ASTRAL CATASTROPHISM (or celestial catastrophism) is a basic view for the history of our planet, and of the other planets in our solar system. It presumes periodically disturbed and conflicting conditions, and those, at least to an extent, have been relatively recent. Evidence is derived not from just one or two planetary systems, but from most, and perhaps from every one of them.
The uniformitarian approach, launched by Kant in the middle of the 18th century, presupposes that all planets, all satellites and all asteroids were formed from the parent solar material, whether by solar contractions or solar catastrophes. The uniformitarian view also presupposes that the current planetary orbits have existed for millions, if not billions of years, rather than thousands of years. The uniformitarian view contends that the Biblical Flood could not have occurred, except as a form of unusual cyclonic weather patterns of a local nature. The catastrophic view contends that not just the Earth, but virtually every planet has experienced astral havoc of one sort or another, and to one degree or another.
PLUTO, with an orbital eccentricity of 0.249, is the outermost known planet, most of the time. It averages 880,000,000 miles more distant than Neptune. Nevertheless it does approach the Sun more closely than does Neptune, an observation for which uniformitarianism has no explanation, an observation causing astronomers to suspect a historical interaction. Pluto is not a strong example of uniformitarianism.
NEPTUNE possesses two satellites, Nereid and Triton, both of which revolve in retrograde direction, an extraordinary direction for satellites in our solar system. Nereid, with an eccentricity of 0.749, seemingly almost escaped from the Neptune region. Halley's comet, along with most of the other Neptunian comets, also possesses retrograde motion, like Neptune's moons. If Pluto has historically interacted with Neptune, it no doubt has also interacted with Nereid and Triton. Nereid was unsuccessful in escaping the Neptune system. But some of the comets of the Neptune region, also possessing retrograde motion, may have successfully escaped Neptune. They then may have taken the Sun for one of its two foci, and the region of Neptune for the other. The Neptune system with such satellites as Nereid, is hardly a case for uniformitarianism.
Many astronomers have supposed that Neptune and Pluto formerly interacted; Kuiper and a few other astronomers have supposed that Jupiter and Pluto formerly interacted. Pluto's perihelion is 2,761,000,000 miles from the Sun whereas Neptune's perihelion is somewhat more distant, some 2,772,000,000 miles from the Sun. But Pluto's orbit has two foci. Its aphelion is 4,589,-000,000 miles from the Sun. And its second foci is 1,828,000,000 miles from the Sun.
URANUS, coincidentally, has an orbit ranging from 1,700,-000,000 to 1,868,000,000 miles from the Sun, and Pluto's second foci happens to coincide with the orbit of Uranus, even as Halley's comet's second foci coincides with the orbit of Neptune.
Uranus exhibits other non-uniform arrangements. Most planets possess a modest tilt in their axis, variously between 3 and 29°. Nevertheless the axis of Uranus deviates from its ecliptic plane by 98°. It rotates 8° backwards from the direction of its revolving motion, a most unusual circumstance. Furthermore, the satellites of Uranus also revolve around Uranus' equatorial plane, and not the orbital plane. There is no possible explanation for this in uniformitarian cosmogony; furthermore there is no basis provided to even hazard a guess, because planetary catastrophism and galactogenesis are disallowed.
SATURN, with its brilliant, icy fragments formed into rings, revolving on a disc-like plane, all within Roche's limit for fragmentation, is hardly the best example of celestial uniformitarianism. But it is an outstanding example of icy catastrophism.
JUPITER, the largest planet in our solar system, is considered to be the region of origin for Pluto by the astronomer Kuiper, and for Venus by the cosmologist Velikovsky. Velikovsky supposes that Jupiter expelled Venus by some unexplained mechanism. This writer does not share either of the above opinions.
Nevertheless there is a remarkable aspect of the Jupiter system which leads one to suspect that the influences of Jupiter have been rather extensive, historically. This is the example of the Trojan Asteroids. There are some 12 of these, named after such Homeric heroes as Achilles.
