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Open letter to science editors

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Review

                                                                                                                           MISCELLANEOUS

HONORARY DEGREE

We reprint the following by permission of the authors:

April 12, 1973

Dr.  Immanuel Velikovsky

Princeton, New Jersey

 

Dear Sir:

The Senate of the University of Lethbridge recently voted to accept the unanimous re-commendation of our General Faculties Council that you be awarded the degree of Doctor of Arts and Science; the degree to be conferred at the Spring Convocation in 1974.

The presentation of your name stressed the quality of your life as a humanitarian, a humanist and a scientist.  Many supporters among the faculty in the Humanities, the Social Sciences and the Sciences came forward to speak on your remarkable books and your teaching generally.  You were seen as embodying our tradition of humane values, of intellect, of aesthetic sensitivity, personal ethics and of the transcendental dimension of scholarship.

The University wishes to confer this degree on you at its Spring Convocation in 1974, a year from now.  We try to make decisions on the awarding of Honourary Doctorate degrees well in advance of conferring them.  I will admit that we usually delay contacting recipients until rather close to the Convocation at which the degree will be conferred.

In your case we wanted you to know of the award at the earliest possible time particularly as we are pleased at the prospect of honouring you and we are convinced that you have not been properly honoured in the past.

Would you let me know whether you are prepared to accept the award of our Doctor of Arts and Science and whether, all being well, you contemplate coming to Lethbridge to have the degree conferred on you in the Spring of 1974.

Sincerely,

J. Oshiro, M.D.

Chancellor

University of Lethbridge

Alberta

 

April 30, 19 73

Dear Dr.  Oshiro:

Your very amiable letter with enclosed printed material was unduly long in transit--I received it before the weekend.  You may be aware that your General Faculties Council followed by the Senate of the University made a selection and unprecedented decision in the Academia: I have not been yet honored with any honorary degree.  This, however, was never a source of disappointment to me; I was aware of the revolutionary character of my studies and findings.  Today these views of mine are no more so heretical--much of what I wrote entered the textbooks and the curricula even if in some disguise.


 

If everything goes well, my wife and I shall come to Lethbridge a year from now.  I thank you, dear Chancellor, the General Faculties Council, and the Senate of the University of Lethbridge.

Truly yours,

Immanuel Velikovsky

 

A SECOND NASA LECTURE.  Velikovsky has accepted an invitation to lecture at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, on December 10, 1973.  Engagements at neighboring institutions may also be arranged immediately to follow or precede the Langley lecture.

 

THE (DIS)ORIENTATION OF THE PYRAMIDS.  In 1940 the archaeologist Flinders Petrie, having surveyed the pyramids of Giza, found that their general alignment is four minutes west of north.  Now his observations have caught the attention of the physicists.  G. S. Pawley (Edinburgh University) and N. Abrahamsen (Aarhus University) have analyzed this shift in light of its possible causes (Science, 179, March 2, 1973, 892).

Builders' error is estimated at no more than one minute.  The movement of the true pole over a 4500-year span "is far too small, and is of the wrong sign."  Continental drift components suggest, in

one case, a rotation in the wrong sense, and in a second case, a rotation of only 0.1 minute.  Earthquakes are considered, "but a single quake of unprecedented magnitude would be needed to move the pyramids by strain release."

The scientists conclude that "continental drift is the most likely explanation, although somewhat implausible, especially as relevant measurements have been made over a 50-year period, whereas geophysical measurements of sea-floor spreading relate to million-year time scales."

