CHRONOLOGY & CATASTROPHISM REVIEW 2005, 2006 and 2007 (1 issue per year). ARTICLE ABSTRACTS/EXTRACTS

Chronology & Catastrophism REVIEW 2005                                Click here for cost

An Unexplained Arctic Catastrophe - Part II: Some Unanswered Questions, by Derek S. Allan
 
As the primary intention of my previous survey of the Sibero-Alaskan 'permafrost' formation was to emphasise its apparent cataclysmic origin around 11,500 years ago, its remarkable geographical extent, the enigmatic character of its composition and its locally enormous vertical depth [1], certain other related factors and problems were not perforce touched upon then. Six of these, now considered below, need to be satisfactorily accommodated if this great Arctic mystery is ever to be properly unravelled. ....................
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Catastrophes and the History of Life on Earth, by Trevor Palmer 
 
Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, the gradualistic paradigm, championed in the previous century by Charles Lyell and Charles Darwin, had seemed beyond challenge. As envisaged by Darwin, biological evolution proceeded in a slow and stately fashion, through the mechanism of natural selection. ....................... In contrast to this notion of extinction through competition, as new improved species gradually developed, nineteenth century catastrophists such as Adam Sedgwick, William Buckland and William Whewell, saw the extinction of species as evidence of episodic global convulsions. .............. evolutionary gradualism dominated, in supreme fashion, for over half a century. ............ In the middle of the twentieth century, Immanuel Velikovsky .... challenged this prevailing gradualistic paradigm,  ..................
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When the Sea Flooded Britain: A Catastrophic Late Holocene Isostatic Interlude along the Eastern Seaboard of England and Scotland, by Steve Mitchell
 
This article is a preliminary assessment of the nature and extent of the evidence for relative sea-level changes in the period from around AD 400 until AD 1700. It will seek to show that much of the eastern and southern coast of Britain was under the sea by up to 30 metres or more in the late Roman/early Medieval period. This resulted in a landscape that was dramatically different from that today, which has profound implications for our understanding of British early Medieval history [1]. ..................
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A Reply to Palmer's 'In Search of Alter Egos', by Emmet J. Sweeney
 
The title of Trevor Palmer's paper, 'In Search of Alter Egos' [1], is instructive. He begins by stating an obvious truth: 'It is', he wrote,'relatively easy to find some points of loose similarity between almost any two historical figures'. Later in the same paragraph he warns that, 'One simply cannot, with any justification, select a few details from historical accounts and use them as evidence of a particular theory, whilst arbitrarily disregarding all aspects that point to a different conclusion'. Indeed one cannot, but as I have pointed out before, my reconstruction ......... is not based on such a premise. It is, on the contrary, based on the much more powerful dictates of stratigraphy. .....The simple fact is that in Mesopotamia and elsewhere outside the Persian heartland, there are no substantial Persian remains (contrary to what Palmer has claimed; see my letter on the topic in C&C Workshop 2004:4, pp. 34-35). ....................   The alter egos are required by the logic of the stratigraphic evidence............................ it is of course possible that the alter ego identifications I have suggested could be wrong; and indeed Palmer criticises each and every one of them. But how fair are the types of criticisms he offers? .....................
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The Stream Surrounding the Earth, by Moe Mandelkehr
 
The encounter of the Earth with a dense meteoroid stream at 2300 BC was a terrifying experience for all peoples on the Earth. .................. the event was interpreted as a visitation of the gods and religions appeared in all areas. The phenomena observed in the heavens were described as the activities of those gods. ............... The actual meteoroid fall was an important part of the affair and is reflected in the widespread stories of thunderbolts and other miscellaneous fiery objects hurled from the sky. However, the dominant aspect of the encounter was the temporary formation of a ring surrounding the Earth. This took centre stage in all religions. ........................... The question addressed in this article is whether there are recorded mytholigies relating to the ring around the Earth at 2300 BC, providing a further corroboration of the encounter of the Earth with the Taurid meteoroid stream at that time? ...................................
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Some Implications of Saunders' Lunar Hypothesis, by David Salkeld
 
In the Proceedings of the SIS Silver Jubilee Event, Len Saunders summarises his article, 'Evidence from the Moon, Newgrange and Stonehenge Indicates Lunar Disturbance' (hereafter ELD), as follows:
 
'Four features of the moon, the carvings at the Newgrange passage grave, cup and ring marks elsewhere and the Station Stones at Stonehenge have defied detailed explanation. Prompted by the Newgrange carvings a model is presented which accounts for all these conundrums: In historical times the plane of the Moon's orbit slowly turned 180o about the Earth. The sequence of events is identified.' [1]
 
