This podcast reviews a paper proposing that a large impacting object from the Oort Cloud consisting mostly of ice crashed into the Earth 12,800 years ago and caused a world-wide flood that filled the Mediterranean basin.
Transcript:This video reviews a paper proposing that a large impacting object from the Oort Cloud consisting mostly of ice crashed
into the Earth 12,800 years ago causing world-wide flooding that led to megafaunal extinctions and filled the Mediterranean basin. The paper was published in 2019 in the peer-reviewed journal Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry.
The paper entitled "The Flooding of the Mediterranean Basin at the Younger-Dryas Boundary" was published by Michael Jaye who aims to justify the idea of a Biblical flood. The abstract of the paper says: This paper updates the published timing of the Mediterranean Sea's flooding, as well as its causation. In so doing, we correct an historic error committed by geologists nearly two-hundred years before present that has all of science and related fields of inquiry based on the tenet that there was never a worldwide flood. In correcting geology's error, we unify science with the human narrative tradition.
The publication of the journal article was preceded by a book published in 2017 with the title "The Worldwide Flood - Uncovering and Correcting the Most Profound Error in the History of Science". It is a common practice to publish an article in a peer-reviewed journal after the publication of a book to demonstrate that the ideas have merit and can withstand the criticism of the reviewers.
The paper starts by describing the reason why scientists now dismiss the idea of a global flood. Geology's prevailing "no flood, ever" paradigm has a simple history, and it is summarized as follows. In the early decades of the 1800s, geologists set about Europe in search of a common deposit layer left by the presumed worldwide flood. Adam Sedgwick, president of the Geological Society of London, professor at Cambridge University, and an ordained minister in the Church of England, led the effort. Unfortunately, the sought-after deposit layer was not to be found.
As a consequence, in his 1831 president's address to his society, Sedgwick renounced his belief in a worldwide flood. He stated, in part, "The vast masses of diluvial gravel do not belong to one violent and transitory period. It was indeed a most unwarranted conclusion when we assumed the contemporaneity of all the superficial gravel on the earth. Having been myself a believer in a worldwide flood, and, to the best of my power, a propagator of what I now regard as a philosophic heresy, I think it right, thus publicly to read my recantation". The pronouncement has been celebrated as the triumph of science over religion, and Sedgwick's recantation has had lasting effect: to this day, all of science accepts that there was never a worldwide flood. This is why culturally ubiquitous flood accounts are classified as myths by historians and archaeologists.
The paper provides some background about the Younger Dryas Impact literature. The YD event is an episode marked by abrupt increases in snowfall and dramatic changes to flora, fauna, climate, and the oceans. Its precise cause is unknown, although it has been attributed by some to a cosmic impact roughly 12,800 years before present that has yet to be identified. The impact is reported to have induced YD effects across at least four continents, and it also formed an associated layer of nanodiamonds, which are microscopic diamond crystals that are created by very high-velocity collisions found across most of the planet. Interestingly, none of the papers identifies the impact, something that we accomplish immediately. The remnants of the YD impacting object are found in the Southern Ocean southeast of South Africa, north of Antarctica, and south of Madagascar; the impact centre is in the vicinity of 53°E, 57°S. Isn't it amazing that the author is able to locate the Younger Dryas impact zone immediately without conducting a geological expedition or digging a single trench?
These images show the impact location of the purported Impacting Object. Identical Google Earth perspectives of the impact site include: on the top, the standard view with a superimposed diameter measuring 2,500 km, and on the bottom a magnetic anomaly overlay, from Korhonen et al. (2007).
The Impacting Object's composition is modeled on Figure 2. Having formed in the Oort Cloud, far from gravitational effects from our Sun and other stars, the Impacting Object was loosely packed due to very small gravitational accelerations (relative to Earth's) induced by its dense, solid nucleus. The Impacting Object's outer layer was consistent with known comet composition: porous, mostly open space, "unbelievably fragile," and "less strong than a snowbank." It is likely that the Impacting Object was displaced by a binary star system that passed through the Oort Cloud roughly 70,000 years before the present (according to Mamajek et.al., 2015), was later captured by our sun's gravitational field, and was eventually brought into Earth's path.
The Oort Cloud is the most distant region of our solar system. All the objects in the Oort Cloud are already within the Sun's gravitational field and do not need to be captured. The author leads us to believe that the proposed Impacting Object was displaced from the Oort Cloud by a binary star roughly 70,000 years ago based on a 2015 publication by Mamajek and others. Examining the paper cited by the author, we find that Mamajek and his co-authors describe the flyby encounter through the Oort Cloud as dynamically weak due to the low mass and high velocity of the binary star system. Furthermore, the probability of penetrating the dynamically active inner Oort Cloud within 20,000 Astronomical Units is approximately one in 10,000. Mamajek and his co-authors conclude that the flyby of the binary star system likely caused negligible impact in the flux of long-period comets.
