The atmosphere of Earth is so delicate that most sudden and violent transactions in space or on Earth transform its constituents and their behavior. Considering what is to come in this book by way of demonstrating terrestrial catastrophes, one may wonder how it happens that life has survived five thousand, much less five billion years. The very fragility of the aura around us bespeaks the recency of the atmosphere as we know it.
For example, in-coming cosmic particles collide with atoms of the atmosphere, giving off neutrons that interact with nitrogen to make carbon 14. Then C14 couples with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, and is often ingested by plants and passed along to animals through the plants. When any plant or animal (living from plants) dies, it ceases to acquire C14 and the C14, which is radiogenic, decays at a constant rate into nitrogen. In the short term, the process is fairly regular. The ratio, in a specimen, of C14 to C12, a non-decaying type of carbon, can be used to date its decease. But lightning, smoke, dust, explosions, vapors and cosmic particle flux can alter the density of C14 in the atmosphere, hence in organic material.
Soviet investigators found C14 deviations in connection with galactic supernovas of the years 1054 and 1700  . Judging by the C14/ C12 ratio in annual tree rings in or about the year 1908, when the Exoterrestrial Tunguska body exploded with heavy local effect in Siberia, 1% less of the C14 was available in that year by comparison with the year before and after  . In another case, during a period called the Maunder Minimum, 1645 to 1715, when the Sun exhibited no sunspots and the Earth was gripped by a "Little Ice Age," the C14 found in tree rings of the period averaged 20% more than before and after  . Grave events disturbed the atmosphere on other occasions. Between 3200 and 3700 B. C. and in the eighth and fifteenth centuries B. C. the quantity of C14 in the air fluctuated heavily  .
A theoretical calculation by Cook that retrogressively computed the presence of C14 in the atmosphere, basing itself on a presently observed slight built-up of the gas, concluded that today's volume of C14 would have had to originate from a zero point 13,000 years ago. Why the rate would decrease to zero around that date has been interpreted as an indication of an extremely short Earth history; we here regard the hypothetical absence of C14 around that time as owing to several factors, most importantly (a) the presence of a plenum of gases incomparably more impenetrable by cosmic radiation that the present atmosphere, (b) a stronger geomagnetic shielding produced by a stronger geomagnetic field than exists today, and (c) exoterrestrially produced turbulence in the Earth's gaseous complex  . The inference here would be that major events before that time might have reconstituted the atmosphere, at which time C14 would have begun to accumulate.
Obviously C14's history indicates that other atmospheric components would not have escaped turbulent experiences. Carbon dioxide in the air fluctuates with industrial and domestic combustion. The amount in the air is increasing (it is some .03% of the atmospheric mass) and concern is expressed that the Earth's climate may change so as put much of the biosphere in jeopardy  . So also it has been surmised by students of the ozone (O3) constituent of the upper atmosphere that its destruction as a particle shield by aerosol discharges on Earth would engender high risks of biosphere damage  . All of this may happen within the next century or two.
Very similar types of blue-green algae live under the skins of rocks in the frigid Antartic desert and in the heat of the Sahara  . Abyssal organisms live beyond the reach of light. The limits of humans and their predecessors are much more narrow, whether we speak of oxygen or a dozen other basic requirements. (Later we shall examine the claim that simple organisms can traverse and inhabit space-conveyed meteoritic vehicles even "on their own.") Humans have been known to acclimatize themselves to high altitudes with low oxygen and low barometric pressure  . But beyond 20,000 feet, the human dies. Pure oxygen is, of course, a poison and an explosive.
There is little certainty about the history of the atmosphere, even during human times  . The primeval air must have contained some molecular oxygen (O2) for the lung-breathers. Not too much lest the air catch fire. Legends do report "world-burnings," that Donnelly and Velikovsky, for instance, attribute to hydrogen gas pockets of exoterrestrial origin. Nitrogen might not be needed but the air must then also have held much other gas; for terrestrial life forms are constructed to deal with outside pressures. The diaphragm and chest muscles are made to operate as a bellows sucking the oxygenated air into the lungs and exhaling it with carbon dioxide. A pressure gradient must be accommodated between the external air and the internal metabolism. Yet if the air had been too dense, creatures such as humans would be too burdened by it to move about.
