SUBDUE THE EARTH by Ralph Franklin with Geoffrey Walworth Sjostrom Walworth


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This book attempts to revive the old uniformitarianism versus catastrophism controversy sparked by geologists in the 19th century. Agreeing with Velikovsky, the authors argue that the earth has been the scene of violent, rapid, recent, and frequent upheavals. Their thesis centers on alternating ice and ""water"" ages, possibly wrought by volcanism and the scattering of atmospheric dust. The shadowed land was then prey to snows and ice accumulations. Eventually a three-mile depth of sea became six miles of ice and debris covering the continents. When the ice melted it left soil, cement-like matter, and deposits of coal and oil (depending on specific configurations). This theory flies in the face of the now popular platetectonics theory in which the solid continents are thought to drift over the mantle and core and, on contact, give rise to earthquakes, mountain-formation, etc. The problem is that there is hardly a unified party on either side. While plate tectonics is generally accepted, theories of polar rotation, magnetism, ice age formation, species dating (including our own), and the very formation of the sun and planets continue to proliferate. Less contention on the authors' part would serve science better. Some of what they say sounds plausible, but it tends to crumble under a barrage of fanciful notions of sea-dwelling peoples and other odd thoughts about evolution, anthropology, and biology.

Pub Date: March 31st, 1977
Publisher: Delacorte