a collection of source materials. In cataloguing these seals I have endeavored to describe them as accurately as possible without discussing their designs ..."1936: Moons, Myths and Man: A reinterpretation
, by HS Bellamy
- "H S Bellamy was a writer who helped popularise the pre-WWI Cosmic Ice Theory of Hans Hörbiger aka Welteislehre or Glazial-Kosmogonie (Glacial Cosmology) which theorised that ice was the basic building block of all cosmological processes. Hörbiger was an old school engineer whose theories were later pounced on by the Nazis in their search to counter what they saw as Jewish dominance in Astronomy and Physics - it's fascinating stuff, this: the universe seen through the eyes and mind of a jobbing engineer/designer/inventor who lived and worked at the grimey/greasy/steamy cuttin' edge of the early 20th century Industrial-Modernist world...these are the thoughts and theories and background stuff that helped shape the imaginations of the first wave of Golden Age SF writers ... Bellamy (whose pen-name hides his own German origins) chucks a trough-load of ancient-myths into the mix and asks: did the Babylonians, etc and assorted pre-History civilisations see the fall of the other, earlier Earth-satellites that once accompanied Luna. There's some compelling connections made here (and lots of great diagrams!) ... Bellamy's descriptions of stars colliding and planet-sized plumes of steam erupting from a Red Giant star after billions of tonnes of cosmic ice spiral down thru its gravity-well read like they've been lifted straight from the apocalypto-carnage of E E 'Doc' Smith's Lensmen series or early Heinlein, etc"
(review from http://kidshirt.blogspot.com/2008/06/moons-myths-and-man.html
)1942: Book of Revelation is History
, by HS Bellamy
- "Mr. Bellamy discovers in the Book of Revelation three cycles of myths, all concerned with a most appalling cataclysm which occurred thousands of centuries ago -the attraction and disintegration by the earth’s gravitation of the satellite which was the predecessor of our present moon. He discovers further mythological material which he traces to a subsequent cataclysm which occurred when the planet Luna was captured by the earth’s gravitation about fifteen thousand years ago, causing the sudden submergence of the continent of Atlantis."
(summary from http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v150/n3804/abs/150363a0.html
)1943: Built Before the Flood: The Problem of the Tiahuanaco Ruins
, by HS Bellamy
- "argues like others, that the evidence of calcified remains of marine plants 11,500 feet up on the plateau shows that it was originally at sea level, and therefore predates the great catastrophe and flood ... Bellamy ascribes this to a great planetary girdle-tide. This raised the sea-level by over two miles on either side of the Equator, caused in turn by a predecessor of our Moon orbiting into Earth; an even greater catastrophe was caused by its impact, which also destroyed Atlantis and the remains of Lemuria. Though this, based in Hans Hoerbiger’s cosmological theory popular before the war, is not now fashionable, it is one explanation of the sea-fossils and the extraordinary height of Tiahuanaco, in rarified air not easy for westerners to breathe ... It also records (pages 41-2) the legends of the (then) local Indians, a proud and quiet people calling themselves 'Urus', 'Men of the Light', who hinted that they had lived in these Bolivian highlands before the Age of Darkness (Chamak-Pacha), a terrible cataclysm, and that they remember the time when the Sun re-appeared after it. The great ruined city, for which 'Tiahuanaco' was the traditional local name, was built before this cataclysm, and was by a great sea rich in big fish; eventually there was a flood which destroyed the city’s builders."
)1945: The Riddle of Prehistoric Britain
, by Comyns Beaumont
- "Not until Jacob in a somewhat obscure manner was told to call himself Israel was that name adopted and accorded to his twelve "sons:" but if we accept the explanation of Sanchoniathon, a Phoenician of Tyre, Cronus "whom Phoenicians called Israel" was king of Phoenicia, and it signified that these Chaldeo-Phoenician tribes were worshippers of Cronus-Saturn...for Jehovah was a far later importation. The name Israel has subsequently been misappropriated, for those Biblical Christians who term themselves Israelites in fact label themselves followers of a pagan deity"
(quote from the text, pulled from http://www.truthcontrol.com/comyns-beaumont
- "Another feature to be observed of the Giants is that nearly always they are described as red-haired, as were the Adamites and Edomites, names derived from the Hebrew adom or edom, red or ruddy...The same applies to the Phoenicians of like stock, whose name is but a derivation of the word meaning red or carroty, relating to a ruddy-faced people"
(another quote from text)
- "The Flood, to the world generally a vague and nebulous tradition, really conceals the most appalling visitation and its ravages in the British Isles and Scandinavian lands may be retraced to more considerable extent by the effects of what geologists term the 'Drift' Age. It was no mere ice drift. It was sudden and terribly swift and violent ... It permanently affected the world’s climate towards greater extremes of cold and damp, lengthened the solar year by enlarging the world’s orbit. It shaped world history by compelling the flight of survivors to other less inhospitable climes and led in considerable degree to the dispersion of the Aryans. It inundated the British Isles for a period to a great extent except the higher lands. It was the drowning of Atlantis. The Flood immortalizes the collision of a fallen planet, later termed Satan, actually a cometary body, with our earth."
(Notice similarity between terms Satan
...)1945: In the Beginning: God. A new scientific vindication of cosmogonic myths in the Book of Genesis
, by HS Bellamy1948: The Atlantis Myth
, by HS Bellamy
- "Bellamy argues that the sinking of Atlantis was caused by the quakes which attended the earth's capture of its present moon."
)1950: Worlds in Collision
, by Immanuel Velikovsky
- Likely the most controversial book and most controversial researcher in the history of modern science.
- The scientific community forced the book's publisher, Macmillan, to cease publishing it just one month after its publication on May 3, 1950. It would nevertheless become a bestseller in the United States in 1952.
- Velikovsky leveled two major attacks at the dominant attitude of uniformitarianism with roughly the same intensity: His first claim was that catastrophes had wracked Earth; the second was that these happened in the recent past and were witnessed and recorded by humanity.
- Velikovsky argued in it that the terrifying gods of the ancient world were planets. The book recounted two close encounters of the comet or protoplanet Venus with the Earth.
- Velikovsky argued that the planet Mars was known as the warrior god, and that centuries after the Venus catastrophes, Mars moved on an unstable orbit intersecting that of Earth
, leading to a series of Earth-disturbing events in the 8th and 7th centuries BC.
- These claims were made at a time when the solar system was considered an extremely stable configuration, "on the basis of approximate analytical analysis of the stability of dynamical n-body systems, on the basis of properties of the standard model (condensation from a gas cloud) for the formation of the solar system ... The analysis made using the modern very sophisticated analytical instruments has indeed shown that nonlinear complex dynamical system, including planetary systems, have generally a behavior of the type defined chaotic, whose long term behavior cannot be predicted and whose dynamical structure is extremely rich. Now it is estimated that, even disregarding the very possible interactions with other bodies and structures in the galaxy, the solar system cannot be back integrated in time for more than a few million years, a factor one thousand less than estimated fifty years ago."