They do not orbit or oscillate around Jupiter like Jupiter's moons. Rather, they oscillate around points some 400,000.000 to 500,000,000 miles distant from Jupiter, some east of Jupiter and others west of Jupiter. They proceed in orbits in such a manner that they, at all times, form an equilateral triangle with the locations of Jupiter and the Sun, the other two corners of the triangle.
Kuiper may be wrong concerning his idea that Pluto once revolved around Jupiter; Velikovsky may be wrong in his view that Venus was the product of an expulsion from Jupiter. Nevertheless, the Trojan Asteroids are suggestive that at least some remarkable conditions have occurred in Jupiter's past.
VENUS is the planet which, according to Velikovsky, may have interacted with the Earth during the 2nd millennium B.C.1 This author prefers to lay open the suspicion that Venus may have indeed interacted with the Earth, but rather may have been responsible for the primordial hydrocarboniferous catastrophic era. This suspicion is increased with the evidence of heavy and complex hydrocarbons in the Venusian atmosphere. Velikovsky may have confused Venus with Mars.
This writer is not satisfied with everything in Velikovsky's presentation of this event. However, the writer is most dissatisfied with Velikovsky's destructive critics, professional men and women who have publicly displayed a substantial amount of both ignorance and poor judgment.
The Earth was seemingly engaged in astral havoc at least four times. One era was the 8th century B.C. Another was the 15th century B.C. A third era was approximately the 28th century B.C., the Flood crisis era. Yet an earlier era of celestial havoc, prior to the age of man, was perhaps some 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. And there may be others in the dateless past.
Concerning these specific catastrophes, it would be most likely that the other planets involved are still revolving around in the solar system, and especially in the inner regions of the solar system; it is not likely that they disappeared in the remote regions beyond Pluto. It would be likely that some of these bodies which engaged the Earth would have resultant perihelions closer to the Sun than does the Earth. Venus possesses such a perihelion, some 67,000,000 miles from the Sun, and some 26,000,000 miles from the Earth at opposition.
MERCURY possesses such a perihelion, some 29,000,000 miles from the Sun. Mercury also possesses an aphelion about 43,000,000 miles from the Sun, and an orbital eccentricity of 0.206, second only to that of Pluto among the planets. How did Mercury achieve such an orbital eccentricity if it were not disturbed and redisturbed? And how did the tiny Mercury achieve such a heavy density, 5.46, second only only to the Earth's 5.52 among the planets? This is much heavier than the Sun's density of 1.41, a major problem for any heliogenetical uniformitarian theory to explain.
The guess of this writer is that Mercury may have been the Visitor which interacted with the Earth during the Flood crisis. It may have subsequently interacted with Venus also. If Mercury is not that Visitor, it leaves only Mars and Venus for leading alternatives. With deference to Velikovsky, this writer agrees that Venus can be eliminated.
MARS is then the only remaining possibility to account for the Flood crisis; it can also be eliminated. Some of the reasons are described by Velikovsky.2 The reason Mars can be eliminated as the partner in the Flood celestial drama is because it apparently was the partner in another later celestial drama, the one in the 8th century B.C. Of course the uniformitarian thinkers will give no time to consideration of such a possibility. This means that they have numerous coincidences which they must face, coincidences which they must explain if they genuinely feel they have the superior cosmology. Consider some of these coincidences.
Mars has a rotational speed of 24 hours, 37 minutes in sidereal time. The Earth, coincidentally, has a rotational speed of 23 hours, 56 minutes, in sidereal time. This is a differential of 41 minutes, a differential of but 2.9%. This, in uniformitarian thinking, is a remarkable coincidence.
Mars has an axis which tilts 24° to the perpendicular of its orbital plane. Our planet has an axis which, by way of coincidence, tilts 23 1/2°. This is a differential of about 2%, a second remarkable coincidence.
