Alternative sky serpents

10 May 2011

Alternative sky serpents include enhanced aurorae (as advocated by Rens van der Sliujs on ) or comets (Clube and Napier used this idea in the title of their book, The Cosmic Serpent, Faber and Faber:1982). Whereas the jet streams are associated with atmospheric phenomena (storms, weather patterns that stick, heavy persistent rainfall etc) and aurorae are visual and sometimes viewed with awe and wonder. Very large solar flares have the potential to be destructive and are associated with enhanced aurorae visible in middle latitudes, an unusual occurrence that might have provoked features of folklore. Comets on the other hand are just blobs in the night sky that rarely trouble the human world - unless the Taurid complex theory has traction. Now, the idea of comets, or their entrails, coming into contact with the atmosphere of the earth has met strong resistance - a brick wall in fact. It runs counter to uniformitarian boundary lines. However, a small body of researchers have continued to push at the skirts of conventional science, including some big name astronomers - and a whiff of this radicalism can be gleaned from George Howard's web site There are also lesser known sites and blogs, such as 'A Catastrophe of Comets' and one of them provoked this post - this is in which geology is invoked. The difficulty mainstream geologists have in explaining some features on the ground is a field wide open for speculation. Just as the Space Age has given impetus to a perceived threat from Near Earth Objects, Google Earth has enabled the geology of the world to be explored by computer screen - and anybody can participate in looking for craters and impact signatures. Scientists no long move in territory out of bounds to outsiders - Joe Public is peering over their shoulders. We have seen how refreshing this development has been with climate science - amateur sleuths digging mines under the elaborate doomsayings of vested interests and apocalyptic greenery. The same is happening with other common theories deeply entrenched by the education system and savants of conventional dogma. The idea that things happened in the recent past that are not currently happening does not sit happily with uniformitarianism - but what is more important. The truth, or the consensus?