Trevor Palmer (1944- ) is an English Professor of Biology now living in Scotland. Apart from his day job of enzymology and the study of genetic disorders, which led to an interest in evolution, which in turn brought him to research catastrophism, he has written several books on these subjects, including Perilous Planet Earth, which places today’s “concern about the threat to Earth from asteroids and comets within a historical context.” He devotes two chapters of this comprehensive work to the subject of Atlantis, in which he reviews (chap.13) some of the late 19th and early 20th century theories as well as more recent developments (chap.28) exposing many of the weaknesses in the arguments on offer.
While Palmer does not express any personal views on the subject, it is noteworthy that he wrote an introduction to the 2005 Barnes & Noble edition of Lewis Spence’s The History of Atlantis. After a brief look at Spence’s life, Palmer gives an overview of the principal strands of Atlantology today and concluded that many of the issues debated 80 years ago are still unresolved and for that reason, Spence’s book continues to be worth studying.
Palmer wrote a short paper(a) in 1987 in which he was cautiously sceptical of the Atlantis story, particularly the possibility that it was destroyed during the Late Pleistocene era, with which I concur. He also touched on the subject of the Carolina Bays, apparently adding support to the now-discredited idea that they were created by wind action. I expect that he may have modified his views by now. However, the US Geological Survey is now (2021) identifying the bays as ‘relict thermokarst lakes’.(h)
Palmer presented a paper entitled Catastrophes: The Diluvial Evidence at the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies (SIS) Silver Jubilee Conference in September 1999.(i) He also addressed the SIS in 2004 on the background to his book published the previous year(d).
Palmer published two similar papers in 2010(b) and 2012(e) on the history of catastrophism and the ensuing debates from the time of Velikovsky until the present, when catastrophism has greater acceptance and which now offers a variety of competing ideas regarding the number, source, date and consequences of specific catastrophes.
In the second paper delivered to the Quantavolution Conference on Naxos, he offers the interesting observation that “In science, unlike religion, the great revelations lie in the future; the coming generations are the authorities, and the pupil is greater than the master if he has the gift to see things anew.”
Palmer has also written a 2018 review(c) of Perilous Planet Earth in light of developments since it was first published.
>In 2009, Palmer published an interesting paper on the Black Sea and its dramatic connection with the Mediterranean (9,400 years ago) and how it may have influenced the creation of flood myths in the region(l). “The various groups currently investigating the area are agreed that cataclysmic flooding took place during the Late Pleistocene, but remain divided about whether similar floods also occurred during the Holocene. Eye-witness accounts of catastrophic floods in the Black Sea basin at either time could have been passed on to future generations, eventually giving rise to the later Mesopotamian legend of Uta-napishtim and, subsequently, the Biblical story of Noah. However, in the absence of any direct evidence of cultural transmission, that can presently only be regarded as plausible speculation.”<
Palmer and Gunnar Heinsohn have been debating Heinsohn’s claim that our chronology of the 1st millennium AD is deeply flawed, on the Q-Mag website(a). Palmer has also written a lengthy paper supporting his views(a).
In addition, Palmer has also examined the ancient Greek and Roman historians “to test whether they present a picture of the past consistent with that revealed by archaeology, particularly inscriptions indicating sequences and timescales, and also to see the extent to which they support, or otherwise, the orthodox chronology and a number of representative alternative chronologies.” He concluded that there was ‘general accuracy’(j). He subsequently expanded on this paper to include a review of the chronology of the 1st millennium AD(k).
(a) See Archive 3026
The Society for Interdisciplinary Studies (SIS) was founded in 1974 to promote discussion and further study of the ideas of Immanuel Velikovsky. He was one of the first to publicise the fact that the ancient chronology of Egypt was, and according to some, still is badly wrong. SIS is “the oldest and most up-to-date Society for information and research into cosmic catastrophes and ancient chronology revision.”
For its Jubilee Conference in 1999, P. John Crowe delivered a lengthy paper(e) on the various attempts to revise ancient chronology, before and after Velikovsky.
Trevor Palmer who was Chairman of the SIS from 1995-1998 and 2000-2002 has written Perilous Planet Earth, which is a comprehensive history of catastrophism and includes a couple of chapters on Atlantis.
In 1997, the SIS organised a conference entitled Natural Catastrophes During Bronze Age Civilisations: Archaeological, geological, astronomical and cultural perspectives. The background to the conference is worth a read.(c)
A search on their website(a) reveals a number of articles and reviews relating to Atlantis – not all positive. Their Catastrophism CD(b), although expensive, is an absolute must for any serious student of the subject.
