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Genesis of a Historical Novel

Thursday, November 30, 2006

outside the box

It's warmer: now 3°C. The snow is wet and heavy (I still went out to do some shoveling, since it snowed again overnight, and it will not be gone by tonight when it freezes again). There is a mild, pearly luminosity to the sky, making the winter scene benign and beautiful.

Again this morning I keyed notes from Uriel's Machine. I made it all the way to page 413, where the highlights stop because that's where I left off reading the book last year (the text, including appendixes, runs 530 pages). The material is very interesting, but I'm unsure of Lomas and Knight's authority. They make bold speculative connections between diverse types of evidence, and go to great trouble to develop original evidence of their own for the core parts of the book--notably constructing their own version of Uriel's calendar "machine".

I typed skeptically the passage I'd highlighted in which they state their belief that Julius Caesar's new solar calendar was developed from a calendar of the Druids, with whom he had studied astronomy and calendars while in Gaul. While Caesar is supposed to have authored a book on astronomy based on Druidic lore, his new Julian calendar was essentially identical to the solar calendar already in use in Egypt, and the creation of his calendar is credited to the Alexandrian astronomer Sosigenes. Of course, there's undoubtedly more to the whole thing than meets the (modern) eye.

Overall, I like Lomas and Knight because of their boldness, their willingness to think outside the box (indeed, they don't spend too much time in the box). They launch their book on a biblical patriarch's supposed relationship with megalithic astronomy by discussing the impact of comets and planetoids on the Earth--in particular, they discuss two impacts for which there is apparently good scientific evidence: one in 7640 BC, and another in 3150 BC. The first of these was particularly catastrophic, with a comet breaking into seven pieces that hit the Earth in various oceans, according to geologists Edith and Alexander Tollmann. The 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean gives an idea of how powerful giant waves can be, and what devastation they can wreak. The tsunamis released by an event like the one theorized for 7640 BC would have been much bigger, and multiple--criss-crossing each other, crushing and drowning everything within many miles of any shore.

Lomas and Knight speculate that these events may well be the basis of the Flood legends--their universality being accounted for by the fact that the floods were universal on Earth.

All of that may be. It's intriguing to consider. On the other hand, I find efforts to account for myths by various literal facts and phenomena unsatisfying. The deepest truths concern things that we can't see with our eyes. The literal level of events is like the crust of the Earth itself: a veneer of diverse, wonderful phenomena lying over a much vaster unseen realm that is the real prime mover of events.


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