Astronomical Theory Offers New Explanation For Ice Age
July 11, 1997
1 2 3
BERKELEY, CA -- Recent
ice ages -- ten periods of glaciation in the past million years -- are
caused by changes in the tilt of the Earth's orbit, according to research
published in the July 11 issue of Science magazine. The new analysis
also presents strong evidence that another long prevailing theory does not
account for these ice ages.
Researchers Richard A. Muller of the Ernest
Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), and Gordon J.
MacDonald of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis,
Austria, are co-authors of the Science article.
Muller and MacDonald report that cyclical
changes in the location of the Earth's orbit cause differing quantities of
extraterrestrial debris to come into the Earth's atmosphere. This, in turn,
results in variations of climate on the planet.
Said MacDonald, "As the Earth moves up and
down in the plane of the solar system, it runs into various amounts of
debris, dust and meteoroids. Our work was an outgrowth of investigations of
larger impacts, such as the comet or asteroid that killed the dinosaurs.
However, meteoroids and dust are much smaller and more spread-out over
Muller notes that this new research has
important implications for the understanding of the present climate, and for
predictions of future climate.
"As far as we know," he said, "none of the
present climate models include the effects of dust and meteors. And yet our
data suggests that such accretion played the dominant role in the climate
for the last million years. If we wish to make accurate predictions, we must
understand the role played by such material."
Despite the current relatively warm climate
on Earth, regular recurring epochs of glaciation have dominated the planet
for the past million years. Ten times, glaciers have advanced and then
retreated with the duration of retreat (and corresponding warmth) frequently
lasting not more than 10,000 years. The Earth has been in a warm period for
about 10,000 years now.
In the paper in Science, the
researchers compared the geological record to the climactic cycles that
would result from their theory and to that of the competing theory, first
published in 1912 by Serbian scientist Milutin Milankovitch. Using a
geological fingerprinting technique, Muller and MacDonald found that the
climactic changes recorded in the rocks matched their theory but not that of
Milankovitch said the ice ages are caused by
variations in sunlight hitting the continents. In his theory, the ice ages
are linked to "eccentricity," a very gradual, cyclic change in the shape of
the Earth's egg-shaped orbit around the sun that completes a cycle roughly
every 100,000 years. Eccentricity changes the Earth's average annual
distance from the sun and slightly alters the amount of sunlight hitting the
To visualize the different astronomical
cycle that Muller and MacDonald have found to match that of the climatic
record, imagine a flat plane with the sun in the center and nine planets
circling close to the plane. In fact, all the planets orbit the sun close to
such a fixed orbital plane. The Earth's orbit slowly tilts out of this plane
and then returns. As Muller first calculated in 1993, the cycle of tilt
repeats every 100,000 years.
In their Science paper, Muller and
MacDonald examine the geological record of the past million years to see
which of the two 100,000-year cycles (eccentricity or tilt) matched the
They applied a technique called spectral
analysis to ocean sediments taken from eight locations around the world,
examining the oxygen-18 composition. This isotope is generally accepted to
reflect the percentage of the Earth's water frozen in ice.
Muller and MacDonald's analysis yields
"spectral fingerprints" which can be compared to the predictions of the two
theories. Their analysis shows a clear pattern: The fingerprints of the ice
ages show a single dominant feature, a peak with a period of 100,000 years.
This precisely matches their theory. The fingerprints do not match the
expected trio of peaks predicted by the Milankovitch theory.
Said Muller, "The mechanism proposed by
Milankovitch could be adjusted to explain the cycles of glaciation that
occurred prior to one million years ago. However, for the past million years
the glacial record is an excellent match to the cycle of tilt."
Berkeley Lab conducts unclassified
scientific research for the U.S. Department of Energy. It is located in
Berkeley, California and is managed by the University of California.
Internet Source Reference:
I) Ice Age:
- A period of time during which ice sheets (continental glaciers) cover
substantial portions of the continent.
- Geologists recognize a few major ice ages during Earth History. For
* Pleistocene (ice age of the past 2 million years)
* Pennsylvanian/Permian (around 250 million years ago).
* Late Precambrian (around 600 million years ago)
- What's the evidence? Determine where glacial sediment deposits lie in the
- During an individual ice age, there may be several glacial advances (ice
sheet grows; a glacial interval) and intervening glacial retreats (ice sheet
shrinks; an interglacial interval).
- Time between advances and retreats is tens to hundreds of thousands
- What's the evidence?
