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by Alfred de Grazia



If nature and human nature were catastrophized by events of the past 14,000 years, a calendar of the events becomes a practical necessity. Hence we conjecture that from an original primeval chaos to the world of A. D. 2,000, the human race and its natural environment passed through eight phases. They are posted on the adjoining chart, Figure 7.

The set of cases is too small for statistical treatment, but, for heuristic purposes, the typical phase may be said to have begun in general natural destruction, passed through a period of recovery and reconstruction, and then entered upon a second catastrophic set of events. Figure 8 depicts the catastrophic cycle, as it might be dealt with by the topological mathematics of catastrophism. Of the first age of Pangea, no beginning is described here; nor is any end foretold to the present age of Solaria, which began about 1,600 years ago.

This calendar takes up 14,000 years of time, and corresponds in geology to the holocene epoch. The solar system was transformed; so were in consequence the surface of the earth, the atmosphere, life and humanity. The transformations took the form of cycles, but the transformations of one era were the inheritance of the next one. Hence it might be more exact to speak of a spiral of history.

The impulses for the great changes of the world came from the skies. There the greatest forces of the universe abide and interact. In each age, celestial bodies signalled and inaugurated revolutions of the earth and life. Earth forces and life forces reacted. Humans, too, reacted, although from the beginning they dreamt of controlling the skies and earth and themselves as well. Unhappily the control was mostly managed by a set of illusions and delusions. Human arrogance has been a reciprocal of pitiable fear.

The ages of the human earth are called, with the exception of earliest "Pangea" (all land), by astronomical names. They are named after their apparent governor in the sky. The calendar is to be construed hypothetically, not dogmatically. It will no doubt be often adjusted in the light of future discoveries. Vita-Finzi, in discussing the boundary between the Pleistocene and Holocene, praised "the one virtue of an arbitrary date, namely, its arbitrariness." [4] I, too have this final plea in mind.

In each planetary age there were celestially provoked disasters of water, fire earth and air. Each age except Pangea developed cultures of its own, which it passed over partly to the next age. The gods were different while being the same. The Greek "Aphrodite" had traits of an original moon goddess and had many alternative names in many cultures; furthermore she later become confused with Venus, the goddess, and also the planet Venus, which had its scores of god-names too [5] . Jupiter was himself but partly Saturn too; the Chinese "Saturn" was a thunderer who announced time by great noises, whereas the Greek "Saturn" gave time and was called Kronos (Chronos) and the Greek "Jupiter" was especially Zeus, the Lightning-hurler, who was also called the Thunderer. The Calendar is but a rough path chopped through the dense thicket of early history.


Plato in his Politicus paints a mythical representation of what he indeed believed to be the historical reality: that a supreme being directly controls the movement of the world ship through boundless space; that the master skipper retires from time to time, leaving the ship to founder in a sea of confusion; but then he returns to the tiller from time to time in order to save the world from complete shipwreck [6] .

What can cause one to think that there was a set catastrophes rather than a single disaster, or perhaps two? And why would a baseline for the set be placed at about 14,000 years ago?

