In an independent defense of David Morrison’s ham-handed screed in the (giggle) Skeptical Inquirer challenging the science of the YDB event, respected British astronomer Bill Napier invokes some greats of the past — in particular, Fred Whipple of Harvard, the grandfather of American comet science — in support of his central claim that the Taurid complex of meteors is the detritus of a great comet progressively deteriorating over the last 20,000 years in the inner solar system. Napier — and Whipple — have used this model to explain the astronomical evidence such as the Zodiacal cloud. The same model has also, of late, served as a prescient explanation for the geophysical evidence for recent impact in soils worldwide located by the Younger Dryas Boundary team.
But, like most truth-talkers, Napier and his band of neo-catastrophists’ biggest problem is simply getting those that matter to address their claims head-on.
The Tusk simply will not stand for this bobbing and weaving from tax-paid scientists in the face of planetary peril. In response, we invite Morrison — and his NASA “colleagues who do dynamics” — to respond on these pages to Napier’s simple query below.
We’ll call our invite: Whipple Watch. Stay tuned.
Fred Whipple 1927
What is the response to the long-established clustering of meteor streams, the whole comprising the Taurid-Arietid Complex? I’m not aware of anyone (except perhaps David Morrison’s ‘colleagues who do dynamics’) who has doubted the reality of the system. But where then did it come from?
The pioneers in this field, such as Whipple, Sekanina, Kresak and others, without exception took the view that the progenitor of the system must have been an exceptionally large comet. Not so much a mainstream view, as the only view. Again, if these people were getting it wrong, let’s hear the case.
Bill Napier — April, 2010, PC
Fred Whipple 2004