by Immanuel Velikovsky
“Books written about the solar system
before the advent of the space age could as well have been written
in Latin or Greek, so dated do they appear to a contemporary
Zdenek Kopal -
The Solar System (Oxford University Press, 1973)
In my published books, notwithstanding often repeated allegations,
no physical law is ever abrogated or “temporarily suspended”; what I
offered in them is primarily a reconstruction of events from the
historical past. Thus I did not set out to confront the existing
views with a theory or hypothesis and to develop it into a competing
My work is first a reconstruction, not a theory; it is built
upon studying the human testimony as preserved in the heritage of
all ancient civilizations - all of them in texts bequeathed beginning
with the time man learned to write, tell in various forms the very
same narrative that the trained eye of a psychoanalyst could not but
recognize as so many variants of the same theme. In hymns, in
prayers, in historical texts, in philosophical discourses, in
records of astronomical observations, but also in legend and
religious myth, the ancients desperately tried to convey to their
descendants, ourselves included, the record of events that took
place in circumstances that left a strong imprint on the witnesses.
There were physical upheavals on a global scale in historical times;
the grandiosity of the events inspired awe.
From the Far East to the
Far West - the Japanese, Chinese and Hindu civilizations; the Iranian,
Sumerian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Hitto-Chaldean, Israelite and
Egyptian records; the Etruscan, Attic and Roman theogonies and
philosophies; Scandinavian and Icelandic epics; Mayan, Toltec and
Olmec art and legends - all, with no exception, were dominated by the
knowledge of events and circumstances that only the most brazen
attitude of science could so completely disregard.
The scientific community starts its annals with Newton, paying some
homage to Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo, unaware that the great
ones of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries searched through
classical authors of antiquity for their great discoveries.
Copernicus strike out the name of Aristarchus of Samos from the
introduction to De Revolutionibus before he signed imprimatur on his
Did not Tycho Brahe find the compromising theory of the Sun
revolving around the Earth - but Mercury and Venus circling around the
Sun - in Heracleides of Pontus, yet announce it as his own?
Galileo read of the equal velocity of heavy and light falling bodies
in Lucretius 1?
Did not Newton read in Plutarch of the Moon removed
from the Earth by fifty-six terrestrial radii and impelled by
gravitation to circle around the Earth,2 the basic postulate of
Did not Halley read in Pliny about
comets returning on their orbits?
Then why does modern science disregard
the persistent reports of events witnessed and recorded in many
languages in the writings of the ancients and also transmitted from
generation to generation by communities unable to write, by American
Indians, by the people of Lapland, the Voguls of Siberia, the
aborigines of tropical Africa, the Tahitians in the South Pacific?
Why is theomachy the central theme of all cosmogonical myths?
Should not a thinking man pause and
wonder why the ancients in both hemispheres worshipped planetary
Why temples were erected to
them, and some are still standing?
Why sacrifices, even human
sacrifices, were brought to them?
Why was Saturn or Cronos or Brahma
the supreme deity to be replaced by Jupiter of the Romans, Zeus of
the Greeks, Ormuzd of the Iranians, Marduk of the Babylonians, Shiva
of the Hindus, Ammon of the Egyptians?
Why did the planet Venus - Ishtar,
Athene, Kukulcan of the Mayas or Quetzalcohuatl of the Toltecs - become
the feared deity, as I saw it omnipresent in Yucatan, where I
savored a few days this February, writing this paper?
Why is this
Morning Star shown in sculpture as a feathered serpent on the
grandiose monuments of Uxmal and Chichen Itza, where temples were
built, one upon the other, if not to commemorate the ages, the last
of which was dominated by Huitzilopochtli, Ares of the Greeks, who
protected the people of Troy, while Athene clashed with him
protecting the Achaean host?
Why was Mars of the Romans chosen as the protector of Rome, the
greatest empire after the Empire of Heaven (Livy), while Athene gave
her name to the capital of Attica, as Tanis to Tunisia?
human sacrifices brought in this country by the Pawnee Indians only
a few scores of years ago, every fifty-two years connected with the
Why did the Ancient Assyrians mark on tens of
thousands of clay tablets, free from any mythological theme,
astronomical observations, but all data from before -687 are in
contradiction to known values such as the duration of the daily
rotation of the Earth, the time of the vernal equinox - that by the
way was repeatedly transferred, as was also the beginning of the
year - the ratio of the longest and shortest days of the year, the
length of the month and of the year and the motion of the planets?