- Velikovsky was shunned by nearly all of academia -- except for his friend, Albert Einstein
, who claims to have read the book twice.
- Velikovsky used his mythological knowledge of the Venus archetype to predict in the book that Venus would be found to be between 800-900F -- which differed significantly from the mainstream view at the time of 200-300 F. Velikovsky's prediction was shown to be accurate in 1962.
- Velikovsky also stressed the importance of electromagnetic interactions in astronomy, particularly in the case of large bodies encroaching upon one another -- a subject which he spoke at length to Einstein about.
- Some have claimed that the great success of Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision
was "partly related to a postwar reawakening of interests in religious traditions and widespread critical sentiments against a science that had led to the atomic weapon and to the risk of a nuclear obliteration of humankind."
)1951: A Life History of Our Earth: Based on the Geological Application of Hoerbiger's Theory
, by HS Bellamy1952: Ages in Chaos
, by Immanuel Velikovsky
- In this book, Velikovsky challenged the authenticity of radiocarbon dates on the basis of historical documents.
- "The basic idea of Velikovsky is that the official chronology of the first and second millennium BC of Egyptian and other civilizations dated by anchoring them to the Egyptian one (Micenean, Cananean, Ugaritic, Cretese, Anatolian…) is affected by a substantial error. This is for Velikovsky the main reason why scholars have essentially been unable to fit the events described in the Bible with the events described in Egyptian or other histories ... Velikovsky claims that the fundamental error lies in the absolute anchoring of the Egyptian chronology that was made about two hundred years ago, at the beginning of Egyptology"
- Current historical timelines of the period BC depend on the accepted "gold standard" of Egyptian Pharaoh dynasties. Velikovsky challenged the accuracy of the timeline.
- He used the Ipuwer papyrus to realign the catastrophic events in Biblical Exodus with reports in Egyptian history of similar chaos that in the standard version contains no reference to equivalent events of the period.1955:
Jupiter observed to emit radio noises, as Velikovsky predicted
- Velikovsky had made the prediction in the midst of discussions with Einstein. Although Einstein himself disputed Velikovsky's reasoning, he nevertheless used his influence to have Jupiter surveyed for radio emissions.
- In April 1955, radio noises were indeed discovered from Jupiter -- a surprise for scientists at the time who had assumed that Jupiter was too cold and inactive to emit radio waves.
- The discovery led Einstein to agree to assist in developing other tests for Velikovsky's thesis, but Einstein unfortunately died only weeks later.1958:
The first American rockets are sent to space
- It is quickly realized that space is not just an empty vacuum; space contains charged particles, known in the laboratory as a plasma.
- All of our theories for space, up to that point, were based upon the premise that gravity was the only real force available; but plasmas can also carry the electromagnetic force, as Velikovsky suggested.
- A 1963 Popular Science article covering the discovery says in big bold letters: "'Space' was invented on Earth before we knew what was out there"
- Numerous astrophysical and plasma physics textbooks are updated to reflect the new understanding that 99%+ of what we see with our telescopes is matter in the plasma state; our textbook theories for space have yet to change in any significant manner as a result, a half-century later.1950-1969:
Rough times for mythology research
- Unfounded claim that ancient myths are purely fictional.
- Unfounded belief that people investigated mythology only to try to force-fit the data into supporting a particular religious claim.
- Challenges to uniformity (like changes to the solar system) were outright rejected by academia.1964: Bombarded Earth
, by René Louis Charles Gallant
- "The first comprehensive treatment of large meteorite impacts and their effects on Earth was given by René Gallant in his book Bombarded Earth (1964). Gallant's work has gone largely unnoticed"
(summary from http://www.velikovsky.info/Ren%C3%A9_Gallant
- "Gallant argued that the seismic activity and climate changes which, according to the evidence provided by (Claude) Schaeffer, occurred at the times of the destructions [of Bronze Age Civilisation], were both likely to have resulted from large meteoritic impacts"
(summary from http://www.velikovsky.info/Ren%C3%A9_Gallant
- "It is the author's assertion that impact by meteorites over long stretches of geological time has played a vital and significant part in the history of our planet and the evolution of its life ... that the impact of meteorites of planetary dimensions must have caused the Earth's polar axis to shift, changes in the tempo of the Earth's spin, and slips in the upper part of the Earth's crust. The results must have been to change the face of the earth, to create mountain ranges, to alter climates and to slaughter species. Moreover these impacts must have released large quantities of lethal radiation which extinguished living species and permitted the appearance of new ones ... If this were not dramatic enough, such catastrophes must also render questionable the work of the various 'radioactive clocks' nowadays used to measure geological and prehistoric time on the assumption of a slow evolution. Nor can we escape the possibility that the theory of the gradual and orderly evolution of our planet and its living species may have been repeatedly disturbed by global cataclysmic events."
(from the text)1969: Hamlet's Mill: An Essay on Myth and the Frame of Time
, by Giorgio De Santillana and Hertha Von Dechend
- de Santillana was possibly the greatest historian of Renaissance science at the the time of publication
. Hertha von Dechend was professor of the history of science at the University of Frankfurt, and a research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for five winters, 1962 to 1967. Giorgio de Santillana was for many years professor of the history and philosophy of science at M.I.T. By 1969, when Hamlet’s Mill was published, he had authored numerous articles and books, but no university press accepted Hamlet's Mill
, thus respectable scholrs were not obligated to take his work into account.
- They concluded ancient myths have a common origin and that the places mentioned in myths were in the heavens and not on the Earth.
- "The real actors on the stage of the universe are very few, if their adventures are many. The most 'ancient treasure' -- in Aristotle's word -- that was left to us by our predecessors of the High and Far-Off Times was the idea that the gods are really stars, and that there are no others. The forces reside in the starry heavens, and all the stories, characters and adventures narrated by mythology concentrate on the active powers among the stars, who are the planets."
- Noted that the ancients seemed to universally refer to the planets as gods and to stars or groups of stars as animals.
- Tried to force-fit the ancient stories into a gradualist uniformitarian solar system model
(which asserts that we can understand the past by simply observing the present).
- They were staunch uniformitarians. They considered the ancient sky as only slightly different, but nevertheless asserted that the ancients saw a sky that is not seen now.
- Claimed that the ancient mythmakers were not "even mildly interested in unusual sensational 'catastrophes' caused by meteors, and the like"
. Ev Cochrane responds to this claim by pointing out that "it would be difficult to point to a single recurring theme in all of ancient myth that does not have direct reference to 'sensational catastrophes' associated with the tumultuous behavior and terrifying appearance of the various planets."
- Like the Pan-Babyloniasts, Santillana and Dechend argued that astronomical understanding dated to very ancient times. They claimed that such advanced concepts as the precession of the equinoxes were common knowledge already during the Paleolithic Period. It then diffused around the globe, whereby it somehow became encoded into ancient myth, but -- oddly -- was otherwise forgotten.