Figure (Table) Nr. 7

Number of / Suggested Name Years before present Years B.C. to A.D. Duration in years Number of memorial generations** Key events
0. Pangea Before 14,000 Before 12,000 -- -- Land-covered globe... Canopy clouds ...Greenhouse world... hominids.. full shallow marine and terrestrial biosphere.
I. Urania 14,000 to 11,500 12,000 to 9,500 2,500 50 Deluges form ice caps and flood... breakup of sky canopies ...homo sapiens schizotypicalis appears... ecumenical culture... Uranus-Heaven religion.
II. Lunaria 11,500 to 8,000 9,500 to 6,000 3,500 70 Global explosion and cleavage... Moon eruption ...ocean basins formed and filled...displaced continents ...biosphere quasi-extermination... peoples isolated and fully traumatized...lunar worship.
III. Saturnia 8,000 to 5,700 6,000 to 3,700 2,300 46 Biosphere multiplies...cloudy atmosphere...settled continents..expansion of regional technology...Saturn worship.
IV. Jovea 5,700 to 4,400 3,700 to 2,400 1,300 26 Noachian shelf floods and high tides... Lightning and cleared skies ... New ice caps form...severe seasons...dry climates... eastward move ments from “Atlantis” to Egypt and E. Mediterranean...Empires form amidst widespread conflict... Jupiter worship.
V. Mercuria 4,400 to 3,450 2,400 to 1,450 950 19 New global tilts...Apollo and Mercury disasters...Pyramid age...large new civilizations in Mediterranean, India, China, and Caribbean... Olympian family worship.
VI. Venusia 3,450 to 2,775 1,450 to 775 675 13.5 Devastation of globe by protoplanet Venus...religions and cultures reduced and remodelled... Venus worship...large petroleum fall-out.
VII. Martia 2,775 to 1,600 775 to 400 A.D. 1,175 23.5 Mars devastates Earth, Moon, and Venus...warlike cultures promoted...Toltecs, Myceneans and Etruscans reduced...Mars worship.
VIII. Solaria 1,600 to 0 400 to 2,000 1,600 32 Settling of present solar system... secularization, philosophy and empirical sciences...synthetic religions.

* Present is set at A.D. 2,000 By “years” is meant present solar years. Most of the dates are speculative estimates, as all pre-historic dates must still be.
** Fifty years = One Memorial Generation = the number of present solar years of difference between a presumed elderly story-teller (priest) and youngest members of the group who hear the stories [1] .This is considered a truer measure of the transmission time between generations than the “reproductive generation” which would be in the range of 15 to 30 years. In 14,000 years [2] there have been a total of 280 memorial generations.

Figure 8.

René Thom has been instrumental in developing a new area of topological mathematics to describe catastrophes. The above model is called the "cusp" model and is suited to portray phenomena as varied as a typical stock market cycle of "boom and bust" and the model of the historical cycle dealt with in this book, as here portrayed. Perhaps from six to twenty or more regional or global cycles will ultimately be found to fit this model. In the drawing, the dotted line pursues the course of human events from one disaster to another. After the disaster the human mind moves against the scale of solarian pragmatism, then proliferates along with the biosphere and grows confident, and enters a period of "blissful amnesia" and sublimation with many practical accomplishments; then there is a short period usually, when the environment is seen to be destabilizing, and finally there is a catastrophe. Afterwards, the survivors begin the cycle once more." [3]

Catastrophism on a long-time basis is on its way towards acceptance in paleontology. The work of the late Professor Otto H. Schindewolf of Tubingen University is remarkable in demonstrating widespread generic and geographic destructions of phyla at the boundaries of the pre-Cambrian and Cambrian strata, the Permian-Triassic strata, and the Cretaceous-Tertiary strata [7] . A Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary catastrophe is also apparent [8] , as is increasingly the Pleistocene-Holocene disasters of the "End of the Ice Ages." [9] The 14,000 years boundary that is a major concern of this book is, of course, the last of these - the Pleistocene-Holocene. But as the last chapter would suggest, we shall probably have to collapse the time intervals of earlier catastrophes, perhaps even back to the Permian-Triassic boundary, if we are to use some of the evidence that we think belongs in the past 14,000 years.

Further classifications of the age of mankind will need reconsideration. Today scientific conventions are given over to discussions of "Paleolithic and Neolithic Ages," "Early, Middle, and Late Ages of Bronze," and "The Iron Age". These referents are no more sophisticated in their general configuration than those of ancient scholars such as Hesiod and Ovid. These ancients furthermore introduce cycles of creation and destruction within each age and sometimes a long linear or spiral development running through the cycles reflecting "progress" or "degeneration." [10]

Although superior in detail, there is no great scientific advantage in the optimistic, linear, evolutionary schemes of Frazer, Morgan, Engels, Spencer and others who perceived a rational technological sequence moving from hominid to contemporary mankind, and whose ideas are dominant in archaeology and paleo-anthropology today. Archaeologists and historians have coined hundreds of local designations that are poorly coordinated, even after strenuous and painstaking field and museum studies. Like geologists, they have produced a surfeit of types in order to make local distinctions, and in the process have hampered theoretical integration.