* Identify distinct layers of till separated by paleosols (ancient soil
* Marine record (better preserved) contains evidence for more than 20
advances. Geologists look at isotopes in plankton shells, because these
depend on temperature, so it's possible for them to determine when the
oceans were warmer, and when they were colder.
II) Causes of Ice Ages
(1) Long-term causes:
- Position of the continents; need to have continents drift into high
latitudes (i.e., closer to pole) so they can be cool.
- Configuration of ocean currents, because these transport heat
- Concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
* CO2 is a "greenhouse gas" (traps heat in the atmosphere)
- So when there is more CO2 the atmosphere gets warmer, while when there is
less CO2 the atmosphere gets cooler.
- Controls on CO2 concentration are complex. Depends on volcanic eruptions,
character of life, etc.
- When the continents are in the right position, and there are ice house
conditions, an ice age is possible.
(2) Short-term causes:
- The advances and retreats during an ice
age probably are controlled by the Milankovitch cycle (a periodic change in
the tilt of the Earth's axis and the ellipticity of the Earth's orbit).
- Earth's orbit varies between more circular and more elliptical. When it's
more elliptical, earth gets further from the sun and can be cooler.
- Earth's axis wobbles. When the axis is more tilted, the sunlight on
continents at high latitudes is more direct, so they have warmer summers.
- When there's a combination of high tilt and more elliptical orbit, earth
has cooler climate, and glaciers can advance.
III) Idealized Scenario of Glacial Advance and Retreat during an Ice Age:
1) Milankovitch conditions are appropriate for ice to accumulate. Glaciers
2) Land becomes covered with snow and ice, so albedo (reflectivity)
increases. Because sunlight is reflected by earth's surface, rather than
absorbed, the earth gets even cooler. So glaciers continue to grow.
3) Water gets stored in the ice sheet, so sea level drops (continental shelf
becomes dry land). Also, ocean freezes over. Net consequence is that amount
of water supplied by evaporation decreases.
4) Weight of glacier depresses the surface of the land, so the surface
elevation of ice sheet drops to lower (i.e. warmer) elevations.
5) The glacier starts to recede.
IV) What the future holds.
- Big question is whether we are currently in an interglacial period (i.e.
between two advances) or whether the Pleistocene ice age is over for good.
- There was a small advance during the "Little Ice Age" that happened a few
hundred years ago. But in the last couple of centuries, glaciers have
- An added factor is that people are now changing the concentration of
carbon dioxide, by burning fossil fuel. Burning produces CO2. Thus, CO2 that
had been stored in the underground reservoir is now being released to the
- The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has measurably increased since
the industrial revolution. Since CO2 is a greenhouse gas, this could cause
- The atmosphere has clearly warmed too. But there is not total agreement
about whether human added CO2 is the cause, or whether natural cycling is
- It is possible that human-caused global warming could be a major problem.
Internet Source Reference:
of Past Glaciations on Plant and Animal Distributions
I. Causes of Glaciations
ages are actually rare events in the Earth's 4.5 billion year history. In
fact, the most recent ice ages occurred during the relatively recent
Pleistocene epoch, beginning about two million years ago.
initiates an ice age? We begin by first increasing the Earth's albedo,
causing a loss of insolation. This increase in albedo began about 15
million years ago, when the Antarctic continent moved over the
South Pole which led to the development of a permanent polar ice cap.
supplement this change in albedo in the Southern Hemisphere,
continental rearrangements about 3-5 million years ago placed the
northern regions of Greenland, Canada, Russia, and Alaska as a fringe
around the Arctic Ocean, cutting off warm ocean circulation to the North
Earth's albedo is about 33% as a whole, but the ice caps reflect about 80%
of insolation, thus reducing the amount of energy retained by the Earth.
The stage was set for development of an Ice Age.
why hasn't the Earth remained uniformly cold in the last two million
years? Why have we had alternating cold and warm spells? The most
acceptable theory for the development of and ice age was put forward in
the 1930s by the Yugoslav Milutin Milankovitch, who used a sequence
of cyclic variations in the Earth itself.
First, variations in eccentricity: the Earth's orbit changes
its elliptical pattern every 100,000 years, changing between a more
circular orbit to one very elliptical. Circular orbits mean more uniform
receipt of energy from season to season and from year to year.