- Their approach made it difficult to explain many of the ancient writings, such as why Saturn was called the Sun god and Mars was thought to create havoc with the other gods and with the Earth.1966: Prehistory and Earth Models
, by Melvin A Cook
- "The author is a physical chemist (PhD, Yale, 1937) with a career in explosives, high velocity impact, solid state, surface chemistry and related problems in chemistry, physics and metallurgy, but no formal training in geology, having studied it only by self discipline for the past decade. The present volume is, therefore, the work of 'an outsider'. His interest in the problems concerning earth science became strong after discovery of evidence that the earth's atmosphere may not be in steady state as far as radiocarbon is concerned even though only about 30,000 years are required to establish this steady state as shown by Libby. Presentation of this evidence in open forums usually met with vigorous debate. In order, therefore, to provide the facts pertaining to this and related matters, the bulletin 'Geological Chronometry' [Cook, 1956] was presented. It made available for careful study arguments on this matter presented in lectures given in the Geology Department, University of Utah in 1955.One of the more interesting arguments concerned the helium balance of the earth and its implications concerning age, which was later published [Cook, 1957]. An attempt to publish another manuscript giving direct evidence for the short-time chronometry of the atmosphere and oceans entitled 'Anomalous Chronometry in the Atmosphere and Hydrosphere', not unexpectedly nor without some cause, met with considerable opposition and was not published. Interestingly enough, the apparent fact that radiocarbon is not in steady state in the atmosphere was the main objection. Lingenfelter  was only recently able to point this out ... Chapters I to IV, inclusive, are the updated result of studies on problems of 'geologic time' which it is hoped have taken full account of all objective criticism so far obtained. The author's conclusion based on this work, is that there really are no reliable time clocks despite an almost overwhelming contrary opinion."
(from Preface of text)1967: Cataclysms of Earth
, by Hugh Auchincloss Brown
- Amazon review: "I found reading Cataclysms of the Earth by Hugh Auchincloss Brown to be a really mind-opening experience. The first part of the book discusses the theory that the polar ice caps regularly build up such size and weight over thousands of years that our spinning earth eventually sends them careening toword the equator. In many respects this makes much more sense that the usual "ice ages" and warm ages stuff we have been taught. Here's why ...
- It explains the ubiquitous "great flood" stories found in so many ancient societies around the globe. There's not enough water on the earth for the oceans to cover the tall mountains. But if the land suddenly started moving rapidly, then the oceans, by inertia, would be seen to flood onto and over the land.
- Entire flash frozen mastadons have been found in Siberia with temperate climate grasses in their stomachs and mouths. One minute they were eating grass and the next they were frozen solid. Careening poles is the best explanation for this.
- Hudson bay, in Canada, was evidently the north pole in recent geologic history. The land is rebounding rapidly and there are ice scratches on the surrounding rocks which radiate out in all directions from the center.
- There is also so much more than I can even get into here in this brief review. Clearly Hugh Auchincloss Brown was a man who dared to think for himself. He goes on to state his own theory of what gravity is and shoots some big holes in the ideas we associate with Newton.
- If you totally believe in the modern day religion of "science" as promoted in the media and universities then you will have great trouble with this book."1974: Recollections of a Fallen Sky: Velikovsky and Cultural Amnesia
- Collection of the papers presented at the University of Lethbridge conferences 'Velikovsky and Cultural Amnesia' which ran May 9 and 10, 1974
- "The papers presented in this volume are revised versions of the papers originally presented at the Symposium and from the first collection of papers on the subject of cultural Amnesia since Velikovsky introduced the topic in Worlds in Collision. The papers have been examined by other experts in the field concerned, criticisms were collected, and the authors were allowed to make minor changes in the hope that a more accomplished volume could be produced ... Although the papers all relate to some aspect of Cultural Amnesia, they deal with subjects as diverse as anthropology, geology, narrative art, and psychiatry. While the task of showing relationships between them is desirable, it is difficult. It is may hope that the interpretation presented here, with which the authors might not agree, will stimulate readers to consider carefully the papers and their relation to Cultural Amnesia."
(summary from http://www.velikovsky.info/Recollections_of_a_Fallen_Sky
AAAS Conference, "Velikovsky's Challenge to Science"
- It was summarized as: "'Velikovsky's Challenge to Science': From his study of historical records, Immanuel Velikovsky has concluded that close encounters between earth and the planets Mars and Venus occurred at about 1500 B.C. and 775 B.C. This suggestion has met with great disbelief from most astronomers, though public interest in Velikovsky's ideas has continued to maintain the controversy. What are the arguments for and against Velikovsky's suggestions? How has the scientific establishment dealt with his work. Can any nonscientist make contributions to the advancement of scientific thought, or is the day of the independent scholar now over -- at least in astronomy?"
- Most of the papers resulting from the symposium were published in the book, Scientists Confront Velikovsky
(edited by Donald Goldsmith). Velikovsky's presentation appeared in Pensee.
- It was marked by a now-famous confrontation between the wildly popular Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky. By most accounts, Carl Sagan was the victor. But, one science writer, James Hazelwood of the Oakland Tribune
acknowledged that Velikovsky "gave at least as much punishment as he received."
- "I received a phone call from Ivan King, the galactic dynamicist from UC Berkeley who would be the program moderator at the AAAS Symposium, and he expressed some unhappiness at a news item I had submitted for publication in the December issue of Industrial Research. King disclaimed in this conversation what I had written, that the recent upsurge of interest had prompted a rehearing of Velikovsky's hypothesis and that, additionally, the projected symposium was a move to stem criticisms leveled at the AAAS by various groups for past excesses of the more militant, zealous members of that august body against Velikovsky. King's disclaimer was a complete turnabout from what I had been informed in a previous chat with him some months before, and I began to smell something fishy in the air. However, this last conversation with King closed on an upnote, leaving the door ajar for further discussions. But, as it turned out, there were no more discussions until my confrontation with King at the symposium itself. And, when I learned that he had sent a letter to Pensée stating that, 'None of us in the scientific community believes that a debate about Velikovsky's views of the solar system would be remotely justified at a serious scientific meeting,' it was clear that the original raison d'etre of the symposium had been replaced by the opportunistic chance to discredit Velikovsky once-and-for-all. If this wasn't to have been a scientific debate, one was led to wonder why it was being held in the first place."
(from "Velikovsky: A Personal Chronological Perspective of His Final Years" by Frederic B. Jueneman)
- "So it was that none of the participants, including the friendly Michelson, addressed themselves to the specifics of Velikovsky's ideas, but posed additional questions for which they themselves had no answers ... Further talks with other newsmen that afternoon confirmed my estimates that the spectacular displays of dialectics on the part of several speakers would overshadow the more sedate, scholarly commentaries, and even these latter would be misinterpreted or ignored altogether. Sagan's "ten plagues" as a rejoinder to Velikovsky, in spite of inherent weaknesses, were considered inviolable truths and a final refutation to Velikovsky's arguments."
