Black Death Asteroid

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E.P. Grondine

Re: Black Death Asteroid

Post by E.P. Grondine »

On Tue Nov 6 08:42:05, Splinx wrote:
It's worth remembering too, that many of Velikovsky's explanations may have been wrong, but the data he collected remains and awaits explanation.

I seem to recall that one of IV's significant dates was 2600BC, so perhaps some of his data does dovetail with this recent discovery of the impact crater.

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INTRODUCTION: The following essay compliments David Morrison's article on the Velikovsky controversy fifty years out in the current issue of Skeptic magazine by describing (a) the reaction of Velikovskians since 1985 to the negative evidence in the Greenland ice
cores mentioned by Morrison and (b) the major centers of interest in Velikovsky today:

A Velikovsky Update

Leroy Ellenberger

ONE MIGHT HAVE THOUGHT THAT THE Velikovsky movement would have ended with
the "crucial test" of the Greenland ice cores (Kronos 10:1, 1984), first proposed by R.G.A. Dolby in 1977. A visible layer of debris in the ice caused by Velikovsky's planet-juggling
catastrophes, especially from the 40 years of darkness at the Exodus, was never found.

In 1986-7, Lynn Rose, a Velikovsky devotee (and then philosophy professor at SUNY-Buffalo) writing in Kronos, suggested Velikovsky's signal is the ice in the so-called "brittle" zones of deep cores, deposited between Venus and Mars episodes, when supposedly Earth's axis had no tilt. Assuming Velikovsky correct, Rose discounted the fact that the dates of the brittle zones did not match Velikovsky's dates and ignored the concordance of tree rings and ocean sediments with ice cores. This, of course, makes a mockery of the "interdisciplinary synthesis" heralded by Velikovskians.

In 1994 Charles Ginenthal, writing in The Velikovskian, suggested the bulk of the
Greenland ice was deposited almost overnight. With Kronos defunct, Sean Mewhinney refuted Rose in 1990 with "Ice Cores & Common Sense" in Catastrophism & Ancient History;
and Ginenthal in 1998 with "Minds in Ablation" at (, exposing their absurdities in exhaustive detail. This denial of the clear message from the ice cores is an example of "invincible ignorance" reminiscent of the flat earthers' rejection in 1870 of Alfred Russel Wallace's proof of the Earth's curvature, tested on the Old Bedford Canal.

Most Velikovskians in America have also spurned the modern catastrophist alternative to Velikovsky's scenario proposed by British astronomers Victor Clube and Bill Napier starting with The Cosmic Serpent (1982). These "neo-catastrophists" use myth to inform our understanding of the ancient sky, but reject Velikovsky's colliding planets. For them, humanity's archetypal fear of comets and the origin of sky-combat myths result from Earth's intermittent, energetic interaction during the past 10,000 years with the then young Taurid meteor stream, radiating from near the Pleiades

Although not accepted by most astronomers, at least this hypothesis does not contradict the laws of physics. The growing list of scientists and scholars who are favorably disposed towards Clube and Napier's work includes astronomers Mark Bailey and Duncan Steel, physicists Fred Hoyle and Gerrit Verschuur, geographer Richard Huggett, and dendrochronologist Mike Baillie, whose 1999 book "Exodus to Arthur" makes the case for a cosmic vector associated with several major global climate crises in the past 5000 years.

Regardless, Velikovskians reject it because they (1) have blindly accepted Velikovsky's false premise that planets were the first gods, when planets were only relatively recently associated with deities whose earlier origin had nothing to do with planets, and (2) believe Venus
really was once a comet, when it is too massive ever to have had a visible tail as real comets do.

Most surviving Velikovskians now see Worlds in Collision and Ages in Chaos as seriously flawed, if not completely wrong. Many instead propose that the real interplanetary catastrophes occurred earlier than Velikovsky thought. Adopting the "Saturn
theory " inspired by an unpublished Velikovsky manuscript alluding to the ancient Sun-Saturn polarity (,
they claim that, during the "Golden Age" ruled by the god Saturn/Kronos, Earth was part of a "polar configuration" that orbited the Sun near Earth's present location so that a nearby Saturn loomed continuously over the north pole as a rotating crescent. Situated between Earth and Saturn were Venus and Mars with Jupiter hidden behind Saturn!

Saturnists believe (1) mythology preserves the record of that alignment and transition to the
present Solar System by 2000 B.C.E. and (2) their novel interpretation of ancient myth and sacred symbol (which redefines such terms as "ocean","sky" and "earth") gives results
superior to those of modern science. Scholars consider this a naive re-imaging of the Greek divine succession myth: Ouranos- Kronos- Zeus- Ares.

The claimed "historical" basis for the "Saturn theory" is greatly exaggerated.

Significantly, the ice core evidence also disproves the "polar configuration" not to mention the conservation laws of energy and angular momentum.

Having failed to make a prima facie case, the Saturnists shift the burden-of-proof by inviting
"scholarly critics" to disprove their model by identifying "a single recurring mythical theme not predicted by the model." They simply do not believe that their coherent, internally consistent narrative, based solely on mythological exegesis, can be wrong.

Their leading theorist remarked in 1987, at a time when he did not appreciate the difference between zenith and pole, "it is not possible that a simply-stated theory could predict all mythical archetypes but be false."

To the contrary, systems of thought can be internally consistent yet bear no resemblance to physical reality. Coherence is no guarantor of truth.

Interestingly, in 1987 an essay by independent scholar and Sanskrit specialist Roger Ashton, "The Bedrock of Myth", was accepted for publication in the then fledgling Saturnist journal Aeon. Drawingon the contents of the Hindu Rgveda, Ashton showed that the "polar configuration" imagery can beexplained without recourse to planets. Although Aeon subsequently suppressed this paper, it is nowbeing posted on the WWW:

Since conventional physics precludes any such arrangement, Velikovskians have adopted the plasma-theoretic "electric universe" model, propounded in the 1970s by civil engineer Ralph Juergens, as a deus ex machina. Supposedly the Sun is an electric discharge powered by an influx of galactic electrons. Based largely on various analogies, this "theory" has no
quantitative basis and, despite all the hand waving, is disproved by everything known about the Sun's behavior; see
( ... ic-sun.htm).

Juergens' work is carried on by the "Holoscience" project
(, organized by Wal Thornhill, a retired computer systems engineer who now bills himself as an "Australian physicist" on the basis of his 1964 B.S. degree.

What of Velikovsky's revision of ancient history?

Chronology revisionists exist today in two schools: modest and drastic.

The modest revisionists shorten Egyptian chronology less drastically than Velikovsky's 500 year compression, eliminating only a century or two by various schemata, e.g.,

The drastic revisionists claim, in essence, that the second millennium B.C.E. is a fiction that duplicates the first millennium; see

Today, interest in Velikovskian studies resides primarily with four groups:

(1) Saturnists are the most visible with the journal Aeon
( and Kronia Group
( {founded in 1987 by Dave Talbott, author of The Saturn Myth (1980), whose efforts as publisher of Pensee arguably led to the 1974 AAAS Symposium where Carl Sagan and Velikovsky clashed}, which publishes the electronic newsletter Thoth, produces the Mythscape video series, and runs the moderated kroniatalk listserve. Their
alternative-science conferences include invited speakers with bona fide scientific credentials, such as plasma physicist Anthony Peratt and astronomer Halton Arp, who provide a veneer of scholarly respectability, with the Intersect2001 world conference held July 2001 at Laughlin, NV,

(2) Charles Ginenthal founded The Velikovskian in 1992
and has produced several books and sponsored annual conferences, recently with Cosmos & Chronos, the original Velikovsky discussion group founded in 1965 by geologist H.H. Hess at Princeton University and now headed by C.J. Ransom in Texas;

(3) The Society for Interdisciplinary Studies in Great Britain, established in 1974
(, publishes Chronology & Catastrophism Review and, while it is nominally interested in catastrophism and ancient chronology and its leadership embraces the work of Clube and Napier, a large portion of the membership has a strong affection for Velikovsky and an indiscriminate interest in the work of other distinctly fringe writers; and

(4) The Velikovsky Archive is a web resource ( containing many manuscripts, lectures, correspondence, and the 1972 Canadian television documentary
"Velikovsky: The Bonds of the Past"

Velikovsky continues to be revered especially by those who, for a variety of reasons, distrust
mainstream science and scholarship, believing they are, in good part, socially constructed consensus mythologies, and believe he was correct on three points: (1) the present order of the Solar System is recent, (2) electromagnetism plays a more important role in the cosmos than generally appreciated, and (3) the chronology of ancient Egypt is seriously flawed.

The resistance of Velikovsky's successors to all the contradictory physical evidence mounting
since 1977 indicates they are demonstrably incapable of changing their core belief, namely, recent interplanetary catastrophism. Velikovskian believers have often subordinated their judgment to that of a charismatic authority figure and, as with other "true believers"; secular no less than religious, no amount of evidence is going to change their minds. As Carol Tavris incisively noted in 1984 regarding Freud, "One of the sturdiest findings in the slushy social
sciences is that when such a belief system meets contrary evidence -- when faith meets facts -- the facts are sacrificed."

By contrast, the revolutionary terminal Cretaceous impact 65 million years ago was
accepted during this time by most scientists within a decade.

Leroy Ellenberger is a chemical engineer with graduate degrees in finance and operations research.He was Executive Secretary & Senior Editor for the Velikovsky journal Kronos, devil's advocate for Aeon, and a one-time confidant to Velikovsky. His "An Antidote to Velikovskian Delusions" appeared in Skeptic, Vol. 3, No. 4, 1995
:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
E.P. Grondine

Re: Black Death Asteroid

Post by E.P. Grondine »

by Leroy Ellenberger

This article first appeared in SKEPTIC Vol. 3 No. 4 1995
[brackets enclose subsequent additions]

"The fact is that the whole of the ramshackle edifice of nonsense to be found scattered throughout the Velikovskian corpus is purported to have a historical?foundation, but that it has none." - John David North

"The philosopher David Hume urged that one should always hold it more likely that one had been deceived than that the laws of nature should stand suspended." - Frank Close

I am privileged to have this opportunity to provide a counterbalance to the Velikovskian mindset expressed by Mr. Cochrane [in "Velikovsky Still in Collision" (this issue)]. Our viewpoints could hardly be more divergent, as our respective essays for a forum in the British Velikovskian journal showed.

Whereas he believes "the ancient traditions (mostly mythological) are our best guide to the appearance and arrangement of the earliest remembered Solar System, not some fancy computer's retrocalculations based upon current understandings of astronomical principles" (1992, pp. 40-41), my position is that "while myth may inform natural history, (e.g., Phaethon's fall), its capacity to reform physics is vanishingly small. Phaethon was almost certainly a comet, not Venus or the Sun" (1992a, pp. 41-44), as Bob Kobres has ingeniously shown (1995).

In the Velikovskian worldview, typified by Mr. Cochrane, the zodiac has no meaning until Earth's present tilt was achieved. But, in fact, the earliest signs of the zodiac date from 5,500 B.C., long before Velikovskians believe the present order began (Gurshtein, 1993 and 1995).

(Of special interest to Velikovskians is the fact that the near-miss trajectory for Phaethon behind Earth, deduced by Kobres, produces the illusion of a sun-like body standing still due to the relative motion as seen from certain longitudes--perhaps the inspiration for the "Day the Sun Stood Still" for Joshua. [See, too, "The Day the Sun Stood Still?" in Peter James & Nick Thorpe, Ancient Mysteries, 1999, pp. 135-153, relating this event to a the after-effects of a Tunguska-type aerial detonation.])

As Phil Burns so cogently notes: "Myths tell us how the ancients perceived the universe, not necessarily how the universe really worked," which, as the following essay will show, Mr. Cochrane and his associates at refuse to credit, possibly due to an invincible ignorance.

Mr. Cochrane presents his case for Velikovsky's genius. Velikovsky was a brilliant man whose speculations, unfortunately, were invalidated by his assumptions about his source materials. However, he was no scientist (see Bauer, 1992, [Dutch, 1998], Friedlander, 1995, and Grove, 1989). According to Lloyd Motz (1992, pp. 85-92), whose advice Velikovsky often sought, "Velikovsky's credentials were not those of a scientist...he had only the vaguest understanding of such basic physical principles as conservation of angular momentum, gravity, and entropy." [Sociologists of science and others uncritically granted Velikovsky standing as a scientist thereby judging the reception of his ideas by scientists as though Velikovsky were a peer when by every criterion Velikovsky was an outsider who did not automatically deserve serious attention (H. Bauer, 4S Review 2:4, 1984, pp. 2-8).

In Encyclopedia of the Paranormal (1996), edited by Gordon Stein, Bauer observes "Velikovsky was a clever and insightful critic, but he had none of the disciplinary equipment needed to revise archaeology or history, let alone physics and astronomy." Gregory Derry concludes in his What Science Is and How It Works (Princeton, 1999): "Velikovsky was an interesting and imaginative thinker, and he was a patient, thorough collector of ancient myths and legends. But his work, whatever other virtues it may possess, is not science" (pp. 166-7).]

With respect to Velikovsky's prediction of Jupiter's radio emissions, mentioned by Mr. Cochrane at the McMaster Symposium in June 1974, radioastronomer James W. Warwick was soundly and multiply excoriated for giving Velikovsky only partial and qualified credit for making "a valid but intuitive inference". As Warwick explained, "Saying that there will be found radio emissions from Jupiter was tantamount to a statement by John Adams in mid-19th century that there was another planet in the sky but with no more evidence, say, than the peculiarities of Uranus' motion.... Velikovsky's prediction was precisely useless in just its LACK of detail-- where to look in the radio spectrum (from ground base it covers a factor of 10,000 to one in frequency); what to see there, that is the character of the source (Velikovsky didn't understand that two kinds of distinct non-thermal emission are produced); and when to look (Burke's and Franklin's data show enormous variations that seemed to be basically stochastic)" (Pensee VIII, p. 42).

Velikovsky also did not understand that "radio stars" are not ordinary stars but what are today called "discrete sources". When Velikovsky and Warwick met after his presentation, Velikovsky looked Warwick long and hard in the eye and, directing his right index finger in Warwick's face, declared "You, YOU, are the worst one of all! You are more generous than the other astronomers, I admit. But niggardly you still are." That Velikovsky's defenders reject Warwick's judgment and continue to exaggerate the credit they believe Velikovsky deserves shows that the divide between C.P. Snow's "two cultures" is an unbridgable chasm that true believers cannot cross.

My personal experience with Velikovsky regarding escape velocity (1979) [the subject of Velikovsky's last phone call to me on Nov. 15, 1979, two days before he died] and the relation between Jupiter's surface temperature and the hot plasma temperatures in its magnetosphere, verifies Henry Bauer's conclusion that in physics Velikovsky was "an ignoramous masquerading as a sage" (1984, p. 94).

So confident was he in his flash of intuition identifying Venus as the agent of destruction in the second millennium B.C. that Velikovsky rejected Einstein's strenuous July 8, 1946 admonition, after reading the Venus part of Worlds in Collision, that Venus cannot have been the Agent (Immanuel Velikovsky, Before the Day Breaks).]

Two further examples, first revealed in Kronos 10:3, 1985, pp. 9-15, with no immediate objection, illustrate Velikovsky's incompetence in physics.  In his Graduate Forum Address at Princeton University in October 1953 (published in Earth in Upheaval) and in many subsequent college lectures, Velikovsky mentioned a hypothetical binary star, in which each member had a 7000 gauss magnetic field, suggesting that in such a system magnetism would surely rival gravity.  But, when Warwick made the calculation at my request in 1984, after suggesting it in his remarks prepared for the McMaster Conference in 1974, it turned out that gravity overwhelmed magnetism by a factor of a billion. 

