Kerr Watch

Elapsed time since Richard Kerr failed to inform his Science readers of the confirmation of nanodiamonds at the YDB: 6 years, 2 months, and 1 day

Ignored but recorded: British Library interviews Baillie

interview figureI’m back — with at least five blogs loaded in my chamber. It is a terrible thing for a blogger to disappear for longish periods, only to re-appear with several posts in quick succession. But I’m not getting paid for this and (somewhat) erratic blogging is better than no blogging at all. (In my defense as well, pressing news on our subject has been scarce).

First up is a wonderful British Library interview with Tusk-adored Mike Baillie. [Listen here] For those unaware, Dr. Baillie is a special figure to catastrophists. He came to our subject with a combination of unquestioned expertise and a fearless intellectual honesty that in science circles makes hen’s teeth look common. His development of the Irish Oak Long Chronology from long-buried bog trees is a universally regarded “mainstream” [I hate that word] contribution to our understanding of paleo-ecology and, thus?, climate.

But rather than using his data to pimp political messages, he used it to tell us the truth: At least five times in ancient history the world’s trees stopped growing. You read that correctly: Trees stopped growing in unison across great swaths of the planet, perhaps all of the planet, since writing was invented. The most narrow [52:00] rings at far flung locations are simultaneous despite centuries to millennia of intervening time.

Mike struggled to resolve his objective findings with uniformitarian, terrestrial explanations, such as mystery volcanoes, but settled convincingly on cosmic impact as the cause largely because of his secondary and subjective investigation of Irish Myth.

He discovered his home country tales of heroic clashes in the sky were actually looking back him from laboratory wood.

There are still holes and unknowns — but the available data show five distinct periods of profound planetary pain from the sky. From Wiki:

Upon examining the tree-ring record, Baillie noticed indications of severe environmental downturns around 2354 BC, 1628 BC, 1159 BC, 208 BC, and AD 540. The evidence suggests that these environmental downturns were wide-ranging catastrophic events; the AD 540 event in particular is attested in tree-ring chronologies from Siberia through Europe and North and South America. This event coincides with the second largest ammonium signal in the Greenland ice in the last two millennia, the largest being in AD 1014, and both these epochs were accompanied by cometary apparitions. Baillie explains the general absence of mainstream historical references to this event by the fact it was described in terms of biblical metaphors since at that time “Christian beliefs included the dogma that nothing that happens in the heavens could have any conceivable effect on the Earth.”[1]

The story of Mike’s intellectual journey is extraordinary and worth an hour of time if this is your kind of thing (or if you care to maintain civilization). He tells it well and the British Library is thanked for making it available to those who will listen.

Mike Baillie Interview” Comets, Catastrophism and Irish Myth by George Howard

  • Trent Telenko

    These passages are very interesting —

    At least five times in ancient history the world’s trees stopped growing. You read that correctly: Trees stopped growing in unison across great swaths of the planet, perhaps all of the planet, since writing was invented.

    and

    Upon examining the tree-ring record, Baillie noticed indications of severe environmental downturns around 2354 BC, 1628 BC, 1159 BC, 208 BC, and AD 540. The evidence suggests that these environmental downturns were wide-ranging catastrophic events; the AD 540 event in particular is attested in tree-ring chronologies from Siberia through Europe and North and South America.

    By current historical defintions —

    Bronze Age
    3300 – 1200 BC

    Iron Age
    1200 – 360 BC

    We had three bronze age, one iron age and one Christian/common era tree ring “holiday” representing some sort of cosmic-climate collapse.

  • Steve Garcia

    This is what you might call “The Frontiers of Science” – where science is temporarily over its head, and where the evidence can’t be fit into a corpus very readily. Science flounders at such times, trying to hold onto the past gestalts while slowly beginning to realize that those gestalts aren’t adequate – and that new ones have to be built that include the stuff that doesn’t fit.

    THAT is when real scientific progress is made. And when researchers and observers are in the middle of that, it all is very unclear where the science is headed. We are in the middle of one of those periods.

  • Trent Telenko

    Steve G.

    I’m more interested in getting written records of those times and looking for correlations of ‘sky events’ and climate descriptions with tree rings.

  • Baillie also mentioned 3195 BC. Fascinating read. Cheers –