The legends and myths clearly point to an astral origin of all
The problem that occupied the minds of the Classicists,
Meso-american scholars. Orientalists, and students of social
anthropology and mythology, was not solved in any one of these
disciplines separately. Like the early memory of a single man, so
the early memory of the human race belongs into the domain of the
student of psychology. Only a philosophically and historically, but
also analytically trained mind can see in the mythological subjects
their true content - a mind that learned in long years of exercise to
understand the dreams and phantasies of his fellow man.
Thus I entered a field that should be at the basis of the natural
sciences, not only of the human soul and of racial memories, and
soon I observed that the divisions in science are but artificial. I
had to cross barriers. How could I do otherwise?
realization that we are unaware of the most fateful events in human
history, I had before me the task of explaining this well-known
phenomenon of repression, the realization of which could also become
crucial to the survival of the victim of amnesia playing with
thermonuclear weapons. But before that I had the task of confronting
the humanistic heritage with the message of stones and bones - do
geology and paleontology carry the same testimony? I went again from
shelf to shelf, once more around the Earth, and the record from the
bottom of the sea and from the top of the mountains, from the
deserts, jungles, tundras, lakes, rivers and waterfalls, told the
same story - documented in every latitude and in every longitude.
evidence is presented in Earth in Upheaval, which I kept free from
any bit of testimony that can be classified as human heritage. The
scenes of devastation, mass extinction of many species in
circumstances that are by far in excess of what can be considered as
local catastrophe, the simultaneous change of climate all over the
globe thirty-four and twenty-seven centuries ago, the drop of the
level of the ocean and many other phenomena observed, could not be
accounted for but by paroxysms in which the entire Earth was
A psychological situation provoked the change in the attitude of the
scholarly world with the beginning of the Victorian age.
The founders of the sciences of
geology - Buckland, Sedgwick, and
Murchinson (who gave the classification of formations used
today); of vertebrate paleontology - Cuvier; and of
ichthyology - Louis Agassiz - never
doubted that what they observed was the result of repeated
cataclysms in which the entire globe partook.
Darwin, observing the destruction of fauna in South America, was
convinced that nothing less than the shaking of the entire frame of
the Earth could account for what he saw. But the introduction of the
principle of uniformitarianism by Charles Lyell, a lawyer who never
had field experience, and the acceptance of it on faith by
Darwin, are a psychological phenomenon that I observed again and
Exactly those who, like Darwin, witnessed the omnipresent
shambles of an overwhelming fury of devastation on a continental
scale, became the staunchest defenders of the principle of uniformitarianism, that became not just a law, but a principle that
grew to a statute of faith in the natural sciences, as if the
reasoning that what we do not observe in our time could not have
happened in the past can in any measure claim to be philosophically
or scientifically true.
Obviously, a motive is at play that makes appear as scientific
principle what is but wishful thinking. For over a century after
Copernicus man did not wish to believe that he lives on an Earth
that travels, and
Francis Bacon and William Shakespeare were not
persuaded by that firebrand,
Giordano Bruno, of the truth of the Copernican doctrine.
Even much less man wishes to face the fact that
he travels on a rock in space on a path that proved to be
accident-prone. The victory of Darwin’s evolution by natural
selection over a six-day creation less than six thousand years ago
made it appear that evolution, the only instrument of which is
competition, is the ultimate truth.
But by competition for survival
or for means of existence, never could such different forms as man
and an insect with many legs evolve from the same unicellular form,
not even in the six billion years that replaced the biblical six
thousand. Mutations were necessary, and today we know that by cosmic
and x-rays, by thermal and chemical means - conditions brought about
in the catastrophes of the past - massive mutations can be achieved.