S.I.S. has also compiled a valuable collection of web resources on its website(d).
Ancient Chronology is a subject fraught with difficulties(a) as well as the focus of intense academic debate, particularly over the past half-century.
Archbishop Ussher (1581-1656) calculated the date of creation to have been October 23rd 4004 BC(d). Incredible as it may seem, even today (2019), there are still people prepared to give further consideration to his ideas (c)(e).
Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) became the first ‘modern’ revisionist of accepted ancient chronology. His work was heavily criticised and few serious advances were made until the development of Egyptology following Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt at the end of the 18th century.
Difficulties with details of Egyptian dating slowly accumulated, particularly when endeavouring to align it with Greek, Minoan and other eastern chronologies. The scholarly debates became very public in the middle of the 20th century with the eventual publication of Ages in Chaos by Immanuel Velikovsky and the attempts made to suppress it altogether. The refining of Velikovsky’s theories followed, with important contributions by S. Talbott, Edward Schorr and John Bimson. Some, such as Emmet Sweeney, have accused Velikovsky of being over-dependent on his belief in the inerrancy of biblical chronology.
The Society for Interdisciplinary Studies (SIS)(b) was founded in 1974 and produces regular publications. This was followed a few years later by three important books by David Rohl and Centuries of Darkness  by Peter James, who also wrote The Sunken Kingdom in which he places Atlantis in Turkey. Rohl & James were in agreement on many details, but fell out over the identity of Shishak (was he Ramesses II or III?). However, prior to that, in the early 1980s, they had published a joint paper which gave the world a first look at their New Chronology. Rohl republished it in 2012(v).
On the occasion of the SIS Jubilee Conference in 1999 a paper by P. John Crowe was presented, which gave a valuable insight into historical revisionism before and after Velikovsky(a).
Gunnar Heinsohn (1943- ) is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Bremen but is also an ardent chronology revisionist, concerned not just with the dating problems of the ancient world(l) but also with difficulties to be seen in the first millennium of the Common Era(m).
One of the most controversial aspects of Plato’s Atlantis story is the old Egyptian priest’s claim that Atlantis was destroyed 9,000 years before Solon’s visit. He also related that Athens, who fought the Atlanteans, was established one thousand years before the Egyptian state or as is more likely, before the foundation of the city of Sais. Apart from anachronisms in Plato’s narrative, the archaeological evidence completely contradicts the dates seemingly offered by the priests of Sais. It is interesting that most of the chronology revisionist debate centres on the second millennium BC which is arguably the most rational timeframe for the destruction of Atlantis based on the Bronze Age references in Timaeus and Critias, provided they are not just anachronistic embellishments.
I should also mention that while the debates regarding the Bronze Age chronologies rage on, further controversy has arisen regarding claims of duplicated centuries in the first millennium of our era. Leading the charge here are Anatoly Fomenko(k) , Heribert Illig(h)(i)(j) and Gunnar Heinsohn(g). A keen supporter of Fomenko’s work is Garry Kasparov the former World Chess Champion(p). A more critical view of Fomenko’s work is on offer from Stephen Sorensen(s).
Nathaniel Lloyd had written an extensive three-part paper on the history of chronological revisionism(t). This should be read in conjunction with a paper entitled The Glorious Stupidity of Fomenko’s New Chronology(u).
Up to this point, I have outlined some of the problems and theories concerning the accurate alignment of specific events with particular years. A clash of archaeology and accepted history, secular and religious. has generated libraries of debate. However, our problems do not end with the counting of years, but contention has also arisen over the length of the day before the seventh century BC. Evidence is available to show that there was a 360-day year in use around the world in those ancient times.
Some religious sites have proposed that before the Deluge we had a 365-day year, then it changed to 360 days and then reverted to the current 365.2422 days(q). By way of complete contrast Danny Faulkner, a creationist astronomer rejects the idea that the world was created with a 360-day year, although it is a view held by many creationists(r).
William Whiston was one of the first ‘modern’ commentators to conclude that in very ancient times a 360-day year was used(n). More recently, Immanuel Velikovsky devoted a chapter of Worlds in Collision to The Year of 360 Days(o). The Brit-Am movement endorsed Velikovsky’s views in this regard, as does William F. Drankenbring.
(f) See (a)
(o) I. Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision, Part 2, Chapter Viii, p.316