Immanuel Velikovsky

Immanuel Velikovsky
Immanuel Velikovsky at the 1974 American Association for the Advancement of Science Conference in San Francisco

Immanuel Velikovsky (Russian: Иммануи́л Велико́вский) (10 June [O.S. 29 May] 1895 – 17 November 1979) was a Russian-born American independent scholar of Jewish origins, best known as the author of a number of controversial books reinterpreting the events of ancient history, in particular the US bestseller Worlds in Collision, published in 1950.[1] Earlier, he played a role in the founding of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, and was a respected psychiatrist and psychoanalyst.

His books use comparative mythology and ancient literary sources (including the Bible) to argue that Earth has suffered catastrophic close-contacts with other planets (principally Venus and Mars) in ancient times. In positioning Velikovsky among catastrophists including Hans Bellamy, Ignatius Donnelly, and Johann Gottlieb Radlof,[2] the British astronomers Victor Clube and Bill Napier noted ". . . Velikovsky is not so much the first of the new catastrophists . . . ; he is the last in a line of traditional catastrophists going back to mediaeval times and probably earlier."[3] Velikovsky argued that electromagnetic effects play an important role in celestial mechanics. He also proposed a revised chronology for ancient Egypt, Greece, Israel and other cultures of the ancient Near East. The revised chronology aimed at explaining the so-called "dark age" of the eastern Mediterranean (ca. 1100 – 750 BCE) and reconciling biblical history with mainstream archaeology and Egyptian chronology.

In general, Velikovsky's theories have been vigorously rejected or ignored by the academic community.[4] Nonetheless, his books often sold well and gained an enthusiastic support in lay circles, often fuelled by claims of unfair treatment for Velikovsky by orthodox academia.[5][6][7][8] The controversy surrounding his work and its reception is often referred to as "the Velikovsky affair".[9][10][11]


Velikovsky's life

Emigration to the US and a career as an author

The remainder of the 1970s saw Velikovsky devoting a great deal of his time and energy to rebutting his critics in academia, and continuing to tour North America and also Europe, delivering lectures on his ideas. By now an elderly man, Velikovsky suffered from diabetes and intermittent depression, which according to his daughter may have been exacerbated by the academic establishment's continuing rejection of his work.[12][Third-party source needed]

Posthumous administration of Velikovsky's literary estate

For many years Velikovsky's estate was controlled by his two daughters, Shulamit Velikovsky Kogan (b. 1925), and Ruth Ruhama Velikovsky Sharon (b. 1926),[13] who generally resisted the publication of any further material.[citation needed] (Exceptions include the biography ABA — the Glory and the Torment: The Life of Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky, issued in 1995 and greeted with rather dubious reviews;[14][15][16] and a Hebrew translation of another Ages in Chaos volume, The Dark Age of Greece, that was published in Israel.) A volume of Velikovsky's discussions and correspondence with Albert Einstein appeared in Hebrew in Israel, translated and edited by his daughter Shulamit Velikovsky Kogan. In the late 1990s, a large portion of Velikovsky's unpublished book manuscripts, essays and correspondence became available at the Velikovsky Archive website.[17] In 2005, Velikovsky's daughter Ruth Sharon presented his entire archive to Princeton University Library.[18]

Velikovsky's ideas

Notwithstanding Velikovsky's dozen or so publications in medical and psychoanalytic journals in the 1920s and 1930s,[19] the work for which he became well known was developed by him during the early 1940s, whilst living in New York. He summarised his core ideas in an affidavit in November 1942,[20] and in two privately published Scripta Academica pamphlets entitled Theses for the Reconstruction of Ancient History (1945) and Cosmos without Gravitation (1946).[21]

Rather than have his ideas dismissed wholesale because of potential flaws in any one area, Velikovsky then chose to publish them as a series of book volumes, aimed at a lay audience, dealing separately with his proposals on ancient history, and with areas more relevant to the physical sciences. Velikovsky was a passionate Zionist,[22][23] and this did steer the focus of his work, although its scope was considerably more far-reaching than this. The entire body of work could be said to stem from an attempt to solve the following problem: that to Velikovsky there appeared to be insufficient correlation in the written or archaeological records between Biblical history and what was known of the history of the area, in particular, Egypt.[24]

