From: James Meritt
To: All Msg #111, Jan-11-93 07:07AM
Subject: Worlds in confusion Ia.
Organization: MITRE Corporation, McLean VA
From: m23364@mwunix (James Meritt)
~s Worlds in Collision/collusion/confusion
I would like to thank the various members of the INTERNET and BITNET
community of assisted me in proofing the document, providing numerous
suggestions along the way.
Permission is given for this article to be copied and printed for
non-profit use showing arguments concerning Velikovsky. Permission
must be given for other uses. If you have any items which you believe
should be included, please email me.
firstname.lastname@example.org - or - meritt%aplvm.BITNET
Since my expertise is not in history, I shall mainly address those
points made which have physical, astronomical, chemical, or general
scientific basis and are addressed in "Worlds in Collision" or in
Velikovsky's work which addresses his central thesis in that work.
An occasional item (primarily involving mythology) will be included
because I have been involved in the Latin mythology. (I lived in
Italy and have been involved in various Latin clubs over the years.)
Additionally, I am only going to be covering Immanuel Velikovsky's
work itself - not what someone said he said.
James W. Meritt
In Immanuel Velikovsky said:
}[moon count in the solar system]
No particular suprise that he missed the count. We find more quite often.
Not something to hold against him, but it does give a readily verifiable
example that what he thinks that is demonstrated not to be correct.
I find the defense of "he didn't know that in the 1950's to be odd,
considering that most of this book is supposidely conclusions of the same
type that wasn't known in the 1950's, either, but suppose to be
gospel by his followers...
Personally, I find it unlikely that using incorrect data (as clearly
demonstrated) for incorrect reasoning (as displayed below, and coupled
with his ZERO training in physics, astronomy, biology,...) will arrive
at correct conclusions.
}" it is assumed that mercury permanently shows the same face to the sun"
} [page 5]
It doesn't The days are weird, though, because the period of its day is
longer than the period of its year. (88 earth-day "year", 59 "earth-day" long
days. Venus has a period of rotation of 243.09 earth-days, and a year
of 224.70 earth days. Oh yes, this rotation is retrograde. Guess it
(it doesn't happen to be the only retrograde "planet", either. There is
also Tritan (retrograde revolution). Neptune is almost 90 degrees tilted)
didn't sync with earth like Velikovsky thinks mars did - in spite of a
lot (according to Velikovsky) more opportunity. It does have a tidal
lock with earth so that, in its present orbit, every time it is at close
approach with earth the same side is facing us. This tidal lock would
take a LONG time in its present position. If it had passed nearer earth
it would have acquired a radically different rotational momentum and would
not, after only a few thousand years, been able to do this.
As an aside, IF venus were have somehow matched rotation with earth
during a close pass, it would have been with the relative motion
of the planets AT THE TIME - which it clearly does not have now. Hence,
this "tidal lock" is proof that this close-approach lock did NOT happen.
} [birth of comets by being expelled from the sun - not his idea]
} [page 14]
Velikovsky is against this idea because "birth of a comet in this manner has
never been observed" (page 14), but that doesn't seem to bother him that
a comet has not been observed being expelled from a gas giant, either.
While Velikovsky doesn't mind using "myths" in support of his wild ideas,
other people must meet more stringent criteria.
Interestingly enough, the S2 molecule has been identified as existing
in comets. This is interesting because it is not stable. If you
warm it, the moleculs ceases to exist as S2. Therefore, however comets are
made, it cannot involve a lot of heat. Either from being ejected from the
sun, a gas giant, or anything else. Some take partial comfort that
volcanoes don't have to be molten silicate - as Io showed. But
this is STILL too hot for S2. Not to mention that the core of
Jupiter is itself too hot (and the core is the only place you will
find other than light gases), and this mythical ejection process,
unless it is 100% effecient production of kinetic energy, would
be too hot. Even the frictional heating of going out of the atmosphere
of a gas giant (think of it as reentry in reverse) would be too high.
Thus, comets CANNOT currently be ejected.
While looking through the journal Icarus, volume 86 Number 1, July
1990, I found the following article entitled "The Origin of
Short-Period Comets" by Mark Bailey and Chris Stagg. The first
paragraph reads as follows:
It has recently been shown (Stagg and Bailey 1989 Monthy
Notices of Royal Astronomical Society 241, p507) that the
observed number of short-peroid is consistent with a
spherically symmetrical Oort cloud source, provided that it
contains a moderately centrally condensed inner core
parameterized by an "inner edge" corresponding to orbits
with a minimum semimajor axis a_0 \approx 4000 AU and an
energy spectrum power law-index \gamma \geq -1. Although a
core of this general type is predicted on the basis of the
planetesimal theory of cometary origin (e.g., Opik, 1973,
Shoemaker and wolfe 1984, Fernandez 1985a, Duncan et. al.
1987), evolutionary arguments based on the disruption of the
Oort cloud (e.g., Bailey 1986) show that the inner core
probably has to be at least this centrally condensed (see
Bailey 1989 for an introductory review). The combination of
these independent constraints provides a stringent test of
the planetesimal theory of cometary formation.
(thanks to Greg Hennessy)
} "the presence of iron in the shell or the migration of heavy metals from the
}core to the shell has not been sufficiently explained. For these metals to
}have left the core, they must have been ejected by explosions, and in order
}to spread throughout the crust, the explosions must have been followed
}immediately by cooling."
Why must ALL the iron have EVER been in the core? In all the planetary
formation models I have read it started evenly distributed and migrated
to the core due to the density difference while the planet was molten.
Obviously not a 100% efficient method of separation. Especially since
the metals are so common - witness the primary constituents of meteorites,
for instance. And one of the methods of concentrating what will become
ores is biological. Bacteria, for instance, concentrate different elements.
The massive banded iron formations around the world, for another example,
were formed when the oxygen-releasing stromatolite-building microorganisms
released oxygen into the oceans. The oceans had iron dissolved in it.
The iron oxide precipitated out. Slow and easy. No explosion.
Heck, even meteoric bombardment leaves concentrations of iron on the
surface (theorized origins of lunar mascons, for instance).
} "... the presence of oxygen in the terrestrial atmosphere is unexplained."
} [page 16]
Perhaps the concept of "photosynthesis" (can you say 'plants'?) was foreign
to him. Most other people have no problem explaining it at all. In fact,
the time when this "pollution" occurred has been dated and is the first
really big extinction as the non-oxygen bacteria got wiped out by the
waste product of the plants. We are looking at around 1.4 to 1.5
billion years ago.
} "The deep strate of igneous rock contain no signs of fossil life."
} [page 17]
igneous: formed by solidification of molten magma. Webster's dictionary.
Don't you think that being in molten rock would probably do in any fossil,
not to mention that very few life forms live in lava? I find it interesting
here that the apologist decide that what he meant is not what he said.
} [mountains formed by pushing from below. He has no idea why]
} [page 18 - 19]
Collision of continental plates. Simple, really. A friend at one of
the laboratories made a program that models this process [using the
supercontinent cycle explained in scientific american] to produce very
realistic planetary "maps". And this plate relative movement has been
directly measured in a number of places: europe wrt north america, and
the plate junctions in california are CLOSELY monitored. For an even
more interesting view, check the midatlantic ridge - the activity there
(which is the "gap" from which they spread) is quite fascinating. The
magnetic reversals (which have occurred) show up as "stripes" on each
side of this band, demonstrating not only the spreading but the timing
and the magnetic fields at the times. (none recently. Sorry, Velikovsky)
This is an example of one of his wild ideas having a straightforward
} "That a comet may strike our planet is not very probable, but the idea
} is not absurd."
} [page 40]
It would have been nice if he were to work out the math. Fortunately, it
has been worked out elsewhere to come to about thirty thousand to one for a
millennium. Velikovsky [page 388] has 5-6 near collisions between Venus,
Mars, and Earth in a "brief" period. If these events were independent,
that is about a trillion quadrillion to one. As a lower limit.
S. F. Kogan's letter in Sept., 1980 Physics Today or article in KRONOS VI;3.
Using Sagan;s statistical approach and V's actual scenario (e.g., no grazing
encounter). Korgan shows that the chance for a collision is 1 in 12 per
1000 years, not 1 in 30,000 per 1000 years that Sagan derived.
Another interesting feature is that while there is a BIG object
wandering around (venus/comet and sometimes mars) and a lot of tiny
objects (meteorites that hit people) there does not seem to be a whole
lot in between. Where are the craters from asteroid/lunar size masses?
Grieve lists nine impact craters comparable to the arizona crater or
larger that have formed on land within the last 2.5 million years.
Where are all these hits that Velikovsky thinks are here?!?!?
