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Compendium

Review

NASA -- AMES

  •        NASA scientists consult with Velikovsky concerning the possibility of life on other planets.

The following report was submitted to Pensée by Dr. Richard F. Haines shortly after Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky spent a day in consultation and lecturing at the NASA Ames Research Center last August.  Dr. Haines is a research scientist in the Neurosciences Branch at Ames.  Much of his work has centered on man's psychological tolerance to the space environment and various visual phenomena experienced in space.  The opinions given here are entirely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of NASA.

An invitation to Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky was made early in June, 1972, to speak at Ames Research Center--NASA, located south of San Francisco at Moffett Field.  Dr. Velikovsky responded positively and on August 14, 1972, delivered a morning lecture to Ames' staff and an afternoon lecture to an overflow crowd which included the general public, Ames' personnel, and the press.  His afternoon presentation was titled, "Man and the Universe in the Light of the Space Age."  I must admit that, after I had read the May, 1972, issue of Pensée from cover to cover, I experienced not a few unsettling feelings about initiating an invitation to this controversial man to speak at Ames.  My misgivings were short-lived, however, as I began to discuss the matter with others in life sciences.  For not only did I find a general interest in hearing what Dr. Velikovsky had to say about space biology, but I also discovered a keen awareness in some about the deeper implications of his various hypotheses.  Because I had written a review on the subject of man's (likely) visual capabilities on the planet Mars, I too was intrigued by some of his "advance claims", particularly about the possible existence of pathogenic micro-organisms there.

Dr. Velikovsky's afternoon lecture was co-sponsored by the Biotechnology and Planetary Biology Divisions at Ames.  In this hour-long lecture he touched upon the major themes in his first three books and showed how several recent space achievements have provided confirmation of his earlier hypotheses.  He was careful to include references to the recent Mariner-Mars fly-by photographic data--which has already raised far more questions than it has put to rest.  Dr. Velikovsky also spoke about the matter of mankind burying his racial memories of unpleasant past events in a "collective amnesia" which acts to insulate him from psychological trauma.  I don't think very many present missed the implication of this statement.

I was impressed with the audience's profound silence during Dr. Velikovsky's presentation and by the depth of some of the questions afterward.  The audience almost seemed awed by this man's presence as well as by his obvious command of such great amounts of information.

It is still too soon to assess the real impact that his appearance at Ames will have upon the thinking of those who heard him.  Since his two lectures, the responses I have received have been far more positive than negative.  I believe that the time has come to leave the debating table and begin the enormous task of evaluating empirically those hypotheses of Dr. Velikovsky's that are amenable to scientific study.  I would like to believe that his visit to Ames helped other scientists come to this view as well.

Dr.  William Birenbaum and Velikovsky at Lewis and Clark College.

LEWIS AND CLARK

SYMPOSIUM

  •      Scholarly gathering evaluates the implications  of Velikovsky's work.

  •      What is the next step?

The day following his engagement at Ames Research Center, Velikovsky boarded a plane for Portland, Oregon, where he would participate in an event which, together with the invitation from Ames, signifies a new and encouraging attitude toward his work by the scientific and scholarly communities.

The occasion was a "Velikovsky Symposium"--a gathering of over 50 "invited scholars" and 200 observers, co-sponsored by Lewis and Clark College and the Student Academic Freedom Forum (publishers of Pensée).  The conclave sought to probe the implications of Velikovsky's radical deviation from accepted views in physics, astronomy, geology, history, and mythology.  Observing in his opening remarks that few other men had made such "giant leaps, from the proven to the provable to the probable," Lewis and Clark's President John Howard defined the symposium's objective by challenging those present to grapple with the hard evidences bearing on Velikovksy's views.

For three days, from lunch until as late as midnight, Velikovsky lectured, answered questions, and listened to papers read by other scholars.  The mornings were filled with news conferences, television tapings, and special events.

Not ultimate truth

Velikovsky, it seemed, took the grueling schedule in stride.  The gathering was, he believes, simply one in a series of inevitable developments lending increased momentum to the reassessment of his work by the academic and scientific establishments.  Not only is this process irreversible, but it holds its own dangers.  Velikovsky found it appropriate to warn in his opening remarks: "What I have written and said is given to examination, to criticism, to variance; and I accept the verdict of facts ... Do not accept my work as ultimate truth."

