GERONTOLOGY, ENVIRONMENT, AND GEOLOGICAL CATASTROPHISM
RICHARD K. SEVERS
Environmental health scientists have been fairly successful at intervening in man's
relationship to his environment to improve public health. Sometimes these scientists or
pragmatists have been called sanitary engineers, water works engineers, physicians, etc. For
the last one hundred fifty years their efforts have, in the main, been fruitful in reducing the
morbidity and mortality rates in man with respect to infectious and occupational diseases.(1)
Illnesses from malaria, yellow fever, scarlet fever, measles, diphtheria, etc., have been rare
events in the United States. Hatter's disease (mercury poisoning), silicosis, lead poisoning,
etc., have declined with changing work practices based on recognition of the disease
paradigms. The chronic diseases still take their death toll, with heart disease emerging as the
number one cause, followed by neoplasma and cerebrovascular diseases.(2) Although lung
cancer morbidity and mortality rates for both men and women have increased with increased
sales of cigarettes, other categories of cancer rates have remained constant or declined slightly
since the turn of the century. Two-thirds of the environmentally induced cancers are in fact
lung cancers while skin cancers due to overexposure to sunlight account for another
portion.(3) Obviously, something can be done to reduce the rates for either case if individuals
take responsibility for their own environment.(4) (Environment is used in the broadest sense
in these examples, as it is in the press.)
In spite of the fact that environmental intervention can reduce the number of early
deaths, it has not substantially increased the life expectancy of those who "die of old age".* In
this paper, we will examine the possibility of environmental change of planetary electrical
characteristics as a possible causal factor in man's normal life span.
[* The biological roles of vitamins and trace elements with respect to aging will be
treated at another time. - The Ed.]
Velikovsky, in his works, has successfully predicted discoveries which were heralded
as impossible, and as rubbish, because they clashed with "known" scientific fact. Much of his
work was based on the acceptance of the works of man as being a valid record of real events.
In Ages In Chaos, Velikovsky places the time for the Exodus, as described in the Old
Testament, at ca. 1500 B.C.(5) The Flood is more difficult to pinpoint but could have been at
the end of the last Ice Age. Dr. Broecks suggests that ice cores indicate a very sudden
climatic change around 11,000 years ago.(6) Pollen and diatom evidence, radiocarbon
analyzed, from the Southern High Plains in New Mexico and Texas indicates that a brief sharp
cold phase occurred shortly after 8800 B.C.(5) Allowing for inherent measurement errors,
these may actually be the same period and may pinpoint the end of the last Ice Age as well as
possibly the Flood.
From the time of Adam to the time of the Exodus men are stated to have lived
hundreds of fertile years.(7) Abrupt changes in life span seem to have occurred at the times of
the Flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Exodus. Lynn Rose elaborated
on the Biblical data and arrived at a number of hypotheses on the length of the Biblical year as
compared to that of the present.(8) Rose and Vaughan in another article attempt to show
differences in the Earth's sidereal year that could account for some of the changes in life
span.(9) It appears ". . . that the Adam to Noah people and the Arphaxad to Terah people
were biologically similar to each other, but that they were biologically different from us.
Whether this difference was genetic or environmental is not known, but it is impossible to
avoid recognizing the difference if one attempts to make any sense at all of the reported vital
statistics" (Rose, L.E., 1974, p. 36).
This is a clue for the environmental health scientist. Following Velikovsky's lead we
can assume that the Biblical data are factual to some extent. Then we can speculate as to
environmental differences which might be responsible for such changes. The task will be to
construct an environmental model in which the changes that occur coincide with the changes
in life span from Biblical times to the present day.
Velikovsky characterizes the planetary collisions as being fraught with electrical
discharges. Evidently the planets were not at the same potential. Juergens shows that this
would not affect the celestial mechanics as modeled by Newton until the space-charge sheath
of a planet was violated.(10) Disturbances of the sheath by charged planets violating it could
be expected to account for catastrophic events on the face of the Earth. Recent reports
indicate that this sheath extends far into space and would allow exchange of energies more
easily than through changes in planetary orbits, although the latter is not excluded in cases of
Earth's magnetic field seemingly plays a major role. All determinations show a general
tendency of a continuous decrease in geomagnetic field intensity during the past 2000 years.
However, it is not clear whether this decrease is part of a short-lived exponential decay, or
whether it is part of a long-term cyclical variation in field intensity.
