Sudden and Rapid changes

Not only can changes happen in a few hundred years but in some cases, instantaneously.

A blast from a cosmic thunderbolt can change both biology, and geology in a matter of seconds.


Sep 14, 2009

Geologists say mountains were formed gradually over millions of years. Native peoples say their ancestors saw mountains form in their lifetimes. It’s a choice between speculation and hearsay.

The uniformist/gradualist revolution erased the concept of suddenness from the geological vocabulary. Because a person tends not to see what he doesn’t have a concept for, geologists for two centuries couldn’t see evidence for suddenness as suddenness.

Immanuel Velikovsky’s books, Worlds in Collision and Earth in Upheaval, hit geologists like a 2x4 between the eyes of a somnolent mule. Velikovsky got kicked into the mud of crackpotism for it, but the hit got geologists’ attention. After the mule settled down, the concept of suddenness reappeared: Alvarez’s asteroid, Clube and Napier’s comet, Gould and Eldredge’s punctuationism, mass extinctions, lava floods (and Bretz water floods), climate disruptions, fossilized asphyxiation, and deposits of shredded plants and animals.

Strata could now be seen not as gradual accumulations of sediment but as sudden deposits during catastrophic events. Breaks between strata now could represent unknown times of little activity—the uniformist interludes between cataclysms.

As each sudden event shortens the timeline of its duration, it also undermines the timeline connecting to other events. Suddenness is devouring geological time; no time will be left for gradual orogeny. Modern geology needs “sudden” narratives for mountain building—more in line with the legends of mountains appearing on what had been, before a time of “commotion,” a plain. (See, for example, pp. 419-425 in Flare Star by Dwardu Cardona.)

Strata would not accumulate in horizontal beds and then be folded and eroded into mountains over millions of years. Instead, strata would be deposited or formed in place as we see them over centuries or decades—or maybe days. In an Electric Universe, the process could be analogous to electrostatic painting. It could be a scaled-up version of sand dune formation: the role of electricity in constructing dunes is only beginning to be investigated.

It would be good to find some maverick geologist who can run an electric current through a pile of sand and turn it into granite and basalt, especially without melting it. It would be good to find an artist whose creative eye can visualize ridges of mountains deposited like sand dunes from a global hurricane of dust and debris. It would be good to find a plasma physicist who can describe electric currents snaking over and through the Earth during episodes of planetary instability.

No orthodox geologist will admit this; his career would be terminated. But the history of ideas gives no concern to the conceits of men and their careers. The puffed-up pretensions of one era’s science soon (in historical time) become the wind-blown rags of another era’s superstition. The only serious error is taking the ideas too seriously.

Mel Acheson


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