The Atomic Comet: A Velikovsky Vindication

One of Immanuel Velikovsky’s more outrageous heresies contained within Worlds in Collision is the conclusion that Comet Venus was producing petroleum gases.

Worlds in Collision is a book written by Immanuel Velikovsky and first published April 3, 1950.

The book proposed that around the 15th century BCE, Venus was ejected from Jupiter as a comet or comet-like object, passed near Earth (an actual collision is not mentioned).

These events lead to several key statements:

1. Venus must be still very hot as young planets radiate heat.
2. Venus must be rich in petroleum gases, and hydrocarbons.
3. Venus has an abnormal orbit in consequence of the unusual disasters that happened.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worlds_in_Collision

Immanuel Velikovsky arrived at this heretical conclusion because he had a nose for cultural history that could sniff out a story.

Like many others [before and since] Immanuel Velikovsky understood the cultural importance of fragrances and aromas.

Immanuel Velikovsky sniffed out the story of manna from heaven in Psalm 78.

When the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.”

It was like “the hoar frost on the ground.”

It had the shape of coriander seed, the yellowish color of bdellium, and an oily taste like honeycomb.

It was called “corn of heaven” and it was ground between stones and baked in pans.

The manna fell from the clouds.

Worlds in Collision – Immanuel Velikovsky – 1950

Manna, sometimes or archaically spelled mana, is an edible substance which, according to the Bible and the Quran, God provided for the Israelites during their travels in the desert during the forty-year period following the Exodus and prior to the conquest of Canaan.

Manna is described as having the appearance of bdellium.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manna

Bdellium, also bdellion, is a semi-transparent oleo-gum resin extracted from Commiphora wightii and from Commiphora africana trees growing in Ethiopia, Eritrea and sub-saharan Africa.

Bdellium consists of a water-soluble gum, a resin and an essential oil.

Bdellium is used in perfumery, as incense and in traditional medicine.

It is an adulterant of the more costly myrrh.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bdellium

Velikovsky also sniffed out the sweet fragrance of ambrosia in ancient Greece.

The Greeks called the heavenly bread ambrosia.

It is described by the Greek poets in identical terms with manna: it had the taste of honey and a fragrance.

Other traditions, too, see the origin of the honey-dew in a celestial body that enveloped the earth in clouds.

For this reason ambrosia or manna is called “heavenly bread.”

Worlds in Collision – Immanuel Velikovsky – 1950

In the ancient Greek myths, ambrosia is sometimes the food or drink of the Greek gods, often depicted as conferring longevity or immortality upon whoever consumed it.

It was brought to the gods in Olympus by doves.

Ambrosia is very closely related to the gods’ other form of sustenance, nectar.

The concept of an immortality drink is attested in at least two Indo-European areas: Greek and Sanskrit.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambrosia

Amritha or Amrita, Amata (Pali) is a word that literally means “immortality” and is often referred to in texts as nectar.

Amrita is etymologically related to the Greek ambrosia and carries the same meaning.

The word’s earliest occurrence is in the Rigveda, where it is one of several synonyms for soma, the drink which confers immortality upon the gods.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amrita

Following the scent in cultural history led Velikovsky to conclude “manna or ambrosia really fell from the sky, from the clouds of Venus” and that Comet Venus was rich in petroleum gases.

When the air is overcharged with vapor, dew, rain, hail, or snow falls.

Most probably the atmosphere discharged its compounds, presumably of carbon and hydrogen, in a similar way.

We learned that there was a world conflagration and that naphtha poured from the sky; that only a small proportion of people and animals survived; that the passage of the sea and the the-ophany at Mount Sinai are not inventions; that the shadow of death or twilight of the gods (Gotterdammerung) refers to the time of the wandering in the desert; that manna or ambrosia really fell from the sky, from the clouds of Venus.

Worlds In Collision – Immanuel Velikovsky – 1950

This outrageous heresy is generally dismissed as “pseudoscientific” for several reasons that include the mainstream belief that petroleum is a fossil fuel derived from “dead organisms”.

Shapley, along with others such as astronomer Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (also at Harvard), instigated a campaign against the book before its publication.