Velikovsky searched for common mention of events within literary records, and in the Ipuwer papyrus he believed he had found a contemporary Egyptian account of the Israelite Exodus. Moreover, he interpreted both accounts as descriptions of a great natural catastrophe. Velikovsky attempted to investigate the physical cause of the Exodus event, and extrapolated backwards and forwards in history from this point, cross-comparing written and mythical records from cultures on every inhabited continent, using them to attempt synchronisms of the historical records, yielding what he believed to be further periodic natural catastrophes that can be global in scale.[citation needed]

He arrived at a body of radical inter-disciplinary ideas, which might be summarised as:[citation needed]

  • Planet Earth has suffered natural catastrophes on a global scale, both before and during humankind's recorded history.
  • There is evidence for these catastrophes in the geological record (here Velikovsky was advocating Catastrophist ideas as opposed to the prevailing Uniformitarian notions) and archeological record. The extinction of many species had occurred catastrophically, not by gradual Darwinian means.
  • The catastrophes that occurred within the memory of humankind are recorded in the myths, legends and written history of all ancient cultures and civilisations. Velikovsky pointed to alleged concordances in the accounts of many cultures, and proposed that they referred to the same real events. For instance, the memory of a flood is recorded in the Hebrew Bible, in the Greek legend of Deucalion, and in the Manu legend of India. Velikovsky put forward the psychoanalytic idea of "Cultural Amnesia" as a mechanism whereby these literal records came to be regarded as mere myths and legends.
  • The causes of these natural catastrophes were close encounters between the Earth and other bodies within the solar system — not least what were now the planets Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, and Mars, these bodies having moved upon different orbits within human memory.
  • To explain the celestial mechanics necessary to permit these changes to the configuration of the solar system, Velikovsky thought that electromagnetic forces might somehow play a greater role to counteract gravity and orbital mechanics.

Some of Velikovsky's specific postulated catastrophes included:[citation needed]

  • A tentative suggestion that Earth had once been a satellite of a "proto-Saturn" body, before its current solar orbit.
  • That the Deluge (Noah's Flood) had been caused by proto-Saturn's entering a nova state, and ejecting much of its mass into space.
  • A suggestion that the planet Mercury was involved in the Tower of Babel catastrophe.
  • Jupiter had been the culprit for the catastrophe that saw the destruction of the "Cities of the Plain" (Sodom and Gomorrah)
  • Periodic close contacts with a cometary Venus (which had been ejected from Jupiter) had caused the Exodus events (c.1500 BCE) and Joshua's subsequent "sun standing still" (Joshua 10:12 & 13) incident.
  • Periodic close contacts with Mars had caused havoc in the 8th and 7th centuries BCE.

As noted above, Velikovsky had conceived the broad sweep of this material by the early 1940s. However, within his lifetime, whilst he continued to research, expand and lecture upon the details of his ideas, he released only selected portions of his work to the public in book form:[citation needed]

  • Worlds in Collision (1950) discussed the literary and mythical records of the "Venus" and "Mars" catastrophes
  • Portions of his Revised Chronology were published as Ages in Chaos (1952), Peoples of the Sea (1977) and Rameses II and His Time (1978) (The related monograph Oedipus and Akhenaten, 1960, posited the thesis that pharaoh Akhenaten was the prototype for the Greek mythic figure Oedipus.)
  • Earth in Upheaval (1955) dealt with geological evidence for global natural catastrophes.

Velikovsky's ideas on his earlier Saturn/Mercury/Jupiter events were never published, and the available archived manuscripts are much less developed.[citation needed]

Of all the strands of his work, Velikovsky published least on his ideas regarding the role of electromagnetism in astronomy. Although he appears to have retreated from the propositions in his 1946 monograph Cosmos without Gravitation, no such retreat is apparent in Stargazers and Gravediggers.[25] Cosmos without Gravitation, which Velikovsky placed in university libraries and sent to scientists, is a probable catalyst for the aggressively antipathetic reaction of astronomers and physicists from its first presentation.[26] However, other Velikovskian enthusiasts such as Ralph Juergens (dec.), Earl Milton (dec.), Wal Thornhill, and Donald E. Scott have embraced and developed these themes to propose a scenario where stars are powered not by internal nuclear fusion, but by galactic-scale electrical discharge currents. Such ideas do not find support in the conventional literature.[27][28][29]

Revised chronology

Velikovsky argued that the conventional chronology of the Near East and classical world, based upon Egyptian Sothic dating and the king lists of Manetho, was wholly flawed. This was the reason for the apparent absence of correlation between the Biblical account and those of neighbouring cultures, and also the cause of the enigmatic "Dark Ages" in Greece and elsewhere. Velikovsky shifted several chronologies and dynasties from the Egyptian Old Kingdom to Ptolemaic times by centuries (a scheme he called the Revised Chronology), placing The Exodus contemporary with the fall of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt. He proposed numerous other synchronisms stretching up to the time of Alexander the Great. He argued that these eliminate phantom "Dark Ages", and vindicate the biblical accounts of history and those recorded by Herodotus.