A third coincidence in uniformitarian thinking, the allegory of Jonathan
Swift is now recalled, along with the mythical Lilliputians and Laputans.
The Laputans, according to Swift, possessed superior telescopes to the
The Laputans apparently knew all about the satellites of Mars, their physical
diameters, their orbital diameters, and their speed of revolution some
150 years before such was discovered by later astronomers who eventually
built better telescopes.
This is an amazing coincidence. Of course, Swift might have reasoned as follows: It was known that Earth had 1 moon, Jupiter had 4 and Saturn had 7 at the time he was writing his book. It was reasonable to suppose that Saturn might have an 8th moon hidden somewhere and, in that case, if Mars had 2 moons, there would be a nice list of numbers.
As one moved outward from the sun, beginning at Earth, the number of moons for each planet would be 1, 2, 4, 8. Then too, the moons of Mars would have to be small and close to the planet, or even Europeans with their "poor" telescopes would have discovered them.
So far, Swift's thinking can be followed. However, his guess that Phobos would rise in the west and set in the east because of its speed of revolution is uncanny. It is undoubtedly the luckiest guess in literature.
Furthermore, this "guess" by Swift was a guess by a literary man rather than an astronomer. It is described by the disturbed and astounded Asimov in the strongest possible terms describing coincidence which Asimov's command of the English language would allow.4
This paper is not necessarily disagreeing with Asimov. This paper agrees that this indeed is an amazing coincidence, but it is a coincidence many magnitudes greater than Asimov visualizes, if it indeed is a coincidence at all, particularly if the following facts mean anything.
During the 8th century B.C., the Old Testament writers reveal that their world experienced a series of catastrophes, which seem to have had either 15 or 30 year intervals. Amos described one; Micah described one (also described by Josephus and later by Zechariah). Isaiah described the last of these, which was apparently also the worst. He described such phenomena as the Earth wobbling like a drunkard, a blast falling from heaven, and the Sun returning, or suddenly going retrograde in the sky about 10°. This was a time replete with celestial cosmology, disturbed calendars, intense earthquakes, and falling meteorites.
Homer, the celestial bard of Greece, also lived in the 8th century B.C. By way of coincidence he also described the Greek-Trojan conflict as if it were a war among the sky-gods of Greece and Troy. He described it as if it were replete with celestial crises, earthquakes, and extra-terrestrial fortunes. He described this age as if it was a time when Ares in particular (Mars) went to war, and warred with both Hera (Earth) and Aphrodite (the Moon), among others. In this conflict the walls of Troy were destroyed.
Simultaneously, by way of coincidence, the Assyrians described their troubles in terms of astral fortunes, particularly to Nergal (Mars), he who was the "king of battle," the "champion of the gods," and the "king of the chase."
And simultaneously, in terms of uniformitarian coincidence, some Etruscan migrants from Tuscany in Italy founded Rome on the Tiber. With their war-like and "martial" spirit, they established Rome, which they dedicated to the wolf-star, Mars (or Martis, from which our word "martial" is derived). Their wolf-star, so important to them in the era of the founding of Rome in the 8th century B.C., was also seemingly related to the legend of Romulus and Remus who, as infants, were supposedly preserved by the "wolf-star."
Now of course Homer could not have been describing real astronomical conditions of his time, according to uniformitarian thought. But let us suppose that really he might have been, and the modern uniformitarians are the ones who are mistaken about the 8th century B.C. rather than Homer (or Isaiah). Then both Swift and Whiston might have been correct in their interpretation of ancient cosmology. Then Mars may have actually approached the Earth, and wrought havoc in its approach.
Then Deimos and Phobos may actually have been seen by ancient Grecian eyes. Ares, to them, was indeed drawn by two steeds, not two mythological steeds, but rather by two real steeds, at least in their view. Deimos is not really a moon in the general sense; it is a rock about five miles in diameter. Phobos is about 10 miles in diameter. They are moons in the minuscule sense. Apparently ancient Grecian eyes were able to see not only Phobos but also Deimos. Apparently they were not only able to see them, but were also able to measure them, track them, and correlate them to the rotation of Mars (or Ares). How close must a rock of five miles be to be seen, measured and tracked?