Scene of the symposium was the plush Council Chambers at Lewis and Clark, modeled after their United Nations namesake.  The comfort was appreciated, for many of the papers read were quite lengthy--too lengthy, in fact, to allow adequate time for discussion among the scholars present.  However, what the formal schedule did not allow was largely compensated for by late-night and morning bull sessions.  One young scientist, an oceanographer, related afterward that a conversation during the symposium "turned a switch internally," triggering a willingness "to question the assumptions of my training."

Far from offering a resolution of all questions pertaining to Velikovsky's work, the symposium merely raised a few of these questions in each of several disciplines, and suggested some avenues of approach indicated by Velikovsky's work.  The prevailing attitude was expressed by Dr. Euan MacKie (University of Glasgow, Scotland) in his paper, "Testing the Catastrophic Theory with Evidence from  the Historical Sciences":

".. . Dr. Velikovsky has performed an enormous service both in forcing us to reexamine the foundations and basic assumptions of our various disciplines and in reminding us of how necessary interdisciplinary studies are for the health of science and learning as a whole.  For these reasons I do not propose to waste time in indulging--for the benefit of skeptics--in any apology for considering Velikovsky's ideas seriously.  It is enough to say that I don't see how any serious scientist can refuse to consider them, or to test them against the body of fact and theory he has detailed knowledge of.  Velikovsky's detailed ideas... are an extraordinarily effective tool for stripping away the unquestioned assumptions which condition much scientific research ... and for sorting out real facts from assumed ones."

"Most Impressive" Gathering

Initially there was some apprehension about the symposium among the faculty and staff of Lewis and Clark, who feared that the college might be getting mixed up in something tainted. (The press--generally very enthusiastic about the event--was not entirely free of such thoughts.  One local television reporter asked, after being informed of the symposium plans, "how can I wipe the smirk off my voice?")  But that apprehension quickly vanished when symposium coordinator Gene Kovalenko published the program.  One staffer surmised that the gathering of scholars may have been the "most impressive" ever hosted by the college.

PHYSICAL SCIENCES

Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky - Keynote Address

Ralph E. Juergens -- civil engineer - Plasma In Interplanetary Space.- Reconciling Celestial Mechanics and Velikovskian Catastrophism

Dr. C. J. Ransom -- plasma physicist, General Dynamics (Fort Worth) - Review of Earlier Arguments Against the Velikovsky Theory

2.  Geological Mechanisms and Catastrophism

John Dyer -- chief of navigation team, Project Pioneer, NASA Ames Research Center -             The Jupiter Probe and Future Space Probes

Dr. Albert Burgstahler -- professor of chemistry, University of Kansas - The Nature of the Atmosphere and Clouds of Venus

HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY

Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky - Keynote Address

Dr. Euan MacKie -- Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow - Testing the Catastrophic Theory with Evidence from the Historical Sciences

Lewis M. Greenberg -- assistant professor of history and art, Moore College of Art (Philadelphia) - The Lion Gate at Mycenae, a Study in Art-Historical Contradiction

Dr. Lynn E. Rose -- professor of philosophy, State University of New York (Buffalo) - Babylonian Observations of Venus

PSYCHOLOGY -- RELIGION -- SOCIOLOGY

Dr. William Mullen -- assistant professor of classics, comparative literature, and interdisciplinary general studies, University of California (Berkeley) - Myth and the Science of Catastrophism.  A Reading of the Pyramid Texts

Dr. Sidney Willhelm -- professor of sociology, State University of New York (Buffalo) - Sociological Implications and Interpretations of the Velikovsky Affair

Dr. George Grinnell -- assistant professor of history (of science), McMaster University (Ontario) -  Gravity -- A Historical Probe Into the Errors of Science In Its Opposition to Velikovsky

CONCLUDING SESSION

Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky - Mankind In Amnesia

Dr. William Birenbaum -- president, Staten Island Community College -                         Moderator -- Discussion and Response

No doubt the symposium's primary value was in serving notice to academia that Velikovsky's work and his successes are no longer being ignored, that a small, well-reputed college in the Pacific  Northwest can, on extremely short notice, draw an auditorium full of people--many of them prominent scientists and educators--eager to press toward a fuller understanding of the facts and hypotheses Velikovsky has placed before them.