These ideas were first put forward in Ages in Chaos, and his later published works Oedipus and Akhnaton, Peoples of the Sea and Rameses II and His Time, and two further works that were unpublished at the time of his death but that are now available online at the Velikovsky Archive: The Assyrian Conquest and The Dark Ages of Greece.

These ideas have been rejected by mainstream historians, and eventually even some of his followers.



C. Leroy Ellenberger with Immanuel Velikovsky at Seaside Heights, New Jersey, in 1978.

Velikovsky inspired numerous followers during the 1960s and 1970s. Alfred de Grazia dedicated a 1963 issue of his journal, American Behavioral Scientist to Velikovsky, published in an expanded version as a book, The Velikovsky Affair, in 1966. The Skeptical Inquirer in a review of a later book by de Grazia, Cosmic Heretics (1984), suggests that de Grazia's efforts may be responsible for Velikovsky's continuing notability during the 1970s.[30]

The Society for Interdisciplinary Studies (SIS) was "formed in 1974 in response to the growing interest in the works of modern catastrophists, notably the highly controversial Dr Immanuel Velikovsky". The Institute for the Study of Interdisciplinary Sciences (ISIS) is a 1985 spin off the SIS, founded under the directorship of David Rohl, who had come to reject Velikovsky's Revised Chronology in favour of his own "New Chronology".

Kronos: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Synthesis was founded in 1975 explicitly "to deal with Velikovsky's work". Ten issues of Pensée: Immanuel Velikovsky Reconsidered appeared in 1972 to 1975. The controversy surrounding Velikovsky peaked in the mid 1970s and public interest declined in the 1980s, and by 1984, erstwhile Velikovskyist C. Leroy Ellenberger had become a vocal critic of Velikovskian catastrophism. Some Velikovskyist publications and authors such as David Talbott remain active into the 2000s.


Velikovsky's ideas have been almost entirely rejected by mainstream academia (often vociferously so) and his work is generally regarded as erroneous in all its detailed conclusions. Moreover, scholars view his unorthodox methodology (for example, using comparative mythology to derive scenarios in celestial mechanics) as an unacceptable way to arrive at conclusions. The late Stephen Jay Gould[31] offered a synopsis of the mainstream response to Velikovsky, writing, "Velikovsky is neither crank nor charlatan — although, to state my opinion and to quote one of my colleagues, he is at least gloriously wrong ... Velikovsky would rebuild the science of celestial mechanics to save the literal accuracy of ancient legends."

Velikovsky's bestselling and, as a consequence, most-criticized book is Worlds in Collision. Astronomer Harlow Shapley, along with others such as Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, were highly critical of Macmillan's decision to publish the work. The fundamental criticism against this book from the astronomy community was that its celestial mechanics were physically impossible, requiring planetary orbits that do not conform with the laws of conservation of energy and conservation of angular momentum.[citation needed]

Velikovsky relates in his book Stargazers & Gravediggers how he tried to protect himself from criticism of his celestial mechanics by removing the original Appendix on the subject from Worlds in Collision, hoping that the merit of his ideas would be evaluated on the basis of his comparative mythology and use of literary sources alone. However, this strategy did not protect him: the appendix was an expanded version of the Cosmos Without Gravitation monograph, which he had already distributed to Shapley and others in the late 1940s — and they had regarded the physics within it as absurd.[citation needed]

By 1974, the controversy surrounding Velikovsky's work had permeated US society to the point where the American Association for the Advancement of Science felt obliged to address the situation, as they had previously done in relation to UFOs, and devoted a scientific session to Velikovsky, featuring (among others) Velikovsky himself and Professor Carl Sagan. Sagan gave a critique of Velikovsky's ideas (the book version of Sagan's critique is much longer than that presented in the talk; see below). His criticisms are available in Scientists Confront Velikovsky[32] and as a corrected and revised version in the book Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science.[33] Sagan's arguments were aimed at a popular audience and he did not remain to debate Velikovsky in person, facts that were used by Velikovsky's followers to attempt to discredit his analysis.[34] Sagan rebutted these charges, and further attacked Velikovsky's ideas in his PBS television series Cosmos, though not without reprimanding scientists who had attempted to suppress Velikovsky's ideas.

