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Ancient Indian City destroyed by a nuclear blast?


          Not all uncontrolled nuclear reactions result in an atomic blast.  In rich Uranium deposits, such as at Oklo, the uranium-bearing rock has undergone a slow reaction, releasing heat and working just as a nuclear reactor power plant.  Now comes a report that such a deposit may have gone critical in recorded history.

There is an area in Rajasthan, India, ten miles west of Jodhpur, with a layer of radioactive ash covering a three square-mile area.  The radiation is so intense that the area is considered dangerous.  The site, which was being developed into a housing area, is now under investigation.  During the construction phase, it was reported, it was noted that the area had a high incidence of birth defects and cancer.  The levels of radiation measured so high on instruments that the Indian government has now restricted access to the area.  Construction was halted while a five-member team investigates.

          The investigators report that an ancient city at the site shows evidence of and atomic blast.  Recognized experts date the event back to between 8,000 and 12,000 years ago.  If the “age” is based on standard uncorrected carbon-14 dating, that translates to roughly 2000 B.C.,[1] about the time of Abraham.  The blast destroyed most of the buildings and probably a half-million people, according to the same scientists.  One researcher has estimated that the blast was comparable to one of the bombs dropped over Japan during W.W. II.

          To add fuel to the fire, the Mahabharata, an immense, ancient Indian historical and religious work, recounts a devastating explosion that shook the continent....  “A single projectile charged with all the power in the universe....  An incandescent column of smoke and flame as bright as ten thousand suns, rose in all its splendor...it was an unknown weapon, an iron thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death which reduced to ashes an entire race...the corpses were so burned as to be unrecognizable.  Their hair fell out, pottery broke without any apparent cause, and the birds turned white.  After a few hours, all foodstuffs were infected.  To escape from this fire, the soldiers threw themselves in the river.”  Historian Kisari Mohan Ganguli says that old Indian writings are full of such descriptions.  References in the ancient writings mention fighting sky chariots and the final weapons.  “An ancient battle is described in great detail in the writing titled the ‘Drona Pavra,’ which is a section of the Mahabharata.  The passage tells of combat where explosions of final weapons decimate entire armies, causing crowds of warriors with steeds and elephants and weapons to be carried away as if they were dry leaves of trees,” says Ganguli.

          Archeologist Francis Taylor says that etchings in some nearby temples he has translated suggest that the people prayed to be spared from the great light that was coming to lay ruin to the city.  The radioactive ash seems to add credibility the ancient Indian records that describe atomic warfare thousands of years before our discovery of the atom.

The Indian records may be a mixture of prophetic events and past events.  Joshua’s Long Day and Hezekiah’s Sign are also mentioned in the Mahabharata. 


The mystery of the disappearing disks


          Last issue we reported the results of a study by Thomas Quinn that Jupiter-sized planets formed in hundreds of years, not millions.[2]  From the American Astronomical Society’s 202nd meeting, held in Nashville, Tennessee this past June (2003), we hear that the problems with the old solar system formation theory are worse than ever. 

According to the old theory still advocated at the AAS meeting—which nearly all astronomers now agree has problems—matter collapses to form a star.  The surrounding gas and dust swirls around it in a flat disk, called a protoplanetary disk, in which dust collides and, by those collisions, builds rocks that eventually grow into large, potential planets called planetesimals.  Some of the planetesimals grow larger by accreting more dust and rocks and eventually become like Mars.  Others, farther out, use their gravity to attract gas and end up like Jupiter.  The process for building a gas giant planet is thought to take about 10 million years. 

Now, a team led by Elizabeth Lada of the University of Florida, studied four star clusters in so-called stellar nurseries and found that in dozens of stars in the clusters, the dust is 90 percent gone in about 5 million years.  In roughly half the cases, the dust is nowhere to be found after a “mere” 3 million years. 