Saturn, with a planetary diameter of 72,000 miles, plus a brilliant ring diameter of 171,000 miles, and at a distance of 800,000,000 to 950,000,000 miles, is just visible to the naked eye. A five-mile rock might be visible at 150,000 miles; measuring and tracking would be more likely at or within 100,000 miles. This is just uncomfortably close, but the ancients in the 8th century B.C. were just that uncomfortable, according to their writings integrated with their cosmologies. This would cause tidal upheavals along the ocean shores, but also in the magma within the Earth's crust, and would cause seismic shocks of major scales. And not only were the walls of Troy destroyed during this era; Isaiah describes the walls of Jerusalem, some 40 feet thick and 100 feet high, as suddenly breached, along with the aqueducts. Their repair became Hezekiah's leading WPA project. And also, Hezekiah found that the Passover festival was gradually becoming later and later in the spring. He found it necessary to add 5 intercalary days in order to make the calendar work.
Prior to the 8th century B.C. the Hebrew calendar included new moon
festivals, celebrated every 30 days, and annual festivals, celebrated every
360 days. (Today the Moon has a 28 1/2 day orbit, and the Earth has a 365
1/4 day orbit.) And the Hebrew calendar of 360 days looks surprisingly
similar to the geometric circle of the astronomical-minded Babylonians,
who divided it into 360 degrees, as if it might have had something to do
with the calendar. But, of course, all this must be coincidence, if the
uniformitarians are not mistaken. Also, according to sundials and water
clocks which have been unearthed by archaeologists (those which were constructed
prior to 8th century B.C.), it seems as if they failed to measure true
east correctly; their architecture was about 1° in error to our true
east. Now if Mars had just happened to approach the Earth within 100,000
or so miles, this means
(a) it passed well within the Earth-Moon system
(b) it passed well within the Earth's gravitational domain, which is some 1,600,000 miles in diameter
(c) it passed well within the influences of the Earth's magnetic field.
And it has already been noticed that Mars has such a sympathetic period of rotation to the Earth, plus a surprisingly sympathetic tilt to the axis upon which it rotates. A slowly turning armature can be accelerated if it passes within the magnetic field of another rotating armature; they needn't touch. Is it not possible that Mars disturbed the Earth's axis and orbit slightly? And is it not possible that the Earth, with a mass 10 times greater than Mars, substantially reorganized Mars' rotation and axis to resemble its own? This study suspects just that; it suspects more.5
One might wonder why Mars is so heavily pocked or scarred with astroblemes. The face of the Moon is fairly heavily pocked, but not so much so as the backside of the Moon. And the backside of the Moon is not nearly as heavily scarred as is Mars. Mars has craters overlapping and/or within craters, overlapping upon craters, in places in a triple overlay.
Today, Mars has an orbit some 140,000,000 miles from the Sun. If it possessed a more eccentric orbit in history, an orbit which had a perihelion of 90,000,000 miles, it came some 50,000,000 miles closer to the Sun at that time than now. Also, one may presume, it may have also receded some 50,000,000 miles more distant from the Sun than is its present orbit. That would be 190,000,000 to 200,000,000 miles from the Sun. The orbits of the asteroids, battered remains of a former planet, are 190,000,000 to 200,000,000 miles from the Sun.
Why is Mars so heavily scarred with astroblemes? Could this be related to a former orbit, of greater eccentricity, which entered the zone of the asteroids? Where did Mars pick up its two rock-like, asteroid-like satellites, Deimos and Phobos? What is this legend of Electra, a former sister planet in our solar system, all about? Surely, according to Lyellian logic, Mars has been orbiting in its current orbit for millions, or perhaps billions of years. But then what planet caused the fragmentation of Electra, if not Mars?