The pre-1950 astronomy followed the same pseudo-scientific statute
of faith, elevated to a fundamental principle, and made believe that
the Earth and other planets travel the same paths for the same six
billion years, always repeating the same serene circling. Against
this violation of the principle of empiricism in science stood my
In it I rejected the postulate that the ancients, the Greek
philosophers Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Democritus and
(O. Neugebauer in The Exact Sciences in Antiquity wonders why
is considered anywhere a philosopher of any rank4) were childish in
their claims of repeated world conflagrations, and that the ancients
were almost imbeciles in their beliefs.
The ancients, the canard
goes, believed in the Earth placed on the back of a tortoise. Thus
it is preferred to start science three hundred years ago, and my
work was pronounced (by those who did not read it) as an act of
destruction of the entire edifice of science erected by the giants
of science since Copernicus.
I offered a series of claims that naturally followed from the
reconstruction. In science they are usually called predictions, but
I prefer to term them advance claims. Thus I claimed that
to its recent birth and dramatic though short history, must be very
hot under the clouds, nearly incandescent, and gives off heat - it has
not reached thermal balance
That it must have every massive
atmosphere; that the atmosphere consisted largely of hydrocarbons
but that if oxygen is present petroleum fires must be burning - thus
explaining also the present massive carbon dioxide content of the
That sulfur and iron (ferruginous pigment) must be
That if the same catalytic process that took place
on the Earth when it was enveloped by clouds of Venus’ origin takes
place in Venus’ own clouds, they must consist mainly of organic
material infused with sulfur and iron molecules
considered that Venus was disturbed in its rotation
Venus was found over 750°K. hot - many metals are incandescent at this
temperature - while the consensus of opinion among astronomers was
17°C., 3° above the mean annual temperature on Earth.
found rotating slowly and retrogradely.
The atmosphere was found
very massive, 95 terrestrial pressures near the ground surface, and
not reckoning with this possibility, the first Venera probes were
crushed. The content of the clouds is still unsolved, but in a paper
in the Winter, 1973-74 issue of Pensée, a journal dedicated to the
reconsideration of my views, I elucidated that the spectral features
in the ultraviolet, near infrared, infrared and deep infrared can be
accounted for by organic matter, and so can the volatility and the
index of refraction.
Nitrogen gas, expected by all specialists to
comprise as much as 90% of the atmosphere, was not found.
of the very rich content of carbon dioxide below the clouds is
solved if the combustion of hydrocarbons took and still takes place.
I expect that the Venus Mariner X probe of this month will bring us
nearer to properly evaluating the content of Venus’ clouds.
preliminary report already says that,
“the manner in which that
born and matured differed basically from that of Earth.”
An editorial in the New York Times, commenting on the bands and
streaks first discovered by Mariner X, spoke of an “uncanny
similarity” to the bands “in the atmosphere of Jupiter.” It added
that “it is a problem that poses a formidable challenge to
There are problems requiring study that were not discussed in
in Collision because the origin of Venus belongs to the volumes
dealing with the earlier catastrophes. How did Venus, in Latin, “the
Newcomer,” escape from Jupiter four hundred times more massive? - and Lyttleton’s work gives some idea; or how could Venus be so much
heavier per unit of volume than Jupiter? - either it was expelled from
inner parts of the giant planet, or gases like hydrogen entered into
chemical compounds of higher molecular weight.
In Worlds in
Collision I suggested that electrical discharges in the atmosphere
of ammonia and methane in which Jupiter is rich, would produce
hydrocarbons of heavy molecular weight - an experiment successfully
performed ten years later by A. T. Wilson. Further, I envisaged
fusion of elements - like oxygen to sulphur - in interplanetary
Orbiter and Surveyor probes of the Moon were followed by Apollo
probes; and on the historic night of July 21, 1969, when Man stepped
on the Moon, I made a series of claims in an article written at the
invitation of the New York Times, and spelled out earlier as well in
memos to the Space Science Board of the National Academy of
Strong magnetic remanence, I claimed, would be discovered
in lunar rocks and lavas, though the Moon itself hardly possesses
any magnetic field whatsoever. A steep thermal gradient would be
found already a few feet under the surface. Thermo-luminescence would
disclose that the Moon was heated considerably only thousands of
Hydrocarbons, preferably of aromatic structure, would be
found in small quantities, but carbides, into which hydrocarbons
would transform when heated, in substantial quantities; expressed
radioactivity would be detected in lunar soil and rocks; and several
more claims. Already following Apollo XI and XII the score was
But each of the discoveries - steep thermal gradient, strong remanent magnetism, recent heating of the lunar surface, carbides
and traces of aromatic hydrocarbons, and rich radioactivity of the
rocks and dust - evoked exclamations of surprise and at best some far
fetched, ad hoc hypotheses. Magnetic anomalies, especially where
interplanetary bolts fell, and huge enclaves of neon and argon 40 in
lunar rocks, were also claimed by me in advance of the findings.
