Summary of Scientific and Historic Material that appears to have required access to certain Knowledge
Presented at the South Pacific Regional Meeting of Readers of The URANTIA Book,
(from Nov/Dec Six-O-Six 1988)
The URANTIA Papers were received in 1934 and published in book form in 1955. There are many items of a scientific or historic nature about which definite statements are made in The URANTIA Book, and about which mankind had no certain knowledge during the pre-publication period. Many of these items have since been found to be either correct or to now coincide with current scientific opinion. This paper summarizes some of these items.
Days and Dates
In the section covering the life of Jesus, various dates can be associated with a particular day of the week. Our calendar has changed considerably since those times such that it would be a Herculean task to attempt to correctly assign the day of the week to a particular date without the aid of a computer. Even with a computer, this is still an onerous task. Dr. Matt Neibaur has done this for eight different dates and found that in each case The URANTIA Book has named the correct day of the week for those dates. The chances of succeeding through guesswork alone are one chance in more than 5 million.
Reference: Computer analysis of dates in The URANTIA Book, M. Neibaur, Proc. First Scientific Symposium of URANTIA Book Readers, Nashville Tennessee. (1988)
Star of Bethlehem
The URANTIA Book states that the source of the biblical account of the Star of Bethlehem (of three wise men fame), was conjunctions of the planets Saturn and Jupiter in the Constellation of Pisces on May 29, September 29, and December 5 of the year 7 B.C.
British astronomer, David Hughes has plotted the planetary circuits backwards from their present positions to verify these conjunctions actually took place. This was a Herculean task even with the aid of a computer.
References: “Why I believe The URANTIA Book”, H. McMullen, (1986), (Asoka Foundation Publications, Oklahoma City, OK) ”The star of Bethlehem”, David Hughes, (1979)
In a paper received in 1934, The URANTIA Book (p. 479) has described the weak force carrier, the release of tiny neutral particles (antineutrinos) in radioactive beta decay, the release of more tiny neutral particles during gravitational collapse of massive stars (neutrinos), and the existence of a then unknown strong nuclear force.
The existence of the weak force carrier was demonstrated in 1983, the existence of neutrinos was confirmed in 1956, the existence of neutron stars whose formation gives rise to the release of vast quantities of neutrinos was confirmed by X-ray telescope in 1967, and the theory of the strong nuclear force involving quarks and gluons became accepted theory during the late 1970’s.
Reference: “Two Remarkable Predictions”, K.T . Glasziou,
6-0-6 Newsletter, vol 9 (no 3), 1988; (also available in The Brotherhood of Man Library).
The URANTIA Book states unequivocally that all land on earth was joined together in one huge continent that commenced to break up 760 million years ago, and was followed by a long period of continental drifting during which land bridges were repeatedly formed and broken.
The concept of continental drift was rejected by most geologists and geophysicists until examination of the ocean floor at the mid-Atlantic Ridge during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s revealed that the Earth’s crust is being melted and forced upwards resulting in ocean floor spreading, hence continental drift.
Until recently, the date of commencement of breakup of the single large continent was placed at about 200 million years ago. Currently this date has been revised and pushed back to between about 600 and 800 million years ago as stated in The URANTIA Book.
References: The URANTIA Book, p. 663.
K.T. Glasziou, “Continental Drift”, 6-0-6 Newsletter, vol ·9 (no 4), 1988.
Scientific American (1984) 250(2),41. ibid.,(1987), 256(4) ,84.
The URANTIA Book associates mountain building on the west coast of North and South America with continental drift. Today, nobody doubts that mountain building occurs at the edge of drifting continents, concomitantly with the subduction of the oceanic crust. However virtually nobody believed in continental drift at the time of writing (or publication) of The URANTIA Book.
Reference: The URANTIA Book, p. 689.
The URANTIA Book tells us that atoms with more than 100 orbital electrons are unstable, and quickly decay . Element 101 (Mendelium) was discovered in the products of nuclear fission in 1952, and was found to have a half-life of about 30 minutes.
All elements above 100 have since been found to be highly unstable. There was no adequate theoretical basis to make such a prediction at the time of receipt or publication of The URANTIA Papers.