And what was the moon doing during all of this?!?!? Why is it still
} [descriptions of comets and meteorites]
} [page 40-41]
He seems to be very confused and uses the terms as the mood hits. A comet
is mostly a snowball (we've sent probes). A meteor is a rock (either
iron-nickel or stoney) We have chunks. You can turn a comet into a
bunch of meteorites (we believe we have seen this occurring) by evaporating
away all the ice and leaving the pebbles. There have been meteor showers
when the earth passed through the "tail" of extinct comets. The
meteorites which make it to the ground, however, do not seem to be
associated with comets. The observed air drag on the shower meteors indicates
low-density material ( < 1 g/cm^3 ) compared to meteorites (typically 3 (stony)
to 7 (Ni-Fe) g/cm^3). The low density of the shower meteoroids suggests
fluffy aggregations of cometary dust & debris.
} [discussion on changing earth's angular momentum via a close encounter
} with a comet, problems heating the planet when it does ("since the world
}survived, there must have been a mechanism...", and some alteration of
}the direction of the rotational axis due to a strong magnetic field]
} [page 43 -44]
If it were fast, there have been plenty of delicate structures which would
have been destroyed (in Luray Caverns, for instance). If it were slow, the
temperature would have gone up an average 100 degrees K, and 240 degrees
K at lower latitudes. I think that would have been noticed. "Fast" and
"slow" seem almost as vague as "venus is hot", except that there are
measurables associated. But, just for estimating the problem, this
entire encounter could only have lasted hours because there could not
have been a low-velocity encounter between planetary-sized masses - they
would not have been able to separate afterwards! So the entire kinetic
energy of the earth HAD to be converted to heat in hours. Which should
have heated the planet (not the water - that is merely a convenient measure).
No accounts that I have seen of the ground heating up even more than
the boiling water. And if you wish to believe all the water was heated
as it must have if this theory is correct, why are there fish? They
ALL would have been killed. And plants do not survive real well
when their roots are cooked, nor the seeds baked (after being shaken
to the ground by the quakes. Oops, no quakes!)
Interestingly enough, since Velikovsky claims that indians "hid out"
in these caves, that would prove that whatever they were hiding
from was NOT a large-scale momentum alteration - they didn't cook.
Of this "strong magnetic field" there is no trace. I propose that
the search for any mechanism will fail, because the reason for it to exist is
BTW: How did earth get started back up? Velikovsky didn't seem to
notice this little problem in his discussions on how it stopped...
From a Velikovsite:
He doesn't say that the whole earth stopped rotating. On page 44 he
suggests that as one possibility to consider. He talks about the problems
that would ensue IF the world stopped rotating. On pages 44 and 385 he
suggests a tilting of the earth's axis as a way to produce the visual effect
of a retrogressing or arrested sun without stopping the rotation of the
earth about it's axis.
The problem here is that it introduces a tumbling. Nothing to stop
that is mentioned, either. We are not now rotating around more than
Other interesting item: The acoustic propagation time within the earth (the
time it takes the earth AS A WHOLE to respond) is 85 minutes. No way a
stop-start is going to take place in the Gideon account without ripping
the planet apart with the dissimilar motions.
Oh yes - the magnetic field around the earth has been dipolar for the past
1 million years, with the axis within 3 degrees possibly inclined to the
earth's rotational axis by 3 degrees. Obviously, another pole was NOT
nearby (i.e. a major magnet i.e. a highly-magnetized planet/comet).
} "The tails of comets are composed mainly of carbon and hydrogen gases.
} Lacking oxygen, they do not burn in flight, but the inflammable gases,
} passing through an atmosphere containing oxygen, will be set on fire"
} [page 53]
Not to mention that they lack the density. You are talking about a VERY
thin gas. It is also tough to make a carbon gas...
BTW: The volatiles in the tails of comets appear to be mostly water.
Water burns rather poorly...
} "binding all the oxygen available at the moment"
} [page 53]
And would kill off all life IF that were to occur. We breath oxygen. Yet,
Velikovsky seems to think that there were human witnesses to this in both
hemispheres. Wonder what the observers breathed?
to counter the Velikovsite dream of:
"...if the fire in the air is extinguished before new supplies of
oxygen arrive from other regions."
Consider how well a gas could be aimed at a specific local, such that
it would not cover the entire planet. From the distance we are talking
about (trans-lunar) you can't even focus a beam of light that well, let
alone a gas that would be diffusing as it traveled.
BTW: water does a rather poor job at binding oxygen...
} "All the countries whose traditions of fire-rain I have cited actually
} have deposits of oil"
} [pages 55-56]
Since even Velikovsky notices that it is a common geological feature in the
area, why must any other contortion be required? That is a perfectly
straightforward terrestrial explanation - that there is oil in the
ground of these regions.
} [people's time estimation accuracy bad] - [page 59]
} [people's clocks accuracy excellent] - [page 323]
See anything odd here?
} [ plagues kill "chosen", not "first borne"]
} [page 63]
OK. So the Old Testiment is wrong... If it doesn't agree with Velikovsky,
just make it up as he goes. For those who think that this Russian
psychiatrist showed some phenomenal linguistic insight in his "explanation"
instead of making it up as he goes, don't you think that this would have
come out/been confirmed in some of the many, many translations made of the
OT? There have been many linguistic and religious scholars who have
spent their lives on the work in question, and they don't seem to agree
with Velikovsky's spur of the moment rationalization. As Ted Holden
. . .I KNOW that nobody who claims any
expertise in Hebrew or biblical studies would ever claim that numerous
wholesale mistakes in translation were made by the committee of scholars
who created the King James Bible.
Which demonstrates the likelihood of this "error" creeping in (a funny
item - Ted is a Velikovsite himself.).
} [tides from Venus close approach at least miles high]
} [pages 70 and 71]
Since the tidal height is proportional to the mass of the tide producing
body and inversely proportional to the cube of the distance, the entire
planet would have been caught up in the tide. Seems that Egypt, for instance,
didn't notice as the tremendous wave went over on the eighth or fifteenth
century BC. Or Aztec, or Chinese,... Not a global "flood" but a global
"wash" that should have wiped it smooth quite a few times. Obviously,
} "... head of the comet. This head only shortly before had passed close
} to the sun and was in a state of candescence."
} [page 77]
Since there is no temperature prediction given, it is hard to see how a
prediction could have been matched. "candescence" and "incandescent state"
don't really cut it... Makes one wonder why the manna wasn't baked...
Perhaps the 6000 degrees K that the photosphere is? Guess the wanderers
got baked bread. And the oil burned, the flies were killed,......
Do Velikovsites know that the sungrazing comet of 1882 developed bright iron
lines in the spectroscope because it came so close to the sun that the
heat could vaporize refractory metals? The temperature of that one went
up to 3,000 degrees F.
}[changing funny shapes in the sky - comet tail]
}[pages 77, 264, 306, 310]
Apparently Velikovsky was never illuminated by the work of Rorschach, which
show that the same nondescript shape can be "seen" as many things by different
people. There is absolutely nothing which requires that the same object
change shape, or that it even BE the same object. That is a very
strange thing for a psychiatrist to be unaware of...
One other thing I find interesting is that both writing about the same
thing AND writing about different things are BOTH evidence to Velikovsky.
} "a tremendous spark flew between the earth and the globe of the comet"
} [page 77]
First, how is such an electrical potential suppose to be formed between the
Second, if there were, would not the tail have the same charge as the comet,
in fact it would be carrying the charge away as the potential would be
concentrated on the protrusions and then the particles electrostatically
repelled. IF the earth were immersed in the charged particles AND it had
a radically different potential, the particles would be attracted to the
earth and the two objects would rapidely reach an equipotential state.
The earth had been in the tail a LONG time.
Finally, objects from earth have travelled to comets. No large electrical
potential is observed. In fact, probes have gone to Venus and not found
any such indication. Heck again, EARTH has been inside of other comet
tails and no such thing occurred.
} " A phenomenon that has not been observed in modern times is an electrical
} discharge between a planet and a comet and also between the head of a comet
} and its trailing part"
} [page 78]
Interesting, in that earlier he uses this reason to discard someone's
theory, but not to discard his own. As he said - "not been observed in
modern times". Why set standards for others he himself does not match?
Again, even those these approaches HAVE been seen, his "hypothesized event"
did not occur. In fact, earth as passed near to/within Halley's comets
tail. No electrical discharge. No manna, flies,..... either.
And again, the tail should have the same electrical potential as the head,
since it came from there. You need a potential difference to have a
discharge. Doesn't Velikovsky understand this simple fact?
I can think of a good reason it has not been observed: it doesn't
happen. There have been opportunities...
} "The head of the comet did not crash into the earth, but exchanged
} major electrical discharges with it"
} [page 85]
Sort of like Halley's did in 1910? I've already gone into why this is absurd.