Initially, they were highly critical of a publisher as reputable as Macmillan publishing such a pseudoscientific book, even as a trade book, and then their disapproval was re-invigorated when Macmillan included it among other trade books of possible interest to professors listed under the category “Science” in the back of a textbook catalog mailed to college professors

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worlds_in_Collision

A fossil fuel is a fuel formed by natural processes, such as anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms, containing energy originating in ancient photosynthesis.

The age of the organisms and their resulting fossil fuels is typically millions of years, and sometimes exceeds 650 million years.

Fossil fuels contain high percentages of carbon and include petroleum, coal, and natural gas.

Other commonly used derivatives include kerosene and propane.

Fossil fuels range from volatile materials with low carbon to hydrogen ratios like methane, to liquids like petroleum, to nonvolatile materials composed of almost pure carbon, like anthracite coal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fossil_fuel

According to Laird Scranton the “rather vague chemistry” outlined by Immanuel Velikovsky “can at best be called inadequate”.

Next, we have a number of what I would characterize as secondary biblical effects, such as edible manna that reportedly precipitated along with morning dew.

While the range of effects that might possibly have been unleashed on Earth as a result of passing through the cometary tail of Venus – at what distance or for what length of time – cannot be accurately determined, the rather vague chemistry offered up by Velikovsky to explain these can at best be called inadequate.

The Velikovsky Heresies – Laird Scranton – 2012
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1591431395/ https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1591431395/

In order to evaluate these claims and counterclaims it’s necessary to determine whether:

a) The science of Immanuel Velikovsky is “vague” and “inadequate”
or
b) Mainstream academics are clinging to antiquated and fossilised beliefs.

Pursuing the scent followed by Immanuel Velikovsky it soon becomes apparent a sweet “aromatic” fragrance molecularly connects “petroleum hydrocarbons like benzene” to some plant species.

The earliest use of the term “aromatic” was in an article by August Wilhelm Hofmann in 1855.

Hofmann used the term for a class of benzene compounds, many of which have odors (aromas), unlike pure saturated hydrocarbons.

Aromaticity as a chemical property bears no general relationship with the olfactory properties of such compounds (how they smell), although in 1855, before the structure of benzene or organic compounds was understood, chemists like Hofmann were beginning to understand that odiferous molecules from plants, such as terpenes, had chemical properties that we recognize today are similar to unsaturated petroleum hydrocarbons like benzene.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aromaticity

An aromatic hydrocarbon or arene (or sometimes aryl hydrocarbon) is a hydrocarbon with sigma bonds and delocalized pi electrons between carbon atoms forming a circle.

The term ‘aromatic’ was assigned before the physical mechanism determining aromaticity was discovered; the term was coined as such simply because many of the compounds have a sweet or pleasant odour.

The configuration of six carbon atoms in aromatic compounds is known as a benzene ring, after the simplest possible such hydrocarbon, benzene.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aromatic_hydrocarbon

The “aromatic” benzene rings indicate comets [such as Velikovsky’s Comet Venus] should be sources of carbon and hydrogen gases.

Crude petroleum is composed of two elements, carbon and hydrogen.

The tails of comets are composed mainly of carbon and hydrogen gases.

Worlds In Collision – Immanuel Velikovsky – 1950

Let’s see.

Comets are renowned for appearing carbonised e.g. “blacker than coal”.

Secondly, Giotto revealed Comet Halley is more tarball than snowball.

In 2001 astronomers hoped Deep Space 1 would end the Great Snowball drought when it flew past Comet Borrelly.

And again astronomers had to grin and bear it when they were confronted with a hot, dry tarball that’s “about as dark as a blot of photocopy toner”.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2017/09/20/the-atomic-comet-the-great-snowball-of-1950/

Comets [and burning hydrocarbons] are noted for their characteristic carbon Swan Bands.

Swan bands are a characteristic of the spectra of carbon stars, comets and of burning hydrocarbon fuels.

They are named for the Scottish physicist William Swan who first studied the spectral analysis of radical Diatomic carbon C2 in 1856.

Swan bands consist of several sequences of vibrational bands scattered throughout the visible spectrum.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swan_band

Comets are renowned for producing lots of Hydrogen.

Comet Kohoutek (1973 XII) was discovered by Lubos Kohoutek during a search for asteroid images on photographic plates taken in early March1973 at the Hamburg Observatory, in the Federal Re-public of Germany.