The Mars probes disclosed, as I had claimed in Worlds in Collision,
a dead planet that went through enormous cataclysmic events, not
unlike the Moon. The “canali” proved to be not the product of
intelligent work, but rifts caused by twisting of strata. Like on
the Moon, enormous craters resulted from bubbling, but some
formations, especially surrounded with “rays,” resulted, in my view,
from interplanetary discharges.
When last December  I was invited to address the scientists of
the Langley Space Research Center that prepares the June 1976 Viking
probes to Mars, I was told of the program and shown the module. I
found that my 1945 copyrighted view, printed also in Worlds in
Collision, of the possible abundant presence of argon and neon in
the atmosphere of Mars, then a very far-fetched idea, is now
incorporated in the program of the 1976 Viking probes.
Today, in one
of the alternative atmosphere models (the other has nitrogen richly
presented - the same alternative I discussed in Worlds in
Collision), NASA anticipates as much as 33.3% argon in the
atmosphere, but, in my opinion, too little - 666 parts per
million - neon. Actually, in 1969 I saw my assumption indirectly
confirmed when after I expressed my expectation of rich inclusions
of argon and neon in lunar rocks, such enigmatic inclusions were
I based my expectation on the realization that in the eighth
century before the present era Mars and the Moon repeatedly came
I would speculate that the red color of Mars, due mainly to the
ferruginous material acquired from Venus when the latter displaced
it from its orbit (in the
theomachy described in great detail in the
Iliad ), may partly be due also to an electrical effect in a
neon-rich Martian atmosphere.
I recommended in my lecture and
consultation at Langley Space
Research Center several tests not found in their program as it
To study the electrical nature of the sandstorms, occasionally
reaching the velocity of one hundred to two hundred miles per hour,
in the rarefied atmosphere of the planet.
To search for strong remanent magnetism of rocks and lavas, not just
to photograph soil particles attractable to a magnet. As just
explained, iron particles will be found in abundance. In future
probes anomalous remanent magnetism will be discovered near places
where electrical bolts emerged or fell.
To search for expressed radioactivity of the rocks and regolith,
especially near large circular formations that resulted from
To investigate the thermal gradient, presumably rather steep, even
if only at the depth of two or three feet.
To perform a thermo-luminescence experiment on glass-like particles
in the Martian soil which will disclose a very recent heating of the
Martian surface; if it were not for the expected radioactivity on
Mars, the proper result would be twenty-seven centuries for the last
The logic that led me to these conclusions and suggestions was the
same that made me make similar advance claims concerning the Moon
before the lunar landings.
I understand that the program will be dominated by an effort to find
out whether there is or there was life on Mars; organic materials
will be searched for and I count with the possibility that traces of
hydrocarbons may be found in the Martian soil, but almost all
hydrocarbons must have turned into carbide rocks by heating;
cultures of possible micro-organisms will be investigated for
changes in color and for the production of gases.
Worlds in Collision I compiled descriptions from many sources of
a widely spread pestilence that accompanied Mars’ close approaches;
it is not excluded that Mars is richly populated by micro-organisms
pathogenic to man. I suggested an inclusion of a microscope in the
equipment of Viking and, if possible, of an electron microscope for
the study of viruses. I do not discount the probability that the
seasonal changes in the color of the Martian surface may be due to
seasonal microbial or other low vegetative activity.
It is preferable to postpone the second Viking probe, now planned as
identical with the first and following it by one month, in order to
rework the program and to include the instruments needed for the
test I enumerated.