This [paper] discusses concepts proposed in ELD, first in terms of related mytho-historical records and then from a dynamical standpoint. Assuming the stones at Newgrange are a reliable record of what was seen by prehistoric man, and that they relate to the Moon, ...........................................................
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Chronology & Catastrophism REVIEW 2006                               Click here for cost

Bias in the Writing of History - by Irving Wolfe  

Having read Charles Ginenthal's Pillars of the Past - a book which advocates the priority of scientific evidence in determining when events may have occurred in the ancient past over speculations by historians - one of the inescapable doubts that arises from a critical study of ancient chronology is the suspicion that any official version of history that has come down to us may be the distorted result of pressure and prejudice, not of fact, and could be purposefully misleading in the service of a political aim and in denial of evidence. Falsehood in historical writing should not be surprising, because every ancient historical narrative that has survived, (every so-called 'historical record'), was probably approved by and paid for by the reigning power when it was written, so its debt to data would naturally be far smaller than its dedication to propaganda, praise and myth-mongering.  We do not imagine there was an unfettered press or free speech in ancient Egypt, nor that the court historians of the 'Two Rivers' pursued the truth above all else. In a dictatorship, truth is always the victim. When, therefore, we confront any ancient historical narrative about the exploits or lineage of a nation written by a citizen or servant of that country, we must always wonder if it is a hack or an honest man who speaks to us out of the past. ..........
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Velikovskian Catastrophism: Science or Pseudoscience? - by Paul Sukys

This latest appraisal of the scientific value of Dr Immanuel Velikovsky's work is in relation to the ideas of Sir Karl Popper (philosopher of science) and is still approriate after some 20-30 years as, in many quarters, Velikovsky's work is still dismissed as 'psuedoscience'. Those who have come lately to the SIS may not be aware of all past arguments supporting the scientific value of many of his ideas in Worlds in Collision and Earth in Upheaval - arguments presented over the years, in SIS publications, Velikovsky Reconsidered, Kronos and others. Even today, such publications are considered by many as important and essential reading. Long-standing SIS members may also have forgotten much of what they have read and this paper will, hopefully, serve as a timely reminder. .....................
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The Feasts and the Crescents - by Lynn E. Rose 

In Chapter Nineteen of Sun, Moon, and Sothis [1], I responded to what I have called 'the Edgerton challenge' [2], that is, I used astronomical evidence from the El-Lahun papyri to arrive at an absolute chronology for the 12th Egyptian Dynasty. The principal data provided by the El-Lahun papyri are a Sothic date and 39 other attested or implied dates of either the first invisibility or the first invisibility of the Moon. (In the book, I had recognized only 36 of these lunar dates). After nearly a century of retentiveness by scholars - spanning and doubling the nearly half-century of scholarly retentiveness that had affected the Dead Sea Scrolls - the El-Lahun papyri were finally and magnificently published by Luft in 1992, with hieroglyphic transcriptions, German translations and 73 photographs [3]. It was the publication of Luft's book that finally made it possible for me to meet the Edgerton challenge. ..............................
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Can the Persian Chronology be Revised? - Part I (An essay Review of Rolf Furuli's, Persian Chronology and the Length of the Babylonian Exile of the Jews (Oslo: R. Furuli A/S, 2003)  - by Carl Olof Jonsson 

Rolf Furuli is a lecturer in Semitic languages at the University of Oslo. According to the title of his book, two chronological questions ar discussed: 1. The Persian chronology and 2. the length of the Babylonian exile of the Jews.

........... Furuli claims there is a conflict between the astronomical cuneiform tablets and the biblical information on the length of the Jewish exile. On the back cover of the book he states the 'problem' as follows: 

'The astronomical diary VAT 4956 indicates that Nebuchadnezzar's 37th year was 568 BCE and the tablet Strm Kambys 400 indicates that Cambyses' 7th year was 523 BCE. This leaves only about 50 years for the Babylonian Exile of the Jews, whereas the Bible unambiguously says that Jerusalem was a desolate waste for 70 years. One or two of the sources must be wrong, but which one(s)? The purpose of the book is to throw light on this question.' ......................
               
