age determination a way of telling the place of an object or event on an absolute scale of time. Rough and exceedingly fine methods have been devised from human beginnings to determine when an event has happened in relation to the present. Telling when a human passed by a footprint in the sand is a test; a stone age man could perform this test validly and to increase reliability call upon his companions to confirm or modify his conclusion. Years of formal instruction and immense machines are employed to pierce the skies and measure radioactivity on the atomic level to solve larger issues of time. The fascination with timetelling is discussed in other articles. Here one is concerned with gauging times past, almost entirely prehistoric and back to beginnings; the various means of telling time are inventoried and surveyed; and for each method a (c) and (q) point of view expressed.
The quantavolutionary is likely to favor assigning short time to prehistory and geologic events such as the birth of Earth and Moon, while the conventional scientist and evolutionist is likely to insist upon everlonger periods to achieve what lies before the eye as the universe of things and life. The age of the Earth has been determined by (c) radiometric dating of meteoritic leads to be about 4.5G (Patterson), assuming the meteorites and Earth rocks to have appeared in the solar system at the same time. On the Arctic Circle, near Yellowknife and Great Bear Lake, a rock has been assayed by the uraniumlead method (the radioactive decay of uranium into lead) to 3.96 by. The oldest life (c) is now considered to exceed 1G. The solar system has to be older: the formation of a solartype star and planets form a cloud of gas and cosmic dust would occupy 400M±, then 12G for the Earth to solidify, and presumably all of the remaining time up to 15G to get to where it is from the hypothetical "Big Bang." At the same time some (q) have managed to redress the ages to accomplish the whole of the solar system as it is today, life forms and all, in a million years. It might seem impossible to reconcile the 5000times greater age span of (c) over (q). Actually it is not impossible. For instance, the processes reflected in the Grand Canyon profile could be temporally collapsed by a factor of 5000, making out of every five million years a thousand years, without scrambling ordinary explanations; mainly this occurs by substituting deep fractures and abrupt sedimentation from tides and heavy fallouts for slow uplift and erosion. The accompanying chart allows one to see at a glance how many tests are at issue in assigning absolute dates to all the matters of concern to this Encyclopedia. Minor and branching tests that largely favor (c) are not included in the table. At the moment, the only one of potential value seems to be the "ice core measurement." Employed in Greenland and Antarctic, the ice is drilled and the climate and pollution of the atmosphere is seen to affect the ice of each year. Seasonal deviations are detectable by the thickness of annual bands and the ratio of Oxygen18. The Greenland tests, though they do not disclose large disturbances known to have occurred at certain times, are not interpreted to show the much larger effect of catastrophes, implying that they have not happened. Much breakage of the extracted cores might belie this conclusion. A record limit of 100ky has been achieved. Doubt has been expressed over the visibility of the bands and the melt of the ice sheet probably caused by the heat of catastrophe. There should have appeared, furthermore, signs of at least one shift of the Earth's axis during the period supposedly covered.
They do not include some of the tests that are usually cited to favor (q) because these are largely deprived of quantification and must be thought of as judgements. (q) tests often lack tubes, needles, gauges, and ask instead for judicial temperament operating with slippery data bodies; they often mix human evidence with natural conditions in estimating long ages, and they join legend or human calendars with proposed events of prehistory, such as changes in lunar or Earth orbit. To the evolutionist, (q) appears fuzzyminded, gullible, and fanciful; but to the (q), the (c) seems narrowminded, technocratic and historically untutored.
The (c) offers his tests of time; when applied, they show time as exceedingly long and change as most gradual. He grants more and more, however, that the largest changes striking the Earth have come about in catastrophes; but even here, he would allow slow, rather than abrupt, speedup of the changes.
(q) asks consideration of all natural forces operating today, including volcanic outbursts and earthquakes and hurricanes to be but minute in character and effects from the world catastrophes of old. Extrapolate the modern forces and their effects: then state what must have been the conditions of the skies, Earth and life under catastrophe. Repeat a number of times: that is true Earth history.