 

SCIENTISTS AND MEN.  "I have been interested, for a long time, in the psychological process of discovery as the most concise manifestation of man's creative faculty--and in that converse process that blinds him towards truths which, once perceived by a seer, become so heartbreakingly obvious.  Now this blackout shutter operates not only in the 'ignorant and superstitious masses' as Galileo called them, but is even more strikingly evident in Galileo's own, and in other geniuses like Aristotle, Ptolemy, or Kepler.  It looks as if, while part of their spirit was asking for more light, another part had been crying out for more darkness.  The History of Science is a relative newcomer on the scene and the biographers of its Cromwells and Napoleons are as yet little concerned with psychology; their heroes are mostly represented as reasoning-machines on austere marble pedestals, in a manner long outdated in the mellower branches of historiography--probably on the assumption that in the case of a Philosopher of Nature, unlike that of a statesman or conqueror, character and personality are irrelevant.  Yet all cosmological systems, from the Pythagoreans to Copernicus, Descartes, and Eddington, reflect the unconscious prejudices, the philosophical or even political bias of their authors; and from physics to physiology, no branch of Science, ancient or modern, can boast freedom from metaphysical bias of one kind or another.  The progress of Science is generally regarded as a kind of clean, rational advance along a straight ascending line; in fact it has followed a zigzag course, at times almost more bewildering than the evolution of political thought.  The history of cosmic theories, in particular, may without exaggeration be called a history of collective obsessions and controlled schizophrenias; and the manner in which some of the most important individuals' discoveries were arrived at reminds one more of a sleepwalker's performance than an electronic brain's." (Arthur Koestler in his preface to The Sleepwalkers.)

 


 

"The inertia of the human mind and its resistance to innovation are most clearly demonstrated not, as one might suspect, by the ignorant mass--which is easily swayed once its imagination is caught but by professionals with a vested interest in tradition and in the monopoly of learning.  Innovation is a two-fold threat to academic mediocrities; it endangers their oracular authority, and it evokes the deeper fear that their whole laboriously constructed intellectual edifice may collapse." (The Sleepwalkers, p. 427.)

"VELIKOVSKY AFFAIR" NOW AVAILABLE.  In September, 1963, the American Behavioral Scientist devoted an entire issue to the "Velikovsky affair," containing the most complete story ever published of the reception of Velikovsky's work by the scientific community.  In 1967 this material, supplemented and updated, appeared in a book, The Velikovsky Affair (Alfred de Grazia, editor).  Available in most libraries, this book cannot be purchased or ordered through bookstores.

However, The Velikovsky Affair (hardbound, 260 pp.) may now be obtained at a cost of $6.16 (postage included) from Pensee, P.O. Box 414, Portland, Oregon 97207.

ON THE LECTURE CIRCUIT.  Pensee associate editor Dr. C. J. Ransom has prepared an illustrated lecture, "Worlds in Collision," and is accepting engagements with interested groups and institutions.  The presentation, including slides provided by the General Dynamics Aerospace Management Club (Fort Worth), reviews Velikovsky's historical reconstructions from the time of the Flood (conjectural) to the last Mars-Earth encounter in the seventh century B.C.  The approach is multi-disciplinary and supporting evidence is offered.  Dr. Ransom adapts the technical level of his presentation to the requirements of his audience.  He himself is a physicist.  Topics range from "collective amnesia" to geological anomalies to mythology.

For further information contact Dr. Ransom (P.O. Box 12807, Fort Worth, Texas 76116) or write to R. E. Fields, Mail Zone 5984, General Dynamics Convair Aerospace Management Club, Fort Worth, Texas.

ARCHAEOLOGY IN 2973 A.D. Frederic B. Jueneman, in his Innovative Notebook column (Industrial Research, February, 1973, 15), describes an archaeological expedition to the United States' capital a millennium from now:

"Of the few tombs which are still in evidence, the one in Wshingaton, C.D., remains the most enigmatic.  Some scholars maintain that it was built by a chief named Kennedy, in honor of his scribe, Lincoln.  Others insist that a chief named Lincoln was buried there, who had a personal scribe called Kennedy.  A third group--much in the minority--has tried to further confound the issue by claiming that two separate rulers were being treated, and who lived a century apart.

"Because of the extensive recycling of raw materials in the early centuries of this millennium, precious little remains from the archives and libraries of that age.  But astute reconstruction has shown that Lincoln/Kennedy was a single individual, who was assassinated while attending a performance at the Dalas Theatre in a suburb of Whsingaton.  He died of head wounds, and was known to have been succeeded by his vice-chief, Johnson."

PENSEE Journal V

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