Reference : The URANTIA Book, p. 478.
The URANTIA Book tells us that Venus has a dense atmosphere and that the atmosphere of Mars is of low density. The Russian Venera 7 space probe measured the atmospheric pressure of Venus in 1970 at about 90 times the Earth’s atmosphere,
and the U.S. Mariner probe gave the atmosphere of Mars as 1/100 of the Earth’s atmosphere. There was no way to predict or to measure atmospheric pressure on these planets before the advent of the space probes.
Reference: The URANTIA Book, p. 561.
Motion of the Moon
The URANTIA Book tells us that the moon is presently moving away from the Earth. This has been confirmed by highly accurate radar measurements. The rate of movement is about 1 inch per year.
References : The URANTIA Book, p. 657.
Scientific American 249 (6) . 71.
Tycho Brahes nova of 1572
The explosion of a supernova in 1572 was a brilliant spectacle visible in broad daylight, and became known as Tycho Brahe’s nova. The URANTIA Book states that this nova was due to the explosion of a double star.
The first serious theoretical description of novas and supernovas was presented in the early 1950’s by Hoyle and associates. This theory is still being modified and expanded. Nova and supernova occur due to the explosion of both single and double stars. The remnant of Tycho Brahe’s supernova was rediscovered in 1952 by use of the recently invented radio telescope but could not be shown to be due to a double star explosion until it was extensively mapped by the orbiting Einstein X-ray observatory in 1967.
References: The URANTIA Book, p. 458.
URANTIA Brotherhood Bulletin; “Nova of 1572 Explained”
The URANTIA Book tells us that there is a lone star at the centre of the Crab Nebula which is the mother sphere, and had its origin in a nova explosion occurring 900 years ago.
The existence of a mother sphere for this nebula was demonstrated in 1967 with the detection of a pulsar now known to be a neutron star.
References : The URANTIA Book, p. 464. Kaufmann, ”The Universe”.
What makes Stars shine
The URANTIA Paper commenting on this subject was received in 1934. It states that the most common source of energy generated in the stars comes from the hydrogen-carbon-helium reaction in which carbon is the catalyst for the conversion of hydrogen to helium.
The theory proposing that energy can be generated in this way was worked out independently by Hans Bethe and von Weizsacker in 1938, and published by Bethe in 1939, and now is accepted theory.
References: The URANTIA Book, p. 464.
Kaufmann, ”The Universe”. Hoyle and Norliker ”The Physics Astronomy Frontier”
Age of the Solar System
The URANTIA Book tells us that the events triggering the formation of the solar system occurred 4.5 billion years ago. Up to the 1950’s, and based on the work of Edwin Hubble, the generally accepted age of the universe was just 2 billion years. Then Baade’s work at Mt. Wilson revealed an error in Hubble’s methodology effectively doubling the age of the universe and causing great hilarity in the American press in the 1950’s. Most astronomers now put the age of the universe at about 15-18 billion years, and radio-isotope dating of meteoric material puts the age of the solar system at about 4.6 billion years, which is virtually the same age as told by The URANTIA Book.
References: The URANTIA Book, P. 655; Kaufmann ”The Universe”
Black holes and Neutron Stars
A thimbleful of matter from a neutron star would weigh about 100 million tons. For a black hole, the weight would be infinitely greater. It is not surprising that astronomers regarded such objects as the play toys of theoretical physicists.
Then, in the mid 1960’s, the discovery of pulsars and quasars completely changed the picture. The name black holes was coined in 1968. Prior to that, these theoretical objects were simply known as dark bodies from which light could not escape.” Current theory has it that the source of novas and supernovas is the gravitational collapse of spent stars. For stars near the mass of our sun the final result is the formation of a white dwarf. For stars more than about 5 times the mass of the sun, the result is a neutron star. For stars 25 times the mass of the sun, the result is a black hole. In the final blast initiating neutron star formation, vast quantities of tiny uncharged particles, the neutrinos, are released.