} [The collapsed sky]
} [page 89]
Nothing here to show any reason why these various stories referred to the
same time. I think Velikovsky uses "ancient" to mean "when I want it to".
} [volcanism and lava flows in Greek, Mexican and Biblican traditions]
} [page 91]
Nothing here to show that the quoted events are even approximately comparable
times, so no common exogenesis event should be implied. The only place
in which these events are simultaneous is within Velikovsky's mind. NO
separate support. You do not assume a time, then use your assumption to
support your assumption.
}"the celestial body.... sent close, made contact...,retreated, and
} approached again... about two months"
} [page 94]
I cannot come up with any pair of orbits in which two solar orbitting
objects come together in two months. Even Galileo which is carefully
aimed, left earth in October 1989 and will not be back until December
1990 after passing (gasp!) venus. And then it'll be back two years later.
And then on its way to (gasp! again) Jupiter.
Kepler's rules of orbital mechanics just don't let you do this. As
an obvious problem, it would take the planet going in the circle a year
to do the circle. That's too long. Now, lets put an ellipse intersecting
the circle at four points. Look at the different paths taken. Now,
picture the circular planet and the object in the ellipse being at the
SAME four points at the same time (i.e. transit the same angular
distance across paths with varying distances under different gravitational
accelerations). No way.
Something else neat - here we have close encounter after close encounter
after close...... Suddenly a circular orbit pops out, without ever
coming close again. As Ric Werme wrote:
The problem is that in a two body system, an orbit is invariant. That is,
its period is constant, its eccentricity is constant, its foci are
constant, its path is constant. Should something perturb the orbit, once
the perturbing force is removed, the perturbed body will be in a new orbit
and it will return to the spot where the perturbing force ended.
So, as you should see, if something perturbs the orbit, the two objects
should meet again - be it venus, mars, or earth. They are not.
} [all volcanoes active, all continents quake]
} [pages 96 and 97]
Volcanic flows can be easily dated. It is trivial to show that not all
volcanoes were active between 1500 and 600 BC. Not to mention the rest
of the devastation he alludes to.
} [a "pure" note making recognizable voices]
} [page 97 - 100]
Get real. People who played musical instruments would mistake a single
pitch ("same pitch throughout the world" - page 99) for voices? That
said different, clearly (and loudly) recognizable complicated speaches?
} [thunderbolt reverses the poles of a magnet]
} [page 114]
Huh? That's news to me. I know you can heat one past its curie point and
demagnetize it, but reverse it?
} [geomagnetic reversals are caused by comet near-approaches]
} [page 114-115]
The reversals are recorded in the ocean bed. As the ocean floor spreads
from the mid-atlantic ridge, the magnetism is recorded into the solidifying
lava. Thus, a continuous record of the earth's magnetic field is readily
available for the life of the atlantic ocean. You see a reversal about
every million years, though not in the last few thousand. He hinted that
lava could be used to verify his theory, but missed where. Unfortunately
for him, it disproves it.
} "We can at least maintain that the earth did not remain on the same orbit."
} [page 116]
I reckon he has no idea on the dimensions of the ecosphere around sol or he
would be MUCH more careful. For instance, to maintain a temperature
consistent with habitability, the low equatorial illumination should be
between 0.65 and 1.35 times that of earth.
Of course, since he has flies evolving on jupiter and then surviving after
being incandescent, his concept of "same orbit" must be MUCH broader than
mere liquid water! ("same" being "enough like the present one to allow it
to be livable".)
} [changes in the times and the seasons]
} [pages 120 - 125]
Cute, but coral beds faithfully record such events, as do tree rings.
We have records going WAY before a couple of millenium ago, and no
such changes are evident. (that is from now back to a few thousand
years ago, recording everything in between)
} "When the air is overcharged with vapor, dew, rain, hail, or snow falls.
} Most probably the atmosphere discharged its compounds, presumably of
} carbon and hydrogen, the same way.
} [page 134]
It will have to be REAL cold before it rains hydrogen!
} "Has any testimony been preserved that during the many years of gloom
} carbohydrates precipitated?"
} [page 134]
Wait one. Back around page 55 this stuff was hydrocarbons. Am I to
take it that Velikovsky cannot tell the difference between gasoline and
These must be the same "intelligent molecules" he discusses later
in reference to the problems associated with detecting hydrocarbons
in the atmosphere of venus. Somehow, the hydrocarbons hit the
ground but the carbohydrates hit the people. Neat trick!
} "... quantity which fell every day would have sufficed to nourish the
} people for two thousand years."
} [page 138]
Hmmmmm. With hundreds of thousands of Israelites (according to exodus) at
1/3 a kilogram a day falling (timed!) from the air for forty years we get
enough to cover the entire surface of the earth to about an inch.
Noplace else noticed?
Now, since all of it could not have hit the earth (timed and aimed release?)
we would get the release about 10000000000000000000000000000 grams in the
inner solar system, somewhat more massive than all of Venus. And that is just
the manna - not to mention the ice and rock that we KNOW is in a comet or the
rock and CO2 we KNOW is on venus. There is also the minor problem that visits
to comets and venus have not found any manna... In fact, the recent visit by
Kohoutek shows it contains large quantities of simple nitriles- bad
things like hydrogen cyanide and methyl cyanide. Not good components for
manna, but fine for gas chambers... And that the manna was baked after being
heated to "candescent" temperatures, ejected from venus at over 6.4 miles
per second, then surviving reentry. And this cooked manna still tasting like
"wafers made from honey" and so sensitive that sunlight evaporates it. Right.
For a nearby check, results from the Lunar Receiving Laboratory:
"A survey of organic constituents by a pyrolysis-flame ionization
detector method and by means of a very sensitive mass spectrometer,
provided an estimate of the indigenous organic content of the lunar
samples. The values published give the organic content as under 10 parts
per million.... No evidence of biological matter"
Does not look like evidence of either megatons of manna, nor of vermin,
descending from interplanetary space through the earth-moon system.
} "The Greeks as well as the Carians and other peoples on the shore of the
} Agean Sea told of a time when the sun was driven off its course and
} disappeared for an entire day, and the earth was burned and drowned."
} [page 143]
I just finished reading the book "End of Atlantis". It was written by an
archeologist. He compiled a lot of evidence, added some interpretation, and
concluded that around 1470 BC, an island in the southern Mediteranean, near
It was about 4 miles across. All that is left is some tiny islands around
the 'rim'. He compared it to a volcano in the south Pacific that erupted
around 1890 or so. If he is right, than the entirity of the Mediteranean
would have been hit by tidal waves. Also, the sun would have 'disappeared'
for several days, followed by several days of heavy rain.
Thanks to Ron Wigmore
} [first sighting of venus from earth]
} [page 158]
"This is not widely agreed with. Venus was known as the morning and evening
star certainly by 1900BC, and clearly discussed in connection with the rising
and setting sun at 3000BC.
According to sixteenth century BC records (-1580 to -1560) the observed motion
of venus was almost identical with todays orbit. Cuneiform writings of
the Babylonian astronomers were quite clear. There were even pre-
babylonian indications from Sumerian and Mesopotamian writings. I guess
"ancient" writings are only used if they support Velikovsky.
The sumerian version of "Inanna's descent to the neither world" that is
in copies made in the second millennium BC has "I am Inanna of the place
where the sun rises." (i.e. the morning star). One that refers to King
Iddindagan of Isin (ca. -1909 to -1889) identified her as both the
evening star and the morning star, which is an orbit INSIDE of earths.
The lowest known written documents on earth are excavated from
Uruk (Mesopotamia). The tablets at level III (next to lowest) refer
to Inanna associating her with the star of both the rising and setting
sun. This is around 3000 BC.
During the reign of Ammizxaduga, king of Babylon (between -1701 and
-1581) there were a series of observations of venus appearing and
disappearing with the rising and setting of the sun (it is either the
morning star or the evening star, but both never appear at the same
time. They apparently recognized this fact.) The text covered 21
consecutive years. It included periods of inferior and superior conjunction.
From this data, we can determine that the orbital data from this period
is compatible with modern orbital elements within the limits of
Babylonian observational accuracy.
The Venus Table in the Dresden Codex comes from twelfth-century AD
Yucatan. They not only observed the orbit, but had its period
and a close approximation to the complete cycle. There were five
iterations of ephemeris data, bringing the orbit of venus as indicated
to within two hours of the place/time modern orbital calculations would
And as for "unknown"
The Greeks called the evening star Hesperos.
The Greeks called the morning star Phosphorus.
the Romans called the evening star Vesper ("evening" in Latin)
The Romans called the morning star Lucifer ("light-bearer")
}"I assume also that in the third millenium only four planets could have
} been seen, and that in astronomical charts of this early period the
} Planet Venus cannot be found."