All of these things must be classified as coincidence because Kant's 18th century uniformitarian cosmology has been classified as true science indeed, and allows no room for such a possibility. Therefore, we ask the uniformitarian mind to at least acknowledge that here, relative to Mars, its satellites, its astroblemes, its cosmological position among the ancients, its rotation, its axis, here we have a uniformitarian coincidence many magnitudes greater than that which Asimov realized. And Asimov described but a small portion of these coincidences in the most extreme possible language which he could command.
However, if the catastrophic proposition just happens to be correct,
then one may ascribe historical interactions of the Earth
(1) with Mars in the 8th and 15th centuries B.C.
(2) probably with Venus in an era verging on the dateless past - and -
(3) with Mercury in the 28th century B.C., the flood era.
There are really six terrestrial planets, but five terrestrial orbits. The planets are Mercury, Venus, the Earth-Moon binary, Mars and Pluto. Pluto's interaction with Neptune may have been as recent as the Earth-Moon system's interaction with Mercury.
Beyond the terrestrial planets are the four Jovian planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. If the galactogenetical proposal is reasonable, they may have been a former quadruple binary which also, through ancient interactions, was dismembered and dispersed by the Sun into its present proximate arrangement. Thus, in the galactogenetic and catastrophic approach, there is a beginning of an explanation for all of the planetary orbits, and not merely the orbits of the Earth, the Moon, Mars or Venus.
Uniformitarianism and Modern Humanism
Probably, the Earth-Moon binary, along with the Sun, as a three body system, can serve to illustrate a point relative to science, truth and uniformitarianism. Our moon, perhaps like science, is a reflector of light. But the moon is not luminous; it is not a source of light; it is merely a reflector, and a rather inefficient reflector at that (its albedo is only 8%). Yet the Moon may reflect a full 8%, some light, or no light at all, depending on its particular position. Perhaps this is a little like science, and scientism, which is the idea that science is truth itself. Perhaps science only reflects truth. And perhaps science can reflect the marvels of the Creator. Perhaps science can reflect the miracles of biological architecture, or physical matter. Perhaps science can reflect a full image, though a dim image of our Creator when properly and catastrophically oriented, even as science reflects no light when uniformitarianly oriented. In this way, science is valuable or confusing, constructive or destructive, depending on the way it is "used."
The famous astronomer, Eddington, made a great quip, of some value,
when he opined that one is no more able to deduce Divine principles from
science than he can extract the square root of a sonnet. Eddington has
endeavored to draw no moral conclusions at all from science. This is considerably
better than Kant, Hutton, Darwin and Marx, who drew massively negative
conclusions from their uniformitarian notions. Yet, Eddington, in drawing
no conclusions, perhaps has made some rather general mistakes. One error
of Eddington's may be that science is in fact be a dim reflector of the
glory of our Maker. Another error of Eddington's seemingly is, in accordance
with uniformitarian propaganda, that Genesis is a sonnet. The fact remains
that Genesis, remarkably good source material on Earth history, is something
more than a sonnet.
Uniformitarianism In Western Civilization
During man's history, numerous civilizations have been organized, and patterns of cyclical development have frequently occurred. Spengler and Toynbee, among others, have commented, and have traced these stages of development. Development has often started with a small number, possessing a pioneer spirit, possessing a stout faith, and possessing a willingness to migrate if necessary. A small group founded what grew into a civilization. Following the founding stage was that of severe test and trial, tests of foreign powers and trials of nature. The testing tended to refine austere principles into the society. Following survival in the early tests was normally a period of rapid economic and political growth.
Following the period of economic and political growth (and population growth) came a golden age of stability and cultural expansion. Cultural expansion took many forms among the arts. As peace and prosperity continued, the older, austere virtues of faith, morality, sacrifice and patriotism no longer continued to be essential; they no longer continued to be virtues.
