(Investigator 55, 1997 July)

According to Vic Gostin there was no Atlantis, no collision of planets as taught by Velikovsky, no recent melting of the Antarctic ice, no reversal of Earth's axis, and no world wide Noah's Flood.

Dr Vic Gostin

Ice cap drills in Greenland and Antarctica reveal annual ice layers going back 200,000 years. Ocean sediments record the advance and retreat of glaciers. This evidence, said Dr. Gostin, "shows nothing drastic happened."

However, occasional regional catastrophes destroyed some cultures and traumatized others and this imprinted survivors with fears and beliefs.

Dr. Gostin, of the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Adelaide, spoke on Geological Foundation To Human Myths on May 28.

The most violent events occurred long before humans arrived. For example billions of years ago a Mars-size object collided with Earth and the thrown-off debris accreted to form the Moon. About 65 million years ago a 10km asteroid extinguished the dinosaurs. The blast-wave, ejection of debris and tsunamis were followed by a poisoned atmosphere.

Early humans congregated near major rivers where there was food but also risk of floods. Human habitation 100,000 years ago was in Africa, Southern Europe and the Southern Asian mainland – which coincided with Earth's earthquake zone.

Comets and asteroids – remnants from the Solar System's formative period – sometimes come in showers. The Taurid meteor storms 5000 years ago may have sparked the building of the Pyramids and Stonehenge.

A major volcanic eruption in Sumatra 75,000 years ago covered the Indian Ocean and India with ash. Another in 1628 BC destroyed the civilization of Crete and may be the origin of the Atlantis legend.

The end of the last Ice Age, about 15,000 years ago, produced huge, ice-dammed melt-water lakes. One lake in Montana (USA) was 635 metres deep. The flow depth of the flood when the ice collapsed was about 100 metres. This transported soil and rock 1000km westwards to the Pacific. Similar floods occurred in Asia.

The world-vision of ancient humans was limited geographically. A flood, earthquake or fire which affected the entire area they knew would, to them, seem world wide.

Catastrophes may have secondary effects.

Droughts may end in sudden floods. Hurricanes change atmospheric pressure which in turn may trigger earthquakes which may cause landslides which may dam a river which may cause a flood when the dam breaks!!