Second, variations in obliquity: every 40,000 years, the tilt of
the Earth's axis shifts between 21.8 and 24.4 degrees. A more
severe tilt means a greater contrast in seasonal distribution of energy. A
lower tilt means more uniform receipt of energy between the seasons. Also,
the polar regions will receive more energy during periods with low tilt
Third, variations in precession: the Earth's zenith changes
every 21,000 years, changing from pointing to the North Star to another
area, causing a precession of the equinoxes. For example, what was once
the spring equinox will be the fall equinox 10,500-11,000 years later.
This phenomenon affects the amount of incoming energy.
these effects will (1) change the total amount of insolation received, (2)
change and redistribute the amount of insolation received latitudinally,
and (3) change the insolation received temporally.
1976, for the first time, irrefutable evidence of these cycles was found
in sediment cores taken from the deep ocean, confirming the
Milankovitch Theory. These ocean sediments contain fossils that
provide precise temperature variations.
Milankovitch pattern has been found in sediments dating back
eight million years, but one important change has been detected. Eight
million years ago, the 100,000 year cycle was weak, but became stronger in
the last two million years. This cycle has dominated the
glacial/interglacial sequence, but why has its influence changed? The
Earth's orbit can not change.
answer lies in the ice masses themselves created during an ice age.
The ice grows slowly but decays rapidly. The ice itself modifies global
climate which enhances the effects of the 100,000 year cycle. The
distribution of land masses and ocean bodies is a major contributing
factor. Hence, the Milankovitch cycles just happened to accentuate an
already declining situation with the movement of lithospheric plates.
Feedback effects also contributed to glaciations. For example, during warm
interglacials, increased organic activity will lead to an increase in
carbon dioxide and methane, confirmed in the ice core record from
Greenland. These are greenhouse gases and contribute to warm the Earth
anatomy of plants will change in response to glaciations. For example,
during warm interglacials, plants will need fewer stomata (e.g.,
analyzing the stomatal density of subfossil plants) to uptake the
carbon dioxide, and this has recently been proven.
Another theory concerning glaciations is the conveyor system that
contributes to the North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW). Warm waters
are brought to the North Atlantic in a conveyor system in deep ocean
currents at about 800 meters. (Do not confuse this with surface
circulation, such as the warm Gulf Stream.) This conveyor system
effectively redistributes the energy surplus found around the equator to
regions of energy deficit in the higher latitudes.
Fossil evidence shows this conveyor system became switched off
during glacial periods, causing no warm water to reach the north Atlantic.
This contributed to the intensification of polar cooling. However,
scientists are unclear on what could shut down the conveyor system,
perhaps changes in ocean salinity, and therefore the density of the deep
Finally, a favorite theory proposed that may contribute to glacial periods
is volcanic activity. An increase in volcanism will increase the
amount of dust particles in the atmosphere, thus reducing the amount of
insolation, and thereby reducing global temperatures.
Scientists have shown that volcanism has indeed increased during the
most recent two million years! But why? This would suggest an increase
in subductive activity at plate margins, and therefore an increase in
convective activity within the Earth. Therefore, one must ask, do the
origins of ice ages lie in variations of the temperature of the Earth's
increased dust particles would also contribute to increased
precipitation as more condensation nuclei are found in the air. Both
consequences would contribute to a general overall global cooling.
Internet Source Reference:
Internet Source Reference:
A Summary of Creation and Catastrophe
by Barry Setterfield
The role that
geological and astronomical catastrophes have played in the history of the
solar system, and our planet in particular, has become more widely examined
over the past 25 years . In this new avenue of research, both astronomers
and geologists have become aware of the important part played by impacting
comets and/or asteroids . One major segment of current geological inquiry
concentrates on life-form extinctions at the geological boundaries, plus the
evidence of simultaneous major earth movements . A concise overview of
one possible model, among many that may explain some of these events, is
given below. It is based on the evidence for changing light-speed as
presented in an August 1987 research report for SRI International and
Flinders University , and a major scientific paper that has been
undergoing a review process throughout 2000 and 2001 .
A Clue from
Light from Distant Galaxies
papers cite observational evidence that indicates light-speed, c, has
dropped exponentially from an initial value of the order of 4 x 1011
times its current speed. The evidence comes from light emitted by galaxies
near the frontiers of the cosmos, which has a signature in it that reveals
the value of c at the moment of emission. This signature allows the
behaviour of light-speed over time to be determined astronomically, in
addition to the ground-based observations over the last 350 years. These two
papers demonstrate that the atomic clock, whereby the age of the rocks, the
fossils, the planets and stars have all been determined, ticks at a rate
dependent upon c. Thus when c was 10 times its present value, the atomic
clock ticked off 10 years in one ordinary orbital year. This process
includes all radiometric clocks, which are used to determine the age of the
geological strata. (Despite the behaviour of the atomic clock, it is shown
in the second paper  that chemical reaction rates, and hence primary
biological processes, remain basically independent of c.) As the behaviour
of c with time has thereby been established from observation, it is then
possible to correct the atomic clock to read actual orbital time. When this
is done, an interesting scenario emerges.
