Mars Earth NASAThere’s no shortage of candidates for the cause of the mass extinctions of prehistory. But experts have found flaws in every one.

Asteroid impact at Chicxulub, Yucatan clearly played a role in the Cretaceous-Tertiary (KT) extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs 65,000,000 years ago, though scientists point to the serious disruptions that had begun hundreds of thousands of years before with the basalt flows of the Deccan Traps.1 Giant basalt lava flows that poisoned the atmosphere and oceans played a role in four or perhaps all five major extinctions. But other enormous basalt flows have not caused extinctions, nor did they cause the tsunamis associated with various extinctions.2  Researchers have suggested many other mechanisms, but there’s no consensus at all.

Lurking in the background, however, is a quite plausible cause, one that would have possessed the power to set off the volcanic activity, air pollution, sea level shifts, loss of oxygen in oceans, climate changes, and other phenomena associated with the extinctions.

The Martian Theory Continue reading »

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Crete Snake goddessThe famous Snake Goddess of ancient Crete has long attracted students of history and art. Elegant, risquée, enigmatic, she embodies the mystery and allure of Minoan civilization. Continue reading »

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Serpent Mound

420-meter long Great Serpent Mound in Ohio is the world’s longest effigy monument.  Archaeological investigations have yielded conflicting results about its initial construction date, and various theories regarding its meaning have failed to gain traction.  But a revised and enhanced version of the theory of Immanuel Velikovsky that the planet Venus was originally a comet that approached the Earth and caused great devastation neatly matches key characteristics of the Great Serpent Mound.

Recently, this Venus theory has gained additional credibility from a commonsensical explanation of how a comet-like Venus could have seemed to emerge from Jupiter as in ancient Hindu and Greek myths (it was pulled from the outer solar system), including a simple, obvious reinterpretation of the Metis myth.  Much new evidence has also emerged.  And the theory has found powerful substantiation from a reinterpretation of the headdress of Queen Nefertari of Egypt, consort of Pharaoh Ramses II, in this image from Abu Simbel (Ramses II’s headdress appears to contain Mars with two moons and a tail, either borrowed from Venus in an encounter or from Martian dust stirred up by an encounter). Continue reading »

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Immanuel Velikovsky argued famously, based on his interpretation of32immanuel-velikovsky-1 ancient sources, that Venus had emerged from Jupiter as a comet, interacted with the Earth and Mars in the second and first millennia B.C., and then finally settled into a nearly circular orbit of the Sun.

Four new lines of reasoning support a revised and enhanced version of this theory.

First, instead of the various unpersuasive suggestions that Velikovsky and others have made for how a cometary Venus could have emerged from Jupiter, we should consider the possible consequences of the immense gravitational field of Jupiter, which pulls into the giant planet a stream of asteroids and comets such as Shoemaker-Levy 9 in 1994. Continue reading »

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There are good reasons to think that Earth has turned over on various occasions.  But who can be surprised that this notion—so removed from everyday experience and common sense—seems less than instantaneously persuasive?

The good reasons include telling evidence in narrative testimony and correctly interpreted myths of the ancients, embedded patterns in ancient cultures that give evidence of inversions, and the insights and arguments of two formidable researchers.  Now we can 1) add new reasons that strengthen the case; 2) specify the approximate dates of four inversions; 3) comprehend that Earth is actually prone to inversion; and 4) point to where to find more evidence.  We can also see that understanding inversions not only helps us correct errors in interpreting past planetary and Earth science but also provides clues relevant to climate change. Continue reading »

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32immanuel-velikovsky-1New 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?

Continue reading »

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Athena32immanuel-velikovsky-1

When Venus first appeared in the skies shortly before 2500 B.C., ancient peoples worldwide strove to come to terms with this brilliant and awesome new comet-planet (the best account is in Immanuel Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision, though it needs some revision).  That meant assigning the deity a gender and a name.

In the Near East, they tried both genders.  In its masculine incarnation, Venus became the Bull of Heaven (as Velikovsky pointed out, the comet-planet’s body blocked the sun’s rays from the central portion of its tail and thus it was seen as having two horns).  In its feminine version, Venus was called Ishtar or Astarte; and in the Levant Astarte was depicted with serpents in her hands—the twin tails of the comet.

In Greece, according to Velikovsky, planet Venus was originally named Athena. Continue reading »

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Phaistos DiskThe famous spiral disk found in Phaistos, Crete in 1908 has long defied efforts to translate it or even to identify the language in which it is written or what kind of a document it might be (it is here in color to aid analysis). Though many scholars and amateurs have proposed theories and even translations, none has seemed persuasive to the great majority of observers. A skeptical view holds that the disk is a forgery, but most scholars reject this. Many scholars agree that the small sample of language in the disk makes a breakthrough very unlikely unless and until other samples of the writing are found. Continue reading »

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Hitler and Generals

By all accounts, Nazi Germany made serious errors in waging the Second World War that kept it from achieving much greater success, though whether it could have won the War remains open to doubt, given the American effort to develop nuclear weapons.  Also, Japanese mistakes need to be taken into consideration.  At any rate, asking “What if” questions about German strategy can help us better understand what actually happened.

Here is a list of key German mistakes that can guide our thinking about the many lessons we can learn from this greatest of wars (not included are significant errors at the battlefield level such as at Dunkirk and Stalingrad).  Of course, this list assumes that Germany’s decision to go to war in the first place and with the goals it had for doing so made sense.  I thank my students for their contributions to the list.1

Continue reading »

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japanwwiiWhen Japan went to war against the United States in 1941, its chances of winning were slim, indeed.  But it is worth asking what steps Japan might have taken, or what mistakes it might have avoided, to increase the likelihood of greater success and possibly even victory. Continue reading »

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Carroll Quigley (1910-1977) was a noted historian, polymath, and theorist of the evolution of civilizations.

Born and raised in Boston, Quigley planned to pursue a career in biochemistry. But he soon shifted to history, to which he brought an analytical, scientific approach and a questing spirit. After receiving a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D in history from Harvard University,1 he taught at Princeton and Harvard. In 1941 Quigley joined the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he came to teach a highly regarded course, “Development of Civilization”. Continue reading »

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[January 31, 2018:  This article was published in 2008. While some of the details have been overtaken by events, the main thrust of the argument has not changed a bit.  Keeping troops in Afghanistan for 16 years by now, with no end in sight, seems so palpably contrary to American interests that we must ask whether the U.S. Government has an unstated motive.  By far the most plausible such motive is that the Israel Lobby wants us to keep our troops in Afghanistan to put pressure on Iran and to provide bases in the event of a war against Iran.  In turn, the power of the Israel Lobby and the consequent possibility of war against Iran motivate the U.S. military to seek to remain.  The cost of the war has climbed well beyond $1 trillion.  Thousands of American soldiers have been needlessly killed, and thousands more maimed.]

According to media reports, American commanders in Afghanistan are asking for 5-10,000 troops above the 4,000 approved for deployment and the 10,500-12,000 already requested–for a total of up to 26,000. 32,000 are currently in Afghanistan. Overshadowed by the elections and global financial crisis, this proposed major escalation is moving ahead with little debate. And it is not a temporary ”surge”; the generals are seeking these new troop levels for the duration of the war, however many years that may involve.
Before we make this move, a weighing of pros and cons would appear to be in order. Continue reading »

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