Some of the "soft tests" that (q) are often confined (recall, besides other problems, that any (q) seeking to develop tests must face budgetary problems perhaps a hundred times as great as (c) researchers) to offering are t he following:
a. Crosscultural similarities, as when ancient Japanese artifacts appear in ancient Ecuador.
b. Abrupt changes in species in the fossil record.
c. Close similarities of "old" species occurring across great stretches of water or climate barriers.
d. Natural highspeed replication of longterm processes, as when lightning fossilizes a tree.
e. Demonstrations of the abruptness of geological change as of Mt. St. Helens.
f. Crosscultural mnemoses, that is, the theory that enormous collective traumas (cosmic lightning storms or cataclysms, e.g.) will cause on the part of various or all people a forgetting, memory loss, memory transformations, sublimations, blocking out or transforming the events.
g. Apparent incredible recency of geological and fossil phenomena, such as frozen whole mammoths, or the appearance of the Sierra Nevadas of California, the Himalayas and other mountains.
h. Apparent incredible rapidity of sedimentation, as with the White Cliffs of Dover or the results of a heavy flood.
i. Wasting phenomena, such as hot springs, dried recent lakes, ice caves.
j. Incredible deposits of debris or fossils that have to be assigned widely varying ages, sometimes quite across the phanerozoic scale.
k. The suspicious absence of change in extremely old species; also the extreme persistence of species.
l. The obvious occurrence of exoterrestrial intrusions despite the obsessive denial of such history.
m. The logical extension of minor to major and major to catastrophic, as when an undersea volcano springs into the air and builds an island in a few weeks or when the Himalayas spring up and, if they, why not all other mountain ranges around the world, and if that, why not a world catastrophe to bring it all about.
n. Reflection upon what must have happened to explain the million volcano forms, trillion earthquake faults, and millions of wet and dry stream beds and hundred submarine canyons, and the supreme feature of the world its global fracture, running continuously as a girdle around the world, all of these suggesting shorttime events that would have happened in groups with successive catastrophes, leaving all measures of time vain exercises if they presumed a uniformity of the development of any feature of the Universe. The chart displays the given tests, an indication of its unique quality, and the main contrast between (q) and (c) positions regarding it. Further descriptions and analyses of the individual items are to be found under their alphabetic heading elsewhere in this E. General comments follow here. The First Category deals with tests regarding surface features. The (q) position generally is that high heat and pressures, great electrical discharges (sudden and slow or both), superhurricanes and tornadoes, glitches in the Earth's motions, and exoterrestrial crashes, fallouts or near passbys can cause them all in short order. The main (q) objection to the biological measures of (c) is that the very same phenomena can occur in quantum jumps, by saltation, under high energy impulsion. Once granted that mass extinctions and the arrival of abundant new species occur in connection with catastrophes, then it is strongly arguable that the large number of mutations needed to produce successful and significant biological change are available only at these times and by these means. The third category, radiochronometry, is heavily dependent upon the elements involved such as uranium238 decaying at a constant rate over hundreds of millions of years. The general formula employed in these radiometric tests of time is: N = No exp(t/t). N is the number of atoms of a radioactive element present in a sample of ore of a specified quantity. No is the initial or original number of atoms present in the same ore. t is the time elapsed since the initiation of the decay. e is the exponential number 2.71838. And lambda is the constant decay rate expressed as the fraction of radioactive nuclei decaying per second). However, (q) would argue: apart from all other interferences with the performance of proper testing (machinery, care, number of repetitions of the test, registration of results, contamination by other means), the radiometric test is flawed and probably invalidated by the ignorance of the quantity of uranium in the original rock and the ignorance of vitiating experiences of the rock. The amazing capacity of machines to count atoms in a gas container should not overawe logic. Leakage of radioactivity from the host rock is apparent in some cases. Examples sometimes become public, at other times they are discarded; in 1984, N. Vasilyev, the leader of a Soviet expedition to Tunguska, site of an exoterrestrial disaster in Siberia in 1908, announced that lead bits in the vicinity showed ages of 11 billion y, twice the (c) age of the Earth; if radiometry were correct and welladministered, there had to be an alien spacecraft explosion there (so he said), or else the dating system was exhibiting its inherent weaknesses or was badly operated. Of astronomical motions, the fourth category, it can be said that proof of constancy of motion is available actually for only a short time; the fact that there are stable laws of motion (Newton, Kepler, La Place) does not demand that the historical motions themselves have been stable. There are various mysterious motions that may be fossil twitches from radically different ancient motions. The very rotation of the Earth may have once been a circular orbit of much greater radius around an electric current, as a part of its magnetic tube. Generally (c) declines