Clue from Meteorites
meteorites are taken to represent samples of material from the formation of
the solar system and hence the Earth. For example, carbonaceous chondrites,
may hold more than 20% water locked up in their mineral structures . More
specifically, carbonaceous chondrites of class CI are made up of hydrated
silicates as well as the volatile components water, carbon dioxide, oxygen
and nitrogen . By way of an earthly example, the beautiful mineral
serpentine is a hydrated silicate that contains 12.9% water in its
composition . Upon heating, this water is given up and the mineral turns
to olivine, thereby reducing its volume . Interestingly, olivine is an
important component of the earth's mantle. In a similar way, other hydrated
silicates, found in meteorites and on earth, may give up their water content
when heated sufficiently, with a consequent reduction in volume. Indeed, the
chondrules within the chondrite meteorites themselves are silicate spherules
that have been melted and the volatile water component driven off. The
remaining minerals in the chondrules contain a prominent amount of olivine
The Role of
week, the interior of the earth began to heat up from the rapid decay of
short half-life radioactive elements as a result of high light-speed values.
This radioactive heating drove the water out of serpentine, and other
minerals in the mantle, towards the earth's surface. This water came to the
surface as springs and geysers and watered the ground. This is confirmed by
the earliest known translation of the Pentateuch, the Septuagint (LXX), that
originated about 285 BC , and from which the Patriarchal dates in this
Summary are taken. The LXX specifically states in Genesis 2:6 that
"fountains" sprang up from the ground. These fountains and springs probably
watered the whole landmass of the single super-continent that made up the
original land surface of the earth. In the surrounding ocean, this
continuing water supply was called the "fountains of the deep." On a greatly
reduced scale, a similar phenomenon still occurs today with the "black
smokers" of the South-East Pacific Rise.
Asteroidal Planet Break-up
were happening out in space. For instance, the original parent body (or
bodies) of the current asteroids, which primarily inhabit the region between
Mars and Jupiter, was undergoing a process paralleling that on earth. This
process of short half-life radioactive heating of its interior reached a
peak, which reset the radiometric clocks. The time of the advent of this
peak was about 4.5 to 4.4 billion atomic years ago. This parent body
probably came to be internally structured with something approaching an iron
core, stony-iron mantle, chondritic upper mantle or crust, and, perhaps, an
ice or frozen carbon dioxide surface layer. As this planet continued to heat
up internally, the pressure of super-critical water and expanding rock may
well have caused it to explode.
acknowledged that radioactive heating from the short half-life elements
could structure the interior of bodies larger than 10 km in this fashion,
and then, following disruption, give rise to the meteorites . Indeed,
"it is now thought that the majority of meteorites come from the asteroids
whose diversity amply covers all classes of meteorites. The achondrites
could come from the 'crust' or 'mantle,' the siderites from the cores, and
the lithosiderites from the mantle/core interface [of the original parent
body/bodies]" . In addition, recent work has indicated that leftover
ice and rock from the region of Neptune's orbit may also have been
responsible for some short-period comets and other debris . A series of
impacts by this variety of objects has been noted on the Earth, Moon,
Mercury, Mars, and elsewhere in the solar system.
Stable Shield Areas
heating also continued on earth, with the first signs of molten rock
intruded in the near-surface region about 4.4 to 4.3 billion atomic years
ago. On the light-speed correction, this probably occurred shortly after the
birth of Methuselah, which is dated around 4505 BC by the LXX chronology
adopted here. Importantly, there is evidence from zircon grains that water
was associated with this activity in some way . Indeed, as the heating
continued, more and more super-critical water built up beneath the crust.