Then, in his 1967 rejoinder to Motz in the April Yale Scientific Magazine, Velikovsky evidently thought of a magnetic dipole as an amplifier when he referred to "the fact that magnetic dipole effects increase at a cube rate with the decrease in distance and may become very powerful" (p. 15, reprinted in Kronos 2:1, 1976, p. 4).  Curiously, this is a locution that inverts the usual statement of this effect, where the strength decreases with the cube of increasing distance. 

But, a magnet's intrinsic strength is given and unaffected by how it is approached.  It cannot "grow stupendously," as Velikovsky phrased it in his manuscript The Test of Time, getting stronger than it actually is. Velikovsky's allusion to magnetic fields powerful enough to cushion planets during a near-collision, thereby avoiding "an actual crushing collision of the lithospheres" (Worlds in Collision, p. 382, and Velikovsky & Establishment Science, p. 30) is ludicrous because planetary magnetic fields are simply too feeble.  Everyday experience with the effect of 100 gauss horseshoe magnets on iron filings is no reliable guide for what happens between planets with comparatively miniscule magnetic fields.

The "profoundly original nature of Velikovsky's vision of the recent history of the solar system," praised by Mr. Cochrane, [and also Lynn Rose, Irving Wolfe, Charles Ginenthal (founding editor of The Velikovskian), et al.,] is belied by the earlier work of Whiston, Radlof and Donnelly whose writings prefigured the major themes in Worlds in Collision (see Clube and Napier, 1990; Bauer, 1984).

Velikovsky probably came to his conclusions independently, but he was by no means "profoundly original." [Leroy and I have discussed this; I am pretty sure V. plagiarized others work who Leroy did not mention here.}

One interprets myths literally at great risk because the deeds of gods do not necessarily apply to the action of the planets named after them. [As a testament to the malleability of myth, in The Original Garden of Eden Discovered . . . Being the Lunar Theory of Mythology (1910), J[ohn] M[artin] Woolsey interpreted practically all of mythology in terms of the vicissitudes of
the Moon, proclaiming "The new moon, the throne of all the gods And the key of all mythology."

The events in Worlds in Collision are disproved by the complete absence of relevant physical evidence on Earth (such as characteristic debris in the world's ice caps deposited during and after Earth's near collisions with Venus and Mars 3,500 and 2,700 years ago, respectively; Ellenberger, 1984 [& Mewhinney, 1998]).

If the debris Venus deposited in Earth's atmosphere was so massive it caused 40 years of darkness after the Exodus, where is it today? There is no sign of it in the world's ice caps or on the ocean bottoms (see section "The 'Worzel' Ash" in Mewhinney's "Minds in Ablation").

All of the physical evidence in "Earth in Upheaval" for the recent events in "Worlds in Collision" can be explained without errant planets in terms of climate change with ensuing habitat degradation, some of which was arguably a consequence of cosmic accretion events, i.e., massive fireball storms, associated with Clube & Napier's model (see below) for "coherent catastrophism" (Asher, 1994).]

The reaction by many Velikovskians to the litmus test in the ice is a study in classic cult dementia. One might have thought, considering the posturing of Velikovskians as interdisciplinary seekers of truth, that the Velikovsky movement would have ended with the crucial test in Kronos 10:1, 1984, of the Greenland ice cores -- the absence of a visible layer of debris specific to Velikovsky's scenario -- that disproved Velikovsky's planet-juggling catastrophes, which had been proposed by R.G.A. Dolby in SIS Review 2:2, 1977.

Lynn Rose, one of many critics, in Kronos 12:1, 1986, and 12:2, 1987, granted the antiquity of the ice, but, unable to find any trace of Velikovsky's catastrophes therein, claimed Velikovsky's signal is the ice at depth in the so-called "brittle" zones, deposited between the Venus and Mars episodes when supposedly Earth's axis had no tilt. However, this ignores the fact that the ages of the brittle zones do not coincide with Velikovsky's dates; nor does it explain why the ice should be brittle. Rose assumes Velikovsky was correct and ignores the concordance of tree rings and ocean sediments with ice cores. In August 1990, Rose refused to defend his ice core arguments against this writer at the Reconsidering Velikovsky Conference in Toronto.

In The Velikovskian 2:4, 1994, Charles Ginenthal rejected the antiquity of the ice entirely, claiming that the bulk of it was deposited almost overnight. Sean Mewhinney, a critic who does not suffer fools gladly, refuted Rose with "Ice Cores and Common Sense" in Catastrophism & Ancient History 12:1 & 12:2, 1990, and Ginenthal with "Minds in Ablation" in 1998, exposing their absurdities in exhaustive detail. Contravening the canons of proper scholarship which Rose frequently lords over critics, he has steadfastly ignored Mewhinney's refutation as he earlier ignored Dolby's proposal.

Others who have at least resisted the litmus test in the ice include Al DeGrazia, C.J. Ransom, Lewis Greenberg, Shulamit Kogan, Warner Sizemore, Fred Hall, Clark Whelton, Alasdair Beal, Bernard Newgrosh, Hugo Meynell, Dave Talbott, Irving Wolfe, and Gunnar Heinsohn. This denial of the clear message from the ice cores is an example of invincible ignorance, reminiscent of the flat earthers' reaction in 1870 to Alfred Russel Wallace's proof of the Earth's curvature on the Old Bedford Canal.

The resistance of Velikovsky's successors to all the contradictory physical evidence mounting since 1977 indicates they are congenitally incapable of changing their core belief, namely recent interplanetary catastrophism, in no small part because they insist on giving hypothesis priority over evidence. By contrast, the revolutionary terminal Cretaceous impact 65 million years ago was accepted during this time by most scientists within a decade; see J.L. Powell, Night Comes to the Cretaceous,New York, 1998.

In retrospect, we can see that scientists (and other experts) easily perceived how wrong Velikovsky was, but they were ineffective in setting forth a valid refutation that was convincing to Velikovsky partisans (Ellenberger, 1986, [1987], and 1992b). This applies especially to Carl Sagan's vaunted critiques "An Analysis of _Worlds in Collision" (1977) and its revised version "Venus and Dr. Velikovsky" (1979), abridged versions of which appeared in The Humanist (Nov/Dec 1977) and Biblical Archaeology Review (Jan/Feb 1980), respectively, together with Isaac Asimov's criticisms which have been dissected by Frederic B. Jueneman, "pc," Kronos I:3, 1975, 73-83, (on Asimov's "CP", Analog, 10/74) and Dick Atkinson, "Interdisciplinary Indiscipline," Chron. & Cat. Review XII, 1990, 24-30 (on Asimov's "Worlds in Confusion" in "The Stars in Their Courses".

by the University of Georgia or the University System of Georgia.
E.P. Grondine

Re: Black Death Asteroid

Post by E.P. Grondine »

An even greater and more poignant disproof of Velikovsky, which has long been overlooked, is the following: If Venus got close enough during a near collision for its air to flow onto Earth, then, as Philip Plait explains in BAD Astronomy (Wiley, 2002), this "means that Venus would have to be closer than 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) from the surface of the Earth" (p. 181).

Such an encounter would have sterilized Earth's biosphere and flung the Moon into interplanetary space. Neither happened and, in fact, ancient lunar calendars and other records show that the Moon's orbit has not changed significantly in the past 5,800 years.

Although Velikovsky's mythological interpretation and methodology have been widely criticized (Ellenberger (1993), Forrest (1983/84), Fitton (1974), Mewhinney (1986), Sachs (1965), Lorton (1984/1999), and Stiebing (1992), his followers are unimpressed and blindly follow their exemplar as naive, literal interpreters of myth who fail to provide, much less even look for, independent physical, as opposed to textual or iconographic, evidence supporting their model.

They ignore George Talbott's sage counsel in Kronos V:3, "The basis of any historical inference must be physical evidence."

As literalists, they do not allow mere metaphors to becloud their research.

As implied by Burns' quote above, they deny the distinction made by our ancestors between Mythos and Logos. In projecting modern concepts onto records of ancient perceptions, they fail to appreciate (a) the perilousness and subtleties of translating ancient texts (e.g., correspondence in nine issues of Nature from Feb. 16 to Oct. 25, 1984 shows we do not really know what Homer meant by "wine-dark sea") and (b) the consequences of a culture's transition from orality to literacy which changes how the external world is perceived (Walter J. Ong, Orality and Literacy, 1982).

The "ancient lore surrounding Venus" in most cases relates to a deity associated with Venus such as Inanna or Ishtar. Since Venus is far too massive ever to have had a [visible] tail, it is not, contrary to Mr. Cochrane, "difficult to deny Velikovsky's thesis that Venus only recently presented a comet-like appearance." The "wealth of evidence" for a cometary Venus, lauded by Mr. Cochrane, confirms nothing because it is textual and iconographic, making it susceptible to the vagaries of interpretation. Any tail ascribed to, say, Ishtar (Mr. Cochrane would render it "Venus"), almost certainly was inspired by a conventional short period comet that has since either disappeared or become inactive.

The Inanna symbol, which superficially resembles a comet, in cult context is usually shown in pairs associated with animals and actually represents the reed bundles that form the door posts of the birthing huts that were sacred to Inanna, as Berkeley Assyriologist A.D. Kilmer exlained to me (David & Joan Oates, The Rise of Civilization (New York, 1976)). Such huts can be seen today in the marshes of Basra in southern Iraq. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and ditto a reed bundle.

The British astronomers Victor Clube and Bill Napier (1990) propose that the lore associated with the progenitor to Comet Encke, which would have been a spectacular morning and evening object at perihelion, would have been associated with a Venus deity, and would have been assimilated to Venus when it disappeared. If the identification of Venus is defective, how trustworthy can the other mythological equations be?

Velikovsky's primary error was to conflate gods with planets. The planets were not gods, but merely one of many visible manifestations of certain deities. That the cuneiform ideogram for "god" resembles a "star" does not mean stars were gods, as Dwardu Cardona insists at every opportunity, because in Mesopotamia the gods were patently anthropomorphic. The religion was not astral as the later Classical pagan religion came to be. The star symbol is a metaphor, a concept rejected by Velikovsky and his literally-minded epigoni.

The distinguished French Assyriologist Jean Bottero explains: "Even the word 'god' (dinger in Sumerian; ILU in Akkadian) in no way explains its original meaning, since in neither language do we have the slightest sure etymology of it. It is only on the graphic level, in its ideogram (which also served as a determinative), that we find some semantic aid. It is shaped like a star, and also signified 'Heaven,' everything that, by its position or its nature, was 'above,' 'elevated,' 'superior.'...

...Thus 'the god' was first imagined via his SUPERIORITY over everything else, but especially over humans, since in the anthropomorphic regime of the local religion, the divine was represented in an exalted and superior form based on the human model. Every god was thus perceived as having been formed in our image but was believed to be superior to us in everything, both positively and negatively" (Religion in Ancient Mesopotamia, Chicago & London, 2001, pp. 58-9).]

See also, Barbara N. Porter, "The Anxiety of Multiplicity: Concepts of Divinity as One and Many in Ancient Assyria" in Barbara N. Porter (ed.), One God or Many?: Concepts of Divinity in the Ancient World, (Trans. Casco Bay Assyriological Inst., 2000), pp. 211-271, esp., "Gods and Ilus", pp. 243-248.

Since the 1974 AAAS confrontation between Sagan and Velikovsky is beyond the scope of this discussion, the reader is referred to David Morrison's overview in "Velikovsky at 50" (Skeptic 9:1, 2001, 62-76) wherein Morrison critically assesses Sagan's "ten problems", with the proviso, ignored by Morrison, that the original invitation to Velikovsky proposed a panel discussion consisting of six speakers with an equal number pro and con, which plan was subsequently abandoned, and an invitation to click on "Carl Sagan's" above.

Velikovsky's reference to ancient "cometary" prodigies of Venus are no more compelling since atmospheric refraction can make Venus appear with a "beard," or tail. Varro's report of an account from the time of Ogyges, many centuries earlier, quoted by Velikovsky from Augustine's City of God, in which Venus "changed its color, size, form, course" (Tr. M. Dods), can also plausibly be understood in terms of effects of atmospheric refraction (Forrest, 1987, pp. 24-5, wherein the attributes of Venus are rendered "colour, magnitude, figure, and motion" (Tr. J. Healey)) together with prudent allowance for the uncertainties attending the vagaries of translation over the centuries and for the hyperbole and magico-mystical propensities that color the reports of pagan, pre-modern observers, whose reports Varro related.

Velikovsky's notion, mentioned by Mr. Cochrane, that "planet Saturn only recently loomed large in the heavens" because of "Earth's former proximity" is a red herring. To the ancients, as the classicist Harald Reiche explained to me, a planet's name referred both to orb and orbit. As the most distant visible planet, Saturn's orbit, indeed, can be said to have"encompassed the whole sky," a phrase used in Aeon's promotional material in 1988. Interestingly, our ancestors developed a complex, complementary relationship between the Sun and Saturn. But it is fallacious to believe, as Mr. Cochrane does, that the Sun in a very radical way was subordinate to Saturn in some bygone "Golden Age" (cf, Boll, 1919; Jastrow, 1910; Krupp, 1994).

Indeed, as scholars "Saturnists" are entirely too naive, literal, and unsophisticated, as with Sun = Saturn. In a 6/9/93 letter, Harald Reiche remarked "The notion of 'equation' and 'identity' seems to me deserving of more sophisticated treatment. One must distinguish between substantive, functional, temporary, shorthand and topographic 'identities' and consider the possibility that Semitic languages lacked the sort of precision that the Greeks and we routinely employ (cf. the Luther-Zwingli debate concerning the Eucharist)".

Their highly-touted inductive "comparative method", or "comparative approach", of mythological interpretation/exegesis is seriously flawed to the extent it is not supported by independent evidence, preferably physical or explicit text: i.e., A = C; not A = B, B = C, therefore A = C, because such relations, or identifications, or equations, in mythology, which are often metaphorical, are not necessarily transitive, as Velikovskians seem to think.

Concerning Mars, Mr. Cochrane unjustifiably projects his own expectations on his sources when he refers to Mars having been "associated with prodigious eclipses of the sun...." His references in Aeon to Gossmann and Tallqvist give no warrant for either "prodigious" or "eclipses." However, we know, from the ancients' claims about Sirius causing the summer to be hot by heating the Sun, they were capable of fanciful associations (Ceragioli, 1992). By virtue of its drastic changes in direction and brightness, Mars was a perfect subject for exercising our ancestors' imagination.

We have reason to believe our ancestors viewed a sky different even from that contemplated by Mr. Cochrane. Such terms as are rendered "morning star" and "eclipse" in translations may very well refer to phenomena that are no longer present because the accounts of their activity do not conform to what we observe today (Clube and Napier, l990; Mandelkehr,1994).

Contrary to Mr. Cochrane, the furious reaction to Velikovsky in 1950 was not due to suggestions that were unpalatable to scientists. According to Henry Bauer, "The absurd gap between Velikovsky's pretensions and ambitions on the one hand, and his lack of qualifications and evidence for his views on the other, could well explain the sarcastic outrage of some members of the scientific community" (1985, p. 184).

However, this perspective is not meant to discount the role played by the staunch resistance of an establishment defending uniformity against catastrophism, as Jerry Pournelle describes while distinguishing between the valid and fantastical brands of catastrophism.

The "furious reaction" in 1950 has become known as the "Velikovsky Affair" which, as promulgated by Velikovsky and perpetuated by his apologists, is largely a myth based on a manipulation of events (originally selected by Velikovsky) and crucial omissions, as I have argued in "Neugebauer vs. Velikovsky" and "Denouement" (Appendix C at end of "Ellenberger Contra Cochrane").]

This "absurd gap" is even greater in the pretensions of those neo-Velikovskians like Mr. Cochrane himself [along with Dwardu Cardona and David Talbott]. They are untutored, self-proclaimed experts, who promulgate the "polar configuration" derived from the "Saturn myth" (which is the hidden agenda behind Mr. Cochrane's allusions to recent, drastic changes in the behavior of Venus, Saturn and Mars), (also variously known as "Saturn thesis", "Saturn theory", "Saturn Model", or "Saturnian configuration theory" and brazenly continue the propaganda of their fantasy while refusing to deal forthrightly with legitimate criticism).

