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By Alfred de Grazia



The nature that offers itself to our view, which includes the solar system, the earth, and the biosphere, assumed its present form in a series of sudden leaps, occurring over short periods of time. So goes the theory of quantavolution. Besides the idea of sudden leaps, other principles are basic. First the original source of great changes in the nature of the earth and man has been in the skies. Second, the latest period of time, roughly the holocene period, say 14,000 years, has witnessed catastrophes. Third, the great changes of recent times have created modern humans. In sum, nature and mankind have been recently catastrophized and transformed by forces of exoterrestrial origin.

Science is full of controversies. It thrives upon dispute. Catastrophists are far fewer than uniformitarians, but they are, if anything, more disputacious, both amongst themselves and with others. Those who interpret natural history by the "sudden leap" of quantavolution or catastrophe may not accept even one, much less all three of the aforesaid principles.

For instance, one of the greatest current catastrophists, the geo-physicist Melvin Cook, has treated a broad range of problems in the fossil record, movement of continents, radiodating, and atmospheric changes without resort to comets or other exoterrestrial forces. Another, Donald Patten, a geographer, makes it quite clear that his work is related to and supported by Christian theology. The most famous catastrophist, Immanuel Velikovsky, did not challenge the presumption that mankind is very ancient; although unfriendly to Darwinism, he might well disagree with some of the mechanisms and interpretations of human events that I have proposed. He would probably disagree as well with other theories connected in my opinion necessarily with the catastrophic model. These three examples could be multiplied. A practical difficulty faces a student of general quantavolution in that its materials are nowhere properly indexed as such and no special library of the field exists. Until lately, it has been the unwritten rule in scientific journals to "tone down" any indications of catastrophism in articles and especially in titles. Still I have come upon many hundreds of relevant items. They emerge mostly from conventional sources of science. A smaller number are centered upon quantavolution, with the appropriate perspective, and these are found in only several special magazines or in old scientific sources. One moves among the conventional literature with a practiced glance, like an archaeologist spotting bitty shards among tons of debris.

William Corliss publishes at Glen Arm, Maryland, a quarterly scan of anomalistic material, "Science Frontiers", often quantavolutionary it so happens. Thus, examining a list of fourteen items, which he chose for Number 15, Spring 1981 -- and these are only a fraction of the works published around the time -- my brain was twitched by every one of then, and I would like the reader to see how these raw twinges first enter the mind:

1. "Ancient Basque inscriptions are identified by noted expert on the so-called Mechanicsburg Stones of Pennsylvania." Yes, Basque dwellers of the Tethyan Sea, fringes of Atlantis, survivors of 6000 B. C., see Chaos and Creation. (NEARNA Journal)

2. "Agriculture was not a step forward in human development." Yes. Why plant when you can reap without sowing. Probably a response to ecological stringency; humans could plant immediately; cultural hologenesis. (Science)

3. "New discoveries of buried and changed Stonehenge stone configurations." Cf. changed and variant stone and temple orientations also in Mesoamerica. Earth tilts involved. As sky changes, orientations change. (Nature)

4. "Continental crust found 450 miles west of Gibraltar." Possible Atlantis material, sunk and left behind by rapidly rafting land masses moving both sides of the Rift, perhaps in the Saturnian deluge period. (Baltimore Sun, AP) 5. "Distant galaxies resemble near galaxies." Yes, cf. Solaria Binaria. Short time. No "Big Bang." (Science News)

6. F. E. Segal on "tired light." Light not tired. Just Busy. Gravitation very tired, needs to be retired. (Nature)

7. On "free quarks." Not only are "fractional charges... almost as unnerving as irrational numbers," but so too the ideal of infinite regression (or progression) in the 'size' of events: "man is the measure of all things" -- hardly. (Science)

8. "Do bacterias think?" Everything thinks, "Higher organisms, cf Homo Schizo, conduct more elaborate transactions with the environment (and internally) to achieve "the thinking effect". (Psychology Today)

9. Quick evolution: quantavolution of immunological systems, in re Ted Steele's studies. Functions of organisms have their own bio-time, time not absolute. Life-career (birth to death, etc.) is subjectively concept of the dominating ego, cf. Homo Schizo, momentarily in charge: the trapped soul? How free is it if it is in a paraelectric frame? (New Scientist)