to take into consideration electrical factors in regard to astronomical bodies and forces. In the fifth category, (c) may be claimed to have consistently ignored or scorned the multitude of ancient legends and even written materials on time sequences. Whereas social scientists and humanists, including psychologists, accord increasingly elements of truths to legend and myth, astronomers and geologists refuse to take them into account and have discouraged archaeologists and mythologists from taking them seriously; in some cases, as in the careful plotting of levels of destruction in excavations of ancient sites, archaeologists have been remiss, ignoring or refusing to admit the possibility of ancient catastrophes. With respect to the several categories considered together, the doctrine of uniformitarianism (c) has had pronounced effects by assuming that the skies, waters, air, rocks, and biosphere have changed always at the same rate. But (q) it would appear that inconstancy affects practically all measures of time and must be fed in systematically as a variable to the equations, even if only on the basis of intangible, vague, and imponderable events that are foes of neat equations. The planet Jupiter, for instance, was credited by the ancients to have behaved, as Jupiter the god, in catastrophic ways; very recently, from being a cold, lifeless planet, Jupiter has been shown by exploration to be a hot explosive second tiny Sun. (Velikovsky predicted the radio noises of Jupiter in 1950 on the basis of ancient claims and the hypothesis of an eclectically active solar system. Too, in the fierce competition to succeed in creating new science, (c), like (q), have concealed anomalies, allowed or even encouraged the contamination of experimental samples, exaggerated the degree of reliability of their observations, generalized from insufficient data, pleaded premises as proofs, selected specially favorable evidence, used special cases instead of representative sample of all cases as proof, and have been theoretically inept (owing to the culture and to the intense specialization fostered by the job market as well as the needs of scientific investigation. Revisions in the tests are occurring continuously, reluctantly or with alacrity, usually depending upon whether a theory is helped or hurt. Carbondating, for instance, has been changing its measures continuously since its invention a generation ago; it may end up actually as a foe rather than a friend of (c). M.Cook has shown that the accepted rates of increase in carbon14 in the atmosphere, if retrojected would give an atmosphere purged completely of C14 10,000 years ago; other gases would certainly be affected by such changes, and there is good evidence that uranium, given its cycle through the air, seas, rocks, and space, cannot be accounted for on a regular basis. Two series of tests, anxiously watched by geologists and archaeologists, on wood and seeds of TheraSantorini give dates of the explosion as much as 1000 years apart in each series. By measuring the extent to which the lefthanded molecules have become righthanded in bone tissue aminoacid (such as aspartic acid) of animals long dead and fossilized, it is believed (c) that time can be measured in years back to over 100,000, bridging the gap between carbondating and potassiumargon dating. The process is called aminoacid racemization dating. The test is temperaturesensitive and depends for its calibration upon carbondating. Granted the lopsided allocation of resources between (c) and (q), still there has been a dearth of initiative in the development of quantitative tests or at least objectively and publicly verifiable systematic observations by (q). Fields especially adapted to this end and not too costly to explore would be sedimentation rates, the contamination of radioactive constancies by electromagnetic currents, the systematic inventorying of fossil sites to show their catastrophic causes, the piecing together of Pangaea on the theory of its having been split asunder by a single great brief event complex, a systematic search of space satellite maps for astroblemes, including soft landings with peculiar deformations not conforming to the Berringer crater profile, etc. Just as forensic medicine has hardly disturbed the role of the clever detective, technical dating systems have not affected - should not affect, would be better the value of holistic analysis of a situation to be dated; the date is the criminal and all means must be brought to bear upon discovering its identity. Thus, when the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert employ a delicate bow and arrow with a poisoned wood or bone arrowhead, and practically this same arrowhead head is found in multiple examples in the African site of Gwisho, the dating of Gwisho at 6000bp raises questions of whether such a technique can have preserved itself so perfectly for so long a time (there are a great many of these incredibly long hiatuses of cultures in (c) anthropology), and if so how many thousands of years must these Africans been cultured before that time, knowing both ballistics and chemistry. What kind of comparative logic, qualitative to be sure, can be devised to evaluate such problems? The side effects of dating techniques may be valuable. For instance, the study of Aegean prehistory was given a boost by the attention aroused when geologists flocked to investigate the ancient volcanism of TheraSantorini Island. The investigation of hydrocarbons under the sea has located ash from huge fires of prehistoric times off the U.S. Atlantic seaboard and in normal soils. In all testing, the datacollecting is difficult. Whole ages given (c) many millions of years are missing from the surface of much of the Earth; increasingly,(q) comes