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KRONOS Vol X, No. 2
EJECTIONS, RESONANCES, AND INVERSIONS
Copyright (c) 1984 by Dwardu Cardona
The title of one of my current KRONOS serializations - "Child of Saturn''(1) - seems to have given some of my readers a false impression. I first noticed this in the pages of the SIS Workshop where the editor added a footnote to one of Hugh Eggleton's papers - "Did Saturn Explode Twice?".(2) In reference to Eggleton's statement that "Venus was undoubtedly born of Jupiter," the editor appended the words: "But see Dwardu Cardona's 'Child of Saturn' . . . for an alternative origin of Venus."(3)
This misconception next appeared in the CSISN where Ian Johnson, in "Saturn: Through a Velikovskian Glass Darkly", alluded to "those Velikovskians who theorize that Venus originated from Saturn".(4)
In one of my shorter papers, which appeared in the SIS Workshop, I politely corrected that editor's misunderstanding. I wrote:
Since I had hoped that this would have clarified my position, I was somewhat dismayed to discover that the very same issue of SIS Workshop also carried an item, under the actual heading of "Child of Saturn", in which J. Aitchison commented on "the debate of whether Venus was born of Jupiter or Saturn".(6)
More recently, Leroy Ellenberger, who serves on the same staff of this periodical with me, asked: "How does Venus possibly being a 'child' of Saturn alter the sequence of planetary orbits and the conservation of angular momentum?"(7)
This, too, was surprising since Ellenberger was present at the 1980 San Jose seminar. In the paper which I read there, I used the following words:
In order to anticipate a different sort of argument, let me state at the outset that, with the exception of the SIS Workshop editor, these writers did not specifically name me or my work in their well meaning comments but the constant reference to "child" of Saturn would, even if used unintentionally, have triggered such a connection in the readers' minds.
If these four persons could have received such a false impression of what I have really thus far outlined in my serialization, I will have to assume that there must be others. If - as it might be in Ellenberger's case - this impression was inadvertently given rather than falsely received, it would have added further fuel to the flame. I would therefore like this opportunity, before the flame becomes a fire, to clarify, once again, what my present position is concerning the origin of the planet Venus. To repeat, I have nowhere stated that the planet Venus was ejected by the planet Saturn. I do admit of the possibility, but, for the time being, I concede no more than that.
In his comments to Raymond Vaughan's "Speculations on 'Planet X' ", Ellenberger raised some other questions. Concerning Planet X itself, I have nothing to say. Yet, Ellenberger went beyond the debated topic by stressing the astronomical problems with which Velikovskians find themselves saddled. For instance, he asked: "How does the process of core ejection with Jovian planets really work?"(9)
This had already been preceded in the same issue of KRONOS by a footnote which Ellenberger added to John Gribbin's review of Clube and Napier's The Cosmic Serpent. In reference to Gribbin's statement concerning the dynamic impossibility of Venus having been ejected as a comet from the planet Jupiter, Ellenberger's appended words, in part, read as follows:
At the time I read the above I immediately noticed that while Gribbin was specifically referring to the ejection of Venus from Jupiter, Ellenberger's objection encompassed the more general idea of an ejection "from a Jovian planet" and thus, by implication, once again including, if not singly involving, the planet Saturn.
The possible ejection of the planet Venus from Saturn must have cropped up among Velikovskian scholars prior to the publication of my "Child of Saturn". I will therefore assume that Ellenberger was generalizing for the benefit of those who might have entertained, and perhaps still entertain, that hypothesis. Ellenberger's question "How does Venus possibly being a 'child' of Saturn alter the sequence of planetary orbits and the conservation of angular momentum?" might not therefore have been specifically aimed in my direction. But just in case it was, allow me to say that I do not feel obliged to answer it since, as already stated, for the time being, it is not my case to prove.
What, however, of the possible ejection of Venus from the planet Jupiter - as per Velikovsky?