Considerable leeway is permitted for the amounts of inhalable oxygen, the mixes of gases inhaled (barring poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide), the atmospheric density (pressure) and degree of vaporization, the kinds and amounts of radiation such as ultraviolet rays, temperature (from 40 to 100 Fahrenheit as a milieu), and luminosity of the environment. Dew will suffice in place of other freshwater sources. Edible plants or animals, including one's own species in extremis, must be available, and these, of course, are atmosphere-dependent too. The present human cannot survive in the highest mountain altitudes or underwater without artifices.
Given the prolific potential of human reproduction, the atmosphere might have been severely ravaged and changed without destroying utterly the species. The human body is built upon and functions with the basic elements of nature. It is catastrophised and by the very fact catastrophe-proofed to some degree. Its incubating young are deeply encased and easily transportable. What it cannot cope with internally it seeks to escape by rapid mobility and exponential rates of reproduction. The atmosphere presently consists of a changing mix of gases and vapors that moves from surface levels upwards to where the magnetosphere ends at any moment of measurement. What is beyond may be called outer space, where space plasmas, solar winds, cosmic particles, and meteoritic material play about in some disorder.
The atmosphere itself is a model of disorder. It is continuously moving and reorganizing. Everyday its pressure goes up and down. About 99% of its mass blankets the globe at under 19 miles of altitude. This consists of the gases, molecular nitrogen( 78%), molecular oxygen (21%) argon (1%) and carbon dioxide (. 03%). Water vapors rarely reach 1% of the total: normally, half of the globe is covered by clouds, which form, reform, and discharge their vapors almost entirely within six miles of the surface.
Below the clouds hang most of the "pollutants" of industry, consumption, war, and transportation. But some of this may rise so high as to threaten the layer of ozone, a poisonous triple-atom oxygen molecule (O3), which, so long as it stays out of the animal system, performs a vital function in stopping solar ultraviolet rays from reaching the animals.
As one moves up the atmospheric column from ground-zero one passes successively through "belts." These are statistical entities, not the usually discontinuous strata of the lithosphere. The sixty-mile homosphere is divided into troposphere, stratosphere, and mesosphere. Then occurs a heterosphere, and, at around 300 miles, an exosphere. The homosphere is a molecular region where nitrogen and oxygen are the principal actors; but at bottom are cloud and pollutant behaviors and at the top occur some vigorous radiation, dissociation of molecules, formation of hydrogen compounds, and ionization.
In the heterosphere, atomic oxygen, helium and hydrogen are the abundant elements. Some of the helium and hydrogen is on its way into farther space, but is replaced, it is believed, to produce an equilibrium. However, Melvin Cook, a quantavolutionary geophysicist, has asked, "Where is the Earth's Radiogenic Helium?"  . Cosmic-ray sources are alleged to generate helium at 3x10 9 g/ year. The same amount is estimated to be generated from the uranium and thorium in rocks of the lithosphere. With an Earth age of 5x10 9 years, about 10 20 grams of helium should have passed into the atmosphere by now. The atmosphere contains 3.5x10 15 grams of helium-4; if a steady state, it must have passed out through the exosphere the equivalent of the aforesaid 10 20 grams.
However helium-4 does not concentrate in the upper atmosphere significantly and "at the escape temperature of 1500°K at the base of exosphere, the rate of escape of helium-4 would be only about 600 g/ year, or only about 10 -7 as great as the replenishment rate from the lithosphere." Only by raising temperatures at the base of the exosphere by thousands of degrees could the helium be allowed to escape in sufficient quantities to permit equilibrium. This can be conceived as possible only by means of a number of immense solar storms that would wreak havoc on Earth or, worse, by large-body encounters wrecking the atmosphere. Cook suggests that the helium-4 is still increasing; the atmosphere is not in equilibrium; and if retrocalculated, a recent beginning or reconstruction of the atmosphere must be confronted.
