The Flood

The Fringe of Science and Mythology

It was observable to the ancients how the planets moved through the night sky with clockwork regularity. These spinning bodies, often captured by influences greater than their own, danced through the primeval ether as gods. During their journeys across the night sky, their display of what would be recognized as a highly predictable conical motion was observed, measured and recorded. It was from these first observations that the modern image of our universe ultimately derived. In the Long count of celestial ages, the fortunes of the Earth have been and still are dictated by these cycles of precession, first discovered millennia ago.

The Precession of the Equinoxes

With this intimate knowledge, one could possess an understanding of celestial events on any point along the arrow of time; well exceeding an individual human life. Indeed it was not until the 19th century that we discovered evidence of the ancient civilizations in Iraq and the Indus Valley. The stories of the those who had conceived the concepts that we still use today to divide time , lay forgotten beneath meters of earth. Moreover, it wasn’t until in the case of Mesopotamia, their cuneiform script was deciphered. What had been revealed in these writings, and is still being revealed was a cosmology of deep time.

At left is another Babylonian astronomical tablet. At right, this diagram shows how the distance traveled by Jupiter after 60 days, 10º45′, is calculated as the area of the trapezoid. The Babylonians knew they could then divide this trapezoid into two smaller ones of equal area in order to find the time in which Jupiter covers half the distance it travels in 60 days
Credit: Trustees of the British Museum/Mathieu Ossendrijve

For thousands of years, Sumerians and their descendants painstakingly recorded the events in the heavens. They even tell of events during shadowy epochs before the dawn of human civilization. Stories gleaned from these tablets were not new to our modern eyes and ears. At the time of their discovery no one was prepared to take seriously any story pertaining to an age existing before any verified archaeological context. Based on that logic, one is asked to concluded due to a lack of evidence anything in the written record without a corresponding physical context is relegated purely as mythology in nature. One event echoed in multiple forms through the ages is the Deluge.

Ancient Sumerian Star map depicting an asteroid impact

Ethnological variations differ, but from all around the world, whether it be the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Story of Noah, or the destruction of Atlantis, the main facts are eerily similar. At a point in the deep past, a cataclysm perhaps of celestial origin had occurred causing the lands of the Earth to be flooded. I’m not here to argue which type of event could have been a culprit. There are a number of equally devastating possibilities. One thing, however, was safe to say with confidence, there wasn’t until recently a single shred of cohesive evidence to back it up. Was it not conceivable, however, that the distribution of these themes, collected from all over the world, would themselves be viewed as a kind of evidence?


It may seem that I am making two points here. In a sense I am, but I will try to tie them together. It was in the 1990s on a hill in Turkey known as Pot Belly Hill or Gobekli Tepe, the most important archaeological discovery of the century was made. Buried deep in the hill they found something that according to scientific dogma, should not have existed; evidence of an advanced previously unknown culture. It is a massive complex of circular structures made for some unknown ceremonial, cultural or religious purposes. Strangely it held all the appearances of being purposely buried.

Gobekli Tepe

A great shock of disbelief rippled through the scientific community as the carbon dating information indicated what had been seemingly impossible. Parts of this monument had been built a staggering 11000 years ago, decidedly before the dawn of history, deep in the neolithic age. Moreover, despite the evidence, a lack of a written language their grasp of the precession of the equinoxes and the Earth’s complex relationship with the cosmos was made plain in their effigies of the constellations.


There is little doubt that many of the bass-reliefs found upon the pillars of Gobekli Tepe represent what we would recognize as similar to today as signs of the Zodiac. The builders of this monument like their intellectual descendants the Sumerians spoke understood and commemorated the events of their age and of deep time. According to some acclaimed scholars and writers on the subject, pillar -43 represents such a celestial record by documenting a point in time in stone that corresponds exactly to the Younger Dryas Climate event that occurred at 11000 B.C New evidence suggests that this event was likely caused by a single or multiple comet strikes.

Topography under Hiawatha glacier in Greenland, mapped with airborne radar data (1997 to 2014, NASA; 2016 Alfred Wegener Institute). Black triangles and purple circles are elevated peaks around the rim and center. Dotted red lines and black circles show locations of additional sampling.
Kjæer et al./Science Advances

Human conscious memory for an individual and a society is selective. We weed out and edit what we feel is inappropriate. For societies as in people there are unconscious collective memories hidden below the surface sublimated in art and mythology. Just as an individual mind records every event it ever experiences only to hide them to be retrieved as a pool of glimpses, so it is for the past forgotten ages of humanity.