This hypothesis has fed the notebooks and slide rules of Velikovskian myth interpreters and astronomical theorists as fervently as it has the imagination of the common readers. It has been singled out by critics as one of the most unprovable, and therefore unacceptable, of Velikovsky's tenets, as it also has been by those Velikovskians who have gone out of their way to prove its possibility. The irony is that Velikovsky's reconstruction of ancient cosmic catastrophes, as delineated in Worlds in Collision, neither stems from, nor rests on, this hypothesis. If Robert Bass is not mistaken, Velikovsky himself was quite willing to consider its dismissal.(11)
The question, as I have posed it twice before,(12) is not whether the planet Jupiter could have ejected the planet Venus, but whether it ever did. As I have been attempting to show in "Child of Saturn", and as I will be indicating even more conclusively in forthcoming installments of this serialization, there is no valid mytho-historical record upon which to base this event. Despite its continued acceptance by people like Alfred de Grazia,(13) Peter Warlow,(14) and Ragnar Forshufvud(15) - to name but a few - this hypothesis must not only be severely questioned, it has, in my opinion, to be discarded outright. The problems inherent in the ejection of core material from Jovian planets, which Ellenberger sees as saddling Velikovskian theorists, can for the time being be brushed aside as entirely irrelevant. Without the mytho-historical record, there is no basis upon which to build a case.
Ellenberger also asked: "If a massive body passed close enough to Jupiter or Saturn several thousand years ago so as to 'have participated in the birth of Venus,' then why do their satellite systems not look as though they have been disrupted, as Neptune's system patently does?"(16)
I'm not sure to whose scenario this objection applies since the way Ellenberger worded his question makes it seem as if he had a third "massive body" in mind. In Velikovsky's model, Venus erupts from Jupiter due to a close encounter with Saturn.(17) No third body is involved.
The clash of Jupiter with Saturn is recounted in myth but it is not stated there that Venus was born of the encounter. Again, this was merely Velikovsky's own proposition.
From what can be ascertained through the totality of the mytho-historical record, the two giant planets had abided in relative, but harmonious, proximity to each other for millennia. There is still, in my opinion, a certain amount of uncertainty concerning their actual placement in relation to each other.(18) It can, however, be assumed that, in one manner or another, they orbited a common centre. The universally celebrated battle that occurred between them consisted of a prolonged exchange of electrical discharges which followed the disruption of this mechanically unstable system. During the course of this exchange, the Saturnian system fell apart. Jupiter's also underwent some changes.
I realize that this poses vaster problems than Ellenberger envisaged, but I'm not about to play Devil's Advocate when he's fulfilling the role so well. If Ellenberger can take the above scenario seriously, he can formulate new questions. In the face of the above, some of the ones he asked become irrelevant.
Should the disruption of Saturn and its system have left its telltale mark?
If we're considering geological signatures, one need only look at the satellites' surfaces. If we're thinking of orbital ones, and if the mytho-historical record is correct, it should be indicated that the present Saturnian system owes its organization to the restabilizing processes that followed its last disruption. Even so, does not the resonant nature of its satellites' orbits negate this?
Ellenberger's question here is related to the one he asked about the Jovian system; the problem implied is identical. Since we shall be considering the Jovian system next, I shall leave the above question temporarily unanswered. What we shall find applicable to Jupiter will be just as applicable to Saturn.
For the moment I would suggest that, rather than looking at the orbits of Saturn's satellites for signs of the system's last disruption, it behooves us to look into the make-up of its present rings.
Victor Clube and Bill Napier have recently written:
Yet the mytho-historical record implies that both Jupiter and Saturn obtained their present ring structures following their final clash with one another. In fact, cosmic catastrophists, myself included, missed the chance of a lifetime in failing to utilize this mytho-historical datum in predicting the existence of the newly discovered Jovian ring. Not, I think, that it would have much mattered. Astronomers would have probably explained away or even ignored such a prediction just as they explained away those of Velikovsky and ignored Vsekhsvyatskii's. The latter did predict the Jovian ring(20) - although not on the strength of the mytho-historical record. Where does one find his name mentioned in modern textbooks in this connection?