According to the author, the Impacting Object consisted of loosely packed water ice with a dense, solid nucleus. Some long-period comets take from 100,000 to one million years to orbit the Sun, and to get to the Earth they would have to get past the massive gas giants, Saturn and Jupiter, which could change their trajectories. The paper says: Geologists presume that a comet struck an ice sheet in North America and projected ice chunks several hundred to more than a thousand miles thereby creating the Carolina Bays and other impact craters found in North America (Zamora, 2017). Interestingly, but as yet unrecognized by geologists, thousands of similar impact craters are found along the length of South America – we can identify them using Google Earth. Some are shown on Figure 3; a table with crater locations in North America and South America is found in the Appendix.
I came across this paper because it cited my publication about the geomorphology of the Carolina Bays. Notice that the author claims to be more perceptive than the geologists who have failed to recognize thousands of impact craters along the length of South America. He manages all this without any physical examination of the terrain by just using Google Earth. This image is an example of the thousands of impact craters that the author has found in South America using Google Earth. However, these are not impact craters. They are typical thermokarst lakes that are commonly found on frozen tundra. These lakes form when the ground thaws and creates a sinkhole which then fills with water that eventually drains toward the ocean.
The author confuses the Carolina Bays and the Nebraska Rainwater Basins with ordinary lakes and thermokarst lakes. The Carolina Bays and the Nebraska Rainwater Basins have a mathematically elliptical geomorphology and raised rims because they originated as inclined penetration funnels. In addition, they are radially oriented toward a common point by the Great Lakes. The mechanism of formation of elliptical impact structures has been verified experimentally.
The author dismisses the findings reported in the literature and proceeds to give what he considers a more correct explanation: Clearly, the hypothesized North American impact could not project ice particles over such distances as to create the South American craters. Consequently, a more correct explanation for the craters' formation is needed, and it is this: ice impact craters in both North America and South America were created by Impacting Object fragments that rained down along its flight path just prior to impact. The author presumes that the Impacting Object had a flight path along the tip of South America toward its impact point in the Southern Ocean. The approximate overflight route of the Impact Object's core is shown here with a white arrow; it was obtained by back-propagating the direction of the parallel central scrapes found in the impact crescent's interior.
The author explains that the collision of the Impacting Object with the Earth produced all the Younger Dryas impact proxies and even the Australasian deposits. Upon impact, collisions and interactions between energetic Impacting Object-borne minerals and terrestrial materials created the Younger Dryas nanodiamond layer, placing the impact approximately 12,800 years before present. In addition, the massive Impacting Object impact, its direction, its size, and its energy would have created an immense particulate cloud that would have been carried aloft and deposited over vast regions. Thus, the Impacting Object accounts for the Younger Dryas debris fields found in North America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and southeast Asia. The heat sink presented by such a volume of ice as introduced by the Impacting Object accounts for the sudden, post-impact YD temperature drop.
The paper shows the coastlines of various parts of the world with white arrows pointing at what the author calls submerged river systems. Some of these features are one kilometer to more than 3 kilometers below the current sea level. The paper says that geologists believe that these submerged structures were carved by subsurface processes because their science holds that there was never a worldwide flood. This is fitting data (submerged structures) to theory ("no flood"), which exemplifies anti-science. Instead, quick inundation by the Impacting Object's waters preserved the formerly subaerial drainages.
Notice that the author rejects science as a common human endeavor by saying THEIR SCIENCE. He differntiates the geologically accepted hypothesis with which he disagrees from his own untested hypothesis. The paper has an image of the western Mediterranean Sea showing a white outline that approximates the region's shoreline before the flood. Under such conditions, it would have been possible to walk from Mallorca to Barcelona without getting your feet wet. The paper proposes that the sea level of the Earth was 3.57 kilometers lower than today in order to be consistent with the river channels that the author identified earlier.
In one paragraph, the paper digresses into human evolution and rejects the out-of-Africa theory by saying: Humans evolved in equatorial to near-tropical latitudes in the dark tan regions; we are not out of Africa. Variations in human skin pigmentation are explained by the map: deeper, less equatorial regions produced lighter-skinned humans because the atmosphere's thickness would have attenuated higher wavelengths (such as UV and blue); higher altitude and/or more equatorial habitats led to greater melanin content in human inhabitants.
The author presents his own baseless theory of human evolution and egregiously ignores geological and fossil evidence that 75 million years ago the Earth had as much water as it does today. During the Late Cretaceous, North America was spit by the shallow Western Interior Seaway that was inhabited by large marine creatures such as the Plesiosaurs whose fossils have been discovered in Alberta, Canada. The Earth's water did not arrive by an Impacting Object 12,800 years ago. Another fact that is completely ignored by the author is the well-documented evidence that exists for the rise of the ocean by 120 meters during the last 20,000 years following the Last Glacial Maximum. There is no evidence whatsoever for an increase in sea level by more than 3 kilometers 12,800 years ago, as proposed by the author.