When earlier, a year and a half ago, in August , I was
invited to lecture and consult at Ames Space Research Center
(Division of Exobiology), I suggested also that microbial life able
to catalyze can possibly be found in Venus’ clouds, lower forms of
insect life on Jupiter, and primitive plant life on Saturn, besides
what I said now of Mars. So much for cosmology and also the
evolution of life.
If I was completely at odds with the cosmogony that had the solar
system without history since creation, I was also carrying my heresy
into a most sacred field, the holy of holies of science - celestial
I had a chapter on the subject at the end of
Collision, but I kept those galleys from inclusion in the book and
instead I included only one or two paragraphs - and the only
italicized words in the book are found in them - namely:
celestial mechanics, notwithstanding the many calculations that have
been carried out to many decimal places, or verified by celestial
motions, stands only; the sun, the source of light, warmth, and
other radiation produced by fusion and fission of atoms, is as a
whole an electrically neutral body, and also if the planets, in
their usual orbits, are neutral bodies.”
I showed how the events I
reconstructed could have occurred in the frame of the classical
celestial mechanics, but coming from the field of studying the
working of the brain - I was the first to claim that electrical
disturbances lie at the basis of epileptic seizures - I was greatly
surprised to find that astronomy, the queen of sciences, lives still
in the pre-Faraday age, not even in the time of kerosene lamps, but
of candles and oil.
It was, of course, known since Gilbert that the
Earth is a magnet, and G. E. Hale discovered that solar spots are
magnetic and that the Sun possesses a general magnetic field.
this did not keep Einstein, a few years later, from accounting for
the Mercurial precession by a new principle instead of first
eliminating the effect of the newly discovered solar magnetic field
on Mercury’s movement.
I claimed the existence of a magnetosphere above the terrestrial
ionosphere - it was discovered by Van Allen in 1958
I claimed that
this magnetosphere reaches as far as the lunar orbit - it was
discovered by Ness in 1964
I claimed that the interplanetary space
is magnetic and the field centers on the Sun and rotates with it - it
was discovered in 1960 by simultaneous observation of Pioneer V and
Explorer X, one travelling around the Sun and the other around the
I claimed that Jupiter sends out radio noises,5 and actually
offered in writing in June 1954 to Albert Einstein to stake our
protracted debate as to whether, besides inertia and gravitation,
electromagnetic interactions participate in celestial mechanics:
Does or does not Jupiter send out radio noises? - and Einstein wrote
his note of disbelief on the margin of my letter
But on the 8th of
April, 1955, nine days before his death, I brought to him the news
that Jupiter noises were discovered by chance; those who detected
them for long weeks disbelieved their find and the Jovian origin of
Lately I lecture frequently for physical and engineering societies
and faculties, and I challenge those in the audience who believe
that a magnetic body can move through a magnetic field without being
affected by it to lift their hands.
Can Jupiter with its immense
magnetosphere move in the magnetic field centered on the Sun, if
only of a few gammas, without being affected by it?
satellites of Jupiter plow through the magnetosphere of the giant
planet without being affected by it?
On no occasion I saw a hand
Only a few weeks ago, preliminary reports in Science on the Pioneer
X December flyby recorded a series of unusual electromagnetic
phenomena involving Jupiter and its satellites. At about the same
time we read of radio noises for the first time detected from a
Kohoutek was approaching its
contrary to the unanimous opinion expressed by astronomical
authorities, with which I disagreed, Kohoutek did not develop into
the greatest celestial spectacle of the century.)
The role of
electromagnetic interaction between a comet and the Sun was another
subject of my detailed discussion, oral and written, with Einstein.
With the discovery of quasars, magnetic binaries, black holes and
colliding galaxies sending out agonized radio signals, the electromagnetic nature of the universe is no more in question. Space
is not empty either.
I feel like calling René Descartes from the
Land of Shades to present his appeal, because as late as 1949, a
year before the publication of Worlds in Collision, the verdict was,
according to the philosopher Butterfield, that,
“The clean and
comparatively empty Newtonian skies ultimately carried the day
against a Cartesian universe packed with matter and agitated with
whirlpools, for the existence of which scientific observation
provided no evidence.”
