What is known about mass extinctions

There seems to be agreement that there have been 5 mass extinctions of mobile forms of life on Earth. A mass extinction is one in which an extinction rate of at last 75% has been estimated. I wonder how these figures (and the dates of occurrence) are calculated.

The dates of extinction are: 434 million years ago (mya) with a loss exceeding 60%; 360 mya (% loss?); 251 mya – 80 to 95%; 205 mya – 80% loss; 65 mya – no large animal survived. Noticeably, an extinction period can take a few hundred thousand years to a couple of million years. This I interpret as placing us and other life forms in a situation akin to that frog whose watery habitat (say, a beaker over a Bunsen burner on very low heat) is subject to slow heating, to boiling point and death. That is, the expected sixth extinction on Earth will not be observable by us and our descendants until we are beyond recovery.

Will extinction and revival be cyclical? Apparently there is a cycle of about 62 million years of high rates of extinction. This cycle is said to coincide with “periodic ‘excursions’ of the solar system outside the central plane of the Milky Way galaxy,” (whatever that means) when Earth is bombarded with high levels of cosmic radiation. In the past 542 years, the number of animals in the ocean have also been known to have fallen and risen every 62 million years.

Glaciation (asserted by some researchers to be challengeable as a relevant process) is the principal speculative causal agent. Meteoric bombardment with associated vulcanism (and its consequences) is a more probable cause.

In the land of the unknowable, we seem to remain unknowing.

Extinctions

We live, and then we die. Everything that lives will die. What is there to note? Well, it depends how the deaths occurred. Hence, the idea of global extinctions of life forms, or most of them, is frightening. Of course, if the trigger for the extinction is sudden, ie. unpredictable and therefore unavoidable, we would suffer terribly – physically and mentally.

But, what if the extinction process is not readily perceivable, especially as we remain busy on our respective treadmills? For, have those of us in modern societies not forgotten the lifestyles of our own tribal and family ancestors – to work to live, but not also to accumulate.

If we are unable to recognise ecological depredation, societal deterioration, moral insensitivity, and escalating greed by both rich and poor, the latter demanding that ‘they’ (others, such as governments) shall provide whatever they believe they are entitled to – would this be a form of extinction comparable to the frog remaining static while the water in which it is seated becomes hotter and hotter? And then, of course, it is dead.

Apparently, Earth has been affected by 5 significant extinctions in the past 500 or so million years. The consequences range from the destruction of a large number of living forms, to almost all of life being destroyed. The cosmic catastrophe most frequently referred to is the one about 65 million years ago, causing the end of the dinosaurs.

Is the 6th extinction on the way, perhaps as hinted at by the Maya culture’s ‘End of Time’ prophesy for 2012? That is, are we on the slippery slope already?

Were we created by the giants?

When the Anunnaki gold miners on Earth mutinied because of their heavy workload about 300,000 years ago (144,000 years after their arrival), it was decided to create ’the Adam’ to take over the heavy mining work. The Assembly of the Great Anunnaki decided, as presumably re-told in Genesis 1:26, “Let us make an Adam in our image and after our likeness.” By adding some Anunnaki genes to the genome of the hominid already existing in the wild, ‘the Adam’ was genetically engineered (after some initial difficulties).

This was possible because the DNA of Earth was that of Nibiru (through the latter smashing into the planet Tiamat). Thus did homo sapiens come into being. So said Sitchin.

That Man was created in the image of an interstellar cosmonaught species is preferable to me to the alternative: that Man was made in the image of our Creator, described as omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, but unknowable directly in life. I wish to preserve the mystery thus attached to my core belief.

So, the Adam (presumably in the plural) adapted to the tasks set for him, principally digging for gold in the mines. There is also confusing reference to the Adam (in the singular) tasked with a rural responsibility (but that could be Sitchin seeking to validate the Bible while translating Sumerian texts).

