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KRONOS                        Vol VII, No. 4 Summer - 1982

On Velikovsky and Darwin

The so-called "Darwinian Revolution" stands in sharp contrast to, and was of an entirely different character from, the Brunian Revolution of the sixteenth century.

It is well known how Darwin sailed with the Beagle and patiently collected facts from the Galapagos Islands and elsewhere around the world.  Many people take it for granted that these actual observations are the basis for his theory of gradual evolution by natural selection.

Darwin did make many observations, but his theory was chosen in defiance of observational data, not because of observational data.  The geological and paleontological record shows no gradual transition, no continuity.  Rather, it shows that there were sudden, numerous, and simultaneous extinctions of older species and sudden, numerous, and simultaneous generations of newer species.  The destructions and extinctions that Darwin found in the Americas were so massive and so extensive that at first his mind was, in his own words,

". . . irresistably hurried into the belief of some great catastrophe; but thus to destroy animals, both large and small, in Southern Patagonia, in Brazil, on the Cordillera of Peru, in North America up to Behring's Straits, we must shake the entire framework of the globe." [1]

Thus the facts that Darwin observed led to the idea of a global catastrophe.  Instead of following the lead of the observed facts, however, Darwin chose to go against the facts, and to theorize that the facts were misrepresentative of what had really happened.  Thus he theorized that the geological and paleontological record was really incomplete and compressed and abbreviated, so that what is really continuous only appears discrete, what is really slow only appears fast, and what is really non-simultaneous only appears simultaneous.  Also, the transitional stages that must really have existed (the famous "links") only appear to be missing.  In all of these respects, the Darwinian theory went against the known evidence.

Why Darwin and his followers chose to do this is no doubt a very complicated question.  But a large part of it may be that a world of gradual, peaceful change was found to be more comfortable than the alternative.  A safe uniformitarian Earth was, for them, much preferable to the repeatedly devastated world that is indicated by the geological and paleontological facts.

Many of the theories that are accepted by the scientists and the historians of today are just as arbitrary and just as much in conflict with the facts as is Darwinism.  They are also just as carefully uniformitarian: nothing is allowed to happen in the past that is not happening today.  Such theories, "established" and "accepted" but never confirmed by fact or observation, are among the obstacles that the Velikovsky Revolution has faced.

Velikovsky has described all this as

". . . a psychological phenomenon that I observed again and again.  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." [2]

Wishful thinking that ignores experience is not the way to discover the truth, even if that wishful thinking has such a strong appeal that it comes to be regarded as "established".  Unlike the revolutions wrought by a Bruno or by a Velikovsky, the so-called "Darwinian Revolution" was not a scientific revolution at all.

[1]    Darwin's Journal of the Beagle voyage, January 9, 1834.

[2]    Velikovsky's A.A.A.S. address, "My Challenge to Conventional Views in Science", in Velikovsky and Establishment Science (KRONOS III: 2), p. 8. This paper was read on February 25, 1974, in San Francisco, at the A.A.A.S. Symposium on Velikovsky's work.

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