In 1851, Otto Struve announced "that the observations of two hundred years showed the rings of Saturn to be widening". The inner ring was spiralling in toward the planet.(21) This, plus recent measurements, led Clube and Napier to the following conclusion:
Their final verdict was this:
In Jupiter's case, Ellenberger asked: "If Jupiter was involved in cosmic catastrophes within the memory of mankind, how could its Galilean satellite system have developed its observed resonances which are conventionally thought to have required at least one billion years to develop?" As already stated, this question is related to that already asked in relation to Saturn. What follows is therefore applicable to both.
Let me first state that Jupiter might have been involved in further cosmic events following its separation from the Saturnian system. For reasons which I will not go into here, the period of Jovian kingship among the planetary gods is not as well documented as the previous age of Saturn. There are, however, some indications that sometime during the second millennium B.C., Jupiter's motions became somewhat erratic.(24) If, as has been tentatively suggested, Jupiter came close enough to Earth (or vice versa) for its electrical discharges and Io's sulfur to reach our globe,(25) would not Earth have been close enough to disrupt the Jovian satellites? Given that the above actually transpired, the answer to this question would seem to be in the affirmative. How then do we reconcile this with the billion-year-old resonance of the Galileans?
I have a better question to ask: On what is this billion-year-old resonance based?
Even without the catastrophes we have been considering, modem astronomical theory dictates that the tidal transference of angular momentum from planets to satellites tends to force prograde satellites, like the Galileans, outward toward eventual gravitational escape.(26) Although this tendency is in direct opposition to the spiralling inward of Saturn's rings, the problem is a related one. V. Szebehely and R. McKenzie have even contested G. Hill's much earlier postulate of a stable Sun-Earth-Moon system(27) and have themselves reached the conclusion that the Moon may someday escape from the Earth to become a planet.(28)
The next question to ask, therefore, is: How long could the Galileans have been tugging away from Jupiter if they have not yet escaped?
William Hartmann tells us that:
This being the case, how could regular satellite systems, like the Galileans, have originated in the same flattened nebula which supposedly gave birth to the planet Jupiter as Gerard Kuiper was still assuming in 1956?(30)
While outer retrograde satellites have long been assumed to be asteroids captured at aphelion, it was in 1971 that J. M. Bailey suggested that the prograde inner satellites could have resulted from similar capture at the planet's perihelion.(31) Capture, however, does not necessarily lead to stabilization. As Hartmann emphasized:
Where conventional theory and cosmic catastrophism most differ is in the time factor involved. With perhaps the exception of Thomas van Flandern,(33) astronomers do not yet allow that such disruptions could have transpired only a few thousand years ago. Those who were there to see for themselves assure us that this was precisely the case. Those who were not figure in millions and billions of years. Astronomical assertions, however, are often based on empiricism. Some time ago, Kuiper showed that the past history of satellite orbits cannot be traced by contemporary mechanics.(34)
Roughly a hundred million is hardly a billion years. One may argue that it is even more hardly the few thousands demanded by the catastrophe theory. But let's pursue the matter a little further.
The commensurabilities, or resonances, of which Ellenberger speaks are special perturbation conditions which influence otherwise regular orbits. Mathematically, a resonance is an even or integral relationship between any two motions. The best example is that of the Moon which rotates once in the same time it takes to revolve around the Earth. Another example is that of the asteroid Toro which completes five revolutions around the Sun in almost exactly the time it takes the Earth to revolve eight times on its own orbit. These resonances are the result of the larger body's perturbative exertion on the smaller one. As long as the smaller body remains on the same orbit, this perturbation will be repeated regularly in the same manner. But is it also true that, as long as the perturbations continue, the smaller body will always remain on the same orbit?
This is not so. Such perturbations suffered in resonance can actually lead to an orbital change. For instance, a hypothetical asteroid with an orbital period equal to one half of Jupiter's will in time be forced to change its orbit. On the other hand, any asteroid with a period two thirds that of Jupiter, as for instance among the Hilda group, will actually be stabilized by this resonance effect. Such resonant stabilizations have also been achieved by some of Jupiter's and Saturn's satellites.