into play, asserting catastrophes may have wiped out these layers; the possibility must then occur that whole vast civilizations may have been wiped out by catastrophes, as most peoples say happened with a great flood, or other cases, by a great fire from the sky, or by a great wind, reducing the survivors to the primitive stage where they were to begin with. It is unlikely but not impossible, that the exceeding slowness of humans developing a high civilization was owing to repeated total catastrophe. Only the historicity of a few scholars and elite members in a couple of nations were basically responsible for the uncovering of ancient civilizations, that today appear so obviously important and impressive, yet there has been no worldwide catastrophe for 2700 years. In age determination often more than one test may be applied, and a conforming result may signify greater validity and reliability to the test, as when both dendrochronology and carbondating agree within a decade or two on the age of an item. Even vast time differences are excused in the very longterm radiometric tests, such that 100my of discrepancy will be accepted as not vitiating a twin test by fission and UTh technique, or some millions in comparing a thermoluminescence test with a PotassiumArgon test result. Complaints against bristlecone pine and radiocarbon dating are legion, for the two rarely agree and are being recalibrated constantly.
Age of Discovery the worldshaking movement of the Atlantic European nations, especially Portugal, Spain, France, Holland, and England, that drove these early modern states with their medieval religions, propelled by the verve, inventions, and ideas of the Italian Renaissance, outwards around the world, bringing about within a century the conquest and domination of most of the nonEuropean world. The movement ceased, but then principally in a political sense, with the midTwentieth Century; for, economic, industrial, and military power remained in European and North American hands. Ultimately there was formed an economically, culturally and politically intermeshing world of some hundred and fifty significant states, dominated by no more than a dozen among them. Like all great movements, there were portents. The Ottoman Empire closed the door against Europe in 1453 with the capture of Constantinople. Icelanders had dwelled in a town of Greenland for centuries, and Lief Ericsson had gotten at least to Newfoundland with his Vikings. The great Venetian Republic was greatly weakened, even as it was a center of world map production, creating a hiatus on the seas. Portugal and Spain, new strong entities, were already picking up islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Legendary accounts of ancient and recent exploits to lands unknown were told in harbor stores and offices. Continuously less doubt attends now these accounts. That the Americas were visited from the Mediterranean seafaring countries, from Ireland, from Scandinavia is evidenced by coins, sculptures and graffiti. From the black African Cape Verde Islands off of Senegal (Africa) to the Pernambuco hump of Brazil was no more than a voyage from Venice to Cadiz, Spain, from where Columbus departed for the Indies in 1492. Undoubtedly the passage had been made many times in history, before Pinzon (1499), Cabral (1500) and Magellan (1519) made the trip. Other voyages into the Caribbean may be presumed as well. What Columbus(o) did by his journeys and settlements was to release floods of new information and initiatives. Amerigo Vespucci followed in several years and "America" was soon named by a Dutch geographer working with an Alsatian printer. By 1550, almost all the principal cities of Latin America to this day were named and founded. The grinding down of peak Amerindian culture had progressed beyond recall, not without a partial incorporation of Indianism by the colonialists. The French and the English reserved their main thrusts until a hundred years later, though the Italian navigators Sebastian and John Cabotto (Cabot), got the English off to a good start as early as 1497 in North America. The ruthless suppression of native institutions by the Portuguese and Spaniards , as well as the genocide of the North American Indians by the English and their successor population is well known. The French, possibly because led by curious Jesuits, but also because it was not tempted by great riches in America and was concentrated upon European hegemony, escaped less guilty. The Jesuit histories of the natives of North America are correspondingly rich sources. Victim of the violence and contempt visited upon the natives of the Americas was also their history; documents, artwork, legends and stories, temples, statuary, priesthoods were practically wiped out. As has happened elsewhere in the world, for the same reason but at different times, as with the Alexandrian Library in Egypt, as with the Chinese Imperial order to destroy all books, the testimony of the ancients, which everywhere in the world was catastrophic and (q), has been reduced to bits and pieces that are offhandedly denied admission at the bar of science. In the East, the Age of Discovery proceeded with Vasco da Gama (14978) around the Horn of Africa to India, with Ferdinand Magellan (and his replacement J.S.del Cano) around the World (15192), and thereafter with many captains who pioneered routes to India, Indonesia and China. Everywhere, the old beliefs and traditions foundered or gave way to the Christian commerce and industrialism that followed the navigators. By the time anthropologists began to arrive about 130, a great many peoples no longer had their stories straight. Most were denying their own accounts of the cosmos and history and incapable of repeating them faithfully.