A number of those present at Lewis and Clark asked whether further conferences of the sort would be held, and remarked that such conferences might profitably be restricted to one question or one discipline--a suggestion which had already been put forward by former AAAS president, Walter Orr Roberts. (See letters section, this issue.)  A number of other institutions have expressed interest in the idea, and at least one college (Glassboro) has initiated an invitation to Velikovsky to take part in a fullscale conference on the historical aspects of his work.

During the last two decades and more, many have despaired for the day when Velikovsky might speak, be heard, and have his ideas respectfully tested against the established body of knowledge and theory.  But that day is finally coming--with a quiet swiftness which has caught many people by surprise--and no doubt the symposium at Lewis and Clark is merely a signpost pointing toward some busy and at times, surely, dizzying, but certainly fruitful years ahead for the young and curious of many disciplines.

As for Velikovsky himself--he let his attitude be known at Lewis and Clark: "I have not expected in my lifetime to be at this conference.  I did not even expect to live into the space age.  I am fortunate, and I am thankful."

Publication

The proceedings of the symposium will be published in Pensée.  Ralph Juergens' paper, as well as a brief address by Dr. Joseph May, are carried in this issue.  The bulk of the symposium proceedings will be included in the next issue.

SCIENCE AND DECENCY

  •      Michael Polanyi

  •      Alvin Weinberg

  •      Murray Gell-Mann

  •      Warren Weaver

  •      Stephen Gould

"One wonders whether science can afford the loss of public confidence which the Velikovsky incident cost it."

Alvin Weinberg, director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is paying no tribute to Velikovsky with this remark.  His paper in Minerva, "Science and TransScience" (April, 1972), clearly lays the blame for this loss of confidence at Velikovsky's feet.  The heretic scholar played unfairly, we are told, thereby absolving scientists of any responsibility to deal objectively with his work: "To a scientist, Velikovsky is not to be taken seriously because he did not conform to the rules of procedure of the republic of science." (p. 221)

It is a question, says Weinberg, of conformity and fair play.  And so it is.  Witness: Weinberg's sole reference for the "Velikovsky incident" is to an earlier article in Minerva by Michael Polanyi, "The Growth of Science in Society" (Summer, 1967).  On his part, Polanyi, in correspondence with Pensée (July 18, 1972), admitted to never having read Worlds in Collision.

It is truly a question of fair play, but who are the violators?  The answer emerges with striking clarity, as it has with great regularity ever since Worlds in Collision was published 22 years ago.  It ought not to surprise Weinberg that the public has lost confidence in the community of scientists.

"Authority Prevailed"

Polanyi's piece in Minerva provided a handy rationalization for those scientists who were beginning to suffer twitches of conscience about the treatment of Velikovsky.  Polanyi begins his paper by detailing the violent reaction against Worlds in Collision:

". . . the book actually became a bestseller.  And so bitter was the reaction of astronomers and other scientists to this, and such was the pressure they exercised, that Macmillan, who had published Velikovsky's book, felt compelled to give up their rights in it.  They passed them on to Doubleday who felt less vulnerable to the hostility of scientific opinion... Velikovsky's work was condemned as utter nonsense by distinguished astronomers who frankly said that they had not read his book.  He asked to be admitted to a public discussion of his views and this was refused ... In February 1963, the American space explorer, Mariner II, confirmed Velikovsky's predictions about Venus ... but this confirmation of the theory did not succeed in causing its discussion to be reopened by scientists; it was rated as a curious coincidence.  Authority prevailed against the facts." (pp. 534-36)

Quite unabashed by this attitude among scientists, Polanyi attempts to justify it.  He raises the question of plausibility, an "intuitive assessment" of which is an essential control against scientific wrong turns:

"No amount of evidence could convince a modern biologist that gestation periods are equal to integer multiples of π.  Our conception of the nature of things tells us that such a relationship is absurd...

Suppose then that Velikovsky's claims were as implausible as the parallelism between periods of gestation and the number π ... then it would certainly correspond to the current custom of science to reject them at a glance unread, and to refuse to discuss them publicly with the author.  Indeed, to drop one's work in order to test some of Velikovsky's claims, as requested by him, would appear a culpable waste of time, expense, and effort." (pp. 536-38)

And what of Velikovsky's successful advance claims?  "A theory rejected as absurd will not always be made plausible by the confirmation of some of its predictions." (p. 538)

Keen Assessment

One might observe, in passing, that to read Worlds in Collision might not have been a "culpable waste of time, expense, and effort" for a person choosing to make of it an object lesson in a paper dealing with scientific procedures.