Moving on (a generation or two): When the sons of the Elohim/Anunnaki took as wives the daughters of ‘the Adam,’ these forbidden liaisons produced children, the Nefilim, described as Demigods. Then came a time when the Anunnaki solved a conflict among themselves (in a human-like manner) by unleashing nuclear weapons. These destroyed important space-related facilities in Sinai.

An unintended consequence was that a radioactive cloud, blowing east, obliterated all life in Sumer. Forewarned, the “gods fled Sumer.”

Since the Sumerian texts and the Old Testament attest to the existence of Anunnaki/Anakites and the Nefilim, one has to wonder if the Sumerian texts said what happened to the gods after that catastrophe.

Were there giants on Earth?

The Internet shows that, in a number of sites in the USA, large human bones had been found. The bones indicated that the height of the associated individual humans would have been between 10 to 12 feet. On each occasion that the findings were sent to an agency authorised to receive, and then to have the bones appraised, strangely, they apparently disappeared. Recently, the same thing reportedly happened in China. Does officialdom not want the public to know that giants lived on Earth, in much the same way that any evidence of cosmic catastrophes was denied for so long?

Whereas Sitchin’s giants were extra-terrestrials, could there have been a giant species of humans in earlier times on Earth? Since Sitchin’s giants were described by him as gods, is there any reference to gods involved in matters aerial?

Confusingly, aerial battles between gods (not necessarily giants in build) are allegedly to be found in the writings of the Hindus, the early Egyptians, and the Greeks. The Hindu Sanskrit texts are said to describe “Aerial battles between gods flying in ‘cloud-borne chariots’ and using missiles.” The Egyptian hieroglyphic text ‘The Contending of Horus and Seth’ “describes the defeat of Seth by Horus in an aerial battle over the Sinai Peninsula.” In Greek tales of the gods, “the fierce battles between Zeus and the monstrous Typhon ended when Zeus, in his Winged Chariot, shot a thunder-bolt at the magical contraption of his adversary.” So wrote Sitchin.

Could these cultures have imagined these events? With what motive? What if the writings represent reality? Hindu writings also refer to vimanas, flying machines. (I found a book in the public library in Darwin which showed how to build and to fly such a vimana.)

If there were giants on Earth, what happened to them?

A few questions about Planet Nibiru

The idea of an extra-solar planet wandering into our solar system in the latter’s juvenile settlement phase, and becoming the 10th planet is incredible. That it was described as having an elliptical circuit of 3,600 human years, with its perigee near the sun, raises the question – how is it not known as a regular visitor in our heavens? That it is depicted on a Sumerian cylinder seal from about 2,500 BC is surely inadequate evidence of its existence. It should have come around about 900 AD, surely!

Mistakes can be made when relying on ‘memories.’ Consider the evidence of cryptomnesia or false memory arising during hypnotherapy, especially when seeking past memories; there have been some terrible social consequences for families erroneously blamed for all matter of happenings, including satanic practices, based on such alleged recovered memories. Further, honest mistakes can be made, eg. Velikovsky apparently erred when he claimed that Venus had been a comet before it became a planet.

Then, there is the destruction of planet Tiamat. Did Marduk/Nibiru/Planet X collide with it physically? Or, did Nibiru destroy Tiamat electromagnetically? If the latter (a more likely event), how could there be any transfer of the so-called DNA? What was the nature and form of this DNA that it could be transferred? Was it just bacteria? While transpermia is becoming an acceptable theory for explaining the origin of life on Earth, could it validate Sitchin’s claim?

The story of Nibiru is tied in, by Sitchin, with the arrival of giants on Earth looking for gold 445,000 years ago, and the subsequent creation by these giants of ‘the Adam’ (note the prefix ‘the’) – a human to become a serf, and to help with the digging for gold.

Sitchin’s efforts to authenticate the Old Testament lead him to rely on Sumerian texts. That is a reasonable approach. However, he seems to quote the Bible at times to corroborate these texts.

In the event, could my genes authenticate my father’s identity correctly?