} [page 160-161]
He assumes wrong. When the facts do not support him (see above), he
substitutes his assumptions.
} "One of the Planets Is a Comet"
} [page 161]
We know what a comet is. Probes have gone to one. They are basically
big dirty snowballs. We know what Venus is. Probes have gone to it.
It is a BIG nasty ball of rock. A comet is ice cold. Venus is
molten-lead hot. They are very, very different. A few neat things have
been found- like Halley's comet (the 15 km comet itself, not the
corona and tail) is BLACK. Blacker than any black paint you can buy.
And small. And peanut shaped. And hot crust (100 degrees celsius from
the soviet on-site probe) with a cold interior (an aircraft monitored
jets out of it during the recent passage, find that they are ejected from a
32 degree source).
} [long discussion of comet tail of venus]
} [page 163-167]
Even if everything else was right, there is no way this stuff is going to
get up to escape velocity for a planetary size body. And the material
HAS to get off-planet to form a tail. It is easy on comets because the
head is very small with a trivial escape velocity. Simple warming will
accelerate the stuff to escape the head. Even heated to a dull red glow,
Venus's atmosphere is tightly held. Not to mention the tiny detail that
the atmosphere of Jupiter is mostly hydrogen and helium, the tail of
a comet is mostly water, and the atmosphere of venus is mostly carbon dioxide.
Yet Velikovsky thinks these are ALL the same gases (jupiter -> comet ->
}...page-long varying description of the appearance of venus...
} [page 164]
He quotes Kugler to prove that Venus had a beard (a cometary
tail). But he cuts off the quotation, so the reader won't notice that
"Venus has an axe" means "Venus is in the constellation `axe'" and
"Venus has a beard" means "Venus is the constellation `beard' (namely
the Pleiades)", just some Babylonian manner of speech.
On the same page V. says that Venus must have been a comet because it is
so bright, quotes Kugler, but omits Kugler's comment that Venus even
nowadays can sometimes be seen in daytime.
} [Pallas Athene]
} [chapter page 168-172]
Athena is not the goddess associated with Venus. The guy is now
making up his own mythology.
}Athena's counterpart in the Assyro-Babylonian patheon is Astarte...
}pictured with horns..."
} [pages 169 - 170]
Athena and Ishtar are both pictured with horns. Hence equal.
But V. doesn't tell his readers that *all* Babylonian gods are pictured
} "birth of Athena (planet Venus)"
} [page 173
Gummed up mythology again...
} [rain of cosmic flies, ants, and other critters]
} [page 183-187]
Really odd. This species, which is adapted to breath a nitrogen-oxygen
mixture as an adult evolved in an environment that had neither oxygen
nor liquid water? And would not it be the case that after reentry any
insect would greatly resemble an ash? And I find it unsubstantiated
that, on earth, flies are separated biologically from every other insect.
They seem to match proteins, DNA, general physical structure,...
} "The ability of many small insects... and to live in an atmosphere
} devoid of oxygen..."
} [page 187]
Not that I know of. Not to mention the minor detail that a metabolism
which obviously runs in an oxydizing atmosphere just would not make it
in a neutral (like Venus and Mars) or reducing (like Jupiter) atmosphere.
}Pliny says that Isis is the planet Venus
} [page 195]
Plinius (who lived 2000 years after the high point of Egyptian
civilization) is quoted for Isis=Venus. However, in the pictures that V.
quotes can be seen that Venus is associated with quite another god, namely
Osiris; the same source (Plutarchus) that identifies Isis with Athena,
says that Isis is associated with the star Sirius.
} "Venus moves Irregularly"
} [page 199-202]
Not for the last few thousand years it hasn't. Say, at least four
thousand. See above.
}The Vulgate translation.... The (Greek) translation...
} [page 202]
Velikovsky usually quotes `correct' but in a strange way. He quotes
the Bible (Job), by using the Vulgata-translation and the Septuagint-
translation both for the same passage, and ignores the Hebrew original.
} "Gaseous masses reaching the atmosphere could asphyxiate all breath in
} certain areas"
} [page 234]
Interesting. A density WAY above current comets (Halleys, for instance,
is known as a dirty one. One probe even flew through a jet. A cup of
tail has something like one chance in 25,000 of containing one dust
particle) somehow aims at parts of the earth.
I wonder if Velikovsky realizes that during the 1910 pass of Halley's comet
a lot of people stayed indoors because they were afraid of the "lethal gas"
in the cometary tail. Guess what? Nobody was killed.
} "I could not find the publication"
} [page 237]
We have here a common usage of defense between most Velikovsites and
} [Rotation of the earth stops and starts]
} [pages 236 and 385]
I am aware of tidal locks "freezing" the rotation of one body relative to
another, but not one body locking the revolution of a second body onto
yet a third, nor of any way to restart the spin to the same value it had
before. Please see above for the shock and thermal considerations.
}The Babylonian name of the planet Mars is Nergal...Nergal, the perfect
} [page 241-242]
Nergal would be the god of war (he isn't, he is the god of pestilence).
Why? because he is called "perfect warrior". V. doesn't tell his readers
that all Babylonian gods are called like that.
} "The planet Mars was feared for its violence"
} [page 242]
The GOD Mars was feared for his violence - remember, the God of War?
Mars was associated because it appeared (blood) red. Still does.
In fact, from the surface the sky appears pink.
} "the unpredictable planet" - page 242
} "retrograde motion of the planet" - page 243
That is why they were called "planets". They wandered.
The word "planet" is from the greek "wanderer", "to wander", or "to
rush around". Look it up.
This is a simple result of the orbits instead of the (relatively) fixed stars.
It is how we find asteroids and planets NOW. You take two pictures and look
for relative movement between blinks.
} "Mars did not arouse any fears in the hearts of the ancient astrologers"
} [page 244]
I thought he just got through (page 242+) telling us how much it was
} "A conflict between Venus and Mars, if it occurred, might well have
} been a spectacle observable from the earth"
} [page 245]
Even IF such were to occur (at the orbit of mars), I would be slow to
call it a "spectacle". You really have to look at the right place to
FIND mars. Two tiny dots would hardly constitute a "spectacle".
} [names of Gods and planets identical, Athena ejected from Jove]
} [page 247]
First, the planets were named after the gods.
Second, Aphrodite is the greek equivalent to Venus, not Athena.
} "Aphrodite, the Goddess of the Moon"
} [page 247]
Huh? Aphrodite is the goddes associated with Venus. Selene is the goddess
associated with the moon (hence "selenology - a branch of astronomy that
deals with the moon.).
}"But what might it mean, that the planet Mars destroys cities, or that
} the planet mars is ascending the sky in a darkened cloud, or that it
} engages Athena (the planet Venus) in battle?"
[ page 251]
How about "The God of War chieftain of valor, was inspiring the warriors"?
And again, Athena is NOT associated with Venus, except, of course, to
} "Lucian is unaware that Athena is the Goddess of the planet Venus"
} [page 251]
So is everyone else, since she isn't. Aphrodite is.
} "The Greeks chose Athena, the Goddess of the Plane Venus, as their
} protector, but the people of Troy looked to Ares-mars as their
} [page 253]
The Greeks did not associate Athena with the planet Venus.
Troy had a very warlike history. They chose the God of War.
}In an old textbook on Hindu astronomy, the Surya-Siddhanta
} [page 256]
He doesn't say that they date from about 400 AD.
}"Mars... was instrumental in bring Venus from an elliptical orbit
} to a nearly circular orbit."
} [page 259]
First, Venus has not been in a very elliptical orbit for at least four
thousand years (see above). Second, this circular orbit would not be
inside of the orbit of earth if it were done so. You don't circularize an
orbit someplace else.
}"the swordlike appearance of the atmosphere of Mars, elongated on its
} approach to earth.."
} [page 262]
First, people can't see a thin atmosphere. Maybe the clouds or suspended
dust? Second, to make the clouds "swordlike", the tidal stress would do
in the solid part of the planet. But there it sits.
} [mars changing shape to look like animals equated to "Egyptians worship
} [page 264]
The close approach was suppose to significantly distort the spherical shape
of a planetary body without destroying it? Perhaps a review of the tidal
destruction of bodies would have been a nice thing for him to know. Does
the name "Roche" ring a bell?
} "The Babylonians called the year of the close opposition of mars
}"the year of the fire god""
} [page 267]
And the Chinese have "the year of the rat" and "the year of the snake".
I am more inclined to believe the reverse - given that Velikovsky decided on
to have an close approach, he looked up a place/time/name that would fit.