Also in passing, we should point out that many of those scientists refusing to read Worlds in Collision have not simply ignored the work, as one would expect if it were devoid of scientific value.  In a show of great indignation they publicly called attention to its "errors" and "lies." (See Pensée, May, 1972)  No question of theoretical plausibility here; only a question of fact or falsehood, truth or lies.  It took a very keen "intuitive assessment" indeed for leading scientists to locate those "lies" without reading the book (Polanyi, after admitting he hadn't read the book, reiterated his claim that it is "manifestly absurd"), and to do so with a confidence enabling them to shout the worst names imaginable at a scholar with an excellent prior record.  That scholar's reputation was severely damaged by this name-calling.

Polanyi's entire argument rests on the supposed similarity between Velikovsky's work on the one hand, and the implausible claim that gestation periods are equal to integer multiples of π.  Polanyi cites nothing in Worlds in Collision to support his comparison; in fact his only discussion of the book's content is a one-paragraph summary. (In describing the last series of catastrophes as beginning in -687, he makes it clear that he never took the book seriously enough to get straight its arguments.) No doubt if Polanyi were asked to provide a basis for his comparison, he would refer to a later paragraph in his Minerva article:

"There may be nothing strange to the layman in the suggestion that the average periods of pregnancy of various animals are integer multiples of the number π, but he will only drive the scientist to despair if he challenges him to show why this is absurd.  So he will be confronted with the scientist's blunt, unreasoning judgment, which rejects at a glance a set of data that seems convincing to the layman." (p. 541)

So there is not even basis for discussion.  Those who "know" Velikovsky's views to be absurd have no responsibility to investigate further, while those who support Velikovsky's right to be taken seriously are beyond educating.

A Historical Work

Since we can expect no further discussion from Polanyi's side, we can only venture a surmise as to the basis for his conclusions.  It seems a reasonably sure thing that Polanyi has mistaken the fundamental nature of Velikovsky's work.  That work is historical.  The temperature of Venus, the evidence for hydrocarbons in Venus' atmosphere, the presence of electromagnetic forces in interplanetary space, the moon's thermal gradient and its remanent magnetism, the excessive inclusions of argon and neon in the lunar rocks--these evidences confirm Velikovsky's claims.  But if, on the strength of these evidences alone, Velikovsky concluded that Venus was once disrupted from Jupiter, flew by Earth several times, collided with Mars, and later settled into its present orbit, then Polanyi might have some ground for his charge of implausibility.

But in Worlds in Collision Velikovsky's claims are based almost exclusively upon an examination of historical records.  Space age discoveries emerge as confirmations, not the original basis, for his views.  These confirmations came afterwards.  And so the seemingly disparate character of the confirming evidences is a major strength.  A workable hypothesis must offer a set of testable deductions--all the better if those deductions lead one far afield as well as close to home.  That Velikovsky's historical researches suggested conclusions concerning the moon and Venus, among other things, and that these conclusions, outrageous to astronomers and physicists, were later vindicated--these facts speak strongly in favor of the historical starting point.  To deny this, terming the confirmations a "curious coincidence," is curious, to say the least.

"Science is in Ill Repute"

Polanyi will not discuss the absurdity of Velikovsky's views with those who are not as adept as he at recognizing the absurd; Weinberg laments the loss of public confidence in science resulting from the Velikovsky incident; and Murray Gell-Mann links this loss of confidence to an upsurge of irrationality.  Writing in Physics Today (May, 197 1, p 23), the Nobel laureate sees "among educated people a resurgence of superstition, extraordinary interest in astrology, palmistry and Velikovsky; there is a surge of rejection of rationality. . ." At the same time, "In our country, in particular, science is in ill repute, together with such gigantic and impressive feats of engineering as the manned flight to the moon."

Gell-Mann's remarks were passed on by Warren Weaver in the AAAS Bulletin (February, 1972), where he quotes the above passages.  Neither writer feels any need to explain or expand upon the reference to Velikovsky; they both simply count upon the general acceptability of their slur.