The formation of a neutron star is clearly being described in The URANTIA Book (p. 474) where it is stated that the gravity collapse of massive stars is accompanied by release of vast numbers of tiny uncharged particles. Such particles are not released in the formation of white dwarfs or black holes. The existence of these particles (the neutrinos) was not demonstrated until 1956. The first identification of a neutron star was made in 1967.
The URANTIA Book (p. 173) also tells us that some “dark islands of space” are the remains of dead suns, devoid of light and heat, and that their density is “well nigh unbelievable”. This is a description of a black hole. There are many references to black holes in The URANTIA Book as these are used by the Power ‘Directors to ensure gravitational stability of many different systems and in the control of energy flow. In one interesting reference concerning the formation of our solar system, the Book (p. 655) describes the centre of the Angona system as a “dark giant of space, solid, highly charged, and possessing enormous gravity pull”, clearly a ‘charged’ black hole. The theory of charged black holes was developed in the 1960’s by Kerr and Newman. The concept of highly charged black holes (10 to 20th volts) has recently come of age in attempts to account for the power output of quasars. (see Scientific American reference)
References: The URANTIA Book, p.173, 474, 655.
Hoyle and Norliker, ”The Physics -Astronomy Frontier” (1980), p. 205 (Freeman & Co.) Scientific American (1988) 258 (4), 45
K.T. Glasziou, to be published in 6-0-6 Newsletter,
The URANTIA Book states that the remains of the largest monster dinosaur are buried in North America, Europe, Africa and India, but not Australia. Although dinosaur fossils have been found in Australia, to date (1988), no monster dinosaur fossils have yet been found.
Reference: The URANTIA Book, p. 697.
The January issue of Scientific American (1985) p. 60 discusses whether marsupials originated in Australia and radiated via Antarctica to the Americas, thence Europe or the reverse.
It is stated that the marsupials flourished about 50 million years ago, and comments that proponents of continental drift think that Australia was connected to South America about that time. The URANTIA Book tells us that the ancestors of the kangaroos roamed Australia 45 million years ago, and that 35 million years ago the southern land bridge was extensive, reconnecting the then enormous Antarctic continent with South America, South Africa and Australia.
Recently marsupial fossils have been found on Seymour Island in Antarctica. None of this is too surprising in 1988, but remember that when The URANTIA Book was published, virtually nobody believed in the concept of continental drift.
References: The URANTIA Book, p. 694, 695.
Scientific American 1985, January issue, p. 60.
The Red man to the Americas
The URANTIA Book tells us that the red man crossed from Asia to America 85,000 years ago. Until recently, most anthropologists believed that the Americas had been inhabited by humans for no more than 12,000 years. This date·has been pushed back to 30-40,000 years.
Reference: Scientific American, 249,(6), 1985. Ibid, 258(6), 22. 1988
Addendum: Continental drift and Land elevation
The URANTIA Book account of the geological history of our planet tells us that following the breakup of the supercontinent about 700 million years ago, there have been repeated cycles of land elevation and submergence. Between approximately 400 and 200 million years ago, the periodicity appears to average very roughly 25 million years, with periods of much more frequent cycling during the Carboniferous and Cretaceous periods.
Changes in sea level have often been attributed to advance and retreat of the polar ice caps, but this would not appear to account for the movements described in The URANTIA Book.
More recently a mechanism has been proposed involving the accumulation of heat beneath the great land masses that is thought to cause the elevation, doming, and breakup of continents, and their subsequent rejoining. Although the concept has been put forward dominantly to account for transverse movement, it also provides a physical mechanism that could explain the vertical movement described in The URANTIA Book account.
The mechanism proposed indicates a relatively slow build up of heat, but the subsequent blow off can occur in a number of ways, hence considerable deviation from sine wave periodicity would be expected. This new theory will be of interest to URANTIA Book readers who have been puzzled by its account of the alternate elevation and depression of continents on such a large scale. (the million year cycles referred to on p. 691 may refer only to the Cretaceous. There were up to 75 inundations during the Carboniferous. Alternatively, it may be a transcriptional error)
Reference: ”The Supercontinent cycle”. R.D . Nance et a1.
Scientific American 259(1),44-51 (1988).