Ager, Derek British geologist at Swansea College, in 27 he wrote the "Nature of the Stratigraphic Record" in which he is an exponent of abrupt transforms as major medium of geomorphological change. Ager holds generally, however, to a macrochronal position ("the history of any one part of the Earth, like the life of a soldier, consists of long periods of boredom and short periods of terror"). He writes: "the periodic catastrophic event may have more effect than vast periods of gradual evolution," a phenomenon he calls "quantum sedimentation." Guardedly he suggests that geologists, "must face the possibility of [an] extraterrestrial cause" for common findings. Ager confronts the (c) mindset of Earthscientists molded by 150 years of ignoring catastrophism and especially astralcatastrophism but stops short of considering exoterrestrial influences thoroughly in his written work. He defends the longtimescale of (c) scientists while recognizing the value of (q) events as, "an easy and incontrovertible solution for everything that I have found remarkable in the stratigraphical record." He resorts to plate tectonics as a possible alternative mechanism (presuming these are internally propelled).
He points out storm deposits from several widely spaced periods of the geological record; hard to discover, they are nevertheless influential in landscaping; the storm rock debris he labels "tempestites," following Gilbert Kelling who discovered them profusely across the Atlas Mountains. Enormously widespread ash layers covered quickly by sediments are also found. Whereas geologists generally believe that "the stratigraphical column in any one place is a long record of sedimentation with occasional gaps...I maintain that a far more accurate picture of the stratigraphical record is of one long gap with only very occasional sedimentation...The gaps predominate...,the lithologies are all diachronous and the fossils migrate into the area from elsewhere and then migrate out again." In his work are a wide range of examples from numerous eras, of the worldwide distribution of various rocktypes and fossils. Ager accepts the sense of the supposition that there existed a global ecumene of animate and inanimate forms. The fossil record indicates large numbers of species which never reached their potential limits. Ager illustrates the bizarre differences in depth of the deposits of the same age in separate regions both near and distant, pointing out, for example, the 30cm of Jurassic sediment in Sicily in contrast to the 4.5km of one Jurassic zone or sediment in Oregon. Since sediments accumulate in basins rather than on mountain tops the 20km thick deposits found in places would have been below sea level had the oceans existed while they accumulated. He alludes to wide differences in rates of sedimentation: an 11.6m tree stands amidst the late Carboniferous Coal Measures of Lancaster; but for the flow of sediments from rivers he quotes Holmes' measure of only one centimeter per millennium. He estimates the age of the Grand Canyon at under 10M; its gorge provides a case of rapid erosion. Other empirical scientists and scholars of Earth's history can be cited reiterating points Ager made. A few of them go far beyond him in that they are severely critical of long timescales.