(from "Velikovsky: A Personal Chronological Perspective of His Final Years" by Frederic B. Jueneman)1975:
Vera Rubin announces at a 1975 meeting of the American Astronomical Society the discovery that most stars in spiral galaxies orbit at roughly the same speed
- Initially met with skepticism, her results have come to be known as the dark matter problem.
- The Big Bang cosmology today requires that around 27% of the mass of the universe must be dark matter.1976: The Age of Velikovsky
, by CJ Ransom
- "The Age of Velikovsky is written by C.J. Ransom, a PhD in Plasma Physics who conducted research for General Dynamics' Convair Aerospace Division. It is important reading for anyone interested in the Velikovsky affair. Ransom gives an overview of Velikovsky's early life, then Chapter 1 begins with the events surrounding the publication of Velikovsky's first book in 1950: 'The reaction to Worlds in Collision by many members of the scientific community can provide research material to interested psychoanalysts for decades ... unscientific and unethical actions did take place, and no amount of rationalization can justify these actions ... Many of the actions were personal asaults on Velikovsky, or others who happened to be in the line of fire. These actions were inexcusable even if Velikovsky were wrong ...' Ransom is given to bursts of humor, as can be seen in the following: "*Before the book was published, review articles ... appeared [which] did not accurately portray the conclusions or the scholarship which led to these conclusions. Unfortunately ... [s]ome writers never came closer to the original than a review article, and they wrote articles refuting what others thought Velikovsky might have said.* Oddly enough, some of these same people claimed that Velikovsky did not use proper sources.' (emphasis in original). So much pressure was exerted on the publisher by the scientific community that the book was transferred to another publisher, though it had remained the best-seller almost from the first day of its release. This attempt at supression of Velikovsky's work can be clearly seen as one of the darkest and shabbiest actions in the history of modern science. The author devotes almost 200 pages to showing many different aspects of Velikovsky's discoveries, with evidence that indicates their accuracy. There is the correction of history by over 500 years and the inconsistencies that are eliminated by the revised chronology. There are numerous characteristics of the sun, planets, and moons, realization of which were surprises to scientists, but had either been explicitly predicted by Velikovsky or fit his theory better than they did into existing scientific dogma. Then we read about the AAAS convention of 1974: '[it] was advertised as a scientific appraisal of Velikovsky's theory. But, at the opening of the meeting, the attendees were informed that the subject was not worthy of scientific discussion and the meeting was being held to point this out to any minds which had strayed from the uniformitarian fath. Several of the participants certainly lived up to the claim that they would not discuss the subject scientifically.' Paramount among these was Carl Sagan. 'His paper contained nothing which furthered scientific debate. However, his paper was presented exceptionally well, and his charisma added to the effectiveness of the presentation. Most of the audience did not know and, because of his captivating delivery, did not care that many of his points were irrelevant, incorrect, or misleading. His entrancingly arrogant delivery exuded the air of a great evangelist who had come to lead the people along the true uniformitarian path ... Perhaps Sagan's most quoted statement from the sumposium was this: 'My conclusion will be that where V is original, he is very likely wrong; and that where he is right, the idea has been pre-empted by earlier workers.' Whether this lie was original with Sagan or was fabricated by an earlier worker, it is flatly untrue.' In Ransom's conclusion he says, 'We have seen that a number of irrational acts have occurred in the Velikovsky afffair, and that there are divergent reasons for these actions ... However, it is time to look ahead. We could argue forever over what Velikovsky did or did not mean, what he did or did not predict, and miss the total concept he presented. Enough information now exists to show that his ideas are worthy of continued study. Whether he as an individual is right or wrong on some point is irrelevant. Velikovsky's work now belongs to the world, and the world will lose by continuing to ignore it.' Wonderful reading if you can find the book!"1977:
"Frequency of Nearby Supernovae and Climatic and Biological Catastrophes", by Clark, DH, McCrea, WY, and Stephenson, FR, Nature
- Claimed that a supernova may have influenced the recent history of Earth, including the aurora.
- This mechanism could have caused catastrophic events and could have created the enhanced auroras.
- It's one way in which stories from ancient cultures can be fitted with physical events.1977: Immanuel Velikovskys Jewish Science
- An unpublished Velikovsky biography1978: Velikovsky and His Critics
- "This little book is a study of a scientific controversy. The particular science central to this controversy is history, for it is a debate about the past of our planet and that solar system of which it is a part, about events observed and recorded by human societies. But, even more than the most complex historical topics, the issues raised by Velikovsky have crucial significance for the widest range of particular sciences, and it is appropriate that they have become the matter of broad interdisciplinary discussion. The participants in the phase of this debate here considered are qualified scientific workers in the fields of history, medicine, astronomy, sociology, philosophy, statistics, chemistry, engineering, and physics, and the author of this book is an economist."
(from the text)1979:
Immanuel Velikovsky dies Nov 17
- Various pro-Velikovsky advocates (Frederic Juneman, Alfred De Grazia, David Talbott) fragment into related-but-distinct mythological interpretations.1981: Velikovsky's Sources
, by Bob Forrest (Six Volumes), collection goes by the name A Guide to Velikovsky's Sources
- "I first read Worlds in Collision whilst at university in the late 1960s, but actually my real interest in Velikovsky came about when I teamed up with Patrick Moore to do a follow-up to his book about Independent Thinkers, Can You Speak Venusian? A chapter of that book was to be devoted to 'Catastrophists in Collision', dealing with Velikovsky, Beaumont, Donnelly and others. In preparation for that, I started delving into Velikovsky's use of sources, the results of which subsequently far outstripped what was needed for the book with Patrick. The project took on a life of its own and I came to write Velikovsky's Sources as a result. I'd known Donald Cyr (the editor of Stonehenge Viewpoint) for a few years before that, and it was he that suggested that I did a series of articles, based on Velikovsky's Sources, for his journal. Eventually those articles were gathered together in book form and published by him as A Guide to Velikovsky's Sources".
(private communication by email, from Bob Forrest to a third party, March 12, 2009)
- "After that I rather retired from the Velikovsky scene ... the reason was simply that having done my book(s), I had said everything that I wanted to say. If people thereafter disagreed with my findings and chose to continue to believe in Velikovsky, then my attitude was, 'Fine - that's your choice, but to my mind you are sailing in the face of plain common sense, and you are in the same boat as people who continue to believe that Bacon wrote Shakespeare, despite all reasonable refutation.' In brief, I have continued to hold the view that Worlds in Collision is a crank book."
(private communication by email, from Bob Forrest to a third party, March 12, 2009)Early 80's:
Government plasma researcher, Anthony Peratt, claims to solve the dark matter problem
- He demonstrates through simulation that the galactic rotation curve problem can be resolved if galaxies are simulated as interactions of electromagnetic plasma filaments (https://www.plasma-universe.com/Galaxy_formation
- No dark matter is required.Early 80's:
Venus Pioneer mission returns back data confirming that Venus' heat is coming from it surface
- The scientific community latched onto Carl Sagan's Super Greenhouse Theory in order to explain Venus' unexpectedly high temperature.
