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Atlantis: The Evidence of Science Paperback – August 1, 2010
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About the Author
For over twenty years Emmet Sweeney has researched the questions raised by Velikovsky's efforts to reconstruct ancient history as it is currently taught. He holds a Masters Degree in Early Modern History from the University of Ulster and is currently a lecturer at West University, Timisoara, Romania. Sweeney describes the salient features of each volume in his "Ages in Alignment" series and points out the important consequences of the skewed historical record as it is usually taught.
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In his epilogue he uses the technique of rhetorical question-answer to clinch his arguments throughout the book, as if such an approach could close the lid on all refutation. There are so many problems with his interpretation of historical evidence (which is what most of the book is founded on), rather than reliable dating methods of artifacts, and total absence of his own experimental testing, that I am not persuaded like he says the reader should be in his epilogue. The problem I see with his evidence is that a number of explanations different than his conclusions can be had by interpreting the evidence he cites in a different manner. While he criticizes established scientific research for its assumptions (which is of course often inherent in all research), he overlooks his own assumptions at arriving at his own conclusions. Perhaps there is some arrogance in established scientific institutions, but from his over-all tone of argument I am persuaded he suffers from a fair amount of his own.
One of the simplest of his fallacious arguments is that the Egyptians were inflationary in their accounting and dating, and he dismisses the 9500 BC date cited by Plato as an obvious Egyptian error because the zero was not in use yet. Overlooked is the distinct possibility that the use of zero in Plato's dating in the story came along at a later date as the story was retold in different languages over time. He also dismisses the work of engineer Robert Bauval and many others who have demonstrated the highly advance mathematical prowess and attention to precision and detail of the pyramid builders, without a single countervailing argument. Additionally, he inserts his own timeline at the end of the book, instead of at the beginning as an integral part of his hypothesis. Rather than writing in a manner clear to the uninformed of these ancient cultures and their dating, he leaves the reader to persistently look up the accepted time periods and cultural influence to figure out if what he claims has merit. To add insult, he cites volumes of books that could be written out of the available evidence, but never refers to this information in such a way the reader can perform their own investigation and verification. In short, because he has done so and claims he knows what he is talking about the reader should just accept his conclusions.
There is included four pages of bibliography at the end, composed largely of reference material difficult to locate in many instances. This is of no help to the reader, and he just as well have written a book as highly annotated as Hancock's Finger Prints of the Gods, taking the time to insert the requisite material for the reader's own inspection, rather than a paperback of 226 pages.
The title of the book is ostensibly an argument of the actual existence of Atlantis. But the burden of the book is an argument for his re-dating of historical evidence which comprises more than two-thirds of the text. The only portion I found persuasive on the topic of Atlantis was the citations of seabed exploration and the suppression of details that tend to support the sunken continent thesis. If the reader wants to peruse evidence relevant to the existence of Atlantis, he is better off inspecting the information found at atlantisquest.com. Cedric Leonard carries his own credentials with a lot less dogmatic assertion and doesn't impose on the credulity of the reader to abandon the basic work of hundreds of researchers to make his arguments.
The book has some value for the citations within, but don't expect a well reasoned and coherent argument on the topic of Atlantis. Mr Sweeney is too divergent in his arguments and conveniently disregards a mountain of evidence disproving his thesis.
As the title suggests, scientific evidence forms the core of this argument. New developments in DNA science and forensics point to a definite trans-Atlantic link. Sweeney also quotes Russian geologists and oceanographers who say that there were substantial areas of dry land around the mid-Atlantic ridge as recently as the Neolithic or Early Bronze Age. Sweeney argues that this period of massive volcanic activity sunk these islands. Neolithic villages as well as forests are regularly found by divers around the coats of Europe, in fact.
I came to this topic as more of a sceptic, leaning towards the view that Atlantis probably never existed at all. But the author's arguments are so forceful that it would seem that if Atlantis never existed we would need an alternative link between the Old World and New to make sense of ancient history.