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Old 04-10-2009, 06:08 PM   #1
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Graham Hancock

I lent a pBook to a friend years ago called 'Fingerprints of the Gods' which was never returned. It's unavailable as an ebook.

To any members who have read it, I would like some remarks and opinions on the theories and facts that are posited: especially the chapter 'Machinery of the Gods' discussing precession and the change of climate.
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Old 04-11-2009, 04:22 AM   #2
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I haven't read this book but, as a former astronomer, I'm pretty well up on how precession "works", and happy to comment on any theories you may care to put forward.

For those not aware, precession is the slow "wobble" of the Earth's axis through space, taking about 26,000 years to make a complete "circuit".
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Old 04-11-2009, 06:50 AM   #3
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Thanks for answering.

Actually, I do not have any theories.
The rest of the book I was able to understand - to a degree; as it contains history, archaeology and science. None of these are my forte (to say the least) but, with the 'Climate Change' so much in the news, I was wondering if the *precession* also had a contributing factor to the changing of climates.

Kingdoms have fallen due to changing conditions, and others have risen elsewhere in their place.

I would like to know your opinion.

When and how is the 'precession' marked? It's something that intrigues me.

OK. Another dumb question:
What is Planet X?

I am parading my stupidity for all to see.
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:12 AM   #4
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OK, imagine the earth is like a ball of wool with a knitting needle stuck through it. The needle represents the "spin axis" around which the Earth rotates. That axis is essentially "fixed" in space, relative to the stars - when we look up into the sky at night, we see the stars appear to rotate around a fixed point (called the "celestial pole"). For people in the Northern hemisphere there happens (by pure chance) to be a bright star near that point, which we call the "pole star", in the constellation of "Ursa Minor" - the "Little Bear".

OK so far?

Except - it's not really "fixed"; it "wobbles" in a slow circle, taking 26,000 years to do a complete circuit. This was discovered by a Greek astronomer called Hipparcos, who probably lives in the late 2nd century BC. In Hipparcos' time, a completely different star (called "alpha Draconis") was close to the pole, and "our" pole star was nowhere near the pole.

There is pretty strong evidence that the precessional cycle has some connection with the onset of ice ages on Earth, although nobody currently understands what the causal mechanism is. So yes, precession probably is connected with climate change in a fairly extreme way!

Over the course of a single human lifetime (or even the course of the lifetimes of a "civilization") it's such a slow process that it's not going to have any effect (other than being a mathematical effect that you need to take into account if you're doing accurate "celestial navigation").

Any help?
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:16 AM   #5
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OK, imagine the earth is like a ball of wool with a knitting needle stuck through it. The needle represents the "spin axis" around which the Earth rotates. That axis is essentially "fixed" in space, relative to the stars - when we look up into the sky at night, we see the stars appear to rotate around a fixed point (called the "celestial pole"). For people in the Northern hemisphere there happens (by pure chance) to be a bright star near that point, which we call the "pole star", in the constellation of "Ursa Minor" - the "Little Bear".

OK so far?

Except - it's not really "fixed"; it "wobbles" in a slow circle, taking 26,000 years to do a complete circuit. This was discovered by a Greek astronomer called Hipparcos, who probably lives in the late 2nd century BC. In Hipparcos' time, a completely different star (called "alpha Draconis") was close to the pole, and "our" pole star was nowhere near the pole.

There is pretty strong evidence that the precessional cycle has some connection with the onset of ice ages on Earth, although nobody currently understands what the causal mechanism is. So yes, precession probably is connected with climate change in a fairly extreme way!

Over the course of a single human lifetime (or even the course of the lifetimes of a "civilization") it's such a slow process that it's not going to have any effect (other than being a mathematical effect that you need to take into account if you're doing accurate "celestial navigation").

Any help?
Many thanks.

What about timeline? were the Mayans correct?

Last edited by nohmi2; 04-11-2009 at 07:18 AM. Reason: Planet X?
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:16 AM   #6
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There is an article about precession on Graham Hancock's website (although it is written by Robert Bauval).
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:20 AM   #7
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Mr. Bauval has his "fans" (he's written a number of popular books), but in fairness it must be said that most professional Egyptologists dismiss his theories as being without foundation.
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:20 AM   #8
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Many thanks.

What about timeline? were the Mayans correct?
I'm sorry, but I'm unfamiliar with what the Mayans said. Could you explain?
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Old 04-11-2009, 08:11 AM   #9
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I'm sorry, but I'm unfamiliar with what the Mayans said. Could you explain?
I cannot quote, but the whole '2012' timeline appears to have originated with them.

You can see that I was one of those rotten "Why, why, why?" kids.

Many thanks for your reply.
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Old 04-11-2009, 08:14 AM   #10
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There is an article about precession on Graham Hancock's website (although it is written by Robert Bauval).
Many thanks.

Have downloaded. Love controversial theories!!!!
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:04 AM   #11
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I would love to tell you why I wish Graham Hancock would die falling off a cliff and on fire at the same time, but every time I do I start twitching. So check out this link:
http://skepticwiki.org/index.php/Graham_Hancock

I really hate that guy.
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:14 AM   #12
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I cannot quote, but the whole '2012' timeline appears to have originated with them.

You can see that I was one of those rotten "Why, why, why?" kids.

Many thanks for your reply.
I'm sorry, but I know nothing about that. Could you elaborate?
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:56 AM   #13
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Many thanks.

Have downloaded. Love controversial theories!!!!
I love controversial theories too. But I really prefer the ones that manage to take into account all of the known science/history, and are controversial only over their not-yet-tested (or perhaps not-yet-testable) predictions. When the "controversial theory" contradicts well understood science/history, it is probably -- although not quite certainly -- junk, rather than interesting.

Of course, it's often loads of fun poking holes in the junk theories.

Xenophon

P.S. I intend no denigration of any of the theories mentioned so far in this thread -- I haven't read any of them yet, so I don't know enough to have an opinion.

P.P.S Of course, if the theory flat out isn't falsifiable, it's not a theory at all. Rather, it's then a matter of faith.
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:06 AM   #14
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I'm a Phil Plait fan myself. He does a good job debunking a lot of these "theories".
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:17 AM   #15
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Yes, Phil's "Bad Astronomy" site is excellent.
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