All of the most ancient peoples reported that the world moved through time in a series of creations and destructions. When the Spanish explorers encountered the Aztecs of Mexico, the Aztecs were in their Age of the Fifth Sun; the earlier "suns" had ended in catastrophe [11] . There is no exception; there could be none, until the present age. This age -- which is termed here the Solarian -- combines a seemingly stable solar system with a science that has made great technological progress by following a liner or uniformitarian theory, with a general contempt for the ideas of early men. In dividing historical time, cultural change is the most logical concept to use. Since ages must be arranged, let them be arranged by peaks of change that correlate with peaks of catastrophism. Since ages will be given names, let them perhaps be named after the sequence of great gods - those anthropomorphised expressions of disaster. For when the human race was cast down, it was by natural forces; and the forces of nature originated in the skies; and these forces were called gods and as such invaded the mind and history.

But if the scientific community, sensitive to its public image, wishes to stringently avoid any hint of association with astrologers, then an Age of Mars or an Age of Venus may be embarrassing. How to rename the ages is in itself a political and sociological problem. (There is still a U. S. cavalry long after the cavallo has disappeared in favor of machines.) Whereupon we may resort to Roman numerals and speak of Holocene I,

Holocene II, and so forth to Holocene VIII. Probably no two catastrophists will agree about the timing of the ages. They will agree that "energy has killed time" Some will then say "If such is granted, I ask no more. It is acceptable to me if millions of years are used to fill in the gaps between catastrophes." No doubt this view prevails among the scientists who are first to leave the fold of uniformitarianism. Of these, certain writers ascribe the catastrophes to extraterrestrial sources, such as Urey and Ager, others to internal stresses of the Earth.

At the other extreme of catastrophism would be scientists such as Donald Patten, who holds closely to a time schedule permitted by the Bible. Calculating back from Biblical references, he hypothesizes the Universal Deluge of Noah (caused by a near passing astral body) at 2800 B. C. and then musters as much scientific evidence as he can to show that this is possible and provable. Patten also matches up other catastrophic references in the sacred scriptures to a set of dates involving planets Mercury and Mars between the Deluge and the seventh century B. C. Moreover, he adds a pre-Deluge, astrally caused catastrophe sometime within 100,000 years of the Deluge, that brought coal, oil, and other products and gases into the earth, and refers to the outer planets as their source. Most astral or extra-terrestrial catastrophists, who see the earth as victim of intrusions from outer space, believe that at least one great catastrophe has occurred within the memory of man. Usually, like Patton, they assign this to the Great Deluge of Noah and place the Deluge in the Early Bronze Age. Terrestrially-confined catastrophists, as, in his archaeological works, Claude Schaeffer, rest simply upon the evidence of widespread destruction by fire, flood, and earthquakes during the Bronze Ages.

WHY 14,000 YEARS?

The tentative date of 14,000 years ago is chosen to form the baseline of the holocence calendar because the criteria and evidence of later catastrophes, if accepted and carried back, seem to devolve into a set of catastrophes with a beginning around 14,000 years ago. Many natural disasters seem to have been concentrated around that time, some of which are lumped into a scientific fiction called "the end of the ice-ages." True human activity began to appear in full array at this time, too, and human cultures seem to recall this period of their birth.

The calendar began with the evidence that I. Velikovsky brought to bear upon catastrophic events in the first and second millennia B. C. There appeared to be scientific value in considering the planet Mars to have been directly involved in disasters upon Earth in the period from 777 B. C. to 687 B. C. and the planet Venus to have been a direct cause of grave natural and cultural destruction in the period between 1450 and 776 B. C.

"One who mounts the tiger cannot dismount," goes the old Chinese saying so one was compelled to reason that 1) other great gods had existed earlier, 2) practically all types of phenomena that had occurred during the Venusian and Martian ages had been reported of the times of those earlier gods, 3) a fully developed human mind and culture was indicated and implicated in these earlier times, and hence 4) a series of catastrophes had occurred. Moreover, the earth had come so close to total destruction in these episodes that the list of earlier episodes could not be indefinitely long. It had to return to a baseline of a time of systematic stability. Therefore, if Uranus by its many names seemed to be the end of the line of gods in all religions, the system from which Uranus had originated had to be stable. this stable age before Urania could be called Pangea, meaning that all the land was together then and all the world was land -- covered [12] . Then I turned my attention to the possible physics of a stable heaven that could have preceded the sky of today. Finally a model of it seemed possible, which is described in the next chapter.