}"But if for some reason the charge of the ionsphere, the electrified layer
} of the upper atmosphere, should be sufficiently increased, a discharge
}between the upper atmosphere and the ground, and a thunderbolt would
} crash from a cloudless sky."
} [page 268]
If, for some reason, the ionization level of the ionsphere were to be
increased it would become a better conductor. Period. The rest is
absurd. Does Velikovsky know what "ionized" means?
}The Greek term for the collision of planets is syndos, which, in the
}words of a modern interpreter, requires a meeting in space and also
a collision of planets.
} [page 271-272]
Velikovsky doesn't inderstand `conjunction' of planets. He thinks it means
}"These ever recurrent earthshocks in a country as rich in oil as
}Mesopotamia also caused eruptions of earth deposits: ":The earth threw
}oil and asphalt," observed the official astrologers, as the effect of
} [page 275]
Earlier this stuff was suppose to be oil descending from the comet.
His story changes to match what he wants it to say. Not to worry -
he has it swapping back and forth and coexisting (though not delivered
at the same time/place together) all thorough his works.
}"Mountain building is a process the causes of which have not been
} established; the migration of continents is but a hypothesis."
The mountain ranges are quite well constructed at the points of collision
between continental plates. That and volcanic building work quite well,
are very predictable, and easily modeled. See above.
}" Pull, torsion, and displacement were responsible for mountain building,
} too." [thinks mars & venus pulled mountains up}
} [pages 277-278]
First, that model does nothing to explain the distribution of the
mountain ranges along the lines where the continental plates collide.
Second, to have enough tidal pull to distort the rigid components of the
surface permanently by miles (i.e. so far that will not even settle
after miles of displacement) you would first strip the hydrosphere and
atmosphere off the planet.
Third: You cannot focus gravity from a planet onto a small point at a
distance. The entire earth would become oblate, and but not just select
points. In fact, this effect is observed on a number of moons, as they
have become tidally deformed while they were plastic.
Finally, we have a fairly simple, straightforeward, and displayable
explanation. That isn't it.
} "They rushed in front of and around mars (it's satellites); in the
} disturbance that took place, they probably snatched some of mars's
}atmosphere, dispersed as it was, and appeared with gleaming manes"
} [page 280]
Come on. The escape velocity for these moons is around 20 mph and they
are amongst the DARKEST objects in the solar system. Direct observation
of them from satellites around mars shown no atmosphere at all.
These little moons would have been flung away if there were such a near
encounter. That they are there at all is proof that no such event has
happened in their lifetimes.
} [independent books of Joel and Vedas]
} [pages 281 and 288]
If the books are independent, how can Mars and Marut be cogitates?
} [meteorites noisy reentry]
} [page 283]
Nonsense. They are generally observed to be silent. I've seen quite a
few, but haven't heard any. There is an electronic crackle often associated
with their ionized contrail... Of course, if you managed to get wacked by
} [Isiah predict time of return of mars]
} [page 307]
Very good. Isiah could solve the full three-body problem with electric
and magnetic forces added. Wish he had included the formulation in the
} [a lot of talk on summer solstice and shadows]
} [page 315]
Good point. And gives one cause to wonder why the sites at Stonhenge and
the Pyramids align with the sun on exactly where the sun would have been
using only slow, predictable, and current progression and absolutely
NOTHING about V's sillyness is evident. And so he left it out.
} either these tablets do not originate from Babylon or this city
} actually was situated far to the north
} [page 315, and footnote 16 same page]
Velikovsky never tells the reader that Kugler cleared up the
problem there (the incorrect length of day in ancient Babylonia) in a later
}"A gnomon...shows midday to within half a second.
} [page 315, footnote 15]
Now the shadow that determines the time has a width of 250 times half a second.
Or does V. mean that the sundial is very accurately pointed south? But
that does not imply that it shows the time correctly.
Also sundials can't be used to determine the length of the day, because
they don't work at night . . .
James W. Meritt: email@example.com - or - firstname.lastname@example.org
The opinions above are mine. If anyone else wants to share them, fine.
They may say so if they wish. The facts "belong" to noone and simply are.
From: James Meritt
To: All Msg #112, Jan-11-93 07:09AM
Subject: Worlds in confusion Ib
Organization: MITRE Corporation, McLean VA
From: m23364@mwunix (James Meritt)
} [Babylon move south ] - [page 315 to 316]
} [Faijum moves south ] - [ page 321]
} [ Thebes moves north] - [ page 321]
Notice anything odd here about nearby cities moving hundreds to thousands
of miles in different directions?
}Of course, a sundial or shadow clock from before -687 can no longer serve
}the purpose for which it was devised, but it might well be of use in
}proving out assumption.
} [page 321]
Instability of axis of earth deduced from just one wrong sun dial.
Now sun dials were often transported from one place to another, many of
them are correct, but errors are not unknown.
} [mammoth stuff]
} [page 326-327]
The original article extracted here is cited as "Farrand, Wm. R.;
_Science_,133:729-735, March 17, 1961 (Copyright, 1961 American Association
for the Advancement of Science)" My comments are in ; the material in ()
is included in the article.
"...In contrast to scientific efforts, a number of popular and quasi-scien-
tific articles have appeared in recent years, in which fragnmentary knowledge,
folk tales, and science fiction are combined under the guise of veracity--
much to the chagrin of scientists and the confusion of the public. The most
recent of such articles is that of [Ivan] Sanderson, who comes to the
conclusion that the "frozen giants" must have become deep-frozen within only
a few hours time. Such a thesis, however, disregards the actual observations
of scientists and explorers. Adding insult to injury, Sanderson proceeds to
fashion a fantastic climatic catastrophe to explain his conclusions....
"...The cadavers are unusual only in that they have been preserved by freez-
ing; the demise of the animals, however, accords with uniformatitarian
concepts...The ratio of frozen specimens (around 39) to the probable total
population (more than 50,000) is of the order of magnitude expected
among terrestrial mammals on the basis of chance burials. Furthermore, the
occurance of whole carcasses is extremely rare (only four have been found)...
"...There is no direct evidence that any wooly mammoth froze to death.
In fact, the
healthy, robust condition of the cadavers and their full stomachs argue
against death by _slow_ freezing. [their emphasis] On the other hand, the
large size of their warm-blooded bodies is not compatable with _sudden_ freez-
ing. In addition, all the frozen specimens were rotten...only dogs showed
any appetite for [the flesh]...'the stench [of decay]...was unbearable.'
"Histological examination of the fat and flesh of the Berezovka mammoth show-
ed, "deep, penetrating chemical alteration as a result of the very slow
decay," and even the frozen ground surrounding a mammoth had the same putrid
odor, implying decay before freezing [actually, no--the ground could have
thawed after the mammoth was frozen and permitted decay, then refrozen. ERE]
Furthermore, the stories of a banquet on the flesh of the Berazovka mammoth
were, "a hundred per cent invention."
"...The only direct evidence of the mode of death indicates that at least
some of the frozen mammoths (and frozen wooly rhinoceroses as well) died of
asphyxia, either by drowning or by being buried alive by a cavein or mud-
flow...Asphyxia is indicated by the erection of the penis in the case of the
Berazovka mammoth and by the blood vessels of the head of a wooly rhinoceros
from the River Vilyui, which were still filled with red, coagulated blood.
"The specific nature of the deposits enclosing the mammoths is not known
well enough to be very helpful as an indicator of the mode of death or burial.
Most of the remains are associated with river valleys and with fluviatile
and terrestial sediments, but whether the mammoths bogged down in marshy
places or fell into 'riparian gulies' or were mired in and slowly buried by
sticky mudflows is not clear...in Siberia only mammoths and wooly rhinoceroses
have been found frozen and preserved...
"...so far no other members of the contemporary Eurasian fauna [except
mammoths and wooly rhinos]...have been found frozen and well preserved. That
only the bulky and awkward 'giants' of the fauna are so preserved points to
some pecularity in their physique as a contributing factor...the mammoth,
with his stiff-legged mode of locomotion would have difficulty on such
[Siberian] terrain and moreover would not be able to cross even small gullies.
It would be nearly impossible for him to extricate himself if he had fallen
into a snow filled gully or had been mired into boggy ground...
"The stomach contents of the frozen mammoths indicate that death occured in
the warm season...when melting and soluflication would have been at a maximum
and, accordingly, locomation would have been difficult.
"...Digby was impressed by 'countless riparian gullies' that would have been
ideal mammoth traps...Vollosovich...theorized that an animal so trapped
might fall on its side and act as a dam, being slowly buried and suffocated
by mud. The Berezovka mammoth is commonly regarded as having fallen as a
cliff slumped beneath it; its broken bones attest to such a fall...the Mam-
ontova mammoth perished in a bog...Quackenbush [wasn't he also Groucho Marx?]
believed that his specimen from Alaska perished on a floodplain and that most
of the flesh rotted away...