They actually believe, because of its alleged vast explanatory power, that their literal interpretation of certain myths gives results superior to those of modern science.

But explanatory power is no gauge of validity because incorrect theories can give correct predictions.

Giving confirmation priority over falsification, Dave Talbott over-emphasizes explanatory power, believing, fallaciously, "it is not possible that a simply-stated theory could predict all mythical archetypes but be false" (Kataclysmos, 5-19-87). But this ignores Pierre Duhem's observation " principle, for any explanation of any amount of data there will always be an equally satisfactory alternative" (cited by N. Cartwright in R. Boyd et al. (eds.), The Philosophy of Science, 1991).

In set theory it is axiomatic that if a set of symbols, S, has an internally consistent meaning, M, that set can also be interpreted as another consistent meaning, Q, regardless the size of the set.

The "Saturnists" assume Q and interpret everything in terms of Q, regardless physics and context; but the Greeks, Egyptians, Hindus, Sumerians, etc. never heard of Q, or saw Q. The product of their vaunted "comparative analysis" is merely a result of their fertile, over-active imaginations, while ignoring the constraints of physics, alternative explanations, and the absolute veto-power of negative evidence (see discussion of "geoid", below), despite the rationalizations offered by Talbott in his forthcoming book When Saturn Was King.

Talbott's analogy "The Unfortunate Peter Smith" (Thoth II:6, 31 Mar '98, & Thoth II:7, 15 Apr '98), for example, is a highly artificial, concocted episode that confuses the merely improbable with the patently impossible. Thus, it is a fallacy of analogy to compare Peter Smith's improbable fictional circumstances with impossible astronomical conditions posited by the "polar configuration". But what better can be expected from one who once boasted in an electronic forum that he did not learn anything in college that he needed to know ; who does not appreciate the difference between "improbable" and "impossible" or between "stability" and "equilibrium"?

Other examples of Talbott's confused and muddled thinking on technical issues were exposed by Paul J. Gans on (07/18/1996).] Scientism aside, their notions (of an "emerging field of planetary catastrophics" or "astral catastrophics") are consciously unconstrained by the laws of physics.

The advertisement on the back cover of Aeon 4:1 for "When the Gods were Planets," the first video in [the Mythscape] series on "The New Science of World Mythology," claims it "not only challenges long-held beliefs, but suggests that the most cherished assumptions of twentieth century science must give way to a new understanding of planetary evolution." (The second video is "Remembering the End of the World," reviewed by Lance Hardie in Parabola 24:2 (Summer 1999).)

Do these pretensions give the appearance of delusions of grandeur? They fancy they are at the vanguard of a revolutionary science, when actually their collective delusion is just another expression of pathological science and they are clueless in the mythosphere.

The "polar configuration" is claimed to have been a self-gravitating in-line "stack" of Jupiter- Saturn- Venus- Mars- Earth (sans Moon), that orbited the Sun as a unit in synchronous motion, with Earth tilted 90 degrees so its axis pointed down the "stack" toward Saturn - such that the crescent alleged to have been displayed by Saturn seemed to revolve daily. However, this revolving crescent motif is Talbott's pure invention because no ancient source explicitly depicts or describes it]. Although this scheme was contrived to satisfy certain mytho-religious themes and motifs, it is neither as necessary nor as comprehensive as its proponents claim.

Moe Mandelkehr (1994) has shown that these myths can all be accounted for in practical terms if Earth acquired a temporary, highly inclined ring of meteor dust about 2,300 B.C. The scheme is also not as comprehensive as claimed because it does not explain the sacred number names of the gods in the Sumero-Babylonian pantheon which Ernest McClain has shown correspond to harmonic ratios of the octave (1976, 1994).

Interestingly, in 1987, an essay by independent scholar and Sanskrit specialist Roger Ashton, "The Bedrock of Myth", was accepted for publication in the then-fledgling "Saturnist" journal Aeon. Drawing on the contents of the Hindu Rg Veda, considered to be the oldest extant text in the world, Ashton showed that the "polar configuration" imagery can be explained without recourse to planets. Although Aeon subsequently suppressed "Bedrock...", it can be read at <>.

Speaking at the 17-19 Sept. 1999 SIS Silver Jubilee Event before an audience that included Ev Cochrane and Dwardu Cardona, two long-time observers of and participants in the Velikovsky scene weighed in critically against the "Saturn myth".

In "The Saturn Problem" (Chronology & Catastrophism Review 2000:1, pp. 95-107), Peter J. James discusses how the major themes in the so-called "Saturn myth" can be explained in mundane terms and derive from the inter-related Babylonian, Hurrian, Phoenician, and Greek divine succession myths (e.g., the Greek Ouranos- Kronos- Zeus- Ares) while "the Saturnists have yet to find any evidence that Saturn held any special importance in the myths and legends of the ancient people of America" (p. 103), which to this writer's mind utterly vitiates the Saturnists' claim to having a global explanatory framework.

In "Sirius and Saturn" (op. cit., pp. 60-65), Lynn E. Rose remarks incisively "You can read a lot of myth and not get even a whiff of the god-kebob [i.e., the "polar configuration" (CLE)]. You can also read a lot of myth and not get even a whiff of northernism. When I read what the ancients have passed down to us, I see catastrophism, offence and punishment, planetary involvement (or at least a plethora of capricious divinities), metamorphoses, world ages, etc. but not what the 'Saturnists' profess to see. Their northernist god-kebob is simply _not_ a major theme of ancient myth" (p. 65).

Finally, the scheme is refuted by the geoid, or Earth's shape, because it does not possess vestigial tidal bulges at the north AND south poles, which would have been produced by Earth's position in the "stack", especially by the annual so-called "descent of Mars" when it allegedly approached Earth to within 14,000 km./2.17 Earth radii (center-to-center) to appear "as a giant mound on the northern horizon" (Talbott, Aeon III:3, 1993, p. 37) and, totally unappreciated by Talbott at the time, would have raised a polar tide approaching 92 km./57 mi. high that miraculously neither loosed the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps nor contaminated them with salt water; that have not had time fully to relax since the "stack" collapsed within the past 10,000 years.

Contrary to Talbott (Aeon I:6, 1989) and Cardona (Thoth IV:1, 2000), Earth's so-called "pear-shape", marked by a miniscule, static positive deviation from the geoid at the north pole and a similarly scaled negative deviation at the south pole, is irrelevant to the "Saturn thesis". Failing such crucial tests gives another reason why the tendentious nonsense purveyed by the "Saturnists" can be given no credence.

A total repudiation of the alleged former primacy of planet Saturn is provided by Morris Jastrow, Jr., in his widely cited "Sun and Saturn" (cited above).

But somehow Talbott, Cochrane and Cardona never get around to confronting Jastrow's disclosure that, while the Babylonians recognized the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, Saturn was not given a specific, astronomical (as opposed to a theological) name until after Venus and Jupiter were specially designated. Thus, while the goddess Ishtar was associated with planet Venus, the astronomical name for Venus was Dilbat. For a period of time Mercury, Mars, and Saturn existed as a group of three undifferentiated "Lu-bats", or planets, whose signification was implied by context. Eventually, Saturn was designated as Sag-us, the steady one. The relative inferiority of Saturn in the Assyrian pantheon is indicated by Henry (not George) Rawlinson in an Appendix to George Rawlinson (ed.), The History of Herodotus (1862/1964) in which the deity Ninip/Ninib/Ninurta associated with planet Saturn was identified last by elimination.

It is inconceivable that Saturn would ever have had such a nondescript status if the "Saturn myth" concocted by Talbott, wherein Saturn was king, were valid. Ignoring incompatible, or contradictory, evidence is not only poor scholarship, it is a hallmark of pseudoscience.

An antidote to the ridiculous delusion of the "polar configuration" is provided, albeit implicitly, by two recent books: (i) Geoffrey Ashe, Dawn Behind the Dawn: A Search for the Earthly Paradise (1992) and (ii) Joscelyn Godwin, ARKTOS: The Polar Myth in Science, Symbolism, and Nazi Survival (1993) which give the history of polar tradition and its competition with solar tradition: polar constellations superceded by zodiacal constellations in the ecliptic.

Also, in G. de Santillana & H. von Dechend, Hamlet's Mill (1969), the question "What has Saturn, the far out planet, to do with the pole?" (p. 136) is often quoted by "Saturnists" as though they have the only answer while the answer in terms of the SKAMBHA, or frame of the cosmos (p. 235), is ignored. Put another way, Saturn could rule the pole without residing there for the same reason Queen Victoria ruled India without being there.

The reader will understand how, by ignoring alternatives and the constraints of logic and physics, the "Saturnists" have perverted scholarship and stood mythology on its head.

With respect to alternative interpretations of ancient symbols, consider the concentric "sun in circle" which resembles an ordinary solar or lunar halo. "Saturnists" distort and over-simplify matters by removing symbols from their cult context. The "sun in circle" was usually shown in pairs. But its cult context on, e.g., cylinder seals from Mesopotamia, is ignored by Talbott in The Saturn Myth (1980). "Saturnists" now claim it represents the view from Earth of Venus against Saturn (implicitly ignoring the putative presence of Mars in front of Venus) in the "polar configuration"; but this ignores the pronounced parallax that would have shifted the inner circle off-center towards the bottom, especially for observers at low latitudes such as Egypt and Mesopotamia.

Initially, "Saturnists" interpreted this symbol as representing Saturn and its rings. E.A.S. Butterworth in The Tree at the Navel of the Earth (1970), a book quoted innocuously by Talbott, shows that in context the "sun in circle" can be seen as an omphalos sign representing the top and bottom of the hollow pillar, in cross section, by which the shaman climbs up to heaven or down to the underworld; but Talbott is silent on this interpretation. Such are the distortions in "Saturnist" scholarship. Whether the "sun in circle" represents the mundane (solar or lunar halos) or the esoteric (the shaman's omphalos) cannot be known for certain because the cult context is typically ambiguous; but we can be confident that its meaning has nothing to do with the "polar configuration" because of its insurmountable difficulties.

Contrary to Mr. Cochrane, there is no "debate over the possibility of recent planetary catastrophism," as conceived by the neo-Velikovskians. The notion of errant planets in the recent past is preposterous in the extreme, being decisively contradicted by all the locked, spin-orbit circular satellite resonances at Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, that take far longer to attain than the few thousand years since the Solar System supposedly settled down.

The synchronous orbits required by the polar configuration are dynamically impossible [(V.J. Slabinski, Aeon 3:6, 1994; T.C. Van Flandern,, 17 Dec. 1994)], and the present solar system cannot be derived from them. The heat from the tidal friction required to cancel the destabilizing torques in the "stack" would have at least sterilized the biosphere, which never happened; but Talbott never deals with this "side effect" when he mentions the restorative tendency of tidal friction. Mr. Cochrane deludes himself if he actually believes there is any chance for Velikovsky to be vindicated on this score,[or that "Saturnism" represents any valid "fundamental paradigm shift".

The "electric star" model proposed by Ralph Juergens in 1970s (in Pensee II, IX & X, SIS Review, & Kronos) and revived by Wallace Thornhill in The Electric Universe (1998), part of his "holoscience" project, in which the Sun is a non-convecting, isothermal ball of plasma powered by infalling galactic electrons and many craters in the Solar System are the result of gigantic electric discharges, etc, [as deus ex machina], cannot rescue the "polar configuration" from its fatal flaws because the model is a non-starter.

It is disproved by practically everything known about the actual behavior of the Sun and heliosphere. This was first explained by this writer in Kronos X:3, 1985, pp. 15-23, and recently in more depth on e-mail list-serves by Robert Grumbine, Karl Hahn, Burch Seymour, Tim Thompson, and Wayne Throop. Thornhill either ignores or dismisses all the negative evidence such as

(i) the absence of x-rays in coronal holes (which should be produced by infalling electrons for which no evidence exists beyond the wishful thinking of Thornhill and star-struck acolytes such as Amy & Mel Acheson writing for Thoth and Atlantis Rising, and Don Scott, an electrical engineer, who in parroting Ralph Juergens in Kronos IV:4, 1979, also fails to understand the importance of the Reynolds Number in defining turbulence in photospheric granulation.),

(ii) the proof that granulation in the Sun's photosphere is an expression of convection,

(iii) the mere existence of the solar wind in which no inflowing electrons have been detected,

(iv) the absence of characteristic particles from the nuclear fusion claimed to occur in the photosphere, etc., etc. The model lacks rigorous mathematical support.

No one has ever shown that the electric charge required to produce the cited craters, e.g., Aristarchus on the Moon, is feasible, while rigorous mathematical modelling to explain the high temperature in the Sun's corona, a favorite anomaly cited against standard theory, in conventional terms is progressing steadily.

The simplistic analogies to plasma and electrical discharge phenomena that are invoked to support the model [as in Talbott & Thornhill's Thunderbolts of the Gods (2002)] cannot nullify the verdict of the overwhelming negative evidence and serve only as an example of invincible ignorance, showing the proponents do not know, for example, the difference between a plasmoid and a pair of opposed lotus blossoms used by the Greeks to represent the thunderbolt held by Zeus. Other examples of so-called electric discharge effects on planets, asteroids, and satellites (such as Europa) can be explained by conventional means without invoking cosmic electricity.

The penchant for developing an exotic physical model of some lost "Golden Age" which ignores critical aspects of the reality that is purported to be explained, as Dave Talbott, Wal Thornhill, and the other "Saturnists" do, evokes the dictum eloquently phrased by Roger S. Jones in Physics As Metaphor (1982): "The acid test of any scientific theory is, first and foremost, its agreement with the facts of the physical world. It is empiricism, not aesthetics, that is the backbone of science. Any theory, no matter how beautiful, will be rejected as soon as it is found incapable of corroborating the facts of nature" (p. 207). Except the "Saturnists" have lost contact with reality.

The remark, "Do not underestimate the power of denial", by the Ricky Fitts character in the movie "American Beauty" might well represent the motto of "Saturnists" and other Velikovskians. Thus, Talbott's saying the "imperative ground rule of catastrophist research . . . is that physical models must be tested against the mythical-historical record" (Aeon I:6, 1988, p. 123) deserves no credence because he ultimately refuses to accept any constraints dictated by the laws of physics as he cavalierly indicated to interviewer John Gibson: "As a matter of fact, I'm going to go ahead with the writing of my second volume . . . and not even worry about the physics of it all . . ." (Research Communications Network Newsletter #3, Oct. 15, 1977) and demonstrated repeatedly on newsgroup in 1994 while defending various "Saturnist" notions including Bob Grubaugh's "polar configuration" model (Aeon 3:3, 1993).]

Having failed to make a prima facie case using analogies and interpretations of various myths and symbols, Talbott shifted the burden-of-proof by claiming "The theory is testable" and challenging "experts on ancient myth and symbolism" to disprove the Saturn theory, starting in The Cataclysm 1:1, 1988, p. 2. In this same vein, Cochrane admits no viable physical model has been found, but, being utterly oblivious of the abject futility of their enterprise owing to their methodological failings, he falls back on the standard pseudo-scientific gambit that with further research by the requisite technical specialists "an answer will be found" (C&C Review 2000:1, p. 91) and thereby avoids, as Dennis Rawlins once remarked of the genre, "confronting the shame of having pursued & promoted a false path for decades" (DIO 1.1, 1991, p. 13).

The Saturnists fail to understand "Before we can talk about the existence of a physical entity, we must have an existence proof -- some reason to believe that the entity exists or could exist. There is no reason to believe in a phenomenon for which no physical evidence exists. The burden of proof is on those making the claim of existence" (Milton A. Rothman, _A Physicist's Guide to Skepticism_, Buffalo, 1988, p. 157).