The credibility of ancient writings

The Sumerians, reportedly a “black-headed people”, whose origins are unknown, and whose language was not one of the Semitic tongues, could not surely have written anything about the history of the solar system before their settlement in what became known as Mesopotamia about 6,000 years ago. Or, could they? Even if they had, could any claimed memory or inherited history of an alleged cosmic event 3.3 billion years before their time be reliable?

Sitchin, relying on translations of Sumerian cuneiform tablets, asserts that an advanced civilisation was established, in pre-Diluvial times, as “Cities of the Gods,” in Sumer about 445,000 years ago. “It was then that astronauts from another planet, whom the Sumerians called Anunnaki, arrived on Earth. They were the Biblical Anakim – the Nefilim of Genesis 6.” The planet the cosmonauts came from is reportedly named Planet X (in Mesopotamia it was Nibiru.)

Sitchin relies upon the Mesopotamian ‘Epic of Creation’ (‘Enuma elish’) as his source material. As he says, he “audaciously suggested that the Epic of Creation is at its core a great scientific text that starts with a cosmogony that embraces the whole Solar System, explains the origins of Earth, Moon, and the Asteroid Belt, reveals the existence of the planet Nibiru, proceeds through the arrival of the Anunnaki gods on Earth, and describes the creation of Man and the rise of civilisation; … “

So, there you have it. Why do I feel like Sergeant Schultz in that popular tv program ‘Hogan’s Heroes’? This is not a criticism of the scholarly Sitchin; only a statement of my confusion.

A cosmic re-arrangement?

While seeking to confirm that the one and only truly global inundation experienced in relatively modern times occurred about 13,000 years ago, I discovered a story about a planetary re-arrangement within our solar system.

This event allegedly occurred 3.9 billion years ago. How was this information obtained? From Sumerian tablets written in cuneiform going back to about 6,000 years ago, when the first known civilisation was claimed to have been formed. My source is ‘There were giants upon the Earth’ by Z. Sitchin. I set out his story simply because it is interesting as another cosmic episode.

From the Sumerian Epic of Creation – from which Sitchin draws a few other challenging suggestions – it would appear that the early solar system (formed about 4.5 billion years ago) “was unstable for a long time after its formation, and that shiftings and collisions were taking place.” By treating the planets as celestial gods, ie. as living entities, the Sumerian scribes presented their information in the manner of poetic fables. One might question how any culture could claim to represent a history which occurred 3.3 billion years before their time.

Remaining with this Epic: now occurs an event which allegedly resulted in the creation of planet Earth. A planet from outer space, named Nibiru by Sumer (Marduk in Babylonian), enters our solar system, moving clockwise (ie. retrograde to the solar planets), and collides with the planet Tiamat. The latter is split into two, with the bottom half scattered into fragments (described as the Hammered Bracelet) which became the Asteroid Belt in our solar system. The top half of Tiamat became Earth. So claims Sitchin.

He further asserts that the DNA of Earth came from Marduk, the extra-solar planet, through the collision. In support, he points out that “223 genes of the human genome do not have any predecessors on the genomic evolutionary tree”; whereas “human genes, with the same functions, were found to be identical to genes of other vertebrates, as well as invertebrates, plants, fungi, even yeast.”

While parts of Sitchin’s thesis are unclear, could we humans claim an exotic origin?

Consequences of a cosmic catastrophe

Instead of personalising nature, thereby attributing human motivations to neutral, inanimate ‘forces’ which simply follow the laws of physics, sensibly one would need to accept the tragedies which follow, even from cosmic catastrophes. How else could one cope?

The approach of a major cosmic assailant is apparently indicated by a new star (except asteroids?). In addition to radiation penetrating and damaging human bodies silently, bombardment by heavenly objects led to stories of the sky falling. Such bombardments (eg. by Phaeton/Marduk ex-Vela the supernova) reportedly included boiling hot water, huge blocks of ice (obviously not at the same time), meteors, and all forms of cosmic dust particles containing damaging chemicals.