The increased heating partly liquefied some sub-crustal rock, which moved
towards the surface through interconnected pores. This eventually resulted
in the intrusion of granitic massifs and associated metamorphic complexes
that formed many of the stable craton or shield areas worldwide around 2800
2400 million atomic years ago . The presence of large quantities of
water in these magmas may well have allowed the kind of low-temperature
metamorphism investigated by Prof. R. L. Stanton , Dr. A. Snelling ,
and others . As a result, the metamorphism associated with these
intrusions may not have penetrated the original sedimentary cover, even
though the cratons and complexes were major crustal features. On the
light-speed correction, the formation of these shield areas, which peaked
near the Archaean/Proterozoic boundary 2500 million atomic years ago,
roughly corresponds with the birth of Noah in 4136 BC.
Incipient Tectonic Plates
changed to olivine, and other hydrated silicates lost their water content,
there was a reduction in mineral volume. Consequently, the crust above the
source areas for the water and magma would be weakened relative to the
stable cratonic areas that had been solidly emplaced. This would be a major
contributing factor to the predominantly vertical tectonic activity that
generally dominated the Precambrian, instead of the horizontal forces of
plate tectonics that predominated in the Mesozoic-Cenozoic history of the
earth [20, 21]. These strong vertical movements in these weakened regions of
the crust would result in intercratonic basins. In the case of South
Australia, the Adelaide Geosyncline downwarped some 10 km, while the major
faults and other structural features controlling these events extended to
some 20 km depth . On a worldwide scale, the downwarping formed a
network of intercratonic basins that became mobile belts. Read and Watson
point out a striking fact: "The network of mobile belts is closely
followed by the margins of the present-day continental fragments. This
aspect of the orogenic pattern suggests that when disruption of [the
super-continent] began, fracturing followed the lines of the recently
consolidated mobile belts" . In other words, the stable cratons
formed the core areas of what today are the continental fragments. By
contrast, the weakened, downwarped areas were the regions that formed the
boundaries of what was to later become the tectonic plates.
of Catastrophe 1.
of a series of geologically mobile belts bordering the shield areas of the
super-continent can be approximately dated as 800 900 million atomic
years. At that time, the weakened crustal regions began to either downwarp
or sink into fault-controlled basins. The activity continued to build up
from that point and reached a climax at the time of the Flood.
Interestingly, Noah was given the command to build the Ark around 3656 BC,
corresponding to 870 million years atomically, which was just the time that
this activity began. As the heating continued in the earth's interior, the
pressure increased and eventually fractured the crust and the water
explosively out-gassed to the surface. The pressure of the overlying crust
may well have jetted the mixture of water and chewed-out debris as high as
20 km in a series of massive explosive eruptions circling the earth. As
such, it would be an eruption on a worldwide scale similar to the local
eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 AD where dense volcanic clouds reached a height
of 27 km , compared with the 19 km of Mount St. Helens in 1980 AD .
Studies by Dr. Walter Brown suggest that about half the present volume of
the oceans may have been explosively out-gassed from the earth's interior in
that episode . As the surge of water intensified, the sediments on top
of the cratons were stripped off and swept into the rapidly deepening
troughs. Water-lubricated fault systems assisted this process that formed a
worldwide network of mobile belts. Some time after the Flood event
concluded, these troughs stabilised and many were uplifted.
Layer in Geology
correlates well with the debris layer that is found on all continents,
except India, a little below the boundary between the Proterozoic and the
Cambrian. This debris layer is composed of pebbles, cobbles and boulders
bound together in a cement-like matrix. It is called a conglomerate, or
diamictite, or tillite. However, the latter term implies a glacial origin.
For this reason, one of the current explanations for this worldwide debris
layer invokes a "snowball earth" scenario. This scenario postulates that the
whole planet is iced over, including the oceans, with glaciers existing at
sea level in the tropics [27, 28, 29]. However, Williams and Schmidt list
off 10 solid geological reasons why this scenario must be invalid and a
different explanation must be sought .
in South Australia, this initial debris layer is over 300 metres thick ,
while the following deep-water laminated siltstone is over 2400 metres thick
and has a high carbon content . This sequence has its counterpart
worldwide. In Scotland, for example, the detrital layer is 750 metres thick
. In Zaire and Zambia the "Grand Conglomerat" is 300 metres thick
and is overlain by about 500 metres of carbonaceous silty shale and black
limestone in a manner very similar to the equivalent beds in Adelaide .
Geologically, this event dates from the Neo-Proterozoic around 720 million
years ago atomically. This closely approximates the time of Noah's Flood,
3536 BC, when the atomic clock is corrected for light-speed variation. A
post-Flood tectonic adjustment occurred as the fault systems began to
stabilise some 60 orbital years later, which gives an age to the strata laid
down then of around 600 million years ago atomically.
