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No. 6: February 1979

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Earth, the magic top

The Journal of Physics is a most respectable British scientific publication, but in a recent issue we find an article that would warm the heart of Ignatius Donnelly, to say nothing of Hapgood, Brown, Velikovsky, and more recent catastrophists. Employing a wide span of data from complex top theory to ancient legend, Warlow suggests that the earth has undergone many violent catastrophes, some of them within the time of man. Flood legends, geomagnetic reversals, tektites, paleoclimatology, salinity crises, and other familiar standbys of the catastrophists force P. Warlow to examine the stability of the earth in the presence of astronomical collisions and near-collisions.

He shows that the earth rotates slowly and that, even with the stabilizing equatorial bulge, our planet is rather sensitive to outside forces. It is, he says, like a tippe top or magic top; a 8,000-mile-diameter top that turns over repeatedly in response to external influences. Did not the ancient Egyptians write that the sun once rose in the west? Are there not massive faunal extinctions? Have not stray solar-system bodies left scars on all the inner planets?

(Warlow, P.; "Geomagnetic Reversals," Journal of Physics,11:2107, 1978.)

From Science Frontiers #6, February 1979. 1979-2000 William R. Corliss