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The Reality of Ancient Catastrophism
The Cydonia Files ^
| November 7, 2001
| Joe Schembrie
Posted on 11/07/2001 9:12:46 AM PST by JoeSchem
November 7, 2001
The Reality of Ancient Catastrophism
About fifty years ago, a Russian psychiatrist named Immanuel Velikovsky wrote a book, "Worlds in Collision." He suggested that much of the earliest history of mankind was deeply affected by catastrophic cosmic events. His suggestions seemed outrageous: that Venus is a comet that was ejected from Jupiter, and that its flybys past the Earth created the tidal forces that explained the Parting of the Red Sea and other miraculous incidents recorded in the Bible.
Velikovsky's theories had one big problem: they assumed a highly unlikely coincidence. Evolutionists claim the Solar System has been around for billions of years, while human civilization has been around for mere thousands. How plausible is it that, just after humanity establishes its
earliest civilizations, a comet is ejected from Jupiter and becomes a whole new planet?
Velikovsky's theories are those of an atheist attempting to explain away ancient records of catastrophism. The ancients themselves attributed these catastrophes to divine intervention, but a good atheist cannot have this. So instead, he attributes the causes to a natural cosmic phenomenon. But a very bizarre, improbable natural phenomenon at that!
At least Velikovsky understood one key fact about ancient history: a lot of strange things were going on back then!
We recently learned ("Meteor Clue to End of Middle East Civilizations", News Telegraph, Nov. 6) that a two mile crater ring found in Iraq dates back to the time of the earliest civilizations in that region. A two mile crater is no small event -- and it occured within observation distance of the earliest cities of mankind, during their heyday.
The Bible tells us that the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by 'fire and brimstone.' These cities were once regarded as fable, but now scientists believe that they actually did exist, and actually were destroyed -- though non-divine explanations are presented ("Scientists uncover Sodom's fiery end," BBC News, 18 August 2001).
And scientists have known for years that Minoan civilization -- which during the Second Millennium
BC threatened to eclipse Greece and Egypt and rule the ancient world -- was destroyed by a volcanic eruption. (See "Ancient Apocalypse: The Fall of Minoan Civilization," BBC Online, July 2001.)
This volcanic eruption occured about the time that Moses was in Egypt. The smoke and debris from the volcano would have drifted south over Egypt, plunging the land into darkness -- just as the Old Testament account says.
So you see, there are natural explanations for everything . . . except for the improbability of the timing. And it just gets more improbable, when we realize the frequency of such incidents in ancient history.
And if God steered meteors and blew up entire islands to work his miracles on cue -- well, doesn't that make the miracles seem even more miraculous?
Since the first century AD, we have no record of major cities -- indeed, whole nations -- being destroyed by meteor showers or volcanic eruptions. We've come to believe that such events are exceedingly rare. But apparently, during the time that the Bible was written, this sort of thing
happened all too often.
Frequent ancient catastrophism was a reality. That's not just what the Bible-thumpers like me are saying. That's what the secular archaeologists are saying.
And just what, based on that, should you be thinking?.
TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: catastrophism; coincidencemyass; immanuelvelikovsky; velikovsky; worldsincollision
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posted on 11/07/2001 9:12:46 AM PST
Bump for later read.
posted on 11/07/2001 9:20:30 AM PST
Since the first century AD, we have no record of major cities -- indeed, whole nations -- being destroyed by meteor showers or volcanic eruptions.
I disagree. Meteor impacts don't happen that often, but if the Tunguska event of 1908 had occurred in a populated area, it could have destroyed a city. As for volcanoes, within the last century a city was destroyed by an eruption - St. Pierre in 1902, killed 29,000 people, which is comparable to a major eruption in ancient times. Also, don't forget the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 - 60,000 people killed and the city was practically destroyed - so we have had plenty of catastrophies over the last 2,000 years...
posted on 11/07/2001 9:30:02 AM PST
I think the point is that none of these modern catastrophes has any correlation to a religious or prophetic event. Such as Angels warning of Sodom, or Moses telling the Pharoah about the sky.
posted on 11/07/2001 9:33:45 AM PST
I figured I'd see you here.
posted on 11/07/2001 9:35:05 AM PST
And it probably doesn't bother some here about how incredibly lucky Moses and the Jews were to have the comet pass by and part the Red Sea exactly at the time they needed it and then dissappear just as soon as the last person cleared the sea.
Actually, it's not that hard to believe that a volcano erupted not too terribly long after a huge meteor impact occured. While I am not a geologist, I might even be inclined to beileve the impact caused far-reaching effects that could have contributed to said erruption.
This planet has only just recently (in the grand scheme of things.) emerged from a massive Ice Age. Lots of flood stories were no doubt influenced by the breaking of glacial dams that occured during the dawn of human cizilization. Not too hard to believe that all sorts of weird stuff was settling out while the planet warmed back up.
posted on 11/07/2001 9:38:12 AM PST
To: Blood of Tyrants
"And it probably doesn't bother some here about how incredibly lucky Moses and the Jews were to have the comet pass by and part the Red Sea exactly at the time they needed it and then dissappear just as soon as the last person cleared the sea."