Other recent research suggests that the outer portions of protoplanetary disks, consisting of gas and dust and found in the most extremely active stellar environments, can evaporate in 100,000 years, leading some astronomers to suggest that the formation of Jupiter-like planets may be rare.  However, since more than a hundred heavy planets have been discovered around Sun-like stars, which conventional wisdom says were probably born in such star clusters, it’s clear that large gaseous planets are not rare.  So the building blocks of planets, the planetesimals, must form very quickly.

“If the gas is coupled to the dust, which we expect it should be, that means that the formation of the gas giant planets may occur much more quickly than previously thought,” Lada said.  But it seems that Quinn’s finding, mentioned at the start of this note, is not supported by other research presented in the same session at the conference. 

Another team studied similar Sun-like stars and came away with a different interpretation.  Jeff Bary and David Weintraub of Vanderbilt University found ample hydrogen around a dozen young stars that had apparently lost their dust disks.  They concluded that the dust is not there because it has coagulated into larger objects.  They maintain that the larger objects — things the size of rocks, boulders or even moons — have less total surface area than bits of dust, and so they reflect less light.  In other words, the dust is still there but it could not be detected by Lada’s instruments.  The result is consistent with Quinn’s finding.

Joel Kastner, of the Rochester Institute of Technology, presented observations from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory that show dust disks around young stars go away inside 10 million years, evidence he says supports Weintraub’s suggestion that the dust has coalesced into larger, invisible objects. 

Giant planets appear to be common, Weintraub and others conclude, but many of the huge worlds already found are far more massive than Jupiter and orbit extremely close to their host stars.  Nobody claims to know for sure how these planets got there, but they are presumed to have spiraled inward over time.  If so, they would have wiped out any earth-sized planets along the way.  A handful of other solar systems have giant planets farther out.  The only thing that’s known for sure is that solar systems come in diverse arrangements. 

We conclude that Fourier, the nineteenth century mathematician who proved that given enough cyclical arguments one can explain anything, is correct.  A theory in trouble can be saved like magic simply by having the problem disappear.  How to tell what is what?  Measure the rotation of enough of the stellar disks to give meaningful mass estimates and mass distribution.  I might also point out that when a star is embedded in a cloud of gas and dust such the protoplanetary disks pictured on the previous page, the infall of gas and dust on its surface will make it look “younger” and hotter than it actually is.  Many of these problems are solved by a young universe.

As a postscript, when asked if solar systems like ours are common, Weintraub said: “I think 20 years ago we all knew the answer, and it was yes, but we’ve learned a lot since then.  Now I think the answer is a whole lot harder.  Now I’m more of a skeptic.  I think the answer is going to be no.”


Chaos and the moons of Jupiter


          In ancient Babylon, the God of creation was demoted to Chaos, the creator of the cosmos and now the god of evolutionists.  Over the last thirty years, a branch of mathematics has even called itself Chaos Theory, a bit of a misnomer given that the results it produces are anything but chaotic. 

For years evolutionists believed that all the moons of Jupiter and Saturn were captured during the nebular collapse (the protoplanetary phase referred to in the previous section), but as more and more moons are found, it became increasingly more difficult to explain the “irregular moons,” moons that orbited the planet in the wrong direction.  Now, chaos theory has come to the rescue.[3]

In the last couple of years, many small moons have been found orbiting the giant planets in our Solar System.  Jupiter now has 60 moons, and Saturn more than 30.  “Astronomers believe that understanding the nature of these moons can reveal important clues about the early history of the planets.  Such insights into understanding our own Solar System will help us understand how other solar systems came into being, and whether they might be favourable to life,” says the press release.  One would think that after 150 years of searching for understanding of our solar system and planetary origins, the matter would be settled by now; but the understanding is just as elusive today as 150 years ago.

