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CHAOS AND CREATION

by Alfred de Grazia


CHAPTER TWELVE


VICTORY OF THE SUN

Albert Einstein once remarked. "What is inconceivable about the Universe is that it should be at all conceivable." We have spoken of things beyond immediate belief. They seem to be miracles. But miracles are everywhere, in a true sense. Before it happens, your next sight -- whatever you next see when you lift your eyes -- is a miracle. Its every detail could never have been predicted.

Still, surprisingly, after you see it, a full report can demonstrate that the view was no miracle: it was ordinary. That is why old ladies and little boys may enjoy sitting by their windows: every few moments will bring a miracle; afterwards, every miracle can be told. If it were a miracle, it couldn't be told.

So we say that miracles never happen; yet they happen all the time, As Bertrand Russell said, the next license plate number that you see is a miracle. The probability that you would have observed this very number is one in millions.

You may rest assured then: we are asking you to believe in miracles even as we ask you to disbelieve in them. What we say may have happened, is not at all a miracle if it did happen. And whether it happened is to be judged by evidence -- miracle or no miracle.

Cosmogony changes. Unfamiliar models become intelligible. It is anachronistic for a scientist to deny the ancient occurrence of cosmic catastrophes and biological revolutions, to accept geological and radiological chronometry as unquestionably valid, to believe that the succession of historical gods is without historical meaning, and to deny human beings any role as witnesses of epochal happenings in the history of the Earth.

Charts are drawn today that show peaks of sunspots occurring when Jupiter and Saturn are in position to exercise their maximal tidal draw upon the Sun. We can wonder whether this is but a feeble grasping to reestablish the great electrical are that once shot out from the Sun to its binary partner [1] .

It is conceivable and defensible that the suns were two, that Earth and the planets have changed their motions radically, that the atmosphere of Earth is but a ghost of an enormous electromagnetic gas tube, and that the Moon was torn from the crust of the Earth in recent memory.

The high energy forces that play upon the world collapse the time-scales of natural history and simultaneously withdraw the intellectual need for long draughts of time to explain the world. High energy forces make out of natural history a set of exponential curves resembling very old human theories that universal history runs in cycles. The set of curves represent, of course, the approach, climax and recession of revolutionizing events.

It is possible that, chained together through time, the curves exhibit a spiralling or helical history; that is, natural history may have a direction, rather than simply repeating itself. By direction is meant that the periods of the history, besides their obvious unique and eccentric qualities, may be stages of a process with an end. What is left now, as an inheritance, of a cosmic system, of the air, of the land, and of mind, may be all that we shall have to work with for a long time to come.

Humankind has not tested its inheritance fully, yet. It does not know yet what it is capable of becoming. So we are learning to dance upon the hot coals of history, daring that the coals will not flare up before the dance is learned.


SUN AND SCIENCE

In the creation period of human nature, the dominant role of the Sun was largely unrealized by mankind. Over half the period was completed before the Sun was fully visible. All of the great gods were of the Super-Uranus complex. The regularity of the Sun once it appeared in the skies, worked against its becoming a great god.

After the major physical changes had been wrought in the skies, when the visible planets moved reliably on remote cycles, and when others that had been gods had disappeared from sight, the Sun came to be a symbol of eternal security and was credited with the more stable and beneficent traits of the gods. "Old Sol" called up the affection of "Santa Claus."

Then, from time to time, out of the welter of submerged memories and habits of mind, a penchant for mundane explanation emerged. By the year 600 B. C. (2600 B. P.), secular and scientific cosmogonies were appearing, certainly in the natural philosophy of the Greeks, probably in Asia Minor as well.

Not until another thousand years had passed, however, did any movement on a culture-wide scale offer to smooth out the cycles of ancient history, center a science as well as the fate of the Earth upon the Sun, and proceed to disentangle the knotted forms of the human mind and social practices. This has been the modern science of Solaria.

Plutarch, in full Roman imperial days, was writing on "Why the Oracles Cease to Give Answers." [2] At about A. D. 400 we may commence Solaria. As Velikovsky writes, "With Macrobius in the fourth Christian century, there begins a tendency to see in many gods of Egyptian and Greek antiquity the personification of the sun. Macrobius compared Osiris to the sun and Isis to the moon, disregarding the opinion of earlier authors. He also interpreted Jupiter as the sun." More generally, "not only Ra, Amon, Marduk, Phaeton, and even Zeus, but also king-heroes, like Oedipus, became solar symbols." [3] Many more ancients were translated erroneously into sun-gods (Pharaohs, for example) or solar symbols (Odysseus, for instance). Apollo was especially favored as the sun because he had no ready planetary position and yet was a bright, shining god.

"Collective amnesia" about the old planetary gods was almost total [4] . In fact the Earth and skies had been settling down for centuries. "In those last days of classical paganism," writes Jaquetta Hawkes, "the Sun God shone like a pharos for ships at sea, guiding them on their way or lighting them into a harbor where all conflicting ideas could anchor together in a kind of harmony and mental agreement." The West had become monotheistic in the sense of Solarianism before it was converted to Christ.