aggression the attempt to inflict physical and mental damage upon others by physical or psychological means. The action may or may not be "justifiable" although ordinarily it is rationalized for the good of oneself or the public. In fact, one major (c) theory of A. is that "aggression is always a consequence of frustration." Further, frustration always results in aggression. Freud moved away from this thesis toward a genetic or inborn source (c) always longterm and evolutionary, and actually developed several inconsistent explanations of the phenomenon in his lifetime. His last theory seemed to invoke a death instinct and a life instinct, in conflict, which is a kind of schizophrenia in which the individual is doomed to fight against himself, using conflicts with others as a way of playing out his urges. The simple frustrationaggression theory, initially coming out of Freudianism and pursued by a research group at Yale U., becomes quite extensive and complex when pursued. Aggressiveness is pandemic in mankind and follows a psychological progression that is largely unconscious although its effects are sensed by the aggressor as well as the victim. For instance, territoriality has been suggested as a universal instinctual motive, that calls up fights among all males of a great many species, with generally limited ambition. But the human demand for territory is in the first place insatiable, once inflamed, but also only one of many and is entirely subordinate to other demands, whereby, for instance, territory may be given away in exchange for sexual privileges or movable property or even a teaching appointment. The basis from which polyspecific aggressiveness as a trait can develop (q) is the schizoid human, the split personality, created suddenly by natural causes whether external or genetic, who is at odds with himself simply from the difficulty of making up his own mind on a host of matters as part of being human. The human seeks to control his own mind, but is doomed or blessed (depending on one's philosophy of happiness) to failure, and therefore seeks to control others, beginning with the constant apparent causes of his failure to control, the gods and demons of the sky. Witnessing and suffering from the turbulent skies of the primeval days of his own creation, the human looks unceasingly there for messages, and the messages are simple enough, obey or be punished, the messages as to how to obey being highly ambiguous as are the punishments wreaked for disobedience. A considerable part therefore of original man and his descendants is given over to controlling himself, the heavenly host and his fellows. No mammal or animal or plant feels this need so intensely and so futilely. The initiation of an aggression is generally a frustration multiplied by the constant (in mathematical language) which is this existential fear and frustration) such that he now commits in succession the almost entirely human mental procedures of displacement and projection of the aggression to whatever target offers itself conveniently. There is such a thing as rational aggression if rational is defined as, say, actions against the source of a frustration to cause it to cease or recompense one. But the generalized unconscious aggressiveness of the human is not satisfied by solving his aggressive problems rationally; he engages in overflow, overkill. This, then, is destructiveness blows (mental and physical) without reason, wars without sufficient cause, character assassination and assassination with displaced motive ("kill the President, not your father," the voice tells the demented aggressor, and supplies him with justifications). Although individual aggression has been here described, it can be multiplied in a group or society as a whole until it becomes collective aggression; certain externals change but essentially the group or crowd or ethnic group or nation or religious sect is going through the same process as the single person, reinforcing its members by their interaction, and using the groups resources for the pursue until one has deadly compulsory warfare consuming the scarce goods of the community and destroying a part of its members in the name of justice (never sheer aggressiveness or destructiveness). In the (q) of humankind, the first instances of aggression came about with the first moments of its being, when, in trying to get its head together it belabored first itself and then the people around it, beginning with its mother and siblings. Going beyond them it worked its way among the less aggressive hominids. A hominid, as an animal, a pongid, ate only vegetables, and its successor, the human, would have little interest in killing to eat. It would kill to restore its own sanity, and it would eat its kind if a necessary rite to restore the wholesomeness of its mind. The hominid then was the first likely set of victims of the human, to obey or be injured or killed. Perhaps the very success of the human in spreading around the world and multiplying was in its ruthless selfjustified, rationalized godobeying eradication of the hominid. There has ever since then been a special hostility that the human has for its own kind that is not quite 100% its own kind. Here is a possible source for the intolerance of the notquitehimself that has ever been pandemic in homo sapiens schizotypus. Most animals have a sense of territoriality, but none but homo goes out deliberately to conquer as much territory as possible. Nor is this unusual but is characteristic; the fact that the Napoleons, the Julius Caesars, the Pizarros, the Cecil Rhodes's are few indicates only that there are so many people that are doing the same for themselves that only a few can succeed and most die trying or subside exhausted.
agnatha Jawless fishes found both in lakes and sea. The larva are wormlike and filter feed, while the adult can be parasitic, feeding on the flesh of their prey. The lamprey of the Great Lakes is a member.
Agnatha represent the oldest of vertebrate fossils. They appear in the Ordovician period, (c) 500M. Ancient members are fishlike animals covered by bony plates; most lack paired fins. The group remains important into the Devonian period when they disappear from the fossil record. Though seemingly extincted hundreds of millions of years ago contemporary jawless fish, otherwise quite different from the ancient forms, are put into the same class. The lamprey and hagfish are the only known members of Agnatha today.
Possibly modern survivors come from a much more recent (q) destruction of the now fossil species, which once thrived in the shallow waters of the Pangean Stability and were transmogrified by the Late Quantavolutions.
Agni Vedic lightning god husband of Ambika, a goddess who represented the primal ocean of blood from which all things arose at creation. Agni represented the fructifying lightning (fire from heaven). In early sources he is described as the bull of the waters. He makes water pregnant.