I was probably the explosion of Akatori/Santorini/Thera in 1628BC that parted the 'reed' sea. I expect it is also responsible for all the plagues during that period.
posted on 11/07/2001 9:41:23 AM PST
Leave us not forget, the great Chicago fire and the other fires that took place that evening. (Whatever that date was) There were Thousands killed in the Midwest that evening, and some have speculated that a metor exploded over the area causing these fires. Speculation, true, but plausable.
Immanuel Velikovsky is to astronomy as Michael Bellesiles is to history.
posted on 11/07/2001 9:43:08 AM PST
To: WyldKard; JudyB1938; sawsalimb
"This planet has only just recently (in the grand scheme of things.) emerged from a massive Ice Age. Lots of flood stories were no doubt influenced by the breaking of glacial dams that occured during the dawn of human cizilization. Not too hard to believe that all sorts of weird stuff was settling out while the planet warmed back up."
Exactly. Especially when the weight of 1-3 miles thick ice being removed is considered. I would expect all kinds of plate shifts/cracking, etc. Throw in a meteor or a comet impact here and there and I expect anyone would 'get' religion. BTW, a lot of these worldwide affecting events are recorded in the 10k year tree ring data. Some have been described as near extinction events, five in particular. They are, 3195BC, 2354BC, 1628BC, 1159BC, and 540AD. There were two more minor events at 207BC and 44BC. All the events are also recorded in the ice core samples except the 540BC event which was probably a comet that plopped into the Celtic Sea and the cause of the Dark Ages, King Arthur, Merlin, etc.
posted on 11/07/2001 10:01:02 AM PST
posted on 11/07/2001 10:08:07 AM PST
I think it odd that Velikovsky is quoted only in those areas where proof is inconclusive or speculative.
He never seems to get credit for continental drift and Plate tectonics, which are accepted unquestioningly today, and which he described in detail decades before it became respectable.
The problem with this kind of approach is not that it "de-miraculizes" these Biblical/historical events, but that it "de-ethicizes" them. What makes the Biblical events unique is not the WAY in which they happened, but the WHY. Ethics, not Physics, is the trigger for the events recorded in the Bible. Without it, the Bible becomes just a book of predictions like the World Series book from Back to the Future Pt 2. Bibical judgement always
comes with a warning and
a way out.
Case in point: Egypt didn't suffer plagues because it was unlucky enough to build downwind from some volcano - it suffered them because of their immorality, their idolatry, and specifically because of Pharoah's stubbornness. Pharoah was asked ten times to "Let My people go" - ten chances to stop the progressive, punative plagues. Those plagues demonstrated conclusively that the Egyptian gods were impotent at best, and wholly false at the worst, while clearly demonstrating that the God of Moses was alive and more powerful. Pharoah refused to obey God. Pharoah received a consolation prize - free swimming lessons.
Perhaps instead of asking the old undergrad question "If God is all-powerful, can God make a rock so big that even He cannot move it?", we should move on to the grad school follow-up "If God is all-knowing, would He know better?"
the almighty god is the creator of everything in this universe. mankind understands more of his environment than he did 5 thousand years ago. as we understand things, we tend to explain them in an understandable way. hence, we have science and use it as a tool to understand and explain our environ, and even sometimes have the audacity to predict future events.
5 thousand years ago man did not have science to rely on, or had very little science, and gave credit where it was due when something cataclysmic happened -- credit to god.
the real issue is not how we explain it, but rather who we believe is ultimately responsible for it.
posted on 11/07/2001 10:23:31 AM PST
Upon awakening this morning, I was wonder about something that puzzles me still: isn't it strange that our planet went through a period of gigantic landbaseed life forms, then such a stage ended and the largest animals today are in the oceans? The gigantism wasn't limited to just the animal kingdom either; many plant species fossils attest to the outsized proportions of many plants at the same time dinos ruled the earth. What would allow for such gigantic growth? Would a twin planet in close proximity, that created a tidal force such as the Moon produces, but on a larger scale, account for such a growth period? The physics of such giants would seem to have a simple explanation for becoming no longer the norm! I don't know the science of this, so I'm raising this perhaps silly question here on a Velikofskyesque thread.
posted on 11/07/2001 10:26:17 AM PST
Comment #18 Removed by Moderator
"But the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh" -Exodus 9:12. So God was just being a prick with Egypt. As usual.
"And Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh: and Jacob blessed Pharaoh." - Genesis 47:7.
"And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives...And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive." - Exodux 1:15-17.
Payback's a bitch.
Nothing quite so esoteric. The oxygen levels during the Carbiniferous Age were a tad bit higher than today, allowing large insects to exist. Gigantic land animals existed pert near up to 15k years ago (the dinosaurs were not nature's only experiment with big beasties -- some land mammals rivaled some of the sauropods in size) when there was a massive die-off of most terrestrial megafauna (anything over 45kg). The animal kingdom hasn't quite recovered from that die off just yet.
posted on 11/07/2001 10:48:36 AM PST
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