But ten years later we read:
“Gone forever is any earthbound notion
of space as a serene thoroughfare... a fantastic amount of
cosmic traffic (hot gaseous clouds, deadly rays, bands of
electricity) rushes by at high speed, circles, crisscrosses, and
How could I produce this score of correct prognostications?
Professor V. Eshleman of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, obviously
astounded, wrote on September 11, 1970, to a news-writer:
completely mystified as to how Velikovsky reaches his conclusions.
It is almost as though he does it through will power alone...”
But could I, by will power alone, initiate Jupiter’s noises?
There is no mystery. My advance claims are a “natural fallout from a
single central idea,” in the words of one student of the affair.
Reading of my work is a prerequisite for understanding the way I
reach my conclusions.
Yet not a few upheld the scientific method by absolving themselves
from reading the book they discuss and occasionally suppress. These
days one planetarium astronomer authoritatively pronounced my score
of correct predictions as compatible with the law of averages and
added that I would have been unfortunate if my score were any less.
Seven years earlier the same planetarium astronomer was the
mastermind in the refusal of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia
to permit the oldest astronomical association of America, the Ritten-house
Society, to convene at their traditional meeting place in the
Institute when they invited me to address their members - a story that
had many reverberations.
The behavior of the scientific community was and partly still is a
The spectacle of the scientific
establishment going through all the paces of self degradation has
nothing with which to compare in the past, though every time a new
leaf in science was turned over there was a minor storm, and it is
not without precedent that most authoritative voices in science
usually served to discourage the trail blazers - think of Lord Kelvin,
unsurpassed authority of later Victorian days, who rejected Clerk
Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory, demeaned Guglieimo Marconi’s
radiotelegraphy, and till his death in 1907 proclaimed Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen for a charlatan.
But it is without precedent that the entire scientific community
should be aroused to very base actions of compelling, by organized
boycott, the publisher of a book checked and rechecked before the
printing to discontinue its publication, to destroy the entire
stock, and to punish the editor of twenty-five years service by
This community offered a united front of academic and
scientific societies, of faculties, of scientific and
semi-scientific press against a solitary figure whose only iniquity
was to present views carefully arrived at in more than a decade of
work, supplied with all references to enable the reader to check
multitudinous sources, with never a jest or a harsh word against
those with whom the non-conformist disagreed, with no new terms
introduced, in lucid language, though foreign to me, never given to
Now, after twenty-four years, and more than seventy-two printings in
the English language alone, forty of which were in hard cover, my
Worlds in Collision, as well as Earth in Upheaval, do not require
any revisions, whereas all books on terrestrial and celestial
sciences of 1950 need complete rewriting. The opposition and the
indecent forms it took are a psychological phenomenon and cannot be
explained by a mere desire to protect the vested interests.
forms the suppression assumed are so multiple and sometimes
ingenious, but mostly crassly rough and often dishonest, that only
having been trained in recognizing various forms of resistance with
which analytical patients react when unwelcome truth is about to
reveal itself, could I understand the unique spectacle which I
observe now for a full generation.
If a sociologist endeavors to divide the guilt between the
establishment and the non-conformist, and claims neutrality, then he
did not learn to discern objectivity from neutrality. And if a
professor of astronomy puts passages in my book which are not there
and then makes the class of tuition-paying students roar by
attacking those passages, this roar may still sound in his ears when
there will be no merriment in it.
In these antics, an experienced
psychoanalyst recognizes a state of anxiety.
“We are shaking in our
shoes - but with laughter” wrote an early critic, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin
Actually the astronomers of that university must have
felt threatened by the book and even an entire generation later,
acting as if in peril, a Nobel prize winner wrote to a high school
girl to close Worlds in Collision and not to open it again in her
lifetime, only to admit three years later to the editor of Pensée
that he never himself read the book.
Those who act almost suicidal
should keep their fingers on the pulse of time.
In the behavior of the scientific establishment the desperate
resistance that bedevils human society found its expression. As
members of the human race, we are afraid to face our past. But as
Santayana wrote, those who do not remember the past are condemned to
repeat it and - this time, I am afraid, in a man-made thermonuclear
My work today is no longer heretical. Most of it is incorporated in
textbooks and it does not matter whether credit is properly
assigned. My work is not concluded - I only opened new vistas. The
young and the imaginative flock in an ever increasing stream.