It was not until the 1980s that a very detailed critique of Worlds in Collision was made in terms of its use of mythical and literary sources, when Bob Forrest published a highly critical examination of them (see below). Earlier in 1974, James Fitton published a brief critique of Velikovsky's interpretation of myth that was ignored by Velikovsky and his defenders whose indictment began: "In at least three important ways Velikovsky's use of mythology is unsound. The first of these is his proclivity to treat all myths as having independent value; the second is the tendency to treat only such material as is consistent with his thesis; and the third is his very unsystematic method."[35] A short analysis of the position of arguments in the late 20th century is given by Dr Velikovsky's ex-associate, and Kronos editor, C. Leroy Ellenberger, in his A Lesson from Velikovsky.[36]

More recently, the absence of supporting material in ice-core studies (such as the Greenland Dye-3 and Vostok cores) have removed any basis for the proposition of a global catastrophe of the proposed dimension within the later Holocene period. However, tree-ring expert Mike Baillie would give credit to Velikovsky after disallowing the impossible aspects of Worlds in Collision: "However, I would not disagree with all aspects of Velikovsky's work. Velikovsky was almost certainly correct in his assertion that ancient texts hold clues to catastrophic events in the relatively recent past, within the span of human civilization, which involve the effects of comets, meteorites and cometary dust. . . . But fundamentally, Velikovsky did not understand anything about comets; . . . . He did not know about the hazard posed by relatively small objects . . . . This failure to recognize the power of comets and asteroids means that it is reasonable to go back to Velikovsky and delete all the physically impossible text about Venus and Mars passing close to the earth. . . . In other words, we can get down to his main thesis, which is that the Earth experienced dramatic events from heavenly bodies particularly in the second millennium BC."[37]

Velikovsky's revised chronology has been rejected by nearly all mainstream historians and Egyptologists. It was claimed, starting with early reviewers, that Velikovsky's usage of material for proof is often very selective.[38][39][40] In 1965 the leading cuneiformist Abraham Sachs, in a forum at Brown University, discredited Velikovsky's use of Mesopotamian cuneiform sources.[41] Velikovsky was never able to refute Sachs' attack.[42] In 1978, following the much-postponed publication of further volumes in Velikovsky's Ages in Chaos series, the United Kingdom-based Society for Interdisciplinary Studies organised a conference in Glasgow specifically to debate the revised chronology.[43] The ultimate conclusion of this work, by scholars including Peter James, John Bimson, Geoffrey Gammonn, and David Rohl, was that the Revised Chronology was untenable.[44]

While James credits Velikovsky with "point[ing] the way to a solution by challenging Egyptian chronology", he severely criticised the contents of Velikovsky's chronology as "disastrously extreme", producing "a rash of new problems far more severe than those it hoped to solve" and demonstrating that "Velikovsky understood little of archaeology and nothing of stratigraphy."[45]

Bauer accuses Velikovsky of dogmatically asserting interpretations which are at best possible, and gives several examples from Ages in Chaos.[46]

"The Velikovsky Affair"

Such was the hostility directed against Velikovsky from some quarters (particularly the original campaign led by Harlow Shapley), that some commentators have made an analysis of the conflict itself. The most prominent of these was a study by American Behavioral Scientist magazine, eventually published in book form as The Velikovsky Affair.[47] This framed the discussion in terms of how academic disciplines reacted to ideas from workers from outside their field, claiming that there was an academic aversion to permitting people to cross inter-disciplinary boundaries. More recently, James Gilbert, professor of history at University of Maryland, challenged this traditional version with a more nuanced account that focused on the intellectual rivalry between Velikovsky's ally Horace Kallen and Harlow Shapley.[48] Earlier, Henry Bauer challenged the traditional view that the Velikovsky Affair illustrated the resistance of scientists to new ideas by pointing out "the nature and validity of Velikovsky's claims must be considered before one decides that the Affair can illuminate the reception of new ideas in science ..."[49]

