» Home > In the News

The Ring and the Ice

31 October 2013

We are all aware of Tolkein's Lord of the Rings but where did the idea of a magical ring come from. Was it a temporary phenomenon seen in the sky (temporary giving rise to magic and the concept it would return again in the future) that appeared on different occasions in the past. It crops up in mythology quite a bit – and the ring is also a feature of Apocryphal literature. The obvious parallel is with the rings of Saturn. They were at first regarded as rock fragments similar to the composition of a meteor shower. Gerard Kuiper measured them as long ago as 1948 and came up with a figure of 41,500 miles across (composed of three separate rings with widths up to 16,000 miles. Kuiper was surprised the rings were so thick and he considered rocks were incapable of reflecting so much light and the consensus moved that the rings are composed of ice and icy particles.

Donald Patten at www.creationism.org/patten/PattenBiblFlood/PattenBiblFlood06.htm … in chapter VI of his book, 'The Biblical Flood and the Ice Epoch' and with the chapter title of 'Glaciogenesis; the source of the ice epoch' has suggested (prior to recent Saturnian space discoveries) that the origin of the ice (in the rings) was not on Saturn itself but came from an icy object that disintegrated as a result of Saturn's enormous gravitational field. The basic idea seems to be to show that the ice that accumulated in the Ice Ages could actually have also been derived from a space object – with or without a ring around the Earth.

Patten says Ice Age Theory only allows transport via climate and terrestrial wind systems – and all theories consider snow fell in the glacial regions because of their altitude and situation in the northern hemisphere, and because the weather was cold. Uniformitarian theories, he assures, involve snow falling over very long periods of time, settling and building up the ice sheet.

He then uses Pompeii and the rapid manner in which humans have been preserved in the ash and pumice as a result of instant asphyxiation and burial, and transfers this event to the end of Ice Age preservation of animals such as mammoths. He says their carcasses were frozen quickly – at extremely cold temperatures -temperatures that must have been colder than anything on Earth. Finding out any genuine information on this is almost impossible from a mainstream angle. All they want to talk about is the role of human hunters, or the individual finds (rather than the big picture, the sort of thing described by Patten). One can easily get an impression that only the odd mammoth died after being trapped in a snow drift or a hole in the ground, at various points of time during the Ice Ages. Here, we may note, there is a distinct flaw also in Patten's theory as he lumps all the mammoth deaths in one event, the Flood. Neither does he distinguish between an event at around 40,000 years ago, the end of the Ice Age, around 17,000 years ago, and the onset of the Younger Dryas event, at 13,000 years ago (as well as the well documented series of Heinrich events during the Ice Age). Patten outlines the enormous amount of bones in the far north derived from animals that died and their remains were partially preserved because of the cold. Further south, the bones can still be dug out of the ground, but they are not so obvious – or so well preserved. Siberian ivory has been used for hundreds of years in China and elsewhere, and possibly for thousands of years. There is so much ivory piled up in heaps in parts of Siberia and the islands of the Arctic Ocean that it is thought the supply will never run out. In that respect Patten is telling us things mainstream does not like to admit too readily. Velikovsky described the situation in his book Earth in Upheaval – a book that opened the eyes of a lot of people, as far as the scale of destruction during the Late Pleistocene is concerned.

Patten makes the point that uniformitarians cannot adequately explain the death and rapid preservation of so many Ice Age mammals – sometimes whole herds are preserved, in situ. He also asks the question, was the cold that killed them (an assumption) natural, or unnatural, earthly or unearthly. Patten has an agenda – and the fact his book is up at a Creationist web site shows what that agenda consists of, and essentially we can expect him to think in terms of everything happening fairly recently. Earth history in general is treated like a concertina, reduced to a few events. Funnily enough, this is also a feature of the EU theory – but the reasons are less obvious. Be that as it may, the extinctions in the Pleistocene are not addressed properly in mainstream circles – as if they don't want to discuss the issue. You have to go to a Creationist web site, or book, in order to get a handle on it all. In that respect Patten is providing a service that other people involved in the science are not doing.

