A refreshing revision of contemporary cosmology that’s argued with careful precision and a notable measure of theoretical...



A challenge to the traditional theoretical account of the formation of the solar system. 

Seaver (The Birth of the Earth, 2014, etc.) argues that, despite its widespread acceptance, the standard theory of the development of the earth, sun, and galaxy is full of problems. It begins with a nebula, an “enormous cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases,” and posits that its denser areas pull more matter into it as a function of “gravitational collapse.” However, this “gravitational instability,” Seaver contends, is unlikely to issue from cosmic dust and gas, or to produce the necessary density for the consolidation of matter that would lead to the birth of a planet. Instead, Seaver proposes “Mass Vortex Theory,” a new and impressively original way to conceptualize the emergence of planets and stars, and, by extension, the galaxy as a whole. The book also offers a variant interpretation of the initial physical and atmospheric conditions of Earth. The author’s hypothesis begins with a nebula, as well, but with a portion of it filled with metallic atoms—a "parent cloud" in which an "infinite-mass-density singularity" appears, which Seaver calls the "center singularity." This singularity, in turn, pulls mass toward it gravitationally, creating a vortex in which each protoplanet flows—until inertia displaces it from the vortex’s groove and it settles into its own orbit. As a result of the protoplanet’s spinning, an initial layer of heated condensation ultimately cools into a frozen ice shell around it—and this was the initial condition of the earth, according to the author.  With remarkable concision, Seaver rigorously presents an intriguing cosmological vision over the course of this book. However, it’s also rhetorically dense, and for uninitiated readers, its terminology will likely be intimidating. The author’s proposal offers a compellingly vast revision of the standard theory: Instead of the notion that "the sun is a single luminous sphere of plasma held together by its own gravity," for example, it substitutes "two current rings straddling a dense mass surrounding a singularity." Seaver also provocatively raises skeptical questions about the inadequacies of the conventional view and suggests empirical paths to verify the new one presented in these pages—for example, by making use of evidence of Jupiter’s ice shell. Overall, the presentation in this book is far too brief and quickly developed to be fully convincing. But Seaver freely, and without a hint of dogmatism, acknowledges the limitations to Mass Vortex theory—including its inability to conclusively demonstrate the existence of a center singularity, the initial nebula that began the process of planet and galaxy formation, or the pockets of metallic atoms within it. Moreover, the author articulately deals with the question of what counts as theory in the first place, given the dearth of verifiable information that we have about the genesis of planets and stars: “any theory of star system formation and planet formation requires an interpretation of evidence.” At the very least, however, Seaver has sufficiently demonstrated that this alternate interpretation warrants a hearing. 

A refreshing revision of contemporary cosmology that’s argued with careful precision and a notable measure of theoretical skepticism.

Pub Date: June 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-9909550-2-3

Page Count: 186

Publisher: Kuhn & Seaver Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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