Numerous colleges and universities in this country hold courses or
seminars on my work, include my books among the required readings
and have theses on my ideas written for graduate degrees.
stopped thinking since graduating will claim authority, soon to find
that they are left without a following. I may have even caused
retardation in the development of science by making some opponents
cling to their unacceptable views only because such views may
contradict Velikovsky - like sticking to the completely
unsupportable hypothesis of greenhouse effect as the cause of Venus’
heat, even in violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
This spring, besides this Symposium on my work, two more
international symposia dedicated to the subject will take place
without my having any part in initiating them. Those who prefer name
calling to argument, wit to deliberation, or those who point a
triumphant finger at some detail that they misinterpret, yet claim
that my entire work ought to collapse, and boast of their own
exclusiveness as a caste of specialists - as if I claimed omniscience
and infallibility and as if I wrote a sacred book that falls due to
some possible error - are not first in their art.
I shall quote
Giordano Bruno, and one of the organizers of this symposium,
Professor Owen Gingerich, Harvard’s historian of science, is well
familiar with Bruno’s description of how his contemporaries used to
conduct a dispute:
“With a sneer, a smile, a certain discrete malice, that which they
have not succeeded in proving by argument - nor indeed can it be
understood by themselves - nevertheless by these tricks of courteous
disdain they pretend to have proven, endeavoring not only to
conceal their own patently obvious ignorance but to cast it on to
the back of their adversary.
For they dispute not in order to find
or even to seek Truth, but for victory, and to appear the more
learned and strenuous upholders of a contrary opinion. Such persons
should be avoided by all who have not a good breastplate of
After all, it really does not matter so much what Velikovsky’s role
is in the scientific revolution that goes now across all fields from
astronomy with emphasis on charges, plasmas and fields, to zoology
with its study of violence in man. But this symposium in the frame
of the AAAS is, I hope, a retarded recognition that by name-calling
instead of testing, by jest instead of reading and meditating,
nothing is achieved.
None of my critics can erase the magnetosphere,
nobody can stop the noises of Jupiter, nobody can cool off Venus,
and nobody can change a single sentence in my books.
Lucretius, On the Nature of Things, translated by C. Bailey (Oxford,
1924; earlier ed., 1910) Bk. II, lines 23ff.:
“For all things that
fall through the water and thin air, these things must need quicken
their fall in proportion to their weights, just because the body of
water and the thin nature of air cannot check each thing equally,
but give place more quickly when overcome by heavier bodies. But, on
the other hand, the empty void cannot on any side, at any time,
support anything, but rather, as its own nature desires, it
continues to give place; wherefore all things must needs be borne on
through the calm void, moving at equal rate with unequal weights.”
Plutarch, Of the face appearing in the orb of the Moon, translated
by W. Goodwin, (Boston, 1898) 246f.
“They who place the moon lowest
say that her distance from us contains six and fifty of the earth’s
semi-diameters, that is, that she is six and fifty times as far from
us as we are from the centre of the earth; which is forty thousand stadia, according to those that make their computation moderately.
Therefore the sun is above forty millions and three hundred thousand
stadia distant from the moon; so far is she from the sun by reason
of gravity, and so near does she approach to the earth. So that if
substances are to be distinguished by places, the portion and region
of the earth challenges to itself the moon, which by reason of
neighborhood and proximity, has the right to be reputed and reckoned
amongs the terrestrial natures of bodies.”
Cf. Isaac Newton,
Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, translated by A. Motte, 1729, revised by F. Cajori, Berkeley, 1946. Book III: The
System of the World. Proposition IV, Theorem IV, p. 407:
distance of the moon from the earth in syzygies in semi-diameters of
the earth is, acc. to Ptolemy and most astronomers, 59; acc. to
Vendelin and Huggins, 60... and to Tycho, 56½...”
Pliny, Natural History, II. 23.
O. Neugebauer, The Exact Sciences in Antiquity (Princeton University
Press, 1952), p. 146.
I. Velikovsky, “On the Advance Claim of Jupiter’s Radionoises,”
Kronos III.:1 (Aug., 1977), pp. 27-30.