What must be stressed is that this is based on observation only. As Hartmann succinctly phrased it: "A full theoretical explanation of such resonance phenomena in terms of celestial mechanics unfortunately does not yet exist . . ."(36)
In 1968, S. F. Dermott presented some evidence which indicated that such resonances between bodies in space must have become effective early in the history of the systems.(37) But, given the astronomical belief that cosmic catastrophism only takes place at rare intervals separated by millions of years, where does the aforementioned loss, recapture, fragmentation, and exchange of satellites fit into such a scheme?
What Dermott claimed of resonances had earlier been claimed of the Titius-Bode "Law" - that the effects of this "law" had manifested themselves early in the history of the Solar System. But, also in 1968, the Soviet theoretician, A. M. Molchanov, claimed that Bode's Law was actually the result of orbital resonances and that it could not be of primeval origin.(38) Such circular reasoning among astronomers is sometimes difficult to understand. In any case, Dermott next claimed that while resonances do trace back to the early systems, they are not the dominant influence in establishing Bode's Law.(39)
In 1973, Hartmann was still championing Dermott.(40) But, a year later, Michael Ovenden reached a conclusion identical to Molchanov's"that the present distribution of the planetary and satellite orbits is the result of mutual perturbations" and that "tidal forces need not be invoked".(41) What is strange is that while Hartmann allowed that "Satellite systems mimic the planetary systems", (42) he disallowed the derivation of Bode's Law through planetary resonance while yet conceding that similar resonances "can produce spacings resembling Bode's Law within each satellite system".(43) As Dermott himself showed, Bode's Law does find its analog in satellite spacings.(44)
What Ovenden concluded from all this is that "the present distribution [and, by inference, resonance] gives no information concerning the origin of the solar system".(45)
The rest of what follows should not be new to Velikovskian scholars, but perhaps we all need reminding of it. In 1970, J. G. Hills computed simulations of the N-body problem and discovered that "arbitrary planetary configurations, started with purely random initial positions and velocities, tend, during a few thousand to a few hundred thousand subsequent years, to 'relax' into a Bode's-law type of resonant configuration".(46) As Bass informed his readers in 1974, this phenomenon was actually foreseen by E. W. Brown in 1931.(47)
What all this implies is that Bode's Law (but not necessarily a Bode like Law) is itself an empiricism based on the present spacings of the planets. As Bass demonstrated:
By "a relatively short time", Bass meant "in a few centuries".(49) If this applies to planets, it also applies to satellites.
An identical question asked by Ellenberger relates to Mars' satellites: "How could Mars engage in so many close encounters and still end up with two small satellites whose orbits look as though they have not been disturbed for millions of years?"
I could ask a different question: Why are the craters on Mars so fresh-looking in the presence of an atmosphere that should have eroded them into softer contours had they really pock-marked the planet's surface for millions of years?
It has been theorized that Mars' two trabants owe their genesis or adoption to one of two possible cosmic events: They are either captured asteroids or the fragments of an original larger satellite.(50) The latter theory invokes the collision of an asteroid with this original satellite but does not account for the non-capture or non-retainment of the other fragments and smaller debris and dust that would have resulted from such a collision. Thus the current astronomical consensus seems to favor the capture theory.(51) Robert Richardson, on the other hand, was not quite happy with this either:
From a uniformitarian point of view, neither theory seems adequate to account for the presence of these two celestial boulders around Mars. Yet a theory can be formulated which dictates that these two objects of unknown origin have been circling Mars for millions of years.
Actually, the lack of probability of capture as illustrated by Richardson only holds true on a uniformitarian level where such captures are considered to have been effected during the slow evolutionary processes of solar system formation, In a catastrophic model, Richardson's statistics become meaningless.
I am not yet in a position to say whether Phobos and Deimos are captured asteroids or whether they are the remaining fragments of a once larger satellite. One thing that catastrophists and uniformitarians alike seem, however, to accept is that these two satellites could not have formed at the same time as, or with, their present shepherd planet.