Geophysicists and meteorologists nevertheless retain the concept of the atmosphere as a whole being in equilibrium. This is probably not so, even in the short run of a thousand years. The idea is difficult as commonsense, considering that all the way from sea level into outer space the atmospheric column is in continuous flux. It is agitated and fed from the bowels of the Earth with heat, vapor, etc. and bombarded topside by elemental particles of all kinds. Motion is continuous, too, up and down the column and then horizontally with winds produced by thermal changes, such as the seasons produce, and rotational effect that, for instance, disturb the atmosphere via surface irregularities such as mountains and basins.
Indeed, equilibrium of the atmosphere is probably more of a hope than a fact. What makes the hope into a "fact" is, not surprisingly, the uniformitarian conviction that today's actors and roles are unchanged from eons ago. Given hundred of million of years when animals and plants have been surviving, then the mix of vapors, nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, argon, ozone, and radiation must have been what they are today. And that spells equilibrium.
The belief becomes so strong that meteorologists, possessed of the "fact" of atmospheric equilibrium, can even take their turns at guarding the portals of uniformitarianism, assuring other scientists that meteorology, too, proves the long-enduring stability of present-day conditions. At the same time, ironically, meteorologists are leaders in the campaign to save the world from the atmospheric ravages produced by a few years of industrialism, atom bombs, and aerosol discharges.
A quantavolutionist may share heartily the meteorologists' fear of the poisoning of our present atmosphere. The quantavolutionist would at the same time point out the extreme improbability of the atmosphere's having been preserved intact-free from radical changes and poisons over long periods of time. Unless, of course, there were, before the present atmospheric system came about, some ancestral system that in its nature involved a true long-term equilibrium.
It is generally admitted that the sources of nitrogen and oxygen of the air are uncertain and disputed. Further, the sources of water and salt are unknown. Too, all of the minor gases of the atmosphere are of mysterious origin: neon, helium, methane, krypton, hydrogen, nitrous oxide, and xenon. And some has mysteriously "disappeared;" neon "should be" far more abundant, for example.
Oxygen is supposed to have been exhaled from plants, permitting thus the beginnings of animal life. Orthodoxy puts this "happening" at over a billion years ago. Perhaps the only "hard" evidence for the event is the discovery of a non-oxidized core of uranium and sulphur in Kenya, the presumption being that there was little or no molecular oxygen with which the elements could react when the rock was formed. Yet by this kind of reckoning, it is hard, too, to explain fossils of 3.1 billion-year-old bacteria  . It has long been permissible to speculate that the components of the air came from the "primordial melt," a fiction of science performing very much the same role as the fiction of "the end of the Ice Ages." One may as well speculate that they came from space, since practically every element has been identified within the magnetosphere of Earth.
There are indications that the Earth may have evolved in a binary system such as I have described in Chaos and Creation and, with Earl R. Milton, in Solaria Binaria. An electrical axis, carrying an arc or current between the Sun and its small and less radiant binary partner, would be a more durable and gently changing source of radiation and chemical energies than the direct glare of the sun today. A magnetic gaseous tube rotating around the axis would provide a full complement of chemical elements, again in a highly stable medium that so minor a product as aerosol sprays could not disrupt. It would be making large quantities of all the substances whose manufacture in the small atmospheric and petrological economy of "Spaceship Earth" has been hard to explain. Atmospheric pressures, too, would be stable. Winds would be largely absent, illumination fairly constant.
It should be permissible to speculate that the magnetic gas tube stretching between the binary's two principals was the source of the Earth's atmosphere. Most of the binary tube gases would have escaped into space with the decline and disappearance of the axial current. The Earth then may be surviving upon the fragment of the gases that its electric-gravitational field retained. The atmosphere now may be only a remanent halo.
The variety and abundance of the atmospheric gases are what would be expected according to the gas tube model. A long-time continuity of the atmosphere and biosphere would have been possible; life could have begun long ages ago (or recently) and enjoyed the same relationships it now enjoys with oxygen, carbon dioxide, water, and salts. The fragile ozone layer was entirely missing, without ill effects, because the Sun and galaxy were not striking directly upon the Earth. Indeed, there would be little need for a stratified, local Earth atmosphere. The Earth could change position along the central axis without losing its atmospheric and thermal equilibrium. In the early declining period of the axial current, the pollutant of meteoroid or large-body contacts could be dissipated into the gas tube environment, and important losses replaced from the same source. Even the effects of an eruption of the Moon from the Pacific Basin would be cushioned by the binary atmosphere.