Under the protective cover or climate of a successful civilization, hedonism became increasingly dominant.6 Anti-spiritual ethics emerged and grew at the expense of the earlier views and virtues. Hedonism became first prominent, secondly dominant, and finally overbearing. The population mostly chose the way of "the flesh" and not the way of "the spirit." Civilization became mostly depraved; it collapsed, due partly to a push from without, but mostly from internal moral and spiritual rotting.
Spengler concluded that the majority of civilizations had a cycle of 400 to 450 years, approximately 12 generations. He thought that it took about that long for the lowest values of a society to rise to the top in prominence, something like a period of 12 or so hours which are necessary for slag to rise to the top in a blast furnace. Such may be a commentary on collective human nature.
If so, notice the process in Germany, where Western Civili-zation was founded some 450 years ago. This was the era of Copernicus, Erasmus, Gutenberg and Luther. Germany began to achieve independence and to discard feudalism. It became the place where a Tycho, a Kepler, a Leibnitz, and a Kant could think, organize, manufacture, talk, or publish freely. It became a dynamic society.
Interestingly enough, it has taken Germany about 450 years to pass from the pioneer era of Copernicus, Erasmus, Gutenberg and Luther to the era of Bormann, Goebbels, Himmler and Hitler, and the apparent decline of Germany. England, with its Fabianism and its Beatles, is about 375 years from the days when the men of Cambridge, Puritan crusaders, were forging a new nation. And contemporary America is about 10 generations, 350 years from the Mayflower, and its pro-spiritual foundation.
The Jews apparently have gone through at least two cycles of this same pattern, and if their history in Egypt were better known, perhaps three cycles. In the era, circa 450 B.C. to 70 A.D., they too passed from the era of pioneer faith, migration and from such outstanding leaders as Ezra and Haggai to the era of depravity, and such poor leaders as Caiphas and the rebel zealot leaders against Rome, who led the nation into such ill-advised policies and horrible fortunes.
Interestingly enough, Kant and his uniformitarianism emerged in Germany about 200 years before Hitler and about 200 years after the era of Copernicus, Erasmus et al. Kant's uniformitarianism was designed to negate Germany's great spiritual heritage, and do so in the name of either "philosophy" or "science." From Kant came Hegel. From Hegel came Nietzsche and Wagner. And from Nietzsche and Wagner came Hitler and associates. From Germany came not only Nietzsche and Hitler's brand of anti-spirituality; it also spawned Marxism, for this was where Marx's values and ideas were formed, in the uniformitarian and atheistically oriented universities of Germany.
It seems like civilizations, when they sow to the wind, frequently reap the whirlwind. The fact that Kant's uniformitarianism came 200 years after Germany's academic and spiritual foundation, and some 200 years before her downfall, may be coincidental; this study suspects it is more than coincidental. It may be a cyclical phenomenon which also has occurred in previous civilizations.
Even as men of anti-spiritual motivation increasingly predominated in Germany in the 18th century, a similar pattern happened in England in the 19th century, in Lyell, Darwin, Huxley, the immigrant Marx, and many others. Here, too, anti-spiritual values metamorphosed into dominance. But this is no different than the age of, say, Isaiah and Jeremiah when anti-spiritual ideas of a pantheistic nature were metamorphosing into dominance in Jerusalem at a rapid pace. The only difference is that the anti-spiritual ethic in that age was pantheism, astrologically related, whereas today it is atheism, uniformitarianly related. But both are essentially views of negation; only their form varies. If these cycles and parallels are a commentary on collective human nature, they are also a reflection of individual human nature.
Before the days of cresting uniformitarianism, Erasmus, Luther, Newton, Whiston, Linnaeus and Agassiz were all considered as humanists, because they were strongly pro-scientific. Being pro-spiritual and simultaneously pro-scientific was normal. But the term "humanism" has changed in definition with the rise of uniformitarianism. Today, rejection of the uniformitarian pseudo-science brings upon one the connotation of being anti-scientific. Rejecting the Darwinian uniformitarianism is considered, by many, beyond the pale of knowledge. Today, to be pro-spiritual and to appreciate the Judeo-Christian heritage, one must, it seems, be anti-scientific. This is a common consensus; it is a mirage. The reality is that the uniformitarian view is anti-scientific; uniformitarianism is also non-historical and anti-spiritual, a pure-bred negative.