The scientific press, in general, denied Velikovsky a forum to rebut his critics. Velikovsky claimed that this made him a "suppressed genius", and he likened himself to Giordano Bruno, who was burnt at the stake.[50][51][52]

The storm of controversy created by Velikovsky's publications may have helped revive the catastrophist movement in the second half of the 20th century; however it is also held by some working in the field that progress has actually been retarded by the negative aspects of the so-called Velikovsky Affair.[53][54]

Books by Velikovsky

Published by The Macmillan Company:

Published by Doubleday:

Published by William Morrow:

  • Stargazers and Gravediggers (1983)

Published in Israel:

  • The Dark Age of Greece[55]



  1. ^ Princeton University press release, July 29, 2005 (quoted on website of Dr. Ruth Velikovsky Sharon)
  2. ^ "Johann Gottlieb Radlof — The Velikovsky Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2010-06-03. 
  3. ^ Clube, S. V. M. and Bill Napier 1984. Velikovskians In Collision. Quadrant (Sydney). Jan.-Feb., pp. 33-34; reprinted in Kronos vol. IX, no. 3, 1984. pp. 44-49.
  4. ^ Trevor Palmer, Perilous Planet Earth: Catastrophes and Catastrophism through the Ages, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521819288. pp.116-119.
  5. ^ Morrison, David (2001). Velikovsky at Fifty: Cultures in Collision on the Fringes of Science. Skeptic, 9 (1), 62-76; reprinted in Shermer, Michael (editor) (2002). The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience, Santa Barbara, Calif. ISBN 1576076539. 473-488.
  6. ^ Cohen, Daniel (1967). Myths of the Space Age, Dodd Mead. LCCN 67-25108. Chap. VIII, Immanuel Velikovsky — the Man Who Challenged the World, pp. 172-94.
  7. ^ Gordon, Theodore J. (1966). Ideas in Conflict, St. Martin's Press. LCCN 66-23261. Chap. 2, The Miracles of Exodus, pp. 18-48.
  8. ^ Fair, Charles (1974). The New Nonsense: The End of the Rational Consensus, Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0671218220. Chap. viii, Speaking of Flying Objects ... , pp. 139-86.
  9. ^ Bauer, Henry H. (1992). The Velikovsky Affair Aeon, 2 (6), 75-84. This article, a comprehensive overview, originally appeared in Dec. 1988 La Recherche, pp. 1448-55.
  10. ^ Bauer, Henry H. (1996). Velikovsky, Immanuel, in Gordon Stein (editor), The Encyclopedia of the Paranormal. Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-57392-021-5. pp. 781-788.
  11. ^ Grove, J. W. (1989). In Defence of Science: Science, technology, and politics in modern society, University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-2634-6. Chap. 5, Pseudo-science, pp. 120-50; adapted from Grove, J. W. (1985). Rationality at Risk: Science against Pseudoscience. Minerva, 23 (2), 216-40.
  12. ^ Sharon, Ruth Velikovsky: "Aba: The Glory and the Torment. The Life of Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky" McGraw Hill, 1995
  13. ^ Duane Vorhees, "The Early Years: Part Two", Aeon III:1 (Nov 1992). See also the Web site of Ruth Velikovsky Sharon
  14. ^ Vorhees, Duane (1996). Aeon, 4 (2), 107-11.
  15. ^ Ellenberger, Leroy (1996). Journal of Scientific Exploration, 10 (4), 561-9.,
  16. ^ Moore, Brian (1997). Chronology & Catastrophism Review 1997 (2), 51.
  17. ^ Velikovsky Archive
  18. ^ Princeton University Library
  19. ^ See for a list
  20. ^ Velikovsky, Immanuel (1942). Affidavit, November 23.
  21. ^ Collected at
  22. ^ Velikovsky penned a weekly political column under the moniker "Observer" in the New York Post November 25, 1947– June 23, 1949,
  23. ^ Sieff, M "Velikovsky and his Heroes" Society for Interdisciplinary Studies Review Vol. V, issue 4 (1984)
  24. ^ Vorhees, Duane. (1990). The "Jewish Science" of Immanuel Velikovsky: Culture and Biography as Ideational Determinants. Dissertation, Bowling Green State University.
  25. ^ Velikovsky, Immanuel 1983. Stargazers and Gravediggers. William Morrow and Co. ISBN 0-688-01545-X. Footnote, p. 165, indicates no retreat and states "Gravitation is an electromagetic phenomenon."
  26. ^ Bauer, Henry H. 1984. Beyond Velikovsky: The History of a Public Controversy. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-01104-X. p. 233.
  27. ^ Ellenberger, C. Leroy 1985. sec. "Electric Stars" in "Still Facing Many Problems (Part II)", Kronos X (3), pp. 15-23.
  28. ^ Thompson, Tim 2001. "On the 'Electric Sun' Hypothesis". Thompson is a physicist retired from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  29. ^ Bridgman, W. T. 2008. "The Electric Sky, Short-Circuited". Bridgman is an astrophysicist at NASA-Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
  30. ^ Bauer, Henry H. (1985), "Inside the Velikivsky Affair", Skeptical Inquirer 9 (3): 284–288, 
  31. ^ Stephen Jay Gould Velikovsky in Collision
  32. ^ Sagan, Carl (1977). An Analysis of Worlds in Collision, in Goldsmith, Donald (editor) (1977). Scientists Confront Velikovsky. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-0961-6. pp. 41-104.