10. Cf deep thrusting and folding burial concept in M. Cook's Earth Models, also my Lately Tortured Earth. Deep is very deep, perhaps embracing the surface (including exoterrestrial) origins of Soter and Gold's erupting, abiogenic, natural gases. (Geotimes)

11. Iceland a meteorite crater, according to Whipple, with high iridium at Cretaceous-Tertiary boundaries. Cf. galloping continental drift in Chaos and Creation. Was the C-T boundary laid down yesterday in the chaos of Earth parturition and Moon eruption and escape? (New Scientist)

12. "The Novaya Zemlya solar mirage" is likely, along with many such early phenomena of the disordered skies, to sponsor some fine animistic legends of the heavens. (Physics Today) 13. In re admitted "ice-ball fall in England," page C. Fort's comparable cases. Electrical fashioning of balls, see E. Crew's new essay. (J. Meteorology - UK)

14. Lorber's work on an intelligent human with 1/ 10 normal brain matter fits Homo Schizo theory, where I develop the concept of humanness being largely independent of the large brain but a product of self-awareness, of the fearful loss of instinctual integrity. (Science)

The Society for Interdisciplinary Studies (London) publishes Workshop, containing quarterly annotations of a score and more of titles relevant to quantavolution studies. Thus, the eye catches the following points of the varied list of Volume 5: 1 (1982).
1. New 700 B. C. Martian period tablet: "The natural order of things somehow has gotten reversed and the response of the high gods, the Shaddayin, is to turn day into night." (Bull. Amer. Schl. Orient. Res.)

2. More material on the Thera disaster (of -1100?) and the confusion of dates. Tsunamis devastate Greece and the Near East.( Bib. Archaeol. R.)

3. Reviews special issue of Frontiers of Science on Velikovsky's work.

4. The disputed case of Prof. A. C. Arp, who faces shut-down of project because he believes quasars are close, not exceedingly remote, relative to our galaxy. (Daily Telegraph report 9 March 1982).

5. Critique of N. Hembest's attack on 3 different theories of rapid (i. e. catastrophic) shifts of Earth's poles. (The Unexplained, magazine).

6. Some birds (e. g. Japanese quail and zebra finches) are unexpectedly in-breeders, not out-breeders, contra "need" for genetic variability. (New Scientist).

7. Two newly spotted asteroids make total of 40 on Earthcrossing orbits, ergo potential encounters. (New Scientist). 8. Soviet Venera 13 and 14 results show solar radiation is absorbed by Venus at 60 km and the clouds are mostly sulphur. How can "greenhouse effect" work with these conditions? Implication: Venus heat is internal. (Aviation Week and Space Tech.)

9. Viking Orbiter pictures heavy meteoric, volcanic, and erosional effect on Mars, with possible meandering dry river systems. (New Scientist). Was Mars once (lately) biophile?

10. Review of "Burt Scandal" (BBC radio 4) on ethics and prestige of scientists.

11. Controversy over evidence of "plate tectonic" continental drift without continents on Venus (Venera 14 findings) (BBC, Science in Action).

12. On the temperature extremes endurable by dinosaur's eggs. (New Scientist, Corriere del Ticino)

13. A primitive "precursor" of the even-toed hooved animals (pigs) is now revealed to be of a different family (mouse deer), so another "missing link" is gone. (New Scientist).

14. Jurassic find in China exhibits an earlier line of mammals that may have evolved and extincted 30 million years earlier than accepted beginnings of present mammalia. (New Scientist).

15. The Eocene-Oligocene boundary is marked with extinctions, microtektites and high iridium levels of exoterrestrial event. (New Scientist).

16. Gravitational Constant may be changing, as applied to changing lunar orbit (Astrophy. J.) Is one more Absolute deteriorating?

17. Venus and Earth have different origins, or Venus had no potassium or lost its argon-40. (New Scientist). 18. Well-preserved Carboniferous Age fossil deposits near Glasgow, both marine and terrestrial, with confused sedimentation (Nature)

19. Source of earthquake lights in rock friction discharges (New Scientist).

20. Soviet Kola peninsula Bronze Age settlements contemporary with Mediterranean, with utensils and paintings, slate trade with far-off points. (Soviet Weekly). Possible polar shift or drastic (exoterrestrial) climate changes.