          The moons can be divided into two groups, regular and irregular.  Regular moons have a roughly circular orbit around their planet and are presumed to have been formed there during the early history of the solar system billions of years ago.  They have prograde orbits, meaning that they orbit their planet the same way as its rotation, which is counterclockwise as seen from the north pole.  Irregular moons have retrograde orbits that are highly elliptical, orbiting the planet at a distance of many millions of miles.  These are thought to have originally encircled the sun and to have been subsequently captured by the planet they now orbit.

Stephen Wiggins and Andrew Burbanks, mathematicians at Bristol University, along with David Farrelly and Sergey Astakhov, theoretical chemists at Utah State University, were using chaos theory to understand the mechanics of chemical reactions.  They realized that the approach they had been using in chemistry might also be applied to the problem of capture.  Furthermore, they thought that if they could solve the capture problem it might give them some insight into their chemistry problems.

To model how a body orbiting the Sun could be brought into an orbit around a giant planet, they simulated the “switching mechanism” (the body “switches” to a new orbit) and found that chaos allowed the capture process to take place.  Their explanation not only agrees well with the observed locations of the known irregular moons, but also predicts new regions where moons could be located. The ability to predict where new moons might be found should make it much easier for astronomers facing the daunting task of searching huge regions of space for them.

          To explain how retrograde orbits could outnumber prograde orbits, the team showed that the moons initially captured into prograde orbits have a tendency to approach the region very close to the planet.  This means that they have a greater chance of being eliminated by collisions with the inner giant moons or the planet, thereby explaining the far larger number of retrograde moons, especially around Jupiter.

          Does this mean that evolution wins another victory over the young universe creationist model?  Not at all.  It suggests that evolution needs chaos in order to survive, just as it does in politics.


Galaxies old or young


          Also from the AAS convention in Nashville comes news that galaxies come in two colors: red and blue.  According to the big bang theory, the oldest galaxies should be the reddest, and new as galaxies formed over time, they, having younger stars, should appear bluer.  Evolution predicts a gradual progression from blue galaxies to red galaxies as we look deeper out into space.

          Astronomers Alex Szalay and Tamás Budávari presented an analysis of two million of the about 50 million galaxies observed thus far.  They found a sharp division along color lines.  So-called “old,” red galaxies clump tightly into clusters while the “young,” blue galaxies are more loosely connected.  This is similar to the red globular clusters versus the blue galactic clusters of stars.  The survey denies the middle ground that evolution requires. 


Mysteries of the red soil on the moon


          On 11 December 1972, Apollo 17 landed in the Valley of Taurus-Littrow.  On board was Harrison Schmitt, the only trained scientist to set foot on the moon.  Schmitt shared his synthesis of the research of many lunar rock researchers last October 29th at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Denver, CO.  Schmitt spoke at the GSA Planetary Geology division’s Gilbert Lecture and Award Ceremony.  His speech was entitled, “A Lunar Field Geologist’s Perspective 30 Years Later: Shocking Revelations about the Moon, Mars, and Earth.”


Yes, to an evolutionist, at least.

The orange “soil” or pyroclastic (molten by impact) glass that Schmitt found on the moon, which on sight he declared to be from under the surface of the moon, is said to “continue to provide clues about the origin of the moon.”  But you could have fooled your editor.  Actually, it says that the prevailing theory for the origins of the mare, the giant impact hypothesis, doesn’t work.  “The major problem with this hypothesis,” said Schmitt, “is that the interior of the moon is not cooperating.”  Most importantly, the lower lunar mantle, based on analyses of the Apollo 17 orange pyroclastic glass, has a chondritic, that is to say, a specific meteor-like composition and isotopic imprint.  The imprint, which is caused by radioactive decay of elements within the crystals of the rock, should have been destroyed, or have been significantly modified if the mantle of the moon was solid when the impact occurred. 