Similarly the term "liberal" has undergone a metamorphosis in definition over the years. Liberalism has come to mean generally a tolerance of the anti-spiritual, but not necessarily a tolerance for the pro-spiritual. Liberals7 are reminded of the fact that these principles of catastrophism and Creationism, with related evidence, require openmindedness, a quality in which most liberals pride themselves.
And Marxians (not to be confused with Martians), pseudo-liberals who
have always advocated the lowest possible spiritual standards along with
abundant animal standards, are reminded of the fact that there is no monopoly
on revolutionary thought or, for that matter, on considerations of world
upheavals. Indeed the catastrophist, studying Earth history, also appeals
to revolutions, orbital in nature, and indeed also points to world upheavals,
historical in nature, such as the Biblical Flood and the Ice Epoch. And
from them one may conclude that both atheism and uniformitarianism are
at least mistaken and illogical, and perhaps much worse.8
Civilization and Non-Conformity
Normally great civilizations in history have not just occurred; they have been woven and fashioned out by the effort, courage, faith, hope and sacrifice of their early leaders. Dynamic cultures were established by those who were determined, purposeful, stout and rather tolerant. These kinds of qualities are often found in non-conformists. Frequently, history has recorded awards given for non-conformity by declining, disintegrating societies. Abraham's award from Ur of Chaldees was a one-way ticket to the Wild West of that day, Palestine. Socrates, so skeptical of the Greek pantheism and the Greek morality of his day, open and persuasive in his view, especially among the youth of Athens, was given another award, a cup of hemlock. The prophet Jeremiah, in his day was awarded a religious court martial like Galileo; in recent decades another non-conformist, and patriot, General Billy Mitchell, received a military court martial because of his keen military foresight, plus his unwillingness to be silent. Justin Martyr was a most persuasive person among the academic figures of ancient Rome, and his skepticism was profound concerning the Roman pantheon, and the divinity of the Roman emperors. His award was an appointment in the amphitheatre with some underfed lions. The path of the non-conformist has often been difficult. Nevertheless it is from this kind of men from which new and better civilizations have repeatedly been founded.
Such traits are hardly those of the majority of the cultural leaders of our age. Conformity, enshrined by Freudian thought, is becoming a common thing in our nation, founded by some rather noble non-conformists. And this tendency of conformity (to say nothing of anti-spirituality) seems to be greatest among our intellectual elite, the very ones who are the quickest to decry conformity in others. Conformity, with its associated premium values of security and status-seeking, have frequently been stifling climates for further human progress, or for a dynamic society. Examples are numerous and every profession has them. This study shall cite an example from biological science, the example of Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis (1818-1865), a physician originally from Vienna.
Dr. Semmelweis was an ill-fated but imaginative young doctor who had taken over responsibility for the obstetrical wards in one of Vienna's leading hospitals. He soon noted that women commonly became infected with ailments, particularly after examinations by doctors or their students who proceeded from corpse to patient and back to corpse.
After watching the heartbreaking scenes of death in the maternity wards, and the spreading infections, he concluded that some mysterious element passed invisibly from the corpses to the patients. He established the rule that every physician and student must wash his hands after examining a body. The frequency of infections and deaths declined immediately and sharply. Dr. Semmelweis' guess was a very good one.
However, his guess imposed an added inconvenience upon Vienna's physicians, that of frequently washing their hands. Further, Semmelweis implied that the doctors of Vienna, far from being the protectors of the living, were actually the agents of death, and the deaths of thousands of young mothers. Many Vienna doctors boiled at Semmelweis, even as many other authorities had been angered with a Galileo or a Jeremiah.