Agni's name comes from the same root as the Latin ignis or fire. He is said to be born from heaven, from the Sun, or from lightning.
The union of Ambika and Agni represented the soul of the universe whether moving or still. Agni consumed sacrifices placed upon altars in a manner represented by a like aspect of Yahweh. In this regard he is said to be born from stone or from water (in which extinguished celestial fire resides).
Agni is depicted with a long beard and clothed in fire. He is reddish. In his hands are flames, a trident, and a water pot. He rides a ram. He is an intermediary between mankind and the gods.
(q) placement of Agni would occupy most of the millennium following 3500. His role in holocaust sacrifices would date after 3000.
agnosticism a suspension of belief in gods and theism, especially of named gods, arguing generally a lack of proof, whether by reason or evidence. Stopping short of atheism, it is a convenient position for both philosophers and laymen, especially where persecution is a threat. The term was introduced by the Darwinian evolutionist, Thomas Henry Huxley in the 19th C.
Agricola, Giorgius Fl »465, physicist, mineralogist, specialist in metals and classification systems, Germany.
agriculture the deliberate and periodic seeding, growing and harvest of flora. The product of the process is eaten, fed to animals, woven to be worn, or incorporated into many other processes. It has always engaged a large part of all human energies. Its invention and development have been credited with a parallel development of large populations and high culture. It is (c) supposed to evolve from a "hunting and gathering stage" of mankind, but this is doubtful (q) in that the earliest human gatherer may be presumed to have cast aside seeds that sprouted and she might even have been a vegetarian anyhow (ab origine), given the disadvantages of meat: difficult hunting, preparing, cooking, digesting, spoiling, and poisoning. Furthermore, gathering of nuts, plants and insects provided a more varied and healthy diet, and why sow and tend when one might simply reap? The killing and eating of insects and small animals (amphibians and rodents) would lead promptly to the keeping of these, plus crippled birds, for future use. Fishing, too, would offer an easy alternative to hunting large beasts and birds; both (c) and (q) would allow for domestication to come along with agriculture; interacting, from the observation of trapped insect and animal behavior, humans learn of seeds, foods, preservation. Indeed the killing and eating of larger animals may have developed partly as a sacred pursuit and sacrifice to the gods and spirits of the sky. The breakup of the primeval solid "adamantine sky" into flocks of clouds suggest mammal flocks and herds and flights of birds, the sky behavior of meteors and meteoritic showers upon the hapless folk prompt projections of frustration, rage and fear onto both humankind and larger animals. Animal and human sacrifice went together everywhere; the latter relapsed into symbolic forms and pure amnesia while the former remained and converted into notsosacred meat diets. Agriculture is more likely to have developed with techniques of human control of others; coercing others to labor in the fields under guard is religiously, psychologically more appeasing than to have them running about out of control. This may be more important than the usual reason given for the invention of agriculture, that populations got too large to support by hunting and gathering. The rationalization for the effort and triumph of establishing rule over others would be to maintain peace and order for instance to prevent incessant warfare among clans striving for territorial rights at the cost of loss of autonomy. Once settled in agricultural communities, a high birth rate would be both natural and promoted. Anthropologists are moving agriculture backwards in time. Mexican economies with a mixed farminghuntinggathering base are estimated at 8000y. Sedentary lake shore communities are quite apparent in the Chalco Basin by 6000y. High Ecuadoran corn plantations existed with their storage jars at least as far back as 4000y. In preEuropean California, hunting and gathering competed successfully with agriculture; some planting was used to supplement to other means of subsistence. The Bible promotes life before agriculture as superior, and introduces a catastrophe for Adam and Eve with the celestial snake, thereafter lamenting that toil and sweat must be the human lot. The implication is strong here that to the schizoid aggressiveness of fearful therefore powergrasping rulers (exemplified in the Lord) must be added a desolated world that required assiduous cultivation to produce a living. Agriculture is so easy for the human who is smart enough to hunt game, and select search and find nuts, honey and the like, not to mention to detect edible scavenge that attempts to date it as a later form of culture out of purely economic reasons in an unchanged psychoenvironmental setup must be looked upon with distrust. Hence one must be unready to accept datings that place American humans and all the rest of the world for that