The mentality and behavior that was possible and promised by the Age of Solaria did not replace more than a fraction of the human nature created by 12,500 years of intermittent chaos and disaster, Indeed, the world view of Solaria cannot hope, even if granted an ultimate full success, to master the facts and fate of the Cosmos. The human experience of catastrophes is too long to be exorcized by sunbeams.


FOREBODINGS

The Sun itself is not as constant as one had been led to believe. The recent discoveries of the role that sunspots play in the Earth's weather, climate, and, possibly, its seismic movements, have been capped by the discovery that the Sun is at the least capable of withholding sunspots for most of a century.

John A. Eddy, an astronomer from the National Center for Atmospheric Research's High Altitude Observatory, upon reporting about the historical facts of the Sun's quiescence, remarked, "we've shattered the principle of uniformitarianism for the Sun." [5] Afterwards, George B. Field, Director of the Center for Astrophysics at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Harvard College Observatory commented to the audience, "Maybe we've heard a turning point in the history of science."

The period of quiescence, called the "Maunder Minimum," was discovered from a search of records by E. W. Maunder, an English 19th century astronomer. The Sun was not exhibiting sunspots between A. D. 1645 and 1715; the sun's corona shrank greatly. Europe suffered extreme cold and famine. The Thames froze over several times [6] . Perhaps the Earth accelerated; a debate is occurring on the thesis that the Earth decelerates in response to great sun flares [7] .

Already, carbon 14 and bristlecone pine variations during this period have been verified. Moreover, three studies promptly appeared, based on notes of astronomers in the period 1611 to 1644. They concluded that there had been a dramatic acceleration of the Sun's rotation in these years leading up to the period of sunspot minimum [8] . The speed-up was particularly marked in the regions within some 15 of the Solar Equator.

"Until recently the character of solar differential rotation has been assumed to be constant. But in the period 1642 to 1644, "the equatorial velocity of the sun was faster by 3 to 5 per cent and the differential rotation [between the equator and high latitudes] was enhanced by a factor of 3." [9]

The variability of the Sun's various behaviors must now be taken for granted. A few years ago Carl Sagan and Andrew T. Young in studying a group of solar-type stars in the cluster of Praesepe, at about equal distances from our Sun, found that the individual stars were not uniformly bright. Their varied light would indicate periodicity, inconstancy, and fit the new evidence from the now-known history of our Sun. In the case of our Sun, further, another low sunspot period was discovered and a high sunspot period, in the same past one thousand years.

In 1978, two prominent astronomers in England, Fred Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, accused scientific research authorities of discriminating against their work in exobiology, which had postulated that plagues and diseases are derived from the debris of space, particularly the biophile environment of comet tails. There, germs are nurtured, and fall upon Earth with the dust and debris from time to time [10] .

It is noteworthy, in this connection, that popular traditions around the world associate comets with sundry grave human disorders -- pestilence and war among them. In A Journal of the Plague Year of 1665, Daniel Defoe reported that "a blazing star or comet appeared for several months before the Plague." The renowned Bayeux tapestry (see Figure 3) presents a scene of despair in England and the premonition of King Harold that his realm will be invaded and be overthrown by the Normans in 1066. Above the scene hangs the comet, Halley's comet to the best of our knowledge.

The last six sunspot peaks have coincided with flu epidemics. [11] Birgham, a century ago, reported the discovery of organic remains in fallen meteoroids; actually Hahn and Weinland, German scientists who did the research, claimed the presence of sponges, corals, and crinoids in the stone [12] . About the same time, the American politician and writer, Ignatius Donnelly, guessed that such widely dispersed events as the great Chicago fire, the Pestigo Forest fire, and the immense volcanic explosion of Krakatoa may have been caused by an encounter with the tail of Biela's comet [13] .

I hardly need speak of the occasional comets and meteors whose impact alone, should they strike Earth, can cause local devastation with worldwide effect. On August 10,1972, a meteor of perhaps 4000 tons and forty feet across, skipped through the atmosphere of the Mountain Sates of America and was by chance closely observed. Luigi Jacchia, an astrophysicist, who glimpsed by accident the passage, afterwards estimated its explosive force at four Hiroshima-type bombs [14] . The Tunguska explosion of 1908, in a remote area of Siberia, belongs to this category, and its effects were described earlier; reindeer became scabrous; unusual radioactivity is present still; the foreign matter is microscopic if it exists at all; some 80,000,000 trees were blown down; and some mutagenesis seems to have occurred [15] . The blast might have destroyed any city on Earth.

Jupiter is restless, too. Its Red Spot, a baleful eye of huge dimensions, was first reported by Cassini three centuries ago, in 1666 [16] . Its behavior has little changed. The Red Spot, by a satisfactory theory, that of R. Hide, is deemed to be a stagnant atmospheric column hovering over a very large, topographical feature of the planet's solid mantle. Some students have guessed it might be the place from which cometary Venus was wrenched some thousands of years ago.

