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Hans
2006-Oct-29, 04:58 AM
Hello again BA, a V believer has thrown the following astronomy notes at me as proof that the ancients didn't know about Venus until it popped out of Jupiter. The sources are obscure and I cannot find them where I'm located

Quote from V believer:

In an ancient Hindu table of planets, attributed to the year -3102, Venus alone among the visible planets is ABSENT.(1) The Brahmans of the early period did NOT know the five-planet system,(2) and ONLY in a LATER ("middle") period did the Brahmans speak of five planets.

Babylonian astronomy, too, had a four-planet system. In ancient prayers the planets Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and Mercury are invoked; the planet Venus is MISSING; and one speaks of "the FOUR-planet system of the ancient astronomers of Babylonia."(3) These four-planet systems and the INABILITY of the ancient Hindus and Babylonians to SEE Venus in the sky, even though it is MORE CONSPICUOUS than the other planets, are puzzling UNLESS Venus was NOT among among the planets.

(1) J.B.J. Delambre, "Histoire de l'astronomie" (1817), I, 407: "Venus alone is not found there."
(2) "It is often denied that the Veda-Hindus knew of the existence of the five planets." "The striking fact that the Brahmans ... never mention five planets." G. Thibaus, "Astronomie, Astrologie and Mathematic" in Grundriss der indoarischen Philol. und Altertumskunde, III (1899)
(3) E.F. Weidner, "Handbuch der Babylonischen Astronomie (1915) p. 61, writes of a star list found in Boghaz Keui in Asia Minor: "That the planet Venus is missing will not startle anybody who knows the eminent importance of the four-planet system in the Babylonian astronomy."

Thanks in advance for your help

astromark
2006-Oct-29, 08:16 AM
Ridiculous nonsense; Many early civilizations had noted the brightest object in the early evening was at different times also in the morning sky. Venus was seen and recorded as such. Where do you get this stupid idea that it was not.
I have made a study of Aboriginal paintings in the caves and high lands of northern Australia. Some of this art work has been dated as older than 3000 yrs. They clearly show the progression of Venus and the Moon from morning to evening objects, while other bright stars do not seem to move.The seasonal progression had been noted as an important part of knowledge to survival.
In South America there are tribal ancients that drew stars in their sky. It would be to easy to speculate as to what they were drawing. Comets, Shooting stars, these objects that we understand were a mystery to these people. Just because some budding jerno., has decided to go into print does not make it fact. It would be my understanding that this theory of Venus being ejected from Jupiter has as much to do with scientific fact as some thing male cattle beasts drop in the paddock.

Serenitude
2006-Oct-29, 08:43 AM
Utter poppycock.

First, your friend is confusing science and religion.

I don't know enough about Hinduism to comment on it, but I am rather familiar with Sumeria.

First off, there were no set standard "prayers". Every city had it's own god or goddess. Also, most gods and goddesses were assigned heavenly objects, just like Greek and Roman mythology. But the prayers were different depending on who and where one was. It's like saying "The Egyptian Book of the Dead" - it was different for everyone. Your friend may have seen a prayer that referenced 4 planets/dieties, but that is not definitive proof that Sumerian (Akkadian/Mesopotamian/etc...) science or religion didn't recognize the others, it's only evidence that whoever wrote that prayer only prayed to those 4 dieties that day.

Also, Sumeria, from it's very beginnings, DID recognize Venus. Not only that, but Venus was regarded with very honorable and special status as the planet assigned to Inana, who was the goddess of Uruk. She was a very close freind of An, from whom we get one half of the word Anunaki (heaven and earth).

Your friend is also, at best, "cherry picking" what Sumerian religious and scientific assertations are relevant today. In order for your friend to argue that the Sumerians had knowledge superior to that which we posess today in our Hubble-enabled era, he MUST also, as must Sitchen, accept the fact that the Sumerian astronomers believed the universe to be a flat circle with a metal roof. He must also be prepared to present evidence of this fact, along with his "Sumerians support Venus ejection" argument. If he has any questions, please point him here - I'd be more than happy to correct him ;-)

I hope this helps you to refute your absurd poster :D

Dr Nigel
2006-Oct-29, 10:57 AM
One other thing, Hans. The burden of proof is squarely on your Velikovsky proponent, not on you. The next time he comes out with some ludicrous claims, ask him to supply the references. Then see if the original sources actually do support the proposed position. Remember that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence (and one or two ancient references constitute anecdotal evidence at best, unless you know the detailed context from which they come).

antoniseb
2006-Oct-29, 12:47 PM
In order for your friend to argue that the Sumerians had knowledge superior to that which we posess today in our Hubble-enabled era...

Most of your argument is sound. I especially liked the specific mention of Inana and Ur as evidence against the pro-V statement. However, the pro-V friend was clearly not saying that the Sumarians had 'superior' knowledge to ours, merely that with his cherry-picked data there was evidence that at some early time, they didn't see Venus. There is no need for the pro-V friend to also accept the rest of Sumarian cosmology as fact.

Serenitude
2006-Oct-29, 12:53 PM
Good point. I tend to get caught up with Sitchen whenever I discuss this. You are, of course, correct :)

Hans
2006-Oct-29, 03:27 PM
Many thanks, as always!

Tim Thompson
2006-Oct-29, 09:28 PM
Babylonian astronomy, too, had a four-planet system. ...

This makes no sense at all. The Babylonian Ammisaduqa Tablets (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_tablet_of_Ammisaduqa) are amongst the oldst written records of any civilization. The tablets record the zodiacal rise & set of Venus, and are sufficient to show that the orbit of Venus cicra 1000 - 2000 BCE was not significantly different than it is now.

Address of Abraham Sachs at Brown University. 3/15/65 (http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/vsachs.html)

Ken G
2006-Oct-30, 01:43 AM
And as a final point, I would add that even if there was good evidence that Venus appeared in the sky near 3000 BC (which would be spectacularly hard to believe by any informed person), it would still fall a long way short of sufficient support of the idea that it came from Jupiter. This is a classic device used by pseudoscientists-- if they can just get you to swallow one single hard-to-believe idea, then for some reason the logic is that all the rest of their claims must be right.

Gillianren
2006-Oct-30, 01:54 AM
Also, Sumeria, from it's very beginnings, DID recognize Venus. Not only that, but Venus was regarded with very honorable and special status as the planet assigned to Inana, who was the goddess of Uruk. She was a very close freind of An, from whom we get one half of the word Anunaki (heaven and earth).

That's exactly what I was going to point out. For further information on Inana, see also Don't Know Much About Mythology, by Kenneth C. Davis.