Bode’s Law or more correctly Titius-Bode’s Law is named after two German astronomers, Johann Daniel Titius and
Johann Elert Bode, who proposed in the 18th century that there was a mathematical relationship between the then six known planets and their distance from the sun, with each one roughly twice the distance as the previous planet. Although the idea was conceived by Titius, it was Bode who gave it greater prominence, when he used it to predict the existence of Uranus and later Ceres in the Asteroid Belt. At that point it was accepted as a ‘law’.
The subject has been debated throughout the 20th century. I.J. Good, a British mathematician who worked with Alan Turing during the war at Bletchley Park, offered a paper in support of Titius-Bode in 1968(b). Bradley Efron, an American statistician, proposed an opposing view(c). Both papers are best suited to the mathematically advanced.
The late Timo Niroma has offered some interesting observations(j) on the mechanics behind Titius-Bode and developed a cosmology based upon atomic weights, noting that “What happens in small scale seems to obey the same laws on a much grander scale.”
Georgi Gladyshev, a Russian scientist, has proposed a explanation for Titius-Bode based on the work of Raphael Liesegang(g) who proposed the concept of ‘periodic precipitation’. Gladyshev applied Liesegang’s theory to the early stages of the formation of our Solar System(h)(i). Hopefully, this may bring us closer to the physics behind the distribution of the planets!
It has also been proposed that a Titius-Bode-Type ‘rule’ seems to be applicable to planetary satellite systems(d) and there appears to be evidence(a) that Titius-Bode is also applicable to exoplanetary systems!
The Titius-Bode Law has also been linked with the Fibonacci Series(e) as well as the Golden Mean(f).
Velikovskian catastrophism proposes[0037.152] that Atlantis was destroyed as a result of the periodic close encounters of our planet with Venus and/or Mars during the 2nd millennium BC.
For my own part, I have always felt that Bode’s Law was a highly convincing concept, but unfortunately I do not have the mathematical or astronomical ability required to objectively verify its reality, nor the proposed Fibonnaci Sequence and the Golden Mean relationship with it. It would appear that acceptance of Bode would create difficulties not just for the Saturn Theory but also for Velikovsky’s idea that Venus was just a large piece of ejecta from Jupiter that had catastrophic close encounters with Earth and Mars, within human experience, just a few thousand years ago. Such an idea would mean that prior to the Saturnian rearrangement of the planets or the Velikovskian creation of Venus, the positional relationship of the planets probably did not conform to any known mathematical model but after this/these calamitous events everything ‘coincidentally’ settled into orbits that are now claimed to conform to Bode, Fibonacci and the Golden Mean! Can we believe that after careening around the solar system including a number of close encounters with Earth that all the planets adopted new orbits that conformed with Bode’s Law. Surely, this is a coincidence too far?
*Although the ‘Law’ has been generally abandoned by mainstream scientists, there is still interest in some quarters. One of those was the British astronomer, the late Michael Ovenden (1926-1987) who produced a modified version of the original formula (k). Another version involvesan interpretation of quantum mechanics, called pilot wave theory (l).*
The Saturn Theory(b) suggests a radical revision of our understanding of the recent history of our solar system. It involves the re-positioning of Saturn, Venus, Earth and Mars and that this complex celestial drama was recorded in the mythologies of the ancient world. There are a number of competing models the theory, one has Earth as a satellite of Saturn, while another has our planet at least closer to Saturn. The late Amy Acheson (1946-2005) suggested that a vindicated Saturn Theory will demonstrate that “Atlantis was not an earthly location” but was a celestial “variation of the mythical home of the gods” (a).
Although I am a supporter of catastrophism I find it hard to accept any of the Saturn Theory’s variants. I am also a convinced euhemerist and believe that myths often contain cores of historical reality. Unfortunately myths can be notoriously ambiguous and consequently where they record remarkable sights in the sky what is interpreted as a close encounter by one person can with equal conviction be seen as an approaching comet by another.