In an interesting series of articles, (12) Thomas G. Bames, Professor of Physics at the
University of Texas at El Paso, has shown that the Earth's magnetic moment is decaying, (13,
14) and his conclusion is that it is an exponential decay and that the half-life is 700 years.(15)
This conclusion is not widely accepted but does follow logically from Bames' arguments based
on Maxwell's electromagnetic field theory and a freely decaying electric current circulating in
the conductive core of the Earth as the source of the Earth's main magnetic field, a dipole
field. It is generally recognized that past variations in Earth's magnetic field affect the
radiocarbon dating method. Many researchers believe that the bristlecone pine calibration
technique has resolved this difficulty, thus allowing radiocarbon dating to be used reliably for
samples as old as 8000 years. However, Bames prefers to use magnetic measurements
associated with less old objects made of baked clay (bricks) and pottery as well as actual
magnetic field measurements. The two curves fit well, back to the time actual observations of
magnetic field strength were started in Paris, France, at about A.D. 1780. The basis for
calculation of the Earth's magnetic field strength was thus extended by analysis of residual
magnetisms in bricks of known dates. French bricks are accurately dated to A.D. 1400 while
London bricks are accurately dated to A.D. 1540. Bames further concluded that,
"Extrapolation backward for as much as twenty thousand years yields an implausibly large
magnetic field. The Earth's magnetic field must be very young compared to the so-called
geological age."(13) Indeed, based on these measurements the field could only have been in
existence a few thousand years.(13) Bames and Lamb could not account for the origin of the
electric current needed to produce the field. Perhaps Velikovsky has.
The other possibility is that the geomagnetic field intensity is varying cyclically.
According to this view, the geomagnetic field intensity is nearly the same at present (8 x 1025
gauss cm3) as that of about 2000 B.C. with a minimum between 4000 and 6000 years ago.
These variations in the dipole moment of the geomagnetic field, determined from
archeomagnetic intensity studies, are reported as 500 year averages.(16) An increase in field
intensity roughly corresponded to the time of the Exodus, and the maximum value (14 x 1025
gauss cm3) occurred between 3000 and 2000 years ago.(17)
Japanese and Russian data also imply a cyclic change of the field intensity with a period
of the order of 10,000 years. This is in phase with the abrupt climatic change that occurred at
the end of the last Ice Age.(18) This concurs with Heraclitus' statement that the world is
destroyed in conflagration after every period of 10,800 years, as mentioned by
If the planetary charge changed drastically when worlds collided, the electrical
characteristics of the Earth would have been affected. The natural background number of ions
due to radioactivity would not have been affected but the space-charge sheath would have
been altered, changing the number of ions due to bombardment by cosmic radiation. A further
consequence of such a planetary charge transfer would be a change in atmospheric potential
gradient due to the change in the Earth's charge.(20)
Atmospheric potential gradient varies as a function of urban size. They are excellent
predictors of each other. Also, atmospheric potential gradient varies in the same manner as
the urban factor, which is the ratio of urban to rural morbidity and mortality rates for specific
causes. The relationship between atmospheric potential gradient and mortality from all causes
in London, England, between 1952 and 1962 has been examined.(21) Every increase in
mortality above that expected for the period corresponds with an increase in atmospheric
potential. This includes the known air pollution "episodes", which is not surprising since a
relationship is known to exist between small particulates in air and field strength.(22) An
increase in field strength corresponds to an increase in the number of aerosols between 0.01µ
and 1.0µ diameter, and to a decrease in the number of ion pairs. Whether there is a causal
relationship between early mortality and atmospheric potential gradient is not further known.
Several researchers have found relations between atmospheric electrical characteristics
and human biology. Pauling suggests that a mutation has caused mankind to lose its inherent
capacity to synthesize ascorbate. (23, 24) Electrical field interactions with biological matter
are well documented and include (1) induced dipole moments in suspended cells, (2)
orientation of cells parallel or perpendicular to the field, (3) cellular deformation, (4)
erythrocyte and other cellular destruction in a non-thermal manner.(25) Uffen claimed that the
geomagnetic field may be a major factor in the evolution of life through its control of the space
corpuscular radiation.(26) Davis and Schwan state that laboratory work with rodents and
other animals indicates the life span of man can be extended by the proper application of
magnetic fields.(27, 25) Also, there is a large literature on the beneficial effects of air ions on
man's health.(28) The number of ion pairs is diminished orders of magnitude by atmospheric
aerosol pollution, (22) and it is also controlled by the vertical field strength.
The deterioration of man continues to reap its harvest of death at the same time in a
man's life today as it did one hundred fifty years ago. Still, this life span is higher than the
average age at death of 45 years in western Europe during the 14th century or that of 50 years
in the United States in 1900. The average age at death of white males and white females is
now about seventy years of age, with what appears to be an 80 year average maximum.(2)
The effects of a more affluent life style have begun to show in the black male, black female
mortality statistics which are now approaching the levels of their white counterparts in the
United States. Since affluence has been shown to be a major factor in life span, deterioration
of that span in cohorts below 80 years is difficult to attribute to other environmental
conditions. With the best of environmental and genetic conditions currently recognized no one
approaches the Biblical longevities.