  33. ^ Here is an example of the re-working of the text between 1977 and 1979: "My own position is that even if twenty percent of the legendary concordances which Velikovsky produces are real, there is something important to be explained. . . . Likewise, we should not be surprised if a few elements of a few legends are coincidentally identical. But I do not believe that all of the concordances which Velikovsky produces can be explained away in this manner" (1977, pp. 48-50), compared with "My own position is that if even 20 percent of the legendary concordances that Velikovsky produces are real, there is something important to be explained. . . . Likewise, we should not be surprised if a few elements of a few legends are coincidentally identical. But I believe that all of the concordances Velikovsky produces can be explained away in this manner" (1979, pp. 86-88).
  34. ^ Ginenthal, Charles (1995). Carl Sagan & Immanuel Velikovsky. New Falcon Publications, Tempe Arizona
  35. ^ Fitton, James (1974). Velikovsky Mythistoricus. Chiron, I (1&2), 29-36; excerpts at
  36. ^ A Lesson from Velikovsky
  37. ^ Baillie, Mike (1999). Exodus to Arthur: Catastrophic Encounters with Comets, B.T. Batsford Ltd.; London. ISBN 0 7134 8352 0. Chap. 12, Velikovsky Revisited, pp. 166-180 (170-172).
  38. ^ Albright, William 1952. New York Herald Tribune Book Review April 20. Retelling the Near East's Ancient History. p. 6.
  39. ^ Kaempffert, Waldemar 1952. New York Times Book Review April 20. Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, and the Egypt of Exodus. p. 23.
  40. ^ Stiebing, Jr., William H. 1984. Cosmic Catastrophism, Chap. III, in Ancient Astronauts, Cosmic Collisions Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-260-2. pp. 57-80.
  41. ^ see transcript in Aeon 1992, Vol.3 No.1, pp.103-5, and also
  42. ^ Ellenberger, Leroy 1992. Aeon 3 (1), section "Bonanza from Brown" in "Of Lessons, Legacies, and Litmus Tests: A Velikovsky Potpourri (Part One)", pp. 88-90. "Velikovsky confronted a panel of four professors [at Brown University on March 15, 1965]: Leon N. Cooper (physics), Bruno J Giletti (geology), Charles Smiley (astronomy) and Abraham J. Sachs (history of mathematics) [who was substituting for Otto Neugebauer ], moderated by Henry Kucera (linguistics). In the event, Velikovsky debated the first three handily. He was stunned by Sachs whose address was both a rhetorical and substantive tour de force. Velikovsky's rebuttal began: 'Dr. Sachs threw so many accusations in that Philippic of his that I am at a difficulty to answer; but I invite Dr. Sachs to spend the hour and a half tomorrow at the meeting [at Diman House], and every one of you too, and point by point each of his statements will be proven wrong.' Unfortunately, Sachs did not show up the next day and Velikovsky did not even mention Sachs [according to the tape recording of the proceedings in the possession of Warner B. Sizemore who loaned it to Ellenberger March 31, 1979]. Curiously, Velikovsky's file for the Brown trip contains typed rebuttals to all the panelists except Sachs, for whom only partial, penciled notes exist--but later that year Velikovsky would reply to Kim J. Masters, a Princeton sophomore, within a week in The Daily Princetonian (Nov. 15, 1965) over a criticism of Oedipus and Akhnaton. Velikovsky's rebuttal to Masters was scathing, running the gamut from haggling over details to ad hominems.
  43. ^ "Ages in Chaos?'-Proceedings of the Residential Weekend Conference, Glasgow, 7th-9th April 1978" Society for Interdisciplinary Studies Review Vol. VI, issue 1/2/3 84pp (1982)
  44. ^ Bimson, "Finding the Limits of Chronological Revision" in "Proceedings of the SIS Conference: Ages Still in Chaos" Chronology & Catastrophism Review 2003
  45. ^ The Preface from Centuries of Darkness Peter James
  46. ^ Bauer Beyond Velikovsky pages 158-60
  47. ^ This "study" is hardly an objective examination of the issues because all three authors were supporters of Velikovsky and the description of the controversy over the publication of 'Worlds in Collision' is based entirely on Velikovsky's manuscript for Stargazers and Gravediggers (1983), as DeGrazia confirmed for Ellenberger in May 1983.
  48. ^ Gilbert, James (1997). Redeeming Culture: American Religion in an Age of Science, University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-29320-3. Chap. 8, Two Men of Science, pp. 170-97.
  49. ^ Bauer, Henry (1984). Velikovsky and Social Studies of Science. 4S Review 2 (4), 2-8.,
  50. ^ Velikovsky, I. The Acceptance of Correct Ideas in Science,
  51. ^ Velikovsky, I My Challenge to Conventional Views in Science, presented at the AAAS 1974 conference,
  52. ^ Velikovsky, I Claude Schaeffer,
  53. ^ Steel, Duncan (1995). Rogue Asteroids and Doomsday Comets, John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0471308242. p. 155.
  54. ^ Morrison, David (2001). Velikovsky at Fifty: Cultures in Collision on the Fringes of Science. Skeptic, 9 (1), 62-76; reprinted in Shermer, Michael (editor) (2002). The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience, Santa Barbara, Calif. ISBN 1576076539. 473-488. Morrison quotes several scientists who embrace the latter view, including Walter Alvarez, David Raup, Richard Muller, Jay Melosh, Peter Ward, and Don Yeomans. This survey confirms the hunch expressed by Morrison and Clark R. Chapman in Chap. 13 "Catastrophism Gone Wild: The Case of Immanuel Velikovsky" in Cosmic Catastrophes (1989), pp. 183-96.
  55. ^ Available on-line in the Velikovsky archive