- A mission was sent to Venus -- the Venus Pioneer mission -- in large part to establish some evidence for a greenhouse effect on Venus.
- That mission, much to their dismay, again confirmed Velikovsky's thesis, in that all of the probes reported back that Venus' heat was originating from the planet's surface. Such an observation ruled out a greenhouse effect (which requires thermal equilibrium, heat in = heat out). The observations seemed to suggest that the planet was cooling down from some recent significant event.
- Venus Pioneer engineers were then tasked with demonstrating how all of these instruments could be in error. Eventually, after significant effort, they came up with possible explanations. The data for that mission was "corrected" to reflect Sagan's Super Greenhouse Theory.
- These papers were published in the early 80's, long after the brouha over Velikovsky had largely died down. Very few advocates of terrestrial climate change today are aware that this dataset was corrected to reflect the greenhouse theory.1980: The Saturn Myth
, by David Talbott
- Attempts a "natural history of mythology" by tracing the mythical patterns found around the globe to a shared experience of planetary catastrophe; diffusion is not, according to these scholars, the primary source of the patterns of mythology.
- Comparative mythologist David Talbott proposes that ancient myths and traditions describe the planet Saturn as the the dominant celestial body in the sky, appearing "fixed at the north celestial pole"
. This interpretation requires the existence of misunderstandings in textbook planetary, stellar and cosmological theories (but it would be many years of research before David Talbott would settle on a physical explanation).
- Dave Talbott proposes, alongside other mythologists like Dwardu Cardona and Ev Cochrane, that the solar system of former times beared little resemblance to its current state, and that the transition was marked by a global catastrophe which humans barely survived.
- They claim that, taken at face value, the odd similarities in the oldest mythological archetypes can be well explained by a quasi-stable colinear arrangement (a "conjunction") -- as if the Earth, Mars, Venus and Saturn are on a common sausage-like trajectory, and all share a cental column. In this configuration, the planets were far closer to one another, and thus more visible in the Pagan sky -- which is what permitted the Pagans to tell detailed stories about them.
- Critics have claimed for many years that this arrangement of planets is physically impossible. Yet, this scenario is astronomically recognized as a Herbig-Haro object
-- which astronomers have recognized as a distinct type of emission nebula as far back as the 1940's. Crucially, Herbig-Haro are recognized as "ubiquitous in star-forming regions ... HH objects are a transient phenomena that last less than a few thousand years."
The Milky Way is currently estimated to harbor 150,000 of them. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbig%E2%80%93Haro_object
). As strange as the configuration may sound to us, it is a logical configuration within the context of a story about human origins, as well as catastrophe (due to its observable lack of stability).
- These peculiar claims exhibit surprisingly broad explanatory capabilities for the mythological archetypes. The explanation spans numerous books besides The Saturn Myth
, including God Star
, Flare Star
, Metamorphic Star
, Primordial Star
, The Many Faces of Venus
, On Fossil Gods and Forgotten Worlds
and Martian Metamophosis
. It may very well turn out that the scenario proposed sounds odd to us simply because we are still in a state of gaining a "common sense" for the universe and the origin of its life. We'd be wise to avoid judging ideas on the basis of how they compare to our own current solar system, which we know today to be uncommon.
- Ev Cochrane: An advantage of this approach is that "it is complemented at every point by ancient art. Thus it is that ancient traditions of 'lost' suns are complemented by prehistoric pictographs depicting a wheel-like 'sun' bearing little resemblance to the current sun. Ancient traditions of Inanna / Venus standing in the 'heart' of heaven together with Shamash and Sin are complemented by pictures showing Venus as an eight-pointed star set upon the disc of Shamash while enclosed within the crescent of Sin -- this in striking contradiction to current astronomical reality. Even the ancient traditions describing an ascent to heaven along a luminous extraterrestrial ladder are complemented by prehistoric pictures of 'suns' with ladder-like appendages ... The truth is that the pictorial evidence commemorating a catastrophic solar system is so abundant and compelling that it is impossible to do it justice in a single volume."
(The Many Faces of Venus
Carl Sagan expresses regrets about the scientific community's treatment of Velikovsky in the Cosmos
- Carl Sagan: "The worst aspect of the Velikovsky affair is not that many of his ideas were wrong or silly or in gross contradiction to the facts. Rather, the worst aspect is that some scientists attempted to suppress Velikovsky's ideas. The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge. And there's no place for it in the endeavor of science. We do not know beforehand where fundamental insights will arise from about our mysterious and lovely solar system. And the history of the study of our solar system shows clearly that accepted and conventional ideas are often wrong -- and that fundamental insights can arise from the most unexpected sources."
- Nobody notices.1985: The Mystery of Comets
, by Fred Whipple
- "The fortunate find in the seventies, at Mawangdui, China, of a Han dynasty silk comet atlas [see image halfway down page at http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/bronze.html] sheds considerable light on earlier enigmatic motifs. Most illuminating is the drawing, described by text on the artifact as a long-tailed pheasant star. This rendering of a jetting comet viewed down its axis of rotation has a considerable history, and, as a motif, appears on artifacts found in most areas of the world. The artist who illustrated this silk twenty-two hundred, or so, years ago was not likely a first-hand observer. What is produced here is a schematic of received comet caricatures with claims that specific things will happen if a represented type appears. The pinwheel-like image is unique to the compilation in that an omen is given for an appearance in each of the four seasons, implying that this comet was seen more often than the others represented. This may illustrate a frequently viewed aspect of comet Encke which has a 3.3 year orbit and rotational axis that occasionally points toward Earth."
- See the Han dynasty "silk comet atlas" midway down the page at http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/bronze.html
, where the Swastika is very obviously included in a collection of drawings of comets
.1990: Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovksy
, by Charles Ginenthal
- "Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky is an analysis of a scientific debate respecting the theory of Immanuel Velikovsky held at a symposium under the auspices of the American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS] in San Francisco in 1974. One of the participants in the debate, Professor Carl Sagan of Cornell University, raised, there and elsewhere, a host of questions and points of severe criticism of Velikovsky's thesis. Charles Ginenthal, the author of this work, has gone into all aspects of this criticism and has exhaustively outlined the evidence with data from the scientific literature. The analysis is devastating: the definitive response to the Sagan-Velikovsky debacle. It debunks in lucid terms, point by point, each and every issue raised. It is sometimes humorous and often scathingly critical. No one who reads this material will have the slightest doubt about the nature of this further chapter in the Velikovsky Affair. Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky will be hailed by some and decried by others. It reopens this episode of the Velikovsky debate with a thunderous roar. It is must reading for anyone interested in how scientific debates of revolutionary concepts are actually conducted, how evidence is handled, how ethics are trampled."
(back cover of text)1992: Ka: A Handbook of Mythology
, by Hugh Crosthwaite
- "Hugh Crosthwaite has gathered 45 years of classical study into a uniquely valuable compendium. He connects the rites and language of our forebears by a collection of common roots and usages, shows that they relate in a great many cases to electrical phenomena and tricks and that they all have to do with the gods, in heaven and descending upon the earth."
