Part Five: Communicating a Scientific Model
A continuous and perennial "fringe" area of a number of humanistic and scientific disciplines centers upon the evidence that in the history and pre-history of man extensive natural changes occurred abruptly and catastrophically, and brought "quantavolutional" rather than evolutionary changes of geography, climate, the solar system, the biosphere, culture, and the human mind. These quantavolutions or saltations are capable of systematic scientific study.
The hypotheses of quantavolution pursue the following types of propositions: a) The Earth and its people have been subjected to catastrophic natural experiences (flood, heat, earthquake, meteoritic bombardment) of a kind unknown to recent history. b) These have occurred both before and after the passage of homo sapiens from the hominid. Evidence of them is to be located in legends, religions, psycho-social behavior , astro-physics, the geological and fossil record. d) A new general theory touching upon all fields of knowledge is evolving in the midst of conventional scientific theory, introducing critical modifications concerning natural history, the solar system, ancient history, and the origins of culture and human nature.
Later on, after investigating the first two years' experience, arrangements might be made for an appropriate configuration of courses to constitute a major or minor offering leading to the Bachelor's Degree. Furthermore, students already possessing the BA or other degrees might earn a Master's Degree in Quantavolution upon completion of ten courses and the presentation of an approved thesis.
It would be presently impossible to establish the Q program at an orthodox department or an interdisciplinary program at any university in the country. If for no other reason, the trained scholars, observers, writers, and theorists in the field are not to be found at any university. This is an especially cogent reason for initiating the program in a University College external-internal system, and, as such, it would perhaps demonstrate the unique capabilities present in such systems. Also, continuing commitment to a budget of a quarter-million dollars annually might be necessary were a university to undertake a program in Quantavolution.
Course designations in the field of Quantavolution (with brief descriptions)
Q1. Introduction to Quantavolution.
The essential literature; the controversial character of the field; a history of catastrophism: the hypotheses of Q.
Q2. Intermediate Quantavolution.
Systematic development of major theses of Q in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.
Q3. Primeval Quantavolution in the History of Science to 1950.
Quantavolution as reflected in Greek thought; the concept of the Deluge; cometary theories of catastrophes;
Plato; G. Bruno, Whiston, Cuvier, Donnelly, et al.
Q4. The Scientific Reception System and New Science.
The Velikovsky Affair and analogies related to PQ in other problem areas of science: ethics and rules of science.
Q5. The Catastrophic Origins of Human Nature.
Evolutional and quantavolutional possibilities in the rise of mankind; effects of primeval experiences upon human nature, culture and modern man: Jung, Freud and racial memories.
Q6. The Bible and the Catastrophic Record.
A review of ancient traditions of Exodus and the Books of Moses; influences of disasters upon Judaic-Christian-Muslim thought and practice.
Q7. Catastrophism in Literature: From the Vedas to Joyce.
The Hindu, Biblical (Psalms. Job, etc.), Homeric writings reinterpreted. Hesiod, Ovid, Shakespeare et al.
Q8. Catastrophes. Science Fiction and the Arts.
Ancient art, modern and therapeutic art; science fiction and catastrophe; catastrophe in films and documentaries.
Q9. The Mythology of Disaster:
How myth and legend obscure while they discuss natural disasters and cultural consequences; the great bodies of myth analyzed, compared.
Q10. The Ancient Electricians.
Study of ancient evidence before the present era of heavy atmospheric and earth electrification in especially the Mosaic period, the Vedas, and the Greek mysteries.
Q11. The New Astronomy and Quantavolution. A binary solar system; origins of planets, comets; electromagnetic effects; the surprise of space exploration.
Q12. Geological Problems of Quantavolution.
Ice Ages theory. continental drift and plate tectonics, general earth morphology as a record of changes in global motions and heavy-body space encounters.
Q13. Quantavolutions in the Biosphere.
Modes of Biological change, atmospheric fluxes and their biological effects; evidence of disastrous boundaries in evolution; fossil assemblages.
Q14. Chronology and Quantavolution.
Radiometric and other geo-physical methods of dating the past; critique of uniformitarian assumptions; determining archaeological time.
Q15. Chronological Reconstruction in Ancient Europe and the Near East.