That the subjective interpretation of myths and symbols alone is no proper guide to a former reality stands the fact that in December 1994 on Talbott was willing to abandon the "constant crescent on Saturn" motif when a modification Grubaugh's "polar configuration" model resulted in Saturn going through phases as the Moon does, which ambivalence would never have existed were there unambiguous evidence for this alleged motif.

In a surprising development, Marinus Anthony van der Sluijs, an enthusiastic newcomer to Saturnian studies in The Netherlands, provides a devastating critique that utterly vitiates Velikovskian and "Saturnist" methodology, especially the god-planet nexus, in "Gods and Planets" (2002) <> and implicitly corroborates much of the methodological criticism presented here. He endorses Roger Ashton's hitherto ignored methodological criticism from "The Unworkable Polar Saturn", Aeon 1:3, 1988, and the much derided "Bedrock of Myth" <> cited above. He concludes, contra Talbott, Cardona, and Cochrane (whose initial objections are answered), "...the mythical record cannot be used to identify the specific planets which were involved in the hypothetical catastrophes that spawned the myths." Regrettably, he continues to embrace an illusory, plasma-facilitated planetary catastrophism due to a characteristic profound ignorance of physics (e.g., planets are too massive to display visible tails as ordinary comets do and cannot engage in the required polar alignment, while the "electric universe" first expounded by Ralph Juergens and now promoted by Wallace Thornhill is untenable) and a failure to appreciate the almost-certain origin of "polar configuration" imagery in ordinary atmospheric solar halo and related phenomena (R.G. Greenler, Rainbows, Halos, and Glories (1980) and D.L. Cyr, The Crystal Veil (1995)). Interestingly, when Don Cyr showed his slides in June 1993 at the C.S.I.S. conference in Scranton, PA, many in the audience taunted Dave Talbott about the obvious similarity between the "polar configuration" images and halo phenomena.
Last edited by E.P. Grondine on Thu May 07, 2015 9:55 am, edited 5 times in total.
E.P. Grondine

Re: Black Death Asteroid

Post by E.P. Grondine »

The recent catastrophism espoused by Clube and Napier, although based on scientific evidence Asher (1994), Clube (1992), Clube and Napier (1990), is eschewed by neo-Velikovskians.

Their work is not embraced by astronomers either, in no small part because of the bad name given catastrophism by Velikovsky. According to Clube and Napier, the Holocene has been punctuated by energetic, episodic interaction with the dense portion of the Taurid-Encke complex, whose formerly active annual fireball storms, perhaps evocative of a flood, radiated from near the Pleiades in November, providing an astronomically sound explanation for the sky-combat myths and mankind's archetypal fear of comets that concerned Velikovsky in Worlds in Collision.

As Clube and Napier once observed, "Velikovsky is not so much the first of the new catastrophists...; he is the last in a line of traditional catastrophists going back to mediaeval times and probably earlier" (1984). There is, as Mr. Cochrane states, "unequivocal evidence of the Earth's cataclysmic recent history," but careening planets have nothing to do with it.

The mythological and physical evidence are best explained by the work of Kobres, Mandelkehr, Clube and his co-workers.

More recently in "Exodus to Arthur: Catastrophic Encounters with Comets" (1999) tree-ring specialist Mike Baillie makes a strong presumptive case for a Taurid-related vector associated with the global climate crises, or "Klimasturze", at 2354 B.C., 1628 B.C., 1159 B.C., 207 B.C., and A.D. 540. As Baillie explains, the deeds of Patrick, Arthur, and Beowulf can all be associated with comet/meteor-related phenomena in the sixth-century when also Chinese "dragons" fought, felling all the trees in the places they passed, a la Tunguska in June 1908.] [Work by Lars G. Franzen at Earth Sciences Centre, Goteberg, Sweden, confirms most of Baillie's dates. Enhanced concentrations of micro-meteorites in peat from Swedish, Irish, and Norwegian bogs show that the cosmic influx was high at 7000 BC, 3000 BC, 2300 BC, 1700 BC, 1000 BC, 500 BC, 550 AD, 850 AD, 1300 AD and the peak of the "Little Ice Age" (Conference: Environmental Catastrophes and Recoveries in the Holocene, Aug. 29--Sep. 2, 2002, Dept. of Geography & Earth Sciences, Brunel University, Uxbridge, U.K.).]

In retrospect, the Taurid complex provides the basis for two ironies for Velikovskian and "Saturnist" studies.

On the one hand, it is ironic that the only evidence cited by Velikovsky for real collisions in the Solar System in historical times happened in the Taurid meteor stream (Earth in Upheaval, p. 289; Stargazers, p. 119). In this vein, Velikovsky "felt obliged to invoke planets doing impossible things" because, as Mike Baillie reveals, Velikovsky failed to appreciate the hazard posed by "...'mere rocks, a few kilometers in diameter'...". "This failure to recognize the power of comets and asteroids means that it is reasonable to go back to Velikovsky and delete all the physically impossible text about Venus and Mars passing close to the earth" (Exodus to Arthur, pp. 171-2).]

On the other hand, it is ironic that in considering the cause of the Deluge ("Khima and Kesil," Kronos III:4, 1978, pp. 19-23) using the passage in the Tractate Brakhot of the Babylonian Talmud, which ascribes it to two stars that fell from "Mazal Khima", Velikovsky took "Mazal" to mean "planet" while ignoring the alternative "constellation/asterism" and thereby rejected the traditional meaning of Pleiades in favor of Saturn. It should be noted that while "Khima" has also been rendered as Hyades and Arcturus, all three entities are part of, or close to, Taurus with Hyades part of the head, Arcturus the eye and Pleiades over the bull's hump. This passage almost certainly refers to a spectacular event in the Taurid complex whose meteors radiate from near the Pleiades, which "were associated with the traditions of a widespread destruction by fire from heaven, probably remembrance of a devastating rain of meteors" (O.E. Scott, The Stars of Myth and Fact, 1942, p. 155, quoted unwittingly by Dwardu Cardona in "The Mystery of the Pleiades," Kronos III:4, p. 35).

Considering that the destruction of Atlantis can be interpreted as an astronomical allegory, i.e., "a piece of sacred cosmology deliberately expressed in the pseudo-historic and pseudo-geographic terms familiar from 'mythic' language in its ancient capacity as a technical shorthand for astronomical systems (H.A.T. Reiche, "The Language of Archaic Astronomy: A Clue to the Atlantis Myth?" in Brecher & Feirtag, eds., Astronomy of the Ancients, 1979/1993), what is to prevent the memory of a "devastating rain of meteors" out of the Pleiades from being corrupted and preserved as a watery flood when the story's original astronomical provenance became obscure? Such a possibility was never considered when Velikovsky and, later, Dave Talbott fixated prematurely and erroneously on their planetary fantasies.

As a final irony, what has become abundantly clear is that when Pensee editor and 1964 Presidential Scholar Steve Talbott piously lectured Velikovsky's AAAS critics saying "Any person attempting to criticize a theory must first get INTO that theory, see it from the inside and on its own terms, or else his criticisms will amount to no more than a begging of the question, a dismissal of theory A on the grounds that it is possible to posit a different theory, B" (Pensee VII, p. 26) it was HE and all the Epigoni & cadre, even to the present, who had failed to "get INTO" conventional science and scholarship and "see it from the inside and on its own terms"!

[Once again, I am not a "catastrophist"; I specialize in asteroid and cometary impact events.
I have no intention of wasting my time with anything Velikovsky. uni, if you were not knowledgable on the North East and lithics and personable, I would be more insulting. But others need to read this as well. - EPG]

Having parried with Mr. Cochrane and Dave Talbott on Usenet's newsgroup between May and December 1994, I have no illusion that my remarks here will dent his deeply internalized and hermetically sealed worldview. (See also "Hysterical Velikovskians Flee Own Frankenstein-Mongoose!" DIO 7.1, 1997, 30-33.) However, since the limited space for this exchange precludes detailed replies to Ev Cochrane's points, the interested reader is encouraged to pursue the full analyses cited in the references. The Velikovskian and "Saturnist" ideas discussed above are endorsed to varying degrees by many intellectual allies including E.J. Bond, Lewis M. Greenberg, [James McCanney (a "physicist" who does not know the difference between a chemical battery and a capacitor), Hugo Meynell, William Mullen (who coined "cenocatastrophism), C.J. Ransom, Lynn E. Rose (author of Sun, Moon and Sothis), Martin Sieff, Brian Stross, George R. Talbott, Roger W. Wescott, Clark Whelton, and Irving Wolfe.

[Postscript: When Skeptic magazine invited this article to be written in early Sep. 1995, a letter exchange follow-up with Mr. Cochrane was planned; but Skeptic decided against publishing it in Mar. 1996.

[EPG - A personal note. This technique of wasting a writer's time by suggesting that he write a piece which you have no intention of publishing is one of the pettiest and dirtiest tricks around. Given Morrison's relation with Skeptic, and his views on Clube and Napier's work, I have little doubt who was behind this. NASA just wasted $500 million or so on WISE to look for Morrison and Mueller's imaginary "Nemesis" Brown Dwarf companion to the Earth, money which could have been used to launch an infra-red NEO detection satellite. There is a difference between a skilled scientist and a politician of science; in my view when you blow $500 million in tax payer money, it is time for you to "retire"]

A copy of this letter exchange, which was posted to an e-mail forum in Sep./Oct. 1997, is available by request to this author: <>.


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Krupp, E. C., 1994. "The Heart of Saturday Night," Sky & Telescope, September, pp. 60-1.

Mandelkehr, M. M., 1994. The Answered Riddle: A Thesis on the Meaning of Myth. Unpublished.

McClain, E. G. 1976. The Myth of Invariance. York Beach: Nicolas-Hays.

_. 1994. "Musical Theory & Ancient Cosmology,": The World & I, February, pp. 370-393.

Mewhinney, S. 1986. "El-Arish Revisited," Kronos XI:2, pp. 41-61.

Motz, L. 1992. "A Personal Reminiscence," Aeon 2:6, pp. 85-92.

Sachs, A. 1965. "Address at Brown University," in Ellenberger, 1992b, pp. 103-5.

Stiebing, Jr., W. 1992. "Cosmic Catastrophism," Aeon 2:6, pp. 58-74.

Leroy Ellenberger is a chemical engineer with graduate degrees in finance and operations research. He was Executive Secretary and Senior Editor for the Velikovsky journal KRONOS. After reading the galleys to Henry Bauer's Beyond Velikovsky in 1983, he became Velikovsky's most unrelenting critic. He has followed closely the Velikovsky Affair for decades, and continues to follow and debate the second generation Velikovskians.

Mr. Ellenberger can be reached by e-mail .

See, for example, David Morrison's "Is the Sky Falling?" in Skeptical Inquirer, May/June 1997, pp. 22-28, an article review of ten recent books on catastrophism and the threat to Earth from asteroids and comets, that is quite disapproving of Clube and Napier's myth-augmented (though not totally myth-based) coherent catastrophism.

Ellenberger's letter defending Clube and Napier appeared in the Sep/Oct 1997 issue, pp. 60-61, as follows:

"David Morrison's disparaging remarks on the coherent catastrophism espoused by Clube and Napier and coworkers are not warranted. Morrison lauds "Hazards Due to Comets and Asteroids", edited by Tom Gehrels, but neglects to mention that Clube and coworkers are contributors.

Morrison fails to distinguish properly between the stochastic model, marked by random hard impacts of 1-km objects on a time scale of 100,000 years, and Clube and Napier's model, in which the main threat is from aerial detonations of multiple-Tunguskas (and larger) in a flux of massive fireball storms.

These occur in clusters, over 1,000 to 2,000 years, when the orbital evolution of a meteor stream, such as the Taurid complex, results in a temporary (century or two) nodal intersection with Earth's orbit. This behavior can arguable be called "the dynamics of armageddon." The differences between the models and the uncertainties in both the lunar cratering record and the current Near-Earth Object population at all energy levels are such that the coherent model cannot be discounted.

Clube and Napier's many publications present evidence that the evolution of the Taurid complex and its parent comet has been a major factor during the Holocene, contributing to major climate reversals and influencing the development of civilization and religion. At one time, the Taurid complex contained visible bodies considered to be gods. In "The Cosmic Winter", Clube and Napier note: "Catastrophes of this sort, delivered by visible celestial gods, are completely outside modern experience, but it is clear that they could have been a major reason for the preoccupation with, and dread of, the sky manifested by the earliest civilizations."

Finally, Morrison's commentary is marred by three minor errors:
(1) The "now-famous paper published in Luis and Walter Alvarez and their colleagues" was in 1980, not 1981.
(2) Gerrit Verschuur is not British, but a U.S. citizen born in South Africa of Dutch parents.
(3) While I appreciate Morrison's noting my defection from Velikovsky to Clube and Napier, I regret to say I am not one of "many people" who did so. My conversion, as explained in my "A lesson from Velikovsky" (Skeptical Inquirer, Summer 1986, 380-381), is rare. An updated account titled "An Antidote to Velikovskian Delusions" from _Skeptic_ 3:4 (1995) can be found at .

C. Leroy Ellenberger
St. Louis, Mo.

In reply, Morrison wrote:

...I can only say that most astronomers and geoscientists find the evidence presented by Clube and Napier concerning the historical (and pre-historical) influences of the Taurid complex to be less than convincing. Presumably further research will help indicate whether the current danger is roughly as I have depicted or hundreds of times greater, as they infer from their interpretation of ancient sources."

[It is hundreds of times greater. But then dealing with it would take NASA money away from th3e G*d D*mned F*cking M*rs Nuts, and Morrison plays that card as well.- EPG]

It was disingenuous of Morrison to imply coherent catastrophism is based solely on the "interpretation of ancient sources" because Clube and Napier also present the physical evidence supporting their model, even in the final chapters of "The Cosmic Winter". Much of this evidence is interpreted by mainstream researchers with no consideration of Clube and Napier's model (as with various signals in the ice cores) as even a possibility, or else it is set aside as "enigmatic". Coherent catastrophism is not a model that has been evaluated and found wanting; it has yet to be properly evaluated.

CLE, 9-24-97

While browsing magazines Nov. 28th in Cody's Bookstore in Berkeley, I discovered in the Winter 1999 issue of PARABOLA a letter from one M.J. Stone defending the quality of Velikovsky's footnotes against the criticism in the previous issue from former Emory University student Eva Fisher, who claimed to have looked up essentially every footnote in Worlds in Collision and found them to be generally wanting if not totally fraudulent. She had been motivated by a reference to Velikovsky in Lance Hardie's review in the Summer 1999 issue of Dave Talbott's video "Remembering the End of the World". When I got back to St. Louis I looked up the Summer and Fall issues and reeled off the following letter to PARABOLA:

Remembering Nothing

M.J. Stone's letter in PARABOLA 24:4 (Winter 1999) unjustifiably chastises Eve Fisher's letter in the preceding issue assessing the merit of Velikovsky's footnotes because her conclusions are consistent with what Bob Forrest reported in "A Guide to Velikovsky's Sources",Santa Barbara, CA, 1987 and his article "Venus and Velikovsky: The Original Sources", Skeptical Inquirer 8:2 (1983/84), pp. 154-64.

In turn, Fisher was motivated by Lance Hardie's skeptical yet too credulous review in PARABOLA 24:2 (Summer 1999) of David Talbott's video "Remembering the End of the World", which is about the so-called "Saturn Myth" involving a former "colinear" close arrangement of Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Mars, and Earth that unravelled within the past 10,000 years. Talbott's idee fixe is nothing but a reductionist Procrustean bed for the world's mythology. For example, in the Babylonian pantheon the gods Anu, Enlil, Enki, Shamash, Sin, and Ninurta are all identified with planet Saturn. However, for the Babylonians, only Ninurta, whose name means "Lord Plow" or "Lord Earth" and who was originally the solar deity of Nippur, was sacred to Saturn, along with Antares and the rising Sun.