(SIS Chronology and Catastrophism Workshop 1993 No 1, Aug 1993)1993: Catastrophism, Neocatastrophism and Evolution
, by Trevor Palmer
- Neocatastrophism: "Neo-catastrophism is (1) a geological term, that refers to the doctrine that the gradual processes we see on Earth, have been supplemented by huge natural catastrophes, and also (2) a palaeontological term referring to faunal discontinuities in the fossil record."
- Anthony Hallam writes: "In the latter part of the twentieth century a new school of thought emerged in geology that has been dubbed 'neo-catastrophism' as opposed to the gradualism of Lyell and Darwin. Its adherents embrace a punctuated view of geological and biological history."
- "Catastrophism, Neocatastrophism and Evolution (Cover illustration, 14K) tells how prevailing views of patterns and processes in the evolution of life on Earth have changed in a significant fashion over the past few years. In 1959, the centenary of the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection, the Modern Synthesis of neo-Darwinism which incorporated developments in genetics into traditional Darwinism, seemed completely secure. Together with the contemporary geological paradigm, the Modern Synthesis was widely seen as representing the triumph of a gradualistic-uniformitarian view of Earth history over the catastrophist alternative. Evolutionary change was slow (an essential feature of gradualism), imperceptible (except over long periods of time) and progressive (though not because of linear development, but as a result of competition between variant forms). Later, however, it became increasingly clear that the course of evolution had been much less even paced and much more erratic than previously realised, the fossil record revealing episodic rapid bursts and abrupt transitions which could no longer (as formerly) be dismissed as artifacts. Moreover, from 1980 onwards neocatastrophism made remarkable advances so that, today, impacts of asteroids and comets have to be regarded as perfectly plausible agents of evolutionary change, and evidence for such an extraterrestrial involvement at any particular time considered on its merits."
- "Something of a revolution in academic thought has taken place, but as with other paradigm shifts in the scientific world, there are those who deny that it has happened. As Archie Roy, Professor of Astronomy at Glasgow University, said at an SIS meeting in London in 1985, it is not unknown for the response to a new idea to progress from 'This man is nuts', through 'We'll really have to look at the problem just to dismiss it', to 'Of course I've always known that this was the case'. With the subject of evolutionary biology, which is our particular concern, the imprecise and subjective nature of some of the terminology makes it possible for those who wish to do so to maintain that the essentials of the gradualistic viewpoint remain intact. For example, a significant evolutionary change taking place over several thousand years (rather than several hundred thousand years) might be cited by some as an example of a rapid transition, whilst others would have no difficulty in accepting it as falling within the range that could be regarded as gradualistic. Hence, one of the aims of the present work is to go beyond assertions and give the full flavour of views about contemporary and historical evolutionary theory which have received wide circulation in books and general science journals such as Nature, Science, Scientific American and New Scientist. The change in tone of such writings over the stars is very apparent, leaving little scope for misrepresentation. Nevertheless, in order to convey opinions and arguments with maximum accuracy, extensive quotations are given. In the light of these, it should be evident that a major change of perspective, if not a revolution, has occurred over the past decade or so."
)1993: Scientific Prehistory: A Sequel of Prehistory and Earth Models
, by Melvin A Cook
- "It must be said at the outset that this book is not an easy read, in more ways than one. As with Prehistory and Earth Models, many sections are so densely packed with facts and ideas that they need to be read carefully more than once to be fully understood. Unfortunately, Cook's eyesight was fading badly when the book was being written, so there are more printing errors than normal to be negotiated. Then there is also the matter of the author's unusual mix of strongly-held beliefs (he is a Mormon and a convinced creationist), yet he also has a formidable scientific background, based largely on a lifetime's work on high explosives, which has brought him into contact with not only the world of rocks and mines where they are used but also the frontiers of chemistry and plasma physics. (He is particularly proud of his Nitro-Nobel Gold Medallion, awarded in 1968 for work on slurry explosives.) Add to this an obvious love of a good argument and an unwillingness to suffer those he sees as fools gladly and no one is guaranteed a smooth ride. Atheists like me will not be happy with his unashamed creationism, yet I suspect that few in the creationist camp will be totally comfortable either as he argues for his own particular view (and timetable) of creation and pursues ideas about fundamental cosmology with scientific gusto."
(summary from "SIS Chronology & Catastrophism Review" 1994, Vol XVI, Oct 1995)
- The contradictions are nicely caught in a quotation given from J. Keith Rigby of the Brigham Young University of Utah concerning a talk Cook gave to a Chemistry seminar there in 1962 (p. 110): "We did attend, I suppose largely because of the reputation Cook has as an uninhibited thinker. I had heard many of his ideas second-hand and wanted to hear them without the usual colouring of others. I was impressed with his attention to mathematical and physical detail but appalled at his abysmal ignorance of geology and his avowed intent to discredit observations of geology. His was a stimulating presentation.... I had anticipated religious overtones in his paper but there were none, fortunately, even though the person inviting him down is a professed 'short history' chemist. Effects of his paper difficult to evaluate, for those who are in agreement with him are more deeply convinced his thinking is correct and those who were opposed are still opposed, only more intently ..."
(quote is from "SIS Chronology & Catastrophism Review" 1994, Vol XVI, Oct 1995)1993:
"Written in the Stars: Celestial Origin of Maya Creation Myth", R. Wertime & A. Schuster, Archaeology
(July/August 1993), p32
- Arguably the most important Mayan scholar.
- "It seems that the interaction of astronomy and mythology was common in other cultures as well [as it was among the Maya]. Scholars working in South America have found similar kinds of systems in the Amazon ... The Maya may have been using a way of thinking about the sky and using it in their mythology that was very ancient indeed. I'm even prepared to accept that much of the cosmology/mythology came straight across the Bering Strait, and that it may be 10,000 or 15,000 years old; it may be 20,000 years old. I think it may be possible that we have tapped into a very ancient stratum of human thought. If it did come across with the first Americans, then we may be in touch with one of the two or three great human intellectual traditions that we as a species have ever evolved, part of the fundamental 'software' that all of the peoples of the Americas and Asia have utilized."
- What is remarkable is that David Talbott's Saturnian theory can easily explain the Mayan creation story known as the Popul Vuh.1994:
Comet Shoemaker-Levy impacts into Jupiter
- The scientific community wakes up to the real possibility of catastrophic events over human historical timespans (Velikovsky's main thesis).1995:
"Recent Results in Cometary Astronomy: Implications for the Ancient Sky", Vistas in Astronomy
Vol 39, Pergamon Press: p647-671
- "The extreme preoccupation of most early societies with celestial imagery ... appears to be part of a world wide phenomenon."1996: Stephen J. Gould and Immanuel Velikovsky: Essays in the Continuing Velikovsky Affair
, by Charles Ginenthal
- Several essays commenting on some of the people who have criticised Velikovsky. It includes contributions by Irving Wolfe, Lynn E. Rose, Dwardu Cardona, David Talbott and Ev Cochrane.