In respect to the lives of the gods, multitudinous findings of very recent physics, nuclear chemistry, geophysics, astrophysics, oceanographic and aerospace exploration have exposed an unstable basis of nature that is congenial to the catastrophic view point. These could be correlated with archaeological field work.

In the chapters to come, many revolutionary natural events can be shown to have occurred during the periods following the Uranian and Lunarian ; but a heavy and primordial concentration of disasters can be shown to have begun with the advent of the Uranian period around 14,000 B. C. Vital to the establishment of the baseline and subsequent periods is chronometry. Here, as I have shown, various fundamental weaknesses in the new highly touted radiometric dating techniques are being exposed, just when these techniques have dispossessed the old geological dating methods!

With respect to the beginnings of human nature the principle offered is one that most psychiatrists are ready to accept: that human behavior is most compulsively regular on matters that were once uncontrollably and disastrously irregular. An obvious signal of this great obsessiveness of the non-instinctual primate called man is the sky-struck calendarizing that seems to have preoccupied humans from the moment of their creation as such. All of these calendars of earliest human cultures were short in years and began with creation episodes. It is too early to assert that any revolutionary primevalogist has succeeded in organizing a system around these perspectives. Indeed, scientific reconstruction is likely to occur first as the failure of the established foundations of science, not as acceptance of a new system. Conventional and uniformitarian scientists are overloading their camel until finally they will add the straw that breaks its back.

Obviously, there is no single experiment, no body of science, no pre-existing general theory, by which one could have proposed this schedule of events and, by so doing, could have satisfied the demands of any single science, much less any established religion. A combination of new methodological perspectives engendered the schedule.

In all of this work, one is trying to construct a new model of science on the inconsistencies and irregularities of the old. To pragmatists and instrumentalists, it is not only heartening but also easy to accept William James' often quoted remarks to the effects that from the anomalies of an old science spring the theory of a new science. "And when the science is renewed, its new formulas often have more of the voice of the exceptions in them than of what were supposed to be the rules." [13]

Notes (Chapter Four: A Catastrophic Calendar)

1. Temple (1976) adduces evidence of the Dogons carrying "hard" astronomical facts for thousands of years. Similarly, East Africans have distinct knowledge of iron-making techniques that stratigraphy appears to prove go back to the early solarian (present era) or before.

2. C. Wells (1964); Miller (1970); physiological generation was half the present "western" time down to modern times but most statistical studies of burial grounds show "old people" at the extreme of the distribution.

3. For discussion of Thom's theory, see Thom (1977), Steen (1974) and Kolata (1977).

4. (1973) 47.

5. See also below, p. 178.

6. 272: 3, 273: 1.

7. Schindewolf (1963); Salop (1977); Lantzy et al. (1977); D. H. Clark et al.( 1977); Golonetsky, et al. (1977); Newell (1962) (1967); Hatfield (1970). Schindewolf counters the general argument that gaps in the fossil record conceal the fact of uniformitarian changes; "the lowest percentage of gap in the strata in the whole of the history of the Earth would occur precisely on the boundary between the Permian and the Triassic." (p. 20) Thus one of the very earliest of uniformitarian and evolutionary as against quantavolutionary, defenses, proposed by Darwin himself, collapses. Cf. Velikovsky (1955), 237-9.

8. Salop (1977) 30-1; Ericson et al. (1963).

9. Velikovsky (1955); Eiseley (1943) (1946); Flint( 1971).

10. Cf. Eliade (1963) 113 and ch. IX.

11. Mullen (1974) 41; Velikovsky (1950) 34 quoting von Humboldt et al.

12. Continental drift theorists, stemming from Seuss and Wegener, employ the term "Pangaea" to mean the continental crust, when it was intact and surrounded by the existing oceans. Cf. Sullivan.

13. William James (1896) 301.


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