Everything changes. The great 19th-century battle between catastrophists and uniformitarians seemed to end with the notion of global cataclysms being dismissed as a back door to the supernatural. But the catastrophist theory has gradually become moreMoreEverything changes. The great 19th-century battle between catastrophists and uniformitarians seemed to end with the notion of global cataclysms being dismissed as a back door to the supernatural.
But the catastrophist theory has gradually become more and more plausible, so that now, less than a hundred years later, it is widely believed that mass extinctions are linked to meteor strikes. Geologist Robert M. Schoch believes that if a large meteor or comet could extinguish most of our planets complex life (just ask the trilobites), then a smaller one could destroy a civilization, and perhaps did. In Voices of the Rocks, he tells us how it may have happened. Asked to investigate the Sphinx at Giza, Schoch was troubled to find evidence of a much greater age than the 4,500 years suggested by Egyptologists.
This led him to examine the possibility of a lost civilization dating back to at least 10,000 B.C. Looking at linguistic, geological, and archaeological evidence from around the world, he proposes an outline of prehistory that differs markedly from our received wisdom--after all, if the Lascaux cave paintings really are star maps, then weve got a lot of catching up to do. Schochs willingness to dismiss implausible evidence and to use Occams razor to cut away unnecessary complications is admirable and refreshing in a field in which credulity pays and skepticism is viewed with deep suspicion.
Ending on a note of warning, Voices of the Rocks reminds us that by weakening the planet, we have made ourselves much more vulnerable to the next global cataclysm, which may come at any time. --Rob Lightner