cover image Voices of the Rocks: A Scientist Looks at Catastrophes and Ancient Civilizations

Voices of the Rocks: A Scientist Looks at Catastrophes and Ancient Civilizations

Robert M. Schoch / Author, Robert Aquinas McNally / With Harmo

For ardent readers of current science, little is more appealing than stories of discoveries that change the way people view the world. In this volume, Schoch asserts that he is at the vanguard of a paradigm shift, not in his own field of geology, but rather in anthropology. From his geological analysis of the Sphinx, he draws a conclusion that he admits is controversial: that a technologically advanced civilization rose and faded in Egypt long before the time of the pyramids. Adding speculative science and drawing on myth, he asserts that other similarly advanced civilizations flourished around the world, only to be obliterated by global catastrophes brought on by a century-long rain of asteroid impacts. Similar cosmic storms strike once a millennium, he says, triggering or ending ice ages, causing floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions of biblical proportion, precipitating shifts in the earths axis. The 22nd century, Schoch predicts, will be the next era of catastrophe. Our civilization will be especially vulnerable because burning of fossil fuels and other global technological activities may seriously compromise the planets environment. Few readers will be convinced by Shochs web of speculation, although some may find it fascinating nonetheless. Many will dismiss even its most persuasive evidence, because Schoch devotes many pages to pseudoscientific ideas, such as the Face on Mars and the effects of planetary alignments. Although he finally declares them bogus, his readers may wonder why he discussed them at all. 8-page b&w photo insert, not seen by PW. Agents, Sarah Jayne Freymann and Judith Riven. (May)