The postulated magnetic tube would be randomly composed. Its gases would be arranged with the lighter elements nearer the axial current, heavier elements in the middle; simple compounds would occur toward the boundary of the tube, where the planets were rotating. The heavy-bodied planets would accrete their special atmospheres within the tube, even while rotating magnetically around the axial current. But the difference between the terrestrial atmosphere and the tube atmosphere would be far less than between the Earth's atmosphere and its heterosphere or outer space today.
It is understandable, under these postulates, how the Earth's atmosphere, so fragile, might have existed for a considerable period of time. Given the evidences of catastrophes on Earth, I do not see how the atmosphere could have survived without large external atmospheric background. Still the Earth was lucky to escape the fate of Mars, Mercury and possibly other inner planets, whose atmospheres were almost entirely stripped; Venus, with an infernally hot and turbulent atmosphere, was an exception, but a recent arrival from Jupiter. All of this is possible, and dealt with in Chaos and Creation and Solaria Binaria. Scientific opinion has slowly liberalized in respect to new models. By 1972 a scientist might write offhandedly in Nature magazine that "major reorganizations of the solar system are no longer regarded as ridiculous." 
Recently, dendrochronologists, historians, meteorologists, radiocarbon dating specialists, and astronomers combined in a most unusual enterprise. They delivered a blow to the theory of the constant Sun. John A. Eddy of the National Center for Atmospheric Research conveyed the message: "We've shattered the Principle of Uniformitarianism for the Sun."  He presented evidence mentioned earlier, showing that for 70 years between 1645 and 1715 A. D. sunspots were almost entirely absent. It proved to be a period of bitter prolonged winters, when Londoners walked across an iced-over Thames River, when the Northern Lights hardly displayed themselves, and when the 11-year sun-spot cycle was absent. Lapses of the same kind were uncovered in other historical periods.
Other conditions may be expected to vary with sunspots -solar flares, ozone density, radiation diminution, precipitation, magnetic fields, atmospheric turbulence, famines and perhaps even human energy and inventiveness. No doubt the last will be among the most difficult to prove. No simple search of the annals of culture will reveal a closely related trend.
Stretching the uniformitarian thesis, more severe storms may be conjectured for pre-historic times, in an attempt to keep the planetary bodies in place, eliminate cometary encounters and still explain catastrophes upon Earth. Thus Harlow Shapley, who led some scientists in an attack upon Velikovsky's catastrophism in 1950, himself had in 1935 proposed a solar nova as the explosive generator of space X-rays.
Hurricanes, volcanism, interrupted rotation, ozone destruction, ice ages, geomagnetic field reversals, biological extinctions and even explosions of cometary and meteorological material on Earth can be rationalized up to a point as effects of solar misbehavior. Such a theory is possible, but it would be like hiring a thief to catch a thief. For the Sun would then become sole factor in quantavolutions, in the effort to exclude other bodies from trespassing upon Earth. As we shall see, there is too much evidence of other operative factors to assign the whole job of quantavolutions to the Sun, even though, as a matter of fact, the Sun is the original sire of quantavolution in the solar system, according to the model of Solaria Binaria, mentioned above, which begins history with a nova of the Sun.
According to the quantavolutionary theory here presented, solar behavior has exhibited only effects of a moderate kind since its gradual emergence as a distinct bright image some thousands of years ago. Before then, the Sun was hidden or a bright prominence in the cloudy firmament. Its indirect influence was of course always paramount. But should the counter-thesis be proposed that the Sun was responsible directly for earthly catastrophes, it would have to be said that its "uniformitarianism," though spotty, was nevertheless much greater than that of the planetary family descended from the Sun's binary partner, which I have called Super-Uranus after the Greco-Roman first Heavenly Father.