...... In the present review .... I will restrict myself to a discussion of Furuli's attempt to revise the chronology of the Persian era. ...............   
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Chronology & Catastrophism REVIEW 2007                                  Click here for cost
 
Fitting Lunar Dates - by Daphne Chappell 
 
In his article, 'The Feasts and the Crescents' [1], Lynn Rose claimed to prove that the 12th Dynasty in Egypt belonged in the 4th century BC. Do 36 lunar dates really prove he is correct? Is astronomy as infallible as he claims and can we really ignore inscriptions carved in stone and contemporary dated documents. Lynn Rose ..... casts aside all the historical evidence, claiming that: 'archaeology and history, if they are sciences at all, are subaltern, subsidiary, and subservient' to the astronomical evidence [2]. What are we to make of his claim that the Middle Kingdom was not known to the New Kingdom? A five-minute trawl of my bookcase turned up the following evidence that it did precede the New Kingdom:  ........................
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Waters, Mountains and Serpents Surrounding the Earth - by Moe Mandelkehr 
 
..........A dominant feature of the 2300 BC encounter of the Earth with the Taurid meteroid stream was the formation of a ring extending around the Earth having a 70 degree inclination angle. The appearance of the ring spawned religions among all peoples, and the mythologies, as a part of those religions, describing the ring exist today. Two papers covering the ring have appeared in Chronology & Catastrophism Review [3]. The first paper established a physical rationale for the creation of the ring and the second paper portrayed the ring as a stream of water, a celestial ocean or a heavenly river as it would be interpreted by observers on the Earth. ...........................In this paper, I will present two new manifestations - mountains and serpents - and I will follow the same format as the previous paper on water. ................
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Velikovskian Catastrophism: Science or Pseudoscience? Part II - Thagard, Feyerabend and Hempel - by Paul Sukys 
 
A puzzling controversy lies at the heart of the philosophy of science. That controversy involves the question of whether there is a trustworthy way to determine the difference between a theory that deserves to be designated as scientific and one that must be described as merely pseudoscientific [1]. This controversy has had a clear effect on Immanuel Velikovsky's theory of catastrophism, especially as it relates to his use of ancient texts to challenge the orthodox explanation for the origin and evolution of the solar system. Velikovsky has offered a fresh view on the evolution of the solar system, as well as a revolutionary way to understand human history as it emerged under the influence of that evolutionary process. However, Velikovsky's theory has been challenged repeatedly by scientific orthodoxy and so, even at this late date, the question remains as to whether Velikovsky's theory represents a genuine, verifiable picture of the solar system, or merely a fantastic set of conjectures based on wishful thinking. However, a deeper and more profound issue may actually lie at the heart of this controversy. That question is whether the propositions put forward by Velikovsky, or by any scholar who operates outside of scientific orthodoxy, should be abandoned when some, but not all, of his predictions have been challenged, some successfully, or whether we should look at the deeper side of that scholar's theory to determine whether there are some aspects of his work that are worth preserving.  ...................
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On Epicycles and Ellipses - by Laurence Dixon 
 
The ancient Greek astronomers invented a model of the solar system based on epicycles. The most famous of these astronomers was Claudius Ptolemy, who lived in the second century AD, and it is his model that we will consider [1]. By the fifteenth century, the planets were not in the positions in the sky predicted by his model, and due to the observations by Tycho Brahe [2] and the work of Nicolas Copernicus [3], Johannes Kepler [4] and Isaac Newton [5], a new model of the solar system was constructed, based on ellipses. In this paper we will consider the differences between the two types of models and show that the reason for the differences in their predictions is not due to the reasons often stated. ...........
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Open-Mindedness and Ancient Chronology (an initial response to Carl Olof Jonsson's 'Can the Persian Chronology Be Revised?) - by Rolf J. Furuli, Phd
 
A two-page article is too short to address the real issues contained in Part I of Jonsson's article in Chronology & Catastrophism Review 2006, so for the moment I have chosen to focus on the real nature of chronological studies, showing that we need to approach the ancient past with an open mind and a humble attitude, and not draw sweeping conclusions or rely too much upon secondary and tertiary information. Another book of mine is due to be published in about one month and I will use some examples from it in this paper. Since I will not be able to properly address the real issue of Jonsson's articles (Part II in this issue of C&C Review, as well as Part I in C&C Review 2006) before 2009, I think it is as well for readers of Jonsson's articles to know that discussions of some of the issues he has raised will be found in my book [see end of this paper]. In his 2006 article, Jonsson refers to my words about VAT 4956, and the book will also contain a linguistic and philological analysis of this tablet  ....................
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Can the Persian Chronology be Revised? An Essay Review of Rolf Furuli's, Persian Chronology and the Length of the Babylonian Exile of the Jews (Oslo: R. Furuli A/S 2003). Part II: The Reign of Artaxerxes I - by Carl Olof Jonsson

As was described in Part I of this essay review (C&C Review 2006), Rolf Furuli's attempt to revise the chronology of the Persian period involves four deviations from the traditional chronology: ....................... The first two revisions proposed by Furuli (A & B) were discussed in Part I of the essay. The third revision (C) is treated in this second part. The fourth (D) will be discussed in Part III.  ...........................
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