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Aborigine stories

16 June 2015

At www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-32701311 (19th May 2015) the Luritja people of central Australia once told stories of a fire devil coming down from the Sun, crashing into the Earth, and killing everything in the vicinity. The legend is describing a meteor  tha struck Australia's central desert region 4700 years ago according to astrophysicist Duane Hamacher.

Another Aboriginal story, of the Bumbitjamara tribe, describe a gigantic wave coming far inland and killing every one that did not find refuge on high ground. They were able to name the different locations where people survived. Hamacher and James Goff (both from the University of New South Wales) took core samples from location between 500m and 1km inland and at each spot they found a layer of ocean sediment about 2m bleow the surface, indicating a tsunami had washed over the area at some point in the past.

Another story from coastal Aboriginal people may actually describe sea level rise between 7000 and 11000 years ago. The stories were documented in the colonial period and recently scientists thought it worth while to dust them down and have another look. They referred to water levels rising over coastal areas that had once been dry land.

Aboriginal people have a predilection for accuracy in their accounts of the past – even down to minute details in rock art. Many of their stories have been lost for ever as the old languages have died out or shrunk in usage, which is such a pity – from a catastrophist point of view. One reason for ignoring the stories has always been the Western mind set that they understood the past – a sort of intellectual arrogance. Uniformitarianism has ruled the roost for over a hundred years and any suggestion of catastrophism, in legends as well as hypotheses, even something humdrum such as a meteor or a tsunami, was rigorously opposed, and just as rigorously avoided. The act of ignoring evidence is what consensus science is best at – anything contradicting the consensus must be erroneous. As a result of this attitude an awful lot of information, recorded by 19th century people and derived directly from tribal groups around the world, was ignored – or lost. Nowadays the tribal peoples are almost extinct – the steamroller of modernity has overtaken the old stories.

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