Allegedly, Phaeton caused the crust of Earth to buckle; volcanic eruptions with massive lava flows followed by severe conflagrations resulted; darkness from the air pollution followed affecting the growth of vegetation; all the waters were poisoned; many low hills became uplifted to become the mountains we know; the oceans emptied in the direction of the North Pole (the closest point on Earth to Phaeton) crushing and drowning all forms of life on the way; new crustal depressions or basins offset the crustal uprisings; unending rains then put out the fires; ultimately (when Phaeton moved on to its destiny) the returning waters filled the new basins. Thus, both lands and oceans were re-organised (ie. re-structured). All that was only 13,000 years ago.

Apparently the survivors initially led a wandering nomadic life as hunter/gathers, then becoming herders, finally (allegedly with guidance from visiting spacemen) organising themselves into settlements based on agriculture (and associated technology); developing a hierarchy reflecting levels of skill, accompanied by ‘kingship’; with shamans seeking to throw light where needed .

Ultimately, the evolution of modern societies has led to a few rare individuals involved in ‘sky-walks,’ even as mankind seeks extremely optimistically to wander (metaphorically) through space.

Nature’s house cleaning?

Here is an interesting comment: “ … it is … likely that our modern way of life had its genesis in the brilliant flare of an exploding star and the thunderous flash of crashing comets.” How so? “Such massive impacts are Nature’s way of cleaning house, causing hundreds of species to disappear and making room for others to step forward … all the things we value today – art, music, language, drama, writing, math and technology. Evidence indicates that every one of these crucial aspects of human life arose or expanded greatly after 41,000 years ago.” So claim the authors of ‘The cycle of cosmic catastrophes.’ Credible?

Further: “The supernova may have a link to at least two of the races, Asian and Caucasian, as suggested by Nei (1982) and Gong and associates (2002). They presented genetic evidence showing that the two races split off from each other about 41,000 years ago.”

As well: “In recent research, Evans and associates (2005), who studied ethnically diverse populations, found evidence that one of the key genes, called microcephalia, mutated about 37,000 years ago to allow people to be born with larger brains. … Evans and his team point out that, at the time of the mutation, art, music, and advanced toolmaking suddenly appeared to flourish … .“ Well, have we become truly human only after being irradiated by a fragment of an exploding star?

This is a quaintly positive perspective of the consequences of a cosmic cataclysm. By and large, the consequences were largely negative. Folklore present cosmic catastrophes as punishments.

As for the survivors of Phaeton’s visit, they have re-populated and refurbished Earth. For the better?

What does a wide-angle lens show?

The wider lateral perspective enabled by such a lens would take us a little further back into relatively recent pre-history. Since events of the past do not normally repeat themselves (except man-made wars), researchers seem to combine ancient folklore with relevant modern scientific investigations, in order to reach speculative and tentative conclusions.

Such a conclusion by Firestone, West, and Warwick-Smith is set out in ‘The cycle of cosmic catastrophes: flood, fire and famine in the history of civilization.’ While unappetising, the information provided is challenging, yet absorbing. Their thesis is that, 41,000 years ago, a supernova exploded soundlessly, yet produced a colossal frighteningly visible flash, and terrible consequences for life on Earth.

The consequences were: a burst of invisible radiation, causing widespread extinctions in Australia and south-east Asia; the first shock wave then arrived unnoticed 34,000 years ago, with an increase in harmful radiation in the main; 16,000 years ago the third wave of “supernova stuff” in the form of “enormous dustballs” bombarded Earth; and 13,000 years ago, the debris wave arrived, with “multiple impacts of comet-like objects” in the northern hemisphere, viz. North America, Europe, and northern Asia. The consequences were horrendous.

Cosmic impacts, however infrequent, do have terrible consequences. Yet the authors conclude that “such massive impacts are nature’s way of cleaning house … “

So, is there purpose in the Cosmos, comparable (possibly) to the alleged operation of Gaia protecting Earth from the habits of humans?