The sunspots may be a trailing-off effect of the exhaustion of the electrical current and magnetic tube. That is, they may be fairly regular attempts of electricity to jump the gap between the Sun and its binary. In such a case, the sunspots should become less intense and more sporadic with the passage of time, like the plasmoids and bolts of Jupiter.
Climate is the typical behavior of the atmosphere over any geological column during a longish time. Every island, they say in the Caribbean and Aegean Seas, has its own climate; "mini-climate" would be precise. More expansively, we can talk of a regional climate or a global climate. Too, we shall soon have a "cosmic climate," since evidence is fast accumulating of solar-planetary transactions on a continuing climatic basis. Earthquakes, volcanism, winds, precipitation, magnetic fields, temperatures, electric currents and the biosphere transact in climatic affairs.
One does not get this sense of a welter and complex of factors in going far back by conventional chronology. Rather one has the sense that climates have swirled around in multiform changes in the Quaternary period but then somehow climates withdraw into the background while we are presented a broad succession of ages in the tens of millions of years each, when life changed very slowly and conditions of biological survival and adaptation must have been constant over long periods of time. One is privileged to view charts in which paleontological developments occur at the slowest imaginable pace, with only a dozen or so boundary lines where, certainly, it is given that climates changed and new names are provided -Devonian, Carboniferous, and so on. Did climates, with all the factors that engender them, stand still for these long periods in rigid constancy? This would be unbelievable. If in between the major boundaries of epochs, climates changed as they have in the brief recent past of the Quaternary, then the paleontological and geological record is far too short, or contains very little information. In sum, either the world has changed and the recent past speeds up wildly in comparison with the remote past, or else the remote past is still quite unknown despite its diligent study over two centuries by numerous disciplines and thousands of scholars.
Hence climatology lends us a great doubt when we imagine it fitting to the long past ages, and many doubts when we try to use it for the turbulent recent times. A great many works on pre-history try to associate events with climatic changes. Considering that geologists have failed to establish confidence in climatic boundaries and periods, the pre-historian's failure is predictable.
For instance, classicist Rhys-Carpenter has endeavored to explain as a climatic worsening over generations the end of the Mycenean (Greek) civilization and the subsequent so-called "Dark Ages" (an invented period of several hundred years to evade evidence of catastrophes in the eighth and seventh centuries B. C. and to accommodate Greek to Egyptian chronology, the later itself wrong by centuries)  . Cities were abandoned in the face of desiccation; new hot, dry prevailing winds made impossible the carrying on of their culture.
To believe him, however, one must have a reason why the flowering of Greek culture occurred under the same climatic conditions later on. One must also discount the many evidences of natural destruction by fire and earthquake of the Mycenean centers  . One must cling to a spurious Egyptian chronology, which gives 500 years to Greek and Mediterranean history that, since nothing happened, are not needed  . Further, catastrophic changes in winds and precipitation have a cause; that cause can only be celestial changes, whether by introduction of new Earth motions and land forms, or by solar-system particle-outputs. If the Alaskan musk contains the swept-in plant and animal life of large areas and the species it contains are modern, then one should suspect that sooner or later, as Hibben has opined, humans, even clothed and deep-frozen, should turn up by accident or deliberate excavation. Already, several pre-" Ice Age" settlements have been uncovered within the arctic circle by Americans and Russians. Rodents and mammoths froze quickly while eating warm-weather plants. How abrupt was the climatic change that killed them is unreported, if known. The polar regions were recently near-tropical in climate and ecology  .
The bafflement of archaeologists over climate is understandable. They follow the evolutionists. But the attic of climatic evolutionism is stuffed with junk. When a modish dress does not suit the facts, an old-fashioned one is tried on.
For example, the heat of the Earth has been described in numerous ways over the past two hundred years; hence, without ostracism, one may propose that the Earth has an enormous internal heat or is cool -whichever advances one's theory of climates. Too, the ages of the Earth and its geological periods have been estimated with tens and hundreds of millions of years of variance and leeway, so that evidence of climatic shift can often be placed in time wherever it will fit the theory at hand. And the melting of the ice sheets can proceed rapidly or slowly, as needed for a particular job of explanation.