Contrary to what Hardy reports, the video is not "the result of many years of research and study", but, rather like Velikovsky's earlier experience with "Worlds in Collision", it is the result of an inspiration followed by many years of culling the world's mythology and religious traditions looking for data that can be appropriated to the model, regardless the original context. Following Velikovsky, Talbott's fundamental mistake is equating gods with planets when such gods also had stellar as well as non-astronomical avatars.

Hardie wishes Talbott had devoted more time "to describe -- to 'prove' -- how these planets could have moved so close together, and then rearranged themselves...." This was not done because it cannot be done, i.e.,

(1) the proposed planetary alignment is impossible,

(2) the present Solar System cannot be dervied from it despite all of Talbott's handwaving about plasma physics and electromagnetic effects, and

(3) there is no physical evidence on Earth for this former regime while much evidence contradicts it.

For example, in Talbott's model, the annual polar tide accompanying the alleged approach of Mars to less than three Earth radii would have loosed the Greenland ice cap which is known to be over 200,000 years old. In other words, Talbott is remembering nothing. Unfortunately, the reconstruction attempted by Talbott cannot be based on imaginative interpretations of ancient myth, symbols, and religious icons alone and expect to be valid.

For a more sobering assessment of Talbott's model and methodology, see my "An Antidote to Velikovskian Delusions" (Skeptic_ 3:4, 1995):
or "An Antidote to Dave Talbott's 'Saturn Thesis'":
< ... tidote.txt>.

C. Leroy Ellenberger

Sagan and Velikovsky

Sagan's AAAS critique of Velikovsky in Feb. 1974 [completed with revisions by 1976 and published in Donald Goldsmith (ed.), "Scientists Confront Velikovsky", Cornell University Press, 1977; whereas Velikovsky's finished text was distributed at the event], while a rhetorical tour de force, was a failure as an example of "reasoned argument, celestial mechanics, and the best physical science to counter [Velikovsky's] sensational claims" (Skeptical Inquirer, Nov/Dec 1999, p. 4).

This is because

(1) a large portion of Sagan's "reasoned argument" is against straw men and red herrings, as with, e.g., the manna after the Exodus which Sagan criticizes Velikovsky for accepting the biblical account that it did not fall on the Sabbath when Velikovsky explicitly denies this as unrealistic, while manna-like stories come from many widespread cultures, e.g., "ambrosia" of the Greeks, "madhu" of the Hindus, and "sweet morning dew" of the Scandinavians,

(2) Sagan's critique contains NO celestial mechanics since the celebrated great odds against Velikovsky's scenario are derived from "ergodic theory", i.e., ignoring gravitation, as Sagan replied to Dr. Robert W. Bass after his address, and

(3) Sagan's physical science is riddled with errors considering, for example, his Jupiter escape velocity is too great (70 vs. 60 km/sec, which, together with other minor errors, was corrected for the version in "Broca's Brain") and, as revealed by George R. Talbott in Kronos IV:2, 1978, the cooling calculation in Sagan's Appendix 3 is nothing but a trivial identity: the heat radiated to Venus by the Sun in about one hour at 6000K equals that radiated from Venus in 3500 years at 79K.

This was reported in my letter in April 1981 Physics Today which Sagan ignored at the time and claimed ignorance of it in our final correspondence in April 1996. (Talbott's notions about ongoing, massive volcanism on Venus, however, are contradicted by the stagnant atmosphere below the clouds and the existence of 35+ km. diameter craters.)

Interestingly, the letter by S.F. Kogan (Velikovsky's older daughter) in Sept. 1980 Physics Today (sponsored by Freeman Dyson "in the interest of fair play") showed how Sagan's odds would be drastically reduced if parameters favorable to Velikovsky's intended scenario were used in the calculation. This analysis was modified and expanded for Kronos VI:3, 1981, 34-41, with a follow-up note by R.C. Vaughan in Kronos VI:4, 91. Contrary to Sagan, the collisions are not independent events, as Velikovsky pointed out in rebuttal.

Astronomer Robert Jastrow endorsed this criticism of Sagan in New York Times (12/2/79, p. 22E) and repeated it, despite Sagan's protest in 12/29/79 New York Times, in Science Digest (Special Edition) Sep/Oct 1980, p. 96.

Furthermore, Sagan's eruption/escape velocity version of the claimed origin of Venus from Jupiter is irrelevant insofar as Velikovsky traded on the planetary fission work of physicists McCrea and Lyttleton in the 1960s which circumvents this criticism; but Sagan ignored this alternative and later took special delight in "Cosmos" lampooning Velikovsky over this red herring origin of Venus from Jupiter.

[Regarding the fission model for Venus' putative origin from Jupiter, the point is not that it is realistic, for it is not, but that no critic ever addressed its relevance to Velikovsky's scenario and explained why it is not applicable when fission was widely used by Velikovsky in his defense and many supporters took unjustified consolation from this supposed possibility.]

Many such failings of Sagan's are recounted in Kronos III:2, 1977 (144 pp.), reprinted as Greenberg & Sizemore (eds.), "Velikovsky and Establishment Science",Glassboro, NJ, 1977, and Kronos IV:2, 1978. Of special note is Velikovsky's reply in 1977 to Sagan's spurious claim, following Payne-Gaposchkin and Asimov, that Velikovsky did not know the difference between hydrocarbons and carbohydrates, which Velikovsky first answered in June 1951 Harper's and which K.K. Wong had discussed in Pensee III, 1973, 45-46. The conversion of hydrocarbons to carbohydrates, contrary to Sagan's spin, can be accomplished in the atmosphere by a number of chemical reactions. Earlier, with great delight, Sagan had ascribed the falling of mice and frogs from the clouds of Venus (Cornell lecture, 3/28/73) or frogs (NASA press conference, 12/2/73) which violates Velikovsky's explicit text.

The ponderous and tedious "Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky", 1990/1995 (448 pp.), compiled by Charles Ginenthal borrows heavily from the earlier Kronos volumes while adding little of merit to the discussion.

Sagan biographer Keay Davidson, while revealing many of Sagan's foibles and failings (e.g., see his p. 106 where "Sagan's imagination utterly failed him" in early 1960s when as editor for Icarus he rejected as "impossible" the discovery of the superrotation of Venus' upper atmosphere by amateur astronomer Charles Boyer (Sky & Telescope, June 1999, 56-60)), chose not to portray Sagan inferior to Velikovsky in any aspect of their AAAS encounter.

It should also be noted that refuting Velikovsky's recent scenario of colliding planets does not invalidate Velikovsky's interest in the meaning or origin of the world's sky-combat myths, which have recently been explained by the British astronomers Victor Clube and Bill Napier in scientific papers and their books "The Cosmic Serpent" (1982) and "The Cosmic Winter" (1990), in terms of Earth's intermittent and energetic interaction with the Taurid meteor streams and their parent comet during the past 10,000 years.

Sagan's insensitivity to the possibility of such an alternative, another failure of imagination, as it were, is revealed by a change in his text that occurred between 1977 and 1979 when his "...even if twenty percent of the legendary concordances which Velikovsky produces are real, there is something important to be explained" became "But I believe that ALL of the concordances Velikovsky produces can be explained away in this manner", i.e., by coincidence.

Sic transit gloria.

CLE, 12-27-99

ARE COMETS EVIL? (text of my Sky & Tel letter, April 1997)

Bradley E. Schaefer's survey "Comets that Changed the World" (May, pp. 46-51) does not go back far enough in history to give a satisfying explanation for mankind's archetypal fear of comets. To answer that question requires reconstructing the sky our ancestors experienced in the third and second millennia B.C. According to the British astronomers Victor Clube and Bill Napier in "The Cosmic Winter" (1990), that epoch was dominated by the spasmodic disintegration of a particularly impressive comet with low inclination, the progenitor of the Taurid meteor streams.

When the Taurids were young, a dense portion accompanying the parent comet, proto-Encke, contained Tunguska-class bolides and larger. Every 3.35 years or so when the comet came round the Sun our ancestors noticed that 40 days or so later an armageddon might happen if Earth intercepted some heavy debris causing monsterous fireball storms and worse. So much debris would have been injected into the stratosphere on occasion that the Sun, Moon, and stars would be darkened. Such events may be the inspiration for the "day of the Lord" described in Isaiah 13:10, "For the stars of heaven...shall not give their light, the sun shall be darkened...and the moon shall not cause her light to shine."

Proto-Encke, then, was an "intermittent reinforcer" which behaviorists recognize as being as good as God. In its hey-day, proto-Encke may have been identified as a visible manifestation of the goddess Innana-Ishtar, along with Venus and Sirius, judging by the cometary and martial imagery in her hymns.

This comet was probably responsible for a series of disasters in Mesopotamia and Egypt in the third millennium B.C. and then again for a subsequent series of disasters inflicted upon the Minoan and Mycenean worlds in the second millennium B.C. Clube and Napier note: "Catastrophes of this sort, delivered by visible celestial gods, are completely outside modern experience, but it is clear that they could have been a major reason for the preoccupation with, and dread of, the sky manifested by the earliest civilizations."

During this early epoch, the sky was dominated by a prominent zodiacal light that contained structure. Clube and Napier identify it as the "central fire" of the Pythagoreans and propose it was the original "Milky Way" whose early descriptions by, for example, Aristotle and Anaximander, do not conform to today's Milky Way. By the mid-first millennium B.C., around the time of Socrates, the sky had quieted down requiring that the astronomical lore that no longer matched experience be rationalized. By Roman times, Schaefer's earliest reference, the modern view of the world had arisen, although it would be challenged when cometary encounters or enhanced fireball activity would revive memories of a prior regime.

When proto-Encke faded and the Taurids declined in activity, the fear inspired by a particular comet was transferred to comets in general. Clube has also shown that all epochs of millenarian, eschatological concerns in the past 2000 years, prior to the 19th century, coincided with periods of enhanced Taurid fireball activity, according to Chinese astronomical records. Interestingly, early descriptions of Satan and angels are patently of comets as indicated in Neil Forsyth's "The Old Enemy: Satan and the Combat Myth" (Princeton, 1987), although he does not make the connection.

Are comets evil, as Bradley Schaefer asks? Not according to our present experience; but in an earlier age our ancestors almost certainly had reason to think so. Issues related to the role of comets in the collapse of Bronze Age civilizations will be the subject of a conference at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, this July 11-13 where Clube, his co-workers, and other scholars will preside.

3929A Utah Street
St. Louis, MO 63116

Here is the section from the cancelled Part 2 of my Aeon memoir, as distributed on the 11-V-96 diminutive, didactic, desultory dispatch, i.e., postcard, showing that an entire section of "Worlds in Collision" is so erroneous that it should be retracted according to the criterion advanced by Lynn Rose:


"Where ever one turns in Dr Velikovsky's works, one finds a wasteland strewn with uncritically accepted evidence that turns to dust at the slightest probe."
- Abraham Sachs, March 15, 1965

"At the present time, it appears to be possible to account for the evidence that Velikovsky quotes in alternative ways that do not require any major scientific revolutions."
- D. Walton, Science Forum, 6/74

According to Velikovsky in the section "Temples & Obelisks" in "Worlds in Collision", ancient temples "were built facing the rising sun," and many show changes in the direction of the foundations, e.g., Eleusis. Velikovsky took this for evidence "of the changing direction of the terrestrial axis" during his cataclysms with the temples "rebuilt each time with a different orientation." Velikovsky cites the field work of Lockyer, Nissen, and Penrose.

Incredibly, Velikovsky's own sources do not support the interpretation he gives. Velikovsky ignores the fact that ancient temples were also oriented to the heliacal rising of bright stars whose function was to give an advance warning of sunrise. Certain temples with altered axes were explicitly oriented to the heliacal rising of specific stars.

Velikovsky never reconciles his bald assertion with this situation which is fully explained by precession, the explanation invoked by Lockyer, Nissen, and Penrose. Penrose explains that orientation to a heliacal rising or setting for an epoch at a site always gave a unique star; chance never produced a second possibility.

[1. Although Velikovsky neither discussed nor mentioned precession in "Temples & Obelisks," he did mention it in "East & West." It is interesting to note that the assertions of Plato and Herodotus about the Sun now rising where it once set, discussed in "East & West," make sense in terms of precession when the frame of reference for the Sun is the ecliptic instead of the horizon. Due to precession, the sign of the zodiac in which the Sun rises on the date of the equinox shifts at a rate of one degree every 72 yrs. In "A Guide to Velikovsky's Sources", Bob Forrest plausibly explains the supposed reversal of east & west in terms of calendar drift (pp 58-60).]

Owing to precession of the equinoxes, which Velikovsky never discussed,^1 this orientation drifted slowly out of alignment until the temple was altered or rebuilt to reacquire the cult orientation. Lockyer and Nissen show this for Egyptian temples; Penrose, for Greek temples. Gunter Martiny, who was not cited by Velikovsky, does the same for Mesopotamian temples in Architectura I, 1933, pp 41-45 (Martiny's work was mentioned by Harald Reiche in his review of Hamlet's Mill in Classical Journal, Oct/Nov 1973, pp 81-83). At Eleusis, ironically, the temples were not oriented to the rising sun, as Velikovsky implies. The rites at Eleusis were celebrated at night. The Temple of Ceres was oriented for the midnight rising of Sirius on Sep 13 (Penrose, pp 823-25); the Temple of Diana Propylaea, for the midnight rising of Capella on Feb 19 (Penrose, pp 831-32).

On August 8, 1978, while I was driving Lynn Rose from Pelican Island to Newark Airport, we talked about Velikovsky's fallibility. Rose told me that while "Worlds in Collision" contains many minor errors, none is serious enough to warrant retracting any single section of the book. This is the position Rose stated at the 1980 Princeton Seminar (SIS Review VI, p 103).

On the basis of my research, it would appear that the section "Temples & Obelisks" warrants being retracted because the temple axis material does not conclusively support Velikovsky and nothing written about obelisks is specific to the events in "Worlds in Collision". For example, the discussion of Pliny's account of the obelisk that was moved from Egypt to Rome has nothing to do with its functioning in Egypt during the alleged catastrophes. In all probability, the problem in Rome was due to inadequate support on soggy ground--Pliny's last alternative.

Would Rose, at least, agree that this section warrants being retracted? Is this section hi-lited for any reason in Rose's Delta edition of "Worlds in Collision"? When I met Lewis Greenberg in late Dec 1977, he told me that both he and Rose had marked up their Delta editions with all the errors they had detected. However, they preferred to keep these errors secret lest their publication be used as a pretext to discard even the valid aspects of Velikovsky's work. The preference was to subject Bob Forrest and other critics to picayune criticism in KRONOS over select items to foster the illusion that Velikovsky's work does not deserve the criticism it receives.

End "Altered Temple Axes: Rose Refuted"

From: Leroy Ellenberger, "Of Lessons, Legacies, &
Litmus Tests: A Velikovsky Potpourri (Part 2)", AEON
3:2, 1993, (cancelled by Cochrane).

Martin Beech's review of Victor Clube and Bill Napier, THE COSMIC WINTER (1990) from April 1991 Astronomy Now, p. 14 (reprinted with permission of author):

THE COSMIC WINTER is a superbly crafted book. It has cast its net both wide and deep, and leads the reader through a labyrinth of ancient history, religion, astrology, galactic astronomy, palaeontology and psychology. The list could go on. For all its interdisciplinary diversity, however, the text has been skilfully shaped into a coherent and well argued thesis.