In past Velikovskian and other catastrophist literature, much has been made of the two horses which drove the chariot of Ares, the Greek Mars. This analogy with the Martian satellites has often been thought to rest solely on descriptions of Homer's Iliad. In the Iliad, Ares is spoken of strictly as a god and, thus, his two steeds could be argued to have been nothing but a poetic image. Yet, in at least one hymn to Ares in which he is described as a planet, these two steeds are just as clearly mentioned:
There is thus the possibility that Mars' two trabants were known to the ancients.* If this is really the case, we can only assume that Mars was, at one time, closer to Earth.
Even so, I do not wish to rest my case on this snippet of ancient astronomical lore. Nor, for that matter, am I personally convinced that the Velikovskian catastrophes of the 8th and 7th centuries B.C., if they ever occurred, had anything to do with Mars. The mytho-historical record, however, does imply that, contrary to what Velikovsky assumed, Mars played a dominant role in the cosmic catastrophes of the Saturnian age.(54) So that regardless of when and how Mars obtained its satellites, the question could still be asked: Why do the present orbits of these trabants not show indications of disruption?
Seeing that it has not been ascertained that satellites must keep to their disrupted orbits ad infinitum, this question has already been answered. What applies to Jupiter's and Saturn's satellites, and to the planets as a whole, applies just as well to the rocky fragments surrounding puny Mars. A few centuries would have more than sufficed to re-stabilize their disrupted orbits. I hate to appeal to authority, but if Ellenberger wishes to challenge this verity he will first have to demolish Ovenden's and Bass' arguments.
The last question raised by Ellenberger that I shall tackle concerns the inversion of the Earth. Ellenberger asked: "Exactly how could the Earth have executed a tippe top-like inversion as implied by Worlds in Collision?"
In the first place, Worlds in Collision contains no implication of a "tippe top-like inversion". That theory was postulated by Peter Warlow twenty eight years after the publication of Velikovsky's work(55) and is incapable of explaining certain aspects of Velikovsky's scenario. Moreover, when Lynn Rose presented this objection to Ellenberger on an earlier occasion, (56) the latter replied that Rose's remarks were "well-taken".(57)
In the second place, the Earth's inversion, in whatever fashion, is implied by the mytho-historical record, not Worlds in Collision. In Worlds in Collision, Velikovsky attempted to lend this implication some plausibility.
This problem has now been vexing Velikovskian scholars for quite some time. As Michael Reade pointed out in 1976, had the Earth experienced a simple inversion without a reversal of its rotation, east and west would not have changed places to a terrestrial observer.(58) In this respect, Warlow's 1978 tippe top solution offered a ray of hope even though, in itself, it posed a new obstacle to the Velikovskian interpretation of Senmut's ceiling.(59) In Worlds in Collision, Velikovsky wrote:
Thus, among other things, Senmut's southern panel depicts Orion following Sirius across the night sky whereas the reverse is true today. As Rose pointed out, such a reversal can only be astronomically accounted for either by a reversal of Earth's rotation or a 180 deg inversion of the Earth.(62) A tippe top motion would not achieve the desired result. But then, as Rose himself acknowledged, neither would a simple 180 deg inversion achieve the result of a Sun rising in the west and setting in the east.*
Actually, A. Pogo, whom Velikovsky himself quoted, explained the reversal of Senmut's ceiling as a sacrifice of astronomical accuracy in favor of artistic uniformity.(63) More recently, Bob Forrest expounded further on Pogo's explanation.(64) If the reversal of Senmut's ceiling can be explained in this way, Warlow's tippe top model would regain some plausibility. Unfortunately, Warlow's theory has now been extinguished by Victor Slabinski's more recent equations.(65) Unless Warlow can somehow salvage his theory - and so far he has completely ignored Slabinski - his attempted solution will have to rest in limbo. In the meantime, no other has yet risen to take its place.