Era that followed saw continuing deposition in intra-continental basins or
downwarped areas until the rising landforms restricted deposition to the
margins of the super-continent. This Era lasted 306 orbital years during
which the Palaeozoic strata were laid down, while intrusives into that
strata dated from about 600 million down to 250 million years atomically.
During this Era, a portion of the southern part of the super-continent
straddled the South Pole. As moisture-laden air swept over the pole, vast
amounts of ice and snow were precipitated. This resulted in widespread
glacial deposits over that portion of the land surface .
would have survived the Flood on floating vegetation mats, which would have
been much larger than, but similar to, the floating mats caused by lesser
floods today. These are known to harbour a great deal of life. Even
amphibians, while at home in the water, probably found the mats assisted
survival. The insects and amphibians would be able to thrive in the
moisture-laden atmosphere and the large bodies of warm water left over from
the Flood process. These warm, humid conditions would also favour the
spore-bearing plants, the algae, mosses and ferns. Consequently, these flora
and fauna would be the most rapidly proliferating life forms after the
Flood, explaining their predominance in the fossil record at that point. By
contrast, other life forms were at a disadvantage and only started the Era
in very small numbers.
radioactive heating of the earth's interior continued. Eventually the stage
was reached when significant portions of the upper mantle became molten. An
episode of rampant volcanism would have followed. It produced the Siberian
flood basalts, while associated earth movements resulted in massive tidal
waves that swept huge quantities of vegetation into fault-controlled
troughs, which then formed the major coal measures . This event dates
around 250 million atomic years ago, or about 3230 BC on a light-speed
correction, approximately the time of the Babel crisis in the second or
third generation after the Flood, according to Genesis 10. It is interesting
to note that Aboriginal legends in Australia link the origin of different
languages (Babel) with the formation of coal . Geologically it is known
as the time of the Permian extinction, and recent evidence from Japan and
China suggests that an asteroid or comet impact may have played a part also
. It is also possible that the Siberian flood basalts may hide another
The Age of
Mesozoic Era that followed, active deposition of sediments took place around
the rim of the super-continent over a period of 225 orbital years. The
change in atmospheric conditions brought about by volcanism produced a dry
and windy climate generally. This resulted in the great wind-blown sand
deposits that typify this Era. The semi-desert climate would have decimated
the amphibians, and spore-bearing plants, and favoured the increasing
numbers of reptiles that lived in broad, luxuriant river valleys. The plants
best adapted to this climate were those that propagate by wind-blown pollen,
namely the gymnosperms, which include the palms and pines. These were the
dominant life-forms during the Mesozoic Era, and thus they are the primary
forms that we find fossilised in this Era.
Much human and
animal migration must have taken place during the two centuries of orbital
time that this Era occupied before the worst phases of continental drift
occurred. As the heating of the mantle continued, the mantle itself became
increasingly mobile, Furthermore, a significant water content would have
built up in the asthenosphere, a plastic layer at the base of the
lithosphere that starts about 40 km below the surface . The
asthenosphere is, perhaps, the primary region involved in continental drift
[39, 40], although some maintain that other parts of the mantle are involved
as well . This lubrication and mobility in the asthenosphere would have
allowed the first movements of the tectonic plates, and the Mid-Atlantic
ridge began to unzip.
several asteroid impacts closed the Mesozoic Era, about 65 million atomic
years ago at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary. The dinosaurs would have been
decimated. Wild fires destroyed much vegetation. The layer of iridium from
asteroid impacts and soot from the wild fires is virtually global. This was
the time of Peleg in the fifth generation after the Flood (Luke 3:35-36)
when the continents were divided (Genesis 10:25). When the light-speed
correction is applied, the atomic date for this event closely approximates
to 3005 BC. The basaltic Deccan Traps in India, whose origin may have been
either through an igneous event or impact related, were also outpoured at
the time of this disaster . If an impact origin for the Deccan Traps is
discounted, the major impact at this time was in the Yucatan (near the
mid-Atlantic rift) leaving a crater at least 150 km wide. Other impacts at
this time also formed the Manson, Karn, Kamensk and Gusev craters . The
significant Lunar crater Tycho also dates from the late Cretaceous . It
is thus possible that this event was contemporaneous with the formation of
these other craters, as the light-speed correction brings it very close to
the BC date for Peleg on the LXX chronology.