THE COSMIC WINTER is not a book for the faint hearted or conservative. It is a challenge to orthodoxy, and its pages pull no punches. The central issue of the text is Earth catastrophism past, present and future. This (in the present intellectual climate) is not particularly contentious -- the evidence for terrestrial impacts is now clear and conclusive. Where the authors break away from the norm is in their interpretation of cometary cloud dynamics and comet formation. Their views are not so much physically untenable but simply non-standard. This, of course, makes the authors a target for the orthodoxy camp, whose viewpoint is considered central by the majority count. As the authors correctly point out, however, just because a majority of people support the same idea does not mean that it must be true. Certainly the questions relating to the formation of comets and cometary clouds are far from being answered at the present time. The book, as such, does not dwell on these issues for long, indeed the subject would make a book in itself. Rather, the authors adopt the viewpoint that comets form somewhere in the galaxy (in spiral arms, or molecular clouds) and that the Earth has lost and gained several cometary clouds through its history as a a result of passages through spiral arms and encounters with giant molecular clouds. It is the authors' contention that the dynamic building and destruction of these cometary clouds drives a 15 million year bombardment cycle in the inner Solar System. This periodicity is derived from data culled from mass extinctions in the fossil record, changes in the climate and sea level, known crater ages, geomagnetic reversals and galactic dynamics.

The main issue at stake in THE COSMIC WINTER is the idea that interwoven between the pages of human history is evidence for the existence of spectacular cometary displays and terrestrial impacts. Indeed, it is suggested that human society and religion were organised around celestial displays related to a giant comet which adorned the skies some 4 to 5,000 years ago. The debris from this comet, it is argued, is still with us today, and resides in such entities as the Taurid meteor complex, comets Encke nad Rudnicki, and a whole host of asteroids. All these objects are identified on the basis of their comparable orbital characteristics. In support of their argument, the authors reinterpret several ancient Babylonian, Greek and Egyptian (to name a few civilizations) myths and religious beliefs. Clearly this is not an easy task to perform, but the text does present a consistent and believable argument. If nothing else the authors have opened up a whole new field of research, and one suspects that it could be a rich field of study. Time will tell.

The book begins and ends with a well placed, if not alarming, reminder that there is a one hundred percent certainty that the Earth will be struck again. Some day, it may be today, a large comet or asteroid will darken the skies. Our complacency and complete lack of planning for such an event has indeed to be questioned. Once again, one suspects that the lessons from history will not be learnt. The results of such an impact would be devastating not only locally but globally. It is not too far fetched, as the authors point out, that the consequences of an impact with a large celestial body could trigger the demise of human civilization. Sobering isn't it?

THE COSMIC WINTER is a very good book. Its thesis may or may not be correct, but it does something very important -- it challenges orthodoxy. I can say little more than read this book and rise to the challenge.

Martin Beech is a professor of astronomy who in 1991 was at the University of Western Ontario. Presently, he is at the University of Regina.
:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
E.P. Grondine

Re: Black Death Asteroid

Post by E.P. Grondine »

by Trevor Palmer, Nottingham Trent University, UK

Paper presented at the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies
Silver Jubilee Conference he;d at Easthamstead Park, 19 September 1999


Flood myths are found throughout the world. As late as the seventeenth century, one particular flood myth, that involving Noah, was regarded as the literal truth by almost everyone in Europe. In contrast, for most of the twentieth century, very few scientists have been prepared to even consider the possibility that floods or other catastrophes may have occurred on a global scale. Now that we can examine the evidence with greater objectivity, it is abundantly clear that, although the continents have not been covered by water during the time that
humankind has lived on the Earth, there have nevertheless been some large-scale catastrophic floods. Two periods of particular interest from this point of view are the Pleistocene-Holocene transition and the beginning of the Late Holocene. Many questions still remain unanswered
about the events at these times.


According to the book of Genesis, God breathed life into Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, on the sixth day of Creation. Just nine generations later, corruption had become so widespread that God brought about the Flood, when "the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days", and "all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered." However, Noah, who was an exception to the general rule of wickedness, had been warned about the coming deluge. This enabled his family to build a large boat, the Ark, on which to sail on the waters. Hence they survived the Flood, the only humans to do so [1].

The story of Noah is just one of over 500 flood myths from around the world, many of which similarly involve a man and a woman escaping by boat. Amongst these is the one told in the Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh, where the hero, Uta-Napishtim, was warned by Ea, God of the
Waters, about the coming deluge. Others include a Greek myth, where the survivors were Deucalion and his wife, Pyrrha [2].

As well as legends of a catastrophic flood, there are other widespread myths where the Earth suffered near destruction by fire. An example is one from Greece in which Phaeton took the Sun-chariot and drove it too close to the Earth, scorching the surface, until Zeus cast a
thunderbolt and caused Phaeton to fall to his death. According to the philosopher Plato (c429-347 B.C.), the basis of the Phaeton myth was one of a series of cosmic disturbances which caused periodic catastrophes on Earth [3].

The origins of myth and legend are far from certain, and may not be the same in every case. Hence, it remains possible that some stories may, to a greater or lesser extent, have a factual basis. Indeed, from locations described by Homer, archaeologists such as Heinrich Schliemann and Wilhelm Dörpfeld have found extensive evidence of pre-classical civilisations [4,5].

In most ancient traditions, catastrophes were associated with divine displeasure. In Genesis, as we have seen, God caused Noah's Flood because of the increasingly wicked behaviour of humankind. Similarly, in Greek mythology, Zeus regularly killed people with thunderbolts, as
in the Phaeton myth, whilst Poseidon was inclined to cause great storms or floods when annoyed [2,5].

Such floods had undoubtedly occurred. By the time of Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), the evidence of marine fossils in outcrops of rock made it clear that at least part of what was now land had once been covered by sea.In his Meteorologica, Aristotle wrote that there were periodic
transpositions of land and sea, but generally those occurred too slowly and over too long a time interval for anyone to notice them happening. Nevertheless, on rare occasions a great winter could occur, bringing protracted heavy rainfall and causing devastating floods, such as that
of Deucalion [6,7].


When Christianity was established in Europe, the Church exercised almost complete control over academic thought for many centuries. At this time, it would have been heretical to deny the testimony of the Bible, that the Earth was only a few thousand years old, having been
created around 4004 B.C., and that there had been a single major cataclysm, the Deluge in the time of Noah. In the early sixteenth century it was still generally accepted that all marine fossils found inland had been carried there by Noah's Flood, although Leonardo da
Vinci and others argued that this was impossible, in view of the transient nature of the supposed event and the thickness of the fossil beds. The land must have risen in places, changing the shoreline in significant fashion, just as Aristotle had suggested [7].

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, various theories of the formation and development of the Earth were put forward by men who were known as cosmogonists. In 1669, the Danish naturalist, Nicolaus Steno (1638-1686) produced a theory to explain the landscape of Tuscany in which the Flood played a prominent but far from unique role. Other features included the elevation of land in some locations because of precipitation of sediments from the waters, and its lowering elsewhere as a consequence of the collapse of caverns under the ground [7,8].

Later, several English cosmogonists put forward models which tried to reconcile observations with the teachings of the Church. The system of Thomas Burnet (1635-1715), dating from the 1680s, had some features in common with that of Steno, but instead of relying on rain and
subsidence to cause the Flood, it suggested that the appearance of wide cracks in the Earth's surface allowed water to be forced upwards from underground stores. As was inevitable in the seventeenth century, Burnet started with the assumption that the Biblical record was essentially true, and then sought natural explanations for the events described. He was not prepared to accept that the waters causing the Flood had been created miraculously by God. However, they must have come from somewhere, so the interior of the Earth seemed the most
likely possibility [7-9].

WILLIAM WHISTON (1666-1753) who succeeded Isaac Newton in the chair of mathematics at Cambridge University, agreed partially with Burnet. He thought that some of the waters of the Flood might have been released from the interior of the Earth, but he considered that the major proportion had fallen as rain derived from the vapors in the tail of a passing comet. These ideas were presented in a book published in 1696. Whiston was aware that comets moved about the Sun in elliptical orbits of high eccentricity, because John Flamsteed, the Astronomer Royal, had made detailed observations of the comet of 1680. Also, Edmond Halley
had deduced that the comet of 1682 (which subsequently took his name) had the same orbit as those of 1531 and 1607, and predicted, correctly as it turned out, that it would return in 1758. He was less accurate in his calculations of the periodicity of the 1680 comet, but these led
Whiston to believe that it could have made an earlier visit in 2342 B.C., around the time the Flood was thought to have occurred, on the basis of internal evidence from the Bible [7,10].

Whiston was eventually dismissed from his post for, amongst other reasons, indicating that global catastrophes, past and future, might be caused by natural phenomena. Halley was similarly censured for suggesting to the Royal Society of London in 1694 that the story of
Noah's flood might be an account of a cometary impact [11-13].

Meanwhile, on the continent of Europe, the German mathematician and philosopher, Baron Gottfried von Leibniz (1646-1716), believed that the Earth was formed by condensation of cosmic matter, so it would initially have been very hot, and hence in a fluid-like state. He
proposed that, as it cooled, a crust formed which later cracked on occasions to release flood water from within the Earth, each time depositing a layer of sediment [14].

The French naturalist, Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1708-1788) suggested that the "days" of creation in Genesis were not meant to be taken literally. It made more sense, he thought, to regard them as periods of unspecified but great length. Buffon calculated that
if, as he personally supposed, the Earth had been formed by a collision between the Sun and a comet, it could have cooled down sufficiently within 35,000 years to allow condensation of atmospheric water vapor to form a universal ocean. Further cooling over many thousands of years caused cavities to appear in the Earth's surface, through which sea water drained until it reached its present level. As volcanoes began to erupt, the continents appeared and valleys were gouged out by ocean currents [7,14].

Buffon's contemporary, Benoit de Maillet, believed that erosion of the earliest mountains by the action of the ocean over a timescale of millions of years was an important factor in producing sediment from which new mountains could be made [7,12].

Theories that a universal ocean once contained in solution all the material that later formed the Earth's crust were generally labelled as "Neptunist". In contrast, the "Plutonist" theory of James Hutton (1726-1797) maintained that some rocks, such as granite, were not
sedimentary, but had been produced by volcanic action. That view eventually prevailed but, to start with, Neptunism was the more popular theory. The most influential advocate of Neptunist views was Abraham Gottlob Werner (1749-1817), a German geologist. In Werner's theory,
precipitation of dissolved material took place over long periods of time, first forming primitive rocks such as granite, and then, as erosion of these began to contribute to the process, deposits such as limestones and slates. Later, when mechanical deposition became more significant than chemical precipitation, came the laying down of chalk and other fossil-rich rocks [9,14,15].

As field evidence accumulated, various British cosmogonists produced theories which attempted to be consistent with the new findings, yet retain a place for Noah's flood. By the end of the eighteenth century it was clear that, even if the Flood had occurred, it could only have been one of many factors responsible for the formation of features at the Earth's surface [7].

In France, Buffon, remained the dominant figure right up to his death in 1788. However, a new generation of naturalists was emerging, and these sought a fresh approach to science. One of the chief critics of Buffon's style was Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) [14,16].


Although most pre-nineteenth century cosmogonists, including Buffon, used rational methods, their arguments were often speculative and philosophical. In contrast, one of Cuvier's guiding principles was to avoid unwarranted speculation. After Buffon's death, Cuvier quickly
established a reputation as a gifted scientist, particularly in the field of comparative anatomy. In 1812, he published the results of a detailed investigation of the geology of the Paris basin, carried out over many years in collaboration with the mining engineer and mineralogist, Alexandre Brongniart.

It seemed clear to Cuvier that there had been several sudden advances and retreats of the sea.
Alternating layers of saltwater and freshwater deposits rested on a thick bed of chalk, whilst overlying the stratified rocks in valley bottoms was a layer of loose material which he termed "detrital silt". The changes between successive periods of rock formation were linked to
major catastrophes (which Cuvier called révolutions) for, on each occasion, almost all the animals and plants then living were annihilated. In the aftermath, new types emerged, according to the evidence of the fossils found in the rocks. The scale was such that the
processes involved must have affected an area far greater than just the Paris basin, perhaps even covering the whole world. As an indication of the speed of action of the most recent of the révolutions, if not the others, Cuvier drew attention to the discovery of unputrified carcasses of large extinct mammals such as mammoths, in frozen lands to the north, reports of which had reached Paris in 1807.

Later, in 1829, Léonce Élie de Beaumont (1798-1874) suggested a possible mechanism for the révolutions, arguing that even if the Earth was cooling slowly and gradually as Buffon had proposed, and that the reduction in volume led to mountain building, then this latter process was still likely to occur in an episodic and catastrophic fashion, with upheavals of submerged land [16-18].

Cuvier took great care to keep his science and religion separate. In Britain during the same period, such an attitude would have been mostunusual, for many professional scientists were clergymen. Indeed, this was still a requirement for obtaining a senior post at either Oxford or
Cambridge. So, for example, at Cambridge, the Rev. Adam Sedgwick was Professor of Geology, whilst at Oxford, the Rev. William Buckland was Reader in the same subject. Buckland and Sedgwick were keen to operate as true scientists, independent of the Church. However,
as a consequence of their background, they began with an assumption that fieldwork would rapidly confirm the essential features of the Genesis account [16,18,19].

Early in his career, Buckland interpreted a widespread layer of loam and gravel, corresponding to Cuvier's "detrital silt", as the product of the universal deluge in the time of Noah. He was concerned that the immense depths of deposits beneath this layer suggested that the Earth
must be very old, with Creation taking far longer than the six days mentioned in the Bible. Nevertheless, the evidence for the deluge itself seemed clear enough. Fossils found in mud deposits in caves throughout Europe must have been of animals trapped by the rising flood
water. During his inauguration as Reader in 1819, Buckland argued, "The grand fact of a universal deluge at no very remote period is proved on grounds so decisive and incontrovertible, that had we never heard of such an event from Scripture or any other authority, Geology of itselfmust have called in the assistance of some such catastrophe" [15,18,20].

The case was presented in detail in his Relics of the Flood, published in 1823. Without question, this book avoided speculation, concentrating instead on empirical evidence which seemed to show that a single, major flood had taken place. At the time, Sedgwick supported Buckland's views.

However, it soon became apparent that the loam and gravel layer was restricted to northern latitudes, so was not universal. Also, further investigation showed that the fossils in the various caves did not all come from the same period. Buckland announced in 1836 that he no longer believed in a single, universal flood. Five years earlier, Sedgwick had done the same during an address to the Geological Society of London. Admitting that he and his colleagues had been led astray by their expectation of finding evidence of Noah's flood, Sedgwick said,
"There is, I think, one great negative conclusion now incontestably established - that the vast masses of diluvial gravel, scattered almost over the surface of the earth, do not belong to one violent and transitory period" [15,18,20]

However, although Buckland, Sedgwick and others came to reject the idea of a single Flood, they continued to find the evidence strongly suggestive of the involvement of cataclysmic forces. It was just that these had acted on more than one occasion, just as Cuvier had
concluded. All the geologists were impressed by the large erratic boulders (i.e. ones foreign to the region) found scattered over much of Europe and North America, and by the loam and gravel deposits which lay as a mantle in northern regions. In an attempt to explain the origin of
these features, theories of tidal waves were developed from the "cooling Earth" scenario of Élie de Beaumont [15,18,20].


Nevertheless, only a few years later, catastrophic diluvialism was a spent force. This was because Charles Lyell (1797-1875) established what he termed the "uniformitarian" view that the only significant processes bringing about changes to the Earth's surface were ordinary,
everyday ones, acting gently but persistently over very long periods of time.

Also, it became accepted, largely because of the work of Louis Agassiz (1807-1873), a Swiss naturalist and catastrophist, who moved to the United States in 1846, that the erratic boulders and drift deposits had been carried by glaciers during an `Ice Age', not by tidal waves

The concept of Ice Ages became a part of the uniformitarian consensus, on the assumption that the environmental changes associated with them occurred in a gradual fashion. Lyell's uniformitarianism, which was gradualism by another name, ruled without serious challenge for a century or more [9,15,18].


Possible catastrophist scenarios, often speculative in nature, continued to be put forward, to little effect.