What Slabinski should keep in mind, on the other hand, is that the tipping over of planets in space seems to be verified by at least one member of the Solar System. I point to the planet Uranus. Here is a body which is tilted, together with its satellite system, 98deg to the plane of the ecliptic. As Frederic Jueneman wrote to me recently: "Any extensions of the Kant-Laplace nebular hypothesis cannot explain how Uranus got laid over on its side, nor would Victor Slabinski's mathematical arguments restore it to an upright position to take a rightful place among the Titans."(66)
What follows is stated more for Warlow's sake than anybody else's but it may be of value to others who may be working on the same problem. After all, even Rose had to admit that "the tippe top movement of Earth merits further study . . .".(67) What should be kept in mind is that the earliest terrestrial inversion implied by the mytho-historical record is said to have occurred seven days prior to the Noachian Deluge.(68) In Velikovsky's scenario, this could still have been caused by Venus whose ejection from Jupiter would have occurred at the time of Saturn's flare-up. According to Velikovsky, Saturn's flare-up was due to that body's clash with Jupiter which occurred seven days prior to the Flood.(69) But if, as I contend, Venus was not ejected by Jupiter, a different cause will have to be sought.
The amendment of Velikovsky's scenario would still leave Saturn and Jupiter as candidates for the cause of Earth's inversion during this time, even though Jupiter, in my opinion, had nothing to do with Saturn's original flare-up. Jupiter's clash with Saturn came later.(70) As stated earlier, Jupiter and Saturn had been abiding in relatively close but harmonious proximity to each other for millennia. What needs to be added is that Earth must also have been a member of this harmonious, if precarious, configuration.
I would therefore suggest that the cause of Earth's inversion(s), whether in a tippe top fashion or not, be sought in other than close fly-bys of planets. Moreover, if the Earth's inversion and Saturn's flare-up both occurred seven days prior to the Deluge, a cause should be sought to account for both.
The as-yet unsolved problems inherent in the catastrophe theory should not disconcert catastrophists any more than the as-yet unsolved problems of the uniformitarian theory seem to disconcert conventional astronomers. Astronomy textbooks can trace the evolution of the Solar System from the time of the Sun's formation, usually given as 4.7 x 109 years ago,to the present. They do so, however, "in spite of many unanswered questions and gaps in our knowledge".(71) If conventional astronomy can survive while laden with this burden, conventional astronomers cannot rightly criticize catastrophic astronomy for being saddled with similar unanswered questions and gaps in our knowledge. Few theories are devoid of problems. Theories are formulated to be tested; problems are posed to be solved.
If modern astronomy can be said to have commenced with Claudius Ptolemy, conventional astronomers have had one thousand, eight hundred, and fifty-odd years during which to iron out their creases. If, on the other hand, catastrophic astronomy can be said to have been born with William Whiston, catastrophists have only had a mere two hundred and eighty years.
Conventional astronomers may well argue that discoveries continue to be made so that new problems continue to pose new questions. This, however, is just as true of catastrophic astronomy. Meanwhile, some of conventional astronomy's unanswered questions do not concern new discoveries but have actually been around for far longer than Velikovskians have.
I am not here trying to indict conventional astronomy, or, for that matter, conventional astronomers. They have a set of rules by which to abide and they formulate their theories accordingly. Catastrophists have a different set of rules. Their theories must perforce be different.
I will not harp on the obvious - that theory is only a system of ideas propounded in an effort to explain a group of facts. But if the historicity of the Solar System as believed in by the ancients was to be accepted as fact, conventional astronomy would no doubt be able to formulate theories in an effort to explain the events reported by our ancient forefathers.
I hope no one will view the above lengthy comments as a criticism of Ellenberger - or of anyone else. Ellenberger, in his fervor, asked those questions which he believed most needed answering. He is not to be castigated for the irrelevance of some of them. As they pertain to Velikovsky's model, some of his questions are indeed valid. Their irrelevance only surfaces in view of an opposing model. I have, in my past writings and seminar readings, offered some indications that Velikovsky's model cannot be one hundred percent correct. In my forthcoming works and continued serializations, I hope to be able not only to cement this contention but to offer an alternative model to that of Velikovsky. Ellenberger and others can then formulate new questions that may be more answerable than the ones he asked. It is only through such slow and painstaking efforts that catastrophism can regain its one-time acceptance. In the meanwhile, we have time at our disposal.
1. Parts I, II, III, & IV in KRONOS VII:1, VII:2, VII:3, & VIII:4, respectively.