What makes a theory good? In his canonical 1991 book Inference to the Best Explanation, Peter Lipton attempts to answer this fraught question. The philosopher identifies eleven explanatory virtues that are often placed within four groupings: evidential, coherential, aesthetic, and diachronic. Two others, James Beebe1 and Kenneth Dillon2, draw upon the same categorical schema to present four other virtues for consideration.  All fifteen are listed and defined in the following table: Continue reading »

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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, mass wasting, 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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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., causing the Bronze Age catastrophes, and then finally settled into a nearly circular orbit of the Sun.

Four new lines of reasoning support a Revised Venus 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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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

411-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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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 with new-found confidence that the Ancients and Velikovsky were right about Venus, we can ask how can we use this to 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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In his Worlds in Collision (New York:  Macmillan, 1950), Immanuel Velikovsky argued that Venus emerged as a red-hot comet from Jupiter and passed Earth every 52 years, causing the Bronze Age catastrophes, before settling into its current orbit.  His claim set off a controversy in which his theory was rejected and stigmatized.  But over the years, new findings have changed the picture.  Here are eight new reasons to accept a Revised Venus Theory, based on the evidence and reinterpretation in The Knowable Past (2nd edition, Washington, D.C.:  Scientia Press, 2019). Continue reading »

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braceletWith minor updates, from Kenneth J. Dillon, Intriguing Anomalies: An Introduction to Scientific Detective Work. Notes, bibliography, and images can be found in the original. For a brief overview, see “Ten Key Points about Medicinal Bracelets“.  For Dillon’s most recent work, see his The Knowable Past (Washington, D.C.:  Scientia Press, 2018).

 

 

Chapter 4

The Science of Medicinal Bracelets

The vision inspiring the study of medicinal bracelets is of an attractive, simple, easy-to-use, safe, naturally effective kind of medicine, one you can wear on your wrist. Medicinal bracelets also have much to teach us regarding the deeper patterns of physiology and nutrition. Continue reading »

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There are two sides to every story. Judges rightly admonish juries to check out both sides before coming to a conclusion. Our entire system of adversarial justice is built on this principle. But under surveillance by FBI in the 2001 anthrax mailings case, U.S. Army scientist Bruce Ivins committed suicide. So only one side got to tell its version of the story.

Upon closing the case on February 19, 2010, FBI issued an Amerithrax Investigative Summary that concludes that Ivins was the anthrax mailer. The Summary contains serious errors as well as minor ones. It also omits crucial information. So, to ensure a fair outcome, we need to look at it through the eyes of a defense attorney, to make sure that the American people can check out both sides of the story before coming to a conclusion. Continue reading »

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Ocean

Sea-based approaches to the disposal of nuclear waste make it hard for terrorists, rebels, or criminals to steal for use in radiological weapons or in nuclear bombs. The world’s oceans have a vastly greater dilutive capacity than any single land site in the event of unintended leaks (though by the same token the effects of a leak could travel farther). And seawater itself contains a variety of radionuclides, so treating it as a domain in which there is no natural radioactivity runs counter to fact. Meanwhile, without a great deal of additional investment and endless political arguments, land-based geological storage sites will not have the capacity to store all the waste that will be generated in future decades.

The most important rationale, though, is that siting, constructing, and operating land-based long-term storage sites constitute major, difficult technological and political problems.  It is wrongheaded and irresponsible to assume that many relatively poor, unstable, and technologically lagging countries with nuclear reactors will deal successfully with these challenges.  Too many things can go wrong, with disastrous outcomes.

So a shared international solution to the problems of the long-term storage of nuclear waste should represent a high priority.  And investigating sea-based solutions makes eminent sense because they are peculiarly suited to international cooperation.

Four sea-based approaches recommend themselves. Continue reading »

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