I greatly admire George Dodwell’s dogged [but doomed] determination to inform mainstream astronomy that Simon Newcomb’s Formula for the Obliquity of the Ecliptic was flawed because it couldn’t be reconciled with the observational data dating back to 1,100 B.C.
However, Dodwell’s mainstream approach placed him in a no-win Catch-22 situation regarding the Temple of Amen-Ra in Karnak.
Academic etiquette obliged Dodwell to use the mainstream temple date to create his formula
The temple alignment could only be dated once Dodwell had established his obliquity formula.
Catch-22 is a satirical novel by the American author Joseph Heller.
The phrase “Catch-22” has since entered the English language, referring to a type of unsolvable logic puzzle.
In the book, Catch-22 is a military rule typifying bureaucratic operation and reasoning.
The rule is never explicitly stated, but the principal example in the book fits the definition above:
If one is crazy, one can be discharged from the army.
But one has to apply for the discharge, and applying demonstrates that one is not crazy.
As a result, one will not be discharged.
The Obliquity of the Ecliptic – George F. Dodwell
Given this no-win Catch-22 situation Dodwell should [in my view] have simply excluded the Temple of Amen-Ra data from his formulations and then independently dated the temple.
Excluding the Temple of Amen-Ra data produces a gentler Obliquity Curve with a R2 value of 0.97.
Examining the resulting Obliquity Curve it’s visually evident that there are two significant data gaps in the first millennium data.
These anomalous data gaps suggest that the Earth slides and occasionally [catastrophically] bumps along the statistical Obliquity Curve i.e. Axial Tilt transitions aren’t always smooth.
The curiously short middle data group [shown in orange] covers a 109 year period of observations from China.
There is a strong possibility that this middle group has been incorrectly dated and given the volatility of the data it’s possible this middle data group is a continuation of the early group [shown in pink].
However, at this stage in the analysis let’s simply accept all the observational data at face value [warts and all] as the best observational data regarding obliquity that humanity has managed to accumulate in [roughly] the last 3,000 years.
No added alignments – no interpreted theories – no speculation – just observational data.
Now let’s statistically extrapolate using a 3rd order polynomial trend line in Excel.
The data unequivocally suggests the Earth had an Axial Tilt of -90 degrees [nearly] 20,000 years ago and will transition to an Axial Tilt of +90 degrees in [roughly] the next 14,500 years.
That’s the observational data, the whole observational data and nothing but the observational data.
However, there are numerous theories regarding the curious data gaps in the 1st millennium and the most radical of these is the proposal by Gunnar Heinsohn that the historical narrative of the 1st millennium has been padded out with 700 years worth of duplicated and jumbled storylines.
Therefore, as a worse case scenario, lets run with Gunnar Heinsohn’s radical proposal and remove 690 years from the 1st millennium [including the dubiously dated data from China] so that the early and late data groups [pink and green grouping above] join at 139 A.D.
The overall pattern is the same but the timeline is much shorter.
Perhaps the most striking aspect of this worse case scenario [based upon the theories of Gunnar Heinsohn] is that its provides a drastically different data driven interpretation for the Younger Dryas stadial “between 10,800 and 9500 BC” and a radically different insight into what exactly was the Last Ice Age that “ended about 10,000 years ago”.
The Younger Dryas stadial, also referred to as the Big Freeze, was a 1,300 (± 70) year period of cold climatic conditions and drought which occurred between approximately 12,800 and 11,500 years BP (between 10,800 and 9500 BC).
The cause of the Younger Dryas stadial is an issue of ongoing debate.
The earth is currently in an interglacial, and the last glacial period ended about 10,000 years ago.