le 24 janvier 2013
Un livre aussi sérieux que novateur. La découverte de Gobleki Tepe confirme la précédente hypothèse de Schoch concernant la datation du Sphynx de Gizeh. La nouvelle datation des "Moai" de l'Ile de Pâques rend également plausible l' émergence, à la fin de l'époque glaciaire, d'une civilisation brillante utilisant des techniques non conventionnelles (concept de la "new science") et menacée par les éruptions solaires.
le 15 mai 2014
Schoch offers an interesting new theory about the origins of civilization. His hypothesis is that advanced civilizations existed much earlier than we thought and have disappeared prematurely because they have been destroyed by solar outbursts. This concept is thought provoking, to say the least. But I have to admit that it is only halfway through the book that I started to warmup to the idea. The reason it took me so long to accept his theory is because several of his arguments are not particularly convincing. Although the author is a scholar he does not always present scholarly evidences for his speculations. But he likes to bash mainstream science a lot though. So much so that it becomes annoying over time.
Some, but not all, of his arguments are rather vague or hazy. The author can be scientifically very convincing when he writes about his own field, which is geology. But he frequently offers weak support for other theories that he discusses in the book and his thinking appears to be generally narrowly focused on his personal worldview. I will give one example of this. When Schoch presents "evidences" to show a relation between certain artefacts and his theory of solar outbursts he ignores other possibilities entirely. For instance where many observers would readily see "proof" of extraterrestrial presence in some of those artefacts, Schoch only sees "proof" of solar outbursts manifestations. All that takes nothing away from his basic tenet that solar outbursts may indeed have caused the demise of several early civilizations. But unfortunately throughout the book we are often subjected to feeble arguments about some other weird theories. While many points may be scientifically valid and thought provoking, a few others seem to have been expressed by a lunatic. It lacks academic consistency and that is why I was ultimately disappointed by this book.
So why give it four stars then? Because the solar outburst theory is one of the very few satisfying theories out there that explains the gap between the cave men and the pyramid builders. I would actually give this specific theory five stars on its own merit. But because of the author's uneven intellectual rigour I would want to give his work only three stars. That being said, I still believe this book is worth reading and would recommend it to anyone who wants to take another look at our origins.
April 2015 update: Scientists have recently discovered that a Gamma-ray burst (GRB) could have been at the origin of the Ordovician extinction 450 millions years ago, which wiped out 80% of the species on Earth. GRB are released whenever a massive star explodes after it has collapsed on itself. If the collapsing star is big enough it can become a powerful black hole in an instant and release what could become a deadly burst of gamma rays for the Earth if it's close enough.