Annotated Bibliography for Catastrophism: Comets, Clube and Napier


Asher, D. J., S. V. M. Clube, W. M. Napier, and D. I. Steel. "Coherent Catastrophism."
In Vistas in Astronomy, vol. 38 (1994), pp. 1-27.


Bailey, M. E., S. V. M. Clube, and W. M. Napier. The Origin of Comets.
Pergamon Press, 1990.


Clube, S. V. M. "Hazards from Space: Comets in History and Science."In The Mass-Extinction Debates: How Science Works in a Crisis,William Glen, editor.
Stanford, 1994.


Clube, Victor and Bill Napier. The Cosmic Serpent.
Universe Books, New York, 1982.

Clube and Napier suggest that Jupiter and Saturn occasionally divert giant comets (>50 km in diameter -- Chiron is an example) into the inner solar system into short-period orbits. Debris from the resultant disintegration of these giant comets can adversely affect the environment of the Earth. Dusting can block sunlight, resulting in globally cooler conditions. Impact events in the Super-Tunguska class may result in not only heavy localized destruction but also the occasional "impact winter" or dust veil with global climatological effects. Clube and Napier identify the progenitor of the Taurid complex as such a giant comet whose injection into a short-period (about 3.3 year) orbit occurred sometime in the last twenty thousand years. The effects of the disintegration of this object in an Earth-crossing orbit should appear in the geological and climatological record as well as in protohistorical and historical records.

Clube and Napier, following in the footsteps of earlier catastrophists, also seek evidence of catastrophic events in ancient mythology. Their contention is that the great Taurid progenitor was the basis for much of the mythology associated with "sky gods" and themes of generational conflict along gods. Clube and Napier note that many of the themes Velikovsky ascribed to "comet Venus" rightfully belong to the Taurid progenitor, and at least some of those ascribed to Mars by Velikovsky rightfully belong to Halley's Comet.

See Cosmic Winter by the same authors for an expanded treatment of the influence of the Taurid complex on earth history.


Clube, Victor and Bill Napier. Cosmic Winter.
Universe Books, New York, 1990.

Clube and Napier expand on their earlier book The Cosmic Serpent. They discuss the role of dusting and impact events in creating cosmic "nuclear winters." They also improve their discussion of how the mythological evidence derives from the disintegration of the Taurid progenitor. Clube and Napier also note the potential importance of Taurid events in climatological events in the fifth and sixth centuries A.D., the Middle Ages, and even later periods, down to the present.


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Last modified by pib on March 20, 1999.