Immediate howls of protest were raised against this "nuisance." Dr. Semmelweis was dismissed from his responsibility at the hospital. He was shunned and black-listed by his profession in Vienna, by minds sufficiently warped with professional pride and preconceived prejudice that neither logic nor the needs of humanity could penetrate.
Dr. Semmelweis, being depressed and shocked at his newly acquired disrespectability, migrated to Budapest, where he again took responsibility in a maternity ward in a hospital. Again he instituted the same procedures of sanitation. Again the frequency of deaths among the new mothers markedly and rapidly declined. But his detractors followed him. And again, Dr. Semmelweis was dismissed from his position at the hospital.
Being subjected to the bitterest of sarcasm by his colleagues, and being haunted by the death cries of hundreds, possibly thousands of dying new mothers, he experienced a mental breakdown. He was promptly incarcerated in a mental institution. This is one of the sadder case histories of a non-conformist. Every profession has them. Religion has had many; so has the military. On numerous occasions, petty grievances and minor jealousies among the generals were more the issue than victory in battle.
Jeremiah, a magnificently rugged prophet, seeing the moral decline of his people, seeing the enveloping idolatry which they were increasingly practicing, sensed an impending national doom, fast approaching upon the anti-spiritual leaders of his people. Possessing much concern, perhaps too much, he began to proclaim his pro-spiritual message. It gained but few listeners, but it was very successful in rankling the anti-spiritual leaders in government and in religion. Seven kinds of incarceration failed to silence him; stoning ultimately did. His generation failed to heed his message. However, the next generation, humbled by captivity, recognized the value of his message.
Galileo, Jeremiah, Semmelweis, or long lists of other nonconformists
illustrate the durability of truth over error, and also of the pro-spiritual
ethic over the anti-spiritual ethic. They also illustrate the frequency
of dominance of the anti-spiritual over the pro-spiritual. The anti-spiritual
ethic, essentially one of simple negation, is inextricably bound up with
uniformitarianism, also a doctrine of negation, and this has been so since
the days of the inception of uniformitarianism.10
In the opening pages of this volume, the reader was led to visualize a strange room, well lit, and with a broad-leafed maple table in the center. Lying upon this well-lit table were several thousand pieces of jigsaw puzzle, in random and unsorted fashion. The man endeavoring to complete the puzzle assumed that here, lying on this one table, were the elements of one large, interlocking, inter-merging puzzle. Intensified effort in working the puzzle led to increasing perplexity and frustration. There were too many corner pieces.
Eventually he wondered, "Might it be that there are, lying on this table, the elements of two, or even three separate and distinct puzzles?" With this, the basis for much progress was laid.
In completing the problem, several puzzles were found. Each contained a picture, separate from the others, and in sequence they each presented different scenes of a single unfolding drama.
So it has been with the historic and pre-historic catastrophes, some more severe, and others, though fearful, were less severe. The Mayans and Hindus were right when they maintained that there have been separate and more or less distinct ages or cycles of human activity, punctuated by catastrophes, even requiring revised calendars. Genesis and Job are similarly found to be correct with respect to Earth history.
This is why a book is written on the Biblical Flood. This is why the subject, although ancient, must nevertheless not be relegated to academic limbo. This is the reason why the correct dating of the Flood is essential to the correct reconstruction of ancient conditions. And this is why it is essential to understand the nature of the Flood, as well as the scope of the effects.
Thus we review the magnificent engraving and etching which has occurred
to our planet. Thus we review the ancient celestial motifs, and the Biblical
story of a global Flood. Thus we investigate the circumstances of our solar
system, and its neighboring stars. Thus we review the structure of our
fragile little sphere, as it spirals through galactic space. Review these
evidences carefully. Prepare to draw conclusions which may seem amazing,
or awesome, and which may indeed lead to new thought. Dare to think. Sapere
"The Biblical Flood and the Ice Epoch" by Donald W. Patten - is ©1966 by Pacific Meridian Pub. Co.