Time as a Construct for Lemuria and Atlantis
Time is an important social construct for Lemuria and Atlantis. Until the 1780s, scientists believed the earth to be about 6,000 years old, based on calculations according to the Bible. However, the science of geology revealed a different time span of the earth transitioning over millions of years. Scientists saw their work as unlocking the secrets of nature and providing a method to understand God. It was not until their discoveries contradicted some information in the Bible did the scientists find their work more difficult.
In the nineteenth century, searching for fossils and extinct species became a preoccupation for scientists of history, geology, ethnology, and prehistory. Eventually, the science of geology was split into two camps: the uniformitariansits and the catastrophists. The uniformitarianists argued that earth changes are gradual, taking place over thousands and millions of years. The catastrophists argue that earth changes are sudden and without warning.
Hans Hoerbiger (1860-1931) offered an explanation about the rising, sinking, and destruction of land mass in his Doctrine of Eternal Ice (1999). He argued that until 15,000 years ago, the earth had no moon. The erratic elliptical course of Luna traveled between the Earth and Mars. When it passed Earth, the tides rose, and earthquakes occurred. Because of the gravitational pull of the earth and the sun, Luna and the once independent planet became a satellite of the earth. Consequently, the earth’s gravitation pull was distorted. The new gravitational conditions would cause a redistribution of water.
It is expected that investigations of Atlantis and Lemuria look to the geological record for evidence to substantiate their existence. In the eighteenth century, scientists began to develop laws that explained the formation of the earth. Geology, the science of the earth, was based on catastrophe. “Catastrophe was God’s means of creation, and it fitted neatly with the church dogma, satisfied the religious tendencies of the scientists who propounded it, and helped keep the general population frightened and obedient” (Warshofsky 1977). Historically, geologists sought to fit the geological record of the earth into the literal time of biblical chronology, especially the catastrophic events related to Exodus and Genesis in the Old Testament.
Knowledge of the existence of fossils dates back at least to the ancient Greeks, who regarded fossils as the remains of mythological creatures. The Greek historian Herodotus was one of the first to take notice of fossils. Two other writers, Xenophanes of Colophon (570-480 BC) and Xanthus of Sardis, wrote about fossils, but their original works have been lost. All agreed that ocean levels had been higher in the past, which explained why sea animals, like mollusks, were discovered on mountains. In addition, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) noted that some areas must have been covered by the sea in the past.
Greek philosophers Aristotle and Theophrastus (371?-287? BC) believed fossils to be inferior to what nature intended and was generated within rocks. Theophrastus succeeded Aristotle as leader of the Peripatetics and refined his works of natural history, logic, and metaphysics. The ancient Romans held superstitious views about fossils that continued into the Middle Ages. For the Romans, fossilized bones were attributed to a giant race that existed prior to humans. During this same time, Christian clerics proposed that fossils were the remnants of the pre-Deluge world.
Uniformitarianism: Eldredge and Gould
Uniformitarianism does not explain rapid catastrophic changes in the environment because it is a theory based on gradual change. Niles Eldredge and Steven Jay Gould proposed the concept of punctuated equilibrium. Punctuated equilibrium is often confused with catastrophism and, thus, mistakenly thought to oppose the concept of gradualism; it is actually more properly understood to be a form of gradualism. Even though changes are considered to be occurring relatively quickly in terms of geological time, they are still occurring gradually, with no great changes from one generation to the next. Eldgredge and Gould argue without a major disturbance in the environment, there would be a stagnation in evolutionary changes. Thus, small upheavals are useful for evolution. It is only in this way catastrophism complements punctuated equilibrium.