- Covers 4 topics: "1. Velikovsky's highly revolutionary, catastrophic theories, 2. the Velikovsky Affair, which is the sordid and vicious response to those ideas by mainstream, American science, 3. the impressive amount of evidence, especially from the space probes, which has accumulated in mainstream science since 1950 in support of Velikovsky's theories and predictions, and 4. catastrophist science, or research by Velikovsky's supporters in a number of fields, published in hundreds of scholarly articles, which constitutes a parallel universe to mainstream, traditional, uniformitarian science."
(Amazon.com description)1997: A Fire Not Blown: Investigations of Sacral Electrical Roots in Ancient Languages of the Mediterranean Region
, by Hugh Crosthwaite
- "In this work I have tried to develop some of the ideas that I put forward in my previous book Ka. The chief aim has been to apply my first work’s electrical interpretation of ancient myths and cosmology to a particular area of the ancient Mediterranean world, then to quote further examples of religious practice and the relevant vocabulary from a wider area. There has inevitably been repetitions of examples and interpretations from my earlier work ... In my first book I gave about twenty cases of reversals of direction of writing, suggesting that something more than coincidence was involved. The present work contains more than eighty examples for consideration, and there are more possibilities which may justify mention at a later stage."
(from the preface to the text)1997: Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology
- "Are all these legends a confused account of great events on a planetary scale which were beheld in terror simultaneously by men scattered everywhere over the world?"1997 - present:
The Electric Universe electrical cosmology is announced
- This is an electrical cosmology which extends plasma cosmology (much of it published in IEEE's Transactions on Plasma Science
), and which offers a potential explanation for how the Saturn myth might have come to be.
- Inspired by Immanuel Velikovsky's own work, and marked by the collaboration of David Talbott (comparative mythologist, The Saturn Myth
), Wal Thornhill (maverick plasma physicist) and Don Scott (electrical engineer).
- Wal Thornhill has substantially elaborated Immanuel Velikovsky's earlier belief in the importance of electromagnetic interactions in astronomy through claims about plasmas, the universe's dominant state of matter (EM effects appear more pronounced at interstellar scales, and up).
- Extends the analysis of mythology into the realm of petroglyphs by incorporating modern (oftentimes government-run) high-intensity plasma physics laboratory observations.
- The cosmology and the mythology benefit from one another's existence, but can be learned independent of one another.
- The idea has in recent years developed a substantial following, but is so controversial that Wikipedia has been scrubbed of most references.1997: Rain of Iron and Ice
, by John S. Lewis
- "Our understanding of astronomy, geology, and biology is illuminated by this new insight: we see Earth's surface not in quasi-mystical terms as a uniquely sheltered refuge for life, but as a part of the fabric of the solar system, subject like other bodies to rare, cataclysmic change."1981:
Results are presented at a geophysical conference that are suggestive of a massive impact crater north of the Yucatan peninsula measuring 190 miles wide
- In due time, it would become thought of as the impact that led to the demise of the dinosaurs.
- As the notion of global catastrophe (one of Velikovsky's core theses) has gone mainstream, the core assumption of uniformity (his other assertion) which props up most of the geological and planetary sciences has never been thoughtfully questioned. This premise that we can use our observations of today to understand what happened in the past has acted as the basis for centuries of inferences in these fields. The direct observation of evidence for catastrophes should, in principle, lend some credence to the notion of capricious planetary gods, and it should inspire questions about many of the most popular planetary and geological theories of our day (which only look to gradual, rather than sudden, processes). The scientific community continues to refuse to question their assumption of uniformity.2000: Marking Time: The Epic Quest to Invent the Perfect Calendar
, by Duncan Steel
- He noticed that geographically disconnected people have similar start times for the Earth (Often four to six thousand years before the Common Era).
- This "start time" should not necessarily be taken literally; it also makes sense if prehistoric peoples on all of the various continents witnessed and experienced a major event.
- Dr. Steel created a model for multiple events he believes caused the start times in ancient cultures. He's not the only investigator who believes in multiple events.
- He said the ancient sky was the location of a continuing phenomenon, which persisted for some centuries, and that all ancient cultures witnessed basically the same activity in the sky.
- Dr. Steel and his co-workers indicated that a large comet, which arrived sometime within the last ten thousand years, caused multiple events.
- He proposed that a comet broke into a number of smaller comets whose orbits intersected the orbit of the Earth at different times and caused different start times of events for the various groups of ancient people.
- The ancients then became interested in calendars in order to predict when the next major event would occur.1982-2003:
Dr. Victor Clube, Oxford University Department of Astrophysics
- Clube and colleages such as Dr. Bill Napier said the last ice age and the current interglacial age represent a microcosm of Earth history, dominated by a single giant comet.
- Says the comet caused catastrophic conditions to occur repeatedly during the course of geological and biological evolution.
- Also suggested punctuated equilibrium applies to recent sociological evolution as well as biological and geological evolution (punctuated equilibrium proposes that once species appear in the fossil record they will become stable, showing little net evolutionary change for most of their geological history, but then occasionally punctuated by rapid changes)1982-1990:
Dr. Bill Napier, Armagh Observatory
- Said recent terrestrial research has provided evidence to support theories of close encounters with comets.
- Analysis of tree rings in Irish Oaks depicted a dramatic climatic downturn circa 2354-2345 BCE.
- Suggested a cause - Earth entering the path of a comet's meteor stream.
- "Blast from the sky"
was blamed by ancients for a cataclysmic environmental event accompanied by destruction of mud-brick buildings in Northern Syria about the time of the Irish event (Napier, WM, Ancient Myths & Tree Rings Point to Giant Comet's Visit to Earth
- He said that this also pointed to an encounter with a giant comet.
Notes on Napier and Clube:
- After the sky became stable, the ancients still had the myths but with no gods left in the sky.
- Therefore, according to Clube and Napier, the ancients transferred the comet characteristics to the visible but dull planets.
- They said, "The planets were too few in number and too simple in behavior to carry the rich complexity of myths; but they had become the only candidates available."
(The Cosmic Winter
, Clube, Victor, and Napier, Bill, 1990, p88)2003:
Government plasma researcher, Anthony Peratt investigates an electrical plasma physics origin for petroglyphs
- Peratt noted the similarity of fundamental, laboratory-observed plasma forms to an unusually large portion of petroglyphs.
- This was merely an image-to-image comparison, and did not involve an analysis of the myths.
- The research originated as a purely scientific investigation of high energy z-pinch plasmas (extreme electrical discharges over gas in a vacuum).
- Peratt and others have postulated models involving significant plasma influences that created aurora forms which they claim contributed to the myth-making period.
- 40% of all petroglyph types can be accounted for
- "Eighty-four distinct high-energy-density Z-pinch categories have been identified in petroglyphs, nearly all of which belong to the archaic class. Only a small percentage of these petroglyphs, or parts of petroglyph patterns, do not fall into any of these categories."