Beginnings of the Cenozoic Era
impact near the mid-Atlantic rift may have accelerated the rate of
continental drift. Tectonic plate movement and rifting would also have been
enhanced by very low mantle/asthenosphere viscosities, which were themselves
due to peak temperatures, significant water content, and high, but rapidly
dropping, light-speed values. Separating continents may have generated a
series of tsunamis. Mountains were also being upthrust by recently activated
tectonic forces. This might also imply chronic earthquake activity and
persistent volcanism. The impacts as well as the changing distribution of
masses both on and in the earth may have increased the axis tilt to
something of the order of 28 degrees or more according to the observational
The high axis
tilt, mountain building and volcanism would all contribute to annual
extremes of climate. The mammals with their stable body temperatures were
most able to cope with these conditions. Among the plants, the angiosperms
became predominant with their seasonal flowering and fruit bearing. These
plants include most deciduous trees, which are more able to withstand
seasonal extremes. Continental drift would have resulted in isolated
populations, which in turn would have brought about localised dominances. As
the Era progressed, most giant forms would have died out due to new extremes
of climate. From a study of oxygen isotope ratios in shells from the
Atlantic, we know that ocean temperatures dropped progressively from the
close of the Mesozoic throughout the Cenozoic Era that followed . Once
surface temperatures dropped below freezing, the initial stage of the
Because of the
destruction caused by these events, and the new rigorous weather conditions,
numbers of people were probably forced to seek shelter in caves. They would
have to get sustenance where they could find it, hunting animals, digging up
roots and getting what food they could. Suitably shaped rocks would have had
to suffice for weapons, even before wood and/or bone were used. After
conditions had stabilised, and basic needs had been met, there would be time
to re-establish civilisation, work with metals, plant corn, and build homes.
This trend is simply the recovery sequence from a series of huge natural
disasters. The book of Job was probably written at this time, as a study of
its contents reveals familiarity with many of the processes mentioned above.
Indeed, Job is probably an abbreviated form of Jobab who is listed as a
nephew of Peleg in Genesis 10:29. From a linguistics point of view, Jobab
and Job in the Hebrew texts of Genesis and Job can be the same name in
different families of the same language group . Therefore, with Peleg as
his uncle, it seems that Jobab probably lived during those traumatic times.
As those times
were coming to a close, the 1st Dynasty in Egypt probably commenced. The
discussion in "Creation and Catastrophe"  suggests that this
event probably took place during the period 2783 BC to 2767 BC. About the
same time, roughly 2765 BC, the main function governing light-speed
behaviour had almost reached the limit of its decay pattern. However, the
secondary function that is apparent in the astronomical and archaeological
data is an oscillation, which is still damping out. This oscillation
governed the position of the first light-speed minimum, which occurred
around 2375 BC. The most recent minimum seemed to occur around 1980 AD .
Global Catastrophe and Abraham
As the effects
of the ice-age began to taper off, another global event assisted that
process. This event changed the earth's axis tilt from more than 28 degrees,
back to the present 23.5 degrees. This event, too, may have been an asteroid
or comet impact, though other viable mechanisms have been discussed .
Whatever the cause, the improved climatic conditions allowed the eventual
re-establishment of major cultures. Studies of this event by the late
Government Astronomer for South Australia, George Dodwell , and USA
researcher M. M. Mandelkehr  lead to the conclusion that the date was
close to 2345 BC, with climatic, archaeological, and geological changes
occurring globally. At this same time, the movement of the earth's virtual
geomagnetic pole position showed a sudden change in direction, which was
also an indication that an important global event happened then .
Although the matter is still open for discussion, it appears that this event
may well have marked the close of the 5th Dynasty in Egypt, at least
according to some likely chronologies .
This brings us
down to the less turbulent days of Abraham, who lived from 2304 to 2129 BC
on the chronology adopted here. An archaeologist, Prof. D. N. Freedman of
the University of Michigan made some important comments on this matter. As a
result of the discovery of the Ebla tablets, written during the 23rd century
BC, he commented: "It is now my belief that the story [about Abraham] in
Genesis 14 not only corresponds in content to the Ebla Tablet, but that the
Genesis account derives from the same period. Briefly put, the account in
Genesis 14, and also in Chapters 18-19, does not belong to the second
millennium BC, still less to the first millennium BC, but rather to the
third millennium BC" . This evidence thus lends credibility to the
dating for Abraham adopted here, as does the chronology accepted by the
Church Fathers as outlined by Theophilus of Antioch . This, then, would
indicate that Abraham's visit to Egypt occurred around 2229 BC, which was in
the reign of Pharaoh Pepy II, if some recent studies are accepted . By
this time, the sequence of global catastrophes was over, although we have
records of continuing local catastrophes over the time since then.
the astronomical data, light-speed has undergone an essentially smooth
decay, which would have been mirrored in the behaviour of the atomic clock.