matter behind the Southern Levant as the originator of cultivation of the soil. There charred remains of wild grain (presumably cooked and eaten) were found to be 19ky old. Annual growths of the wild grain in the Dead SeaNegev area were fostered naturally by a severe permanent desiccation and converted into actual farming by the Natuffian inhabitants, whose population was pressing upon resources. Careful replanting and observation of productive specimens led humans to put aside and use an ever larger selection of annually productive seeds. This would have been about 12ky. Once this happened (c) would maintain that a diffusion of farm populations, swollen in numbers, would occur into Turkey, thence to Europe, so that within about seven thousand years the people of Scandinavia and Britain were sowing and reaping and sharing some few of the blood proteins of the prosperous immigrant Levantine farmers in their veins. A generally contrasting view is that all the while the same steps were being taken by peoples in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. In Japan at Early Joman site of Hamsuno, S. Hokkaido, around 7ky, rice, barley, gourd, buckwheat, and wild grains were being processed and eaten. A diet superior to the "English" and "Swedes." On the Altiplano of the Peruvian Andes, at least several thousand years ago, highly sophisticated farming, even by today's standards, was practiced over thousands of square miles, with the full extent yet to be determined. Potato and quinoa were among the pollen grains found by archaeologists. Since the 1960's millions of raised fields have been discovered, all about 3 feet high, ranging between 1333 feet wide and 33330 feet long, bounded by narrow canals through which water was run, and dipped onto the fields by pouring from vessels. Offflow from the platforms settled in the ditches and was used to renew the platforms. Experiments have confirmed the great efficiency of the system. The total system broke down even before the arrival of the Spaniards, for reasons unknown. If such a system had been employed at 3500y, it must have depended upon developments extending over a long time prior; or, rather, it would give no reason to concede priority to Palestine in farming and would lend encouragement to the (q) that the human race everywhere had gained together the fundamentals of farming, perhaps around 13,000y. These they brought with them and developed largely in their own way in the successive separations and isolation that catastrophes visited upon the human race.
Agua, Guatemala volcano notable for its symmetrical slopes. Summit crater is small, 100m walls with a notch which is only 12m high. Volcano erupted at 2 a.m. 459 Se 11 engulfing Cuidad Vieja, first capital of Guatemala, in a sea of mud. Represents the only recorded activity of this 2100m high mountain.
Agua is named for the watery consistency of the ejecta and debris which supposedly flooded down its slopes. Eruption apparently followed three days of torrential rainfall and was immediately preceded by violent earthquaking. The channel carved by the eruption is readily seen through tropical forest covering the mountain.
The investigation of the signature of the eruption of Mount Saint Helens in 20 suggests that the volcanic material accompanying the eruption of Aqua many not have been as aqueous as the sediments seem to indicate.
The mountain is one of a long chain of volcanoes running along the west coast of the Americas. It is near Fuego (fire) the most active volcano in Guatemala.
Ahaggar Mountains Algerian mountains rising in the heart of the Sahara desert. Mountain basin, 550,000km² in area is surrounded by higher Tassili Plateau. Except to W basin is bounded by steep sandstone cliffs. Mountains near edge of basin are not spectacularly high, no peaks exceed 800m. Highest central point rises 2918m.
Composed of metamorphic rocks of the African Shield, (c) dated 2G, the region is in part overlayed by volcanic rock, believed to be recent (M).
(c) Folding and faulting followed formation of the African shield. Erosion supposedly reduced the region to a peneplain by 700M. The region was twice glaciated before it domed up removing sedimentary deposits and reexposing the ancient bedrock. Because of the region's complexity some authorities believe the region has been buried and reexcavated several times before 100M. Subsequent upwarping took place because molten material collected beneath the basin. Volcanism created the towering plugs which make up the most spectacular features of the Ahaggar region. Faulting has determined the path of several valleys some of which are followed by local streams. Rejuvenation followed eroding the peneplain into the topography that seen today. Evidence of erosion by freezing/thawing is present.
(q) Northern mountains of Africa are possibly residues of globe circling belt of highlands bounding the early Tethys Sea. The sculpting of this complex region bears the signature of one or more short episodes of global catastrophism, which elsewhere produced uplift, volcanism, and intensive episodes of tidal scouring and exposed many parts of the Earth to ice falls and falls of debris.