Has Velikovsky Correctly Placed the Ice Age?
From: Chronology and Catastrophism Workshop, SIS, May 1988 Number 1, p. 41
Many times in Worlds in Collision and Earth in Upheaval Dr Velikovsky equates the beginning of the Pleistocene or ice age with the time of the Exodus, circa 1450 BC. On pages 114-126 of Earth in Upheaval he gives a graphic description of what he thinks happened when the ice age began. The description however sounds more like the Noachian Deluge than the Exodus. We can therefore expect Velikovsky to run into problems with his placement of the Noah/Saturn Flood and the events of that time. Presumably Velikovsky must place the Deluge in the era prior to the Pleistocene (Glacial Age). A check of the chart on p.l84 of Earth in Upheaval will show this period is known as the Tertiary or “Age of Mammals”. Under the conventional time scale it is allocated 70 million years and is followed by one million years of the ice age and then followed by 30,000 years of the Recent or Holocene Age. This system is greatly overstretched, Velikovsky claims, and does not allow for any great catastrophes.
In order to show that Velikovsky’s placement of the ice age is incorrect we must show that the conventional scheme is also wrong and also have some idea of the time-span Velikovsky allows for the period from the Deluge to the Exodus. The only clue he gives us is found on p.55 of his article “Seismology, Catastrophe and Chronology” (Kronos VIII:4). Here he notes that Dr Schaeffer has discerned that in the 4th millennium BC the ancient Near East went through great paroxysms before the time of another disaster in the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium). Velikovsky comments “Schaeffer like myself … arrived at the same number of disturbances … and the same relative dating”. Assuming from this that the disaster before the Early Bronze Age was the Deluge, and placing it in the 4th millennium at 3450 BC then we obtain a figure of 2000 years for the time Velikovsky would have placed between the Deluge and the Exodus.
Pick up a copy of Kummel’s History of the Earth and glance at pp.447-455 and you will see the fallacy of this time-gap. The maps on these pages clearly show that during the Tertiary Age Europe, North Africa and Asia Minor were in a state of complete ruin, being mostly under water. Note in particular the Great Tethys or Central Sea which stretches 9000 miles from Spain to India and is up to 2000 miles wide. On p. 453 the map for the Oligocene subdivision of the Tertiary shows that the sea invasion of Europe plainly stops at the boundary of the area covered by the ice age in Scandinavia. This is curious because under the conventional scheme the ice age does not occur for another 23 million years. During the Eocene subdivision of the Tertiary the sea covered the south of England up to a point where the later ice age reached, supposedly 38 million years later. During the whole period of these disastrous sea invasions and large scale fresh water floodings the northern part of the British Isles along with Scandinavia was not touched. In North America it is a similar story for the Canadian Shield. While the rest of the continent was subject to sea incursions, rain storm flooding in the mid-west and volcanic eruptions in the Rockies and Central America all was tranquil in north-east Canada.
It is absolutely impossible that while the rest of the world was drowning, most of the British Isles, Scandinavia and Canada escaped. There can only be one solution, i.e. the ice age struck these lands at the same time as the Noachian Deluge. Conventional geologists have therefore reconstructed the ages of the past incorrectly by placing too much time between the end of the Tertiary and the ice age. If either follows immediately or happens at the same time as the subdivisions of the Tertiary i.e. the Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene and Pliocene periods are all contemporary with one another). Failing to grasp this, Velikovsky while at least cutting the time period down from millions of years to about 2000, has accordingly overrated the scale of the Exodus catastrophe.
There is a slim possibility that Velikovsky might place the Flood at the time of the dinosaurs. This can easily be discounted. Stone Age Man could not possibly have survived in a world of flesh-eating dinosaurs like the 18 foot tall Tyrannosaurus Rex. Besides, in Kummel’s book on p.37 we find a chart that clearly shows the dinosaurs drowned because of massive invasions of shallow seas upon the continents. The actual figures are 75% sea water drownings and 25% continental rain water and river delta drownings. For the Age of Mammals the figures are reversed: 20% are drowned by shallow sea invasions and 80% by lowland continental andupland fresh water. The book of Genesis makes it clear that the Deluge drownings were caused by forty days and nights of rainstorms. Once more this favours the Cenozoic era and not the Mesozoic or Dinosaurian era.
A possible new sequence of the geological ages might be:
Holocene - Neolithic. Bronze, Iron
Pleistocene. Tertiary – Noachian Deluge – many giant forms of today’s mammals become extinct (cf. Genesis 6:4)
Palaeocene – period of change between dinosaurs and mammals
Mesozoic. Palaeozoic – Land and sea creatures of the Dinosaurian era. They are contemporary and not separated by hundreds of millions of years as under the conventional scheme. Mostly destroyed by sea wave invasions caused by comet strikes in the oceans.
Terry Lawrence. Auckland~ New Zealand