Welcome to my website, martiangrandpa.com.
There are 3 reasons for the name:
- Now you have heard the name you will remember it for the rest of your life.
- It’s a terrific name for a rock group.
- The third reason is the most significant and will be revealed in Chapter #13.
My name is Mike Wetherley, and I am a retired professional geologist with an extensive interest in science. Like most modern scientists I was trained as a specialist, but I have become a generalist by choice. Some may suppose that a generalist is just not smart enough to be a specialist, but countless changes in science have been brought about by people outside of a particular field.
Some branches of science seem almost designed to resist change, and astronomy is a good example. There are only a few large telescopes and there is intense competition to obtain time on them. There are also only a few relevant journals to carry scientific papers, so under the ‘publish or perish’ protocol of modern science the career of anyone perceived not to be a ‘team player’ can be tenuous.
Those who exert the most influence over astronomy are the very ones with the most to lose if their published conjectures should be overturned. It is my view that astronomy, and cosmology, are ripe for a revolution. This will be brought about by someone from outside the field, one who isn’t seeking time on a large telescope, and who couldn’t care less whether they are regarded favorably by the editors of some journal.
Charles Lyell promoted the concept of ‘uniformitarianism’ (increasingly written as ‘uniformism’ by modern writers) in his book ‘Principles of Geology’; Volume 1 was published in 1830. In Lyell’s time, catastrophism was advanced by religious fundamentalists who supported the Flood Story in the Book of Genesis. Uniformism was Lyell’s answer to them, but it is interesting that it was catastrophists who based their position on actual fieldwork, while uniformists did not.
Many of my interpretations are original, and where I borrowed from others I have given credit wherever I could. Of the individuals who have influenced me, I afford the greatest tribute to Allan O. Kelly (1901-2001), an outstanding amateur geologist from Carlsbad, California who wrote several books on ‘Impact Geology’, and to the incomparable Immanuel Velikovsky (1895-1979), a widely-published Russian-Jewish scholar of ancient history.
Even mention of Velikovsky’s name continues to raise hackles in some scientific quarters. In particular, he attracted the wrath of astronomers with his claim that the planet Venus came out of Jupiter as a comet, before changing into a planet, and I have to side with the astronomers on this one. Some of Velikovsky’s historical references, however, have proven invaluable to me. Perhaps his greatest potential contribution to science was to remind us all of the wealth of information contained in ancient accounts, but which many modern scientists dismiss out of hand.
Catastrophism must be revisited. I will be posting a chapter on science each week over the next half year that could change the way in which you will view our Planet, our Solar System, and the Universe. A lesson from this will be: Uniformism is what takes place between catastrophes.
Readers are encouraged to employ written material from this site for educational or any other non-commercial purposes. Attribution is always appreciated, and I encourage you to tell your friends about Martian Grandpa. I hope you will derive enjoyment and learn from it, as I believe science belongs to all of us. Most of the topics discussed will be from geology, astronomy, and cosmology. Even if those topics haven’t interested you much in the past I invite you to check in each week as you could become an enthusiastic regular.
My site draws upon more than half a century of personal experience and analysis. Abundant additional information exists for future discussion should there be sufficient interest.
Mike Wetherley, P.Geol.