Gell-Mann and Weaver ought to explore causes and effects.  Specifically, they might ask the following questions: 1) How much of the public's attitude toward science is due to witnessing such spectacles as an array of prominent scientists engaging in a violent, emotional outburst against Velikovsky?(2)  How much of the "ill-repute" accruing to space exploration and the Apollo flights can be attributed to the scientific community's failure to demonstrate a clear relationship between these efforts and man's desire to know his past? (See R. Treash, "Remanent Magnetism on the Moon," Pensée, May, 1972, p. 23.) (3)  How much of the public's "rejection of rationality" is the result of science's failure to pursue and be open to fundamental discoveries about man and the cosmos he inhabits--discoveries which hold great personal interest and importance for all men?

Who Protests?

The remarks of Weinberg, Polanyi, Gell-Mann, and Weaver raise acute ethical questions to which the public is not insensitive.  We may pose one of those questions with yet another example, this time taken from Science (May 12, 1972, p 625).  Stephen Jay Gould, reviewing Arthur Koestler's The Case of the Midwife Toad, states,

"A man cannot wear the mantle of Galileo simply because he stands against an establishment that treats him badly; he must also be right, or at least brilliant.  If he isn't, his story will probably become the farce that Marx recognized as the historical repetition of tragedy--Galileo the tragedy, Velikovsky the farce."

Who protests such defaming references?  The scientific community is held out as a model of devotion to truth, rigorous respect for hard evidence, and strict adherence to high ethical standards.  In childhood and school we are taught that the modern, scientific spirit is bitterly opposed to the persecution by authority which all too often silenced creative men in the past.  The names of authority's victims have become household words, and their fate oft mourned.  But what man of reputation and position denounces the treatment accorded Velikovsky?  How many of the thousands of AAAS members write letters to Science, questioning whether any person has an inalienable right to drag another man's name into the mud on pure hearsay?  Who arises to clarify the record by observing that the oft-rumored "definitive reply" to Velikovsky, revealing his many "lies" and "errors," has yet to be written?  Who points out in a scholarly journal that men who have never read Velikovsky are quoting earlier "authorities" who themselves admit to never having read Velikovsky?  Where do we see the "modem, scientific spirit"?

It is not Velikovsky who needs such honesty on the part of scientists; the unsolicited evidences are rapidly performing a more valuable service for Velikovsky than any blue ribbon panel of investigators ever could.  Rather, it is the reputation of science itself which is at stake.

Gell-Mann offers several remedies for science's ill-repute, concluding with this:

"The most important contribution that we scientists can make is to go on with our own research and teaching in pure science, to follow where curiosity leads and to take the small steps that culminate, once or twice in a generation, in those great universal syntheses ... These works of pure science are among the noblest monuments of our culture and I believe they will be remembered when much of our petty bickering of today is forgotten." (p. 25.)

If that is to be so, then it is because, as Polanyi stated in a more profound mood (Science, Faith and Society, 1964, p. 52):

". . It is part of the scientific tradition to be constantly on our guard against suppressing by mistake some great discovery, the claims of which at first appear nonsensical on account of their novelty."

S. Talbott

VELIKOVSKY: THE BONDS OF THE PAST

  •      CBC documentary now available to interested groups.

"Velikovsky:                  The Bonds of the Past," an hour-long film, was telecast February 22 by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Owing to enthusiastic public response, the film was aired again in Canada September 10. 10">

In addition to beautiful color photography of Egypt and Switzerland, the film includes interviews with many participants in the unfolding drama of the past two decades--Eric Larrabee, who authored the explosive reviews of Worlds in Collision in Harpers; Lloyd Motz, Columbia University astronomer; William Mullen, classicist from Berkeley; C.J. Ransom and David Carlyle, the physicists who put together the 1971 bulletin, "Lunar Probes and Velikovsky's Advance Claims"; William Birenbaum, president, Staten Island Community College; and others.  Velikovsky discusses the genesis of his ideas, sets forth the outlines of a catastrophe involving Saturn, reminisces concerning his debates with Einstein, and speaks of Freud's theories.

Henry Zemel, writer/director of the film, has acquired distribution rights from CBC.  The film is now available for rental--write to Henry Zemel, P.O. Box 315, New York, N.Y. 10009.