Naturally every environmental health scientist is looking for clues or evidence which
may lead to a fruitful hypothesis concerning early mortality by specific causes of death such as
arteriosclerotic heart disease and cancer. However, the effects of electrical and magnetic
planetary properties on life spans have not been investigated to any appreciable extent.(29)
The above speculations concerning a possible relationship between planetary charge,
air ions, magnetic field, atmospheric potential and the average productive lifetime of man
allow the following hypothesis to be made. The lifetime of man may be extended greatly by
recreating the conditions thought to have existed before 1500 B.C. To meet these conditions,
the atmospheric potential gradient should be reduced as much as possible; the number of ion
pairs, negative predominant, should be high in an unpolluted atmosphere, and the magnetic
field should be increased. This suggestion offers a possible answer to Rose's question about
whether the Adam to Noah and Arphaxad to Terah people were different from present
generations for genetic reasons and/or for environmental reasons.
The fundamental premise on which this paper's hypothesis rests are that the
descriptions of life span in Genesis are approximately accurate, planetary exchange of charges
occurred as Velikovsky described, charges and the field gradient dissipate as a function of
time, and there exist effects due to planetary electrical characteristics.
1. Hatch, T., Arch. of Environ. Health, 11:302-310, 1965. 2. White, K.L., "Life and
death and medicine," Sci. Am., 229 (Sept.): 23-33, 1973.
3. Wolman, A., "The environment and disease," Bulletin of PAHO, Vol. X
:3:76, pp. 247-252, Salud de Publi a Mundo.
4. Higginson, I., "A hazardous society? Individual versus community responsibility in
cancer prevention," Am. J. Public Health, 66:359-366, 1976.
5. Velikovsky, I., Ages In Chaos, Doubleday, 1952.
6. Dansgaard, W., S.J. Johnsen, H.B. Clausen, C.C. Langway, "Ice cores and
paleoclimatology," Nobel Symposium 12.
7. Anonymous, Bible, Genesis.
8. Rose, L.E., Pensée, 4:35-36, Summer 1974.
9. Rose, L.E., and R.C. Vaughan, Pensée, 4:27-34, Summer 1974.
10. Juergens, R., Pensée, Fall 1972.
11. Roederer, J.G., Science, 183:3746, January 1974.
12. Barnes, T.G., Creation Research Society Quarterly, June 1971.
13. Barnes, T.G., Creation Research Society Quarterly, June 1972.
14. Barnes, T.G., S.I.S. Review
II:2, December 1977, p. 43; Cp. response by J. Milsom,
"A Commentary on Barnes' Magnetic Decay" in Ibid., p. 46; See "A Response to Dr.
Milsom" by Barnes in SISR II:4 (Spring 1978), pp. 110-111.
15. Barnes, T.G., Creation Research Society Quarterly, March 1973.
16. McElhinny, M.W., Paleomagnetism and Plate Tectonics, Cambridge University
17. Cox, A., "Length of geomagnetic polarity intervals," J. Geophys Res, 73.
18. Burlatskaya, S.P., "The ancient magnetic field of earth," Bull. Acad. Sci, USSR
Geophys Ser., English Translation, 4:343-345, 1962.
19. Velikovsky, I., Worlds In Collision, Macmillan, New York, 1950.
20. Dieminger, W., "The electromagnetic environment of the atmosphere and nearer
space," in Physics and Medicine of the Atmosphere and Space, Ed. G.O. Benson
and H. Strughold, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1960.
21. Fisher, R., R.K. Severs, and R. Hardy, "Atmospheric electrical potential as a predictor
of mortality in air pollution episodes," International Journal of Biometeorology, 21:4, 1977.
22. Magill, P.L., et al., Air Pollution Handbook, McGraw Hill, 1956.
23. Pauling, L., "Evolution and the need for ascorbic acid," Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci.,67:1643-1648, 1970.
24. Ginter, E., "Vitamin C, blood cholesterol, and atherosclerosis," Am. Laboratory, 8:6:21-29, 1976.
25. Schwan, H.P., "Field interaction with biological matter," N.Y. Acad. Sci., 303:198-211, 1977.
26. Uffen, R.J., "Influence of the earth's core on the origin and evolution of life," Nature, 198:143-144, 1963.
27. Davis, A.R., and W.C. Rawls, Jr., Magnetism and Its Effect on Systems, Exposition Press, Hicksville, N.Y., 1974.
28. Wehner, A.P., American Journal of Physical Medicine, 48:119-149, 1969.
29. Ketchen, E.E., W.E. Porter and N.E. Bolton, "The biological effects of magnetic fields
on man," Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J., 39:1 :1-11, 1978.