Chronology & Catastrophism Review

Journal of the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies

1995 Special Issue (Volume XVII)

Cosmic Catastrophism

Velikovsky 100th Birthday Memorial Meeting

Proceedings of the SIS 1995 Braziers College Conference


David Salkeld:
The New York Velikovsky Centenary Conference
Includes reports on talks by Gordon Atwater on academic strife and Worlds in Collision, Irving Wolfe on 'Why Velikovsky is Important' and Ev Cochrane on 'Mars Rocks in Ancient Myth and Modern Science'.

Clark Whelton: Velikovsky's legacy
A critical consideration of Velikovsky's intellectual legacy plus personal impressions and recollections.

Eric Aitchison: Evidence for a Neat Year of 365 Days
Analysis of evidence from Middle East and Central America indicates that in the past the length of the year was 365 days 'neat' - not 365 days as today.

John E. Dayton: Ice Cores and Chronology
The author of Metals, Minerals, Glazing and Man critically reviews radiocarbon, tree ring and ice core dates. If the Thera eruption was not 1628BC (as currently favoured) but 1159BC, interesting conclusions follow.

Gunnar Heinsohn: Imaginary and Expected Catastrophes - Apocalyptic Desire and Scientific Prognosis
Explores the relationship between legends of past catastrophes, the scientific catastrophism of Cuvier, Schaeffer, Velikovsky (and more recent theorists) and beliefs in an impending apocalypse from cosmic or environmental agents.

Benny Josef Peiser: Cosmic Catastrophes and the Ballgame of the Sky Gods in Mesoamerican Mythology
Rituals involving human sacrifice in Central and South America were linked to ritual ball games which relate to legends of cosmic ball games between sky gods, which appear to be based on real natural catastrophes.

Heribert Illig:
Cosmic Catastrophes and the Origin of Megalithic Cultures
Radiocarbon dating has completely changed megalithic dates, separating cultures which otherwise seemed clearly linked by the style and form of their artefacts. Has this created a falsely inflated chronology?.

D S Allan and J B Delair: Scientific Evidence For A Major World Catastrophe About 11,500 Years Ago
The authors of When The Earth Nearly Died present the evidence: erratic boulders, animal and plant remains in the Arctic 'muck' and deep caves and nodules of metal ores on the ocean floor.

Graham Hancock: Fingerprints of the Gods - do ancient relicts point to an advanced civilisation 15,000 years ago?
Are the Sphinx, the Pyramids, artefacts in America, old maps and Plato's Atlantis all evidence of a great civilisation long ago, based in Antarctica?

The SIS Conference at Braziers College, Ipsden, Oxfordshire, was planned as a tribute to Immanuel Velikovsky on the 100th anniversary of his birth. Benny Peiser had invited speakers on ancient history, ancient monuments and the scientific evidence for catastrophes in the Earth's recent history. However in keeping with the theme of the event, time was also devoted to more personal reflections on Velikovsky and his legacy.

With such a diverse selection of speakers and opinions represented, the Conference objectives were different from the 1993 SIS Cambridge Conference ('Evidence that the Earth has Suffered Catastrophes of Cosmic Origin in Historic Times') - the intention was to stimulate, entertain and inform with a mix of serious material and more speculative ideas.

This resulted in some interesting exchanges. John Dayton was challenged over his reliance on ice core evidence - yet his conclusions were potentially valuable and important. Participants were impressed with the wealth of evidence of catastrophe presented by Bernard Delair but they queried its cause and date. Graham Hancock's wonderful photographs went down well but reaction to his theories was more critical, particularly his reliance on astronomical back-calculations for dating. No consensus or firm conclusions, perhaps, but certainly plenty of food for thought.

Alasdair Beal,
10 King George Avenue,
Chapel Allerton,
Leeds LS7 4LH

Thanks are due to Brian Moore, Val Pearce, Jill Abery, David Rohl, Graham Hope and Rob Horne for their work in preparing the material for this publication.

© The Society for Interdisciplinary Studies, 1996

ISSN 0953 0053