The Worldwide Flood. Given that the Impacting Object was composed as Tempel 1, that is, 75% open space, 2/3 of its mass pure water ice, then 1/6 of the sphere's volume would be ice. With an approximate diameter of 2,500 km, the Impacting Object would have occupied a volume of 5.58 times 10 to the ninth cubic kilometers. But that ice melted, so we must account for the slight volumetric difference between ice and its melted form; thus, the Impacting Object's equivalent water volume was 1.29 times 10 to the ninth cubic kilometers. To approximate the equivalent depth of water delivered, the volume can be divided by the present oceans' surface area. Since the earth's oceans are reported to cover 3.62 times 10 to the eighth square kilometers, the Impacting Object delivered an average depth of 3.57 km. Even the elementary arithmetic is wrong in this paper. A sphere with a diameter of 2500 kilometers has a radius of 1250 kilometers and a volume of 8.18 billion cubic kilometers and not 5.58 billion cubic kilometers as stated in the text. The volume of the water also does not seem correct. It is not evident how this number was derived from the other numbers given here taking into consideration that the density of ice is 917 kg/cubic meter.
In this image from the US Geological Survey, all the water in the Earth measures about 1.386 billion cubic kilometers, and can be represented by a sphere with a diameter of about 1,385 kilometers. By contrast, the diameter of the Impacting Object is 2,500 kilometers, which is 71% of the diameter of the Moon. For perspective, the meteorite that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago had a diameter of only 10 kilometers. At this scale, the dinosaur killer would appear like a period at the end of a sentence. The impact of an object with a diameter of 2,500 kilometers coming at a speed of 50 kilometers per second from the Oort Cloud would have so much kinetic energy that it would obliterate all life on Earth and destroy the planet right down to its core.
The author provides the exact coordinates for the canals of Atlantis. Again, all this is done using Google Earth without a single sea probe or archeological evidence. The author concludes that a massive cosmic impact ~12,800 years before present in what is now the Southern Ocean delivered a catastrophic worldwide flood. Not long after the impact, the newly introduced waters flooded the Mediterranean Sea via the Strait of Gibraltar. The impact and its ensuing flood account for all reported Younger Dryas effects; the worldwide flood and the Younger-Dryas event are synonymous. Culturally ubiquitous flood narratives corroborate the scientific record. Geology's "no flood, ever" paradigm is arguably the most profound error in the history of science, for it adversely affects geology, anthropology, archaeology, and matters concerning earth and early human history. At a minimum, geology and anthropology require fundamental reformation.
This is the appendix that supposedly documents the locations of the impacts made by ice chunks from the disintegrating Impacting Object during its trajectory toward the Southern Ocean. The locations in Nebraska, Maryland, South Carolina and Gerogia are Nebraska Rainwater Basins and Carolina Bays, which are the scars of genuine glacier ice impacts. However, the other locations are ordinary lakes or thermokarst lakes. This table erroneously classifies well-known terrestrial lakes and other land features as impact locations. To make matters worse, the location marked with the arrow described as being in Mexico is actually in Texas. This image shows a pushpin at the coordinates identified as Mexico in the appendix, but it is actually in Texas, north of the Rio Grande that divides the United States from Mexico. Such elementary errors are the result of careless editing and incompetent peer review.
With regard to the flooding of the Mediterranean Basin, there is geological evidence that the Mediterranean Sea underwent a period of isolation from the ocean that resulted in widespread salt deposition. Then, approximately 5.3 million years ago, a megaflooding event refilled the Mediterranean Sea through the Strait of Gibraltar. This event is called the Zanclean megaflood, but some details are still debated.
The journal of Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry supposedly has a peer review procedure that requires at least two reviewers. Unfortunately, it is a very lax peer review where authors are allowed to submit the names of the reviewers.
The genre of literature called Science fiction informs you at the outset that what you are about to read is an imaginary story. This paper by Michael Jaye is Fake Science masquerading as real science, which makes it pseudoscience. The paper contains statements, beliefs, or practices that claim to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method. The paper shows disdain for facts and previous scientific work, but cites many scientific articles to give the paper the appearance of legitimacy. This paper is aimed at an audience looking for a scientific explanation for the Biblical story of Noah's flood, and gives false hope to those who are true believers of the scriptures. The paper uses the same literary techniques that made Immanuel Velikovsky notorious for his pseudoscientific catastrophism theories that contributed nothing to science.
Perhaps the greatest fault belongs to the journal's bad peer-review process. Publication of bad papers proliferates misinformation, erodes confidence in scientific results, and ruins the reputation of the journal. A good peer review process would have discovered the inconsistencies, the errors and the flagrant disregard for well-established facts that would have prevented this paper from being published. Unfortunately, the journals have an economic incentive to keep publishing, so these unprofessional practices are not likely to stop anytime soon.