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Cartoon Confusion

The Flintstones

As a child, my perception was such for me to believe that television was nothing short of a magical. Through its silvery window, one could remotely view distant times and places. All of it, but for the lone group of outliers, made a neat kind of sense to my young mind. This being the classic era of cartoons I was often left confused by the dichotomy between the unreality of the illustration and the reality of the characterizations. These worlds were not real, yet the voice, the presence of the actor portrayals they represented defiantly were. To my young mind, this could not be easily reconciled. The word animation, or make move, for me was synonymous with bringing to life.

Fred and Barney Mascots

One day to my surprise and delight I was told we were taking a trip to visit the local UHF television station. This adventure included a meet and greet with some of the characters featured on their cartoon line up. The thought that immediately filled my head was that if I could meet them in person, these characters surely would share their secrets with me. The processes through which art became real. But alas to my dismay as I was to learn these lumbering mascots could do little more than prance around much less speak. And as my brother in the end finally revealed they were after all Just men in suits. “Look he said you can see their eyes are air holes for them to breathe.” My excitement morphed from shock to horror to the realization that what I had thought was magic was just something I hadn’t the capacity to yet understand. I’ve grown to recognize these moments and appreciate them more as I’ve gotten older.

Sustainable Mythology

The unlikely scenario of angels on the head of a pin, and of their number, how many who could be found dancing there, was once a subject of serious intellectual debate. It’s safe to say that this is no longer a mainstream idea. Though no doubt that there are still adherents to this notion. It would seem, however, as the precepts of science become more ingrained in our culture something outlandish like the prospect of meeting your mirror image in the park for lunch has become increasingly plausible.

Though the Sumerian civilization was not discovered until the nineteenth-century; When their tablets were deciphered, linguists and historians were amazed at what was contained within. Evidence suggests that angels of the Old Testament may have been inspired by Sumerian stories of the seven sages. These sages or Abgal, the shape-shifting demigods were the earthly attendants to the God Enki. They were responsible for carrying out the divine commands while this god of wisdom constructed the Earth. This is not a stretch as these cultures certainly overlapped, and as the story goes, Abraham was born in the city of Ur.


The foundations upon which objective reality is defined are man-made constructs. Making sense out of reality, we take cues from the secrets of nature, as we understand them. Today, within the actions of the very small, to the very large, mysteries are unfolding before us. It is from these that the constructs of our mythologies are created and recreated.

The Indoctrination of a culture’s mythology is deeply embedded into the impressionable minds of its members during childhood. With time, these constructs evolve into the unassailable facts of adulthood. Even as contradictory evidence emerges, this cultural latency is resistant to change and it is slow to occur. To make matters worse, the rate at which information is being processed, and the pace of change to technology and the environment is so rapid it is often difficult for one to keep up.

A seemingly less complicated time

The reason I bring all this up, you ask? The other day, I did something I generally avoid doing. It was hot out, and I found myself watching television during the day. If this wasn’t odd enough, when I turned the television on, the channel was set to an old black and white program from the nineteen sixties. It was one I was familiar with, so I continued watching. While watching the program, I began associating the imagery seen there on the screen, with the memories of my childhood. For a moment I was filled with a brief melancholic nostalgia. The intervening years had slipped so easily, and in that time much had gone missing. Not all of which were identifiable or even tangible.

I had determined that this stirring of emotion had been due to the realization that the world represented both within this imagery, and within memory, no longer existing. For most of what had been the basis for that world, long ago had fallen away into irretrievable decay.

After another moment, the emotions relented as I realized that, from a modern perspective, the foundations of that world had never truly existed. For the assumptions that that world was built upon were fabrications, illusion, mythologies of a bygone era. All that is left of that world are the place names, shells of buildings, and those now fossilized memories. By extension then, those illusions we are currently living under today, are almost certainly invisible to us.

As the old world fades into oblivion, the story will transform into a new one. Is it possible then to create a new sustainable mythology, one with the tools capable of explaining our true place in an evolving universe?