For example, Hugh Auchincloss Brown (1879-1975), an engineer who graduated from Columbia University, proposed in a private publication of 1948 that the tilt of the Earth's axis could change in catastrophic fashion, the disturbances being triggered by the weight of polar ice. Ten years later, CHARLES HAPGOOD, a science historian from Keene State College, New Hampshire, began to argue for a similar theory, in which only the crust moved, not the whole Earth. However, these ideas, whether they were right or wrong, made little impression on orthodox scientific thought [7,22].

Scenarios based on extraterrestrial impacts fared no better. That was hardly surprising, given that the starting point in many cases was the assumption that some myths and legends were based on catastrophes of cosmic origin, which was not regarded as a serious possibility by
University-based academics.

One of those who interpreted a myth as an actual event was the Jesuit scholar, Franz Xavier Kugler (1862-1929). Using several ancient sources, Kugler argued in 1927 that Phaeton was a
very bright object which had appeared in the sky several hundred years before the founding of Rome, eventually falling to Earth as a shower of large meteorites, causing catastrophic fires and floods, particularly in Africa [11,23].

Another catastrophist of the period was the British journalist, COMYNS BEAUMONT, who argued in a 1932 book that comets were planets which had been displaced from their natural orbits. According to Beaumont, cometary heads tended to disintegrate, forming meteors, which usually
crashed into the Sun. Some, however, were intercepted by the Earth, with catastrophic consequences.

Beaumont saw the widespread loam and gravel deposits of the northern latitudes as being evidence of an impact, associating the event with the Phaeton myth and the floods of both Noah and Deucalion. Since Orosius placed the Deucalion Flood 810 years before the founding of Rome, Beaumont estimated that the impact had occurred around 1560 B.C. [24].

Moving forward two decades, we come to a rather better-known catastrophist, IMMANUEL VELIKOVSKY (1895-1979). In 1950, this Russian-born psycho-analyst, then living in America, launched a comprehensive assault on the uniformitarian consensus when he proposed
a highly-controversial scenario in his book, "Worlds in Collision". On the basis of ancient records and myths from around the world, Velikovsky argued that the most recent of a series of global catastrophes of extraterrestrial origin was initiated when Venus was ejected from the core of Jupiter as a comet (i.e. as a body with a substantial tail), and passed very close to the Earth around 1450 B.C., giving rise to the Phaeton myth, and causing catastrophic events such
as the plagues of Egypt and the flood of Deucalion [25].

As to catastrophes in earlier times, Velikovsky summarised his ideas from an unpublished book in the journal, Kronos, in 1979, suggesting that because myths often refer to a Golden Age associated with the figure known in Roman mythology as Saturn, the Earth might originally
have been a satellite of the planet bearing that name. Events related to its subsequent escape from Saturn's influence caused the flood of Noah [26].

Partly because of an attempt by some American academics to suppress Velikovsky's writings, they stimulated considerable interest in the subject of global catastrophes affecting the Earth. Also, many people, particularly young ones, were enthused by Velikovsky's exortations not
to accept orthodox opinions as a matter of course. So, for example, in an address given in 1953 to the graduate college forum of Princeton University, and included as a supplement to his 1956 book, "Earth in Upheaval", Velikovsky repeatedly urged members of his audience to "dare"
to formulate their own views [23,27].

[EPG- and I have my own view. "Catastrophism" is a load of shit]

A variety of writers, including scientists and other mainstream scholars, eventually made a serious effort to assess Velikovsky's work. In 1973, Glasgow University archaeologist, Euan Mackie, wrote in New Scientist that, regardless of whether Velikovsky's scenario seemed
plausible, he had formulated hypotheses which should be tested in the normal way. In the following year, together with Harold Tresman, Brian Moore, and Martin Sieff, Mackie became a founding member of the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies (SIS), an organization designed to
provide a forum for this to happen [28,29].

Twenty five years further on, as the SIS celebrates its silver jubilee, various aspects of catastrophism, although not Velikovsky's specific theories, have become incorporated into mainstream science.

However, at the time the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies was formed, the gradualist paradigm was supremely dominant, as it had been throughout the previous hundred years, and any attempts to suggest catastrophist mechanisms for events in geology or evolution were viewed with great suspicion in orthodox academic circles and generally ignored.

Exactly the same applied to catastrophist explanations for events in ancient history, particularly ones in the Middle East. Rightly or wrongly, such arguments were generally seen as moves to provide support for a literal interpretation of the Bible [18,28].

When the British archaeologist, Sir LEONARD WOOLEY, excavated the ancient Sumerian city of UR, in what is now southern Iraq, between 1928 and 1934, he found a 3 metre thick layer of alluvial silt on top of the levels of the Ubaid Period (conventionally dated to around 4000 B.C.)
and beneath the first traces of the succeeding Uruk Period. To some, including Woolley himself, this seemed like evidence for the flood of Noah. However, no other sites were found to show similar alluvial deposits during the Ubaid Period. On the other hand, at the nearby city
of SHURUPPAK (the modern Fara), there was evidence of a flood during the Early Dynastic Period, around 2750 B.C., and an alluvial deposit dating from around the same time was found at another Sumerian site, the city of KISH. However, no serious investigation took place as to
whether there had been a widespread flood in Sumer during the Early Dynastic Period, as this would have smacked of unfashionable "Biblical Archaeology". Instead, it was often suggested that accounts of some strictly localised events in the region, caused by the Tigris and/or
Euphrates bursting their banks, at different times and in different places, might have been used mistakenly by later generations as the basis for both the Uta-Napishtim and the Noah stories [30,31].


Moving forward to the present day, let us try to disregard the prejudices of the past and ask the question: is there any geological evidence for a world-wide flood? The answer is a categoric "No!", in terms of all the continents being covered by water, as described in
Genesis. From the time animals began living on the land, the closest we have been to that situation was probably during the Late Cretaceous Period, when large parts of North America, Africa and Eurasia were covered by shallow seas. That was the time when the chalk now familiar to us from the cliffs and uplands of southern England and northern France was formed from the shells of sea-creatures. The same chalk rocks also underlie the entire Paris basin, as described by Cuvier. However, the Late Cretaceous was over 65 million years ago, according to generally accepted dates, long before human beings were on the scene to formulate flood myths [32,33].

At the end of the Cretaceous Period, sea-levels fell markedly, draining the shallow epicontinental seas. That was the time of the famous K-T event, when a large asteroid or comet of around 10 kilometres in diameter struck Mexico, a million cubic kilometres of lava poured out over central India, and many species of animals, including all the dinosaurs, became extinct. Apart from another wave of extinctions during the Eocene-Oligocene transition around 35 million years ago, when sea levels were again very low, it is generally thought that the next major crisis was a series of Ice Ages which spanned the Pleistocene Epoch, beginning around 2 million years ago and ending around 11,500 years ago. This was the period which produced the loam and gravel layer much investigated by nineteenth century
catastrophists, as we have already noted [18,33,34].

In the prevailing gradualist scenario, the advance and retreat of the glaciers was thought, from ideas suggested by the Scottish "independent thinker", James Croll, and developed by the Serbian physicist, Milutin Milankovitch, to be related to a slow tumble of the Earth about its
axis of rotation [15,18].

In contrast, various writers have suggested that the impact of a large asteroid could initiate or terminate an Ice Age, depending on the circumstances [18,35-38].

An Ice Age could also be caused by a sustained period of smaller impacts, together with atmospheric dusting, perhaps linked to the disintegration of a giant comet, as in the hypothesis put forward by the British astronomers, Victor Clube and Bill Napier. Clube and Napier believe that Comet Encke, the asteroid Oljato and the Taurid meteors are the remnants of a giant comet, and extrapolations backwards from present orbits indicate that the break-up may have occurred about 9,500 years ago. However, the giant comet may have influenced the Earth for thousands of years prior to this, causing an atmospheric dust-cloud which had largely cleared by the time that Encke split from Oljato.

Indeed, ice core studies have indicated that there was a great deal of dust deposited during the last 10,000 years of the Pleistocene.Furthermore, this has the same chemical content as dust recovered from peat moss in the Tunguska region, where another fragment of the same
cometary system may have struck in 1908. However, much more evidencewill need to be produced if the Clube/Napier explanation for Ice Ages is to become established [13,18,39].

On the other hand, no rival theory can provide, in itself, a satisfactory explanation. Even if the Milankovitch theory, favoured by gradualists, could explain the fluctuations of the ice sheets during the Pleistocene, it says nothing about why we must go back 250 million
years to the Permian Period to find the next most recent Ice Age.

Moreover, a recent detailed study of prehistoric climate changes at Devil's Hole, Nevada, has shown that not even in the Pleistocene Epoch does the Milankovitch theory provide a good explanation for the sequence of events, at least at this particular location. A similar
problem applies to theories involving isolated extraterrestrial impacts, since the best evidence for a major impact event is at the end of the Cretaceous Period, 65 million years ago, when no Ice Age occurred [12,15,18].

Vulcanism is another factor which may have contributed to atmospheric cooling in the Pleistocene, because it undoubtedly occurred in extensive fashion at the time. Furthermore, it is generally accepted that the Toba super-eruption in the East Indies took place close to the
onset of the most recent of the Pleistocene Ice Ages, the Würm, 75,000 years ago. On the other hand, the extensive vulcanism of the Late Cretaceous did not lead to an Ice Age.

Plate tectonics seems to provide at least a partial explanation for the Permian and the previous
(Ordovician) glaciation, for continents apparently drifted over the poles at these (and only these) times during the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic Eras. Land at or near a pole would have provided a platform for snow to settle on, reducing temperatures by reflecting the Sun's
rays back into space. It would also have facilitated the spreading of ice-sheets, for these form and spread more easily over land than over sea. However, Antarctica moved into a position over the South Pole during the Eocene Epoch, long before the start of the first Pleistocene
Ice Age, and it is still there today, after the termination of the last of them [18,33,40].

[ Ice Ages are not caused by impacts - EPG]

Thus it seems likely that a proper explanation for Ice Ages must involve the interplay of several factors from a list including asteroid impacts, vulcanism, atmospheric dust, continental drift and Milankovitch cycles. They were clearly complex events [18].

[Yes they are - EPG.]

Moreover, regardless of the causes of Ice Ages, even the effects seem much less straightforward than generally supposed. For example, the glaciations of the northern hemisphere were not simply times when the polar ice cap expanded in fairly regular fashion: Siberia and Alaska, areas now noted for their long, cold, winters, remained largely
ice-free when much of northern Europe, Greenland and Canada was covered by an ice sheet to a depth of 2-3 km. Also, as noted by Cuvier, unputrefied carcasses of mammoths, dating from the Late Pleistocene, have been found in Siberia, even in regions within the Arctic circle,
where no large wild animals live today. In those times, in contrast, sufficient vegetation must have been available, at least during the summer months, to provide sustenance for herds of grazing animals. When the mammoths died, temperatures must have been falling rapidly, even
though the final Ice Age of the Pleistocene, and the epoch itself, was drawing to a close. It is difficult to come up with an explanation which is entirely satisfactory.

[It sure is. Particularly when different idiots are trying to yell you down. - EPG]

Even if the mammoths died during a late cooling episode, it still has to be considered strange that, as temperatures subsequently rose very significantly elsewhere, they and the land which previously supported them remained in a permanently frozen state [18,22,41].

Elsewhere, when the ice-sheets melted at the end of the Pleistocene, the release of the stored-up water led to a rise in sea-level of over 100 metres. For many years, it was generally assumed that this had been a gradual, even-paced process. However, it now seems that the
deglaciation, and associated changes in the oceans, took place in rapid fashion [18,42,43].

Some have even challenged the generally-held view that worldwide temperatures had been falling from the Middle Miocene, about 18 million years ago, all the way through to the onset of the Pleistocene glaciations. They have suggested that the freezing and thawing episodes
which occurred around 12,000 years ago were not a continuation of previous trends, nor did they take place over a long timescale. So, for example, the retired British geologists, DEREK ALLAN and BERNARD DELAIRr, argued in their 1995 book "When the Earth Nearly Died" that
catastrophic events, including an increase in the axial tilt of the Earth, occurred around 11,500 years ago. The catastrophes were caused by the close passage of a sizeable cosmic body (which gave rise to the Phaeton legend) and the actual impact of a number of smaller
companions. According to Allan and Delair, these could all have been products of the Vela supernova explosion, which at the time was thought to have occurred in a part of the Galaxy close to our Solar System between 14,300 and 11,000 years ago, although it now seems that it
might have happened much more recently than that, around 700 years ago [41,44].

Whatever their origin, the extraterrestrial bodies generally struck the Earth whilst travelling in a northeast to southwesterly direction from Alaska to South America. As evidence, Allan and Delair drew attention to the presence of innumerable oval lakes with a NE/SW orientation
along the supposed path [18,41].

In the view of Allan and Delair, these events also caused extensive vulcanism, together with hurricanes and massive floods. As a consequence of the increased tilt of the Earth, there would have been a change towards colder climates at high latitudes, exacerbated by the
dust cloud resulting from impacts and volcanoes. So, the polar ice caps would have expanded, and flood water which could not immediately drain back to the sea might have been trapped as ice. In this view, therefore, as with that of the catastrophist diluvialists of the early
nineteenth century, the "erratic" boulders and the loam and gravel deposits of northern regions owed more to transport by flood water than by glaciers.

To Allan and Delair, this scenario is more plausible than the conventional paradigm in its explanation of the frozen mammoths of Siberia, the even more extraordinary "muck" deposits of Alaska, which contain animal remains, molluscs, vegetation, ice and volcanic ash in a
frozen, tangled mass, and the similar mixed deposits stuffed into caves at more southerly latitudes [18,27,41].

Velikovsky's Saturn hypothesis, which has been developed by Dwardu Cardona, David Talbott and Ev Cochrane, amongst others, would also seem to require a short, catastrophic transition between the Golden Age and present-day conditions, with no obvious space for glaciations of long duration [45-47].

Yet another viewpoint on what happened during the Late Pleistocene was provided by the American science historian, Charles Hapgood. As we saw earlier, Hapgood argued that the entire crust of the Earth must, on occasions, have suffered slippage relative to the core. That would, of course, have brought some new areas into polar regions, with others being moved away from them. Moreover, if a crustal dislocation brought land over a pole, where previously there had been just frozen water, then the ice-cap would expand, and vice versa [18,22,48-50].

Geologists have generally been of the opinion that the forces required to bring about a crustal dislocation would be so great as to rule out the possibility of such an event. However, Hapgood countered that there were, nevertheless, good reasons for thinking that such slippages had
actually occurred. On the assumption that the magnetic poles never stray far from the axis of rotation, he argued that palaeomagnetic evidence showed that the location of the geographical polar regions had changed over 200 times during the course of the Earth's history, some
of these changes being far too dramatic to be explained by the normal processes of continental drift. So, around 80,000 years ago, an area of the Yukon district of Canada lay over the North Pole, to be replaced within a few thousand years by a region of the North Atlantic between
Greenland and Norway. By around 50,000 years ago, the pole was locatedin the vicinity of Hudson Bay, Canada, before moving to its present position between 17,000 and 12,000 years ago. Similar events took place in the southern hemisphere, the South Pole moving to its present position on the main Antarctic continent from an area between Wilkes Land and Western Australia [22].

According to this hypothesis, therefore, Canada and the USA moved awayfrom the North Pole at the end of the Pleistocene Epoch, whilst Siberia moved closer to the polar region. This would explain why the northern ice cap receded at this time, as the pole was no longer sited within a continent, and why frozen mammoths have been found in Siberia. At the
opposite end of the Earth, Antarctica moved over the South Pole, so the southern ice cap would then have expanded [22].

However, results of recent studies of ancient climates, based on oxygen isotope determinations, appear to support the more conventional view of the Pleistocene Ice Ages, rather than the "single-recent-catastrophe" hypothesis or the "crustal-displacement" theory.