Uniformitarians employ typically six mechanics of climatic change :
(a) a cooling of the Earth's interior over eons of time. (Since this should have ended long ago, with the Earth's interior stabilized, a radioactivity of deep rocks is now believed to be an incessant source of heat from below.)
(b) a crawling up and crawling back of ice owing to pronounced cyclical solar activity (which has lately received some support by the aforementioned "Maunder Minimum" and sunspot studies.) (c) a reorientation of prevailing winds due to a manmade or artificial desiccation of lands, or to ice movements or Earth cooling (as above.)
(d) the "inches-per-century" drift of the continents from cold to hot places or vice-versa.
(e) heavy multiple volcanism, called upon to supply the heat for the vaporizing of waters that then proceed northward and drop upon the polar areas as snow and ice.
(f) changes in solar activity, whereby a period of diminished or augmented sunspots will produce cold weather or stormy weather.
That all of these are explanations inadequate to explain even holocene climatic change is evident in the controversies and the contradictions continually appearing. Geologist Vita-Finzi practically abandons his search for climatic benchmarks in his authoritative work on the holocene. Lacking the engine of a general theory and a time-table to run it on, freightcars may be switched around at will. In one place he is driven to remark: "On the assumption that every yodel in the Alps had its echo on the coast, pebble bands are equated with glacial episodes, truant beds are eroded away, and the uplift of mountains is delayed to justify the absence of glacial features."  He prays that the radiochronometrists will rescue the situation. But I have already concluded in my analysis of tests of time, published in Chaos and Creation, that a rescue must come from elsewhere.
Perhaps a quantavolutionary scheme may do better. It is not written in some law that enough time must be allowed to let humans get away, bag and baggage, from the changing air. Every catastrophe which they underwent would demand a climatic response as one of its effects. Hence there may have been a score of global shifts in climate within a 14,000 year holocene period.
Certainly the boundaries of the ages would point to climatic change. The onslaughts of the early holocene mark a paramount boundary. There came destruction of a worldwide greenhouse regime and the beginnings of mountain ranges, huge deserts, stripped shield rock, high plateaus, oceans and their currents, and biosphere revolution.
This Pleistocene-Holocene boundary climax is euphemistically carried in the logbook of the sciences as "the end of the Ice Ages". I treat it as the Lunarian climax in Chaos and Creation, because of its apparent connection with the advent of the Moon. Hundreds of titles from many fields are dedicated to it. In oceanography, Emiliani extracts from Gulf of Mexico bottom cores the information that a fresh water avalanche descended upon the basin some 11,500 years ago and he wonders whether this was from a cataclysm such as sank the legendary continent of Atlantis. Tree pollen changed abruptly in the Great Lakes region about 10,000 years ago, according to J. G. Ogden III. "The only mechanism sufficient to produce a change of the kind described here would therefore appear to be a rapid and dramatic change in temperature and/ or precipitation." 
Oceanographers Broeoker, Ewing, and Heezing gather ocean-bed "Evidence for an Abrupt Change in Climate Close to 11,000 Years Ago."  Vita-Finzi reports that a group of geosols, or weathering profiles, ended their development about 12,000 years ago; the date is proposed as the holocene beginning for the U. S. A.  . From Israel, paleo-zoologist Joseph Heller writes of the faunal remains of a Kebaran Site on Mount Carmel  :
What then was the cause of the post-Natufian size crash? (9000-10,000 B. C.) The fact that the crash occurred in certain carnivores and rodents simultaneously suggests that it was not causally related to phases in the evolution of human cultures. Rather this simultaneous dwarfing favors climatic interpretation. Drastic climatic changes occurred in various parts of the world towards the end of the Pleistocene about 12,000 years ago. In tropical Africa, India, South America and Australia, conditions that were extremely arid before 12,500 B. P. suddenly gave way to increase in humidity.
It is generally accepted by pre-historians of Europe that the end of the Pleistocene Ice Ages brought disaster to human races and cultures. The finding is surprising, considering that the warmer the climate, the more abundant the biosphere should be. But if catastrophes were involved, the reduction and retardation would be understandable, indeed demanded.