Calculations of its size and orbit showed it to be a large comet that would pass close to the Sun, reaching perihelion at the end of 1973.

Observations of Comet Kohoutek – Skylab’s Astronomy and Space Sciences
https://history.nasa.gov/SP-404/ch4.htm

Cometary grains are renowned for their ubiquitous “dark polyaromatic hydrocarbons”.

Furthermore, dark polyaromatic hydrocarbons that are ubiquitous in cometary and asteroid grains cannot account for the low reflectance of primitive chondrites, and of comet 67P/CG.

Composition of Comet 67p/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Refractory Crust as Inferred From Virtis-M/Rosetta Spectro-Imager
E Quirico, L V Moroz, P Beck, B Schmitt, G Arnold, L Bonal, G Filacchione, F Capaccioni, C Leyrat, . Bockelée-Morvan, S Erard, F Tosi, M Ciarniello, A Raponi, M T Capria, M C De Sanctis, G Piccioni, A Barucci, P Drossart, K Marcus, and Rosetta VIRTIS team
46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference – 2015

https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2015/pdf/2092.pdf

And the crust of Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko contains “polyaromatic organic solids”.

VIRTIS reflectance spectra of comet 67P/CG point to the presence of a crust composed of refractory compounds as 1) polyaromatic organic solids mixed with 2) sulfides and Fe-Ni alloys.

Composition of Comet 67p/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Refractory Crust as Inferred From Virtis-M/Rosetta Spectro-Imager
E Quirico, L V Moroz, P Beck, B Schmitt, G Arnold, L Bonal, G Filacchione, F Capaccioni, C Leyrat, . Bockelée-Morvan, S Erard, F Tosi, M Ciarniello, A Raponi, M T Capria, M C De Sanctis, G Piccioni, A Barucci, P Drossart, K Marcus, and Rosetta VIRTIS team
46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference – 2015

https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2015/pdf/2092.pdf

In Worlds in Collision Immanuel Velikovsky specifically highlights “Naphtha” which [in the form of Naphthanthrone] is a polyaromatic hydrocarbon that contains four benzene rings.

Naphtha
Crude petroleum is composed of two elements, carbon and hydrogen.

The tails of comets are composed mainly of carbon and hydrogen gases.

Worlds In Collision – Immanuel Velikovsky – 1950

Naphthanthrone is an organic carbon based molecule formed of five rings, of which four are benzene rings, joined in the shape of the Olympic rings. It has been known for decades.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naphthanthrone

Overall, the independent reviewer should now have sufficient evidence to decide whether:

a) The science of Immanuel Velikovsky is “vague” and “inadequate”
or
b) Mainstream academics are clinging to antiquated and fossilised beliefs.

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9 Responses to The Atomic Comet: A Velikovsky Vindication

  1. Q’uran mentions it? Either the reference was plagiarised from Old Testament sources, or it’s of a more recent origin, which creates all sorts of interesting problems.

  2. malagabay says:

    You are reading my mind again… 🙂

  3. oldbrew says:

    The obvious example of vast quantities of methane on Saturn’s moon Titan is a bit of a problem for fossil fuel theorists.

  4. One experiment would be to subject CH4 to low voltage Birkeland currents to see if the intrinsic rotational mechanics of these currents can induce formation of aromatic chains.

  5. Schnitzler Valérie says:

    Histoire d une grande subtilité .J aime !

  6. wyoskeptic says:

    Louis, consider that there are massive currents within the earth, enough to generate the mag field of the earth. Then consider that there is carbon (often in the form of carbonate) deep within the mantle at least. Also consider that there seems to be a lot of water at all depths of the earth’s interior. Carbon. Hydrogen from electrolysis of water. Now add to this the fact that any current flow will often generate Eddy currents in various places. In short, Birkeland currents are not necessarily the only possible source for adiabatic hydrocarbon production. Some maybe in situ creation.

  7. The problem is forming aromatic hydrocarbons via a cometary interaction so that it rains “manna”, as it were. Invoking a deep subsurface mechanism in the Earth then has to engineer this stuff up into sky for it to then come back down again. This seems problematical.

  8. cadxx says:

    Don’t forget, it was Velikovsky who gave us “The Electric Universe”

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