The question suggests itself : if one Red Spot, why not more? Is Jupiter capable of further fissioning? Momentary decelerations have been noted. Vsekhsviatskii claims Jupiter as a source of comets [17] . Others see Jupiter, when in near conjunction with other bodies and Earth, as forming a mechanism that can trigger disastrous earthquakes in California and elsewhere [18] . In 1944, Bruce, unaware of the great heat of Jupiter, which was then considered a "cold body," mentioned that "Kothari and Anluck have recently concluded that the largest possible cold body will have a size comparable to that of Jupiter." The implication here is that Jupiter should perhaps have been hot, a binary star, and in fact, as we have seen, it is hot, and it probably was a binary. But there is a further implication. If Jupiter is cooling, as it must be, then at some point, on some day, it must also become too cold to hold together. Then it will fission, or nova.

The unmanned spaceship Voyager I crossed the bow of the magnetosphere of Jupiter at a distance of 3.8 million miles (6 million Km). Photographic close-ups gave new evidence of the immense turbulence of the shut-down binary. The satellites of Jupiter were shown to be variously formed. Io, among them, might be extremely young or continuously melted, for it was seen to be relatively unblemished. Also discovered in early 1979 was a band of charged particles, glowing in ultraviolet radiation, which circled the equatorial region of Jupiter, perhaps akin to the rings of Saturn [19] . The explosion of such an outwardly poised mass into interplanetary space would not be a difficult job for the restless giant. The consequent radiation storm on Earth might be terribly effective.

All in all, two thousand years into the Solarian Age, and despite all the attempts during that time by philosophers, theologians, and scientists to discover an eternal orderliness in the skies, it is not given to us to believe that the heavens have settled down forever. In a strictly logical sense, we must however agree with the founder of uniformitarian thought, James Hutton, he who influenced Lyell and thus Charles Darwin. Writing in 1795, he declared:

"In examining things present we have data from which to reason with regard to what has been; and from what has actually been, we have data for concluding with regard to that which is to happen hereafter." [20]

In their simple and elegant abstraction, his words are no more than both quantavolutionist and evolutionist require. For in newly "examining things present we have data" of particles and waves, turbulent heavens, mobile rocks and ocean basins, and electromagnetic-gravitational forces pervading all things. We must freshly "reason with regard to what has been." Thereupon "we have data for concluding with regard to that which is to happen hereafter," although it be far less data than we recently believed that we possessed, far more bewildering data, and far too little data for painting serenely a picture of the hereafter.


THE PROPENSITY TO SURVIVE

Like all the world, mankind, creature of the heavens, has not settled down. What he has learned of controlling himself has been compensated for by what he has learned of destruction. It is deeply feared that a volley of nuclear missiles will destroy the human race.

For those who are detached observers of the cosmic scene, quantavolutionary history offers a half-promise: nuclear bombs probably cannot exterminate this hardy species. In ancient times, universal deluges have driven people to the heights to survive. Sheets of fire have not reached survivors in their miles-deep caves. Tides have swept over mountains but passed over caves on the opposite slopes. The fall-out of deadly radiation had missed deep pockets of still air; also, there are humans suspected of possessing a partial immunity to radiation.

The burn-up of atmospheric oxygen has not consumed the exhalations of all crevices nor suffocated all swamps. The human race rafted upon the continents to new habitats, and rode the folding and thrusting rocks. Some of us were somewhere else, too, when half the crust of the Earth exploded into space.

The trump card that the human race has always played against catastrophic forces is its exponential reproducibility. This it still possesses. One may be a staunch supporter of the control of population -- believing with reason that overpopulation is itself a kind of catastrophe -- and, too, one may dread, with all reason again, a nuclear war. It is nevertheless of some consolation to consider that the reproducibility of the species amounts to an ultimate mechanism of escape from extinction in chaos and war.

A woman of fifteen can reproduce. Thereupon, the arithmetic of survival is simple : a surviving couple can generate a population of billions in a thousand years, under conservative theoretical assumptions. So effective is this challenge of life to the principle of entropy that one must credit somewhere in the dim past an evolutionary saltation that was based upon the presumption of catastrophes.

Furthermore, the individual human being is capable, in extremis, of excelling a giant programmed computer in its sensing for the possibilities of survival and can exploit any promising niche in the new world. Then and there, the human survivor will re-invent the words of Yahweh: [21]

Here I am creating new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart.



Notes (Chapter Twelve: Victory of The Sun)



1. Alter (1929) A2-191.

2. IV 56.

3. (1950) 301.

4. Ibid., 298-300; A. de Grazia (1978).

5. John A. Eddy, quoted in Frazier (1976). See Eddy (1976) (1977) et al (1977).

6. Mulcaster (1977).

7. 104 Science News (1973), 136.

8. Herr (1978).

9. 824.

10. Times (1978).

11. Hope-Simpson (1978).

12. Birgham (1881); cf. Ransom (1976) 114-5. Given the conditions of Solaria Binaria with its enduring magnetic tube and huge atmosphere, life must be presumed to have existed on other planets, such as "Apollo" and Mars.

13. (1883) 408-23.

14. New York Times, July 4, 1974, p. 8.

15. Rich (1978).

16. Chapman (1968).

17. (1967).

18. Gribbin and Plagemann (1974).

19. New York Times, March 1, 1979, B20.

20. (1795) 19.

21. Isaiah 65: 17.



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