Review of Firmament by John Ackerman
Catastrophism is accepted as a major force in having shaped the planet Earth and its life, but Velikovsky’s original hypothesis of planet Earth’s close interactions with proto-Venus and proto-Mars WITHIN HISTORICAL TIMES is still truly surprising. As he worked primarily with ancient texts and religious sources Velikovsky’s work has needed more firm underpinning from the physical sciences. In Firmament John Ackerman supplies these, and weaves a detailed tapestry of geology (sea shells high in the Himalayas, exposure of the Mediterranean basin, etc.) and planetary physics (dessication of Mars and Venus due to close (40,000 km !) encounters with the Earth). By integrating the ancient texts with modern geophysical evidence, Ackerman provides a thoughtful read. But more important to achieving impact, he writes in a fascinating style, with scholarly devotion and attention to detail, forcefully and convincingly. The illustrations are astonishing as they depict hitherto indecipherable temple motifs, religious art and physical evidence which have now been rendered explicable while still retaining their mystical awe. Imagine how pre-biblical man would interpret the Shoemaker-Levy comet impacts on Jupiter if visible to the naked eye from Earth. Ackerman has produced a remarkable book from his decades-long work.
Gene Zawadzki, CEO Codebris, Solana Beach, CA