          According to Schmitt, “If the giant impact hypothesis is not compatible with this evidence, alternatives to it should be considered, including capture of a small, independent planet from a solar orbit near that of the earth’s.”  In other words, move the problem away from earth.  What Schmitt does not say, of course, is that his alternative theory acceptable to atheists for the origin of the moon is equally flawed.[4] 

          So the problem is that three is no direct evidence that the mare were formed by impacts, whereas everyone “knows” that they had to be formed that way.  The creationist model for the sudden creation of the moon does not rely on impacts to create the maria but simply areas of unequal heat release.  That they are exclusively on the earth-facing side suggests that the earth was present when they were formed on the fourth day of creation.  Furthermore, that the mantle of the moon is chondritic implies that the rocks on the moon are not identical to the rocks on the earth, that is, rocks created the fourth day (including meteoroids) are different than rocks created earlier in the creation week.


James ossuary a hoax


          Back in the 1970s an Israeli collector bought an inscribed ossuary, which is a limestone box that held the bones of an individual after the body had decayed in its grave (usually a rented cave).  This one measures about twenty inches long, ten inches wide, and twelve inches high.  The Jews used them from 10 B.C. until the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 because of the lack of grave space.  In 2002, a French linguistic scholar, André Lemaire, translated the inscription to say “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus” and declared the inscription genuine.  Inscribed ossuaries are rare and reserved for prominent individuals.

          The inscription caught the imagination of the Christian world.  Could the box have contained the bones of James, the son of Joseph and brother of the Lord Jesus Christ and the author of the New Testament book of James?  Could bone fragments found in the box give the genetic imprint of the family of Jesus?  James, it is reported in the histories, was beaten and stoned to death by a Jerusalem mob about A.D. 62.  At the time it was noted that James, Jesus, and Joseph were common enough in Jerusalem that these need not be the same as the Bible personages.

          Now among the three men called James in the New Testament, one is said to be both an apostle and “The Lord’s brother.”[5]  He is regarded as the one who penned the epistle of James because the other apostle, James the son of Zebedee and brother of John,[6] was slain by Herod Agrippa I who ruled from A.D. 42-44,[7] died too early to be its writer.  Then, too, the epistle of James reflects the doctrine of James summarized in Ac. 15:13-20, which must be the Lord’s brother because the council at Jerusalem happened after the death of James the son of Zebedee.  Although the Roman Catholic church claims that James was the Lord’s cousin, Mark 6:3 belies this when it says of the Lord Jesus, “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda,[8] and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.”[9]  This is the James whose bones may have rested in the ossuary.

          Now a June 18 press release from Shuka Dorfman, president of Israel’s Antiquities Authority, calls the inscription a forgery.  The ossuary is real enough; it is the inscription carved into it that is a hoax.  The investigation committee, which according to its chairman Dr. Gideon Avni, was unanimous in its decision, noted that the stone of the ossuary was more typical of northern Syria and Cyprus than of Israel.  Furthermore, the inscription cut through the stone’s fossilized sheen (its patina) and was in modern Hebrew text, written by someone trying to imitate the ancient Biblical font. 

The inscription (false color to enhance contrast).


          Now only a Laodicean Christian would miss these points:


1.           The church at Jerusalem was too poor to waste money on an ossuary.  It periodically needed assistance from Gentile churches to survive.[10]

2.           Believers would not care for the dead that way in light of Jesus’ admonition of Mat. 8:22 and Lu. 9:60. 

3.           The early church did not expect the resurrection anytime soon.  The modern opinion that they were looking for a soon return of Christ stems from a misunderstanding of the term “generation,” viz. the loss of the cross reference to Psalm 22:30. 


So we should not be surprised that the inscription turns out to be a forgery.  Even if it were not, there is no compelling reason to conclude that the James of the ossuary is the same as James the brother of our Lord. 


Titan Reveals a Surface Dominated by Icy Bedrock[11]


Scientists who have peered through the smoggy orange haze of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, have discovered that the surface is not entirely covered by liquid and solid organic materials that rain out of the atmosphere.  Extensive areas of icy bedrock lie exposed on Titan’s surface, they report in the April 25, 2003 issue of Science.

