The cycle of cosmic catastrophes : flood, fire, and famine in the history of civilization

by Richard B. Firestone

Book, 2006



Call number

GB5014 .F57


Publisher Unknown


"Newly discovered scientific proof validating the legends and myths of ancient floods, fires, and weather extremes"--Provided by publisher.

User reviews

LibraryThing member DonSiano
This book has the most deceptive cover that I've ever seen applied to a scholarly work. It looks like something you'd see on a book of Nostradamas predictions, or perhaps as an ad for a grade B horror flick. And the title is wrong too. There is nothing in the book about a "cycle" of "cosmic" "catastrophes" in the "history" of civilization". It is about the cause of the extinction event in North America that killed about 30 species of large mammals about 13,000 years ago. Whoever is responsible for this should be fired and go to work for The National Enquirer. I only decided to buy it after I leafed through it to discover lots of graphs in it.

This book is a serious work, written by serious scientists who have a fascinating story to tell. They tell the story in a rather unconventional way, though it served to hook me pretty good. I couldn't put it down. The heart of the story is how they discovered clues to the extinction event, which were all new to me. The first was to closely examine the soil along a vertical line running through the Clovis layer at several archeological sites in North America. They applied a strong magnet to samples of the soil to recover magnetic grains and magnetic spherules. The concentration of these in the soil clearly peaked in the Clovis layer at all the sites they looked at, and show lots of graphs of their data. They argue that they are clues to an impact event.

Then they go over the Carolina Bays story, which is a wonderful story in itself. These thousands of shallow craters predominantly on the Eastern Seaboard, they persuasively argue, were formed in a comet strike at about the time of the extinction event. The origin of these geological features have been controversial for many decades and they reveal an entirely new line of evidence. They found in the sandy rims of the craters pieces of glassy carbon, which contain fullerenes, a form extremely rare on earth. What they find inside the fullerenes testify to their extraterrestrial origin!

There is nothing like a big scientific mystery that slowly unfolds in front of you. New data, and measurements made with new technologies applied to old questions show the real power of the scientific approach. A book like this always raises new questions, and makes the imagination sparkle.
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LibraryThing member Wmt477
A shattering book. This is a history of a catastrophe that happened 13,000 years ago, but has only come to light now. The catastrophe explans why evidence of the Clovis culture suddenly vanished from the record to be replaced by the Folsom culture several hundred years later. The implications
are frightening. What happened to the Clovis people could happen again, today. This book at first glance seems sensationalist and could be easily
dismissed as a lunatic fringe theory if one were to judge the book by it's cover alone. Though the cover is beautiful, it is not fitting for the seriousness of the subject nor the credentials of the authors who are professors and peer-reviewed individuals in good standing at various state universities. This book will change what ever you thought you knew about the last ice-age and possibly have you digging in your own yard for cometary evidence from 13,000 years ago. This is an astounding read for natural history students.
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LibraryThing member rajaratnam
Easy to understand. Seeks to provide evidence. Very detailed. Difficult to ignore. Places mankind in perspective.



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