These astronomical data indicate that the geological column may well have
been laid down progressively over a period of about 2000 orbital years,
punctuated by a series of catastrophes that caused the major extinctions
noted in the fossil record . Essentially, the fossil record is a
creation/catastrophe new-dominance sequence. Timewise, the build-up of
Precambrian (Cryptozoic) strata took about 1000 orbital years, while nearly
1000 further years elapsed during which much of the Phanerozoic strata were
deposited. The demarcation between the Cryptozoic and Phanerozoic strata was
probably Noah's Flood if this model is accepted.
Book Of Enoch
Enoch 65: 1-4, 9
1In those days Noah saw that the earth became inclined, and that
2Then he lifted up his feet, and went to the ends of the earth, to the
dwelling of his great-grandfather Enoch.
3And Noah cried with a bitter voice, Hear me; hear me; hear me: three
times. And he said, Tell me what is transacting upon the earth; for the
earth labours, and is violently shaken. Surely I shall perish with it.
4After this there was a great perturbation on earth, and a voice
was heard from heaven. I fell down on my face, when my great-grandfather
Enoch came and stood by me.
9Afterwards my great-grandfather Enoch seized me with his hand, raising
me up, and saying to me, Go, for I have asked the Lord of spirits respecting
this perturbation of the earth; who replied, On account of their impiety
have their innumerable judgments been consummated before me. Respecting the
moons have they inquired, and they have known that the earth will perish
with those who dwell upon it, (59) and that to these there will be no place
of refuge for ever.
1After this he showed me the angels of punishment, who were prepared to
come, and to open all the mighty waters under the earth:
2That they may be for judgment, and for the destruction of all those who
remain and dwell upon the earth.
3And the Lord of spirits commanded the angels who went forth, not to take
up the men and preserve them.
4For those angels presiding over all the mighty waters. Then I went out
from the presence of Enoch.
Enoch 66: 13-14
13In those days shall the waters of that valley be changed; for when the
angels shall be judged, then shall the heat of those springs of water
experience an alteration.
14And when the angels shall ascend, the water of the springs shall again
undergo a change, and be frozen. Then I heard holy Michael answering and
saying, This judgment, with which the angels shall be judged, shall bear
testimony against the kings, the princes, and those who possess the earth.
Ethiopian Book Of Enoch
Note from Author, Malik Jabbar: These
excerpts from the Book Of Enoch are focused on ancient scripture that
reports shifts in the Orbit and Axis inclination of our planet. I will cover
this subject and explain the Cycles in Book Four.
A Modern English Translation
of the Ethiopian Book of Enoch
with introduction and notes by
Special thanks to Bredren Jason Naphtali
who found this translation (by M. Knibb) of the
Ethiopian text in the
S.O.A.S. Library at the University of London.
11) THE BOOK OF
65.1 And in those
days, Noah saw the Earth had tilted and that its destruction was near.
65.2 And he set off
from there and went to the ends of the Earth and cried out to his
great-grandfather Enoch; and Noah said three times in a bitter voice: "Hear
me, hear me, hear me!"
65.3 And he said to
him: "Tell me, what is it that is being done on the Earth, that the Earth
is so afflicted and shaken, lest I be destroyed with it!"
65.4 And immediately
there was a great disturbance on the Earth and a voice was heard from Heaven
and I fell upon my face.
65.5 And my
great-grandfather Enoch came, stood by me, and said to me: "Why did you cry
out to me, with such bitter crying and weeping?
65.6 And a command has
gone out from the Lord against those who dwell upon the dry ground that this
must be their end. For they have learnt all the secrets of the Angels, and
all the wrongdoings of the satans, and all their secret power, and all the
power of those who practice magic arts, and the power of enchantments, and
the power of those who cast molten images for all the Earth.
65.7 And further, how
silver is produced from the dust of the earth and how soft metal occurs on
65.8 For lead and tin
are not produced from the earth, like the former; there is a spring which
produces them, and an Angel who stands in it, and that Angel distributes
65.9 And after this,
my great-grandfather Enoch took hold of me with his hand, and raised me, and
said to me: "Go, for I have asked the Lord of Spirits about this
disturbance on the earth."