21. High proportion of Late Minoan Cretan copper artefacts made from Greek, not Cypriote, copper. (Nature Science). Culture shifts, or copper mine discoveries.

22. Density of wood in tree rings can indicate outer space events and exact weather data. (Soviet Weekly).

23. Reviews listed of Clube and Napier's Cosmic Serpent as indicating mood of scientific reception system re catastrophes.

24. Work of J. W. Follin on possibility of 4 billion year old solar system as a binary (report in Memphis Commercial Appeal).

25. Ophiolites (from oceanic crust) found in mountain sediments suggest catastrophic oceanbed lava extrusions buckling to form mountains. (Scientific American.)

26. Lack of texts -700 to -750 and erratic texts of mid-second millenium in Babylonian otherwise accurate Babylon records in R. Stephenson studies. (New Scientist.)

27. Low-density comet impact blamed for Tunguska 1908 event (U. S. R. & D. Associates, New Scientist).

28. Meteroid impacts (5 to 10 km diam.) may have created various large basaltic oceanic plateaus. (Nature.)

30. Comets now observed frequently to impact on Sun. (New Scientist).

31. High anomalous magnetism and radioactivity detected at megalithic sites may indicate ancient man had sensing devices for astronomical constructions. (New Scientist.)

32. Lunar rock magnetism without lunar magnetic field raises questions of origins of rock. (New Scientist.)

Most of the items were culled from conventional scientific sources such as the New Scientist and Nature. A much more extended, regular survey is obviously needed; still, that limited and antagonistic sources should provide access to so much relevant quantavolutionary material is noteworthy.

The eye of the catastrophist (this quantavolutionary primevalogist) is trained to see a record of natural destruction in the history of nature and man. Others, trained in uniformitarian ways of thought, will try to explain the same sight by gradual processes, or be oblivious of it. Niagara Falls, whose turbulence soothes the doubts of honeymooners, excites the catastrophist. For it cuts back into its source by a certain footage each year and this permits us to measure how long its gorge has been growing. Apparently only several thousand years have passed since the Great Wisconsin Ice Cap suddenly melted to create the Great Lakes and their Niagara outlet towards the sea. The age of the Falls has been reduced by 300% in consequence. But perhaps a great deluge and flooding created the lakes and a great earthquake the rift of the St. Lawrence River.

Let us continue our noting of some relevant studies, going back in time for a few years. On January 6, 1977, the New York Times reports the detection of a quake on Mars. One asks, for the hundredth time, "How can seismism shake celestial bodies that have supposedly been undisturbed and cooling off for billions of years?" The inconstant Sun? A recent encounter?

The eye notes an article in the newspapers of early 1976: a Soviet scientific expedition has moved into the territory of the Tunguska (Siberia) meteoritic explosion of 1908 where a flourishing new kind of forest has sprung up and new species of plants have been seen. The catastrophist thinks, "This explosion has been long on my mind. If it had maintained its path for minutes longer before striking St. Petersburg (now Leningrad), the capital of the Russian Czars would have disappeared in heat and dust. The heat was fierce, in thousands of degrees; no wonder odd biological phenomena have occurred. But why the absence of a crater? Was the meteoroid actually an explosive gas cloud, and was it a gas cloud that blasted Sennacherib's great army besieging Jerusalem in 687 B. C.?"

In 1975 Soviet astronomers detect X-rays emanating from planet Saturn. X-rays signify a very recent explosion, a nova event, on a star. In a small nova, one that does not disintegrate the body completely, the shell blasts off, and the wounded body bleeds these rays for thousands of years. The quantavolutionary thinks: "Mythology from several places reports that Saturn, the planet-god, flew into a fiery rage... Velikovsky in 1965 wrote Harry Hess of Princeton, to urge that Saturn be studied for the emission of x-rays." And what a truculent monster appears to be the son of Saturn, Jupiter, upon examination by spacecraft.