Ruins of cultures are found in many a harsh climate of the world, in deserts, on high plateaus, amidst perma-frost, and in steaming jungles. (Let us exclude, under the seas, which, after all, involved a climatic change, one which we shall discuss later on.)
When archaeologists and pre-historians cannot explain the death of a culture by enemy invasion, plague, or economic decline, they are prone to seek out a change of climate. But what they seek out is a uniformitarian or gradual change of prevailing winds, rainfall, and temperature. Centuries, if not millennia, are invoked to pursue the death agonies of a culture.
The quantavolutionist tackles the same problem with a markedly different concept, catastrophic climatic change. With the images in mind of an aboriginal greenhouse world afforded by many sources, he sees in every desert a likely disaster, every tall plateau another one, under frozen arctic shores still another.
For the quantavolutionist, too, the mechanisms of explanation are available, they are high-energy forces as provoked possibly by changes in the Earth's motion, a change of its orbital path around the Sun, a shift of its angle of inclination to the plane of the ecliptic (axial tilt), and a movement of its crustal shell (continental displacement). They include, further, a bombardment or discharge of particles, including cosmic electricity, affecting the atmosphere and magnetosphere that stretches even now beyond the Moon. And deluges of salt, oil and other dense material that spoils the land.
With all of this, it would seem that the quantavolutionist would necessarily bungle more than the uniformitarian in describing the natural history of climatic change. He is using, it seems, many more variables, and the more the variables, the more complicated the solution of a problem. However, the quantavolutionist has two sources of encouragement, he can see how futile are the explanations of the conventional climatologists of the natural history of climate. And the evidence appears to fall into the line of this theory with surprising ease.
The uniformitarians, in attempting to explain climate by reducing chances of natural catastrophes to a near-zero constant, become bogged down in a morass of special climates; every way they turn they discover new and different climates. They cannot cope with the possibility that in the sudden prelude and aftermath of disaster, short-term climates by the hundreds are created around the world; deserts are deluged, jungles are desiccated, lands are flooded, lands rise, winds change sharply, soils are turned over, the biosphere is transformed; if late in time, cultures terminate, or spring up, or react eccentrically. Nor can they allow that, if several global catastrophes may have occurred in four billion years, several might have occurred in ten thousand year, each transforming atmosphere and climate.
A Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution team reported in the Scientific American of March 1982 a set of discoveries which threatens the prevailing theory that oceanic waters are regionally stable, that regional bottoms reflect this aquatic stability, and that world climates can be determined by fossil and chemical balances of the bottom content. Eddies of the great oceanic currents such as the Gulf Stream occasionally break off from these gigantic oceanic flows and set up columnar rings of water that can reach 300 kilometers in diameter, even in this relatively placid age, and endure for 18 months or more. The ring-waters differ significantly in salinity, oxygen content, and temperature from their surroundings. Biological assemblages follow suit. Sedimentation rates are also a function of current velocity. Under such conditions, given several thousand, let alone several hundred million, years false climates can be expected to be inferred practically everywhere. Misleading strata will be exceedingly numerous. Once more, we must warn against the many theoretical structures of climate, hydrology, chronology and paleontology that interlock in varying degrees of poorness of fit. These findings by the Woods Hole scientists may effectively administer the coup de grace to the whole lot of them.
But we must not be carried away with the holistic interplay of factors before we have explained them. We may content ourselves at this point with three tentative, even sceptical, remarks. The atmosphere is not stable and has not been for long in its present state of equilibrium. When subjected to quantavolutionary hypotheses, the history of the atmosphere becomes full of mystery and potentiality. The study of climates has been vigorously pursued, but perhaps with the wrong conceptual instruments. Climates, the benchmarks of atmospheric history, seem to us to disintegrate under analysis into ephemeral signals of catastrophic events.
Notes (Chapter Two: The Gaseous Complex)
1. B. K. Konstantinov and G. E. Kocharov, "Astrophysical Phenomena and Radiocarbon," 10 Sov. Physics 11 (May, 1966), 1043-4.