("Characteristics for the Occurrence of a High-Current, Z-Pinch Aurora as Recorded in Antiquity - Part I")2004: Introduction to Comets
, by John C. Brandt and Robert D. Chapman
- Earth-comet collisions are now accepted as a possibility by mainstream science2006: The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes: How a Stone-Aged Comet Changed the Course of World Culture
, by Richard Firestone, Allen West and Simon Warwick-Smith
- Firestone and his group uncover 8 instances of mammoth tusks peppered with small meteorites on one side, and a mammoth carcass partially covered with a black radioactive mat filled with exotic isotopes; the find is significant because the mammoths are thought to have gone extinct in human historical times (and many theorists continue to blame humans for their extinction).
The dates for these artifacts, however, suggest a much older age for the event of around 35,000 years ago.
- Firestone's model started essentially with a supernova visible about 41,000 years ago, which they assert created a shockwave 34,000 years ago that increased comet and asteroid impacts throughout the solar system.
- About 16,000 years ago, they assert a second shock wave arrived, accompanied by increased radiation and comet and asteroid collisions.
- Firestone and about 26 others also published evidence for an extraterrestrial impact 12,900 years ago that contributed to the megafaunal extinctions and the Younger Dryas (YD) cooling. They asserted numerous impacts of material hit the Northern Hemisphere and debris also impacted the Sun, Moon and other planets.
- In the spirit of Peratt's claims, they also asserted that such impacts could create a series of solar flares, which can in turn influence the aurora activity (and possibly explain mythological stories).
- "When we did ['look beyond pure science'], we found remarkable and widespread corroboration for our theory in the myths and legends from more than fifty diverse ancient cultures around the world."
- Firestone's discussion of "c14 plateaus" observed in the dating record indicate that c14 dates cannot be relied upon for dating artifacts related to impact events (but it seems that these arguments have not been well received).
- "We do not believe or suggest that just the supernova or just the impacts caused the extinction of the megafauna -- it was more complicated than that ... 'Something' happened long ago, although many details may be lost."
- Critics objected that "there was no mechanism to hold such a dense swarm of impactors together in space. To the suggestion that a large comet had broken up just before hitting Earth, they replied that this lacked a physical mechanism ... While it is true that some comets have been seen to spontaneously disintegrate in space, the chances of this happening just before an impact with Earth is negligible -— something that might have happened at most once in the past four billion years. There was apparently no way to get a swarm of impactors to target North America alone."
Astronomer Geoffrey W. Marcy and others ...
- ... note that there may be many different physical processes that lead to the formation of planets.
- "Look around our solar system and you could be forgiven for thinking its eight planets drifted in from completely different parts of the cosmos."
(Clark, Stuart, "Unknown Earth: Our Planet's Seven Biggest Mysteries", New Scientist
, September 27, 2008, p28)2011:
"Lone Planetary-Mass Object Found in Family of Stars" at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/wise/newsfeatures.cfm?release=2016-107"In 2011, astronomers announced that our galaxy is likely teeming with free-floating planets. In fact, these lonely worlds, which sit quietly in the darkness of space without any companion planets or even a host sun, might outnumber stars in our Milky Way galaxy."2011:
Marinus Anthony van der Sluijs publishes a 4-volume review of the mythological archetypes which seeks to separate out all interpretation
- See http://mythopedia.info/books.html
- Rens' approach to mythology seeks to align with Anthony Peratt's in that it focuses on an enhanced polar auroral column as a possible cause for the mythological archetypes.2014:
"Dark Matter as a Trigger for Periodic Comet Impacts", Randall & Reece, Physics Review Letters
- "Our proposal is that during the Sun's passage through the mid-plane of the Milky Way -- the stripe of stars and bright dust that you can observe in a clear night sky -- the Solar System encountered a disk of dark matter that dislodged the distant object, thereby precipitating this cataclysmic impact"
that killed the dinosaurs (Randall, Lisa, Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs
The number of exoplanet discoveries dramatically increases to 800 in just 2014
- Nature Magazine: "The discovery of thousands of star systems wildly different from our own has demolished ideas about how planets form. Astronomers are searching for a whole new theory ..."
- "... Following the launch of NASA's planet-finding Kepler satellite in 2009, the number of possible exoplanets quickly multiplied into the thousands — enough to give astronomers their first meaningful statistics on other planetary systems, and to undermine the standard theory for good. Not only were there lots of exoplanet systems bearing no resemblance to ours, but the most commonly observed type of planet — a 'super-Earth' that falls between the sizes of our world and Neptune, which is four times bigger — does not even exist in our Solar System. Using our planetary family as a model, says astronomer Gregory Laughlin of the University of California, Santa Cruz, 'has led to no success in extrapolating what's out there.' ..."
- "... The findings have triggered controversy and confusion, as astronomers struggle to work out what the old theory was missing. They are trying ideas, but are still far from sure how the pieces fit together. The field in its current state 'doesn't make much sense', says Norm Murray of the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics in Toronto. 'It's impossible right now to account for everything,' agrees Kevin Schlaufman, an astrophysicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. Until researchers reach a new consensus, they will not be able to understand how our own Solar System fits into the grand scheme of things, let alone predict what else might exist."
"Centaurs as a hazard to civilization", Bill Napier, David Asher,
Mark Bailey and Duncan Steel, A&G, December 2015, vol. 56, pp. 6.24-6.30
- The discovery of giant comets called Centaurs -- typically 50 - 100km across, or larger -- in the outer planetary system over the last two decades means that these objects pose a much greater hazard to life than asteroids.
- Just one of them is more massive than the total of all known Earth-crossing asteroids.
- Calculations indicate that a Centaur will be deflected onto a path crossing the Earth's orbit about once every 40,000-100,000 years.
- They argue that episodes of environmental upheaval around 10,800 BCE and 2,300 BCE are consistent with this.
- The ages of sub-millimeter craters identified in lunar rocks returned in the Apollo program are almost all younger than 30,000 years, indicating a vast enhancement in the amount of dust in the inner Solar System since then.Today:
Observations increasingly raise questions about the thoughtless application of the uniformitarian assumption
- "As a special term, methodological uniformitarianism was useful only when science was debating the status of the supernatural in its realm; for if God intervenes, then laws are not invariant and induction becomes invalid. It was useful for those who, as Lyell, needed a guide to combat what we now consider unscientific notions of divine intervention and the resultant discordance of past and present modes of change. Their battle has been won, and the weapon which secured the victory deserves to be honorably retired, lest it appear like the crossbow in a nuclear age. The term today is an anachronism; for we need no longer take special pains to affirm the scientific nature of our discipline."
(was formerly at http://courses.washington.edu/ess408/Gould1965.pdf
The most popular cosmology can only identify around 5-6% of the universe's matter; without the addition of 95% invisible, hypothetical matters and forces, no gravitational model can be made to explain observations. #ongoing