CENSORSHIP

  •      Sky and Telescope

  •      American Scientist

When, in March, 1965, Dell Publishing Company submitted a modest advertisement to Science announcing the Delta editions of Worlds in Collision and Earth in Upheaval, the ad was refused.  Not so in 1972.  Pensée sent to Science a full-page ad which was accepted without question and published in the June 24, 1972, issue.   Likewise, Science News, Science and Public Affairs, and Physics Today accepted Pensée's advertisements.

Two journals, however, did not see fit to alter their policies of censorship.  Elizabeth Lukasavich, advertising representative for the American Scientist, informed Pensée that "although the ad meets the requirements set forth in my previous correspondence, the editorial board has exercised its prerogative of refusing your announcement."

And upon receiving word of Pensée's ad, Charles Federer, Jr., editor of Sky and Telescope responded with a telephone call to Pensée editor Steve Talbott.  "We absolutely wouldn't touch Velikovsky," explained Federer.  "As far as we are concerned Velikovsky is in exactly the same category as astrology.  We apply the same attitude to flying saucers.  We stay pretty close to orthodox stuff."

In a letter (June 13) Federer amplified his remarks: "Our own existence is the direct result of the support and encouragement of Dr. Harlow Shapley ... as a practicing astronomer he and I were in complete agreement as to what Sky and Telescope should publish and what audience it should serve."

A reader and sometime contributor to Sky and Telescope (Dennis Rawlins, physics department, Notre Dame of Maryland), having gotten wind of the refusal, wrote to Federer and protested this "censorship": "Certainly the readers of S & T (of all people!) are capable of making up their own minds as to the merits of Velikovsky's theories without 'higher guidance'."

PLANETARIUM SHOW

  •      Fort Worth planetarium dramatizes Worlds in Collision.

On March 28, 1950, Gordon A. Atwater was summarily fired from his positions as curator of Hayden Planetarium and chairman of the department of astronomy, American Museum of Natural History.  Five days later This Week published Atwater's review of Worlds in Collision.  It was, in part, Atwater's refusal to withdraw that generally favorable review which sparked his dismissal.  His other errors: counseling Macmillan to publish Velikovsky's book, and announcing plans to feature that book in a Hayden Planetarium show.

The show never came off.  Now, 22 years later, the planetarium of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History has performed the task to which Hayden--without Atwater--was not equal.  Beginning last August 1 the Noble Planetarium put on public view a dramatization of Immanuel Velikovsky's historical reconstructions.  The show, originally scheduled to run one month, will be extended at least into November.

Mars rising above the horizon at Noble Planetarium.

The expulsion of Venus from Jupiter, the awesome and terrifying events on the earth's surface, and the close approach of Mars are vividly depicted in the pioneering program.  "This program requires far more visual special effects than anything we have ever done," observed planetarium director, John T. Nation--"We had to build about five new projectors.  We have also done a great deal with audio effects, especially where the earth plunges into the comet's tail."

The narrator (Nation) provides a brief biographical sketch of Velikovsky, describes the controversy surrounding the publication of Worlds in Collision, and reviews recent evidences stemming from space exploration.  He concludes with the hope that "as each generation sheds the ideas of the previous age, we move a little closer to the truth.  Astronomers of the future may settle the mystery of Venus."

The production has brought record-breaking crowds to Noble Planetarium.  Nation ventures the prediction that "this won't be the last planetarium show on Velikovsky--if other planetariums don't pick up the idea, they are missing their medium."

Nation's prediction is not a risky one. Pensée has learned of at least two other major planetariums with such shows in the offing--one scheduled for January or February, 1973.

LOREN EISELEY

  •      A brief literary excursion.

Loren Eiseley, one of the best known and most articulate personalities in the scientific world, authored, among other books, Darwin's Century, The Immense Journey, and The Unexpected Universe.  He is Benjamin Franklin Professor of Anthropology, Sociology, and the History of Science (University of Pennsylvania), recipient of numerous honorary degrees, fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, former vice president of the American Anthropological Society, and member of many other scholarly and honorary societies.