Velikovsky's attacks upon Egyptian chronology and their effects upon the dating of Mediterranean and Near East cultural events. Western Europe and the megalithic astronomers.
Q16. Professional Writing and Translating.
For the Certificate of the Institute of Quantavolution. For students having completed eight courses and approved by an ad hoc committee after oral interview. Supervised work on an approved topic discussed in committee.
"Light on the Greek Dark Ages" - Greece and Aegean. "Megalithic Cultures of Ancient Britain, Ireland and Brittany." "The Catastrophic Experiences and Legends of Mesoamerica" - Mexico. Guatemala.
"Quantavolution in the Rocky Mountain Setting" - U. S., Canada, Mexico
These four tours are recommended to begin. Others are possible. The lifelong learning program at the University of California, Berkeley, "Study Abroad in 1980" is offering similar courses for credit. They can be excelled in originality, if not as conventional travel experiences. Beginning in winter, 1980-1.
The interests of the network of Quantavolution scholars are in teaching research, residential conferences of members of the group, public conferences, and publication of reprints and new works. In all of these respects, present resources and opportunities are inadequate. The experience of the past twenty years, which has included scholarly activities of all kinds, is indicative of the problems. The extent of personal economic sacrifices by practically all of the scholars engaged up to this time has been considerable. They are affected especially by the world-wide inflation and cannot cover, for example, costs for even essential travel and modest accommodations. They can use an abandoned barrack better than a Sheraton motel, a communal kitchen better than an established à la carte cafeteria. All of this is not to say that past efforts have been unsuccessful. Conferences at Frazer University in Vancouver, at McAllister University in Canada, at Glasgow University in Scotland, at Lethbridge University in Canada, and at the Bronfman Center with the University of Montreal, have been productive. The scholars involved are impecunious, but unusually resourceful and productive.
The University College of the University of Maryland, in sponsoring the program of Quantavolution, can consider the following items of support:
A goal of 533 student tuitions would have to be set to meet this cost, of which perhaps half at College Park and half worldwide. However, significant alternative or additional income might be returned from conference activities at College Park and elsewhere, and from sales of materials. (Tuition for a course is figured at $115.00 of which $50 is put aside for its instructor and $60 is allocated to costs.)
Perhaps the third method (c) is simplest and most flexible in the early stage. However, the group of instructors would wish to have freedom to develop a set of functions perhaps not typical of University College programs: further they would wish to accumulate ear-marked grants, contracts, etc. Finally, they would wish at some point to set up a physical presence, a living-working- teaching arrangement that might or might not be possible at College Park or even elsewhere in the University of Maryland system. The Director of the Program (who could also be chairman of the Board of the IQ) can be designated for a three-year trial period by the Chancellor of University College.
In general, the University of Maryland may benefit from the proposed program. The field is demonstrably appealing to serious students. It has achieved a sufficient degree of stability in its problems, methods and materials to avoid exoticism and cultism. It addresses important philosophical and scientific problems in the traditional spirit of the liberal arts and in the proper hypothetical and operational spirit of science. There is a chance of showing a unique capability of the University College method in developing a new field of science and humanities.
Notes (Chapter 29: I. Q.: A Unversity Program)
1. A proposal for an Institute of Quantavolution (I. Q.) submitted 20 February 1980 to Dr. Malcolm Moos, Director of the Carnegie Study on New Directions for the University, University of Maryland and Chancellor Ben Massey, University College, University of Maryland. University College operates intra-murally and extra-murally, with centers and students in various countries of the world.
2. See e. g. R. A. Kerr. Science, 18 Jan. 1980, 293. "Venus and Science's Fringe."
3. A. de Grazia, "The Coming Cosmic Debate in the Sciences and Humanities," in N. Ravel, ed., "From Past to Prophesy." (1975) [see "a Cosmic Debate" here above.]
4. The Society for Interdisciplinary Studies has members in 19 different countries and was founded four years ago.
5. At the writing of this memorandum, Egypt appeared closed as a possibility. At the moment of publication (Dec. 1983) Egypt is open and the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies (London) is planning to conduct such a tour under the direction of the ancient historian, Peter James.