External links

Velikovsky works available online

  • The Velikovsky Archive — an online collection of works, including unpublished manuscripts, audio recordings of lectures, and a video of the 1972 CBC documentary

Sites about Velikovsky

Organizations sympathetic to Velikovsky's work

Critiques of Velikovsky

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  • Immanuel Welikowski — Immanuel Velikovsky Immanuel Velikovsky (ursprünglich russisch Иммануил Великовский bzw. Immanuil Welikowski; * 10. Juni 1895 in Wizebsk; † 17. November 1979 in Princeton) war Arzt, Psychoanalytiker und Autor vieler spekulativer Bücher. Seine… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Velikovsky — Immanuel Velikovsky Immanuel Velikovsky (ursprünglich russisch Иммануил Великовский bzw. Immanuil Welikowski; * 10. Juni 1895 in Wizebsk; † 17. November 1979 in Princeton) war Arzt, Psychoanalytiker und Autor vieler spekulativer Bücher. Seine… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Velikovsky — Immanuel Velikovsky Immanuel Velikovsky Immanuel Velikovsky est un psychiatre et écrivain russe né à Vitebsk le 10 juin, 1895 – mort à Princeton, États Unis le 17 novembre 1979). Après des études de médecine (en partie suivies à …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Immanuel — Emmanuel Emmanuel est un prénom masculin. Il est dérivé de Immanouel (imanou E l) qui signifie « Dieu est avec nous » en hébreu. Dans l Ancien Testament, Emmanuel est le nom par lequel le prophète Isaïe désigne le messie à venir,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Velikovsky, Immanuel — born June 10, 1895, Vitebsk, Russia died Nov. 17, 1979, Princeton, N.J., U.S. Russian born U.S. writer. He earned various degrees in Moscow and Edinburgh before moving to the U.S. in 1939. In his first book, Worlds in Collision (1950), he… …   Universalium