New evidence and interpretation at the intersection of astronomy and religion can help us better understand the history of the Ancient Near East and of the origins of Islam.
In recent years, a revised and enhanced version of Immanuel Velikovsky’s theory that the planet Venus first entered the inner solar system as a comet with a bifurcated tail around 1500 B.C. (new evidence indicates shortly before 2500 B.C.) has found plentiful substantiation. Now we have a much better explanation of the origin of Venus (it was pulled from the outer solar system by Jupiter’s gravity and, via tidal heating, became a comet with a long tail, overcoming the leading objection to Velikovsky’s theory). Venus interacted with the Earth on a 52-year cycle during the Late Bronze Age, causing catastrophes worldwide. And we now have a framework theory of the terrestrial planets into which these phenomena neatly fit and for which there is much telling evidence. For Comet Venus, there is also newly interpreted, compelling iconographic and linguistic evidence. The names of both Athena (A Fena, the Phoenician) and Poseidon (Bos eidon, the Bull of Heaven), for instance, referred to the double-tailed Venus.
So we can ask, with new-found confidence that the Ancients and Velikovsky were right about Venus, how can we use this to better decipher aspects of the culture of the Ancient Near East and of the background of Islam?