Getting back to the ice, and this is what this post is about, Patten says that in the consensus view, ice that builds up to 15,000 feet thick reaches a point where it begins to flow outwards, at a rate faster than it built up. Much faster. This is used to explain why the ice at the bottom of Antarctic cores is not as old as the theory allows – by a long way. It is assumed old ice exists in some places on Antarctica, caught up and unable to flow – but where that ice might be is something else. It has yet to be discovered. None of this of course disproves the uniformitarian theory as ice cores cover just a fraction of the ice sheet and there is always the possibility they will eventually hit the jackpot.

Next, Patten draws attention to the fact that the snow did not accumulate with the N Pole as a centre point (yet the N Pole is perhaps the coldest area of the planet). Instead, the snow (or ice sheet) accumulated with the Magnetic North Pole at the centre (between Baffin Island and NW Greenland). The idea that ice settled in the northernmost areas where it was coldest is contradicted, he says, by where it is actually found. For example, it did not settle over most of Siberia (if anywhere in Siberia) or the greater part of Alaska. The ice covered an area southwards to the 37th latitude (halfway to the equator, in his words). He makes the point that Illinois is 500 miles closer to the Magnetic Pole that it is to the geographical North Pole – and people in Illinois still get a better view of the aurora borealis that most of Siberia. He adds, because this is the point he wishes to make, that the ice fell out of the sky at this location, but it could equally have been deposited even closer to the equator. In saying that he loses the rather novel idea of an association of the ice sheet with magnetic north – assuming the snow really did drop out of space. In contrast, Peter Warlow at the last SIS Cambridge Conference, claimed the geographical pole was just offshore Greenland – and assumed the poles had shifted. In that view the ice sheet accumulated around the new Pole – which is why there was no ice sheet in Siberia or most of Alaska. When it shifted to its present location the ice sheet rapidly melted – but gradually built up again. In fact, the ice remained on Greenland as there was no requirement of this bit of the ice sheet to melt. The Great Lakes were formed by the melting process. In other words, the end of the ice sheet was a rapid process – it did not take hundreds or thousands of years as some geologists and ocean scientists have suggested (trying to make sense of changing sea levels). How the poles can move at the axis is the elephant in the room – as they say. However, as scientists just accept the poles have not moved for millions, if not billions of years, nobody has been looking at possible mechanisms.

Getting back to Patten, we may wonder if i) ice fell out of the sky, ii)  the parallel with the magnetic north pole is simply a coincidence as that is where the previous geographical pole may have been, and iii) not an awful lot is known about the magnetic poles, or why they might move around, or what they actually do. At the same time it is a rather intuitive theory that ice and/or snow fell predominantly at the magnetic poles rather than at the geographical poles. What does this imply?

Patten adds, ' … in noticing the location of the aurora borealis in association with the location of the ice mass' …'is there cause and effect involved'. The aurora has a connection with the Van Allen belts (and he wrote this years ago, remember). During heavy sun spot activity (he means coronal mass ejections and solar flares) charged particles are emitted and interact with the magnetic field of the Earth. He is suggesting there might be a propensity for space rock material to fall in certain places with a direct association with the magnetic field – which may or may not be true. We may also note that Patten requires a space object from a very cold region of the solar system to come within the vicinity of the Earth – and for some reason unleash lots of icy material. The object may even have had an origin in the galactic region beyond the solar system. This is rather interesting as Clube and Napier have a huge comet coming close to the Earth at the onset of the Late Glacial Maximum, creating conditions for an Ice Age (by overloading the upper atmosphere with particles of ice and dust). Now, that could well have created a ring around the Earth – and that ring may well have induced the coldest of the temperatures, in the final throes of the last Ice Age. However, two and two don't add up to five – could a huge comet deposit huge amounts of ice on the surface of the Earth?

On page 14 of 20 Patten actually mentions comets together with the ice. However, the emphasis of the chapter from Patten's book is the way he takes apart the uniformitarian explanations. On page 16 of 20 he says, 'every evidence suggests that the descent of ice occurred suddenly, in great volume, at extremely low temperatures, and over a vast area …' and 'there may have been five or six separate crescendos of ice …'which is clearly part of his agenda, turning five or six Ice Ages into a single event with surges in the amount falling being used to magically erase those separate events. Ignoring the Young Earth basics of the article (just as we might ignore the CAGW bits in a modern geological or climate science article) it is possible to recognise the germ of a good idea – involving comets and the magnetic poles. Hence, Patten should not be dismissed solely because he dates the events (above) to a fairly recent period of time.

Skip to content