Water contains two isotopes of oxygen, the lighter one (oxygen-16) evaporating more easily
than the heavier one (oxygen-18). When temperatures are low and ice-sheets are spreading, trapping, as frozen snow, water taken by evaporation from the oceans, the oxygen-16/oxygen-18 ratio of the water remaining in the oceans will be relatively low. Conversely, when temperatures are high, and more water is being returned to the oceans from ice-sheets than is being removed by evaporation, the oxygen-16/oxygen-18 ratio will be relatively high. The same ratios would be found in the shells of creatures living in the seas at the time, so the measurement of oxygen isotope ratios in marine fossils gives an indication of the ocean temperature when they were living. Similar conclusions can also be drawn from oxygen isotope ratios in the individual layers of the northern and southern ice-sheets, for it is thought that each layer was formed from the compressed snows of a single year.

Oxygen isotope ratios in the shells of microfossils in deep-sea cores from the North Atlantic have demonstrated temperature fluctuations throughout the Pleistocene, with even the highest average temperatures of these times being far lower than the typical temperatures of the Miocene. A correlation has also been demonstrated between climatic events in the North Atlantic and ones from China. Comparisons of Antarctic and Greenland climates over the past 100,000 years suggest that the same glacial-interglacial sequences took place in both polar
regions, and these were consistent with temperature changes in the oceans.

Although there were some variations in timing between different locations, possibly due to the effects of ocean currents, there were no times when climatic trends in Greenland and Antarctica were moving consistently in opposite directions, which might have been expected if the crustal-displacement theory was correct. Furthermore, ice cores from different parts of Antarctica all show a generally upward drift in temperatures between 20,000 and 10,000 years ago, the period during which, according to Hapgood, the continent moved over the south pole,
so all three sites should have become significantly colder, not warmer [33,42,51,52].

Therefore, despite some anomalous features, which have still to be explained, and concerns about the nature of some of the evidence, this, in the main, continues to indicate that a number of major cooling episodes, affecting climate in all parts of the world, occurred at
intervals throughout the Pleistocene Epoch [18,53].

Extinctions of animal species indeed occurred throughout the Pleistocene, but were particularly marked at or near its conclusion, during the transition to the Holocene. As a whole, the LATE PLEISTOCENE EXTINCTIONS were minor compared to some earlier mass extinctions, such as those at the ends of the Permian and Cretaceous Periods, but large land animals were profoundly affected. North America lost threequarters of its large animals, 33 genera of them, between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago. In South America, 46 genera disappeared at around the
same time, and extinctions of large animals also occurred in other places, including Siberia, as we have already noted [18,54,55].

All of this is generally agreed, the major ongoing argument being about the reasons for the extinctions. Whatever causal mechanisms may have been involved, major environmental changes undoubtedly took place over the period in question. The Late Pleistocene extinctions in North America were synchronous with the retreat of the ice sheet north of the Great Lakes, and with the replacement of spruce woodland and tundra by pine and deciduous species. Similar associations of extinctions with climatic changes are found throughout the world. Even in Australia, where the extinctions occurred earlier than elsewhere, between 26,000 and 15,000 years ago, the death of the giant marsupials was synchronous with a long period of heat and drought [54-56].

However, another factor which cannot be ignored is the emergence of humankind, and its spread into new areas. Although there are hints that there may have been isolated settlements in the New World at an earlier time, it seems clear that the main wave of settlers crossed from Asia into Alaska by means of a land bridge less than 30,000 years ago, when sea-levels were low as a result of water being trapped as ice, and spread over the northern and southern continents, reaching the southern tip of Chile about 10,000 years ago. The Clovis stone-age culture of southwestern USA was well-established around 11,000 years ago, some sites showing strong evidence of the systematic butchering of large animals. Similarly, humans may have reached Australia shortly before the times of the extinctions there, although that is less certain

Arguments are still going on about the relative merits of climatic change and hunting as explanations for the late Pleistocene extinctions. However, it is reasonable to conclude that both must have played a part [54,55].


Inevitably, catastrophic floods occurred as the ice melted and the Holocene Epoch began. So, for example, the retreat of the glaciers removed the barrier which previously held back a large volume of water in western Montana, causing devastating flooding of a wide area of the
Columbia Plateau beneath the glacial lake, and gouging out deep channels in the scablands of eastern Washington. This happened not once, but several times, as conditions fluctuated.

When, in the 1920s, the Chicago geologist, HARLEN BRETZ, first suggested that the channels
of the Washington scablands had been created by catastrophic floods, he was attacked by his professional colleagues for challenging theassumptions of the gradualist orthodoxy. For example, James Gilluly maintained that the channels could have been by produced by floods of a similar magnitude to ones which still occured in the region. That, however. is no longer seen to be the case, given the short time-scale, and also (a fact not known at the time), a source for the catastrophic flood-water in glacial Lake Missoula. It is now believed that channelled scablands were also produced by waters released in similar catastrophic fashion from other glacial lakes in the western United States, such as Lake Bonneville, Utah. As the American ice continued to melt, a super-lake, Algonquin, was formed in the northeast. This consisted of the present Lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron, but occupied a much greater area [57,58].

Low-lying regions throughout the world were flooded as sea-levels rose. Sometimes there was a long delay between cause and effect, increasing the catastrophic nature of the latter. So, for example, although it had generally been assumed that the Black Sea expanded in area and volume in a gradual fashion after the end of the Pleistocene, with excess water flowing in from the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean Sea and the Bosporus as the ice melted, it now seems that the Black Sea was sealed off from the Mediterranean by a natural dam in the Bosporus region which eventually burst around 5600 B.C.. Water then rushed into the Black Sea, flooding over 150,000 square kilometres of its low-lying coastal regions within a period of a year or so. Evidence for this was presented by geologists WILLIAM RYAN and WALTER PITMAN, of Columbia University, in their 1999 book, "Noah's Flood". Previously, the Black Sea
had been an oxygen-rich, freshwater lake, but the incoming salt-water sank to the bottom, causing anoxic conditions in the depths, a situation which still exists today. Radiocarbon dating studies on cores taken from the bed of the Black Sea at various locations have shown that oxygen-dependent shellfish living in deep water all became extinct around 5600 B.C., whilst salt-water molluscs made their first appearance in the Black Sea at exactly the same time.

Ryan and Pitman argued that recollections of this catastrophic flooding, passed on by
people who managed to escape and migrate towards Mesopotamia, gave rise to the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh and, in turn, to the Genesis story of Noah and his family. That remains controversial, but the evidence for the event itself is strong [59,60].

During the 1980s, archaeological, environmental and geological evidence for a world-wide catastrophic event around 2300 B.C. was presented in the pages of the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies Review by an American engineer, MOE MANDELKEHR.

At the Second Society for Interdisciplinary Studies CAMBRIDGE CONFERENCE in 1997, social historian BENNY PEISER, of Liverpool John Moores University, summarised the results of a survey he had made of some 500 reports of civilization collapse and climate change at around the time of Mandelkehr's postulated catastrophe, most of which supported his case. According to the evidence presented, there was a change to generally drier conditions around 2300 B.C., with a lowering of the water-level in lakes and oceans, and reduced river discharge. On the other hand, it appears that there were flood disasters in China, northern India, Greece, Australia and the USA at about this time [61,62].

Mandelkehr believes that the catastrophic events around 2300 B.C. were caused by an encounter between the Earth and a cluster of cosmic bodies, the breakdown products of a giant comet, as in the Clube-Napier hypothesis. Others have also cited evidence for the impact of one or more extraterrestrial objects at this time. Proof is still some way off, but it seems likely that there was a single causal mechanism for the various geological and environmental changes which took place, and an encounter with a disintegrating comet is certainly a plausible

At the Second Society for Interdisciplinary Studies Cambridge Conference, Bill Napier pointed out that the impact into an ocean of even a relatively small cosmic body, around 200 metres in diameter, would result in devastating floods in coastal regions, through the action of tidal waves [39,63-65].

Geological evidence for a global catastrophe around 1450 B.C., as proposed by Velikovsky, is less convincing than for one around 2300 B.C.. Much of the evidence for catastrophes which Velikovsky presented in "Earth in Upheaval", such as the Alaskan "muck" deposits, was actually
associated with the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Although Velikovsky suggested otherwise, the end of the Pleistocene is generally thought to have ended 8,000 years before the time of his supposed Venus catastrophe. It seems that there may have been localised catastrophes
around 1450 B.C., but nothing more than that [27,66].


Whilst there is no geological evidence at any time for a worldwide flood on the scale described in Genesis, there are abundant indications of widespread floods and other catastrophes during the period humans have been living on the Earth, in particular during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition around 11,500 years ago, and near the beginning of the Late Holocene, around 2300 B.C.. There are a large number of unanswered questions about events at both of these times.

Hopefully we shall not have to wait until the golden jubilee of the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies in 2024 before we get satisfactory answers to them.

Professor Trevor Palmer is Head of the Department of Life Sciences and Dean of the Faculty of Science and Mathematics at Nottingham Trent University. He is the Chairman of the Society for
Interdisciplinary Studies and the author of CONTROVERSY -CATASTROPHISM AND EVOLUTION: THE ONGOING DEBATE (Plenum Company: New York/London, 1998)


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Copyright 1999, Trevor Palmer - posted here with permission

:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
With only one more post on this crap to come, uni.
E.P. Grondine

Re: Black Death Asteroid

Post by E.P. Grondine »

And the grandaddy of all current "catastropists", the classical scholar:

except for the various theosophist catastrophists, who believe in McCauley's "crustal shifts":

But then they are a separate sack of nuts, about who much more shortly.
At least that material has sex and drugs. :D

:evil: :evil: :evil: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

Re: Black Death Asteroid

Post by uniface »

Having failed to make a prima facie case, the Saturnists shift the burden-of-proof by inviting "scholarly critics" to disprove their model by identifying "a single recurring mythical theme not predicted by the model." They simply do not believe that their coherent, internally consistent narrative, based solely on mythological exegesis, can be wrong.
Somewhat like the material you elaborated in your own book ?

Pot, meet Kettle. :mrgreen:
E.P. Grondine

Re: Black Death Asteroid

Post by E.P. Grondine »

uniface wrote:
Having failed to make a prima facie case, the Saturnists shift the burden-of-proof by inviting "scholarly critics" to disprove their model by identifying "a single recurring mythical theme not predicted by the model." They simply do not believe that their coherent, internally consistent narrative, based solely on mythological exegesis, can be wrong.
Somewhat like the material you elaborated in your own book ?

Pot, meet Kettle. :mrgreen:
Why hi, uni :mrgreen: -

You're making even less sense than usual this morning.

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

First off, as far as recent impacts are concerned, the prima facie case has already been made.

It is perfectly consistent both with physics, and other fields of science, such as geology, archaeology, anthropology, meteorology, cosmology, planetary science, etc...

Now rather than attack that case and the hard data, various loons attack different peoples' memories of recent impacts, as that is far easier to do.

Or even more easily, they try to confuse impact research with catastrophism.

As Vine DeLoria pointed out years ago, Native American histories have generally been dismissed by U.S. academics.

It has to do with stealing Native land, and trying to find some kind of moral justification to do so. We're at the point in time now where it is cultural genocide.

I do not expect you to know about orally based cultures or the difference between myth materials and historical materials. I will simply note that many Homeric, Celtic, and Farsi scholars are intimately familiar with them, and their techniques for working with these materials are generally known as "apparat".

In any case, the most that these memories can be used for is to lead to geological evidence, which is the data.

In the case of impact research, that data is astroblemes, impact tsunami deposits, and impactite deposits.

Or, if data (such as astroblemes, impact tsunamai deposits, or impactite deposits ) has already been found, the histories may throw light on it. They are fun to read, in any case, and make a dry subject more human.

Since the funding for impact research is miniscule, the budgets for it being controlled by scientists in other fields trying to insure that their own work and their friends' work gets funded, those working in the field are left with far less expensive tools to work with. Such as reviewing histories to try to locate geological evidence.

For example, one could review al Idrisi's historical materials on north Africa, and then ask one's Moroccan meteorite hunting friends to go out and search specific areas for fragments of an impactor.

That is one could do so, if one did not have to deal with jabbering idiots while trying to do so.

For the umpteenth time again, if you want to talk about Velikovsky, then
:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

Re: Black Death Asteroid

Post by uniface »

I don;t especially want to talk about Velikovsky. My nickel in that dime is the way the "debunkers" ignore the predictions (like that Jupiter would be found to be emitting radio signals, and that the surface temp. of Venus would be much higher than anyone at the time imagined) he made that subsequently panned out.

IOW, the transparent Doublethink they display.
George Orwell wrote:To know and to not know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy is impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy. To forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself.
Same deal with you. You use Native American traditional histories as the skeleton of your reconstruction of the past in NA. But when Velikovsky did that with the Greeks, Romans et. al, you want to blow your refferree whistle & call a foul on him for inadmissible procedure.

Sauce for the goose, & that stuff.
E.P. Grondine

Re: Black Death Asteroid

Post by E.P. Grondine »

uniface wrote: I don;t especially want to talk about Velikovsky.
Yeah I know. Your own crap starts at the end here.
uniface wrote: My nickel in that dime is the way the "debunkers" ignore the predictions (like that Jupiter would be found to be emitting radio signals, and that the surface temp. of Venus would be much higher than anyone at the time imagined) he made that subsequently panned out.
If you have enough monkeys, and enough computers, then occasionally they will post an intelligent comment.
uniface wrote: IOW, the transparent Doublethink they display.
George Orwell wrote:To know and to not know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy is impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy. To forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself.
Same deal with you. You use Native American traditional histories as the skeleton of your reconstruction of the past in NA.
Hold it right there. I started with physics of impact events.
I started with sites and excavation reports.
Then I checked the most reliable sources, in the most reliable translations, and checked them against sites, geology, ice cores, tree rings,etc.
uniface wrote: But when Velikovsky did that with the Greeks, Romans et. al, you want to blow your refferree whistle & call a foul on him for inadmissible procedure.
Hold it right there again.
Velikovsky did none of what I did.

Many very self absorbed people have tried to slander me or silence me by calling me a "Velikovsky wannabe".
Sometimes they can confuse somewhat intellectually limited people.
There's a huge difference.
uniface wrote: Sauce for the goose, & that stuff.
Okay. I've fought with a lot of people over real research money.
In particular the G*d D*mn F*****g Mars Nuts and their buddies.

Well, here's the bottom line.
When I started to report on the impact hazard, there was no one at NASA handling it.
Then NASA put JPL in charge of the search.
We've had several intercept missions, not only by the US, but by China, Japan, and the EU, at several hundred million per mission.
Then B612 came along, and we've had more press, and more money.
The Congress increased the money to find these thing before they hit.
The Asteroid Redirect Mission is now NASA's key mission,
with the Asteroid Intercept Mission out of APL and the ESA as backup.

I've had a stroke, and I do what I can do now.
It took all these posts to get you to fess up to your own stupidity,
and that wasted a part of what little resources I have left.
Some would have said to just ignore you.
But nasty SOB that I am,
I wanted to rub your nose in your own "stuff".
It just took a while to get it into one pile.
:evil: :twisted:

Re: Black Death Asteroid

Post by uniface »

What I pointed out is pretty well self-evident.
E.P. Grondine

Re: Black Death Asteroid

Post by E.P. Grondine »

Only to you.
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Re: Black Death Asteroid

Post by Minimalist »

E.P. Grondine wrote:Only to you.

Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

Re: Black Death Asteroid

Post by uniface »

You write a history around data supported by legends and call it Science.

He wrote a history from eyewitness accounts, supported by as much hard data as was available 65 years ago, and you claim some essential difference.

And I laugh.

Not at Min though . . . he's past that. To pity.
E.P. Grondine

Re: Black Death Asteroid

Post by E.P. Grondine »

uniface wrote: He wrote a history from eyewitness accounts,
uniface wrote: supported by as much hard data as was available 65 years ago,
uniface wrote: and you claim some essential difference.

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