For me the clincher is that the previous arrangement of the solar system, posited by the Saturn Theory, would conflict with the relative harmony of Bode’s Law, even if we do not understand its underlying principles. A 1974 paper(c) by Oreste and Margaret Lombardi compared Bode’s Law with the Fibonnaci Sequence and the Golden Mean when applied to our solar system. The authors concluded “that there is some underlying law involving gravitation and the golden mean that determines both aphelion and apogee distances.” With respect to some underlying gravitational principle, R. Louise, the French astronomer, remarked(d): “that satellite systems mimic the planetary system suggests some possible unsuspected property of gravitation.”
For my own part, I have always felt that Bode’s Law was a highly convincing concept, but, unfortunately, I do not have the mathematical or astronomical ability required to objectively verify its reality, nor the proposed Fibonnaci Sequence and the Golden Mean relationship with it. It would appear that acceptance of Bode would create difficulties not just for the Saturn Theory but also for Velikovsky’s idea that Venus was just a large piece of ejecta from Jupiter that had catastrophic close encounters with Earth and Mars, within human experience, just a few thousand years ago. Such an idea would mean that prior to the Saturnian rearrangement of the planets or the Velikovskian creation of Venus, the positional relationship of the planets probably did not conform to any known mathematical model but after this/these calamitous events everything ‘coincidentally’ settled into orbits that are now claimed to conform to Bode, Fibonacci and the Golden Mean! All this is a coincidence too far.
Karl Georg Zschaetzsch (1870- ?) was a German who, in 1920, placed Atlantis in the Atlantic and identified its people with the Aryans. He considered the Atlanteans to have had blonde hair and blue eyes, which sounds sadly familiar. His views were adopted by the Nazi Ahnenerbe. Zschaetzsch also supported the idea of a cometary impact being involved in the destruction of Atlantis.
Zschaetzsch suggested that Atlantis was situated in the Azores and published a map illustrating this.
For those who can read German and are interested in the madness of that period, Zschaetzsch’s book Atlantis – die Urheimat der Arier (Atlantis: The Original Home of the Aryans) can be downloaded from the Internet(a) for €5. As a bonus, Zschaetzsch eventually reveals that he is descended from Jupiter and that his unpronounceable name is really just a corruption of Zeus!
Jean Silvain Bailly (1736-1793) was born in Paris and became a renowned astronomer, in which capacity he computed an orbit for Halley’s Comet and studied the four satellites of Jupiter that were then known to science.
He was a friend of the famous mathematician Laplace and also of Voltaire to whom he wrote his Letters on Atlantis published in 1778. In 2011, the British Library published a facsimile copy of the two volumes of the ‘Letters’ of the 1801 English translation by James Jacque of which letter #23 relates to Atlantis. A modern English translation of letter #23 by Pierre Beaudry is available online(b).
In it, Bailly proposed that the region around Spitzbergen in the Arctic Sea was the location of Atlantis; an idea allegedly supported by Voltaire. Bailly also identified Iceland as Ogygia! Bailly’s view was based on a study of Nordic and Middle Eastern mythologies and his conclusions were similar to the theory of his contemporary Buffon who had suggested that the Earth had originally an interior fire that gradually cooled. While this fire burned the northern latitudes were much warmer providing an ideal environment in which Atlantis could flourish. When the fire cooled the Atlanteans moved south. Bailly suggested that this migration brought them to Mongolia*and from there to the Caucasus and finally to Phoenicia.*
Jean Baptiste Delambre was subsequently to attack the pseudo-scientific theories of Bailly, but while doing so, inadvertently misinterpreted some of Isaac Causabon’s commentary on Strabo, inferring that Aristotle rejected the existence of Plato’s Atlantis. This error was adopted by later writers and gained such widespread uncritical acceptance that this view of Aristotle became ‘received wisdom’. Thorwald C. Franke has now endeavoured to redress that situation with his 2012 book Aristotle and Atlantis.
Bailly got caught up in the turmoil of the French Revolution and eventual died after a kiss on the neck from Madame Guillotine. His ideas regarding Atlantis were ignored until Helena Blavatsky integrated some of his concepts into her theosophical musings. This amalgam of Bailly’s and Blavatsky’s beliefs were incorporated into the thinking of the German Thule Society who supported Adolf Hitler(a).
Around Blavatsky’s time in 1885 Dr W. F. Warren published a book, Paradise Found that also proposed that the beginnings of the human race started at the North Pole and had been inundated at the time of the Deluge.