In 1974 the astrophysicist Robert Bass demonstrates mathematically that the structure and motions of the solar system cannot be presumed to be stable even to one thousand years. Bass is a catastrophist. He is also sympathetic to biblical creationism. The quantavolutionary reads him carefully. "Will Bass lead me astray out of enthusiasm, or into the Promised Land? Will any uniformitarian arise now to challenge him, to prove his equations wrong, to defend what is after all the heart of the uniformitarian position, that the solar system is stable because the laws of Newton and the mathematics of La Place claimed them to be so?"

In 1974 oceanographer Cesare Emiliani of the University of Miami published results of core drillings showing that the Gulf of Mexico had filled with fresh waters from tremendous recent flooding and speculated that the event may have been tied to the sinking of Atlantis, with both occurring around 11,500 years ago. The catastrophist conjectures about the fresh waters of the Gulf of Mexico. First, they could be the floodwaters of the suddenly destroyed ice cap, an inconceivably great deluge, perhaps tied into the practically complete resurfacing of the earth about 11,500 years ago. In 1974 the chemist John Anderson reports experiments indicating that radiocarbon activity, the chief present method of dating back to 50,000 years ago, was neither random nor constant. If the isotopes of radioactive carbon, for reasons yet unknown, decay sporadically or eccentrically, may not the method be unreliable?

In 1973, chemist Harold Urey, a Nobel prizewinner, conjectures that a cometary encounter with Earth could explain the abundant tektites from extra-terrestrial sources that are strewn about the world. Several scientists have collected and studied these small glassy stones and estimate their amount in the billions of tons. Since time immemorial the Chinese have called them "pearls of the dragon" and collected them. And Urey thought that the cometary collision might have annihilated the dinosaurs.

The dinosaurs looked like the Chinese dragon. Perhaps Urey is right in principle, wrong in time. Quickly the quantavolutionary puts on the cap of a mythologist. All heavenly animals (the Zodiac for instance) represent recognizable species; perhaps the most ancient men knew dinosaurs by sight. Thus the peculiar revolutionary vision, like that of a surrealist painter, contorts time and form, then settles down to give battle over the evidence.

In 1973, the geologist Derek Ager of Swansea College (Great Britain) writes that "the history of any one part of the earth, like the life of the soldier, consists of long periods of boredom and short periods of terror." Elsewhere he says, "the periodic catastrophic event may have more effect than vast periods of gradual evolution." He think that "for the ultimate control, sooner or later, we must face the possibility of an extra-terrestrial cause, though in most geological circles one seems to be expected to blush when doing so." The catastrophist understands the dilemma of Ager: he longs to test his intellectual weapon, but the minds and materials of 150 years of science are constructed to refuse the test.

In the same year, 1973, I am reviewing, from the revolutionary perspective, evidence about the famed "Burnt City" of Troy. I concluded that neither the torch of the invader, nor accident, nor earthquake, nor a single volcano had suddenly scorched and collapsed the famed Troy IIg. Multiple volcanic venting and extra-terrestrial electrical encounter had to be invoked to explain the observed facts and myths. Uniformitarian methods of a century had failed to identify the problem precisely and permitted not a whisper about the high energy expressions of catastrophes.

In 1972 the engineer Ralph Juergens announces his theory that the solar system was an electrical system operating on galactic fuel. Particles from the Milky Way bombard the sun, building up a heat that sends out the sun's radiance. (Concurrently, experimenters announced the failure to detect the sun's presumed neutrino output from its supposed atomic furnaces.)

The theory of Juergens poses a dilemma to catastrophists. Velikovsky adhered to the nuclear-furnace theory. He did not feel the need for Juergen's theory to win the war for catastrophism. C. E. R. Bruce and Eric Crew in England were catastrophists as well, whose interests, as pioneer and disciple, were in extending the discussion of cosmic electricity. They, too, disagreed with Juergens. Again, the quantavolutionary worries about the stultification of connections and internal disagreements.

But when Juergens publishes two articles on electrical types of destruction found lately on the Moon and Mars, the catastrophists agree and applaud. The electrical ravaging is by cosmic lightning and probably happened within the past several thousand years. Juergens general theory is held in abeyance. (It is, incidentally, accepted by me, and is used and extended by Earl Milton and me in the model of Solaria Binaria.)