"...All of these theories are credible and can be accepted as possibilities.
There seems to be no need to assume the occurance of a catastrophe."
Thanks to email@example.com
}"A year of 360 days" an entire chapter (8)
} [page 330 - 359]
Not to mention that this would come as a complete shock to the Mayans,
whose astronomical observations go back to the time when you claim the year
was only 360 days. Not only did their calendar have 365 days, it matches our
current year with greater accuracy than our Julian calendar does! It would also
come as a complete shock to the builders of Stonehenge, which has been dated
again to the same period (by C-14, and there is NO sign of flooding at the
site!). Various structures of Stonehenge allows one to predict various events
in the year, such as Midsummer's Day and lunar eclipses with excellent
accuracy. This would not be possible if the year were longer now than it was
then. There are quite a few other ancient observatories throughout the world,
all of which match quite nicely with our current year.
The Egyptians actually had both types of calendar at the same time;
their lunar calendar had 365 1/4 days, and their civil calendar had 12
months of 30 days with 5 holidays tacked on. These two calendars
diverge by one year in each 1460, and coincide in 2773bc. That's well
before 700 BC. They did *not* change from one to the other, but used
each for the cases in which it was most convenient.
The Babylonians used a lunar calendar with alternating months of 29 and
30 days, leading to 354 days in 12 months, not 360. Then an extra
month was added each three years, leaving an error of three days.
Later, they used the Metonic cycle, based on the observation that 19
solar years equals 235 lunar months. This led to a calendar which had
seven years with thirteen months in each 19 year cycle. This was also
the basis of the Jewish calendar.
Instability of the length of the year deduced from calendar reforms.
Calendar reforms were often performed. Maybe according to V. the earth
rotated slower in pre-revolutionary Russia, that kept to the Julian
calendar until 1917. Maybe the sun doesn't shine at all in Islamic
countries, that use a purely lunar calendar.
Any "everyone" used 360 days at the time? Maybe,
Except for the Mayans, the builders of Stonehenge, one of the ancient
American Indian tribes, etc. etc. etc. The 360 day calendar is not
NEARLY as prevalent as you suppose. The ancient Hebrew calendar, for
instance, consists of 13 lunar months. This makes for a year LONGER
than 365 days.
The year 360 days. Copied from Whiston. Argument: according to
Diogenes Laertius the year was divided into 365 days by Thales.
Now D.L. was a copist, who lived 1000 years after Thales. Whiston didn't
know that, but V. was in the position to judge the reliability of Diogenes.
The Greeks had lots of cultural heroes to whom all kinds of inventions were
attributed. That the year had 365.25 days was known a long time before Thales
to the Egyptians.
}Repeated changes in the course of the sun across the firmament led the
}astronomers of Babylon to distinguish three paths of the sun: the Anu
}path, the Enlil path, and the Ea path.
} [page 351]
"the paths of Anu, Ea and Enlil" are according to V. different
eclipticas, but long since the books appeared that V. quotes, assyriologists
have discovered that they mean the three main zones in the sky (summer, winter
} [lunar craters from molten surface bubbles]
} [ pages 360 - 362]
1. Rock does not cool from molten to solid nearly fast enough to leave rings.
2. No combination of orbit and spin could have produced the current shape
from a molten body.
3. The Apollo astronauts would have noticed this trivial detail. They didn't.
4. The rocks have been solid for millions, even billions, of years.
5. You get craters with impact on solids. No "semiliquid mass" is needed.
In fact, you get very nice looking, and similar appearing, craters by
impacting projectiles onto solids FAST (rail-gun fast). You even get
that central peak.
From the Lunar Receiving Laboratory: seven rocks were dated using the
K-AR method. They yielded consistent dates of 3.0+/-0.7 X 10^9 years.
Radiation exposure ages varied from 10X10^6 to approximately
160X10^6 years. This surface was NOT molten recently and the rocks
were NOT "bubbled up" from beneath the surface.
As an aside and relating to his magnetic points, the rocks brought back
solidified in the presence of a magnetic field that was only a few
percent of the present terrestrial field. It was NOT molten in the
presence of a megagauss field.
} [spectacular catastrophies on mars since it is smaller]
} [page 363-265]
Mariner 9, for instance, showed the surface and it had no such thing. The
planet is, if anything, less active than the earth.
}"The atmosphere of mars is invisible"
Interesting, since it looked like a sword just a little while back...
(when it was "a comet approaching earth")
BTW: From the surface it looks pink. National Geographic ran a
rather interesting series on the Mars pictures a while ago.
}"The white precipitated masses on mars, which form the polar caps, are
}probably of the nature of carbon, .... keeps this "manna" from being
} permanently dissolved under the rays of the sun."
} [page 366]
Carbon is black. Maybe he means Carbon Dioxide? That would be true, in
part (the permanent part is water), but that would disagree with his
Carbohydrates have a strong 3.5 micron absorption feature. The martian
polar cap doesn't. Mariners 6,7, and 9 have found abundant evidence
for frozen water and carbon dioxide, though.
}"The main ingredients of the atmosphere of Mars must be present in
}the atmosphere of the earth" [gas exchange during encounter]
} [page 366]
CO2 is the main component at the atmosphere of mars. It is a very minor
component of the atmosphere of earth. Nitrogen is the main component
of the atmosphere of earth, with oxygen coming in second. These gases are
not major components of the atmosphere of mars.
}".... argon and neon...on mars... Mars should be submitted to the test.
} If analysis should reveal them in rich amounts, this would also answer
} the question: What contributions did mars make to the earth when the
} two planets came in contact."
}[ page 367]
Viking landers: 96% Carbon dioxide, 2.5% nitrogen, 1.5% argon. Very small
traces of oxygen, krypton, and xenon were found. So the answer is:
None at all.
BTW: The heavier noble gases (krypton and xenon among them) have yet to
be found associated with comets...
"Mars emits more heat than it receives from the sun."
} [pages 367]
Mars does NOT emit more heat than it receives from the sun. It has been
observed from earth, orbit, mars orbit, and by landers. This simply is
not so. As a result of the studies from Mariner 6, 7, and 9 mapping
mars in broad infrared bands near 10-20 microns, the thermal map of
mars is known almost as well as earth and the moon. All the temperatures
are consistent with thermal equilibrium conditions, there is no indication of
an internal heat source.
}[more destruction on mars during encounter than on earth]
Not where the landers have put down there isn't.
Nor on the pictures from orbit.
}"The planet (venus) is covered by clouds of dust."
} [page 368]
What kind of dust? This is a zero statement. It does have clouds of sulfuric
acid droplets, though... (between 75% and 85% concentration)
}"...I assume that Venus must be rich in petroleum gases."
It isn't. 'Nuff said.
Of the sulfuric acid, hydrofluoric acid, and hydrochloric acid we see nothing.
No hydrocarbons. No carbohydrates. ESPECIALLY not from Mariner 2.
Read the data, not the press release. The reporters made that "petroleum
found" up. Sagan was, BTW, one of the scientists directly associated with
this probe and that instrumentation in particular. What he finds funny
is that it was postulated to fill the greenhouse hole (filled by CO2 and HOH)
to support the temperature. Immmanuel used non-data that was used to support
a theory he disclaims. Double wrong!
}"If the petroleum that poured down..."
Again, this confusion between hydrocarbons (petroleum) and carbohydrates
("manna") appears. Velikovsky appears to add the lack of knowledge of
chemistry to his lack of knowledge of astrophysics.
}"The fact that methane has been discovered on Jupiter- the only known
}constituents of its atmosphere are the poisonous gases methane and
}ammonia - makes it rather probable that it has petroleum.
} [page 369]
Unfortunately, the major constituents of the atmosphere of Jupiter
are hydrogen and helium, neither of which appear too abundant on Venus.
And the presence of methane, a VERY simple molecule, says nothing about
the presence of petroleum extraterrestrially. What you do is take
whatever Carbon happened to be there and chemically combine it with
the hydrogen that is EVERYWHERE. Presto! Methane.
}"... Venus - and therefore Jupiter - is populated by vermin; this organic
}life can be the source of petroleum."
} [page 369]
First, Venus has been directly visited on the surface by landers, in the
air by balloons, and from low orbit. NO indication of such "vermin"
Just for fun, let's say "vermin" existed on Jupiter. Now, given that
Venus is ejected at over 60 km/sec (Jupiter's escape velocity) and
less than 67 km/sec (vector addition of 60 kps jupiter escape and 20 kps
solar escape), which is WAY above the speed at which meteorites land
on earth, and the atmosphere of Jupiter is THICK, what's keeping these
things from being baked off as it exits by "reentry" (going up instead
of down) heat?
