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Open letter to science editors

 

KRONOS Vol III, No. 1

Editorial Statement . . .

PRETENSE FOR INQUISITION?

At the April 30 meeting of the American Humanist Association, held in Buffalo, N. Y., the formation of a new group the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (its present official title) - was announced.

The Committee's purported primary purpose is to "debunk" such diverse subjects as astrology, psychokinesis, plant communication, ancient astronauts, Uri Geller, Edgar Cayce, Jeane Dixon, and Erich von Daniken. Additionally, the name of Immanuel Velikovsky was also mentioned at the Amer. Hum. Assoc. meeting itself, then in a Washington Post news item of May 3, and again in a Science News article of May 29. First, the latter repeated the canard and self created myth that "astronomer Carl Sagan delivered what many considered to be a devastating blow to the catastrophism theories of Velikovsky at the" AAAS meeting of February 1974; then later, on June 19, the same journal eagerly published letters in response to its May 29 article in a transparent attempt to appear objective. Nevertheless, heading the list was a sycophantic missive from Ben Bova, the editor of Analog. In his epistle, which was tantamount to nothing less than fraternal backscratching, Bova bubbled how "especially heartening" it is "to see science fiction writers such as L. Sprague de Camp and Isaac Asimov among the committee membership. . ."

In the meantime, the Washington Post had quoted Paul Kurtz, editor of The Humanist, as saying that Velikovsky, among others, promulgated pseudoscience. Kurtz later denied the remark in private, but refused to make a public retraction. So much for "objectivity". So much for "fairness" since, despite its professed "objectivity" and "fairness", the Committee has already betrayed its own duplicity.

It is the intention of the Committee to publish a journal called The Zetetic.* While KRONOS cannot speak for other involved parties, it does warn The Humanist and The Zetetic that it will not tolerate the same old nonsense of Charles Fair's The New Nonsense, the High Camp of L. Sprague de, nor the nonchalant irresponsibility of Kurtz, where the name of Velikovsky is concerned.

Furthermore, KRONOS will never permit the Committee to turn this country into the American Gulag Archipelago. - L. M. Greenberg

*An obsolete English word, derived from the Greek, which basically means "Inquisitor".

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