In 1970 the palentologist D. J. McLaren, in a presidential address to his colleagues, reviews the wholesale extinction of species at certain times, and then ventures that a heavy meteoroid explosion should be introduced by way of explanation. Following an explanation of the effects of what I have since termed a "catastrophic tube,", he remarked, "this will do." He would have pleased George Cuvier, who for a century has entered the textbooks as "the father of fossil paleontology" but "unfortunately a badly mistaken catastrophist." In 1968 René Thom publishes his first paper on the topological mathematics of catastrophe theory. After eight years, the less specialized media, such as the Scientific American, described his work. Actually, Thom is concerned with describing symbolically and graphically the basic types of ways in which situations build up and come crashing down.

In 1966 the geo-physicist Melvin Cook lays down a barrage of arguments against accepting uranium-lead, potassium-argon and other techniques for the dating of older ages. As a catastrophist, his accomplishments are numerous; none, to my knowledge, has so competently analyzed the overwhelmingly authoritative techniques of radio dating that have come to dominate geological, astrophysical, and archaeological dating.

In June 1956 the New York Times reports that the temperature of planet Venus, newly measured by radio astronomers, exceeded the boiling point of water. Studies increased in number; so did the estimated heat. When finally in the 1960's and later the space vehicles of the USA and U. S. S. R. reached Venus, they found a globe whose surface temperatures hovered around 925d. But in 1950, Immanuel Velikovsky had published Worlds in Collision. There he described Venus as hot to the point of candescence. He reasoned, mostly from ancient sources and legends, that it had ejected from Jupiter's region burning. Further, its erratic course through the skies had involved it in heat-provoking encounters of the second and first millennia B. C. with Mars, Moon, and earth.

In 1953 geologists Alan Kelly and Frank Dachille propose the island of Bermuda to be the focus of a giant meteoritic explosion in recent times. Their work, if known, would have stimulated among a small circle of scholars an interest in discovering impact craters around the world. (It should also have stimulated the writers of the 1970's who were excited by the mysteries of the "Bermuda Triangle.") Between 1950 and 1955 Velikovsky published three of his celebrated works. In 1963, I prepared a special issue of The American Behavioral Scientist on "The Velikovsky Affair." It analyzed the reasons why scientists generally were refusing to hear of theories and evidence contradicting the uniformitarian paradigm. If there is any lesson to be taught from this cause célèbre, it is this: "You must be ready to consider conflicting theories. You cannot stand rigidly in the face of contrary evidence. You cannot be mass-minded and call yourself a proper citizen of science."

In 1950, the German paleontologist Schindewolf tied exoterrestrial impacts and radioactivity directly to the main periods of biological extinction and creation.

I could move, too, into the 1940's, when Claude Schaeffer assembled massive proof of a set of concurrent destructions of Bronze Age civilizations by natural causes. I have found many sources of quantavolutionary thought and studies ranging farther and farther back in time; often they are inaccessible to most readers and buried from sight inasmuch as they are not referred to in modern literature. A large job of recapturing them is before us. Indeed one could recede for thousands of years back to the now faintly heard primeval voices that are fossilized in bone, stone, pots, and oral myth.

In concluding here, I wish earnestly that my readers will turn to my books without the preconception that studies of catastrophes must be science fiction, or a work of the occult, or a defense of Biblical literalism. I do not criticize adversely such works, some of which I admire; it is simply that they are different. My books should be read and judged form the standpoint of a cosmogonic model of quantavolution that is derived from a growing body of scientific studies in various fields and a review of the most ancient as well as of the most recent sources.

Just as an archaeologist reconstructs a pot from a few shards, and a paleontologist an animal from a few bones, we have to reconstruct a general history from the rare "treasures that have come down to us", as Aristotle said. I ask not for belief but for consideration. I seek for open thinking upon another model in the competition for the best design of the sciences and humanities.

This said, let us take up a study of "The Burning of Troy," a work which I began, as I mentioned above, in 1973. The idea came to me while on the Island of Naxos. I was reading Schliemann's famous story of how he found the Treasure of Priam on top of a wall, and I exclaimed to myself, "What a strange place to bury a treasure!"


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