BTW: What mystical mechanism ejects a planetary at 60-67 kilometers
per second from a very select site (in the plane of the elliptic, on
the "back side" of the orbit so it will spiral inward)? We are talking
10^41 ergs here. That is about 9 1/2 months worth of the sun's _entire_
energy output, which suddenly is released in one moment!
}"The night side of venus radiates heat because Venus is hot"
} [page 371]
No kidding! Enough to melt lead on most of the surface. How much
do you think an entire world would cool overnight, if it started at
molten lead temperatures, the atmosphere formed a blanket that
retained the IR, and there are STRONG winds that redistribute the heat?
}"The reflecting, absorbing, insulating, and conducting properties
}of the cloud layer of venus modify the heating effect of the sun
}upon the body of the planet..."
True, and apparently even more than he thought. The common label
fastened to this observation is "greenhouse effect" The same
should happen to any terrestrial world that receives that much sunlight.
The calculated trigger for a runaway greenhouse is about 1.4 times the
solar flux on earth.
}"Venus gives off heat."
Correct, but misleading. It gives off just as much energy as it receives.
The thermal flux ("gives off heat") matches the incoming sunlight.
This is why, for instance, microwave brilliance readings have stayed
constant for decades. Besides which, you can measure the flux directly.
Just for fun:
If venus was travelling 500 kilometers per second (not odd for outter
sol system origin), and the sun's radius is 7x10^10 cm, the transit time
is appox 3000 seconds, less than an hour. How hot could it get? The
solar source in the photosphere is 6000 degrees K. Now, using the
Stefan-Boltzman law of thermodynamics, if there were NO other heating,
by now it would be 79 degrees kelvin. Cold. Real, real cold.
Now, just what happens to rock when you heat it to 6000 degrees?
And the vermin, manna, oil,.....
}"The core of the planet venus must be hot."
} [page 371]
Big deal. The core of EVERY planet is hot compared to its crust. Even
the moons of of the outter planets. Remember that volcano of sulfur (dioxide?)
}"Astronomers will see the planets stop or slow down in their rotation,
}cushioned in the magnetic fields around them..." [pluto and neptune]
} [page 372]
The magnetic fields of neptune and pluto are nowhere NEAR strong enough
to do this. We have sent probes, and these little metallic items were
not influenced in the least. We have sent a couple of Voyagers
through the entire solar system, with a few close approaches (Neptune
included). In spite of coming REAL close, and in spite of having a
lot of iron in their construction, the force in their precision
navigation was gravity. A force that did not measurably influence
a chunk of steel smaller than a car does not seem likely to be able
to bounce planets.
Sagan did the calculations as to what field strength would be
required - about 10 megagauss. This is a BIG magnetic field! Since
earth is .5 gauss, Mars and Venus are about .01, and Jupiter is less than
10, and the interplanetary flux is about 10^-5, and NO rock shows sign of
solidifying in a 10 megagauss field, I would say this is totally
}"Comets may strike the earth, as Venus did when it was a comet"
} [page 373]
Astounding, isn't it. Direct physical contact that didn't destroy both.
Look at the hole in arizona a LITTLE object made. Look at the iridium
layer that may have come from a meteorite a bit larger that exterminated
(possibly) most life on earth. Think what a planetary mass would do.
I doubt if the crust would survive anywhere on either. And they would
STAY in one piece, not split off again.
For some more fun:
Total kinetic energy in the collision:
KE = 0.5 (M_e + M_v) v_rel^2 where v_rel is the relative velocity.
v_rel has to be _at_least_ 11.2 km/s (Earth's escape velocity),
and should be larger (gravitational focussing; difference in orbital
This gives KE = 7 x 10^39 ergs. Considering the binding energy
estimate obtained previously, the collision bids fair to disrupt
both planets. It would be astounding if Earth_after were anything
at all like Earth_before!
(thanks for this from Mr. Gaetz!)
}"Facing many problems"
No kidding. Nothing but, the way I see it.
To pick a couple from Yaron P. Sheffer:
After very close encounterS with Earth, which have involved such drastic
effects as tidal disruptions, a complete halt of our planet's
rotation, then a restart at exactly the previous rate, etc.,
one would expect lots of space debris to float around both planets,
maybe even around Mars. A formation of ring systems seems to be very
plausible under the circumstances, YET NONE IS OBSERVED AROUND THESE
THREE TERRESTRIAL PLANETS. In fact, Venus has no natural sats whatsoever,
which are expected after a launch from Jupiter plus the following
planetary encounters. (Not to mention that Venus has been refered to
as a COMET, just about 1,000,000,000 times heavier than any normal comet
we usually see.) NOTE: 4000 YEARS OR SO IS AN INSUFFICIENT TIME SPAN
TO HAVE PLANETARY RINGS COMPLETELY DECAYING.
Major effects should have involved our moon, YET ALL WE SEE ARE QUITE
LUNAR MARIA AND UPLANDS WHICH HAVE BEEN DATED TO HAVE BEEN METEORITICALLY
ACTIVE NO LATER THAT 3 BILLION YEARS AGO.
Has anyone noticed any other events in which one planet launches another
towards other regions of the solar system...?? UH-UH!!
Even given "plausible" trajectories which stabilize within 4000 years
into almost circular (and at the exact available slot) orbits,
people IGNORE the machanism by which Venus has been Jovianly launched.
There are careful Sumerian records of their skies from ca. 5000 years
ago... which give accounts of observing Venus in its ever-normal
orbit, AS IF NOTHING HAS EVER HAPPENED VELIKOVSKY-WISE! Just a reminder:
Earth has stopped its rotation (legend-wise of course) about
2000 years after the Sumerian observations of Venus...
As has been mentioned already: The chemical composition of Venus is very
different from that of Jupiter. Instead of dealing with this simple
(yet anti-Velikovsky) hard fact from Reality, people went on to "reconsider"
plausibilities of orbital mechanics. But if there is no way to launch
Venus in the first place....
The solar system (INCLUDING VENUS) is 4,600,000,000 years old.
Why do people still consider "scenarios" for "events" which supposedly
occured in the last 0.000001 part of the solar system's age
as "favorable"? Or are these only people who are not updated
with the latest knowledge about our solar system? Hmmmm...
}[venus changed into a comet]
We know what venus is. Landers have been there. We know what comets
are. Probes have been there. Venus is not a comet.
BTW: If Venus was/is a comet, where is the tail? It is closer to the sun
now than it "was" during this supposidely dashing around. So where is
the tail now? And, given that the escape velocity is 6.4 miles per second,
how did it EVER have a tail? And for the "it is its atmosphere" crowd,
why is it bound now and wasn't earlier? The mass of venus was HIGHER
back "when it was a comet", and so its gravity was higher, so the
atmosphere would have been bound even tighter. Velikovsky tries to
convince us (later works) that the tail got wrapped around the planet
and is now the atmosphere. Nice to know how this happened...
}"Magnetic poles of earth became reversed only a few thousand years ago."
Nope. There are reversals, but none that recently. There is NO evidence of
such a proposition.
One would think that there would be some indicator, say in corals or
tree rings, of such. Velikovsky presents none. His only dream is that
of people using simpler math using a different base recorded what he
wants and not what was.. As a minor note, "december", means "tenth month".
Are we really only using ten now? The earlier civilizations often didn't
even NAME the latter months. The were more interested in the growing season.
That did not mean it was never winter.
}[venus night side heat]
} [page 380]
Absurd. See above.
}"solved the problem of mountain building..."
Absurd. See above.
}"This could be caused by the earth's passing through a strong magnetic
} field at an angle to the earth's magnetic axis."
} [page 385]
One would think that some indication of this magnetism would be found in the
rocks. It has not. And the spacecraft that measure the field-strength
near Venus found it to be significantly less than even the earth's.
}[slowing of the earths rotation]
Lets say that it was NOT done suddenly, since we can see features in Luray
Cavern that are older than this that could not take the stress. BUT, with
the earth's specific heat taken into account, and the rotational energy,
the earth would warm an average of 100 degrees celsius, more than enough
to boil the oceans. At low altitudes near the surface (where the people
usually are) the temperature would go up by 240 degrees. Yet, the
inhabitants didn't notice.
} [more on the magnetic slowing]
} [page 386]
Absurd. See above. No evidence at all.
}[decides an atom is a good model of the solar system]
} [page 387-388]
This flies in the face of observed QM effects.