          “Titan’s surface reflectivity looks a lot like that of Jupiter’s moon, Ganymede.  This is somewhat surprising because Titan is believed to have a lot of organic gook on its surface,” said Caitlin A. Griffith of the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.

          Once more we see the key role that water played in the creation of the cosmos.  Secular scientists were hoping to find life on Titan, given the “organic gook” they think is on its surface.  So far the gook has evaded the holes in the haze.


Binaries in the Kuiper Belt


In the last few years, more than 500 objects have been observed in the Kuiper belt, a gigantic ring of icy cometary bodies beyond the orbit of Neptune.  Of these, seven so far have turned out to be binary systems, that is, two objects that orbit each other.  The binaries all seem to be pairs of widely separated objects of similar size.  This is surprising because usually satellites, such as the earth/moon system, tend to be unequal in size and closer together relative to their size.  For instance, the moon is 60 earth radii from the earth, and that is the largest ratio observed among the planets.  The seven Kuiper belt pairs are separated from 100 to 1,000 times their radii of about 60 miles (100 kilometers), that is, their separations range from 6,000 to 60,000 miles. 

To explain the enigma, scientists from the California Institute of Technology have devised a theory.  According to Re’em Sari, the model to explain the satellites of the planets does not work for Kuiper belt objects.  His proposed theory works as follows.  The region where the gravitational influence of a body dominates over the tidal forces of the sun is known as its Hill sphere.  For a 120-mile diameter body located in the Kuiper belt, this extends to about 600,000 miles (a million km).  Bodies orbiting within that sphere will not be disrupted by the sun.  If, while two bodies are within their Hill spheres a third body is also present (estimated to happen once in 300 times), the two bodies could form a binary system.  Normally they would perturb one another but not stay together, but if the third body is in a special position, it can slow one or both bodies down enough to let the two stay together.  Once in every 30 such triple encounters, they slowed down sufficiently to become bound.

          Of course, other passing bodies could disrupt the system, and still others will move them closer together.  The younger the Kuiper belt is, the more bodies will have greater separation.  The older, the more pairs will have coalesced into a single body.  So far, no tests of the theory have been possible.  The ratio of close binaries to distant binaries is needed to confirm or deny the theory.  Don’t be surprised if the first observations will be “surprising” and will require a modification of the theory or a new theory.

          It would be interesting to know if the orbits are prograde or retrograde.  Does the chaotic capture theory presented on page 97 play a role in the Kuiper belt?

[1] The corrected date, corrected by radiocarbon dates of known age and the decay of the earth’s magnetic field, was done by the Biblical Astronomer’s C-14 computer program, available from the Biblical Astronomer for $6 postpaid in the U.S.  It may be downloaded for free at http://www.geocentricity.com, and is also on the biblicalastronomer.org CD.

[2] 2003.  “Jupiter-like planets formed in hundreds of years,” Panorama, The Biblical Astronomer, 13(104):58.

[3] http://www.bris.ac.uk/news/2003/188, “Chaos theory explains origin of new moons,” University of Bristol (United Kingdom) NASA press release, Nature, May 15, 2003

[4] For a summary of the three theories see Bouw, G. D., 1999.  “The formation of the moon,” BA 9(88):22-25.

[5] Galatians 1:19.

[6] Luke 5:10.  The third James is the son of Alphaeus, mentioned in Mark 3:18.

[7] Acts 12:2.

[8] Probably the writer of the epistle of Jude.

[9] Also see Matthew 13:55-56 and Psalm 69:8.  The latter says, “I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children.”  (Emphasis added.)  That this refers to Jesus the Christ follows not only from the context but also from the next verse, verse 9 which is applied to Jesus in John 2:17 (“the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up”).

[10] Romans 15:26; 1 Corinthians 16:3; Acts 11:29.

[11] Stiles, L., 2003.  NASA JPL Press release, April 24.