2. C. Cowan, C. R. Atluri, and W. F. Libby, 206 Nature (1965), 861.
3. Science News, March 6, 1976; Astronomy (March 1979), 58; J. A. Eddy, P. A. Gilman, and D. E. Trotter, "Solar Rotation During the Maunder Minimum," 46 Solar Physics (1976), 3-14.
4. A. F. M. de Jong, W. G. Mook and B. Becher, "Confirmation of the Suess Wriggles: 3200-3700 B. C." 2180 Nature #5717 (July 5,1979) 48-9; I. U. Olsson, ed. "Radiocarbon Variations and Absolute Chronology," (12th Nobel Symposium, 1969; Alqvist and Wiksell, Stockholm and New York: Wiley, 1970) esp, H. E. Suess; Alfred de Grazia, Chaos and Creation, 48-52.
5. Melvin Cook, "Carbon 14 and the Age of the Atmosphere," Creation Res. Soc. Q., June 1970. Reuven Ramaty (U. C. L. A., Calif) has studied extensively geomagnetic effects.
6. Gilbert N. Plass "Carbon Dioxide and Climate," Sci. Amer. (July 1959), 3.
7. S. W. Tromp, Biometeorology (Philadelphia: Heyden, 1980), 12, 16-17, 19.
8. George W. Gray, "Life at High Altitudes," 193, Sci. American (Dec. 1955), 58; "Respiration and Respiratory Systems," Ency. Britannica (1974), 763.
9. E. I. Friedmann and R. Ocampo, "Endolithic Blue-Green Algae in the Dry Valleys" (Antarctica), 193 Sci. (24 Sep. 1976), 1247.
10. L. V. Berkner and L. C. Marshall, "A History of Major Atmospheric Components," 63 Proc Nat'l Acad Sci 6( 1965) 1215; John A. Eddy, "The Sun Since the Bronze Age," Int. Sym. on Solar-Terres, Phy., June, 17, 1976; J. S. Sawyer, ed., Proceedings Intl Sym on World Climate: 8000 to B. C. (London: Royal Meterological Soc., 1966; Donald W. Patten, The Biblical Flood and the Ice Epoch (Seattle: Pacific, Meridian, 1966), Chapter. 9.
11. 179 Nature (26 Jan. 1957) 213.
12. I. S. Shklovskii and Carl Sagan, Intelligent Life in the Universe (New York: Dell, 1966), 223-4.
13. A. G. W. Cameron, 240 Nature (1 Dec. 1972), 229
14. Supra, fn. 3.
15. Rhys Carpenter, Discontinuity in Greek Civilization (Cambridge: Harvard U., 1966)
16. Claude F. A. Schaeffer, Stratigraphie Cornparé... (London: Oxford, 1948).
17. I. M. Isaacson (pseud.), "Applying the Revised Chronology." 4 Pensée 4 (Fall). 5.
18. This has been known since O. Heer in the 1860's. See Velikovsky, Earth in Upheaval (New York: Doubleday, 1955), 44 et seq. Cf. H. H. Lamb, "The Earth's Changing Climate," 180-5 in Encycl. Britannica Yrbk, 1975; Frank Hibben, Treasure in the Dust (195 1).
19. Claudio Vita-Finzi, Recent Earth History (New York: Wiley-Halstead, 1973), 106-7.
20. See below, Chapter 31
21. 258 Amer. J. Sci.. 429.
22. Op. cit., 42-3.
23. The Faunal Remains of Iraq es Zihhan, a Kebaran Site on Mt. Carmel; cf. Livingstone, 1975 "Late Quaternary Change in Africa," Ann. Rev. Ecology and Systematics 6: 249-81; Williams, M. 1975 "Late Pleistocene Tropical Aridity Synchronous in Both Hemispheres," 253 Nature 617-18; Hamen, Wunstra, and Zagwin "The Floral Record of the Late Cenozoic of Europe," in Turekian, K, ed. The Late Cenozoic Glacial Ages (Yale U. Press); Farraud, "The Floral Record," Ibid