}[A nova the result of the collision of two stars]
}[ page 388]
A nit here. Bear in mind the distinction between novae and
supernovae. Novae are thought to result from thermonuclear
flashes on accreting white dwarfs. Type II supernovae (like
SN 1987A) are thought to result from core collapse of massive
stars upon exhaustion of nuclear fuel. (The detection of neutrinos
from SN 1987A was a welcome confirmation of the core-collapse
hypotheses. Modelling core collapse is extremely tricky because the
explosion itself is a minor perturbation on the dynamics. I don't
recall the exact figures, but I seem to remember that about
10^54 ergs is released in neutrinos, compared to only 10^51 ergs
in the explosion itself. It doesn't take much of an error in the
numerics to convert an explosion to a fizzle.)
(another from Mr. Gaetz.)
odd thought, indeed! Maybe "some" or "one" or "maybe oughta"?
references for direct quotes from Immanuel Velikovsky"
Worlds in Collision
Earth in Upheaval
The Editors of Pensee
(has a lot of his papers in it, along with other papers pro-V.)
counter-velikovsky references I found during this search:
Scientists Confront Velikovsky
Beyond Velikovsky: The History of a Public Controversy
Henry H. Bauer
references that I have sitting here and referred to:
Computer Simulation of the Formation of Planetary Systems by S. Dole in
Icarus 13, 494-508 (1970)
Calculations on the Composition of the terrestrial Planets
Reynolds & Summers, Journal of Geophysical Research vol 74, no 10
May 15, 1969 p 2494
The formation of the Earth from Planetesimals
Wetherill, Scientific American June 1981
Fractionation of Iron in the Solar System
Harris & Tozer, Nature vol 215, Sept 30, 1967
Formation of the Sun and Planets
A. G. W. Cameron, Icarus 1, 13-69 (1962)
The Supercontinent Cycle
Nance, Worsley, & Moody, Scientific American, July 1988
Alfred Wegener and the Hypothesis of Continental Drift
A. Hallam, Scientific American Feb 1975
Goldreich, Peter, and Stanton Peale, "Spin - Orbit Coupling in the
Solar System", Astron. J. 71, 6 (August 1966), pp 425- 438
Cloud, Preston E., Jr., "Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Evolution on
the Primitive Earth", Science 160, (17 May 1968), pp 729 - 736
Hart, Michael H, "Habitable Zones About Main-Sequence Stars",
Icarus 37 (1979), pp 351 - 357
Mart, Michael H, "The Effect of a Planet's Size on the Evolution of
its Atmosphere", published in some conference or another; I
got a copy from the author. (Dave Allen )
Planets for Man
Our Evolving Atmosphere
Is Anyone There? by Isacc Asimov
Second Planet, Second Earth
S. L. Gillett, Analog Dec 84
The Steady State of the Earth's crust, atmosphere and oceans
Siever, Scientific American, May 1974
The Evolution of the Atmosphere of the Earth
Hart, Icarus, 33, 23-39, 1978
Evolution of the Atmosphere and Oceans
Holland, Lazar & McCaffery, Nature vol 320, 6 mar 1986
The Atmosphere of Venus
Schubert & Covey, Scientific American, July 1981, p66
The Runaway Greenhouse and the Accumulation of CO2 in the Venus Atmosphere
Rasool & Bergh, Nature, vol 226, June 13 1970
The Volcanoes and Clouds of Venus
Prinn, Scientific American, Mar 1985
Venus, Near Neighbor of the Sun
Structure of the Lower Atmosphere of Venus
C. Sagan, Icarus 1, 151-169 (1962)
Astronomy of the Ancients
K. Brecher and M. Feirtag
The Mystery of Comets
Fred L. Whipple
Geochemical exploration of the Moon and Planets
I. Adler and J. I. Trombka
The Planet Uranus: a history of observation, theory, and discovery
A. F. O'D. Alexander
The Planetary System
Morrison & Owen
Werelden in Botsing (Dutch) 1963
references from Matt Briggs on venus's atmosphere:
Dickinson, R. E. (1986). "Venus mesosphere and thermosphere, pt. 1,
heat budget and thermal structure," Jounral of Geophysical
Reasearch: 91 (70-80).
Kasprzak, W. T. (1986). "Wavelike perturbations observed in the neutral
thermosphere of Venus," Jornal of Geophysical Research: 93 (11237-
Hou, A. Y. (1989). "Further studies of the circulation of the Venus
atmosphere," Journal of Atmospheric Science: 46 (991-1001).
Lacis, A. A. (1975). "Cloud structure and heating rates in the
atmosphere of Venus," Journal of Atmospheric Science: 32 (1107-1124).
Walker, J. C. G. (1975). "Evolution of the atmosphere of Venus,"
Journal of Atmospheric Science: 32 (1248-1255).
reference from Perry G. Ramsey:
There is an article in the Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, June 1975
(in fact, the entire issue is about the atmosphere of Venus) by James Pollack
and Richard Young describing a radiative-convective model of the Venusian
Articles relating to geomagnetism:
Evolution of Overlapping Spreading Centers: A Sea MARC II Investigation
MacDonald, K. C. ; Fox, P. J
Stratigraphic Aspect of Paleomagnetic Studies of Bottom Sediments in Seas
Tretyak, A. N. ; Vigilyanskaya, L. I. ; Dudkin, V. P.
Magnetic Anomalies and Sea-Floor Spreading in the Western North
Atlantic, and a Revised Calibration of the Keathley (M) Geomagnetic
Tucholke, p857-876 1979
Vogt, P. R. ; Einwich, A. M
An Analysis of Near-Bottom Magnetic Anomalies: Sea-Floor Spreading and
the Magnetized Layer
Geophysical Jnl. of The Royal Astronomical Society v43 p387-424 1975
Klitgord, K. D. ; Huestis, S. P. ; Mudie, J. D. ; Parker, R. L.
Magnetic Study of Basalts from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Latitude 37 N
Geological Society of America Bull. v88 n70503 p637-647 May 77.
Johnson, H. Paul ; Atwater, Tanya
Geochronology of the Neogene Paleomagnetic Polarity Epochs
Proceedings of the Congress (6th), International Union of
Geological Sciences, Bratislava (Czechoslovakia), 4-7 Sep 75, v1 p303-305
Theyer, F. ; Hammond, S. R.
A Revised Time Scale of Magnetic Reversals for the Early Cretaceous and
Jnl. of Geophysical Research, v80 n17 p2586-2594, 10 Jun 75.
Larson, Roger L. ; Hilde, Thomas W. C.
Magnetic Lineations Observed near the Ocean Floor and Possible
Implications on the Geomagnetic Chronology of the Gilbert Epoch
Geophysical Jnl. of the Royal Astronomical Society, v28 p35-48 1972
Klitgord, K. D. ; Mudie, J. D. ; Normark, W. R.
Evidence for the Opening of the South Atlantic in the Early Cretaceous
Nature, v246 n5430 p209-212 23 Nov 73.
Larson, Roger L. ; Ladd, John W.
Faunal Extinctions and Reversals of the Earth's Magnetic Field
Geological Society of America Bulletin, v82 p2433-2447 Sep 71.
Hays, James D.
Age of the North Atlantic Ocean from Magnetic Anomalies
Earth and Planetary Science Letters 11 p195-200 1971.
Pitman, III, W. C. ; Talwani, M. ; Heirtzler, J. R.
Magnetic Reversals and Sedimentation Rates in the Arctic Ocean
Geological Society of America Bulletin, v81 p3129-3134 Oct 70.
Clark, David L.
Palaeomagnetism of Deep-Sea Sediments
International Dictionary of Geophysics, v2 p1134-1141 1967
Harrison, C. G. A.
Magnetic Anomalies over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge Near 27 Degrees N
Science v157 n3791 p920-3 Aug 1967
Phillips, J. D.
Reference for volcanic activity:
The End of Atlantis
References for the tree-ring data:
Scientists Hope Tree Rings Will Answer Questions About Past
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS DATE: June 16, 1988 12:44EDT
(Chris Stassen provided these)
Scientists Confront Creationism_,
L. Godfrey, Ed.;
New York: Norton, 1983. p. 35
New York: Viking, 1983. pp. 28-29, 224, 271-273
Principles of Isotope Geology
New York: Wiley, 1986. pp. 390-39
Science and Earth History
A. N. Strahler;
New York: Prometheus, 1987. pp. 155-158
Radiometric Dating, Geologic Time, And The Age Of The Earth:
A Reply To "Scientific" Creationism
Dalrymple, G. B.;
USGS Open-File Report 86-110, 1986. pp. 39-41
The Unexplained: A Sourcebook of Strange Phenomina
Science,133:729-735, March 17, 1961
Farrand, Wm. R.
"No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right;
a single experiment can prove me wrong." - Albert Einstein
James W. Meritt: firstname.lastname@example.org - or - email@example.com
The opinions above are mine. If anyone else wants to share them, fine.
They may say so if they wish. The facts "belong" to noone and simply are.