Quoted a number of times in Velikovsky's Earth in Upheaval (1955), Eiseley refers to Velikovsky in the opening paragraph of his The Firmament of Time.  These various remarks, placed in juxtaposition with Eiseley's comment in his more recent The Night Country, make a fascinating study:

Loren Eiseley, as quoted in Velikovsky's Earth in Upheaval (1955):

Page 138-- "The biologist is in despair as he surveys the extinction of so many species and genera in the closing Pleistocene [Ice Age]." ("The Fire-Drive and the Extinction of the Terminal Pleistocene Fauna," American Anthropologist, 48 [ 1946].)

Page 205--". . . sudden and decisive geological or climatic changes occurred which simultaneously wiped out a considerable number of animal species." ("Archaeological Observations of the Problem of PostGlacial Extinction," American Antiquity, Vol. 8, No. 3 [1943], 210.)

Page 207--"It seems odd that a fauna which had survived the great ice movement should die at its close.  But die it did." (American Antiquity, Vol. 8, No. 3 [1943], 211.)

Page 230--" . . in certain regions of Alaska the bones of these extinct animals lie so thickly scattered that there can be no question of human handiwork involved.  Though man was on the scene of the final perishing, his was not, then, the appetite nor the capacity for such giant slaughter." (F.  Rainey, quoted by Eiseley in American Antiquity, Vol. 8, No. 3 [19431, 214.)

Page 231 - "We are not dealing with a single, isolated relict species but with a considerable variety of Pleistocene [Ice Age] forms, all of which must be accorded, in the light of cultural evidence, an approximately similar time of extinction." (American Antiquity, Vol 8, No. 3 [1943], 215.)

Page 231 - Epidemic disease or climatic events attendant on the glacial retreat "are sufficient to explain an enormous reduction in the number of a particular species, but are yet inadequate to illuminate the reason for the inability of the species to rebound, in a few years, from its decimated condition." (American Anthropologist, 48 [19461, 54.)

Loren Eiseley, The Firmament of Time, 1966, opening paragraph:

Man is at heart a romantic.  He believes in thunder, the destruction of worlds, the voice out of the whirlwind.  Perhaps the fact that he himself is now in possession of powers wrenched from the atom's heart has enhanced the appeal of violence in natural events.  The human generations are short-lived.  We have difficulty in visualizing the age-long processes involved in the upheaval of mountain systems, the advance of continental glaciations or the creation of life.  In fact, scarcely two hundred years have passed since a few wary pioneers began to suspect that the earth might be older than the 4004 years B.C. assigned to it by the theologians.  At all events, the sale of Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision a few years ago was a formidable indication that after the passage of two centuries of scientific endeavor, man in the mass was still enormously susceptible to the appeal of cataclysmic events, however badly sustained from the scientific point of view.  It introduced to our modern generation, bored long since with the endless small accretions of scientific truth, the violence and catastrophism in world events which had so impressed our forefathers.

Loren Eiseley, The Night Country, 1971,  page 131:

"The great synthesizer who alters the outlook of a generation, who suddenly produces a kaleidoscopic change in our vision of the world, is apt to be the most envied, feared, and hated man among his contemporaries.  Almost by instinct they feel in him the seed of a new order; they sense, even as they anathematize him, the passing away of the sane, substantial world they have long inhabited.  Such a man is a kind of lens or gathering point through which past thought gathers, is reorganized, and radiates outward again into new forms."

PENSEE IN THE CLASSROOM

  •      Professors around the country are ordering Pensée for classroom use.

We are encouraged by the number of colleges and universities which have ordered bulk quantities of Pensée's special (May) issue for bookstore and/or classroom use.  A partial list follows:

U. of California (Berkeley); U. of California (San Diego); East Carolina U.; Franklin and Marshall College (Penn.); Glassboro State College (N.  J.); Grand Valley State College (Mich.); U. of Hartford (Conn.); U. of Kentucky; Lewis and Clark College (Ore.); Millersville State College (Penn.); U. of Minnesota; Moore College of Art (Penn.); Ohio State U.; Oregon State U.; U. of Oregon; State University College at Oswego (N.Y.); State University of New York (Buffalo); Palomar College (Cal.); Princeton U.; Purdue U.; San Fernando Valley State College (Cal.); Sauk Valley College (Ill.); Selkirk College (B. C.); U. of Toronto (Ont.); U. of Victoria (B. C.); Webster College (Mo.); College of Wooster (Ohio).

If your university bookstore does not have the issue on hand, request that they order it.  Bookstores receive the trade discount.

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